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Student Trustee represents SMC on College’s Board

Jaclynne Madden | Sunday, December 11, 2005

Each year, the Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees chooses one Saint Mary’s senior to serve as a Student Trustee. This year, the Board chose Jill Vlasek, who sits on the Board’s Student Life and Mission committees.

As Student Trustee, Vlasek’s primary responsibility is keeping up with the latest student issues and concerns. Her biggest project thus far was preparing for the Student Life committee’s meeting when the Board of Trustees convened in October.

“This entails collecting information about students’ concerns and issues to form areas of focus for the entire year,” said Vlasek, who worked closely with Vice President of Student Affairs Linda Timm and Student Life committee chair Karen Goodyear in preparation for the meeting.

She said she collects this information primarily through e-mails to the student body.

Vlasek is also expected to complete any follow-up work after Board meetings.

Board meetings are held in June, October, February and April, meaning Vlasek will serve as the Student Trustee for two more meetings until a new Student Trustee is elected.

While Vlasek is the only student Trustee, she said she feels accepted by the Board. Vlasek said trustees treat her as another member and attentively listen to her input about the well being of Saint Mary’s students.

“I feel like they still really value what I bring to the table,” Vlasek said. “In general, the trustees are immensely concerned with the lives of students. They care and pray very much for us.”

For Vlasek, the fact that many universities – Notre Dame included – do not have student trustees is an important indication of the philosophy and mission of Saint Mary’s.

Vlasek also sees her role as a personal opportunity to grow as a student and take pride in her college.

“My main reason for applying was that I knew that this position would be a perfect way to give back and serve the Saint Mary’s community … My personal goal has always been to serve Saint Mary’s in the best ways I can.” Vlasek said. “I am so grateful for all that has been given to me here at Saint Mary’s and for everything I have learned.”