Candidates duke it out over non-traditional students

Student campaign parties debated Wednesday night, focusing on issues affecting non-traditional students, such as married and international students.

The debate was mediated by Rand Smith, director of non-traditional student board for the Associated Students of the University of Utah.

Smith questioned the candidates on what they planned to do to involve the 40 percent of students who are married. The Students First Party said it wanted to give the married students the voice they deserve. It promised also to focus its attention on bettering health care and child care through lobbying the administration and state Legislature to take action.

The None of the Above Party wants ASUU to think more toward activities that require as little effort as possible to get involved. The party suggested having activities take place in married students’ own community and budgeting better to create more activities.

The People Incorporated Party said they will empower the married students by having activities in their own communities by giving them more funding.

Smith proceeded to ask how each party how they would support international student groups on campus.

None of the Above answered said it would revamp the Assembly process to make sure Assembly members know more about the bills they support. The party also said poor communication has resulted in international students getting poor funding. The party also suggested teaching international students how to effectively fund raise outside of ASUU.

“They don’t understand the game here. We have to help teach them,” said Ben Yang, presidential candidate for the None of the Above Party.

People Incorporated’s members answered saying that they would help international students get scholarships through a one-stop shopping scholarship Web site.

Students First spoke about the trouble with helping student groups is the $5,000 cap ASUU is allowed to give to a single student group. To counteract the rule, they would use the resources of ASUU to promote international student groups.

Smith later questioned candidates on how they planned to improve child care on campus. This year, 40 families were turned away from school childcare and the school is losing a $75,000 grant dedicated to child care.

People Incorporated said ASUU needs to put more money into childcare. The party plans to put a portion of its monthly stipend toward child care. The party also emphasized the importance of putting money that the ASUU president is allocated toward child care. The party also wants to replace the $75,000 grant and go after more.

Students First said that ASUU needs to find a new solution and suggested networking to the alumni.

None of the Above said ASUU should go after money from the government, students, corporation and alumni. The party suggested emulating fund-raising projects like the one that raised money for the new engineering building. The party also suggested raising student fees by $1 and dedicating it to child care.

Smith asked each party to say one specific way how it would get more students involved.

None of the Above said it would institute streaking on campus once a week. The party further expanded how it believed ASUU is a stable foundation and that members should begin thinking outside the box for ideas.

“There are plenty of ideas when you think outside the box. We need to redefine the definition of involvement,” presidential candidate Ben Yang said.

People Incorporated said it advocated the “Register for Involvement” system developed by this year’s administration to help students know what is going on and how they can get involved.

Students First spoke about its campus coalition, a plan to continue to be out on campus and in student-group meetings like it was election season.

The candidates will debate again today at 1 p.m. in the Union Theatre.

[email protected]