Indiana Wesleyan University Student Government Association President Tim Scurlock (jr) and presidential candidate Caleb Bowers (jr) debated on a variety of important issues Thursday, Feb. 20 in the Barnes Student Center Commons.
Essentially, it was a debate between “one-ness” and “openness.”
Scurlock centered his opening remarks around the school’s theme for the year, “One,” based on Revelation 7:9. He continued this theme throughout the debate, stating his goal to unite three of the school’s key offices: Student Development, the Dean of the Chapel and Academic Affairs.
“We really want to reconcile an integrated experience here at IWU,” Scurlock said.
He also mentioned his desire to get students talking about important issues by implementing monthly topical forums next school year, similar to the ones SGA organized earlier this year on media involvement and homosexuality. The SGA will also host a forum on science and faith later this semester.
Bowers, meanwhile, focused his message on making SGA more open to students. If elected, he plans to keep the SGA office door open all the time, so students feel welcome to enter. Bowers stressed he wants SGA not only to bridge the gap between the students and administration, but also from the administration to students.
“We can’t get every idea from every student, but we want a much more open SGA for everyone next year,” Bowers said.
Once the candidates had answered the planned questions from moderator Jeremy Sharp (sr), students in the crowd asked questions
Commuter student Brandon Houser (so) asked about the relationship and tensions between IWU and the city of Marion. The candidates had very different approaches on the topic.
Scurlock said an experience with a local business owner had encouraged him to pursue extending the meal plan’s point system to restaurants in Marion. This will start building the relationships between IWU and Marion, according to Scurlock.
Bowers disagreed with Scurlock’s idea, stating that IWU needs to serve the community of Marion “before we go about a deal with them.”
One other highlight of the night came when Scurlock addressed a question asking about a rumor of plagiarism in his Letter to the Editor to The Sojourn.
Surprised by the rumor, Scurlock said he didn’t know how he would plagiarize a letter about specific issues related to his campaign and presidency.
“I wrote it together with my cabinet [I am running with],” Scurlock said.
Wyatt Ferree (fr) thought both candidates did well, despite their different approaches.
“They both recognized that there was a problem with representation,” Ferree said. “I barely even knew about SGA until a few weeks ago, but I feel like a lot of the ideas they have will help get students’ ideas through.”
The election will take place next Wednesday, Feb. 26, at McConn Coffee Co.