BY ROSE MCEACHERN
Many students this year have been discussing and debating the upcoming election this November, but this week, elections of Franciscan’s own government were taking place.
On Friday, April 27, students lined up in the Egan lobby to cast their ballots for next year’s Franciscan University Student Government (FUSG) leaders. Separated by class, each voted for their class’s senators and their choice for president and vice president.
Joe Danaher and Greg Andrews were two such candidates. Danaher was planning on running for president, but didn’t have a running mate. Andrews had been running for vice president under another candidate who had to drop out a week prior to elections. Danaher asked if Andrews would like to join him on his ticket and Andrews graciously agreed. They advertised on chalkboards in Egan, hung around campus and went around to several households and clubs to campaign.
They ran on a basic platform of making a bridge between the student body and administration.
“We want a dialogue between (students) and student government and a dialogue between student government and administration,” said Danaher in a recent interview. They plan to have open forums for students to come and share their desires and opinions.
In addition, they want to extend the hours at Cosmos and Damian Hall and the Finnegan Fieldhouse. Student Joey Schlueter had worked with FUSG earlier this semester to gain extra hours at Finnegan as well. Danaher and Andrews want to see that work continued. They had several suggestions including rearranging weekday hours in order to allow hours on Sunday.
As well as their reforms, the candidates want to implement a shuttle service to the Pittsburgh International Airport at breaks and at the beginning and end of each semester. While it might not be a free service, it would be much cheaper than a taxi. If this is not feasible then they are planning a ride board instead.
Opposing Danaher and Andrews were Tessa Westwood and Tony Arza. Westwood has been a senator for three years and decided to run for re-election this year as president. Students have probably seen the posters around campus that shout “Vote TnT!” There were also advertisements on Egan chalkboards and the candidates campaigned to students in Antonian Hall.
Westood and Arza also want to see more dialogue between students and FUSG.
“What we hear from so many people is that it’s hard to get involved and get to the meetings,” said Westwood. “We want to post comment boxes in different places all around campus so that students can submit suggestions anonymously and on their own time.”
They are also looking to extend Fieldhouse hours and John Paul II Library hours.
The results of the elections will not be released until Thursday, May 3. This is done so that students in Austria can be given a chance to vote as well and have their ballots sent back to be added to Franciscan’s main campus tally.
Candidates are sworn in after the last formal meeting of the year. This will take place on Wednesday, May 9, the last day of final exams between 11a.m – 12p.m. At the end of the meeting, everyone walks over to the St. Francis statue by Christ the King Chapel and the new president, vice president and senators are sworn in. If any students are still on campus, they are more than welcome to attend.