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The Daily Tar Heel

SBP Candidates Face Barrage of Questions

Candidates were allowed two minutes to summarize their platforms, then Rudy Kleysteuber, co-president of the Campus Y, and Jessica Marks, co-chairwoman of staff relations for the RHA, directed questions to all six candidates present.

The topics addressed included reaching out to on-campus students, Native American issues, housekeeper grievances, construction hassles and each candidate's definition of social justice.

The candidates expressed ideas on how, as student body president, they could make campus safer, more accessible and better able to accommodate the needs of students.

Candidate Dustyn Baker said her work with minority student recruitment would aid in her ability to recruit Native American students. A tool to accomplish this is to offer Native American studies as a minor.

"I want to try to represent the diverse student needs," she said.

Candidate Annie Peirce agreed, saying she plans to work on offering Native American studies as a major and minor and create monthly forums in which students could discuss minority issues.

Candidate Justin Young said he wants "a student government that works for the students."

He discussed plans to reach out to students living on campus by addressing the issue of construction. "I will work to ensure student convenience, student safety and environmental protection."

In an attempt to ease the strain of construction on students, candidate Correy Campbell said he will create a group of student representatives to work with officials in determining the best detours and the best hours to work.

All candidates agreed that the housekeeper union demands should be met.

Candidate Warren Watts, who said he is troubled that hardworking housekeepers are paid so little, focused on ideas to ease their workload.

"I think it is very important we have more days of campus cleanup to help out the housekeepers," he said.

When asked what he would do to work for women's safety on campus, candidate Eric Johnson said he plans to provide 911 cell phones that are the equivalent of an emergency call box to check out free for the duration of one year.

He also plans to set up a student group to address the issue of women's body image and eating disorders.

Each candidate also gave a definition of social justice.

Peirce said it is an issue of equal opportunities for students. "The biggest problem is underrepresentation of all students," she said.

Campbell agreed, saying, "Each culture has an equal opportunity to give to the campus community."

He suggested the idea of a Spring Fling to unite the campus and provide an opportunity for organizations to raise funds.

Baker said her definition of social justice includes better treatment of housekeepers.

Young said he will "advocate and empower people who have missed out on a lot of opportunities."

He said his platform includes a public service committee that will be a service for these students.

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Audience members were allowed to ask five questions directed at three candidates of their choice.

The audience's question topics ranged from women's safety to how the candidates would reach out to students who lived off campus.

Sophomore Liza Potter, a member of the Campus Y, said she found the forum to be a useful tool in determining which candidate is best for the job. She said, "I found out who was going to emphasize what I felt was important and whose concerns were my concerns."

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