Student Association

Presidential candidates discuss how their platforms will achieve results

Lauren Murphy | Asst. Photo Editor

(From left) Allie Curtis, Iggy Nava, Kyle Coleman and PJ Alampi appear on stage in Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium for the Student Association presidential debate.

Rather than an actual dispute, the four Student Association presidential candidates engaged in friendly conversation on Sunday night at the SA presidential debate.

Candidate Allie Curtis said she was “really happy the debate remained cordial” throughout, despite the potential for a heated debate given the number of candidates.

CitrusTV’s Brian Cheung asked Curtis, Iggy Nava, Kyle Coleman and PJ Alampi, the four candidates, several questions. They were also asked questions by the audience and questions submitted via Twitter.

Despite the difference in platforms, all four candidates agreed with one another on the importance of producing results for the student body.

Nava referenced his platform, “The University We Want,” which highlights the importance of SA expanding and reaching all types of students on campus, including international students. He also said the involvement of more students on campus will create better success within SA.

Coleman said the three basic pillars of his campaign are based around the idea of producing results, instead of just talking about them. He said he wants to address the segregation issue on campus by selecting a representative from each organization on campus, in addition to faculty and administrators, and plan events on campus that involve the entire community.

The second pillar involves safety. Coleman wants the Department of Public Safety to clearly lay out a plan to improve student safety on campus to avoid more DPS email alerts.

For the final pillar, Coleman said he wants to clean up SA, so that it’s “more result-based.”

Alampi agreed with the other candidates on how there is a disconnect with the student organizations on campus and said this issue is the main focus of his campaign. As president, Alampi would help provide for all of the student organizations by helping them to improve public relations, budget properly and work together overall.

“It’s really about the larger picture which is Syracuse University; that’s why we’re here,” Alampi said. “We’re not about the residence halls or academic colleges. We’re Syracuse.”

Curtis said her campaign focuses on “real issues with real results.” The results she will produce if elected are further promoting civic and community engagement; changing the regulations regarding internships and bettering the way students obtain them; and promoting active advocacy with full representation in SA.

Through their platforms, the four candidates also hope to further connect with, inform and involve students in SA.

Alampi said he hopes to fix the current gap between students and SA by going out with the general assembly and talking to students. Instead of talking about the different issues in small committees, Alampi said, the issues would be talked about in a larger group.

Curtis said that as vice president she has increased student involvement in SA. If elected, she will work toward reaching 100 percent representation. Specifically, Curtis wants to better connect and re-engage the SU and State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry communities.

Nava said he wants to improve transparency, which is a major problem within SA. To fix this, Nava wants to establish campus organization liaisons to improve student feedback on various issues.

“The thing about the liaisons is that it won’t be a one-way street,” Nava said. “It’s not that they’re coming to us with problems, it’s also that we’re going to go to them.”

Coleman said the three other candidates were missing the “crux of the issue.” Students aren’t engaged in SA, he said, because they don’t see SA produce results. He said his results will make students more involved and aware of the issues.

“If they’re not getting anything out of us, of course they’re not going to be engaged,” he said.

In an interview after the debate, Nava said he was happy with his performance and said this debate showed which candidates had substance in their policies.

Curtis said after the debate she thought it highlighted her policies and that her active involvement in every committee in SA gives her an edge as a candidate.

When voting next week, Alampi said after the debate, he wants students to focus on the four candidates’ overall experiences, not just their specific plans.

Coleman, however, disagrees. After the debate he said he wants voters to focus on the specific plans and issues, instead of the campaign fluff that many of the candidates presented in the past couple of weeks.

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

  • TheTruth

    Curtis: “real issues with real results” Kind of funny because 2/3 of your issues mentioned in this article no one cares about (full representation in SA and engaging with ESF). Furthermore, there are some things SA can and cannot do. SA can provide buses, SA can give money out, SA can hold elections, SA can talk about a bunch of irrelevant topics…etc. SA CANNOT change the unique process of how each individual college at SU makes their students obtain credit for internships. It’s a nice thought but in the end it’s just a bunch of BS to appeal to a mindless student body.

    Nava: “The University We Want” I’ll translate this for the student body. “The university I want but will never achieve”. You are not going to fix race relations on this campus and you should stop trying because you are just wasting everyone’s time. Also, transparency is not an issue with SA and the student body. We know you guys just talk about a bunch of topics that are irrelevant and can’t be fixed (see the platform above), and that is exactly why we do not care to involve ourselves.

