Though this year’s SGA Executive Election presents three tickets, one fewer than last year’s election, the candidates are nonetheless equally as strong as previous cycles. ASR, JBC and VMR present thoughtful ideas in their platforms and bring a wide breadth of experiences and passions to the student body.
The Newswire interviewed each ticket in addition to hosting a public debate and reviewing their platforms and qualifications. Based on the performances of each ticket, the Newswire has decided to endorse JBC. This decision was by no means easy — a testament to the strength of this year’s field — and was based on a predetermined scoring system. This endorsement does not reflect the opinion of one editor but rather the evaluation of seven members of the editorial staff.
Below are the official evaluations of each ticket in terms of passion, feasibility, balance and professionalism as well as an overall grade that represents the average of their combined scores.
An area that was certainly not lacking was passion; all three tickets feature individuals who are passionate about different aspects of campus life and making a change in those areas. In our evaluation for this category, we examined not only the passions of the individual candidates themselves but also how those passions translate into the ticket as a whole. JBC and VMR were neck-in-neck, and it was ultimately a slightly greater sense of cohesion that gave the former the edge.
While it was clear that the members of VMR each had their individual areas of passion, we felt they did not gel quite as much as JBC. The members of ASR clearly have several areas about which they feel strongly and would like to make a difference, but we felt that they did not come together as a group enough to mesh those passions and formulate solid plans based on those ideas.
All three tickets highlighted similar areas of focus, and all three presented a wide range of projects and ideas to implement in the coming year.
JBC emerged as the frontrunner because they were able to explain most clearly the steps needed to implement their plans as well as what they have done so far.
VMR and ASR both scored lower in this category because each of their platforms contained at least one plan that was nearly impossible to implement or contained little explanation of how it could be carried out.
While we liked many of their other ideas, we felt that neither ticket fully articulated how their ideas could be implemented or what progress they had made toward doing so.
SGA candidates run as a team, and the winning ticket must govern that way. We define balance as both a shared vision and a shared workload amongst all three ticket members. As pointed out in the debate, none of the tickets exhibit perfect balance, and this will prove a challenge no matter which group takes office.
While both VMR and JBC performed well in this category, VMR comes out on top because they demonstrated the most communication skills and had the most evenly distributed answers during the interview and debate. They also displayed the most even distribution of work in creating their platforms.
JBC also did well in these areas and ranks below VMR only because one of their members led their platform slightly more than we would have liked to see.
ASR ranks below the others in part because they displayed the least balance in answering questions throughout the interview and the debate. More importantly, it seemed that they did not discuss their own platform enough during the debate and that several key issues and ideas championed during the interviews were not mentioned, an observation that concerned us.
By and large, JBC was the most professional of the three tickets. The editorial staff was impressed both by their appearance as well as the way in which they conducted themselves and clearly articulated their plans during the interviews and debate.
VMR also placed high in this category, only lacking a bit of the organization and articulation that JBC presented.
While we appreciated ASR’s emphasis on being transparent and frank and their attempt to connect with the student body, we felt that their more casual and candid demeanor could be of concern when discussing issues with administration and other members of campus organizations.
To reiterate, the decision to endorse JBC was by no means a quick and easy one. The Newswire commends all tickets for presenting a strong field of candidates, and we encourage those students not elected to continue to push for change on campus.
We also encourage all students, no matter who they support, to thoroughly examine all of the platforms before they vote in the elections, which begins at 8 a.m. today, Wednesday, Oct. 25, and will close at 4 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 26.