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Observer Editorial: Impending election forces campus shutdown

| Friday, February 1, 2019

A chill descended upon the tri-campus community Tuesday.

With the incoming polar vortex providing a perfect excuse to cease activity of any kind, Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross shut down until Thursday at 1 p.m., offering students, faculty and staff alike a brief respite to brace for the real storm ahead: student government election season.

After this year’s tickets were announced Tuesday, the leaders of the tri-campus community were reminded of the flood of controversies that have accompanied the student body elections of the last three years.

Administrators encouraged students to use their 42-hour hiatus to brace themselves for the impending elections. In a statement issued by the Office of Campus Safety, students were encouraged to “travel in groups, both on and off campus,” in order to avoid overeager campaigners in their first few days on the trail.

The student senate tried to hold a vote to pass a resolution applauding the schools’ decision, but it couldn’t meet quorum.

There is some concern among the student body that the days off may allow candidates to focus more heavily on their campaign plans and hit the community with a renewed vigor when it reconvenes Thursday, but based on past experience, the mini staycation won’t have much of an effect.

Candidates have already friend requested every member of the student body (and Scott Malpass) on Facebook and changed their personal Instagram accounts to campaign ones. The Zahm ticket already has the majority of support from students. And campaign underlings are crouched in shady rooms, combing through the Student Union Constitution to find any bylaw that could trap a rival ticket the night the votes are counted.

“While we feel the situation is a little exaggerated, we can understand where the University is coming from,” junior Jimmy Underwood told The Observer. “For the past three years, this period has been nothing but trouble. The Robinson-Blais campaign started it all in 2016, with an early interview — obviously meriting the one-day campaign suspension. Two years ago, the Fonseca-Narimatsu ticket blatantly flew in the face of the Student Union Constitution with the ‘improper’ purchase of a Facebook ad, forfeiting 7 percent of its votes. After an appeal and a hours-long senate meeting, the punishment was reduced to 5 percent of its votes. It would’ve been the deathblow to their campaign, if they hadn’t already lost the election before the sanctions were even applied.

“And the 2018 election — well, that one is next in line for Robert Mueller to investigate.”

“We hope you enjoyed your days of rest, tri-campus community,” senior Layla Stark added. “Peace may never come again.

“Winter is here.”

Note: We hope everyone in the community managed to stay safe over the craziness of the last few days, and we want to extend a special thanks to all the dedicated University staff who kept everything running so smoothly.

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