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Saint Mary’s students get opportunity to speak with Cervelli at event

| Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Saint Mary’s community members got the opportunity to speak with Saint Mary’s President Jan Cervelli at an event titled Tuesday Tea with President Cervelli hosted by the Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA). The gathering was an open forum where all students had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with Cervelli.

Student body president senior Bailey Oppman said this event was successful because President Cervelli was open and excited to be speaking with students.

“We know that President Cervelli is super open to dialogue and getting to know the students,” Oppman said. “So really it was just a way for the President and the students to get to know each other more.”

Oppman said the casual setting of the event was a key benefit because it created a sense of closeness, not only between classmates but with Cervelli. She said the hope was that students could simply enjoy conversation and refreshments, as well as become more familiar with Saint Mary’s as an institution by personally speaking with the president.

“The main purpose of this was just to have an open forum and a place for students to come and have a chance to meet the president of their college and have fun in a more informal way,” Oppman said.

The event was publicized through social media with the promise of free Saint Mary’s monogram coffee mugs given out to the first 100 students in attendance. Student body vice president Lydia Lorenc said the idea for the coffee mugs brought attention to the event and encouraged attendance, however she said people stayed because of the unique opportunity the forum provided.

“It was a really good incentive,” Lorenc said. “I think people get really excited to talk to president Cervelli as well because not many people get the opportunity to on a regular basis. So any time she is available to talk we know that people will really enjoy it.”

Oppman said it is important for SGA to continue to host events similar to this one. She said she hopes there will be more such events in the next couple of months.

“I think we want to try to continue this tradition throughout the years,” Oppman said. “I know as we advise the incoming student body president and vice president, we want to see if we can figure out another open forum event with the president.”

Students at the event said that they were excited about the free coffee mugs and the food but they also said they were excited to see Cervelli at such an informal event. In addition to the excitement at the prospect of speaking with the president, students were also excited to pet her dog.  

Cervelli said she is happy she can be part of an event that allows students to relax and get in touch with the Saint Mary’s community.

“Tea is a little different,” Cervelli said. “You guys are really busy right now, I’m sure, so it’s nice to have a little break.”

Cervelli said these events and the opportunity to interact with students are her favorite parts of being president.

“I think any opportunity to spend time with students just relaxing one–on–one and talking is what this job is all about,” Cervelli said. “There is no better thing for me to be doing, and I learn so much from all of you.”

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