The Student Government Association held the annual presidential debate featuring the president and vice president candidates. Sophomore senators Raymond Partolan and Melina Hettiaratchi are on one ticket and junior senators Austin Thompson and Kelsey Jones are on the other.
Current SGA president Mollie Davis and vice president Joshua Lovett moderated the debate and asked a number of questions based on the candidates’ platform issues, campus issues and characters. They then took questions from SGA representatives and the audience before the candidates added their closing remarks.
The debate began with both tickets expressing what aspect of their campaign they felt most passionate about. Thompson and Jones expressed their focus on having open conversations between students, SGA and the administration. They also explained that their platform focuses largely on the student perspective of Macon and bringing the community together.
“What we’re all about is making Mercer yours. We want to be there for you,” Thompson said.
Partolan and Hettiaratchi discussed their passion and goal of a community of organizations and their interest in expanding the Paint the Town Orange and P.A.W. Point initiatives.
“We’re trying to improve recognition for academic achievement for students of all schools, not just the College of Liberal Arts,” Partolan said. “We’re trying to create new athletic traditions with the return of football and trying to do new things with the Bear Rock Café.”
Both presidential candidates, Partolan and Thompson, addressed hot topic issues such as making Mercer more environmentally sustainable, the possibility of a wet campus or wet tailgates and the fiscal responsibility of their plans.
Voting for SGA president and vice president will begin Monday, April 1 at 9 a.m. and continue through Tuesday, April 2 at 5 p.m.