SGA presidential candidates debate

Both candidates for the UVa-Wise Student Government Association presidency debated their positions Wednesday.

Incumbent SGA president Gray Hamilton and challenger Edward Delaney met in the Slemp Student Center’s Rhododendron Room before an audience of students, faculty and staff.

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise’s Student Government Association conducted a presidential debate on Wednesday April 4, in the Rhododendron Room of the Slemp Student Center.  SGA Elections Chair and debate timekeeper Lyndra Frimprong moderated the debate, consisting of opening comments from the candidates, a series of three questions from Frimprong and a question-and-answer session with the audience.

Hamilton opened by thanking the audience for attending the debate.

“I have taken this prestigious responsibly very serious, I hope that you see that, and I will continue to in the coming year,” Hamilton said in opening remarks.

Delaney, a senior communications major, said he was concerned about students without a voice in campus affairs.

“I am here for the students that have to have their head down on a daily basis,” Delaney said.

Frimprong asked Hamilton and Delaney how each would better incorporate commuters and residential students into the campus community. Hamilton focused on the changes made to the commuter week on campus.  Delaney introduced the idea of a radio station on campus to bridge the communication of students and community.

Hamilton said his top two priorities would be “the continuation of the contributions we’ve made to student life” and “safety on campus.”  He said he had changed some traditions on campus and cited lighting put up around campus to ensure the safety of students.

Delaney talked about how the campus should become a family, emphasizing the importance of student and faculty relationships.  He told the audience that he was there to support them and determine by their feedback what needs should be met on campus.

In the audience question-and-answer session, students shared their concerns about funding, participation and bridging the gap between the town and campus. Hamilton and Delaney answered audience questions.

During closing arguments, Delaney said communication and family are important to his campaign. Hamilton recapped on the successes of SGA this year and how he can improve those next year.

The debate was recorded and will be posted on the SGA Facebook page: UVa-Wise SGA (official)

Elections start April 9 and will run through April 13.  To vote, go to the student portal:

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