On Tuesday, April 21st, the 2nd debate between the five teams vying for 2020 Student Government began. In this debate, the Debate Club (Madrid), the Stork, and the student body asked more questions inquiring on the proposals offered by the 5 teams, and once again gave the 5 teams a chance to garner support and clarify their stances. Moderated by Victoria Lujan from the Debate Club, the 2nd debate featured Team Gold’s Segovia Community Development Officer María Paula Jiménez, Team Yellow’s President Ricardo D’Ambrosio, Team Black’s Co-President Sebastian Schramm, Team Red’s President Filiberto Gonzalez, and Team White’s Segovia Academic Officer Adam Rose.
The 2nd debate was held in a different format from the first debate, marked by a 10 minute debrief of the previous debate by the Stork, 45 minutes of Q&A with the Debate Club, 30 minutes of questions by the Stork and student body, 30 minutes of team-specific questions with the Debate Club, and 10 minutes of final remarks between the five teams.
In the first 45 minutes of the debate, the Debate Club asked each team overarching questions about their campaign concerning subjects such as the lack of communication between Student Government and the student body, lack of university funding towards student life, specific team proposals such as Team Black’s proposed €20000 euro fund, and how to create a stronger sense of community within IE University.
The following questions were asked to each team during these 45 minutes:
How will your team change the lack of representation from the SG towards the students and how will this differ from other candidates running: Team Gold made it clear that they understand that at the current moment, the student body is somewhat unaware of Student Government and its purposes. To combat this, they want to implement monthly meetings with the student body to ensure continuous feedback and create more chances to interact with the IE community, such as with fundraisers or events.
How will your team be available for the student body and how will it show transparency: Like in the previous question, Team Gold wants to publish a monthly report and create surveys to generate more awareness between students and Student Government activities.
How will your team be available for the student body and how will it show transparency: Team Yellow’s president Ricardo D’Ambrosio stated that one of their main values is transparency. To implement that value, Team Yellow plans to create a Student Parliament, given that “transparency is key to having clear communication with the student body”.
What would be your criteria for choosing people within the IE Parliament (asked by Team Gold): In response to the question, Team Gold asked of the criteria Team Yellow would be using when choosing members of the currently fictional IE Parliament. D’Ambrosio first listed the benefits of an IE Parliament, claiming that a Parliament would benefit the student body by creating “buying power” against the university, and create accountability within the University. The Parliament would consist of representatives elected by their peers.
Many of the proposals being offered by these teams are emulating things already being done by the administration or by clubs. How will your proposals add or change these things being done by the community: In response to this, Schramm stated that by creating a Student Government fund to provide extra funding, it will help improve IE’s current athletics, academics, and clubs. Also, by forming relationships with firms independent of IE, it will help traverse around the issue of bureaucracy
How will you implement these partnerships to help the university (asked by Team Red): Team Black stated that certain partnerships they’ve formed will help the students directly, such as partnerships to create rent discounts, food delivery discounts through UberEats, and potential mentorship programs between Master and Bachelor students within IE.
Do you know how the student government budget works and how will you manage the money (asked by Team Yellow): Team Black declared that money will be allocated to places like athletics or the Spring Ball. However, by having the €20000 fund, it gives more leeway on allocating funds to different parts of student extracurriculars.
All the money you will be raising for the 20000 fund comes from IE students eating at LaLaLa or official events. Given the coronavirus or the instance that people won’t attend, what is your backup plan (asked by Team Gold): Responding to Team Gold’s question, Schramm claims that the money, if not raised through the aforementioned LaLaLa or Student Government events, could be raised through their respective partnerships or through skill-sharing/goods-selling.
How will your team be available for the student body and how will it show transparency: Like Team Gold, Gonzalez proposed the creation of a monthly report to establish transparency and awareness towards the actions of the Student Government. Gonzalez also proposed the idea of directly seeking out people to solve the issue at the root.
How do you plan to “raise” the IE spirit and create a stronger sense of community within the university: Team Red stated that they would improve the social networks of clubs and unite them, through a medium like an IEU Athletics page that gives updates on all sports. They also plan to create an incentive towards attending IE student life events, but recognize that creating incentive would take extra funding.
