Medill junior Matt Bellassai and Weinberg junior Austin Young squared off at the ASG presidential debate Monday night before about 20 people in Fisk 217.
The presentation followed a familiar pattern in this year’s campaign, as points of contention between the two were few and far between, with the only outright disagreement arising over Northwestern’s response to the crisis in Japan following last month’s earthquake and tsunami. Young criticized ASG’s approach to the tragedy, while Bellassai defended Vice President Hiro Kawashima’s outreach to University President Morton Schapiro regarding the matter.
Other than that, Bellassai and Young were in agreement on several pressing issues, as they both support the Living Wage Campaign and suggested campus tours should be modified to highlight the presence of multicultural centers on campus.
“This election is less about the issues than the culture of ASG,” Young said. He touted his experience and connections with a multitude of student groups on campus, while emphasizing his detachment from what he called the “shortcomings” of ASG in recent years.
“We’re looking to change the culture of student government by grounding it in Northwestern,” Young said.
Bellassai, on the other hand, highlighted his experience in senate and on the ASG executive board as major qualifications to represent the student body.
“I’ve seen the problems that come up with ASG on a regular basis, I’ve experienced these issues,” Bellassai said. “I’m ready to apply the lessons I’ve learned right away.”
Online polls for the election open Wednesday.