USG candidates debate before upcoming election

Pulse Editor and Pulse Editor

It’s almost time for students to decide on the next Undergraduate Student Government leaders, and one way to get more information on the candidates is to attend the debate Monday night.

Tabitha Timbrook and Alex Solis, the candidates for USG president for next year, will be a part of the debate, as will the vice presidential candidates.

The debate is hosted by the USG procedures and appeals board, selected by USG Chief Administrator Bob McEvoy.

The candidates will each make an opening statement and then they will answer questions. McEvoy, with input from USG Speaker Ben Goldsberry, and the current president and vice president, Emily Ancinec and Rob Orians, came up with the questions for the candidates, McEvoy said.

“The questions are issues that are either things that are currently happening, things we as USG have focused on before and some that are just about general knowledge,” he said. “Anything that could come up during the year could be questions.”

Some of the questions will be specifically for either the vice presidential candidates, the presidential candidates or both, and there will be a chance for rebuttal after each answer, McEvoy said.

After McEvoy’s questions, students will have a chance to ask the candidates questions, followed by closing statements.

“I’m expecting kind of general questions about campus issues and probably a little heated debate,” Solis said.

The candidates will be asked about their platforms, among other things.

“Every year it’s kind of a really good opportunity for issues that aren’t on the candidate’s platforms to come up,” Timbrook said.

The candidates are told of the date of the debate ahead of time to give them a chance to prepare.

“I would say we’re more prepared than ever,” Solis said.

David Neely, a sophomore, is running for vice president alongside him; the two met and planned their strategy for the debate.

“Generally speaking I think our biggest [strategy] is to stay positive,” Solis said.

Not “dancing around the questions” is also important to Solis and Neely, he said.

“We want to highlight our strengths and tell about our weaknesses and meet them head on,” Solis said.

Timbrook and her running mate Jon Zachrich, both juniors, aren’t preparing for the debate, Timbrook said.

“We both feel like we know our stuff,” she said. “We think we should be able to answer things candidly because we’ve already done the groundwork.”

Timbrook hasn’t developed a strategy for the debate, she said.

“Hopefully we’re just able to reach out to people and answer questions to the best of our ability,” Timbrook said.

In previous years, the debate hasn’t brought a good student turnout, but both candidates are hoping it will this year. Solis and Timbrook have been trying to spread the word through social media and word of mouth.

“If we reach out to just one student and tell them about USG and what we plan to do, then I feel like we’ve been successful,” Timbrook said.

The debate can also be an opportunity for students to learn more about USG.

“The point of the debate is to educate the people who may not know about USG,” Solis said.

McEvoy thinks it is really important for students to attend the debate.

“I think that it is important that people realize what is going on and are informed about the candidates,” McEvoy said. “They’re going to be the ones to fight to better BGSU as a whole.”

The debate will take place in Olscamp room 223 at 6 p.m. on Monday.