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Group approves trip request

Nicole Zook | Tuesday, March 30, 2004

More than just the meeting place was new at Monday’s Board of Governance meeting.

The meeting, usually held in the BOG office, was moved to Haggar Parlor to accommodate the annual switchover from this year’s staff to next. The number of attendees was raised to 35 with the addition of the incoming board.

Incoming board members sat next to their outgoing counterparts to listen and learn, but were not yet allowed to participate in the meeting. Only current board members were allowed to ask questions and vote on the co-sponsorship.

Senior Jillian Bernas presented the co-sponsorship that requested funding for air travel to Tapachula, Mexico. Bernas and senior Annie Cashore have been asked to accompany the youth group at Clay United Methodist Church on their mission trip as translators.

The trip will take place during Clay high school’s spring break from April 1 to 9. Bernas and Cashore will help the high school students work with Mexican children whose parents are in jail.

“In Mexico, it’s quite interesting,” Bernas said. “It’s unlike the United States, where they are just put in foster homes together.”

Rather, children of jailed parents are put in jail with their parents. The Clay missionaries will serve at Albergue Ninos del Futuro el Buen Samarito, a project that houses and educates children instead of letting them go to jail with their parents.

Bernas said that she and Cashore will be instrumental to the mission, as none of the adult chaperones speak Spanish and only a few of the Clay students have a partial knowledge of the language.

“We’d like to be able to share our experiences that we’ve gained from other things with these [high school students] so that they can communicate and help others,” she said. “Also, we want to help them gain a better cultural understanding.”

Because there would be only two Saint Mary’s women receiving the travel funds, there was debate among the board about whether or not to sponsor the students for the full amount.

“What we have to go back to is does this benefit the whole Saint Mary’s community?” sophomore class president Michelle Fitzgerald asked.

Outgoing RHA president Shay Jolly recalled a similar situation at the switchover meeting last year, in which only two students received the grant. Jolly said the Spanish department and Saint Mary’s College as a whole will benefit from this particular case, as this could become a yearly trip involving Saint Mary’s students as translators.

“I move that we give Annie and Jillian $500, with the stipulation that they come back and present in some way, shape, or form,” she said.

The co-sponsorship was passed, and Bernas and Cashore will return at a later meeting to make a presentation about their trip.

In other BOG news:

u SAB is hosting an improvisational comedy group from Notre Dame on Wednesday in the Carroll Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. The performance is free to all students.

u Technology commissioner Michelle Cooper announced that wireless internet is now available on campus. It can be accessed in the Cushwa-Leighton Library and the Noble Family Dining Hall.

u This week is the Class of 2007’s spirit week. Events will take place all week, and festivities will culminate on Saturday night with a first-year formal.