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The Observer endorses Schmidt-Weber ticket

Staff Editorial | Friday, February 6, 2009

After reviewing the platforms of the four tickets running for Notre Dame’s student body president and vice president, the Editorial Board of The Observer feels Grant Schmidt and Cynthia Weber, with their institutional knowledge and years of involvement with student government, are best equipped for the positions.

Their experience, ideas and established relationship with University officials make Schmidt-Weber the ideal choice for student body president and vice president. They have demonstrated extensive research into their platform initiatives and are prepared to make an impact immediately upon taking office.

Schmidt and Weber have outlined several worthwhile plans to improve student life, including a two-tier taxi reform campaign, geared at making transportation to and from campus safer and more convenient for students and continuing the current administration’s efforts to increase positive interaction between Notre Dame students and the members of the South Bend community.

The creation of a “Know Your Rights” document, especially in light of the Colfax Ave. arrests and circumstances in which students dealt with law enforcement over the past academic year, is a relevant and beneficial service to their constituents.

Other issues the Schmidt-Weber ticket are prepared to tackle are “subverting the monopoly” the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore has on textbooks and the implementation of a Good Samaritan policy.

Schmidt and Weber are in tune with the greater student body’s wishes from the overarching issue of off-campus safety to the long-awaited arrival of Easy Mac to Grab ‘n’ Go.

The ticket’s slogan – “Rounding the Bend” – implies continuity with the body of work accomplished by the Reish-Schmidt administration. And that’s a good thing.

If Bob Reish’s presidency has done anything, it has increased student interest in its governing body. The current administration has given students a voice in discussions of hot-button issues. Notre Dame has seen a jump in attendance at student government-sponsored events, like the Last Lecture series, which Schmidt and Weber plan to continue.

Their closest competition, Laura Burdick and Derek Sanchez, have demonstrated a clear understanding of student wants and have left a portion of their platform open to student input.

Burdick and Sanchez are sincere in their promises, but perhaps haven’t put enough research into all of their proposals to ensure their feasibility. They have already made contributions to student government and are two people that will represent the students well, regardless of their title next year.

James McCaughan and Tom Gorski are straddling the joke ticket/serious ticket fence. On the serious side, they propose to change policies regarding students’ interaction with law enforcement and disciplinary bodies on campus. Those issues, however, require dutiful research and planning, and will not be resolved in only one term.

Luke Lennon and Charlie Harig are just another pair of Zahm freshmen parading around in tight clothing for a laugh. They’ve served their purpose: entertaining the student body during campaign season.

Though Schmidt and Weber have received criticism for taking their positions too seriously, it is their seriousness and their dedication that will get the job done. They have the potential and the drive necessary to affect change.

The Observer endorses Schmidt-Weber for student body president and vice president.