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Losing tickets look toward future, remain supportive of elected administration

Kathleen McDonnell | Tuesday, February 14, 2006

While not all candidates at the national level exhibit graceful concessions, those who campaigned to lead Notre Dame’s student body next year did so with humility on Monday evening.

Before the Lizzi Shappell-Bill Andrichik ticket achieved an outright majority – rare for a student body election – some candidates had been counting on having a last shot at campaigning before the assumed run-off election on Thursday.

Despite this, the losing tickets quickly reoriented after the results were announced and were already planning how to positively impact the University next academic year.

Junior Jason Laws and sophomore Bob Costa took special interest in making student government inclusive and available to all students in their campaign. Their slogan, “We have only one voice … yours,” embodies this critical issue, and their Web site emphasized the importance of involving all students so as to truly chant, “We are ND.”

Costa seemed satisfied with the effort he and Laws put forth, and the influence it would have on student government.

“I’m proud to be part of a team with a guy like Jason,” Costa said. “At the end of the day, I think we’ve helped bring up the idea of a more open and inclusive student government. That is really important for making Notre Dame a better place.”

Laws said he plans to continue his work towards improving diversity and promoting equality next fall. By focusing on the minority community and working to form a black student union, he said, he hopes to accomplish one of his campaign’s fundamental goals despite the defeat.

Both Laws and Costa offered support and encouragement to the victors. They expressed confidence in the leadership capabilities of Shappell and Andrichik and vowed to support and assist as much as needed in the upcoming year.

“We’ve been prayerful throughout the last few months,” Laws said, “and [we] know that when God closes a door, he opens another. If needed, we’ll be here to support.”

Other presidential hopefuls expressed similar sentiments.

Erica Wells, a sophomore who ran alongside freshman George Chamberlain, said she felt the most deserved candidate won.

“I think Lizzi [Shappell] will do a great job as president,” Wells said. “There was a good deal of overlap in platforms – many candidates brought up similar issues. I’m sure she will work hard for the changes.”

Both Wells and Chamberlain said they want to stay active within the Notre Dame community. Wells said she intends to continue working extensively with Gender Relations and performing community service next year, while Chamberlain plans on running for class council.

This year’s election was unusual in that so many freshmen took the initiative to run in the general election. Candidates Ryan McCune and Tim Szewczyk did not attend the election results announcement Monday night, but Ryan Black and Catherine Martinez were present for the announcement.

With three more years at the University, these hopefuls have plenty of time in which to continue working towards their platform goals.

“Lizzie will do a great job,” Black said. “She expressed similar views to us by emphasizing gender relations and community relations as things that need to be addressed. Cat [Martinez] and I look forward to stepping in, in any way we can, to make sure the needs of students are being addressed.”