SoCo Presidential Debate

Hello all!

We are about to begin the South Commons Presidential Debate here soon. We will be liveblogging on here and livetweeting online as well. The debate will be moderated by Editor in Chief of The Miscellany News, Marie Solis.

The candidates are George Beyer and Ann Nguyen.

Nguyen: I have a lot of energy to put into it. My basic motto is friendliness and transperency.

Beyer: My goals as SoCo president would be to expand the accessibility with the VSA. I’m running because I was a member at large at a VSA standing committee and I feel like it could be beneficial for the people.

Solis: A number of your peers, George, were unhappy with the board of elections decision. Why do you think

Beyer: I can understand a lot of the animosity with the position. Some of it stems from the closed doors. It can disenfranchise voters. I have to say that there is not that much I can do about who I am, but I would like to show people who I think I am. I want to interact with the residents of the South Commons.

Solis: Ann, why do you think you are well suited for this position?

Nguyen: I think the most important thing is to have a conversation with the constituents. Being a senior, I think that since I am not devoting myself to a thesis I have the time to interact with the constituents.

Solis: How do will you consider your identity in relation to the representation of your constituents?

Beyer: Any resident has responsibility to be a conduit to other identities, you want to represent the identities of others, the goal shouldn’t be to relay your stance but rather the stance of others

Nguyen: My identity is as a Vassar student. I agree with George that sometimes you identity can pose issues.

Solis: How would you make sure that people of different identities will have their voices be heard?

Nguyen: I’d ask that person what their concerns are and what needs to be represented.

Beyer: you can’t relay someone’s perspective, if you’re unable to make those objectiosn heard then you should prepare the person to make a statement or bring that person to council if they’re willing to have them appreciate their perspective

Solis: Over the year, there will arise concerns and controversies of various natures. What kind of sensitivity would you bring to those issues and how would you address them?

Nguyen: Each issue needs to be dealt with individually. I like to go to those who are more knowledgeable in those areas. I would like to go to persons of authority, my constituents and other Vassar students.

Beyer: The entire campus will have different awarenesses of the issue. As far as being sensitive to the issue, you have to respect that the issue has occurred without upsetting people and you have to be clear with what you are responding to.

Nguyen: You have to respond consciously and coherently.

Beyer: You have to relay that something of a serious nature has happened.

Solis: or some things we don’t get campus wide emails, there are gaps in the admin and they way they are conveying it, how would you respond to that?

Nguyen: If there’s an issue that I feel students should know unless there’s a gag order i feel like students should know, you need to have conversations.

Beyer: You need to meet with admin to convey the importance to them. When you address events on VSA council, it is important. You have to interact with the administration as well.

Nguyen: I believe it is important to go to the administration.

Solis: What are some concerns that might be specific to the SoCos?

Nguyen: I heard that there weren’t many events last year. Something I liked at Joss was study break events. I would just open up my house and bake brownies and have people come over.

Beyer: There are limitations to programming. Our budget is so low. I think it is best that since we can’t hold structured events, it is best to plan mini events through discrestionary and other funds.

Solis: The VSA works with administration to make decisions. While you won’t meet with them daily, how will you interact with that structure that includes you on the VSA?

Beyer: I think the biggest thing with administration is that they consider themselves a larger decision making entity. They come as individuals often so you have to accept that in your job the meetings will not be made for you. You have to reach out to them.

Nguyen: I agree that individual meetings are good. They might care more if you came as an individual.

Solis: Now we have questions from the audience. First, what VSA committees will you be on and why?

Nguyen: Finance and Student Activities. I like all things monetary and I think I have a lot tto contribute when it comes to making sure certain programs get the funding they need.

Beyer: Finance, Academics and Student Life. I’d like to restructure how these meetings take place. I’m passionate about academics because I think we can all benefit from each other.

Solis: What events would you like to plan?

Nguyen: I believe in providing support throughout the year. I’d like to work with the TA’s and TH’s to coordinate those events.

Beyer: This year I’d like to have collaboration with all senior housing areas. There was a panel for life after Vassar that I think should continue. I’d like to see speakers brought in to talk about social issues.

Solis: What issues do you feel passionate about?

Beyer: I’m passionate about majors committees. I think they can be revamped. The students need to be more involved in the VSA and its decisions, continuing programming that benefits everyone.

Nguyen: I’m passionate about science which translates to majors committees and their activities. I’d like to have students be more involved with the school and its evolving policies.

Solis: Those are all of the questions. Now for closing statements.

Nyugen: My motto will always be transparency. My door will always be open.

Beyer: Thank you all for coming. I look forward to this coming year and I think we can plan great events for everyone. Students should be aware of how much power and authority they can have in these decisions made on campus.