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SG candidates face off in debates

Who: Black Student Union sponsors SG debate.

Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza.

When: Reception will be held before the debate commences at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

What: Students will provide questions and topics before debate begins.

As student election campaigning kicks into full gear for its last leg toward the student body presidency, a series of debates will be held this week to provide students with more information about who’s who among candidates.

The first of several debates begins on Tuesday, which will be sponsored by the Black Student Union. According to Uta Harriatte, senior, this is the third year that the Black Student Union has hosted such a debate, but they plan to give students much more this year.

“This year we wanted to change it,” Harriatte said. “Instead of doing the actual questions taken from the audience, it’s actually going to be like a mock debate from the presidential election. It is totally different from what a lot of organizations are doing right now.”

Another aspect that is different about this debate, she said, and a reason students should attend is because of the potential for excitement. The issues and campaigns of the various tickets might provide for quite a show according to Tameka Bradley, moderator. The candidates met with members of the Black Student Union for a general meeting in which they voiced their stance on certain issues. The members gave the candidates certain questions, which allowed the Union to understand how each would respond to similar questions in the debate.

“I anticipate a really good debate,” Bradley said. “They feel strongly about different points. I anticipate it being very heated.”

The debate, which will be held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, will have a reception before the debate begins. Candidates will then take their positions and field questions. Bradley said she believes students will be able to hear different views on several issues posed by students, making them feel more involved in the election process.

The voter turnout for student elections was less than impressive last year; a mere 3,375 voted in the runoff election. The question is whether students feel Student Government is important.

“I think it is improving, and I feel like they should be more involved and aware about SG because a lot of things that happened on this campus can actually be changed through SG,” Harriatte said. “I feel that it is important for the USF community to actually get a feel and see what the candidates are going to offer the campus. Often times we just hear about their platforms — they’re going to do this, they’re going to do that for us — but to actually see them in a debate, it kind of gives you a little impression on what they’ll actually do when they’re in office.”