By Kitty Williams and Claire Latsko | Co-Editors-in-Chief

In the SGA office on the second floor of Wakehurst, there is a white board with a to-do list for the year. It is covered in goals, aspirations, and plans written in expo marker. “SGA isn’t here to play around,” says SGA President Lauren Healy. “We’re here to do something that matters.”

Healy leads her fellow SGA members to make changes. “I challenge people to take every day and make it their day,” she says. Not only does Healy encourage SGA members to take action, but she also encourages the Salve Regina community as a whole to come together to make changes.

She emphasizes, as she did in the convocation speech she gave earlier this year, that focus should be placed on the critical concerns of mercy. Some specific concerns SGA is looking to address include the environment and racism. “There need to be conversations on this campus,” says Healy.

Something Healy is proud of during her time in SGA is the bill that removed the Rhode Island Blood Center from doing campus blood drives after someone exhibited discriminatory behavior toward a student.

Healy remembers being outraged when the student told her of this, and wondering how she could turn this anger into action. “I was immediately on the phone with the Rhode Island Blood Center,” says Healy.

Healy looks even further back and recalls the time freshman year when she did not earn a position as an SGA senator. “I realized I had to be kicked down and really humbled,” says Healy. “It’s crazy looking to look back on now that I’m president.”

Now she is a no-nonsense leader. “I’m personally a very loud person and I don’t stop until I’m heard,” says Healy. “We’ve been voted down but that doesn’t mean we are going to stop.”

SGA has no problem tackling small issues, but Healy wants to go after thing bigger issues this year also. However, none of this would be possible without the committee leaders and senators. “It’s not all my work. It’s the work of 26 other individuals and I have the great fortune of working with them all,” says Healy.

Junior Santiago Durango, SGA’s Vice President, is in charge of maintaining student organizations on campus. He says that a goal for the year is to, “create fluency on Seahawk Connection,” and also help develop a safe space for students at Salve Regina where they can feel unified as a student body.

The Academic Affairs Committee, headed by senior Eli Dias, aims to be the primary liaison between the student body and the academic dean. He refers to the committee’s goals for the semester as “projects.” “We’re going to try to get a student on the tenure board,” he says. “And we have students sitting on the committee for the hiring of the new provost.” Dias also says the committee plans to involve students in the performance reviews of professors and extend the add/drop period for classes next semester because, “it was way too short this year.”

Chris Chavarria, a junior, is the chair of the Diversity Committee, which works with students from any background to handle and issues of underrepresentation on campus. He says that some of the committee’s goals include diversifying the curriculum and adding a diversity course to First Year Transitions classes. Other things the committee is working on include changing the name of the “Alumni and Parent Office” to the “Alumni and Family Office” as well as increase handicap accessibility on campus. “We work on having an inclusive campus for everybody,” he says.

The Admissions & Traditions Committee is run by Penelope Theodoropoulos, a sophomore. She says that the committee aims to establish more traditions and united student relationships on campus. Athletics is the committee’s main focus right now. “We want to create more traditions that bring out our school pride,” she says. Theodoropoulos says they are working on possibly getting a new mascot and also designing a athletics-related statue to be put on campus. Other traditions the committee plans on implementing revolve around service and Theodoropoulos says that this is because they want to focus on the fact that Salve is a Mercy school.

Junior Victoria Johnson is the chair of the Environmental Committee. She says that the committee’s main goal is to implement green changes on campus while also creating environmental unity amongst the students at Salve. A huge project the committee tackled recently was installing new eco-friendly water filters in seven of the upperclassmen dorms. A new project Johnson mentions is a paper towel initiative to reduce paper towel use in on campus bathrooms. “Instead of taking two paper towels, just use one to dry your hands,” she says. Future goals for the committee includes having gardens on campus, getting new LED desk lamps in all the dorms, biodegradable containers in the dining halls, eco-friendly ice melts, and educating students on recycling.

The Safety & Security Committee is headed by junior Julia Gambardella. The committee works closely with the Office of Safety & Security to make sure that students feel safe and secure on campus. One of the committee’s main goals right now is to deal with on campus parking. “We’re trying to increase parking on campus and create better parking regulations,” she says. Doing this will hopefully reduce the number of parking violations issued to students. A long-term project the committee has to adding sidewalks on certain campus streets, specifically the ones near Wakehurst, Wallace, Young, and Watts. “It’s a safety concern for the students,” says Gambardella. Also, the committee is working on adding card swipes to every on campus building to create a more secure environment after hours.

Healy looks forward to what the rest of the school year will bring. “We’re working hard. The wheels are turning,” says Healy. “Buckle up, the year has just begun.”

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