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SGA passes space reallocation report

Student Government Association met Thursday night to vote on passing a space reallocation report and will present its findings to senior leadership Monday.

SGA compiled the report with information collected through MyBelmont, a Space Reallocation Town Hall and Coffee & Conversation.

“We’re hoping that they take our suggestions very seriously, and we’ll fight very hard in the meeting to ensure that they do,” said President Jonathan Rankin as he presented the space reallocation report.

SGA recommended the Gabhart lower level serve as a flexible meeting space for students and the upper level become office space for H.O.P.E. Council and its member organizations.

SGA also proposed Bruin Vets have a space in Fidelity for community, studying and possibly support from a staff member trained to aid veterans transitioning into college life.

SGA designated the space in Hitch for more classrooms and practice rooms for music students.

Although SGA did not recommend an expansion of fitness and recreation facilities or the addition of a dance studio, it did include both as concerns for senior leadership to examine as Belmont expands.

Adding a second location for fitness and recreation would add challenges for management, and SGA preferred to wait until Belmont could create one larger gym to accommodate Belmont’s growing population, Rankin said.

As for the creation of a dance space in Gabhart to attract more dance minors and potentially form a dance major, SGA chose not to give them the space because of the comparative number of students the recommendation would affect.

“They really wanted Gabhart, but that doesn’t impact as nearly as many students as a large meeting space would,” Rankin said. “We made sure to include this on the report, because they were passionate about the idea, and it’s something to keep in mind for future spaces.”

After presenting the findings, Rankin reminded congress of its need for unity for the remainder of the semester.

“I was talking to Kellen Schneider and– in his infinite wisdom– he told me that ‘When SGA starts becoming divisive and petty amongst themselves, that’s when the student body starts hating SGA,’” Rankin said. “I would take that into consideration, as you guys interact. Remember that we all have common goals and we ought to work together as a team to accomplish those goals.”

Congressman Isaiah Edwards spoke during announcements, giving an explanation to SGA as a whole as to why he wrote his editorial, which was published by the Belmont Vision on Jan. 15.

“I wanted to respectfully say that I had all intentions of writing that letter,” Edwards said. “That wasn’t to insult us as an organization or insult any form of leadership inside of it. I was just trying to say that we’re not doing our jobs.”

Despite some criticism from SGA members to handle the situation differently or internally, Edwards said the message of the letter remained.

“Let’s work to a better SGA. And let’s work so we’re not stagnant and we’re not afraid to make decisions.”

SGA’s next open meeting will take place in the Lila D. Bunch Multimedia Hall Feb. 1.

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