With the interests of the Miami University student body in mind, the candidates for this year’s Associated Student Government (ASG) positions debated current issues in front of a live audience on MUTV Thursday night.
Though two students are running unopposed-Adam Harris for student body vice president and Andrew Ferguson for vice president of student organizations-all candidates participated and talked about how they would work with the student body to improve the university.
First to debate were Robert Nussbaum and Cassidy Pazyniak, running for vice president of campus activities.
Responsibilities of the vice president of campus activities include helping organizations plan programs and heading the Campus Activities Council (CAC).
Nussbaum said he wants to alleviate over-programming, which he believes is a large issue at Miami, and work with different student organizations to combine this programming and save money.
“I want to work on a monthly basis with the heads of student organizations to collaborate with other organizations to get all the best interests represented,” Nussbaum said.
He added that it was crucial for organizations to combine budgets with the current financial crisis.
Though Pazyniak agreed that the financial crisis is an issue, she added that she wants to organize bigger events for campus and make the executive board of CAC more accessible to students.
“It’s really important to make our huge events happen, homecoming, the concerts, the lectures,” Pazyniak said. “We’re all here for one goal, to benefit the students.”
The next to speak was Andrew Ferguson, running unopposed for vice president of student organizations.
Ferguson’s main concern was the finances of student organizations and keeping the current debt relief program alive so that all organizations can continue to operate.
“One of the things that I’m going to take on myself is an integrated Web site for student organizations,” Ferguson said.
He added that student organizations would be able to apply for funding, register with ASG and review financial records all on this Web site, which would give them convenience.
“It’s very difficult to run student organizations on campus,” Ferguson said. “I want to make it easier.”
Ferguson also said he will help these organizations receive funding.
The other unopposed candidate is Adam Harris for student body vice president.
Responsibilities of the student body vice president include acting as the chair of the elections committee and chair of the student legal services board, and working on Oxford-Miami relations.
Harris said he would be using his personal strengths to give his position more of a dynamic.
“We need to work outside our traditional bounds, adjust to the sophomore living requirement,” Harris said. “I plan to work closely with the secretary of academic and diversity affairs, help them set a vision, set goals, get them where they need to go.”
Last to debate were Jonathan McNabb and Paul Struebing, both running for president of student body.
McNabb said the current financial crisis and safety are two of the main issues at Miami today.
“The most important long-term issue is the current financial crisis,” McNabb said.
He added that when it comes to safety, self-defense classes should be offered weekly at the Recreational Sports Center (RSC) and that the Nighttime Door-to-Door service needs to be expanded.
Struebing agreed that the current financial crisis is an issue, but had some differing ideas when it came to campus safety.
“The safety propositions are outstanding, but I don’t believe that the (RSC) needs to be used for defense classes,” Struebing said. “Other organizations are already doing this, like the tae kwon do club.”
Struebing added that when it came to finances, he would give back his salary and put it into the hands of students.
“(Students) go to Miami to pay for student life, professors,” Streubing said. “I would put the money back into the student body.”
McNabb, who is currently vice president of student organizations, said that as president he would reach out to students and hold monthly forums so that they would be able to voice their opinions.
“My perspective should never waive from the student body,” McNabb said.
A second debate will be held Feb. 17. ASG elections are Feb. 24, with polling stations at various locations on campus.