Student Government Executive Vice Presidential debate recap

Executive Vice Presidential candidate Amber Monkou address the Georgia Southern University student body. 

Ashton Christian and Matthew Enfinger

Following the Student Government Association Presidential candidate debate a debate for Executive Vice Presidential candidates was held.

The new Executive Vice President will play vital role in the Statesboro campus by helping the student senate run smoothly as well as handling day to day issues.

Executive Vice Presidential candidates Amber Monkou and Michael Harris shared their platforms and ideas on how to better the GS Statesboro community.

Opening statements and platforms

Both candidates have already a year in the senate under their belt, giving both good experience.

Monkou said that she believed the role of the Executive Vice President is to inspire and execute. Monkou was very adamant that the position was about every student, not about herself, with how they want to be represented.

“See the change and be the change,” Monkou said was her slogan for this campaign is “See the change and be the change” and wants to focus on the growth and development of students to help prepare them for life after college.

Michael Harris has the same main platform as that of Macie Joyner, the Presidential candidate, with a strong focus on hearing the concerns of the Georgia Southern students.

“I want to push for active advocacy,” Harris said. “SGA is the voice for the students. We listen to students nut if we don’t do anything with what we have heard we have failed the students.”

Harris is running on the same ticket as presidential candidate Joyner.

Advocacy on all GS’s Campuses

Executive Vice Presidential candidates were asked how they plan to ensure representation and advocacy for student who are on all of GS campuses.

Harris was the first to respond and said that SGA much be active in the lives of GS students.

“If we don’t know what the students want, we can’t advocate for them,” Harris said.

Monkou said the answer is through engagement and conversation with all students.

“As students we deal with a lot on a day to day basis so the only way we’re going to know concerns, wants, demands and needs is by interacting and you also being comfortable enough to ensure when you’re talking about your comments, concerns, wants, needs and demands that they are being met,” Monokou said. “So the only way we can do that across all campuses is through conversations.”

College affordability, sustainability, mental health and sexual assault

Executive Vice Presidential candidates were asked about four issues that faced students: college affordability, sustainability, mental health and sexual assault.

Harris and Monkou both agreed that more awareness needs to be brought to affordability.

Harris shared his story how he had to go through this same concern recently with whether or not he could continue to be an Eagle.

“SGA needs to partner with organizations that raise awareness of funding,” Harris said.

Both candidates agreed as well that SGA is doing a good job right now with helping to keep Georgia Southern more sustainable.

Harris agreed with Joyner on how sexual assault was a conversation that needed to be had.

Monkou said that we need to talk more about mental health and bring awareness to resources that are out there for students to use.

“Mental health is something we often frown upon and its something we don’t talk about enough,” Monkou said.”I want to bring awareness to this issue.”

Diversity, inclusion and fairness

While both candidates agreed with the Presidential candidates that they still needed to work more with the Diversity, Inclusion and Fairness they also had a few different ideas on the matter.

Monkou was the first to respond by saying that diversity is more than just race and that the campus was taking on great initiatives to create a more diverse and inclusive community. Monkou also said that consolidation has brought more opportunity for diversity and inclusion.

Harris believed that SGA as a whole needed to work more with the international students and being bigger advocates for them.

“Our international students on campus, they don’t get enough recognition,” Harris said.

“Consolidation has brought us growth and with three campuses we can’t afford to be separate,”

“Dreamers” and sanctuary cities

The question from the audience asked the candidates about their stance on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program “Dreamers” and sanctuary campuses. Both candidates said they stand behind “Dreamers.”

Monkou brought up her own experience with her father being an immigrant to this country from England and the struggles he had to face.

“I want the Dreamers to know that I stand with you,” Monkou said.

Harris said how he could not share this same experience, but he still thought it was wrong for children who were brought here and knew nothing more than the U.S to be sent back to their home country.

“We have to let them know that we stand firm with them,” Harris said.

Voting Opening

Voting opens April 2 at 12 a.m. and closes on April 4 at 11:59 p.m.Students may access the voting through mygeorgiasouthern.edu.

To see a live stream of the debate, visit the GS SGA Facebook page. of the event click here.