Student Government Association Inauguration Ceremony

On Sunday March 26, the Student Government Association (SGA) held an inauguration ceremony to induct the new administration and class councils. The proceedings opened with an awards ceremony that honored students, professors, and faculty who contributed positively to the betterment of the college. Incumbent President Emily Bishop ‘18 and Vice President Brandon Pratt ‘18 were then sworn in after a successful campaign hinging on their ability to fulfill past and future promises to the student body.


Dean of Students Alicia Finn helped open proceedings with an extended metaphor about leadership and geese. She discussed how geese “travel on the thrust and trust of one another” in their famous V formation. According to Dean Finn, a whole flock of geese flies 71 percent further by working together. As each goose flaps its wings, they create lift which propels the geese following it.

“Each one gets to experience and dynamically draw on the energy of the whole flock,” Finn noted. “If we have the same good sense of a goose… we will accept [each other’s] help.”

She continued that, “each goose stands ready to take the lead spot, or drop out and support those that fall behind.” The ability to adapt to different situations and to work for the common good are hallmarks of strong leadership and are exhibited daily by the officers and members of SGA, according to Finn.

Dean Finn also addressed the senior members of SGA. She praised the Class of 2017 for modeling “critical thinking interwoven with compassion,” adding that the Class of 2018 had “much to live up to.” Finn emphasized that the senior SGA members exemplified the school’s mission while revealing the true meaning of being Benedictine and Anselmian.

As part of the ceremony, several awards were distributed to honor members of the Saint Anselm community who have had a tremendous impact on the school and student body. From SGA members to faculty and staff, the ceremony commemorated the recipients’ unwavering commitment to bettering Saint Anselm to the best of their unique capabilities.

Emily Mazza ‘17 began the awards ceremony by presenting the Abbot Gerald McCarthy Award to Professor of the Year Peter Cordella. Mazza gave a touching speech that commemorated her personal connection to the chair of the Criminal Justice department. She noted that Dr. Cordella was essential in her decision to attend Saint Anselm College, and that they grew close over the course of her work study with the department, a job he offered to her.

The Dr. Constance Richards and Dr. Alicia Finn Awards were co-presented by President Bishop and Vice President Pratt to Laura Manning and Don Moreau, respectively. Manning, who works in the Coffee Shop, was recognized for her “selflessness and unwavering dedication” to the student body. Moreau received his award for his tremendous assistance in coordinating with the SGA regarding student requests for the new Roger and Francine Jean Student Center Complex.

Andrew Keyes ‘18 and Andrew Shue ‘18, the Secretary and Assistant Secretary of Club Affairs, presented the Fr. Peter Guerin Award to the Dance Club for their commitment to their club and to the Saint Anselm community. Keyes noted that from cheering at football games to community service, Dance Club worked hard to have a positive impact at Saint Anselm College.

The portion of the evening dedicated to awards concluded with the Dr. Jospeh Horton SGA Member of the Year Award. Dr. Joseph Horton, Mazza, and Robert Merritt ‘17 co-presented the prize to Amy Vachon ’17 for her meritorious contributions to the organization. Vachon has been a member of the association for all of her four years at Saint Anselm’s, and served as the Chief of Staff this year as well as Vice President of the Class of 2017.

In his post-inauguration speech, Vice President Pratt described Vachon as “the rock of SGA.” He thanked her for her friendship and for her presence as a role model during his first term in office.

Both Pratt and Bishop used their inauguration speeches to detail their achievements from the past year, emphasizing their campaign slogan “Promises made, promises kept.” They described the administration’s efforts to clean up campus with the Respect the Nest campaign, which advocates for more recycling and for students to take more responsibility in the upkeep of Saint Anselm. The reelected duo also spoke about their involvement in creating a council for college president Steven R. DiSalvo, revamping the Hawks Advantage program, and in renewing Saint Anselm’s ties to the New England Alliance Conference.

In their second year of leading SGA, Pratt and Bishop promised to continue advocating for more pass/fail classes. According to Pratt, implementation of pass/fail classes would encourage students to enroll in classes out of their “comfort zone,” which would enhance Saint Anselm’s liberal arts learning experience.

The duo also vowed to work on making the campus more handicap accessible and to work more closely with the Multicultural Center. “We believe in making this a campus for everyone,” Pratt said. “Differences make us beautiful.”

“We will continue to put students first, plain and simple,” Bishop added.

The newly reelected president also took time during her speech to address the new and returning members of SGA. She emphasized that their contributions and efforts “have never gone unnoticed,” and that the success the administration enjoyed was largely a result of the cohesion and collaboration within the association.

After the inaugural addresses of Vice President Pratt and President Bishop, the class councils were all sworn into office. The ceremony marked the representatives’ official acceptance of their positions and acceptance of their duties for their respective classes.

The ceremonies concluded with a prayer led by Fr. Mathias Durette, O.S.B. and a brief reception for the student officers and their families.

