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Trustees congregate at SMC

Kelly Meehan | Friday, April 21, 2006

Saint Mary’s students will notice a few changes and an influx of campus traffic this weekend as the Board of Trustees convene at the College for their annual April meeting.

According to College President Carol Ann Mooney, 28 of the 31 members will be in attendance at the weekend’s meetings, which are closed to the public.

While the meeting’s agendas are also private, students have an opportunity to interact with some trustees throughout the weekend, Vice President of Student Affairs Linda Timm said.

“Some trustees may be having lunch in the dining hall on Friday and will likely eat with the students,” Timm said, noting that several trustees will be unable to do so because they will be in meetings at the time.

Although students may have limited opportunities to interact with trustees during their on campus visits – which occur in October, February, April and June – they are able to voice their concerns and ideas to the newly named student trustee junior Julie Malone. Malone will replace previous student trustee senior Jill Vlasek, taking on a very prestigious student leadership position.

“Having a student trustee is a very special and honored position,” Timm said. “It represents the College’s belief in a shared governance system.”

Like Vlasek, Malone will be a “full voting member of the board, not just a voice at the table,” said Timm – which is an “unusual aspect” when compared to other colleges and universities’ definition of the position.

Malone, a biology major from Indianapolis, said she is excited to shadow Vlasek at this weekend’s events to learn more about the full responsibilities of her position.

“I am honor to be appointed to this position and to go to a college where the students are held with such great respect that there would be a student on [the Board of Trustees] as a full voting member,” Malone said.

After completing the vast application process – which included multiple essays, letters of recommendation and thorough interviews with College faculty – Malone was chosen by Mooney to serve as the student trustee for the upcoming year.

“I am very excited,” she said. “Since it has been such a long application process, it is nice to finally get things started see the Board of Trustees’ dynamics and how they have such an impact on our college.”

Timm said she is “confident that [Malone] will continue to provide the board members with insight from the student perspective” – something Malone stated as the primary goal and purpose of her position.

“I hope to actively seek student opinion and be the best representative of Saint Mary’s students and what is important to them,” she said.