Candidates make their cases

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The ASWSU presidential tickets elaborated on their plans for handling campus issues like sexual assault prevention and protecting undocumented students at a debate on Sunday in the CUB Senior Ballroom.

Presidential candidates Zachary Anders and Jordan Frost sat before about 275 students with their running mates, Kai Amos and Garrett Kalt, during the two-hour debate moderated by communication students Kyle Simchuk and Taylor Graham.

When asked about making WSU a sanctuary campus, Frost noted Gov. Jay Inslee’s recent executive order making Washington a sanctuary state, which subsequently makes WSU a sanctuary campus.

If WSU were asked to turn over a list of undocumented students to the federal government, Frost said “we as a state, we as a university will not comply with those orders.”

“These are students who came here just like you and I,” he added, “and they are trying to get an education just like all of us.”

Anders said he believed the posters circulated around campus encouraging students to report undocumented immigrants were hate speech. Amos said these issues needed to be a conversation before the posters appeared. Undocumented students have as much of a right to an education as any of us, Anders said.

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“These are our friends,” he said.

Both tickets have said they take sexual assault very seriously as a campus issue. As an ASWSU senator, Kalt wrote three resolutions centered on issues of sexual assault. Two of these resolutions have already passed through the Senate.

“We can’t talk about sexual assault awareness anymore, because we’re all aware,” Frost said. “We need to start talking about sexual assault prevention.”

Frost and Kalt said they intend to create a new executive position in their administration dedicated to ensuring campus safety.

Anders said WSU needs to take models from other schools to enact a prevention plan.

“We need the university’s dollars backing staffing, backing workshops and backing programs to provide a stability behind [sexual assault prevention],” he said.

Amos said “Booze, Sex and Reality Checks” was a failed attempt at bringing awareness to begin the discussion.

“That’s something that needs to be implemented throughout the entire four years here at Washington State University to have that at the front of everyone’s mind,” Amos said.

Concerning the number of ASWSU election violation allegations filed against both candidates and by both candidates, Anders acknowledged the relationship between the two campaigns got off to a “rocky start.”

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Frost said he wished there was a more open dialogue between the two tickets during the campaign to discuss how they were going to treat one another ahead of time.

At the end of the debate, similar to the third U.S. presidential debate last fall, both candidates were asked to say something they like about their opponent.

Anders said Frost was his residence adviser and has always been a role model to him. Frost said he is impressed by Anders’s courage to run for this position as a sophomore.

“We have nothing but the utmost respect for each other,” Anders said.