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Monday, March 4, 2024
The Observer

SMC event highlights resources for professional students

Saint Mary’s students helped themselves to mocktails and desserts at Sip and See in Holy Cross Hall on Tuesday night. Hosted by the Student Government Association (SGA), Career Crossings and Campus Ministry, the event allowed students to view a plethora of resources offered by Mother Pauline’s Food Pantry, Dress for Success Michiana and the Free Store.

Liz Baumann, director of the Student Involvement and Advocacy Office spoke about the motivation behind the occasion.

“Representatives from Dress for Success, the Free Store and the food pantry meet monthly in the Holy Cross basement,” she said. “We were brainstorming ways that we could make more students aware of these resources and normalize the use of these spaces.”

Despite the three organizations having individual purposes, they have begun collaborating more often in order to create events for students to participate in.

“The more we work together, the more students can know about these resources and how to access them,” Baumann said.

Baumann also talked about Dress for Success Michiana and how it has been established on Saint Mary’s campus.

“This is a resource open to the entire community, not just Saint Mary’s students, but they have a mission of helping women specifically get ready for the next steps in their professional careers,” she said. “That’s helping them dress for interviews, helping them dress for jobs that they obtain and helping them build confidence in other areas through resources like resume building.”

SGA president Angela Martinez Camacho elaborated on how she believed the notion to have impacted those who attended. 

“Although we didn’t have a huge turnout, I just hope that for the Belles that did attend, they can sort of see what resources are available to them on campus,” she said. “They can communicate to other Belles and Smicks that ‘hey, there are all these resources that I learned about, maybe it’d be of good use to you and not just me’”. 

There are many ways for students to utilize these organizations at whatever time they please, Martinez Camacho said. 

“They are three separate entities so contacting Sherry Klein who is our director for Dress for Success or filling out the form that we have posted all over campus to make an appointment,” she said. “The free store has open hours, but if you want to get involved in different ways you can contact Campus Ministry and then the food pantry is run through OSIA.”

These assets are accessible to all students in the South Bend community and have many positive benefits, she added. 

“There’s no shame in the game,” Martinez Camacho said. “I know I’ve been a frequent user of the Mother Pauline food pantry and it just sort of helps me where I can’t always afford things like having extra snacks and extra school supplies.”

Baumann explained how knowledge of the resources can be especially beneficial when students do not have a lot of free time to save up money.

“College is a difficult time to afford,” Baumann said. “You are a full-time student, you’re perhaps working a student job but for the most part you don’t have a lot of time to rake in a lot of income so these resources are a great way to get some items for free.”