Ball State Student Government Association point-to-point evaluation

<p>Monet Lindstrand and Tina Nguyen answer questions at the third Student Government Association (SGA) debate Feb. 17 at Pruis Hall. Students attending the debate were encouraged to ask questions about issues that concerned them. <strong>Richard Kann, DN</strong></p>

Monet Lindstrand and Tina Nguyen answer questions at the third Student Government Association (SGA) debate Feb. 17 at Pruis Hall. Students attending the debate were encouraged to ask questions about issues that concerned them. Richard Kann, DN

The ticket RISE, which consisted of former Ball State Student Government Association (SGA) president Tina Nguyen and former vice president Monet Lindstrand, ran the executive branch for the 2022-23 academic year. Taking a look at the year back, here is an evaluation of the previous ticket of the Ball State Student Government Association. 

Some of the main running points were diversity, improving public transportation, discussing sexual assault awareness and raising student wages. 

Diversity: Somewhat Complete 

What They Said: On the topic of Diversity Deep Dives and diversification of SGA 

“The reason why there wasn't one this year was that there was a lack of interest in and from a partnership as well,” Nguyen said. “So I wish there's more interest in that.”

Lindstrand said it was hard to reach organizations because sometimes they might not check their organization’s email and not respond to make contact; she also said the timing of the Diversity Deep Dive did not work. 

What We Found: 

Even with no Diversity Deep Dive, there was a Collegiate Prom, where SGA partnered with the Black Student Association (BSA). BSA President Sydney Cunnings said via direct message there was a good turnout and worked with Nguyenfor the prom. 

The Ball State Daily News reached out to what are referred to asthe big four organizations on campus: Spectrum, BSA, Asian Student Union (ASU) and Latinx Student Union (LSU). Spectrum answered its email, and the BSA President only answered via direct message. LSU did not respond by the time of publication. 

Asian Student Union (ASU) Outreach Director Breanica White said ASU is trying to regain its seat in SGA and had a meeting set up but due to an emergency cancellation of the meeting, it was not held. After that, ASU has gotten no response to regain the seat. 

“Unfortunately, no one has reached out to us, and at this time, we do not have an SGA rep due to lack of interest,” Connie Reed, Spectrum communications director, said via email.

There was a recent email sent from SGA to Spectrum, but it was only for the executive ticket of Joseph Gassensmtih and Lindstrand, who will serve  next year. Reed said it was only to share both of their platforms, not discuss any issues with Spectrum. 

Improving public transportation: Somewhat Complete

What they said:

“We ended up getting the new labels, [for Charlie’s Charter] so those are on the vans now,” Lindstrand said “We also just worked with [transportation] to ensure that they have all the updated information. Before the website still said stuff about COVID[-19], so just working with them to see that they were aware of that, but the logos were the big thing. We talked with them to get a little bit more understanding of how and why their hours operate the way they do. Then we were able to share that information, which I know a lot of people, especially freshmen, were appreciative of.”

In her election debates, she also said she wanted to bring more awareness to Charlie’s Charter, informing students of the surrounding resources. 

While talks about a second Blue Loop have started, Lindstrand said with the transportation department’s transition away from COVID-19, it did not work this year. She is planning on trying to get a second Blue Loop for next year. 

What we found:

Starting in the fall semester of 2022, around September and October, Nguyen and Lindstrand both met with Nicholas Capozzoli, the associate director of public safety parking services. 

Capozzoli said this was fully SGA driven. They brought it to his attention and SGA was the main factor in pushing the new look. 

SGA worked with Media and Marketing to get the design and graphics laid out, and that is where they then got everything approved by Capozzoli. He said the first set of graphics they sent to get checked was approved, something he described as a very quick process. 

Capozzoli also said the SGA’s has the entire cost for the initiative totaled to $1.029.70 for the two vans. 

As far as talks of another blue loop go, Capozzoli did not recall any conversations. 

Discussing sexual assault awareness: Somewhat Complete

What they said: 

“The Health Promotion [and] Advocacy [HPA] office is especially important because sexual assault awareness, but also safe sex awareness was something we were both really passionate about,” Lindstrand said. “I'm proud that we have established that partnership and are able to keep doing events with them in the future.”

Tina also said the HPA has been an ally with SGA this year by providing programming and new learning information for students. 

What we found: 

Anna McGee, who is a victim advocate in HPA’s Center for Survivor Support (CSS), said via email that SGA and the CSS collaborated to purchase 300 t-shirts this year that were given to students for “Take Back the Night '' April 26. She also said much conversation was had regarding the best ways to raise awareness of sexual assault on campus. 

SGA also worked with McGee on the “Step In. Speak Up.” mobile application to promote it. The app itself is affiliated with Ball State and provides students with resources and contact information they can refer to when faced with sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. 

There were also multiple safe sex events where SGA partnered with HPA to educate students.

Raising student wages: Somewhat Complete 

What they said: 

A resolution for new student wages passed in SGA last year but failed at the Board of Trustee level. Tina said the SGA’s wages initiative was built up this year, rather than completed. 

“I believe next year, with Monet and Joseph heading SGA, that it will grow more,” Nguyen said. “I think they want to push the hours available for students to be able to work.”

Gassensmith and Lindstrand plan on improving wages.

What we found:

There are four stages of student wages, level one pays $7.25 to $8.50, level two pays $8.50 to $9.50 and level three pays $9.50 to $12, according to the Student Supervisor Handbook.

There is a Student Wages Commission headed by Gassensmith that has met with administration this year to continue to talk about more hours for students and better pay.

Contact Elijah Poe with comments at or on Twitter @ElijahPoe4.


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