Presidential candidates discuss internal workings of SG

Candidates faced off in the first official Student Body Presidential debate of the year. One topic tackled by candidates dealt with the inner workings of Student Government.

The presidential candidates and their running mates were given five questions and five minutes to answer each.

The questions came from Student Alliance for a Politically Active Campus (SAPAC), who co-sponsored the debate with SG.

SAPAC asked, “The Student Government arguably has some problems with both reputation and credibility. Some perceptions include that members of Student Government are seeking resume boasters and that it is an elite club controlled by the Greeks.

“What do you believe is the source of these perceptions and how do you plan on addressing them as the head of Student Government?”

Christopher Cano, who was without his running mate Jaime Lane because of family-related obligations, said he had heard this concern from many different organizations.

“Honesty, integrity and transparency are the things we hold most valuable,” Cano said. “For Student Government to remain credible and reputable, transparency is the key.”

Bruno Portigliatti, a vice presidential candidate, said he and his running mate Juan Soltero’s purpose for their involvement in SG is to serve the student body.

“Greeks just tend to run because they are highly involved, and that’s why you see Greeks in these positions and you will continue to see a lot of Greeks taking these positions,” Portigliatti said.

Robin Roup, vice presidential candidate running with Ralph Reid, said a lot of people have told her SG seems like an exclusive club and that there aren’t enough varied positions available.

Roup wants to add more positions to SG to help alleviate this concern.

“What we want to do is create a lot of volunteer positions in the cabinet,” she said. “And this way we can also have better communication with what student organizations want.”

The candidates spoke to an audience of about 20.

“It would have been nice to have more people,” Supervisor of Elections Michael K. van Hoek said. “We’re hoping more people will be more aware.”

Presidential candidate Christopher Leddy and running mate Kayla Richmond did not attend because of class. And presidential candidate Torend Ebner Jr., who does not have a vice president or campaign manager on his ticket, did not attend.

The next presidential debate will take place on Wednesday in the Marshall Student Center from 6-9 p.m. Elections will be held March 2-5.