With campaigning now underway for the 2020 Student Government Association election, the executive tickets will debate with each other about their platforms, qualifications and the role SGA plays in important student issues.
The debate will begin at 7 p.m. at the Chapel on Wednesday and is open to the general public, who will hear the candidates explain their ideas. Former editor-in-chief of The Red & Black and current staff writer Erin Schilling will moderate the hour and a half debate, which will be livestreamed on the The Red & Black Facebook page.
Briana Hayes, Matthew McDaniel and Hannah Payne are running as the Beyond ticket. The three candidates want to create, uplift and engage with the UGA and Athens communities if they’re elected. All three candidates have served on SGA in various roles over the past few years, which they said equips them to take on a leadership role.
Dyer Whitehurst, Grace Green and Kristen Dunning are running as Forward, the only executive ticket with no prior SGA experience. Forward plans to focus on promoting inclusivity and diversity if elected. The candidates said they want students to recognize how “accessible” SGA is and how much it can offer.
Asim Ahmed, Cheryl Kwapong and Carson Kuck are running under the Unite ticket. They hope to provide accountability, sustainability and visibility if elected. The trio said their strengths lie in their diverse backgrounds. While Ahmed and Kuck are no strangers to SGA, Kwapong has never been a part of SGA.
Comprised of an executive, legislative and judicial branch, SGA aims to be the “organized voice for each student of the University of Georgia,” according to its constitution. It attempts to represent the student body and connect students with the UGA administration.
The executive cabinet discusses administration goals and plans events like resource fairs and initiative tabling. The SGA Senate votes on legislation at bi-weekly senate meetings. The SGA Supreme Court hears violations of the constitution and determines the constitutionality of legislation.
All UGA students can vote during the upcoming election via the UGA Involvement Network, which can be accessed online at involve.uga.edu and on the UGA App.
Starting at 8 a.m. on Feb. 24, each student can vote for one executive ticket, at-large senators, campus-life senators and a specific school or college senator using a digital ballot, according to SGA Attorney General Ethan Pender. Voting closes at noon on Feb. 26.