ASGCU Candidates Engage in Thoughtful Debate
By Doug Carroll
The four candidates for the top offices in ASGCU squared off Monday night in an hourlong debate, sounding different themes but similar goals for student government at the University.
Voting for president and vice president began today and continues through Thursday at the Student Union.
José Razo, a senior in business administration, is opposing Mann. His VP running mate is freshman Samara Carlōn, a health-care administration major.
With campus pastor Tim Griffin serving as moderator, the four addressed an estimated crowd of 150 students in the North Gym. Mann laid out a point-by-point plan for improving student relations with administration. Razo sought to connect on a personal level, at times coming down off the stage to make his remarks.
“I’m the same as you,” Razo said to those in attendance. “The only difference I see is that I’m not a person to sit there and get comfortable with things.”
Razo cited previous experience in student government at GateWay Community College and Arizona State University as evidence of his qualifications. Mann itemized plans to reorganize Student Senate, expand study opportunities abroad, create an electronic registration option and develop student-to-student mentorship.
“The most important thing is to bridge the gap for students with administration,” Mann said. “We need to foster relationships so they hear the voice of the student.”
Questions for the candidates centered on campus development, incorporating faith into leadership, integrating commuters into campus life and improving registration. They also were asked about the importance of clubs and the assimilation of international students.
“There’s a huge division between those who live on campus and those who don’t,” Carlōn said.
Razo said most campus events start at 7 or 8 p.m., and he thinks that’s too late for commuters. He’d like to see some of them scheduled during the day, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 3 to 4 p.m.
Mann said the division between on-campus residents and commuters should be done away with. “We want to see commuters as equals — because they are,” he said.
Regarding registration, Mann said the University “has disabled us from taking responsibility for ourselves.” He said he wants to see an online registration process that would remove some of the hassles involved in dealing with academic and financial counselors.
He also said the University has a mission statement that speaks of creating “global citizens” but doesn’t follow through with opportunities for learning abroad.
Razo said students haven’t been engaged by ASGCU and said communication at all levels needs to improve.
“I want to be your friend and build relationships,” he said. “I want to empower students. Anthony is a great man and he said a lot of beautiful things tonight. But he has had his opportunity.
“If we learn how to unite, we can make a lot of things happen.”
Reach Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.