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Saint Mary’s Mitros, McIlduff proud of term

Lauren Lavelle | Friday, March 31, 2006

As Saturday’s Board of Governance turnover approaches, student body president Kellye Mitros and student body vice president Susan McIlduff said they are pleased with the mark they have left on Saint Mary’s.

“I am very proud of the work we did this year,” Mitros said. “We had a very successful year and I can look back on it with satisfaction.”

Both Mitros and McIlduff said they are proud to have completed most of the objectives on their platform, which included adding a Health and Wellness Commissioner to the Board of Governance (BOG), raising awareness about College history and working closely with Enrollment Manager Dan Meyer.

Mitros and McIlduff said they are satisfied with their involvement in the creation of the first annual Heritage Week – a series of events that raised awareness about the school’s history.

“Out of our term, I think I am most proud of what we did with Heritage Week,” McIlduff said. “It really raised awareness and left students yearning to learn more about our history, whereas in the past, students could [not] have cared less.”

The week earned a lot of attention and positive feedback from the College community, Mitros said.

“I am so proud of the way the week turned out,” Mitros said. “It was a huge success.”

While Mitros and McIlduff met success with Heritage Week, they said they also dealt with disappointments and criticism – most of which stemmed from the cancellation of the College’s annual Pride Week.

“Most students try to pin the cancellation of Pride Week on us,” McIlduff said. “We did not have any hand in that process. It was the Student Academic Council that had the final say in that matter.”

Other challenges for Mitros and McIlduff included learning how to balance their office responsibilities with their class schedules as well as learning to handle different opinions among BOG members. But Mitros said these challenges were small compared to what some administrations have had to deal with in the recent past.

“We have been pretty lucky this year that there weren’t really any huge issues that came up,” she said. “Looking back on recent years at Saint Mary’s, other administrations have faced so much more than we did.”

While criticism has been minimal, Mitros and McIlduff said some people questioned the seriousness of their administration. Some members of the College community claimed BOG did not conduct itself in a professional manner, Mitros said. It was not their intention to be unprofessional, McIlduff said.

“I would say our term was very non-traditional,” McIlduff said. “Kellye and I took a path less traveled when approaching how to run a board.”

Both women said they dealt with opposition by looking objectively at the criticism and their own actions.

“I think it is important to address a problem and acknowledge that I am human,” McIlduff said. “Constructive criticism is valuable because it helps me grow as a person and as a leader. Without it, I wouldn’t have direction or a sense of where I need to improve.”

While both women said the end of their term is bittersweet, Mitros and McIlduff are ready to move on to other interests. McIlduff also said she is ready to take on the challenge of becoming student body president.

“I am sad that my term as student body vice president is over but at the same time I am ready to meet with the new Board and to become next year’s student body president,” McIlduff said. “I enjoyed this year and hope success continues into next year.”

For Mitros, the end of her term coincides with the end of her years as a Saint Mary’s student. While she hopes to remain an active part of the Saint Mary’s community after graduation, Mitros said she will miss being able to serve her fellow students.

“To the students of Saint Mary’s, I would just like to say thank you for a fantastic year,” Mitros said. “One of the greatest pleasures of my life has been serving you and I hope you can also look back on this year with as much fondness as I do.”