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Thursday, June 13, 2024
The Observer

Student body presidential candidates: Mabry Webb and Jacob Calpey

Juniors Mabry Webb and Jacob Calpey, running for student body president and vice president, respectively, said their campaign is focused on three main pillars: “Support, Serve and Succeed.” 

“To support means uplifting marginalized campus communities, preventing sexual assault and safeguarding victims and their rights,” Webb and Calpey said in their platform. “To serve means fighting for equitable outcomes that affect the entire student body. … To succeed means championing goals that will positively impact student life.”

Juniors Mabry Webb, right, and Jacob Calpey, left, are running for student body president and vice president, respectively.

Webb is majoring in science business and Spanish with a minor in Latino studies. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she currently serves as co-president of Cavanaugh Hall, in addition to being a member of Junior Class Council and the Junior Parents Weekend planning committee. Webb said serving as her dorm’s president was part of the reason she decided to run for student body president. 

“Taking part in leading my community through some of the struggles of the past year inspired me to run in order to try to help make a bigger impact on a bigger scale across the whole student body as opposed to just my dorm community,” she said. 

Calpey, who hails from Orlando, Florida, is studying science business with a real estate minor. He has served as treasurer for his dorm, O’Neill Family Hall, for the last two years, in addition to being a Welcome Weekend captain. 

“We feel like we can make campus a better place,” Calpey said. “We think we have some awesome ideas to help, you know, the health and wellness of the students, the inclusion of all students, and we really just want to bring the Notre Dame family and the Notre Dame love to everybody. Because everybody should be able to partake in that experience.”

If elected, Webb and Calpey said their first priority would be to create a Sexual Assault Response task force. 

“That’s a huge priority for us, as that’s established as a best practice across other universities and not something that we currently have, as well as advocating for student mental and physical health, especially during COVID,” Webb said. 

Calpey added that though the two have many ideas and projects they’d like to complete, they recognize that not everything will be able to be completed within one year. 

“We’ve really narrowed it down to what we feel is most important for the Notre Dame student, and what we can have an effect on,” he said.  “So [there’s] lots of feasibility in our platform. Our platform is really centered around flexibility and feasibility.”

Another goal of the Webb-Calpey platform is improving transparency between student government, the administration and the student body. They aim to do this by providing a public budget log for student government expenses and creating a “one-stop shop” for information regarding student government in the ND mobile app and holding office hours. 

“I’ve definitely heard that complaint from a lot of my peers … They either don't understand what’s going on, or they don’t think it actually affects them,” Webb said. “So I think the issue of transparency kind of comes to light … [with] people understanding what student government does, and how student government can be helpful to improving the Notre Dame experience.”

Calpey and Webb also said an issue they were passionate about was improving mental and physical health resources on campus. In regards to mental health, the two propose allocating more funding and resources for the University Counseling Center, subsidizing off-campus referrals and providing support for students after a mental health crisis. 

“Since getting sent home in March, students have struggled a lot with the feeling of being isolated, which is definitely something that was probably new to them,” Webb said. “… So we have the issue of mental health, as well as the issue of physical health under COVID.”

Their platform also proposes weekend telehealth availability for St. Liam’s, increased awareness of STI testing offered on campus and providing free menstrual products to all buildings on campus, including dorms. 

In addition, the Webb-Calpey platform focuses on accessibility on campus and making buildings and the new structures, such as the lodges, accessible, especially during the winter months.

“There’s so many things that we can do on campus in the COVID era and outside of the COVID era to make our campus [a] more welcoming and accessible place to all,” Calpey said. 

Ultimately, Webb and Calpey said their desire to lead comes from a love for the Notre Dame community. 

“Notre Dame would not be Notre Dame without the people,” Webb said. “If it was just like the body it is with the administration and the classes, it certainly wouldn’t be the same experience. So the fact that I’ve had so many great relationships that have helped make Notre Dame such a special place for me, I just have the desire to serve those people who have helped me you know, kind of find my place here.”