Voting is now open for your 2018-19 Senate. You can vote at the link HERE.

We asked each of the candidates to respond to the following prompt: "Please speak to why you want to be on Senate for the Student Government Association."  Their responses are listed below and divided by the positions that they are seeking.

Adam Martin
I want to be on Senate for the Student Government Association, because I want to represent those that do not have a voice being heard currently by the university. I want to uphold the purpose of any student government organization by being a representative voice for student's wants and needs. The first thing I want to do is to start discussions and plans that insure that Belmont University is a better version of itself when I leave. Nashville has been my home for my whole life and I want everyone that attends this university to completely understand why this is the best city in the United States before they leave.

Audrey Kallus
I was in Student Government Association in high school and we really did a lot for our school! I’d love to make Belmont even better than it already is!

Austin Lanning
It's a hard thing to place into words really. I guess I know what it's like to be neglected or forgotten. I know what it's like to see potential in myself but have no one around me agree. Going into high school I ran for student government because I wanted to change the culture and was elected president all four years. However, it seems many of times that I was the only one that cared about what happened to some people or for that matter the school. Many times students would get angry, try to revolt in some form or fashion, or just look to their own self-interest. But I think Ron Swanson said it best when he said that you don't get into government to make people happy, you get into it because you care. And although I'm just a freshman, I do care. I care whether or not each person loves themselves and can be proud of the person in the mirror. I care whether or not everyone feels that they deserve a place here. I care about what happens to the person that doesn't feel they matter because I know what it feels like to be that person. I can't promise new facilities, legendary events, or insane connections. But I can promise that I'll spend all my time in SGA trying to let you know you're not alone.

Autumn Buysse
I want to make Belmont transparent. Res Life is more combative than assistive, contraceptive access in the health center is limited, sexual assaults are largely ignored, club funding is more stringent than supportive, on-campus parking is a joke, and Belmont's LGBT community is silenced instead of celebrated. If I was an SGA Senator, I would happily challenge any and every Belmont policy that is keeping students from realizing their full potentials.

Bailee Powell
As a biology student, which isn't extremely common at Belmont, I find myself constantly interacting and having class with the same small group of people and only hearing their opinions on Belmont. Being on Senate for SGA would give me the opportunity to interact with and meet students that I normally would not and to hear a different view on experiences at Belmont. Being a pre-med student as well, I am passionate about helping people and meeting their needs and expectations and thus believe I would be a great addition to Senate, as I would love to better our student's time here at Belmont.

Bailyn Dupont
I Bailyn Dupont and I am Political Science Major and honors student with a passion for the community of students here at Belmont. A little about myself, I am from Clarksville, Tennessee and I am the middle of five amazingly unique children in my family. Growing up in a robust and diverse household has taught me to speak up and out for my concerns as an individual of a greater community and how to be an advocate for the needs of others. An effective community is about discussion and understanding. I want to use my enthusiasm, determination, and leadership experience to represent the desires and aspirations of the student body. As young adults and college students at Belmont University, we are blessed with an elite educational environment and ample opportunity for professional growth. Our students should have the ability to directly affect the culture and practices of the very institution we contribute to through strong and effective representation. It is my mission as an agent of the student body to serve my fellow students through staunch communication and understanding. My goal is to see the student concern directly affecting campus policy in order to create a more inclusive educational environment, so let’s make things happen!

Camryn Wentworth
Student government has been a huge part of my life. Throughout middle school and high school I attended countless California Association of Student Leaders conferences. I was one of the few that attended the National Association of Student Councils association in New Mexico on behalf of California. Being a student at Belmont, I feel as if it is my duty to improve Belmont and use my voice to improve Belmont and it’s experience. I would love to be able to serve on the Senate to be able to improve our community. I was a transfer student last year and this will be my second semester at Belmont. This experience of transferring and coming into a new school has allowed me to see Belmont from a different view point then lots of students who start here. I hope to improve the transfer students experience here at Belmont as well as the community as a whole! My senior year of high school I was the president of the entire student body. This experience has given me the leadership tools to be able to serve Belmont effectively and with pride. I hope to serve on Senate for this upcoming year. Go bruins!

