SG presidential candidates discuss wet campus, parking in debate

Candidates Scotty Stutts and Ryan Mosley, left, spar with Roshan Palli and Jake Ingram during the debate for Student Government president in Memorial Hall in Lexington, Ky., on Tuesday, February 26, 2013. Photo by Genevieve Adams | Staff

By Nini Edwards | @KyKernel

nedwards@kykernel.com

A heated debate between Student Government presidential candidates shook through Memorial Hall on Tuesday night with discussion of the best ways to meet students’ needs, a possible wet campus and improving parking.

The candidates fired criticisms at each other, with vice presidential candidate Ryan Mosley calling presidential candidate Roshan Palli’s plan an “ill-advised bureaucratic scheme.”

Mosley was referring to Palli and running mate Jake Ingram’s plan to create a Presidential Advisory Board, which would comprise student organization leaders to discuss campus issues. Mosley and presidential candidate Scotty Stutts were concerned that the board would consist of leaders appointed by the SG president and would not be elected.

Stutts and Mosley emphasized their plans to make UK a wet campus throughout the debate, using Notre Dame as an example of a wet campus that houses a campus pub where students can drink and socialize.

Mosley consistently accused Palli and Ingram of changing their original statement to follow Stutts’ efforts of a wet campus.

“The administration already has plans to address parking and there are already plans to address the wet campus,” Ingram said.

The crowd often roared when Ingram finished speaking.

Mosley said that Palli and Ingram were “lying” about the changes being in progress by the administration.

Palli emphasized the importance of campus safety, proposing installing cameras on South Campus and making sure students are getting quicker rides through SafeCats, a service offering free safety escorts.

Stutts pointed out that he wants to make campus wet for safety reasons. He said the sexual violence rate on UK’s campus is higher than the national average.

Palli and Ingram answered Stutts’ plan for parking and a wet campus by stating there are plans already in progress through this UK administration. Ingram reiterated throughout the debate that if a new garage and wet campus happen, it will not be solely because of the student government president.

Parking officials said recently that the firm working on UK’s master plan has made some recommendations regarding future parking structure locations, but no plans have been finalized.

“We are going to see a new parking garage,” Ingram said. “When you see a garage go up in the next couple of years it is not because one of our initiatives.”

Ingram and Palli talked to UK Parking and Transportation Services, which told them it would cost a minimum of $30 million to build a parking structure. This is more than the $1.5 million Mosley told the audience it would cost to build a structure.

“Unless he is planning on building a parking garage on the moon I don’t see how it is possible to be $30 million,” Stutts said.