Four Student Government Association presidential candidates sat on Sunday in front of a metaphorical firing squad: the staff of The Butler Collegian.
The presidential hopefuls gathered to debate their plans for the upcoming school year and answer a slew of questions by Collegian editors and reporters.
All four candidates offered interesting proposals for 2013, but one took a decisive victory in the staff vote.
We at The Collegian believe sophomore Michael Keller fits the bill as the best option for next year’s president.
Keller, a member of Delta Tau Delta, offers the student body several valuable qualities. He is a relatively new member of Student Government Association, so he brings an outsider’s perspective.
But his experience as a member of Finance Board and as treasurer of his class means he is also familiar with the bureaucracy.
In the coming year, Butler University’s student body will need someone who can offer big changes to SGA.
That leader will also need to navigate meetings with President Jim Danko and other top administrators.
We believe Keller has the most potential as both a fresh pair of eyes and someone with the experience and charisma to manage SGA’s affairs.
SGA seems to find itself still adjusting to open meetings, which are new this year.
And only a small percentage of representatives appear to vote on issues.
Keller seems most ready to combat these and other issues facing both student government and the Butler community as a whole.
For one, he offered the bold promise that he would make himself the most accessible, communicative president in the history of Butler’s student government.
The self-proclaimed student government nerd also brought specific ideas and solutions to some of the issues brought up by students.
Keller plans to better involve independents in student government by engaging them where they live.
His plan involves giving more responsibility and prominence to residence hall governments.
He points out that some students do not know if their dormitory even has a representative, much less who fills that role.
He mirrored this specific approach in his other responses.
Of all the candidates, when asked questions about complex issues, Keller identified what he thought was most at fault and vowed decisive action.
Keller wants to instate a conflict of interest policy for the grants committee while clearing up some confusion over recent changes.
He also strives to improve the energy and talking points of SGA meetings, keeping the meetings interesting.
He also wants to work with Information Technology to create a smart-phone application with an interactive calendar of SGA events.
If students can have information pushed to their phones, Keller believes more will get involved.
The new president will not just affect this coming year but years to come.
Whoever wins needs to make sure to set a strong precedent of listening to students, addressing their concerns and improving transparency.
The Collegian staff feels Keller will do just that.