SA presidential candidates square off at 2nd debate, discuss policy and initiative proposals
Jacob Greenfeld | Assistant Photo Editor
Student Association presidential and vice presidential candidates squared off Monday night in a debate that was noticeably calmer than the first debate, with both campaigns focusing on issues and policy proposals that were overshadowed last week by arguments over candidate experience and the “sanctuary campus” issue.
Presidential candidates James Franco and Tyler Rossi, along with their running mates, focused on policy proposals including mental health and student safety during the second debate held in Maxwell Auditorium.
Both Franco and Rossi, along with their respective vice presidential candidates Angie Pati and Roy Tin, spent the majority of the debate explaining the different initiatives they would like to either continue from SA’s current legislative sessions or to create next year.
Both campaigns said that student safety and mental health initiatives would be key pillars of their administrations if elected.
Franco said that his campaign’s ideas on how to improve student safety both on and off campus would be his first priority if elected.
“It’s hard to focus on your next test, it’s hard (to think about the weekend) if you’re worried about your friend’s house next door being broken into, if you’re worried about someone that was strong-arm robbed on their way home from a late night at the library,” Franco said.
He said he would focus on creating better transportation options for students during the times when people are most at risk of being targeted by crime. Franco mentioned the possible creation of a “Euclid shuttle” for students to be dropped off at their houses as a way to increase safe transportation on campus.
He also said an increase of off- and on-campus lighting sources would be a priority for his administration if he were elected SA president.
The Rossi administration, on the other hand, would work to improve student safety by potentially implementing new Syracuse University IDs in the fall that would include emergency contact information, Tin said.
Turning to mental health initiatives, Franco said that the creation of a peer listening service would be a priority for his administration and he would look to continue and expand the mental health initiatives implemented by the SA administration this past semester, such as Mental Health Awareness week. Tin responded and said the Rossi administration would focus on increasing accessibility to SU’s Counseling Center.
The candidates also agreed on a need for more inclusion and diversity at SU. Pati said that she and Franco would create a multicultural diversity committee and ensure that the Slutzker Center for International Services is more accessible for international students.
Tin, meanwhile, said that he and Rossi would look to implement more programs for international students near the beginning of the semester on how to better adapt to the campus climate.
Rossi and Tin also said they would look to improve transparency within SA. Tin said the Rossi administration would create a compliance officer to address transparency issues through SA’s executive branch.
While Franco and Pati both spoke frequently during the debate, Tin spoke the majority of the time on the behalf of the Rossi campaign. Rossi again apologized to Pati for his remarks during last week’s debate, when he said that Tin had “real experience” while Pati did not.
Published on April 11, 2017 at 12:14 am