Indiana Daily Student

ReviveIU or ReImagineIU? Two coalitions form as IUSG congressional elections begin

Two major coalitions, ReviveIU and ReImagineIU, formed just days ahead of IUSG Congressional elections, which are taking place on Wednesday and Thursday. You can vote here.

ReviveIU, which was organized by a few members in the IUSG executive branch, is the largest coalition this year, with a list of more than 50 endorsed candidates. One of their campaign pillars is financial relief. 

“We want to permanently get rid of the drop/add fee and also the transcript fee,” said Chris Wilson, who is running for a congressional seat from the Kelley School of Business. “It makes no sense anymore.”

Wilson said the drop/add fee doesn’t make any sense after technology developed.

“Before everything was automated, there was an actual building you had to go to to drop or add a class,” Wilson said. “But now that it is automated, it doesn’t make any sense to have a fee. It’s out of date.” 

Kyle Reynolds, who served as the parliamentarian in the IUSG Congress over the summer, echoed Wilson’s comments about fees, but also said IU’s tuition is too high. 

“The legislation I want to continue to work on is to make sure that we can reduce the fees and tuition that IU students pay,” Reynolds said. “It is significantly higher than that of comparable colleges in Indiana like Purdue or Ball State.” 

IU’s in-state total cost of attendance is $26,186 per year, almost 15% higher than Purdue at $22,782 per year and 25% higher than Ball State at $20,940 per year.

Reynolds said the COVID-19 pandemic makes financial issues even more important. 

“I think this is exacerbated in the time of COVID,” Reynolds said. “Students are being asked to pay fees for services they can no longer use. Students have been financially impacted, yet the tuition for IU continues to go up. I think that’s unacceptable.”

In June, IU announced announced it would increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students by 2.5% and 3%, respectively, for the 2020-21 academic year. That tuition increase was determined in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic caused a global recession.

ReImagineIU, another large coalition, endorsed more than 30 candidates across some of the major constituencies, notably the College of Arts and Sciences and off-campus housing. Ahead of the elections, they released a 21-page document explaining their platform. Steven Rigg, who wrote a lot of their platform, said that they started off with an environmentalism platform, but quickly expanded.

“It became obvious to us that we couldn’t have a systems-change approach just by focusing on environmentalism,” Rigg said. “You need to have a comprehensive system change in order to fix the root of the problem.” 

ReImagineIU’s platform, in addition to a few financial stipulations such as decreased tuition during COVID-19, is still heavily based on environmental issues. 

“Indiana University must take action in becoming carbon neutral by 2030 in order to be a responsible leader for its students, employees, and the Hoosier community as a whole,” according to their platform documents.

IU’s current goal is carbon neutrality by 2050. 

“What we are trying to do is build a coalition of leaders across our campus,” Rigg said. “We want to influence decision makers.”

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