Editorial: Attend the Student Government Vice Presidential Debate

Editorial Board

The Student Government Vice Presidential Debate offers students the opportunity to directly engage with their candidates in a way that isn’t as sugar-coated or clean as the platforms on their respective websites.

Being the vice president of Student Government is a heavy responsibility. Not only does it involve chairing the weekly Senate meetings, but also involves selecting cabinet members and engaging with administrators, faculty and staff on a regular basis.

This is why it is pertinent for you, as a student, to attend the debate. The actions of your vice president matters. You deserve, as a voter, to know where they stand on issues of transparency, campus climate, diversity and inclusion and community.

This year there are three executive slates, which means there are three presidential candidates and three vice presidential candidates. The debate offers a unique opportunity to see how the candidates engage with their opponents, as well as the extent of their knowledge on campus issues and the solutions they would enact to solve them.

The debate is moderated in partnership by the Student Government Election Commission and the Iowa State Daily. Overarching topics for this year’s debate include transparency, community, student wellness and Senate retention.

There will also be an opportunity for candidate-specific questions, as well as time built in for audience-submitted questions to allow for students to directly interact with the debate.

So, what does it mean that the vice president chairs the weekly Senate meetings? While they have no voting measures, they ensure that Senate meetings stay on track and that discourse happens in a respectful and proactive manner. They work with the senators that grant your club’s funding requests.

So, what does it mean that the vice president helps select cabinet members for the executive branch? They identify the individuals that address specific areas campus issues such as legislative affairs, diversity and inclusion and residency — all which have an impact on students.

So, what does it mean for the vice president to engage with administration, faculty and staff? As a voice for the student body, the vice president communicates your needs to people you may otherwise not have a chance to interact with. The vice president must be able to foster and develop relationships with these individuals and advocate for your experience.

This should all be understated with the fact that it is not new information that students on campus feel disconnected to Student Government. But this lack of engagement is not all on the fault of the executive or legislative branches.

It is on every student to get involved, which opportunities like the vice presidential debate provide.

Attend the Student Government Vice Presidential Debate at 6 p.m. in the Gallery Room of the Memorial Union.