Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Newman and Drebin face off

During a debate Thursday night at Willard Residential College, Ald. Arthur Newman (1st) and his challenger, Kellogg Prof. Allan Drebin, addressed Northwestern student concerns about parking and town-gown relations.

They also did a lot of hand-raising.

The candidates raised their arms every time their opponent said something they believed to be false. Newman began the practice after Drebin said the city is not growing its tax base effectively, which Newman had suggested earlier in the debate.

“I’m going to raise my hand whenever Drebin misrepresents my position,” Newman said, “but my hand is going to get very tired.”

So did some students.

“Neither of them said very much and the whole hand thing was very childish,” said Speech freshman Jason Ott, one of about 40 students who attended the event.

Willard decided to host the event after press coverage sparked interest in the race, said Sheila Gogate, Willard’s fireside chair and a Weinberg sophomore.

Newman, who said his opponent has not demonstrated a desire to do things for students in the past, said recent city accomplishments such as construction of Century Theatres proved his commitment to students.

“I wanted to find something that everyone in the city and in my ward would want in the downtown,” Newman said.

Drebin, founder and former master of Ayers College of Commerce and Industry, said the movie theaters might not have been the right direction for downtown Evanston.

“Movie theaters are going bankrupt all over the country,” he said, adding that only time will tell what the true costs or benefits are.

Although he acknowledged that the theater gives students entertainment alternatives, Drebin said student representation on Evanston City Council is a necessity that must be addressed – something he said Newman has failed to provide in his 10 years on the council.

“Because students traditionally have not voted, they have not been represented,” Drebin said, “but the last time we had taxation without representation, we had a tea party.”

The candidates did agree on one issue – the need for more parking.

Newman said alleviating student parking problems would be one of his top priorities if he is elected to another four-year term.

“I want to make the university administration provide parking, and not just for faculty,” Newman said. “I’m for doing that in the next four years – I want to push them on that subject.”

Drebin agreed that NU administrators could do more to solve student parking problems, but he said the city already seems to be at “war” with the university, a situation that is unhealthy and unproductive.

“I think, frankly, the administration is a little bit arrogant; they could do better to work with the city,” Drebin said. “But you can’t just say ‘give us, give us, give us.'”

Drebin instead contended that compromise, cooperation and civility were of utmost importance when dealing with NU, an institution he said already pays a lot of taxes.

Some students said they did not buy into Newman’s plans to put pressure on NU administrators for help with student parking.

“If he spent 10 years here and we don’t have parking yet, why is he going to do it now?” Ott said. “It’s not like he can sit on the administration and make them build a parking lot.”

Despite Drebin’s ties to NU, no clear winner emerged in the face-off, although Weinberg sophomore Howard Lien said he thought Newman came out a little ahead.

“In general, the student body tends to favor its own,” Lien said, “but it sounded like (Newman) had a better grip on the issues.”

Students and residents will have more chances to hear Drebin and Newman before the election April 3.

The League of Women Voters is sponsoring a First Ward debate March 13. For those who have yet to register, Associated Student Government President Adam Humann said deputized students will be available to register voters during dinner at all major dining halls tonight and at sororities and fraternities Monday night.

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Newman and Drebin face off