Atherton Union

What’s the Role of the Student Government Association?

By Cassandra Stec ’23

Cassandra Stec is a junior at Butler studying Computer Science and Art + Design. She’s involved in many student organizations across campus, including the Student Government Association.

Butler University’s Student Government Association (SGA) represents the student body by supporting student organizations, addressing student concerns, and providing engaging programs. Similar to the United States government, SGA has legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

The legislative branch contains the Speaker of the Senate, Senate Secretary, 40 senators, and four different commissions. The Student Senate encompasses the majority of what the legislative branch does in that the Senators are in charge of taking questions, comments, concerns, and ideas from students regarding campus, and then enacting those changes. Each Senator is elected by peers in their residence hall, college, or class. Besides enacting changes, the Senate also approves new student organizations and often hosts outreach events to promote unity and bonding with the students they represent.

The executive branch is comprised of the Student Body President, Executive Vice President, Vice President of Finance, Chief of Staff, and Executive Secretary. In addition to these positions, the Board of Directors also falls under the executive branch. Director positions include the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEIB), the Director of Marketing and Communications (MarCom), the Director of Programming, and the Director of Service and Philanthropy. Each director (and the VP of Finance) works with a board of other students that helps them enact their responsibilities.

  • The Finance Board makes sure SGA is allocating money fairly and also distributing funds to student organizations through grants.
  • DEIB hosts diversity-centered events on campus that range from educational to celebratory.
  • MarCom manages SGA social media and promotional materials.
  • The Program Board handles SGA’s fun and educational events. There are several boards within Programming that are in charge of running concerts, taking students off campus, bringing groups onto campus for fun activities, making sure Homecoming runs smoothly, and ensuring that programs and funds are being used intentionally.
  • The Service and Philanthropy board oversees the three big service projects that occur at Butler each year: Butler Dance Marathon (BUDM), Butler Ambassadors for Special Olympics (BASO), and Bulldogs into the Streets (BITS).

 

The judicial branch includes a Chief Justice, Court Clerk, and six Associate Justices. This branch is designed to hold SGA and all its members accountable. Some of the things it oversees include making sure all legislation passed by the legislative branch is constitutional, that elections are fair and impartial, and that the constitution and bylaws of SGA reflect the organization as it changes and grows.

I, myself, have been involved in the legislative branch through the Program Board. My first year at Butler, I joined the concerts board and helped bring Jesse McCartney to campus for Exam Jam. We also took students off campus to see Luke Combs and Lizzo. After two years on the board, I am now the Director of Programming and in charge of 20 or so students who are excited to problem solve and create programming for students to enjoy (even in the middle of a pandemic). Joining SGA was one of the best decisions I have made at Butler so far. I have made so many friends, learned many skills, and helped overcome many challenges and obstacles.

If you want to join SGA, elections for board positions occur twice a year, while Senate elections occur in the fall semester. To learn more about SGA, visit our website and subscribe to our newsletter. SGA can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and there is an office dedicated to SGA in Atherton Union.

What’s the Role of the Student Government Association?

One SGA member explains the organization's structure and responsibilities