The Florida Gulf Coast University Student Government debate took place on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, and students who did and did not attend will now make their decision this week if they are planning to vote.
Emily Catizone, 19, a junior studying bioengineering, said she was looking forward to attending the debate. She wanted to hear the motivation behind the campaign choices from The For The Eagles party and hear Juan Cubillo’s opportunity to defend himself publicly about the barbershop situation.
“The debate did not change the way I will vote in this year’s elections,” she wrote in an email interview.
Catizone’s memorable moment was Action party candidate Tyler Brown’s quote regarding the budget process.
“I thought it was interesting that Tyler would call the budget process ‘fair’ right after mentioning that community service was a vital component of the budget process. Saying that students should join the Math Club to do service is like saying that students should join Rotaract to do math. It isn’t fair to determine a club’s funding based on a quality irrelevant to it’s mission,” Catizone wrote. “If elected as SG President, Brown made it clear that he has no intention of changing the budget process and that consistency will outweigh fairness once again next year.”
Catizone wrote she would directly be affected by the election. “The senators elected this year will oversee the bill process for the 2014-2015 school year and the 2015-2016 budget. This will affect me directly when it comes to the organizations I am involved in and the funding they receive.”
Susan Lobo, 20, a sophomore studying psychology, attended the debate as well. She said in a phone interview that it was an opportunity to get to know the candidates better and what they want to accomplish. Even though she has not made a definitive decision, she said the debate has persuaded her to decide.
Lobo said the questions that students asked during the debate were informative, especially the one regarding the budget. “They (House Party candidates) finally had the opportunity to talk about it,” she said.
Anne Romelus, 20, a junior studying criminal justice, did not attend the debate. “I saw it, but I didn’t stop by. I had homework, but even if I didn’t I wouldn’t have stayed.”
Romelus said she does plan to vote, but will have to read the candidates’ platforms. For now, Romelus said, “I have no clue who’s running, but I’ve seen the posters.”
Anthony Davis, 18, a freshman said he also plans to vote. “I know absolutely nothing (about the debate or the candidates), I’ve been wrapped up with homework. I’m going to pick the best who has the most positive platform.”
Christian Garcia, 20, a junior studying psychology, said he plans to vote and is going to do more research about the candidates to base his decision as to what benefits him. “I heard about it. I didn’t feel like going.”
Students have until Feb. 27, 2014, to vote. The new president takes office on April 1.