CCSC 2011 DEBATE SMACKDOWN
Written by Bwog Staff
Presidents and VPs and Reps, oh my! Last night in Carman Lounge, speeches were spoken, questions posed and time limits were observed…is this democracy at work at Columbia?
When iColumbia Class Representative Sean Udell suggested an epic carnival on campus this coming spring (with both caramel and buttered popcorn!), he inadvertently described the entire Freshman CC debate. Indeed, it was a five ring circus, with the candidates acting as clowns and acrobats, a googly-eyed crowd and CCSC Elections Board member Andrew Ness as ringleader. Let the games begin!
If anything can be said of the debate in general, all of the parties agreed on essentially every policy initiative, from improved computer labs and laundry rooms to expanded hours for JJ’s and better communication with the student body. However, several parties distinguished themselves by choosing not to discuss their platform in their opening address. RealColumia, instead of going into details about their “Four Pillars of Reality,” spent their entire three-minute segment complementing each other on their hardworking attitude (in Vesal Yazdi’s case, “a zest for life”).
Columbia’s 711 Open 24/7, on the other hand, built their entire campaign around suggestion boxes. “I’m not going to do this or do that,” said Ankit “Taj” Gupta, who, instead of discussing his plans for a luau in Uris Pool (that was Class Action) or quoting Spectator articles on satellite gyms (iColumbia), told students how unqualified he was (he also loses his Carman room key multiple times a day) and hopes that his brutal honesty is enough to carry him to victory. Presumably assured of victory, none of 711’s candidates for representative bothered to show up to witness the spectacle.
During the question and answer section, the parties continued to agree with each other, promising transcripts and video of meetings online, facebook messages, weekly emails, etc. The final question, however, cast a shadow on the previous hour of “debate” when the parties were confronted with the expansion into Manhattanville. All the parties with the exception of RealColumbia, who took neither side, supported Columbia, with Fight for Your Right Party going so far as to say that “human advancement” was necessary even though the school would displace 5,000 people from their homes.
Sure, boiling down an extremely complex issue into 30 seconds of soundbyte is no easy feat. But isn’t that what campaign strategists are for?
Just in case you still want to vote, elections will take place this Thursday from 9AM to 7PM. Students can vote on Low Plaza or click on a link to be sent in an email.