The Joint Struggle and Collective Liberation: A Conversation with Angela Davis event has been postponed (not cancelled) by Student Government Association (SGA) leadership in collaboration with their advising team. SGA remains committed to ensuring that all students are welcome at Butler University. This includes, but is not limited to, working with the SGA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board.
On Thursday, March 25th, the President of the Student Government Association (SGA) was made aware of this event by her professor. Similarly, on Friday, March 26th, the Speaker of the Student Senate and several senators were informed of the event by their professors. No member of SGA senior leadership was notified of this event prior to the aforementioned dates.
Over the weekend of Saturday, March 27th to Sunday, March 28th, SGA senior leadership met with university administrators to discuss the event. At that time, several concerns were expressed.
First, the Student Senate is required to receive notification of any partnership/sponsorship that the organization takes part in as defined in our Constitution (Art III, Sec 2), which is received through an online form. The Student Senate was never notified of Angela Davis’s participation in this event. While the Student Senate was notified on March 5th of an event taking place on Thursday April 1st with various University and student organization partners, nowhere in the submission was any mention of Angela Davis.
Second, the contract with Angela Davis’s agency includes a five-figure speaker fee. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board failed to notify SGA senior leadership about this large expenditure as required. As explained in the SGA Bylaws (Appx C, Art II, Sec B), the SGA Vice President of Finance is required to be informed of any organization expenditure that exceeds $500. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board failed to follow this procedure.
Furthermore, per the contract with the speakers agency that arranged Angela Davis for the event, there was only a small window in which SGA could postpone the event and not lose its investment in the event. Consequently, the decision was made to postpone the event in order to ensure our standard operating procedures were followed. SGA is in no way refusing to host an event with Angela Davis in the future once these issues have been resolved.
To be clear, SGA values the diverse array of opinions within the organization and on Butler’s campus.
SGA Senior Leadership
Butler University Student Government Association
4600 Sunset Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46208