A.S. candidates take to the stage for second day of debates

Candidates for president, executive vice president and vice president of financial affairs are all running unopposed


David Santillan

Christian Onwuka, Chris Thomas and Nick Wohlman — the candidates for A.S. vice president of financial affairs, president and executive vice president — take part in a panel discussion in lieu of a debate, as all three are running unopposed.

by Bella Ross, Senior Staff Writer

The unopposed candidates for president, executive vice president and vice president of financial affairs joined a panel-style discussion on Wednesday in preparation for the upcoming A.S. elections.

The candidates addressed campus issues such as the current status of Greek life, the undocumented community at San Diego State and how to address the use of the Aztec warrior mascot.

The group featured presidential candidate Chris Thomas, executive vice presidential candidate Nick Wohlman and vice president of financial affairs candidate Christian Onwuka.

All of the candidates presented at the panel are running as members of the Elevate SDSU slate, which also includes vice president of university affairs candidate Anya Shutovska and vice president of external relations candidate Michael Wiafe. Shutovska is running against Ronnie Cravens for the position, and Wiafe is running against Latrel Powell.

Following a social moratorium that was imposed on SDSU fraternities on March 9, Thomas, Wohlman and Onwuka – all of whom have had involvement with fraternities in their time at SDSU – said they were in agreement that the moratorium is an important step for greek life on campus.

Wohlman, who is also the executive vice president of the interfraternity council, which  imposed the social moratorium, said he has seen a number of universities remove Greek life from campus completely. He said he doesn’t want to see that happen at SDSU.

“I believe that, for the longevity of our council, that this was an absolute necessity,” Wohlman said.

Onwuka said he agrees with this and that the social moratorium is essential to hold greek organizations accountable.

Thomas responded to concerns from critics that his previous role as president of Phi Kappa Theta – a fraternity that was removed from campus during the Fall semester under one of Thomas’s  successors – had tainted his legacy at SDSU.

“When I was chapter president, I don’t regret anything and I don’t think it tarnished my legacy at all,” Thomas said.

In reference to undocumented students at SDSU, the candidates all vowed to take measures to protect this community.

“Everybody on this campus should feel safe regardless of their race, origin, gender, sexual orientation or anything like that,” Wohlman said. “Your documentation status extends to that as well.”

Onwuka said he has been a leading voice within the financial affairs committee in support of DACA recipients.

All of the candidates agreed that the Aztec warrior mascot is inappropriate and should be retired.

The candidates each came to the stage with different focuses for next year.

Onwuka said he wanted to focus on minority representation in campus organizations, Thomas said he would like to focus on safety and Wohlman said he is most passionate about stimulating dialogue between those on opposite ends of campus issues.

“We can’t just have two different sides to a problem and complain about it and then, once there’s a vote, go our separate ways,” Wohlman said, largely in reference to recent disagreements over the recent ARC referendum. “We need to be able to come together.”

Thomas said wants to promote greater campus safety in every sense of the word, from feeling safe walking home at night to students feeling safe enough to speaking their minds.

“The end goal we want to accomplish is for every student to feel safe and to feel safe speaking their voice,” Thomas said.

Onwuka closed the panel with a reminder to all students regarding their role in campus politics.“Hold us accountable,” Onwuka said. “If you feel like we’re not doing our job, come to us and express those feelings.”