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Outgoing SGA president, vice president reflect on term

| Friday, May 15, 2020

Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) president Terra Nelson and vice president Olivia Allen look back on their time as leaders with a bittersweet feeling. The seniors said they hopes to create a stronger community during their work with SGA, and though their tenure was cut short, the pair feel they were successful in their endeavor.

Once Saint Mary’s moved to complete the semester online, SGA had to figure out different ways to tackle their tasks and goals which they were still hoping to complete.

Nelson and others in SGA continued their hard work for the student body. Nelson said she and Allen continued to meet virtually multiple times a week.

Ways to help students remained a top priority for Nelson and Allen, meaning that events were to proceed virtually. Allen expressed she was still disappointed to see events in the spring semester disappear.

“I am especially sad to see Love Your Body Week and our Earth Day events not happen on campus, but hopefully that will make them even better next year,” Allen said in an email.

While Nelson and Allen had to shift their focus to preparing the next student body leaders, they said they were still very proud of what they were able to accomplish with the time they had. Nelson said she felt successful in having students feel similarly to how she did regarding Saint Mary’s, as it is such an important place for her.

With rising SGA leaders, Nelson hopes that her advice and work with underclassmen in SGA will allow them to accomplish their plans for their time as leaders.

“My advice for the upcoming leaders would be to have one mission or overarching goal for the year and really press into that and use that as your motivation throughout the year,” Nelson said in an email.

Allen also hopes the next SGA leaders will focus on pushing their ideas and goals forward because you never know when you will not be able to move forward with plans.

“You never know when something drastic is going to occur,” Allen said. “So fight as hard as possible for what you believe is in the best interest of the community.”

Nelson said that she was able to gain many different skills during her tenure as SGA president.

“SGA has given me tons of confidence and taught me how to communicate, set boundaries, advocate for myself and others and most importantly, be a part of a team,” Nelson said.

Allen said she struggled to find the words to describe the benefits being SGA vice president has provided.

“The lessons I have learned and the people I met have helped mold me into who I am today. I have never been more proud to be a Belle and now alum,” Allen said.

While it was a difficult finish to the semester without being physically present on campus, Nelson and Allen said they were able to reflect on how crucial Saint Mary’s was for them as they recounted the opportunities and experiences gained from their time there.

“The hardest part of finishing the semester online was being away from the community at SMC,” Nelson said. “It made me realize how special it truly is.”

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