SG presidential candidates prepare for first debate

Current Student Body President Chris Griffin (left) participates in a 2016 debate. 

The two Student Government presidential nominees will go head-to-head this evening in an attempt to gain voters’ attention in their first debate of the campaign.

Doors to the Marshall Student Center Ballroom open at 6 p.m. and the candidates are allowed to campaign among the crowd. Promptly at 7 p.m., presidential candidates Moneer Kheireddine and Ryan Soscia will participate in the hour-long debate.

This year, guidelines have been moderately changed. Rather than taking questions from student submissions, the Election Rules Commission (ERC) supervisor created questions with the goal of having more accurate relevancy to the candidate’s respective campaigns than in the past, according to Jennifer Bielen, assistant director of government advising, training and operations.

David Payne, associate professor and interim chair of the communications department, will be moderating and reviewed the list of questions suggested by the ERC before picking 10-15 for the debate.

Topics will range from academics to university-scale subjects, according to Bielen.

Wednesday, the joint Presidential and Vice Presidential Ticket Debate will feature a similar format — except campaigning before the event will not be permitted, and it will be moderated by former Student Body President, Brian Goff, and Vice President George Papadeas.

“We highly encourage students outside of the staff campaign to attend,” Bielen said. “This allows undecided voters (to) make a sound judgment on who to vote for.”