SGA presidential candidates debate

BLAKELY HEATON | STAFF REPORTER

Trump, Clinton and Cruz are common names in conversations around the country as the presidential election is nearing, but Butler University is preparing for an election of its own.

Veena Barona. Paige Haefer. Anthony Murdock. These three names are Butler SGA’s presidential candidates. The Butler Collegian tuned into their debate, held by the Student Government Association in the Pharmacy building Thursday, Feb 25 from 8 to 9 p.m..

The debate began with each candidate summarizing their platforms.

Graphic by Annie Weber.

Graphic by Annie Weber.

All candidates focused on the need for inclusion, coupled with the lack of diversity on Butler’s campus.

Murdock is a co-founder of a movement called Bust the B.U.B.B.L.E., whose mission is “to promote the perspectives of students of color at Predominantly White Institutions through cultural awareness, diversity education and action-oriented activism.”

“These are unprecedented times, my friends,” he said. “Never seen them before. It is time that we respond.”

Murdock said he hopes to give the marginalized “the ultimate platform to vocalize their issues [and] to bring about changes that end their systemic grievances.”

Haefer agreed  inclusion is something that needs work at Butler, but also said “The biggest misconception is that the administration doesn’t care about the average Butler student. I have found that to be very wrong in my time serving in SGA.”

Haefer defended Butler’s administration.

“There is this misconception that they [the administrators] should be experts in all areas,” she said. “Unfortunately, although there are areas that could probably be more in tune to at some points, they are all people as well, not experts.”

Haefer’s solution was more discussions to educate those in administrative positions. She used transgender students wanting to get involved with the Greek community as an example— saying that these issues transgender students face could be lightened if authority figures in the Greek community were educated on these issues.

Barona said two of the biggest problems facing Butler’s campus is the lack of mental health awareness and stress.

“If I were elected president, I would have a personal day, where there would be no classes, no meetings,” she said. “It would be for you to be able to relax and reenergize.”

Barona also said that some people are turned away from counseling on Butler’s campus, although it is assumed that you can go talk to someone if you just bring your I.D..

The candidates also discussed how they would deal with the common confusion among students on campus regarding the endless construction and renovation projects.

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The SGA Presidential Election will be held on Monday, Feb. 29, and all students will receive an electronic ballot to submit.

 

See the Butler Collegian’s live Tweets of the debate below:

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