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Sullivan-Martin ticket wins election

Jill Barwick | Monday, March 4, 2013

At the conclusion of a one-ticket race, Saint Mary’s students elected juniors Kat Sullivan and Maddy Martin on Thursday to serve as the 2013-14 student body president and vice president.

Sullivan, a communications studies major whose mother was student body president of Saint Mary’s in 1976, said she is looking forward to stepping into the role April 1.

“It was really exciting and I was glad that other students were just as [excited as] we were,” Sullivan said. “They realized the importance of voting, regardless of the fact that we were running unopposed. It is very important that students’ voices are heard.”

The Student Government Association (SGA) sent an email Thursday to students opening up the election. Attached was a link to OrgSync, the College’s new communication system, where students were able to select the Sullivan-Martin ticket or chose to abstain.

Current student body president Maureen Parsons said 262 students voted in this year’s election, and 91 percent of the voters were in favor of the Sullivan-Martin ticket.

Martin, a biology and Spanish double major, said she is particularly excited about the level of voting participation from the student body.

“Obviously it wasn’t a huge surprise, but it was still really awesome that we had enough participation from the student body,” she said. “Even though we were the only ticket running, I had great feedback from other students saying that Kat and I were going to be great leaders next year. It really gives me a lot of confidence going in to next year knowing that the student body supports us.”

In the upcoming weeks, Sullivan said she and Martin will work on applications for other SGA positions. They plan to release the applications for these positions Friday to give students ample time to consider applying.

“We would also like to have an Activities Night geared towards SGA so students can see what exactly SGA is and how they can get involved,” Sullivan said. “This will be important as we start to work towards transparency and better communication between SGA and the student body.”

Martin, who currently serves as the vice president of finance for SGA, said she wants to alert the student body to the opportunities SGA offers. Outgoing leaders will assist the new team in learning the ropes of their jobs.

“We will have a grace period starting April 1 where the new members essentially ‘shadow’ old members,” Martin said. “It provides some comfort going in because students have the opportunity to ask questions; they aren’t just thrown into the system.”

Choosing the right students as fellow leaders for the College is the pair’s first priority once they take office in April, Sullivan said.

“I would also like to sit down with all the newly elected leaders on campus once big board and class board elections are finalized,” Sullivan said. “I would like to hit the ground running and delegate tasks from the beginning of our term as student body president and vice president. That’s why it will be important to choose leaders as soon as we can so we can establish what roles people will take with events and initiatives over the next year.”

Student Activities Board (SAB), Student Diversity Board (SDB), Residence Hall Association (RHA) and class board elections will be held March 7, Martin said.

“I am so excited to continue expanding SGA,” Martin said. “We have a really great backbone set in place, and now it comes time to add on. We can now begin to perfect and modify the structure.”

Sullivan, like Martin, said she is looking forward to working alongside her fellow Belles to get the student body more involved in SGA.

“I am really excited to be working with Maddy,” Sullivan said. “I think that we will make a good team because we have different academic and extracurricular backgrounds. Through our current involvement on SGA, we have seen different aspects of Saint Mary’s that need to be improved.

“Together, we can change the dynamic of the student body.”