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Butler University

For Second Year, Butler Offers Free Online Course About COVID-19 to Incoming Students

BY Katie Grieze

PUBLISHED ON Apr 20 2021

This summer, incoming first-year and transfer students at Butler University are invited to enroll in a free online course about how we can move forward as individuals, as a University, and as a community following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Similar to the free summer course offered last year, which covered the immediate impacts of the virus, this one-credit-hour class is designed to help incoming students grow familiar with the Butler community and the college experience before arriving on campus.

“The goals for this year’s course are similar to last year, but with the theme of ‘what have we learned, and how can we be better post-COVID,’” says Anne Wilson, Professor of Chemistry and faculty lead for the online class. “Our prepared lectures are going to be much more collaborative, with multiple faculty members contributing to a single topic. We have many faculty from last summer returning to the effort, as well as several new folks whom we are excited to include!”

Titled ID190: Building a Better World Post-COVID, the course will run from late June through mid-August. Students will be assigned to one of several faculty-led groups, alongside approximately 20 peers. They will discuss topics such as what we have learned from the pandemic, how we can maintain relationships and well-being in similar situations, why supply chain issues affected vaccine rollout, and how the community will celebrate the end of the pandemic.

“The COVID course was a great introduction into a class discussion at the college level, as the discussions were student-led,” says first-year Chemistry major Lauren Browning, who completed the course last summer. “Learning about the pandemic from not only a medical perspective but from so many different aspects really put that well-rounded liberal arts spin on the course. To be able to simultaneously share my opinion while hearing opinions from others created this comfortable environment where I could take more perspectives into consideration than I had ever realized. Apart from the course material itself, I enjoyed the great discussions and made some friends from my class, some of whom I still talk to now. It was a great first course for entering Butler, and I would highly recommend it.”

After paying the $500 enrollment deposit, students who are interested in joining the free course can sign up during their academic advising appointments at Virtual Registration.

Media Contact:
Katie Grieze
Senior Content Manager

Butler University

For Second Year, Butler Offers Free Online Course About COVID-19 to Incoming Students

The one-credit-hour class is designed to help incoming students grow familiar with the Butler community and the college experience before arriving on campus

Apr 20 2021 Read more

The Center for Leadership Development Scholarship Helps Student Thrive

Meredith Sauter ’12

Even before starting his first day at Butler University, current first-year student Paul Ford was well-versed in what it would take to succeed in college. He knew time management would be key—prioritizing his work and balancing his schedule—but he was also prepared for other parts of the collegiate experience, like preparing for the costs involved with pursuing a degree.

This upfront knowledge is all thanks to his participation with The Center for Leadership Development (CLD), an Indianapolis nonprofit dedicated to fostering the advancement of minority youth in Central Indiana as future professional, business, and community leaders by providing experiences that encourage personal development and educational attainment.

Ford has been involved with CLD since eighth grade, and up until he graduated high school, he participated in a series of programs that aim to prepare students for life in college. The programming culminated in Emerging Scholars, a one-day event where high school students and parents learn about scholarships and other financial aid and are given the opportunity to apply for the CLD scholarship award at a variety of partner colleges, including Butler.

Ford first heard about Butler through a college fair sponsored by CLD where he spoke to one of the University’s admission counselors. After learning more about Butler, he realized that it had everything he was looking for: a vibrant student life, academic programs he was interested in, top notch residence halls, study abroad opportunities, and engagement with alumni.

“Butler really invests in their students,” Ford says. “Because it’s a smaller school, you’re really known by everyone, and you’re able to be really involved. That’s different from a lot of other schools I was looking at.”

Ford knew that Butler was the college for him, and wanted to make sure that it made financial sense for him to attend. During the Emerging Scholars event, he applied for the CLD partner scholarship at Butler (and a handful of other schools), and once he learned he received the award at Butler—a full tuition scholarship for all four years of college—he was ecstatic to know he could make his dream a reality.

