The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Szotko-Stokes ticket aims to improve communication with student body

| Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Sophomores Bradley Szotko and Joseph Stokes are running for student body president and vice president at Holy Cross College with promises to get the student body more involved in its Student Government Association (SGA).

Liam Kelly | The Observer
Bradley Szotko (right) and Joseph Stokes spoke at Monday night’s election town hall. The ticket, running for Holy Cross student body president and vice president, is seeking to get students more involved in SGA if elected.

Szotko and Stokes both currently serve as sophomore class senators at Holy Cross. Szotko is a business major and political science minor, while Stokes is a political science and public service major.

During the election town hall on Monday, Stokes stressed that he and Szotko want to be type of leaders for which “everybody knows who [we] are, everybody is able to approach [us], talk to [us], and say [our] thoughts.” The pair said that they want to hear all ideas, “even if something isn’t realistic and can’t always be done.”

The ticket’s emphasis on making student government more available to students stems from personal experience, Stokes said during the town hall.

“One of the things that always kept me from getting more involved is that [student government] felt like a club or something that you have to be invited to, to participate,” Stokes noted. “It never seemed like something like that could actually provide me with a way to talk about some of the things that felt I had to change on campus.”

In order to combat this feeling, the Szotko-Stokes ticket plans on improving communication between student government and the student body.

Szotko said he “would like to set up some kind of electronic communication system,” that would let students contact him directly. This plan would also allow students to share ideas while being off campus, he said.

Also key to their effort is restructuring the way that student government office hours work. Szotko noted that the office can also be too busy at times, which dissuades students from sharing their ideas.

“A lot of times we will have three, four or five different senators doing office hours in there. As a student walking by you’re going to think they’re in a meeting,” he said. Szotko said the pair plans on instituting a better scheduling system that will make meetings more accessible and frequent.

Szotko and Stokes also said that they hope to better communicate what SGA does to incoming first years during welcome weekend. This is part of a larger attempt to make student government more visible on campus, the pair said.

When it comes to planning events, Szotko made it clear that he will rely heavily on student input.

Szotko admitted that he would not consider himself “a super outgoing guy generally,” and that he aims to get most of his event ideas by listening to the community. He also said he hopes to add another mental health counselor on Holy Cross’ campus, as there is currently only one, and he added that this should “be a female counselor.”

“I want us to act with purpose to actually get these things done,” Szotko said.

Speaking on his role as vice president, Stokes said that he envisions himself working in a “boots on the ground” way by personally reaching out to community members to see what is a priority.

Voting for student body president will take place Thursday in the lounge by Ave Brew Cafe from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tags: , , , , ,

About Liam Kelly

Contact Liam