“Overall, it was a very classy debate”

If there’s one thing AMS presidential candidates Michael Ceci of team CYZ and Colin McLeod of team MAP agreed on at Wednesday night’s debate, it’s that the debate was a success.

“Overall, it was a very classy debate,” McLeod said. “Both teams showed they deserved to be here.”

McLeod noted that both teams were largely on the same page for much of the debate.

“There was a lot of consensus on issues.”

McLeod said he felt social issues were one of the most important topics of those debated. He said if elected, he wanted to tackle diversity issues before incidents happen.

“Right now, the focus is on issues after they happen,” he said. “Awareness isn’t the issue right now, it’s being proactive.”

McLeod said he wants to bring in the National Coalition Building Institute to run workshops on diversity.

“By bringing in this external organization, they’re able to bring the historical context,” he said. “We are by no means imposing this on students.”

McLeod said he thinks his team’s consistency is one of its strongest traits.

“We’re truly on the same page. … We need strong leadership. Students, when voting, should take that into their minds.”

Ceci said he felt it was important for his team members to highlight the differences between themselves and their opponents.

“The most important issues were letting students know how we’re going to approach the issues the University’s going to face in the future and differentiating ourselves from the other team.”

Ceci said compared to team MAP, team CYZ stands out for the amount of research and depth that has gone into its platform.

“We don’t constrain ourselves to pillars or key themes. We really take a holistic approach to student government,” he said. “A lot of the ideas we’re proposing are really tangible as opposed to long-term.”

He agreed social issues have been a key theme throughout the campaign.

“On social issues, the AMS needs to … set the example; let students take the initiatives and do what they do best.”

Ceci said his team’s proposed Not At My Queen’s campaign would focus on education and dialogue to bring groups together in a non-judgmental setting.

Ceci also said he wants to foster sustainability initiatives by encouraging the Common Ground to use reusable plates, adding that he’s already spoken to Common Ground management and Food and Safety Director Holly Archer about the plan.

“It’s very feasible; it’s very cheap.”

Ceci said he thought the debate was a positive experience for both teams, and that it’s now up to the voters to inform themselves about the issues.

“It’s incumbent on the voters to do that research and look at the platforms and come to their own conclusions.”

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