Ford is now a first year Entrepreneurship and Innovation major in the Lacy School of Business (LSB) and is involved in the Student Government Association where he serves as the LSB student senator and as a member of the Auditing Board. He’s also active in the Black Student Union, the LGBTQ+ Alliance, and the Efroymson Diversity Center. He knows he’ll continue to grow professionally over his next several years in college, and hopes to have an impact on others and give back to his community. And, once he graduates, he wants to work in the startup management industry, helping support minority-owned businesses withstand crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Center for Leadership Development Scholarship Helps Student Thrive

The full-tuition scholarship is helping first-year student Paul Ford pursue his goal of working in the startup management industry

Evan and Blue

From the sidewalk, Kristi Lafree glanced up at the branches of the dogwood trees creating a canopy over her head. It was March 13, 2020, and she realized the trees would soon be blooming with the bright-pink flowers that help make the Butler University campus so photogenic. She made a mental note to get pictures for some enrollment marketing materials she was working on.

She didn’t know the United States would declare a national emergency due to COVID-19 that day, and those dogwood trees would be dropping their reddish-purple fall leaves before she saw them again.

“Everything we did in the Office of Admission was turned upside down,” says Lafree, Director of Enrollment Marketing. “It’s been a whirlwind.”

From full steam ahead to full stop
Lafree and the Butler enrollment staff were in full recruitment mode that day. Student-led tours and family visits were scheduled. Admission counselors were visiting college fairs and high schools across the country. Even the very first visit for new University mascot Butler Blue IV (“Blue”) and new handler Evan Krauss ’16 to surprise a student with their official offer of admission was in the works.

Suddenly, none of those things could happen. And the future of hundreds of high school seniors—the prime audience for all these efforts—had just become extraordinarily uncertain.

“Every student we were working with had been impacted. They needed answers, and we got the phone calls,” says Lori Greene, Vice President for Enrollment Management. “There were concerns about advanced placement tests. There were concerns about final grades on transcripts. How would all these issues affect their college admission?”

Now-Director of Admission Jerome “Jerry” Dueweke says the staff was “moving at light speed” to keep up. “No one had a script. It was all hands on deck.”

Blake Hall and Blue
Blake Hall of Indianapolis receiving a socially distanced admission packet from Blue.

Top priority: Ease the pain
Despite the pace, Butler’s enrollment team made a key decision early on: to act with empathy. 

“The stress on high school seniors is unbelievable. We’ve done everything we can to alleviate that,” Lafree says.

Greene agrees. “We communicated all along the way, ‘We understand. You’re not having a prom, you won’t get the grades you worked so hard for. We’re sorry, and we want to help.’”

High school counselors were concerned about the strain on their seniors. In response, Butler’s Admission staff made themselves available to help students through the college search process, even those no longer considering Butler.

The staff made numerous other adjustments to lessen the stress. In one example, Butler made SATs and ACTs (entrance exams) optional for the 2021 incoming class and beyond. In another, admitted students normally must formally say “yes” by May 1, the National Candidate’s Reply Date. Butler joined other institutions in extending this deadline to June 1, which gave students a breather but shortened the time for processing.

Of the 800 high school visits Admission staff usually planned, 600 were converted to virtual events. Of the 300 college fairs usually attended, staff replaced most with more labor-intensive one-on-one virtual student visits. Three virtual open houses were especially successful; Dueweke says these would have been six-hour events in person, with far fewer attendees than the 800 who showed up on-screen.

“We knew we had to keep our virtual open houses quick-moving. No session would be longer than 40 minutes, and instead of just a faculty member, we’d add faculty, a student, sometimes an Admission staff member in the chat tool. Then we had Evan and Blue between sessions. Three separate times, someone said that not only was it the best virtual open house they’ve attended, but possibly the best open house, period,” he says.

For Dueweke, it’s now hard to imagine not offering a virtual open house for students who are out of state even after COVID-19.

Back on campus, (almost) back to normal
Despite successes, the staff’s goal became hosting visitors on campus by the end of June—a goal they achieved.

“We were out in front of most universities in bringing families to campus. Right away, the feedback was very positive. The overwhelming majority appreciated that we were making the effort,” Greene says.

Changes to the enrollment team’s work are far from over, though. Greene believes all universities will see long-term effects of the pandemic on enrollment.

“Higher education was already facing ‘what’s the value proposition’ arguments. First-year students in private colleges are down almost 9 percent. There’s such uncertainty about the future, especially for families that own businesses. And loss of income is disproportionately affecting students of color or low socioeconomic status, which means they may not be able to enroll,” she says.

Still, the first-year class in 2020 was the third-largest in the University’s history.

“We’ve done such a good job focusing on relationships and personalization,” Greene says. “We’re very blessed with so many individuals who really love Butler. It’s a special place.”

