Sound off: students get their questions answered

Stacy Leber

Stacy Leber

The Students’ Association presidential candidates held a debate featuring both campaign teams Feb. 21 in the Union.

Presidential candidate Becca Lutz, a senior business economic and consumer affairs major, and her running mate Brandon Bausch, a junior software engineering major, briefly introduced their top three topics of concern: parking, advancement in technology and freshman satisfaction. Presidential candidate Chris Daugaard and his running mate Eric Hanson – both junior political science and economics majors – introduced their top priorities as being the improvement of on- and off-campus housing, improving campus experience and increasing on-campus employment for students. ?

The main focus that each candidate emphasized was satisfaction of the students. There has been a big push recently for students to be required to have a laptop and purchase it through the school. Both the Board of Regents and the federal legislature are pushing for this program.

“It works nicely for the smaller schools because they don’t have as many majors. They are more specialized,” Hanson said. “We will be here to keep the options for students’ laptops flexible and student-friendly.”

Bausch said, “The nursing program has the mandatory laptop requirement now. It allows nursing majors to pick from five different computers, which allows them a little flexibility. We would help students adapt and push for flexibility.” ?

Advancement in technology was a hot discussion topic, with promises to improve JacksUnwired and to increase the number of wireless spots across campus, as well as increasing the number of smart classrooms and updating technology across campus.

“We want to see easier access to off-campus housing and employment,” Daugaard said.

One student asked about the qualities each of the candidates had in order to make all of these projects happen.

“Diversity,” Lutz said.

Bausch added, “I feel we are qualified because we have gotten to know more and more the longer we have stayed involved.”

Hanson said, “We both have extensive knowledge with everything on campus and have both spoken in front of the state legislature. We understand and have accepted that it is going to be hard and a lot of work.” ?

Both sides agreed that even the students who will be graduating in May should care about the election and vote. Bausch and Lutz explained that students want the school they graduate from to have a good reputation, so students should care who is taking care of their campus even after they are gone.

The candidates were asked how they would handle bad press.

“I have a lot of personal experience with criticism,” Hanson said. “Opinions should be heard and answered.”

“The Collegian has always done a wonderful job,” Bausch said. “Students deserve to be informed, and the Students’ Association shouldn’t have anything to hide.” ?

Two out of three of the students asked at the debate said they were going to vote in the upcoming SA elections.