Vice presidential candidates debate in midst of SGA election

Chuck Miller/Staff Photographer Fenton freshman and SGA vice presidential canidate Sean Rositano sits answering questions Tuesday evening in the Charles V. Park Library Auditorium as part of the vice presidential debates.

Student Government Association vice  presidential candidates faced off in a debate at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Charles V. Park Library Auditorium, attempting to persuade undecided voters who have yet to vote in the SGA elections.

For the second consecutive debate, Connor Gallagher's and Andrew Clark's ticket did not attend. Both Carleton junior Clark and Warren senior Gallagher were not available for comment.

Moderated by SGA Elections Director and Milford graduate student Christopher Armelagos, the debate featured Alma junior Anna Dvorak, Fenton sophomore Sean Rositano, Schoolcraft sophomore Shane McGoff and Andover senior Scott Cooke.
As in the previous presidential debate, student relevancy and participation was the major talking point. Rositano, running as the vice president with Sparta junior Spencer McKellar, said the SGA under their leadership will be completely open to the students.

"Our platform has an open door policy, and it is literally an open door policy," Rositano said. "The student government office's door will be open to all students under our administration."

Cooke, who is running as vice president with Romeo senior Kevin Richmond, said he believes SGA cannot be relevant if it does not make an effort to reach out to registered student organizations.

"As vice president, I will work closely with the RSO community and make sure that the SGA meets their needs," Cooke said.

McGoff, who is running with Hesperia senior Killian Richeson, said he believes student participation in SGA has been marred by the recently dropped unicameral proposal and suggested revisions to the proposal.

McGoff was also critical of current President Shelby Township senior Vince Cavataio's attempt to reform the bicameral system.

"I believe that any reform to the legislative system must be introduced by the legislative branch," McGoff said. "It is a violation of the executive branch's power to reform the legislative branch single-handedly."

Dvorak, who is running with Macomb junior Justin Gawronski, said she would strive to reform the committees.

"Justin and I have talked in great detail about eliminating the historian position and moving it into the Spirits and Traditions committee," Dvorak said. "We believe that the position would be much more efficient there."

She also said she would be working with the diversity committee to make crucial changes on campus for the transgender community.

"If you are a transgendered student, you cannot change the gender on your student ID," Dvorak said. "I feel that for a tolerant campus, that is unacceptable."

The debate was held in the middle of an ongoing SGA election. The election, open to the entire student body, will also be electing a new treasurer and 16 new senators to the SGA. Students can vote online at until the polls close at midnight Friday.

Armelagos said voter turnout has been remarkably high since the election started Monday.

"The number of students voting is surprisingly high," Armelagos said. "I am not comfortable giving out any specifics, but I can confidently say that students will be shocked when the numbers are revealed."

The new SGA president will be announced at 5 p.m. Monday in the Lake St. Clair Room of the Bovee University Center, with the presidential inauguration being held immediately after.


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