The Trumpet

Hot seat interviews prompt heated debate between USM presidential candidates

Hot seat interviews prompt heated debate between USM presidential candidates

Photo: USM presidential candidates, Truston Grizzle (left) and Giovanni Brown (right) get into a heated debate over their plans and projections on Topics on the Hill.

Photo Credit: Kedice Reid

By: Jhenelle Dillon

On Thursday, March 24, 2022, the United Student Movement’s (USM) Hilltop Trumpet hosted its third episode of season four for Topics on the Hill—a news and current affairs vid-cast. This very special episode revealed the newly elected candidates who are vying for the different offices in USM for the upcoming 2022-2023 regime, and the candidates were put in the ‘hot seat’ to answer unprecedented questions about their plans for the upcoming regime.

Due to the budding interest of the school’s population and the USM’s fast-approaching election day— which is scheduled for April 5, many tuned in on YouTube to hear what the candidates had to say.

Hosts, Amoy Harriot and Trishagaye Kelly questioned all the vice president candidates, and they also highlighted all the candidates for the appointed offices.

After putting those runners in the hot seat, it was time for them to interview the presidential candidates, Truston Grizzle and Giovanni Brown.

The interview, however, quickly turned into a hot debate when the two candidates shared their views on Grizzle’s plans and projections for the upcoming regime that involves the creation of the university’s student workers’ union.

“The student workers’ union will integrate all the student workers and they, understanding the challenges of each other, will be able to advocate on each other’s behalf,” said Grizzle. 

Grizzle said that this union will be member-operated, and that this new union will have all the resources they need at their disposal, which also includes the finances.  

“We will be having events on campus that will better serve as fundraisers if the USM budget cannot suffice for the student workers’ union,” said Grizzle.

While Brown partially agreed with the idea, he suggested that negotiating with the school would not get the union or the student workers far but that negotiating with the government would be the way to go.

“There are certain laws that need to be reconsidered and put in place so that the university may be able to open some doors for the student workers,” said Brown.

Grizzle then argued that those plans were not for the immediate future, but for the long run and that finding ways to assist the student workers now is where the USM’s focus should be. 

Following Grizzle’s plans was Brown’s idea of what the upcoming school year will be for the larger student body if he were to become USM’s next president, which mostly involves bringing back the university’s school spirit.

“I want to ensure that students can look back when the year is done and say that it was the best 10 months they would’ve ever had at the university,” said Brown.

The students wanted to hear more from both candidates; hence, two debates were planned to accommodate further questions. The first debate took place on March 29, and the second and final debate was held today, March 31, at 2:00 pm.

The debates ended on a positive note where both candidates expressed that regardless of who will become the next president, they will still support each other.

Now, the lecturers and students are eagerly anticipating the results to see who the next USM president will be.

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