About 45 students gathered in the Lory Student Center basement Thursday for the last student government presidential debate before voting begins Monday, with candidates fielding questions that ranged from their stances on gun policy on campus to fee increases for students.
Each president and vice presidential candidate pair was present for the student government Elections Committee-sponsored deliberation except for Paul Wade, vice-presidential candidate on the Moores/Wade ticket.
Wade said his presence was unnecessary in light of Wednesday night’s debate, in which former write-in candidates Ben Walker and William Overmann officially dropped out of the race, endorsing Wade and his presidential running mate, Andy Moore, on their way out.
“I didn’t feel the need to be there because we overwhelmingly won the debate (Wednesday) night,” Wade said.
The debate started at 11 a.m. and ended at 1 p.m. and was set up in an “open town hall style,” according to Zane Guilfoyle, Election Committee head, as students not only picked the questions, but the candidate order in which they were to be answered.
The candidates stood as follows on current CSU hot topics:
Q: Are you for increasing the Associated Students of CSU fee above the mandated fixed cost for next year?
A: Dan Gearhart, presidential candidate/Tim Hole, vice presidential candidate — Yes
A: Conrad Miller, presidential candidate/Jake Donovan, vice presidential candidate — No
A: Moores/Wade — No
A: Shaun Reed, presidential candidate/Melisa Panagakos, vice presidential candidate –Yes
Q: Do you support the current gun control law on campus, which allows students to conceal and carry a weapon as long as it’s registered with the CSU Police Department?
A: Gearhart/Hole — No
A: Miller/Donovan — Yes
A: Moores/Wade — Yes
A: Reed/Panagakos — Yes
Q: Should library hours be extended to be open 24/7 during finals week?
A: Gearhart/Hole — Yes
A: Miller/Donovan — No
A: Moores/Wade — Yes
A: Reed/Panagakos — No
At times when student questioning was lacking, Guilfoyle quizzed the candidates on topics that students had sent in, such as how candidates felt about issues such as last year’s controversial Homecoming concert.
Candidates were unanimous in saying the concert needs some review, with Reed and Panagakos pitching their Taste of Fort Collins platform, which would be a festival promoting local food businesses, in its place.
Miller said a spring concert might be more beneficial, as more artists are touring then, he said.
Moores said the cost associated with the event could only be justified if all students were able to attend.
The Gearhart/Hole ticket has said it is open to re-examining the money funneled into the concert but has said its future is more up to the Association for Student Activity Programming’s discretion than ASCSU’s.
Students dropping by the debate said they felt it helped them form opinions about the upcoming election.
During a question posed to the candidates about student organization involvement in the community — which all candidates said they hoped to see more of — senior business administration major Tami Meis said, “I don’t know too much about what’s going on, but I’m glad I came, because I’m in Alpha Phi Omega and our biggest goal is community service.”
Election results will be announced Wednesday at the 6:30 p.m. ASCSU Senate meeting.
ASCSU Beat Reporter Shelley Woll can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.