TAC endorses Pae, Warwick after debates

    Triton Athletics Council voted unanimously on April 1 to endorse independent A.S. presidential candidate Jenn Pae and independent A.S. commissioner of athletics candidate Bryce Warwick following two debates sponsored by TAC earlier that evening.

    “Warwick … easily won the support of TAC and was commended not only for his ideas and vision, but also for his willingness to attend and participate in the debate,” the TAC press release stated.

    Pae impressed TAC with her commitment to UCSD athletics and her independent candidacy.

    “Despite a well-informed Unity candidate, Jenn Pae ultimately earned the endorsement of TAC with her visibility and dedication to the athletic community,” the TAC release stated. “Pae’s four years of support for Triton athletics, combined with her independent candidacy and credibility as an all-campus leader earned her the first ‘unanimous’ endorsement in recent years.”

    Triton Athletic Council and Intercollegiate Athletic Department plan to vote together on Library Walk on April 5 at noon in a show of support for the candidates. TAC chair Hillary Mills said she hopes that 300 to 400 athletes will vote.

    In the first debate, Warwick spoke unopposed, as Students First! candidate Ryan Potts did not attend the debate. Responding to questions asked by representatives of the Triton Athletics Council, Warwick cited his experience as director of Triton Tide, as a member of the Athletic Funding Task Force, and as a sports writer for the UCSD Guardian. Warwick outlined his plan to build a larger fan base for UCSD athletics, increase alumni support and target freshmen in building up support. Warwick noted that increasing school spirit now would translate into more alumni support in the future.

    “The biggest factor in how involved an alumnus is, is how involved they were when they were on campus,” Warwick said. “So what I’m looking to do is build this next class of alumni that’s going to want to come back to campus. If you don’t believe in your campus and love your campus when you’re there, four years later your feelings aren’t going to change.”

    Warwick also pledged to fight for UCSD athletics in the A.S. Council if elected.

    “I will fight for athletics because that’s what I care about,” Warwick said. “I don’t care about a whole lot of things that will be on the A.S. agenda, but I do care about athletics.”

    In the second debate, presidential candidates Jeremy Cogan of the Unity slate, independent Steve York, Harish Nandagopal of the Students First! slate and independent candidate Jenn Pae debated potential scholarships for athletes, methods to cope with projected budget cuts and methods to increase support for UCSD athletics from students, faculty and administration. Independent candidate Kris Saradpon did not participate.

    On the issue of compensating for the projected eight-to-12-percent budget cuts to the athletics department, Pae proposed to increase fundraising efforts, lobby businesses and examine the possibility of allocating funding in the A.S. budget. Cogan also stressed the importance of fundraising, lobbying the California Collegiate Athletics Association and looking into additional funding sources. Nandagopal proposed to raise money through donations and pass another fee referendum in the fall quarter, while recognizing that no method would make up completely for the shortfall. York suggested increasing the lobbying power of the campus by breaking down the barriers between liberals and conservatives and forging a consensus.

    None of the candidates believed that scholarships could be offered in the near future, but did propose long-term plans to increase the acceptance of athletics at UCSD.

    York suggested that students get to know their professors on an individual basis and force the issue to the faculty. Nandagopal called for a student referendum to allow the use of scholarships, which a previous referendum prohibits, and look to change the view of the academic senate. Cogan stressed the importance of working with the CCAA to extend UCSD scholarship exemption until scholarships could be offered and pledged to establish a task force and begin planning for offering athletic scholarships five-to-10 years in the future.

    In addition to proposing scholarships in the future, Pae also suggested that athletes could be supported in different ways, citing other universities’ programs to pay for athletes’ textbooks.

    All of the candidates also pledged to increase support for UCSD athletics. Nandagopal argued that involving more campus organizations is the key, while Pae and Cogan suggested working through the A.S. Council. York proposed that UCSD athletics increase marketing through SRTV, which serves over 6,000 students on campus.

    [Ed. Note: Bryce Warwick is a staff writer for the Guardian.]

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