It is that time of the year again.
Butler University students will be tasked with choosing new officers and, most importantly, a new Student Government Association president, on Monday.
As such, Butler students need to do research about candidates for the various positions available and make their voices heard through votes.
This is especially important for the SGA president, considering the SGA currently works with a budget of approximately $750,000, one might imagine Butler students feel this is an important duty. That budget is comprised, in part, of student funds, and it goes toward many student activities.
However, total SGA election votes did not surpass 1,325 in any year between 2010 and 2012. The figure bottomed out at fewer than 1,000 in the 2012 election.
Participation rose strongly last year, though, with 2,034 students casting a vote.
This is something Butler students should build on heading into the 2014 election.
It may be easy for some to say one should vote because it is simply the right thing to do.
The Collegian staff has come up with some crucial reasons why it is important for all Butler students to vote next week.
The first lies in the amount of money in SGA’s annual budget.
Students can have a say in who is leading the SGA, which receives a large part of their student activity fees. Students should relish the opportunity to pick in whose hands they put their money—and its eventual spending.
Also, the individuals elected to the SGA presidency will represent the whole student body in various matters throughout the next academic year.
Students have the choice of whom they wish to do this and they can pick candidate whose views most align with their own in order to feel appropriately represented.
Additionally, if students have concerns or new concepts they would like to see employed at Butler, they can go through SGA members to have their ideas brought to the public view.
By taking part in SGA elections, students can feel more comfortable with doing this and more willing to speak with their representatives in general.
Of course, choosing an individual for a position—whether it be SGA president or class officer—should not be based solely on popularity or flipping a coin.
Paying attention to candidates’ platforms and seizing the opportunity to listen to candidates speak are both valuable opportunities to learn more about those who may represent students.
Students must learn which candidate’s beliefs and goals align closest with their own. This allows a student to be an informed voter and a value to the university’s voting system.
Increased voter turnout is something Butler students should strive for in 2014, even if last year’s election saw a large surge in votes cast.
At the same time, those who let their voices be heard through votes should do at least a small amount of research before throwing support behind an individual.
Each Butler student has the opportunity to serve as an informed cog in annual student government and class officer elections, and it is a chance fewer students should pass up.
*Please direct any Staff Editorial response to EIC Colin Likas at firstname.lastname@example.org