Candidates spread their message at first ASCWU public debate

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Candidates spread their message at first ASCWU public debate

Rune Torgersen, Online and Social Media Manager

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Last night, the first post-primary public debate of this year’s ASCWU election was held in the SURC Pit. Candidates for all the different positions were in attendance, and were presented with questions by the moderator, Dean of Student Success Gregg Heinselman. According to Heinselman, the questions he presented were put forth by the ASCWU elections committee. This was to ensure that each one would be free of personal bias and represent issues that the student body at large might want to discuss.


Heinselman said a debate such as this one is a valuable opportunity for transparency between the student body and its leadership.


“To see how the candidates handle themselves when they’re posed with unknown questions, it gives you an opportunity to see how a candidate thinks on their feet,” Heinselman said.


Following political debates, the question of who “won” or “lost” is often brought up within the audience and those affected by the outcome of the election. Heinselman said that might be beside the point.


“The big issue is ‘how does what we share tonight get broadcast out to the student body’ so more students are informed. So they can make an educated vote,” Heinselman said.


The two candidates for ASCWU president, Jasmin Washington and Brendan Dolleman, share this viewpoint. They both expressed that they see a debate as an opportunity for the student body to share their concerns with the candidates for office.


“I love debates. I love talking to students. If there was one every week I would do it,” Dolleman said.


Washington agreed, saying that debates are as valuable to candidates as they are to students.


“I think hearing a bunch of students’ concerns was important. It let us know as candidates what we need to focus on,” Washington said.


All of the candidates for office who participated in the event took the opportunity to bring up

which issues they’d like to address during their term, according to Heinselman.


“The candidates clearly stated some concerns that they have regarding central and their agenda on how they’d like to improve those concerns,” Heinselman said.


The next public ASCWU debate will take place next Wednesday, April 24 from 12-2 p.m. in SURC 210. Before then, CWU Recreation is hosting “pizza with the candidates,” an opportunity to socialize with candidates over free refreshments, on Monday, April 22, from 5-6:30 p.m.


The ASCWU general election is scheduled for Thursday, April 25. Students can vote online from 12:01 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. or in person in the SURC from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


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