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Unopposed SMC pairs detail plans for auxiliary roles

Laura Baumgartner | Friday, February 10, 2006

Board of Governance (BOG) Elections Commissioner Danielle Lerner directed preformatted questions to presidential and vice presidential tickets for the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and Student Diversity Board at “Meet the Candidates” Thursday night in the West Wing of the Noble Family Dining Room.

Junior Angeline Johnson and sophomore Kimberly Hodges are running for SDB president and vice president, respectively. Junior Amy Dardinger and sophomore Cassie Quaglia are running for RHA president and vice president, respectively. Both tickets are unopposed.

The Saint Mary’s Student Government Constitution says the SDB president is “responsible for fostering diversity of every woman on Saint Mary’s campus by upholding the mission of [SDB], as well as chairing the [SDB] meetings and all operations and presenting regular reports to BOG. The vice president is charged with similar duties but does not report to [BOG].”

Johnson and Hodges said they plan to continue the diversity improvements made by SDB this year at Saint Mary’s.

“I think we can further develop projects that have begun this year,” Johnson said.

Johnson cited the example of the Diversity Student Leadership Conference as an event that the two hope to improve and strengthen if they are elected.

Hodges felt she and her running mate’s experiences this year as members of SDB would benefit their productivity as president and vice president.

Johnson and Hodges’ platform includes plans to create a program that would invite successful Saint Mary’s African-American alumnae to campus to speak to students.

“I think diversity is important because it is an asset to any campus or organization,” Johnson said. “And I want to foster that at Saint Mary’s by bringing back successful women of color to speak as examples.”

Marketing SDB to the Saint Mary’s student body is another campaign goal. Johnson and Hodges want more students to be involved on the Board so that more voices can be heard.

Like Johnson and Hodges, RHA candidates Dardinger and Quaglia also want to maintain and improve upon many events that RHA started this year.

The Student Government Constitution says the RHA president is “responsible for all areas affecting student residence hall life as well as [leading RHA] meetings, all operations, and presenting regular reports to [BOG]. The vice president has similar responsibilities but does not sit on [BOG].”

Dardinger and Quaglia said they would like to see a greater concern in hall councils for improvements in the physical condition of the residence halls.

“One big concern is in different hall councils a lot of service work and other activities are being done, which is great, but not a lot is being done to improve the hall itself,” Quaglia said. “So, we want to focus the hall councils more on that because that is why they are there.”

But Dardinger said the most important goal is to include RHA members in new student orientation activities.

“I think the most important idea from our platform would be our plan to create some type of RHA activity in orientation,” Dardinger said. “A lot of people complain that halls have no unity and we think this could improve that problem and we hope to work with student activities to establish it.”

Both Dardinger and Quaglia are current members of RHA. They plan to continue the new dance marathon benefit for Children’s Hospital.

While both SDB and RHA tickets are unopposed, elections will be held on Prism throughout today, and results will be announced sometime Saturday.