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Observer endorses Sullivan-Martin

The Observer Editorial Board | Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Though their ticket will be the only one on the ballot for student body president and vice president Thursday, juniors Kat Sullivan and Maddy Martin are promising potential leaders of the Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA). The Observer Editorial Board endorses the Sullivan-Martin ticket for student body president and vice president in the College election.
The one-ticket race hints at the pair’s biggest challenge should they be elected – the need to drum up support for SGA and expand student government’s reach to students who don’t understand its role on campus. However, Sullivan and Martin have experience in SGA on their side, as well as a platform full of ideas on how to expand communication with Saint Mary’s students.
Sullivan is running for student body president and currently serves as vice president of external affairs, where she works with committee affairs, SGA executives and the Senate. Her running mate Martin currently serves as vice president of finance, an executive position on SGA, and is chair for Council of Clubs.
In a meeting with The Observer Editorial Board on Tuesday, both candidates agreed students lack knowledge about how to be involved with SGA. They acknowledged the current student government does not advertise the ways students can be involved as well as it could, but they continuously emphasized building an administration that would do so.
The candidates’ first course of action if elected is to amplify usage of OrgSync, the new communication system the College implemented last fall. OrgSync has met with varied success in its beginning stages and can be better integrated into campus life. Because this system is designed to communicate information to students, Sullivan and Martin will make huge strides in their more general communication goals as they target OrgSync’s improvement at the beginning of their term in office.
Sullivan and Martin also plan on working with the new SGA structure that was implemented at the start of turnover last spring. Their student government experience has given them solid perspective on the way this structure works. The women plan to keep up with the councils and committees to better define each group’s responsibilities, which will help increase the strength of the student government as well as the communication between SGA and the student body.
Encouraging students to run for positions on Senate is another goal the pair have for the new structure. While this year’s Senate did not attract students to fill all its positions, Sullivan and Martin proposed appointing students to positions on Senate, as well as changing the amount of senators per class from three to two. Since the senators will work directly with each of their own classes, the ticket suggested that each class president should appoint their own senators.
While the ticket recognizes the need to create a more successful Senate within SGA, their idea of appointing both Senate positions may not be the best course of action. Taking away the chance for a class to elect its own representatives reduces its input in this governing body. As one alternative if an election system will be ineffective again, the ticket could perhaps consider appointing one position through class boards and conducting student elections for the second.
The combined experience of Sullivan and Martin will provide the student body with an easy transition once turnover takes place. Having served on SGA in different roles will only benefit the ticket as they move into their administration. Sullivan and Martin seem to know SGA inside out and will make a great duo in achieving their goals and ideas for the student body.
Overall, the Sullivan-Martin ticket presents a strong platform, an immense amount of energy and passion for Saint Mary’s and an abundance of knowledge about SGA. Their administration is one that promises a more active and accessible student government for all Saint Mary’s students.