We would like to announce our formal intention to run for the office of Student Government Association President and Vice President. We have both served in the SGA Senate with distinction, which has been recognized by the endorsements we have received from former SGA Presidents Justin Perry and Marlena Weiss and Vice Presidents Lisa Neu and Ken Benjes. We also have the seal of approval from former SGA Treasurer Matt Smith and former SGA Senate Leader Frank McGough. In our time in the SGA Senate, we have both ushered in significant on-campus changes, much of what you see around you at school today. Initiatives one or both of us sponsored include sustainable to-go boxes in the Great Room, access to Plan B in the Health Center, continued funding for the Campus Farm and Bike Shop, and the development of the Green St. Mary’s Revolving Loan Fund (GSMRF) that helps to finance greater energy efficiency at SMCM.
Of primary importance to us is to foster a productive dialogue between the students and members of the administration. We have both worked with President Urgo, Dean Bayless, and other important members of the SMCM community to create change and to convey the opinions of the student body – both majority and minority opinions. Just because you may find yourself in the minority on a certain issue does not mean that we do not listen and do not recognize your opinion. All opinions matter to us and we are committed to making all students feel like their voice is valued, even if a decision does ultimately leave some in dissent. In fact, there have been moments where we two have disagreed on issues before the Senate and had to work to bridge our differences in order to develop policy that reflected a broader representation of St. Mary’s Senate. We are committed to working as a cohesive unit – we are best friends so it’s quite easy! But we are also both strong individuals who promise to look at an issue independently and from many angles before deciding on how we would like to address it as an administration.
Another major facet of our administration would be our unyielding belief that our campus is and should remain a leader in sustainability initiatives. We have worked with SEAC (St. Mary’s Environmental Action Coalition), the Campus Farm, the Office of Sustainability, and GSMRF (Green St. Mary’s Revolving Loan Fund) in a concerted effort to lower our campus’s greenhouse gas emissions to 0 by 2020 in line with our Climate Action Plan, to promote less resource-intensive and more ethical consumption habits, and to catalyze green efforts at St. Mary’s. We seek to continue our tradition of environmental stewardship and look forward to finding new pathways towards sustainability.
We would also like to stress that our administration would pay close attention to the budget of the SGA. We believe that all student initiatives with a dedicated student membership should enjoy SGA financial support but we also believe that for some student clubs whose inherent nature is more capital-intensive, club members must share the burden of costs so as not to negatively impact the SGA’s ability to finance other initiatives. We want to provide adequate resources for excellent Programs Board events like movies, bringing comedians to campus, and World Carnival. We believe in the value of a balanced budget and will ensure that SGA resources are wisely spent, that there is transparency, and that all current SGA expenditures will be reviewed to safeguard its solvency. We also believe that maintaining a budget surplus is critical in case there is a need to support the school in response to an emergency or severe budget shortfalls.
Lastly, we hope to foster greater St. Mary’s pride. Our school is an incredible institution – the gem of the Maryland public colleges and universities with a formidable reputation for our varsity and club athletics programs, our talented performing and visual artists, our progressivism and support for diversity, our gorgeous campus on the banks of the St. Mary’s River, and certainly not least our thriving intellectual community.
Andrew is a member of the Dance Club, STARS, MAPP, the Nitze Scholars Program, plays some mean badminton and volleyball, and was an Orientation Leader in the summer of 2010 alongside serving in the SGA Senate as an LQ Senator for the 2010-2011 school year. Becky is a member of SEAC and SMUT, was awarded “Senator of the Year” for as QA Senator in the 2009-2010 school year and served as PG Senator for the 2010-2011 school year. Both of us have also served together on the Dean of Students Advisory Council from 2010 to 2011. We understand the tremendous breadth of opportunity there is to discover yourself at St. Mary’s from our extensive involvement on-campus and we have proven ourselves to be experienced leaders in this tight-knit community. We would greatly appreciate the chance to represent the student body and have the chance to continue to build on our successes advancing this incredible institution in our final year at St. Mary’s. We urge you to vote for experience in this election and would greatly appreciate your support as we near the end of our journeys here along the beautiful St. Mary’s River.