Over the past week or so I've been giving a good bit of thought to mine and Macy's campaign to become SGA President and Vice President. I looked back at our campaign Facebook page and skimmed the posts, read the Vision articles, and watched our video. We've succeeded on some fronts and still have work to do on others. If you'd indulge me, I'd like to reflect on some of those points in this post.
One key desire of mine was for more funding to be directed towards students and student activities. Student Government saw an increase of $25,000 in its budget this year, a great deal of which returns to student organizations through grant petitions. The Student Activities Programming Board (SAPB) was awarded additional funding to produce quality programming every Friday night for the campus. While these are both victories for students, there is still work to be done. HOPE Council, a chartered organization that the University created to promote diversity initiatives and support underrepresented students, has no funding; I will continue to advocate for this to change.
I also made it a strong point to remind students that we need to be having real and intentional conversations about diversity and inclusion on this campus. As we saw with the Snapchat incident at the beginning of the year, this campus has a need for these discussions. We saw the campus come together around LGBT+ students when Westboro Baptist Church decided to protest Bridge Builders. It is such a privilege to be able to only be concerned about prejudice when it is as blatant as these two incidents; let's make the entire campus a safe space instead of being complacent and simply saying all spaces are safe.
There were several other areas which were touched on during the campaign and I hope you follow SGA on all social media channels (@belmontsga) to keep up with how students at Belmont are being represented. I have beliefs ranging from wanting the number of Greek organizations on campus to expand to where they are reasonable sizes all of the way to wanting students to hang what they want in their windows. What are your beliefs? Let's work together to try making them a reality.
At the end of our campaign video I said "Macy and I want to be leaders who are both approachable as well as assertive, when needed." I think we've been approachable, through transparency on this blog, social media, our suggestion box, Coffee & Conversations, and our calendar, which shows our office hours and every SGA related meeting any of us have. While maintaining that same level of openness, I now hope we can move towards greater action. This only happens when you take a stand yourself or push those who represent you to act on your behalf.
I hope I've represented you well since I took the oath of office at 10:11am on April 20th, 2016 and know that I'm not done pushing towards a better Belmont just yet.