Our View: Outgoing SGA slate, Atlas, deserves an A -

<p><em>DN FILE PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY</em></p>

DN FILE PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY

At issue: Each year the Ball State Daily News assigns a grade to the outgoing SGA slate.

Before Jack Hesser and the rest of the Atlas slate took office for Student Government Association, we knew they were going to be ambitious.

They presented 21 platform points, the most of any elected slate in at least the past five years.

There were six platform points they didn’t fully complete. However, they accomplished all of their overarching platform points by adapting how they achieved them. That rarely happens.

Somewhat completed:

  • Sexual Assault Education — The slate’s original goal was to bring Green Dot training to campus. The university supported the idea before elections, but afterward said it wanted to just utilize the resources it already had. Instead, SGA provided funds to residence halls for sexual assault awareness programs.
  • Bird Feeder — This platform point centered around giving students more opportunities to use Dining Plus and Cardinal Cash at concession stands at games. To do this, they had planned on purchasing more card-reading machines. However, the university decided this was too expensive and instead chose to just transport the already existing machines wherever needed.

Mostly completed:

  • News from the Nest — Occasionally the slate would combine monthly newsletters when there wasn’t as much going on.
  • Muncie Volunteer Day — Their original plan was to collaborate with Student Voluntary Services to host a volunteer day. Instead, SGA sponsored SVS’ event, and also held their own separate volunteer day in Muncie.
  • Extended Add/Drop Period — Faculty Council will vote on the initiative on April 28, but Hesser is confident it will pass.
  • International Student Relations — This platform point did not work out as well as Hesser intended. While SGA did initially partner with the Residence Hall Association as planned, some halls ended up dropping out of programs they said they would host. SGA also worked to get the International Ambassadors Association a seat in the senate.

Fully completed:

  • Tailgate Central
  • Lunch on Board
  • Freshman 115
  • Pothole of the Month
  • Phone charging stations
  • Self-injury/suicide prevention
  • Diversity Day
  • Diversity exposure
  • Scheumann Shuttle
  • Dining times
  • Scholarships
  • Cardinal Cup
  • Alumni leader reunion
  • SafeZone training
  • Blue Loop extension

Atlas met most of its more ambitious goals, like extending dining and Blue Loop shuttle hours. Their focus on sexual assault prevention was impressive.

Hesser mentioned SGA also accomplished 20 other projects, in addition to the ones the slate promised the students. During their term, SGA passed legislation that would provide free Sexually Transmitted Infection testing to survivors of sexual assault. They also hosted a Social Justice Hour to discuss sexual assault, racisim, gender inequality and other topics.

The main area the slate struggled with was getting legislation passed in the senate outside of their platform points. SGA didn’t pass nearly as much legislation as they should have, which brought down their grade.
Overall, we give the slate an A-, the best grade given to a slate since 2012. Last year, we gave the executive slate a B.

Atlas had a large number of platform points to accomplish, and they managed to adapt when they were unable to completely meet their goal. They also had no change of positions this year nor large SGA public relations crises.

Above all, they led the slate with dignity, and Hesser was happy with the outcome.

“It's been a crazy but amazing year,” Hesser said. “[I’m] so proud and honored to have accomplished everything we promised the students of BSU and more.”

If the report card was solely based on Hesser’s hair, we would have given the slate an A+. And we think the rest of campus would agree.

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