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Pat McCormick and Brett Rocheleau

Observer Staff | Friday, February 11, 2011

Who They Are

Presidential candidate Patrick McCormick, a junior from Keough Hall, is a political science and Peace Studies major. Vice presidential candidate Brett Rocheleau is a sophomore finance and math major from Keenan Hall. McCormick is currently the chair of the Social Concerns Committee for student government, and he serves on the student advisory board at the Center for Social Concerns. Rocheleau is sophomore class president.

In Their Words

  • Top Priority: McCormick and Rocheleau plan to make Notre Dame the premier forum for events uniting public figures to advocate for social justice. They hope to create a series of events modeled after this year’s Playing for Peace tournament.
  • First Priority: The ticket plans to broaden student government so it can work on multiple issues simultaneously and be more responsive to students’ desires.

In Our Words

  • Best Idea: Using the influence of the University and its athletic brand to host a series of nationally recognized events on campus to promote social justice. Notre Dame athletics could be a recognizable and powerful face for these causes.
  • Worst Idea: Creating a space on campus for students and faculty to meet in an informal setting over drinks. Legends already offers a restaurant and pub.
  • Most Feasible Idea: Increasing student participation in local elementary school programs and inviting middle school students to “shadow” Notre Dame students with similar interests. The Center for Social Concerns already collaborates with over 60 local organizations.
  • Least Feasible Idea: Granting club status to a gay-straight student support group and encouraging the Office of Institutional Equity to add sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination clause. These groups have been denied recognition by Notre Dame’s administration numerous times.
  • Fun Facts: Rocheleau has webbed toes and loves to watch “Glee,” and two of McCormick’s role models are Disney characters Rafiki and the Mad Hatter.
  • Notable Quote: “Keenan was built as a bomb shelter during the Cold War, so when the fire alarm goes off, I’m like, this thing’s gonna go down with a slow simmer; it’s not going to burn down.” – Rocheleau on his residence hall

Bottom Line

McCormick and Rocheleau offer a wide range of proposals related to social concerns and the University’s mission. Their ideas involve restructuring student government and altering the role of student body president to focus on large-scale social justice issues in addition to continuing to focus on everyday student needs.