As the Student Government Association presidential debate and election approaches, executive office candidates are preparing themselves for Thursday’s debate and making final efforts in their campaigns.
Executive officer candidates Josh Sorbe, with running mate Madison Green, and Marcus Ireland, with running mate Caleb Munce, hope to answers students’ questions and concerns at this year’s SGA presidential debate, which is co-hosted by the Cross Media Council and Political Science League.
Ireland and Munce
Ireland, a junior political science, criminal justice and philosophy triple major, and Munce, a junior political science major, are running on a platform of
Ireland said his focus is to remove the divide between students and SGA and to make students more aware of what the organization does through routine emails and inviting students to weekly meetings.
“My primary goal is to remove that gap, through having things such as special town halls with the deans,” Ireland said. “We also want to implement programs that would require senators to go out and speak with students.”
Ireland said their campaign is focusing on creating awareness about SGA as a whole, instead of focusing on just the election.
“We try to educate them on the issues that SGA is currently handling outside of the debate itself and then going on and informing them about our own
campaign,” he said.
Regardless if the outcome is in their favor or not, Ireland said he can complete part of his platform through the campaign process.
“Although I obviously want to run a great campaign and see us come out victorious, it’s more important that if I’m running on awareness, that I should be making sure (students are) aware of what SGA is,” he said.
In their efforts to create awareness, the Ireland and Munce team has been tabling in the MUC, handing out buttons and stickers.
Munce said he’s looking forward to discussing issues with the other candidates.
“(I look forward) to communicating to the student body what our platform is about, what we care about and, hopefully, show the differences between us and the other candidates,” Munce said.
Ireland said he looks forward to how he and Munce will be able to portray their campaign as one of honesty, trustworthiness and reality at the debate.
“Our platform has nothing that we can’t guarantee,” Ireland said. “I can guarantee that I will always work hard to make sure that students are aware, and I hope that comes out at the debate.”
Ireland also said he’s looking forward to hearing student questions.
“I’m looking forward to having a lot of good questions come out,” Ireland said. “And I’m looking forward to helping educate not only the students from our perspective, but also us from the students’ perspective.”
Sorbe and Green
Sorbe, a sophomore political science and business administration double major, and Green, a junior English and criminal justice major, are running on their platform of “Advocate, Advance and Achieve.”
Green said a focus of their administration will be students and student organizations.
“Our platform is entirely student-driven,” Green said. “We’ve been reaching out for the past three and a half weeks to over 50 students organizations and sitting down and speaking in front of their meetings and saying, ‘We are here to listen – come to us with your concerns.’”
Sorbe said his primary goal will be taking initiative to get student concerns and feedback.
“Student concerns become our concerns,” he said.
Sorbe said their debate preparations have been through campaigning and engaging with students.
“I think that our philosophy is that we shouldn’t have to prepare for the debate specifically, but the preparations for the debate should have come throughout the campaign period,” Sorbe said. “We’re running on genuine, authentic leadership, and we’re going to be genuine and authentic in the debate and make sure to give answers that are truest to our hearts.”
Sorbe said he’s looking forward to having conversations about the university that both he and Green love.
“We look forward to having a great conversation with Marcus and Caleb. We respect them a lot,” Sorbe said. “We’re great friends and I think that we share a lot of similar viewpoints, but the debate will give us a time to explain how we would administer SGA to its fullest capacity.”
Green said she’s looking forward to having audience interaction, and she’s asked students to come to the debate and use their voice.
“These are going to be the leaders of your student body and your representatives to the Board of Regents and to the administration,” Green said. “I think it’s incredibly important that students are showing up and asking questions that they feel need to be heard.”
Sorbe said the SGA election should be important to students.
“It’s an important election. It’s student representation; students should want to voice their questions and concerns and have their voices be heard,” Sorbe said.
Current SGA President Teagan McNary said she hopes students come to the debate and voice their opinions.
“I hope that there’s a good student turnout, but I hope that (the candidates) listen to the questions that students are asking, especially when they’re voicing their concerns,” McNary said.
The debate will be held in the Al Neuharth Media Center conference room on Thursday at 6 p.m. Students can post their questions for candidates on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #SGA2018 for a chance to have them asked at the debate. Voting for SGA executive officials will be held Feb. 27 and 28 via the myUSDportal.