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Skidgel, Cole discuss growing community at Holy Cross

| Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Emilee Skidgel and Katherine Cole, president and vice-president, respectively, of the Holy Cross Student Government Association (SGA), are proud of their work re-establishing former activities post-COVID and introducing their own new ideas to the Holy Cross community.

“Especially coming from the COVID year, I think everyone’s been a little more aware of what we do around campus,” Cole said.

Cole and Skidgel spoke of the Thanksgiving Basket Food Drive as a big success of SGA, in which Thanksgiving dinner was provided to 50 families in need.

“We got to bring in the men’s basketball team, the men’s and women’s soccer teams, social concerns and SGA to the Food Drive,” Skidgel said.

The president and vice-president campaigned on a message to “be the change” and to build community within Holy Cross. Part of this goal meant uniting the many subgroups of Holy Cross students.

Commuter students, Skidgel mentioned, face especially difficult challenges when trying to fit into the Holy Cross community.

“A way to bridge that gap was we created commuter senators for Senate,” Skidgel said. These “commuter senators” now serve in the SGA Senate along with three senators per class.

“Some of our events are really late in the day and that can be really hard for commuters,” Cole said. “So, we want to be able to accommodate them and find good times for events which more people from off campus can attend.”

Cole was also proud of the work being done to connect Holy Cross students with administration and faculty.

“I think that we really started to be able to do that in the past couple weeks”, she said.

In the second half of their term, they aim to bring foundational change to the school.

“We hope to accomplish something long-lasting to Holy Cross,” Skidgel said.  “We’re trying to raise the expectations of what it means to be a part of student government for years down the line.”

Skidgel and Cole ran for president and vice-president to aid in the mission of Holy Cross.

“I wanted to be as involved as I could at Holy Cross and make a difference in a way that was tangible and practical,” Cole said.

Skidgel mentioned her own experience in adapting to college as inspiration to run for president.

“I just remember being a freshman and it kind of being difficult to figure out where you fit in and if you didn’t fit into any groups, what areas you could reach out to or be a part of,” Skidgel said. “I just wanted to be that senior to those freshmen, those incoming newbies, that were navigating their way through a new environment.”

Skidgel and Cole’s campaign platform took a traditional approach for Holy Cross SGA campaigns in aiming to build community but differed from many past campaigns in emphasizing community within Holy Cross rather than greater involvement in the tri-campus. This vision is important, and especially admirable is an emphasis on involving commuter students more. It allows for Holy Cross students to feel at home within their own school, and one can sense a rising sense of belonging within the campus community. The team, however, would serve students well by making themselves more available to the student body and hosting more events in the second semester for Holy Cross students to participate in.

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