Student government changes hands

first_imgWhen outgoing student body president Grant Schmidt and vice president Cynthia Weber entered office a year ago, the duo was determined to enact initiatives to make student government relevant to the student body.“We didn’t take on personal preferences,” Schmidt said. “Students were constantly giving us feedback. It made our jobs a lot easier.”The administration soon found the best way to find out what students cared about was not through formal student surveys, but just by talking to students.“A lot of it is informal,” Weber said. “If you want to get the real opinions of students, you just need to be a real student.”From large programs ranging from the restructuring of commencement and the introduction of Transpo Route 7A to small things like having baskets of mints outside the dining halls, Schmidt and Weber said they attempted to focus their agenda on improving everyday student life at the University.“The student body at Notre Dame is on its toes,” Weber said. “They care about everything.”Weber said by taking care of the everyday essentials of student life, student government was able to boost its credibility in tackling worldwide social justice issues through programs such as the Global Water Initiative.“Things like Transpo, which did get a lot of exposure, allowed us to use the support for other programs,” Schmidt said.Schmidt, who described his administration as “responsive,” said he was forced to tackle issues that arose at the last minute, such as improving off-campus safety after two Holy Cross students were abducted in September and sponsoring aid initiatives following the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile.Another goal of the Schmidt-Weber administration was to improve student government’s relations with the University administration.“Student government is right now and hopefully will be consulted before every major decision,” he said.Schmidt said there were not any major initiatives he wished his administration could have tackled, although he said he wished the changes in du Lac, the student handbook, had been enacted during his term and the University had not chosen to move the pep rallies to Irish Green.In addition, Weber said student government needed to become more involved in the academic side of the University in the long term.When asked what advice they had for the incoming administration of sophomores Catherine Soler and Andrew Bell, Schmidt and Weber said the focus needs to be on the students.“Be present and energetic, and love the honor of serving the students at Notre Dame,” Weber said.Furthermore, Weber said the pair should continue to foster close ties with the administration but also stand up for what is needed.“The ability to respectfully disagree is key,” she said.Schmidt said the pair should also be aware of the complicated dynamics of community relations in the city of South Bend.“We currently have a very good footing with the city of South Bend,” he said. “But community relations is not something that just stops.”Ultimately, Schmidt and Weber feel their time in student government has been productive and personally fulfilling.“We wanted to be present throughout Notre Dame,” Schmidt said. “And we feel we positively changed the brand of student government.”Schmidt, who is a senior, plans to attend law school next year, while Weber, a junior, said she wants to focus on her studies and become “informally involved in the University.”“It really has been a privilege to serve in student government, especially at Notre Dame,” Schmidt said.last_img read more

Read More →

Lund goes 2-for-2 at 281 with second Lone Star Tour victory

first_imgLund posted back-to-back checkers by making a strong run on the outside groove. The top five in the fleet IMCA Sunoco Stock Car field represented as many different states, as Elijah Zevenber­gen, Hesston Shaw, Dean Abbey and Joe Bellm chased Lund across the stripe. STEPHENVILLE, Texas (Feb. 18) – The top line took Curt Lund to his second $750 Sniper Speed Lone Star Tour feature win in as many nights Monday at 281 Speedway. Justin Nabors and James Hanusch completed the SportMod top three. William Creese was the runner-up and Harold Clifton finished third in the Sport Compact feature. Southern SportMods – 1. Gregory Muirhead; 2. Justin Nabors; 3. James Hanusch; 4. Taylor Florio; 5. Larry Underwood; 6. James McCreery; 7. Jay Coone; 8. Evan Moore. Gregory Muirhead and Clifton Whisenant both raced from eighth starting spots to win the Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMod and Mach-1 Sport Compact main events, respectively.  Lund had started third and dropped back a couple spots. He worked his way back toward the front, taking over the lead for good on lap 10. center_img Feature Results  Stock Cars – 1. Curt Lund; 2. Elijah Zevenbergen; 3. Hesston Shaw; 4. Dean Abbey; 5. Joe Bellm; 6. Dean Cornlius; 7. Jeffrey Abbey; 8. Westin Abbey; 9. Tyler Muirhead; 10. Jason Rogers; 11. Shelby Williams; 12. Kirk Martin; 13. G.W. Egbert IV; 14. William Gould; 15. Billy Wade; 16. Kyle Falck; 17. Tony Hardesty; 18. Jason Josselyn; 19. Ryan Powers; 20. Kyle Pfeifer; 21. Craig Moss.  Sport Compacts – 1. Clifton Whisenant; 2. William Creese; 3. Harold Clifton; 4. Pamela Whisenant; 5. Steven Bevils; 6. Kody Crofutt; 7. Howard Watson; 8. Ryan Whisenant; 9. Brian Schoenbaum Jr.; 10. Anthony Vandenberg; 11. Kaleb Watson. Curt Lund won his second Sniper Speed Lone Star Tour feature Monday at 281 Speedway. The IMCA Sunoco Stock Car checkers were good for $750. (Photo by Stacy Kolar, Southern Sass Photography)last_img read more

Read More →

SPORTS PERSONALITY Driven, dedicated, and disciplined young Aleka Persaud is blazing a trail in the pool.

first_imgTHIS week we look at another aspiring Olympian. A determined, dedicated and disciplined young lady with great prospects, who began shining as a national swimmer last year. She is young Aleka Persaud, a prolific swimmer with multiple age-group national records. Thus far, Persaud has performed only at the local and regional levels, but she has already proven that she is quite the force to be reckoned with. The only thing stopping her from being Guyana’s top female swimmer is time.After training since the age of three, Aleka burst to the fore last year at just nine years old and was Guyana’s most accomplished swimmer on the Goodwill Swim Meet team last year.Persaud landed her five gold and one silver medal; one of those gold medals was won in a record- breaking performance. She holds the 36.20 seconds record in the girls’ 8 and under 50m butterfly at the Goodwill Swim Meet.Aleka Persaud displays just a few of her many medals and trophiesAleka Persaud displays just a few of her many medals and trophiesThat performance followed remarkable local presentations, by Aleka last year, when she dominated the 8 and under category. Aleka holds all of the national records of the girls’ 8 and under category, and is currently blazing a trail in the 9 – 10 category.Many who have met this petite New Guyana School student is astounded by just how driven, and passionate she is about being a swimmer. She sets strategic goals that she wants to accomplish, times she wants to achieve, always looking out to better her own times.Despite her small size and age, she’s working wonders at balancing her training and her academics, so much so that she has even taken up doing taekwondo over the past year.“She’s small but she’s extremely strong for her age. She has the desire and the right attitude. She’s one of the most talented swimmers I’ve seen in a number of years, she has surpassed any other Guyanese swimmer in terms of her time, her attitude is head on, she wants to win, she goes out there to win, she works hard, she’s diligent, she just doesn’t give up,” said her coach Sean Baksh.Baksh says Aleka is just a natural, born swimmer.“And she’s well adapted for water,” he noted.Her dad, president of the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA), Ivan Persaud, says she is one competitive young lady.“She’s very competitive, she’s very serious about it,” Ivan commented.Now she has her sights set on being Guyana’s youngest Olympian. And she just might be if she makes Tokyo 2020, when she will be just 14 years old. Guyana’s youngest Olympian has been Britany van Lange, also a swimmer, who was just 16 years old when she represented Guyana at the 2012 London Olympics.last_img read more

Read More →