Gates McGavick & Corey Gayheart: Gratitude for School Reconciles Opposite Viewpoints

Author: Ellie Buerk


Approachable, Collaborative, Transformative: These are the adjectives that Gates McGavick and Corey Gayheart have chosen to define the main tenets of their ticket. To put it simply, “ACT” is a way of describing the ideological diversity and transparency they plan to bring to student government if elected. 

McGavick and Gayheart come from opposing sides of the political spectrum, which they cite as one of their greatest assets, granting them insight into the varying perspectives of the student body at large. 

“I’m personally running because everyone that I’ve come across at Notre Dame has been incredible,” Gayheart says. “It’s a huge honor to be here and I want to make sure that I’m paying it forward for everyone that I’ve met and future generations as well. I want to make sure that I leave this place better than I found it.” 

McGavick echoes many of Gayheart’s sentiments, but draws from his own personal experience as motivation for this campaign. 

“I moved around a lot as a kid and Notre Dame is the place I’ve spent the longest continuous span of time and I love it here so much,” McGavick says. “No matter what I’m doing, I want to contribute to my community, and this seems like a good opportunity to do that.” 

The main tenets of their platform include using social media as a mode of connecting with the student body and voicing their concerns; improving transparency within campus administration; reforming student government; improving campus dining and the ND mobile app; focusing on diversity and sustainability, student safety and community engagement; collaborating with SAO; improving dorm life; re-managing student finances (including expanding flex points use to laundry and vending machines on campus) and addressing mental and personal health. 

The pair expresses their dedication to the university’s Catholic values and claim a pro-life position, but they also pledge an openness to listening to diverse opinions and to referring to experts in matters they admit to not having a specialty in. 

“Just because we’re not seeing the problems doesn’t mean they don’t exist,” Gayheart says about listening to the issues important to members of the student body they might not be privy to. 

Some of the specific programs and improvements that McGavick and Gayheart have proposed include Bars 4 GreeNDot, the Irish Readership Program, the Anonymous Student Blog, recognizing Gala ND as the official voice for the LGBT community on campus and pregnancy training for RAs. 

While many of these programs are positive ideas and certainly well intentioned, feasibility is a recurring issue, as their platform does little in the realm of specifics. While both candidates have some experience working in student government on campus, McGavick and Gayheart have not offered a platform that emphasizes a knowledge of the current structure in place. In order to accomplish many of their lofty goals, an extensive understanding of how things get done and a specific plan to execute those goals are vital. McGavick and Gayheart bring idealistic dreams to the table but they may not have the knowledge or passion to go the distance.