Candidates for student body president will meet tonight in the Marshall Student Center Oval Theater to debate and share their opinions in the second week of campaigning for the student body elections.
The debate, sponsored by Student Government (SG), will include the three candidates: Brandi Arnold, executive director of the Campus Traditions Board for the Center for Student Involvement and a junior majoring in business management and communications; Jean Cocco, chair of the SG University, Community and Government Affairs committee and a senior majoring in political science and international studies; and Danish Hasan, a staff writer for The Oracle and a freshman majoring in biomedical science.
Gary Manka, director for SG Advising, Training and Operations, will moderate the debate and said the event will offer a look into the platform of each candidate.
“Whether students vote or choose not to vote, they are still making a decision and should be educated on their vote,” Manka said.
The questions, prepared in advance by the Election Rules Committee (ERC), will focus on issues raised from the previous debate as well as concerns raised throughout the year, ERC Supervisor Sayf Hassouneh said.
One such topic of discussion at the debate will be tuition equality for students who graduated from Florida high schools but have parents who immigrated to the country illegally and are not eligible for in-state tuition.
“They should know about the big things happening on campus and make sure they have a formulated opinion on it,” Hassouneh said.
Current student body president William Warmke said last year’s SG debates forced him out of his comfort zone, which he said prepared him to handle issues he faced while in the position, such as dealing with cuts to funding for the Library during the fall semester.
“I’d like to see the candidates talk about advocacy for students to protect their activity and service fee and get the student voice heard,” Warmke said. “It’s not an easy topic, but it is an important one for student success.”
The debate is set to start at 6:30 p.m. and voting begins Monday.
“I think it’s an opportunity to see their true colors,” Warmke said. “You really get to gauge who is running for the office.”