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O’Toole-Pie’ for SMC government

| Friday, February 28, 2014

Sunday afternoon, The Observer Editorial Board interviewed the tickets campaigning to be the next Saint Mary’s student body president and vice president. The three duos outlined their respective goals for the upcoming term and their previous relevant experience. After debating the plans, goals and qualifications of all the candidates, we unanimously endorse juniors Nicole O’Toole and Marissa Pie’ for student body president and vice president.

While candidates McKenna Schuster and Sam Moorhead have had extensive experience within the Student Government Association (SGA), O’Toole and Pie’ (a former news writer for The Observer) also have held significant roles this year. Those jobs have given them inside knowledge and experience that will likely ensure their success as leaders in the next year.

As junior class president this past year, O’Toole brought the Navy Dance back to Saint Mary’s, raised money for her class and inspired philanthropy work in the South Bend community. Pie’, as SGA’s co-chair of market research and media, has worked alongside all the “Big Boards” on campus to create advertisements and to promote SGA activities.

O’Toole and Pie’s backgrounds in SGA and their various accomplishments have prepared them to continue current initiatives and to introduce new plans during their administration, as they have already established relevant leadership experience and countless contacts in the Saint Mary’s community.

The third ticket, Anna Ulliman and Elizabeth Kenney, offered unique ideas to connect the current community with alumnae but did not have student government experience at Saint Mary’s or extensive ideas regarding present campus concerns.

O’Toole and Pie’ have developed many objectives for their tenure, including making technology more accessible on campus. They plan to start this development by demystifying OrgSync, the portal for all student clubs and activities, which many students have expressed is difficult to understand. O’Toole and Pie’ plan to address this issue by hosting a mandated OrgSync training session for club presidents in order to inspire a domino effect that encourages students to better utilize the resource.

O’Toole and Pie’ also plan to tackle the financial problems that the current SGA administration is struggling to manage. The initiative is one of the most important for the community, as without a working budget, SGA cannot allocate funding for campus activities and clubs. O’Toole and Pie’s pro-active approach to this issue, which the other two tickets left unaddressed, particularly impressed us.

Another key distinction between the three tickets was their differing views of the SGA Senate and the number of SGA committee chairs. Schuster and Moorhead said they hope to create new positions in SGA to increase student involvement, while Ulliman and Kenney did not address these topics in their platform. O’Toole and Pie’, however, said they believe SGA has too many positions, which leads to overlap and idle responsibilities within the administration. They plan to combine certain positions and to ensure that the Senate productively focuses on students’ needs.

While the pair may find it difficult to accomplish their broad range of goals during their one-year tenure, we appreciate that O’Toole and Pie’ had detailed, rather than abstract, lists of objectives. The duo’s balanced energy and complementary backgrounds convinced us their plans are practical.

Of all three tickets, O’Toole and Pie’ had the most detailed strategies for accomplishing their goals and energetic, harmonious personalities that made them seem one step ahead of their competitors. We feel confident O’Toole and Pie’ would be the best option for student body president and vice president because of their collaborative team dynamic, their concern for crucial campus issues and their ability to make plans and to put them into action.


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