“I think they [the current administration] could’ve taken a more substantial role, in helping the Clegg administration deal with racism in a much better way,” said Sears.
By, Autumn Wright
Texas State hosted a student government debate between the 2018 candidates running for student body president and vice president on Monday night.
More than 100 attended the debate in the LBJ teaching theatre at Texas State on Feb. 12.
Each candidate running for student body president or vice president had an opportunity to introduce themselves and speak on the actions they will take if elected. All candidates shared a common interest in getting students more involved with student government and having marginalized groups be heard.
Candidates said the divisiveness in the Texas State community and racism are the biggest problems students are currently facing.
Elijah Miller, a presidential candidate, said he was tired of the people responsible for these racist banners getting a “slap on the wrist.” He wants to “make an example” of any future perpetrators of the racism to be held accountable for their actions and prosecuted, Miller said.
All presidential candidates are open to getting an immigration attorney for international and undocumented students. However, Brooklyn Boreing, presidential candidate, faced some backlash from the audience when it was made apparent that she voted no on a piece of legislation that would have brought an immigration attorney to Texas State.
Boreing said she was pressured to vote no by Texas State administration because she, along with other cabinet members, were told that it was not possible.
“I said no because I knew it was unobtainable, and I didn’t want to create false hope. I wanted to work on a piece of legislation and work with people…to obtain an actual solution,” said Boreing.
Boreing said during the debate she does support Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and wants to protect undocumented students by finding another solution to be protected if an immigration attorney is still unobtainable.
Preston Nieves, a presidential candidate, said he voted yes on that same legislation because of his moral belief on wanting to give every student their equal rights.
“In the political climate that we live in, it is necessary to take a stand on what we believe is right,” said Nieves.
Candidate Nieves said the accusation that Texas State was not able to get an immigration attorney was baseless information that was actually false.
“There is nowhere in writing that says we cannot have one (immigration attorney),” said Nieves. “Even if that was true, sometimes it is necessary to send a symbolic vote to show the people that we are willing to stand up and send a message to people that we are not going to let our immigrant population be oppressed.”
Christian Sears, a vice presidential candidate, addressed the issue of racism and said the current administration of student government has “fallen short” on addressing the racist flyers that have been posted around the campus since late 2016.
“This has been an ongoing problem for a few years now,” said Sears. “I think they [the current administration] could’ve taken a more substantial role, in helping the Clegg administration deal with racism in a much better way.”
Sears said he along with his running presidential candidate, Nieves, are going to work on diffusing racism on campus.
Both vice presidential candidates, Emari Shelvin and Ruben Becerra, agree that racism is a big issue on the campus and that the lack of communication between the administration and students is what has created the divisiveness in the community.
Shelvin said she plans to create an open forum for presidents of all on-campus organizations to voice their opinions and concerns to student government.
Elections will be held from Feb. 19-22. Students can vote on the second floor of the LBJ Student Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.