Gates McGavick and Corey Gayheart win election
After an election season riddled with allegations of election misconduct, judicial council sanctions, and closed senate meetings, the Notre Dame community has officially cast their ballots and chosen their student body president and vice president for the next school year. After judicial council election sanctions were applied to both tickets, Gates McGavick and Corey Gayheart received 52.08% of the votes, beating Alex Kruszewski and Julia Dunbar’s 36.73%. Voter turnout for the election totaled 47% of the undergraduate student body, which is down 11% from last year’s election.
President elect Gates McGavick, stated: “At the end of the day, we are happy with how this election went, but 22% of voters had their voices taken away, and that’s really frustrating… because a lot of people don’t even know what led to that happening… Wherever we can promote transparency we are looking to do that and give people an insight into the process. And in general, trying to return to a tone of civility while respecting the fact that it is okay to criticize and critique your elected officials without it being a personal attack.”
McGavick and Gayheart stressed the whirlwind nature of their transition but expressed excitement at the idea of very soon having a team in place and being able to make immediate change. The two have been in contact with the current student government administration, and are planning on a smooth handover of power.
Some of the immediate changes McGavick and Gayheart are looking forward to working on are dorm maintenance improvements, blue-light safety evaluation, and GreeNDot expansion to South Bend bars and bartenders. Furthermore, McGavick expressed interest in looking “at the existing structure of student government and see[ing] where it can be streamlined or improved to more effectively serve the student body.” Gayheart noted that they are soon “sitting down with the newly elected St. Mary’s President and Vice President to collaborate with the tri-campus community on both the blue-light safety evaluation and GreeNDot expansion.”
When asked about their legacy and broadstroke goals for their time as Notre Dame’s student bodys’ President and Vice President, McGavick and Gayheart mentioned focusing on accessibility and approachability. McGavick said the “best legacy we can have is getting as many people involved in student government as possible. We want to make student government more accessible so that students have a clear idea of not only what student government is doing but also how to approach student government if they have a problem”. For Gates and Corey, the ideal student government that they will leave behind “should feel like a group of kids as opposed to the government of a country.”
Gayheart stressed his appreciation towards the student body and their support for he and Gates, stating: “Thank you all so much for coming out and voting. It means the world to Gates and I that we got so much support … We ran on the promise of amplifying student voices and changing student government and we cannot wait to get started and work hard to do just that.”
On April 1st, the two will “get started” and take official office as student body president and vice president.
Claire Marie Kuhn is a junior studying political science and peace studies. You can email her at email@example.com.