UOSA candidates answer student questions
Jall Cowasji, The Oklahoma Daily
During Monday’s “Evening with UOSA” candidates for CAC chair and two UOSA presidential tickets were questioned about a smoking ban on campus, their most important platform issue and why they’re qualified to lead the student body.
When asked which platform issue is most important and how the candidates would implement them if elected, presidential candidate Forrest Bennett said he wants to get students involved in UOSA so the administration realizes what a powerful unit it is.
“We can’t do [anything] unless we all stand together,” Bennett said. “We want the administration to notice we are a power.”
To increase involvement, presidential candidate Hannah Morris said her ticket will work to connect with student groups and hear their concerns. They will also encourage co-programming events and creating an environment where student groups can build relationships.
“We want to make every effort possible to reach out to students, to be as transparent as possible, and by building those relationships and connecting with [students]… we can create things together on campus,” Morris said.
Morris’ running mate and vice presidential candidate Laura Bock said her campaign hopes to increase the visibility of UOSA and student groups. They also want to speak with students and figure out their needs.
The Bennett campaign is centered on two main ideas — increasing student involvement in UOSA and improving communication with the student body, vice presidential candidate Katherine Borgerding said.
If elected, they would create a South Oval Office for Bennett where he would meet with students and hear their concerns, Borgerding said.
They would also create an online forum where students could voice concerns and read about what UOSA is doing.
CAC candidates Bridgitte Castorino, Greg Emde and Melissa Mock also fielded questions.
All three expressed an interest in expanding existing programs like CAC Crew, fundraising workshops and co-programming efforts as ways to strengthen CAC.
“[CAC] is utilizing your activities fees for you,” Castorino said to the audience. “We want to help you out and create these events for you.”
Both Bennett and Morris seemed to agree the issue of a smoking ban will take cooperation from more than just the student body. Bennett cited resistance from faculty members as a key reason why progress hasn’t been made.
Both candidates said they would work on the issue if students voiced a large concern but neither indicated it was a major issue.
University college freshman Tyler Campbell said he already knew which candidate would get his vote for CAC chair, and that he has been campaigning for said candidate.
“I came because I wanted to get to know the candidates more, listen to their platforms and have an idea of what they want to do next year if they win,” Campbell said.
The discussion was held in Walker Center and hosted by Walker Center Faculty-in-Residence and Center Middle Eastern Studies director Joshua Landis.
Landis asked candidates questions that had been submitted prior to the event.
Psychology sophomore Kelsey Kuehn wasn’t sure who she was going to vote for when she came to the forum.
“I think it gave me some direction. I’ll probably have to check out their campaign websites and read all of their points,” Kuehn said. “I think just being able to hear their campaign platforms helped a lot.”
UOSA president, vice president
» Forrest Bennett, Katherine Borgerding
» Hannah Morris, Laura Bock
Campus Activities Council chair
» Bridgitte Castorino
» Greg Emde
» Melissa Mock
— Carmen Forman contributed to this report