Democratic State: UPUA Debate #1 Recap
So the first debate has come and gone, almost all of you decided not to attend. This is all well. I’m going to attempt to break it down a little bit for you.
First off: The three candidates running are: Incumbent President Gavin Keirans, Nick Borsuk, and Incumbent Vice-President current Governmental Affairs Chair Samantha Miller.
The candidates began by laying out their respective platforms. Distilled down to a few words, they are:
Keirans: Free legal services, tenant-landlord mediation, and speaking to every freshmen
Borsuk: wants to create a dialogue with the student body. One of the pillars of the platform is tuition.
Miller: student-centered student government, focus on freshmen engagement, working with minority and diversity groups.
After talking about their platform, the respective candidates and their VPs spent the next hour and a half answering questions that had been gathered from the UPUA elections website.
Some of the interesting questions asked and summarized answers are below:
“How do you work with CATA to alleviate overcrowding?”
Keirans: Overcrowding is always a problem in the winter months. More buses during certain times. He talked about adding a third bus loop he dubbed, “the Greek Loop”, which would run on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays down Frat Row and Garner to take people back to Pollack and East Halls. He said that it was good for freshman to avoid those underages. Another thing he talked about was 24 hour CATA service. He emphasized that it would cut down on poor decisions like DUI.
Borsuk: Serious issue, especially in poor weather. Safety issue at East Halls and College and Allen Sts. Target the problem areas. Look at the Loop&Link service and say, “Is this really the most effective way we could be doing this. Talk to CATA and the administration.
Miller: Work with the administration. Can’t just add another bus or throw money at the problem. Miller said if she were president she would make sure she knew the pulse of the campus so that if there was a problem like overcrowding, she could work on it before it gets out of hand.
“Do you feel that Penn State was cheated by not being allowed to be in the Men’s NCAA Tournament? If so, please let me know the rank they should have received.”
Keirans: Absolutely they should be in the Tournament. He blamed a weak out of conference schedule, specifically talking about playing NJIT, who hadn’t won a game in two years. “It’s really good to see Penn State have an increased basketball presence.” Believes we played better than Ohio State and Illinois.
Borsuk: It was a shame that we didn’t get in. Talked about beating Michigan State on their home court. “What’s important now is for us to get behind them [in the NIT].” It was hard to see less worthy teams receive automatic bids.
Miller: “By my math, they should have been ranked a 7.” Talked about the influx of student support this season. Apologized to her dad because she was from a football-baseball family.
The moderators also asked some funny “quickfire” questions at the end. Questions included: Favorite Color, Movie, Movie Star, Politician.
The best answer of the night came from Samantha Miller’s running mate, who, when asked his favorite politician, said, ” Samantha Miller.”
After the quickfire, the candidates had the opportunity to give closing statements. They basically reiterated their platforms and thanked the crowd for coming out. Borsuk especially noted that this debate was only the beginning for the campaign and there would be many more opportunities to meet the candidates and learn their positions.