The six groups running for Student Government executive slate debated their campaign issues last night before a small number of interested students. Gathered in Mandel Hall Thursday evening, the five serious slates introduced themselves and explained their platforms against a backdrop of disruption by the Moose Party.
"I think most of the slates did a god job making their views known," said Bill Michel, deputy dean of students at the University of the forum. "I hope that the students who attended the debate will be able to seriously consider the issues presented."
The forum was overshadowed by the Moose Party of Delta Upsilon, which attempted to make a mockery of the other participants and the forum in general. Moose Party representatives talked on their cell phones, interacted with audience members, and heckled other candidates, overtly disrupting the debate.
Candidates were allowed opening statements of four minutes, followed by a question-and-answer session. The Slate that Shagged Me opened the forum by reiterating their platform of proposals regarding increased communication with advisors and various campus issues like transportation.
The MAC slate spoke second, with one member missing due to family obligations. They promised "increased networking" and "mentorship" with graduate students, though lacked specific details.
One of the surprises of the evening was the Click Here to Vote slate. Modifying their posters' cynical outlook on student government, they attacked the plans of the Slate that Shagged Me as "unrealistic," vowing not to make any promises and rather to focus on improving Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs), "what students care about."
Using their introductory statement to assert that they have the most experience of all the slates, metamorphosis stated their intention to push for "more money for more RSOs." metamorphosis is the only slate with a presidential candidate who has been elected to College Council.
The Moose Party took the stage for a short bout of alcohol-related ranting, promising to "flood the school with alcohol" to the raucous cheers of their fraternity brothers. Also present on stage was a student in a full Moose costume, parading around throughout the debate.
Finally, the Charlie's Angels slate departed from the pattern set by previous slates. Instead of talking about their platform, members of Charlie's Angels spoke about their efforts to listen to student concerns. They closed with a commitment to lobby for an online facebook.
Despite the constructive intentions of the majority of the forum's participants, the debate's effectiveness was marred by the active belligerence of audience members in support of the Moose Party.
"I'm disappointed that the five serious slates didn't have more of an opportunity to get their voices heard," said second-year in the College and Inter-House Council (IHC) President Johanna Gray.
IHC traditionally holds a debate between the slates each year, but decided this year to hold a larger forum in Mandel Hall. Students in the audience were eager to hear the slates, but upset that the debate seemed out of control.
"They really should give the moderator more authority to keep things under control," said second-year in the College Mickey Passman, adding that he was agitated by the bold disrespect the Moose Party had for the forum.
Michel concurred saying, "whether or not the Moose slate is disqualified is up to the Election and Rules committee. Official action on behalf of the University is something we will be discussing in the next few days."
The representative of the Moose Party who was dressed as a Moose was removed from the stage by administrators moments before the debate came to its conclusion.