Debating the future of ASG

Student body presidential candidates debate as polling opens

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The overuse of executive orders, a vice president candidate’s inexperience and financial responsibility were only a handful of topics discussed at the Associated Student Government debate.

The campaigns of Ben Linzey/Gabby Gile and Carly Hanley/Libby Bierbaum fielded questions on Wednesday for the first and only debate on CMU-TV. The vice presidential candidates spoke first and were then followed by the presidential candidates.

For current ASG President Linzey, the first question he faced was about how his predecessor, Josh Dillinger. The Dillinger administration was criticized for overusing their power and executive orders.

Linzey stated that in his time as president that his executive orders were used as a backup plan and also to obtain closer interactions with the student body.

“The first executive order I made was for press conferences for every Friday,” Linzey said. “I think it is a starting point for students to be more open for ASG to be on campus.”

Linzey also said other executive orders were related to the limited time the senate had to vote on allocations.

Hanley responded that if she is elected president that she will use her power to help the students.

“Anything that I would ever do to override the senate or to override the students would be for the best of the majority of students,” Hanley said.

Gile also had to answer a question about Dillinger. While she believes the previous administration was overreaching in their power, she thinks Linzey’s time in office shows the complete opposite.

“Having Ben as president came out to be a real blessing for CMU,” Gile said. “Ben is very cognizant to make executive decisions as a whole.”

Gile was also asked about her inexperience as she has been a senator for only one semester. While she admits that she does not have the experience, she believes that her work ethic shows she is prepared for the position.

“I am a very dedicated individual,” Gile said. “I have given my heart and soul to ASG over the past semester.”

Gile also pointed out that she has not missed a meeting and has attended all of her office hours.

On the other side, Bierbaum has the experience as she has been a senator for two years. During her time she has worked alongside the legislative and executive branches and has helped change the bylaws.

“My strength in internal documents helps me be aware of all the rules and how things are run,” Bierbaum said.

The topic of fiscal responsibility was also brought up as the question related to ASG’s past of going over budget.

Linzey said one way the senate has been financially responsible is how they cut the budget by 30 percent.

Hanley proposed another way ASG can be effective in their finances is by electing senators passionate about money matters. Her goal is to have enough money to help different clubs and organizations to go to educational conferences.

“We want to help the students,” Hanley said. “We are passionate that you go to that conference to better your education and to come back and bring those things to CMU, but that there is enough [money] to go around so that other clubs can do the same.”

With both campaigns being about inclusiveness, Hanley and Linzey were asked how their campaigns were different. Hanley said, for her, she wants students, who are in clubs or organizations to come to her directly and talk.

Linzey said his campaign’s goal is for students to be involved in one activity. He listed being in an athletic program, religious group or club as an option for incoming students.

Friday is the last day to vote. Students can either vote on Orgsync or can vote on the first floor of the University Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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