SG candidates debate tonight

With a week left until the 2002-03 Student Government elections for student body president and vice president, the Elections Rules Commission and the Residence Hall Association will host a debate for students and residents to meet the candidates tonight at 9 p.m.

Andy Festa, RHA president and The Oracle online editor, said the debate is a way to get the students and residents involved on campus.

“They can come and ask questions to the candidates and raise concerns,” Festa said. “It also allows RHA to get out around the campus.”

Festa said the debate would be taped and televised in the residence halls next week before the April 3 and 4 elections.

“It’s another form that can reach those who cannot attend,” Festa said.

David Armstrong, business manager for SG, said a debate is required in the ERC statutes and will be more like a question-answer session than a debate.

“Each ticket will be given time at the beginning to explain their platform. Then a moderator from ERC will be asking questions that students in the audience have written down, and each ticket will have a specific amount time to answer the question,” Armstrong said. “Then at the end, there might be one to two minute closing statements for the candidates.”

Festa said the debate would be beneficial to the candidates to get their ideas out on the table.

“It is good because those who want to see them and meet them will come out and learn about them,” Festa said. “It does more than just chalking or flyers do.”

Armstrong said the debate will help the candidates relate their platform and get their word out but would, in the long run, help the students express their voice.

“This is something that happens on a national level, and it only really helps the students understand the candidates,” Armstrong said. “While I think the majority of USF is informed, they might not necessarily know as much about the candidates as they think by the flyers and chalk.”

The ERC will be providing food for all who attend, and the debate will be held in the Andros Study Lounge, which is located next to Good Eats.

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