With campus-wide elections drawing near, The Daily Texan hosted this year’s annual Student Government campaign debate Monday night between the three executive alliances.
The student body presidential campaigns of Blake Burley and Robert Guerra, Isaiah Carter and Sydney O’Connell, and Alejandrina Guzman and Micky Wolf contested how they would tackle issues on campus, including stances on undocumented students, sexual assault, Texas athletics and political affiliations.
The Guzman-Wolf campaign said they stand in solidarity with undocumented students.
“These students pay tuition just like every one of us,” Guzman said. “It’s unbelievable that a piece of paper defines them.”
Carter said his campaign is going to have a concerted effort to help students feel safe on campus.
“On day one, we’re going to be knocking on President Fenves’ door,” Carter said. “We’ll be at the Capitol every single day … I will tell you that we will exhaust every single resource we have to ensure that every single student on this campus feels safe.”
Burley said religion comes at the forefront of his life, and he is here to love students.
As an officer of “Not On My Campus,” O’Connell said SG’s next step in combating sexual assault is getting the word out and providing funding to Voices Against Violence for educational resources, such as posters on every campus building.
“This is something I’ve been working on since my freshman year (and) we are starting the conversation,” O’Connell said. “Survivors are starting to feel more safe.”
The Guzman-Wolf campaign said they also support empowering survivors of sexual assault. Burley said he does not have much knowledge of sexual assault on campus but is willing to work with experts at VAV.
With regards to Texas athletics, the Guzman-Wolf campaign is trying to bring back the UT-Texas A&M football game.
“The way this would happen is by generating a lot of attention from both sides of the University and working closely with Texas Athletics,” Wolf said. “We understand this game is not going to come back in the next two years, and we think by working closely with all these partners we can make it happen.”
The Carter-O’Connell platform is advocating for a fall break over Texas-OU weekend.
“We’re one of few schools that do not have a fall break,” Carter said. “I’ve already talked to the associate dean for student life …. We’re going to call it a fall break on the Friday before Texas-OU homecoming.”
Burley said his administration will not take a stance on large political issues unless they severely divide the student body.
“If something’s going to divide students, then why the heck would we discuss it?” Burley said. “Politics: They divide us. There are issues that are seemingly political, but those are things we can gather around as human beings because we love each other.”
The Guzman-Wolf campaign said they won’t be silent on political issues, stressing that dialogue is productive for the UT community.
“When you don’t speak up, that’s saying something as well,” Guzman said. “The first step in trying to understand each other is listening to each other, and that can be difficult. But we are committed to working with these different communities …. We won’t be silent.”