Current Date: Sun, 08 Dec 2013 22:33:59 -0500
Although the UNC College Republicans and Young Democrats disagree on many issues, both organizations came to the same conclusion when endorsing a candidate for student body president: Christy Lambden.
Both organizations hosted debates for the candidates Monday night. In the first debate, the College Republicans questioned all five candidates about their platforms and how they would combat tuition hikes.
“It’s a mistake student body presidents have made in the past to think that the (UNC-system) Board of Governors, the Board of Trustees or administrators have power over tuition,” candidate Will Lindsey said. “They’re just as hamstrung as us.”
Lindsey said he would advocate for UNC at the state legislature.
Candidate Rob Jones said he would also lobby and encourage students to make an impact.
“We can create a culture at Chapel Hill, and with all the UNC-system schools, to get students to go to Raleigh and get their voices heard,” Jones said.
Candidates Hetali Lodaya and Kevin Claybren said they would make sure students’ concerns were considered in tuition talks.
“The true power in working with issues like tuition is the voices of the students and bringing those to Raleigh,” Lodaya said.
Claybren agreed student voices need to be included.
“We need to discuss this with students, administrators, staff and the legislature,” he said.
Lambden said he wants to focus not only on tuition but all student costs.
“We need to reshape the debate we’re having because it’s not just tuition,” he said. “I’m considering the whole package.”
The Young Democrats debate posed questions about the candidates’ platforms and how they would address rampant student apathy.
Lodaya said she would work to improve student government’s relationships with organizations by meeting with them to discuss issues.
“That starts with reaching out on a very targeted, individual basis,” she said.
Lindsey agreed that inclusivity is key, and said he would incorporate student leaders into his administration.
“It’s student government’s responsibility to make sure we are transferring the engaged individual to engaged with student government.”
Claybren said he would facilitate discussions on issues relevant to students.
“One issue affecting one Tar Heel is an issue affecting all of us,” he said.
The University is facing a number of problems, Lambden said, and student apathy should not be one of them.
“Student government is the way forward,” he said.
Jones said he will reach out to students by informing them of available resources.
“We need to reach out to the people who don’t think any of this impacts them,” he said.
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