Candidates talk issues during Senate debate

By Melissa Caceres/News Director 

Senatorial candidates laid out their platforms and goals during this year’s debate with over 40 supporters and community members in attendance.

With one day before the first day of voting, the April 2 debate at the Modesto Maidique campus featured four out of the seven at-large and and two of the eight lower division candidates.

When asked what the University’s most pressing issues were, several candidates focused on expansion and graduation rates.

“We need to try and help students stay on track to graduate,” said Liane Sippin, who is currently a lower division senator. “This past semester, I’ve met with SLS students to make sure that they know who their senators are.”

Steven Gonzalez emphasized the need to expand into the Youth Fair grounds.

“Our university needs to expand,” said Gonzalez. “If we don’t, we will need to build three more parking garages. Students need to be informed about that.”

Giovanni Castro agreed that University growth is something that students should be aware of.

“FIU really wants to grow,” said Castro. “I don’t know why we’re keeping it a big secret.”

He added that having more students coming to FIU every year “is money in the pot” so there should be less of a need for another rise in tuition in the future.

“If we show tally that we’re worlds ahead, then we can fight the tuition increases,” said Castro.

When asked about the previous SGA senate’s accomplishments, Boris Aparicio mentioned that there wasn’t anything that stood out for him.

“I’m not going to say that the past SGA did a horrible job, but I haven’t seen any big projects,” he said.

He also found it concerning that students aren’t aware of where their Activity and Service fee go or what SGA is.

Lower division senator candidates Benjamin Rosa and Nicholas Alvarez were given the last 15 minutes of the debate hour.

Alvarez said that his main platform is about motivation and inspiration.

“I saw many students in my [first year interest group] fail out of college so I want go out and help other students get on track,” Alvarez said.

Rosa added on the importance of hearing out undergraduate students.

“My main focus is for undergraduates to get their voices out,” Rosa said. “Undergraduates have a lot of power in the future of this University.”

Voting for Student Government at both the MMC and Biscayne Bay campus began yesterday, April 3, and ends today, April 4.

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