Student Senate Presidential, VP candidates debate issues

Presidential candidates Michael Hall, Nathaniel Brown, and Katrina Hurley, and Vice President candidate Marci Luton competed in a Senate Debate Monday evening in the Library.

Karson Langley, who is also running for Senate Vice President, was unable to make the debate because she was away for a golf meet.

The first question asked was, “What do you expect to accomplish during your term and how will you accomplish your goals?”

Hall said he wants to focus his attention to the students’ needs and wants. For example, he said he wanted to get the ice machine in Kent back, wants to update the rooms in Memorial Hall, and wants more water bottle filling stations. He said he has already been working on the Wi-Fi problem as a senator. He said it’s not realistic to fix the problem because it would require rebuilding dorm buildings or buying routers for every dorm room.

Collaboration with students, The Eagle, CAB, and Senate is the main focus for Brown. He said communication is the key to success and he said leadership shouldn’t only come from Senate. He said he wants to have a student leader of the month, and the leader will come from clubs, not only from Senate. He also said he will be writing a column every week in The Eagle to inform students of what Senate is doing. Brown also said he will be taking suggestions from students to find the issues.

Hurley said that she wants to talk with students to find out what they want fixed.  She said she wants to hold a leadership conference on campus, rather than going on a trip. She also said she will write a report for The Eagle. She will advocate for more water bottle filling stations, a greenhouse, and better Wi-Fi. She said she will hold weekly office hours in the Senate office.

Luton said she wants to build better relations with Senate and the students. She wants to put suggestion boxes in the dorms and in the student center to allow students to have their voices heard. She also wants students to know who their senators are so they know who to come to with problems.

The second question was “How will you encourage a sense of common purpose in college spirit among the student body?”

Hall said he will sponsor more events. Brown said he will increase communication and collaboration. Hurley said she will advocate for all clubs on campus. Luton said she wants to bring back older traditions CSC used to have.

The third question was “What experience and qualifications do you possess that make you the best for the office?”

Hall said he has real world experience the other candidates don’t have. He also said he has been running his father’s farm for quite some time now.

Brown said he was part of the executive board of Senate so he’s seen what happens on the inside.

Hurley said she has been an RA and has served on multiple Senate committees.

Luton said that she was a senator for two years and served on multiple committees as well.

In closing statements, Hall said he wants to work for the students and do what they want. He wants to benefit all students, not just a select few.

Brown said he wants to collaborate with The Eagle, CAB, Senate and the students to discuss and accomplish issues on campus. He wants to increase leadership from all levels of campus, not just from Senate.

Hurley said she will advocate for students.

Luton said she wants to talk with students to fix the problems they want fixed.

One question asked from the audience was, “What would you do if the issue students brought up were considered negative or controversial by the administration?”

Luton said they would bring the issue to the administration and tell them what the majority of the students said. She said administration is above us, so they have final say, but she would advocate for students.

To have students who aren’t part of groups and clubs on campus more involved, Hurley said she would help students find a club to fit their needs.

Hall reflected that statement but added he would help students create a club if they couldn’t find one that worked for them.

When students are split on an issue, Brown said he would try to find common ground to create a sense of unity. He would create a forum so students can defend their side of the issue, and then they will vote and go with the majority.

Student Richard Heule, sophomore of Hemingford, asked  Hurley about her statement at a Feb. 16 Senate meeting where she claimed 75 percent of cameras on campus did not work.

Heule wrote a column that appeared in the Feb. 19 edition of The Eagle that criticized the administration for failing to maintain the cameras. Heule took his cue from Hurley’s statement, and acknowledged that he failed to independently verify her claims.

His article prompted CSC President Randy Rhine to issue an email that Thursday afternoon stating that the college has 117 security cameras at various locations across campus. It also stated that as of that morning “113, or 96.5 percent, were doing their jobs as designed.”

Hurley responded to Heule’s question, saying, “I asked three separate security guards… that were students, but they had direct workings with the people in the security offices. And they all confirmed that there were 75 percent of the cameras that did not work.”

Hurley also said students came to Senate complaining about cameras not working, and cited what she claimed were three instances of cameras not working—one in a laundry room, but did not cite the dormitory, the second, she said, occurred on her floor in Kent Hall, and the third on Student Senate President Dillon Spies’ floor, also in Kent.

Brown also responded to Heule’s question saying when backdoor deals were happening on Senate, as the Senate Secretary, he sent a letter to senators to inform them of the issue. He was called into Vice President of Enrollment Management, Marketing, and Student Services Jon Hansen’s office and asked about doing that. Brown said he thought he did the right thing but would apologize if he needed. Brown said he was not asked to apologize.

Finally, the candidates were asked, “What is specific to each individual campaign?”

Luton said she wants to make sure student know whom their senators are so they can know who to contact when there are problems.

Hurley said she will advocate for anything students bring up.

Brown said he wants to create better traditions on campus rather than just drinking traditions.

Hall said he has a series of large projects in his radar to accomplish if elected.

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