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SGA Becomes More Inclusive

Graduate students have the possibility to serve on Belmont’s Student Government Association, after the organization’s newest constitutional amendment.  


On March 14, SGA President Carter Barnett announced a bill that would allow for five graduate students to represent their peers.  


Graduate students from the colleges of law, business, education, music or nursing majors would have the opportunity to apply to the senate in the spring.  


If more than one student from each college applies for the same position, the senate would review their applications and decide who is the best fit for the position. 


Unlike undergraduate senators, graduate senators would be voted on by the senate, not the general student body.   


“I think it’s really important because these grad organizations and grad students from the grad schools can and do ask SGA for grant money,” said junior Olivia Patterson. “It would be great for them to be able to have representation to be able to voice more support for them because as undergrads, we don’t know much about the grad schools.”  


Currently, the senate is made up of 40 senators, 10 from each year.  


Although SGA’s constitution does not explicitly state graduate students cannot be on SGA, no specific processes have been put in place to give graduate students the space to run.  


The senate decided to amend the bill to make it a constitutional amendment, including a section in the constitution to allow graduate students to run for senate.  


The amendment passed unanimously.  


Additionally, SGA also decided to extend the campaigning period for presidential and vice-presidential candidates.  


Previously, candidates were prohibited from campaigning during election week.  


However, to increase voter turnout, SGA voted to allow candidates to campaign through election week.  


“I think it would make for a much more diverse election that could give people who are nominally outside of that sphere a more direct role in their representation,” said sophomore Frank Reed.  


The bill passed unanimously.  


Campaigning for 2024-25 presidential and vice-presidential candidates begins on March 18.


This article was written by Anna Blubaugh

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