Forward, the only executive ticket for the 2020 University of Georgia Student Government Association with no prior SGA experience, plans to focus on promoting inclusivity if elected.
Dyer Whitehurst, Forward’s presidential candidate, said one of the ticket’s goals is to diversify student input and educate students on how SGA can help and represent their wants and beliefs.
Whitehurst, Grace Green, the ticket’s vice presidential candidate, and treasurer candidate Kristen Dunning are leaders in their respective colleges and plan to target other leaders to funnel the needs of students campus-wide.
Each member represents a different college on campus. Whitehurst is a junior finance major, Green is a junior human development and family science major and Dunning is a sophomore agricultural communication major.
“A lot of people will probably identify us as anti-establishment or the ‘outsider’ ticket, but we’re just trying to provide perspective to SGA,” Whitehurst said.
As of press time, Forward has 29 endorsements, more than the other two tickets combined. They include 21 fraternities and sororities. Beyond has one endorsement and Unite has eight.
One of the ticket’s concerns is low voter turnout during SGA elections — only about 8,000 participated in last year’s election. Through promotion in the majority of colleges on campus, the ticket hopes to increase student body voting. If elected, they hope students realize how “accessible” SGA is and what it can offer them.
The Forward ticket is also running on diversity — Dunning helped create a diversity outreach panel for the ticket. The panel includes college and minority group club leaders.
“I don’t want to win without the minority vote,” Dunning said.
As vice president of the organization, Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences, gaining the trust and opinion of minority students across campus is important to Dunning and the rest of the ticket.
Despite the possibility of others discounting them for their lack of SGA experience, Whitehurst is confident their platform of inclusivity, accessibility and a fresh perspective will resonate with students.
“Working with them two, I know that they truly care about UGA. They care about the students here. They care about us as more than just the undergraduate body. It’s more than that,” Green said.
Editor's note: UGA Miracle, which had previously endorsed Forward, is no longer listed under the ticket's endorsements.