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CSA hopefuls debate platforms

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Thursday night saw the debates of Carleton students vying for positions on the CSA Senate. The executive positions of President, Vice President, and Treasurer are all open to new members, and all executives except for the Treasurer are contested.

Candidates for the Presidency are Thomas Hiura ’17, Tiffany Thet ’17, and Ankita Verma ’17, each bringing a variety of experiences and ideas to the table.

Hiura, involved in a variety of different campus activities from being an RA to involvement in the performing arts scene, described himself as “a person willing to voice controversial opinions and speak truth to power.”

“I would seek to build on all of [the current CSA executives’] accomplishments by making myself and the CSA executives more available to students who do not understand the work being done in CSA,” said Hiura, pondering a position as president.

To do this, Hiura hopes to implement a publicity liaison position for CSA. This position “would ensure that students are aware of what CSA can do for them, because Carleton students deserve to know what’s going on, how they can access the money that belongs to them, and how they can be a voice in a time of great change on the Carleton campus.”

“I want to do whatever I can to help, because if you have been treated unfairly on this campus, that’s a problem for every single one of us,” said Hiura. “If I’m elected, you’ll know what the heck we are doing on Monday nights.”

Thet is currently serving on CSA as the Community, Equity, and Diversity Initiative Representative to senate. In addition to this, Thet has been an OIIL peer leader, and an active member of the Carleton Model UN debate team as well as a member of ASIA.

Thet’s campus involvement thus far has taught her to “know how to reach out to students when dialogue is needed, when conversations are important, uniting everyone together and better understanding peers.”

“I want to connect the dots and connect the work,” said Thet reflecting on what one of her goals as CSA President would be. “You have these sports teams, these community service teams. There’s this idea that student groups are more disconnected, but I don’t think that’s exactly the case. Sometimes the projects or events of one group are very similar. Or the skills of one group can highly benefit the event that another group is planning. But people aren’t aware of that. It’s CSA’s job as the pipeline to connect the dots.”

Thet hopes to be a part of CSA because she wants to make Carleton a better place for Carls now and in the future. “I care a lot about life here. I care about what happens in the future here. I would want Carleton to be a space where everyone feels comfortable, and even if they feel uncomfortable, to feel that they can share those concerns.”

Verma, the final candidate for the President position, feels prepared for the office due to her experiences being an RA (quipped Verma at Thursday’s debate: “If I can handle first Burton, I can handle the world”), as well as her positions as a trained Title IX liaison and Student Sustainability Assistant, which make her aware of issues from different areas of campus.

“CSA executives do a good job at being attentive to student concerns. If elected to an executive position, I hope to better execute the changes that students hope to see at Carleton,” said Verma.

Verma hopes to make changes in the sexual misconduct reporting process, increasing mental health resources on campus, sustainability, and fostering conversation surrounding disability services at Carleton.“I am passionate about making sure everyone has the opportunity for their voices to be heard” said Verma.

Candidates for Vice President are Abha Laddha ’17 and JordiKai Watanabe-Inouye ’17.

If elected to the office of VP, Laddha wants to breach the gap between CSA and the student body. “I want to work work towards creating a relationship where students feel that the Senate is doing everything it can to solve their problems.”

Laddha feels prepared to take office due to her past experience on Budget Committee and her leadership positions within different student groups on campus. “I have that experience and understanding of what is going on and what needs to be improved. Through [my leadership positions], I’ve learned what the needs of students are and what the needs of student organizations are. I have experienced the hurdles along the way. I think I am in a place to change these hurdles.”

Watanabe-Inouye hopes to create a position to deal with financial aid for students who wish to participate in club events that pose a financial barrier, if she is elected as VP. “Right now it’s students talking to students for financial aid. We talked about creating a role in SAO where students could go if they wanted financial assistance.”

Watanabe-Inouye also wants to make Budget Committee a more comfortable place for student organizations. “I want to set guidelines for student organizations so that when they come into budget committee, they don’t feel like they are in an interrogation. I want to be the person who is there for these organizations and these events with students.”

Jeremy Keane ’17 is running for Treasurer, uncontested for this position. Keane aims to manage CSA funds in such a way that will improve the campus climate and ameliorate concerns of the student body.

“There is a disparity between the needs on campus and the resources that are being made available to us at Carleton. This disparity needs improving,” said Keane. Issues such as mental health resources, outreach to cultural groups on campus, and making sure each request receives appropriate funding are a few of the areas Keane hopes to make an impact in the position of Treasurer.

“I want to get more students involved. A lot of the groups on campus don’t really have a voice in the Senate meetings, especially cultural groups. Offering liaison positions is one way” to increase student representation in Senate, suggested Keane.

Elections close on Sunday of 6th week, February 14th at 9 PM. Results will be announced Monday, February 15th.

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