Three tickets will debate tonight as IU prepares for the IUSA elections April 2 and 3. Hoosiers 4 Solutions, SPARC for IU and YOUniversity candidates will discuss their platforms and answer questions from the student audience.
At the debate, each ticket will have five minutes for opening statements and five for closing statements. The debate will be moderated by University Chancellor Emeritus Ken Gros Louis, who created the question list based on the Election Commission’s recommendations of relevant topics. None of the candidates will see the questions before the debate, and they each will have three minutes to respond to each question.
The debate is open to the public, but the floor will not be open for questions.
Hoosiers 4 Solutions
Hoosiers 4 Solutions is the only ticket with executives who do not have prior experience in IUSA, although chief of staff candidate Grant Weil is a member of the Judicial Board for the Residential Hall Association. Presidential candidate Casey Shelburne worked as a media intern in the Indiana House of Representatives and as a communications intern for the Indiana secretary of state, and other candidates have served as officers in other student organizations.
This state government experience is reflected in the ticket’s platforms, many of which are focused on changing policies at the state level. Its “Cost of College” platform includes a plan to lobby for a tax-free textbook holiday. The candidates have also visited the Indiana State House to discuss student voting rights for out-of-state students.
Kelsey Gorman, candidate for vice president of administration, said Hoosiers 4 Solutions plan to lobby for an expansion of the Lifeline Law. They want the law to state explicitly that victims of sexual assault will not be charged with underage drinking when they report the crime.
Members are also addressing the drinking culture on campus with a policy to reduce student alcohol abuse at collegiate sporting events. Hoosiers 4 Solutions said on its official website that a policy of making limited amounts of beer and wine available at sporting events may decrease binge drinking prior to games.
Although Hoosiers 4 Solutions is not directly incorporating the Culture of Care initiative into its platforms, Gorman said the ticket is not planning to discontinue it. Instead, they will take ideas from the initiative and expand them to the state level.
“We’re translating the idea of Culture of Care to larger scales,” she said.
SPARC for IU
SPARC for IU’s presidential candidate Sidney Fletcher and chief of staff candidate Ty Nocita are both representatives in the IUSA Congress, and Noelle Gipson, candidate for vice president of administration, has been involved in residential student government.
SPARC for IU plans to advocate for a two-year tuition freeze campus-wide, similar to a freeze recently announced at Purdue University.
The ticket also wants the Board of Trustees to sign a pledge promising to keep long-term tuition costs in line with economic inflation.
According to their official website, SPARC is also planning to implement a program called “Learn! Initiative.”
This would include an extended class shopping period each semester to allow students to drop and add classes without penalty for two weeks.
SPARC is building a Culture of Care platform based on the Culture of Care initiative begun by the Movement administration.
SPARC has taken this on as part of its campus safety platform, according to its official campaign website. Ticket members want to focus on training workshops to teach students and faculty about bystander intervention.
Nocita said he hopes the candidates discuss the issue of executive salaries.
SPARC’s cost-cutting platform plans to invest the money from executive salaries into solar panels to be used on campus.
“It’s the first time it’s been a campaign issue, really,” he said. “I think the other campaigns would prefer that they (salaries) didn’t come up.”
Five of YOUniversity’s six ticket members are involved in the current IUSA administration. One is a member of IUSA Congress, and four are members of the executive senior staff. Treasurer candidate Casey Baker is currently serving as treasurer in the Movement administration.
YOUniversity has included two candidates, Kathryn Flanigan and Dia Sharma, on the ticket as co-chiefs of staff.
Flanigan and Sharma are co-chairs on the Culture of Care committee for the current administration.
According to a press release, YOUniversity wants to expand the current Culture of Care initiative with programs such as expanding the Night Owl bus routes and times for students traveling late at night.
The initiative would also address alcohol use on campus. According to the ticket’s official campaign website, YOUniversity wants to lobby to re-allow handles at the tailgating fields, while setting up stations for food vendors and water to discourage dangerous drinking.
They have indirectly addressed the cost of college with their “Emergency Tuition Fund” platform, which would provide short-term financial assistance to students on a case-by-case basis.
“I want to really be able to discuss these platforms, the things that students actually want to see: Are they feasible, have they been done before?” presidential candidate Mitjavila said. “We’ve done our homework.”