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Student body officer candidates debate campus issues

Student body officer candidates came together this week, voicing their platforms and debating campus issues.
The debate was hosted in the Marty Theatre Sunday, and students and faculty present had the opportunity to ask questions.
Blue ticket candidates Nicholas Swiatkowski, Amanda Wenger, Andrew Kerr and Sarah Rayfield are running for Student Senate president, vice president, treasurer and secretary respectively. Red ticket candidate Tricia Anklan is running for vice president, and green ticket candidates Mike Konieczny and Jenny Nguyen are running for vice president and treasurer.
The most hotly contested topics included communication with the student body, campus safety, budget ideas and the Comprehensive Alcohol Action Plan.
“The best way to motivate people is to communicate with them,” Anklan said. “It’s a matter of leading by example. Not just talking, but showing the students that their voices are heard.”
Konieczny said getting student morale up would be the key to spreading campus awareness, and Rayfield said she would work to connect student concerns with administrative action.
“I will definitely be working very closely with who I need to be in touch with,” Rayfield said. “I want to communicate with committee heads and update the Web site so students know what is going on beforehand.”
Candidates emphasized how critical campus safety was to them.
“Most importantly, we have to make sure students know how to stay safe on campus,” Wenger said. “I would like to see the reinstatement of student patrol because some people have concerns of being underage and being intoxicated and calling for a police escort.”
Candidates mostly agreed about the Alcohol Plan, implemented in April 2008.
“I think we have to be realistic that this is an American university and that undergraduate drinking, realistically, does occur,” Swiatkowski said. “As far as the alcohol action plan goes, I don’t think it’s been very effective. I know people who have received tickets, and it hasn’t really changed their views, so I think we need to revisit that.”
Konieczny said he thinks the alcohol plan, instead of decreasing underage drinking, has encouraged students to drink elsewhere.
“Students are going to places like [Illinois State University] to drink and have fun, and I think it’s making our campus more dangerous,” he said. “I think Bradley made this plan to cover their butts in legal situations.”
Treasurer candidates had several ideas for allocating and raising funds.
“Instead of figuring out how not to spend money, I’d figure out how to raise more,” Kerr said. “I think we should start a not-for-profit student-run bookstore to raise our own money. There is a point where the university can cut us off. As Student Senate, we need to create our own funds separate from that process.”
Nguyen said it was important to put money toward the students and their wants because it is their money being spent.
“Ultimately, we are all here to voice the concerns of the students,” she said.
Freshman pre-business major Kim Roddy and freshman music business major Alyssa Przygoda said they agreed it was most important for Student Senate to communicate with the student body.
“I didn’t know about the issues that are going on,” Roddy said. “The best way for them to communicate with us would be through their Web site.”
Przygoda said she also thought the Web site would be the most useful communication tool.
“And I think the localization of what they’re doing would help a lot,” she said.
The candidates closed by talking about their leadership skills and problem-solving abilities.
“We have to prioritize the things we want,” Swiatkowski said. “You have to be realistic on one hand, but also be creative in solving the problems students face.”
Anklan said hard work now would pay off greatly years down the road.
“The best time to plant a tree is 15 years ago,” she said.
Polls will be open Monday and Tuesday, at the Michel Student Center, Cullom-Davis Library, online and through students who will be walking around campus with ballots.