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New tickets bring fresh perspective

Amanda Michaels | Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Though their platforms differ, three of the four tickets in next week’s student body presidential election have one thing in common – their lack of experience with student government at Notre Dame.The youngest ticket in the race, freshmen Mark Healy and Mike Healy are using their inexperience a selling point for their campaign.”I believe our standing as freshmen is one of our greatest strengths … The fact that we are freshmen means that we will be as affected by our own policies as anyone, seeing as we will not be able to institute change and then graduate and be on our merry way before any of our programs assert their actual effects,” said Mike Healy.”It is important not to place too much emphasis on age,” added Mark Healy. “Rather than simply writing us off because we are young. … We are not running as freshmen, but instead we are running as a voice for seniors, juniors and sophomores as well as freshmen.”Though neither has been directly involved in student government at Notre Dame, Mark Healy was briefly involved with the communications division of the office of the student body president and has worked on the national level in political campaigns in Florida. Despite boasting a current dorm president, the Adam Istvan and Karla Bell ticket is relatively new to the arena of student government – a fact that, like Healy-Healy, they see as an advantage. “Perhaps the problem with student government is that it consists of the same people over and over again each year. We can introduce new ideas or even new strategies to reach certain goals. Student government has been concentrating more on restructuring itself than on the students directly, and we feel that needs to change,” said Bell, Walsh Hall president.Istvan compared his experience mediating with administrators as a Huddle manager to that of governing.Ryan Craft and Steve Lynch’s most recent involvement in student government was in high school, yet both consider their two-and-a-half year experience as students training enough. “Early in our freshman year, we became friends with an alumnus, Dave Bender,who served as Student Body President in the mid 70’s without holding any prior student government experience,” said Craft, explaining the reasoning behind their desire to run. “He made us realize that it is possible for two students such as ourselves to make a positive and noticeable impact on this school.”