Spot open on SGA exec board

Next year’s team of seven executives in Student Government Association is almost complete, but President-elect Mike Keller is still looking for one more.

The SGA  vice president of diversity position, one of six vice presidential positions, remains vacant because no one has applied.

While the position remains empty, the remaining vice presidential positions and parliamentarian position are filled.

Members of assembly appointed Scott Nemeth to act as the vice president of administration. Nemeth will also act as the chair of the Council on Presidential Affairs.

Members of assembly also appointed Derek Friederich to act as the vice president of finance. Friederich will oversee the budget and the grants committee.

Keller appointed Emily Burgoyne as vice president of public relations. Burgoyne will oversee the organization’s advertising.

Keller chose Stevan Tomich as next year’s vice president of operations. Tomich will oversee the SGA shuttle and the day-to-day operation of the organization.

Marielle Slagel was appointed by Keller to act as the vice president of programming. She will oversee more than half of SGA’s budget, which funds SGA-sponsored events throughout the year.

Keller appointed Craig Fisher to act as parliamentarian. Fisher will oversee the procedure in weekly assembly.

One of the requirements of running for the empty VP of Diversity position is serving on REACH in the past, which means the applicant pool is small, Keller said.

PuLSE Office Director and SGA adviser Caroline Huck-Watson said this position is very important to both the university and the community.

“This position is vital,” Huck-Watson said. “This person provides the opportunity to highlight different views and perspectives, which is important to Butler and the college experience.”

Keller said there was a lack of interest and time among the eligible candidates.

Due to this vacancy, Keller said he has opened up the applicant pool to the rest of campus.

“If we are able to find a strong candidate, we’ll have to go through assembly to have him or her voted on and approved,” Keller said.

So far, Keller said he has received contacts from three students.

Keller said he believes the lack of candidates is related to REACH’s target audience.

“REACH tends to focus on a similar group,” Keller said. “There needs to be a bigger focus in order to attract all of campus.”

Huck-Watson   said REACH  needs to find different ways to communicate with students to help them receive  information about REACH.

“There are common ways to get out information on REACH to the students, but REACH is also open to other ways to provide students with information,” Huck-Watson said.

This situation is not unprecedented.

A similar situation occurred last year, and SGA responded with a similar solution, Keller said.

Keller said this does not hurt his executive board or his ability to work with them.

“This gives me the opportunity to look at my board, see what’s lacking, and see what I can add,” Keller said.

Huck-Watson said she also views this as a positive situation.

“This will allow an interested person to  participate in SGA and get  a leadership position,” Huck-Watson said.

Keller said he is most interested in discussing new ideas and new ways of doing things with his executive board.

“I have a lot of ideas and am very idea-focused,” Keller said.

Keller said he wants to make SGA more accessible through publicizing office hours more and encouraging student attendance at SGA meetings.

None of this year’s Executive Board members will be returning to posts next year, including SGA presidential runner-up and current vice president of operations Kelsa Reynolds.

Before last Wednesday’s announcement, current SGA President Al Carroll said that he wasn’t sure if he would hold a spot on the executive board.

“I will serve at the pleasure of the next president,” Carroll said in an interview last month. “It’s more important that I help the next president be successful regardless of me. This is about making sure that this is a positive organization and not that Al is the leader.”

In an email to The Collegian, Carroll said that he would still be involved next year.

“I have no intention of spending my senior year too far away from the action,” Carroll wrote. “I will evaluate where I can best serve this organization and then apply. I do not anticipate a third year on SGA exec, but I will apply to serve in some capacity.”

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