SGA president appoints new vice president

Today, Student Government Association will complete the process of appointing a new executive board for next school year.
The SGA president-elect nominates four of the six vice presidential positions, which will be voted on by the SGA assembly later today. President-elect Craig Fisher reviewed the applications and interviewed candidates to understand their motivations, qualifications and aspirations.
“I think we’re putting together a really good team for the students next year,” he said.
In choosing a new executive board, Fisher said he looked for general leadership experience on the applicants’ respective boards and diversity of candidates.
“SGA is going to be successful if those boards are successful,” Fisher said. “It’s about lots of small changes that, together, will make a big change for students.”
As a group, every board has talked about improving communication, not only between the boards themselves but also between the entire student body, Fisher said. Students are really starting to see SGA’s presence on campus, and he hopes that trend continues in the upcoming school year.
“Public relations is going to be the most exciting area to improve upon for this year,” Fisher said.
Junior Ellen Larson is the nominee for vice president of public relations after serving on the board for two years.
As a strategic communications major, Larson said she knows how to utilize the skills she’s learned from her classes and from being in charge of SGA’s social media outlets. One of the biggest lessons she said she has learned is students are more responsive to interactive forms of social media.
“Getting feedback from students is a really good thing, so we’re planning events we think students want,” Larson said.
SGA reaches different groups of students through its events, she said.  Acknowledging that communication issues will always happen, Larson said she hopes she can avoid them as much as possible so students can take advantage of programs SGA offers.
“I applied for the position because I think we have great members on the board who have awesome ideas, and I want to inspire them to dream bigger,” Larson said.
If approved by the SGA Assembly, junior Camryn Walton will be in charge of most of those events as the vice president of programming. Walton has served on the program board since her freshman year.
Her goals for the year include unifying all of SGA’s different boards, maintaining the Program Board’s positive image while branding events more and re-evaluating the sub-committees in order to make the most of the board’s budget.
“It’s a big time commitment, and I’m willing to make that time commitment,” Walton said. “I love Program Board so much that I’ll make it one of my top priorities.”
Junior Brandon Williams is the nominee for vice president of diversity programs. His main goal is to attract a wider variety of people to different REACH events, he said. He wants to start evaluating events from last year to figure out what was or wasn’t successful and why.
“Diversity is kind of a tense topic,” he said.
This year, Williams said he hopes to sponsor more discussion about diversity. After Delta Tau Delta’s controversial lip sync, he said he wishes more of a discussion had occured about why the event happened in the first place. He also said he plans to fight for better recognition of REACH within the executive board.
“A big part of diversity is being accepting and being able to listen to some of the issues that some of the students may have on campus,” Williams said.
Sophomore Kara Blakley is the nominee for vice president of operations. She has spent most of her career in school as part of student government.
“When I came here on campus, I knew I wanted to be involved in SGA,” she said.
Operations focuses on the way the assembly runs each week, along with the SGA shuttle bus and the winter block party. This year, Blakley’s main goal is to incorporate more technological aspects into assembly.
“I’d love for people to know that I was a person who loves SGA, that loves helping people and listening to their ideas,” she said.
Last week, the assembly also voted on the vice presidents of administration and finance. Freshman Chad Pingel won over a junior for a spot on next year’s executive committee as the vice president of finance.
“There was a certain stigma that goes along with being a freshman because you’re seen as someone who can’t really make a change or a positive impact,” Pingel said.
This year, Pingel has worked with the grants committee and served as the freshman class treasurer.
Most of Pingel’s goals are related to improving the budget and the process for organizational grants. Currently, organizations email the board with grant requests, but Pingel wants to change the process so a standard form is available on the SGA website.
The $35,000 organizational and events budget in place for this year was emptied by the end of February, Pingel said. He will push for next year’s budget to increase the amount of money for grants by 30 to 40 percent.
“A lot of the work will be done before next year actually happens,” he said.
Sophomores Kate Carrol and Austin Del Priore will have a run-off election for vice president of administration during today’s assembly.
The vice president of administration leads the Council on Presidential Affairs, which addresses students’ and faculty’s concerns on campus.
“CPA has been doing a great job of making us work more efficiently internally,” Carrol said. “Externally we don’t have a presence on campus.
“The first thing I would do is sit down with the four candidates and work with the ideas they have,” Carrol said.
Carrol’s main goal, if elected, would be making sure Butler students and faculty members know how to handle concerns they have on campus.
Del Priore said he would like to see the formation of general committees involving both CPA members and students in the upcoming year.
“CPA is a unique opportunity to this campus,” Del Priore said. “It’s an administration that’s willing to be student-centered and focused. It’s a really cool outlet to make an impact here at Butler.”
One of the biggest challenges facing CPA this upcoming year  is the competition many ideas that take years to see through or that sometimes aren’t realistic, Del Priore said.
“The most difficult thing is to always stay focused and driven, not to become disappointed or discouraged,” he said.