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The final Student Senate Debate in Walter Hall at Ohio University, Athens, March 28, 2024.

Second student senate debate discusses campaign platforms, goals

The second presidential senate debate took place Thursday to allow the tickets to discuss their platforms, goals, leadership styles and initiatives. 

The Senate’s Judicial Panel, Executive Justice Grace Jarchow, a junior studying sociology pre-law, and Associate Justice Cara Watson, a freshman studying sociology pre-law, mediated the questions. Each ticket was asked to share their three most important platform points. 

Isaac Davis, running for president, Ayshni Tandon, running for vice president and Hunter Price, are the Davis-Tandon-Price ticket. Their platform is based on the acronym B.O.R.G., which stands for better dorm amenities, open governance, reducing barriers and good times.

Tandon said the most important point for the Davis-Tandon-Price ticket is increasing accessibility on campus. The second point is adding a three-strike policy before getting fined for on-campus parking. 

“Parking tickets can be not only a financial barrier, but walking is not an option for a lot of students, whether that's because of a disability or that's because of the time or that's because you just live too far from campus,” she said.

Davis said the third point is maintaining good governance, specifically within the Senate. The good governance point includes documenting Senator’s votes at weekly meetings, so students can see how their representatives cast their votes. Also, Davis’ ticket wants to add open forum town halls where students can speak directly to representatives. 

“I think that’s valuable for transparency, and also just increasing ways for students to interact with us,” he said.

Kiandra Martin, who is running for president without any other running mates, said her most important platform point is reducing barriers within the Senate and students on campus. She emphasized wanting to reach out to every student on campus and hear from them. 

“There is a large gap in between what we do here (in Senate) and students knowing and being involved with that,” Martin said. 

Another point Martin made is increasing engagement within the Senate and around campus. 

“I want this campus to be like a family,” she said. “I feel like with all the different people on this campus, there's no reason that we shouldn't be able to enjoy that.”

Her last point was advocating for students’ mental health needs. She expressed how she has struggled with maintaining her mental health in the past, and she wants to help students find resources to help those who feel similarly.  

Reagan Farmer, who is running for president and is a part of the Unity ticket, which also consists of Dan Gordillo, running for vice president, Johnny Susany, running for treasurer, Luke Vannus, for SAC delegate, Aidan Kirk, for residence life senator, and Luke Hensel, for residence life senator, said her ticket’s most important point is increasing safety on campus. She said the executive team is pledging to a safety walk with facilities and administration to see the areas on campus that need additional lighting. 

Additionally, Farmer said she wants to continue the AED, or automated external defibrillators,  project – adding AEDs to all residential greens. She said that’s why having Kirk and Hensel on the Unity ticket is imperative to ensure they will focus on continuing that project. 

Gordillo said the second point for the Unity ticket is increasing funding for student organizations. He said even with increasing student enrollment, SAC funding has not increased. He said having Vannus and Farmer, who is the current Senate treasurer, on the Unity ticket is important in effectively advocating for more money going toward students. 

“There's been a 30% student body increase, however, a 0% increase for money available to clubs,” he said. “On top of that, too this country has been rocked by inflation. Prices have gone up and there's more people, but money stays the same.” 

Susany said the last point of Unity’s ticket addresses the printing and laundry fees for students living in student housing. 

Each ticket was then asked to talk about additional platform points, to which Martin responded by reiterating her mission to reduce the barriers in the Senate, and that everyone involved with the Senate has the same goal. 

Farmer said she would like to focus on the attainable goals already in the works by senate members. 

“If students have additional concerns, we have the Bobcat grievance form where they can voice those to us,” Farmer said. “ I'm the representative and the voice of the students and your opinion on that is what truly matters.”

Davis expanded more on B.O.R.G. and addressed those points. He said it’s important for students to have access to communal cleaning supplies in dorms. Also, he said to reduce laundry costs, he proposed allowing students to use Flex Points for laundry.

Tandon noted another point is allowing registered guests to visit residence halls during Halloween weekend without paying a $50 fee. She said the fee could be a financial barrier. Also, implementing a noise-compliant warning for most registered off-campus gatherings. Tandon said the warning allows students the chance to fix their behavior before they get arrested. 

Farmer, Gordillo and Susany all took turns speaking about what safety means for the Unity ticket. Farmer said, that although she has never felt unsafe on campus, she knows some students have felt unsafe. She emphasized the importance of listening to other students' voices and experiences. 

“We will absolutely work to attain the textbook definition of safety even if in our deepest corners of our hearts we know that, at the end of the day, it will always be a smidge below that technical definition, but it's still a good goal and we will always be working toward that,” Gordillo said. 

Davis said student engagement will increase once the Davis-Tandon-Price ticket implements the open governance policies. He said the opportunity of having open forums will make students feel like their student representative cares about about their needs. 

Martin said one of the reasons she is running for president is because students outside of the Student Senate don’t realize Senate members are resources. 

“Our main reason to be here is to hear out student voices,” she said. “To hear out what the students have to say about this campus, and what we can change and how we can make worthwhile their $30,000 that they're paying to go to school here to be the best that it could absolutely be.”

Next, the tickets discussed diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

Davis emphasized that attaining a diverse group of Senate members is essential to fully recognizing all students. He said it’s important for the Senate members to be present so the Senate can better represent students. 

Martin said the forefront of her campaign is addressing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. She said a lot of Black students go to college because of admissions and scholarships and those are being limited or taken away. She said she wants to be the voice for anybody and any community. 

All tickets answered questions presented by students, one was specifically for the Davis-Tandon-Price ticket regarding the relationship between Davis and Tandon and how they ensure the Senate would run smoothly if a breakup occurred. 

Davis said if he and Tandon broke up, he believed they could still maintain a mature and good work relationship. Tandon said she and Davis’ relationship has not interfered with any of their professional endeavors thus far.

Another student question for all candidates was what makes a great leader.

While all candidates focused on aspects of communication, Farmer focused on leading by example, Martin focused on personability and Davis focused on character. 

Following the debate each presidential candidate said they were excited, and looking forward to the election on April 2, each confident in their campaign. 


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