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Ingal, Galbenski elected student body president, vice president

| Thursday, February 20, 2020

The 2020 student government election ended Wednesday night as juniors Rachel Ingal and Sarah Galbenski were elected student body president and vice president, winning the runoff election.

The pair beat out junior Noble Patidar and freshman Connor Patrick — the other ticket to make the runoff.

Serena Zacharias | The Observer

Sarah Galbenski, left, and Rachel Ingal, right, react to the announcement of their victory in Tuesday’s runoff election.

After failing to win 50% of the votes required to win the primary election, a runoff was required between the Ingal-Galbenski and Patidar-Patrick tickets. With total voter turnout at 38%, Ingal-Galbenski garnered 62.4% of the vote, while Patidar-Patrick received 37.6%. 259 students voted to abstain.

The race initially began with six tickets running for president and vice president, respectively — freshmen Henry Bates and Thomas Henry, juniors Michael Dugan and Ricardo Pozas Garza, junior Zachary Mercugliano and freshman Aviva Lund and junior Connor Whittle and sophomore Jack Rotolo  — in addition to the Ingal-Galbenski and Patidar-Patrick tickets. While the Bates-Henry, Dugan-Pozas Garza and Whittle-Rotolo tickets failed to receive enough votes to move on to the runoff, the Mercugliano-Lund ticket was required to forfeit their candidacy.

Editor’s Note: Michael Dugan is a former news writer and systems administrator for The Observer.

This coming term will be the third time an all-female ticket has won student body president and vice president at the University.

Ingal and Galbenski thanked their team, spearheaded by their campaign manager junior Aaron Benavides, and the Judicial Council for their commitment to the democratic process.

Editor’s Note: Benavides is a former news writer for The Observer. 

“I couldn’t be more grateful for the support system we’ve had completely energizing us throughout this entire thing,” Ingal said. “There’s absolutely no way we could have done it without them, we’re just really enthused to be able to fight for change that we hope to be able to see at Notre Dame for the next year.”

The pair plan on beginning their time in office in the same manner in which they began their campaign by having meaningful conversations with students about what changes and improvements they want to see at the University.

“I think that dialogue is the most important thing to us, we’re really excited to hit the ground running,” Galbenski said. “We think we’ve established a lot of great connections with student change agents, and we’re looking forward to build those relationships over our term.”

In regards to the Patidar-Patrick ticket, Ingal said she wanted to thank their campaign for making the runoff election as easy as possible.

“We want to thank them for passion and their dedication to the issues as well and for challenging us in our conversations and making the dialogue better,” Ingal said.

Patidar stood by his previous comments when he said the election was not simply about the results.

“I feel the proudest I’ve ever felt in my time at Notre Dame,” Patidar said. “I’m so happy that a junior-freshman combo are standing here top two. He’s a freshman, and he’s standing here top two. I’m Indian and Hindu at a white Catholic university standing here.”

Beginning his freshman year at Notre Dame, Patrick said he never would have envisioned running for student body vice president in his first year, but he’s thankful for the opportunity and sees the entire process as a blessing.

“Noble has been such a great friend and running mate and overall just an incredible person, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way,” Patrick said.

The two also thanked the Ingal-Galbenski ticket for a fair process and wished them the best of luck.

“I know they’ll uphold all the values that we uphold,” Patidar said.

Although Ingal has been involved in student government since her freshman year, she did not believe becoming president would become a reality, and she is grateful to the student body for their votes.

“Thank you for trusting us with your student government,” Ingal said.

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About Serena Zacharias

Serena is a senior majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She hails from the great cheese state of Wisconsin and currently serves as the ND News Editor for The Observer.

Contact Serena