Student Association

VP candidates cover campus diversity at debate

Luke Rafferty | Video Editor

(FROM LEFT) Simone Goldslager, Nia Boles and Daniela Lopez, vice presidential candidates for the Student Association, discuss diversity and their platforms during a debate on Sunday night.

The three vice presidential candidates were front and center Sunday night at a Student Association debate in Gifford Auditorium, which was hosted by OrangeSeeds.

Nia Boles, Simone Goldslager and Daniela Lopez discussed their platforms and running mates, diversity at Syracuse University and how to reach out to first-year and transfer students at Sunday’s debate.

The debate began with each candidate discussing her leadership qualities.

Goldslager, who is running with Ivan Rosales, emphasized her lack of experience with SA, which she said makes her a stronger candidate.

“I believe that makes me one of the strongest candidates up here because SA has been very internal,” Goldslager said. “Ivan and I want to make it more external and want students to know they can come to SA and use it as a resource.”

Boles, Duane Ford’s running mate, took a different view and said her experience in SA as the chair of the Student Engagement Committee qualified her for the vice presidential position.

Lopez, who is Boris Gresely’s running mate, said she believes she’d be a good vice president because she wants to be an example for other students.

The topic of diversity — which had been discussed by each of the three presidential candidates in their campaigns and in the earlier presidential debate — was touched upon at Sunday’s debate. The candidates specifically discussed their method of dealing with the issue.

Goldslager said she and Rosales want to implement a weeklong multicultural festival to promote diversity and expose students to different cultures.

Lopez said she personally faced diversity and self-segregation issues and that the problem should be addressed by reaching out to students who are dedicated to solving these issues.

Boles said she’d like to start a “diversity in action initiative” including dialogues on diversity in freshman forum classes, and make it a theme for arriving freshmen during the fall semesters.

Another issue brought up at the debate was how candidates would reach out to first-year and transfer students, which is an important topic to OrangeSeeds, the group hosting the debate.

“We wanted to focus on first-year and transfer students because OrangeSeeds is a first year and transfer program,” said Matt Fernandes, the public relations director for OrangeSeeds.

Boles said she’d like to change the way transfer students are currently housed. She said since most transfer students are housed in Skyhalls, it’s difficult for them to integrate with the rest of the campus.

Goldslager agreed with Boles about the housing situation, and also said improving orientation week activities would help first-year students make a smoother transition to campus.

Lopez said improving freshman forum classes would be important as well.

At the end of the debate, audience members presented questions to the three candidates. Current SA President Allie Curtis asked the candidates about how they’d take on issues that women faced in leadership positions.

All three candidates agreed it’s important for women to help each other toward the same goal instead of being competitive with each other.

Fernandes, OrangeSeed’s public relations director, said having a vice presidential debate was important because it gives students a chance to hear different voices during the campaign.

“Presidents are usually very vocal during their campaigns, and we wanted to hear more from vice presidential candidates,” Fernandes said. “Hearing from who the president is choosing to align with is important as well.”

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