Ford and Kavanaugh Make Their Cases in #MeToo Era Battle

kavanaughnominationFor the second time this month, the Senate Judiciary Committee convened hearings on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. The hearings that took place today had a very specific purpose: to investigate Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the summer of 1982. Dr. Ford is one of three women to publicly say that Brett Kavanaugh either sexually assaulted them or was present while they were sexually assaulted.

Many Americans drew comparisons to similar hearings that took place in 1991, when Dr. Anita Hill presented her claims of sexual harassment against then-Judge Clarence Thomas. Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court after Dr. Hill’s testimony failed to convince the all-male Judiciary Committee and an overwhelmingly male United States Senate.

In Dr. Ford’s opening statement, she presented her testimony as a “civic duty” rather than a personal choice. She said she battled with whether or not to go public with her experience with Judge Kavanaugh for weeks but decided that it was her duty to do so, regardless of the personal impact it had on her and her family. “I am terrified,” she admitted to the Committee.

Dr. Ford provided the Committee with a detailed account of the incident as she says it happened. The Hilltopper has chosen to publish in her own words to avoid mischaracterizing Dr. Ford’s comments:

“Brett [Kavanaugh] and Mark [Judge] came into the bedroom and locked the door behind them. There was music already playing in the bedroom. It was turned up louder by either Brett or Mark once we were in the room. I was pushed onto the bed and Brett got on top of me. He began running his hands over my body and grinding his hips into me. I yelled, hoping someone downstairs might hear me, and tried to get away from him, but his weight was heavy. Brett groped me and tried to take off my clothes. He had a hard time because he was so drunk, and because I was wearing a one-piece bathing suit under my clothes. I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming. This was what terrified me the most, and has had the most lasting impact on my life. It was hard for me to breathe, and I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me. Both Brett and Mark were drunkenly laughing during the attack. They both seemed to be having a good time. Mark was urging Brett on, although at times he told Brett to stop. A couple of times I made eye contact with Mark and thought he might try to help me, but he did not. During this assault, Mark came over and jumped on the bed twice while Brett was on top of me. The last time he did this, we toppled over and Brett was no longer on top of me. I was able to get up and run out of the room. Directly across from the bedroom was a small bathroom. I ran inside the bathroom and locked the door. I heard Brett and Mark leave the bedroom laughing and loudly walk down the narrow stairs, pin-balling off the walls on the way down.”

The all-male Republican caucus chose to hire Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell to cross-examine Dr. Ford. A sticking point for Mitchell was Dr. Ford’s fear of flying, which led to Mitchell to ask how Dr. Ford travelled for vacation, for work, and to the hearing. Dr. Ford acknowledged she had a fear of flying but that she had to put it aside to attend the hearing, as she did not think it was feasible for the Judiciary Committee to travel to California to meet with her in her home state. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, pointed out that they had extended that offer to her; Dr. Ford said she was unclear what the offer had been.

Another line of questioning from Mitchell related to a 2018 polygraph test that Dr. Ford took, the summary results of which were presented to the Committee. Further documentation of the results could not be released because Senator Grassley, Chairman of the Committee, denied Dr. Ford’s request that the polygraph technician be questioned as an expert witness.

Mitchell wanted to find out who paid for the polygraph test. Dr. Ford was initially unsure as to who paid for it but, after a lunch break, her counsel said that they paid for the polygraph “as is routine” and that they were working pro bono for Dr. Ford.

Democratic senators questioned Dr. Ford themselves. Other than Dr. Ford’s opening statement, when she described in detail the sexual assault claim, the biggest moment of the hearing came when Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) asked Dr. Ford how certain she was that it was Judge Kavanaugh who assaulted her, as two separate men have come forward to say that it was them, not Judge Kavanaugh, who assaulted her in 1982. She said she was “100%” sure it had been Kavanaugh.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified under oath that she was 100% sure Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her. (Photo by Getty Images)

Dr. Ford also spoke at length that she tried to make her story known before Judge Kavanaugh was nominated. Reporters and members of Congress, she said, did not respond to her comments and tips in time. This is contrary to the Republican narrative that the allegations were “sprung” upon them at the last minute to try and stop Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, to use language Judge Kavanaugh himself used repeatedly in his afternoon testimony.