Carrie Neville
Investing myself in my school and in my community has always been an intrinsic force behind everything that I do – I love to serve others, and I love to see the impact of that service as it causes a domino effect on those in my community. I spent four years in high school representing each of my peers in student council and site-based functions, and I loved being able to hear what others are worried about and truly make a difference in solving problems and gaining deeper relationships because of it. Every single student at Belmont has come here for a reason, beautifully and unapologetically unique, and every single student will experience triumphs and downfalls along their journey here. Should I get the blessing of representing the freshman class, I feel I would have a great responsibility – one that I am so excited about – to ensure that every single triumph and downfall is heard and invested in. I aim to invest myself completely, with unfailing devotion and love, to this school and to every fellow bruin I encounter. Equipped with a senate seat in the SGA, I feel I will truly be able to create change and growth while I’m here at Belmont – and hopefully will aid the freshman class in leaving this campus a brighter place once we leave.

Chloe Bidne
I love Belmont, first and foremost because of the incredible student body I am surrounded by at every point of my experience. The students that our school attracts are driven, collaborative, passionate, and real life world changers. I am passionate about the institution that my friends and peers make up being an accurate reflection of their values and culture; as a member of the Senate for SGA, I would do my best to demonstrate that passion in representation and constructive discussion.

Claire Smith
I would love to be on Senate for the Student Government Association because I am passionate about people, especially the Belmont Community. I was President of my class in high school and definitely want to be involved with Student Government at Belmont as well. By being a Senator, I could advocate for all the students and the issues they have, and hopefully play a role in getting them fixed or at least improving the conditions they are concerned about. In addition to my love for people, I also love leadership. I have been to many leadership trainings and have developed a strong passion for leading others. I feel as if SGA would be perfect for me to learn more about leadership, and be able to practice it regularly. I also feel as if Student Government would allow me to meet so many new people, both freshman and upperclassmen. I am always looking to meet new people and make long lasting friendships. Since many will have the same passions such as leadership and serving people, I could get along with everybody very well. SGA would also require me to be organized and require time management skills, which I feel I need to master in college. All in all, SGA would be both an amazing opportunity and something I will be very passionate about.

Dana Hindieh
To be completely honest, I'd like to try something new, and what better way to do it than with SGA. I have some experience getting people registered to vote, but I'd like to go beyond that at Belmont to tackling issues students face today, and coming up with pertinent solutions that- while most likely not make everyone happy- will be fair and will ensure a safe and efficient environment for us to flourish.

Daniel Martin
To put it simply, I want to be on Senate for SGA because I want to get involved on campus. The Belmont community has done so much for me as an incoming transfer by making me feel accepted, loved, and at home. I would like to give back to this community by trying to tackle issues around campus with SGA.

Dev Bhavsar
As a multi-local, I appreciate the differences in cultures which shape our human experiences. My terminal goal is to treasure and present these experiences through my aspiring visions of photo and video journalism and Graphic Design. Moreover, I want to promote this idea of multi localism and the importance of diversity on the Senate team. Not only that, but I plan to offer multimedia and graphic design skills to reflect the values and identity of SGA. We are nothing without our students, and I aspire to serve them and form a stable connection between our students and the SGA team.

Elliot Sandberg
Coming from a small town, moving to Belmont was a great change. I seek election to the Senate for the Student Government Association as part of my desire to seek change in my community and the world. I am a Psychology major and a member of the Honors Program on campus. I enjoy being the voice for people who otherwise may not normally speak up. As a member of the Senate, I will be sure to consider the needs and wants of the campus as a whole, rather than favoring one specific area over another. With my relatively uncommon student background, I offer a unique perspective that brings new ideas to the table.

Emily Crofton
I want to be on the Senate for SGA because I want to be a part of Belmont at its core. I want to take on all the benefits that Belmont has to offer and tackle issues that the university is facing.

