Butler stresses privacy

SARAH STOESZ | Staff reporter

In this year’s election, changes were made to ensure the privacy of candidates.

This year, candidates only had about 14 days to campaign, said sophomore Kylie Broton, Chair of Election Oversight Committee.

“We changed the bylaws this year to say they can start campaigning when the SGA Election Oversight Committee says they can, and so this year the committee decided that after the SGA assembly meeting last week at 5:30, they could start campaigning,” she said.

This was changed due to complaints.  This year, the campaign period was not as long as in previous years, Broton said.

Candidates were not told whom they were running against until they were allowed to start campaigning.

“I got an email that said, ‘Molly, you’re running against two other people,’ and I was like, ‘Who are they, who am I running against?’” said Molly Swigart, a candidate for senior class president.

SGA does not release the number of votes each candidate receives; however, this has not always been the policy, she said.

“My freshman year I was in SGA assembly and I was a candidate and they were all discussing whether or not they were going to release the total number of votes and why Election Oversight only gets to see the numbers and Caroline Huck-Watson gets to see the numbers and not the whole campus so that was a really big debate,” Swigart said.

This lack of privacy could deter a candidate from running, she said.

“I prefer that they don’t release numbers,” Swigart said. I know that when I was a freshman and I ran for class president, I don’t think I would’ve run having known that my possible failure would’ve been put in the newspaper.”

Since Butler has a small campus, the final numbers are not released to ensure the privacy of students, said Levester Johnson, vice president for student affairs. However, larger public universities may choose to broadcast that information, said Levester Johnson.

“I think SGA has tried to not allow numbers and distances between folks create a competitive type of atmosphere as well as one of potential, added disappointment for those who don’t ultimately move on into various roles,” Johnson said.  “I think they are trying to move on into avoiding negativity and anything that may disrupt the community as it relates to harmony in that sense.”