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College students seek office

Caitlin Housley | Monday, February 14, 2011

The Saint Mary’s student body will see some new faces in leadership positions next week with student government elections Feb. 24.

Twelve girls are seeking election in various campus organizations including Resident Hall Association (RHA), Student Activities Board (SAB), Student Diversity Board (SDB) and Student Government Association (SGA).

Junior Kat Nelson is running for the position of RHA president with Sarah Copi as her vice president.

According to Nelson, their platform is “there’s no place like home.”

Nelson and Copi plan to increase awareness of RHA on campus if they are elected. They also hope to implement hall improvements, interact with other clubs and organizations and establish a forum for student feedback.

“We hope to continue making Saint Mary’s feel like home to all of its students,” Nelson said.

Allie Courtney, the current SAB president is seeking reelection with vice president Caitlyn Wonski. As president this past year, Courtney has increased the number of activities hosted by SAB from a few major events every semester to one every month.

Courtney hopes to continue with these events, and plans to create new campus events.

“We were really excited with the outcome of our Belles Bash and hope to expand on that. We also had a great success with Bellakazam, and hope to continue that tradition,” Courtney said. “We hope to have the biggest Tostal SMC has ever seen, and keep getting input from the student body.”

Emma Brink and Liz Busam are running for student body president and vice president, respectively. As part of their campaign, Brink said she wants to focus on the students’ wants and needs.

As part of her goals, she hopes to pursue the issue of placing printers in each dorm, turning the Student Center lounge into a student-friendly area with booths and tables for studying and reclaiming the seating lost in the Cyber Café and C-Store merger.

In addition, she plans to continue the SGA’s renovation of the Le Mans Hall basement.

Brink says she and Busam will place a greater emphasis on helping clubs by promoting sponsorships and raising awareness of their events on campus.

“Liz and I love Saint Mary’s and we are committed to making it the best possible environment for students,” Brink said. “We care about each individual student and we want to make their time here worthwhile by inspiring them to get involved. We want each student to be an active presence on campus.”

Brink and Busam are running against two other tickets — Casie Palmer and Maureen Parsons, as well as Nicole Gans and Jacqualyn Zupancic.

Palmer and Parsons said they hope to serve the needs of students.

“We hope to continue to work with various offices on campus to accommodate these needs. Specifically, we hope to work with the dining hall staff, as well as IT to address issues such as hours of operation and technology in the dorms,” Palmer said. “We also hope to create a more welcoming, homey environment here on campus through various events and school-wide programming.”

Gans and Zupancic said they hope to re-establish Saint Mary’s pride. If elected, they plan to initiate Saint Mary’s pep rallies for sporting events, and they hope to strengthen the bonds between faculty, staff and students.

They also hope to increase the presence of Saint Mary’s in the community.

“This semester has been a great start to get involved with alumnae around the area and supporting them,” Gans said. “We would like to have [the] opportunity to bring the community to campus, especially local school programs.

“We would like to start an after-school program that is on Saint Mary’s campus, where the girls get to mentor [young area] students. Hopefully having it on campus will be a way to get more girls involved, as well as a chance to share Saint Mary’s with the young community of South Bend.”

Lastly, Kelly Reidenbach and Guadalupe Quintana are seeking presidency and vice presidency of SDB. Reidenbach is the current vice president of SDB and Quintana is the treasurer.

Both hope to continue promoting the fundamental goals of SDB. More specifically, Reidenbach hopes to spread truth about diversity.

“My personal hopes are to spread awareness to the Saint Mary’s community that diversity is not a synonym for minority,” she said. “It is my personal belief that each and every one of us is diverse. We all come from various backgrounds, and we all have hopes and dreams.

“I hope to begin changing the image that many students and faculty have of the student diversity board which is that this board is open to an supports every single individual, not just members of groups considered minority or under represented.”

Campaigning to the student body will begin next Sunday, Feb. 20, and will run until the evening of Feb. 23. Elections will be held Feb. 24.