Slate Heads Debate Campus Issues

Photo by Siddharth Atre/Guardian
Photo by Siddharth Atre/Guardian

Presidential candidates Kyle Heiskala of Let’s Act! and Robby Boparai of Tritons Forward debated transportation, Sun God and spending at Price Center Plaza. 

A.S. Council representative candidates have started wrapping up their campaigns in preparation for the Week 2 elections starting April 7. Both slates’ last major campaign event was the A.S. presidential debate between Let’s Act! candidate Kyle Heiskala and Tritons Forward candidate Robby Boparai, held on Thursday, April 3.

The debate covered the most important issues facing the next council, including UC Student Association membership, Sun God and student involvement. Although both candidates agree on the need for greater student outreach and cooperation with college councils, they differ greatly on several, key issues.

Heiskala addressed the recent criticisms of UCSA, stating that he sees its potential to be effective and that reform discussions are going in a good direction. He also believes that the biggest issue is that there is too much focus on the current structure of UCSA rather than on giving power to the students.

Boparai took a harder stance against UCSA and how it operates, citing its large distance from UCSD as the reason for the strained and disconnected relations between the two institutions. Boparai assured that the Office of External Affairs would be strongly committed to catering to the interests of all UCSD students.

As for issues on campus, Heiskala wants to emphasize student safety at the Sun God Festival and make sure local health systems aren’t overburdened. He also believes that there are a lot of great ideas for improving the parking situation at UCSD, including a continued bus program and parking availability sensors, that need more revenue to be effective.

Boparai also planned to focus on making sure the Sun God Festival continued to receive sufficient funding from A.S. Council. He noted that although student health and safety was a top priority, he also wants to make sure that the event is “at the same caliber as it has been in the past.” With regards to campus parking, he stressed the need to reduce UCSD’s Transportation Services’ revenue deficit and to make sure that the administration takes the ASUCSD MOVES office seriously. Additionally, he thinks that the Greek community is expanding and should be granted Greek housing. Contrarily, Heiskala believes that this problem is secondary to many other issues.

Later, Heiskala expressed enthusiasm for working together with everyone on A.S. Council and the six college councils — focusing on effective communication rather than on petty conflicts. Boparai expanded on this issue, saying that A.S. Council needs to get more student input and find out what people need to make the best decisions. Boparai also said that all A.S. senators needed to be accountable and work past conflicts. He notes that it isn’t productive if college councils feel attacked.

One final point Boparai made was the need to innovate the A.S. budget to give students the necessary resources to succeed. Boparai suggested implementing an A.S. coffee cart or dining hall to raise additional revenue, to which Heiskala responded that the coffee market on campus is already too saturated.

Although both candidates resolved to unite the student body and capitalize on UCSD’s passions and traditions to make change happen, Let’s Act! focuses on maintaining UCSD’s traditions and uniqueness while Tritons Forward primarily aims to find new revenue sources and represent a diverse group of students.

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  • G

    Grammar Cop ManApr 7, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    “One final point Boparai made was the need to innovate the A.S. budget”

    Innovate is an intransitive verb. You cannot “innovate the A.S. budget.”

    Please fire your copy editors.

    Reply
    • C

      copy editorApr 7, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      Hello, I wrote this article and also happen to be the copy editor.

      Thank you for pointing out the mistake
      We were going off the Boparai’s speech transcript at the last minute and failed to catch the error.

      I will fire myself at the next production on Wednesday.

      Thanks again for the feedback

      Andrew Huang

      Reply