On Thursday night, student body presidential candidates took the stage in Armstrong Student Center’s Fritz Pavilion C to share their platforms and answer questions about their plans for the university, if elected.

The town hall, co-sponsored by Associated Student Government (ASG) and The Miami Student (TMS), was moderated by ASG Senator Bradley Davis and TMS Assistant News Editor Rachel Berry.

Presidential candidates Jaylen Perkins, Gabby Meissner, Shelby Frye, Jonnie Tayler and Jack Kelner gave opening statements, then answered two general questions and two pointed questions about their respective platforms.

Several candidates brought up diversity, inclusion, mental health and student drinking at different points during the town hall.

“I was one of the hard hitters in the Black Action Movement (BAM) 2.0 that took place last year. What drove me to run for this position is that the administration wants to work with us,” Perkins said.  

Diversifying staff and alleviating costs at the Student Counseling Service (SCS), Perkins added, are also major focuses of his campaign.

Meissner stressed the importance of advocating for students’ mental health.

“[Mental health is] involved in every single student’s life on campus. Why wouldn’t it be one of the most important things we’re running on?” she said.

Meisser said she would like to see an online appointment scheduling system implemented at SCS, so students can feel more comfortable asking for help without necessarily having to make a phone call.

Frye emphasized the need to change the drinking culture on campus in order to make every student safer.

“If we pretend that drinking does not happen, that’s bad for everyone,” she said. “We want to create a culture where students feel really comfortable stepping up for each other.”

Tyler said potentially lowering the fees students pay to attend Miami could help increase inclusivity on a socioeconomic level.

He also suggested implementing an oversight committee for ASG made up of non-members to help “solve problems” in ASG.

Kelner said that alcohol abuse can be symptomatic of deeper issues. He proposed implementing telecommunication therapy in order to decrease wait times at SCS, while increasing its use by students. Telecommunication therapy is the process of students video chatting with, or calling, therapists located in other cities.

Voting begins 7 a.m. today and closes at 7 p.m. tomorrow on the Hub.

carlintm@miamioh.edu

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