Photos courtesy of candidates’ Facebook pages.
JESSICA LEE | STAFF REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
Voting for Student Government Association president ended Feb. 20, but there is no winner yet.
The Election Oversight Committee has not called the election.
For the last four years, SGA presidential races have been called on Tuesday evening. The Election Oversight Committee, the governing body for SGA elections, calls elections no earlier than 24 hours after voting and no later than seven days after voting, according to EOC guidelines.
The 24 hour waiting period after voting ends allows time for violations to be reported and investigated, said Nolan Mikowski, SGA director of programming.
“The EOC is unable to release any information at this time about the election including when the results will be released,” the EOC said in an e-mail to the Collegian.
No further information about the cause of the delay was released to The Collegian.
The two candidates are juniors Jimmy Lardin and Nick Huang.
Lardin knew he wanted to run for this position his first year. He soon became involved in the new student senate and worked closely with the then president to form its Constitution.
Lardin’s campaign platform — ensuring that student government works for all students — stems from his experience in student Senate and knowing that it does not reach toward all students, although it has the structure to do so.
“When I say we have the bones to make student government work for everyone on campus, it’s because we do, we just need to shift the focus of leadership so we’re looking at students first,” Lardin said. “Bottom-up, is what I like to call it: collecting information about what students need, and then gearing the rest of our board to those needs.”
Natalie Jacobs, a sophomore campaign team member, said Lardin’s passion for Butler students, and therefore the university as a whole, is obvious.
“This wasn’t a ‘how can we sell this to the university, how can we make people think Jimmy should be SGA president,’” Jacobs said. “It was always, ‘this is why I want to run: there is change that needs to be made, there are people on this campus who do not feel represented and are not represented, there are students on this campus who feel ostracized from the campus as a whole, and that’s not okay. We need to be a governing body that encompasses that and takes that head on.”
Huang’s platform also focuses on diversity. His other two points are community and mental health.
Huang has often used the phrase, “We are more similar than we are different” — speaking to a diverse student body with a wide range of backgrounds.
“The word ‘diversity’ is a hot topic; it’s been a hot topic since I came in my first year on campus,” Huang said. “There’s a very small population of students that are talking about diversity a lot, and we need to expand that conversation to a majority of students. And I think by doing activities like…step-in-step-out, gives students the opportunity to recognize that everyone contributes to diversity and those types of conversations can allow students to recognize we are more similar than different.”
Step-in-step-out is an activity where students stand in a circle, somebody reads a solidarity statements that deal with diversity, and if the statement applies to you, step in the circle. It allows other students to see they are not alone, and they are similar to others around them.
Sam Varie, first-year campaign team member, called Huang a big mentor.
“We went and visited an organization, Transform, where we sat down with a group of students who are part of the Transform, which is a transgender support organization, and the first thing Nick asked was, ‘What can I do?’” Varie said. “And I think that’s really impactful, that he’s always someone willing and able to help, and his passion really guides him to do so.”
The two candidates were allowed to start campaigning at 8 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 13, one week before the election. On Thursday night, Huang and Lardin faced off in a debate for students to talk about their platforms.
The EOC must release information about a winner by next Monday, Feb. 27, according the group’s guidelines.
The Collegian will follow the events surrounding the election and release the results when announced.