Kruszewski and McGavick Go Head to Head

After a contentious campaign season, rife with allegations and appeals, the student body elections, held on Wednesday, February 7,  resulted in a lack of a majority of votes for any of the three tickets, necessitating a run-off election.

The two junior ticketsMcGavick-Gayheart and Kruszewski-Dunbarwill advance to the run-off election, while the freshman ticket, Gannon-Moran, has been eliminated, having earned the fewest votes.

Though the candidates agreed not to release the exact percentages of votes received by each ticket until the final results are in, the Judicial Council, headed by senior Matt Ross, announced the day after the election that no ticket earned at least 50 percent of the votes, a requirement for winning.

Per the Student Union Constitution, run-off elections are typically held the following Monday after election day. However, the passing of Sister Mary McNamara, former rector of Breen-Phillips (BP) hall, prompted the Student Senate to suspend this rule.

Sister Mary passed away on Wednesday, February 8, due to complications following a stroke. Because Julia Dunbar, vice-presidential candidate on the Kruszewski-Dunbar ticket, is a resident of BP, all candidates agreed to postpone the runoff election to allow Dunbar to mourn her rector without distraction.

Dunbar told the Rover in an email,“We knew that last Wednesday would be a long day full of emotions, but we were overwhelmed by the news of Sister Mary’s passing. Our team is thankful to the Student Senate’s decision to postpone the runoff in order to allow our community time to honor Sister Mary. I feel especially grateful for the time to be with the BP community and remember our rector.”

Though it was certainly first and foremost on everyone’s minds, Sister Mary’s passing was not the only consideration for the Student Senate. Junior Molly Clark, Badin Hall Senator, reported to the Rover, “Student Senate thought it best to postpone the run-off election out of respect for BP rector Sister Mary McNamara’s funeral. Given that all candidates in the runoff are Juniors, we further postponed the election so as to not conflict with JPW.”

As decided by the Student Senate, campaigning will be suspended for a period leading up to the runoff. While the two remaining tickets were permitted to post a simple message informing their supporters of the results, they are disallowed from any official campaigning thereafter until February 19.

According to Section 17.1(d) of the Student Union Constitution, campaigning is defined as, “any public contact or the solicitation of votes” as well as “personal appearances, placement of posters or distribution of any election materials.”

Presidential candidate Gates McGavick told the Rover, “We were honored by the support we received in the first round of elections and look forward to the runoff. Above all else, we have the utmost respect for this suspended period of campaigning. We are thinking of Julia, BP, and other members of the ND family who are grieving right now.”

The Knights of Columbus will be holding a debate between Kruszewski and Gates Monday evening at 8pm, followed by a Judicial Council debate on Thursday at a yet to be announced time. The runoff election will follow on Friday, February 23.

Keenan White is a junior studying political science with minors in history and Constitutional studies. You can email her at