WSGA Candidates have first debate

Brian Cervantez

On March 2, Washburn Student Government Association presidential candidate’s had a spirited and refreshing debate against each other to help students decided who would best represent them in WSGA. The two presidential candidates [were grateful] to have the opportunity to debate each other since they have spent the last several weeks campaigning to get students to vote. Seeing candidates side by side allows students to make there own decision of what the two candidates stand for.

Presidential candidate Malcolm Mikkelsen, current WSGA vice president and sophomore biological chemistry and biology, had this to say when he was asked if he would require faculty to use open source textbooks.

“We are looking to come to faculty to tell them about this great opportunity and to save students money by doing this,” said Mikkelsen.

Open source textbooks would help cut down the cost for students by encouraging the most popular classes at Washburn to use open source textbook. It would save students and the university money by ensuring the university would not run out of textbooks for students. The other reason why it would benefit students is so they do not have to worry about buying a book and the first day they are in class the teacher has changed the textbook.

“One thing that is important to us is making sure students are comfortable coming to us about concerns they have on campus,” said Presidential candidate Natasha Martinez, vice-chair of student engagement and sophomore political science major.

They want the students not to be afraid to step into the WSGA office and be able to speak freely. In the past, students have felt like they could not come to WSGA concerns because they did not know they could. Martinez and Jack Van Dam, Martinez’s running mate, were not the only ones wanting to make sure students were more involved in voicing there concerns. Mikkelsen and Nikki Rodriguez, Mikkelsen’s running mate, want to see more student engagement as well. This means students have two candidates for president and vice president that are willing to work for the students to make sure there voices are being heard.

After the debate, everyone seemed to come away with a sense of pride with the two candidates that are buying for students votes. Also students were very pleased with how the debate was set up and moderated. Talking to several students afterwards a lot of them enjoyed the fact that the students were able to get involved by asking questions on Facebook and Twitter.

“I feel like the student response via Twitter was awesome, I asked a couple questioned and I feel it brings the connectivity from the debate and brings it out to the audience, I thought that was really great.” said Lasher, Economics Major

The main thing that came out of this is the fact students want more debates like this because everyone can be involved in the process. The next debate for the candidates is Monday, March 7, hosted in Mabee Library. This will be the last debate before the voting starts on March 8.  Voting will be open until March 10. The candidates encourage everyone to get out there and vote so students voices can be heard.

Election results will be announced at 1 p.m. Friday, March 11 in the lower level lounge of Memorial Union.