Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Part 1: Recap of the VP Debates

Today at 2:30, the VP candidates for student government debated in the SC 200. Check out the C&W's post on the background of the tickets here. Excuse any errors as I haven't had time to edit before my 5:40.

Keep an eye out for italicized comments, which is C&W weighing in, and little +1's or -1's for scoring. Highest total wins!

First, there were only free half cookies from Insomnia, and they were like half the size of a regular half, meaning a quarter cookie. Fuck that. -1 Insomnia cookies

For the TU Action ticket, VP of services candidate Jon Desantis and VP of external affairs candidate Anthony Leyro debated. For the TU Dream Team ticket, VP of services candidate Alex Barnett and VP of external affairs candidate Kevin Gerard debated. Here are the highlights of the debate:
Question #1: For the VP of services, how will you find out what the students need, and what are two specific services you have in mind?

Barnett started this question off, and stated that better communication between students and the administration is needed, and TSG is the one to bridge the gap. He stated that he planned to launch a website that would include shout boxes and forums to improve communciation with students. He also discussed forming interest groups for student orgs and students to join, in order to support their causes, and then these interest groups would present before TSG. +1 Barnett for recognizing the need for students voices to be heard and utilizing the web and forums to do so.

He also discussed a statistic that 60% of students graduate within 6 years. He stated that the Dream team wanted this back to 4, in order to help students. Yes, everyone knows that it's too hard to graduate on time, but no plan for how to do this. No points awarded.

Desantis then rebutted that Barnett basically did not lay out a plan for the academic improvements, and stated that TU action doesn't view communicaition as a service; services are things like bus trips.

Barnett then retorted with the old poo poo on you, communication is a service. +1 Barnett, communication is a service and a damn good one if I may say so my damn self. All branches of government should be concerned with communication, especially the executive who have been more worried about stepping on administrators toes than representing the students in the past.

Question 1 again, this time for Desantis

Desantis begins by stating that TU Action is committed to achieving results. He stated they wanted to find out about student concerns by giving 100 surveys a week. One service they thought to provide was a late night shuttle to Old City on Friday and Saturday nights, so students could go enjoy the city. (note: the cherry and what does not want to be involved with cleaning the puke off of said bus the next morning)

Also, they have a plan for a website called an "Owl Guide" which will list all the services from the different departments, particularly one paid for by the General Activities Fee, a fee that each student pays. He also stated that this is green because it is done online. +2 De Santis, 1 point for the surveys which would be great to stay in touch with students, 1 point for the services list and buses. We pay money and don't know about things like movie tickets, so a central hub for this information would be great. That is, if the Cherry and What doesn't steal this idea first and make it. >:-P

Barnett first gets a jab in by saying that while putting the services list online is green, handing out a 100 surveys a week is not. Zing! Barnett then follows with a body shot by saying that when Patterson, the TU Action candidate for president, attempted to create surveys in her committee this year she found it very cumbersome and difficult to get people to fill it out. +1 Barnett, it is true that it was very difficult to get people to fill out surveys

Desantis comes back and explains that because of her history with surveys, Patterson is in good standing to know what works and what doesn't. No points, the survey Patterson tried did not work, despite trying different solutions.

Question #2: The VP of external affairs must work closely with the administration. How will you convey your agendas to them?

Leyro begins by stating that the members of TU action work closely with administrators already. Leyro himself works in the student activities office and with Director of Student Activities Gina D'Annunzio. He also stated something about her having access up the food chain and monthly meetings with Anne Weaver Hart. No points, this is the most basic thing imaginable and had nothing to do with convincing administrators to follow a TSG or student agenda.

Gerard then returned by stating that Leyro's response was, in fact, the bare minimum. He then said something about websites and student voices again. No points, correct on Leyro's response but nothing tangible about conveying agendas.

Leyro responded with a statement in which he used the word proper about 10 times in 5 consecutive sentences. The gist was that there was a proper way to do things and meet with people, and you don't want to go stepping on people's toes. Don't bring problems to offices that aren't supposed to deal with them. -1, almost a -2. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The problem with Temple is that is is a huge bureaucracy. The problem with large bureaucracies is that if an issue falls outside the lines of a particular office, nobody picks it up and sends you to the next office(the infamous temple red tape). With certain issues, especially student issues, you must be ready to get in people's faces and demand that action be taken. And yes, that would mean stepping on some people's toes.

Gerard responds that it isn't just getting students to administrators, it's getting administrators to students. He stated the ol' "how many people actually know what Anne Weaver Hart looks like?" +1 for Gerard, bring those suckas before the students and don't let them hide behind their voicemails and aides.

Question # 3 for Desantis. "Your platform says you want to help commuters. How the hell do you know commuters?" or something like that.

Desantis states that look at Berks every day, it's loaded with commuters coming off the train. He has spoken to many of them, and they often have a mindset of exclusion that they don't feel like they are a part of campus. Gee, I wonder why? He then stated he wanted to reach out to commuters to make them feel involved, just by talking and getting their opinions. Desantis stated he would encourage students orgs and TSG meetings to be held during the day when commuters are around, and also work with academic offices to have teachers offer services and extra credit to commuters so they stick around campus and see plays. +1 Desantis for reaching out to a new and largely unrepresented part of the student body. The ideas were so-so except for the services; offering free tickets to see movies or plays on campus is a great way to convince commuters to stick around and feel like they're part of the campus setting.

Barnett responds by saying that talking to them is worthless, you already know the problem and that is exclusion. Also, having events in the daytime doesn't make any sense, they have class.

Desantis responds by stating that you can never talk too much to people, and that he simply means to open up first half of the day to schedule meetings would help sometimes. Stalemate, Desantis is right with never talking too much, Barnett is right that meetings aren't held during the day for a reason; people are friggin' busy.

This concluded the rebuttal segment of the debates, not because it was planned that way, but because the format just kind of decayed. The C&W will return with the second half of the debates in tonight's evening edition. Current Score:

TU Action: 2
TU Dream Team: 4

Insomnia cookies: -1

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you should have put insomnia cookies -1/2

you better at the debates tomorrow you're getting a shout out