USG candidates debate in midst of voting

Forrest Dukes

Andrew P. White and Turner Anderson battled one another on topics of budget, safety, demand and more at The University Student Government (USG) Presidential Debate.

“These two candidates are great and have the potential to change this university,” Mary Beth Clemons, the current USG president, said.

White’s running mate is Carly Conklin and their platform is growth. The issues they are for include: better Internet, a fall break, and promoting services the university has now.

“Our jobs are not finished, we are here for growth and improvements.”

Anderson is running with Leigh Ann Seibert as his vice presidential candidate. Their big issue is connectivity, making this university a community.

“My goal as president is that five or 10 years from now, that we remember this place as home, and not just a place where we got a degree and graduated from,” Anderson said.

Budget was a topic that had plenty of questions, since funding comes from a general fund, which has around $17 million. The money is divided into three funds, with 97 percent of this funding going to athletics, which pays for the student tickets and other miscellaneous things that the athletics department needs. The next group is the student activities, earning nearly 3 percent of the funds, or $800,000. The remainder is less than 1 percent and goes to different areas around campus.

White’s response is to hire a treasurer to finance transactions and to plan more efficiently, as well as to collaborate with all the departments that the money goes to and to know what these departments are.

Anderson’s goal is to have the money available throughout the year and make sure that each organization is spending it wisely. Also, if the athletics department could pay for certain things like intramural sports, USG could save money and pass those savings on to the students.

Safety was another issue during the debate. Anderson wants emergency blue lights to extend into the south of campus.

“The feeling of this campus being a safe area can lead to a decrease in crime. Also, knowing that police will respond within 60 seconds when pushing the emergency lights.” Anderson said.

White had ideas of informing the students of all the services that the university provides for the students, while adding cameras and a security desk at the Polsky building to help decrease crime and non-students from coming into the building.

There were certain topics that the candidates agreed on, such as the demand and time required of the new president, as well as smoking. Both candidates said they are looking for areas to be created where smokers could go to smoke.

The voting has started and will end Wednesday, March 20. To vote, students will get an email with a link to view the candidates’ profiles and will then be able to vote. This link will only work once, so students should be prepared with their choices.