Formal SA debate takes place

By Megan Knowles

A standing room’s only crowd listened to the candidates for Student Association executive positions square off at a formal debate Monday evening.

SA Vice President John Quilico and SA Public Relations Adviser Rebecca Bahr mediated the event. Quilico and Bahr posed questions to each candidate, read audience questions and allowed each candidate to ask their opponents questions.

When the presidential candidates were asked for their stand on the Board of Regents and the question of a separate governing board, Daniel Bryant said he was looking into the matter and agreed with its removal. Timothy Dinan said the BOR needs some revisions and, with modifications, should stay a part of NIU.

Gino Barrto said he could not be an effective leader if he did not know how the students felt on the issue and, therefore, would not take a stand on the BOR issue. Maurice Thomas said the BOR can be used and should be evaluated before a judgement is made.

When asked how they would stop the problem of minorities getting a bad rap on campus, Dinan said he would work with the organizations that got negative attention and try to emphasize the good aspects. Barrto said he thinks all crimes should be reported equally—every crime should state the race and/or organization of the individuals involved.

Thomas said there should be mass meetings to address specific concerns and remedy the problem. Bryant said he could not think of a way to prevent news coverage of this problem.

The vice presidential candidates focused on questions concerning organization duplication, management and the CHANCE program.

Matthew Schmidt said organization duplication can be stopped when an organization comes to the SA for recognition. Jennifer Sarro said she would look to organization constitutions and see if she could combine the efforts, which would add strength to the combined unit. Stacy Beck said she feels there is a duplication issue and by informing such organizations, it will strengthen them.

Beck, who is a product of the CHANCE program, says she knows it is working and that it is not just a program for minorities. Sarro also said the program is effective because it gives the students morale and confidence. Schmidt said he feels the program works.

SA treasurer candidates Antione Boulrece and Annette LeDonne did not attend the debate, leaving Tony Lopykinski as the only candidate for the treasurer’s position present.

Lopykinski, who served on the SA Finance Committee and is endorsed by SA Treasurer Joe Kolerich, said he would like to reach more organizations on campus so that they can receive funding.

Lopykinski said that carryovers in SA-allocated money cannot be avoided but the Finance Committee should examine line items in budgets more carefully.

Jodie English, a last-minute write-in candidate, attended the forum but was not allowed to participate in the debate.