Tickets for ASG president, executive VP discuss identity, inclusion


Zachary Laurence/The Daily Northwestern

Noah Star, Christina Kim, Chris Harlow and Haley Hinkle discuss issues of inclusion and identity at a Coalition of Colors-sponsored debate Monday night. Star and Kim are running together against Hinkle and Harlow.

Shane McKeon, Assistant Campus Editor

The two tickets for ASG president and executive vice president squared off in a Coalition of Colors-sponsored debate Monday, fielding questions about issues of identity and inclusion.

Medill junior Haley Hinkle and her running mate SESP junior Chris Harlow faced Weinberg junior Noah Star and his running mate McCormick junior Christina Kim.

More than 75 students attended the debate in Harris Hall. Many posed questions on issues of race and class, including asking candidates to define terms such as intersectionality, structural racism and community.

Weinberg junior Cinthya Rodriguez, one of the Coalition’s co-chairs, opened the debate saying past candidates haven’t always delivered on campaign goals.

“We’ve seen how candidates, to be really honest, haven’t kept up all of their promises and all of the things they put in their platforms,” she said. “So we’re here to remind people that we’re watching.”

The Coalition is a collection of student groups that advocate for marginalized students.

Hinkle said students shouldn’t just discuss issues of race and identity but should take action to fix them.

“We talk a lot about dialogue being the end game, and it’s not,” Hinkle said. “We have to turn it into action.”

Star advocated for a “buddy system” that would include members of relevant student groups in Associated Student Government meetings with administrators. Using the topic of sexual assault as an example, Star said groups such as Sexual Health and Assault Peer Educators should accompany ASG members to meetings with administrators, because that group likely has more expertise on the issue.

“Sometimes administrators use us as their foray into the student voice,” Star said, “but if an administrator says, ‘We want to get what students think about this particular issue,’ then I think it’s our duty to find the student groups who are working (on that issue) day in and day out.”

Star and Hinkle wouldn’t say whether they support the Northwestern Divest resolution that passed Senate in February asking the University to divest from six corporations the resolution’s authors say violate Palestinian human rights.

Star, who formerly served as speaker of the Senate, stayed impartial throughout his speakership and said taking a side now would “invalidate” the legitimacy of the resolution’s debate and passage. Hinkle said she hasn’t come to a decision on whether she supports divestment.

Both their running mates, though, said they support the resolution.

Harlow framed his support for the resolution in the context of NU’s recent fundraising campaign.

“Especially with how We Will is set up now, money is coming in,” Harlow said. “Why shouldn’t we be able to know where it’s being funneled?”

Harlow also said his and Hinkle’s experience with “pushing back” against administrators will help ensure the resolution’s aims are carried out.

Kim also said she supports divestment, saying ASG members should be informed about these issues.

“It’s on us as student leaders to pay attention and to be aware of these issues,” she said.

Plugging part of her and Star’s platform, Kim also spoke about issues of socioeconomic status, endorsing “zero parental contribution” for families with incomes below $60,000.

A second debate, which is sponsored by ASG, will be held at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Fisk Hall.

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Twitter: @Shane_McKeon