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O’Toole-Pie’ for SMC government

| Friday, February 28, 2014

Sunday afternoon, The Observer Editorial Board interviewed the tickets campaigning to be the next Saint Mary’s student body president and vice president. The three duos outlined their respective goals for the upcoming term and their previous relevant experience. After debating the plans, goals and qualifications of all the candidates, we unanimously endorse juniors Nicole O’Toole and Marissa Pie’ for student body president and vice president.

While candidates McKenna Schuster and Sam Moorhead have had extensive experience within the Student Government Association (SGA), O’Toole and Pie’ (a former news writer for The Observer) also have held significant roles this year. Those jobs have given them inside knowledge and experience that will likely ensure their success as leaders in the next year.

As junior class president this past year, O’Toole brought the Navy Dance back to Saint Mary’s, raised money for her class and inspired philanthropy work in the South Bend community. Pie’, as SGA’s co-chair of market research and media, has worked alongside all the “Big Boards” on campus to create advertisements and to promote SGA activities.

O’Toole and Pie’s backgrounds in SGA and their various accomplishments have prepared them to continue current initiatives and to introduce new plans during their administration, as they have already established relevant leadership experience and countless contacts in the Saint Mary’s community.

The third ticket, Anna Ulliman and Elizabeth Kenney, offered unique ideas to connect the current community with alumnae but did not have student government experience at Saint Mary’s or extensive ideas regarding present campus concerns.

O’Toole and Pie’ have developed many objectives for their tenure, including making technology more accessible on campus. They plan to start this development by demystifying OrgSync, the portal for all student clubs and activities, which many students have expressed is difficult to understand. O’Toole and Pie’ plan to address this issue by hosting a mandated OrgSync training session for club presidents in order to inspire a domino effect that encourages students to better utilize the resource.

O’Toole and Pie’ also plan to tackle the financial problems that the current SGA administration is struggling to manage. The initiative is one of the most important for the community, as without a working budget, SGA cannot allocate funding for campus activities and clubs. O’Toole and Pie’s pro-active approach to this issue, which the other two tickets left unaddressed, particularly impressed us.

Another key distinction between the three tickets was their differing views of the SGA Senate and the number of SGA committee chairs. Schuster and Moorhead said they hope to create new positions in SGA to increase student involvement, while Ulliman and Kenney did not address these topics in their platform. O’Toole and Pie’, however, said they believe SGA has too many positions, which leads to overlap and idle responsibilities within the administration. They plan to combine certain positions and to ensure that the Senate productively focuses on students’ needs.

While the pair may find it difficult to accomplish their broad range of goals during their one-year tenure, we appreciate that O’Toole and Pie’ had detailed, rather than abstract, lists of objectives. The duo’s balanced energy and complementary backgrounds convinced us their plans are practical.

Of all three tickets, O’Toole and Pie’ had the most detailed strategies for accomplishing their goals and energetic, harmonious personalities that made them seem one step ahead of their competitors. We feel confident O’Toole and Pie’ would be the best option for student body president and vice president because of their collaborative team dynamic, their concern for crucial campus issues and their ability to make plans and to put them into action.

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  • Censoring?!

    For what reason was the previous comment deleted? According to the rules on here, it says there is no moderating or censoring…20+ people had “voted” favorably of the comment indicating that it may be information that needed to shared with the SMC students voting for student body president/vice president. Others are welcome to dispute the comment by responding to it, but deleting it completely begs the question of who has the authority to do that, and why they did? The observer should not be censoring comments that disagree with what they have written. Please do not delete further comments if the person who posted the first comment decides to re-post it – at the very least, please respond to this comment explaining why it was deleted.

  • Re-post: The Actual Story

    I am re-posting my comment. I made a few changes in hopes that the

    observer will not delete it again. As the previous comment states,

    there is supposed to be no moderating or censoring…

    I’m curious as to what questions were asked of the candidates and

    whether potential plans were fact-checked and ensured to be realistic.

    I am also wondering if, before endorsing a candidate, the observer

    looks into the background of said candidate.

    Because, if the observer had done what it states as it’s mission: “To

    uncover the truth and report it accurately,” then it is unlikely that

    the paper would have endorsed O’Toole.

    Let me be clear in stating that I am not claiming to know absolutely

    everything about Nicole O’Toole, but do know enough about her that it

    is obvious she should not be the Saint Mary’s Student Body President.

    Pie, on the other hand, makes a great candidate and I commend her for

    running in this election; however, she should have picked a different

    running mate. If Pie loses this election, it will not be for any flaw

    on her part besides picking a running mate with questionable ethics

    and a history of ineffective leadership.

