SGA leadership tries to get original account back. Collegian file photo.
ALISON MICCOLIS | NEWS EDITOR | email@example.com
Butler’s Student Government Association announced on April 10 they had created a new SGA Instagram account after their original account was hacked on March 28, leaving students without a working account to follow for over a week. SGA leadership said Instagram is their primary mode of communication with the student body.
Brooke Hazel, a senior strategic communication major and director of public relations for SGA, said even though she is not the original creator of the account, her email and phone number are linked to it. She received an email from Instagram on March 28 informing her someone had logged into the account from Nigeria.
She said when she saw the email, she followed the link Instagram provided to try and secure the account. She changed the password but while she was doing that, the person in Nigeria set-up two-factor authentication. This means both parties are now locked out considering they both only have one part of the login.
“I changed our password just so that they hopefully couldn’t post anything because the worst thing that could happen is they would use that account to message students or post something inappropriate that we obviously didn’t want to happen,” Hazel said.
Hazel said the person who logged in did not post anything on the SGA Instagram stories or timeline. She cannot look at direct messages, but she said no one has reported receiving any messages.
SGA informed students about the hacking and new account in an email on April 10. Hazel said they did not tell students sooner because they thought the issue would be resolved.
“We didn’t post anything about it just because we were hopeful that we’d get it back within a day or so and so it wouldn’t even be a big deal,” Hazel said.
While they were without an Instagram, Will Gigerich, a senior criminology major and SGA president, said their temporary solution was having the five cabinet members post about events on their own social media.
In the same email announcing the hacking, students were also informed about giveaways that would be happening the week of April 11 to incentivize students to follow the account. Each weekday at noon, SGA will randomly select followers to receive one of the prizes, some of which include Hydro Flasks, Starbucks gift cards and Airpods. Students have to follow @Butler.SGA to be entered to win.
The money for the giveaway items comes from the SGA public relations budget. Gigerich said the giveaways are a collaboration between cabinet and PR. He said they decided to provide students with an incentive to follow because Instagram is the primary means of communication for SGA.
“And really at this point, it’s the end of the year and there’s money left in the PR budget and so it was a good way to number one, boost engagement in what SGA is doing, but also give back to the student body, and we thought this was a good way to do that,” Gigerich said.
Hazel said she is hopeful this account is just a temporary solution and that she will hear back from Meta to get the original account back.
Some things the SGA PR budget covers throughout the year are merchandise and other materials at Block Party in the fall, the SGA website, Mail Chimp for distributing the Carillon and Hootsuite for Twitter and Instagram content management.
Gigerich said any money that is not used for the giveaways and still left over at the end of the year will be moved to a general SGA account.
“SGA money rolls over into our general account and that can be used for initiatives so for example this [Atherton] Union refresh that’s going on,” Gigerich said. “We don’t have that much money in our initiatives budget for this year so a lot of it does come from rollovers from other accounts in previous years.”
Junior biology major Taylor Coleman was one of the winners of the giveaway on Monday. Coleman said in a message to The Butler Collegian she was really excited to receive the hammock and Hydroflask.
“I probably would have followed the account without the giveaway because I followed their old account to stay up to date with things going on with SGA,” Coleman said. “And I’m sure that’s the same for many students, so while I don’t think the giveaway was necessary, I think it was a good incentive in case some students were iffy about wanting to follow the account because they just don’t care. This also risks people following just for the giveaway then unfollowing later if they don’t care for SGA.”