Executive alliance candidates focus on student involvement, sexual assault awareness

Rachel Lew

Executive alliance candidates discussed their platforms and how to help students become active participants in the Student Government process at the SG debate Monday night.

Daniel James Chapman, presidential candidate and economics and mathematics senior, said he and vice presidential candidate Austin James Robinson will listen to marginalized groups on campus and highlight instances of racism and implicit bias on campus.

“With the removal of the Jefferson Davis statue, it wasn’t just the president, vice president or SG executive board,” Chapman said. “It was thousands of students signing petitions and calling for its removal.”

Jesse Guadiana, vice presidential candidate and government junior, said he and presidential candidate Kallen Dimitroff want to bring the UT community together and make sure every voice is heard in SG.

“We want to make sure every single space and body on campus has a voice,” Guadiana said. “Our legislation and the work we do is centered around that.” 

Binna Kim, vice presidential candidate and marketing junior, said she and presidential candidate Kevin Helgren want to listen to UT students’ experiences to identify the issues that are important to them.

“Student Government has tended to involve and influence highly active students,” Kim said. “With our campaign theme of ‘Share your Story,’ we want to mobilize the whole student body.”

Delisa Shannon, vice presidential candidate and journalism junior, said she and presidential candidate Jonathan Dror want students to engage in various activities across campus.

“A very important and pivotal part of what we’re trying to do is to engage students,” Shannon said. “We are very passionate about getting to know students as individuals. [Dror] and I are involved in different organizations and have had different experiences at UT, but at the end of the day we are just students for students.”

The candidates agreed sexual assault is important for Student Government to address.

1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted during their time at UT, according to a survey released by the Association of American Universities examining data from 2014 to 2015.

Chapman and Robinson want to work with Interfraternity Council and University Panhellenic Council to strengthen the message of anti-sexual assault material. Chapman and Robinson also plan to work with the Gender and Sexuality Center to address the issue of sexual assault against those in the LGBT community.

Dimitroff and Guadiana plan to provide support for sexual assault survivors by securing a permanent endowment fund for the Voices Against Violence program — a program that aims to stop interpersonal violence, support survivors of sexual assault and create a campus culture that promotes healthy relationships. The fund provides financial resources for students that have been victims of sexual assault.

Dror and Shannon want to end the culture of sexual assault by increasing education through the “Not On My Campus” program, promoting bystander intervention and educating the UT community about what sexual assault means.

Helgren and Kim plan to create a working group that will consist of members from groups dedicated to fighting sexual assault such as Voices Against Violence, BeVocal, Not On My Campus and the Women’s Resource Agency. Helgren and Kim want to create a nationwide conversation about ways to actively fight sexual assault.

Voting begins March 2 and ends March 3.