USG opens debate for small turnout

Nick Glunt

Candidates attempt to involve students

The Rathskeller last night was not just another bar or hot spot for food at Kent State. The Undergraduate Student Government offered free pizza and drinks to attract students to an open forum for this year’s USG candidates. However, this failed to grab the attention of many students — only about 40 students showed up, many of whom were friends of the candidates.

“This place holds a capacity of a little over 200 and something people. Our total undergraduate body is over 20,000 people,” said George Antwi-Obimpeh, candidate for director of communications. “We couldn’t even fill up this area. We need to get more people involved in Kent State Undergraduate Student Government.”

The forum allowed candidates to get on stage with their opposition to introduce themselves and their platforms. After each candidate spoke, current USG position-holders asked them questions regarding increasing student involvement and obtaining student input. Once a student responded to the question, his or her opposition was given a chance to rebut.

Many of the topics touched on by the candidates revolved around being a liaison between the students and USG, elaborating on their own experience and qualifications and getting students involved on campus.

After all the candidates had a chance to speak, the floor was opened to members of the crowd. Members from the crowd asked questions to the candidates of specific positions.

One asked executive director candidates Matthew Gustoff and Justin Pierce what makes them qualified for the position.

“I think it’s an injustice to step into a position of this prestige level,” Pierce said, “without already having proven yourself, without being a key player in other organizations, without having performed.”

He said he is the only known two-term president of Delta Upsilon, which he claimed has seen “tremendous progress in his reign.” He is also the current director of student advancement within USG.

“One thing that I think sets me apart from any kind of competition,” Gustoff said, “is my passion, desire and willingness to learn the position.”

He also said immediately after his initiation into Sigma Chi, he was elected to the executive board. He has held a board position for all four semesters he has been in the fraternity. He is currently the vice president of programming for the Inter-Fraternity Council, where he organized a Greek Week.

Contact student politics reporter Nick Glunt at [email protected].