Communication, pride are key issues in SGA debate

Published by , Author: Logan Campbell - Rocket Contributor, Date: April 7, 2016
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The ‘Chainge’ party and the ‘Revive the Pride’ party shared their platforms on Thursday during common hour to the student body in attendance and election committee.

As compared to last year’s election, which had only one party running, this year’s election consists of two tickets looking to become the next leaders of SGA.

The Chainge Party, led by current SGA President Logan Steigerwalt, and the newcomers, the Revive The Pride Party led by Rebecca Sheriff, are the two tickets running.

Both parties first gave their opening statements and discussed the motivation behind their parties, and why they decided to form their tickets in the first place.

Sheriff, the presidential nominee for Revive The Pride, took the stand first and gave her opening remarks. Sheriff said the party feels the attitude on campus is dying, and the pride really isn’t here anymore.

“There’s a lot of frustrations, a lot of miscommunication and people are tired of not being heard,” Sheriff said. “That’s why we formed our ticket, and in only two days we were able to get 500 signatures from across the student body in order to combat these feelings of negativity on this campus.”

Building the campaign around organization, integrity, diversity with many different majors and minors and the variety of student experiences and connections was what it wanted to do, Sheriff said. Collaborating as a group and getting things done for the student body with efficiency and an open mind is what Revive the Pride wants to accomplish, Sheriff said.

Steigerwalt, the current president of SGA, would then give his opening remarks towards the Chainge Party. Steigerwalt said that there are two parts to running the student government, including running the business aspects along with being the voice of the student body.

“When I first took the office, I thought the SRSGA was a business, and that’s how I would run it,” Steigerwalt said. “True, it is a business, but it took me a while to realize it is much more than that. It’s the voice of the students. We are the representatives for the student body. We look forward to this debate and showcasing our plans for next year.”

After opening remarks from both candidates, the debate would then move into the question portion. Each candidate was asked a series of similar questions regrading their party, and how they would benefit the campus community. These questions ranged from. what they can bring to the campus community as leaders, ways to go about fixing the communication between students and administration, and a new initiative they plan to bring to campus if elected. 

Both parties answered every question that was asked and got right to the point. Increased student involvement with SGA was a major topic that was discussed by both nominees, as they felt the student body has lost interest in being involved on their campus.

The dedication to SGA and having extensive speaking experience would allow the communication between SGA, and the students to be brought back, Sheriff said. The variety of majors, minors, campus involvement, and student leadership in this ticket is what made this possible , Sheriff said. RTP was formed because of the student body being upset with how the last government was run, Sheriff said.

A community is people that share a common interest, the desire to be involved and the diversity of the SRU community is what matters, Steigerwalt said. Getting involved with other organizations and having better communication with those groups is a goal that can be achieved, Steigerwalt said. Promoting the Slippery Rock community with the necessary leadership and experience can be pushed, Steigerwalt said.

“When the issue between the lack of transparency and communication came about, I get it that’s a huge issue,” Steigerwalt said. “My plan for next year will be to create a concrete plan, for how the administration communicates with the students. I also want to limit the amount of SRU communications emails we receive, so if we do receive them it is the most pertinent information that you need to know. I want to really sit down with Dr. Norton and create a concrete plan of action, and really build off of it and see how t goes.”

Sheriff then took the stand to express how she can combat the issues of communication.

 “We will be hosting monthly forums between students and administration, and the teachers union on campus in order to ask those really difficult questions of communication,” Sheriff said. “We also propose a suggestion box whether it be physical or through social media, and by having this box it will give people a way to voice their opinions. Freshman are resource that is not being utilized on campus, we need to capture their attention and start building those future leaders early on in their careers here.”

The future leaders of SGA proposed some initiatives to which they look to bring to not only SGA, but the campus as a whole. Steigerwalt discussed his ideas first to the student body in attendance.

The Commuter Senator position is someone who lives on off campus housing, such as apartments and houses, Steigerwalt said. This idea came from a senator in office now and went over well with all of SGA, Steigerwalt said.

“That’s the Commuter Safe house

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