Evan and Blue

Turned Upside Down: College Admission in the Time of COVID-19

When the pandemic hit, Butler’s enrollment team made a key decision early on: to act with empathy

by Cindy Dashnaw

from Winter 2021

Read more

My Butler Story | Matthew Aspinwall


Matthew Aspinwall ’23
College of Education
Major: Elementary Education
Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Matthew Aspinwall knew that he wanted to explore colleges far from home. And, outside of geographic location, it was most important that the college he chose offered the major he wanted, Elementary Education, and that he would have opportunities to be in the classroom early on. 

"In order to be a teacher, you should learn by actually teaching," he says. "Compared to the other schools I was looking at, Butler offered the most classroom experiences." 

When he learned that College of Education (COE) students would be in the classroom starting with their first year, he was sold. The cherry on top was when he learned that he would have a full year of student teaching—as opposed to just one semester—during his senior year. "That didn't happen at any of the other schools I was looking at." 

Not only did Butler offer him the experiential opportunities he was looking for, but he also found that Butler's faculty truly care for their students—another quality that helped set Butler apart. 

"I remember a time last year when I was looking for crayons for an assignment and asked my professors if they might have any," he says. "Five teachers in the College of Ed were all looking with me to find these crayons. It wasn't a big deal, I was just asking to ask, I could've bought them, but I think that is just one example out of many that shows how much they care about me, which you just can't say for so many schools." 

Watch more My Butler Stories


My Butler Story | Matthew Aspinwall

Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Matthew Aspinwall knew that he wanted to explore colleges far from home.

Exploratory Studies: Debunking the Myths

Whitney Ramsay – Assistant Director of Admission

When considering which college to apply to and attend, you don’t make a decision after simply hearing its name. You make a decision after thoroughly researching it, visiting it, and asking yourself if it feels like home. Similarly, when considering choosing a major, there’s something to be said for doing the same.

Despite the fact that Exploratory Studies is one of Butler’s most popular first-year majors, there are several myths around applying as an Exploratory Studies major.

Myth #1: Students who apply Exploratory Studies graduate on time at lower rates than those who don’t.
False! Students who apply Exploratory Studies graduate on time at the same rates as those who don’t, thanks in large part to Butler’s Exploratory Studies advisors, housed in the Center for Academic Success and Exploration (CASE) office. Their one-on-one advising helps majors create their own roadmaps and follow their own paths.

Myth #2: Students who apply Exploratory Studies have lower employment or graduate school placement rates than those who don’t.
False! Students who apply Exploratory Studies have the same placement rates as those who don’t; a placement rate of 98%! You’re probably thinking...let me finish high school and apply to college...but we’re already thinking about what happens when you finish college. Not only are Butler grads securing jobs and admission to grad school, but they’re fulfilled and engaged in careers they love.

Myth #3: Students who apply Exploratory Studies look aimless.
False! For many, applying Exploratory Studies is an intentional choice. Some students are attracted to the Exploratory Studies course, designed to explore all 65+ majors at Butler through class shadows, job shadows, and interviews, while some are attracted to the Majors Fair, an opportunity to explore the majors through laid-back conversations with faculty and other program representatives.

Myth #4: Students who apply Exploratory Studies graduate with General Studies degrees.
False! While there is no major declaration deadline, students cannot graduate with an Exploratory Studies degree. About half of our students declare their major by the end of the first year, while the other half declare throughout their sophomore year. This ensures students have adequate time to explore, but ultimately graduate on time.

Interested in applying to Butler as an Exploratory Studies major? Learn more about the program and about how to apply or reach out to your admission counselor with questions. 


Butler University

Exploratory Studies: Debunking the Myths

Whitney Ramsay – Assistant Director of Admission

What is it Like to be an Honors Student at Butler?

By Cassandra Stec ’23

Cassandra Stec is a junior at Butler studying Computer Science and Art + Design.

When I was first applying for college, I noticed a section in the Common App that asked if I wanted to participate in the Butler University Honors Program.

Intrigued, I looked up more information and learned that the Honors Program at Butler allows you to graduate with University Honors, as well as finish college with a published thesis. In order to complete the Honors Program, you need to attend eight honors community events, complete four honors classes (including a First Year Seminar), write a thesis on a topic of your choosing, and maintain a 3.5 GPA.

After reading about the program, I immediately applied. I enjoy education, as well as being involved, so the Honors Program seemed right up my alley. A few months later, I received my Honors Program acceptance along with the news that I had been accepted to Butler.

