Getting to Know the Varee, Salvie Administration

Lauren Wanless '17 recently sat down for an interview with Student Government Association Student Body President Nolan Varee, '16. Varee and Student Body Vice President Brian Salvie '16 will serve through the 2015-2016 academic year.

Saint Anselm SGA 2015-16What are your goals as student body president?

Some goals that I have for the upcoming year include forming a new student committee to allow students to have a large input in the renovations of our student center. It's important that students have a say in what goes into the new center. Another goal would be to do more in terms of student activities around campus. While CAB currently does a great job putting on events throughout the year, it is my hope that SGA can take a larger role in promoting events and activities for students on campus. The biggest goal is to have more students involved with the decision making processes that are available to us as students including SGA, CAB, and other student organizations that have the ability to provide services and activities for students.

Nolan Varee '16How will you to get more students involved in the changes you hope to make for the school?

I hope to do this by creating an atmosphere on campus where students realize that our ability to promote the changes that we want to see on campus is real and when for everyone to see that when students speak those in the administration will listen. We all talk about what could make this a better campus, I want students to realize that we can push to make the changes we want to see with more voices and more involvement.

As a politics major, what have you learned in the classroom that you can apply during your time as president?

Well, I haven't studied any actions of student body presidents while they were in that office, but my classes have certainly taught me a lot on the subject of working with others to move plans forward. Beyond classes in politics, the small class settings that we get on this campus have helped me to learn how to sit at a table with people who may disagree with my views on a topic, hear what they have to say, and work to come to terms with the views of those around me.

How will your previous involvement in SGA and other experience in politics help you now as president?

Having a basic understanding of how SGA works will help both Brian and I to work through the processes that are currently in place to take the actions we hope to take, but I do not think that previous involvement is absolutely necessary to helping us move our ideas forward. I hope to make it clear to everyone on campus that it does not take previous involvement in student government to get involved now. It is my hope that by the end of our term in office, students will view SGA as a body where any student can go to for help regarding any needs they may have on campus.

How will you and Brian work together to make the Saint Anselm College community a better place for students, faculty, and visitors?

Brian and I will work very hard to ensure that the needs and wants of those students who choose to come to SGA for guidance will be heard by those who have the ability to act on their behalf. We are very excited to get to work on our plans, and we hope that everyone in our community will make it a point to come to us in SGA if there is anything that we can do to help in any situation. We want SGA to be a more student centered organization than it has been in the past, and we will work hard to see that accomplished.

Interview with Vice-President, Salvie '16

What are your goals as student body vice president?

My goals as student body vice president are focused around the students (as they should be!).  I want to do everything in my power to bring students together and make sure that the administration lets the student body know that they are priority number one.  I will do this by working with CAB to improve already popular events such as CABINGO.  I'll form a committee of students focused on setting a fire under the administration's pants in regard to the new student center that we were promised.  We in SGA have the power (and duty) to be the fly in the administration's ear, encouraging them to put the students first.

Brian Salvie '16Considering Nolan is a politics major and you hope to make SGA less political, how will you find a balance between your individual goals and work together to make decisions about the future of Saint Anselm College?

Nolan and I won't have to find a balance between our individual goals!  We are very like minded in our goals in that we both want to improve and continue existing traditions and events, work closely with the college's administration, and make the student body more vocal regarding their wants and needs.  We will work off of one another's strengths, because that's how the best teams function.  Nolan and I are on the same page in that we want to build a very transparent, "no strings attached" SGA; we simply have different majors.

As an RA, is there anything you see involving students, dorm buildings, etc. that you wish to change as the newly elected VP? If so, what would you like to change?

Yes!  As an RA one of my many responsibilities involve relaying maintenance requests that my peers send to me, up to my supervisor, who sends them up the ladder, where they go on a list, are fulfilled, then sent all the way back down AND up the ladder again to confirm that they were completed.  There has to be an easier way!  I want to figure out a more direct route.  Be it though an app or public spread sheet, Nolan and I want to somehow give everyone a direct portal through which they can report maintenance needs.

How will your experience as class senator help you as vice president?

As a class senator one of my responsibilities was to attend Senate every weekend.  As Vice President I run the senate, and plan on challenging the class councils to contribute not only to their class, but to the student body as a whole.  I fully intend to give class councils minor tasks every week in senate that will contribute to what Nolan, the Executive Board, and I are trying to accomplish.  Many hands make for light work!

How do you hope to get all students involved in the decision making process regarding the issues and improvements for our school?

Aside from forming committees of students and working tirelessly to get a student in on Board of Trustee meetings, I will personally set up anonymous surveys that will go out to the student body, nearly weekly.  These surveys will cover everything from ordering common concerns by priority, to choosing specifics of events, to evaluating the performance of the School's administration and the SGA administration under Nolan and I.  It will be my job to give all students the opportunity to be heard, and their job to speak!

Student Government Association Inauguration 2015

The annual Student Government Association Inauguration was held on March 22, 2015 at 2 P.M. in the NHIOP Auditorium. The Inauguration is a ceremony to honor the President and Vice-President of the Student Body for the 2014-2015 school year, to inaugurate the 2015-2016 President and Vice-President as well as the class councils, and to honor the work that every SGA member did for this school year.

McKillop delivers his Farewell Address.

McKillop delivers his Farewell Address.

It was bittersweet to see David McKillop and Mackenzie Douglas pass the torch on to the new President and Vice-President, Nolan Varee and Brian Salvie. It was a great year for the “MckMack-Attack,” as Dean Finn likes to refer to the pair as. So many great things were done under the McKillop-Douglas Administration, not limited to the new water filtration systems, Anselmian Olympiad (being held on April 12th), parking resolutions, and many more. According to Douglas, “nothing that was done this past year could have been done without the help of each and every member of SGA.”