During her testimony, Dr. Ford was collected and calm for the entirety of her time in the hot seat. Her voice wavered and, at times, she blinked back tears, but she maintained her composure. At points, she appeared genuinely sorry she could not be more specific for the Committee. CNN Political Commentator Chris Cillizza described her as “decidedly credible.” He continued, “She struck me as a normal person thrust into an impossible situation. Someone who was doing what she believed to be the right thing.”

When the Committee took a lunch break, Fox News’ distinguished senior journalist, Chris Wallace, said “This was extremely emotional, extremely raw and extremely credible and nobody could listen to her deliver those words and talk about the assault and the impact it had had on her life and not have your heart go out to her. She was obviously traumatized by an event.”

“I don’t think we can disregard Christine Blasey Ford and the seriousness of this,” Wallace said.

Judge Kavanaugh began his testimony just before 5 PM Eastern. Whereas Dr. Ford was calm, Judge Kavanaugh was indignant with rage, shouting most of his opening statement, banging his hand on the table, and breaking down in tears several times.

In his opening statement, Judge Kavanaugh said that Dr. Ford’s claim was a “calculated and orchestrated political hit.” He went on to say, “I will not be intimidated by withdrawing from this process. Your coordinated and well-funded effort to destroy my good name and destroy my family will not drive me out. You may defeat me in the final vote, but you’ll never get me to quit. Ever.”

Judge Kavanaugh added that he felt the allegations had “destroyed my family and my good name. This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election.”

Republican members of the Committee relied on Mitchell to question Judge Kavanaugh just once. She pursued a line of questioning relating to the July 1, 1982 entry on Judge Kavanaugh’s calendar, which he submitted to the Committee as evidence of his innocence.

The calendar entry says, “Go to Timmy’s for skis w/ Judge, Tom, PJ, Bernie, and Squi.” The final name, “Squi,” is the nickname for another of Kavanugh’s friends. These are all individuals that Dr. Ford said were present at the party where she was assaulted, and the location of “Timmy’s” corresponds with her statement that the assault occurred at a home “without any parents present.”

After Mitchell’s questioning of the July 1st entry, Republican Senators chose to question Judge Kavanaugh themselves, instead of using the special counsel and sexual assault prosecutor they hired to, as Senator Grassley said, “de-politicize the process and get to the truth, instead of grandstanding.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) attacked Senate Democrats for partisanship. (Photo by Andrew Harnik, Getty Images)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was the first Republican Senator to question a nominee directly today. He used his time to attack the Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee for orchestrating “a sham” and hoping to “destroy” Judge Kavanaugh’s life, as well as telling Republicans “if you vote ‘no’, you’re legitimizing the most despicable thing that I have seen in my time in politics.” He continued by saying that Judge Kavanaugh was as much a victim as Dr. Ford.

The remaining Republican Senators scarcely questioned Judge Kavanaugh, instead expressing their sympathies for having to face such allegations.

Judge Kavanaugh sparred with the Democratic members of the Committee, shouting at Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Durbin, and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) as they attempted to question him about the FBI potentially reopening an investigation into his background to flesh out Dr. Ford’s claims. Judge Kavanaugh said that he believed that there had been enough of a delay in the process and that the Committee was doing an investigation.

When Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) asked whether or not he had ever drunk to the point of blacking out, Judge Kavanaugh replied by asking the same question of the senator.

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) noted the fact that Dr. Ford’s friend Leland Keyser, whom Judge Kavanaugh used as an example of someone who said that the assault never happened, actually said that, while she did not remember the evening specifically, she believes Dr. Ford.

Many students across the campus watched the hearings today. In the Gallo Café of the Roger and Francine Jean Student Center Complex, both televisions were on news coverage of the hearings and many students, administrators, professors, and members of the monastic community, made note of the proceedings. Walking across campus this afternoon, many students could be overheard discussing the hearings, or recent Tweets about the hearings.


The Hilltopper reached out to many students for comments, but most declined to comment, citing the personal nature of the topic.

