By Natalie Faas
The annual Undergraduate Student Association (USA) presidential debate was held Thursday, giving a chance for the USA executive board candidates to speak directly to the general student body about the upcoming 2021-2022 school year before voting begins on March 22.
The debate began with the candidates for president, executive vice president, vice president of business and finance, and vice president of marketing and public relations. Candidates gave short speeches about their goals for the upcoming school year as well as their plans for the position if they were to be elected.
Since each candidate is running unopposed, the candidates spoke confidently about how they would do their best to serve the student body and make positive changes.
After the opening speeches, there was a question and answer portion in which the presidential candidate, Alyssa Deacon, responded to questions posed by the moderators: USA President Pat Eugenie, Griffin Editor-in-Chief Mike Pesarchick, and Amaya Dennis, the president of the Afro-American Society.
The questions came from a diverse collection of topics, including promotion of student engagement as well as inclusivity on campus and how Deacon plans to employ the Jesuit values in her work as president.
Deacon spoke often about her position as public health committee chair and how it encouraged her to run for president. “I intend to have a Holistic position in promoting the public health of students,” Deacon said.
Deacon also spoke of her strong passion for open lines of communication between students and USA in order to build a strong relationship with the student body.
Deacon’s main goal is promoting student engagement, especially by utilizing clubs and organizations. When asked about the drop in club allocations, Deacon emphasized that she intends to work with the Vice President of Business & Finance to ensure that clubs have the funding to host the events that they want in order to promote student engagement.
A key topic of conversation during the debate regarded diversity, inclusion and ensuring that minority students feel comfortable voicing their concerns. Deacon spoke exhaustively about her experience learning about the unique struggles that minority students often face.
“I’ve been able to grow by being a listener and acting on what those speaking have to say,” Deacon said.