Security, communication among topics discussed at SA debate

Staff Reports

Students’ Association candidates debated about issues such as the General Activity Fee, campus security and administration changes on Monday.

The presidential tickets debated over the noon hour to the lunch crowd on the market stage of The Union.

The candidates opened the debate with their three main points. Nathaniel Condelli, partnered up with Robert McLean, focused on safety and security, the student experience and communication.

Ally Helms, alongside Lane Speirs, focused on administration changes, student organizations, and safety and security.

Both tickets were asked to pick one thing they would fix on campus. Speirs stated they would like to make campus a safer place. There are “huge steps” that could be taken, according to Speirs.

McLean countered that there are always ways to improve campus safety, but the main focus should be advising.

“Advising needs to take a step up right now,” McLean said. “We need to have jobs lined up. We need to have these conversations with our [advisers].”

The next question posed to candidates was how they would handle conflict among the senators and constituents. Condelli pointed out that conflict is a good thing and he is “extremely comfortable” with confrontation.

Helms agreed with her opponent, adding that she and Speirs make a good team for these types of situations.

“Conflict is such an important part of the democratic process,” Helms said. “We are such a diversified ticket… Knowing that we can represent both sides, it will be key with polarizing these issues.”

When asked about the role of the Students’ Association, both candidates pointed out that the group is a representative body.

“We are the voice,” Condelli said. “Whether it is an issue that affects one student… or over 12,000, our job is to be that voice.”

Helms added that SA represents the student body, but the ability to reach student organizations is key.

“Being able to represent all sorts of groups to flourish is a huge priority,” Helms said.

An hour before the presidential debate, the candidates running for the College of Agricultural and Biological Sciences debated.

Candidates discussed topics about campus sustainability, dealing with the transition of administrative leadership, increasing the General Activity Fee, the role of keeping to their own beliefs if they had to vote on a controversial resolution and if they are in support of campus concealed carry.

The College of Agricultural and Biological Sciences has five seats on the Senate. There are seven candidates running. They include:

·      Cade Opheim, agricultural science

·      Dennisen Nelson, dairy production and animal science

·      Connor Bushman, biology and pre-dental

·      Shala Larson, agricultural leadership

·      Kiera Leddy, agriculture communications

·      Dalton Kampsen, agricultural science

·      Logan Zeisler, agronomy

Voting will open up Tuesday March 22 and 23 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students can vote online at or they can visit polling booths across campus.

Polling locations will be in the Student Union, Wellness Center, Crothers, Rotunda Breezeway, Berg Agricultural Hall and Animal Science Complex.

For full coverage, read tweets from Monday’s debate on the @Collegian_Live feed.