The Fanucci-Ivanova and Goodman-Jean executive alliances took the stage in the Student Activity Center Monday night for a debate on topics ranging from sexual assault to free speech.
The event, hosted by Liza Anderson, editor-in-chief of The Daily Texan, served to present the candidates’ positions to students and to aid The Daily Texan editorial board in deciding who they will endorse.
One of the first issues addressed by the candidates was student apathy and disillusionment toward Student Government following last year’s tense election.
“One of the main things we emphasized when we initially reached out and decided to run with each other is we were not going to be like how last year went,” said presedential candidate Izzy Fanucci, a junior speech pathology and psychology major. “This is not about us running against Camron and Amie. This is about us acknowledging major systemic issues on this campus and what we can do to change them.”
When asked about how they will consider student wishes while creating policies, Elena Ivanova, vice presidential candidate and Plan II junior, said she wanted to reevaluate SG recruitment efforts and bring in students with varying perspectives. Amie Jean, vice presidential candidate and finance senior, emphasized communication and resources.
“We want students to know that (with) SG, you do have the power to be incorporated and included, and whether that is (with) resources that allow students to be able to know how to write legislation … (or) sharing things so that they can see that it’s possible for them to be able to contribute,” Jean said. “We have posed ourselves as willing to listen, and if it could translate to legislation, we want to make that an option.”
Fanucci and Ivanova said they believe the biggest issue for students is sexual assault and cited a survey that found 15 percent of women on campus reported they had been sexually assaulted during their four years at UT. Camron Goodman, presidential candidate and finance senior, spoke on the issue when asked about his alliance’s plan for sexual assault prevention.
“As far as Title IX and sexual assault training prevention goes, there was legislation passed last year in Student Government that had actionable steps that we just want to carry forward,” Goodman said. “It’s a part of our platform point, just to make sure that sexual assault training becomes a culture on campus and that all students are engaged in that and student organizations are engaged in that and are recognized for that and it becomes a culture that, ‘Hey, this is the thing that here at UT, here as Longhorns, we do.’”
The candidates also elaborated on how they plan to strike a balance between upholding free speech and protecting underrepresented groups.
“The Dean of Students has hired a new position called VP Legal, I believe, and they are going to be the primary outreach person on free speech policies on campus and educating students,” Ivanova said. “SG needs to be in contact with that person and needs to ensure that we can have trainings and have this person go and speak to organizations so that students are more informed and involved on free speech, but also on large issues that are directly harming students on campus.”