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The Great Debate at Georgia State

Enrique Pujals (left) and Peter Minetos debate onstage at the second annual Great Debate. Photo by Clara-Ann Hammel | The Signal

Georgia State got to bleed both blue and red at the second annual Great Debate, hosted by political activism student organization Vote Everywhere GSU.

The debate kicked off Monday evening between the Georgia State College Republicans and Young Democrats.

Representing the Republicans were Enrique Pujals, Jalen Johnson and Peter Minetos, who also serves as the president for the College Republicans at Georgia State. On the other side of the aisle, Dontay Wimberly, Asher Tobey and Kacie Gartner represented the Democrats.

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The debate was hosted by The Signal’s editor-in-chief, Daniel Varitek, who delivered questions regarding controversial national, state and university issues. In his opening statement, he alluded to how divisive today’s politics are and how he hopes that debates like this will foster civil discussion.

Some of those questions involved discussion on President Donald Trump’s proposal for a border wall, Governor Brian Kemp’s refusal to recuse himself of his duties during the gubernatorial race and the economic idea of a universal basic income.

Asher Tobey of the Young Democrats debates onstage at the second annual Great Debate. Photo by Unique Rodriguez | The Signal

Kristyn Drummonds, the president of the Young Democrats, said she was happy with the turnout of this semester’s debate.

“We’ve been expanding every year and we hope to continue in that trend. Last year I feel like there wasn’t a lot for the Republicans on their side in terms of representatives and in terms of student body in general,” Drummonds said. “There were a lot of people supporting on both sides which is always great to see.”

Minetos said he enjoyed the event and was glad to see a healthy, respectful debate.

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“Both sides were relatively respectful and there was a thoughtful exchange of debate so I overall think it went very well and I’m very satisfied,” Minetos said.

The main organizer of the debate, Evan Malbrough, said that alongside the improvements they made from last year’s debate, he hopes to be more inclusive to the whole university.

“I think it went really well,” he said. “Definitely saw some improvements from last year’s debate and also I see some things to improve upon. So for example, for next debate for next semester we’re going to try to incorporate the perimeter campuses.”

Vote Everywhere GSU will be hosting a debate over climate change in the fall 2019 semester.