The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Juniors face off in Saint Mary’s presidential elections

Caitlin Housley | Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Unity, technology and empowerment are three of the central goals of Saint Mary’s juniors Maureen Parsons and Meghan Casey, who will be running for student body president and vice president, respectively, in today’s election.

The ticket’s platform features four goals:  to work with administration to launch 85 new technology initiatives, unify campus, empower each other as women and encourage more community service, Parsons and Casey said.

“We wanted to focus on things that we really thought we really could accomplish, ” Parsons said.

In order to make their goals feasible, Parsons and Casey said they have already started working with faculty to develop the 85 technology initiatives they hope to start this summer.

“[Saint Mary’s] hired an IT company last semester to evaluate the technology situation on campus, and [the company] came up with a plan,” Parsons said. “Throughout the year … they’ve come up with 85 initiatives that will be launched to the student body before the end of the year. It’s a three-year plan, so next year, we really want to focus on keeping communication between the administration and the students on these initiatives [flowing] as they are implemented. That way, students are aware of the changes, and they see things happening and can appreciate them.”

Parsons said these 85 initiatives feature a variety of improvements and additions, such as updating current software and establishing a student IT intern position. 

Regardless of the outcome of the election, Parsons said she will actively assist with the implementation of these initiatives next year.

“The 85 initiatives will be completed,” she said. “It’s just a matter of when considering money, having a person who will be able to do it and having a person who will be able to take over the initiative once it is implemented.”

Additionally, the ticket aims to empower women through a series of leadership talks by current students and alumnae. Parsons and Casey developed this idea based on the current SGA leadership series.

“We want to carry [the leadership series] into next year because we thought it was a great idea, and they have been really successful focusing more on empowering women — for example, how women are represented in the media and how you can change that for your personal image or how women in the workforce are presented and treated and how you can get past certain barriers,” Parsons said. “[We also hope to] bring in alumnae to share their success stories to encourage each other as a student body and as women to be there for each other as a support system.”

The team also hopes to unify campus clubs and organizations by creating a master calendar that will broadcast daily meetings and events.

“We want to try to find the best and most efficient way for clubs, and boards, and organizations throughout campus to integrate their events and meetings so people are aware of where they’re meeting, what time they’re meeting, and try to integrate more clubs working together,” Casey said.

The calendar would create an hourly newsfeed to update students. This project would help reduce the number of emails that bombard students daily, Parsons said.

“Hopefully, fingers crossed, that would eliminate the amount of emails that we get each day so that students really are paying attention to important emails that we receive, and to centralize information to make their lives a little easier,” she said.

Finally, the team plans to encourage students to give back to the community by bringing service opportunities to campus.

“As a student myself, I’ve had difficulty doing volunteer opportunities off campus … so we thought it would be really cool to bring different organizations here to give the opportunity to other students who may not have transportation,” Casey said.

Volunteer activities could include anything from babysitting to joining an on-campus club with a non-profit organization, Parsons said.

“For example, we could work with the Autism Speaks club and bring in representatives from the Logan Center or Hannah and Friends, or maybe there is a service project we can do here that we can deliver to an outside organization,” Parsons said.

Above all, Parsons and Casey said their top priority is unifying campus.

“I think that unifying campus would encompass all [our other goals] — working together and supporting each other and opening that line of communication so everyone knows what’s going on,” Parsons said. “And supporting each other on campus is one way to empower and encourage each other.”


The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Juniors face off in Saint Mary’s presidential elections

Jillian Barwick | Wednesday, February 29, 2012


When the polls close on today’s student government elections this evening, juniors Taylor Hans and Betsy Hudson hope to be the new faces of the Saint Mary’s student body. 

Hans, the current vice president of the class of 2013, and Hudson, a community committee member, are running for student body president and vice president, respectively. Their campaign is based on a platform of “bringing back tradition but making our own history,” Hans said.

If elected, Hans and Hudson plan to bring back dorm dances and the “Big Sister” mentor program, in which upperclassmen help first years and sophomores become more acclimated to the Saint Mary’s community. 

The mentor program would follow the example of an existing niche mentoring program within the College’s nursing program, Hudson said. 

“Actually, the nursing program has developed a type of mentoring program this year and it has been working really well,” Hudson said. “I really think that it is something that would be great to build for our campus.”

Hans said the recent events of “Love Your Body Week” inspired her and Hudson to include the promotion of body image awareness in their platform.

“We would like to work with Women’s Health on body issues around campus,” Hudson said. “They have a ton of resources that just are not really known. Also, hearing another Saint Mary’s student talk about these issues would give other girls confidence and let them know they can open up about body issues and talk about it.” 

Hans and Hudson said they want to promote school spirit by increasing student attendance at Saint Mary’s athletic events through the distribution of free giveaways to fans. 

“Incentives for attending sporting, whether it be giving out sunglasses or t-shirts, would be the way we would have more student attendance at sporting events,” Hudson said. “I feel like those giveaways are a big push for people to come out and support their peers.” 

“Posting flyers and hanging posters around campus about the events for that week and incorporating the cheerleaders to make banners for the team would draw awareness to the athletes,” Hans said. “This will bring more unity to our campus, [which is] something we really want to get across to the student body.”

The ticket also values the voice of the student body, Hans said. 

“We also thought of having a type of hall meeting where students can come once a month and voice what they want to see on campus,” Hans said. “We think it’s really important that the students get involved and let us know what we are and are not doing.” 

Hans and Hudson said they want to promote a greater sense of sisterhood and community among College students by helping girls foster relationships with their peers during their first year at Saint Mary’s. 

“Incorporating a day every semester during syllabus week where people get together and not just introduce themselves, but really talk together, would bring a greater sense of sisterhood to our campus,” Hudson said. 

Hudson said she and Hans hope to create a master calendar in which students can find out about upcoming campus events. 

Since the Senate has recently been restructured, the student body must become familiar with the new duties and responsibilities of the organization. Hans said she hopes to express the role of the new Senate to the College community and promote student involvement. 

“Next year when we get back, we will really need to have information sessions on what the Senate entails,” Hans said. “The student body needs to know what the Senate can do for them since they are unsure of what the Senate actually does. It will be a great change for the whole student body, so we want everyone to know how they can get involved.” 

Hans said her affinity for her school drives her ambition to improve the College through student government. 

“I love Saint Mary’s and I really want to make the necessary changes to our community,” Hans said. “I just hope that we are elected so that we have that opportunity to make the changes we need.”