2017 student government association committee reviews
Sophia committee chair and senior Megan Battaglia acts as the student voice for the Sophia program, the Saint Mary’s general education program that promotes critical thinking skills and comprehensive knowledge across disciplines. Battaglia said she assists with the process for approving new courses into the Sophia curriculum and assessing their value.
Sustainability committee co-chairs junior Emily Harrast and sophomore Kassidy Jungles aim to lessen the College’s carbon footprint. They plan initiatives to educate students about sustainable practices and to make the concepts of sustainability and conservation engaging. Through a T-shirt sale, the committee raised enough money for hand dryers in the Student Center, and these will be implemented next semester.
Food Services Committee
Food services committee chair and sophomore Emily Besler said her committee acts as a liaison between students and Sodexo, the College’s campus dining company. The committee hosted Food Week in October, and it included a different cultural food each day in the dining hall, a cooking demonstration, a candy bar and a partnership with the Student Activities Board to host an ice cream sundae event. In the near future, the committee hopes to implement Chef’s Corners, where students can learn more about where the dining hall’s products come from.
Marketing and Media Committee
The marketing and media committee chair, junior Sidnee Silveira, said the committee’s main purpose is to keep students informed and involved in Student Government Association’s (SGA) events. This year, SGA has publicized events on Facebook to gain an audience for events such as Monthly Mingles and Mental Health Awareness Week, and has used social media to inform students about tickets for the Navy Ball and the Sustainability Committee shirt sales.
Community Justice Committee
Sophomore Terra Nelson and junior Francesca Cervone are co-chairs of the community justice committee, which hosts Monthly Mingles — monthly meetings which engage students and faculty in discussion on issues they feel are pertinent to the community. In the future, the committee looks to gather more student input when deciding the topic of the month and involve more professors and staff.
The community committee’s two co-chairs, juniors Sarah Law and Grace Ward, aim to initiate more service involvement by SGA members, increase engagement and collaboration with the South Bend community and host a successful “Thank You” Week to honor faculty and staff. Their current primary initiative is organizing the first all-school 5k, which will occur during Junior Mom’s weekend and benefit the Sisters of the Holy Cross.
Junior Madeleine Corcoran and senior Kaitlyn Cartone, co-chairs of the mission committee, are planning Heritage Week, which will occur from Jan. 21 through Jan. 28. The week will feature a service project, a tour of the convent, a heritage dinner, Moreau dinner, tea in the Riedinger house and pastries after Mass. In addition, the committee plans to host a weekly or biweekly meeting that features guest speakers and allows students to discuss different aspects of their faith.
Senior Tenley Aufdencamp serves as the chair of the technology committee, which is working to find the most appropriate software with which to provide students with a newly-established budget for software and a guest speaker. The technology committee is also planning Saint Mary’s first hackathon this spring, and intends to feature a guest speaker during that time frame. In addition, the committee has begun an initiative to implement lighting on the Trumper Computer Center computers that follows the pattern of sunlight and sunset.
Big Belle, Little Belle Committee
Junior Ashlyn Maes and senior Kellsey Wiser serve as co-chairs of the “Big Belle, Little Belle” committee, which aims to pair first-year students with upperclassmen to help ease the transition into college. The program meets once a month as a large group and once a month one-on-one between the first-year and sophomore students, though some juniors who signed up for the program cannot meet as often as may be ideal for first years.
Social Concerns Committee
As chairs of the social concerns committee, juniors Anna Mullek and Haley Coghlan helped coordinate Support a Belle, Love a Belle Week, which promoted acceptance and unity across campus through discussions of mental illness and available resources. The two also work closely with the Belles Against Violence Office and are planning to collaborate more with its director, Connie Adams, on events such as Take Back the Night next semester.