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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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SBP candidates woo undecided voters

With students almost evenly split among a crowded field of student body president candidates in the initial round of voting, runoff contenders Stoney Burke and Matt Josefy honed their campaign pitches to woo undecided voters at a debate Monday.
The two faced off before about 100 students in the Memorial Student Center Flagroom, but there was little disagreement between Burke and Josefy on any issue.
Both candidates said they opposed tuition deregulation, but conceded there was little they could do to dissuade the state legislature from passing it. However, if the Texas A&M University system Board of Regents is given tuition-setting authority, a student representative should be added to the Board to ensure students’ voices are heard, Burke said.
Josefy said any effort to put a student representative on the Board would be unlikely to succeed, and added that it would be difficult to choose one student to represent the entire student body to the Board of Regents.
Both of the candidates touted their extensive student government experience and their ability to work well with faculty and administrators, as well as student organizations.
Burke and Josefy stressed the need of the student body president to hear the voices of the students and increase student involvement with student government.
“One of the things that makes this University distinct is that if you as a student have an idea, you should be able to run with that and put that in place,” said Josefy, a senior accounting major.
Burke emphasized the need to target specific student leaders for involvement in projects and suggested offering academic extra credit to students who attend forums and focus groups for the Student Government Association.
Both candidates support the diversity initiatives that have been set forth by the administration.
“Every student pays the exact same amount of tuition and fees here at Texas A&M, but they don’t receive the same amount of respect. And that hurts being an Aggie,” said Burke, a senior international studies major.” We are the only school in the Big 12 conference without an African-American studies program, and we are the largest school in the nation without. an African American studies program. This is in the process of forming and this is something we support.”
Josefy stressed the need for mentoring as a way to facilitate a diverse environment. His mentor program, which he offered as a solution to many of the problems facing campus, would match incoming freshmen with experienced upperclassmen.
“If we bring in a student that doesn’t feel welcome and match them up with a student who makes them feel welcome, then we’ve accomplished our goal,” Josefy said.
Voting for the runoff election will take place Wednesday and Thursday. Students can cast their ballots at vote.tamu.edu. The two junior yell leader positions will also be up for grabs in the runoff, with Corps nominees Ryan Bishop and Paul Terrell running against Mike Winn and Keith Lane.

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