Ahead of the Nov. 30 election, candidates for student body president and vice president duked it out in Crawford Hall on Tuesday night. The candidates discussed their platforms in front of an audience of both students and administration, debating school spirit and the recent budget cuts among other issues.
PHOTO COURTESY OF KASSEL FRANCO GARIBAY
Junior Senator and presidential candidate Alessandra Le Pera—whose running mate is Chris Zanardi, who is also a junior senator, but could not be present at the debate due to an exam—started off the debate. Her platform centers around increasing visibility of Student Government on campus via increased online resources. Additionally, Le Pera plans to focus on improving and expanding Title IX resources on campus, saying, “I’ve heard a lot of people complain about the way Title IX issues are handled. People have to live with their rapists, and that is not okay and it is not fair.”
Sophomore Senator Cassie Allen, running for president, and her running mate Tim Jinks (‘21), have built their platform around increasing school spirit and student engagement on campus, with a major plank being the return of big-name concerts to Drew every fall semester. Allen asserts that the concerts will provide a much-needed morale boost at a time when student stress levels tend to rise. The ticket will also focus on reforming policing on campus by pushing for residence hall door access to correspond with quiet hours, as well as continuing to improve student relations with Public Safety.
Vincent Costa (‘20) is running as an outsider candidate for president, with first-year Senator Marwa Elessawy as his vice presidential running mate. Costa has used his status as the only presidential candidate who is not a member of Student Government to position himself as a supporter of greater transparency and interaction between Student Government and the student body. His pick of a first-year senator as vice president emphasizes his focus on greater inclusion of underclassmen in his cabinet, as well as his platform plank of increasing student engagement and knowledge of Student Government activities.
Students who attended the debate generally left with positive impressions of the candidates, but some felt that they did not differ enough on the issues. “Each candidate was able to acknowledge the different problems associated with campus life at Drew...however, they seemed to be overlapping and building off of each other’s ideas which made them sound repetitive,” said Raquel Cabrera (‘21). Students will decide the outcome of the election on Friday, Nov. 30.