The 82nd annual RCSGA presidential debate took place Monday night at the Pier where candidates, juniors Lucas Virnig and Patrick Love, battled it out for the 2013-2014 Richmond College Presidential title.
The debate traditionally takes place the night before voting opens to allow the candidates a chance to voice their platforms and give the student body an opportunity to ask questions before voting.
Richmond College dean, Joe Boehman, said he thought either candidate would be able to bring a diverse opinion and thinking to the Senate.
“I think both Patrick and Lucas have the potential to be solid presidents,” he said.
Virnig began the debate by explaining his platform in three key parts: transparency, accessibility and availability. Love’s platform is based on increasing student participation and implementing projects that students have interest in.
“The main point for me is to increase participation from students with decision-making processes on campus,” Love said. “Getting students involved and making it a collaborative effort with the Senate and administration will allow us to work together to pave the path for a better UR.”
Love discussed how he wanted to add student liaisons to work with the student body and the administration to get students involved and solutions proposed. In addition, Love wants to take it a step further and have a member of the student body sit on the board of trustees with voting rights to add a voice when large decisions are being made, he said.
Virnig believes student participation is everything and he is looking to find solutions to student concerns such as more accessibility to the health center and more parking on campus, he said. As a student representative on the Presidential Athletic Council, Virnig thinks it is important to hold students with voting rights accountable so that they can give the full student opinion and not just the ones of those who choose to vote, Virnig said.
“Earlier I talked about holding students accountable but it also comes down to the senators being responsible,” Virnig said. “This is not about adding something to a resume, it’s about making a lasting impact on the school.”
Love and Virnig both discussed the need for transparency from the administration and the importance of strengthening the coordinate college system while partnering up with the Westhampton College Government Association and giving everyone an identity at the university.
It is important to realize that some students at Richmond do not associate with a specific gender so creating gender neutral housing and diplomas is important in creating an accepting culture at Richmond, Love said.
Virnig discussed with WCGA President Taylor Michals the resistance that she and former RSCGA president, senior Evan Harris, had received from the administration, he said. Virnig believes he has a great relationship with the administration and would be able to find common ground, he said.
“First week of school freshman year I went to Dean Joseph Boehman’s door and introduced myself,” Virnig said. “I told him I wanted to get involved.”
Transparency is one of the main cruxes of Love’s platform. Love was a member of the men’s track and field team and feels transparency is an issue that needs to be addressed, he said.
“What separates me from the other candidate is my passion,” Love said. “I have been directly affected, and it has altered what I see as the vision of the university. You know I will go out there and fight for the students, what they want and what they want to see.”
Virnig wants to leave a lasting, positive mark on the university, Virnig said.
Love believes that his sincere, genuine and amicable personality will help him to reach out to all different personalities on campus. “I’ve been a part of student government since fifth grade,” said Love. “I love that it’s an outlet to the changes students wish to see.”
Love won the election Wednesday night and is the new president of the Richmond College Student Government Association.
Contact reporter Katie Davidson at email@example.com