SMC candidates share responses
Megan O'Neil | Friday, February 24, 2006
Saint Mary’s students had the opportunity to listen to platforms presented by class board executive hopefuls and ask questions while they ate in the Saint Mary’s dining hall Thursday night.
The tickets for sophomore, junior and senior board were presented and then questioned by elections commissioner Danielle Lerner, and their responses were broadcast over the dining hall’s PA system.
“They have all worked really hard and they are really excited and I think they deserve to have as many people possible listen to their ideas,” Lerner said.
Question and answer sessions for elections were previously conducted in an isolated portion of the dining hall and voters were invited to attend if they wished. Lerner said the move was an effort to increase participation.
Seniors Kat Kindt, Meghan Mackinnon, Erica Antonucci and Laura Baumgartner are running for class president, vice president, secretary and treasurer respectively and are campaigning under the slogan “Got MELK? We’re utterly great and we’ll do your senior year good!”
Kindt said their top goal is to unify the class by securing fun events students want to attend.
The opposing ticket, composed of Heidi Goeppinger, Christin Molnar, Maggie Wickstrom and Bridget Gorman, also said giving their classmates a great senior year at Saint Mary’s was an important priority.
Goeppinger, who is currently serving as junior class president, said her board has had a successful year and has raised $4,000 for the class. She said she would like to see that money well spent and intends to plan future fundraising to keep the costs of senior formal and senior week to a minimum.
One of the things Kindt and her running mates proposed was moving senior formal to Chicago.
Baumgartner said the details have not been completely been explored, but the plan is feasible.
“Right now we just need to look at places where we can have the dance, and we have some ideas in our head,” she said.
When asked what they would do if they lost the election, every candidate on both tickets responded they would still seek to be a member of class board in a different capacity.
“I don’t think I would be here running for senior class vice president if I didn’t want to be on board,” Molnar said.
There were also two tickets for the junior executive board positions. Presidential candidate Michelle Michalak, vice presidential candidate Brooke Trudeau, secretarial candidate Katie Soller and treasurer candidate Cailene Pisciotta promised voters exciting class events, including a memorable Junior Mom’s weekend.
Michalak said her experience as freshman class president and sophomore board fundraising and activities chair has prepared her well to lead the junior class.
“It think this has helped me to improve my leadership skills because [I have worked] with not only many people at Saint Mary’s but off-campus, too,” Michalak said.
Their opponents, Colleen Kielty, Erin Hogan, Elizabeth Bush and Shawn Redington said the best idea on their platform is “The Real OC,” a fundraising walk to raise money to find a cure for ovarian cancer.
“We have already talked to people in the South Bend community about it and we are really … excited about this event,” Hogan said.
Sophomore class president hopeful Francesca Johnson, along with her ticket mates Pauline Kistka, Sarah Voss and Maggie Johnson, are running unopposed.
Johnson and Kistka are currently serving as freshman class president and vice president, respectively, and were responsible for initiating a dance marathon fundraiser that will benefit Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, Ind.
“I want to run again for vice president of the sophomore class because I think student government is one of those things that keeps you coming back,” Kistka said. “One thing I know a little better this year is that Francesca and I really know what we want to do and we are motivated to meet those goals.”
When asked her favorite thing about the College, Johnson did not hesitate.
“My favorite thing about Saint Mary’s is its being an all women’s atmosphere,” Johnson said. “I think it allows us to be more confident.”
The ticket also said they will work hard to keep classmates studying abroad connected to campus.
“I think it will be really different with people leaving and coming back all year long, and I think it is really important to make people know [when they leave and come back] they are still a member of our class,” Voss said.
Voting will take place on PRISM from midnight Sunday to midnight Monday.