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SGA student leadership policy under review

Belmont University’s Student Affairs’ Multiple Student Leadership Policy is under review with the Student Government Association’s Policy Review Committee.

The multiple leadership policy outlines the executive leadership positions under student affairs. These leadership positions are restricted to one per person with no double dipping within the policy.

“The purpose of the writing of the policy was to make sure that, as we got bigger, that other students who wanted to be in leadership had the opportunity to do that,” said Amy Coles, director of the office of student engagement and leadership development.

Originally, Belmont was a lot smaller campus and fewer students had more than one type of leadership position, said Coles.

This has not stopped students, such as junior corporate communication major Tatum Tummins, from trying to have more than one position.

Tummins, who is already a resident assistant in Potter Hall, wanted the opportunity to run for president of Phi Kappa Tau.

“I’m disappointed I am unable to pursue both opportunities, but I completely understand that the policy is in place and has to be followed. I respect the decision, but I do hope the policy is changed in the future so other students aren’t forced into the same situation I’m in,” said Tummins.

Typically, few students ask for the chance to hold more than one executive leadership position. This year, however, several students have just done that, coinciding with the SGA Policy Review Committee’s looking over the policy.

“As much as this may seem like it may be a hot deal right now, we don’t get a lot of requests to get an exception to the policy. This happens to be a very unique year,” said Coles.

In order to learn about the policy and review it, the review committee had to speak with someone from student affairs to find out where to start.

“I empowered them to take–and one, see if there are any changes that need to be made. They may in the board find there really isn’t anything to change. Or, if there is, come with a rational with why they think some of these positions need to be taken off, adjusted or added, and why we would move any of these positions from the policy. How would these positively or negatively impact the ability for all of those areas to function?” said Coles.

The members of the review committee have taken this challenge and are applying it the review.

“We are not pushing a motivation to change it right now. All we are looking at, now, is the university’s reason behind it and ways of enforcing it. It’s not something that we are looking to strip down and say, ‘No, this is wrong, you need to change it.’ Just gathering information about it,” said Riley Walters, a freshman political science major and member of SGA’s Policy Review Committee.

“Many students hold more than one leadership position on campus,” said Coles. The only time students can’t hold multiple positions is when they are wanting to serve in one of the following areas of leadership:

SGA president, vice president

SAPB president and vice presidents

Orientation council

Resident assistants

Greek council officers

Fraternity and sorority chapter presidents

Fitness and recreation leadership team

Towering Tradition leaders

Bruin Recruiter president and event coordinator

 The decision to ask for more than one leadership position does not come lightly for the student, student affairs or leadership organizations under student affairs.

“There are times for exceptions. So students have the opportunity to, if they really believe, that they think they can really manage and give almost 100 percent in two positions, they have the right to come and ask for an exception,” said Coles.

Kirk Bado contributed to this report.

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