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The best women for the job

Editorial Board | Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Of the two tickets running for student body president and vice president, the duo of juniors Maureen Parsons and Meghan Casey shows the most promise for improving the future of the Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA).

The pair’s experience in student government, current initiatives and future plans make them the best people for the job. The ticket also proposes feasible and substantial goals for improving SGA next term.

Parsons is running for student body president and currently serves as SGA technology commissioner, while Casey is running for student body vice president and previously served as vice president of her class during her freshman year. The ticket has already started planning ways to address the needs and desires of the campus community through new and innovative ways.

Parsons and Casey prioritized unifying the campus as a top goal. While both tickets running this year established a need for a more unified campus, Parsons and Casey established concrete goals and deadlines for achieving this goal. Meanwhile, the other ticket, comprised of juniors Taylor Hans and Betsey Hudson, set broad, general goals and could not provide much information about how the team would establish and implement their programs.

Parsons and Casey also clarified that their initiatives were to help create a structure on which future SGA leaders could build. Their plans outline beneficial programs that will help enrich the College community academically, technologically and emotionally. Creating a campus student calendar, initiating alumnae leadership talks and establishing a mentor program are just a few goals Parsons and Casey hope to meet in order to unify the campus. These initiatives would also help to achieve another goal — to empower the women of the Saint Mary’s community.

While Hans and Hudson said they want to enhance the “sisterhood” of Saint Mary’s if elected, they plan to establish this through what they coined “tradition” — reestablishing SYR’s and an enhanced SMC Tostal. These programs sound fun and may help unite the campus community, but this should not be the focus of our student leaders.

Parsons and Casey also aim to strengthen Saint Mary’s ties with the greater South Bend community by bringing more volunteer service events to campus for those who are unable to go off campus to serve. While these activities may involve simple gestures such as babysitting or building projects on campus that can be delivered to outside organizations, the variability of their ideas showed they are willing to try new things to benefit the greater community.

While Parsons and Casey clarified that their focus to unify campus will directly target the needs and wants of the student body, they said maintaining open communication with administrative faculty is a key to enriching the SGA experience — a reality Hans-Hudson ticket failed to note. Parsons said having a strong faculty adviser for different segments of SGA could establish a better flow of diverse ideas.

With a background in campus technology issues, Parsons will also serve as a valuable asset to SGA in addressing the ever-evolving technology needs of the community. Parsons has already helped develop 85 new technology initiatives, which she plans to help roll out next year. These initiatives feature ideas such as upgrading current technology to better incorporating student voices.

Having observed and served under the current student body administration the past year, Parsons will help facilitate an easy transition into the new SGA Senate structure revealed this semester. Her experience with the current process will give her adequate knowledge of the reform and allow her to educate the greater Saint Mary’s community on ways students can use Student Senate to their benefit.

Overall, the Parsons-Casey ticket presents the strongest platform in this year’s student body election. We, The Observer Editorial Board, endorse Maureen Parsons and Meghan Casey for Saint Mary’s student body president and vice president.