As spring blooms and the vaccine rollout continues successfully, we are more grateful than ever to begin our term in office as Notre Dame and the rest of the world begin the return to normal. The sense of hope in the air is certainly undeniable. In eagerly looking ahead to the future, however, we know it is equally important to reflect upon the unique challenges the past year has brought and the extraordinary leadership we are building from.
In our nation, we have witnessed strong recent reactions to racial injustice towards the Black and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and increased tensions alongside a divisive election. Here at Notre Dame, we have lost three beloved members of our community: Olivia, Valeria and Jude. In the midst of these losses and the pandemic, we have also faced an intense mental health crisis. However, some of the best leadership is forged in the crucible of difficulty. Rachel, Sarah and Aaron selflessly served the Student Body during these uncertain times. Their service over the past year serves as both an inspiration and a motivation for us, and we thank them for everything they have done while building upon their legacy.
In the first week of April, at the first meeting of the 2021-2022 Student Senate, we, Allan Njomo, Matthew Bisner, and Alix Basden, took our oaths of office, and our Executive Cabinet was confirmed. In assuming these new responsibilities and looking forward to the year ahead, we want to assure you that we are here for you, the students.
Looking forward, we hope to start working right away to build a better Notre Dame. Our campaign was focused on getting students the support they need and deserve — ensuring holistic health and wellbeing, standing in solidarity with the marginalized and bridging the gaps in our community. In our term, we aim to fight for an equitable academic environment, mental and sexual health resources, greater accessibility, sensitivity towards difficult financial circumstances, transparency from the administration, a greener campus and more. With Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.’s announcement of this year’s central theme, “Care for Our Common Home: Just Transition to a Sustainable Future,” we are especially focused on our platform goals to partner with local environmental groups to share education materials, encourage the divestment of university assets from the fossil fuel industry, and aid independent student initiatives and start-ups geared towards making Notre Dame a greener campus community.
Alongside the entirety of the Notre Dame community, we are gearing up for a world that is much more friendly to social activity and connection, and we are confident that the Notre Dame community will emerge stronger than ever from this incredibly difficult time. We know that the vision we have for a stronger, more inclusive and equitable Notre Dame community is reliant upon the support of the student body, and we intend to bring you along the way for every step of this journey.
We’d absolutely love to meet you, and we invite and encourage you to connect with us. You can reach out via email to any member of the Executive Cabinet directly or through the student government contact form. In addition, Matthew Bisner has office hours from 12:00-2:00 and Allan Njomo has office hours from 3:00-5:00 every Friday in the student government offices on the second floor of La Fun.
We rely on your guidance and support as we transition into the coming year with anticipation and gratitude.
Allan Njomo, President
Matthew Bisner, Vice-President
Alix Basden, Chief of Staff