Student Association

Comptroller candidates discuss qualifications in heated debate

Lauren Murphy | Asst. Photo Editor

Student Association comptroller candidates Stephen DeSalvo and Osarumwense Pat-Osagie appear on stage for the SA debate at the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium in Newhouse III.

In a heated debate, Student Association comptroller candidates Stephen DeSalvo and Osarumwense Pat-Osagie fired retorts back and forth on one another’s qualifications on Sunday evening.

CitrusTV’s Brian Cheung moderated the debate, asking the candidates several policy questions as well as questions from the audience and submitted via Twitter.

DeSalvo started the debate by explaining how his experience as comptroller makes him qualified. As comptroller, he said, he has implemented new policies within SA to help the Finance Board make fair and equal decisions in allocating money.

“My leadership focus isn’t so much on task management or delegation, but on transformational leadership; one that’s set precedent and encourages others to follow,” he said.

Pat-Osagie said he is qualified for comptroller because of his leadership on campus and his attendance and organization of events.

If elected, Pat-Osagie said, he will weight different events in terms of planning difficulty when organizations apply for funding.

DeSalvo said he will continue to treat all organizations fairly and apply the current rules to determine if organizations are eligible for requested funding. But, he said, this is not his decision; it’s the decision of the Finance Board.

“I’m there to help guide the Finance Board in making decisions, and make sure they follow the fair process,” he said.

When asked about potential plans for the tier system, Pat-Osagie said he understands why the system exists, but does not agree with it. If elected, he said he will use the system to gauge the event, and then apply appropriate funding.

This response, DeSalvo said, highlighted Pat-Osagie’s lack of knowledge and experience. If re-elected, he said he will continue to use the tier system in order to make accurate and fair decisions regarding campus organizations.

Both candidates said they have plans to further improve transparency within the Finance Board.

Pat-Osagie said he wants to create a consulting committee that will help advise different organizations on funding and improve communication between the groups and SA. He also wants to create an event planning committee to help organizations in their planning.

But DeSalvo said this would only bring bias into the system. Instead, he said he will continue to provide in-depth financial training to organizations. He also plans to expand the SA website by putting information about the funds each organization receives online.

A quality that DeSalvo is missing, Pat-Osagie said, is his ability to connect with the SU community.

“Stephen doesn’t know what’s going on in the community,” he said. “As comptroller, you want to know how important these different events are to the community.”

In response, DeSalvo said he “wished we had a fact-checker at the debate.” The Finance Board, not the comptroller, is responsible for determining how much money organizations receive, he said. He also dismissed Pat-Osagie’s argument that he’s disconnected from SU.

DeSalvo said his opponent lacks experience with the Finance Board, specifically regarding rules and deadlines.

“You want someone to know the process. You want someone that knows what’s going on, and my opponent lacks this,” DeSalvo said.

Voting for SA candidates began Monday at midnight and continues until Thursday. Students must log on to their MySlice accounts to vote.


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