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Good experience makes for good leadership

| Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Kruszewski-Dunbar platform has been recently made available to students on its website. The platform, which focuses on a department-based approach to student government, keeps a similar, but refined, structure of student government in place from this year. The McGavick-Gayheart ticket has also recently made its platform available on its website. It claims that its platform will foster approachability, collaboration and transformation of student government — a vision that both McGavick and Gayheart believe will change the structure of student government.

One particular theme throughout the McGavick-Gayheart platform is a criticism of Notre Dame administration and a wish to get more control over funding for student activities. The platform calls for, among other things, an audit of SAO, discourse with admissions staff to become more inclusive of students with a low socioeconomic status, lowered costs of stadium foods and an increase of services accepting flex points. These contain major financial goals that can be solved by careful planning, with some perhaps taking over several years to achieve.

Similar changes are planned by the Kruszewski campaign, whose major financial points include a repeal of the three-year housing policy, a decrease in tuition costs, increased club funding, reinstatement of flex-point rollover, an improvement of RA compensation and providing need-based financial aid to help cover the large costs of Junior Parents Weekend.

These goals seem similar in effect. The financial components of the platforms are similar, but contain distinct differences. McGavick believes that the best way to get SAO to work with him is to favor an aggressive, in-your-face approach, even calling it “an overly-powerful and self-possessed organization,” whereas Kruszewski seems to favor a more cordial relationship, emphasizing attempts to create friendly working relationships with SAO staff.

However, the large difference in experience between the two candidates means that there is one candidate, Kruszewski, who will best manage student government finances. Kruszewski has studied the endowment of the University over the past three years, conducting the first-ever student-run audit of the $11 billion endowment this past year. Kruszewski has, as a member of the Financial Management Board, collaborated with others to create a viable new model for club funding, which would allow for higher allocations effective at the beginning of the next semester. He has worked to expand the scope of the financial transparency initiative over his time in office. It seems that Kruszewski is the best person to implement financial policy reform that many on campus want, including McGavick and Gayheart.

We cannot afford to waste time, and student money, by throwing away Kruszewski’s experience and the rapport he has built with administrators. We cannot afford to throw away the planned earmarked endowment model that will decrease tuition costs for students at the University. With Kruszewski as president, I am confident that his experience and determination will reform Notre Dame’s student government in a way beneficial to our campus community.  

Michael Dugan


Feb. 4

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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