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HUSA and Undergraduate Trustee Candidates Take Questions from Campus Organizations at 4th Speak-Out

Staff Writer

Published: Monday, February 20, 2012

Updated: Monday, February 20, 2012 21:02


Howard University HUSA and Undergraduate Trustee candidates participated in their fourth speak-out on Thursday evening, taking questions submitted by campus organizations and members of the audience.


The Undergraduate Trustees approached the stage first, and gave a brief introduction of their platforms, to include Marcus Carey's ‘Do Something' platform, Lesley Pace's ‘Pace for Progress', and Adedamola Sokoya's ‘START' platform.


The first question was submitted by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., which asked, "with tuition increases coming about, what role do you plan to take in order to improve the University with the help of the other trustees?" The question was directed at both Carey and Sokoya. Carey began by stating that we should, "allow the 150th anniversary to be the largest capital campaign ever had at the University," and that the raised funds, "will trickle down to the amount of merit and need based aid needed." Sokoya referred to the first item on his platform, stating that, "tuition increase is to help the University, and the role I would take in the board room is that as we increase tuition, we also increase scholarships."


The college of arts and sciences student Council presented the next question, asking what is the most feasible item on the candidates' platform, and how to go about implementing it. Pace answered that her "Trustee Ambassador Council" is the most feasible, and will include representation from all departments on campus.


Several questions were to follow, however one of the more pressing questions was submitted by the school of communications student council, asking candidates what is one thing on the candidates platforms that is the least feasible. Carey admits that it will be tough to implement the iTunes U initiative and to increase the staff turnover. Pace states that her platform is one that can, "be built upon, but not detracted from." Finally, Sokoya answers that, "there is no part of my platform that I believe will not be fulfilled in the next year."


Carey immediately rebutted both candidates in saying that, "neither of them has presented a platform that is tangible or progressive," and goes on to say that the platforms are simply "fluff". "I don't believe the University needs fluff, and that's what we've gotten year after year." Pace responded that, "my platform is tangible and feasible, and some aspects of my opponents platforms touch on so many things that it's almost impossible in such a limited amount of time." Sokoya replied that, "the problem at Howard is that we haven't touched on the simple things that need to be fixed," and that his opponent Carey's "repeating a text-a-give campaign from a previous trustees platform" is far from progressive.


Current Undergraduate Trustee Erin Rigsby came to the microphone stating, "One thing that makes me nervous is that as undergraduate trustee you have to take a lot of heat, and what you all are doing is altering your answers for the students in the audience." She then asked the trustee candidates "what is your understanding of what a trustee should do?"


The candidates were on the same accord in stating that the position required transparency, inclusion of the student perspective, and that they should be held accountable for everything they suggest.


The HUSA candidates approached the stage next, giving a brief introduction of their slates. Brittany Foxhall and Madiagne Sarr's ‘Believe' slate, began with their want to add strong emphasis to the underrepresented students here at Howard University.


The Graduate Student Council and Knights Fraternity Inc. posed the first question, asking how would the slates cater to the specific needs of the graduate students?


"We are here to represent them," says James Alexander of the Dean/Alexander ‘HUSA Anew 52' slate. "We will have graduate students on our cabinet if elected." The two hope to bring these students closer to the administrative process.


When asked what green initiatives Cameron Clarkson and Rachel Sanni of the ‘We R Howard' slate have taken, Sanni responded that instead of placing "1,001 flyers around campus" like others, the two instead relied more heavily on social networking and use of a website. Dean rebutted the statement, saying that this may be the case, but only because the two, "didn't want to spend the campaign money" to purchase flyers.

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