President-Elect and Vice President-Elect share hopes, motivations for leadership

Junior Patrick Lee and sophomore Sofie Stitt won their bid for Student Body President and Vice President, as announced by the Judicial Council in an email sent to the student body on February 2, 2022. The Lee-Stitt ticket won with 54.61 percent of the vote. 5,103 students voted in the election, which the Judicial Council noted was a five-year high.

Lee and Stitt ran on a platform of mental health awareness and support, a partnership for service in the South Bend community, and giving power to the students through the reimplementation of a Hesburgh-era program called the Student Life Council (SLC).

In their platform, Lee and Stitt note: “The SLC was made up of students, rectors, and university officials, with the goal of including and representing any and every student … [and] the SLC had binding legislative authority over decisions related to student life.” They promoted this platform with the motto “Expect More.”

Another major pillar of the Lee-Stitt platform was the celebration of the Catholic identity of the university. Lee said in an interview with the Rover, “We think that Notre Dame is great because it’s Catholic, not in spite of that.” They intend to celebrate this identity through numerous efforts such as a vocations fair, free student access to the Hallow app, and inviting Catholic speakers to campus.

Lee noted that Father Mike Schmitz’s visit to campus in 2019 was one of the highlights of his freshman year at Notre Dame. He told the Rover that he wants to bring similar experiences to Notre Dame. Lee and Stitt intend to work closely with Campus Ministry and their future faith and service director to achieve these goals and support the Catholic character of the university.

Stitt told The Rover they are “physically writing down” their goals to ensure they align with the promises they made to the student body during their campaign. Although the SLC initiative received some criticism from the opposing Stinson-Sherman ticket in the Judicial Council debate, Stitt told the Rover, “The need for a diversity of voices is never going to go away.”

Despite any difficulties Lee affirmed that he and Stitt remain committed to fulfilling all of their campaign promises, saying, “I have no fear of lofty goals.” Lee also noted their efforts towards the reinstatement of the SLC.

These efforts have focused on attempts by previous administrations, consultation with the current President Allen Njomo, Vice President Matt Bisner, and Chief of Staff Alix Basden, and conversation with administrators to map out the preliminary plan for cooperation with the administration in order to represent the entire student body.

Many of their plans for their term in office stem from their desire to ensure the diversity of voices discussed by Stitt. In an interview with the Rover, Lee emphasized his hope to “fish from a lot of different ponds” when selecting his cabinet and executive departments. He recognizes the passion and dedication students have for a variety of issues on campus and expressed a desire to work with these students to achieve the best results. Lee expects to send out applications for Department Directors by Friday, February 18.

Further, Lee and Stitt expressed their plan to remain connected to the student body. They hope to maintain an active presence in the Hall Presidents Council, visit hall councils within various dorm communities, and ensure that every student knows where to find the student government office, where Lee said they will strive for an “open-door policy … where the door [to his office] is physically open as much as possible … so anyone can walk up” and engage with their policies.

Lee and Stitt currently serve as the presidents of their dorms, Stanford and Pasquerilla West, respectively, and they told the Rover that they hope to translate the interconnectedness of their leadership in their halls to the entire student body.

Stitt stressed the importance of consistent “face-to-face communication” and fewer “long, bureaucratic emails.” Additionally, Lee and Stitt noted their plan to start a student government podcast and recruit student leaders—both in and out of student government—to communicate and further their platform goals.

These in-person communications and recruitment of students from within the student body were hallmarks of the Lee-Stitt campaign. They attributed the high voter turnout to efforts from both tickets to discussing policy at debates, utilizing social media, and interacting with voters all across campus at the dining halls, hall councils, and club meetings.

Lee further reflected that “students want to be engaged and involved” in decisions that affect student life. The rising trend of voter engagement from 38 percent in the 2020 student body election to 57.82 percent in 2022 is something Lee and Stitt hope to continue and encourage throughout and after their term in office.

Josh Haskell, a key member of the Lee-Stitt campaign, told The Rover that the “main initiative was to engage the ‘abstain’ population through personal connections and conversations about the Lee-Stitt policy. Because the team was so motivated and willing to dedicate time to the project, it was easy to engage a wide network.” The initiative bore fruit with high voter turnout and a win for Lee-Stitt.

Lee and Stitt will be sworn in as President and Vice President of the Student Body on April 1. They encourage students interested to read through their policies, which are accessible through and apply for their executive team.

Lauren Douglas is a freshman theology major in the Glynn Family Honors Program. When she’s not watching rom-coms, baking in the Farley kitchen, or creative writing, she can be found discussing the merits of the BBC and 2005 adaptations of Pride and Prejudice. Please send any Austen commentary—or questions, thoughts, or concerns—to

Photo credit: @sofiestitt on Instagram