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SGA, Breen-Phillips collaborate for ‘Galentine’s Day’ event

| Thursday, February 17, 2022

Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) and Breen-Phillips Hall hosted a Galentine’s Day event together Wednesday evening.

Breen-Phillips president Annika Knuth and vice president Holly O’Brien initially wanted to have a collaboration with SGA for Friendsgiving, but ultimately Knuth said she thought Galentine’s Day would be a great fit for a cross-campus event.

Saint Mary’s students and residents of Breen-Phillips Hall gathered in a Valentine’s Day-themed room filled with candy and music playing from a playlist filled with Taylor Swift.

SGA president Elly Hanson said she believes the tri-campus community is something that not many other colleges environments experience.

“The tradition that the tri-campus community shares, as well as how far back it goes, and still having these connections is what makes the tri-campus community so special,” Hanson said.

According to SGA vice president Adriana Salgado, the tri-campus is able to connect in unique ways.

“We have three different campuses, but we are still able to come together,” Salgado said.

However, part of strengthening the tri-campus community comes from walking into events like Galentine’s Day with an open mind.

“It is important to realize that we can thrive together and to not go into events [with] the mindset of ‘I’m not supposed to like this other school,’” Hanson said.

Hanson and Salgado said part of the motivation for this event came from the Notre Dame student government’s support after derogatory posts were made against Saint Mary’s students on Yik Yak in fall of 2021.

This outpouring of support fostered more intentional efforts to hold events like Galentine’s Day, which according to Hanson, have not been done before. Hanson said she believes it means a lot for Breen-Phillips Hall, as well, to hold an event like this. Hanson and Salgado highlighted their gratitude to the Breen-Phillips residents for coming over to Saint Mary’s.

“We are so thankful that everyone from [Breen-Phillips] was able to come over here,” Hanson said. “It means a lot for us.”

The event between Breen-Phillips Hall and SGA sends a clear message, Hanson and Salgado said, as it promotes the importance of empowering other women, and it shows that an event can be impactful, no matter how small it may be.

For Hanson, this event highlights the power of unity and the possibility of similar future events.

“There is a negative stereotype that women from Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s cannot get along with each other, which is not true,” Hanson said.

Hanson said she believes relationships between women should be seen as opportunities, not a competition.

“Sometimes women feel as though we are competing with each other for male attention,” Hanson said. “However, the prize isn’t the boy, but instead it is forming relationships with each other.”

Both SGA and Breen-Phillips leaders said they hope to have more joint events in the future to foster a sense of community in the tri-campus.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article misnamed Saint Mary’s Student Government Association. The Observer regrets this error.

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