Virtual SGA Debate Premiered Candidates

By Zoe Morton, Staff Writer- 

March 1 marked the first day of voting for UTC’s Student Government Elections, and that night, SGA held their first-ever virtual Executive Branch Debate. 

SGA is the largest student advocacy group on campus, which works to advocate for the students in and out of the university. 

Elections took place this past week from March 1 to March 4, with an online voting system due to Covid-19. 

Included in the debate were students running for president, vice president, and treasurer for next year’s Student Government Executive Branch. The debate was open to the public, allowing students to ask questions before voting in last week’s election. 

The two coalitions running were Golden Gals and Unite the Culture, each with their own candidates for the Executive board. The groups ran different campaigns on how to improve students’ lives. 

The debate began with each candidate introducing themselves and why they feel they would be a good match for the position. Following this, they covered topics such as initiatives for their term if elected, and how to improve student engagement during Covid-19. 

Alex Spraker, a junior who was running for treasurer, stated what the debate and coming back to campus means for the candidates. 

“School pride… bringing that feeling back to campus, that feeling that we’re proud to be here,” Spraker said.

Due to Covid, student engagement has become more tricky to navigate than ever before, with organizations now operating with University guidelines and regulations, coupled with the absence of students on campus due to remote learning. 

Students posed questions concerning diversity and inclusion, engagement during Covid, and improving the campus. 

Taylor Bradshaw, who was just announced as the next student government president, described her platform and what she hopes to accomplish in the upcoming year. 

“Throughout the last year, we understand that it has been extremely difficult for everyone to stay involved and engaged with the campus,” Bradshaw said. “Next year, we want to help rebuild a campus culture, and encourage more engagement for students and faculty.” 

Isaac Williams, a junior who serves as the Student Government Association’s Chief Justice discussed the impact SGA had on his college experience. 

“We are actually in a very good position to advocate for the students,” Williams said.

Election results were released on March 5. The Executive Board consists of President Taylor Bradshaw, Vice President Wendy Jiang, and Treasurer Alex Spraker.

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