Overtones of apathy hung in the air yesterday as Loyola hosted the first of two debates between the presidential candidates running in the CSU electoral race.
The debate took place at the Hive, Loyola’s long dilapidated pub space. Fittingly, the issue that raised the most debate among the candidates concerned improving the Loyola campus.
Conscious candidate Svetla Turnin responded that her slate was the first to propose to create a VP Loyola position, a candidate with a permanent presence on Loyola grounds.
Experience candidate Khaleed Juma reiterated his slate’s promise to draw more students to Loyola by extending clubs’ mandates
to include the campus and add more services,
such as revamping the Hive into a sports bar.
ICUPTV’s Jason Gondziola said he agreed that students need a place to decompress at Loyola and proposed to “take all the air out of the building.”
FOCUS’ presidential candidate, Arielle Reid, said all services available on the downtown campus should be made available at Loyola, as well as a team of CSU representatives present on campus.
Justice for Concordia candidate Kurt Blagden agreed Loyola deserved more CSU representation. He said his party would enforce a timely shuttle bus schedule, so students don’t have to “wait in the cold” rather than “using student money” to build a heated bus shelter.
Other problems addressed in the debate included the chronic lack of student involvement in school politics. No one could pinpoint a solution to this problem, which was painfully apparent to Chief Electoral Officer, Danniella Brazel.
“I’m concerned with the lack of interest.maybe five people are here,” said Brazel.
Including the presence one ICUPTV supporter, dressed in a full rabbit outfit, the crowd consisted of about 20 attendees, of which only one was a non-slate affiliated student. Owais Ahmed Chughtai, a biochemistry student, said he came with three friends to catch at least the beginning of the debate.
“We came at 1 p.m. thinking that’s when it started but [my friends] had to leave [to] make it to their 1:15 class.”
Brazel admitted there was a severe lack of communication about the debate.
“It was a failure, especially in terms of Loyola. At least, in terms of SGW, it’s more accessible, [but at Loyola] there really needs to be a space implemented that becomes traditional.”
“Unfortunately, unless the Hive is revamped, this is not going to be a place to hold the debates [in the future],” Brazel concluded.