Student government election results in runoff between McGavick-Gayheart and Kruszewski-Dunbar
Courtney Becker | Thursday, February 8, 2018
The 2018 student government presidential election will continue with a runoff election between the McGavick-Gayheart ticket and the Kruszewski-Dunbar ticket, Judicial Council announced Thursday night.
While none of the three tickets — McGavick-Gayheart, Kruszewski-Dunbar and Gannon-Moran — achieved the required 50 percent of valid (non-abstention) votes to win the election, senior Matt Ross, the Judicial Council president, said the candidates all agreed to suspend campaigning and attempt to postpone the runoff election. Ross said they candidates came to this agreement in order to respect the Breen-Phillips Hall (BP) community as they mourn the death of their rector, Sister Mary McNamara, who died Wednesday.
“The tickets have decided that due to the loss of Sister Mary in our campus community, the tickets are going to try to postpone the runoff election about a week, just to give everyone the proper time to kind of deal with that,” Ross said. “ … At the moment, there’s no campaigning for the runoff election. The candidates have all been told they’re able to post a simple statement on their Facebook pages or their social media, whatever, that we’ve gone to a runoff, but that’s going to be it for now.”
Due to election timelines being explicitly laid out in the Student Union Constitution, the student senate will need to meet to approve a postponement of the runoff election, Ross said.
“We’re going to have to get senate to agree to suspend those sections of the constitution or to minorly change them in order for this special circumstance,” he said. “ … All of the candidates were in agreement to postpone the election for a week given the tragedy that our community’s had, and they were all in agreement of postponing campaigning as well.”
Section 17.1(d) of the Student Union Constitution defines campaigning as “any public contact or the solicitation of votes” and “personal appearances, placement of posters or distribution of any election materials.” In addition to postponing the election and campaigning, Ross said the candidates also agreed not to release the percentage of votes each ticket received in the initial election.
Junior presidential candidate Gates McGavick asked everyone to respect the candidates’ decision to suspend campaigning in order to give the BP community and junior vice presidential candidate Julia Dunbar, a BP resident, the proper time to honor their rector.
“We’re postponing the election out of respect for BP’s loss, for Julia’s loss, and we are completely respectful of that time,” he said. “ … A sense of civility, I think, is really, really needed from everyone. And we’re all Notre Dame students. That’s the most important thing. That’s more important than any of this — and I think that’s kind of reflected — and we all need to respect Julia’s loss and BP’s loss.”
Dunbar said she was grateful to Judicial Council and all the candidates for allowing her and the rest of the BP residents time to mourn without any distractions.
“I appreciate the considerations being made so we can honor an amazing woman who was so special to the Notre Dame community and in my own life,” she said in an email.
Freshmen Andrew Gannon and Mark Moran, who did not receive enough votes for the Gannon-Moran ticket to be included in the runoff election, encouraged their supporters “to abstain from the upcoming runoff election in an effort to ‘drain the swamp’” in a statement Gannon gave via email.
While the runoff debate and election are currently scheduled for Sunday and Monday, respectively, Ross said those dates are subject to change due to the decision to suspend campaigning.