A.S. VP of university affairs, VP of financial affairs candidates kick off election season at first day of debates

Vice+President+of+University+Affairs+candidates+Winston+Liew+%28left%29+and+George+Scott+square+off+in+front+of+students+at+the+Conrad+Prebys+Aztec+Student+Union+on+the+afternoon+of+Monday%2C+March+18.
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A.S. VP of university affairs, VP of financial affairs candidates kick off election season at first day of debates

Vice President of University Affairs candidates Winston Liew (left) and George Scott square off in front of students at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union on the afternoon of Monday, March 18.

Vice President of University Affairs candidates Winston Liew (left) and George Scott square off in front of students at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union on the afternoon of Monday, March 18.

Will Fritz

Vice President of University Affairs candidates Winston Liew (left) and George Scott square off in front of students at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union on the afternoon of Monday, March 18.

Will Fritz

Will Fritz

Vice President of University Affairs candidates Winston Liew (left) and George Scott square off in front of students at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union on the afternoon of Monday, March 18.

by Michael Cline, Senior Staff Writer

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The candidates for Vice President of University Affairs and Vice President of Financial Affairs gathered to debate in the Aztec Student Union on March 18 for next week’s Associated Students elections.

The two candidates running for V.P. of University Affairs, George Scott and Winston Liew, addressed issues of academic achievement, student resources and inclusion on campus, while unopposed candidate for V.P. of Financial Affairs Dustin Adkins spoke about campus affordability and food and housing insecurity.

Scott, current A.S. Recreation and Wellness Commission Chair, said one of his primary concerns for the university is course availability. He said he would advocate for hiring more professors and allocating funds to ensure access to high-demand classes.

“Every semester, students fail to register for these classes because of the limited spots,” Scott said.

Scott also raised concerns about the need for additional mental health resources on campus. He specifically said he plans on advocating for hiring more counselors to lower wait times and reduce stigma for those seeking counseling.

Liew, the current College of Engineering representative, brought up the need for cross-college collaboration to ensure campus unity.

“I’ve seen the most successful events are when people of different walks of life, cultures and even majors work together,” he said.

Liew also raised concerns about the lack of representation for both engineering and other science students in student government positions on campus.

“I want to be able to represent them and other majors,” he said.

In addition, Liew spoke of the need for A.S. leadership to be available to hear directly from students about issues they’re facing. He also spoke of closing the divide between individuals from different majors and identity groups while giving voice to underrepresented communities.

Both Liew and Scott called for additional action from the university in response to the video that captured a racial slur shouted outside the Black Resource Center on March 2. Liew said the university was right to organize healing circles to support affected communities but added the administration failed to propose any changes that would prevent future incidents.
Scott agreed with the idea of healing circles but was critical of the campus marketing campaign. He said he would prioritize proper advertising and marketing of such events to help create a more knowledgeable and tolerant campus.

“(The healing circles) were not marketed effectively,” Scott said. “There weren’t enough people there from different communities.”

Vice President of Financial Affairs candidate Dustin Adkins, who’s running unopposed, addresses students at the Student Union. Photo by Will Fritz

Current A.S. Student Support Commission Chair Adkins also fielded questions despite running unopposed for his position. He spoke about the need to address college affordability for low-income students and increase efforts to raise funds and pledge campaigns on campus.

“I want to continue working on our basic needs programs, making sure they are fully funded and that we are constantly expanding them,” Adkins said. “I also want to sustain our legacy of running a record-breaking food drive on our campus.”

Adkins also addressed the Sophomore Success Initiative and housing insecurity for students living in San Diego.

“The university needs to be very conscious of its decisions when it comes to things such as housing, which is such a huge cost living in California,” he said. “It is going to be raising the cost of living for thousands of students who have to live in these dorms.”

Adkins also said the university should increase support for low-income students already struggling to make ends meet. Similarly, Adkins said no tuition increase should accompany the SDSU Mission Valley project. He also spoke of the need to address food insecurity for students through the A.S. food pantry and CalFresh program and engage local businesses with the Aztecs Rock Hunger campaign.

A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled Dustin Adkins’ name. The Daily Aztec regrets this error.

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