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ELECTION IN FOCUS: Presidential candidate Peter Ledet, vice presidential candidate Gabe Alvare

| Friday, February 5, 2010

Who they are:

Zahm’s perennial farcical ticket is headed this year by freshmen Peter Ledet and Gabe Alvare. While most of the student body has already written the dynamic duo off, Ledet said he wants people to know that he’s “serial” about student government.

“We want to bring good things to campus,” he said. “Power to the people.”

Top Priority: Ledet and Alvare said they would like to create a feudal caste system upon taking office, whereby all Notre Dame students would be divided into four classes — serfs, warriors, nobles and kings. Alvare said he and Ledet would rule over this system as emperor and vice emperor from their royal tree house.

“We need our own little secluded place where we can do things,” Alvare said. “And of course, no girls allowed.”

First Priority: Ledet and Alvare said they would like to start a program to get more students involved in extracurricular activities in order to boost morale around campus. Alvare said he would like to use the Golden Dome as the symbolic rallying point for this initiative.

“We want people to come here and say, ‘I love Notre Dame. That Dome was awesome,'” he said.


In our words


Best idea: Abolishing Student Senate and replacing it with the Knights of the Round Table.

Worst idea: Mandatory weekly weigh-ins for all Notre Dame female students at the “Flirty Girl Fitness center,” which would replace Stepan Center. While finding new uses for Stepan should be encouraged, Ledet and Alvare’s idea is sexist and insensitive.

Most feasible idea: None

Least feasible idea: The placement of 18-foot-tall milk chocolate statues of themselves and cultural icons around campus, which the candidates claim would be eco-friendly and provide a food source for hungry animals.

Fun Facts: Both Ledet and Alvare showed up for the interview wearing high top Nikes, which they said were worn to show The Observer that their fashion sense far surpasses that of the other candidates. They also said they have significant experience with the University’s alcohol assessment program.

Quote: “It’s dark, scary and they make you wear funny costumes to put on musicals,” Ledet, talking about his experience at alcohol assessment.

Bottom Line: While Ledet and Alvare really have no chance of winning, the candidates do provide a nice break from the usual uptightness of student government. The one major issue that should actually be of concern to the student body is that the pair frequently crosses the line from funny to offensive, and many of their ideas are extremely sexist. While candidates running on a “joke” platform aren’t very harmful and can actually be quite funny, the student body president election should not be turned into a forum for people to voice offensive ideas, even if they are only meant as jokes.