If SGA presidential candidate Gavin Mummert and vice presidential candidate Mohansingh Udhwani Jr. are elected, they hope to bridge the communication gap between SGA, Belmont students and administration.
“A lot of students on campus don’t know what student government is, and it’s not their fault, so our goal, our job, our responsibility is to then be able to educate students on what student government is. We need people to know what we’re doing,” Mummert said.
Mummert is double majoring in music business and economics, and Udhwani is an entertainment finance major with a theatre production minor. They both serve on SGA’s finance committee, where they work to give out grant petition money to different student organizations.
As the current president of Young Americans for Liberty, Mummert has plenty of experience with student leadership. He wants to use that experience to help with the issues that matter to students — like rising tuition, counseling services and dining options, he said.
Mummert recognizes that many students are concerned about Belmont’s rising tuition, and while SGA can’t directly change that, he wants to make sure Belmont is using its money to benefit students in the best way possible.
“We cannot change tuition, but we can direct tuition in ways that help students. The cost of coming to Belmont is really not going anywhere, but what we can do is we can talk about it going toward better food at the caf, it going toward this and that,” Mummert said. “Dr. Burns and the administration have made it very clear that they want to hear from us about what kind of things can change.”
One of the ways Mummert and Udhwani hope to direct tuition is toward hiring more counselors, which would make counseling services more efficient and accessible for students.
“You often have to wait a very, very long time,” Mummert said. “We could be investing money in hiring another counselor or hiring two more counselors, hiring more staff that can be focused on student issues and then deal with them immediately. That’s one of the first things we’ll talk with Dr. Burns about,” Mummert said.
As a theatre minor, Udhwani expressed concern for the lack of representation of the College of Visual and Performing Arts in SGA.
“Another thing in our platform is representation of all the colleges and all the colleges being treated equally,” Udhwani said. “I was talking to a friend who is on the Dean’s council for the CVPA and he was like, ‘yes, we want to build a relationship with SGA next year, because there are a lot of things we can’t handle ourselves.’”
Beyond CVPA, Udhwani hopes to give a voice to the colleges that are often ignored.
“CVPA isn’t the only one,” Udhwani said. “There’s so many colleges that Belmont doesn’t look at, because what makes Belmont money? Our music business program and our Curb College.”
Mummert met Udhwani before either of them joined student government. The two share the same vision for Belmont, but different perspectives on how to achieve that vision. This diversity of thought will allow them to problem solve more effectively, they said.
“He was one of the main people who really showed me just how much of an impact we could have in student government. When we joined, we immediately realized that our visions were similar and that we could reflect off of each other,” Mummert said. “We’re not the same person, by any means, and I think that makes us so much better at getting things done, because I can handle it from one angle and he can handle it from a completely different angle.”
As president and vice president, Mummert and Udhwani will be able to use their different strengths to maximize SGA’s efficiency.
“I will be the external side of student government. I will be the guy that’s connecting one on one with the administration and the student body — and then he can, of course, join me on any of those endeavors — but his focus will be on working within student government to create a culture that’s very inviting,“ Mummert said.
Ultimately, Mummert and Udhwani love Belmont and want to make it a better place for generations to come.
“In the end, we’re doing this for the students. I joined SGA, not for the politics of it all — I joined because I love Belmont. I love the Belmont community, I love the Belmont culture. I came to this school, because I appreciated the Christian atmosphere and I’m not even Christian,” Udhwani said. “I just love what makes Belmont Belmont, and I wanted to give back.”
Students can vote for SGA president and vice president on BruinLink from April 4-6.
This article written by Liz Gresser. Photo courtesy of Mummert/Udhwani 2018.