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Bell to not seek election

Carly Landon | Monday, February 14, 2011

With student body elections around the corner, campus is abuzz with election talk, and students have noticed that current student body vice president Andrew Bell’s name did not appear on any of the tickets.

Bell said his decision not to run for re-election stemmed from his hoped to rather gain a position within Knott, his residence hall, as a resident assistant (RA).

“Ever since I was a freshman, I have loved the dorm life at ND. Being from Florida I had two friends from ND, and the dorm community was so great to me freshman year and really ever since,” Bell said. “What I really want to do next year then is be an RA and contribute to making ND’s dorm life what it is.

“The opportunity to have a job where its your job to be in guy’s life and just to be able to get to know them, spend time with them and be able to guide them is really cool,” Bell said. “The fact that they can see Jesus’ love through your interactions and that’s a job is incredible to me.”

Bell commented on the lessons he learned this year, calling his year in office an incredible experience.

“The thing that sticks out to me is how many unexpected things happened. We came in with a plan and the fall hit. We had to deal with the off-campus arrests, and then we hoped to help students as much as we could in the most trying times we encountered such as the passing of Declan Sullavan,” Bell said. “We just hoped we could improve student’s lives in some way, and many of the ways we had to were not things we could have ever foreseen.”

Five tickets are running in this year’s student body general election: juniors Catherine Soler and Emily LeStrange, junior James Ward and freshman Heather Eaton, juniors Pat McCormick and Brett Rocheleau, juniors Ricky Bevington and Olivia Colangelo, and freshmen Kevin Noonan and Matthew Thomas.

Although Bell is not endorsing current president Soler, he spoke highly of her leadership and of their time in office together.

“First and foremost, Catherine is one of my best friends, and I want that to be perfectly clear because it is one of the things that made it easier for me to decide not to run next year. I knew our friendship would last whether we were in student government or not,” Bell said. “When it came to deciding whether to make an endorsement or not, I started to think what is the purpose behind making an endorsement. I think the benefit of it is you get to see what people think is important about a certain candidate or ticket, but I think some of that is lost if I make one blanket statement endorsement.”

Bell also spoke of the talent in each of the tickets in this year’s election.

“Pat [McCormick] has done great things for social concerns this year. He and Brett [Rocheleau] are pursing things they are passionate about and that will definitely impact the student body,” Bell said, “Ricky [Bevington] is one of the unsung heroes of student government. This year he really revamped the freshman experience of student government through F.U.E.L. (First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership program). Although I haven’t worked a lot with James [Ward] it sounds like they have some great platform ideas as well. While I don’t personally know the Zahm ticket, they are pretty good-looking so at least the girls on campus would be pleased.”

Bell said students should decide where their votes go based on personal opinions.

“I believe when you decide to vote it shouldn’t be about what anyone else wants,” Bell said, “It should be about what you want out of your time at Notre Dame and what you want Notre Dame to become while you’re here.”