As the semester draws to a close, the short break allows Student Government Association Executive Board members time to reflect on their progress so far.
Executive members said the biggest improvement to SGA is opening the weekly Assembly meetings to the entire campus.
Vice president of operations Kelsa Reynolds said, “We have had the highest attendance at the SGA Assembly meetings that I can remember over the past three years. This is a direct result of assembly being open to anyone on campus.”
Dan Schramm, vice president of finance, said the inclusion of students outside of representatives from the campus organizations has been a key factor in generating more participation and input from the larger Butler community.
“I think opening up assembly to the entire campus has been a big improvement on years past,” he said. “If students want to take advantage of it, the opportunity is there for them to be more involved with SGA’s decision-making process.”
Schramm said within the executive board, the dynamic works well because people are not afraid to challenge or improve upon new ideas.
“I think there is the perfect amount of disagreement on the board to produce good ideas without the massive inefficiency that typically characterizes bureaucracy,” he said.
Schramm said he would like to see more participation on the financial aspect of the organization as well as giving a monthly budget update as outlined in the SGA constitution.
“I hope next semester we get a lot more participation in grants, and we end up using all of the money that we have allotted to the grants line item,” he said.
Schramm said he was previously unaware the budgets updates were supposed to occur on a monthly basis and that the update would be starting with the first Assembly meeting next semester.
Vice president of programming Jon Himes said though the executive board was passionate about constantly improving the organization, he thought there could be a better way of involving general Assembly members.
“I would like to see Assembly become more engaged, and I think that SGA Exec can do a better job of engaging Assembly members,” he said.
Himes said the strengths of the executive board lie in their innovative pursuits to improve the campus atmosphere for students.
“I think this Exec board is very creative and willing to try new things,” he said. “For example, we sought out and implemented the SGA Shuttle tracking system, enabling students to see where the shuttle is at all times.”
Student body president Al Carroll said he thought the direction SGA took this semester was a positive move toward making sure more people were getting involved and having a voice in the organization.
Carroll said his wish for the spring semester is to ensure the organization is having meaningful conversations within their meeting times because he felt discussion sometimes fell short on deeper issues. On the flip side, he said he thought the executive officers did a better job of balancing the opportunity to share opinions, but ensuring the meetings weren’t a waste of students’ time.
Carroll said the most difficult obstacle was searching the span of SGA’s reach and understanding what was going on at the outskirts of the organization.
“Sometimes it’s hard to know everything that’s going on, on all levels,” he said. “Each board has individual committees and groups and it’s kind of hard to know how far SGA’s reach goes.”
Carroll said he has interest in rerunning for his role as student body president for the 2012-2013 school year, assuming the students would want him in that position again.
“It’s hard to say,” he said. “It’s really hard to say. As far as running again, it’s something I’ve thought about and something I’m not ready to rule out quite yet. As far as me being at the helm of this organization, I think I could handle another year. But it depends a lot on whether students on campus want me to go another round.”
Carroll said he’s going to take the next few weeks to ask where he can best serve the university. Whether that involves another presidency or taking a “backseat position,” he isn’t sure, but he said he will serve the students in some capacity.