When Butler University’s Student Government Association failed to release the vote totals from the recent SGA presidential election even after the SGA assembly voted in favor of releasing them, I felt that it was a large misstep for SGA.
Now, those who think it is wrong to release the numbers should think again about their decision.
An online journalistic blog called College Media Matters picked up The Collegian’s story on the election numbers and wrote its take on it in an article titled, “Should Voting Totals from SGA Elections Be Public?”
Of the three comments on College Media Matters’ story, two declared that SGA elections should be decided by who can hold their bladder the longest, but the third one stood out.
Butch Oxendine, founder and executive director of American Student Government Association, commented on the story, saying, “Student Government election results should be posted at all times, at all colleges and universities, including private institutions. Transparency is wise!”
Butler’s own SGA would do well to listen to Oxendine’s words.
The excuses of Butler’s SGA stack up rather poorly against the advice of one of the top experts in student governments.
Oxendine has been working with and writing about student governments around the nation since 1983.
He founded American Student Government Association in 2003 in order to connect, guide and educate student government leaders nationwide on how to best serve their universities.
SGA ought to release the election numbers. At the very least, it needs to make certain that the numbers will be released after future elections.
If SGA is willing to do things like go against its own constitution and allow a freshman to chair the SGA’s Election Oversight Committee, then it should have no qualms with releasing the election numbers.
As an organization that controls more than $700,000 of students money, SGA must be an organization that everyone in the Butler community can trust and believe in.
It is time for SGA to earn that, and a good way to do that would be by listening to the advice of an expert like Oxendine.