The president and vice president candidates for the two slates running against each other for SGA executive board participated in a debate in the Teacher's College on Feb. 16. Voting for each slate, Ignite and OPTiC, will start on Feb. 27 and close on Feb. 28. Terence K. Lightning Jr. // DN
SGA debate focuses on textbooks, leadership, transparency
Ball State Student Government Association held the first presidential and vice-presidential debate Thursday night.
OPTiC’s presidential candidate Greg Carbó and vice presidential candidate Katy Volikas faced off against IGNITE's presidential candidate Gabrielle Lloyd and vice-presidential candidate Zoe Taylor.
The first part of the debate focused on basic questions for the candidates about their goals and themselves.
Lloyd said she loves student engagement and helping students and emphasized her commitment to diversity.
Carbó said he wants to be voice for students as he talked a lot about representing the student body.
Both Carbó and Lloyd laid out their plans for when they first take office.
Lloyd said she would speak with senators to see what they want to be done.
Carbó wants to communicate with campus to share what his slate’s plans are and “hit the ground running.”
The debate then shifted to each of the slate’s platform points.
IGNITE has five more platform points than OPTiC, and OPTiC has publicly advertised that its points are more realistic.
IGNITE rebutted and said it has more points because it wants to be very specific about its platform.
“More doesn’t always mean better but clearer always means better,” Taylor said.
The discussion then moved to the slate’s position on textbooks. Both slates have put forward solutions to help offset the cost of textbooks.
IGNITE wants to sponsor portions of textbook loans that are given out by the Office of Student Rights and Community Standards.
OPTiC plans for the university to partner with OpenStax, a website started by Bill and Melinda Gates that provides free textbooks for core classes.
Candidates were then asked about their leadership style.
“There are all these different styles and what makes me a good leader is that I am very fluid,” Carbó said.
Volikas said she was more by the book.
“I am definitely detail-oriented,” Volikas said. “However, I would rather help someone as a person than a title.”
Lloyd contrasted OPTiC and described her leadership style as more “nurturing.”
“I like to listen to students and hear what they have to say and want to see,” Lloyd said.
Taylor said Lloyd’s nurturing style balances her own leadership style.
“I believe we have positions, we have chairs, we have cabinet members for a reason,” Taylor said. “And for me to sit down and micromanage means that I am taking away those responsibilities.”
The last topic that was touched on was transparency. Transparency has been a big issue recently, concerning the Board of Trustees and the still unanswered questions about former President Paul W. Ferguson’s resignation.
IGNITE said it plans to make a website about transparency and what it actually means.
“I think it’s about using our resources and using us as a student body to look at the Board of Trustees and also show what we want to see through them,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd said she would be able to use her previous work with the Board of Trustees to work toward transparency.
“We can say all day long that we want transparency but if were not actively working towards it, we can’t expect the Board of Trustees to do it as well,” Lloyd said.
OPTiC said it wants to have a good working relationship with the board, and especially the student representative on the board. It also wants to work with student news organizations to increase transparency for themselves as well.
“If you want to receive transparency, you need to give transparency,” Volikas said.
Taylor rebutted by saying OPTiC does not have any platform points addressing transparency.
To which Carbó responded, “you don’t need a platform point to be transparent.”
The next debate will be the all-slate debate Monday at Pruis Hall.