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Gruscinski, Falvey begin tenure

Liz Harter | Thursday, April 3, 2008

After officially assuming their roles as Saint Mary’s student body president and vice president April 1, juniors Mickey Gruscinski and Sarah Falvey are off to a running start.

Both attended the annual student government retreat this past weekend with most of the women who will join them in making up the Board of Governance (BOG) for the upcoming school year. The retreat gave them a chance to begin planning events for next year and get to know their staff, Gruscinski said.

“Not everyone made it to the retreat but we talked about next year and bonded,” she said.

Gruscinski and Falvey plan to continue the work of their predecessors, and work to improve even more.

“We recognize we have big shoes to fill, and we’ll try to continue what Kim and Kelly started, but we also have some ideas of our own,” Gruscinski said. “We’ve got an enthusiastic group of women with a multitude of ideas.”

Gruscinski, a history major from Cleveland, Ohio, said she and Falvey are looking forward to holding BOG meetings to begin working towards accomplishing the goals they laid out in their platform.

“We really have to wait till our board starts meeting before we can really accomplish anything,” she said.

Those goals include extending the Student Center hours, making an online calendar of College events for students to access and getting reliable wireless access in the dorms.

The two have attended introductory meetings with many College administrators to discuss the plausibility of these goals and attended the most recent meeting of the Community Campus Action Coalition (CCAC) as Saint Mary’s student representatives.

The CCAC is a group created to foster better relations between South Bend and the local universities – Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, Holy Cross and Indiana University-South Bend (IUSB) at which they met many influential members of the South Bend community and the Notre Dame student body president and vice president for the upcoming year Bob Reish and Grant Schmidt.

“We talked about [our respective student] the governments and we are going to get together to talk about next year,” Gruscinski said.

Falvey is also enthusiastic about beginning her new duties.

“It’s a great way to share what we love about Saint Mary’s with other students and have the opportunity to make positive changes,” Falvey said. “We’re also going to focus on getting students more involved on campus and we have a lot of great events planned for next year.”

Both also hope to continue the work Hodges and Payne did to revise the Student Government Association constitution.

Revision of the constitution will help to clearly define the roles of BOG members, Falvey said.

Gruscinski believes not being on BOG in the past is a benefit for next year’s board.

“I’m aware there’s a lot we need to learn, but most of [our board] is new to BOG so we’re all really excited,” she said.

Mandi Stirone and Ashley Charnley contributed reporting to this story.