Trustee candidates debate issues

This story contains corrected material, published Feb. 27, 2009.

The six candidates for student trustee met in a debate Thursday night to discuss their different platforms and their positions on issues affecting the campus.

The candidates will be up for election when polls open on March 3.

Candidates discussed importance of balancing education and affordability for students, methods for increasing state financial support to the University as well as the frequently controversial entity, Global Campus.

Roberto Martell, junior in LAS, said the students should be the most important thing to consider when making decisions about tuition.

“The focus should be on students first and quality only,” Martell said. “What is the point of being a state University if students in-state can no longer afford in-state tuition?”

Candidates Marty St. Aubin, a junior in ACES, and Dan Weber, a sophomore in LAS, both shared the idea that the University needs to reevaluate the ways it spends its money in order for it to run more efficiently.

“Cutting costs is a huge part of this discussion,” Cox said.

A major part of the financial problems facing the University is the lack of state funding. On this issue, the majority of the candidates shared the idea that more lobbying is necessary to secure additional funds.

“I think it is imperative that we have two large-scale events a year,” said Matt Reschke, junior in LAS. “In addition to large-scale events we also need to continue to keep ourselves and the interest of students at the University of Illinois in the forefront of lawmakers’ minds. Send regular letters, making regular phonecalls and just making lobbying a number one priority on a daily basis.”

Candidate Chris Chung, a junior in LAS, proposed creating an online forum to help develop communication between students and the administration.

The candidates took different stances on the frequently controversial issue of Global Campus.

“I believe that Global Campus is a very clear example of how this administration has been very ineffective and very wasteful,” said Chris Cox, a junior in LAS.

Not outright for or opposed to the entity, St. Aubin said that the University should proceed with caution.

“I see it as a number of potential benefits and potential pitfalls,” St. Aubin said. “If we stay wary of the pitfalls it can put us ahead.”