New SGA candidates debate

The campaign for the new Student Government executive branch began last week with the placement of campaign materials on campus.

The elections continued Thursday with a debate between competing campaigns in which the four candidates representing two parties expressed their plans if elected.

The candidates

On one side are Manon Marcotte, presidential candidate and Dalton Glasscock, her running mate for vice president. Marcotte is a junior psychology major. She heads the Organizational Outreach committee for SGA and is a member of Tri-Delta sorority, Phi Xi chapter at Wichita State.

Glasscock is a sophomore studying business management and is the chief of staff for SGA.

On the other side are Joseph Shepard and Khondoker Usama — president and vice president, respectively.

Shepard studies criminal justice, is a senator in SGA and serves as president of the Multicultural Greek Council.

Usama studies computer engineering and is president of the American Red Cross Club at WSU and member of the Association of Computing Machinery, the Muslim Student Association and the International Student Union.

Mission statements

Marcotte and Glasscock are running with the slogan, “Innovate. Inspire. Ignite.”

They both spoke to their mission in the opening statements of the debate.

“Innovation is taking place on our campus,” Marcotte said, “and although the innovation is beneficial to our students, most of them do not understand what is taking place.”

Both said they want to create communication between students and administration.

“Why we are running are the themes of igniting potential,” Glasscock said. “There is so much untapped potential. Working with the Innovation Campus is the key to unlocking that potential.”

Shepard and Usama’s campaign centers on the pillars of “cultural competency,” “campus enrichment,” “communication” and “service outreach.”

Shepard praised the diversity of the campus but called for the need to “walk the walk” when it comes to serving the community.

The two said they want to align with President Bardo’s strategic plan of making WSU a more traditional campus, instead of a commuter campus.

“We have to make sure we are creating and funding events as an association that will not only keep students at the university, but attract more to the university,” Shepard said.

The candidates want to communicate the opportunities available for students and also reach out to the surrounding communities.

How they differ

Glasscock cited experience and vision as two major departures from the other party.

Both Marcotte and Glasscock have been part of SGA for multiple years. Their vision for SGA is different, also.

“The other party sees Student Government as a programming/activity board, but I think we are a government first,” Glasscock said. “I don’t want to micro manage and take on responsibilities that aren’t ours.”

Glasscock said SGA should be a resource for the students and help create opportunities.

Shepard responded and said SGA serves a role in creating events that keep students on campus.

Shepard acknowledged the other party’s experience and said he and Khondoker have the “power to engage the students.”

“We are personable and relatable,” Shepard said. “Not only are we focusing on events, we are focusing on service outreach. Whether you are in SGA or not, it still affects you.”

First task if elected

Marcotte said she has worked recently with the Student Veterans Organization and learned many veterans are leaving school to care for children.

Although the Child Development Center provides care for children of students and staff, it centers on daylong care.

Marcotte said she wants to create a system that would allow veterans or other students to drop children off for an allotted time.

Shepard and Usama said they want to complete the Interfaith Prayer Space, renovating the Grace Memorial Chapel to serve all faiths.

“We need to be able to meet the needs of all students, from all walks of life,” Shepard said. “Separate, but equal, is not equal.”

In their rebuttal, Glasscock acknowledged the prayer space, citing his role and work in researching the steps needed to start the project.

“It looks like the Interfaith Prayer Space will be completed by the end of this year,” Glasscock said. “That shouldn’t be a first task of the administration … but if it still isn’t completed, we will make sure to grab and finish it. We are fully supportive of it.”

Usama finished the debate with a question, which Marcotte and Glasscock couldn’t answer because of time and debate rules.

“We had a resolution passed by this current session that hoped to have an integration prayer space by the end of April. If it is not your first task you want to do, then what is your first task?”

Next step

Voting begins Wednesday and ends Friday. Students can vote online by visiting their myWSU account.