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Rocheleau, Rose outline goals

Observer Staff Report | Monday, February 6, 2012

Who They Are

Student body presidential candidate Brett Rocheleau, a junior from Keenan Hall, is a Math and Finance major. Vice presidential candidate Katie Rose, a junior from Pasquerilla East Hall, is an Economics and Political Science major with a minor in International Development Studies. Rocheleau is the current student body vice president and Rose serves as senator for Pasquerilla East and director of the student government Department of Gender Issues.

In Their Words

Rocheleau and Rose, who are running on a platform they call “Advancing the Vision,” have a to-do list of five items in their plan of action. The list entails:

• Improving the constituent service capacity of Notre Dame, both on and off campus. Rocheleau and Rose want to continue the trend of addressing the wants and needs of the student body, saying it will be the primary focus of their administration.

• Increasing safety for all students by raising awareness about issues and addressing them effectively. Rocheleau and Rose want to install better lighting on campus and increase blue light phones off campus. They plan to work with Notre Dame Security Police and the Department of Campus Technology to develop a mobile safety app for smart phones.

• Deepen relations with the neighboring community of South Bend. Rocheleau and Rose want to attract a specialty grocery store to Eddy Street Commons, such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. They also want to continue past administrations’ work with the Robinson Learning Center and Communiversity Day.

• Modernize Notre Dame to make it a 21st Century Catholic university. The ticket wants to focus their efforts on making dorm life more ecologically friendly, updating school policies to reflect current Church teachings, and providing a forum for students to discuss the modernization of Notre Dame Stadium.

• Connecting the Notre Dame campus to the global community. Rocheleau and Rose want to continue the work started under this year’s administration, partnering with David Clark Causes to bring a large-scale social justice event to the University.

In Our Words

• Best Idea: Rocheleau and Rose want to push for the inclusion of a non-discrimination clause and the establishment of a gay-straight alliance on campus. Public opinion and Church teaching on such issues have dramatically shifted in the past few years.

• Worst Idea: The ticket plans to attract a high-end grocery store to Eddy Street Commons as an avenue to interact with locals. Such an idea is misguided, however, as stores like Trader Joe’s are too expensive for many residents and students. Their plan to address community relations was weak in general, as Rocheleau and Rose identified the relations as an issue and then outlined a plan to stay the course, saying much of what is currently being done is working.

• Most Feasible Idea: Continuing the role of constituency services in student government. A lot has been done in this area through the work of this year’s administration. There is no reason Rocheleau and Rose cannot do the same, especially if they set it as a priority of their term.

• Least Feasible Idea: Modernizing Notre Dame Stadium may seem like a nice idea on paper, but the thought that a student forum will change how things have always been done seems far-fetched. While changes have been made in the game day experience this year, these initiatives were not student led.

• Notable Quote: “Notre Dame student government should not only be about merits of consequence, but merits of convenience.” –Rocheleau

Bottom Line

Rocheleau and Rose say their years of experience within student government is a strength of their ticket, and will provide for a smoother than usual transition period between administrations. While their primary goal of promoting constituent services is both achievable and commendable, it is nothing revolutionary, as it has been the priority of this year’s administration. At times, both Rocheleau and Rose seemed naïve about the goals they want to achieve — they identify student-community relations as an issue and then say the current method of addressing that area is working. They also have somewhat lofty goals in terms of campus safety and modernization. Rocheleau and Rose certainly have the experience to do the job. Only time will tell if they can achieve what they set out to do.