In anticipation of the LUCC executive elections, a forum was held on the evening of Monday, Jan. 20 in the café of the Warch Campus Center. In order to increase student turnout for the election, the three candidates answered questions about their plans for the future of the council and positions on campus issues at a semi-open forum moderated by senior and Editor-in-Chief of The Lawrentian Fanny Lau.
The candidates for president are sophomore Eduardo Elizondo and senior Jack Canfield, who is currently in his fourth year as a double degree student. Junior Devin Ditto is running unopposed for the position of Vice President.
Elizondo is a computer science major with minors in math and physics. His stance emphasized the importance of utilizing students’ knowledge to increase leadership and change on and off campus.
Canfield, the opposing presidential candidate, is a double degree student majoring in vocal performance and religious studies. He stressed the importance of students providing positive community support to others and to the Appleton community at large.
Both have been district representatives on the general council of LUCC during their freshman and sophomore years and were members of finance and steering committees.
Junior Devin Ditto is a psychology major who served her freshman and sophomore years as district representative and is currently the secretary of finance. “Making LUCC more personal would be one of my number one goals,” Ditto said. She wants to apply this mantra to issues such as debt or lack of attention to diverse student groups.
Each candidate responded to a question tailored just for them based on their application. Elizondo described a two-step leadership program on campus focused on interaction of successful alumni with students and designating student leaders to teach others.
“I think it’s extremely relevant,” commented senior and current Vice President Aubrey Lawlor, “but I don’t think it’s so much starting these new programs but to help the programs we already have, such as CORE and LU Step Up, pick up and gain influence on campus. I think it’s a great idea if he looks in the right places.”
“A lot of things I’m looking to do as president are ambitious, larger-scale culture changes,” Canfield said, “and one of those is getting more support for athletics.” His plan proposed ways to increase investment of those in the Conservatory and College, including the creation of a formal pep band, paying vocal students to sing the national anthem at games or to collaborate with sororities and fraternities at sporting events.
On larger issues, candidates expressed their thoughts on the recent change in LUCC from district representatives to four representatives per class year, otherwise known as referendum 2014 A. All three candidates agreed it would be a positive change for a more balanced general council.
“Right now most students that are a part of LUCC are from the freshman and sophomore classes,” Elizondo pointed out, “we believed it would be in our greatest interest to have more students from each class so we can have a better approach to the decisions we make.”
Canfield emphasized that it would “only be a healthy change” and make it easier for students to run without the competition of upperclassmen. He also hoped to add designations for a quota of Conservatory students and athletes that are represented in addition to the class year. Ditto agreed that the referendum would be a positive change to insure “getting more in-depth opinions from every class.”
The floor was opened up to the audience 30 minutes through the forum, at which point senior Jazmin Astwood asked how they would plan to support minority groups on campus. Canfield responded that if the groups reach out to LUCC for help, there’s no reason not to deny it. Elizondo brought up his standing in a minority group to make LUCC more personal, and Ditto proposed meeting with leaders of each group and asking what LUCC could do for them.
“I think something that was not mentioned was, ‘Why don’t you show up to meetings?’” Astwood said. “‘Why don’t you see what’s being talked about?’ Then maybe that could further help the president and VP figure out what needs to be done to help these organizations.”
Sophomore Joe Bazydlo shared his opinions on the two presidential candidates and their differing styles.
“I think that of the two approaches, Canfield’s is the more humanistic, down to earth, and [Elizondo]’s is more scientific and tangible,” Bazydlo said. “In the end, we need someone to put these ideas forward.”
Elections for the new LUCC president and vice president begin today, Tuesday, Jan. 21. Polling will continuethrough Thursday, Jan. 24 outside the Warch Campus Center info desk during meal times.
Correction: In the original version of this article, Mr. Elizondo’s first name was written as “Edward” instead of “Eduardo.”