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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer

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SMC SGA president and vice president reflect on 2023-2024 term

As president and vice president for Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) in the 2023-2024 term, seniors Scarlet Peters and Hannah Kaczor worked to plan and host events and support and create new committees.

Peters, originally from Scottsdale, AZ, double-majored in political science and Spanish and minored in economics. She plans to pursue law school and follow a path in government law. 

Kaczor, from Temperance, MI, double-majored in political science and global studies with a concentration in intercultural studies. She plans to earn her master’s in management degree at Notre Dame. 

Their experience in SGA together began their sophomore year serving as co-chairs on the first-year committee, where they were in charge of planning social events for freshman students. 

“We found out that we worked really well together, we liked doing student government. Then we were just like, ‘Hey, how cool would it be if in two years we ran?’ as a joke. But then we just stuck with it,” Kaczor said. 

Peters said former SGA president Elly Hanson encouraged them to make their ‘joke’ a reality. 

“I met with her, and she asked me, ‘Would you ever be interested in running for Saint Mary’s president? I think you’d be great for it.’ And just hearing that also reassured [me]. I was already involved a lot by being an RA and everything, so I [thought], let’s just keep it going,” Peters said.

Peters and Kaczor said they felt most proud of implementing an accessibility resource committee, which will be officially established during the 2024-2025 academic year. This committee will work closely with the Accessibility Resource Office and students in need of their services. 

“For students who have disabilities, whether that be physical or things that you wouldn’t be able to tell, [we want to] provide and connect them with more resources that might help them feel more included on campus … [and] give them a stronger voice,” Peters said. 

The two also helped host the first-ever “town hall” on campus in the fall semester, which gave students the opportunity to provide feedback to SGA about their opinions on different aspects of campus life and what they want to see in the future. 

As liaisons between the student body and College administrators and the Board of Trustees, Peters and Kaczor attended and presented in a few Saint Mary’s board meetings about their efforts in improving student life. 

“That was awesome, getting to meet a lot of very involved people in campus culture and powerful alums. Just getting to see that we can make a tangible difference here on campus has been amazing,” Kaczor said. 

One of Peter’s favorite moments in her term stems from the first SGA event of the year, Bellefest, a social event for Saint Mary’s freshman hosted hours before Domerfest. Kaczor and Peters, as well as a third senior in SGA, were in charge of escorting freshmen from Domerfest back to Saint Mary’s campus throughout the night.

“One of us would go and walk a group while the other would stay and receive. It was just a lot of walking, which was kind of chaotic but really fun at the end of the day. We would just text each other, ‘Passing the dome,’ ‘We'll be back soon,’ and you know how the first-years are all excited,” Peters said. ”That was a good way to start the year.”

Kaczor cited their first meeting with the Alumnae Association Board at the beginning of the fall semester as one of her favorite moments of her term. Both Kaczor and Peters presented their presidential platform and the plans for change and improvement on campus they wanted to accomplish during their term. 

“Just to have them all come up and talk to us afterwards, all these alums who are doing such great things in their lives and just seeing how excited they were for us made us more excited. I feel that better helped us to take on that step of being seniors, being leaders,” Kaczor said. 

As they step away from their roles and graduate from Saint Mary’s, Peters and Kaczor offered advice to the upcoming SGA president and vice president, juniors Ashley Chaveriat and Adare Carmody.

“​​At the end of the day, it’s all about relationships, like your relationship [with] each other, relationships with your committee, the school as a whole and the administration. So just really focus on and strengthen those to the best of your ability,” Kaczor said.

Peters stressed the importance of having fun while in the job.

“As a president, vice president, you’re going to be busy, but just remember you’re at Saint Mary’s it’s such a blessing just to be here. So just have fun with being in your position and take advantage of meeting all those people. Enjoy your time because it goes by quickly,” Peters said.