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SAC works to narrow student-professor gap

Kelly Meehan | Sunday, December 11, 2005

While students and professors may not always see eye to eye, the Saint Mary’s Student Academic Council works to bridge that gap by increasing communication between academic departments and student representatives.

One student from each of the College’s 24 academic departments is chosen through an application process to serve as a member of Council for the duration of the school year.

SAC coordinator and student body vice president Susan McIlduff said representatives are required to meet with the chair of their major or minor’s department on a regular basis, attend a weekly Council meeting and assist with all campus academic fairs.

The Council is also responsible for the organization of the Major of the Week program, choosing major events and the annual Women Honoring Women event in March.

The Women Honoring Women event is a black tie affair to honor a faculty member SAC feels best fits the Saint Mary’s mission, McIlduff said. Prior to the event, SAC members sort through student-submitted nominations and then vote on who they believe is the best candidate.

In recent years, SAC has been responsible for some major changes on campus, including the introduction of a reading day in December 2003 and the campus readership program in spring 2002. The readership program provides students with daily complimentary copies of the New York Times, South Bend Tribune and USA Today.

“SAC played a large role in the creation of a study day,” McIlduff said. “We really gave the idea momentum.”

McIlduff said the academic representatives deal with many serious unpublished issues from within their departments.

Senior English representative Jennifer Warfel said she works hard to assist communication between members of the department.

“As a member of the Council, it is my duty to represent the needs, concerns, and ideas of my department to the Council and the Council’s ideas, questions and projects to the department,” she said.

McIlduff said SAC’s future goal is to implement a simpler registration method and allow students to know more about a particular course prior to enrollment.

“I really feel we have been doing a great job this year,” McIlduff said. “We have been very active as a Council to keep up with the needs of the campus.”