Communication and involvement were this year’s buzzwords at the Student Government Association presidential debate.
Candidates sophomore Al Carroll and junior Anna Roueche squared off Tuesday night in a debate moderated by Vice President for Student Affairs Levester Johnson.
Both of their platforms included allowing everyone in the Butler community to come and speak at assembly, but they diverged on how best to handle the budget.
Carroll would move the budgeting process to the end of the school year, while Roueche would keep it at the beginning.
According to Carroll, incoming representatives may be less educated at the beginning of the year when looking at the budget. Moving it to the spring would give students more experience with how SGA functions and allow them to make an informed vote.
“I want to offer students that real impact and that real opportunity to take ownership of their own activity fees,” Carroll said.
Roueche said she would post the budget online and make it available to everyone but would keep allocation in the fall semester. She said executive members and vice presidents take time in preparing the budget—time they would lose if budgeting was pushed to the end of the year.
“The new [executive board] meets during the summer, takes that opportunity to really come up with their new goal in mind and what they want to see for this university,” Roueche said. “They need that time to allocate the budget, not just the three weeks at the end of the semester.”
Both candidates have past experience in student government.
Roueche has served as a representative in assembly, was chair of last year’s Election Oversight Committee and is a member of the Council on Presidential Affairs.
Carroll has served as a representative and on the grants committee. He is currently the SGA parliamentarian.
Their experiences have taught them the necessity of communicating with students about matters like the budget and increasing involvement in the process.
To create this interest, Carroll said he would try to make SGA assembly more exciting and better communicate its impact on students, especially to freshmen who are encountering it for the first time.
“The SGA representative position should be coveted,” he said. “People should have to be fighting to get into SGA assembly.”
For Roueche, increased communication would lead to better collaboration between administrators and students to achieve shared goals.
Carroll and Roueche both noted the impact the incoming SGA president will have on a new university president.
Roueche said she sees it as an an opportunity to continue open communication between administrators and students and as a chance to welcome a new president into Butler’s student life.
“[We have an opportunity] to continue efforts to bridge the gap between administrators and students through things like CPA and open forums,” Roueche said.
The next SGA president can set a lasting precedent through interacting with a new university president, Carroll said.
“We’re going to be what they know,” he said. “And if we’re there and talking to them and communicating with them, that’s what they should expect from SGA.”
Both candidates also emphasized the importance of student input and power.
Carroll said if he is elected, he will make students feel more involvedat Butler and empower them.
“The SGA president has to motivate people to speak and have people know that when they speak that the things they are saying are being heard,” he said.
Roueche described the student body as “unique and diverse in every sense of the word” and said more students would have a voice if she was elected.
“It is our student government,” she said. “We are the students, and we should take advantage of it.”
Students can vote for the SGA president and class officers Monday Feb. 28 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. SGA will host a “Rock the Vote” event on election day in the Reilly Room from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The deadline for reporting violations to the EOC is March 1 at 8 p.m. Winners will most likely be announced Wednesday.