First of two SGA debates draws in large audience

About 100 Georgia State students filled the Speaker’s Auditorium in the Student University Center Thursday night to witness the first debate of the 2013 SGA elections.

All of the candidates for executive board and senate positions were given time to introduce themselves, give their reasons for running and what their goals would be if elected.

The executive board candidates were also given the opportunity to directly answer questions given by moderator and Signal Editor-in-Chief Sabastian Wee. After all candidates answered the questions, they had an opportunity to rebut their opponents arguments.

“I think all the candidates had really good points and were prepared,” candidate for the Robinson College of Business senator position Achal Kandala said. He went on to add that he did see the competition coming out and rivalries possibly forming.

The main debate began as the presidential and executive vice presidential candidates took the stage.

Questions from Wee included what the candidates thought the role they were running for entailed, what they would do differently from their predecessors and specifics on how they planned to achieve their goals.

Audience members were also able to direct their questions at specific candidates at the end of the debate.

“What I’ve learned is that the majority of the power is with the University Senate, not the SGA,” current Senator for the College of Law, James Dutton said. “What committee meetings do you know about and what committee meetings have you been to?”

Two presidential candidates, George Avery and Andrew Whyte, said they had not been to any committee meetings nor had been to any University Senate meeting.

“I do not believe that it takes you going there to be a good president,” Whyte said. “I have not been to that meeting because I personally did not know about those meetings.”

Avery only said that he had not been to any meetings but did know he wanted to be active.

Another question came from current SGA President Marcus Kernizan.

Kernizan asked why the presidential candidates thought Georgia State did not have a 24-hour library.

“We haven’t done it yet because we haven’t used all of our resources,” Avery said.

Whyte said that he had not spoken on the subject because he did not yet know enough and had no plan to fix the issue as of the debate.

“I thought it was very informative,” student Jordan Campbell said. “All the candidates seemed pretty prepared with what they had to say. It’s going to be a competitive race, that’s for sure. All the presidential candidates seemed equally qualified. So I guess we have to see what happens.”

Campbell said that while he thought the candidates for president and executive vice president were well prepared, none had won his vote yet.

Be sure to keep checking for breaking news, updates and analyses of the SGA election.


  1. Andrew Whyte did not say that, he articulated that he did not put library hours on his platform because he did not want to guarantee something that may not happen— though he plan on trying to extend library hours. He also did not reference SGA meetings, as he did attend their meeting where he presented for the election commission telling SGA officers to run for office again. He did not attend the committee meeting which he answered was due to the lack of transparency in the organisation.

  2. I wanted to thank the person that left the comment above this one. I was at the debate, and the comment left above was the ACCURATE statement from Whyte! Thanks Sashoy!

  3. The meeting in reference was the University Senate, which is chaired by President Becker and SGA members only sit on- transparency from SGA does not contribute to the University Wide Senate nor who is knowledgeable of their meetings. If you are unfamiliar with the difference between the University Senate and the Student Government Senate, the link to the former is below.

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