Emily Smith
Hello, my name is Emily Smith and I’m a freshman at Belmont. I am interested in Student Government Association for one simple reason: I love helping and including anyone and everyone. I am a minority advocate, a person who loves fixing any community or social issue that arises. Because of this, I believe that I’m a perfect candidate for SGA.
Throughout my sophomore, junior, and senior years of high school, I was my class vice president. I loved being the person who everyone came to when they had a question, a concern, or if they just wanted to be heard. I fell in love with having the ability and power to give people the opportunity to say what’s on their mind, which made me realize that I wanted to join student government in college.

I am an outgoing, personable, people-person. I branch out to as many groups as I can, I’m very easy going, and I’ve been told that I make people feel comfortable when they’re around me. All of these personality traits shape someone who can really listen to what the people want to be changed. I am a negotiator, and know how to please both the authorities and the overall student body as well.

Overall, although I have just come to Belmont, I am dedicated to making it the best university it could possibly be. Right now, I don’t see too many issues or conflicts within Belmont’s campus. I see it as a place where both opportunity and friendship can grow. However, I understand that there may be some problems that I haven’t encountered yet. I want to commit to solving these problems in order to truly make Belmont the dream campus that I see it as right now. I want everyone to feel as at-home and comfortable at Belmont as I have felt these past few weeks.

I believe that the ability to feel comfortable enough to express your true self is a human right. This can’t happen if the campus is not a safe place for everyone who steps foot inside Belmont. I want to make certain that every student, faculty member, and staff member are given the amenity of expression, an amenity that will lead to growth and prosperity within the campus. Everyone deserves the same amount of warmth, happiness, and openness from others throughout their college experience. I wish to be on student government in order to ensure that each person receives this equality.

Erin Laubacher
After attending ALS Girls State at Lipscomb, I developed an admiration for government and our ability as citizens to change the community in which we live. I found myself complaining about Belmont and wishing that I could change or in some way influence my school, so what better a way than joining student government? In addition to this, being a part of SGA would be a great way for me to involve myself and stay knowledgable about what's happening at Belmont. I am a biology student, I hardly leave the JAAC, and I am only involved in science organizations, so at a school that is dominated by music students, it can definitely be difficult to involve myself in other areas on campus. SGA would not only be a great place for me to pursue my passions in a way that could benefit the school, but a great way to be apart of a more diverse community of students!

Erin Lawrence
I would love to get more involved on campus. As a Pre-Medical student, I am involved in a lot on campus and feel like I have a good understanding of issues pertaining to Belmont students. I am not afraid to work hard to solve issues on campus and look forward for the opportunity to serve campus.

Gabrielle Mitchell
People are my number one passion, which is why I plan on doing a major focused on people. I want to make sure everyone on campus is always experiencing it to the highest level they can, and if they’re not, I want to be able to partake in changing it and making it for the better.

Grace Griffin
I was highly involved in SGA all throughout middle and high school, and was Student Body President my senior year. I am extremely passionate about the ideas and principles behind the organization as a whole, the improvement of human life and connection. I would love to bring the leadership and service skills I have developed over the years to the table, as well as learn and improve these skills by being surrounded by experienced and like-minded students and faculty.

Haley Wilder
I would love to be on Senate for the Student Government Association because I love every part of Belmont and I want to help make it even greater for every student here. As a Chemistry major at Belmont, I feel as though I represent a different group of students that is drastically smaller than the typical Music or Music Business majors, and I think it would add a different perspective to the Student Government Association. In addition to being a voice for the small group of science majors on campus, I want to be able to represent everyone who feels underrepresented here at Belmont and to help them feel comfortable expressing what they want on campus. My main personal value is inclusion and I would love to bring that to the Student Government Association and to campus in general. I hope to represent the love and community here at Belmont and make everyone’s college experience here the best that it can be. In conclusion, I want to be on Senate for Student Government Association because I think Belmont is a beautiful place of community and I wish to expand that.

