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Lambert, Marshall continue battle for Student Body Presidency

By John Boschini


Published: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Updated: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

John Boschini/The Carolinian

SGA presidential candidates Katie Marshall and David Lambert, along with unopposed vice-presidential candidate Michael Boglovits, took part in two-night debate last Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of this week’s SGA elections.

Tuesday night’s debate took place in the Cone Ballroom on the first floor of the EUC and took the place of the regularly scheduled SGA senate meeting. The first leg was moderated by current SGA vice-president Galen Price and began with a question and answer session for vice-presidential candidate Boglovits. The session lasted only eight minutes and only one question was asked from the audience with very little focus being paid to election day because Boglovits’ election is merely a formality.

The presidential debate then commenced with each candidate fielding the same question with a two-minute response. The candidate who answered first was then given the option of a one-minute rebuttal with candidates alternating who spoke first.

Both candidates gave their opening statements with Marshall listing her list of on-campus involvements and love of UNCG while Lambert discussed his desire to “have the students become directly involved in the policy-making process here at the university.”

The first few questions focused on campus life and what SGA could do to promote school sprit and keep students on campus during the weekends, with Marshall making it clear that this issue was the cornerstone of her campaign.

“If you don’t have a reason to be here than why wouldn’t you go home or travel to a friend’s school?” said Marshall. “I think it’s UNCG’s responsibility to provide entertainment and also a safe place to be on campus.”

Lambert, a commuter student, acknowledged that student-life should be a focus of SGA, “But in our constitution it says we are a policy-making body,” said Lambert. “[Planning programs] is not our job. Our job is to fix real issues.”

A few questions later the debate turned tense. In a rebuttal, Marshall suggested that the students had not been asked what they would like from the student government to which Lambert gave an audible scoff. Lambert apologized for his “outburst” during his following answer.

“Honestly I didn’t know what had happened until my wife came after me and said to me ‘do you know what that sounded like?’ said Lambert after the debate was over. “And she said it sounded like I snorted.” He explained the snort on a combination of a cold and his mic picking up an inopportune sound-bite “but granted, I didn’t agree with what she was saying so the reaction was genuine. I felt that she was not telling the truth and she contradicted herself many times and it was frustrating but the outburst was completely unintentional.”

“Debating is always heated and you’re always going to stand for what you stand for and I wouldn’t want to debate anyone who wasn’t as passionate as David,” said Marshall. “He showed his emotion in an open way and you can choose to interpret that as a strength or a weakness but I tried to stay the course and just keep talking about what I was talking about. I wasn’t going to stop making my point because he had a reaction.”

The rest of the debate concluded without incident with the second leg taking place in the Claxton room of the EUC the following night with Chancellor Linda Brady moderating the questions.

“I’m just so impressed by the work that all of you do and stress just how important SGA is to the health of UNCG,” Brady began. The rest of the debate was similar to the first leg with Lambert highlighting his record of introducing legislation and mentioning on more than one occasion his record of speaking at 87% of SGA meetings.

Marshall touted her passion for school spirit, “if I cut my finger I hope it would bleed blue and gold,” she said.

The debate concluded without incident with both candidates pleading for students to show up and vote on Tuesday.

But for Lambert the campaigning did not cease after the debates as the UNCG male acapella group, The Spartones, gave a free concert on behalf of the candidate Thursday night.

Lambert also continues to attack Marshall’s experience and commitment. “If you look at her Facebook page and anyone who can wear those shiny shoes deserves some kind of award or applause” Lambert said. “But fortunately, the election isn’t about that, it’s about the students.”

Both candidates have written platforms that can be found on their campaign’s Facebook group. Polls will be open on March 2 and 3 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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