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SMC freshman elections held

Anneliese Woolford | Thursday, September 25, 2003

A week of campaigning and the result of Tuesday’s primary election proved successful for Monica Lindblom/Kristen Bogdanowicz and Claudia Toth/Ashley Toth as the two tickets advance to a run-off election today for Saint Mary’s freshman class president and vice president. The tickets defeated four others in the primary election, with Lindblom/Bogdanowicz earning 24 percent of votes and Toth/Toth earning 21 percent. Other tickets included Susan McIlduff/Ashley Oberst with 19 percent of votes, Laela Tahmassebi/Caitlin Kelly with 16 percent, Amanda Shropshire/Irene Bayudah with 10 percent and Rosemary Walsh/Brittany Hartford with 8 percent. Abstained votes accounted for the remaining 3 percent.Roughly half of the class voted Tuesday, totaling 195 total votes.”We’re very pleased with the voter turn out,” said elections commissioner Nicole Haeberle. “It’s similar to what we get for the other three classes, which made us happy because it’s always a little harder getting first-years acquainted with the system.”Haeberle is hopeful for a similar turn out today, as students make their final choice between the two tickets.Sharing the same last name, yet unrelated, Toth and Toth ask freshmen to “Vote TNT for dynamite representation.” The running mates met earlier this year in their freshmen orientation group.”One of our leaders told us to get involved in student government and we just thought it would be a good idea to run together because we have the same last name,” Ashley Toth said. “We’re not doing this for ourselves; we’re doing it for the Class of 2007,” she stresses.Included in their platform is the idea to open a Belles General store with a Starbucks, to establish a better relationship with Notre Dame freshmen through social and academic functions, to continue innovative and stylish class apparel and to create and maintain a line of communication between freshmen and student government.Like their opponents, Lindblom and Bogdanowicz also see the importance of good class representation.”At this point, we don’t even care who they vote for, it’s just the fact that they vote,” Lindblom said. “We’re in it to win, but that’s not our main concern.”The two candidates attended high school together and were impressed by the friendly and welcoming atmosphere presented by the Saint Mary’s Board of Governance at orientation. According to Lindblom, that is what attracted the two to running together.Seen around campus in their rain ponchos and hats, they tell the freshman class, “We’re always here for you rain or shine.”Ideas on their platform range from organizing a freshman formal, to picnics and barbeques, to creating a themed T-shirt design for the class to carry on all four years. “Our main goal is bonding and getting to know one another,” Lindblom said. “We really want to get everyone’s point of view. There are a lot of interests between all of us.”In addition to the two presidential tickets, Tuesday’s election yielded nine students a position on the freshman class board. Appointments were given to Bridget Gorman, Kristi Sobhani, Kathleen Kindt, Katie White, Ashley Sanders, Chelsea Foote, Megan Sosnowski, Lauren Knisley and Katie Whalen. Each will serve on the board for the remainder of the 2003-2004 academic year.With nine board positions filled, an additional four remain available. Typically, the president and vice president, once elected, take applications and conduct interviews for the open positions.Overall, Haeberle is confident in the leadership capabilities she has seen displayed by the class thus far.”All six cross officer tickets are extremely committed and energetic women,” she said. “It was a pleasure to work with all of them, and the class of 2007 has many great leaders that we look forward to working with in the future.” The run-off election begins today at 12:01 a.m. and will continue through 11:59 p.m. Voting will take place online, as it did for the primary election, with results announced Friday morning.