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Group reflects on semester, sets goals

Ashley Charnley | Thursday, December 9, 2010

Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) did end-of-semester housekeeping Wednesday night by discussing what has gone right so far and assessing goals that still need to be accomplished.

The executives held individual meetings with the members of the Board and said its members agreed they had succeeded on several fronts: a good team atmosphere, successful commissioners and increased visibility on campus, student body president Rachael Chesley said.

“These are things we virtually heard from everybody,” she said. “Most people commented on the foundation of a team. They feel as SGA, everyone is working together as a team.”

At the beginning of the academic year, SGA commissioners and executives went on a retreat together to build camaraderie, Chesley said. The Board said this made commissioners more successful in their positions.

Chesley said commissioners feel comfortable enough to really “take action” this year.

The majority of the Board also said they have improved at “reaching out to the student body as a whole,” Laura Smith, student body vice president, said.

“Everyone mentioned they feel SGA is much more visible this year through events taking place and also through emails and keeping the office open,” Chesley said.

Kelly Lyons, president of the Class of 2011, said she has seen a huge shift since last year’s SGA.

“Last year, I didn’t really know what SGA was or what it was a part of, but I feel like this year, that has changed a lot,” Lyons said.

SGA then discussed changes that could be made and improvements that need to be implemented in the coming semester.

Members said they need to improve communication between the Finance Committee — which reviews sponsorship requests from clubs and organizations on campus — and the larger board.

“Everyone, overall, said they like how instead of spending the whole time on hearing sponsorships and voting who gets what in the larger meetings, we can deal with other things, but you also want to know where the money is going,” Chesley said.

Starting next semester, there will be minute-long reports about how the money is spent, she said.

Members also suggested a State of the Union address to let the campus community know what SGA is doing and to let “students know this is actually what we’ve been doing and we haven’t been hiding,” Emily Skirtich, chief of staff, said.

Finally, the group discussed major projects they would like to see done in the spring.

The Board wished to address the technology issues on campus, such as the lack of printers, the possibility of adding bike racks on campus, improving its recently launched website and completing the Le Mans Hall basement renovations, which when completed will be a common area for students.

Chesley reminded the Board that the April 1 turnover date will approach quickly when the staff returns for the spring semester.

“The projects that we pick, we need to jump on them right when we get back,” she said.