On Thursday, April 16th, the 5 teams running for Student Government logged onto Adobe Connect for the First Great Debate. For 3 hours, members of the Debate Club and The Stork questioned these teams on their policies, rhetoric, and campaigns, giving them a chance to talk directly to the student body. Moderated by Oussama Chninak from the Debate Club, the debate featured Vice President Sava Pavlovic representing Team Red, Co-President Victor Haymann representing Team Black, President Adimar Hernandez representing Team White, Segovia Academic Officer Omar Sherif representing Team Yellow, and President Lukas Kopperman representing Team Gold.
The Gold Team used the debate to focus on their main policies: the “IE Leagues” and realistic academic goals. The IE League consists of recreational sports open to anyone which will compete within each campus, culminating with a competition between the two campus champions. Some of their academic proposals include standardization within degrees, giving more academic and extracurricular opportunities to degrees, and an expansion of internship and shadowing programs.
The Yellow Team battled technical difficulties to spread their message during the debate, but they took to instagram live on a regular basis afterwards to promote their proposals. Their main ideas focus on efficiency, proposing an organizational flowchart to keep the administration accountable and an IE Parliament to keep the Student Government executives accountable. They also look to continue the legacy of the previous administration, as their proposed president, Ricardo D’Ambrosio, serves in the current Student Government.
The Black Team used the debate to clarify some of their ambitious policies, such as the 20,000 euro independent Student Government fund and the “Admissions Consultancy” office, along with more realistic policies such as the “Green Challenge” involving NGOs, a mentorship program between Bachelor’s and Master’s, and the Student Government hotline. They, along with the Red Team, received much of the questioning during this debate, as many of their policies go much further than any Student Government in the past.
The Red Team focused their debate on defending their three main proposals – the IE Ambassadors, their attendance reform, and a democratic decision regarding the Spring Ball. When questioned about the Spring Ball fundraising idea, they vehemently defended their proposal. They also clarified the idea of IE Ambassadors as a collection of two individuals from each degree which will serve as a vehicle of communication between Student Government and the students.
The White Team used their debate to push their ideals of transparency. They proposed a monthly Press Conference, bringing in all of the Student Government stakeholders, along with The Stork, to update people on the inner workings of Student Government. They also discussed their proposed Housing Bureau, framing it as a way to avoid rising rents in Segovia and Madrid. Finally, they talked about their proposal to reduce travel costs for IE students with RENFE and AvanzaBus.
Each team received questions from The Stork, the Debate Club, and Matteo De Palma, the current Student Government President.
Team Gold answered the following questions:
When asked the first action they would take in Student Government, they said they would make sure students had a great Fresher’s Week and increase communication with the administration to start on their main policies.
When questioned on their policy of academic standardization, they defended their position, saying that since all students should be treated equally, they therefore should remind teachers to follow their syllabus, and corroborating with other teachers to compare and hold people accountable to follow the guidelines.
When Matteo De Palma asked if the increased number of team members would relinquish the President’s role of decision making, they justified their choice, saying that to handle specific problems, you need more members to assist in managing those problems (through selective sub-committees).
Team Yellow answered the following questions:
When asked the first action they would take in Student Government, they said that they would find a way to hold the administration accountable.
The Stork asked Team Yellow how they would push through policies tried and failed by the last administrations. They said that they hope by resubmitting these proposals, they will have a larger chance of passing more of them (some things are easier than others). They also plan to submit new proposals.
When questioned on the efficiency of adding another decision-making body to the student government in the form of the IE Parliament, Team Yellow said that the purpose of the parliament is to show the problems of each degree in each campus, so that the SG can hear each problem that they have.
Team Black answered the following questions:
When asked what the first action they would take in Student Government, they said that they would get the Admissions Consultancy office up and running.
In response to the accusations of bribery from other teams, Team Black defended their actions, saying that they wanted to know what people needed from Student Government instead of making unfounded assumptions.
When questioned about their slogan “once you go black you never go back,” they said they were unaware of any racism behind the statement, and they said that if someone brought forward evidence proving its racism, they would retract this phrase. It’s not the “image they want to give” they say.
Team Red answered the following questions:
When asked what the first action they would take in Student Government, they said that they would first learn the inner workings of the administration, before taking inquiries from students and starting work on the IE Ambassadors program.
When asked by Matteo De Palma to detail and justify their plans with the Spring Ball (including democratic choice of theme and donating proceeds to charity), they said that people weren’t pleased with the prior Spring Ball because it was not what they expected, so we plan to include the IE community in choosing the Spring Ball theme. As for the question of budgeting, the Red Team plans to work on it and persevere through the issue once it arises.
When questioned on their use of a personal instagram account to start their official Red Team account, they justified their actions, claiming that they had started a Red Team account but Instagram blocked its ability to follow people under suspicion of being a bot. Therefore, the president “sacrificed” his personal account, showing his “devotion” to the team.
Team White answered the following questions:
When asked what the first action they would take in Student Government, they said that they would hold a press conference to start off their tenure with transparency.
When asked about their ability to get RENFE and AvanzaBus to the negotiating table, they worked around the question, saying that they would do it and that other deals exist already with other universities.
When asked if they consider enough of their proposals realistic enough to get through, they affirmed this statement, saying that the Master’s collaborations, increased communication between clubs, Campus Life, and Student Government, and monthly press conferences were very realistic policies.
You can watch the entire debate at this here
Tonight, Tuesday April 21st, the teams will return to the virtual debate stage to go head to head for the final time in this election season. The Stork, Campus Life, and the Debate Club are actively working to avoid technological difficulties and improve the debate experience for the moderators, viewers, and teams alike. We hope to see you there!