Saint Mary’s student government to focus on communication
Martha Reilly | Tuesday, August 23, 2016
According to Saint Mary’s student body president Emma McCarthy, the College’s Student Government Association (SGA) spent the summer brainstorming ways to foster open communication among members of the campus community.
McCarthy’s administration is striving to create a comfortable campus environment where all opinions are valued, she said.
“My number one goal for the year is to engage the student body in what is going on around campus,” McCarthy said. “We want students to feel connected and like their needs are being fulfilled. There are always things going on campus, and we want to make sure that the student body is aware of these events, and if they feel that there is an area that needs attention, we address those needs.”
McCarthy said she wants to advocate for students and voice their concerns.
“I want to be available to receive the students body’s input and establish myself as someone who students feel comfortable talking to,” McCarthy said. “Everyone deserves to feel that [her] needs and interests are being met and filled, and I am here to make sure that happens.”
Student body vice president Mary Joy Dingler said she and McCarthy will organize events called Monthly Mingles, where attendees will engage in dialogue about issues on campus.
“Monthly Mingles will be a way for students to voice their concerns and beliefs in a supportive environment,” Dingler said. “All students need to actively participate in events and Monthly Mingles in order to nurture a welcoming and non-judgmental community on campus.”
SGA committee chairs will continue to dedicate certain weeks of the school year to raising awareness about relevant topics or issues, Dingler said.
“Each of these ‘Big Weeks’ gives students a chance to come together as a group, to support each other and to learn something new,” Dingler said. “Heritage Week is great because students can learn more about the history of Saint Mary’s, while Love Your Body Week is an amazing opportunity for girls to support each other and embrace themselves exactly as they are.”
According to Dingler, all activities SGA hosts this year are aiming to encourage students to discover new viewpoints and grow closer to one another.
“I hope the events our committee chairs plan engage the student body and encourage students to come together as one,” Dingler said. “Saint Mary’s is a wonderful place that fosters friendships and community, and I want to see that community strengthened this year.”
SGA will cater its activities to the interests of students, according to McCarthy.
“Fostering unity comes in a variety for different forms,” McCarthy said. “Most important is planning campus events that engage the entire student body, not just target groups. We want everyone to feel that there is something going on on campus that sparks [her] interest and will engage [her].”
Prioritizing open communication will change Saint Mary’s for the better, according to McCarthy.
“The biggest thing I hope to do by the end of my presidency is to leave Saint Mary’s in a better place than when I started,” McCarthy said. “I want all students to know that no matter what their interests may be, there is a place for them at Saint Mary’s, and they have the ability to write their own Saint Mary’s story.”
McCathy hopes students feel comfortable approaching her or Dingler with any questions or concerns they may have, for she believes open communication and transparency will achieve a tight-knit campus community, she said.
“Working on fostering a welcoming and non-judgmental environment will not happen overnight, and it cannot happen with just a few students working toward this goal,” McCarthy said. “It needs to be an environmental change that we will all work together as a campus community to achieve.”