Slates compete in final debate

The Daily News

Twelve students vying to take over as the next Student Government Executive slate debated in the last open forum before elections in Pruis Hall. 

Platform points, budget issues and controversies during the election were among topics addressed by debate coordinator Zach Hartley during the full slate debate Tuesday night.

Presidential candidate Alex Sventeckis used Fusion’s opening statement to address disputes surrounding statements made about their platform point to allow alcohol sales at football games. 

Sventeckis said when the University of West Virginia changed its policy to serve alcohol in the stadium, alcohol-related arrests fell by 35 percent. 

“When we first set out to look into this idea, what really caught our attention and inspired us was the story of the University of West Virginia,” Sventeckis said. “This got us excited to protect students while they enjoy football games. This can help bring about change in that culture and support students while they go out and support our teams.”

The slates used rebuttals to challenge each other on issues such as Fusion’s sorority housing and Cardinal United’s hopes to use parking money for transportation.

Alexa Gates, Cardinal United’s vice presidential candidate, expressed concern as a member of a greek organization toward Fusion’s platform point regarding sorority housing, and said it cannot be accomplished in one year.

Sventeckis responded and said Fusion’s role toward greek organizations would be more as a facilitator and to provide support for organizations as an open line of communication between the greek community and administrators.

“It’s more of a passive approach to the issue,” Sventeckis said.

Brandon Pope, Cardinal United’s treasurer candidate,  was asked about a text message he sent requesting a student to ask questions about Spark’s platform points. 

“I asked them if they could attack their platform,” Pope told the Daily News after the debate.

Cardinal United received a $35 fine for the texts, which constituted a violation of elections code. 

“It was a misunderstanding on my part of elections code,” Pope said during the debate. “We were encouraged to inform our supporters and to ask questions of platforms, not personal attacks but questions of platforms. If anyone felt bullied or intimidated, I did not intend to bully or intimidate. It’s not something I believe in.”

Spark defended its platform point concerning a blue light app when an audience member questioned its appeal. Pope challenged that a similar proposal has already been on the senate floor and failed. 

Spark presidential candidate Malachi Randolph said the director of Emerging Technologies and Media Development, which all Ball State apps go through, had never previously spoken to students about a safety app, therefore any SGA efforts must not have been serious.

Spark secretary candidate Giang Tran said students would appreciate the added security.  

“There is only one street light from Kinghorn Hall [to my house],” Tran said. “Usually after my night class I have a roommate pick me up because I don’t feel safe walking down the street [at night].”

Hartley led the questions for the first half hour, and then opened the floor for questions from WCRD, the audience and Twitter. 

He said the students’ questions pushed the slates to do more than just restate their platform points.

“I wanted to get specific answers, tangible things that slates want to do,” Hartley said. “I think the students, with the questions from the gallery really got them there at the end.”

Tuesday was the first time the full slate debate was held in Pruis, a change that was made to accommodate three slates instead of two and to encourage students to attend.  

“This was arguably the best debate we have had in SGA,” Kevin Thurman, elections chairman, said. “As long as I have been here in four years we have never had a debate that has had the content, the discussion and the overall atmosphere that we had here tonight.” 


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