Presidential candidates address sparse crowd


Student body presidential candidates took the stage in Meharry Hall on Wednesday evening to debate issues for the next academic year before voting began Thursday.
Approximately thirty people attended the debate. Olivia Flores skyped in from Buenos Aires to help her running mate Walker Chance debate Mike Curts and Stefani Cleaver. Each pair had two minutes to answer questions proctored by Majorie Daily, who stood between the two teams. The first question was the only one candidates knew before the debate began. A coin toss determined who answered the first question.
"Why do you want to be student body president and vice president?" Daily asked.
Curts and Cleaver, winning the coin toss, spoke first.
They said in the weeks leading to the debate they spoke to many students in various places on campus. Talking to as many students, Curts and Cleaver said, produces concrete ideas for campus.
Flores' head loomed large over Daily as Chance gave the first half of the opening statement.
"What gets to the heart of me is that students like all of you can meet their potential," Chance said.
The remaining questions came from submissions by students.
Daily asked the candidates how they would better improve relationships between National Pan-Hellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council and Panhellenic Association.
Improving communication between the different greek councils would improve attendance at events and unity on campus, Chance said.
"We want to make sure organizations have a space to meet," Chance said. "Improving communication between organizations is a key point for us."
Curts discussed a plan to highlight one organization per week to get rid of some of the flyer overload students notice on campus. By having one organization in the spotlight for the week, Curts believes attendance to events that otherwise only get attended by members of the organization that put it on could be improved.
DePauw's Student Government created a new position for next year-vice president of Community Relations. Both sets of candidates discussed how they envisioned using the new position to bring Greencastle and DePauw closer together.
"We want to make sure students go out and go to Greencastle community service events. To just know each other more, because that's something we don't have," Cleaver said.
Within DePauw's community, communication needs to become more prevalent in order to move forward to make concrete change.
"All students can work together to build better community and climate, and we look forward to doing that," Flores said.
Daily asked the candidates how, if elected, they would concretely improve the school during their term.
"The student concerns committee its already in place it's there. We need to advertise it better," Chance said.
Chance said he and Flores would make themselves available for students to bring their concerns to them in the new space created for student government in the former Hub.
"The idea that students can come there and discuss ideas they deem pertinent in a safe space," Chance said. "But it was not successful. Having that organizational space will make it more successful."
Curts and Cleaver have a similar method to Chance and Flores, but would openly seek out student opinion.
"Being available isn't necessarily enough. People won't necessarily come up to you," Cleaver said. "That face to face communication will help get the concerns across."
The final question posed to the candidates after approximately a half hour of debate was why they would make a better president and vice president.
"What DePauw needs is two experienced, open leaders," Flores said.
Chance echoed Flores.
"Our goals are very well thought out," Chance said.
Curts and Cleaver had the last word in the debate.
"We're not the only idea people," Curts said. "We can't guarantee that everything you ask for will be put into action, but I can guarantee we will listen."
Voting ends Saturday night.