Contrary to what U.S. politics may suggest, debates are not always between two angry candidates. In fact, “I agree with my opponent” was a popular phrase during the third Student Government executive debate on Thursday.
The four candidates for SGA president and vice president met for a third and final debate on April 5 in the East Tennessee Room. The topic for the debate was safety and sustainability.
When asked about their stance on having guns allowed on campus, both presidential candidates Megha Gupta and Jordan Rowe said they are not in support of it, but would like more security features on campus.
Vice presidential candidates Noah McGill and Devon Waldroff both agreed education is one of the most important ways to prevent sexual assault on campus. Waldroff noted that there are many preventative measures that can be placed, and McGill said being an active bystander is important.
Presidential candidates were asked how they feel about current sustainability efforts. Gupta said she is happy with them and plans to continue speaking to students about what they believe needs to improvement. Rowe spoke about the importance of clean light energy and solar panels on campus.
When asked where they draw the line on sustainability efforts, McGill said the line is crossed when the price makes tuition too high for students, and Waldroff agreed. Waldroff also made note that there are currently no recycling efforts in the Atrium food court.
The candidates were asked what new campus traditions they would like to see during their administration. Gupta said she would like to have live SGA recordings and tents set up outside of the library once a month so students and senators can speak. Rowe said he would like a convocation for all students at the beginning of each school year rather than one for new students only.
McGill said he would like to implement “Wonderful Wednesdays” like Milligan College. In addition to agreeing about a convocation and Wonderful Wednesdays, Waldroff said he would like student-only town hall meetings.
The SGA ballot opens online on April 9 at 8 a.m and closes April 12 at 5 p.m. Candidates will have tables set up around campus at this time to talk to students about their platforms.