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Unopposed ticket runs for SMC student gov’t

Liz Harter | Monday, February 16, 2009

Student body presidential and vice presidential candidates Jenny Hoffman and Meg Griffin introduced themselves to Saint Mary’s students in the West Wing of the Noble Family Dining Hall during a “Meet the Candidates” event last week.

Junior Jenny Hoffman, who is running as the president on her ticket, is currently the executive secretary for Board of Governance (BOG). Griffin, a sophomore, is the sophomore class president. They are running unopposed.

Hoffman said the experience her ticket already has with student government is something to be taken into consideration.

“While it’s not everything, experience speaks volumes,” she said. “We appreciate this school for all that it’s worth.”

Hoffman said the two will use their experience to their advantage in their new positions.

“There are things you learn in student government that usually don’t arise unless you’re in a leadership position,” she said.

The two think their platform, which includes furthering actions which current student body president Mickey Gruscinski and vice president Sarah Falvey have already taken, has feasible ideas that will help make Saint Mary’s a better place.

The two have been campaigning in the Student Center and have a Facebook group devoted to their platform called “Don’t Hassle the Hoff,” a play on Hoffman’s last name.

The pair want to install printers in every residence hall, improve the dining hall with student surveys, offer a Saint Mary’s College history lecture series, continue the effort to extend the student center hours, which Gruscinski and Falvey began, and offer quarterly “open forum” Board of Governance meetings for students, according to flyers they passed out.

Both candidates also said that they will not take a stipend, or a payment for serving student government, even if the new Student Government Constitution would leave room for it.

“If one is offered it will not be taken,” Hoffman said. “We’ve been through that before and, while it was wonderful to have student involvement and it was resolved well, we want to reassure everyone that it’s not an issue.”

The Constitution committee, which is lead by Falvey, is still putting the finishing touches on the Constitution, which will then be presented to BOG and finally voted on by the students. Falvey told The Observer it will most likely be available to vote upon during Class Board elections during the last week of February.

At the “Meet the Candidates” event, elections commissioner Francesca Johnson asked the candidates, including juniors Mallory Price and Katie Lewis, who have since dropped out of the race for personal reasons, a number of questions ranging from how they would describe Saint Mary’s to a prospective student to whether or not they think it is important to follow rules.

“Saint Mary’s is so rare, not only in the fact that it is a women’s college, but in the fact that it’s a Catholic environment,” Hoffman said, when asked what she would tell a prospective student. “It’s a very well-rounded school and it’s the incredible women [here] who make it so.”

The vice presidential candidates answered the question regarding rules.

Griffin said she thinks rules are important and she hopes the new Constitution will have “some awesome rules we can follow.”

Hoffman summed up the pair’s platform by saying they want more student involvement and awareness on campus.

“It would be an honor for me to represent the College,” Hoffman said.

Voting takes place today on PRISM until 11:59 p.m.