By Jonah Svihus /// Senior Staff Writer
For a recap of the presidential debate, click here.
With the future of the school’s student government at stake, the 2016 Associated Students of Lewis & Clark (ASLC) Cabinet debates occurred on March 16.
About 40 people attended the event. The theme from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl set the stage for the debates.
The Chief Justice candidates were the first to debate, with the candidates for President coming later. Jack Levin ’19 and Jiayan Sheng ’18 were physically present for the debate while Noah Jurkiewicz ’18 was present through Skype conference.
One point made by Levin was the desire for greater student freedom.
“Each individual has the right to make their own decisions, unless it affects the life of other students,” Levin said.
Levin proposed a policy of self governance, where the administration trusts the student body to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.
“The administration, giving a little trust in the student body, is really important,” Levin said.
A common thread through all the Chief Justice candidates is that they firmly believe the student code of conduct needs to be restructured. The current “more likely than not” policy–which means campus safety and resident advisors will assess a situation based on a student more likely than not breaking the student code of conduct–was not supported by any of the candidates.
“The ‘more likely than not policy’ isn’t fair to our students and it needs to change,” said Jurkiewicz.
Sheng, concerned with the representation of minority groups on campus, emphasized making the governing documents of ASLC more accessible to students.
“I want to simplify the language of the governing documents,” Sheng said. “It’s a language that’s not [understandable for] minorities … There can be more invitational ways to hold senate meetings.”
Closing statements for the candidates rehashed their platforms while also making more personal statements.
“I am a hard worker and I’m ready to work for the students of this school…I am here as a pragmatist and I’m here as someone ready to work for you,” Levin said.
“I have almost 1.5 years of experience on the Student Advisory Team and Constitutional Affairs Committee … I truly believe we can make a lot of pragmatic changes if I am elected,” Sheng said.
“I have a strong platform…I truly want to work hard for the students…their stories deserve to be heard and their stories deserve to be a part of the community…I hope the students vote for a future that they want,” Jurkiewicz said.
After the debate current Chief Justice Phoebe Gresser ’16 commented on the candidates.
“I thought Jack [Levin]’s ideas were refreshing, original and compelling,” Gresser said.
The Student Body President Candidates took the stage shortly after the Chief Justice Debates.
Online voting closes on Friday, March 18 at midnight.
Correction 3/18 2:02 p.m.: certain contextual language has been clarified.