AT ISSUE: Each slate brings different ideas and platform points, and students need to decide what they want.
Every year, the Daily News sits down with each of the slates running for the Student Government Association executive board to review the platform points presented in their campaigns. In the past, we have endorsed one of the slates, but this year, we’ve decided to take a step back.
After interviewing each of the slates, we decided it was best if we didn’t give an endorsement for either of them. This reason for our abstention is different than last year’s lack of confidence in the slates — this time, it’s because both Ignite and OPTiC bring significantly different points to the student body.
During our interviews, it became clear that each one of the slates did their research. Both discussed most of their platform points with experts on campus to see if they were feasible, each appeared to listen to the concerns of the student body throughout their campaign and both treasurers, while it is still going to be edited, set a budget for their platform points as well.
This year, as opposed to past years, none of the platform points presented by either of the slates seem too unreasonable, even though we could not determine the feasibility of some of them.
We’ve come to realize that while each one of the SGA slates brings different ideas with their campaigns, it’s going to be up to you, the students, to determine who would best represent the student body.
Both of the slates this year have points relating to mental health initiatives, diversity and continuing different on-campus programs, but each takes a different approach in its campaign tactics.
Ignite brings a much more traditional look as far as SGA slates go.
It has 16 platform points — the same number as current SGA executive board Summit — throughout six different main points of inclusion, growth, navigate, invest, transparency and engage.
During our fact check, we used a ranking system including six different rankings: yes, probably, maybe, unlikely, no and unknown, to determine whether the slates’ platform points were feasible or not.
We determined that nine of Ignite's 16 points were possible to be completed/implemented in one year, one probably, four maybe and two unknown. Some of Ignite's biggest ideas include a mental health dialogue, navigating incoming President Geoffrey S. Mearns’ transition and increasing transparency.
Transparency was also a key word that OPTiC used in our interview with them, but that wasn’t a focus in any of their nine platform points.
The number of OPTiC’s platform points are statistically lower than those presented from slates in the past. The number of platform points does match the number that 18, a slate that SGA presidential nominee Greb Carbó was also on, brought to the table last year.
We found that four of their points are feasible, three maybe and two remain unknown.
Many of OPTiC’s platform points seemed to be focused around the classroom, with goals like mobilizing discussion about OpenStax core textbooks, expanding current academic programs and fostering student-teacher relationships.
Still, no matter how feasible we determine the slates platform points to be, there is work to be done, regardless of who gets elected.
Summit, which presented 16 platform points in its campaign, left several points unfulfilled. Whoever wins the election will be expected to not only implement the platform points and determine which of Summit’s points it wants to continue, but the winning slate will also be expected to work with students and university administration to continue to push Ball State forward.
In that case, is it better to have a more traditional slate, who has a “regular” amount of platform points, or is it time that the SGA executive board became more student-centered with a lower amount of platform points?
That’s up for the students to decide.