ASG cancels first debate between presidential candidates


Daily file photo by Katie Pach

ASG election commissioner Dillon Saks speaks at a 2017 Senate. Saks said ASG cancelled the first planned debate between ASG presidential candidates.

Gabby Birenbaum, Assistant Campus Editor

The first of three debates between candidates for Associated Student Government president and executive vice president was canceled by ASG on Monday.

Election commissioner Dillon Saks said ASG canceled because “there were certain individuals who were feeling slightly under the weather.” SESP junior Justine Kim, an ASG presidential candidate, said she was told there was a personal emergency with her opponent’s campaign and felt going forward with the debate would be “contrary to the spirit of the process.”

Saks said he did not feel that the cancellation of the debate would impact the election cycle or future debates.

“I don’t foresee any differences that would’ve gone on between this debate and other debates,” the Weinberg sophomore said. “Usually, most debates contain many similar aspects. Nothing big usually happens between them that would change the context from one debate to the other one.”

Jillian Gilburne, the campaign manager for Weinberg junior Sky Patterson, the other presidential candidate, said in statement to The Daily that Patterson’s campaign has no control over the debate schedule and didn’t have additional information about Monday’s cancellation.

However, the Communication sophomore said Patterson’s team is looking forward to the next two debates.

“We have spent a lot of time this week meeting with student organizations and clarifying aspects of our platform to different groups on campus and appreciate the night off,” Gilburne wrote. “But ultimately, we are excited about the opportunity to talk through our policies directly with the other ticket.”

Though Kim said having three debates would be ideal, she thinks the upcoming coverage can still allow students to engage with the candidates’ platforms. She said she hopes students use the debates as opportunities to ask questions about her platform and ensure that their voices are being heard and represented.

Kim said she believes the other two debates will be fruitful exercises.

“I think that the other two debates will still be of good quality and still have the opportunity for us to be able to really show people what our platforms are about — how they’re similar and how they’re different,” Kim said.

The Daily will host a debate Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Technological Institute Lecture Room Two. Coalition of Colors will host the final debate Thursday at 6 p.m. in Lecture Room Three.

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