Candidates Debate Fees, Div-I Sports

    Five candidates running for the position of A.S. President attended a debate held April 4 in Price Center Plaza.

    All candidates were present, including current Muir College Senator Ryan O’Rear of Tritons First, Jasmine Phillips of the Students First slate, Warren College President Alyssa Wing of Board the Wing, Sixth College Senator Parminder Sandhu of We Are Tritons and John Tran from Flush the John. A.S. Elections representative Arohi Sharma moderated the debate.

    “Everyone was professional,” Sharma said. “There was a lot of creativity there.”

    In his introduction, O’Rear stressed his experience — as Muir College Council senator for two years, as well being the current Senate chair ­ — and said he would aggressively exercise his right to vote. He added that he would put more students on committees, lobby for more ‘S’ parking spots and against the regents and the governor.

    Phillips emphasized prioritizing the accessibility and affordability of campus organizations, as well as creating outreach to the local and global community. She said she would increase council visibility through a new website and reach out to grassroots organizations on campus.

    “I will look at programming that retains our students,” Phillips said. “I will look at how we can create and support measures for students making change.”

    Wing focused on internal reform and said she would create a committee that will work throughout the year to make council visible, and not through just a one-week event. She would also like to streamline information through all the online facets, such as creating live Twitter feeds during council meetings and communicating through a council YouTube page.

    Sandhu said his experience with talking to administrators shows he knows how to be effective. He added that he has worked to promote student retention and helped raise student scholarships as part of his student life activities.

    “I will represent all the students; I’ll represent engineers, history majors — a microcosm of UCSD,” Sandhu said.

    Tran’s goals were to bring the TV show “Glee” and the band Muse to the Sun God Festival, as well as more puppies to the campus.

    Sharma asked what the candidates’ short- and long-term goals for student life were. O’Rear, Wing, Sandhu and Tran supports a move to Division-I athletics; Wing, Sandhu and Tran also promoted more Bear Gardens.

    Phillips emphasized a need for more outreach to and promotion of student organizations and individual colleges, as well as advocating spaces where students can vocalize thoughts.

    Tran said that if Muse was too expensive for the Sun God festival, he would eliminate all stipends and put the money into the festival funding.

    The candidates also discussed the budget. O’Rear advocated responsible funding, using the Winter Triton Festival as an example of irresponsible spending, since $30,000 was taken out of reserves for an event originally scheduled the same day as Spirit Night.

    Phillips and Wing both talked about analyzing the budget and ensuring that its funding falls in line with student priorities. Phillips emphasized spending more money on student centers like OASIS while Wing wanted to ensure that the student priorities are being followed, such as more free beer and support for all student organizations. Sandhu said he worked with fixing this year’s budget and that he would make sure next year’s would add up correctly.

    “I’ll focus on a budget that will please the most amount of people possible,” Tran said.

    On student involvement, Sandhu promised to go to various student org meetings to hear their input.

    A Eleanor Roosevelt College senior then asked candidates if they planned to reduce their own stipends next year.

    O’Rear dealt with the question by using the example of senator stipends, which were instituted by the current senators at the beginning of their term.

    He said that when he ran for a senate position, there was no stipend and he had not intended to be paid.

    Wing said it was a delicate question that the entire council would have to discuss.

    Tran repeated that he would eliminate all stipends.

    “No work is worth $10,000,” Tran said of the president’s salary.

    Phillips and Sandhu both said that it was a point of privilege. Phillips said she should be paid not because she doesn’t care about the students but because, as president, she would be working about 30-40 hours a week.

    “This is a full-time job,” Phillips said. “I work in order to survive, that has to be acknowledged.”

    Voting began on Monday, April 4 and will end Friday at 4 p.m. on TritonLink. Results will be announced at 5:30 p.m. at Round Table Pizza.

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