During New Student Registration, I attended the honors luncheon, where my dad and I got to sit with current honors students and hear about classes and professors. Dr. Jason Lantzer, Assistant Director of the Honors Program, provided details about the Honors requirements, as well as the various study abroad opportunities offered through the program. Later on, right before moving into my dorm and starting my first year of college, I was also assigned an Honors mentor, whom I could go to for help or questions regarding the program, Butler, or college life in general.

Since then, I have completed almost all requirements of the Honors Program. My first year, I took an Honors First Year Seminar (FYS) called “Women Writing the World.” The class was taught by English Lecturer Dr. Natalie Carter and delved into the different experiences of women around the world through pieces of literature written by women. For me, that class instilled a sense of togetherness and community among my Honors peers. Thanks to the Honors Program, I met some of my closest friends through that class that I likely would not have met otherwise.

I also participated in a variety of Honors events, including lectures (I went to a really cool one about Abraham Lincoln.), the Nutcracker ballet, and game and pizza nights.

My second year, I took a 200-level Honors course in the fall, as well as a 300-level Honors course in the spring. The 200-level course was called “The Wonderful World of Disney,” taught by Dr. Lantzer. The course delved into who Walt Disney was, as well as the company that came from his creations. It has been one of my favorite classes so far at Butler.

The 300-level course was called “Paris: The City as Text,” taught by History Professor Dr. Paul Hanson. The course examined Paris from a variety of disciplines and approaches. As part of the course, I also did a study abroad program to Paris over spring break to see and experience what we had discussed in class. Traveling to Paris and exploring alongside my classmates really made me appreciate what I had learned in the course.

Also during my second year, I joined the Student Honors Council. This organization helps plan events (such as “We Love Honors Week”) and get-togethers for Honors students, as well as helps connect mentors and mentees for the mentorship program. I also became a mentor for several first-year Honors students, not only helping them with life at Butler and college in general, but also becoming close friends with several of them.

Now, I am beginning work on my thesis by planning the proposal and searching for a thesis advisor. While I have finished all my other Honors requirements, I plan to stay involved with the program by continuing to take more Honors courses and study abroad as my schedule allows—just because of how much I enjoy not only the content of the courses, but also the professors who teach them.

If you are a prospective student interested in the Honors Program, make sure to apply by November 1. If you are a current student, it’s not too late! You can still petition for admission to the program.

For more information about the Honors Program at Butler, visit our website.

Butler University

What is it Like to be an Honors Student at Butler?

Cassandra Stec ’23 shares her experience with the program

Where to Eat Near Butler

By Hailey Radakovitz ’21

Hailey Radakovitz is a senior at Butler with a major in Strategic Communication and minors in Spanish and Marketing.


Even if it now means ordering takeout or finding a seat outdoors, Butler students enjoy access to Indianapolis’ amazing assortment of restaurants and cafés. Here’s a tried-and-true list of some of the best spots to dine near Butler’s campus—just be sure to stay safe.


317 Burger

(GF and Vegetarian options available)

Located in the center of nearby Broad Ripple, 317 Burger’s specialty is—you guessed it—burgers. Their beef burgers are made with 100 percent premium Black Angus beef, and they also serve bison, turkey, veggie, and impossible patties. 317 crafts meals with high-quality ingredients, which helps set their burgers apart from the rest.

What to try: The 317 Burger & a side of Garlic Parmesan Fries

Open for carryout, delivery, dine in, and patio service.


Café Patachou

(GF, Vegetarian, and Vegan options available)

A favorite Sunday brunch spot among students and locals alike, Café Patachou offers delicious breakfast and lunch favorites with their own unique twist. Their menu is filled with sandwiches, omelets, soups, salads, and specialty coffee drinks. Located just a short drive (or even a long walk) from campus, Café Patachou is an easy and dependable go-to for many students.

What to try: The Omelette You Can’t Refuse

Open for carryout, dine in, and patio service.



(GF, Vegetarian, and Vegan options available)

Patachou’s artisanal pizza joint is the perfect place for a night out. With multiple locations around Indianapolis, a delicious pie is never far. Napolese’s menu features fresh salads, pizza made with hand-formed dough and homemade sauce, and a wide array of wines for those 21 and older. With a modern and stylish atmosphere, Napolese is a great place to unwind and enjoy a weekend dinner.

