Freshman Caucus focuses on forming bonds



Butler University’s Freshman Caucus has a new focus this year. It does not just want to raise money; it wants to make memories.

Anthony Murdock, the newly elected president of the Caucus, said he wants to create timeless memories for a group of freshmen who are more diverse than ever before.

“There is a lot of people here from a lot of different places with a lot of different experiences,” Murdock said. “Our job is to find common ground between those people.”

The Freshman Caucus, an organization that has been on campus for six years, works to unify the Class of 2018 through various events and fundraisers. This is how the Caucus raises money, but the Student Government Association also contributes funds and helps with its budget.

“It is kind of like a student council just for freshmen,” said Avery Charron, a Caucus member.

Students can use the Caucus as experience before running for a position within SGA. Junior Chad Pingel was secretary and treasurer of the Caucus in 2012 and is now the SGA president.

As the advisor for the group since its inception, Sally Click, dean of student services, said she is well aware of the benefits that come with letting freshmen have a voice.

“The Caucus really appeals to those students who, in high school, had some pretty significant leadership experience,” she said. “We get lots of motivated people who want to make a difference on their campus, even as newcomers.”

Murdock comes to the Caucus with a handful of past leadership roles, including playing varsity basketball and serving as track captain in high school. He was also the inaugural president of his high school’s student leadership council. He refers to himself as a “catalyst of change,” and said he looks forward to working with a great group of people in the Caucus this year.

“I believe this is a class of character, a class of individuals that have so much potential that has yet to be tapped,” Murdock said. “Butler is a place in which they can express themselves.”

Throughout the course of the semester, the group has tentative plans for a T-shirt design contest, a fall freshmen dance called “Fall Ball” and a flash mob.

In the past, the Caucus set up study breaks where movies were shown and snacks were provided, and has coordinated the Health and Recreation Complex’s Late Night at the HRC.

 Regardless of which specific plans end up being executed, Murdock said he  is focused on creating bonding moments between his fellow students that will last a lifetime.

Missy MacCarthy, vice president of the Caucus, said she knows Murdock is the right person for the job.

“He’s awesome,” she said. “He’s really professional, but also really funny. I think he’ll be an amazing president.”

Click also said she thinks Murdock is fit for the role.

“He captures the attention of a room and has that persona that portrays confidence,” Click said. “There’s just something special about him.”

While a day of fundraising or a volunteer project may bring freshmen together for a short period of time, Murdock and the rest of his Caucus said they envision the memories and friendships made at these events to have a long term impact.

“I want the memory of the class of 2018 to be timeless,” Murdock says. “We only have a finite amount of time on this earth, so you have to make use of it. That’s what I’m about.”

The Caucus meets every Thursday at 6 p.m. in Atherton Union 326. Meetings are open to all freshmen.