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The Communicator NEWS & POLITICS

Student Body President up for Grabs


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Written by: Zachary D. ElickApril 13, 2016

Two executive officer positions, the student body president and vice president of programming, will be going to newcomers in this year’s IPSGA Officer Election held during Spring Fling April 18-23.

After serving in his position for two years, Student Body President Wade Smith has opted not to run. Continuing as president would not fit in with his busy schedule, he said.

Vice President of Programming Jessie Graves will be graduating at the end of this semester, making her ineligible to continue holding office, she said via email. Graves will also have two terms under her belt when she steps down in May.

Vice President of Finance Nathan Fawley and Vice President of Legislation Alexander Sanderson will be the only incumbents with their names on this year’s ballot.

Sanderson is running as a part of a ticket that includes Student Senator Andrew Kreager, vying for student body president, student senator Evan Lunceford for vice president of finance and Student Activities Board member Alexis Tucker for vice president of programming.

The other ticket in this year’s race includes executive assistant Aleksandr Bogun for student body president, former Student Senator Anthony Relue for vice president of legislation, Student Senator James Hoppes for vice president of finance and Student Activities Board member Manal Saeed for vice president of programming.

The number of candidates in this year’s election is a welcome change from last year’s, which consisted of only three incumbents and two newcomers, according to Victoria Spencer, IPSGA coordinator.

“I’m very pleased that we have such a turnout of candidates this year — a good batch of candidates that take their roles seriously and have good ideas,” she said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Each candidate was required to turn in petitions with 150 signatures from fellow students back in late February in order to run for office. All candidates must also be enrolled in at least six credit hours and hold a 2.0 grade-point average, Spencer said.

The choice to campaign in groups, called tickets, was completely up to the candidates and is not required to compete for office. Every candidate on both tickets will be listed individually on the electronic ballots along with the the position they are running for, according to Miriam Romaneli, a member of the IPSGA Election Board.

“Throughout the years, candidates who are running together are more likely to win because they get more visibility,” Romaneli said.

The Election Board — a temporary group of students formed each year to help organize the IPFW Homecoming and the IPSGA Officer Elections — put together two events in preparation for this year’s race: a “meet and greet” with the candidates in March and two open forums April 5-6.

The full bios for each candidate are available on the IPFW website at www.ipfw.edu/affiliates/stugov/election-board/.

Photo by Zachary D. Elick Open forum between IPSGA candidates April 6.

Photo by Zachary D. Elick
Open forum between IPSGA candidates April 6.


Communication and LSA proposal Dominate Candidate Forums


The LSA proposal and how to improve communication between IPSGA and the student body were most discussed topics during the two open forums last week. 

Hoppes mentioned several times his idea to create a new board or committee as a part of IPSGA that would record their meetings and post them online where students could view them and make comments. Doing this would hold the executive officers accountable and increase transparency of the actions of IPSGA, he said.

Kreager and Relue both made strong comments about the need for IPFW to communicate better.

Kreager cited the confusion at the start of the semester over the Helmke Library construction as an example of IPFW’s communication woes. He suggested using the position of student body president to make some kind of “address” to the entire campus.

Relue referred to the communication at the university as “fragmented.” He said that if elected he would form an ad hoc committee to find ways to improve the methods that students’ opinions are heard by IPSGA. Relue also stressed the importance of executive officers personally engaging their fellow students in order to be aware of their opinions and concerns.

Bogun referenced the need for getting “one voice” to represent the students.

Sanderson seconded the importance of engaging students on a personal level.He also said the first thing he would do in office would revamp how the notes are taken from the IPSGA meeting so that they are more accessible to students.

Lunceford said that a good way for the students’ voices to be heard would be to better publicise the suggestion box that already exists outside of the IPSGA office in Walb.

Seead and Tucker both mentioned wanting to put on more events and using these events as opportunities to get feedback from students.

Krieger, Lunceford, Sanderson and Hoppes — all of whom are acting members of the executive or legislative branches of IPSGA — acknowledged that the student government has been too slow in reacting to the LSA proposal.

Hoppes blamed the negligence of certain members of IPSGA to show up to meetings for being the cause of their slow response.

Almost all of the candidates expressed concern about the outcomes of the possible split between Indiana University and Purdue University, which was one of the recommendations of the proposal. They also said they would attempt to communicate the students’ displeasure over these outcomes to the people in power.