SGA elections need debates

Zoe Sissac, Opinion Editor

My favorite part of any election is the debates. The constant heckling and explosive arguments are usually the talk of election season. Political debates are not just fun, laugh-out-loud entertainment but also provide voters with information about the candidates.

ULM’s governmental body, SGA, needs to host debates during election season. Campaigning shouldn’t consist of flyers falling off academic buildings and shared posts on Snapchat. 

When walking around campus during SGA elections, all you see are flyers with the names and colleges of running senators. The candidates are indistinguishable, revealing no information about their beliefs or interests. A debate between candidates would provide students with more information about their representatives on campus. 

Right now, SGA elections are a popularity contest. The most well-known and involved students usually win. Students involved in Greek life, ULM athletics and other RSOs are more likely to get elected because they are recognizable.  

Look at the Executive Council for SGA. Three of the four executive officers for SGA are members of Greek life. 

While I am not saying these candidates shouldn’t be elected, debates would level the playing field. Lesser-known candidates and incoming freshmen would receive the same amount of attention as the more memorable members of SGA.  

Debates will increase student involvement in SGA on and off the ballot. Running senators can gain support even if they aren’t involved in every organization. Candidates will respond to issues affecting students, such as increasing student fees and sponsoring service projects. Voters respond by holding them accountable to their campaign promises. 

The result would be a diverse body of students that represent the different beliefs of ULM.

Besides, debates will make election season more than hanging flyers and posting photos. Even the faculty could get in on the fun. Imagine a presidential debate between Ethan Estis and David Hernandez moderated by President Berry.