Debate leaves questions unanswered

N-Presidential-Debate Colby Patterson
Vision candidates Justin Spangler (junior in information systems) and Madison Black (junior in biochemical engineering) at the debate Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Chris Ayers.

Vision candidates
Justin Spangler
(junior in information systems)
and Madison
Black (junior
in biochemical
engineering) at the debate Tuesday
afternoon. Photo by Chris Ayers.

When the clock struck 12 on Tuesday, ASUU did not turn into a pumpkin — they held the presidential debate for the general elections instead. Both parties addressed their platforms and plans if elected.

“Because of my time served in a similar role, we could hit the ground running,” said Mike Bird, the presidential candidate for Team Unite.

The candidates were asked a range of questions from Pac-12 involvement to their own definitions of diversity.
“We’re actually hearing the student voice and not just coming up with ideas that we think everyone wants,” said Justin Spangler, the Vision Party’s presidential candidate.

Both parties want students to get involved in ASUU and on campus. They said there are many different ways to do so.
“Getting involved is a fun thing that not everyone is always as excited as other people to do,” Bird said.

Both parties also complimented each other in the debate. Bird said Spangler was the “nicest person you’ve ever met.” And Spangler reciprocated — he said Bird was level-headed.

The Vision Party and Team Unite expressed a desire for students to get a full university experience while at the U.

“Since I got to this university, I was given countless opportunities. The U has given me a really great experience,” said Madison Black, the vice presidential candidate for the Vision Party. “Not only will I get a degree, I will get an education, and I want others to get the same kind of experience.”

Carter Bruett, a freshman in biology and a candidate for Team Unite, asked what the candidates would do, if elected, to end sexual assaults on campus. Both parties admitted to not having an answer. Black and Ashley Newhall, the vice presidential candidate for Team Unite, said they hope to be more aware of campus resources.

The lecture room in the Hinckley Institute of Politics was filled with supporters of both parties, but when speaking, the candidates addressed the student body as a whole.

“We both have things we want to accomplish, and we both want to represent all of you,” Black said.

General elections end on Thursday at 10 p.m. Students can vote online or in the Marriott Library Plaza.

k.johnson@chronicle.utah.edu