The Ithaca College Student Government Association presidential debate held April 19 included representatives from all five of the Executive Board tickets. Below is The Ithacan’s archived live-blog of the event.
The debate will begin in about 10 minutes. Follow us as we live-blog the event.
Dom Recckio, IC NSYNC: My ticket is focused on academic integrity and student rights.
Elijah Breton, IC Friends: Collectively, we bring a freshness and excitement SGA needs. We are diverse, both academically and socially, representing different majors and organizations’ voices.
Jacob Greenberg, BEV: Students should have a greater say in administrative decisions.
Katie Beaule, VP for IC Your Voice: We will listen to the student voice to turn it into action. We have talked to students on campus about what they wish to change.
Link: All of the stories about the CAPS controversy can be found here: http://theithacan.org/tag/caps-2015/
Sean Themea, President for IC Your Voice, is not present at the debate.
Jamila Carter, The Carter 5: Three tenets of campaign: community, collaboration, and empowerment. Students have the power to make change on campus.
Moderator: The rules of the debate. Candidates have one minute 15 seconds to respond, one minute to pose responses.
Moderator: SGA has been criticized in the past for not being engaged with the student body. If elected, how does your Executive Board plan on improving outreach efforts to successfully serve as the voice of the students?
Recckio: IC NSYNC will start “State of the Student Address” to talk in online video that will be emailed to student body. IC NSYNC will also work hard to get all students on campus involved.
Breton: It begins with VP of Communications, Julie Nishi. She has great methods of outreach and is engaged with all students. IC Friends wants to start an IC Newsletter to provide easy access for students to find out what is happening. We want to limit our office hours in the SGA office so that SGA officers can get out on the campus more.
Greenberg: First floor of campus center will be a space for student activism so students can come together. Other group will organize fun events for students, such as puppy-petting.
Beaule: We want to talk to everyone about what bothers students, what can be improved on and what is lacking on campus. The goal is to get into contact with administrators to communicate those concerns. We want to use Periscope on social media to live stream events and get more information out.
Carter: Carter 5 will have online suggestion box, will also take SGA out of the “bubble” and bring the SGA to the student bodies. Carter 5 will also hold senators accountable for interacting with students they represent.
Moderator: Open floor for one minute of debate. No rebuttals.
Moderator: What do you believe are the biggest problems with our appropriations process and how do you plan on improving it to better support campus activity?
Breton: The Student Activities Fund doesn’t last as long as it should. We want to go back to dividing up the fund into blocks. This allows us to see when student organizations propose funds and how much, and this data can be collected for use by future SGA officers.
Link: Ithaca College SGA ran out of funds earlier this semester: http://theithacan.org/news/ic-sga-unable-to-fund-organizations-due-to-money-shortage/
Greenberg: It’s common for funds to run out a month or two early. Fluid initiative will combine fund-raising committees to provide student experts to help fundraise for clubs.
Fact check: Candidate Jacob Greenberg said that SGA funding ran out a month or two early. Funding ran out on Feb. 17 this year.
Beaule: We appreciate the Board of Trustees providing $7,000, but we want to make sure we can make the fund last longer through planning at the beginning of the semester, looking at annual events and possibly combining events and student organizations to save money.
Carter: Carter Five will make sure there are enough students on the appropriations committee, and will help students come up with a financial plan to help their organizations.
Moderator: One minute of debate.
Fact check: Candidate Jamila Carter said that there needs to be enough people on appropriations committee. According to the SGA Constitution, the appropriations committee should have no fewer than seven members and no more than 10.
Recckio: There is a ton of redundancy, too many events going on than students can go to. IC NSYNC will help combine clubs to be more efficient.
Fact check: Recckio said there are over 200 student organizations on campus, according to the OSEMA website there are only over 100 student organizations
Fact check: Beaule said the Board of Trustees replenished the SGA fund, which they did, but only $2,000. $5,000 of that came from SGA: http://theithacan.org/news/ithaca-college-student-activities-fund-receives-additional-funds/
Breton: I have concern with Recckio’s statement. SGA has no business instituting policies requiring student organizations to collaborate or combine events. Student organizations will be in great hands under Eddy Tapia, our VP of Business and Finance.
Recckio: There are two organizations on campus which consult for non-profits, which makes both groups suffer as they struggle to get members and non-profits to participate.
Greenberg: I agree with Jamila, fundraising in the community is better than appropriating funds. Recent up-kick in fraternity life on campus can be a benefit in fundraising.
Link: An article in The Ithacan on unaffiliated Greek life gaining popularity, from Greenberg’s comment: http://theithacan.org/accent/going-greek-unaffiliated-greek-organizations-gain-popularity-at-the-college/
Moderator: How do you plan on making the campus a safer and more inclusive place to be for women and other marginalized groups, given the events happening on college campuses across the country?
Greenberg: Activism is incredibly important, community engagement is the key to that. SPAC committee will help students engage with each other. In Creative Commons, different organizers will be able to talk about their events and plan activism.
Beaule: With the results of the Campus Climate Survey, some say the campus is inclusive while other minority groups disagree. We should educate the community on why people might feel this way through forums on micro-aggressions, social media campaigns, posters and hashtags. We want to make sure there is enough funding going to programs like SHARE.
