Meet your SGA presidential candidates

The SGA election will be held on Tuesday, March 28. Photos courtesy of each candidate’s Instagram pages.


The presidential candidates for Student Government Association are seeking the organization’s highest office for the 2023-24 term. On March 28, Butler students can choose from three presidential ballots — Paul Ford II and Hadassah Brent, Abba Smith and Luigi Chirco and Katie Stanley and Suchi Bandaru — to represent them as a student body. Here is a deeper look into each of the candidates’ campaigns. 

Paul Ford II and Hadassah Brent 

Presidential candidate Paul Ford II and vice presidential candidate Hadassah Brent have used their experiences as students on Butler’s campus to help create their campaign platform.

Ford, a junior entrepreneurship and innovation major, is running for president for the third time. During his time at Butler, Ford has served as an SGA senator, as well as being involved with various student organizations, including Black Student Union, LGBTQ+ Alliance, Diversity Program Council and the Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement

Brent, a sophomore political science and criminology double major, is running as Ford’s vice presidential candidate. Brent is currently an SGA senator and has previously worked on the academic and diversity, equity and inclusion committees within SGA. 

Ford and Brent’s platform is based on student voice, campus culture and SGA engagement. Both Ford and Brent said they have heard people say that SGA should be run “by students for students,” but they want to make sure that all students are represented in that statement. 

“What type of students is it?” Ford said. “The students that are doing well? Or is it the students who are struggling? We want to make sure that everyone’s represented.” 

Brent reiterated Ford’s comment, saying that it is important that those in power are capable of understanding and listening to voices around them, specifically people who don’t think that their opinion matters. Ford and Brent want to amplify voices on campus. 

Their campaign promises Butler’s student body that they will understand the power they have to enact change. 

“Students are unaware of what SGA can do for them, therefore they aren’t asking,” Ford said. 

Brent said she wants students to feel like they can come up and ask any question and get an honest answer. 

“[Students] won’t walk away [from meetings with us] feeling belittled or less than,” Brent said. “They just feel like they see themselves through us and say ‘Oh [Ford and Brent] did it, that means we can do it.’” 

Ford and Brent want to create an approachable environment in SGA, one where no student is intimidated to go to SGA for help. 

“We really just want everyone to be a part of this community that we have,” Ford said. “We want students to know that me and Hadassah aren’t afraid. And the only time they should be afraid is when they’re alone. They’re not alone.” 

Students can learn more on Ford and Brent’s Instagram page

Abba Smith and Luigi Chirco 

Presidential candidate Abba Smith and vice presidential candidate Luigi Chirco are running their platform based on the pillars of safety, belonging and accountability. While neither Smith nor Chirco have prior SGA experience, they hope to bring an outside perspective to the organization. 

Smith, a junior pharmacy major, is involved in numerous organizations on campus. She currently serves as a College of Pharmacy ambassador and Kappa Kappa Gamma’s director of member development. She previously served as vice president of special events for the Panhellenic Association

Chirco, a junior marketing major, is currently involved in Out of the Dawg House as both their business manager and a participant. He is also a member of Delta Tau Delta and previously served as a transfer student orientation guide. 

Regarding safety, Smith and Chirco aim to collaborate with the Sexual Assault Response and Prevention, SARP, and Title IX offices, in addition to the Butler University Police Department and other campus organizations. 

“We want to implement a director of campus safety within the executive cabinet,” Smith said. “[We] can work with the SARP office and Title IX and BUPD to constantly be working on the ways we can be more safe.” 

On Smith and Chirco’s Instagram page, they also highlight their objective to improve campus lighting — they aim to ensure every campus walkway is lit.

For their student belonging pillar, Smith and Chirco aim to include diverse campus leaders on the executive advisory board, add grocery stores and pharmacies to the established SGA Uber program, and re-evaluate SGA policies to ensure they include all students. 

“We want to let everyone know that [SGA] is something that we can enjoy as a school altogether,” Chirco said. “It doesn’t need to be exclusive by any means necessary … it’s formal in terms of position, but it doesn’t need to be exclusive.” 

Smith and Chirco want to hold SGA accountable for being “for the students.” To do this, they want to make the SGA budget transparent to Butler students, publicly post SGA feedback and their proposed solutions, and to analyze environmental accountability by increasing composting and decreasing styrofoam. 

“We’ve both held leadership positions and been ambassadors for the school,” Smith said. “We obviously care about the school and the student body, and I think that’s what is driving us the most.” 

Katie Stanley and Suchi Bandaru  

Katie Stanley and Suchi Bandaru are running on the presidential and vice presidential ballots, respectively. Their platform is run on the pillars of integrity, commitment and passion.

Stanley, a junior psychology and religious studies major, is most notably involved with SGA, as the chief of staff, as well as Delta Gamma

Junior health science major Bandaru is involved as the director of diversity, equity and student belonging board for SGA, as well as being the co-president of South Asian Student Association, a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and a member of the Pre-PA club.

Stanley and Bandaru have dedicated their platform to creating long lasting projects that will stay at Butler for a long time. Most notably is a remodeling effort in the Health and Recreation Complex, HRC, which would echo the remodeling in Atherton Union

“We’ve heard a lot of student concerns about how some of the equipment is outdated,” Stanley said. “We want to improve that, especially new equipment that can be a little bit more accessible for people.” 

Stanley and Bandaru want to reinvigorate Block Party, Butler’s annual student organization fair. Bandaru spoke about adding a booth for students who want to start a new organization on campus. The candidates want to make Block Party an event that all students enjoy, rather than feel like a task or chore.

“We want Block Party to turn into an actual sort of party [with] food trucks, ice cream, live music … ” Stanley said. “We want to re-engage all of campus and make it less of an event that upperclassmen feel as if they have to be at.” 

They also want to add a director of finance and facilities, who would work with the vice president, to SGA. 

Overall, Stanley and Bandaru want to be a bridge between SGA and the students. 

“[SGA] are effectively a union for students,” Stanley said. “If students are having an issue with something, we want students to feel comfortable filling out a form, coming to office hours and knowing that we will go to bat for them and [knowing that] as president and vice president we will be able to stand up for them and know the people to talk to and know that we are competent enough to talk to those people.” 

Students will be able to vote on Tuesday, March 28 beginning at 8 a.m. and the ballots will close at 8 p.m. that same day. Results will be posted the next day. Students eligible to vote will receive an email with a link that can be used to vote.


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