How should student funds be appropriated?
“We are not owners of this money — these are student fees. We are stewards of the money. We must ensure that we have the right systems, processes and laws in place.”
“Student organizations should be a priority throughout the allocation process. We should take care of everybody based on their needs.”
Soltero also suggested that money should be put aside solely for the use of student organizations.
“I’m going to have a support team around me that I’m going to rely on, and I want that support team to be as representative of students as humanly possible.”
“One of the programs I’d like to see funded more is the Campus Activities Board and University Lecture Series because they are programs that all students can attend.”
Leddy said he also believes more funding should be given to student organizations.
How do you feel about the current level of student activities fees?
Soltero said that though the current level of Activities and Service fees is adequate, SG should do a cost-benefit analysis. He cited a previous student health fee increase that he found necessary to increase the quality of health services. “If a fee increase is necessary it should be left up to students,” he said.
He added that the amount spent on SG operations should be investigated and that any surplus money should be put in a savings account.
He believes the current level of student activities fees is adequate.
“I don’t think we need to be raising the fees that students pay” he said.
What do you think about your opponent?
“If for some reason he wins the election, I wish him the best of luck. He’s going to have a hard year. He’s going to have to hire a lot of people who have been here a long time to guide him and give him help.”
“There are two kinds of politicians — there are politicians who genuinely want to do the job, and there are politicians who want the position.”
“My opponent has been planning this race for months on end now.”
He said he thinks Soltero’s intentions are questionable, but he will leave it to the voters to decide.
Has the campaign been clean and honest?
“This year it all started with chalk wars. I’m not going to point any fingers, but people need to grow up.”
He said some of his campaign signs have been tossed in water and one was burned.
“Last night, we caught one of the other campaigns erasing our sidewalk chalk from the Marshall (Student) Center.”
“We got it on video — it’s on the YouTube site, so I would encourage anyone who is reading about this to check it out.”
How do you respond to critics who say you have a special interest in Greek life?
Soltero said people should look beyond the stereotypes of Greek life and at the positive things that Greeks do.
“We strive to help each other to achieve success and goals. Those are our goals, those are our values.”
He conceded that the perception that SG is controlled by Greeks could be due to the large proportion of Greeks in SG.
How would you respond to critics who say you don’t have enough experience for the job?
“I’ve served as a chairperson on numerous committees with the Honors College Student Council. I’m not only a member of student organizations — I’m involved in them and I try to be a leader in those organizations.”
He said that after attending Obama’s inauguration he felt inspired to run for student body president.
Leddy said a leader isn’t just someone who sits in an office but someone who is active, backed by supporters and making sacrifices alongside them.
– Visit and communicate with all student organizations at least once a semester.
– Create a user-friendly Web site featuring anything that concerns students.
– Create a monthly financial disclosure of SG’s expenditures and contributions.
– Work with SG presidents from around the state to focus lobbying efforts to help stem tuition increases and protect Bright Futures.
– Target certain state legislators to lobby based on the amount of students within their districts.
– Give $1,000 of salary for a scholarship fund promoting volunteerism around campus.
Do you have any plans for introducing environmental initiatives on campus?
Soltero says he is a big proponent of the Green Fee. He would like to see Green Fee funds invested in sustainability projects and used to increase efficiency in older buildings like Cooper Hall.
Leddy supports the Green Fee. He proposes having one recycling bin for every trash can in each of the residence halls. He said he would like to stop wasteful energy expenditures, such as lights left on in vacant buildings. For heightened security, he suggests using motion sensors for lights on campus.
COMMENTARY ON CANDIDATES
Christopher Leddy provided short and concise answers, but rarely were they salient. His proposal to give $1,000 of his salary to create a scholarship may have good intentions, but it seems more like a political stunt than a legitimate step toward promoting campus-wide volunteerism.
Juan Soltero exhibited a breadth of operational knowledge and gave specific answers regarding the procedures of SG. However, some of his campaign promises seem to conflict with others. For instance, his goals of revamping a Web site and providing detailed monthly financial reports seem to contravene his desire to lower operational expenditures.
Both candidates seemed enthusiastic about addressing environmental concerns, and their mutual support for the Green Fee is promising.