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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Presidential candidates square off

    ASUA presidential candidate Erin Hertzog rebuts Matt Van Horns comments during their first debate last night in the SUMC.
    ASUA presidential candidate Erin Hertzog rebuts Matt Van Horn’s comments during their first debate last night in the SUMC.

    Presidential candidate Matt Van Horn promised a change in the men’s basketball ticketing policy last night, saying students should have to “”jump through more hoops”” to get tickets, while his opponent, Erin Hertzog, said she wanted to make the process easier.

    At last night’s Associated Students of the University of Arizona presidential debate, Van Horn said when he talked to students, their biggest concern was the distribution method for Arizona men’s basketball tickets.

    Hertzog, a journalism junior, said Duke University and the University of North Carolina, the universities that Van Horn used as models for a better ticket distribution method, have bigger student sections because they implement a student athletic fee, and they are looking to create new ticketing systems.

    “”Our athletic program is self-sustaining,”” she said. “”The alumni and donors who buy the basketball tickets support our athletics.””

    Hertzog said she wants to make it easier for students to get tickets.

    “”Waiting in line is counter-productive. We don’t like to wait in lines,”” she said.

    Van Horn rebutted, saying that the students who are genuinely interested in Arizona athletics should not have to buy their tickets off of the Internet at steep prices.

    “”By making it easier, you’re actually making it more complicated,”” said the senior majoring in entrepreneurship and marketing.

    Provost George Davis, who moderated the debate, said both candidates were well prepared and that although last year’s debate between Cade Bernsen and Jacob Reuben was more heated, both students addressed the issues.

    “”The measure of the success of the debate should not be determined by the number of people here from each candidate’s camp, but should be multiplied by each person and their interactions on campus between now and the (general) election,”” he said.

    Both candidates, standing behind lecterns in the Student Union Memorial Center’s Kiva Room, also addressed larger-scale student issues like retention rates.

    Van Horn said he wants to implement a pre-freshman survey to be completed at orientation to find out where students want to be involved and forward that information to campus clubs.

    “”We have so many amazing groups on campus, they just need to be able to go out there and actively recruit,”” he said.

    Hertzog said she agrees with Van Horn’s link between student organizations and retention, but it needs to be addressed on other levels also.

    “”It’s more than just involvement. You have to make students feel so satisfied they’ll regret it if they leave,”” she said.

    (Student government has) lost credibiity with not only faculty on this campus but with students as well.
    – Matt Van Horn,
    ASUA presidential candidate

    Van Horn said he agreed with Hertzog’s goal of bringing more polling stations to campus for the upcoming state and national elections in November, but he didn’t think her platform to bring a corporate-sponsored professor is feasible.

    “”My opponent has frequently talked about Mr. Panda Express or Mr. Pepsi,”” Van Horn said.

    He said he doesn’t think this addresses the issue of class availability, and after talking to a lawyer, he isn’t sure it’s legal.

    Hertzog said there are currently sponsored professors on campus, and she would have everything in place a month into her presidency.

    “”It’s about more than adding a few classes – it’s symbolic,”” she said. “”It shows the students, the administration and the legislature that we do care about this issue, and we’re not just going to sit and complain about it.””

    Van Horn said his No. 1 goal is to rejuvenate life within student government and bridge communication gaps.

    “”(Student government has) lost credibility with not only the faculty on this campus but the students as well,”” Van Horn said in his opening statement.

    He said the lack of communication within the ASUA office is its biggest weakness.

    “”People in the cabinet are not talking with programs and services, the senate isn’t communicating with the cabinet,”” said Van Horn, who currently works within ASUA as an appropriations board director. “”There is a vibe in the office, and people are uncomfortable.””

    Hertzog responded to those claims, stating that since she became acting student body president Jan. 17, she’s seen student leaders make great accomplishments.

    “”This organization is something I love. It is my heart and soul, and I have dedicated the last three years to it,”” Hertzog said.

    “”I am in a unique position because, as I stand here campaigning for student body president, I serve you as student body president and executive vice president,”” Hertzog said.

    Elections Commissioner Jordan Miller said the debate would help generate momentum for the next week for the candidates.

    About 70 people attended the debate, and Miller said she was happy about the turnout.

    “”I couldn’t have asked for a better debate,”” she said.

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