IPSGA Aims to Keep Elections Centered on Platforms

Written By: Kale DeVoe, Cody Neuenschwander, Brice Vance

The Indiana-Purdue Student Government Association held open forums to help this year’s student election be more centered on candidates’ platforms. Events like these have not been used in the past couple election years, according to the student government coordinator.

Victoria Spencer, the university staff member responsible for overseeing the function of the student government, said making students aware of the candidates plans if elected between April 18 and April 23 is an issue “we have struggled with.”

“We are trying to bring back more intentional election events,” Spencer said. “It is something that has somewhat gone by the wayside.”

Last year, the student government did not host any forums or debates between candidates because there was only one contested election. Three of the four candidates ran unopposed.

IPSGA hosted two debate themed open forum events with candidates on April 5 and April 6. Spencer said the forums increase student involvement in the elections. Spencer estimated 90 students attended the two events.

Spencer said these events “force the candidates to put themselves out there, and run on a platform…as opposed to, ‘Hey here’s some candy. Please vote for me.’”

Student body president candidate senior Aleksandr Bogun said he was not pleased with the student response to the election.

“After getting people to sign my petition [to run for student body president], I had only ten people ask me what I actually want to do,” Bogun said. “The amount of students that actually care is really small. That shocks me.”

Spencer said she hoped these events would curb disinterest and “make students actually care about this.”

“These students represent you,” Spencer said.

Wade Smith, who is currently in his second year as student body president, dropped out of the campaign. He explained the role of the student body president as being “an advocate for the students.”

“They are a face for anyone to go to if they have questions concerning IPFW or IPSGA,” Smith said.

During his presidency, Smith has led initiatives to bring water bottle filling stations and more recycling bins to campus.

This year, Bogun and sophomore Andrew Kreager are running to fill Smith’s position.

Bogun works for IPSGA as an office administrator, and said he interacts with students daily. He also won Homecoming King in 2015. Kreager is a member of the student senate.

Beyond this year’s organized election events, both candidates use flyers in their campaigns. Bogun and Kreager both said they want their flyers to spur conversation with students about their platforms.

“The main thing is for people to notice you. I am trying to get my name out there,” Bogun said.

Bogun said he wants to connect the university’s departments together to promote and encourage growth on campus. He also expressed concern about students losing places to hang out due to ongoing construction.

Kreager said if he becomes president, he wants to be a voice for students among the potential recommended changes in the LSA report.

“I want to focus on the survey,” Kreager said. “I feel there has been no student input. I feel like getting student support might sway some of the things happening on campus.”


Plans for 100th Indy 500 Already Underway

Changes are already underway at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and speedway president held a town hall-style meeting and a Q&A session with racing fans and media in Fort Wayne to talk about those changes.

Kelley Chevrolet dealership hosted the meeting and president Tom Kelley spoke to the importance of the speedway to Hoosiers.

“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is iconic, it’s a phenomenal asset to those of us that live in the Midwest,” Kelley said to the media.

The changes that are being made to IMS, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are in preparation for the 100th Indianapolis 500. The plan is called Project 100.

According the imsproject100.com, there are a multitude of areas at the speedway that are being improved “including seating, technology, gates and entryways, concession and restroom upgrades and new hospitality options.”

Over 50 race fans showed up to hear Boles talk about the improvements to racetrack and how the track looks currently.

“It’s a completely different place right now, we have taken the entire roof structure off the front stretch (grandstands),” Boles said to the media, “They have actually started putting steel up on the north end.”

Boles said in the spring, they plan on working on the gate one part of the project. Gate one is the “front door” to the speedway according to imsproject100.com.

Plenty of fans that showed up to the meeting expressed their concern for the problem of long lines at gate one in the past few years.

“Part of it, is us working with law enforcement to make sure people know other routes and the real hard part of it is 300,000 people trying to get in the facility,” Boles said.

Boles also alluded to the recent attacks of terrorism in this country and around the world that has led them to be more cautious with security because of the amounts of people that show up on race day.

There are no events scheduled at the speedway until the May 12, 2016 so fans should not be affected by any of the ongoing construction. The construction is now in its third phase according to imsproject100.com.

The first phase of Project 100 began in 2014 and each phase has been done in between each “500” race.

Phase three of the project includes more seating is being added to the already 300,000 plus seats. Boles said they are adding three more rows of seats to the grandstand and having Wi-Fi put in.

Rick Fletcher who has been going to the “500” for 30 years was against the changes the speedway has made in the past but has changed his tone in recent years.

“The first year I was in those fan club suites I thought you know what, this is pretty cool,” Fletcher said.

The 100th running of the Indianapolis is set for Memorial Day weekend, May 29, 2016.

ISPGA to Host Food Drive on Campus

The Public Relations Committee for IPSGA Student Senate is kicking off their first food drive this year with the “Winter Giving Tree.”

The “Winter Giving Tree” will be held Nov. 30 through Dec. 23 at IPFW. All students are encouraged to donate canned items and non-perishable goods.

A goal of the food drive is to obtain around 200-300 pounds of food to donate to Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana.

“Since it’s the first year we are doing it, I really didn’t want to set the bar too high to see how things went, but hopefully in years to come we’ll continue to grow,” said Jessica Shoaff, Public Relations Committee Chair for IPSGA Student Senate.

When planning the food drive, the committee did not have a place in mind of where they wanted the donated items to go. IPFW has been affiliated with Community Harvest Food Bank in the past and getting in touch with the food bank was easy for Shoaff and the committee.

Community Harvest Food Bank recently was affiliated with “U Can Crush Hunger” food drive that had five colleges in northeast Indiana, IPFW, Saint Francis, Indiana Tech, Ivy Tech Community College Northeast and Huntington University in competition with one another to raise 100,000 pounds of food. IPSGA’s food drive will be held only on the campus of IPFW.

Another one of the goals of the food drive is to show off a side of the IPSGA that they are not known for.

“I know we are pretty business-like and rather than funding the clubs and organizations, I thought we’d show a different side of student senate,” said Shoaff.

In her first year as chair, Shoaff gave the committee a list of ideas to consider but the “Winter Giving Tree” was not on the list. After brainstorming during committee meetings they decided on a food drive.

The unique name of the “Winter Giving Tree” gave the committee an idea on how to advertise the food drive.

“I just got the funding from senate for the two-foot tall (Christmas) trees that will be placed around campus,” Shoaff said.

Along with the trees will be posters put up around campus that describe the food drive and where to donate.

The main tree of the food drive will be located outside the IPSGA office, Walb 225, to put the donated items.

Students who donate to the giving tree can swipe their student ID in the IPSGA office to be entered to win a free IPFW fleece. The number of fleece jackets that will be given away has not yet been determined according to Shoaff and the committee.

If the drive is successful, ISPGA plans to make this an annual food drive.