The muggy air stood still in Stella Russell Hall on Monday as Student Government Association candidates debated several issues to an attentive student audience.

This first debate in the run-up to this week’s SGA elections was followed Tuesday by a second debate during free period in McFadden Science Lecture Theatre.

Both debates followed a question and answer format and were mediated by Angie Reed, graduating senior and current SGA School of Natural and Social Sciences Representative.  

SGA presidential candidates Lyndsey Bessinger, Michael Brown and Zahraa Saheb spoke primarily about diversity, sustainability and the bases of their platforms.

“I love Texas Wesleyan, and I’m very passionate about SGA,” said Saheb, a junior English and political science double major, on Monday. “Coming from the Middle East, I’ve lived through being silenced, so now that I have the opportunity to voice out students’ issues, it’s something I’m very passionate about.”

Saheb runs on the platform of a stronger voice and stronger representation of the student body. She believes her accomplishments as current SGA vice president, which include the Study Abroad Scholarship and the reflection room located on the third floor of the Eunice & James L. West Library, reflect that.

Lyndsey Bessinger, junior business management major and current SGA treasurer, runs on the platform of safety, wellness, and sustainability.

“I’m a very proactive leader and I like to get things done,” Bessinger said Monday. “I like to solve problems before they become issues. I’m really here for students.”

For the past year, Bessinger has been encouraging students to take the Reverse Litter Pledge, in which students pick up ten pieces of litter around campus every Tuesday. She plans to further this initiative if elected.

Michael Brown, junior criminal justice major minoring in the dive program, said his primary goal if elected is to make the Wesleyan campus more fun and enjoyable for students.

“I’ve talked to many students during my campaign about how they feel they can enjoy Wesleyan,” said Brown, the current SGA chief justice, on Tuesday. “For most students, the idea is you that can’t – you have to leave campus and go somewhere else to have a good time.”

Brown plans to change this if elected by orchestrating a partnership between the SGA and local businesses to bring student hangouts, like coffee shops or bar and grills, to the vacant storefronts across Rosedale.

Elections will be held by electronic ballot on Thursday and Friday.