Sophomores battle for presidency

Diversity and multitude were not words fit to describe the 2008 Student Government Association (SGA) presidential debate, or rather, duel.This year’s opposing candidates for president are Michael Glynne and James “Jay” Taylor, both of whom are white, male sophomores with two years of experience on SGA.Glynne is currently the Speaker of the Senate, while Taylor is the chair of the Student Action Committee. The debate was held last Thursday in the Waterman Memorial Lounge, and was organized through a collaboration of Emma Grady, the election chair of SGA and William Sedlack, the operations manager of The Vermont Cynic. Before the question period began Glynne said that he felt content, while Taylor admitted that he was nervous. “How could you not be?” he said. A question panel of six members, included representatives from groups ranging from the Student Labor Action Project (SLAP) to Free2Be; Dr. Elizabeth Fenton of the English department served as the mediator.The first question of the night came from senior Jesse Schauben; he asked the candidates if they would be in favor of the diversity training of those involved in SGA. Glynne answered first and said that he believed in an all or nothing stance, meaning that either everyone or no one should receive training.”Some students might be uncomfortable with this diversity training,” he said.Taylor, on the other hand, said he would definitely be in favor of such training.”UVM is a diverse place [and] we really need to embrace that,” he said.The issue regarding the Red Cross on campus was also brought up during the debate.Both Glynne and Taylor said that they would not sup?port the banning of the Red Cross because of its policies.”I don’t agree with their policies,” Taylor said, “but the Red Cross is important.””If you really want to make a stance, you should go to the FDA,” Glynne said.Other topical issues brought to the table included safety, ALANA, legislation, the meal plan and leadership.After members of the panel each asked two questions, the audience was given an opportunity to field questions.One question included what main concerns the candidates planned to work with and change in the upcoming school years.Taylor said that because of the construction of the Plant Science building, parking spaces will be scarce, but he intends to find solutions, such as a running shuttle to the Sheraton hotel where students have been given spots.The problem Glynne addressed dealt with dining facilities closing too early around campus. He said he would encourage students to lobby the administration to support more hours of operation.At the end of the question session, each candidates closing remarks.”It’s my belief that the head of the student body should not be sitting at a desk,” Glynne said.”My experience on SGA and in the RA position has prepared me for this role,” Taylor said.”I think the debate went really well,” Josh Miller, the sole SGA Vice Presidential candidate and current member of the Student Activities Committee, said. “Both candidates were prepared, but I think Jay came with more knowledge of the student body whereas Glynne came with more problems that are not within the jurisdiction of the SGA to fix.”Voting stations will be set up Tuesday and Wednesday, at the Davis Center.