Kyleigh Snavely, secretary, Jalen Jones, treasurer, Matt Hinkleman, vice president, and Isacca Mitchell, president of Amplify during the 2018 All Slate debate hosted by the Student Government Association at L.A. Pittenger Student Center on Feb 18. Eric Pritchett, DN
Amplify expands platform, plans to address marginalized groups
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story stated one of the "Big 4" organizations was Black Student Alliance, the story has been corrected to reflect the organization's correct name, Black Student Association. The story also reported BSA president Da'Prielle Fuller said OPTiC didn't have platform points that would benefit students in BSA. The story has been changed to reflect Fuller meant Amplify.
The campaigning executive slate Amplify added an additional platform point to their 16 already in place in order to address all marginalized groups on campus Monday.
Slate members, including Isaac Mitchell, president; Matt Hinkleman, vice president; Kyleigh Snavely, secretary; and Jalen Jones, treasurer, said the point was added in order to meet the needs of students.
“A big thing we promised is that we want to be flexible and adaptable to student concerns,” Mitchell said. “We want to address all marginalized groups on campus. We are not getting rid of any platform points, we are simply adding, kind of like, an additional point just saying that we are going to try to address the concerns of all the marginalized groups on campus to the best of our ability.”
The point was added after several students, organizations and even an alumnus reached out to Amplify with concerns about the lack of extent of their platform points, Mitchell said.
Because of this, Mitchell said he wants to address all marginalized groups by starting conversation with National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the “Big 4” organizations including Spectrum, Latinx Student Union, Asian-American Student Association and Black Student Association (BSA).
“The end goal is to have resource centers for every marginalized group on campus,” Mitchell said. “Obviously, that is not doable by Student Government Association (SGA) in one year.”
Additionally, Mitchell said he wants to start conversation with administration regarding marginalized groups and updating the Multicultural Center.
Mitchell said while Amplify members have yet to reach out to administration, they have reached out to BSA.
“The current slate, well the platforms they’re currently running on does not have anything that would benefit a lot of the students in our organization for the biggest part of our identity,” said president of BSA Da'Prielle Fuller.
Although Jones also serves on the executive board for BSA, Fuller said it was important Amplify reflected students.
“We wanted to still support him, but we also couldn’t support a slate that didn’t support us as students and as black students,” Fuller said.
While Fuller said SGA could host a space for conversation, a lot of the issues that students have are issues for administration including a new multicultural center.
“One of the biggest things that a lot of the … minority students are wanting is a new multi center,” she said. “Every year we bring it up. It’s a talk of ‘Oh, we’ll get to it when we can and we’re thinking of something.’ But there’s nothing concrete.”
“Ball State has built many buildings since I’ve been on campus and the multi still looks the exact same from when I first got here. So in four years there’s been a new Johnson A, there’s been a new Johnson B, they’re redoing LaFollette, there’s a new building coming close towards the Honors College, but the multi still looks the exact same."
Fuller also said there are still black and Latinx students who don't know the Multicultural Center is the Multicultural Center. Additionally, she said the building isn't wheelchair accessible unless the patio is open.
While Fuller said BSA concerns, like a new multicultural center, cannot be changed by SGA, Amplify members can start conversation with administration.
Robert Miles, a Ball State alumnus who is African American and identifies as queer, reached out to Amplify regarding a resource center for more marginalized groups on campus. He agrees SGA needs to start conversation with administration.
“I believe the university seriously needs to look into providing more resources for black students on campus. This is something I want Amplify to look into and take seriously,” Miles said. “If the university had better resources for black students, I would have had better social support, better faculty support — I would have been more supported.”
Hinkleman said this additional concern will not be the only concern they address should Amplify be elected. He said the slate wants to continually address student concerns throughout their tenure.
“Our platform is going to continue to be dynamic. We are going to adapt it to the concerns of the students and address different concerns, not just those concerns we are addressing on our platform,” Hinkleman said. “But that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to consistently update the platform in adding points or taking away, it’s just going to be the work that we are doing.”