Fox, Sabia square off in first of 3 debates

Fox, Sabia square off in first of 3 debates

by Jenna Duncan, News Staff

The College Republicans, College Democrats and debate team hosted the first debate Student Government Association (SGA) presidential debate between candidates Ryan Fox and Amanda Sabia Tuesday night, focusing on students, policy and events during the past year.

Fox is currently president of SGA, and Sabia is Vice President for Academic Affairs. Fox said he wanted to continue “making student voices heard” as was his last platform last year, but has refined it.

“I’m proud of the accomplishments that have come out of the association under my leadership,” he said in his opening remarks. “From talking to students like you, I have refined my platform for the coming year. It is focused on the areas of direction and control, direction, Northeastern running on your schedule, campus experiences and student living.”

Sabia, whose slogan is “Thing Different. Think Sabia.” stressed the importance of student voice and transparency in the administration.

“My platform centers around the concept of putting students first, representing them, standing up to the administration and effective communication,” Sabia said. “I believe that each student here has a voice and I hope to be the representative for each of them.”

The pair were asked about how they had become involved in SGA, and what they plan to do in the coming year if elected.

“First and foremost, I hope to expand transparency among the administration, and I really want to work to put students first,” Sabia said. “I think sometimes we give a students a voice, but we don’t listen to that voice and that’s a huge issue I see and I hope to be able to change that in the future.”

The issue of transparency with the administration was not echoed immediately by Fox, though was brought out throughout the debate by Sabia. Fox did however say he believed a student should sit on the Board of Trustees, which holds closed meetings, to increase student involvement in high levels of administration.

“The Board of Trustees is where we’re lacking a little bit of student direction and involvement,” Fox said. “I have spoken with some trustees this year but I don’t think that they have the direct and consistent communication with students that they should have.”

The two did disagree on how the controversial “Respect Life” week was handled. Sabia said she believed that these events should be balanced, for example with a pro-life week, while Fox stressed that the other side did not request to host an event, and just because the other side doesn’t have an event doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be held.

Toward the end of the debate, Sabia stressed that was not the only difference between her and Fox.

“Earlier in this debate Mr. Fox mentioned that he built relationships with administration,” she said. “My focus at this university has been building relationships with students.”

The second debate is scheduled for tonight in the freshman quad at 6:30 p.m.

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