The final debate

ASWSU presidential candidates voiced their resolve for the WSU student body Thursday during the final election debate.

Sophomore Ben Wineman, host of Wake Up Wazzu, moderated. The debate covered an array of topics that involved different aspects of the student body.

“To me, ASWSU really starts at the beginning of the college experience,” said Jared Powell, ASWSU presidential candidate.

The candidates were first asked what ASWSU is and what they plan to do if elected.

Shawn Santomassimo, vice presidential candidate and running mate of Marrisa Hice, said that reviewing the ASWSU website and releasing the senate agendas to the main website would help to keep students informed.

Powell and running mate LaKecia Farmer said they want to bring the student body together through Alive! and other events. Hice and Santomassimo rebutted, arguing that it is impossible to create such cohesion between so many students and stated advocacy for all the different groups is more effective.

“To achieve a goal of unity of 20,000 people, we feel that isn’t realistic,” Hice said. “We want to appreciate those differences because people are involved in different things and have different interests and groups who they hang out with.”

Powell and Farmer discussed changing a perception that WSU is not challenging or rigorous enough.

“We want to find some uniformity in those UCORE classes. Students taking PoliSci 101, they shouldn’t have a different syllabus by semester or by professor,” Powell said. “We don’t want professor to affect the difficulty of the class. We want all classes in that UCORE level to be kind of similar.”

Both tickets were asked about how ASWSU could improve relations with the residence halls and the Resident Hall Association.

Hice and Santomassimo said communication between the two groups has been lacking for some time, and reaching out along with advocacy could help strengthen that bond.

“One thing we’re going to try this first semester is to have one meeting a semester of ASWSU senate in a residence hall so the students don’t have to go out of their way to find out what it is we’re doing or what it is we’re talking about because a lot of our stuff does pertain to them,” Hice said. “Coming to them with that information will help a lot with bridging that gap in communication.”

The tickets were finally asked about how they could increase support and pride for the women’s sports.

“I play on the rugby team, and it’s kind of sometimes disappointing when you don’t have that team pride there supporting you, especially when you are a national champion or undefeated,” Farmer said. “Something we can do is combine ZZU CRU and ASWSU, making sure they go to our club sports, women’s sports, and giving them the incentives to really make a presence.”

Many students turned out for the debate, bringing support for both tickets.

“I’ve never really gone to a debate like this. They covered a lot. Had I not gone to this I would have not known their names or what they were running for,” attendee Madeline Johnson said.

When the debate came to a close, both tickets expressed what really matters to them: the students.

“We’re not doing this for us, we’re doing it for the Cougs,” Hice said.