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SGA presidential debate to highlight candidates’ campaign platforms

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The opportunity to represent OSU is within reach for two teams. 

Student Government Association presidential candidates Ashley Peterson and Austin Dedmon are set to compare their intentions for the student body in a debate Friday at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Theatre. Vice-presidential candidates Hilary Albrecht and Olivia Kopang will also present their hopes for the student body. 

Team Peterson-Albrecht said they are excited about the debate and the opportunities it offers. 

“There's only so much exposure we can get outside by ourselves, so having this opportunity to talk and discuss our platform points and what we're about in front of a crowd is super beneficial for our campaign,” Albrecht said. 

Although the presidential and vice-presidential candidates will rival one another on stage, Peterson compared the debate to a presentation. Candidates are given the platform to answer questions and elaborate on their plans for OSU in front of the students they hope to represent, and there will not be rebuttals between candidates. 

Albrecht said their preparation for the debate was based on one goal: speak from the heart. 

Peterson and Albrecht described their biggest strength entering the debate as their genuine passion for OSU. The two candidates have spent time reviewing their platform points with the debate and OSU’s future in mind. 

“We’re excited to not only be able to talk in front of students and whoever else comes to watch the debate, but we are able to express points that not only we think will be beneficial for Oklahoma State University, but also we as students are really, really passionate about,” Albrecht said. 

The opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of their opponents’ hopes for OSU intrigues team Dedmon/Kopang. Dedmon said Peterson’s priorities and plans for OSU intrigues him, and Kopang is interested in Albrecht’s plans for her passion project. 

Although neither Dedmon nor Kopang has participated in a debate before, the team feels prepared. 

Kopang said she considers her ability to think quickly and answer thoughtfully as a strength that allows her to build a connection with her audience. Dedmon said his history with SGA has provided him with an understanding of the debate process that sets him apart from the other debaters.  

The pair reviewed past debate questions to prepare for the debate and spent time asking each other questions they predict will be used at the debate and discussing their answers. 

“It’s been so easy for us to formulate answers that we genuinely mean, and I think that's where we'll show our strength in the debate, is that we truly mean every word that we say, and we truly are just here to help the students,” Dedmon said. 

Voting begins Tuesday at 8 a.m. and ends Wednesday at 5 p.m. Students can vote at on-campus polling stations located on Greek Row, in front of Ag Hall, under Chi O’ Clock, on Library Lawn or online at