The UNC Board of Elections hosted the first student body presidential debate for the prospective candidates on Tuesday in the Student Union.
Jaleah Taylor, current student body secretary, is a junior majoring in political science and media and journalism. Taylor’s campaign statement is “Our Home, Our Future, Our Carolina." She said at the debate that her campaign is focused on solidifying relationships and communication between the student body, administration and faculty.
Laura Saavedra Forero is a junior majoring in neuroscience and minoring in chemistry. Saavedra Forero said her campaign revolves around “Radical Love on Wheels” and works to promote accessibility, community care, collective healing and radical love.
During the debate, candidates were given five questions by moderator Cormac Lynch, the treasurer of the Board of Elections. Lynch's questions covered various topics, including the engagement of the student body and changes the two candidates want to see at UNC.
Here's the rundown:
- Taylor said current Student Body President Christopher Everett provided mentorship to first-year students at UNC and she plans to regularly meet with students and different student organizations to bridge the gap between them and student government.
- When faced with social justice challenges that urge student government to make statements, Taylor also said she would like to meet with the affected groups and get their input on the statement ahead of time.
- Saavedra Forero said she believes accessibility is lacking at UNC. She discussed her ideas for mutual aid initiatives, including addressing food insecurity, reproductive health access and pursuing overall ADA compliance.
- "I think moving forward also means making this institution that is student government more accessible to our outside community," she said.