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.”