After careful consideration, this year the Xavier Newswire endorses Colleen Reynolds, Shelby Alig and Thomas Edney in the election for the Student Government Association (SGA) executives. The staff endorsement is not indicative of the opinion any individual on staff, nor does it indicate that a ticket is perfect. Rather, it reflects the result of careful deliberation about political finesse and ability to complete platform initiatives.
The end of this year’s campaign season has been fraught with electoral violations for all tickets. The threat of disqualifications for one or more tickets loomed until the night before voting began and the Board of Elections has declined to comment on the situation, even after making decisions on the eligibility of some tickets and cancelling campaigning.
In this light, the staff has been conflicted and reluctant to make an endorsement. Regardless, we believe it is important to judge the qualifications of these tickets and their platforms, not their campaign violations, and especially in light of dwindling transparency.
In the selection process, four traits were considered for each ticket and each ticket’s platform — innovation, feasibility, common sense and collaboration, or team chemistry. Each staff member involved scored along these traits to produce a grade for each ticket after interviews with all four teams.
Each ticket was asked questions about feasibility, the strength of their ticket, what they believed the positions of President, Legislative Vice President (LVP) and Administrative Vice President (AVP) entailed and how logistically prepared they were to fulfill their promises to the student body. All tickets brought some fresh ideas to the table, but some were more qualified and more experienced than others.
Colleen — Shelby — Thomas
Colleen, Shelby and Thomas presented the most feasible platform accompanied by a team that exhibits a high level of collaboration. This ticket is experienced in working with Student Activities Council, the Office of Student Involvement and other important student organizations on campus, including the University Conduct Board and Extreme Fans.
The ticket exhibited a high level of preparation by coordinating with key administrators in the university. Contact with administrators does not guarantee that a platform will succeed. However, without collaboration with university administration, a ticket cannot reasonably expect to sufficiently represent the student body or accomplish key goals.
The platform from Colleen, Shelby and Thomas included some creative but realistic ideas. However, many recurring initiatives that have seen little or no progress reappeared on their ticket.
They provided thoughtful and resourceful answers, as on the issue of security and the push to allow ALL Card access to all dorms for on-campus residents. They were also willing to look for creative solutions from other universities — as demonstrated in the idea of a well-patrolled and well-lit pathway through campus at night, as borrowed from the University of Kentucky — and to admit that some initiatives they wanted were merely prospects or in-progress, such as the return of a meal exchange in Ryan’s Pub.
This ticket is stacked with skilled politicians who can subtly approach issues like diversity, as demonstrated through their platform position on increasing diversity on appointed board positions. They have the edge to be reliable advocates for fundamental student needs.
Laura — Jake — Jon
Laura Birckhead, Jake Haigis and Jon Hogue are a powerful ticket in many regards. They have original ideas and innovative ways to make them happen. They are interested in pushing the student body toward undervalued programs on campus such as community-engaged learning and more tangible sustainability initiatives, as well as addressing the issues surrounding support for mental health on campus and encouraging student entrepreneurship and economic interaction with the communities that surround Xavier. That said, this ticket is slightly lacking in clout and showed a need for more thorough research and preparation.
John — Rob — Lauren
John Janisse, Rob Link and Lauren Holt introduced a handful of ideas that are new to Xavier, though not new to academia. The feasibility of ideas such as “create your own major” and a Kickstarter-esque program to fund club projects is dubious at best. This ticket did not fully explore the channels necessary to enact such difficult and expensive measures and is lacking in necessary experience in working with student government and administration.
Erin — Scott — Marleny
Erin Hinson, Scott Stratford and Marleny Lora seem underprepared to faithfully execute the duties required by an office in student government and are also lacking in overall experience. Their platform is underprepared, and while their ideas were practical in many regards — such as dealing with handicap accessibility and representing a wide range of the student population — this ticket does not offer the energy and political savvy that is necessary to run student government.