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ND student government candidates announced

| Thursday, January 27, 2005

Judicial Council President Brin Anderson officially announced the tickets approved to run in the upcoming student body president election at Wednesday’s Student Senate meeting. Six tickets – up from the four that ran last year – will appear on the Feb. 7 ballot, with a wide range of ages and experience. The presidential and vice presidential candidates include junior Dave Baron from Morrissey and sophomore Lizzie Shappell from Badin, juniors Craig Brede and Vijay Ramanan, both from Alumni, freshmen Peter Harig and Will Marra, both from Zahm, sophomore Mark Healy and freshman Bob Costa, both from Zahm, juniors James Leito from Siegfried and Jordan Bongiovanni from Cavanaugh and sophomore Alec White and junior Erik Powers, both from Sorin. Procedural reforms required by the Senate amendment passed in December take effect for this election. These include the increase in signatures required for late-entry candidates, bumped from 100 to 350, and the requirement that votes cast in favor of abstention in the run-off election not be calculated in total vote percentages, so as to ensure a majority for an actual ticket. Anderson said the Judicial Council, which oversees the election, will try to increase student participation and excitement about these elections, after less than half of the undergraduate population turned out to vote in last year’s primary.”We’re working on a campaign similar to Rock the Vote for November’s national presidential elections,” she said. “We’re really looking to boost participation and get students interested this year.”In order to accommodate the Super Bowl, the first debate will be held Feb. 3 in an as-yet unannounced location in LaFortune, tentatively at 7:30 p.m. The primary election will occur Feb. 7 with the run-off debate between the final two tickets on Feb. 8 and the run-off election on Feb. 9.

In other Senate news:u Chief Executive Assistant Dave Baron told Senate that the report for the Feb. 3 Board of Trustees report would be finalized and sent to the trustees by today. The report will focus on the general issue of diversity at Notre Dame, with sections specifically addressing racism, heterosexuality and sexism.Baron asked that the student body wear The Shirt, or any green shirt, on Feb. 3 to show support for diversity. The date coincides with Diversity Awareness Week.u Academic Affairs Committee chair Vijay Ramanan announced that the college newspaper readership pilot program will start Feb. 7 and go for four weeks while student demand is evaluated. Fourteen different locations around campus, including some dorms and classroom buildings, will receive free copies of the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and USA Today daily. Discussions about instituting the full program will begin after results from the trial are analyzed.u The Senate approved an endorsed letter to send to Bono as part of the campaign to convince U2 to come play a benefit concert during the spring semester’s Africa Week.u Members discussed the Committee on Oversight’s exploration of changing student government’s transition date from April 1 to either the end of spring semester or the end of fall semester. Most spoke in favor of making the term last into May, including student body president Adam Istvan, who said that the extra transition time would help eliminate wasted weeks.