5,000 Miles from Home; Anselmians from All Over

“Do you have any highlighters?” the girl across from me asked. I dug around in my backpack and pulled out highlighters in different colors and pushed them across the table in the Honors Lounge. After the initial ice was broken, we began to talk about the final exams we were preparing for and exchanged the basic get-to-know-you information. She mentioned her family living in India before moving to the United States. After talking to her, I had more questions, not only for her, but for other students.

Where do our students come from?

Many students call New England home, but others do not. Students come to campus from places such as New York, Florida, Minnesota, Texas, New Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii and beyond.

Some students went to high schools in different countries and returned to attend college here, while other students left everything they knew behind to come to the United States for college.

On campus, we currently have 13 international students. Eight students hail from Vietnam, while Canada, Egypt, Haiti, Pakistan and the United Kingdom each have one student.

Abdelaziz AlSharawy  '16Abdelaziz AlSharawy ‘16, also known as Zizo, is an economics major from Cairo, Egypt. After making a list of colleges, he decided to search for colleges beginning with the word “saint.” Saint Anselm College was the first school on the list, and the rest is history.

“Immersing myself within a different culture has been helping me to grow intellectually and culturally,” said AlSharawy. “Living in such a welcoming and a caring environment made me able to create a new comfort zone, more than 5,000 miles away from my home country.”

Hoang Bui '15Hoang Bui ’15, an international relations major from Hanoi, Vietnam echoes AlSharawy’s sentiment, saying, “I really like the free, easy and open relations between people regardless of social status, ethnicity, or religion.”

Bui and AlSharawy both enjoy the college’s location close to major cities such as Boston and New York City.

Living in New England has its own challenges, but moving from one country to another is a completely different ball game. AlSharawy and Bui both experienced their first snowstorms on campus.

“I was excited and I was running and dancing around. The second time, I was still smiling because I thought it was still pretty. The third time, I ran back to my room and I decided to hibernate for a while,” said AlSharawy.

Both Bui and AlSharawy have taken part in many of the opportunities offered at the college. They have both participated in Service and Solidarity trips sponsored by Campus Ministry, served as Student Ambassadors for the Office of Admission, and served as leaders in different clubs and organizations on campus.

“I couldn’t be myself today without Saint Anselm College,” said Bui.

Student Government Association Holds Inauguration Ceremony

Spring is associated with a time of change and student government is no exception to the rules of spring. Every March, a new set of students is voted into office. The election season culminates with the annual Student Government Association (SGA) Inauguration at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. The annual Inauguration marks the end of an administration and the beginning of a new one.

Outgoing SGA V.P. Mack Douglas '15 and incoming SGA President Nolan Varee '16

Outgoing SGA V.P. Mack Douglas '15 and incoming SGA President Nolan Varee '16

This year’s inauguration was on Sunday, March 22. Students, faculty, staff, families and friends celebrated the accomplishments of the 2014-2015 administration and passed the torch to the incoming members. Secretary of Internal Procedures, Daniel Bartley ’15 served as the master of ceremonies.

During the inauguration, outgoing president and vice president David McKillop and Mackenzie Douglas respectively, reflected on their four-year journey with SGA and their accomplishments with this year’s administration. Newly elected president Nolan Varee ’16 and vice president Brian Salvie ’16 followed with speeches of their own. McKillop and Douglas performed their final duty of swearing-in Varee and Salvie.

The newly elected class councils were then sworn in, promising to uphold the standards set by student government to serve the student body.

Aside from the swearing-in of newly elected members, the following awards were presented:

  • Abbott Gerald McCarthy Award (Professor of the Year): Joshua Tepley, Philosophy
  • Constance Richards Award (Staff/Faculty Member of the Year): Michael Murphy, Residential Life
  • Alicia Finn Award (Administrator of the Year): Father Benet Phillips, O.S.B., Registrar
  • Peter Guerin Award (Club of the Year): Best Buddies
  • Joseph Horton SGA Member of the Year: Marcello Cugno ’15

SGA InaugurationSeven seniors were recognized for their four-year commitment to SGA and the student body: David McKillop, Mackenzie Douglas, Brooke Judd, Colleen Tracy, Dominique Del Prete, Kyleigh Judge and Kayla Hart.

Aside from swearing in newly elected members, Inauguration is a time to reflect on the accomplishments SGA made over the course of a year.

During McKillop and Douglas’s time in office, they focused SGA’s efforts on student-related concerns. Many changes took place on campus, including food labeling in Davison for dietary and religious needs, increased number of spirit events at athletic contests, vending machines in the library, and three water filtration systems. The student senate also passed resolutions for new washers and dryers, a 24-hour study space, 24-hour printing, recycling bins in the coffee shop (coming soon!), more cell phone chargers in the library, and half-year parking permits.