Where would you get the money for incentivizing the student body to attend sporting events (given IE’s unwillingness to allow more funding) and how would you go about convincing IE to give the money for establishing IE spirit (asked by Team White): In response to Team Red’s aforementioned question, Team White asked for clarification on where Team Red would find the money necessary for such an incentive. Team Red responded with the stance that IE should reallocate their budget to supporting more student life endeavors. Gonzalez critiqued IE’s allocation of funds, stating that rather than spending money on videos for YouTube or building another tower, they should be reallocating these funds to clubs.
What do you think of seeking independent ways to fund student events, rather then relying on IE to give more funding to student life (asked by Yellow Team): Gonzalez believes that IE has the ability to give more funding, and stated that if IE truly lacked the ability to provide funding towards student life, they would seek independent sources of funding.
IE already hosts over 200 clubs on campus, how will SG manage the concerns of each club: Rose stated that his fellow members within the White team already have extensive experience working with the majority of clubs around IE, thus they have the experience to manage the concerns of clubs. Rose also mentioned that cross-collaboration with the Stork to advertise and express clubs better would be great as well.
Would you prioritize the clubs (asked by Team Black): Team White stated that no club should be given priority over the other. Because of the Coronavirus, the majority of club and athletics that require in-person interaction are inactive. Rose stated that maybe certain clubs should be given priority upon return to the university, but that there is no standing priority for clubs.
After the 45 minutes of Q&A moderated by Victoria Lujan, 30 minutes of questions were asked to each of the five teams by the Stork’s own Justin Morgan and Ecab Vasquez. These questions were questions created by the Stork and IE students, and concerned topics relating to all teams such as how to foster community within an online campus, and how to decrease apathy within already existing clubs. Questions were also aimed to specific teams, such as Team Gold’s proposed transportation plan, and Team Red’s “IE Ambassadors” proposal.
The following questions were asked to each team during this 30 minute timeframe.
How will your team foster community spirit in a non-existing/online campus: To better foster a new sense of community spirit within IE, Team Gold plans to engage the student body more by having more online conferences or certain speakers or creating more awareness of clubs through mediums like the Stork or SG accounts. They also want to make a social media showing what each club is doing, organizing clubs in an easy-to-access directory to provide more awareness.
What is the difference between your plan and Team White’s plan concerning transportation discounts, and how would your plan succeed while there’s wouldn’t: Team Gold stated that their planned discounted transportation cards would only apply to specific students (i.e active members of clubs, club leaders, students in Labs). The card mainly applies for people who must travel a lot between Segovia and Madrid campuses. Team Gold isn’t asking Avanza or Renfe for discounts for all students, as that would be extremely complicated.
How would you decrease apathy and increase engagement in already existing clubs: To decrease apathy and increase engagement in existing clubs, Team Gold plans to create an effective calendar independent of Campus Life, that can be sent to multiple online mediums to create awareness of existing clubs. Jiménez also stated that they also have specific proposals to help increase engagement, such as athletic clubs creating a contract to certify whether a student is truly apart of an athletic club or not.
How will your team foster community spirit in a non-existing/online campus: Team Yellow plans to foster community spirit by getting more student involvement through social media platforms. They have already done things like hiring a DJ, getting a positivity coach, or gone live explaining their proposals. They would also attempt to bring more events virtually as the year continues.
How would you decrease apathy and increase engagement in already existing clubs: Like Team Gold, Team Yellow plans to create an effective calendar for big events. They also plan to create more engagement through Instagram, and promote clubs more through CampusGroups.
The “study” week your team proposed may conflict with the strict schedule IE has already proposed. How and when would you implement such a proposal: D’Ambrosio states that the “study week” proposal depends on the coronavirus, and said the main idea of this proposal is to eliminate the issue of having classes in the middle of your studies. Concerning that proposal, they would implement it in the 1st semester, but if they haven’t planned classes yet for the 2nd semester, they would implement it then.
How will your team foster community spirit in a non-existing/online campus: To foster community spirit, Team Black affirmed that IE students should be using the best technology, such as utilizing edX for online university courses. Given the online classes, Schramm stated that it is important give first years an voice, as it helps create a sense of community in an online campus.