One student who did choose to comment was Ed Frankonis, ’19. Frankonis said that he watched Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony and that he “was not impressed by how emotionally charged [Judge Kavanaugh] was.”

Nicolette Theroux, ’19, said that she only saw a few minutes of the hearing and didn’t feel informed enough to comment on their substance but added: “All I know is it took a lot of strength and courage for Dr. Ford to take the stand today and I’m grateful she did so.”

The Hilltopper reached out to Timothy Madsen, ’19, Chairman of the Saint Anselm College Republicans for a comment. Madsen replied that neither he nor the College Republicans “have any comment to make.” The Hilltopper also reached out to Olivia Teixiera, ’20, President of the Saint Anselm College Democrats, but she did not return the request by the time of publishing.

A vote is expected on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination from the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow. A nomination does not have to receive a favourable recommendation from the Committee in order to proceed to a vote before the full Senate, which is expected to occur early next week. Justice Thomas, for example, did not receive a favourable recommendation in 1991 but was confirmed to the Supreme Court in a 52-48 vote.

Many reports indicate that there are four Republicans who are undecided on Judge Kavanaugh: Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and one Democratic Senator, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV).

Of them, only Senator Flake serves on the Judiciary Committee. Senator Bob Corker was thought to be undecided but declared that he would vote for Judge Kavanaugh.

Senator Flake is scheduled to speak at the NHIOP on Monday, October 1.

First Presidential Candidate Visits the Hilltop

Congressman John Delaney (D-MD) visited Saint Anselm College to outline his vision for “America 2030.” (Photo by Olivia Teixeira ’20)

Over 100 people crowded into room 1D of the Dana Centre Sunday afternoon for the first of what are sure to be many events with 2020 Presidential hopefuls at Saint Anselm College. Congressman John K. Delaney (D-MD-6) is the first individual to officially declare that he is running for President of the United States in 2020, having launched his campaign through The Washington Post on July 28, 2017. This set the record for the earliest a major presidential candidate has announced their campaign.

Delaware Senator Pierre du Pont IV previously held the record at 615 days before the Iowa Caucus of 1988. Du Pont failed to gain any serious consideration in his campaign and received an insignificant amount of votes in the first three primary contests. Delaney is hoping to have a different outcome.

Before Delaney spoke, supporters and attendees were served pizza, soda, and small cups of gummy bears in the Dana Centre lobby while staffers gave out stickers, campaign flyers, t-shirts, and copies of Delaney’s book The Right Answer: How We Can Unify Our Divided Nation.

Once it began, Delaney’s speech was more like the unveiling of the latest Apple product than a traditional campaign rally. He stood in front of his lectern with a PowerPoint presentation behind him filled with videos, pictures, graphics, and transition animations, clicking through the slides with a handheld remote/laser pointer combo. Consistent with the ambiance, the speech was fast paced and data-heavy, with lots of facts, figures, and charts flashing on the screen for moments each before Delaney moved on to the next topic.

The theme of Delaney’s speech was “The cost of doing nothing is not nothing.” He argued that our political system has failed to adapt and address the evolving challenges of the 21st Century and that the inactivity of previous leaders has put us in a precarious situation. His goal is to build a “more prosperous and more just future” for Americans and the rest of the world.

He praised the late Senator John McCain (R-AZ) for striving to bipartisanship and bridge building in a society that is clogged by partisan gridlock and said that politicians should aim to model themselves after Senator McCain’s style.

Delaney’s platform has seven key planks. The first is to push for greater investment in America. Currently, 80% of venture capital funds are spent in Los Angeles, Boston, New York City, and San Francisco. Delaney argued that America needs to reform the tax code to incentivize investment in the heartland and other underdeveloped areas of the country. He also expressed support for the doubling of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) which rewards Americans who are working but cannot achieve a sustainable income level.

The second is the development of a National Artificial Intelligence Strategy, which Delaney said many other leading countries, including China and Russia, have developed. Delaney said that the NAIS needs to take into account possible job disruption and probable security concerns, praising a recent set of laws passed in California to limit what companies like Google and Facebook can do with one’s data without one’s direct consent.