Hannah Moore
Our Belmont community is comprised of a diverse student body that cares deeply for one another, an attribute I have already witnessed in my short time on campus. I think college is finding out more about who we are and less about what we think the world wants us to become. We have the power to dictate our personal goals and transform them from words into actions. Some of you will become killer rock stars whose shows sell out in even the most remote parts of the world. Some will go on to be congressman and women serving our country at the foot of capitalism every day. Others, like me, will go into healthcare professions where patient care is of our utmost responsibility. Along each of our paths there, will come a convergence of thoughts and ideas that shape who and what Belmont is. Our political ideals, the color of our skin, and our debates on whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza, herein lies what defines us. I think being engaged and active on our college campus is how we will make a lasting impact. In highschool, many of us were involved in a club. Anything we decided to join was because we had a passion for it. I have a passion for making a difference. If elected to SGA, I will make sure that every student on campus finds their passion. I want everyone to join clubs and be involved in something. As students, we have the power to control our education and how we want to be seen as a school. I want us to be a university that can appeal to all types of people. None of us would be here at Belmont if we did not have a purpose. I think for all of us, freedom is the one thing we are afforded on a college campus that many of us did not experience in high school. I want to be a voice for my classmates and have them know their opinions matter and I will do this if elected. The first thing I will do if elected, is start a program where women at Belmont are partnered with highschool girls here in Nashville as a mentor-mentee program for STEM education. I strongly believe in the sciences and the impact it has on young women today. I sat on my high school student council all four years and participated in many clubs both inside and outside of school. I know that as a freshman, I am an underdog. I have not been on Belmont’s campus long enough to see change that needs to happen. While I think change is a good thing, I want to implement more opportunities for engagement and work with what is given, because together, Nashville and Belmont create a powerful pairing. We will create a Belmont that is a place for everyone’s voice to be heard and cared for. Vote Hannah for SGA senate! Contact me if you have any questions.

Hannah Laufenberg
I would be honored to serve on Senate for Belmont’s Student Government Association. Student government has been a huge part of my life for the past eight years. I am passionate about this organization and dedicated to making Belmont a better place for each and every student attending. I will strive to be a voice for my peers and to enact positive changes on campus. As a public health major, I have a unique perspective on how we can better the community’s health, safety, and overall well-being. As a freshman, I have a new perspective on campus issues and have already formulated ideas on how we can make Belmont a better place for students, and how small changes here, such as adding more places to recycle, could make an impact on the world. If given the chance, I believe that with my experience, drive, and passion for this organization and Belmont, I can make a difference in the community. I could not be more excited at the opportunity to embark down this path and have the chance to change lives in my time in SGA. As Les Brown said, “In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.” I hope that with my time in this program, I can start using those minutes to make a positive impact in the Belmont community through Student Government. Thank you for your consideration.

Kaitlyn Manis
I would like to be on Senate because I want to help ensure that every visitor and student has the best experience while here at Belmont. I want to make sure that all students feel like their voices have heard and help solve any issue that people encounter that the Student Government could fix.

Maria Paula Alvarez
I am running to be on Senate for the Student Government Association, because I want to represent the class of 2022. I would love an opportunity to listen to my peer’s concerns and meet their needs. If there is anyway to improve the academic, social, or living life at Belmont University then I hope I can be a part of the change. I am passionate about helping others and getting things done. I want to be seen as someone who is representing our school with pride. I want to be seen as someone who is dependable. But most of all, I want to be seen as someone who is trusted by the students at Belmont University.

Matthew Nicholson
My name is Matthew. I don’t want to just be understood as a name on a page or screen. I want you reading this to understand that I, like you, am a student; I like you came to Belmont University. I, like you, am proud to be a Bruin. Through the classes I take in the Political Science department, I know about how America is supposed to work. Throughout our great nation’s history, two things stand out above all else as signs that a governing body is doing the right thing: working for the people and listening to the people. As students, as Bruins, our loyalty should be to each other above all else. I came to Belmont because of it's message about being able to go "From Here to Anywhere." However, the "anywhere" part of that motto is at least 4 years away for us Freshmen, more for those who stay here for graduate school. I believe that SGA has the capacity, that students have the capacity, to make Belmont University the best college environment in the nation. As Bruins, we can make each other feel comfortable, safe, and at home. As Bruins, we should work so that any student, regardless of age, race, gender, sexuality, religion, hair color, favorite Netflix show, etc. feels like they are truly part of the family unit that is Belmont University. I, with the support and companionship of my fellow students, would work with the higher ups of SGA to not simply make vague promises about “improvements to campus,” but rather to listen to you reading this, the students and faculty who roam this campus daily, who see every corner that our daily routines don’t take us to. You reading this, you know what needs to happen to make Belmont a better place. If elected, I will be there to listen to you, to advocate for you, and to fight to the bitter end to make sure your voices are heard. SO don’t let your concerns fall on deaf ears. I’m ready to work, and I’m ready to listen. Go Bruins, may God walk with you, and thank you for reading this.