On the event front, SGA sponsored the Winter White Out, which saw almost 1,300 students attend, the Anselmian Olympiad on April 12, the Paint Party on April 29 and fireworks on April 24. This is in addition to many smaller events and changes the student senate and executive board put into place throughout the year.

“Dave and I set out last year with a few things in mind,” said Douglas. “We wanted to make SGA more about the students. Every dollar that SGA spent this year was for the students.”

SGA serves as a voice for all students on campus. Elected members plan events for individual classes and the student body as a whole. Every Sunday, class representatives bring issues and concerns to the student senate and members work together to create a solution and bring solutions to the administration. Senate meetings are open to the student body, and students are encouraged to attend and voice their opinions and concerns. Class councils plan events such as Grilled Cheese Nights, Junior and Senior Formals, as well as different class fundraisers.

Best of luck to the Varee and Salvie administration and all of the newly elected members!

Saint Anselm College Recognizes Student Leaders

Saint Anselm College takes pride in the generosity and service to humanity demonstrated by its students. On Wednesday, March 28, the college recognized 16 students at the 19th annual Paul S. Coleman Volunteer Service and Leadership awards ceremony.

2012 Coleman Award recipientsPaul Coleman, a former Saint Anselm College sociology professor, spent his life in selfless service to others. In honor of his memory, Saint Anselm presents an award for service and service leadership to seniors who demonstrate a commitment to others during their four years on campus. In addition, individual college departments recognize students for their involvement and service.

The following students received recognition:

  • Justine Saabs ’12, criminal justice – Paul S. Coleman Outstanding Community Service Award for outstanding service

"Justine is one of those extraordinary students who is linked to those across the campus who share her passion for service. She made service an integral part of her Saint Anselm journey from the start. She ventured out to the Youth Development Center to work with adjudicated youth and show them that they mattered and that they had gifts just like everyone else. Because those are hard lessons for incarcerated youth to accept, she stayed right there with them semester after semester. She helped to create a climate of wonderment and joy at Langdon Mill where young refugee children could flourish and amaze us all. Again this is complex and challenging work which may be why she never left there either."

  • Teresa Scalzi ’12, nursing – Paul S. Coleman Senior Service Award for outstanding service leadership

"Teresa’s possesses a number of strengths as a service leader;  she is passionate about helping those most in need; she utilizes well developed relationships to support those who engage in service with her; and she works hard to meet her commitments and assists others in meeting theirs."

  • Kevin Ward ’12, communication – Paul S. Coleman Senior Service Award for outstanding service leadership

"Kevin exemplifies community, sharing and he creates a positive environment; he has a wonderful personality and he is part of everything we think of when we think of Saint Anselm College. It’s truly hard to imagine the College without him.” -Neil Levesque, Executive Director, New Hampshire Institute of Politics & Political Library

Marina Alberti ’12 – Annual Volunteer Award Presented to an outstanding family weekend student volunteer in recognition of their exemplary campus service and leadership

Bridget Taylor – Fr. Michael Custer, O.S.B., Service Award Presented to an outstanding student in recognition for exemplary involvement and service to the Office of Admission and Saint Anselm College community

Ashley Vannasse – Fr. Michael Custer, O.S.B., Service Award Presented to an outstanding student in recognition for exemplary involvement and service to the Office of Admission and Saint Anselm College community

Jonathan O’Reilly – Annual Volunteer Award Annual Volunteer Award presented to an outstanding a member of Athletics in recognition for exemplary community service and involvement

Meaghan Ryan – Sr. Pauline Lucier, C.S.C. Award Presented to an outstanding member of Campus Ministry in recognition for exemplary community service and involvement

Kristin Harper – Sr. Pauline Lucier, C.S.C. Award Presented to an outstanding member of Campus Ministry in recognition for exemplary community service and involvement

Kathryn Marquis ’12 – Annual Volunteer Award presented to outstanding individual for care of the sick and/or advancement of the health of our community in recognition for exemplary community service and involvement

Katie Laque – Annual Volunteer Award presented to an outstanding service partnership in recognition for exemplary community service and involvement from the Meelia Center

John Pearson ’14 – Annual Volunteer Award presented to an outstanding NHIOP student leader in recognition for exemplary involvement and community service

Anthony Desmond ’12 – Annual Volunteer Award presented to an outstanding New Student Orientation Volunteer in recognition for exemplary community service and involvement

Brittany Handcock ’12 – Annual Volunteer Award presented to an outstanding student organization or committee in recognition for exemplary community service and involvement

Ashley O’Toole ’12 – Annual Volunteer Award presented to an outstanding member of the Multicultural Center in recognition for exemplary community service and involvement

Cedric Ashley ’11 – Annual Volunteer Award presented to an outstanding member of the Multicultural Center in recognition for exemplary community service and involvement

photos courtesy of Fr. Mathias Durette, O.S.B.

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