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Volume 69, Issue 106, Monday, March 9, 2004


2 candidates invited to Friday SGA debate

Sponsoring group was unable to contact the other candidates, its president says

By Geronimo Rodriguez
Senior Staff Writer

Two of the four Student Government Association presidential candidates participated in a debate during a Nigerian Students' Association meeting Friday in the Oberholtzer Hall Ballroom. The two who didn't attend said they did not receive an invitation to the meeting.

NSA President Okechukwu Ofili said he was unable to find any contact information for Michael Graves, the Cougar Delegates candidate, and Cougar United candidate Russell Payne. When he does get their contact information, Ofili said, "I'll try and make it up to the two candidates."

Payne said NSA must not have wanted him at the meeting, while Graves said not having all the candidates was a disservice to students.

"I don't think any organization can make an educated decision about who they want to support if they don't know what every candidate stands for," Graves said.

UH 4 U's Jon Quintanilla and Student Voice's Heron Re'chard Thomas expressed their goals if elected SGA president in the general election Wednesday and Thursday.

Quintanilla's statements focused on his three years of experience in student government, which he said gives him the edge in this race.

Thomas criticized Quintanilla's decision to form his own party, describing Student Voice as a "brick house" and calling Quintanilla "just one of those bricks that crumbled."

Quintanilla said his decision to split from the party was personal, adding that "the Student Voice mindset just wasn't for me."

Both candidates agreed on the need for more student input in tuition and fee increases.

Current SGA President Dawona Miller, vice presidential candidate Alysia Minor, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences senatorial candidate Dayo Adeseye, pharmacy senatorial candidate C.C. Washington and technology senatorial candidate Karl Hearne attended the meeting to represent Student Voice. 

Former SGA President James Robertson Jr. -- an alumnus who was the first candidate to run with Student Voice -- also attended.

"I told (Thomas and Quintanilla) that it was a presidential debate, so I thought it was only fair to make the other Student Voice members sit down after introducing themselves," Ofili said.

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