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In Focus: White, Moran revive programs and traditions

Angela Saoud | Friday, January 21, 2005

Student body president Sarah Catherine White and vice president Mary Pauline Moran were so dedicated to fostering communication in the Board of Governance that the seniors decided to live next door to each other – because sharing a bathroom was almost the same as sharing a board.

“We are in constant communication with one another: at meals, between classes, on the computer,” White said. “We decided early on that communication between the two of us, and between the two of us and the rest of our board was going to be the key to our success.”

And so far, their theory seems to be working.

Since taking office on April 1, the two women have carried on with school traditions, reinstated certain discontinued Saint Mary’s programs and worked together as a team to help be a voice for the community.

“The platform we ran under was ‘Ringing in Change,’ and I think we’re doing that,” White said. “We’re addressing a new era at Saint Mary’s with a new College president, new traditions and new buildings on campus. Things are going well for us right now.”

And looking at the new and revived programs White and Moran have worked with, the campus community would have to agree.

On Nov. 18, White gave the second annual State of the School Address, following in the footsteps of last year’s student body president, Elizabeth Jablonski-Diehl.

BOG has also teamed with the Office of Civic and Social Concerns to bring students the option of Service Sundays – an organization where students can volunteer one day a month without making a large commitment to one community organization.

White and Moran have also reinstated the “Big Sis, Little Sis” program, which used to be a part of the Saint Mary’s campus.

“We team up sophomores with freshmen in their dorm and set up a sort of mentoring situation for each freshman,” White said. “Dr. Mooney had this program when she attended Saint Mary’s, and she still keeps in touch with her big sis.”

Besides adding new programs, White and Moran have also been working with issues of diversity, organizing forums and seeking student feedback about issues important to the College.

At this point in their term, White and Moran have also taken the time to invite staff members to their weekly BOG meetings in order to stay up-to-date with all events happening around campus.

And for anyone who thinks White and Moran haven’t been working hard, it’s time to think again.

In addition to sitting on various campus committees, heading committees of their own and leading the entire BOG, the two also had the added pressure of planning Mooney’s inauguration.

Together with other boards, White and Moran took on the responsibility of planning an entire week of events for students, faculty and staff, dealing with everything from events to music to organizing the senior class to be decked in their graduation cap and gowns at the event.

The “Big Sis, Little Sis” program that kicked off Dec. 3 also took a lot of planning on the part of White and Moran.

As spring semester begins, White and Moran are simply hoping their last few months in office will run as smoothly as their first.

“It’s been an adjustment,” Moran said. “But, we’re enthusiastic. We’re a small school so we can’t do everything, but we can try.”

White said she also plans to make the best of the time she has left in office.

“We’re realistic about what we can accomplish in one term, but we want to set others up to succeed when we’re gone,” she said. “Time is a factor. We have to be realistic and flexible when we’re working with student schedules. But, we have a duty and we were elected to represent the students and get things done, and that’s what we’re going to do.”