• Lillie Burke

SGA president, vice president installed in small ceremony Wednesday

Student Government Association President Jonathan Rankin and Vice President Jade Cooper were inaugurated in a small, filmed ceremony on Wednesday morning.

“This was only an opportunity for the formalities of responsibilities to be transferred from one administration to the next,” Associate Provost and Dean of Students Jeffery Burgin said.

The formal installation of president and vice president and the inauguration of the cabinet and the rest of SGA will take place in August, Burgin said.

SGA plans to send out a video of Wednesday’s inauguration in the upcoming weeks. In that video, Rankin will also give his inaugural address, which is included below.

Inaugural Address April 29, 2015

It has been a unique semester for your student government. We have seen some incredible success: taking input from students through Coffee & Conversation and office hours, passing resolutions to formally express the opinion of the student body, facilitating campus engagement through grant petitions and orchestrating campus events like homecoming and Town Hall. We have also seen failure. Unfortunately, the drama of politics and selfish pursuits tainted the fruits of our labors.

Today, I am honored to officially begin serving as president of your Student Government Association. I have sworn to work toward the enrichment of student life at Belmont University. With this in mind, I am happy to begin the process of bringing SGA into the future. Let’s move forward by acknowledging the mistakes of the past with forgiveness in our hearts, and focus only on the job at hand–making our community a better place.

As your president and vice president, Jade and I are committed to this goal. This summer, we will be working toward a number of objectives that students can look forward to. We will begin the process of making a new website that we hope will prove to be a valuable resource for students. The establishment of the web presence is an invaluable step for transparency in SGA, which is something that we desperately need to improve as an organization.

This summer will also see the creation of two important documents that will be communicated online to students. The first is a comprehensive spending plan that will be created with input from all branches and committees in SGA. We have the enormous responsibility of overseeing the spending of a $50,000 budget. It is vital that SGA has a plan for the entire year in addition to the budget we pass each semester. Similarly, SGA leadership –including cabinet and committee chairs– will work together this summer to create a joint executive and congressional agenda. We will outline, on the front end, the goals and responsibilities that our organization will have next year. This, I believe, is the best way to begin transitioning SGA from an organization that is overwhelmingly reactionary to one that leads this community of students and student organizations.

Most importantly of all, let us not forget the cornerstone of our lives and community. We must always remember that SGA exists to serve the students and all that we do should be rooted in love. Our future is bright if we cling to this truth.

“…whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.”

1 John 4:18-19

Jonathan Rankin

President, Student Government Association

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