As of Monday, three tickets are campaigning to be elected as the next IU Student Association executive administration.
The Students for Progress, Action, and Reform Campaign (SPARC) ticket, which was announced in a press release Monday night, will be led by presidential candidate junior Sidney Fletcher, an IUSA Congress representative for the off-campus constituency. Other members of the ticket are Noelle Gipson, Tom Dauer, Jonathan Hawkins and Ty Nocita.
According to the press release from Fletcher, if SPARC is elected, their first action will be advocating for a two-year tuition freeze. The release states that SPARC also wants to remove executive salaries from the IUSA budget.
The other two tickets that have declared their intention to campaign are YOUniversity, led by junior Jose Mitjavila, and Hoosiers 4 Solutions, led by junior Casey Shelburne.
YOUniversity is running on a platform concerning the creation of greater accessibility and accountability between students and student government through programs such as the creation of A.C.E. Online Portal, which would allow students to send proposals directly to IUSA, and training activity advisers to teach students about joining student organizations.
Hoosiers 4 Solutions, like SPARC, lists the cost of higher education as a main priority, as well as campus safety.
Shelburne said he and Fletcher had discussed forming a ticket together in January but had different priorities. They disagreed about the role of student government in lowering tuition.
“I tend to think that student government does not have a whole lot of power when it comes to addressing tuition directly,” Shelburne said.
The SPARC ticket disagreed, according to the press release about their platforms which states “a student body raising its voice about the issue of college affordability is well-positioned to win a tuition freeze and a promise to keep long-term tuition in line with inflation.”
In an email exchange with Fletcher, Shelburne said tuition is an issue that would be solved by working with the Commission on Higher Education and the legislature, not by demands from the student government. He went on to state that he thinks Fletcher’s ticket has little chance of winning, citing large student groups that he said he thinks will pledge their support to Hoosiers 4 Solutions. However, he said he would be willing to work with Fletcher on solving the tuition issue, adding “these offers are contingent upon you backing out and volunteering for us.”
“He’s a very talented individual, and we were hoping to incorporate his talent into Hoosiers 4 Solutions,” Shelburne said in an interview.
In the email exchange, Fletcher refused to back out of the election but offered Shelburne a volunteer position in the SPARC administration should they win.
“We both have similar interests,” Fletcher said. “We’re unhappy with how IUSA is running ... and we want to see real solutions put in place.”