Posted on 28 September 2011.
The Council on Presidential Affairs had its budget increased this year to about $12,000 from last year’s budget of $9,000.
Mike Tirman, CPA chair, said the council needed the increase in order to effectively sponsor the group’s planned events for this year.
According to the Student Government Association’s website, CPA “works actively and positively toward the betterment of the Butler community by advocating student concerns to the Butler administration.”
Tirman said he lobbied for the increase to achieve this goal.
“Our mission is to make Butler a better place for students and to take concerns from them to make a positive contribution to campus,” Tirman said.
“I advocated [SGA President] Al Carroll for the increases so we could put on more events for students to voice their opinions.”
The money goes toward many events sponsored by CPA, Tirman said. One of the events is the Coffee Chat in Starbucks, where students fill out a card with a suggestion on how to improve campus. Then, the student receives a free tall drink from Starbucks, courtesy of CPA.
Joanie Smith, sophomore elementary education major said she went to many of the Coffee Chats last year.
“I think it is a fun way for students to voice their concerns about campus. And you get free coffee out of it. What’s not to like?”
Funding also goes toward guest speakers and giveaways at CPA events, such as the Green Summit, where a comedian will come to encourage students to be more sustainable.
CPA also pays for catered breakfasts with administrators. These breakfasts serve as a way for CPA members to voice student concerns to Butler officials.
Katie Palmer, CPA academic affairs coordinator, said these meetings make a big impact on Butler.
“These allow us to advocate for students who have a dream or idea and help it become a reality,” Palmer said.
Matt Kasper, CPA chair for the 2010-2011 school year, said in an email to The Collegian he thinks CPA needed more funds to effectively enact their intended events.
“There were activities I was hesitant to fund because I was possibly going over my budget, but we did all the events we planned,” Kasper said.
“In order to improve those events, they would have needed more funds.”
Kasper added that when he was CPA chair, he did go over budget but was able to get funds from other SGA sponsored boards.
“[Tirman] is smart to have lobbied for more funds so he will not have to ask other boards second semester and not compete for funds if SGA funds any NCAA tournament games.”
Tirman said that funding for CPA comes from the money allotted to SGA from the student activity fee in tuition.
Some students said they find the funding excessive.
“What do they even do?” sophomore Kaitlynn Brooks, chemistry major, said.
“Twelve thousand dollars seems like a lot of money for a group I feel like not a lot of people know about.”
Palmer assures students that the money goes to good use.
“It is students’ money being used to benefit the students,” Palmer said.
“We are students too, so we use our best judgment when it comes to the budget.”
Palmer said she added that more students should tell CPA their suggestions.
“A lot of times college kids complain but do not voice their concerns,” Palmer said.
“Then nothing gets done. But if they voice their concerns to CPA, then something is going to happen.”
Students can email their suggestions for improvements on campus to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Coffee Chats.