Editor’s note: In lieu of writing a slate endorsement, the Daily News invited Cardinal Connection and Empower to write letters to the editor for why students should vote for them. For more information on the slates, check out their websites at bsucardinalconnection.com and studentsempower.com.
EMPOWERWhen we started this journey, we had no idea what it would hold. But with every step we took, every student we met and every hand we shook, we have been empowered to stand up for our fellow students. As we campaigned these past couple of weeks, we sat down with students and listened to their concerns, and we came to find that they wanted an executive slate that focused on safety, diversity, leadership and tradition.
After recent security threats on campus, it shouldn’t be a no-brainer that some students didn’t know what to do in such a case. So we said hey, the Student Government Association needs to work more with the administration to start educating students on procedures that need to take place so that instructors are prepared, students are aware and our campus can feel safe no matter what. If that means we can’t have lockdown drills, then OK, let’s find an alternative to those drills. Let’s have safety procedures in syllabuses so students won’t have to worry about what to do in a situation like what occurred on campus last semester.
After our campus was shocked to see an act of discrimination and hate take place on our campus, we decided that in 2014, this shouldn’t happen after so much progress had been made in the name of equality and justice. And on that, we want to form a Multicultural Council that lets us provide a forum for every single organization, that represents any group of diversity, to come together and collaborate on how they can educate the Ball State campus-community on diversity and bring awareness to acts of hate that are still occurring all around us.
As our slate members have made Ball State their passion, we want to give back to the campus that has given us so much by giving those who are new to a leadership position the opportunity to meet other emerging leaders from around campus and learn skills that can take back with them to their organizations. We know leaders are important, but servant-leaders are even greater because a leader cannot be a leader without serving others and being a light for others to emerge and step up to the role of leader.
Lastly, what makes a school unique is its traditions. With traditions, students can call forth pride that is shown at football and basket games, at speech and debate competitions and even when we become parents wearing our old Ball State sweatshirts with pride around the house, remember all that Ball State did for us. We want to continue to make Countdown to Kickoff a success and continue to celebrate the meaning of Beneficence on her birthday.
We know we aren’t perfect, but we know if you get knocked down and stay on the ground, it does not one good for yourself, the people who believe in you or the people you lead. So let’s keep moving forward and Empower each other.
CARDINAL CONNECTIONWith Cardinal Connection in office, no student will be underrepresented. Nick Wilkey, Carli Hendershot, Rahissa Engle and Sidney Staples are all involved in different sectors of campus and will bring their experiences at Ball State to the Student Government Association.
Between the four of them, they are involved in 10 different Ball State organizations, including Greek Life, the Big Four and leadership organizations. All four of them hold on-campus jobs, and they understand the troubles that students go through trying to balance being a college student, holding leadership positions, having a job and being a young adult.
Three out of the four slate members have previous SGA experience. Wilkey was a member for two years and has written 14 pieces of legislation. Hendershot and Staples are both current members of SGA, serving as representatives for their respective Big Four organizations, and they have each written one piece of legislation. Hendershot has been in SGA for two years and Staples for one.
While Engle has not been in SGA, she is confident that the experience of her slate members will help her adjust to her new position. CC created a platform composed of concrete, tangible ideas. The platform details exactly what the slate will accomplish while in office, which makes it possible for students and administration to hold them accountable to their word. While CC plans to carry out their points exactly as written, they understand that they may need to make compromises in the future. In the case that they would need to do that, CC will communicate with students what the changes to the platform are.
Communication is a key focus for CC. Several platform points were created to gratify this concern, including the monthly campus-wide executive report and Cardinal Connection event. The slate wants to emphasize to students that their concerns and questions are always welcome and encouraged to make sure that all students feel their voices are heard.
The only Cardinal Connection platform point that the Daily News stated was not feasible is keeping the library open 24 hours during Finals Week. The problems that the newspaper outlined, however, are problems that CC foresaw and planned for before putting this point on the platform. In order to resolve the safety concern, CC plans to fund Charlie’s Charter to transport students to and from the library so that students do not have to walk alone at night. CC also plans to make a schedule of when floors will be closed for cleaning, so that the library can be cleaned and students can plan ahead. Students will also be forewarned that the computers will reset at 5 a.m. so that they do not lose their valuable work.
During the next year, Cardinal Connection will embark on new ideas, engage with organizations, envision a better campus and commit to students.