From the Ingal-Galbenski ticket: Amplify, advocate, accompany
Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, February 18, 2020
If we’re being completely honest, none of us expected the election to drag on this long. However, maybe the multiple Observer staff reports and various Election Committee press releases have at least made some more people aware of the fact that student government exists.
We’ve spent the past two weeks campaigning for student body president and vice president alongside some great tickets. We’ve appreciated the opportunity to engage in dialogue with them and envision the best path forward for the university that we all know and love. While we can’t promise to outlaw crime or climate change like the brave gentlemen of Zahm House did, we do hope to work on various opportunities for growth at this school.
This election season has opened our eyes to new perspectives and has challenged the way we think about Notre Dame. As exhausting as this process has been, the excitement surrounding this journey has energized us as we work to foster a better Notre Dame for every person.
During his time as University President, Father Ted Hesburgh said Notre Dame is a place “where differences of culture and religion and conviction can co-exist with friendship, civility, hospitality, respect and love; a place where the endless conversation is harbored and not foreclosed.” This is our vision: to build a Notre Dame for all, so every student on this campus is recognized as a member of our family: no matter their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, political ideology, religion, socioeconomic class or nationality.
We recognize that working on these issues is not just a job for the student body president and vice president, and this drove us to collaborate with students from every part of campus to develop our platform. Our campaign focuses on three pillars: we seek to accompany, advocate for and amplify students.
We are committed to listening and learning from our peers so that we can work to amplify their voices and the causes that matter to them. In the future, we hope these dialogues could occur in a Multicultural Center that celebrates diversity and inclusion, and we are committed to taking the first steps by building a task force to identify donors who can make this space a reality. Additionally, we are excited about the opportunity that the upcoming Presidential Debate presents to foster civil discourse and encourage voter registration on campus.
Based on our dialogues with student change agents, we identified four principal causes that demand our tireless advocacy: health and wellness, sexual assault prevention and resources, sustainability and university policy reform. Student demand for the services offered by the University Counseling Center has been on the rise, and we must advocate for greater allocation of funds and resources towards mental health services. When it comes to sexual assault prevention, we will do everything in our power to stand in solidarity with and pursue resources for survivors — ranging from support groups to Title IX awareness to technology like Callisto. In terms of sustainability, we will offer incentives for student groups and clubs who design events and programs in environmentally friendly ways. Finally, we will advocate for the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the University’s Non-Discrimination Clause so that no student can be discriminated against due to these integral aspects of their identity.
Student Government is fortunate to be able to walk with two key communities: the student body and South Bend. We propose to create grant opportunities for student groups so that we can financially support them as they pursue endeavors that positively impact campus. Additionally, we will actively work to “break the bubble” between campus and the South Bend community by promoting service partnerships, internship opportunities and community strengthening events.
We encourage you to check out our full platform and more information about us and our team at our website rachelandsarahfornd.com. Join us for the debate tonight in Midfield Commons at 9 p.m. and be sure to vote tomorrow! Together, we know that we can continue to build a Notre Dame for all and we hope you will walk hand in hand with us in this pursuit.
In Notre Dame,
presidential candidate, junior
vice presidential candidate, junior
campaign manager, junior
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.