4:58 PM: About two dozen or so students (probably at least a 1/3 of whom are involved in the SA) have shuffled into Uris G01 to
watch Raps and Nicolleti, in addition to the EVP candidates, Alex Pruce and Adam Gitlin, go at it eat the free pizza.
5:08 PM: While they’ve yet to start up the candidate action, about another 15
engaged students people wanting pizza have arrived, including the six bros sitting directly in front of me brought in to support EVP candidate Gitlin and, again, eat pizza.
5:11 PM: Charlie Feng will moderate the EVP debate, while Dean of Students Kent Hubble will be charged with keeping Raps and Nicolleti from getting physical.
5:13 PM: Pruce opening remarks–defending the rights of the Greek community “instead of being ignored.”
Gitlin opening remarks–while Pruce brought up actual policy, Gitlin focuses on E-Board experience and his understanding of the “nuances” of the position.
5:14 PM: Feng–Nobody comes to the SA meetings, do they actually matter?
Gitlin–Sees it as an issue of outreach, not how the meetings are run.
Pruce–Agrees and brings up futility of outreach efforts like pamphlets.
5:19 PM: Gitlin brings up SA getting to issues later than administration and other student groups. Wants to elevate SA to level more equal with administration. I’m not sure if expanding SA’s power is within the SA’s purview, but Gitlin’s going there anyway.
5:20 PM: Gitlin just said “conflict minerals.” Is this the 1990s?
5:21 PM: Pruce seems a bit more realistic about what the SA’s role should be, focusing on working with administration rather than against it, as it seems Gitlin is advocating. Also brings up need to reform SAFC guidelines, very relevant considering the “Hangovers” incident last week.
5:23 PM: Gitlin disagrees with Pruce regarding SA’s role in programming, believes individual groups should be responsible for that. Also says he’ll be “meeting with mental health professions across campus.” Wow, he must have some issues.
5:26 PM: Freshman Rep Geoffrey Block doesn’t have a question, just wants to watch the candidates “clash.” Our kind of guy.
5:28 PM: While Pruce abstained from directly attacking Gitlin, Gitlin decides to attack him on not giving specifics. I guess “meeting with mental health professionals” is a very specific and targeted course of action in Gitlin’s mind.
5:30 PM: Transfer Rep Pruce brings up “outsider” status as a positive in contrast with “SA mentality” that involves “getting bogged down in committees and resolutions.”
5:31 PM: Dean Hubbell has taken the stage and invited Raps and Nicolletti up. Nicolletti tries to reach out to Raps, but she seems a bit distant.
5:33 PM: Raps brings up a “mental health day off” as part of her platform.
5:34 PM: Nicolletti wants to bring a pub to campus and “remove bureaucracy.” Backhanded attack at Raps: “lofty goals that don’t accomplish anything.”
5:36 PM: Raps in favor of “a caring community.” As opposed to those candidates that don’t care?
5:38 PM: Raps talks about ineffectiveness of Blue Light system, will take money from other programs to fund additional late night transportation.
5:40 PM: Nicolletti “appreciates” late night transportation, but doesn’t want to take byline funding to pay for it.
Nicolletti says many students “don’t even know SA exists.” Does he think Cornell students are that oblivious?
5:41 PM: Raps is cute and has “a lot of catchphrases.” “SA as a hub!” Man, that’s catchy.
5:42 PM: Raps says role of SA is as “an ombudsman” and wants to protect sovereignty of student orgs. Stands in contrast with her voting record. Nicolletti agrees, says those specific orgs should self-govern. Says SA involvement would be “big brother.”
5:45 PM: Insider asks Raps to defend her vote on resolution 45, “Spending Student Money Sustainably.” She defends it as “student outreach,” but Nicolletti rightly points out that it would’ve put an “undue burden” on student organizations to line themselves up with the “goals of the lofty headed people” who sit on the Environmental Committee. Says he supports sustainability, but objected to the economic sanctions of student groups proposed in the resolution.
5:51 PM: The “debate” has gotten boring, as both candidates seem to be agreeing on the need to engage in “outreach.” Yawn.
5:53 PM: Nicolletti emphasizes SAFC reform, efficient spending of SA cash, and campus pub in closing statements. Raps calls Nicolletti’s statement “eloquent” and wants to “talk from her heart.” Quotes Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Nicolletti definitely focused more on specifics. The forced hug at the end was hilarious.
Nicolletti impressed (although his vote last year in favor of the “anti discrimination” resolution 44 makes me question his judgment on free speech issues even if Raps also voted for it), while Raps was light on specifics and heavy on catchphrases. Gitlin seemed to want to attack Pruce for no apparent reason (perhaps to give his supporters a chance to wave their “Vote Gitlin” sign), while Pruce emphasized the need for the outside perspective provided by his transfer student background and got into specifics on SAFC reform.
Just adding to the fun of the forced hugs and awkward catchphrases of a Student Assembly debate, Insider favorite Andrew Brokman ambushed your humble correspondent on the way out of Uris to clear up “some specifics that were wrong” regarding his green fascism resolution that Raps supported.
He said that the resolution really was meant to be nothing more than “outreach” and that it only gave the Environmental Committee “resolution power” to punish student organizations not following the vague guidelines it empowered them to enforce. To clear all this up, we asked him, “So what you’re saying is that you wanted the threat to be there, but that you never intended to use the power that backed it up?”