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Candidates past the debates, now come the polls

The weeks of campaigning have come to an end as the student body presidential election begins today. After debating on issues such as Bright Futures, budget cuts, tuition increases and campus security, the candidates will spend the next two days waiting for the results.

Students can vote for their preferred ticket today and Wednesday on the Web site from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Here is a last look at where candidates stand on some of the issues.

Mike Berman/Ronda Bostick:

In a debate on Friday held by Student Government, Berman announced his campaign’s plan to improve campus security by improving sidewalk lights and installing motion sensor video cameras throughout campus to reduce crime.

Berman, president of SG Senate, said he and Bostick would continue to communicate with the Legislature about the importance of keeping Bright Futures. The candidates think changes to limit the number of students receiving Bright Futures would prevent students from attending college.

In addition, these candidates said they want to make sure tuition increase rates are kept reasonable and the money is used for improvements students will notice.

Bijal Chhadva/Candice Wild:

These candidates have made it clear at recent debates that they disagree with the Phyllis P. Marshall Center enhancement fee. They say the $20 flat fee to expand the student union would be too costly for students. However, they said renovating the Marshall Center could help in recruiting more students.

Chhadva is against creating more need-based scholarships, because students who have an exceptional academic profile may not be disqualified based on their parent’s income.

The ticket is also against a tuition increase, saying that it could cause students to withdraw from school because they will be unable to meet expenses.

Omar Khan/Ryan Morris:

Like the other candidates, Khan and Morris want to see the continuation of Bright Futures for all qualified students.

Khan and Morris said they have been talking to high school students and their parents about the possible changes to the Bright Futures scholarship.

The candidates said a tuition increase would help protect the university’s degree programs, which would prevent students from transferring to other institutions. Khan and Morris said they are only in support of a 5-percent tuition increase.

Khan and Morris support the Marshall Center renovation project, because at its current size, the student union is too small to accommodate the number of students who will use it in the future, they say

Chase Razabdovski/Jorge Rodriguez:

These candidates have announced their suggestions for making prices at the USF Bookstore more reasonable, as well as the continuation of Bright Futures. They said the scholarship should continue no matter what the cost is to the state.

Razabdovski and Rodriguez said they like the idea of expanding the Marshall Center, but not at a high cost for the students.

Both candidates said the communication between SG and legislators needs to continue to make the state aware of issues like tuition increases. The candidates said, although inflation in the state usually calls for a tuition increase, the proposed 12.5-percent tuition increase is unjustified.

Staff Writer Vanessa Garnica contributed to this report.