Tess Siri, an ASLMU vice presidential candidate during the debate. 

On Thursday, March 21, the candidates for ASLMU president and vice president convened in St. Robert’s Auditorium to participate in a debate moderated by Briana Maturi, the ASLMU elections advisor.

The debate consisted of Maturi posing questions to the candidates, some of which were prepared initially and others that were taken from the audience. After the candidates gave their answers, the others were able to follow up and pose counterpoints.

The question topics included planned initiatives, fostering an environment of diversity and addressing mental health issues.

Camilla de Pierola, a junior psychology major and biochemistry minor, is a candidate for ASLMU vice president. She is running alongside Sam Cassidy, a junior psychology and film & television production double major.

“I didn’t strategize or prepare [for the debate],” said de Pierola. “It all came from the heart and from our platform. I wanted to be as transparent as possible with my responses and opinions.”

When discussing their planned initiatives during the debate, Cassidy and de Pierola mentioned that they plan on implementing a system where students can donate excess LION Dollars to students experiencing food insecurity so they will have access to meals, as well as the food pantry.

Additionally, the pair mentioned implementing training and education for students and faculty on what to do in the event of a school shooting, given the frequency at which they occur.

“Our three points are ‘cultivate the community,’ ‘create the change’ and ‘ignite the impact,’” de Pierola said. “We want to empower students to voice their opinions and needs so we can work with them collaboratively and make the changes they wish to see on campus.”

Emily Sinsky, a junior international relations major, urban studies minor and candidate for ASLMU vice president, is running alongside Ken Cavanaugh, a junior women's and gender studies major and sociology minor.

“Our goal is to make the campus more equitable and recognize that, from the first day here, students have wildly different experiences,” Sinsky said.

Expounding on this, Sinsky mentioned that the number of LMU students experiencing food insecurity is an issue that is sadly overlooked by many, and it will be rectified should she and Kavanaugh be elected.

“I work at the Santa Monica farmer’s market for my uncle and grew up in a farming community, and coming to L.A. made me realize that food insecurity is such a prevalent issue,” she said. “Almost 20 percent of students at LMU experience food insecurity, even though we’re seen as a private university with well-off students.”

In order to solve this issue, Cavanaugh and Sinsky plan on implementing an on-campus farmer’s market that accepts LION Dollars. In addition to this, they also plan on bringing in more therapists of color and ensuring that sanitary products are in every public bathroom on campus.

The other pair of candidates, Jonathan Ting, a junior marketing major and candidate for president, and Tess Siri, a junior mechanical engineering major and candidate for vice president, said they plan on fostering a social environment in which students feel safe and comfortable with talking about their mental health struggles to one another, among other things.

“Our main slogan is ‘passion with purpose.' We are passionate people in everything we do, and we give our all to everything we do," said Siri. "It’s important for us to be supportive and trustworthy as leaders if we are to be elected.”

Students will be able to vote from March 26 to March 28. Individual ballots will be sent to every students’ Lion Mail account, and they will be able to rank candidates in order of how much they want them to be elected.

Austin Woods is a freshman economics major from St. Louis, Missouri. His favorite band is the Rolling Stones and his favorite food is Indian. You can often catch Austin in his trademark neon yellow Carhartt beanie.

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