Debates display campaign goals

ASLC presidential candidate junior Katie Patterson (center) responds to a question at the first election debate Feb. 28. Her opponent, junior Rachel Coffey, and vice presidential candidate Bradley Keliinoi listen to her reply. Photo by Christine Fujiki, for the Review

ASLC presidential candidate junior Katie Patterson (center) responds to a question at the first election debate Feb. 28. Her opponent, junior Rachel Coffey, and vice presidential candidate Bradley Keliinoi listen to her reply. Photo by Christine Fujiki, for the Review

The three Associated Students of Linfield College presidential and vice presidential candidates relayed their campaign goals during an elections debate on Feb. 28 in the Fred Meyer Lounge. The hour-long debate was open to all, but only a few students outside of Senate attended the event.

A panel of judges comprising ASLC President senior Colin Jones, Secretary senior Sophie Larson and Dan Fergueson, director of college activities, asked questions pertaining to the candidates’ goals and presented hypothetical situations for the candidates to analyze. The judges also read written questions from the audience. The candidates had one minute to formulate their answers.

After a brief introduction by each candidate, presidential candidate junior Katie Patterson began the debate by stating her goals for the year if elected to office.

She said that she wants to work toward getting a student center, add more intramural sports and possibly establish a Cabinet radio show on Linfield’s student radio station, KSLC 90.3 FM, so that officers are more widely known and recognized.

Vice presidential candidate Bradley Keliinoi said that he wants to increase Senate representation and communication. One way he said he would do this is by sending out a single constituency report to the entire campus.

“Even though I am running unopposed, I want students to know that they still have a choice,” Keliinoi said. “But I would have loved to run against someone else, and I am just as motivated and dedicated.”

Presidential candidate junior Rachel Coffey said that she wants to improve communication between faculty, students and administration. She also said that a monthly report to students from Senate would help set the Linfield community’s tone.

Coffey said that she felt her goals are the most important because they are broad and encompass many of Patterson’s goals. She said she wants to keep everyone in the loop.

“I think I have shown students that I want to represent them and get things done for them,” Coffey said. “All of the candidates are talented, but I think I can do better [than Patterson] because I am well-rounded and have the capability to give a good reflection of the student body.”

Patterson responded by saying that a good president requires good communication skills like herself. And she said that she is already involved in a committee that is working toward a student center. Other goals are to include Cabinet notes in The Linfield Review and work to improve Homecoming.

Next, the candidates were asked about their positions on Greek Life and campus relations.

Keliinoi said that he plans to reach groups that are not always represented through Senate, such as Greek Life.

Patterson, who had a role in a recent ASLC bylaws proposal, said that if passed, the new proposal will formally include Greek Life in Senate. She said that she wants everyone to have the opportunity to be heard.

Coffey said that as a member of Greek Life, she wants to help merge the two bodies so they can work together to help build a feeling of community.

Another question that the candidates answered was about their positions on the new ASLC bylaws proposal.

Patterson said that she supports part of the proposal. She said that she agrees with the reorganization of Senate but does not agree with the Cabinet proposal and urged students not to vote for it.

Keliinoi said he thought the proposals were too rushed and that more time is necessary to reach a decision. Coffey said that she supports the restructuring of Senate and that the Cabinet restructure is a good idea in theory. But it needs to be worked on more, she said.

Other questions asked of the candidates included theoretical situations with faculty and students, including factors that come into play with committee and Senate chairs, what they would have done differently from the current president and vice president and what they view as the best and worst parts of the positions.

“I think it [the debate] went really well — smoother than I expected,” Patterson said. “No one froze up, and everyone had solid answers and was obviously prepared.”

The next ASLC election debate, or “Fireside Chats,” will take place March 7 after the Senate meeting. The general election will take place online March 8.

For the full list of campaigning events, visit www.linfield.edu/aslc/elections.html.


Jessica Prokop, news editor linfieldreview@gmail.com

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