Fact check: Beaule said the Campus Climate survey revealed disagreements about the inclusiveness of campus, she’s right: http://theithacan.org/news/campus-climate-survey-results-reveal-perception-gap/
Carter: The Carter 5 comes from all walks of life and knows what its like to feel unsafe on campus. Big buzz word on campus is “microagression”, SGA must better educate students on these issues. Carter 5 will include events to raise awareness, such as the recent “It’s On Us” event.
Link: Here is The Ithacan‘s coverage of the It’s On Us event, part of a campaign raise awareness of and address sexual assault: http://theithacan.org/news/college-localizes-its-on-us-sexual-assault-awareness-campaign/
Recckio: Academic integrity is important. Kyle James, who is on IC NSYNCs e-board, is trying to get an LBGTQ minor. ElectHer series needs to come back to campus. Students have to pay to get to Cauga Medical Center to get services after sexual assaults, college should set up emergency funds for students who need help.
Breton: IC Friends has experience with trying to improve the lives of marginalized students on campus. We have experience working on micro-aggressions. Breton began the campaign against micro-aggressions in HSHP. We want to continue this work by bringing the Office of Public Safety to a more central location on campus.
Moderator: Two minute rebuttal. Micro-aggressions sparked a major social media debate. Response?
Beaule: About the online reporting system. Sometimes when you report, you may not know why the person said what they said. Having a speech reporting system could come off negatively to prospective students. We want to have a dialogue with all communities on campus.
Link: The article which sparked the microagressions controversy: http://theithacan.org/news/ic-sga-passes-bill-to-create-system-to-report-microaggressions/
Carter: Angela Pradham, who proposed microagression reporting system, is on the e-board and the reporting system is meant to educate and start the dialogue, instead on punishing people.
Moderator: SGA is charged with being the liaison between the student body and the administration of the college. With a new Provost coming in, how do you plan on fostering a better connection between the students and members of the administration?
Link: Recent CAPS controversy: http://theithacan.org/news/ithaca-college-administration-denies-request-for-public-discussion/
Greenberg: SGA e-board should not hijack issues, but should help provide students a voice. When students get together, such as the recent CAPs issue, student voices get heard.
Fact check: Carter said that the reporting system wasn’t meant to punish people. However, the original proposal of the reporting system would have made room for punishing people who committed micro-aggressions. Here is an excerpt from The Ithacan‘s coverage on this issue:
“The system would allow individuals reporting microaggressions to
remain anonymous. However, junior Kyle James, vice president of
communications and co-sponsor of the bill, said those reporting a
microaggression would likely have to reveal their identity if they
wanted to pursue any legal action.
James said in addition to a space to report the particular incident,
the online system would track the demographics of those reporting
microaggressions as well as those accused of committing them.”
Read the full article here: http://theithacan.org/news/ic-sga-passes-bill-to-create-system-to-report-microaggressions/
Beaule: Whenever a decision is being made in the administration, we want to be the liaison between students and administrators so that students can have a say in issues. Everything should be transparent, and the administration should see students’ passion.
Fact check: The student media policy Beaule brought up was rescinded a little over a month after it was enacted: http://archive.theithacan.org/27967
Carter: The printing policy, funding cut to ElectHer, and CAPs cut decisions have not had student voices involved. On the website, there should be contact information for members of the board of trustees.
Link: Recckio said students can offer changes to the student conduct code: http://www.ithaca.edu/policies/revisions/
Recckio: There should be a student bill of rights so students can say what they think they deserve from the administration. There will be a student bill of rights, drafted from the start of his presidency, added to the student conduct code.
Fact check: Carter said that CAPS was cut. It was not cut — it did not receive additional funding. Read more about what happened with The Ithacan‘s coverage of the issue: http://theithacan.org/news/campus-frustrated-by-denied-request-for-new-caps-counselor/
Breton: We want to be a liaison between students and administration. We need to work on the ICC to make it less restrictive to students. Our own VP Maddie Haftel cannot graduate on time because of the ICC.
Link: Recckio said students can offer changes to the student conduct code: http://www.ithaca.edu/policies/revisions/
Moderator: Two minutes of rebuttal. Open floor. Greenberg?
No response. Break.
Greenberg: SGA needs to be an actual assistance to students against administration. Informing students about their rights won’t be enough. Budgets are not available to students, Tom Rochon’s salary keeps going up and students aren’t being heard.
Fact check: Greenberg said you can not access the college’s budgets. You can access them: they are available at the library.
Fact check: Greenberg said you can not access the college’s budgets. You can access them; they are available at the library.
Moderator: With the recent campus reaction to the denial of additional funding to the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, how do you plan on advocating for the necessity of adequate student support services?
Link: The denial of CAPS resources: http://theithacan.org/news/campus-frustrated-by-denied-request-for-new-caps-counselor/
Carter: Students are paying tuition, and should be provided with services they need. Students should collaborate and makes sure the services the need should be provided.
