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Council approves five tickets

Melissa Flanagan and Emily Schrank | Thursday, February 3, 2011

Notre Dame’s Judicial Council approved five tickets this week to run for the position of student body president and vice president for the 2011-12 school year.

The candidates are: sophomore Ricky Bevington and junior Olivia Colangelo, junior Pat McCormick and sophomore Brett Rocheleau, freshmen Kevin Noonan and Matthew Thomas, juniors Catherine Soler and Emily LeStrange and junior James Ward and freshman Heather Eaton.

Ricky Bevington and Olivia Colangelo

Bevington said his ticket hopes to achieve three major goals: student government efficacy, University teamwork and student body unity.

“We want to be sure that all of the governing organizations on campus work together to do what is best for the heart of this University, the undergraduate students,” Bevington said. “Whether this means being sure that the student body is informed of important administration decisions or taking steps to have a stronger student presence with the Board of Trustees, we are determined make sure that the student body can really make its mark on this campus and the world outside.”

Bevington, who currently serves as the director of student government’s First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership (FUEL) program, said student government has been important to both him and his running mate Colangelo during their time at Notre Dame.

“Olivia and I are hoping the entire student body can connect with us and our goals, seniors to freshmen, he said. “We want to provide them with experience from our years past and dedication through the entirety of our term.”

Pat McCormick and Brett Rocheleau

McCormick said his campaign ideas are tied together by the belief that students don’t need a voice because they already have a voice.

According to McCormick, the current chair of the Student Senate’s Committee on Social Concerns, student voices can be a strong force for change, and Notre Dame students have often been at the forefront of that change.

“We’ve seen students use their voices and they can be heard,” McCormick said. “We think it’s time student government join them and serve them in that effort.”

The main focus for McCormick and his running mate Rocheleau, current sophomore class president, is the further development of Playing for Peace, the three-on-three basketball tournament held last semester in support of Sudan.

Some of their ideas include a Playing for Peace advocacy concert and turning the Notre Dame vs. Villanova basketball game into a Playing for Peace game.

“We think it could be a major platform for the University to not only come together for important and urgent issues, but also to hopefully do it in ways that are exciting for students,” McCormick said.

Kevin Noonan and Matthew Thomas

The Zahm freshmen said the major components of their platform are “really quite simple” and include “some wood, a few nails and a little old-fashioned American hard work.”

“If I had to give one piece of information to the student body about our campaign as a whole it would be this — we represent your real interests,” Noonan said. “Which would mean more to you, hangover hours in the dining hall and a new food court, or a vague promise of taxi reform? If you said taxi reform, then I don’t really want your vote.”

Catherine Soler and Emily LeStrange

Soler, student body president, and LeStrange, off-campus concerns chair, are running a campaign based on their experience within student government.

“It enables us to understand how student government works and what it can do,” Soler said.

The ticket will focus the relationships of the University with the South Bend community and the police. Soler said the connections she and LeStrange have already established will be a huge asset.

The duo has several other ideas, including expanding tutoring resources, student employment reform and a monthly midnight breakfast sponsored by student government.

“We hope students recognize how valuable our experience can be in regards to efficiency and previous relationships,” Soler said. “Emily and I are both creative and interested in doing things better and doing more for the student body.”

James Ward and Heather Eaton

Ward, current junior class president, said he hopes to address the everyday issues that students complain about by becoming a strong leader who remains down-to-Earth.

“Our main focus is to make student government run by students who can demonstrate leadership but at the same time remain one of their peer group,” Ward said.

Some of the topics the ticket is looking to address include bringing back quarter dogs, adding more points to the Grab n’ Go system and putting a Redbox for movie rentals in LaFortune Student Center.

Ward said the fact that Eaton, freshman class president, is younger than most other nominees is a huge asset to their campaign.

“There wasn’t ever much policy consideration to the younger grades,” Ward said. “That’s what we hope to impact next year, to have a better representation across the student body.”