OPINION | Independents need more representation than just Independent Council

Just as each fraternity and sorority member probably does not want to be lumped together with every member of their Greek house, each independent is not represented by Independent Council.

When asked about representation of Greek and independent students on campus at the Collegian’s Student Government Association debate, all four SGA presidential candidates said they had talked to IC, and offered few other examples of how they would bridge he gap between Greeks and independents.

The administration has been working with IC on Homecoming and other campus-wide events and engagement issues.

This is a great start, but everyone must look beyond a singular group if true representation is to be achieved.

Since its founding in 2008, IC has increased independent engagement in events like Spring Sports Spectacular and made strides toward achieving the goal of more independent involvement.

I have taken part in some of their events, including Spring Sports Spectacular, in my four years as an independent student.

I like that the IC provides an opportunity for participation in these events for people who choose to participate in them, and this kind of involvement does help to bring the entire campus together.

IC executive members have left their legacy, opening a dialogue between students and administrators and trying to bridge a representation gap.

But some people who want to get more involved and learn leadership skills outside of the group still fall outside of this representation. Butler is mostly independent, and more than one voice is needed to represent these individuals, just as more than one voice is needed coming from a fraternity or a sorority.

Going through a group with an established structure is easiest, which is part of what Vice President for Student Affairs Levester Johnson said makes it so easy for Butler to have Greek leaders.

Easy isn’t good enough, nor is it all-encompassing enough.

Creating a structure is not as easy when dealing with thousands of unaffiliated students, and that is not the best answer anyway because of the population size.

No student, regardless of affiliation, wants to feel like he or she is only represented by one entity.

Pushes to create more leaders, both Greek and independent, and increase engagement can come through many avenues—residence halls, student organizations and individual mentorship.

Working with IC is a good start, but it should not be the only point of contact for administrators or be assumed to represent the voice of all independents.

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