Douglas delivers his Farewell Address.

Douglas delivers his Farewell Address.

This was not an event just to honor the work of the McKillop-Douglas Administration, but also the work of all of the students in Student Government Association, and both McKillop and Douglas recognized that with gratitude.

In addition to the inauguration of President Varee, Vice-President Salvie, and the 2016, 2017, and 2018 class councils, various awards were given. After remarks given by Dean Finn, John “JJ” Courtney (’17) presented the Abbott Gerald McCarthy Award, otherwise known as “Professor of the Year,” to Dr. Joshua Tepley of the Philosophy Department. The Dr. Constance Richards Award was given to Michael “Mike” Murphy, an Area Coordinator for Residential Life and Education. Father Benet received the Dr. Alicia Finn award, the Best Buddies Club received the Fr. Peter Guerin Award, and lastly, Marcello Cugno (’15) was the recipient of the Dr. Joseph Horton SGA Member of the Year award. Congratulations to all award recipients and thank you for all of your hard work!

McKillop and Cugno embrace after Cugno receives Dr. Joseph Horton SGA Member of the Year Award

McKillop and Cugno embrace after Cugno receives Dr. Joseph Horton SGA Member of the Year Award

A special thank you to those who helped plan and run the Inauguration and thank you to all of those who dedicated their time and patience to SGA for the 2014-2015 school year. Congratulations to David McKillop and Mackenzie Douglas and to Nolan Varee and Brian Salvie as well as all of the class councils. We are looking forward to a great 2015-2016 school year!

Varee being sworn into office by Douglas.

Varee being sworn into office by Douglas.

Salvie being sworn into office by Douglas.

Salvie being sworn into office by Douglas.

An Anselmian's Experience on Winter Break Alternative

By: Lauren Wanless '17

To say I learned a lot, met some great new friends, and had an overall amazing time would only be a few short ways to describe my WBA experience. A group of 19 Saint Anselm students, including myself, made Vineland, New Jersey our temporary home as part of the Winter Break Alternative program through Campus Ministry; this means that we voluntarily give up a week of our vacation to engage in service doing hands-on work to improve the lives of those less fortunate. With the help of the Cumberland County Habitat for Humanity organization, our week was packed with the perfect mix of work and play.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that relies mainly on volunteer labor and donations of money and materials to build and repair homes for those in need all over the world. With more than 1,500 local and 70 international affiliates, it is no surprise that the organization has helped over 2 billion people worldwide. Underprivileged families must apply to their local Habitat affiliate and are then chosen based on their level of need, their willingness to work with the volunteers to help build their new home, and their ability to pay back the loan. Even though my group did not get to personally meet the family we were building for, we were honored to help improve the lives of such deserving people.

With three vans packed full of bags, students, and plenty of snacks, we headed off on our nine-hour journey to Jersey at 9:30 AM on the first Saturday of the New Year. The long car ride was a great time to bond with our group members, which was just the beginning of the creation of our Habitat family.

When we finally arrived at the Pope John Paul II Retreat Center in Vineland around 6 PM, the friendly staff greeted us with smiles and a hot dinner. Next, we met Rob and Alyssa, our wonderful Habitat coordinators who planned the entire week for us. They welcomed us with gift bags filled with snacks (food seemed to be a reoccurring theme throughout the week) and an official Cumberland County Habitat for Humanity t-shirt. The more Rob and Alyssa talked to us about how awesome the week was going to be, the more excited we were to get started.

Monday was our first day working on the house. Upon arrival at the job site, we met Tom Baxter, a volunteer that helps with many Habitat projects in Cumberland County. Tom instantly became like a grandfather to everyone. We all loved him because of his quick wit, his stories about his wife and their adventures, and his kind, gentle, and selfless nature. Considering we were a group of students who knew little about home construction, Tom was incredibly understanding and answered every one of our millions of questions with patience. He not only taught us how to build a house, but he was great at sneaking plenty of life lessons in as well.

One of the best parts about working on the house was seeing how much our group grew as individuals and as a team. Someone was always there to hold a board steady, pass up materials to someone high on a ladder, or even something as small as cheering someone on if they were having a hard time hammering a nail into the wall. We learned new skills, overcame fears, and had a lot of laughs along the way.

With the help of Rob and Alyssa, we also got to explore some of the attractions the area had to offer. Everyday after work on the house was done, they had an outing planned for that evening. We visited the site of the restoration of the Palace of Depression, a building made completely of recycled materials, the Wheaton Arts Center and Glass Museum, a local Billiards hall, a Movement Lab where we got to channel our inner ninja warrior, Atlantic City, and many more. Other than working on the house, my favorite part of the week was going to Philadelphia. There, we met up with another WBA group from Saint Anselm doing service in Camden, New Jersey. It was fun to see friends and exchange stories, all while enjoying a delicious and authentic Philly Cheesesteak. Our group then headed to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and ended the night racing up the Rocky Steps. All of our nightly outings added even more excitement to an already fun week.

Together, the people, the work, and the adventures made for an overall unique experience for my first Alternative Winter Break trip. The week would not have been the same without every single one of our group members; it really is remarkable how much a group of strangers can bond in a short amount of time and how quickly they can become such close friends. After all of the fun I had during this week, I cannot wait to go on another WBA trip, and I encourage all Saint Anselm students to participate in such a life-changing program as well.