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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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County board debate planned

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Legislative Affairs Chair Adam Johnson (left) and other committee members discussed the need for a conference between Big Ten schools.[/media-credit]

The Associated Students of Madison Legislative Affairs Committee finalized plans for its county board debate in a meeting Monday.

The debate will take place March 22 at 7 p.m. between District 5 County Board supervisor candidates Analiese Eicher and Michael Johnson. The election will take place April 6.

A room has not yet been confirmed for the debate, but it will most likely be somewhere in the Humanities building, according to Legislative Affairs Chair Adam Johnson.

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Vice-Chair Kyle Woolwich said he thinks the event will be a great place for students to learn about how the county board affects students.

“That’s one of the big questions that we’ll be asking, and what I feel for the audience that will most likely be there, is probably one of the most important ones,” Woolwich said. “One of the main reasons that we’re doing it is to help students get more involved in local politics, and I think it’s a great service to students.”

Johnson said the county board deals with many issues that affect students: environmental issues like Lake Mendota, money for road and infrastructure improvements and transportation outside of the downtown area.

“The county really does a lot of stuff that are not sexy issues — they’re not issues that you can really rally people up over, but they’re issues that can affect your everyday life,” Johnson said.

Adam Johnson will be the moderator for the debate. LAC is also planning to have students submit their own questions during the debate.

Johnson said he hopes the debate will last for an hour or a little under.

Also discussed at the meeting was LAC’s trip to Washington D.C. as part of a Big Ten conference. Johnson said the overall trip was a success, and he is really excited about what it set up for the future.

He would like to establish a conference between all the schools in the Big Ten to discuss issues the universities are facing and to set a national lobbying plan they can all endorse.

This is needed because the Big Ten have distinct needs as large research institutions which other national groups may not be focused on, Johnson said.

“It makes sense to have an individual interest group representing just Big Ten interests,” Johnson said. “So we’re not meaning this to be a threat to currently existing structures — it’s something that’s more specific to our needs as a institution.”

Johnson added if everything goes through, a meeting would take place this summer in the middle of August on a Big Ten campus.

“There’s really a lot of untapped power in the Big Ten as a whole, and I think we can really utilize that power to enact change for students that’s actually meaningful,” Johnson said.

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