Recckio: CAPs funding is needed. More students need to be on committees. IC NYSNC is planning on helping students get onto important committees on campus.
Link: Here is #getCAPSready’s response to the administration’s decision about CAPS funding: https://theithacan.org/opinion/student-getcapsready-campaign-responds-to-rochon/
Breton: IC Friends recognizes that students run the campus. Every student deserves to feel safe, and we could work with alumni to bring in more resources to alleviate this issue by bringing a diversity office to campus and boosting the staff in the health center.
Fact check: Recckio mentioned the Institutional Effectiveness and Budget Committee, which was added in 2011 to the Ithaca College Policy Manuel: http://www.ithaca.edu/intercom/article.php/20111024100213132
Greenberg: I took the lead in the CAPs issue, helping to start the discourse on campus. Instead of taking the lead, I want to empower the organizers of these initiatives such as the CAPs social media campaign. There is a hiring freeze at Ithaca College because we are on a zero-based budget.
Beaule: Students are provided these services but aren’t receiving them. Students should not be spending money on services off campuses. A lot of power should come from student-led initiatives. The whole campus is in agreement, so that voice needs to be heard and put into action through student involvement on committees.
Moderator: Two minute debate.
Recckio: We have a 9% alumni engagement rate, alumni who donate to campus. We need to work to bolster SGA and STAT. We need to bring in more alumni funds.
Moderator: What experiences have you had that make you suited for the role you are pursuing, and how will this affect your leadership style in SGA?
Greenberg: Bringing in more money will be helpful but we have to restructure the way the SGA stands against administration.
Fact Check: Recckio said the campus has a 9 percent alumni engagement rate, according to a report by The Ithacan, alumni participation was at 7 percent in 2014: http://theithacan.org/news/ithaca-college-sees-more-alumni-donors-less-overall-money/
Recckio: I have built a ticket for sustainable leadership. As an individual, I have been a senator and I was a founding member of Diversity and Inclusion task force.
Breton: I began as a senator for the Class of 2016, I have been senate chair, was part of the Taskforce on Diversity and Inclusion. The most gratifying part about being in SGA is trying to resolve student concerns, which would be IC Friends’ mentality.
Greenberg: IC Bev has creative new minds and will be able to question the way things are done. BEV stands for “be visible” and also his late grandmother, who appreciated the importance of community.
Beaule: Our president Sean Themea has been involved in SGA. We have heard from different voices and come with an excitement to change things on campus. We have a well-rounded ticket with people from different ages, organizations and viewpoints. We want to connect and identify with as many groups on campus as possible.
Carter: The Carter Five is focused on community, empower and collaboration. We are from different walks of life and care about the community. We want to turn student voices into empowerment.
Moderator: Open floor for rebuttal.
Breton: I have a track record of getting resolutions and recommendations passed. I may be small in height, but I come up big in getting things done. People on our ticket provide freshness in representing the students.
Moderator: Break. Closing arguments and an additional question to come.
Recckio: E-board has a great chance to talk to administration, everyone should take these elections seriously. People who want to see my platform should go to: www.icnsync.com.
Moderator: Closing remarks.
Fact check: Breton said he has a track record of passing bills through the senate. You can find SGA’s current bills at this link: http://www.ithaca.edu/orgs/sga/docs/Bills_2014_2015/
Breton is the primary sponsor for the HSHP Campaign Against Microaggressions, Sports Studies Major Reinstatement and Relocation, Affiliated Study Abroad Options and others.
Carter: The Carter 5 will make sure the ICC and different initiatives on campus have the student voice, that accessibility is a priority, and that community is important. The Carter 5 will also empower students to make sure their voices are heard.
Beaule: We want to connect with the student body and turn that communication into action. We want to address issues involving student workers, micro-aggressions and CAPS. We will make all voices heard.
Link: Part-time faculty file to unionize: http://theithacan.org/news/ithaca-college-part-time-faculty-to-vote-whether-to-unionize/
Greenberg: We want to have fun and have multiple traditions that will bring us closer. With part-time faculty moving towards unionization, IC BEV will unify the student body. “Let’s stand up and be visible”
Breton: We are ready to represent all students, whether with the ICC or the Student Activities Fund. IC Friends understand that we are five schools with diverse students, but we are one community, and we want to embrace that mentality.
Recckio: IC NSYNC is a ticket built for sustainable leadership. The student bill of rights will make the school a better place. We believe in you, the students.
Fact check: Greenberg said that students need more involvement with financial decisions at the college. There is currently a position called Student Trustee. From ithaca.edu: “Student Trustees are full-voting members of the Board of Trustees and are expected to sit on two Board committees.”
See more information here: http://www.ithaca.edu/intercom/article.php?story=20140303134925511
Fact Check: Recckio said that students incur charges for transportation from campus to Cayuga Medical Center. According to the Hammond Health Center website, students can be charged for off-campus laboratory tests, prescription medications filled by an outside pharmacy and lab work or x-rays ordered by an outside or home provider.
See more information here: http://www.ithaca.edu/sacl/healthcenter/generalinformation/Billing/
Polls open midnight April 23 and close April 24 at 11:59 pm. Election results will be announced after polls close.