Students hoping to become representatives in the LSA Student Government came together in Palmer Commons on Monday night for the fall elections’ Candidates’ Forum.

The forum provides candidates with the opportunity to discuss their platforms and answer questions related to their ideas.

“While students can read platforms on the actual voting website, they can look at people’s Facebook pages, they can see fliers all around,” said LSA-SG President Natasha Dabrowski, an LSA senior. “There wasn’t as much of a forum that we could use for students interested in the elections to find out more about the platforms and ask questions because once the voting period starts, students can answer questions but they can’t promote themselves.”

For the past few years, the forum has been held during both the fall and winter semesters. During the fall elections only student representative seats are open, while in the winter elections the president and vice president positions are also open.

The event was mandatory for all candidates. Though the forum was open to all LSA students, the event was not highly attended.

“We really do hope that more and more students will engage through this event and through other events with representatives so that they’re educated in their voting,” Dabrowski said.

This fall, 12 applicants are vying for nine representative spots. Ten out of the 12 applicants are LSA freshmen, which include Carly Berger, Scarlett Ong Rui Chern, Nicholas Fadanelli, Jeremy Glick, Kathryn Graham, Joseph Hansel, Madison Kelly, Uriel Lee, Elaina Rahrig and Alyson Rich. The remaining two candidates are LSA sophomores Aditi Rao and John Steffes.

Student safety and well-being was a prominent topic at the forum. Candidates proposed improving the street lighting on North Campus as well as increasing the number of blue safety lights on campus.

To improve student mental health, candidates suggested spreading awareness about University resources such as Counseling and Psychological Services and University Health Services. Some candidates discussed placing heat lamps, which provide vitamin D, in residence halls to combat seasonal depression.

Many of the candidates also focused on the environment and sustainability on campus. The implementation of a zero-waste program at the Big House to reduce waste was one of the initiatives discussed. The program would divert waste generated during gamedays to commercial recycling and composting facilities.

The polls for the fall election will open at midnight on Nov. 19 and close at 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 20. The ballot will also include three questions at the end to gauge student opinions regarding three issues LSA-SG is working on this year: LSA’s Race and Ethnicity requirement, the accessibility of research on campus and the implementation of zero-waste at the Big House.

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