Candidates cordial in pre-primary debate

By Jeremy Thompson, Staff Writer

The day before the ASUU primary elections, parties chose to play nice with each other instead of attacking other candidates.

During a debate held in the Union lobby Tuesday afternoon, each party running in the Associated Students of the University of Utah elections presented its platform8212;without mudslinging the other parties.

“I think that we have all stressed that communication is an important issue, both within ASUU and between parties,” said Clint Hugie, presidential candidate for the Synergy Party. “I think we all agree that working together is important to students and to each of our parties.”

During the debate, the moderator asked candidates what the most pressing issues facing students are. All three groups agreed that finances and sustainability should be at the top of the list for student government leaders to address.

“In the economic times that we are facing, we have to be responsible with the money we are given,” said Pace Johnson, presidential candidate for the GO Party. “If we are as transparent as possible with our finances, students will realize how we are trying to help them.”

Parties used debate time to explain and clarify specific issues within their platforms.

The Revolution Party was asked about its plan to generate $22,000 to give back to students through payments normally given to student government leaders for their service.

“We would take $100 from both the president and vice president’s stipend,” said Tayler Clough, presidential candidate for Revolution. “We would also combine the campus relations board and the outreach and assessment board, and thus free up part of their funding. We would also replace the service board with a service corps, helping to free up money from there as well.”

Clough served as director of the ASUU outreach and assessment board during Fall Semester 2008.

The Synergy Party explained its idea to give priority to students

when filling positions for campus jobs.

“Contrary to what you may have heard, this is not illegal,” Hugie said. “People who are hired will still be hired based on their résumé and qualifications, but employers would have to take into account if applicants are students or not. We have modeled it after successful programs on campuses such as BYU.”

The GO Party clarified its idea to bring back the U-Life newsletter, which was started six years ago in ASUU to spread news about student government and other campus groups to student subscribers. GO leaders said they would distribute the newsletter electronically.

“It would be an e-mailed newsletter that would be part of a larger communications database,” Johnson said. “It would allow students to subscribe to what content they want to receive, maybe like athletics or service groups. This would not require additional funding because we could use members from the executive cabinet to go out and get students signed up.”

The debate also covered issues such as assisting students in making the transition to graduate school, communicating more clearly with the ASUU Senate and General Assembly members, working with the ASUU Presenter’s Office and working with other members of the executive cabinet.

“We are all passionate about our ideas and platforms,” Clough said. “We all want what is best for the university. We just have different ideas about how to make that a reality.”

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Tyler Cobb

ASUU candidates from the GO Party, the Revolution Party and the Synergy Party debated in the Union lobby Tuesday. The parties explained issues that were brought up dealing with their platforms during the debate.