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SMC gears up for board elections

Anneliese Woolford | Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Presidential elections for Residence Hall Association and Student Diversity Board, two of Saint Mary’s most active student government branches, will be held online today via PRISM.

Juniors Martha Hottenstein and Jill Funnell are running unopposed for the respective RHA president and vice president positions.

Hottenstein, Little Sibs Weekend co-chair, and Funnell, health and wellness chair, currently serve on the board under president Shay Jolly and vice president Jackie Zins. This is Hottenstein’s second year as a board member.

“Watching two presidents prior to running has helped me see what the job entails,” she said. “My experience gives me a strong base for the position and it helps to know that if I have any questions, Shay will still be around to answer them.”

Perhaps the largest responsibility on Hottenstein and Funnell’s platform is that of providing Opus Apartments, Saint Mary’s new on-campus housing complex, a representative voice on RHA. Other platform goals include strengthening the bond between Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and Holy Cross and increasing awareness of intramural sports.

Hottenstein said that the ticket plans to make no changes to the current structure of the board, and instead hopes to expand upon strides already taken.

Juniors Ashley Doughty and Adriana Puente will also run unopposed in today’s election for the positions of SDB president and vice president.

Both candidates have held positions on the board for one year under current president Veronica Saavedra and vice president Annemarie Marquez. Doughty now serves as publicity and journalistic relations chair and Puente as admissions commissioner.

Doughty describes the two as having formed an “instant friendship” through their work on SDB.

“I felt she had the same passion for the board and similar ideas for continuing to build upon where we’ve come from,” Doughty said.

Some of the ticket’s platform ideas include increasing the participation of faculty and staff at events, increasing work with student admissions and broadening aspects of diversity beyond those associated with race and ethnicity.

Doughty describes herself as a strong leader, primarily due to her work as a board member and as a tutor at the Robinson Community Learning Center.

“I’ve had good experiences and I’m ready to step up to the challenge of leading Student Diversity Board,” she said.

According to elections commissioner Nicole Haeberle, it is a common trend that just one ticket is running for each of these presidential positions. Candidates typically rise from within the board and are encouraged to run by the performance of the president that they served under, she explained.

This, however, should not deter students from voting.

“In each election there are three options: a vote of yes affirming the candidates, a vote of no signaling a lack of confidence in the candidates and an abstention signaling ambivalence in the election,” Haeberle said. “Despite only having one ticket, it is important for students to have a voice in their leaders for next year.”