Downtown candidates outline platforms in debate

The Associated Students of Arizona State University Downtown hosted a debate Tuesday night for the two presidential tickets to voice their platforms before the Apr. 6 and 7 election.

Presidential candidate Andres Cano and his running mate Vaughn Hillyard, both journalism freshmen, are running against Christian Vasquez, a junior sociology and psychology major, and Jessica Abercrombie, a journalism freshman, to become the next leader of the Downtown campus.

Cano and Hillyard are running on a platform to improve safety around campus and pedestrian crosswalks nearby, help students find financial aid and scholarships that work for them, and create more dining options with M&G.

“Vaughn and I know that an effective student government will play a significant role in advancing the progress of our growing campus,” Cano said. “We have the experience and vision necessary to move ASASUD in a new direction.”

Vasquez and Abercrombie said they are seeking to increase student involvement on campus, create more visibility to scholarship and financial aid options and make the student government more accessible.

“We have tangible goals,” Vasquez said. “People will be able to notice their government. We can make a campus students are proud to attend.”

Professor David Wells, from the School of Letters and Sciences, moderated the debate.

“People can get an idea for what the candidates stand for and then make a good decision as to whether Andres or Christian will make a better president,” Wells said.

Students in attendance submitted questions, asking about how the candidates feel it would be best to get students involved, if they would have the time to commit to a leadership role and how they would handle representing the campus.

“The Downtown president role is not something to be taken easily, but we are up for it,” Cano said in response to a question regarding how he would balance being part of the campus, University and city.

When asked about how to ensure student needs are put before administration needs, Vasquez said he would “always put students first, no matter what. Always listen to them. Listen to what the entire campus wants and what the entire campus needs.”

Emily Spahn, a member of the ASASUD judiciary board and a health promotion freshman, said Vasquez has a strong background in the field that he’s in as a leader for the judiciary board.

“He has a lot of experience and leadership qualities that I think he’d bring forth to make a good president,” she said.

Stacy Gollinger, a journalism freshman, helped hand out information about the Cano and Hillyard campaign on Taylor Mall.

“I think they have a lot of great ideas for the campus. Their goal is to create a community that can grow and last and flourish here in downtown Phoenix,” she said.

The ASASUD Elections committee organized the official event to promote voting in next week’s election, said committee chair Olga Lykhvar, a nonprofit leadership and management senior.

“We organized the event so students can see both perspectives and see each platform,” said Lykhvar. “These candidates are going to be representing the students and students should be educated about it.”

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