Editor’s note: Due to perceived conflict of interest, Spencer Garn has been removed from all editorial oversight of this article.
Candidates for Weber State University’s upcoming student-body office elections took the stage Thursday in their first public appearances.
In a series of public debates, WSU students had the opportunity to meet candidates in the upcoming student-body office elections and hear them discuss many of the issues relating to student life and the WSU experience.
The debates were an attempt to help students learn as much as they could about the candidates they will be voting for well in advance of election day, said Anna Adamson, who is the current election chair.
“Many of the students want to vote that first day and get it over with,” Adamson said, “but they don’t have a lot of time to get to know the candidates. The student council debates give candidates a chance to get their face out there and give people a good look at what they’re voting for.”
During each debate, candidates for specific offices lined up on the podium and introduced themselves. They were then asked a series of questions by the moderator and each given 60 seconds to answer. The question prompts in each debate varied slightly and included things such as what ideas they would implement if they were elected, what qualified them for the position, and what they thought was the biggest challenge students face and how they would help solve that.
WSU student April Carson said the debates were more closely related to discussions than arguments.
“Everyone clearly wanted what is best for the school,” Carson said. “They seemed very unified in purpose.”
Unity did seem to be a main theme as the candidates stated their positions and aspirations for the future of WSU. Candidates for WSU Davis campus vice president talked about improving the connection between the Davis and Ogden campuses, and every candidate expressed a desire to get students more involved in the variety of events, organizations and clubs that WSU offers.
“I envision a community of Wildcats that will unite together, regardless of age or religion,” said Thomas Judd, a candidate for programming vice president. “We’re all Wildcats, and that’s what matters. I’d like to see us get together for all the awesome activities that we have every week here at Weber.”
One obstacle to student-body unity and student involvement was dubbed the “It’s Just Weber” syndrome by many candidates.
Audience members also had opportunities to ask the candidates’ questions. One question, posed to candidates for the diversity vice president position, prompted a more personal answer by asking why the candidates considered themselves diverse.
Diversity vice president candidate Mindy Chamberlain said that being liberal and lesbian in Utah means she knows what it’s like to be a part of the local minority.
For students who missed the debates and would like more information, The Signpost‘s website, www.wsusignpost.com, will have pictures of each candidate and a summary of their platforms on Saturday. Candidates’ platforms will also be published in Monday’s print edition.
Voting begins Monday. Students will be able to vote at computers that will be stationed in the Shepherd Union Building.