As the election nears, candidates for next year’s president and vice president of ASG took advantage of their last opportunity to speak about their platform in a formal setting.
In front of a crowd of around 60, the candidates answered questions submitted by the public Tuesday night in an event hosted by the ASG Election Commission.
“It was really nice to hear them speak publically again,” said Weinberg freshman Jonathan Wrobel, a member of Hinkle and Harlow’s campaign.
McCormick junior Christina Kim and SESP junior Chris Harlow squared off for the first hour as the candidates for executive vice president, while their running mates for president Weinberg junior Noah Star and Medill junior Haley Hinkle respectively debated the second hour.
“I think ASG has a lot of potential,” Harlow said in his opening statement. “When all of our members work in one direction, we have a lot of opportunity to achieve a lot of great things.”
In contrast, Kim acknowledged some of the shortcomings of ASG, but expressed equal optimism for the future.
“I think there are a lot of a lot of people in the same room who want to actually create change and start advocating for more communities," Kim said. "But I don’t think there’s was a clear structure on how to do that, and that’s where I would like to see ASG move forward."
Both sides listed off successful projects they had completed in the past. Last year, Kim helped to design and implement CourseDJ, a web application that helps students plan their class schedules. Harlow cited his work improving mental health on campus with NU Active Minds and NU Listens.
When asked about the divestment resolution last quarter, both vice presidential candidates said they would have voted in favor of NU Divest, while both presidential candidates declined to publicly choose a side.
“I’m still grappling with my understanding of this discussion at the international level,” Hinkle said. “I can’t comfortably stand behind one side of the issue or the other.”
Star stressed the importance of impartiality in an arbiter role.
“To give my perspective on the debate would the legislative decision and put attention on me,” Star said. “That’s totally antithetical.”
From the beginning, Star described his desire to help reinvent the purpose and effectiveness of ASG.
“What ASG truly needs is a healthy dose of humility, and with that humility comes a focus,” Star said. “With that focus we can maneuver, and when we can maneuver that means we’re actually representing students.”
Hinkle focused more on her interactions with student groups and improving the responsiveness of ASG to their needs.
“We in ASG are uniquely positioned to raise up student voices," Hinkle said. “We’re constantly evolving the way we think about how we’re accountable.”
Towards the end of the debate, both presidential candidates recognized the opposition's successes.
“You guys are running a tight organized ship,” Star said. “It’s amazing to see the way you’ve inspired the people on your team to get out there and help you out.”
Hinkle acknowledged the efforts of her opponents to bring outside perspectives to student government.
“The way you guys have tried to bring something refreshing to ASG and tried to bring this idea of how do we really take a step back and recognize what other students are doing,” Hinkle said. “That’s something that’s been incredibly inspiring to me.”
Polling will open at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 9 and close 24 hours later at 5 p.m. the next day. University administration will send an email when polls open with the link for website where students can vote.