Tuesday, March 5 the Student Government Association
hosted the presedential debate in the Dreyfus University Center Theatre at 5
Presidential candidates Michael Howard and Ryan Specht
and vice presidential candidates Daniel Rawley and David Boardman discussed
topics ranging from financial issues to their favorite places on campus. The
debate was made up of pre-structured questions, as well as questions from the
audience, and lasted about an hour and a half. The event was well-attended, and
many students had questions and input.
“I will be looking for strong leadership qualities and
people who have intimate knowledge of the views of the student body,” said
Charley Greiber, a business administration and economics major at the
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
The candidates seemed to agree on some core issues, the
importance of: hearing the voices of students, staff and faculty alike. Both teams
voiced their desires to find more ways to include students in the government
processes. Candidates took different stances on controversial issues.
“The biggest issue, among many, that we are facing
today is issues of inclusivity and diversity,” Specht said. “I think that this
campus has an excellent opportunity at this moment to surge ahead as a leader
on diversity and inclusivity issues.”
Boardman and Specht went on to talk about how they
would like to work with the Veteran’s Club, nontraditional students and the
Tutoring and Learning Center to help increase and encourage inclusivity and
diversity. Boardman and Specht also wish to continue working with government at
the local, state and national levels.
Rawley and Howard emphasized the idea that the
university should save money by doing its best to work with the programs they
already have and work harder to make sure students are aware of their
opportunities. Howard also mentioned having town hall-like meetings where
students would be welcome to voice their thoughts.
“We need to look at what is the biggest problem, and
from my point of view it is the fact that tuition has risen every year,” Rawley
said. “We need to continue to provide affordable education. Stevens Point has a
great value of education. We need to continue increasing that but find a way to
do it without constantly increasing tuition on our students.”
The proposed smoking ban is another widely discussed
issue that Howard and Rawley do not support.
“We strongly disagree with this. We think that,
frankly, while smoking is bad for your health, it’s also still a right. There
is no reason that we need to ban smoking on campus,” Howard said during the
Howard said, as long as people comply with rules about
staying outside, 15 feet away from the doors, he has no problem with allowing
smoking on campus.
Specht rebutted with his take on the matter.
“My opinion is the opinion of the students,” Specht
said. “Whatever the students vote, that is the action of the student Senate. My
opinion really doesn’t matter on this issue. Whatever the students vote, I will
honor and uphold.”
Students will have the chance to vote on the smoking
ban in the upcoming election.
Boardman and Specht have both had two years of
experience working with SGA and a part of many campus projects such as the
Green Funds and a Diversity Training program.
“Really, what it comes down to is service to the
student body, whether through SGA or the various roles that we play on campus,”
They hope to put their experience to good use in the
presidential and vice presidential office.
“It’s not just experience, it is also dedication to
continue going on,” Specht said. “It’s one thing to have all this experience
sitting around. It’s another thing to take that and then make that apply as you
Howard and Rawley are both freshmen at UWSP. Rawly
feels that he has a lot to offer when it to comes to environmental and
sustainability issues, Howard stated that he is a people person and hopes to
put his social skills to work.
“We felt like we could provide a fresh and unbiased
view to issues of this campus,” Rawley said. “We have been in various
leadership positions before. We are running as middlemen for the students as
someone that they don’t have to be afraid to come and talk to and hear out
their concerns and opinions and transfer that over into some sort of possible
The elections will be held March 15 through March 21.
Ballots will be issued via email to all student accounts.