Experience in her corner

Angela Moret

There’s one thing on Maureen Holland’s student government resume that the four competing tickets would love to see next to their own name.

Holland, a junior, won a landslide election last spring to become only the third junior in University history to act as Student Government Association president.

This time around she is facing more candidates, but with an edge none of her peers can boast.

It has been “easy and not-so-easy” getting her goals accomplished, explained Holland. She feels that the administration is receptive to student ideas; however, it always takes longer to get goals accomplished than one thinks.

“This is through no fault of anyone,” she said. “It is worth sticking with it.”

Holland, who is on the ballot with current SGA chief of staff Gita Gupte, called her position a collaborative and cooperative effort with all she has worked with in achieving her goals.

Holland’s favorite aspect of her presidency is “getting out there and working with everyone … meeting students, meeting faculty, meeting administration,” she said.

She has felt fortunate to work with the administration and “meet many of the wonderful people … who really care about the University, such as the deans and presidents of the colleges.”

If re-elected, Holland wants to continue working towards a better University. The top issue of her new platform is the improvement of academic advising and putting academic audits online for all students, not just those in commerce and finance.

Among Holland’s other platform goals are also improved weight rooms, all day stamp sales in the mailroom, an end to using Social Security numbers for ID purposes, Falvey Library and Tolentine Hall renovations and SEPTA discounts.

Also on her platform is an increase in Novafest funding. Though last year Holland denounced higher spending on the annual event in last year’s presidential debate, she realized that because CAT held a spring concert this year, the budget for Novafest is nearly depleted and they could use help from SGA.

Aside from these goals, Holland thinks it most important to work on atypical SGA ideas. She said the University “is a special place, rich in higher education” and she aims at goals that “really show what Villanova is about, are close to the heart, and that really matter in the long run such as a living wage or a unique approach to business education.”

Holland believes it is important that students know their rights and is working on a presentation based on teaching those rights. She brought this issue to the forefront in the fall when confronting Residence Life over their fire-drill policy in order to protect student privacy.

Though her platform was very important to her this year, she tried “to remain flexible and respond to student needs.” She claims there is nothing on her platform that she and Vice President Dan Sabo “did not make significant headway on.”

Among the highlights of her year were the campus video store, which will open in the fall, an online job and internship resource directory, which is functional but will receive help from UNIT, and the housing match-up database, which was granted approval by the Office for Residence Life.

This database, which will be used to help students find off-campus housing and roommates, cannot be executed through the SGA website because of technical difficulties, but will run through the UNIT website sometime next year.

Perhaps the most visible accomplishment of Holland and Sabo is NovaTeachers.com, successor to the VOICE surveys, which serves over 5,000 students.

The website has become “bigger than we ever imagined,” she said.

A partnership with Bennett Taxi Service was created for Safe-Rides, which allows students to call the company and pay the fare by Wildcard.

“I think Maureen did a great job as president of SGA this year,” junior John Imperiale, director of the basketball lottery, said.

“She was very responsive to student concerns, responded to hundreds of student e-mails a week, and did a good job working in cooperation with other groups, departments and offices, such as UNIT and the athletic department.”