    When O’Toole was elected as her Class of 2015 President at the end of

    last school year, she obtained access to her class’s orgysync page.

    All of the new class presidents were able to see who had or had not

    voted for them. Upon seeing the voting results, she proceeded to seek

    out and confront those who had not voted for her. Out of the four

    class presidents, she was the only one to act in such an

    unprofessional, malicious, and confrontational way regarding voting

    results. She was reported to Residence Life for this incident, as she

    should have been, and was not removed from her position as class

    president.

    O’Toole sent an email to all the RA’s of SMC but two (who happen to be

    her opposition’s (Mckenna) best friends) stating that she would be

    running for Student Body President. She asked the RA’s to invite her

    to all of their section events so she could be present. However, she

    made sure to put a disclaimer at the end saying the email was not for

    campaigning purposes. Keep in mind that this email was sent over a

    week before the candidates were allowed to begin campaigning. ELECTION

    VIOLATION NUMBER ONE (Any election violation is grounds for

    disqualification – although, for some reason, she has not been

    disqualified. What that reason is? I do not know.)

    O’Toole also announced to her Economics class that she would be

    running for Student Body President, again, an entire week too early.

    ELECTION VIOLATION NUMBER TWO

    O’Toole then went door to door attempting to solicit votes from

    residents. This is an ELECTION VIOLATION (#3), as well as against the

    Student Code of Conduct. There are videos and photos of this for proof

    and multiple people witnessed this – which, again, I do not know why

    she is not disqualified.

    As for the Navy Dance? Nicole showed up late and completely wasted.

    She then proceed to get on a bus. Then, she got kicked off of the

    bus for her drunken behavior. Also, she did not put on the dance

    alone, as the article seems to say, but had the help and monetary

    contributions of two other Class Boards.

    As for her platform… Parking? Really? And where, I ask, are we going

    to put another parking lot? Library Green? Let’s be realistic . Also,

    this is not under the Umbrella of SGA – security does not give a crap

    that you complain about walking from the back of the Agela parking lot

    ALL the way across the huge campus of SMC.

    Furthermore, there are not too many SGA positions. The problem is that

    too many SGA members do not do their jobs.

    Also, there are already mandated orgsync sessions for club leaders,

    which she would know if she attended them. In order to become

    recognized as a club, student leaders have to attend an info session

    and complete their orgsync profiles. Club Treasurers have to go to an

    info session about using orgsync. And, all SGA members were already

    required by SIMS this year to go to orgsync training. All in all,

    those who need to know how to use orgsync do know. The ones that find

    it so mystifying are those students who do not take the time to learn

    to navigate the site.

    O’Toole was actually disqualified at one point by the elections

    committee – panel of 7 student and faculty leaders. But, she

    complained to the Vice President of Student Affairs and said that Kat

    Sullivan (current student body president) was bullying her. O’Toole

    managed to squirm her way back into the running.

    And finally, I’d say it is pretty inappropriate that the President of

    the College Republicans club is running for Student Body President.

    SMC is not a partisan institution, and it should remain as such. This

    can be more just my personal opinion than factual, though.

    Given all the aforementioned facts (minus the last personal opinion)

    I’d say that O’Toole is not someone I want representing the sisterhood

    of Saint Mary’s College. McKenna, on the other hand, has nothing to

    hide and has followed the rules to a T. She has not attempted to get

    away with breaking rules in anyway, nor has she made comment on

    O’Toole’s behavior. With all this being said, I am very uncomfortable

    with the possibility of O’Toole representing SMC student body. I

    believe other students should be aware of everything (not just the

    platform and experience of candidates), as it pertains to the

    election.

  • Smc chick

    They cheated the entire campaign how they were re qualified for running is beyond me

  • Is this real?

    They emailed every single RA except McKenna and Sam’s friends in order to campaign before they were allowed to. Nice endorsement, Observer….

  • Freedom of press just not here

    I think that The Observer needs to rethink their motto: “to half heartdly seek some version of events and report as truth which we decide is truth based on minimal investigation” a nice byline to that would be “censoring the peoples commentary since the year we didnt like it”

  • ndsmcobserver

    As a newspaper, The Observer aims to promote free discourse about events happening in our community. However, The Observer also is legally responsible for the comments on its website. This means that we potentially could be sued for any comment that is libelous – in other words, a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation.

    Some of the comments that were on this thread could be libelous in that they damage O’Toole and Pie’s reputations and in that we at the paper cannot know whether the assertions are true or false. Because the comments potentially could involve The Observer in legal trouble, we decided to delete them. The comments currently posted will remain there, but this thread is now closed to further discussion.