In the coming days, Ball State students will begin voting for the 2018 Student Government Association’s executive slate. On their ballots, they have two options — to vote for or against this year’s only campaigning slate, Amplify.
It’s been eight years since a slate has run opposed, and we — The Daily News Editorial Board — recognize that Amplify’s lack of opposition has caused some students to raise questions and concerns about this slate's ability to serve SGA and the student body as a whole.
Over the last two weeks, The Daily News has conducted interviews with members of Amplify, attended election debates, researched platform points and fact checked the slate’s ideas. We also spoke with campus and community leaders who represent areas Amplify has targeted through their campaign.
After taking this deep dive into Amplify’s platform points, we are confident when we say the slate’s lack of competition should not be students’ only concern. Instead, Amplify’s lack of preparedness and research is what truly stands out and is cause for worry.
When looking back at previous SGA slates, it’s evident that Amplify’s platform points are ill-conceived and unoriginal. Of the 16 points, four are merely extensions or complete replications of past slates’ initiatives, including those of OPTiC and Summit. Additionally, four are currently on the Senate floor and two have existing resources.
Members of the slate have not universally reached out to the necessary faculty or community leaders to see their points accomplished. Many of their points, such as allowing students to use their preferred names on all university forms, are vague because they have not been properly researched, and therefore cannot begin the legislative process.
Members of the slate have said their goal is to amplify the voices of students. But has Amplify really taken into account the current climate of the campus?
Given these circumstances, this leaves us with no recommendation other than a vote of no confidence.
A vote of no confidence starts a fresh election cycle, giving Amplify time to go back and reconsider their positions. This also gives other slates the potential to invite conversation about what students expect from their representatives.
There are more than 20,000 voices that deserve to be heard at this university. In no way is it healthy for a campus this wide and diverse to have only one campaigning slate, especially one that’s so underprepared.
Historically, voting turnouts for SGA executive slates have been low — so low that more students vote for Homecoming royalty.
However, we feel that now, more than ever, students need to vote. The students’ representative voice should not be decided due to the absence of competition. We still have an opportunity to choose what is best for the student body, and as it stands, that choice is a vote of no confidence.