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Soler, Bell take active roles outside student government

John Cameron | Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Nearly half a year has passed since either Catherine Soler or Andrew Bell put in a late night in the offices on the second floor of LaFortune, but the student body president and vice president emeritus said they are still busy during their senior year.

After she split her summer between internships on campus and in New York City, Soler said she is happy to be back at Notre Dame for another year.

“Senior year has been amazing so far,” Soler said. “It’s been wonderful to be back on campus and to reconnect with my friends.”

After working with the Student Campus Orientation Committee on Freshman Orientation this summer, Soler continues to work with underclassmen in addition to her job in the Football Office, a class council position and volunteer work.

“I will continue to work with underclassmen and campus life as co-advisor to the freshman class council and as organizer for a variety of campus leadership programs,” she said. “I also began volunteering at St. Margaret’s House in South Bend, an organization that promotes nonviolence and supports women in poverty.”

Soler focused her term as president on “beND,” a community-campus relations campaign, and she continues to push the issue on senior class council as a member of the South Bend Outreach Committee.

Bell exchanged one leadership position for another when he became a resident assistant in Knott Hall this year.

“I’ve absolutely loved being an RA,” Bell said. “It’s great because your job is just to get to know the guys you’ve been living with, to be there for them. It’s very different. It’s not the same kind of obligation as student government.”

Bell said he is happy to commit his time to the residence hall after having spent so much time away from Knott doing student government work.

“I feel like Knott has a great crop of upperclassmen, especially the juniors in the dorm,” Bell said. “It’s a lot more lively in terms of hall government and the spirit of the dorm. I feel like there’s a whole new camaraderie, which is really exciting since I wasn’t around as much last year.”

Bell said he misses aspects of student government work, but is happy to have the free time to spend his last year on campus with the Juggerknotts before heading off to work in finance in Atlanta next year.

“Being a senior is a weird thing … you sort of realize this is it, your time is ticking,” Bell said. “I loved last year and being a part of [student government], but it’s good to have more free time to spend here with the guys.”

While a senior typically fills the position of student body president, Soler held the position as a junior. She said she misses the people she worked with during her term, including the Student Union office secretary Nancy Walsh. However, she said she is glad to make the most of her time as a senior before beginning her job at Deloitte in New York after graduation.

“I do miss things about student government, especially the people,” Soler said. “I am really grateful to have had the experience last year and to now have time to fully appreciate one more year at Notre Dame.”