WRITTEN BY: Newswire‘s Endorsement Board
The Newswire endorsement board collectively endorses the MMM Student Government Association Executive ticket, with reservation.
The endorsement board is composed of eight members of the editorial team and has put together this evaluation based on an editorial interview with the MMM ticket — Michaele Townsend, MaKayla Conners and Marina Salazar — as well as the SGA Executive Forum, co-hosted with the Board of Elections.
After these events, each member of the endorsement board rated the ticket on a scale of one to five points (including half points) in the areas of: balance, feasibility, passion, professionalism and representation. The average of these scores is listed below with a general justification of the score. Their overall average was 3.6, which is passing with satisfaction.
We will also note that the endorsement board was split, with some feeling confident enough about the ticket to fully endorse, a few wishing to not endorse and the largest portion encouraging endorsement with reservation.
Balance: 3.6 — passing with satisfaction
Balance refers to the equal distribution of work and time within the ticket and their platform, in addition to their ability to work together as a team.
Each of the MMM candidates were knowledgeable in a specific field — Michaele specializes in the inner-workings of SGA, MaKayla in communications and commuter students and Marina in representation for minority groups. While each having a specific area of expertise allows the ticket to divide responsibilities in workload, some of the editorial board thought it would be beneficial for each candidate to be better versed in the other’s specifications. All candidates were also able to successfully answer questions without one candidate dominating the speaking time.
Feasibility: 3.1 — passing with adequacy
Feasibility concerns the likelihood of the ticket’s platform being executed. This section of the endorsement had the most disagreement among the editorial board.
Much of the MMM platform includes small, actionable plans within the jurisdiction of SGA. However, members of the editorial board questioned how the ticket would be able to accomplish these platform items while running SGA and planning a campaign or event each month, as outlined in the Diversity and Inclusion segment of their platform.
The candidates shared that they had not spoken to administrators when developing their platform, which led varying members of the editorial board to question the likelihood that they would be able to accomplish the following platform items: pushing back the last day to drop and register for new classes, holding tours of physical plants and providing two $500 scholarships per semester. The ticket proposed collaborating with Commuter Services as well as the Center for Diversity and Inclusion for different platform itens; it is worrying that these groups were not contacted when creating the platform.
Passion: 3.9 — passing above average
Passion concerns how the members of the ticket communicated their investment in their platform and enthusiasm for the roles of Executives.
Each member of MMM, while having an area of focus as mentioned before, also speak of their general platform and candidacy with passionate rhetoric. For example, during the editorial interview, MaKayla told us they would include more identity groups represented through SGA “even if they have to beg.” The Newswire endorsement board thought they were sufficiently passionate, though some members thought they weren’t above and beyond enough to warrant a full five.
Professionalism: 1.9 — underwhelming
Professionalism encompasses not only how the members of the ticket conducted themselves during the interview and debate but also how they communicated and presented their platform.
MMM, while exceptionally prepared for the public forum, had significant typos in their platform, which was turned in late. They did, however, send their platform in when they said they would, which cannot be said for many tickets in the past.
Additionally, the candidates’ response to questions concerning potential weaknesses in their platform at both the editorial interview and public forum were, at times, curt. This was particularly unbecoming when a candidate misinterpreted a question and became defensive. This was noted by some members of the editorial board who would be working with the Executives if they are elected, and could be disadvantageous when interacting with administrators.
A candidate also misnamed the Vice President of Facilities for the university in both the public forum and endorsement interview, even though they stressed their close relationship with him.
Representation: 4.3 — passing exceptionally
Representation evaluates how well the ticket reflects the interests of the student population at Xavier.
MMM demonstrated their investment in a variety of student clubs and organizations, especially identity groups and commuters. They also represent a variety of majors, including Philosophy, Politics and the Public, political science, communication studies and computer science, as well as various minors. This STEM representation, as well as representation from the Williams College of Business will enhance their plan to reach students outside of the traditional majors attracted to SGA. Their participation in identity clubs may also benefit and reflect the diversity of our student body during a time in which racial injustice and insensitivities have affected the student body.
Details on the endorsement board: Newswire was happy to continue the tradition of evaluating the SGA Executive tickets for the 2020 SGA Election. Typically, members of Newswire are more knowledgeable about the goings-on of SGA than the average student due to our coverage, but do not present a conflict of interest that a Senator who has or will work with the ticket may present. The following editors were members of the endorsement board:
- Heather Gast, Editor-in-Chief
- Alex Budzynski, Managing Editor
- Hunter Ellis, Managing Multimedia Editor
- Joseph Cotton, Campus News Editor
- Mo Juenger, World News Editor
- Charlie Gstalder, Opinions Editor
- Kate Ferrell, Arts & Entertainment Editor
- Aidan Callahan, Back Page Editor