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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The Mugdown hosts yell leader debate

%28Left+to+right%29+Kenny+Dao%2C+Evan+Bakkal%2C+Joshua+Duke%2C+Viona+Vraniqi%2C+Kaitlyn+McCain+and+Josh+Sutton+will+participate+in+The+Mugdown%26%238217%3Bs+yell+leader+debate+Wednesday+evening.
Photo by Photos by: Alexis Will

(Left to right) Kenny Dao, Evan Bakkal, Joshua Duke, Viona Vraniqi, Kaitlyn McCain and Josh Sutton will participate in The Mugdown’s yell leader debate Wednesday evening.

The Mugdown will take a small break from satire to host a yell leader debate Wednesday.
Benjamin Dierker, editor-in-chief of The Mugdown, a student-run satirical online publication, said this year is an important year to have a yell leader debate partly due to the fact that this election may turn out to be historical.
“We have had females run a lot, but we do have two running now with pretty prominent campaigns, I think,” Dierker said. “So we thought it’d be a good idea to have dialogue between the candidates.”
Dierker said candidates who have confirmed their attendance so far include Kenny Dao, Kaitlyn McCain, Evan Bakkal, Josh Sutton, Viona Vraniqi and Josh Duke. Dierker said Five for Yell candidates and Rhett Kruger have declined to attend the event.
While The Mugdown is mainly known for poking fun at A&M campus culture, Dierker said this will be a legitimate debate.
“We’re doing this professionally,” Dierker said. “We’re not out to get anybody. Obviously it’s going to have to be funny, otherwise we lose our reputation. We’re going to have opening and closing statements like a traditional debate, so if every other part of it is substanceless, they’ll still be able to get their platforms out.”
Dierker said this event is a good opportunity to allow the yell leaders a chance to speak about why they should  be elected and what they hope to achieve during their tenure.
“I think people often don’t put a lot of thought into yell leaders — it’s more of a face campaign than a substantive one, so we wanted to make it more of a substantive one by creating a platform for it,” Dierker said.
Dierker said some questions asked at the debate will be more serious and platform-based while others will not.
“We’re going to have serious questions, silly questions, we have a few that are taken from Twitter, and candidates can choose to respond as seriously or silly as they want,” Dierker said.
Dierker said student response to the event has been positive, and at least 100 questions have been submitted for the event via Twitter.
“So far, everyone’s loved it. They think it’s funny. I still think a lot of people don’t think it’s real,” Dierker said. “It’s part of why we want to get more out there and do more things, because we want to be an establishment on this campus and obviously we want to promote humor in things but promoting real discussion is our ultimate goal, so debates and things like that are helpful.”
The debate will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the MSC Flag Room.

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