How would you decrease apathy and increase engagement in already existing clubs: Concerning the athletic clubs, IE has athletes pay for equipment. While Team Black is against it, IE believes by doing this, it encourages engagement because the student pays for the equipment. IE also needs more coordination and funding towards clubs to even foster community in the first place.
What will happen to the partnerships your team has mentioned if you don’t win: Team Black has said that if they do not win, they would obviously not remove these partnerships as it would be bribery. Having these partnerships prove what can be accomplished. Schramm also anticipates that all the teams should work together with the winning team, as it is unreasonable to try to help over 5000 students with just 6 people.
How will having a student ambassador in the Admissions Office improve an already holistic acceptance process and how will this not lead to nepotism: Schramm stated that Team Black aims to have someone who understands different cultural backgrounds at the high school level to properly evaluate students and uphold a high standard to IE admissions while increasing the efficiency of IE admissions.
How will your team foster community spirit in a non-existing/online campus: Team Red will try to improve community spirit by improving community outreach online and improving academics (i.e better livestream latency). They also mentioned that if students do not return in September, that we as a student body should aim to reduce tuition.
How would you decrease apathy and increase engagement in already existing clubs: It’s up to the student body to create community. However, the Student Government can incentivize people to join and put them in the right direction to foster community in the first place.
Concerning your proposal for “IE Ambassadors”, will there be an election process to choose these students, if so, how and when, and what will happen if both representatives come from the same campus or if the gender representation quota is not fulfilled: The delegates of each class (class reps) will elect the ambassadors that will represent the degree. By having a student represent more people, they have more buying power, and will get IE to listen. Concerning the gender representation quota, there is no issue having 2 males or 2 females, it would just be nice.
How will your team foster community spirit in a non-existing/online campus: Team White stated that they need to be flexible, and change things so it’ll be better for students online. They can divert funds from freshers week (if it doesn’t happen) to things like clubs or spend money to improve live-streaming processes from mediums like Zoom or Adobe.
How would you decrease apathy and increase engagement in already existing clubs: Team White proposed the utilization of the Stork for more awareness (particularly for athletics). There is a lack of communication between SG and clubs that make it hard to give awareness towards that club, leaving first-years unaware or unmotivated to join that club or support athletics. Team White wants to be able to give clubs more resources, more funding, and work with clubs more often.
What is your plan regarding the financial re-evaluation policy and how would you get the university on board: Team White doesn’t believe that IE will reduce tuition. However, they plan to reallocate certain IE staff to look at student’s current financial packages and alleviate certain costs on a case-by-case basis for students.
After another 30 minutes of questions led by the Stork, Victoria Lujan from the Debate Club returned for a final 30 minutes of team-specific questions, ranging from Team Yellow’s initiative on hosting an IE MUN conference, to Team White’s proposal on providing more awareness to startups.
The following questions were asked to each team during this 30 minute time-frame.
You have proposed to create more exchange opportunities for every degree. Could you walk us through the process and who will be involved: The idea is to get equal exchange opportunities for all degrees. IE has “baby degrees”, and given that it’s a business-centered school, there is a disparity in exchange programs for business degrees versus other degrees. Team Gold’s goal is to open up more spots for exchange students to go to existing universities that IE has an exchange program with and eliminate the issue of the spots not being distributed fairly between degrees.
I’ve been told at delegate meetings that it will be impossible to do what you stated. While we can have more people go towards a certain area, there is a stated limit on how many people can go to a certain university, so how increase the variability (asked by Team Red): Jimenez affirmed that there are proposals that are definitely achievable, there are proposals that fit in the so-so category, and there are proposals that are impossible. Jimenez doesn’t believe that it’s impossible to gain more spots knowing the partnerships IE has already made. She claims that there just needs to be a group of people willing to push IE hard enough to be more flexible in allowing more spots to be open to certain universities: “We’re not asking for double or triple the spots, but more like 3 or 4 more spots, I believe that is achievable”.
