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Former Saint Mary’s student body president, vice president say farewell

| Friday, May 17, 2019

As the academic year came to a close, seniors Madeleine Corcoran and Kathy Ogden reminisced on their time as undergraduates and Student Government Association president and vice president, respectively.

Corcoran thought about her final experiences — particularly her time in the Cushwa-Leighton Library.

“It’s weird because I feel like all the lasts are coming,” she said. “Today I was studying in the library like, ‘This is probably it, I probably won’t study here again.’ How many hours have I sat in that library?”

In a May 5 interview with The Observer, Ogden said she didn’t want to think about her lasts as an undergraduate.

“I don’t know why, but I haven’t sat down and looked at the calendar, so I keep telling myself I have a good two and a half weeks left,” she said. “I don’t. But I’m like, ‘Oh, I still have two and a half weeks left,’ but it’s like graduation is almost a week away, which I can’t think about. Going to get the trembling lip.”

One thing the pair can agree on is the value of their time in student government.

Ogden said her time as vice president enhanced her level of involvement at the College and enabled her to truly fulfill the title of “student leader.”

“So many times people say, ‘You’re a student leader on campus,’ but it was being that, which I thought was really cool,” Ogden said. “All of the experiences student government has given us — like sitting in on interview panels and being the student voice there, being able to go to the Board of Trustees meetings and meeting all of these really successful alumnae or people outside of the College. It’s been a really cool part. Just being more involved in Saint Mary’s naturally makes you love Saint Mary’s even more because you see that love is so contagious.”

Former student body president Corcoran said the care the administration has for students is reflected in the amount of participation the pair had in their decision-making processes.

“That speaks volumes to the type of school we go to. That approach really has a waterfall effect throughout the whole college,” Corcoran said. “We always see it in our professors and those people we have daily experiences with, but I think it really stems from an administration that cares a lot about us and wants the student voices to be heard. So many times in meetings they’ll point to Kathy and I and say, ‘Well, what do you think as students?’ I don’t know for a fact, but I think a lot of colleges wouldn’t even have students be a part of a lot of the meetings and interviews and really high-level parts that we’ve gotten to participate in.”

The ability to directly discuss their thoughts and ideas with the administration allowed Corcoran and Ogden to actively pursue their goals as well as tend to issues concerning students. Corcoran said this permitted the two to make student government an attainable resource to the student body.

“Overall, people have come to us more often for different needs or questions on campus, and I think that’s something new that hopefully a lot of students feel is true — that we are a resource because that’s ultimately the main goal of student government, being that resource and actually following through on the questions and the concerns of students and working towards their needs,” she said.

Corcoran said increasing the SGA presence on campus is a highlight of her time as president.

“People see what student government can actually do on campus — whether it’s with Blinkie on Sundays, or the wireless printing, or events on campus, things like that,” she said. “I think across the board, students are seeing that student government reflects all components of our lives on campus, whether it’s Residence Life, academics or extracurriculars, it really does have a hand in everything. Hopefully, [student government] continues to be the go-to resource like we were the go-to resource.”

Ogden said her administration’s most significant accomplishment was making wireless printing accessible to students, a change she said benefitted the entire student body.

“I saw a girl in Trumper the other day wirelessly printing something,” she said. ”It was just cool to see. I remember our first meeting as juniors right after we figured out we were going to be student body president and vice president, meeting with Todd Norris and I was able to see the end where she was wirelessly printing from her device, so it was cool.”

Though Corcoran and Ogden’s time as SGA leaders is over, the pair said they believe Terra Nelson and Olivia Allen will find success in their time as president and vice president. Corcoran said she hopes the new student leaders maintain the “strong voice on campus” Corcoran and Ogden leave behind.

It is this strong voice Ogden said she wishes for students to appreciate and discover in their times at Saint Mary’s.

“Appreciate the little things just because your time here is so precious,” she said. “As a senior, you realize that even more because you’re about to say goodbye. Trust that Saint Mary’s is shaping you into a very successful woman to go out and be a confident, empowering woman.”

While giving thanks to all of those who helped the class of 2019 succeed, Corcoran also expressed her gratitude for her formative Saint Mary’s experience.

“Being able to leave this College being confident, strong individuals who are going to change the world really is so empowering and so admirable,” she said. “Not everyone can necessarily say that about their college class, and I think that’s something so special about Saint Mary’s. Very much enjoy every minute and second at this place, because it flies by. It goes very quickly … Take in every moment you have here. Just like they say, you’re discovering yourself here and this is your chance to do that. They are preparing you to discover your place in the world — that’s what we’re all about to go do.”

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About Maria Leontaras

Maria Leontaras is a senior at Saint Mary's pursuing a student-designed major in Interactive Journalism with minors in mathematics and Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. Maria used to serve as the Editor-in-Chief of The Observer when she wasn't busy tweeting about movies and One Direction.

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