Editorial: Rogers, Galvan candidates to watch

Lyssy, Gray represent consistency for students

Every year the Lariat editorial board interviews student body officer candidates in order to understand platforms, gauge abilities and represent the student body’s voice. This year’s editorial board has chosen to continue the endorsements. We are endorsing Falls City junior Michael Lyssy for internal vice president and Corpus Christi junior Angela Gray for external vice president.

The editorial board came to a split 2-2 student body president vote between Baytown junior Cristina Galvan and Cyprus junior Zach Rogers.

Only four members of the editorial board participated in the interviewing of and voting on student body president candidates to avoid a conflict of interest — a move that reduce the voting members to four and resulted in a tie.

Those four members voted to run comments about both candidates’ abilities.

Internal Vice President

Out of the three candidates, current Internal Vice President Michael Lyssy, a Falls City junior is sure to provide the most stable foundation for the revamping of Senate culture that is so desperately needed.

Lyssy’s experience in this position is advantageous in that the burdensome intricacies of the position are not foreign to him. Having a working knowledge not only of the senatorial process, but of the IVP responsibilities in particular, will allow Lyssy to continue on a more progressive path faster than the other candidates.

He expressed an understanding of the IVP role as a pillar in the Senate. His ability this year to maintain a sense of fairness and efficiency was echoed by his opponents. Lyssy battled unsettled animosity from the electoral commission fiasco that happened during last year’s elections for much of his term as IVP.

We are seeing, after major changes to the electoral code, a much cleaner and fairer race this year and any divisiveness in the lead Senate position would stir dissent rather than foster unity.

Each IVP candidate alluded to the inharmonious nature of the Senate, a sign that dissension is present. With Lyssy at the helm of the Senate, impartiality and holistic thinking — rather than activism and stubbornness — will reign supreme.

Lyssy will need to improve his use of his committee chairmen.

He needs to take a heavier management role when dealing with committees to ensure that the fairness and efficiency he has locked in for student allocations will permeate the student senator’s legislation.

The editorial board’s vote for the three candidates was 4-1-0 with all members participating in interviews and the voting process. The single vote was cast for Fort Worth junior Daniel Houston.

External Vice President

Corpus Christi junior Angela Gray intends to maintain the university’s commitment to community service while preparing the school for lobbying efforts at the state and national level. She is, in turn, the best option for an incoming external vice president.

Gray has a broad view of the role of an external vice president — a view that will allow for much growth in the EVP office.

Gray is prepared for progress on the community service, city engagement and lobbying fronts.

The strength that will provide the most for this university is Gray’s acknowledgement that the transition of student body officers each year often stunts any productivity that occurs under each administration. The university has developed fantastic community service initiatives (and is still improving) and it is now time to develop the EVP’s role in engaging community leaders and developing plans for Baylor’s involvement on a larger scale.

The university’s location in Waco provides numerous opportunities for service. However, a reversal of that truth — the idea that Waco can improve the university and its students — has not always been recognized.

If Gray is elected to the EVP office, she has the initiative and know-how to create a myriad of contacts that will improve the university’s local engagement. Gray is looking to cooperate with community leaders to create partnerships that will further the university and city’s causes.

With the creation of such dynamic initiatives like the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative, the incoming EVP needs to maintain the university’s service endeavors while furthering city cooperation. We trust Gray with those tasks.

The editorial’s board vote for the two candidates was 5-0. All members of the editorial board participated in the interviewing and voting processes.

Student Body President

With experience as a two-time student senator and currently serving as the external vice president, Cristina Galvan understands students’ desire to be heard.

Galvan’s platform seeks to unify students’ concerns and channel them through the right avenues for productive change, as well as fostering alumni support to improve the affordability of Baylor and bettering the communication and operation of student government.

Galvan’s experience dealing with the administration and the Baylor Board of Regents along with her time on various task forces and committees —like the service learning community task force — will aid her well in the lead student body officer position.

Galvan mentioned very specific changes, such as improvements to the campus security notification system, that provide for a well-rounded platform.

On the issue of transparency, Galvan said she believes changes the university makes that are in opposition to a majority of the student population should require more justification from the administration — a stance we feel would increase students’ awareness and the accountability of the administration if followed.

Galvan has emphasized the current strategic planning process as an opportunity for student ideas to be heard. Galvan’s experience and proven track record as an altruistic student advocate qualify her as a lead student body president candidate.

Zach Rogers is a student body president candidate that has the ability to bring a fresh perspective to student government. Although he has not served as a student senator or a student body officer, Rogers has held student leadership positions as freshman class president, cabinet member of former external vice president Emily Saultz and student representative for judicial affairs as appointed by current student body president Michael Wright.

Rogers is a personable candidate who can easily relate to students. In conjunction with that, Rogers has a passion to cultivate student concerns with student government affairs. To establish this connection with students, Rogers plans to actively pursue students’ opinions, not through surveys, but through personally approaching students and discussing key issues.

It can be disconcerting that he has little experience in Student Senate. However, his hard work ethic, as displayed through his work as freshman class president and subsequent work thereafter, indicates that Rogers will work hard to ensure that both his short-term and long-term goals will be accomplished.

Of Rogers’ short-term goals, the most promising is the goal of increasing student government scholarships through fundraisers. Rogers’ long-term goal of placing a student representative on the board of regents is lofty, but one that needs to be carefully considered. Rogers is a competent leader and he has the potential to assertively and respectfully work with the Baylor administration.

The editorial’s board vote for the four candidates was 2-2-0-0 with votes going to Zach Rogers and Cristina Galvan. Carmen Galvan, assistant city editor and the sister of candidate Cristina Galvan, did not participate in the interviewing or voting processes, resulting in a tied vote without the option for a tiebreaker.