SGA executive endorsement

Photo courtesy of Blake Israel

Editor’s Note: This endorsement is being extended solely based on the platforms put forth by each candidate, and is independent of the debate conducted on March 5, 2024.

As per Technique tradition, the Editorial Board annually endorses a Student Government Association (SGA) presidential ticket as the campus-wide elections approach. However, we first wish to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the platforms put forth by each of the three candidate pairs: Aditya (AP) Prabhakar and Cole Scott, Monica Graham and Kopal Chaurasia and Shivani Virani and Julia Haley. 

Prabhakar and Scott’s platform described numerous proposals that were reflective of the pillars they touted; the Congressional Black Caucus is a specific example of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity (DEI) initiative, a specificity that was lacking in the other platforms. The pair made the most concrete promises of the three and exhibited an in-touch approach with current issues both on and off-campus, such as with their mention of the overrule of affirmative action. We also appreciated the thoroughness of their sustainability pillar.

However, Prabhakar and Cole’s specificity did not only serve as a positive attribute. The duo went into depth about certain topics, but in doing so, exhibited a sore lack of research in existing initiatives. The description of an allocation cap of funding indicated a gap in understanding of what systemic changes are or are not possible. Another example of this is “being heard by external government leaders.” The platform seemingly erased existing programs outside of Capitol Jackets, such as the Federal Jackets Fellowship and the Georgia Legislative Internship Program, which allow students to forge government connections on both a state and federal level. Additionally, they could have mentioned potential funding sources for their initiatives and expanded on their proposed budget reform policies. 

Virani and Haley’s platform, at least aesthetically, appeared to have the most effort put into it. The platform was the most well-versed of the three, and touched on a wider expanse of important issues. The “Culture” and “Community” principles — while defined as slightly different and proposed interesting ideas such as buses to Ponce City Market — could have been consolidated into one. However, their commitment to including groups such as
transfer students is commendable. 

The main questions we found ourselves asking with this platform are “How?” and “Why?” The duo proposed an extension of the add/drop period for course registration, but offered no indication as to how they would go about making this change. Additionally, the platform mentions attracting businesses to Tech Square, as well as Tech Square expansion, but there are already administrative teams working on these spaces as well as millions of dollars of Institute funding being tunneled into expansion. The reduced-price athletics tickets is another initiative which is irrelevant to many students, who are paying numerous fees and expecting that money to be funneled back into betterment of current student experiences, not former. 

Graham and Chaurasia’s platform was the least comprehensive of the three. There was no separation into pillars or principles like the other tickets, and the platform listed vague topics of interest for their campaign followed by even more vague bullet points. 

These subheaders did cover important topics such as transparency, mental health, budget reform and inclusivity, but the bullets offered general promises with no expansion on how these promises would be fulfilled. We applaud the pair’s breaking the precedent as the one external SGA president and vice president ticket, but feel that in doing so, the pair needed to demonstrate their knowledge of the campus, ability to step into a role leading an organization they have not been a part of and unique perspective as non-SGA members. They failed to do so. 

While we on the Technique editorial board are disappointed in all three platforms, we feel compelled to endorse one ticket due to the newspaper’s role in informing the student body of their options. Therefore, we find ourselves with no choice but to endorse Aditya Prabhakar and Cole Scott for SGA President and Vice President for the 2024-2025 academic year. However, following their performance during the SGA debate, we are far from confident in this endorsement, nor are we confident in the other two tickets’ competency in enacting concrete change relating to real issues regarding student concerns relating to gentrification, the local impact of global conflicts and student safety. 

We wish to reiterate that this choice has been made solely on the grounds that we are obligated to endorse one ticket in a multi-ticket election. We also emphasize that Prabhakar and Scott’s platform was notably flawed. However, in comparing the platforms, the decision came down to specificity. The remaining two platforms lacked in-depth proposals and feasible, relevant initiatives under the Institute’s infrastructure. 

Going forward, we urge all of the candidates to conduct thorough prior research and ensure that their proposed initiatives are not redundant, already under development or unfeasible. We also encourage the candidates to expand their platforms to uplift communities outside of their own.