    Alampi: I will give you some advice Mr. Alampi. If you took
    as much time talking about how you are going to fix the problem of disengagement between the student body and SA and actually came up with a single tangible issue that student’s cared about and could be solved, you might have a chance of getting elected. Instead, you have run your campaign off the idea that the average student actually cares about what you and a bunch of friends (SA) get together and talk about during the week. Big mistake.

    Coleman: Best line I have heard in a while. “Students aren’t engaged in SA, he said, because they don’t see SA produce results.” AMEN brother. If you guys (SA) just stopped trying to fix the world’s problems at SU and actually focused in on
    student problems, you would realize how simple they are. Sure they don’t sound as good as fixing race relations and providing jobs, but THEY ARE REAL FIXABLE ISSUES that students care about. Coleman is the only one who
    has actually talked about a real fixable student issue and that is student safety. It is an issue that affects all students, it is a problem at the moment, and it actually can be fixed. For this reason alone, he has my vote and should have yours too.

  • TheRealTruth

    Fortunately DPS and SPD have worked to alleviate many of the problems Coleman mentions. He has completely ignored the fact that the administration has already been working to increase patrolling in crime-ridden areas.

    There are TWO choices for you: The vice president, Curtis, and the student life chair, Alampi. Curtis and Alampi are the only two who have actually taken steps to show they care about safety on campus, not just exploiting a serious issue for their own benefit as Coleman has done.

    Here Curtis adresses issues facing students. She also mentioned bringing self defense classes and programs that focus on individual safety to campus in her address last night. She seems adamant about changing the system DPS has to drive students home when they are in unsafe positions and she has plans to improve it.

    Alampi has also worked with Belen Crisp, an assembly representative, to put a safety subcommittee into place on campus. Coleman mentioned his experience as an RA has helped him focus on safety much more. Alampi, on the other hand has also had two years of RA experience. He knows what he is doing with DPS. Coleman does not.

    I urge you to cast your vote on behalf of one of the two candidates who have actually implemented results on this campus. Coleman is simply a self interested businessman who is out of touch with what is actually going on at Syracuse University. Don’t try to make a platform around solutions that are already in action.

  • Sean Dinan

    TheTruth, you seem to have a lot of resentment against SA, and I’m not quite sure the reason. Perhaps it’s because you are unaware of what we are working on. You posted similar statements last week and I’d like to clarify a few things for you. You say we “just talk about a bunch of topics that are irrelevant and can’t be fixed” and you previously claimed we “make up problems that don’t exist”.

    As Student Engagement Chair, it’s my committee’s job to reach out to the student body and hear their feedback. This semester alone, we’ve received nearly 200 concerns during tabling. On top of that, we receive emails and facebook messages from students. Also, we’re students and we talk to our friends and we hear what’s concerning them. We’re hearing what the students want, and we’re working to fix it.

    I read every concern we get and then send them on to the appropriate committees, so I’m able to quantitatively see what students are looking for. The trends are obvious. The top three concerns we get are in regards to safety, food services, and bussing.

    In regards to safety, we’ve created the DPS Advisory Board so that we can work with DPS to create better programs to help students. We’re working on a mobile app to ease students in getting help when the need it (see the Oct. 23rd DO).

    In response to food concerns, we created the Food Advisory Board last year. I personally attended the latest meeting of this, where a group of students meet with many of the administrators that work within Food Services. We relay them student concerns and they’ve done an incredible job working with what we bring to them. Examples of this include better vegetarian options, a pilot program for earlier hot breakfasts, and larger burgers are Trios. There’s plenty more that’s being done here and I can assure you, these are things that students want.

    Another large complain is bussing. The Student Life Committee is responding to student concerns by working on both the East and South campus routes. In the past, we’ve provided route maps and schedules to residence halls in response to students complaining that they didn’t know when busses were coming. On top of that, our bussing programs to Target/Wegmans, RTC, and to major cities during breaks have received lots of praise from students and parents alike.

    There’s plenty more examples of us addressing student concerns, but I don’t think I need to outline everything we do to you. If you’re still frustrated with us, I invite you to attend one of our meetings or to reach out to any of our representatives. We truly work hard to best represent our students and if you’re one of them, we want to best represent you too.

    – Sean Dinan, Student Engagement Chair

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