OUR VIEW: Outgoing executive board's report card

AT ISSUE: The Daily News editorial board evaluates the outgoing executive slate’s work

This editorial is the opinion of The Ball State Daily News and does not necessarily reflect the views of other organizations contributing to bsudaily.com.

Alliance had an uncommon characteristic when they were elected. The combined Student Government Association experience between the four members was very little, including their president Chris Wilkey who had no formal SGA background. 

Outgoing vice president Heather Closson said what some considered a lack of experience both helped and hurt their relationship with senate. Closson said she felt resistance within senate because of the expectation of a large amount of experience in previous executive boards. She described some of their first senate meetings as “rough and rocky.”

The newly elected executive board opened a line of communication with certain senators, and the issue smoothed over as they gained confidence and learned the ropes, Closson said. While the issue created the tension at first, Wilkey’s outside approach challenged the organization to become what it could become rather than stay in its old ways.

The executive board also extended their term to allow a transition period for the incoming slate. Spark members were inaugurated two weeks before the Spring Semester ends, rather than right after Spring Break. Since Spark had only one member with direct SGA experience, the transition period helped avoid problems the outgoing executive board has come across, such as selecting a cabinet. 

The change gave the slate more confidence by the time they were inaugurated. The change also puts SGA transitions on more even ground with University Senate transitions, a change for which Ball State President Jo Ann Gora asked for, Wilkey said in a previous Daily News report.

The executive board’s platform included some ambitious points that weren’t quite achieved, such as “community cycles,” which was a program that would allow students to use abandoned bikes for free to get to where they needed to go across campus. The idea fell flat when the executive board members realized the point wasn’t feasible.

The executive board had the biggest challenge with coordinating a volunteer competition among student organizations. Closson said the slate expected the idea to be “fool proof,” but creating a system to keep track of volunteer hours with SVS didn’t work out.

The executive board, formerly known as Alliance, presented 20 platform points at the beginning of the 2012 election. In their opinion, all platform points were completed. To our standards, the slate fully achieved 13, missed the mark on three and came close with four platform points. Overall, the Daily News editorial board thinks Alliance deserves a B- letter grade for their performance.

An Alliance with Students

The executive board supported Cardinal W.I.N.G.S. by handing out 460 T-Shirts during the T-Shirt Trade In. They also continued existing SGA programs such as T-Shirt Trade In, the blog and the leadership fund.

However, the board said they would create a program in conjunction with athletics to help boost student attendance at athletic events. While they did support the atheletics program through providing transportation to games and helping out with incentives, they did not actually create a program, as promised.

As already mentioned, the executive board realized the community bicycles were not feasible. Closson said they received positive feedback from Gora when they presented the idea to her, and they created a task force.

An Alliance with Organizations

The board successfully attended several other organizations’ meetings to boost awareness. They also assisted new organizations who were rejected by the Office of Student Life by helping them rewrite their constitutions to better fit the requirements. 

While the slate did create a social media hub, the BSU Chirp Deck only has 226 likes on Facebook and 212 followers on Twitter. They also promised to reorganize and restructure the activity fairs, but what they did was support with ice cream and a map instead.

A Stronger Alliance within SGA

The outgoing executive board successfully completed all platform points within this section. They held their SGA Day during Welcome Week, revised the bylaws and elections code and held senate in different places around campus.

The executive board promoted freshmen involvement at programs during Welcome Week as promised. What is more significant is that they filled all freshmen seats within senate, which is a section of seats that is almost never filled.

An Alliance with the Community

The members cleaned up the Village and provided potted plants to its businesses to beautify the Village. They also held a dance workshop for about 50 children in Muncie. While they promised to host and coordinate dog walking parties for ARF, they simply co-sponsored Walk a Mile in My Paws event once, which didn’t quite fulfill the promise.

As stated earlier, Closson cited Serving in September as one of their greatest challenges. What the board said they did instead was host an Indiana Charity Miles competition. Charity Miles donates 10 to 25 cents to the charity of choice for each mile logged that a user bikes, walks or runs. While Ball State beat Indiana and Purdue universities in the competition, it didn’t fulfill what the board initially promised.

An Alliance Committed to Diversity and Awareness

The executive board created a campus leadership workshop with about 50 participants from 30 organizations successfully and fulfilled their four-tiered awareness campaign that included voter awareness, alcohol awareness, diversity awareness and self-injury awareness. 

The executive board also reallocated funds, as promised. However, the members said they would beautify the Multicultural Center, but the only action they took was to replace a few computers in a lab.

Other notes

The slate also included a list of 16 executive projects that they worked on:
22 one-on-one semester reviews
3 surveys for feedback
Logo change/rebranding of organization
Anti-Hazing Week Sponsor
Filled all University Senate Committee Seats
President’s Retreat presentation and participants
8 preview days
Utilization of Blackboard
Recognition by FIJI for SGA President
Commissioned Freshmen Leadership Council
3 Senate representatives at the Indiana Campus Compact Conference
Website renovation
Freshmen Convocation Speech
Game at Carnival
CLASS mentors – Brittany and Heather
Began Ad Hoc committee for restroom use by transgendered students on campus

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