by: Koya Perez

Debate night at DSU marks the near end of election season, but still keeps the student body open and anxious before making their final decision for campus positions for the next school year. The debate opened with the introduction by our current SGA President, Isaiah Covington, thanking the DSU students, staff, and faculty, and introducing the candidates running for positions for the 2016-2017 school year.

In their speeches, most of the candidates agreed on three major things: unifying DSU, implementing more fun and relatable programs and activities, and having better academic opportunities.

Junior, Mass Communications major Chante Waddy who is running for Campus Activities Board (CAB) President spoke first. Running alone, Chante still needs 51% of the student votes to be elected CAB president for the 2016-2017 academic school year. She said she would like to bring more diversity to campus, and better program turnout. In doing so, she would like the overall campus communication to be better, and more programs of interest for the students.

Next, candidates for Student Government Association (SGA) Recording Secretary were introduced. The competing candidates are Stacy Compere, Aniyah Gabriel, and Michaela Rose.

Ms. Rose gathered the audiences attention with her statement “…without student involvement, orgs would have little purpose on campus. I plan to have an event alert text message system, so the events students would like to go to pop up on their phone as an alert/reminder”, which earned her a round of applauses from the students.

The question “What student government initiatives do you plan on implementing?” asked by current Vice President Richard Figueroa, pumped up the candidates even more.

Ms. Compere answered with “I want to take the secret out of secretary. I want to keep all students on the same page with technology”, which was followed by little applause.

Ms. Gabriel answered with three main targets she plans to implement: more student based committees, better academic advisement and better school spirit to support athletes. In academics, she pans to bring a mentoring program, which requires all freshmen to have a mentor, and more student pride when supporting our athletes; not just in football and basketball, but the lesser known sports such as golf, equestrian, and softball.

Ms. Rose answered by saying it is important to implement what Next Level has already began, and build on initiatives from there. She wants to add on a text message alert system, better community relationships with the city of Dover and DSU, and support all other members of SGA.

The candidates for Corresponding Secretary spoke next, and running for this position are Kristen Easterling, Messiah Sanchez, Daron Hilton.

In answering the question “What is one thing you would like to change this academic school year?”, Ms. Easterling answered with the simple “more speaking to other students.” Mr. Hilton answered with “Bringing back the SOUL of DSU”, which is reference to his campaign slogan, and Mr. Sanchez responded with “unifying more student organizations and teamwork.”

The final, and most intense part of debate night finally arrived when both opponents running for SGA President and Vice President took stage. On Team Infinity, running for president is Anthony Walker, and Vice President Sharnada Martin. On Team New Era, running for president is Jasmine Jenkins, and vice president Kevin Bearam.

Candidates for Vice President spoke first. Kevin Bearam started off his speech with the three things he wants to improve for the next school year: advocacy, motivation, and more inspiration to and from the students. Sharnada Martin responded with helping students become more career ready, reviving school pride, and increasing the consistency of fun, which are also Infinity’s three main initiatives.

Candidates for president took the stage next. Jasmine Jenkins humbly answered her question “What makes you the better candidate?” by saying “I do not think I am better than anyone. What makes me a different and more unique candidate is that “I am who I am.” I have the experience, determination and work ethic for this position.”

Mr. Walker answered with “I’m transparent. I do not run away from my responsibilities, I have the most passion for this school, and of course, the experience.” Anthony Walker currently serves as the Corresponding Secretary for SGA for the 2015-2016 school year. “… I have the connections needed to bring in more funding and take this university to the top!” he ended.

Both candidates agreed to bring more awareness to the free academic services on campus such as tutoring, the math lab and writing lab.

While all candidates tried to remain professional and humble, indirect comments slipped up from both teams, causing much tension for the rest of the night and an uproar on social media. The comments did not stop the audience from giving  both running teams a round of applause at the end.

Election Day is April 7, 2016 and voting booths will be open from 8 am to 5 pm in Memorial Hall. Don’t forget to go out and vote, Hornets!

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