By: Online Editor Hayden Vick
On Wednesday evening of this week, the Young Democrats and the College Republicans co-hosted a Student Body President debate in which John Taylor, Bradley Opere, and Wilson Sink came together on one stage to discuss their plans for a better Carolina.
Well, it may be a bit generous to call the room in which the debate was held a “stage;” the room in the Union where the debate took place was rather cramped, and while an overflowing crowd is always good for both hosts, we may have created a fire hazard in the process. To make the space in the room seem even more claustrophobic, the amount of differing opinions present at the debate were staggering. For example, I stood up before the start of the debate and announced that some people were going to have to stand, but we wanted to make sure that all of the ladies in the room at least had seats. This drew several thankful smiles, but it also produced some sarcastic laughs. In regards to reactions from the candidates, though, it was obvious in both the constant snaps of agreement from followers and the occasional scoffs of disapproval that there were multiple ideological perspectives present at the event.
That said, I want to take this time to put forth an idea that kept me up long after the debate yesterday evening. Throughout the debate, I couldn’t help but be utterly awed by the vast amounts of student perspectives at this school and, maybe more impressively, how so many students fearlessly fight for what they believe. I want to echo what I think each SBP candidate touched on more or less last night: We must take these different perspectives and find ways to challenge our own beliefs by exploring those of others. For example, I plan on putting myself out there more to hear what my fellow students have to say, even if that differs from ideals for which I personally stand. I believe this would broaden all of our perspectives will also providing each of us a platform to expand our own ideas.
This is why, when asked to vote on an official endorsement following the conclusion of last night’s debate, I felt obligated to abstain for the time being. I have only had the chance to sit down and personally converse with one candidate, and I felt as though it was unfair to each candidate and to myself to jump the gun and make a blind endorsement. I plan on getting to know each candidate in the next few days in order to make an educated endorsement, and I encourage every other Carolina man and woman to do the same.