IE has always prided itself in being an institution focused on innovation. Whether it be business, marketing, or technology, it has tried to pave the way for new and upcoming students.
But — when it comes to things such as community, student government, and diversity, it still has a long way to go; and many can attest to that.
Over the past days I, Adimar Hernández Maldonado, alongside many other talented and passionate students, have been organizing this year’s student government elections events, keeping up with the team’s proposals, trying to make sure rules are followed, and even giving honest and constructive feedback to the current student government. We have been trying to shed light on various facts that have, to our understanding compromised the integrity of the elections such as 1) Team Hive not having sufficient representation for Segovia, 2) Team Legacy using the IE Yes Theory Club Instagram, 3) Team Legacy handing out food on campus which is prohibited due to Covid measures, 4) Team Serendipity using Cammie for promotion, and other minor issues. These issues have not had any repercussions from the Oversight Committee, and if they were repercussion students were never made aware; even though many of these things were to be avoided after last year’s election campaigns. #SeanPaul
In a recent communication by IE’s administration, it was said that the Stork and the Debate Club(s) had“absolutely” no say in the matter, referring to the structure of the debate or concerning these infractions — and that struck me to my very core.
If IE is an institution that wants their initiatives to be led by students, why should some have no say in the matter? Why should we even have a student government if we are not allowed to be represented? Why should we care about the elections, if IE’s administrations won’t let the Student Government act as a student government? Basically, this is a reality that you can relate it to your past or present toxic relationship. You try to get your point across, but the relationship is so broken you can’t even agree to disagree. Or for those that study international relations, just like me, is like that dictatorship your political science teacher constantly references in their lectures. (And to be brutally honest we have also seen these conduct from IE — in other ways, ahem… IE Greenwashing)
I am a person that has struggled all my life to assert my voice everywhere I go, and I know I am not the only one. I am aware that we as people from different backgrounds, ideologies, faiths, sexual orientations, ethnicities, etc., should be able to represent ourselves, or at least feel that we belong within the IE community. So why should we let them get away with this, if we will be the ones representing IE, even after we graduate?
Therefore, we should have the utmost privilege to contribute to the process of decision making, even if there is a clash of opinions, because to be frank IE wouldn’t exist without its eclectic and diverse community. This of course being a factor that they constantly try to point out in their massive media campaigns. (They even paid millions for an infamous robot to clean the campus that I have never seen since).
Therefore, and for many other reasons I could write about, I encourage every student to speak, to refute, to question, everything even if it’s something that threatens the status quo. (In the simplest of terms, be your true millennial or gen Z self)
Not to mention that right now we are living in a world where everyone needs to adapt to new trends, to new ideas, to a new way of life. On that account IE needs to do so as well, and that is not by avoiding reality or censoring students, it’s about opening their selves to different opinions to gain a common goal.
So, if you want IE to be a true representation of who you are as an individual, and as a community, it’s time to inspire true innovation instead of conforming or expecting that change will happen on its own.
In this case it’s revising, adapting and enforcing the rules concerning the Student Government and the election period. Meaning, equal representation among campuses, assuring the health and safety of all students and giving equal opportunity and respect to all teams during the campaign period. (And let everyone participate and have an opinion, even if you don’t like it)
Accordingly, change needs to come from your continued engagement within the IE community, as means to preserve and better the channels of communication between the Student Government, IE’s Administration, and the student body.
So, good luck to all teams. You will need it.