Belmont’s Student Government Association released a statement to the Vision and on its Facebook page Tuesday expressing student concerns with the Vision 2020 Town Hall Meeting. SGA has invited students to come to its office to discuss the matter further.
On Monday, President Bob Fisher unveiled his goals for Belmont to reach by the year 2020, then opened the floor to questions. During the Q&A period,students raised concerns about transparency, Greek space, diversity and class size.
Jeanette Morelan, president of SGA, said that students have come to her dissatisfied with Fisher’s response to the questions during the meeting.
“General ideas of diversity and respect for others; I don’t know if those were necessarily reflected in the goals as much as they could have been,” Morelan said. “And I think that was affirmed by the unsatisfactory answers that were provided to the questions.”
Students have not been satisfied with what they see as a lack of student-centeredness in Vision 2020, Morelan said.
“I think the students feel like they deserve more than a 30-second sound bite in response to issues,” she said.
Morelan also said students were upset over Fisher referring to historically black sororities and fraternities as “segregated.” She said students in Black Student Association and other African-American organizations are upset over his phrasing.
“Referring to something that is trying to increase diversity as something that is actually setting it back was not something that was well received or felt as respectful by members of those organizations.”
SGA representatives have been posting on Facebook and other social media sites encouraging students to come to their office and voice concerns. They released a statement Tuesday night, reprinted below:
To our fellow students,
In light of the presentation of Vision 2020 and the subsequent concerns voiced by students, SGA would like to announce open office hours this week for students to come in and have their voices heard regarding these issues. We plan on bringing this feedback to Senior Leadership as soon as possible.
Our office, located in the Beaman, will be open during the following times this week:
Wednesday 1:30PM-6PM Thursday 12:15PM-2PM, 5PM-8PM Friday 12PM-4PM
In addition,we would like to invite all students to our Congress meeting on Monday from 5PM-7PM in Bunch Multimedia Hall in the Library. During this time, there will be an opportunity to discuss concerns regarding the Town Hall and Vision 2020. SGA representatives will also be in front of the Beaman at 10 AM on Friday as part of Coffee and Conversation to further speak with students about these issues.
A follow-up meeting has been requested with Dr. Fisher to present these concerns as a collective student body, but we cannot do it without your help. Our voices are only so strong as individuals, but a group of students speaking for what they believe in is incredibly powerful. While SGA has always served as the voice of students, now more than ever we ask you to share with us your concerns, your suggestions, and your vision to make Belmont University a place we are all proud of. We continue to remain your passionate advocates and appreciate the faith that you have placed in us.
The Representatives of Belmont University’s Student Government Association