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viewpoint

A final call to vote

| Wednesday, February 10, 2016

“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” — Fr. Theodore Hesburgh

Let us be frank. Why us, Dom Alberigi and Jenn Cha, and not the other candidates? Because we have vision. Our ideas — which include an expansion and diversification of UCC resources, animal therapy rooms and providing a respectful learning ground on important social issues by inviting prominent public figures to speak in debate — are fresh, concrete and crucial to mental, physical and community health for Notre Dame students.

We have the perspective of regular students who care deeply about the University, who have been involved in almost every sphere of student activity. Collectively, we have been directly involved in PrismND, Diversity Council, Take Back The Night, the GRC, Division I Rowing, club rugby and boxing, ESL tutoring and so much more. We’ve actively talked to students across backgrounds of different race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, etc. about how ND can support them better. We are the only candidates with a progressive vision for Notre Dame who are also willing to dedicate their full energy and time to student government.

We have policy and internal experience, but we also have the hands-on, in-the-trenches experience necessary to represent Notre Dame. Would you trust a pilot who had only run simulations to fly you across the Atlantic? For example, the Robinson-Blais campaign has a substantive sexual assault response policy, but ours is equally as substantive, and Jenn has worked in the GRC on sexual assault and other difficult topics for years.

Lastly, we have been criticized for being too ambitious in our vision for Notre Dame. But we say there is no such thing, so long as we have the experience, drive and resources exist to support it. For example, in regard to our mental health initiatives, Notre Dame received a generous $10 million donation specifically endowed toward mental health in 2014, with $700,000 in interest per year available to spend. Why not use these substantial resources to dream big, expanding the existing infrastructure to change the statistic from 12 percent of students using UCC resources to eventually 100 percent? These improvements will come gradually, and we recognize we are just part of that change. We are fighting for tangible, short-term initiatives, but we are also investing in the University’s future. Thank you for your time, and vote Alberigi-Cha 2016.

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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