Editorial: This SGA Election season, #pickyourleaders

Time constraints and heat between candidates led to some raucous reactions at the 2014 SGA debate (Raven Schley).

The Student Government Association (SGA) is prepping for their annual series of debates, readying to challenge each other as The Signal throws rounds of questions on the latest and most contested issues on campus. But for those of you new to the campus, you may be wondering – what is SGA? And why do these debates matter to you?

Much like the country’s political leadership, SGA is responsible for creating legislation and resolutions that ultimately improve the student body’s experience. The association serves as the liaison between the university’s president, Mark Becker, and you. SGA has the power to escalate a topic of interest up to the president’s attention and promote initiatives that benefit the student body.

In recent months, The Signal has reported on significant legislation SGA has championed at Georgia State. On March 1, The Signal published an article regarding the university’s failed faculty diversity initiative from 2011. When the initiative ended in 2016, diversity among faculty had barely changed. After discussion between faculty and SGA boards, the issue was escalated to President Becker, who created a new diversity committee for the university.

And in a nod to commuter students, SGA successfully passed a bill to increase the number of microwaves on campus after many began to disappear due to the end of Georgia State’s vending contract. SGA is a powerful resource for the campus to voice their opinions to those that can make change, and these debates shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your future leaders will be debating in front of you on March 20 and 21, and it’s up to you who wins.

That’s why this year, The Signal chose #pickyourleaders as the promotional slogan for this debate – to remind you of the power you hold to choose your campus representation. Most of these candidates are students that aren’t new to the university’s senate tables. They are familiar with the initiatives passed in 2017; and as senators, they’ve had the chance to hear and act on your concerns.

It is your vote that determines who you will hold accountable, and who you trust to follow through. As with any political representation, we encourage you to hold your representatives accountable to their promises. It’s most important here on campus, where legislation and initiatives directly impact your student life. It is up to you who will sit at the senate table in the future, and who you will count on to represent you. Your voice sets the groundwork for your leaders’ agenda. You are the change that the world not only desires to see, but also needs. Watch the debates, listen to their arguments and VOTE.

The debates will be hosted by two news reporters of The Signal who will tackle issues including SGA accountability and action; student safety; and concerns illustrated by the student body and student media. While we will ask many questions from The Signal, the floor will be open for your input throughout the debate. Plan to attend, bring your questions and get ready to #pickyourleaders.