SGA tickets talk safety, town relations at debate


Graphic by Ashley Spencer | The Appalachian

Nicole Caporaso

The Student Government Association hosted a debate between the three tickets running for SGA president and vice president for the 2014-15 academic year Tuesday in Linville Falls of Plemmons Student Union.

The three tickets include Adam Ezell and Patrick Sullivan, Matthew Norman and Nicholas Smith and Carson Rich and Daniel Tassitino. Approximately 100 students attended the debate that was moderated by Dino DiBernardi, an associate vice chancellor of student development.

Tickets addressed what they saw as Appalachian State University’s weaknesses and what they would recommend to the new chancellor.

“One of the first things that comes to mind is the student relationship with the town of Boone, especially with voting being taken off campus,” said Tassitino, a sophomore international business major running as Rich’s vice presidential candidate. “There is definitely a lot of opportunity for growth.”

Rich, also a sophomore and an advertising major said he wants the new chancellor to really realize that this is a university and a community, not a business.

Graphic by Ashley Spencer  |  The Appalachian
Graphic by Ashley Spencer | The Appalachian

“We are not just numbers on a spreadsheet, we are people with personalities,” he said.

Sullivan, a sophomore public relations major running as  Ezell’s vice president said he would prefer to not refer to things that can be improved upon as weaknesses.

“I don’t want to consider them weaknesses, but safety is definitely one thing,” Sullivan said. “There is no excuse for any sexual misconduct or sexual abuse to occur on this campus.”

Sullivan and Ezell strongly believe in incorporating Red Flag  Campaign training on campus more prominently to help combat the issue of campus safety, Sullivan said.

Ezell said he wants to be sure a strong student voice is maintained with the era of a new chancellor and that the relationship between the town and university can be improved.

Norman, a junior accounting major who is running for president, said that two things he thought of were increased nutritional food options on campus and emphasis placed on a campaign called “Silence the Stigma,” which will help students get over their anxieties or fears of going to the counseling center.

“Another thing is that we need to be sure that students have representation, that their voice is heard, whether it is through clubs, organizations or the SGA senator that represents them,” said Nicholas Smith, Norman’s running mate and junior political science major.

Closing statements provided by the candidates demonstrated the hopes of each running ticket if elected.

“Daniel and I are both sophomores, but we want to run now because we are going to be here to see change play out and we are going to be able to experience it,” Rich said. “We can go through this process with the students.”

Norman said the SGA president and vice president have the ability to make many changes occur.

“We are only two people, but if we can get the voices of the students heard then we can make something great and we can build something we can all be proud of,” he said.

Ezell said that with the experience and diversity of the Ezell-Sullivan ticket, if elected, he is sure that the voice of the student body will be represented and heard.

“We have a full understanding of what needs to be done,” he said.

Voting is open now through Wednesday on Appalnet.

Story: Nicole Caporaso, News Reporter
Graphic : Ashley Spencer, Senior Graphic Designer