What to try: The Margherita Pizza & the Napolese Double Chopped House Salad

Open for carryout, dine in, and patio service.


Ripple Bagel & Deli

(Vegetarian options available)

Broad Ripple Bagel & Deli is the place to go for bagels near Butler. With a wide array of spreads and toppings, their bagel sandwiches are anything but basic. This place is great for breakfast, lunch, or a snack any time of day.

What to try: The Banana Surprise & The Morning Mess

Open for carryout, dine in, and patio service.


St. Elmo Steak House

(GF options available)

For special occasions such as Family Weekend or graduation, St. Elmo is the place to be. As one of Indy’s most well-known restaurants, it is notorious for its incredible shrimp cocktail and steaks. Not only does St. Elmo serve great food, but it also has history and a consistent reputation—the restaurant is Indy’s oldest steakhouse still in its original location, and it has also been named one of Forbes“10 Great Classic Restaurants Well Worth Visiting.”

What to try: The famous St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail

Open for reservations.



(Vegetarian options available)

If you’re looking for an inviting coffee shop where you can study and grab a latte, Provider is an ideal spot to check out. With a cool, modern interior and plenty of seating, this coffeehouse is the perfect place to grab a drink and catch up on assignments with a few friends.

What to try: The Ginger Latte & a pastry

Open for curbside pickup or walk-up window with outdoor seating.


Chatham Tap

(Vegetarian options available)

With a location right on Butler’s campus, this laid-back pub emphasizes sandwiches and appetizers and also serves a wide array of draught and bottled beer for the 21+ crowd. Conveniently located just a short walk from Hinkle Fieldhouse, Chatham is an especially great place to pick up a quick and satisfying meal on game day.

What to try: The Fish and Chips or any order of wings

Open for carryout, delivery, dine in, and patio service.

Chatham Tap

Where to Eat Near Butler

If you're looking to grab take-out or sit down to a socially distanced meal near campus, check out these Bulldog favorites

Chatham Tap

Where to Eat Near Butler

By Hailey Radakovitz ’21

Bulldogs Adapt: First-Year Students Share their Fall Semester Experiences

By Catalina Gallegos ’21



These Butler students began their time on campus in a year like no other. They are masking up or logging on for classes, and they’re finding ways to stay safe while making new friends. So, what has it been like? 

VIDEO PRODUCED BY: Catalina Gallegos ’21, Journalism major, Digital Media Production Minor

first-year students

Bulldogs Adapt: First-Year Students Share their Fall Semester Experiences

These Butler students began their time on campus in a year like no other. So, what has it been like? 

‘One of the Best Places on Campus’: The Efroymson Diversity Center

By Cassandra Stec ’23

One of the most welcoming places on Butler’s campus is the Efroymson Diversity Center. While there are plenty of places to hang out, study, or make friends, the Diversity Center—or DC, as we lovingly call it—is home to some of my favorite memories at Butler.

I have met some of my closest friends through attending DC events and volunteering to be a Multicultural Mentor for Dawg Days, Butler’s pre-orientation experience designed to support underrepresented groups. Not only have I met amazing students through my work in the DC, but I have built relationships with several professors who sponsor and attend diversity-related events. I have also had the opportunity to get in contact with several alumni, making connections that have been valuable to my college experience.

The DC features several lounge areas, a boardroom, study tables, a kitchen, and two gender-neutral bathrooms. There is also an area dedicated to reflection, meditation, and prayer.

Gina Forrest, Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, has her office in the space. Since day one, Dr. Forrest has been like everyone’s second mom: She’s someone we all know we can go to for help. Even students who don’t make regular appearances in the DC constantly see Dr. Forrest around campus starting conversations, making people laugh, and showcasing students and their talents through her social media.

The DC also serves as home base for several diversity-related organizations on campus. These groups have offices in the space, where they hold office hours and plan for their next events. Most afternoons, you can find different organizations hosting events in the DC, ranging from hangouts and meetings to celebrations and learning opportunities.

Some of the student organizations that have offices in the DC are the Asian and Pacific Islander Association, the Gender Equity Movement, the Black Student Union, Students for Justice in Palestine, Butler’s LGBTQIA+ Alliance, and Latinos Unidos. Each organization serves a different group of people and has a unique outlook regarding the programming they do and in what capacity they choose to do it.

