The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Grant Bowlds and Lauren Harmon emerge as write-in options for VSG presidential election

The Bruns/Prowell ticket is the only campaign officially listed on the AnchorLink ballot, aside from potential write-ins, which include Bowlds and Harmon.
Grant Bowlds and Lauren Harmon’s campaign advertisement. (Hustler Staff/Rachael Perrotta)

Juniors Grant Bowlds and Lauren Harmon have emerged as a write-in ticket seeking to become a second option for this year’s VSG presidential election.

Bowlds said that he contacted Election Commissioner Jay Patel regarding getting him and Harmon onto the ballot. Patel did not immediately respond to The Hustler’s request for comment.

Deputy Elections Commissioner Jordyn Perry said that the ticket can follow procedures outlined in the VSG Statutes to become an eligible write-in, but they cannot have their names added to the ballot.

The ticket emerged today after the withdrawal of Jordan Gould and Amisha Mittal’s campaign. 

“I have absolutely no comment on everything that has gone on over the past week,” Bowlds said.

While they did not comment on the election events that transpired this week, their decision to run was a direct response to having only one ticket left, as they feel students should have an option in who represents them. 

“The reason that we decided to run is because we do not see a point in student representation in which case the students don’t get to choose their representatives,” Bowlds said. “The only thing that we are running on is to give students a choice to actively choose who they want representing them in Student Government. Whether that’s us or Hannah and Kayla, that’s up for Vanderbilt students to decide. We just want to provide them with that choice.”

The campaign has yet to submit a list of campaign staffers, per Bowlds, but has around 350 students in their unofficial campaign GroupMe at the time of publication.

Bowlds also stated that while he had a longtime personal interest in running for student body president, today was the first time he had considered it publicly. He added that he has held leadership positions in other student organizations, such as VUcept, ROTC and Greek life. He is a member and former Vice President (2020) of Vanderbilt’s Sigma chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) fraternity.

Bowlds declined to comment about his personal involvement in Greek life but expressed his opinions about the existence of Greek organizations on Vanderbilt’s campus in the campaign GroupMe. He stated that his campaign does not support the Abolish Greek Life (AGL) movement.

“I acknowledge that Greek life can be incredibly problematic, but I also understand that Greek organizations can be incredibly helpful to some people’s mental health and well-being,” Bowlds said in the campaign GroupMe. “I want to create a campus where those organizations can exist as equitably as possible.”

Bowlds stated that his and Harmon’s engagement with various organizations on campus give them a unique perspective on how to reach all members of the Vanderbilt community.

“We’re both involved in a number of different student clubs and activities that often feel a little bit more distant from VSG than other student organizations,” Bowlds said. “I am not going to comment on my personal involvement with Greek life. We’re both Army ROTC students, but we’re both very involved with the Naval ROTC program.”

Harmon said she got involved with the campaign to make VSG more accessible to the general Vanderbilt community and also said she believed in making sure marginalized groups on campus had equal access as well.

“I think we should make VSG more accessible to those not currently involved,” Harmon said. “I always felt like I was on the outside looking in, and it felt like something not everyone could have a say in.”

The Bowlds/Harmon ticket stated that their platform involves incorporating more common spaces for non-Greek student organizations, the establishment of a student accountability board to track Vanderbilt’s investments and broader access to counseling for non-English speakers. 

“I want to be accessible to the entire student body so that you can voice concerns to me and we can work on finding solutions,” Bowlds said in the campaign GroupMe. “I’m serious in saying I want to work with you if you have anything you want addressed on this campus.”

Bowlds also referenced the ticket’s investment monitoring initiative in which, if elected, the pair plans to monitor Vanderbilt’s investments. In doing so, they support Divest Dores and Divest VU.

The ticket would also like to provide free menstrual products on campus through the Office of Housing and Residential Experience (OHARE) rather than making the Women’s Center, which currently provides free menstrual products in select on-campus buildings, pay for them with their own funds.

Hannah Bruns and Kayla Prowell, currently the only ticket on the ballot aside from write-in options, have not responded to requests for comment.

Voting on Anchor Link started at 5 p.m. CDT today and ends at 9 p.m. CDT on Wednesday. 

The Hustler will continue to report on the VSG election and future write-in candidates.

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About the Contributor
Rachael Perrotta
Rachael Perrotta, Former Editor-in-Chief
Rachael Perrotta ('24) is from Cranston, R.I., and majored in cognitive studies, political science and communication of science and technology and minored in gender and sexuality studies in Peabody College. She was also previously Senior Advisor and News Editor. If she's not pressing you for a comment, she's probably trying to convince you that she's over 5 feet tall, cheering on the Red Sox or wishing Nashville had a beach. She can be reached at [email protected].
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The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
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3 years ago

y’all will do everything except let black women win

Randy Lahey
3 years ago
Reply to  Miranda

Don’t you think this might have a little less to do with race and a little more to do with AGL? Regardless if it’s right or wrong, don’t you think people in Greek Life will want an alternative to the ticket that wants to abolish them? I assure you that if the other ticket were two white men with the same policies these guys would have still run.