OUR VIEW: Cardinal Connection’s SGA report card

AT ISSUE: The Daily News editorial board evaluates the outgoing Student Government Association executive slate

Although Cardinal Connection did not accomplish all of its platform points, the slate succeeded by adapting to solve problems and challenges.

In some cases, such as the plan to open Bracken Library for 24 hours during Finals Week, the slate decided a point was not possible. Oftentimes, the slate members had to delay goals, but they still pursued them when they could.

But what seemed to be the largest challenge was former Vice President Carli Hendershot’s resignation in early September. Hendershot stepped down after being hospitalized and diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression. Bryan Kubel, who was the president pro tempore, stepped into Hendershot’s role. The slate moved forward despite the setback.

The slate had a pivotal role in coordinating Cardinal Kitchen and the Step In. Speak Up. campaign. Cardinal Kitchen is an on-campus food pantry, and Jes Wade, executive director of the kitchen, said the demand is increasing each month.

Step In. Speak Up. has spread sexual assault awareness while encouraging students to speak up. With this issue’s prevalence on college campuses, this campaign was a step in the right direction.

In addition, the slate took steps to make sure SGA connected to the student body. SGA made a public Google Drive folder with legislation, contact information, office hours and more for students who wanted access. Cardinal Connection has had a table each month in the Atrium to connect with students. This helped promote SGA and make it more accessible to the student body.

Despite those successes, we had to consider the slate’s failure to execute all of its platform points. Cardinal Connection completed many of its points, though some with a delay or significant adjustments, and failed to complete a couple. Neither of the Bracken-related points succeeded, and the slate was unable to create an Emerging Leaders Retreat.

However, these points did not fail from lack of trying. University Libraries did not approve to keep Bracken open throughout finals. The slate tried to adapt the Emerging Leaders Retreat into an SGA Mentorship Program, but canceled it due to lack of student interest.

In the end, the slate completed or partially completed 14 out of 17 points. Some of those points will not happen in full until the summer or fall.

For these reasons, the Daily News editorial board has decided to give Cardinal Connection a B for its work on campus, a higher grade than its two predecessors.

SLATE GOALS

The slate had 17 platform points, and either fully or partially completed 14 of them.

Fully completed

Create application for incoming freshmen to receive sponsorship for summer bridge programs

Secretary Rahissa Engle said the application has been created and incoming freshmen will receive it in the package about summer programs.

Partner with Second Harvest Food Bank to start an on-campus food pantry

The food pantry, Cardinal Kitchen, opened Jan. 7 on the second floor of the Multicultural Center. Secretary of Service, Jes Wade, serves as the executive director of the kitchen and has overseen the development of the pantry.

The kitchen is also an official campus organization and is open the first three Wednesdays of each month.

Hold an On-Campus Student Employee Appreciation Week

SGA partnered with the Career Center for National Student Employment Week, which began April 13 and will continue through April 18.

The event will feature career talks and an awards reception and ceremony, according to an email.

Display Ball State banners year round to beautify campus

The SGA and the university will pay for the banners and set them up during the summer, Kubel said. He said the delay was due to the transition of the marketing department and changes in administration.

Banners are typically only placed during Family Weekend and Homecoming, so the goal was to have banners up all the time, he said.

Return to the original rules of the Ball State T-shirt trade-in

The university hosted the T-shirt trade-in in January at a men’s and a women’s basketball game at Worthen Arena.

Originally, the trade-in was supposed to occur during a football game in the fall, but Treasurer Sidney Staples said he is glad they were able to make it happen this semester.

“We do a lot of stuff with football, so I like that we are interacting with other sports such as basketball,” Staples said.

In order to get a T-shirt, students had to have a non Ball State college shirt to trade.

Bring NOH8 campaign to Ball State

This point evolved into the Step In. Speak Up. campaign to raise awareness of sexual assault.

“This has made a big impact on campus with the app and all the events they are doing,” Kubel said. “We definitely helped them get started and become a big player on this campus.”

Create an SGA vote box on website for students to vote on key topics

The vote box has been modified into an SGA and Ball State suggestion box, Kubel said. Students have also submitted questions through the SGA’s social media accounts.

Cardinal Connection: hold monthly on-campus event to stay connected to students

The slate has set out tables in the Atrium and worked with senators to promote SGA.

Partially completed

Collaborate with Office of Orientation to start a new tradition for incoming students

“Eventually, we hope to put this program in freshman Welcome Week events,” Kubel said.

The photo will be made into a poster and handed out to students.

Partner with Student Voluntary Services to hold community service events twice a semester

Wilkey said that one event, Cardinal 360, will happen on April 17 and 18. Students can sign up through Student Voluntary Services to volunteer.

“We believe that there will be a bigger turnout for this than asking people to come to multiple events when they can just go to one big one,” Engle said.

Partner with student organizations to spotlight a leader once a month

Wilkey started highlighting students in his email updates to students in the fall; however, he has not continued the updates this semester.

Issue a public executive report on slate’s progress once a month

This semester, Wilkey said there has not been a significant amount of information to send out to students.

Work with administration to re-evaluate emergency preparedness

Wilkey said there was not much of an outcome from this, as the university has already been working on this. He said they didn’t need SGA’s help.

Not completed

Campus Camp Out: Library open 24 hours during Finals Week with food and snacks available on every floor and Charlie’s Charter services throughout the night

University Libraries did not approve keeping the library open. SGA President Nick Wilkey said there would not be enough students utilizing the service, and safety also posed another issue.

Hold a mixer during Welcome Week for students to meet the new university president

This mixer was held later in the Spring Semester due to the scheduling issues, Engle said.

The SGA hosted a forum in March where students could ask the president questions.

Partner with Excellence in Leadership to hold an Emerging Leaders Retreat

Over the summer, this project was changed to a mentorship program because of the large volume of retreats and conferences that occur during the Fall and Spring Semesters, Engle said. The program was called SGA Mentorship Program.

However, the organization attempted to sign up students at the spring activity fair, but not enough students were interested, Wilkey said. This point didn’t happen.

Update the environment of Bracken Library

Kubel said because they could not get the library open 24 hours during Finals Week, this point fell through as well.

Wilkey also said this was going to take long. The money was reallocated to Cardinal Kitchen and the “B” on the football field.

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