The Asian and Pacific Islander Association aims to educate the Butler community about a wide array of different Asian and Pacific Islander cultures, as well as provide empowerment for those within these cultures. One of my favorite events from this organization was a Lunar New Year celebration, which featured a discussion about the importance of Lunar New Year and its traditions, as well as traditional home-cooked food that we could all try and enjoy.

The Gender Equity Movement, or GEM, is Butler’s intersectional feminist organization. Their name is a homage to the first black woman who graduated from Butler, Gertrude Amelia MaHorney. The organization seeks to be a support system for Butler students through education, activism, and celebration. GEM recently got a complete branding makeover and has big plans for ways in which they can support students both on and off campus.

The Black Student Union (BSU) is one of the oldest diversity organizations on Butler’s campus. They seek to support Black students at Butler, as well as to raise awareness of Black cultures. Every year, BSU hosts a week in February that celebrates Black History Month. One of my favorite events in that week is the Unity Ball, which brings together students from Butler and surrounding universities to celebrate and dance.

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is an organization that works for the freedom, justice, and equality of the Palestinian people who are under Israeli occupation. My favorite event that they host is the Palestinian culture night, where they provide education on their culture, teach those in attendance their dances, and showcase their food. SJP often also collaborates with other DC organizations, as they believe that all struggles for freedom, justice, and equality are interconnected.

Butler LGBTQIA+ Alliance is a safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals, as well as allies, to find community through education, communication, activism, and celebration. Events range from game nights and discussion circles to the annual Alliance-hosted Drag Show and the Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival (held annually at Newfields). While the Drag Show is always a fun time, my favorite event has been the Faculty and Staff Dinner this group hosts during Coming Out Week, which helps students find allies and fellow LGBTQ+ individuals among the staff and faculty at Butler.

Latinos Unidos is an organization that is dedicated to advocating, educating, celebrating, and helping Latinx students transition from high school into college through community programs. Similar to BSU, Latinos Unidos hosts a week of events during Latinx Heritage Month. One of the most popular days during that week is Salsa Night, during which a local dance company comes to teach students how to dance, and chips and salsa are served.

But the DC is not just for these organizations. Plenty of other diverse, equitable, and inclusive groups utilize the space, along with individuals looking for support. Even a scholarship program calls the DC home: the Dr. John Morton-Finney Leadership Program supports students who have taken a leadership role promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in their communities. 

Everyone is welcome to come to the DC to hang out, study, meditate, go to an organization meeting, or just enjoy a snack in the kitchen.


Cassandra Stec is a junior at Butler studying Computer Science and Art + Design. She’s involved in many student organizations across campus, including several within the Efroymson Diversity Center.

Diversity Center

‘One of the Best Places on Campus’: The Efroymson Diversity Center

Located in Atherton Union, the Diversity Center is home to a wide range of programs and student organizations

Top 5 Things to Look Forward to at Virtual Open House

Open House is Butler’s cornerstone event for high school seniors and transfer students in the college search process. This year, we’re going virtual on three different dates so you can connect with current students, faculty, and staff, all from the comfort of your own home and in only two hours. This evening will include lots of breakout sessions featuring highlights about everything from living on campus to academics to health and wellness, and much more. So, what are the top 5 things to look forward to at Open House

1. Halftime show with Butler Blue IV 
That’s right—halfway through the event, we’ll take a break for you to meet and greet with Butler Blue IV, our new official live mascot, and his handler, Evan Krauss ’16 in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. Blue and Evan will take your questions via Instagram about life at Butler, academics, and even about Blue himself. This is your opportunity to meet the famous puppy mascot and learn more about life on campus. This brings us to the second thing to look forward to...

2. Giveaways 
If Blue and Evan pick your question and answer it live, you’ll win a prize package from the Butler Bookstore. The giveaways are a surprise, but expect some pretty great, future Bulldog swag. You’ll have to tune in to see exactly what is in the giveaway, and to submit your questions via Instagram for a chance to win. 

3. Dive deeper into our six academic colleges 
The first sessions of the evening will feature our academic colleges. Led by faculty and current students, you can get a firsthand look at what it’s like to be a college student in any one of our six colleges. Choose from the College of Communication, the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the Jordan College of the Arts, and the Lacy School of Business. Browse the list of Butler’s majors and minors ahead of the event to get a feel for our programs.

