The Student Activities Programming Board is making changes to accommodate new paid leadership roles beginning in fall 2019.
“Our hope is to add more structure, some more leadership opportunities so that more people can be involved. With more people involved, we will hopefully provide more events and reach the larger group of the campus body,” said Ryan Holt, Belmont’s director of new student orientation and the new faculty director of SAPB.
SAPB hired five paid student directors this March who will be in charge of programming events for students. This change comes as a result of a shift in leadership on campus. The two faculty members who previously advised SAPB changed jobs, leaving room for Holt to create new structure in the student organization and provide a “seamless student experience,” he said.
“We’ve gone through a lot of changes already and to have to go through another change is just a little unfair,” said junior Madeline DiMauro.
DiMauro was chosen for one of the director positions along with Christine Allen, Chloe Baughman, Chris Donlin and Morgan James. Out of all the directors, DiMauro is the only one who had previously volunteered with SAPB.
Freshman Amaria Clarke has been involved in SAPB this year and applied for one of the director positions but was not selected for it. She said the lack of SAPB representation on the new board may not be beneficial to the organization.
“How can you improve something that you were not previously apart of? That you do not know how it works?” said Clarke.
Alongside the directors, 15-25 student coordinators will work on a volunteer basis underneath the directors.
“The SAPB student coordinators will play a critical role in leading SAPB and overseeing all SAPB programs,” according to the official SAPB student coordinator job description.
The introduction of the new positions and structural changes came as a surprise to current SAPB members. Previously, SAPB was comprised of a board of executives and general volunteers.
“It was kind of something that Belmont decided. They came into SAPB and told them. There was no conversation about it. It was just like, ‘This is what’s happening,’” said Clarke. “It was something that was slammed in front of us.”
The idea for the change was presented to the current executive board prior to the decision being made, but their opinions were not taken into consideration, said DiMauro.
“All the current executives thought it was a bad idea and that there was a better way to go about it,” DiMauro said.
This change in leadership didn’t benefit those who have faithfully served on SAPB. By bringing in outside students, participation from current SAPB members may decline, said Clarke.
“What is the incentive for people who’ve been loyal, who’ve been a part of it to want to come back?” Clarke said.
However, Holt sees this change as an opportunity for more Belmont students to be leaders on campus.
“I think we increased opportunities, there’s more opportunities for students to get involved as Belmont continues to grow,” said Holt. “I would always just say that SAPB has currently done a great job so, I just want to validate their work.”