Speaker of the House: Jackson Buttler
My name is Jackson Buttler, I am a sophomore here at Wake Forest from Raleigh, North Carolina, double majoring in politics & international affairs and communication. Throughout the extent of my time as a student here, I have remained a passionate advocate for my peers, serving as a senator from the Angelou Residence Hall and now as the Co-Chair of the Campus Life and Sexual Assault Prevention, Support, and Accountability (SAPSA) Committees.
Before I explain my platform and what I hope to accomplish as Student Government speaker of the house, I want to describe some of what I have accomplished thus far as a member of this organization. As Campus Life co-chair, I oversaw all food truck events through coordination with local vendors and securing university funding to allow for free food for Wake Forest students. I planned Wake Forest’s mental health week, meeting with offices across campus to secure co-sponsorship, facilitating a panel event with student leaders, creating cohesive marketing materials, and planning a variety of events to make students aware of mental health resources on Wake Forest’s campus. I helped organize the blackout game for homecoming, which garnered the largest student section attendance at Truist Field and provided 1,000 free t-shirts to Wake Forest students. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I worked to bring back late-night breakfast at the Pit during midterm and exam weeks.
During my freshman year, I served as a COVID-19 Liaison, where I met with upper-level administrators to discuss university COVID-19 policies and bring forth student concerns. Further, I advocated for increased transparency for COVID-19 quarantine and isolation policies as well as the reopening of community spaces and kitchens at the end of the 2021 academic year. During the Weaver Fertilizer fire, I worked to convey concerns to administrators and maintained open lines of communication with students to promote awareness and understanding of decisions being made. In the spring of 2021, I was asked to co-chair the Sexual Assault Prevention, Support, and Accountability (SAPSA) special committee. In this role, I led a group of 22 student leaders to advise university leadership on issues surrounding sexual violence and assisted with the implementation of a university-wide campus climate survey on sexual misconduct.
I currently serve as a member of the Campus Life Advisory Committee (CLAC) and the Capital Projects Advisory Committee. I also serve as a member of the Student Budget Advisory Committee (SBAC), allocating approximately $600,000 each year to cover the annual budgets and operating expenses of all the chartered clubs and student groups on Wake Forest’s campus each year.
My platform for Student Government speaker of the house is centered around four main goals, amplifying student voices, expanding student government involvement on campus, increasing transparency, and strengthening our Wake Forest community. I plan to accomplish these goals through a variety of internal reforms and through the continuation of existing programming.
In terms of the internal reforms I am interested in pursuing, my hope is that, if elected, I could begin each and every senate session with a town hall-style meeting, in which any member of our university community is invited to voice concerns or provide questions they may have to the senate body. This would allow us to create a stronger connection with students, and help to more tactfully address concerns on campus. I would work with our Student Government PR team to provide greater information on the sg.wfu.edu website and to community partners like the Old Gold & Black in an effort to provide more information about the day-to-day operations of the senate to the community. This would include publishing our senate minutes online.
In order to ensure we are successful as a student government, relationships with administrators are essential. Because of this, I would invite and encourage members of our university administration to attend our senate meetings. Further, I would create administrator partnerships with each committee, with, for example, the Campus Life Committee’s partnership being with the Wake Forest vice president of campus life.
Finally, I would push for the continuation of essential institutional research, as was done with the campus climate survey, to allow university leaders to obtain a better understanding of the experiences of students on campus. On the same note, I would continue my work in addressing the issue of sexual assault and misconduct on campus, with the goal of improving survivor support and creating more effective measures of accountability.
I hope you will consider voting for me on Tuesday, March 22nd!
Editor’s Note: This statement has been edited for clarity and AP Style.