Butler University’s Student Government Association channeled Oprah Winfrey with its annual “favorite things” giveaway.
Today’s SGA meeting will feature giveaways from different executive members, just like last week’s meeting.
SGA President Mike Keller said he and his colleagues were not exactly sure when the holiday gifting began but said it’s been going on for at least five or six years.
Keller said this end-of-the-year tradition is an opportunity to reward the SGA representatives who have been at the meetings each week throughout the semester.
Each officer, except the parliamentarian, is allotted a section of the budget that he or she can use for programming.
Scott Nemeth, vice president of administration, said funding for gifts essentially ends up being what is left over at the end of the semester.
“When you’re a member of SGA, we have appreciation dinners and give you a polo shirt to show that you’re a member,” Nemeth said. “But with assembly members, they don’t really get any recognition for going to meetings every week.”
“The favorite things are a way to give back to assembly.”
It is up to each officer to decide how much of the budget to use, but Nemeth said it is normally around $100.
The officers use the money to buy gifts that represent their personality. They then give the gifts away.
This year, giveaways include touch-screen gloves, items from the bookstore, Starbucks gift cards and the big prize—from Derek Friederich, vice president of finance—a Keurig.
Nemeth gave out three-month subscriptions to Netflix. He said he figured students could use a break while studying for finals.
“Netflix definitely shows my personality because I love movies, and I love the show “Madmen,” so I use Netflix a lot,” Nemeth said.
SGA assembly is always serious, Nemeth said. The giveaway meeting is a way for members to get to know the officers.
“It is nice because it gives assembly a chance to see the board’s personal side,” he said. “It’s a way to take a break from all the business and have a little fun. It comes at the right time with finals coming up.”
Senior James Pascascio won a scarf from the bookstore last Wednesday. He said he is not a member of assembly but was filling in for the representative of the men’s basketball club.
“It’s pretty cool, the one meeting I happen to go to, I win a prize,” Pascascio said.
Despite being excited about his new winter wear, Pascascio said his thoughts about the giveaways are not completely positive.
“I think it’s more mixed emotions,” Pascasio said. “It’s mixed because they’re using student money to buy gifts for the members. If I’m a student who’s paying my dues, and I catch wind of this, and I’m not benefitting from it, I’m going to start asking questions. ‘How come I didn’t get a prize? How can I be a part of that?’”
Keller said any who attend the assembly meeting the day they give away gifts are eligible to have a chance to receive one.
The last SGA assembly of the semester will bring more gifts.
Keller said Stevan Tomich, vice president of programming, and Marielle Slagel, vice president of operations, combined their gift budgets for a big gift, which they did not have time to prepare before last week’s meeting.
Keller said he did not want to give away any details about what Tomich and Slagel have in store.