SGA elections endorsement
Each year, the Newswire conducts thorough interviews with all approved Student Government Association (SGA) executive tickets and subsequently releases an official endorsement of the ticket we believe is the most qualified. This year, our decision was difficult, as both tickets had well-planned platforms and strong performances in the interviews. We were impressed by both tickets’ candor and ability to communicate their ideas and concerns in the debate we hosted in conjunction with the Board of Elections. Nonetheless, after careful consideration, one ticket ultimately stood out as the best choice for Xavier.
The Newswire endorses Jake Haigis, Megan Brault and Jack Bainbridge (JMJ) in the election for SGA executives.
This endorsement does not reflect the opinion of any singular staff member, but is the result of the evaluations of four editors based on a predetermined scoring system.
The tickets were evaluated in four categories: feasibility, common sense, group chemistry and creativity. We have provided the scores (which were close) below. JMJ received a B overall, while Andrew Redd, Fare Olagbaju and Josh DeVincenzo (AFJ) received a B-minus.
The Newswire’s board consisted of four members of the editorial staff: Editor-in-Chief Andrew Koch, Managing Editor Taylor Fulkerson, Opinions & Editorials Editor Tatum Hunter and Campus News Editor Lydia Rogers. Each member of the board assigned a score from one to 100 in each of the four categories for each ticket. These scores were then averaged to find overall scores in each category for each ticket, and the final scores were an average of these figures.
The board also took into account the candidates’ preparedness and poise during the interviews when considering the endorsement.
Though the tickets scored closely in most categories, JMJ scored higher in three of the four, most notably in chemistry. They deferred to each other often, and it was clear that they work well as a team, a key to success as SGA executives.
In terms of both their platform and their interview, JMJ outperformed AFJ. Their platform was clearer, more organized and better written. While it could be argued that their platform was sprawling and contained minute proposals, many more of their points were feasible because of their clarity and the ticket’s realistic scope. The ticket’s platform also reflected extensive research with administrators and collaboration with current SGA representatives.
One of the most attractive things about JMJ is their commitment to working with the existing SGA executives and the executives who will come after them. With a shortened executive term — 10 months instead of 12 — increased communication and collaboration with the current executives will be essential.
Each JMJ candidate has experience in student government and is comfortable “talking the talk.” While this may indicate a hesitance to part ways with SGA customs (for better or for worse), this familiarity with current SGA activity also shows that they will be capable of communicating effectively with various university offices as well as with students and community leaders.
JMJ had already spoken with many staff and administrators about various issues on their platform. They did their research and had an answer each time they were asked who they had spoken to about their goals.
In addition, we were impressed with their sensitivity to the importance of faith on campus, their seriousness about protecting students on busy streets that border campus (including the “Dana Death Trap” that leads to the Village Apartments) and their realistic expectations about the allocation of space in the Gallagher Student Center (GSC).
AFJ had a thoughtful, but sometimes overly general, vision for what they’d like to accomplish as executives. They emphasized diversity and inclusion, stating that the Xavier community needs to be more inclusive to students who are currently marginalized. This is an admirable goal, no doubt, but perhaps not one that could be accomplished through an Inclusion Panel targeting students who are already involved in campus organizations.
While not as fluent in administrative language, AFJ expressed well-placed concern for how Xavier interacts with the surrounding community and for making the campus a navigable space for students through stronger collaboration among clubs and through a strong commitment to student-run businesses.
What seems to be lacking to accomplish such a vision, however, were chemistry and feasibility. The three candidates seemed to be like-minded in many respects but failed to exhibit the same level of comfort and teamwork as did their JMJ counterparts. Their platform also lacked feasibility — big goals and big dreams do not a successful term make.
As indicated by both tickets’ imperfect scores in each category, neither ticket had a flawless plan for fulfilling the role of SGA executives. There is always room for improvement. For example, while both tickets emphasized safety on their platforms, neither ticket mentioned sexual assault until asked by the editorial board.
As such, our endorsement does not guarantee the success of an elected JMJ or predict an unsuccessful term for AFJ. We believe that our decision is informed and well-reasoned and that, in offering an endorsement at all, our recommendation can serve as a helpful perspective for the Xavier student body.