ASPSU hopefuls kick off campaigning with candidate debates

This week, student government hopefuls will participate in three candidate debates hosted by Associated Students of Portland State University. The April 7 Presidential and Vice Presidential debate is the first of the three, followed by the April 8 Student Fee Committee debate and the Senate debate on April 9.

ASPSU candidates will respond to questions from a student media panel, a live audience, and questions submitted via a form on the ASPSU website.

“The debates are a chance for the students to see how the candidates would address campus issues in their own ways, depending on their platform and their ideas for their candidacy,” said Coordinator of Student Government Relations Candace Avalos.

Avalos said she anticipates questions regarding student engagement, campus safety, and tuition rates.

“Other big topics ASPSU has focused on this year will be sexual assault prevention policies and cultural competency policy,” Avalos said. “So I imagine there might be questions from former ASPSU members in there to prompt those topics.”

This year, two presidential and vice presidential teams, or slates, are campaigning for election. Tony Funchess is running for President with Vice Presidential candidate Kaitlyn Verret under the Step Up, Speak Out, Stand Together slate. Running on the same slate are three SFC and seven Senate candidates.

Also running for executive positions are Dr. Khalid Alballaa for President and Linda Hoppes for Vice President. Alballaa and Hoppes are running under the Students for Affordable Education slate, which does not include any Senate or SFC candidates.

Also in the running for positions are two Senate and two SFC candidates with no slate affiliation. Students will be able to vote for candidates not currently registered by ballot write-ins.

“It’s important for people to go [to the debates] because the point is that these are your representatives, and we’re asking them good, probing questions to see that they are concerned about your issues,” Avalos said.

Watch for next week’s Election Guide with a “Meet the Candidates” section and debate recaps.