2012 Executive Council Electoral Debate Report
The electoral debate for the Southern Virginia University Student Executive Council took place last night in the Stoddard Activies Center. It covered a wide variety of topics. For your convenience, we’ve summarized the general points that were made at the debate.
Vice President of Finance
Candidates for this position include Kasia Stoltenberg and Steven Andreasen. Both offered ideas on how to keep track of funds—filing cabinets and information boxes, respectively—and both demonstrated a keen understanding of databases and budgets. They differed on fundraising techniques, with Kaisa interested in having more student activities to raise funds, and Steven aiming for more community involvement.
Vice President of Academics and Service
Candidates for this position include Whitney Ruiz, Justin Winslow, and Jason Bowen. Winslow and Bowen both suggested improving communication to encourage service, utilizing email and texting systems, while Ruiz emphasized the need for student feedback and suggestions. Ruiz and Bowen both argued in favor of creating service opportunities that align with academic fields. Regarding improving relationships between students and professors, Winslow and Bowen both spoke of the need to know what the students need and want to graduate. Ruiz mentioned using the small ratio between students and professors to foster better relationships. All three candidates said that academics and service go hand in hand, with Ruiz and Bowen arguing that service is academics at work, while Winslow said that service improves academics.
Vice President of Honor
Candidates for this position include Maxwell Doxey and Jonathan Bowden, though only Doxey came to the debates. He explained that honor meant Christlike living, and that the purpose of the honor council is to set an influential example for the rest of the student body in order to encourage honorable living. The way the honor council conducts themselves and interacts with other students will help other students realize that the honor council is an essential function to maintain the core values of the school.
Vice President of Athletics
Candidates for this position include Branden Seeberger, Andrew Evans, and Callie Woolsten. Evans and Woolsten said that improving the Superfans club requires more involvement, whether from the student body or the community. Seeberger added that involvement requires more communication, which requires changing Southern Virginia’s reputation in the community. Evans and Woolsten both advocated getting involved in other schools, such as the Lexington colleges and the local public schools. Evans pushed for expanding Superfans into other locations, while Woolsten emphasized the need to secure sponsorship from outside the school. Each also named their favorite Southern Virginia athletes, crediting them for dedication, leadership ability, and alumni involvement.
Vice President of Campus Programming
Candidates for this position include Kimy Chatland, Cassie Crane, and Taylor Loveless. When presented with the prospect of an activity gone heinously wrong, all three emphasized thinking on your feet, praying, and relying on others in order to solve the situation and get things done. Chatland and Loveless both suggested getting feedback directly from the students, while Crane argued for expanding the activities committee to include everyone who wants to be involved. When asked about their favorite past activities at Southern Virginia, Loveless blanked, but Crane mentioned SVU Idol and Chatland praised the dances held this past year.
Vice President of Operations
Candidates for this position include Elise Madsen and Glenn Williams. Williams explained his visionary philosophy and his desire to serve the students, while Madsen explained her qualifications and experience working with Garret Bernal, the current Vice President of Operations. When asked about the constitutional need for a regular publication of student government proceedings, Madsen suggested publishing it online for both students and the community, whereas Williams said that more notes need to be taken directly from Senate meetings and made directly available to students. When asked to explain their qualifications as possible President in case of a setback, Madsen argued that her experience working with Bernal qualifies her, as well as previous student government experience. Williams pledged his time and talents for the good of the school, adopting a familial, brotherly approach to government.
Student Body President
Candidates for this position include Amanda Cowan, Tyler Mackay, and Garret Bernal. All three argued that staying in touch with the students required more Senate involvement. Cowan wants to integrate Senate and Executive Council meetings, while Mackay wants to implement leadership training and Bernal wants to personally attend Senatorial “town meetings” so he can see what the students want from their senators. Responding to the issue of student government being a popularity contest, Cowan suggested determining the root of this perception of the government so as to fix it, while Mackay admitted that sometimes people do get elected through popularity but that detractors from the program should find ways to get involved and help counter the popularity problem. Bernal argued that detractors should be informed voters instead of common voters for popularity.
When asked about involvement with the new Southern Virginia President, Bernal and Mackay emphasized discussing the vision for the school and how to achieve it. Cowan suggested doing research beforehand and being informed when working with President Paul K. Sybrowski.
When asked how they were qualified to be Student Body President, Cowan cited her years of experience at the school and her dedication to doing a thorough job. Mackay explained his lifelong involvement in the liberal arts and his numerous leadership experiences. Bernal argued that as current Vice President of Operations, he knows the position and he knows the needs for the school, and he’s had experience in marketing.