STAFF EDITORIAL | Free advice for new president

Freshmen aren’t the only people new to Butler University this fall. As Butler President Jim Danko starts his inaugural semester, The Butler Collegian would like to offer some friendly advice.

Danko has done a fantastic job this summer speaking with and listening to faculty, staff and Student Government Association members. The new president wants to fully understand this little community before making major changes.

Butler has the kind of environment more common to a friendly small town than a nationally-known university.

Open communication with the administration is a major selling point.

We at The Collegian applaud this philosophy and want to see it continue. Danko’s stance as both administrator and peer is precisely the approach that Butler promotes.

The university prides itself on liberal arts values. It should be a priority to retain these ideals.

Another way Danko can embrace the Bulldog community is to be involved. As the president, merely showing up at the numerous university-sponsored clubs, sports and exhibitions that don’t get national attention will build up his rapport with the student body and help every student feel like he or she is a part of the university— not just an ID number.

Danko mentioned that he wants to increase the value of the education Bulldogs receive. No one can argue with that. Students want their degrees to be marketable, so they need useful skills and practical knowledge.

At the same time, every student endorsed, in part, the liberal arts atmosphere of Butler by attending this school.
Students came to this university to receive the well-rounded, global perspective faculty routinely mention.

Part of preserving this atmosphere is keeping the school at a reasonable size.

Danko has mentioned that he would like the size of the undergraduate class to reach approximately 4,200 students—approximately 150 more than were enrolled in 2010.

It’s not that any growth is bad, but Butler already is starting to feel a bit overcrowded.

And to a large extent, Danko is not responsible for the hordes of freshman, but talk about expanding the university makes this staff wary.

Along with larger class sizes comes the necessity for new buildings.

A brief look through the Strategic Plan shows that the administration already has prepared for more students.

But all of the new residence halls will eat up parking. Parking in turn gets moved around, rearranged and generally voodoo’ed into sustaining the larger and larger groups of students.

Danko has the opportunity as a fresh face with executive power to tinker with the construction plan so that the growing need for housing and parking can be fixed all at once.

Diversity is a big part of the Butler community, and we always have worked hard to represent the diverse nature of our campus.

We want Danko to embrace all of our different student organizations, ranging from DEMIA to
Latinos Unidos to Black Student Union.

It is important that these groups continue to have a pronounced voice among our student body. Each group contributes different viewpoints to our campus that we have grown to value. To extinguish this diversity would lessen our campus.

We are excited to see what changes President Danko makes during his first year as president and are glad to offer advice on how to preserve the university we all call home.


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