Bowlds and Harmon no longer seeking approved write-in status for VSG presidential election

With approximately 100 signatures left to amass before achieving approved write-in status, Bowlds and Harmon decide to end their campaign.


Hunter Long

Image of student walking through campus. (Hustler Multimedia/Hunter Long)

After announcing their candidacy yesterday evening, Grant Bowlds and Lauren Harmon have decided to no longer seek election through approved write-in status. Hannah Bruns and Kayla Prowell remain the only official ticket in the election. 

“Our intent was to make VSG more accessible to the student body, but based on your input, we understand that this was not the effect, and for this reason we will no longer be seeking approved write-in status,” Harmon said in a campaign GroupMe.  

Students can still write-in the pair, but the votes will not be counted in official election results, per VSG Statute 5.7.3.

“Only those write-in votes which are cast for approved write-in candidates shall be included in the official election results,” the statute reads. 

Criteria for status as an approved write-in candidates includes: verification of good academic standing, submission of required paperwork to the Elections Commission and an agreement to follow all campaign rules and regulations. 

The required paperwork candidates must submit is two-fold: platform and petition. Per Harmon, the petition aspect requires 250 electronic signatures showing support for the write-in candidates. Bowlds and Harmon had their platform approved, but, as of 10 p.m. CDT last night, were waiting on approximately 100 signatures before the petition part of their paperwork was complete. 

“Lauren and I thought running might be a fun opportunity to get to know the student body and their issues,” Bowlds said in a message to The Hustler. “After some of the reactions we got to our campaign, we realized we were wrong.”

Bowlds and Harmon noted that while their intention was to provide two options for students, they did not launch their campaign specifically to oppose the Hannah Bruns/Kayla Prowell ticket.

“We want to be clear that we never intended for this to be a campaign against Hannah and Kayla, and that we ran because of there only being one set of candidates on the ballot, not because of who those candidates happened to be,” Harmon said in a campaign GroupMe. 

The pair intends to stay active on campus during their last year at Vanderbilt via other student organizations.

“We’re both looking forward to finding new ways to improve the Vanderbilt experience over the next 12 months outside of VSG,” Bowlds said in a message to The Hustler.