Kansas University student body presidential and vice presidential candidates debated Monday night. The election is Wednesday and Thursday.
Candidates for Kansas University student president and vice president traded political barbs and verbal jabs about experience and motives during a debate Monday night at the Kansas Union.
While candidates of the REAL coalition blasted their opponents as representing mostly fraternities and sororities, those of the United Students coalition said their experience and leadership would benefit students.
"Eighty percent of their coalition comes from Greek houses," said David Stevens, presidential candidate for REAL. "If student government does not look like the campus, it does not represent the campus."
"Let's set the record straight on this representational issue," said Kim Cocks, presidential candidate for United Students. "We have people from all kinds of organizations on campus ... just like they do."
A largely partisan crowd of about 100 attended the debate. Members of the audience applauded and screamed after every answer.
While Cocks and her vice presidential candidate, Dan Hare, portrayed themselves as part of a coalition that would bring leadership and experience to student government, their opponents Stevens and his running mate Stephanie Guerin said they were the real leaders.
"We're not a bunch of friends that got together and decided to be leaders," Guerin said. "We're a bunch of leaders that decided to be friends."
"The role of student body president is to represent students," Cocks said. "I know it. You have to know what's going on at the university."
REAL supports making the KU bus system citywide, while United Students wants the bus system to remain under exclusive control of students.
United Students also wants to set up better faculty advising for students, but REAL candidates said student leaders should have made that a priority earlier in the year instead of an election issue now.
Students will pick a new president, vice president and senators on Wednesday and Thursday. Only about 14 percent of the student body has voted in student senate elections in recent years, said Scott Moore, co-chair of the elections commission.