ASGCU Candidates Have Final Say Before Election
By Doug Carroll
Sincerity but few surprises marked Thursday night’s discussion of campus issues by the three teams running for ASGCU leadership positions in next week’s election.
Billed as a debate, the North Gym event instead was more of a forum, and it quickly became apparent that any of the three candidates for student-body president — junior Amber Christenberry, sophomore Nick Ely and junior Mallory Freeman — would serve capably in 2012-13.
Their running mates for vice president — sophomore Andrew Cuckie, junior Trent Bruns and junior James Prigge, respectively — also demonstrated an ability to connect with their peers and an interest in building positive relationships with administration.
Voting starts on Monday and will continue through Wednesday.
The discussion, attended by a large crowd and moderated by current ASGCU President Anthony Mann and Vice President Ty Kieser, generally was light on specifics from the candidates. But when asked to name just one initiative they’d like to accomplish, the three presidential candidates had answers at the ready.
Freeman mentioned the Student Body Senate of 50 or 60 members that has been a focal point of her campaign. Ely spoke of a text-messaging service that would keep students updated on events and other matters of interest. And Christenberry advocated for a better Facebook presence for GCU’s colleges.
The election is shaping up as a closely contested one, and the three teams have gone all-out on posters and banners across campus. In their opening and closing remarks, the candidates hammered their respective themes.
The Christenberry-Cuckie ticket said it will focus on saving money and simplifying processes for students. Ely and Bruns said they’re about creating a greater sense of community on an ever-growing campus. Freeman and Prigge cited their ASGCU experience as evidence that they know the ropes.
Cuckie wasn’t afraid to offer some ideas that seemed a bit farfetched (free laundry service, putting up taller buildings) and others that were more plausible (a community-service graduation requirement, better Internet access, a two-week rollover plan for meal-card swipes).
The community-service requirement was particularly intriguing. In response to a question from audience member Matt Muchna about “breaking through the fence” to the community, Cuckie said he’d like to see each student made to volunteer 100 hours over four years (25 hours per year).
In contrast, Ely said the answer is to “open the fence and let (the community) in,” noting the successes of annual events such as the Fall Festival and Canyon Cares Christmas. Prigge seemed to agree with both, saying that “if we serve the city, they will serve and respect us back.”
Prigge also came up with the funniest line of the evening, mentioning his experience as a contestant in last week’s “Mr. GCU” contest.
“From that, it’s pretty clear that we have no limits to pleasing students,” he said of himself and Freeman.
Contact Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.