Mia Logan
Both Belmont and government are passions of mine. One of my biggest regrets in high school was not being involved in student council. Ever since I got here, I have just felt so much better and ready to move on and embrace the things that I like about myself. High school was very difficult for me. I was definitely stuck in a toxic environment. The transition from high school to here has been very relieving. I feel like a better person already, and I have only been here for a couple weeks. I am excited to take full advantage of everything I couldn't do back home. Regardless of what happens I know for sure I will enjoy my time here. I love Belmont so much!

Michael Schultz
I want to be on the Senate for Student Government, because I want to make a difference in Belmont's language departments. I feel like they don't get enough representation or funding to do the things they really want to do like support International Students and give enough funding to have a variety of tutors in the Language center for those who need it. Especially since the language center only has one Japanese and German tutor available at this time. I also care about the quality of my food and I think some improvements can be made to the Caf that would benefit us all.

Nancy Henin
During my senior year at high school, I had the opportunity to become an SGA representative. I believe we learn from new experiences, and I tried to take full advantage of this opportunity to develop more leadership skills and discover new passions. I realized that I was very interested in the process of organizing school events, such as volunteering to help decorate the gym during homecoming, representing the opinions of other students, and choosing themes for spirit week. During high school, I was also the president of the Friends of Humane Association club and felt intrigued that I was responsible for organizing events to collect pet supplies and playing even a minor role in the Nashville community. I was also the treasurer and parliamentarian of the Mu Alpha Theta club, which is a math-related club. I believe that being a Senate for the Student Government Association at Belmont is a different and incomparable experience, and I hope that I use the full advantage of the skills I developed along with new skills to help other students and represent them.
I am originally from Egypt, but I lived in Saudi Arabia for 13 years. When I first came here, I wasn’t involved in any extracurricular or leadership activities. In the recent years, I have pushed myself to the limit in trying new things that might feel uncomfortable and in being involved in a lot of activities outside from academics. I discovered that I was totally wrong in refraining myself from such activities when I first came here, and I found new pleasures in representing my school in either SGA, science olympiad, art contests, or playing new and different roles in the community. When I look back, I always wish if someone could have gave me the advice that would help break my initial fear. Thus, I want to take the advantage of being on Senate for SGA to help other students and share my experiences. The two qualities that helped me throughout my life is being determined and accepting to new and tough challenges. I also love creativity, and thus I fear not of being different but of being the same. Most importantly, I have the passion of helping and will put the best effort in providing more opportunities for students at Belmont.

Olivia Williams
I would like to participate in SGA so that I can ensure that everyone's experience at Belmont is as enriching as possible! A college education encompasses more than just academics, as extracurriculars are just as important to becoming a well-rounded individual. By providing a channel for students to make their concerns and problems known about all aspects of Belmont, I hope to shape Belmont University into a school centered around its students, not students centered around their school. With this philosophy, I promise to be someone who not only represents the interests of the Honors students, but all students at Belmont.

Sebastian Alegre
Belmont university is failing to pay enough attention to what STEM students require for their education, and all we need is more representation to make our voices heard.

Sebastian Fernandez
I want to create an environment that leans toward supportiveness over being punitive.

