Clean cut and dressed in suits, the two Fairfield University Student Association presidential candidates squared off Wednesday night  in front of roughly 75 students and passersby in the lower level Barone Campus Center. A series of defining debates revealed two different leaders and possible futures that the student body will vote on come Tuesday.

Junior Sam Maxfield presented himself as an accomplished and experienced FUSA politician who offered many ideas for the future. He highlighted his perceptions of FUSA’s recent success and improvements to the University.

Junior Alex Long called for the student body to come together and use their voice to bridge the gap between students and the administration.

Both candidates were confident throughout, delivering each answer with their own unique styles.

The debate was held in three parts which included traditional mediation by The Mirror’s Editor-in-Chief Martin O’Sullivan, cross examination and a student Q and A.

Long, who spoke to the crowd with a conversational demeanor, argued he would better represent the student body, underlining his diverse extracurricular involvement.

“I’m really engaged in the culture,” Long said, stressing throughout his monologues that we must move in a direction that will give us greater “Stag pride.”

While Long focused the heart of his arguments on student’s social issues, such as pushing quiet hours back at the townhouses and creating a book exchange network for students, Maxfield argued he was a candidate who has already proven himself with recent improvements to the University during his time on FUSA.

“For me, I’ve been committed to FUSA since freshman year,” said Maxfield. Budget growing ideas were suggested by Maxfield, such as suggesting a sophomore parking lottery and a reexamination of FUSA’s budget.

During cross examination Maxfield inquired what Long – who admitted to be poor at managing his time – would do about the extreme time commitment that comes with being FUSA president.

“If I am elected I am ready to commit to FUSA as my one extracurricular activity,” Long answered. In addition to being a full-time student, Long works two jobs and has a senate position on FUSA.

Furthermore Maxfield expressed his commitment to seeing that “classic programs,” such as the President’s Ball and the Fall Concert, are around for years to come. Proving to be an ambitious candidate, Maxfield’s arguments did have flaws; his attention to past accomplishments and his lack of detail with his future plans. “The four point plan” that Maxfield mentioned in his Q and A with The Mirror was not elaborated on.

Long also didn’t touch on everything he had previously discussed with The Mirror.

“I think that there are things in the back of my mind that I wanted to get to and I didn’t,” he said after the debate had ended.

In their closing arguments, Maxfield noted he is the candidate to take the current success we have seen FUSA have and build on top of it. Long once again stressed the team aspect of FUSA’s future role as the student’s voice heard by the administration and the Inter-Residential Housing Association.

Although most students in attendance kept their votes anonymous, all who spoke to The Mirror agreed their vote was not swayed, but rather solidified by Wednesday night’s debate.

As students head to the polls on Tuesday, Feb. 26, they will have to decide what kind of leader they want for next year. This year’s elections will be held by the BCC Information Desk and not on the lower level.

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