Coffee with Mary Sasso

Mary Sasso ’18 is a name that rings a bell for many on campus. Most of Wheaton recognizes her as the President of the Student Government Association. Others know her as a member of the Wheaton Whims, the Wheaton College Democrats or maybe even as someone actively involved in food sustainability and public policy.

“So many know me as the SGA President,” Sasso said. “It’s definitely something that gets brought up often but that’s fine. It’s more like, ‘oh my God, I’m in a position of authority…how weird.’” This being her first time on the SGA executive board, she added, “I have been a pretty avid observer of the SGA. I wasn’t a senator and I wasn’t a class rep but I was aware of all the initiatives they were putting forth.”

Given that it’s been three weeks since the new academic year began, how has the role of the SGA President been treating her? “It’s definitely different but it’s cool. I feel so much more connected to the campus,” said Sasso. “I’ve had way more emails than I have ever had in my life.”

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And what can we expect from the SGA this year? “One thing across the board that we want to be involved in is upping student government outreach to campus,” Sasso stated. For this purpose, the SGA has created a new outreach committee in the senate. “Honestly, it’s on us if students don’t know what we are doing,” Sasso noted. “We have to make sure that we’re putting our message out there. We are giving everybody ample opportunity to participate.”

In addition, this year’s SGA board plans to continue the previous initiatives of sustainability and is working with Scott O’Rourke, Wheaton’s dining manager.

Food sustainability has been a personal interest and project for Sasso. She first stumbled upon it while researching different policy areas and recently interned as a legislative assistant at the Senate, focusing on agriculture and public sector land. Sasso hopes to apply the knowledge she gained to her work at Wheaton.

With such experiences and goals under her belt, it’s hard to imagine Sasso as a nervous college first-year once upon a time. Sasso shared that some of the biggest challenges she faced at Wheaton included getting out of her comfort zone and meeting new people. She called herself an “introverted extrovert” and revealed that she has a hard time making new friends.

“Honestly, if I hadn’t joined clubs I have no idea who my friends would have been. Literally all my closest friends have been from me joining clubs and meeting people that way,” said Sasso. Joining the a cappella group Wheaton Whims was, in fact, how she’d met her first friends. “We [were] together a lot,” Sasso said. “We became automatic friends. It was good for me since I am slow to make friends. Having them was really my stronghold in [the] campus community since literally the first week of college. I love them.”

With such a vibrant, impressive college career and her graduation date closing in, what does Sasso look forward to after college? “I would like to go [to] law school. I am studying for the LSAT at the moment,” Sasso revealed. “But I think I’m gonna take a year off and hopefully work for local politics back home. Long-term, I know I want to be involved in public policy, whether it’s locally, state level or nationally.”