The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Presidents elected to Saint Mary’s SDB, RHA

Anneliese Woolford | Thursday, February 12, 2004

Presidential elections held Tuesday for Saint Mary’s Student Diversity Board and Residence Hall Association left Ashley Doughty and Adriana Puente and Martha Hottenstein and Jill Funnell to fill their respective administrative positions on April 1.Both tickets ran unopposed. In each of the elections, students could choose to vote in favor of the candidates, against the candidates or abstain. Hottenstein and Funnell received 79 percent of the vote in the RHA election. Abstentions accounted for 14 percent and seven percent of students voted in opposition.The ticket initially plans to stick to those ideas listed on its platform, but Hottenstein said that more ideas would be discussed once a new board is established.”We want to establish a good [rapport] with the board and make sure everyone is on the same page,” she said.Transitioning Opus Hall, Saint Mary’s new on-campus apartments, into the RHA is the ticket’s top priority for the year. It is also what Hottenstein and Funnell see as their biggest challenge, yet one they say they are ready to face.Doughty and Puente received 79 percent of the vote in the SDB election. Abstentions accounted for 16 percent and five percent of students voted against the ticket.Doughty said she and Puente’s first priority upon entering office is to reach out to accepted Saint Mary’s students who have yet to make their final commitment. As specified on the ticket’s platform, board members will include a letter with personal contact information in packets sent by the admissions office to accepted students. The process of drafting a letter is already in progress, Doughty said.In addition to selecting a new 12-member board, Doughty and Puente hope to work toward increasing student, faculty and staff participation at Student Diversity Board events. They also intend to broaden aspects of diversity beyond those associated with race and ethnicity. “Overall, we just want to keep up with what SDB has done so far,” Doughty said. “I think that our platform ideas are feasible to start, if not fully achieve.”Although only 21 percent of students voted in Tuesday’s election, neither of the tickets nor elections commissioner Nicole Haeberle was surprised at the turnout.”[Voter turnout] seems much lower compared to the student body election we just had, because that was abnormally high,” she said.She credits the interest in the recent student body election to the fact that opposition existed among tickets for the first time in three years. The three tickets that ran executed successful campaigns and heightened student interest, Haeberle said.”I was happy that students came out considering both the RHA and SDB elections had only one ticket, but I still would liked to have seen a higher voter turnout,” she said.