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The Daily Tar Heel

SBP Candidates Respond To Progressive Concerns

Eleven student organizations, including the Student Environmental Action Coalition, Feminist Students United! and the Queer Network for Change, submitted a total of 23 questions for the candidates to answer.

Candidates Correy Campbell and Caleb Ritter and write-in candidates Charlie Trakas and Matthew Wilhite did not attend.

The Advocates for Sexual Assault Prevention asked candidates if they would work toward a University policy that requires background checks for all employees with access to students' personal information. The ASAP supports this policy in light of two recent sexual assaults on UNC students, both allegedly committed by a former UNC employee.

"I feel it is an outrage for anyone to not be looked into before being hired given the close interaction between many of the University's employees and students," said candidate Warren Watts.

Members of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty asked candidates if they saw a problem with the quality of the defense students receive when facing Honor Court charges.

"When holding the future of someone's college career in the palm of your hands, the student defense attorneys need to be trained by real defense attorneys so that they represent students correctly and fairly," said candidate Annie Peirce.

ACCESS members asked candidates if they would support UNC becoming a direct member of the United States Students Association, an advocacy group that lobbies for student issues nationwide.

"If we are going to deal with issues of admission and tuition on the local level here at UNC, we have to also deal with it on a national level," said candidate Eric Johnson. He said he would support UNC becoming a USSA member, though such a referendum failed last February.

Carolina Alternative Meetings of Professional and Graduate Students members asked candidates if they would use the power of their position to confront problems faced by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students at UNC.

"GLBT students' voices are often lost," said candidate Dustyn Baker. "I definitely will support their efforts and confront institutional repressions. We need to look for solutions to do something about these repressions."

Advocates for the Empowerment of Women of Color members asked candidates if they felt that campus organizations did a sufficient job of satisfying women's concerns, such as sexism and racism.

"I don't think that a single group can fight this battle alone," said candidate Justin Young. "Groups need to come together and fight this battle if anything is going to change."

Heather Yandow, co-chairwoman of Feminist Students United!, said the forum's purpose was to educate attending students about what the candidates would do for campus minorities. "A lot of platforms mention something that we care about," she said. "The forum is a chance for minority groups to ask pointblank, 'What are you going to do about it?'"

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