As the mayoral election quickly approaches, several student organizations will host the three major candidates. The event, which will take place on Monday, Mar. 7, is sponsored by Pi Sigma Phi, Student Government Association (SGA) and the Contemporary.
“All three major candidates have confirmed. We have the current mayor of San Antonio, Ivy Taylor, City Councilman Ron Nuremberg, who is also a Trinity alum and Chairman of the Bexar County Democratic Party and Manuel Medina. They’ll be there participating in the debate and Rick Casey, a prominent local celebrity and radio talk show host will be moderating,” said Nick Santulli, president of SGA.
Sean Watson, president of Pi Sigma Phi, the political science honor society co-sponsoring the forum, described the logistics of the mayoral forum.
“Basically you’re going to have the three candidates on stage answering a mix of questions, some that have been based on topics that have been predetermined, some that have been sourced from our online platform through which anyone in the community can login and submit a question. We will be choosing some of those in advance to ask the candidates and some will be live as people go to the mic and ask the candidates questions themselves,” Watson said.
Maddie Kennedy, co-president of Trinity Progressives, found that hosting this forum provides the opportunity to show that Trinity cares about and is involved with what happens outside of the Trinity bubble.
“I think that this sends a message that Trinity does care about local politics and does care about the things that are happening outside of the Trinity bubble. We talk a lot about how Trinity might exist in a bubble, but I think having this mayoral debate shows that Trinity students and Trinity administrators care about what happens outside of campus and in the San Antonio community at large,” Kennedy said.
Watson said that the mayoral forum is open to the public and intended to allow the campus and community to gain a better understanding of the mayoral election.
“The goal here is to give both students and members of the general San Antonio community the opportunity to get more information about the mayoral campaign. It will be broadcasted live through the Tiger TV network, livestreamed and stored in the Trinity archives. People will be able to access it from all over San Antonio. We’re reaching out to members of the community and getting as much engagement from them as we can, and we’re really just hoping to provide a platform through which Trinity students and members of the general San Antonio can together gain a better understanding of what the issues in this election are, what the candidates’ positions are, and potentially which candidate they’d like to support,” Watson said.
Santulli explained that, while the forum will be open to the public, there will be a Trinity focus in the topics discussed.
“It’s for the general San Antonio community, but there will be a focus on Trinity and probably issues specifically affecting young people given that the school and student organizations are supporting it, but we’re also encouraging local community members to attend the event and learn more about the candidates. Ultimately this does affect everyone in San Antonio, and this is a good way of connecting Trinity with the city and its residents,” Santulli said.
Kennedy described how elections at the local level can give voters more influence over how laws can directly affect them,
“Talking from a progressive standpoint specifically, Texas is a red state and so the effect that voters can make on state politics and federal politics is relatively limited. On the local level, however, there’s a lot more control. So it’s really important to be involved in local politics because a lot of the issues that directly affect Trinity students and San Antonio residents occur at the local level. So if there are things happening at the state level or federal level that you don’t like, there might be action that your local representatives can take that can help you out,” Kennedy said.
Santulli discussed how the mayoral election can affect prospects for students after Trinity.
“Local politics affect people more than they know. I think a lot of us would like the opportunity to stay in San Antonio if we’re able to find the opportunity and ways to sustain ourselves here. Especially this year, a really pressing issue is San Antonio’s growth, and how economic development should be pursued, and I think there are issues within this that could really affect students’ job prospects after Trinity and quality of life in San Antonio,” Santulli said.