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ELECTION IN FOCUS: Presidential candidate Catherine Soler, vice presidential candidate Andrew Bell

| Friday, February 5, 2010

Who They Are
Presidential candidate Soler, a sophomore from Farley Hall, is an accounting major and vice presidential candidate Bell is a sophomore business major from Knott Hall. Soler is currently sophomore class president and Bell serves on Student Senate.

In Their Words   
Top Priority: Soler and Bell plan on creating a rental program for textbooks in the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore.

“You will be able to rent bigger textbooks for $40 instead of buying them for $100 and selling them back for $30,” Soler said.

First Priority: The ticket hopes to hold a block party in Eddy Street Commons to unite the outside community, off-campus students and students living on campus.
“We see Eddy Street Commons as the first step off campus,” Bell said.
In Our Words
Best Idea: Revamping the DeBartolo lounge. Although they said a café cannot be added to the building, Soler and Bell hope to refurbish the current lounge near the computer lab to make it more comfortable for students by adding healthier vending options and possibly a coffee machine.

Worst Idea: Creating a hall alcohol commissioner whose responsibility is to be an informed resource in the dorm for students  to approach about these issues and also to contact in case of an emergency. The Resident Assistants in each dormitory are already trained to do this job, so the creation of a commissioner seems redundant.

Most Feasible: Instating a rental textbook program in the Bookstore. Follett already offers this program to 27 colleges and universities, and the ticket has already had discussions on the topic with officials from Follett and the Bookstore. Since the program already exists, the duo’s only challenge is bringing it to Notre Dame.

Least Feasible: Instating The Good Samaritan Policy or a medical amnesty policy for students helping others in dangerous situations involving alcohol. Past student government administrations have worked to create a change like The Good Samaritan Policy but have not been successful.

Fun Facts: Soler is a proud vegetarian but says she has a weakness for chocolate and Bell is a big fan of attending Drummer’s Circle.

Notable Quote: “We have a lot of food initiatives on our platform.” — Soler

Bottom Line
Soler and Bell demonstrate well-researched ideas that will benefit the student body. Most are simple enough to achieve, like the Eddy Street Commons block party, but some are broad and vague, such as the work they plan to do with the Office of Drug and Alcohol Education and their hunger initiative. They have also said they will continue the weekend Transpo route  — a popular initiative to come out of this year’s administration.