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At UISG debate, tickets clash on experience

BY MICHELE DANNO | APRIL 07, 2009 7:30 AM

As the campaign advances and election day nears, UI Student Government candidates seem to be getting more competitive.

That was the mood at their second debate, held Monday night and sponsored by the College Republicans and UI Democrats. The heated debate pitted three senatorial candidates from each of the parties — L Party, Go Party, and Your Party — against each other and focused on tuition and UISG experience.

Go Party representatives emphasized the six years of experience their party’s leaders, Mike Currie and JD Moran, have behind them.

“I think you need experience in order to lead those who are learning,” said Kate Krohn, a Go Party senatorial candidate. “When you already have so many experienced people with their foot in the door, that will balance all these new people. It really evens out, and we form a new party.”

Your Party candidates said their party also has a mixture of students with and without UISG experience. They repeated their campaign promise of “giving students a voice” and said they want to “break down the proverbial door” currently existing in UISG.

“Another year of senate inaction and another year of people with experience alone does not equal action,” said Alejandro Alonso, a Your Party senatorial candidate.

L Party candidates said all of their members are new to UISG, and some even new to the UI, but many have other leadership experience on campus.

“We are the underdogs with that we aren’t from UISG,” said L Party senatorial candidate Jessica Rumbold. “But we really are bringing all we have to offer to the table.”

Tuition sparked another controversial discussion.

Go Party hopes to lock in tuition. At one point during Monday night’s debate, Go Party senatorial candidates noted state Board of Regents member Robert Downer told them he was “behind this idea.”

But Downer told the DI Monday night that, while he has been in contact with Go Party candidates, he has never told them he supported their tuition plan.

Presidential candidate Mike Currie clarified his conversation with Downer, noting Downer told him he would support measures to increase the UI’s four-year graduation rate, which his party believes would happen with a locked-in tuition.

L Party representatives said their group hopes to team up with other regent universities to lobby the state Legislature to support freezing tuition. They also said their presidential candidate, Ryan Kopf, has already met with officials from Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.

“I think that if we join together with other universities, the Legislature will realize this is a problem, and I think we can achieve something by that,” Rumbold said.

Your Party officials said UI Provost Wallace Loh told them freezing tuition is not possible at this time. But Loh told the DI he “can’t imagine” commenting on the issue because the UI doesn’t have control of tuition, noting the decision is up to the regents.

Instead of a tuition freeze, Your Party representatives said they want to empower those suffering from tuition increases and “flood the Statehouse” with students demanding lower tuition.

The final UISG debate will be held on Wednesday in the IMU second-floor ballroom.


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