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SMC reinstitutes State of the School

Justin Tardiff | Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Saint Mary’s Student Government Association revived the State of the School Address yesterday afternoon as one of the many changes they plan for the 2003-04 academic year.

The address, delivered at the beginning of both the fall and spring semesters, is an attempt to improve lines of communication between the different branches of leaders in the College and to encourage accountability for promises made.

“We are trying to unify Student Government Association and the student body,” said public relations commissioner Stephanie Patka. “The purpose of the address is to put everyone on the same page by communicating where we are and where we are going at the beginning of each semester. We hope to make this a tradition once again.”Unaware of why the tradition ceased, student body president Elizabeth Jablonski-Diehl felt this year to be a key time to implement it once again.

“We are addressing some past problems resulting from lack of communication,” Jablonski-Diehl said. “Communication is difficult when working with administrators, faculty and students. This year, so much is happening with the presidential search, new construction and everything else; it is good for students to have this perspective of what is occurring.”

Sarah Brown, student body vice president, first outlined the branches of SGA and introduced the many leaders of each division. Brown described their purpose as a double-sided challenge.

“We strive to build special relationships in each group and to bring together the many roles into one goal of making Saint Mary’s as strong and vibrant as possible,” Brown said.

Jablonski-Diehl then addressed the students and faculty with the many changes Saint Mary’s is working to implement this academic year, including the construction of the student center, on-campus apartments, a new master academic plan to follow President Marilou Eldred’s master plan, renovation of student/alumnae relations programs and expansion of the Friends with Sisters program.

SGA plans to research student reactions to these changes. Fielding comments concerning the new dining hall, Mary Holland is filling the new office of Campus Food Service Commissioner. SGA has already planned surveys and research to ascertain whether or not the new reading days are achieving their desired results.

In light of the constant development of the college, Jablonski-Diehl compared the outlook for Saint Mary’s in 2003-04 to the vision the Sisters of the Holy Cross had for Saint Mary’s in 1844.

“What we see with our eyes is very different, but what we see with our hearts is very similar,” she said.