Lauren Vidal and her running mate Matt Devine are looking to “change the game” going into the 2014-2015 academic year.
Vidal, a junior management consulting major, and Devine, a junior economics and Arts and Letters pre-professional major, say they will build upon their extensive experience in student government if elected.
Vidal has worked in student government’s Department of Internal Affairs and in Campus Life Council. As Student Union Parliamentarian, she made sure that Executive Cabinet meetings ran according to parliamentary procedure.
Devine says, as director student government’s Department of Gender Issues, he helped implement the newly formed Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) and revamp “Love Your Body” week. In addition, he has worked on the Board Report Committee and on the Student Campus Orientation Committee, which plans and oversees Freshman Orientation.
Vidal says their work in different areas of student government makes them ideal running mates.
“There was an intersection of his experiences with programming and policy from his perspective and then my experience of sitting on boards and seeing how everything worked and getting an understanding from that perspective,” Vidal says.
Vidal and Devine say their platform arose from their passion to serve the university, its students and the community.
“That is what we centered our platform around: service to the students, service to the community and service to the world as a whole and making sure our students are served well to search for their passion,” Vidal says.
One way Vidal and Devine say they would serve the Notre Dame community is through the implementation of a Student Campus Orientation Committee (SCOC). The committee would be an extension of the Student Activities Office (SAO) and would help to improve Freshman Orientation programming to offer incoming students a better representation of the university — to provide them with “the most welcoming, informative and community-focused campus orientation possible,” they say in their platform.
One of their major platform initiatives — Student Night-time Auxiliary Patrol (SNAP) — builds on the current SafeWalk program by increasing the number of student- manned golf carts available at night.
“SNAP was a feasible way to take a program we already have and implement improvements so that we can see progressive change in the campaign against sexual assault,” Vidal says.
Another initiative — “The Playbook” — would expand WeekND to include more dorm and club events, as well as deadlines for campus applications. Proposals such as this “… will make the student experience more tangible and efficient,” Devine says.
Other initiatives would improve Notre Dame’s connection to the South Bend community. They include “Quad Markets,” which were inspired by European street markets and would feature South Bend restaurants, small businesses and Notre Dame student clubs, and “29 vs. 29,” wherein each dorm would sponsor a needy family in the South Bend community during the holiday season.
Devine says his experience has taught him how student government fits in with the administration and helps him to ground his ideas as he moves forward. Devine says he wants SAO and students to have a closer relationship, especially when planning Freshman Orientation.
Vidal and Devine would continue efforts made by current president-vice president team Alex Coccia and Nancy Joyce, including their work addressing Notre Dame’s policy regarding medical amnesty in crisis situations and their efforts made to improve sexual assault awareness, including the “One is Too Many” campaign.
Devine and Vidal say they want to continue the personal approach Coccia and Joyce take to student government.
“They’ve really emphasized just sitting down with students and having that time to get coffee and having that time to answer those questions,” Vidal says. “That’s really phenomenal, and that’s what we are looking to do.
“We are here for you. We are your connection to the university as a whole,” Vidal and Devine say.