The recent struggle for Student Government Association President-elect Mike Keller to find nominees for the position of vice president of diversity programming has shed some light on the issue of filling SGA vacancies—and how best to push and represent diversity on Butler University’s campus.
SGA usually requires that applicants for vice president of diversity programming have served on R.E.A.C.H. before running for the position, but nobody from R.E.A.C.H. stepped up to run.
Keller then extended the applicant pool to the general campus population. He said that the current four applicants exceeded his expectations and that he expects more.
Perhaps more SGA positions should be opened in a similar fashion, to give those not involved with SGA a better chance to represent the greater student body.
The fact that a position that influences the administration on how to diversify Butler is usually closed off from the general public makes very little sense to me.
I think this open applicant pool for vice president of diversity programming should be a permanent change.
The position ought to be held by a student who is open-minded and driven to educate the Butler community on diverse cultures, ways of life and frames of mind.
Not to say that the people in R.E.A.C.H. do not strive to do these things, but when no one steps up to a leadership position, they show that those who are part of an organization are not always those fit to run it.
Keller said that open applicant pools work better for some positions than others if the applicant has qualifications matching the position.
However, Keller said that some positions like those on the Council on Presidential Affairs, Program Board and Finance Board are areas that require experience in order to effectively lead them.
Butler may not be famous for being an ethnically diverse campus, with a vast majority of the student body being classified as “white non-Hispanic.”
However, there are plenty of students here, both inside and outside of SGA, who are diverse in their ethnicity, in ways of life and in schools of thought.
If an applicant for vice president of diversity programming is white, black or even neon green, it does not matter. If he or she is open-minded and care about educating the Butler community on diversity, he or she should be able to run.