Student Media organizations to host ASB debate

Posted on Mar 21 2019 - 5:50am by Griffin Neal

For the first time in recent history, student media will host and moderate the Associated Student Body debate.

The four student media organizations at Ole Miss — The Daily Mississippian, NewsWatch, Rebel Radio and the Ole Miss Yearbook — will work with ASB to produce the debate.

Next Monday, all 13 candidates running for the six ASB executive cabinet positions will take the stage at the Overby Center auditorium at 6 p.m. to share their platforms and answer questions from the student body.

In years past, ASB hosted its own debates, and last year’s was moderated by Elections Commissioner and IFC President Bennett Wilfong. This year, student media opened the door to increased student participation, offering students a wider opportunity to voice their opinions and submit questions to the candidates.

ASB President Elam Miller said this year’s change offers the student body a transparent forum in which to hear directly from the candidates.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to bring other student groups into the debate process,” Miller said. “Being able to ensure transparency and an increased platform for students to evaluate their representatives is going to make a lasting impact on campus.”

Slade Rand, editor-in-chief of The Daily Mississippian, said he hopes this year’s debate will be more oriented to informing the student body than offering candidates a time to campaign.

“The hope is that this year, students feel more in control of the debate process and feel that we all have a right to hear these candidates talk about the issues we actually care about,” Rand said. “Restructuring the debate process has been a goal of mine since I first began covering the ASB during my freshman year.”

Interim Attorney General Anya Czerwinski echoed Miller’s thoughts on transparency and said having student media co-host the debate “is exactly what we need.”

“We’re all students, and we all want the same thing, so working together on this debate just shows our values even more,” Czerwinski said. “It brings together different crowds and interests. … This is really important.”