Ball State University’s Student Government Association (SGA) held its final debate with the vice presidential nominees on Feb. 15 at the L.A. Pittenger Student Center.
This debate was the third of three debates and allowed for the nominees to get to speak to the public and explain their running platform points.
The prior two debates involved the setting up of campaign platforms for each ticket in the first debate to the explanation of position-specific platform points of the presidency in the second debate and now of the vice presidency in this last debate.
The first question of the debate established the most important running points for each ticket. “Gassensmith & Lindstrand” ticket, represented by Vice Presidential Nominee Monet Lindstrand, had a major point of sustainability, while the “Empower” ticket, represented by Vice Presidential Nominee Taylor Perry, had a major point of creating mental health days.
These major points, however, are only one part of each ticket’s platform. The moderator asked both tickets questions on diversity in the senate, student health, sustainability, dining services and the goals of each platform.
In the later portion of the debate, during the audience questions portion, an audience member asked a question to the current vice president and vice presidential nominee for the coming election Lindstrand. The question asked was in regard to the campaign platform of “Gassensmith & Lindstrand.”
“One of your key points is diversity and inclusion, specifically in senate because, as a senator, there's not many people of color on there,” said Emilee Richardson, a current On-Campus senator for Kinghorn. “What is my name? I'm a senator. I've been on senate since early fall. So, I guess that's my question. My first name?”
Lindstrand did not say the first name of Richardson, but she did address her as “Sen. Richardson” and said, “That is something that I know I'm working on as well just making sure that I know everyone's names.”
Lindstrand went on to say that this was no excuse for not knowing the student’s name and she advised students to come to her during her office hours so that she can talk to them and learn more about them.
Student health was another point discussed as the “Empower” ticket’s Vice Presidential Nominee Perry brought up her ticket’s plans to create daycare services and increase lactation rooms available at Ball State.
“We really want to look at the whole campus and just know that there's not just traditional students who come here after high school,” Perry said. “There are other students needs that need to be met on campus as well. I think with the daycare is a really ambitious idea, but it's something that we can talk to people about. I think it can start out small, but this is something that will last longer than us.”
Dining was another point of discussion as the two tickets gave alternate options for improving dining on campus.
Lindstrand restated prior points on improving containers and working toward a sustainable campus in the future.
Perry stated an alternative idea of reinstating washable dishes and flatware from before COVID-19.
Currently, SGA has the Dining Advisory Board, which was an initiative created by previous Vice President Chiara Biddle. The two tickets mentioned hope to continue working with the board toward their individual goals with dining.
Both tickets also reminded all students to get out and vote regardless of their choice.
Online polls open Feb. 20 at 8 a.m. and close Feb. 21 at 5 p.m., according to the SGA elections website.
Contact Abigail Denault with comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.