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Group plans unifying projects

Bridget Feeney | Monday, January 21, 2013

While students ease back into a routine of classes, studying and meetings as the semester gets underway, the Student Government Association (SGA) is preparing for the busy weeks ahead.

Senior student body vice president Meghan Casey said the upcoming weeks are full of various events and programs for the campus. She named Love Your Body Week, Heritage Week and Women Honoring Women Week as SGA’s larger events.

“We are most looking forward to Heritage week because it gives us a chance to appreciate the opportunities we have at Saint Mary’s and learn about the heritage of the College and what past students have done while they were here,” she said.

In addition to celebrating the rich tradition of the College, Heritage Week will also allow students, alumnae, parents and friends of Saint Mary’s to contribute to the Capital Campaign.

“The Capital Campaign is a project to raise money for various things at the Saint Mary’s,” Casey said. “This year Heritage Week is coinciding with the [start of the] Capital Campaign. They are raising money to renovate Angela, for scholarships and to renovate the science building.”

Casey said having the Capital Campaign and Heritage Week at the same time will be beneficial for both the students and the College.

“We are having the Capital Campaign launch and Heritage Week the same week because the launch is raising money for the future,” she said. “During Heritage Week, we learn about people who have invested in Saint Mary’s in the past and the Capital Campaign is a way for us to invest for the future.”

In addition to Heritage Week and raising funds for the College, SGA will also focus on anti-bullying initiatives throughout the semester to foster positive attitudes amongst students. Senior student body president Maureen Parsons said this initiative resulted from students who were harassed through letters.

“(SGA) is going to start a Tumblr that encourages positive messages to students,” she said. “Also, we want to work with the Resident Advisors to do something in the dorms with random acts of kindness.”

Parsons said SGA is currently scheduling a speaker to discuss the issues and discuss the effects of bullying on campus.

Another important issue SGA hopes to address is the continual use of the Belle Tower, a new online network which includes the all-school events calendar and online club information. Students were encouraged to sign up and become active on the network last semester, but SGA is striving to gather more student participation and familiarity with the new technology.

“We want to promote the Belle Tower and make sure students are going there for information about events and organizations at Saint Mary’s,” Casey said. “We are hoping with promotion of the Belle Tower and with other advertising, people will go to more events on campus.”

Although student government elections are still months away, Casey said she and Parsons are already planning for new leaders and figuring out how to ensure a successful transition for new student leaders.

“Our main goal would be making sure there is a smooth transition for turnover [when the new leaders assume their positions],” Casey said. “We want to make sure that the new members of SGA feel prepared for next year.”

The elections for student body president and vice president will occur at the end of February. The Residence Hall Association, Student Activities Board, Student Diversity Board and the Class Boards will elect new leaders the first week of March. Turnover is scheduled for April 1.