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Van Auken to face opposition in second district election

Candidate Curphy Smith, who will run for a city council position, is looking for Bradley student support

Second district City Council candidate Curphy Smith spoke to Student Senate on Monday.
“There is a significant communication barrier between students and neighborhood organizations and that has created problems,” he said.
Smith is running against incumbent Barbara Van Auken for the second district, which encompasses Bradley and the surrounding neighborhood.
Van Auken has expressed concerns with noise in the neighborhood surrounding Bradley. Those concerns culminated in September when she confronted members of Sigma Nu fraternity about noise levels.
“I think despite that, she will still win the election,” sophomore criminal justice major Eric Yoder said.
The election will take place on April 7. Smith outlined what he said were the problems that should be addressed in the campaign.
Student Body Treasurer Owen Irwin asked Smith how he would represent the needs and wants of Bradley students.
“I will get involved in Student Senate and ask more students what they want,” he said. “A flier telling students how they should act is not the type of communication that should be promoted.”
The flier he referred to was sent out by the Moss-Bradley Residential Association in September of last year outlining the behavior the organization expected from residents.
Van Auken said she would better represent Bradley students than her opponent.
“I think the university is heading in the right direction, despite the economic hard times,” she said. “I have an excellent relationship with [University President Joanne] Glasser and will be responsive to citizens’ needs.”
Smith said, if elected, he would fight for what he called a “walkable Main Street.”
“When you have better infrastructure, you can stimulate more economic development,” he said. “If we have a walkable Main Street, businesses will come in and help the economy out.”
Van Auken said she agrees with her opponent on this issue.
“We need wider sidewalks and more attractive plantings,” she said. “I want Main Street to be a place where you can really walk safely.”
One area the two disagreed on was how large of a role Bradley students will play in the election.
“[Van Auken] only won by 400 or so votes last time,” Smith said. “Bradley students can sway this election on April 7 and make it a landslide.”
Van Auken said she thinks students will not play a large role in the election.
“Traditionally, students usually register in their home towns and usually don’t play a big role here,” she said.
Junior international studies major Manny Lopez said he agrees with Van Auken.
“I don’t think many students are going to go out to vote,” he said.
Smith said the tensions between students and neighborhood organizations can best be addressed through more communication.
“Everyone plays a role in confrontations,” he said. “We should start seeing students in neighborhoods helping people out and more dialogue between students and the many neighborhood organizations in this district.”
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