By Adam Baker/News editor

Students competing for top spots in the Student Government Association sounded off Monday in a SGA sponsored debate. The candidates also sat down with The Progress to tell us why they would be the best pick.

Lance Melching

Q. Why do you think you would be the best person to represent all students at Eastern?

A. Here on campus I’ve helped abolish plus/minus (and) tuition charges for credit hours past 16. I’m working on academic advising now and I’ve worked on changing parts of the catalogue to make it more acceptable for students. (Colmon and I) already have shown, with 16 semesters of experience, we can do these things and that separates us from the other candidates.

Q. What do you think is the biggest issue facing Eastern?

A. One of the biggest issues I think will be the housing master plan.

Q. What do you think are the strengths of your opponents?

A. I think their strengths are that they’re all full of enthusiasm. They all have great ideas and they’re all very committed.

Q. What do you think are the weaknesses of your opponents?

A. I think … that they’re not necessarily as experienced as you might hope.

Q. How will you balance all your duties and time comments if elected?

A. I’ve already scheduled only 12 hours for next semester. I’m weening myself away from everything. I’ll have to relinquish my seat on Interfraternity Council and I’ll have to relinquish my seat in the fraternity … and be primarily dedicated to SGA.

Q. What one word would you use to describe yourself?

A. Diligent.

Craig Pike

Q. Why do you think you would be the best person to represent all students at Eastern?

A. Because of my experience level and my ability to adapt to situations. I feel that students as a whole don’t have a voice. I feel like I can represent every person equally.

Q. What do you think is the biggest issue facing Eastern?

A. Our campus is a suitcase campus, and there is really nothing for students to do once they get here. I feel like we need to unite the campus. We want to keep students on campus and provide an atmosphere that is enjoyable.

Q. What do you think are the strengths of your opponents?

A. Lance, for example, has an understanding a little bit more of how exactly things will run in the office.

Q. What do you think are the weaknesses of your opponents?

A. There are a lot of issues on campus that have been here and things that need to be fixed that haven’t been fixed. Those things were here when (Lance) was running last year and those things are still here now.

Q. How will you balance all your duties and time comments if elected?

A. I had a former SGA president tell me that no matter what your life experiences are … nothing is going to prepare you for the time commitments and activities that you’re going to have to be involved in. I think that the one real benefit that I have is that I spent four years in the military as an air traffic controller. That high stress environment require you to think on your feet and prioritize situations and events.

Q. What one word would you use to describe yourself?

A. Innovative.

J.C. Young

Q. Why do you think you would be the best person to represent all students at Eastern?

A. I understand what a representative means. It’s a public servant and you have to have a servant’s heart for that and that’s something I have. You’ve got to be able to want to help students and I feel like now, more than ever, we need that at Eastern.

Q. What do you think is the biggest issue facing Eastern?

A. I would say being a part of Eastern – unity among all students. Extended campuses do not feel like they’re part of Eastern. The biggest problem is unity and campus pride. We’ve got to be proud to go to Eastern and we got to love it here and a lot of students don’t do that – no matter what kind of student they are.

Q. What do you think are the strengths of your opponents?

A. All of them are good leaders and they are because they step out and they’re not afraid to do this. Anybody in this election could do the job and pull it off.

Q. What do you think are the weaknesses of your opponents?

A. I think we know students here because we’ve been here a while. We’ve interacted with … everybody. We know Eastern students – more so than (the other candidates).

Q. How will you balance all your duties and time comments if elected?

A. I am looking forward to that challenge. I am very conservative about time. I don’t like slaking. I’ll be a graduate student so I’ll be having night classes which frees up all of my day for SGA. I plan on being in the office at 8 a.m. … and I plan on being there all afternoon.

Q. What one word would you use to describe yourself?

A. Dedicated.

Colmon Elridge

Q. Why are you running for this position?

A. I’m really running because I think I have a lot to bring to this university. There is so much more that we can be and that we should be and that we aren’t. There are so many issues that we can talk about and should talk about and not only talk about but act on. We should be pro-active instead of reactive.

Q. If you could see senate accomplish one thing next year, what would it be?

A. I have big goals for senate next year. My biggest goal for senate is to become a body that passes legislation, that makes recommendations, that really becomes the heartbeat of student issues. The biggest thing is to make sure that we formulate legislation, ideas and programs that are proactive to the needs of the student body.

Q. What’s one word you would use to describe yourself?

A. Passionate

Susan DeHart

Q. Why are you running for this position?

A. There is a lot of things I want to see done on campus that I think that if I’m put in this position that I’ll be able to help get done.

Q. If you could see senate accomplish one thing next year, what would it be?

A. More campus involvement. I want to make the students feel that even though they’re not a senator and that they’re not directly participating in SGA but they still have their voice and we’ll still hear it. I would like to have the second Tuesday of every month when we hold Senate the first 15-20 minutes we’ll hold open for students to come in and voice their opinion with us openly.

Q. What’s one word you would use to describe yourself?

A. Motivated.

Amy Jo Smith

Q. Why are you running for this position?

A. I’ve been on senate a year and I absolutely love it and everything in me wants to go further. I think this is the next step. I think things are very good right now, but you can always do better and I want to be a part of that process of helping student government grow.

Q. If you could see senate accomplish one thing next year, what would it be?

A. I would really love to see all the senators … get out there more and interact with the people that they’re with. I think that each department should have a contact person. I think that is definitely one thing senate could use as it’s advantage that we’re not doing right now.

Q. What’s one word you would use to describe yourself?

A. Motivated