USG candidates discuss platform topics
Published: Sunday, April 11, 2010
Updated: Saturday, June 16, 2012 02:06
Who do you plan to vote for USG President?
The time has come for Ohio State's Undergraduate Student Government elections, and on Friday, the presidential and vice presidential candidates visited The Lantern newsroom to discuss their platform topics and other popular issues.
For this year's election, it is a battle of the sexes, with two males against two females. Presidential candidate Micah Kamrass, a third-year in political science and economics, and vice presidential candidate Brad Pyle, a third-year in the Fisher College of Business, are opposing presidential candidate Jordan Davis, a fourth-year in political science and leadership studies, and vice presidential candidate Ashley Sinram, a third-year studying international studies.
Campus Safety Concerns
Both teams addressed the importance of student safety and both want to work to revamp Crime Alerts and Buckeye Alerts, which are "opt-in" systems that send city and campus emergency updates through e-mail and text.
Davis and Sinram want the alert system to be available on Buckeye Link, so students can easily sign up for the system and manage different features.
Davis, current USG vice president, worked this year with the Buckeye Action Network, a USG program that allows for discussion of political issues that affect OSU students. The candidates want to expand this program to allow more information about crime and security to be given to students.
When campus emergencies occur, "bits and pieces of information get distorted, and it creates kind of this panic and fear," Sinram said. In regard to the Buckeye Action Network resource, Sinram said,
"The opportunity to give clear-cut information to students that request it is something that could definitely improve the information about security on campus."
Davis and Sinram also want self-defense classes to be accessible to all students, and they want to better publicize the public safety Web site to inform students of crime tips.
Kamrass and Pyle want to initiate an alert system that students are automatically enrolled in but can opt out of. They also want to change the program to immediately alert students to avoid certain areas, if needed.
"Safety should be the No. 1 priority for students here on campus, and we should do everything we can to communicate the safety issues with them," Kamrass said.
In their campus safety platform, Kamrass and Pyle also want to add more emergency blue lights in the off-campus area and educate students on theft-prevention strategies.
OSU Campus Smoking Ban
When President E. Gordon Gee visited the Lantern newsroom April 6 to discuss university issues, he said he is in favor of a smoking ban and would approve it if a proposal were brought to him. The candidates discussed their stance on the issue.
Kamrass and Pyle said if a policy came forward, they would make sure there are primary areas of campus where smoking is not allowed, but they would maintain areas on campus where smoking can still exist.
"I think that smoking is something that a lot of students are passionate about one way or the other," Kamrass said. "What's important is that the student government find a way to advocate for all students' interests."
During the 2006-2007 school year, the smoking ban was an issue USG discussed. Davis said her stance then and now is that she is very much against it because it is the freedom of the students to be able to smoke on campus.
Students are "mature enough to know where and when it's appropriate to smoke, and they should be able to outside," she said.
Library and Study Space Availability
With the opening of the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library and the Ohio Union, the candidates all agreed it is important to maximize the use of the new facilities and make sure students have available space for studying.
The Kamrass/Pyle ticket wants to push for Thompson Library to be open 24 hours. College students have very different schedules, so it's important that they are able to study in Thompson Library no matter what hours they keep, Kamrass said.
They also want to form a stronger partnership with the Columbus Metropolitan Library to increase resource availability to OSU students.
However, Davis/Sinram feel differently. They think having Thompson Library open 24 hours would be great, but they understand the money to accommodate the extra staffing and other expenses isn't available.
Instead of focusing on library study spaces, Davis and Sinram want to utilize study spaces that OSU already has in the RPAC, residence halls and classrooms. It's about being creative with the space we already have on campus, Sinram said.
STOP Program Concerns
Both teams want to make changes to the Stop Teenage Opportunity To Purchase program, an underage drinking law enforcement project administered by the Franklin County Sheriff's office.