Student Governmant Association campaign season is in full swing, but before election day on Wednesday and Thursday, The Volunteer Channel will host a live debate Tuesday in the Howard H. Baker Center's Toyota Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
The debate will bring candidates from each campaign to the stage and offer students the chance to interact directly with the representatives.
Few are more excited for the debate than Kelsey Keny of Keny-Dugosh.
"We're pumped about it, an opportunity like that to answer questions that students have," Keny said. "We don't want people just voting on 'Oh, we saw these people on Pedestrian and handed me a muffin.' We want people voting because they heard from the candidates what they're about and what they want to do to make SGA better."
Keny said her campaign has focused on taking their message to the students, and will continue that effort with a cookout at the Black Cultural Center prior to the debate.
For Carly Frensley, presidential candidate from We Are UT, the debate provides a crucial opportunity to communicate directly to the student body.
"We've been working as a campaign together to make sure we all have the same kind of vision," Frensley said. "We've been really good about making sure that we represent all of the people on our campaign and as much of the student body as possible.
"We've been getting together to talk about how we can truly represent ourselves to the student body so that their voices are heard through us."
However, Frensley said she hopes to discuss more than her own campaign's goals.
"We really want to make sure while we're in the debate we can hear what all the campaigns are about (and) what they're trying to do on this campus," Frensley said. "We chose the name We Are UT because we want to represent the students and not highlight ourselves as anything because our whole goal is to be a voice for the student body."
For Annie Carr, treasurer of TVC and event organizer, the debate plays a unique role in educating students during the election process.
"The debate is an awesome way for students who don't know a lot – or even anything – about SGA to come out and learn about the candidates," Carr said. "I think – and I hope – that getting the opportunity to hear from all the candidates in one place helps students get an idea of how they will lead the student body next year.
"I hope that the debate encourages some folks to come out who don't know anything about SGA, because, at the end of the day, those are the people we want to encourage to vote."