Increasing the number of spots by 2 or 3 won’t help the issue when the amount of incoming freshers is increasing every year. Do you want to include a certain ‘fairness’ for degrees, or have a quota for certain degrees. Do you also want to increase the number of universities available, and if so how would you go about doing that(asked by Team Black): Jimenez states that their proposal is about the “same opportunity of exchange for degrees”. She believes it’s the job of the IE administration to approach other universities about creating exchange programs. Concerning the new incoming students, IE must create more exchange opportunities to accommodate for those students.
Us at the Debate Club were very pleased with your initiative about the MUN. Can you give the exact process on how you will plan to organize this conference: D’Ambrosio expressed a plan of action towards the process of organizing such a conference. First, they would need to team up with the Debate club to make sure it’s an appealing event: “All the big universities around the world have a MUN conference, and it’s time for IE to have one as well”. They’d collaborate with the Debate Club, then incorporate other clubs and the student body as well to create a committee. To host this conference, they’d also seek independent funding (if IE could not pay).
Given my experience in the past with trying to host MUN conferences, I can say that IE has been absolutely no help with the process, in terms of funding, sponsors, communications, etc. What do you say to this response: In response, D’Ambrosio said that “IE has amazing people”. D’Ambrosio also claims that if we are well organized and we create a committee based on experienced people, he’s sure that we can achieve a MUN conference. D’Ambrosio stated his certainty on finding firms that are willing to work with the MUN conference, post-Covid19.
What is your plan for the MUN conference, given that it takes a lot of time to plan a MUN conference in the first place (asked by Team Gold): D’Ambrosio traced back to his anecdotal experience concerning the organization of a MUN conference: “Back in Venezuela, I had organized 2 or 3 MUN conferences, so I know what it takes to plan one”. In terms of funding, D’Ambrosio claims that there’s a certain revenue from the part of the delegates, but we can also gain sponsors, given that IE is an appealing market.
The majority of your proposals are very Madrid-centric. Will this divide the campuses: Schramm notes that the majority of Team Black’s proposals are Madrid-Centric. However, Team Black notes that while in their opinion, there is no issue with integration, the issue lies in transportation between the two campuses. The campuses aren’t too different, but the people are. One way to unite these campuses would be through a “green” proposal, where students from both Madrid and Segovia could compete to win a chance to work with a NGO. The Black Team can really advocate and encourage clubs to work towards that in the future.
It seems like you want to encourage the segregation of the two campuses. Is there anything you have to reinforce the “one university, two campuses” mentality (asked by Team White): Team Black stated that Segovia and Madrid are both important, with Madrid being a focus because of its contacts. In Segovia, Team Black have agreed on a partnership with Juan Bravo. The point of the two proposed Instagrams’ for Madrid and Segovia is to reduce the amount of information one Instagram may get.
What are 3 measures IE is taking to becoming “greener” and what are 3 measures your team is putting forward to making a change on the environment: Team Red listed their measures, such as planning to charter a bus from the center of Madrid to the Madrid Campus to lessen the emission of CO2, help more eco-friendly clubs, and create a monthly report to better ascertain problems within the student body.\
If the tower is not complete by next year, what is your plan for moving people around the campuses (asked by Team Yellow): Team Red seeks to incentivize people to use the metro by incorporating planned discounts.
Could you be more specific on your IE “Greener” Plan (asked by Team Gold): Team Red plans to give more assistance to the Ecological Club, but also innovate by utilizing charter buses to reduce CO2 emissions as well.
Your team has mentioned that they will provide more “spotlight” on startups. What additional value will this add when IE already has mediums like the “Venture Club” in place: As stated by Rose, IE is already doing a great job helping these startups become legitimate businesses and legitimate ventures. However, the IE community has no idea what is going on with those startups. Team White wants to give these startups more awareness and further connect them with IE’s partners.
Why is your team the most suitable: “Look at our Linkedin page and look at what the people on our team have done as students within the clubs. We have the expertise and the knowledge on how this institution works, we know who to talk to and who needs to do what. I know a lot of students that go to one department, and are told to go to another department, and another department, and another department, and on and on. I commend the other teams on what they’ve done, but I’m not sure that they have the same level of qualification though.”
At 00:01 on April 23rd, voting opened up to elect the next Student Government. You can vote via Blackboard. Get out and vote!