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CUSG Debate: Presidential candidates to square off in Wednesday debate

The Clemson Undergraduate Student Government (CUSG) presidential debate will take place Wednesday, Feb. 17, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Strom Thurmond Institute.The debate is an opportunity for students to listen to the candidates pitch their platforms and speak about issues on campus. Attendance is open to anyone.
“The CUSG debate is important because it allows people to get to know the candidates better … compare the candidates based on their responses and to ask their own questions …” said CUSG Director of Elections Amanda Nerone. “It gives people the opportunity to be completely informed before voting on March 2.”
Four moderators will pose questions to the candidates: News Editor of The Tiger Justin Lee Campbell, CUSG Director of Elections Amanda Nerone, Editor-in-Chief of The Tiger Town Observer Zachary Talley and one surprise moderator. The debate will begin with a pitch from each candidate. After each pitch, a two-part dialogue will take place in which each candidate is asked a series of questions. 
In the first part, candidates ask each other questions as they are prompted by the moderators and are allowed rebuttals. In the second part, moderators will conduct a Q&A session. Questions will come from moderators and Twitter. Answers are timed.
Presidential candidate and Transportation and Facilities Committee Chairman Joey Wilson said that student involvement in these debates is important. 
“The new format of the debate enables dialogue to take place on all kinds of topics and students can ask about anything they’d like,” said Wilson, a senior bioengineering major. He said that he and his vice-presidential candidate Nicki Seidman, a senator and political science major, have been talking to students about the ideas presented by both campaigns.
“We’ve thoroughly gone through both platforms and discussed what ideas may have the most positive impact on the student body as a whole,” said Wilson. 
Emily Blackshire, the health and human services chairwoman, is the other presidential candidate.
“This debate is crucial to the election process because it gives students the opportunity to really get to know the candidates and garner a better feel for their platforms and leadership abilities,” said Blackshire, a senior language and international health major. Blackshire said that she and her vice-presidential candidate Hunter Burgess, a senior science teaching major, “are excited to hear what students are saying … and are eager to clarify and expand upon points of our platform.”
Nerone, director of elections, said that student participation is important to a successful, informative debate.
“We want as many students to attend from all areas of campus to a campus-wide conversation that hopefully lasts until voting,” said Nerone. “We left a portion of the debate open for students to ask their own questions so that they can really get the information they want out of it.”
To ask a candidate a question, students can tweet using #CUSGPREZ16.  

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