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SGA creates new leadership development program

Madeline Miles | Thursday, December 8, 2011

Saint Mary’s College Student Government Association (SGA) hosted a variety of successful events this semester, but executive secretary Emma Brink said “Proud Past, Promising Future” was among the best.

“The goal of this series is to inspire students to become leaders on campus as well as teach current and aspiring leaders skills that they can take with them into the future,” Brink, a senior, said.

The “Proud Past, Promising Future” leadership development program is split into five separate workshops. The first workshop, “So You Think You Can Lead?” began the series last month. SGA hosted another workshop called “Motivation” on Wednesday.

The program will conclude in March. Any students who attends all five events will receive a leadership certificate from SGA.

Senior Emily Skirtich, SGA chief of staff, said another successful SGA event was the “Love a Belle, Support a Belle” event, during which SGA reached out to fellow Belles who struggle with anxiety and depression.

“Our main goal was to raise awareness and advocate for the resources available on campus,” Skirtich said.

SGA is currently working on the Le Mans Tunnel Project to decorate the tunnel connecting Le Mans Hall to the Student Center. Design submissions are now being accepted.

“It really is a great way for students to leave their mark on Saint Mary’s forever,” Brink said.

Next semester, members have plans to improve the structure of SGA to help it run more efficiently The Board will work in an interim stage as it analyzes the success of future changes.

The current structure does not allow for easy communication between board members, Brink said. SGA is planning to restructure for easier, freer communication between leaders of the College.

The Board currently consists of 25 commissioners, but officers said they’d like to see that number increase.

“We would instead like to see Class Boards, Clubs, Commissioners, Big Boards, and Student Academic Council as committees headed by the five executive members of student government,” Brink said. “The information and concerns would then be filtered to a senate of elected students who will vote on the major issues at hand, hopefully eliminating any bias held by current members.”

Skirtich is hopeful for the reconstruction of SGA.

“A lot of hours and manpower, research and collaboration will go into the reconstruction of the Association,” Skirtich said. “

By the time that classes resume in January, SGA will operate more smoothly and efficiently.”

With more elected positions on SGA and a larger body, Brink hopes the new structure will allow for increased student participation in the group.

“Despite working in an interim stage, we still plan to be as committed to student issues and concerns as always,” Brink said.