Billy Christy | Pat Roemer
| Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Who they are: Student body presidential candidate Billy Christy is a sophomore resident of O’Neill Hall originally from Palos Park, Ill. He is a Navy ROTC cadet and pre-medicine major. Vice presidential candidate Pat Roemer, a native of Great Falls, Va., is a sophomore political science and peace studies major who lives in St. Edward’s Hall. A member of the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars program, Roemer is also involved in the Take Ten program at the Center for the Homeless.
First priority: Christy and Roemer stressed maintaining the continuity of existing positive aspects of student government between their potential election and taking office on April 1 to prevent “a period of dead space” during the transition between administrations. Roemer said they’d do this by “walking a couple days” in the shoes of their predecessors, Brett Rocheleau and Katie Rose.
Top priority: In addition to promoting greater transparency between student government and the student body, Christy and Roemer hope to create an undergraduate academic program that would provide students with hands-on work and research experience in the South Bend community while combating local “brain drain” through a partnership with the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement.
Best idea: Producing monthly YouTube videos outlining Student Government’s accomplishments in that time frame to enhance communication with the student body and promote accountability throughout the organization.
Worst idea: Expanding Zipcar subsidies from the University. With the high percentage of students who bring cars to campus, obtaining funding for a few more Zipcars on campus would have little impact on student mobility as a whole.
Most feasible: Establishing an alumni guest lecture series akin to a “career day” featuring Notre Dame graduates. Alumni generally love returning to campus, so this would be an attainable idea that would directly benefit current students.
Least feasible: Christy and Roemer include an important point in their platform regarding the implementation of a clause in du Lac outlining the provision of self-defense in cases of assault, but making this change is not feasible because du Lac will not be up for revision until after Christy and Roemer’s term in office would end.
Fun facts: Roemer lived in Delhi, India, for two years and graduated high school there. Christy has an irrational fear of apartment buildings: “They have long hallways and no one’s really around …”
Notable quote: “If you ask your average students, ‘What does student government do?’ I think you’d be having a good, lucky day if you had one or two students give you a good answer and say, ‘Student government does XYZ, ABC things for me.'” – Roemer, on the often ambiguous responsibilities of student government
Bottom line: Christy and Roemer clearly emphasized their intentions to dramatically improve transparency and communication between student government and its constituents on campus and provided some feasible avenues to facilitate that connection, but several of their platform ideas are either too vaguely defined or too low-impact to make their ticket stand out from this year’s pack of candidates.