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McCarthy, Dingler elected

| Monday, February 29, 2016

20160223, elections, SMC, Zachary LlorensZachary Llorens | The Observer

Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) announced the incoming student body president and vice president, Emma McCarthy and Mary Joy Dingler, on Friday morning.

According to McCarthy, the pair had been planning to run for office for over a year. They both joined SGA as sophomores and began talking hypothetically about one day running, and eventually, decided this was the right path for them, she said.

“I think it’s such a big deal just to be student body vice president and president,” Dingler said. “I think it’s amazing to think we can actually make a change because as social concerns co-chair, I plan [Support a Belle Love a Belle] and Love Your Body Week, but there’s a kind of a specific formula to follow when you plan those weeks. … With this, it’s in our own hands now, and we get to enact change and do something different.”

McCarthy said she is excited to be the representative for the school, and while this can be intimidating, she is excited to be the person that students come to.

“We get to make Saint Mary’s what we want it to be,” McCarthy said. “All of our platform ideas, we now get to execute. It’s a huge honor. We get to represent the best school in the world.”

Campaigning was a stressful but exciting time, McCarthy said.

“It was really nerve wracking to put yourself out there for all to see,” she said. “But it was a super fun and rewarding process.”

Dingler said it was a strange experience because now people know who she is.

‘I think the weirdest part was being recognized around campus,” she said. “Our faces were everywhere. I would tell people, ‘Oh, I can’t meet tonight because I’m doing something because I’m running for student body vice president.’ And they would say, ‘I know,’… That’s so weird.”

McCarthy said she is dedicated to being the voice of the students by holding office hours and by making sure students know how and where to contact both her and Dingler. She said they plan to have a suggestion box in the student center as well, in case students do not want to contact them directly.

Dingler said they will be very visible to the student body.

“I think attending events around campus and being very present is going to give students the opportunity to come to us and get to know us and talk to us so that we are more in touch with what’s going on,” she said.

McCarthy said the first step when assuming these roles will be to pick their cabinet when they take office April 1. The first idea the pair plans to implement is a security liaison who will be the voice for the students when dealing with security to ensure everyone’s needs are met and communication between students and security is improved.

“We want that position to be up and running in the fall when everyone gets to campus so everyone can be safe as possible,” McCarthy said.

Dingler said they will also create a weekly newsletter to send out to the student body that will have all campus events happening that week. She said this will decrease the volume of emails students receive while also consolidating everything that is happening to one place so students can find it easier.

According to McCarthy, the pair wants to start strong from the beginning, making sure students know they can approach either McCarthy or Dingler with any thoughts or concerns they have.

“Our number one job is to be their voice and to make things happen that they want to see,” McCarthy said.

Dingler said they are excited for freshman orientation in the fall because it gives them the opportunity to be leaders for the first years. She said it’s a unique opportunity because as school leaders, they will be the first people the incoming class will interact with.

Though both have experience in SGA with Dingler as social concerns co-chair and McCarthy as the mission co-chair, Dingler said they plan to shadow current president and vice president Kaitlyn Baker and Maddie Kohler and to ask for guidance as they prepare to take on their new roles.

Dingler said this is a unique time to be student body leaders because Saint Mary’s recently announced the incoming president of the College, Jan Cervelli.

“It’s especially cool because president-elect Cervelli is going to be here,” Dingler said. “It’s a great opportunity to work with the new president and be the student body president and vice president while the school is going through this big transition.”

According to McCarthy, the pair is dedicated to the student body because Saint Mary’s is their home.

“Everyone here is my sister,” McCarthy said. “I want to be a big sister to the underclassmen and a great sister to our senior class. Everyone here is amazing, so intelligent and so incredible. How could you not be dedicated to them?”

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About Nicole Caratas

Nicole is a senior English Writing and Humanistic Studies double major at Saint Mary's College. Now a senior news writer, she previously served as the Saint Mary's Editor. She was born in real Chicago but grew up in the suburbs, and she currently lives in Opus Hall.

Contact Nicole