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Letter to the Editor: Open debate necessary for democratic process in USG elections

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As you may know, there is only one registered Undergraduate Student Government presidential candidate this year. I aim to change that and have an open debate among those running, and I need your help.

Next Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Moritz Hall 130, all the preparations have been put in place to have a debate where candidates running for USG’s top spot would be on record to define their beliefs and the issues of this election. There would be not only direct debate that serves to cut past slogans, but there will also be both prepared and open questions so that the issues that matter most are being addressed and shared with the university. That is democracy, and that is an open forum. 

To have this system have a shred of democracy, this election has to be contested. It is only under contest that the best and worst of us are revealed, which is essential for any election process. If only one candidate is on the ballot, we are handing him not only the election, but a full ride for doing nothing. I may grow to love Gerald Basalla, the lone student running for USG president, and vote for him myself, but he has to earn what is in front of him, and we are not going to roll over and let him walk through the front door when he could take any position, no matter how distasteful, between now and voting day with no consequence.

I am not endorsing one candidate or another, but I am making a call to anyone who is a write-in candidate or knows a write-in candidate to message me at peterson.645@osu.edu or casualdebateclub@gmail.com, so we can have an actual discourse, which cannot happen if there is only one candidate. We are consistently ranked as one of the top three largest universities in the country. It is shameful that we have only one candidate. Join me and make a difference. Let our university inherit the ideals of what a university should be, as an open forum where ideas are raised and discourse is held.
Kevin Peterson

Fourth-year in history and economics

 

Editor’s Note: Kevin has informed The Lantern that the debate, scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 24has been cancelled. 

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