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Student body presidential candidates: Andrew Gannon and Mark Moran

| Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Who they are:

Although the student body has not had a Zahm ticket since 2014, the once “perennial” comedic duo is back, this time represented by freshmen Andrew Gannon and Mark Moran.

Gannon, an economics major from Madison, New Jersey, is running for the position of student body president, while Moran, an accounting major from Wheaton, Illinois, is running for the position of student body vice president.

Top Priority: Making Notre Dame a two-ply toilet paper campus

Both Gannon and Moran emphasized the importance of community at Notre Dame — going as far as to insist that all dorms be renamed “House” because “a house is where you live, and a hall is where you walk” — but they then settled on solving what they believe to be the most pressing issue on campus: the lack of two-ply toilet paper. The ticket has relied upon a crowd-sourcing campaign through Google Forms to understand the needs of students, and it has received submissions demanding the transition to two-ply toilet paper “probably 15 times,” leaving the ticket hopeful it can enact such a change by adding it to the Student Union Constitution. “It’s more of a basic right than a privilege,” Moran said. “So we want to make that happen.”

Best Idea: Use of Google Forms to communicate with students

Moran noted that the campaign has received many responses about the needs of the student body during its campaign from students through its use of Google Forms. Thus, the ticket believes the application can serve a valuable purpose in helping it to listen to the ideas of students and help bring those ideas to fruition. Gannon said the ticket also wants to create avenues of communication with the administration, suggesting that this goal could be accomplished if the administration were to “just give them access to the Google Form.” But why Google Forms? “Google is at some point probably going to run our country,” Moran said. “The United States of Google is a real possibility — it’s not really a possibility so much as a likelihood — and so we just wanted to get in on the ground floor.”

Worst Idea: Expanding the recent mandate to Notre Dame’s housing policy

Gannon cited the administration’s recent mandate to require students to live on campus for six semesters and said, “Why not force students to commit and spend their senior year of high school on campus” to express a dedication to the Notre Dame experience. If that idea were to be shut down, the ticket would then alternatively propose mandating students to live all four years on campus. In this alternative proposal, seniors would float for a double and allow the administration to arrange their marriage so they could have a ring by spring semester of their senior year. “That is something that’s very important to us,” Gannon said. “It kind of gives students a chance to get a taste of marriage before you leave campus and kind of prepare them for the real world.”

Most Feasible: Small changes to the dining hall experience

One suggestion the campaign received through its Google Forms campaign was pushing for the correct labeling of ice-cream flavors in the dining halls, which Moran considers a priority. “I went for cookies and cream, and I got peanut butter cup,” he said. “If I had been allergic to peanut butter? Deathly.” The ticket also plans to revitalize a campaign promise from last year and bring wet wipes to the dining halls.

The only other feasible idea for the ticket was one of a personal nature. While on the campaign trail, Moran also noted that campaign manager and Zahm senior JP Bruno was in desperate need of new shoes, and so he told The Observer in the ticket’s interview Saturday that providing this resource to Bruno would be a new initiative for him and Gannon, stating, “we do want to make that happen.”

Least Feasible: Building another Campus Crossroads

Both Gannon and Moran have dedicated themselves to fighting for another Campus Crossroads for the students to enjoy. One structure the ticket hopes is included in this Campus Crossroads is a Chick-Fil-A, which Gannon said is “pretty much in everyone’s platform nowadays.” “It might just be a Chick-fil-A,” Gannon said of his and Moran’s vision for the facility. “It could just be a giant, giant Chick-Fil-A.” Gannon also said the ticket could make a separate Google Form for ideas for the new project. However, the ticket said it has yet to decide if it will pursue this project or push for a second library directly on top of Hesburgh Library so as to make it twice as hard to complete the Hesburgh Challenge, which Gannon defined as the challenge of students to “read a book on every floor of the library.”

Bottom Line: 

Gannon and Moran have embraced their role as the comical Zahm ticket in the election. While their ideas may appear outlandish at first, they stated on multiple occasions during their interview with The Observer on Saturday that they believe everything they are suggesting is just as feasible as everything that every other candidate is suggesting. Moran said he and Gannon believe that “in kind of a twisted way, [they are] representing reality, if you bend logic a little.” Bruno was quick to point out that the Zahm ticket is the only ticket not to have an allegation filed against them, with Moran citing this as evidence of the campaign’s ideas being “wholesome in [their] intentions” despite their outlandish appearance.

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