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Candidates propose ideas for next year

Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sophomore Class Council

Jake Grefenstette, Michael DeSantis, Jane Goodson and Megan Schilling
The Grefenstette ticket said it hopes to leverage its experience within student government to improve campus programming and expand community ties to campus.

With Grefenstette, Goodson and Schilling serving as Freshman Class Council vice president, treasurer and secretary, respectively, the trio is confident it can follow through with its goals.

“Our goals include creation of a student-run [DeBartolo] coffee cart, puppies during exam weeks, increase of communication between the University and South Bend and a cookout and carnival on South Quad,” Grefenstette said.

Additionally, the ticket intends to coordinate dances, a bonfire and a Chicago trip for next year’s sophomore class, according to the ticket’s website. Its community outreach efforts will center on working with the Robinson Community Learning Center and the South Bend Center for the Homeless.

Andrew Stoker, Cody Mason, Mary Grace Gallagher and Darby Mountford
The key to Andrew Stoker’s Sophomore Class Council ticket is communication, he said.

“One big goal for class council next year is to make sure everyone is informed about what we’re doing,” Stoker said. “I’d like to make a website listing all of our upcoming events as well as where to buy class apparel and how to contact Council members.”

The group plans to organize recreational programming to promote class unity, such as an attempt to break a world record as a class. Stoker said the success of this and other potential events will be driven by the ticket’s focus on making information easily accessible to members of its class.

“Awareness for events is really important because the more people that go to an event, the more fun it is,” he said.

If elected, the team would expand on class apparel, coordinate a class trip and plan class dances, Stoker said. The group would use office hours to garner other ideas from student feedback, according to the ticket’s website.

Margaret Mannix, Kellie Tomin, Peter Noell and Theodore Cogan
Mannix’s ticket said it hopes to emphasize communication and inclusion by focusing on promoting community and academics and planning fun activities.

“Our job is for our class to make a mark at this University and it starts with the students,” Mannix said. “We want to definitely increase discussion between classmates and the student government in order to hear their thoughts and wants so we can eventually implement policies that will benefit everyone.”

The group plans to solicit student feedback through surveys and bi-monthly meetings with residence halls, clubs and Student Senate, Mannix said. She said installing a Redbox in the LaFortune Student Center would be one of the ticket’s first priorities.

Each member of Mannix’s ticket held executive positions in various activities in high school, have performed a collective 1,000 hours of community service and are involved in a number of extracurriculars at Notre Dame, Mannix said.

Tomin participates in Notre Dame Mock Trial, Cogan is in Glee Club, Noell is in Army ROTC and Mannix participates in Student International Business Council and with the Holy Cross Convent at Saint Mary’s, Mannix said.

Brandon Faresch, Alex Rizk, Mary Kate Vicenzi and Gloria Maciorowski
Brandon Faresch’s ticket said it plans to focus on strengthening class spirit and unity if elected to be next year’s Sophomore Class Council leadership.

Vice presidential candidate Alex Rizk said the ticket’s diverse interests position it well to serve the diverse class.

“Though we are a close knit group of friends, each of us has a personal passion we wish to execute if elected,” Rizk said.

Potential programming includes a Class of 2016 Carnival on South Quad and a “Puppy Pause” event, which would allow students to reduce stress by playing with local puppies once a month. They also intend to bring a “vast enhancement” to class apparel, Rizk said.

Rizk said the team would be inspired to work hard in its leadership positions by the efforts of the class it would represent.

“We promise that, if elected, we would put forth our best efforts in order to make the class and, most importantly, Notre Dame a better place than when we found it,” Rizk said. “Our classmates work too hard for us not to match, or exceed, their enthusiasm and passion in order to best serve them.”

Junior Class Council

Edward Flood, Alexander Kroeger, Allyson Kirst and Stephanie Scherer
Edward Flood said his Junior Class Council ticket is excited to bring new blood and new ideas into the Council leadership.

While Flood and Scherer lack student government experience, Kroeger and Kirst have experience with hall councils. Flood said his own outgoing nature will be an important asset as a class leader.

“My strength is that I’m outgoing, and I know a decent amount of people on campus, so I’ll be in the know,” he said.

The ticket plans to host a class prom to bring the positive aspects of residence hall formals to a single event for all juniors, Flood said. The group also wants to expand the current Class Council study break events beyond finals weeks to help students deal with busy schedules throughout the semester.

They hope to set up bus shuttles to the Indiana dunes Saturdays in the spring, Flood said, and they would hold an event similar to the national Color Run.

“We want to have a charity 5K that’s actually a paint run, so students can have fun throwing paint at each other before working out for a great cause,” Flood said.

Olivia LaMagna, Caitlin Smith, Briggs Hoyt and Martin Walsh
The LaMagna ticket said it plans to improve the experience of next year’s junior class by making information about class and campus programming more accessible to students.

“We want to make a more dominant online presence and plan bigger, better events,” Walsh said.

While the ticket has preliminary ideas about potential programming, they hope to use student feedback to prioritize and allocate funds, Walsh said.

“We’re thinking a barn dance, a beach or ski trip and career-oriented speakers,” Walsh said. “Insert any dream events of the Class of 2015 and we can make magic happen next year.”

Walsh said his ticket has the skills and experience to serve next year’s junior class well.

“We want to make sure your junior year is the best one yet,” Walsh said. “Our ‘dream team’ has the experience, the looks and the know-how to plan events that you’ll never want to miss.”

Senior Class Council

Carolina Wilson, Patrick Touhy, Elizabeth Gibbons and Michael Nichols
The Wilson ticket hopes to provide a “fun, resourceful and meaningful” year for their senior class, Wilson said. The team would focus on fostering enjoyable and memorable semesters , as well as practical programming.

“We hope to grow together as a class, ready to take on the world after graduation while never forgetting our home here at Notre Dame,” she said.

If elected, Wilson said the group plans to expand free activities programming and on-campus resources for post-graduation preparation, including employment recruiters, Career Center connections and cooking classes.

Above all, Wilson said her team hopes to “help seniors take their next step” in preparing for the transition from Notre Dame to the real world by providing opportunities for students to interact with the Notre Dame, South Bend and national communities.

“We want to give seniors a year that makes them feel excited to be a senior, ready for what lies ahead and humbled to be an active member of the Notre Dame community who is giving back at … a national level and in our local home,” she said.
Editor’s Note: Carolina Wilson is a news writer for The Observer.

Caroline Thompson, Carter Perrin, Peter Diamond and Caroline Mungenast
The Thompson ticket said it hopes to enliven its class’s senior year experience with more class outings and a senior service project.

One of the major themes of the officers’ term would be making the last of their class’s college years a memorable experience, Thompson said.

“Some of our ideas include a monthly bowling night or other events at South Bend venues,” Thompson said. “Or, before a pep rally we could do a senior pep rally with a beer garden or some kind of tailgate – those kind of things.”

Leaving a legacy of service is equally important to the ticket’s platform, Thompson said.

“We hope to collaborate with the B+ Foundation, which is an organization that raises money for patients and families dealing with childhood cancer,” Thompson said.

Thompson said her team’s past experience in student government and other extracurricular activities leaves it capable of serving next year’s senior class. Thompson has served on two Class Councils and as vice president of Ryan Hall for two semesters, Perrin served on Sophomore Class Council and on a Student Senate committee, Diamond is the president of the Environmental Club and Mungenast was on Freshman and Sophomore Class Councils.