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Weber to move on from student gov’t

Madeline Buckley | Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In leadership positions, it is important to have a turnover — a chance for someone to bring something new to the role, student body vice president Cynthia Weber said.

Despite a long tradition of junior student body vice presidents taking over the role of president their senior year, Weber opted not to run for student body president for the 2010-11 term.

Weber called this tradition a “legacy,” citing a long line of student body vice presidents who took over the job until 2008, when the Bob Reish-Grant Schmidt ticket beat then-student body vice president Maris Braun and her running mate.

“I think sometimes it’s good for an institution to have a change in leadership,” Weber said. “In student government, we have what are called legacies. And the legacy continues until the student body says, ‘we need something different.”

Three tickets are running in this year’s student body general election: sophomores Catherine Soler and Andrew Bell, juniors Noel Eras and Julian Corona and freshmen Peter Ledet and Gabe Alvare. The general election will be held throughout the day on Feb. 8.

“This will be an amazing opportunity for people to bring new ideas to the student body,” Weber said. “I think I would do an okay job, but I don’t have anything up my sleeve. I don’t have any new ideas.”

Weber said she is excited for the opportunity to develop other interests and focus on classes.

“It’s hard for me to have the energy to do both this and my schoolwork,” she said. “Some people have that energy. But I get emotionally invested in what I’m doing in student government and then my mind isn’t on my studies.”

A political science and theology double major, Weber said she is interested in education policy. She will spend the summer in India doing a research internship at a day school.

“There are so many different things you can get involved in here. You can do research, pursue international studies, get involved in your dorm,” she said. “There are all these different things I want to devote my time to my senior year.”

With more free time, Weber said she also wants to return to some old musical hobbies.

“I’ve thrown around the idea of starting a band or joining a band,” she said.

Many people don’t know that she enjoys singing, playing the guitar and writing music, Weber said, describing her voice as “kind of Regina Spektor, maybe a little Alanis Morissette.”

In high school, she produced a CD that she distributed to local coffee shops and around her school.

As the campaign posters are starting to line the hallways in dorms and campus buildings, Weber said she will miss student government.

“I don’t question my decision for a second but I do miss campaigning and I am definitely creeping on all the Facebook campaigns and Web sites,” she said. “I have found a community in the past three years. Self-sacrificing people are attracted to this job and I am grateful for that.”

But Weber said she and student body president Schmidt still have a lot to accomplish before turnover on April 1.

“Our focus has changed in the last couple of months,” she said. “Our line is ending. We’re working on building long term relationships for student government.”

Weber said she loves student government, but knows it is time to move on.

“This is such a successful university and students are often pressured to do what people expect of them,” she said. “Sometimes it’s kind of deterministic.”

But Weber said serving the student body as vice president has been a “humbling experience.”

“People here are so motivated and opinionated and capable,” she said. “I don’t care if you’re working for a major company. The people there may be as smart as they are at Notre Dame, but they won’t have the same infusion of spirit and service and genuine goodheartnedness.”