JULIANNE STRIBIAK | Staff Reporter
Sophomore Chad Pingel will lead Butler’s Student Government Association as president-elect.
Pingel and Junior opponent Robert Gale were informed of the results slightly before that by phone calls at around 10:45 pm.
“I’m ecstatic. I can’t believe it,” Pingel said. “I was shocked and surprised and feeling very fortunate, it’s humbling.”
Gale, who awaited the call at his fraternity house, said, “I’m really grateful to just have this opportunity and I’m overwhelmed with this sense of pride and support that I’ve received throughout this election.”
“Obviously I’m a little disappointed with the outcome but I’m still extremely passionate and loving and I still do believe in everything this university stands for and I’m really eager to work with Chad,” Gale said.
After receiving the news, Gale said he called his biggest supporters, his parents.
Pingel said the first person he called was his mother as well, but he wanted his girlfriend, Hannah Cianci, to stay with him until he got the news.
A total of 2,374 students voted in the election.
Senior Aaron Harrison said he voted for Chad because his experience as the vice president of finance working with both administration and students.
“What sold me on Chad was the fact that his entire platform is based upon the ideas that countless student have shared with him as a priority,” Harrison said. “The reforms Chad is proposing are not his own. That says something about what kind of president he will truly be.”
Harrison said he truly believes Chad recognized that position for what it is.
“It’s not a stepping stone through which he can offer his two cents on everything the university does,” Harrison said. “It’s a year long contract with the student body, during which he is obligated to serve as a channel through which we can engage with university administration in a meaningful way. Someone who recognizes that is, to me, someone worth supporting.”
Freshman Ana Rauh also voted for Chad.
“I firmly believe that Chad has the experience, the dedication, and the love in his heart to represent the fantastic student body of Butler in this position,” she said.
As the SGA presidential debate on Thursday, both candidates discussed their platforms, basic questions, and were able to address one another.
Gale expressed concerns about Pingel’s age and experience at last week’s debates.
Gale said although he cannot speak on behalf of Pingel’s experiences or qualifications, he can speak on what he has seen.
“I feel like his age is going to be a factor,” Gale said. “I don’t think he has he necessary skills, he says he has the experience. You can have all the experience you like but if you don’t learn anything from those, if you don’t have the skills to do the job, I don’t know if he does.”
Pingel said that regardless of his age he feels very qualified.
“I’ve had two years of experience already as well as plans to take (SGA) forward,” Pingel said. “I feel like I am the most qualified and have had the most experience with our student government to be bale to take us in the right direction.”
According to Pingel, one of Gale’s weaknesses is being able to take a leadership role and do something with it.
“Currently he serves as Parliamentarian, and in that role and in sitting on the executive board, I haven’t seen much come out of it all,” Pingel said.
Gale said he believes that the SGA President should display love and passion to the campus community.
“I really believe that if the students see their elected leader with that passion and with that love that could open doors for organizations,” Gale said. And for other individuals who may not be confident enough to get involved.”
Junior Joey Thomas said he voted for Gale and is confident in his abilities because he got to know him personally.
“I have had many positive interactions with Robert,” Thomas said. “I have lived next to him for the past two years and he continues to impress me with his organization, passion, and commitment to Butler University.
Junior Joey Hebert also voted for Gale because he thinks Gale’s embodies, “all of the wonderful qualities of a Butler student.”
Hebert works with both Gale and Pingel in the admissions office and said both strong candidates.
“I can say they are both phenomenal candidates for this position,” Hebert said. “They are both strong leaders, incredibly well-spoken, and have real passion for this university.”
Pingel said one of the things he thinks that Gale does well is his ability to convey the love and passion he has for Butler and its students.
“I can honestly say that I truthfully believe him when he says that he wakes up everyday and says, ‘It’s a beautiful day to be a bulldog,’” Pingel said. “He definitely ran a great campaign and I thought that he showed the kind of love and dedication for Butler that he has and what I kind of encouraged him on is to be able to channel that in the future even with the outcome of the election. I mean I would be more than happy to work with him.”
Gale said he thinks Pingel is a great person and a strong opponent.
“At the end of the day, I just want to make sure that he knows that I still have a deep respect for him,” Gale said. “It’s pretty incredible that he’s able to do all this and I admire him.”
Pingel is gracious for the win and promises to give students results.
“I’m just really thankful for the decision that the student body made I mean I hope to live up to their expectations and I definitely want to follow through on everything that I had committed to in the end its all about the students,” Pingel said.
Pingel will take office on April 16.