During Student Government’s annual presidential debate candidates discussed legislation, campus issues and other concerns important to Bobcats.
More than 100 attended the student body presidential debate in the LBJ Teaching Theatre on Feb. 12.
Brooklyn Boreing, presidential candidate and business management junior, said she was pressured by Texas State administration to vote no on a piece of legislation that would have brought an immigration attorney to campus.
“I would say that that our administration was pressured by the overall administration of Texas State to vote no, and I felt extreme pressure to vote no,” Boreing said in an interview following the debate.
Candidates Elijah Miller, criminal justice junior, and Preston Nieves, political science sophomore said during the debate students overwhelmingly supported the Student Government resolution to recommend hiring an immigration attorney.
“The research that we did during the immigration subcommittee was a complete lie,” Nieves said. “Based on false information the idea that we can’t have one (immigration attorney), sometimes a symbolic vote is necessary, we will not let our immigrant community be oppressed.”
Miller said that he did not understand why Texas State’s administration would be against hiring another attorney, despite budgeting issues.
“I’m tired of hearing that we can’t do it,” Miller said.
Miller was referring to an hour-long conversation with Fernando Gomez, vice chancellor of the university system, whom according to Miller, said they could not accomplish getting an attorney on campus.
“UT Dallas, Texas Tech and UNT all have immigration attorneys and if anyone has a problem with funding, we spend $32 and a half million dollars on athletics,” Miller said.
The prospective student presidents were also asked about individual pieces of legislation and Student Government’s legislative process overall as some pieces that have passed have still not been implemented including the Diversity Liaison Act.
The act would have appointed a liaison to go to various groups on campus and meet to hear their concerns but was not implemented and the candidates were unaware of where the Act was in the implementation process.
Emari Shelvin, nursing and Spanish junior, and vice presidential candidate stated she would want to have an open forum with all on-campus organizations to ensure that Student Government was accessible to everyone.
All candidates said divisive rhetoric and racism on campus are the biggest problems students currently face. Which, vice presidential candidate and political science junior, Christian Sears brought up during the debate.
“(Racism has been) an ongoing problem for a few years now,” Sears said. “The current administration said that they would do more to combat that and yes, they’ve written a lot of legislation, but they could have helped the administration deal with racism in a lot of ways.”
Two of the candidates, Boreing and her vice presidential candidate Ruben Becerra, finance senior, are on the current administration’s cabinet, but made it clear that while they serve on the cabinet they do not always agree with what is done.
Every candidate stated racism in any form would not be tolerated under their administrations and also said they believe the current Student Body President Connor Clegg should step down from his position or be impeached from office.
“If that’s what the students have wanted, and I have seen continuously, then it would be in the best interest of the student body for him to step down,” Boreing said.
Elections will be held from Feb. 19-22. Students can vote on the second floor of LBJ across from Wells Fargo from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m or online.