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Saint Mary’s holds class board elections

By Bridget Feeney and Meaghan Daly | Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Saint Mary’s students will cast their ballots Thursday to decide on the next team of student leaders for the 2012-2013 school year, as elections for class councils and school boards begin.

Voting starts at 8 a.m. Thursday and ends at 8 a.m. Friday. Students can vote electronically, or they can cast their ballots at Student Government Association’s (SGA) booths set up in the Student Center, Spes Unica atriums and the Dining Hall. Senior Emma Brink, SGA executive secretary, said SGA is hopeful these elections demonstrate a high voter turnout.

“SGA is so excited about last week’s Student Body election turnout that we hope to replicate the same enthusiasm for the class and big board elections this week,” Brink said.  


Three tickets are running for class of 2013 president and vice president: Emily Caltrider and Megan Hogan, Meg Brown and Christina Bueno, and Silvia Cuevas and Ambreen Ahmad.

Though each ticket has expressed plans to unify the senior class and host a variety of events, the candidates have expressed different means to achieve their platform goals.

Caltrider and Hogan, members of the class of 2013 board, are running on a platform focused on offering diverse events, including a barn dance, wine tours and various service activities.

Hogan said these events would build on the traditions of the College.

“If elected, we plan to incorporate Saint Mary’s rich history and traditions while introducing new ideas,” she said. “I would love to have the opportunity to represent the Class of 2013 and make our senior year memorable.”

Caltrider said the pair would look to foster an environment where members of their class could express their thoughts and concerns.

“We hope to create a welcoming environment in which our peers can voice their concerns and be heard,” she said. “We also want to focus on better communication and collaboration among the four classes at [Saint Mary’s].”

Ahmad said she and Cuevas want to build on Saint Mary’s traditions, while introducing new and exciting experiences to the Class of 2013.

“Our slogan is ‘New perspectives on old challenges,’ as Silvia and I hope to bring new ideas on how to have a great senior year, while also requesting feedback from everyone in the class,” she said. “I think it is important that we continuously strive to create a bond, and that should definitely not stop, especially in our last year.”

Cuevas, who serves as SGA commissioner, said her ticket is focused on listening to the needs of their classmates.

“As seniors, many of us will be taking different paths after Saint Mary’s, so we want to stress to our class that we are here to listen to their ideas and try our ultimate best to put those ideas into action,” she said.

Ahmad said her and Cuevas’ involvement with other campus groups makes them qualified to serve the needs and interests of their class.

“Silvia and I are involved in many different extracurriculars, making us more well-rounded and representative of the many interests of class,” she said. “We both have experience in leadership and organizing for events through our various endeavors.”

Cuevas said their experience in campus activities would benefit their leadership skills if elected to office.

“We want our class to know that we know how to get things done and get them done right, since we are both involved in various parts of the College,” she said.

Brown and Bueno are running a platform focused on establishing strong alumnae connections after graduation. Brown, who serves as the LeMans Hall treasurer, said relationships with fellow alumnae are crucial.

“The senior year is an important year for building connections and preparing for life after graduation,” she said. “We will increase networking opportunities not only within the class, but also with the alumnae network by working to get graduating Belles in touch with their successful predecessors already tasting success in the ‘real world.'”

Bueno said she and Brown are also focused on ensuring students have a say in the planning of events.

“The opinions and contributions of my fellow classmates is a real focal point for me,” she said. “I really want my fellow class members to be a part of the planning process for senior year events such as Senior Dad’s Weekend, Senior Formal and Senior Week. I want these well known events to be new and exciting, and more attractive to the majority of the class.”

Class of 2014 President and Vice President

Susie Larson and Carolyn Backes will run unopposed for class of 2014 president and vice president. The ticket’s platform is focused on unifying their class and involving students in more campus activities. The pair is also looking to provide more community outreach programs in the South Bend area.

In addition to hosting a memorable Junior Mom’s Weekend, the Larson and Backes are planning a class trip to Chicago and mixers with Notre Dame students. Larson said her ticket also envisions implementing a ring ceremony for the junior class.

“Receiving your class ring calls for time to reflect upon who you are as a Saint Mary’s woman and what you will represent to the world when you leave this unique and empowering campus experience,” she said.

The ticket also looks to foster a sense of community through the event, as they plan on inviting current students and previous alumnae who were not given this opportunity to participate.

Backes said through her and Larson’s varied experiences, students can expect the pair to bring their class together in the next year.

“People should vote for [us] because we come from different backgrounds including our majors and our hometowns. I think as a team we would be able to bring lots of different people together and unite our class like it should be,” Backes said.

Class of 2015 President and Vice President

Two tickets, composed of Anna Fanelli and Amy Trahan, and Kelly Gutrich and Maddie Sampson, will run for class of 2015 president and vice president. Both tickets emphasize a passion for student government and staying involved in the Saint Mary’s community. Each woman on the ballot has said she is focused on unifying the class of 2015 and planning a memorable Sophomore Parents Weekend.

Fanelli said her ticket is focused on planning fun events for their classmates.

“Amy and I are just really stressing what the class wants and needs and (we) want to serve them the best we can,” she said. “We think through these fun activities and hearing their opinions and voice we could do just that.”

Trahan said one of the focal points of her ticket’s platform is planning a retreat for their classmates.

“Another big idea we have is a sophomore retreat that focuses on empowering one another as a class. The retreat will be a way for all the sophomores to touch base with one another and reflect on how we have all grown academically, socially and spiritually,” she said. “It will also give us a weekend where we can develop stronger friendships within the class.”

In addition to developing on-campus volunteer opportunities, Fanelli said she and Trahan would like to facilitate community service for students in the South Bend community.

“We thought becoming more active in South Bend missions and food shelters by providing transportation to such volunteering opportunities would give more incentive and accessibility for those without means of transportation,” she said.

Gutrich said she and Sampson are focused on planning events that will foster relationships between members of their class.

“If elected, some of the first tasks Maddie and I hope to accomplish are the class bonding activities,” she said. “We want to use our ice cream socials, community service and t-shirts to give our class lots of quality time together and to really build on the sisterhood we have here at Saint Mary’s.”

With her current position as class treasurer and Sampson’s role as the class of 2015 vice president, Gutrich said she and Sampson are prepared for the job.

“[These roles have] prepared me to take on the role of president. I know how the class board operates, and can use the knowledge gained from experiences this year to make next year even more of a success for our class and school,” she said. “We are an awesome pair and have already gained a lot of experience working together.”

Sampson said the pair will build off their leadership experience in the coming year if their peers elect them.

“I know what can be done, and how to go about getting them done,” she said. “[Kelly and I] have knowledge about how the system works, and genuinely want to make our sophomore year as exciting and worthwhile as possible.”