Three Associated Students presidential candidates faced off in the first of two debates held in the Hub yesterday, agreeing with each other more often than not on central campaign issues.
During the roughly hour-long debate in the relatively busy Hub, Chilla Vista candidate Jake Lehman, Open People’s Party candidate Jared Goldschen and Students’ Party candidate Romy Frazier answered questions concerning such topics as the improvement of greek-A.S. relations and spring ballot initiatives.
The candidates were given one minute to respond to questions and 30 seconds for rebuttal. No winner was declared.
Among other things, the candidates agreed on the importance of supporting “student empowerment” and participation in A.S., and helping to lower the high cost of living in Isla Vista and the high cost of UC fees.
“Student fees have increased 80 percent in the last five years,” Frazier said.
The candidates most clearly agreed on their support for the Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) – an almost $3 per student per quarter lock-in fee set for a vote on this spring’s ballot.
Money from the lock-in would be used to purchase environmentally sustainable products for the university, such as solar panels.
“Three candidates who love TGIF,” Lehman said.
As for differences in the general focus of the candidates’ platforms, Lehman spoke about wanting A.S. to become more involved in issues related to I.V. and the local community, and Frazier expressed interest in directing A.S. efforts to lobby against UC fee increases. Meanwhile, Goldschen said he wanted to keep A.S. “fiscally responsible” in its fund allocations and accessible to students from all parts of campus life.
“We need to be looking statewide, making sure funding isn’t cut,” Goldschen said. “Also, we need to be more accountable internally.”
Lehman and Frazier, both third-year global studies majors, mentioned their support for a resolution to extend the noise ordinance in I.V. past its current time. Goldschen, a third-year business economics major, did not discuss the resolution in his responses.
The only major tension during the debate came from a question concerning whether experience in A.S. was a necessary precursor to becoming the organization’s leader. With the exception of acting as a proxy once during an A.S. Legislative Council meeting, Goldschen does not sit on any A.S. committees, a fact that was pointed out by Frazier, a two-time A.S. Legislative Council rep-at-large.
“A representative for an entire organization should be a part of it,” Frazier said.
While Goldschen answered the question about his involvement in A.S., SP candidate for External Vice President of Statewide Affairs Bill Shiebler held up a sign that said, “That’s a Lie!”
“The key issue is leadership,” Goldschen said. “You need to know the issues … I’ve been to most Leg Council meetings this year.”
In winding up their debate, the candidates reiterated support for certain issues, as well as their parties.
“I really hope to be around for another year,” Lehman said.
The candidate forums for Internal Vice President and External Vice President of Local Affairs will be held today at noon and 1 p.m., respectively, in the Hub.