The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Student involvement a topic at elections debate

The student government executive branch candidates debated among each other in front of an audience estimated at about 30 students.

The debate took place in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union University Ballroom.

The three Student Senate members currently running for student body president are

Tommy Nierman, a junior business management major, Alex Boyd, a sophomore political science major, and Ed Hotwagner, a senior math education major.

Matt Boyd, a senior elementary education major, said the debate was informative for him. He said he is confident in the candidates running, and hopes they will continue to get students involved in the student government.

“There weren’t any new students involved in this,” Matt Boyd said. “It seems like that’s the goal, but when’s it gonna happen?”

The audience members asked several questions and the recurring topic was general student involvement in regards to the student government.

“Some of my goals for presidency are to put stronger emphasis on new student leadership to help incoming students get involved early on,” Nierman said.

A major part of reaching students is going on campus and asking questions, Nierman said

“There are many people out here who don’t know that we have student government, and those that do don’t know what we do as a student government,” Alex Boyd said.

The student body president cannot do everything alone-it is a team effort, Hotwagner said.

“While I do have a love for this school and a love for athletics and for school spirit and being at games, one person isn’t enough,” Hotwagner said. “You’re going to need to collaborate with other groups and other people to make things happen.”

Student Body President Michelle Murphy said all of the candidates did well during the debate, despite some not having much public speaking experience.

“I know that it’s hard to answer questions on the spot, so I give them credit for being able to do that,” Murphy said.

Bobbie Mitchell, the director of the election commission, said he is happy to see new faces running for executive branch offices.

He said historically students who have run for executive branch positions are involved in the Greek community or the student government, but this year there is a more diversified group running.

“I really think we have some qualified people, and the biggest thing, I think, is that most of the candidates are very honest in the fact that they do want to change some things,” Mitchell said. “I just hope that actually happens this time around.”

Murphy said she said she wished more students had attended the debate. She also said she wanted students to vote for a person who best represents the individual.

“If there’s somebody that your views align with better, that’s who you need to get behind,” Murphy said. “It’s not about who’s the coolest or who your friend is. It’s a huge job and you’ve got to take it seriously and speak for you. Be educated.”

Mitchell, a senior communication studies major, also said he would like for students who did not go to the debate to try to stay informed and get involved.

“I think that a lot of times people get too distracted with what Greek house (the candidates) come out of or if they’re an independent or running with a party,” Mitchell said. “I think a mixed bag of all the ideas is probably ideal to a good student government.”

The candidates for the student executive vice president, student vice president for student affairs, student vice president for business affairs and student vice president for academic affairs were also given time to speak during the election.

Student government elections will take place online, beginning Monday; election results will be announced during the Student Senate’s April 20 meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Arcola-Tuscola Room in the Martin King Jr. University Union.

Kacie Berry can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]

Student involvement a topic at elections debate

Student involvement a topic at elections debate

Ed Hotwagner, a senior math major, speaks during the student body president debate Tuesday in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union’s University Ballroom. Hotwagner debated against Tommy Nierman, a junior management major, and Alex Boyd, a sophomo


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