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President delivers address

Nicole Zook | Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Student body president Elizabeth Jablonski-Diehl highlighted the successes of Saint Mary’s student government during her State of the School address Monday evening. Approximately 40 students and faculty gathered in Carroll Auditorium for the speech.

Sponsored by the Student Government Association, the address was intended to update interested parties of SGA activities, answer questions and allow students to voice their opinions.

Jablonski-Diehl focused on three areas she said SGA has been particularly successful in promoting, including VISA, the Friends With Sisters program and the new dining hall.

Student government joined forces with the VISA program this year to ensure that prospective and new students who wished to take tours of the Saint Mary’s campus were pleased with their stays.

“SGA is recruiting and training the tour guides,” Jablonski-Diehl said, adding that since SGA has united with VISA, the visitor ratings have gone up. “All guides have received fives [the top score].”

Friends With Sisters is an on-campus volunteer opportunity in which students and Sisters of the Holy Cross are paired for visiting and friendship. Participation has jumped this year.

“There are 100 Friends With Sisters pairs,” Jablonski-Diehl said. “There are also activities for campus.”

These activities include December’s caroling event and the Halloween party held for the convent. Both were highly successful and are expected to be continued, Jablonski-Diehl said.

Student government has worked closely with the dining hall this year, according to Jablonski-Diehl. Earlier this year, several forums were held in which members of the student body could attend and voice their opinions and ask questions about the new Noble Family Dining Hall.

“The dining hall issue forums were a success,” Jablonski-Diehl said, as students and visitors alike have complimented the changes implemented this year.

Other topics discussed during the address included campus cable, the alumni job shadowing program and the school fight song.

The fight song lyrics, voted on by the student body, will be revealed in the February newsletter sent out by the Student Government Association.

Jablonski-Diehl said that holding the State of the School address is important because student input is necessary to plan major events such as these.

“It allows students to speak up on campus issues that student government may not have realized were important to the student body,” she said. “It really holds student government accountable as elected officials of the school and lets students know what we’re doing, where their money is going.”

After the address, the floor was opened for students to pose questions. SGA was asked to look into the rising price of textbooks in the bookstore and faculty holding class meetings on Reading Day. Vice President Sarah Brown fielded many of the questions.

“We are working out the kinks in study day and issues of interpretation with SAC. A survey will go out on Prism next week. Student response so far has been positive, it was a big success and very helpful,” Brown said.

Linda Timm, vice president for Student Affairs, said she was very pleased with the address and with student government in general.

“I think the level of volunteerism that it takes to make student government work is amazing,” Timm said. “It requires a lot of hard work and effort on the students’ part and many people recognize and appreciate that.”