When political party colors are the same, one must actually examine the issues at hand

Entering midway in to the Purdue Student Government campaign week, the question on many student’s minds is: who is winning?

First the campaign of Steven Caltrider and Joe Lincoln.

This Facebook page shows a little of the campaigning goals and message for the duo. Clearly they are involved with their fraternity events and networking opportunities. In regards to their promotional campaign video, nothing in it convinced me to vote for them. I left the viewing experience still lost as to what they actually stood for other than America, herself. Their upfront PR work didn’t sell me, but I hope their debate brought them back as a strong contender.

Next, that of Bobby Haddix and Caroline McKinney.

This link takes you to a very professional looking website outlining a very specific campaign goal. It is clear time and effort have been put into this endeavor. The campaign video alone took a fair amount of work to perfect. I also appreciate the personal biographies telling me more about the candidates. This takes more of the guesswork out of the equation for me and ensures a very transparent relationship between student government and the campus at large. Their debates will make me wonder how transparent they will remain.

The Vice Presidential debate

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Several points stand out to me here.

First, every quote from McKinney makes her sound like she doesn’t have an original thought inside her mind. She “thinks” switching to a trimester might be beneficial? It sounds like she just read an article about Purdue’s switch to a trimester system the night before and hastily formed an opinion. Farther down the article, McKinney blatantly said she didn’t feel strongly one way or the other about the smoking ban and deferred to the PSG council to side with the majority. I’m sorry, but isn’t this the LAST thing we are looking for in a politician?

Next, Lincoln. My first opinion was that he played the whole debate very safe. All of his opinions seem to align with the general consensus of campus but again, I can’t tell if these are original thoughts or reflective of a larger group. As long as he is talking to many people to get a broader understanding, I think he does a good job representing the student body. However, his plan to implement a new text system seems ambitious at best and impossible at worst. His reign on the board is limited and a technology of that caliber would require many years of development. Maybe too ambitious for PSG?

The Presidential debate

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Haddix is pushing diversity in his initiatives, wanting a range of seats on the senate boards as well as more inclusion of diversity within and between organizations. I would agree that diversity is an important aspect right now, especially when many programs aimed to aid the fostering of interpersonal interracial relationships. At a global University, it is important to keep these initiatives in mind.

Caltrider, surprisingly, seems to be “stuck in the times.” Though he cites lack of enforcement as a problem insurmountable to making Purdue a smoke-free campus, it is evident that he may be resistant to change. He doesn’t support the need for a multicultural council or additional seats in the senate. His adverse reactions to change make me hesitant on the campaign.

Elections start Monday and little time is left to decide is who best to lead our student body for the next year. Discussion continues and through this medium the most is learned and debated. By instilling contest, PSG actually caused students to start caring about the issues that affect them most. Now, with a group of more educated individuals, a victor will emerge fit to lead 40,000 students.

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