All five LSU Student Government presidential candidates and their respective vice presidential candidates answered students’ questions regarding campus safety, affordability and inclusivity at the SG Debate Tuesday night.
Questions were submitted online prior to the debate and were asked to the candidates by moderator Hunter Lovell, a reporter and anchor for Tiger TV. Individual candidates or tickets were asked certain questions first, and then the other candidates were able to respond.
The candidates discussed SG’s role in shifting campus culture away from hazing. “Elevate” vice presidential candidate Taylor Scott said that she and her running mate, William Jewell, plan to create the Greek Unity Council, a student-led part of SG where members can bring their Greek Life concerns and suggestions to the University’s administration. Jewell said not all policies aimed at hazing have been followed through, but he hopes to work with LSU Greek Life and Campus Life to prevent hazing at the University.
“Legacy” presidential candidate Brooklen Farley said she wants to leave the executive branch open to regular students to ensure its members can reflect what the student body looks like and values. She wants to personally reach out to different communities on campus to find potential executive members. Farley’s vice presidential candidate, Cory Koch, said that if elected to SG’s chief executive positions, they will advocate for the needs of students, even if it means going against administration.
“For All” presidential candidate Andrew Arata said making campus a home for students is a major priority to him, especially because his vice presidential candidate, Russell Wilder, has lived on campus for nearly three years. They plan to make the University more inclusive for freshmen required to live on campus by improving mental health resources, holding administration accountable for the standards set in dorms and being outlets for students’ concerns.
“The Time is Now” candidates Nalo Zidan and Ethan Hunter were the first duo to discuss the level of responsibility Louisiana’s legislature holds for advocating for higher education. Presidential candidate Zidan said students’ voices should be represented in legislation passed regarding higher education. She said that’s an important part of bridging the gap between legislature and education.
The "All In” candidates explained what SG’s role should be in ensuring campus safety. Vice presidential candidate Nash Joyner said safety needs to be a top priority, and SG needs to offer administration and LSUPD the resources and initiatives necessary to keep students safe. SG presidential candidate Catherine McKinney said if elected, she and Joyner will advocate for faster Tiger Transit bus times and increased lighting on campus.
All In on hazing: VP candidate Nash Joyner emphasized new member education and the importance of Greek members building one another up. As an IFC member, he takes all hazing allegations seriously— Karli Carpenter (@karlicarpenter_) March 13, 2019
Other topics discussed were how adequately the University supports sexual assault victims, how familiar candidates are with College Councils — a part of SG’s executive branch — and what SG’s weakest point is.
Current SG president Stewart Lockett said the debate went well and he thinks it will motivate students and bring forth new ideas from different perspectives.