Letter from the editor: Why student journalists are moderating this year’s ASB debate

Posted on Mar 25 2019 - 5:50am by Slade Rand

This election season, we’re changing some things. When our team of student media managers returned to campus this past fall, we wanted to make a difference in the way this student body interacted with its Associated Student Body representatives. To us, one of the most direct ways to put a new mentality into how student government elections happen on this campus was to make the ASB debate more reflective of how government works outside of a college environment. Tonight, for the first time in years on this campus, student journalists will moderate the ASB executive candidates’ debate in the Overby Center auditorium.

We opened up our inboxes and social media accounts for students to submit questions they’d like our candidates to answer, and I’m proud to say that we will be able to ask many of those questions tonight. Thank you for showing us exactly what this election means to you.

Tonight, we need you all to show up or follow on our Facebook and Twitter pages as our 13 candidates debate. The action is set to get underway at 6 p.m. in the Overby Center auditorium and shouldn’t last more than an hour and a half. We’ll be live streaming video to our Facebook the whole time. Candidates will be around for about 45 minutes before we begin, campaigning and, hopefully, meeting as many of you as possible. We expect them to also hang out after the debate in case you have some more questions we couldn’t cover.

These elections are important every year, but it’s no secret that a vast minority of the student body actually votes in them. Only 3,300 students voted in last year’s runoff election for ASB President. That election was determined by a margin of around 200 votes. On a campus pushing 24,000 in undergraduate enrollment, it’s clear our friends and classmates could be a lot more involved in how we select which of us will rise to the highest level of student leadership. I’m asking you to start being a part of that increased involvement tonight and to let us know how we did. We’ll see you at 6 p.m.