The student body presidential and vice presidential candidates will be squaring off again tonight in a debate hosted by the Elections Rules Committee, the last one before the polls open Wednesday.
Andrew Read, the ERC chairman, said the format of tonight’s debate would feature six questions total, three that were compiled by himself and his staff and three that will be gathered from the audience.
Each ticket will have a minute and a half to answer the questions, Read said. The debate will differ from the first debate hosted by the Black Student Union in that the time limit of answering questions and that people asking questions will be able to choose which ticket member they want an answer from.
Incumbent Omar Khan, who is running with Chris Jackson, said he hopes the debate would bring a lot of students out to hear the issues being addressed.
“We want to get student voting at least to 5,000 this year,” Khan said. “It is really important that they attend and I hope we get a wide range of involvement from the students because it is their tuition and their A&S fees that they are paying.”
The debate will be held in the Engineering Teacher Auditorium ENA Room 105. Read said he is expecting a good turnout despite the location.
“I’ve talked to people and there has been an interest and it’s been advertised in The Oracle, so I know the information has gotten out to the students,” Read said.
Mike Mincberg, who is running with Christi Clements, agreed with Khan saying that he too hopes that a lot of students attend and learn about the issues and the candidates, but he also added that he thinks that the location isn’t the best.
“We have been advertising the debate while we have been campaigning because we feel it is a good thing to do,” Mincberg said. “We want students to come and ask questions. I’m all about learning from them.”
Esque Dollar, who is running with Tameka Bradley, said in addition to having students attend the debate he would like students to walk away with a better understanding of what issues separate each of the tickets. Dollar added that having the debate at a different part of the university is utilizing the whole campus. His message tonight will be one of realism, he said.
“I want people to have a realistic idea on what can be done in a year’s time,” Dollar said, “and see through the smoking mirrors.”
Brandon Faza, who is running with J.P. Murphy, said he would really like to see more than three student questions asked, but understands there is a time limit.
“J.P. and I will be happy to talk to anyone about the campaign and the issues before or after the debate and answer any questions,” Faza said. “I want the students to get involved and ask tough questions.”
Matt Camarco, who is running as vice president with Ricky Arias, said he is hoping to explain what their plans are and to shed some light on the other candidates. Arias could not attend the first debate because he was not informed it was being held until right before the debate, Camarco said.
“We want to tell everyone our plans for the school if elected,” Camarco said. “The other thing, is we want to question the other candidates about their plans behind what they said and make them elaborate.”
Bijal Chhadva, who is running with Andrew Aubrey, said he too would like to use the debate to stress voter participation and his platform. Chhadva added that the location in the engineering area would attract new voters and make those that follow the campaign aware of a different part of campus.
“We want to make sure students are making an informed decision because the student body president does represent them on the Board of Trustees and we want to make sure they vote correctly,” Chhadva said.
The debate will be held in the Engineering Teacher Auditorium (ENA) Room 105 at 7 p.m. Read said this is the first and last debate being sponsored by the ERC, but he added that WBUL will be airing one on Monday during The Jordan Radio Show.