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Gans, Zupancic discuss plans for term at SGA helm

Caitlin Housley | Friday, April 1, 2011

Student body president Nicole Gans and vice president Jacqualyn Zupancic are first and foremost focused on accomplishing one thing during their term: organization.

Saint Mary’s student government changes hands today and Gans and Zupancic are hitting the ground running.

“We just picked the incoming board after reviewing applications and conducting interviews,” Zupancic said. “Now, we want to help get the board acclimated to their new positions.”

Gans and Zupancic have already met with vice president of student affairs Karen Johnson and have spoken with their predecessors, outgoing student body president Rachael Chesley and incoming vice president Laura Smith, Zupancic said. 

Both Gans and Zupancic also attended the community summit along with Notre Dame’s student government representatives March 25.

Gans and Zupancic acknowledged the impact the last board made on student life at Saint Mary’s, and said they want to continue some of the former board’s endeavors.

“Rachael and Laura did a great job keeping the energy up within the board and the Saint Mary’s community,” Zupancic said.

“They put a face on student government,” Gans said. “They also made finances more transparent and set up a common groundwork between student government and the clubs on campus.  We want clubs to know what student government can do for them.”

While the new board will continue with these initiatives, they said they also want to integrate more community engagement.

“We want to increase awareness about the issues going on in the community, and we want to get our voices out there,” Zupancic said.

But the board does not want to focus solely on permeating the immediate Saint Mary’s community with their voices. Zupancic said they also want to highlight the importance of involvement in the greater South Bend community.

“We want to have our home of Saint Mary’s go beyond the border of SMC and branch out into the greater community,” she said.

Gans and Zupancic will also focus on the technology issues that have raised concern from the student body. The newly appointed technology commissioner, Maureen Parsons, will oversee a board of students to address technology-related topics.

“With this student technology board, more students can have a voice in how we interact with the technology department on campus,” Gans said.

The new technology focus will be financially demanding, so Gans said she hopes to work in conjunction with faculty members to achieve their technological goals.

Besides creating new legislation, Gans and Zupancic said they have not forgotten basic student needs, such as funding for newspapers on campus, and will work to meet those needs.

Both Gans and Zupancic said they are overwhelmingly excited to start their new term, and they hope this summer will give new board members time to think of innovative and fun ideas for the Saint Mary’s community.