Presidential contenders debate policies

Katie DiPerna

Villanova’s Student Government Association presidential election officially heated up last Tuesday night with the first of two debates between the candidates. In front of an audience of about fifty students, the five presidential hopefuls, along with their running mates for vice-president, anxiously discussed their platforms and challenged each other’s most important issues.

SGA’s election commission, consisting of Tim McGovern, current SGA Vice President, along with Joe Mordini, Jennifer Guarino and Thomas Sabatino, oversaw Tuesday’s debate.

The event began with a two-minute opening statement from each ticket, followed by a question-and-answer session. In this section, the election commission asked each pair specific questions about aspects of their platforms. The candidates then had 30 seconds to gain support for their proposals before opponents could take over to dispute them.

“I think that we have strong candidates this year who really care about our campus,” Lisa Marino, a junior biology and psychology major, said after the debate. “It shows that it will be an exciting couple of weeks.”

A few of the issues raised by the candidates this year included the improvement of gyms, campus food, parking and the possibility of a late-night safe bus transporting students along Lancaster Avenue on the weekends. All five tickets echoed the call for a greater sense of unity between students and student groups on campus.

Junior Joe Breslin, a presidential hopeful, discussed his meeting with University President Father Dobbin in his opening statement and outlined his plan to improve the academics at Villanova.

“We want to raise Villanova to a higher tier. We need a more diverse curriculum, faculty and lectures,” he said.

Abolhassan Sadighi, another presidential candidate, called for three main values throughout his opening and closing statements: democracy, diversity and unity.

During questioning, he and his running mate, Gretchen “Molly” Barrett, defended their plan to campaign for a working space for student groups.

“It’s about forming relationships, and working together,” they argued.

The 45 minute debate ended with questions from the audience and two minute closing statements from each ticket.

After the debate, the audience still had some questions.

“I liked what Joe had to say about the academics at Villanova, but overall I still wish there was more about the tangible everyday changes needed at Villanova,” said junior Matt Rattigan.

“I do feel that they are a fine crop of candidates,” he added.