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Leading the transition

Jillian Barwick | Friday, December 7, 2012

Grade: A-
The duo successfully helped in the restructuring efforts with SGA, resulting in a more efficient, effective governing student body. However, the usability of the Belle Tower remains uncertain and leaves room for clarification.

As the restructuring of the Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) settled in, student body president Maureen Parsons and vice president Meghan Casey found the transition smooth as they took office last spring.
When the year began, Parsons was unsure of how the students would handle the new structure of SGA, however she found that students were increasingly receptive of the changes and welcomed them happily.
“I think with the new structure, we have done a good job of completing our goals and staying focused on what we want to accomplish within our respective councils. One worry I had at the beginning of the year was that the councils would not stay connected with each other,” Parsons said. “However, I think we have done a good job of communicating between councils and keeping up to date on what everyone is doing, the senate sat on the councils this semester as well to be informed on what SGA is doing.”
Casey, like Parsons, was originally concerned with the communication between councils and the student body and how it might get lost during the restructuring.
“Continuing to improve communication through the new SGA structure is a huge priority of ours,” Casey said. “Also, working to get more students to events on campus, whether it be sporting events or other activities held at Saint Mary’s is a big priority of ours as well for next semester.”
Parsons and Casey have played a large role in creating awareness of OrgSync, a place where students are able to access all communication from clubs on campus.
“I hope that OrgSync really helped clubs and organizations stay organized and efficient. The new software, called the Belle Tower, creates a central location for clubs to communicate with their members as well as other clubs,” Parsons said. “It also creates one spot for students to go to learn about upcoming events. In terms of finances and forms, the Belle Tower allows students to complete most all processes online.”
The Belle Tower will cut down on all-school emails that students receive at the College, Parsons said. Through this new software, students can sign in and see everything they need regarding student involvement.
“I hope that the Belle Tower will increase student participation in organizations as well as student attendance at various events,” Parsons said.
One of Casey’s priorities for next semester is improving communication between students and the Student Academic Council.
“Almost all of the departments have a representative on the council and students should know that if there is something they need, it is easily fixable through communication with the council and myself.”
Both Parsons and Casey said they are looking forward to next semester when the College celebrates Heritage Week.
“I think it is important week to highlight the tradition of the College and for girls to appreciate what Saint Mary’s is all about,” Parsons said.
Students at Saint Mary’s show pride in the education receive at the College and thoroughly enjoy sharing their stories with alumnae, Parsons said.
“This year, we are working on bringing alumnae back to campus and having them share their stories of their experiences at Saint Mary’s,” she said. “I personally love the tradition and sense of sisterhood here at Saint Mary’s and really want to make sure Heritage Week this year brings students together to learn more about the heritage of the College.”
Ultimately, student input is a huge part of the success Parsons and Casey want to see for Saint Mary’s and its student body.
“We are implementing a comment box that will be placed in the Student Center at the beginning of next semester where students will be able to let us know what they like and don’t like, as well as what they would want to see during the semester, which is something we are really excited about,” Casey said. “Feedback from the students is extremely important to us and Maureen and I hope that it will only improve where Saint Mary’s can go from here.”