Thomas Gray
Recently Thomas Beasley, the co-founder of CoreCivic and a Republican party donor gifted Belmont $2 mil to have his own "free enterprise" institute. CoreCivic is a private prison corporation know for mistreatment of inmates and working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to house women and children in their private prisons. Belmont matches donations like Beasley's up to $1.5 mil, yet they don't pay part-time custodians, cafeteria workers, and groundskeepers more than the $7.25 minimum wage, meaning Belmont cares more about making a space on campus for people who operate child prisons than its workers. This should come as no surprise since Damon Hininger, Chief Executive Officer of CoreCivic is on Belmont's Board of Trustees.

As a SGA Senator my work will be twofold:

1. I will advocate for Belmont to sever all ties with CoreCivic. This includes removing Damon Hininger from the Board of Trustees. I believe private prisons are an infringement on the human rights and dignity of prisoners, and that Belmont should not associate with or receive donations from anyone involved with such heinous institutions.

2. I will advocate for increased labor rights for Belmont workers. Without these workers, the ability for Belmont to continue operating would be impossible, they are the real backbone of this University. Belmont refuses to pay them a fair wage for their work, instead leaving them the paltry minimum wage. I believe that these workers deserve the full wage for their labor, and I will fight for pay increases.

Thomas Wellington
I would like to put myself in a position of responsibility to become a more reliable, active, and conscientious person. If I can do that while helping a school I am very fond of, then I would be more than happy to be on the Senate for the SGA.

Zachary Sheinfeld
I chose to apply for SGA because I want to change a rule in Belmont that is hindering a number of organizations on campus and I think that the best way to change it is through SGA rather than just being a president of a student organization. The rule I want to change is the requirement of the faculty advisors having to be at every meeting of a student organization, or the club is disbanded. For sports and activity based clubs, Swim Club being what I am a part of, this is a near impossible task as to accommodate to student schedules, we practice (which counts as meetings) at odd hours like for example 7:30 PM on a Thursday. This is not a schedule a full time faculty member would be able to do or even want to do, and it would be totally unfair to expect this of them. If the enforcement of this rule is kept in effect, most of the sports and activities clubs would be disbanded. I will not let that happen, so that is why I want to be a part of SGA, to make that happen. I have emailed student affairs about potential solutions but they never responded, so I know now the best way to do it is through the power of SGA. After I succeed in this endeavor I can turn my attentions to other aspects of campus, whatever is needed of me.

Zaid Hatem
Now my current status is a normal Iraqi college freshman who attends one of the top Christian schools in the country, pursuing a pre-dental Chemistry major/ biology minor. However, I don’t simply view myself as a student; I believe that I am at Belmont for a greater purpose I plan on achieving. As I explored the true nature of Belmont University through the admission process, I was deeply attracted to its sense of community. In the short time I have spent at Belmont, I found that I made one of the greatest life decisions of my life. It was proven to me that Belmont is not only an academic institution, but a central hub for aspiring ambitious leaders who strive to make a difference the world. My ultimate goal is indeed to change the world; In order to achieve that, I must make a difference in my community and pursue my purpose in attending this fine institution.
Community service has always been my top priority. I always strive for a change in the environment I live in. I always aspire to enhance my surroundings and implement change , even if it can be in a miniature medium. Throughout high school, I was exposed to many opportunities that, not only added a few miles on my road, but also changed my life and my view towards service. With successful experiences in Model United Nations and Youth in Government, I was fortunate enough to become an ambitious leader as I joined student government, became an ambassador, and became the school’s National Honor Society chapter Vice-President. Those kinds of opportunities allowed me to express my voice and provided me with the essential means to take part in my community in any way possible.
As I mentioned before, every single student in Belmont is an aspiring leader. Regardless of their chosen method of expression, they all have a voice. A voice that is determined to take a stand for its values. Thus, I do not want to make stereotypical ”political” statements but I want to represent the leaders’ concerns.The students have powerful voices that must be heard in order to ensure their academic career and sustain a successful college experience. I believe there is always leeway for change and improvement, all of which come from the student body who have new ideas. I want to answer to their demands and provide them the acceptable means to enhance and preserve the great properties that make Belmont such a loving and compassionate community. I am Zaid Oday Hatem, and I am running to be your senator in the 2018-2019 SGA senate.