4. Get a glimpse of what life’s like on campus 
There is no doubt that this year is unprecedented, extraordinary, uncommon, and just plain weird. While we wish we could have this event on campus, we’re bringing you the next best thing through our breakout sessions focused on student life. You can choose to learn more about student involvement, living on campus, the Efroymson Diversity Center, or health, well-being, and recreation. These 25-minute sessions will give you a taste for what your life could be like next year. 

5. Ask admission counselors your burning questions 
We know the college admission process can be overwhelming and you probably have questions. To close the event, our admission counselors will be available to answer your questions about anything, including our test-optional admission policy, scholarship availability, important dates, or the admission process as a whole. 

We hope that you’re excited to join us for one of our Virtual Open House dates on either Wednesday, September 16; Wednesday, October 14; or Wednesday, November 4, from 6:30–8:30 PM ET. Register and learn more here. See you then! 

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.

Atherton Union

What’s the Role of the Student Government Association?

One SGA member explains the organization's structure and responsibilities

How to Get the Most Out of Your Time with Your Academic Advisors

By Hailey Radakovitz ’21

As Butler undergrads navigate through their academic programs, various opportunities and challenges are bound to arise. Luckily, Butler provides all students with an academic advisor to provide guidance along the way.

Academic advising isn't just about scheduling classes. Rather, advisors can help guide you through your academic journey, providing information and guidance about educational opportunities and working with you to plan a path toward academic and (ultimately) professional success. At Butler, academic advising is a critical piece of the teaching and learning relationship.  

For many Butler students, academic advisors serve as valuable, trusted resources. Advisors meet with students at least once each semester, but often, students and their advisors meet throughout the academic year to discuss academic developments, goals, successes, and challenges. In order to get the most out of your time with your advisor, there are a variety of ways to prepare.

Understand that they are busy but will make time for you

Butler faculty and staff members have packed schedules. Between lectures, office hours, and other responsibilities, your academic advisor might not always be available right when you want them to be. But they will do their best to assist you as soon as they can. As an advisee, it’s important to be patient and respect their time. Don’t panic if your advisor hasn't responded to you within a few hours—wait a day or two before circling back.

Be prepared for your appointment

Since advising is a collaborative relationship, it’s important to be prepared for any meeting that you secure with your advisor. To make the most of that time, make sure to always come with any relevant information and materials that your advisor might request from you. Typically, your advisor will let you know in advance how you can best prepare for a meeting, so treat those suggestions as a plan of action for the days leading up to it. That way, your meeting time can be utilized effectively, rather than being wasted by sorting through old academic records.

Know your requirements, and have a plan to achieve them

Advisors will do their best to guide you through your time at college, but you should understand that it is your responsibility to keep track of your progress within your program. Each semester, set aside some time to look through your academic requirements and check that you are on the right track and timeline. Think about your academic goals, and make sure your course schedule matches up with them. If you have questions, be ready to bring them up when you meet with your advisor.

Form a strong professional relationship

Students are typically paired with advisors who have experiences and connections in the student’s area of concentration. This means that advisors themselves (or their peers) likely have first-hand knowledge about the careers you are interested in. By making an effort to build a strong professional relationship with your advisor, you can connect with them and gain deeper insights into your future career path.

Be open to new ideas, and ask questions

Always go into meetings with your advisor with an open mind. Occasionally, they may suggest a course or academic path that you haven't considered or that doesn't necessarily seem to line up with exactly what you want to do. Before you reject those ideas, hear out your advisor and find out why they believe these experiences outside your comfort zone might be beneficial. A change in perspective can often be positive, helping you discover new interests and paths that you might not have considered in the first place.

Ultimately, your relationship with your academic advisor is based on respect, trust, and a mutual understanding of each of your responsibilities. As a student, if you go into advising meetings prepared and with an open mind, your advisor will be able to help you position yourself on a path to academic, personal, and professional success.


BONUS: Tips from an Academic Advisor

  • Get to know yourself, who you are, and what you like.
  • Meet early and often with your academic advisor.
  • Use your resources, and ask your advisor how you can get involved.
  • Educate yourself on all the academic possibilities at Butler. Ask a lot of questions.
  • Be flexible. This is crucial when building your academic schedule each semester.
  • Don't be afraid to make a four-year plan once you have chosen your academic path.
  • Have a back-up or parallel plan.
Butler University

How to Get the Most Out of Your Time with Your Academic Advisors

Academic advisors do more than help with class schedules. Check out these tips for building a strong relationship that can set you up for success.