SGA candidates debate, suffer from low turnout


Photo by John Hollins.

On March 9, spectators gathered into the Joe Paul Theater to watch executive candidates for the Student Government Association debate.

These debates allow students to get to know candidates and their stances on the issues. With the recent internal restructuring of SGA, there are now some new positions that will be getting ushered in this election. 

President candidates: 

  • Rachel Shoemaker
  • Sherrice Wright

Vice President for Judicial Affairs candidates: 

  • Kelsi Ford
  • Kaylen Grey

Senior Vice President candidates: 

  • Allie Estorge
  • Olivia LeBlanc

Vice President of Communications candidate: 

  • Anna Denette

Vice President of Finance and Administration candidate:

  • Mallory Ivy

Despite the difference in positions, all candidates had platforms primarily focused on transparency and more engagement with the student body. Diversity became a buzzword for many candidates. 

“Honors College, Luckyday, those big groups, those are the people that need to make the decisions. I don’t believe that anyone needs to belong to any subgroup to serve, but I believe those big groups need to be involved in making the decisions,” Candidate for vice president of judicial affairs, sophomore political science major, Kyle Martin said. 

While all candidates ended the night in good spirits, the low attendance to the debate reflected a need for outreach. 

“I just wish there were more people who came out to support,” Estorge said. “We could have multiple debates, or have them on another night, or weekends. So far this is the biggest turnout we’ve ever seen, which is wonderful, but also a little disappointing, too. I just hope through my administration we can promote student success and get students participating.”

SGA president Michael Matrick said that it is important for students to attend SGA debates and be involved. 

“I think it’s equally important for people to come watch things like this more than for people to run for these positions because that shows there’s investment,” Matrick said. “That’s the whole idea of everything, we’re invested in the student, and in turn, the students can get the most of their college experience. I try to make sure everyone is having the best experience, we’re at one of the best schools can be at, so why not?”