KU presidential and vice presidential candidates made their cases during a debate Monday night on why students should vote for them.
In what has marked Kansas University student politics in recent years, student participation -- or lack of it -- again was a central issue voiced by candidates running for office.
"What is important is to not vote for your friends -- vote for the issues, vote for the leadership," said Daron Sinkler, one of four candidates running for student body president.
He made the remark during a debate Monday in the Kansas Union. About 60 people attended.
Student elections are Wednesday and Thursday. In addition to choosing a new student body president and vice president, students will vote on new senators and a proposal that would raise student fees $15 per semester for an expansion of Watkins Student Health Center.
In recent years, less than 20 percent of the student body has voted in elections.
This year's coalitions, with presidential and vice presidential candidates and their major priorities and strengths voiced during Monday's debate, are:
- A.S. W.E. GO! coalition: Daron Sinkler, president; Jonathan Gerner, vice president -- Spoke about the need for fiscal responsibility in student senate, cited experience in student government and the need for the senate to be consistent in its funding for student organizations.
- IGNITE: Chad Taylor, president; Tonya Cole, vice president -- Outlined strength in diversity of supporters and experience, said student senate should be more efficient and follow rules more closely and stressed that elected students have a responsibility to serve on boards. Health care and a new recreation center cited as major priorities.
- INDEPENDENT: Bill Gist, president; Scott McDaniel, vice president -- President's office should be used as a bully pulpit, they said, and vowed to fight for students' rights, including drinking on the hill and parking. They also said student government should stop raising student fees, and that non-Greek leadership is needed.
- YOU: Sherman Reeves, president; Eric Medill, vice president -- Cited their experience on various boards and said they know how to get things done. Proposed an expanded recycling program and better KU-city relationships. Also support the formation of a student lobbying task force.