Saint Mary’s announces presidential tickets
Angela Saoud | Friday, January 21, 2005
For the second year in a row, Saint Mary’s students will have multiple tickets to pick from when choosing a new student body president and vice president – but whether it should be two tickets or three has been a topic of contention.
Junior Kellye Mitros and sophomore Susan McIlduff were the earliest pair to enter the election for president and vice president, respectively. Junior presidential candidate Michelle Fitzgerald and junior running mate Lauren Siegel announced their candidacy and were listed on the ballot as the second ticket when campaigning officially started on Wednesday.
But on Thursday, the ticket of junior Katherine Kelly and freshman Lauren McCalister approached the elections committee to see if they could still sign up to run.
According to a statement released to the student body this morning by the elections committee – including Elections Commissioner Anna Bauer – members of the committee based their decision on constitutional rules.
“We unanimously voted that a ticket comprised of Katherine Kelly, a junior, and Lauren McCalister, a first-year student, will not be allowed to enter this year’s election because the deadline for ticket entry has passed,” members wrote. “As was stated by Elections Commissioner Anna Bauer at the mandatory information sessions, platforms were due Tuesday, January 18, 2005. Only tickets who meet this deadline are able to participate in the election. We cannot make exceptions to the deadlines out of fairness to all candidates, and we cannot make exceptions to present constitutional policy.”
McCalister’s class year was also in contention. The Student Government Association constitutional policy requires that all candidates be at least second semester sophomores. However, the statement issued declared McCalister’s class status was not a determining factor in last night’s vote.
“The committee considered Ms. McCalister’s outstanding qualifications; however, her competency is not presently in question and had no effect on our decision,” the statement read.
Despite the extra meeting and final resolution, the two original tickets are ready to campaign and take on their desired roles as student body president and vice president.
Fitzgerald and Siegel are running under the campaign slogan “You have been heard.”
The pair are presenting a platform they hope addresses current student concerns such as creating a permanent forum for all students to voice their opinions, making a personal, visible and always available student government, increasing support of activities on campus and helping to establish an “all inclusive” Saint Mary’s identity.
Both Fitzgerald and Siegel have had a noticeable presence on campus. Fitzgerald ran for student body vice president last year with Sarah Brown as her running mate, but the pair lost in a runoff election. Fitzgerald, who was class president her sophomore year, is a member of Board of Governance and is a political science and philosophy double major. Siegel held an SAB Marketing Co-chair position with what she believes is a fresh perspective on student government She is an economics and English double major.
The pair is hoping to make a change at the College in the midst of the transitions taking place.
“We recognize this as a tremendous opportunity,” Siegel said. “We have the chance to uphold the rich traditions of the College, represent the best interest of our fellow students, and to help lead the institution in its new direction would be an honor.”
Fitzgerald believes she and Siegel will allow students to feel as though they have been heard.
“We take that central message of ‘You have been heard’ very seriously,” she said. “The chance to give back to a college that has provided us with a liberal arts education, and the chance to lead this student body is something we do not want to miss.”
Mitros and McIlduff are running under the campaign slogan “M & M: We’re ‘nuts’ for you!”
The running mates are hoping their ideas of promoting a greater understanding and appreciation of Saint Mary’s to show how the College became what it is today, integrating diversity awareness into student government, working on increasing enrollment and retention and providing stronger representation with administration will help them win the majority vote.
Mitros and McIlduff also have experience they believe will help them successfully accomplish these goals as student body president and vice president. Mitros is the junior class treasurer, was the sophomore class treasurer and is a humanistic studies major. McIlduff is the current chief of staff to the student body president, is on the SGA executive board and is an intended business and communications double major.
Both women believe their experience will help them perform in such coveted positions.
“We both have had a lot to do with student government, so we know the system,” Mitros said. “We have seen things we’ve liked and things we haven’t so we’d like to try to change some things while still highlighting the history of the College.”
McIlduff echoed her running mate’s sentiments.
“Being Sarah Catherine White’s chief of staff, I know what works and what doesn’t,” she said. “I think we could make the transition fairly easily.”
But while the two platforms gear up to campaign over the weekend, some students are still in the dark about who they are at all.
“It seems extremely early [for elections],” junior Staci Vanlue said. “I don’t even know who is running. I don’t even know their platforms.”
Sophomore Erin Luter also felt uninformed about the upcoming election.
“I don’t know about anyone campaigning, except I think I’ve seen a couple of posters – but not as many as last year,” Luter said. “I think it is really important to know things about the person who is going to represent you.”
Megan O’Neil contributed to this report.