The third plank is the reformation of the public education system in the United States. The current system was constructed by The Committee of Ten in 1892, which was when the presidents of the top ten colleges and universities set out to create a public schooling system. Delaney argued that there is a need for a new Committee of Ten to create a new public school system, centered on PreK through 14th-grade education. Delaney argued that spending the money to invest in Pre-Kindergarten programs and public Associate’s Degrees will pay back dividends to the country.

The fourth plank is the introduction of a basic Universal Healthcare plan in the United States. The plan must include a program for the purchasing of supplemental plans, according to Delaney, as well as the protection of Medicare and Medicaid. Delaney said that a major reason why American wages haven’t increased with corporate profits is because healthcare costs for employees is “gobbling up the profits” that could otherwise go towards increased wages.

The fifth plank is investing in infrastructure, which Delaney argued would be critical to creating new middle-class jobs. He introduced a $1 trillion infrastructure bill in Congress, which gained 40 Republican co-sponsors and 40 Democratic co-sponsors, and called for the funding of a national infrastructure bank, the establishment of a 25% corporate tax rate, and increased wealth in the Highway Trust Fund. The plan was never voted on by Republican Leadership under the Obama Administration.

The sixth calls for putting America on track to be 50% reliant on green energy by 2030 through the implementation of a carbon tax. The seventh is to tackle the national debt as a percentage of GDP. Delaney did not speak of how he plans to achieve that goal but directed attendees to read the final chapter of his book, which was available for free in the lobby of the Dana Centre, for his plans on how to fund programs without increasing the national debt as a percentage of the GDP.

Delaney said that the real “villain is partisanship. And it is toxic.” He argued that President Trump has turned back the clock in terms of the progress we’ve made as a country and that “the tone at the top matters,” attacking President Trump for his combative attitude and frequent Twitter feuds.

One of his more bold proposals was that the President should go before the Congress once every three months and deliver a miniature State of the Union address for an hour before having an open Q&A period with the Congress for two more hours. He said that this was a great method to help Americans with their “problem figuring out what is true and what isn’t.”

Delaney filled Dana 1D, but the audience was largely homogeneous. The room was notably lacking in diversity and, other than eight members of the Saint Anselm College Democrats, there were only about 10 people in the room younger than 30 years old.

Although Delaney is the first candidate to officially declare, he is not the first potential candidate to visit the Hilltop. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has made one trip to the NHIOP already and is making a second in October. Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD) made a visit last year, as have former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander and Attorney General Eric Holder (D-DC).

Since Delaney’s visit, presidential candidate Andrew Yang, seeking the Democratic nomination, has come to visit with Saint Anselm College Democrats and other interested students.

Gagliardi ’22 Elected President

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Gagliardi ’22 at the debate held in Dominic Hall on the eve of the election. (Photo by Kenny Otis ’22)

Gina Gagliardi ’22 has been elected President of the Class of 2022 over Sean Bentley ’22, David Chairez ’22, and Trevor Nelson ’22. Gagliardi galvanized her supporters throughout the race by approaching each issue with a calm head and even reaction. She stressed building a consensus in deciding how to address issues, rather than being drowned out by “a few loud voices.”

Her election is notable given that she was not an impassioned advocate for the school providing contraceptives or for expanding intervisitation hours. It is possible that supporters of those issues were split among the other three candidates, or that Gagliardi’s emphasis on going through the proper channels to enact change won the day.

In the night before voting began, the rumors about Cake-gate began to change the dynamic of the race. Gagliardi confronted her opponent, Bentley, about the issue directly and while he denied the allegations, it is likely that he lost some votes as Gagliardi gained favor. Of course, she also worked hard to win, knocking on doors in Dominic Hall and Joan of Arc Hall in an effort to speak with as many voters as possible.

The freshman class also elected Brendan Joyce ’22 as vice president and Joshua Pratt ’22 as secretary. The four senators will be Matthew Baumgartner ’22, Jackson Peck ’22, Aidan Pierce ’22, and Kate Shubert ’22.

Gagliardi will become the third female President of a class currently at Saint Anselm College, joining Meg Russo ’19 and Julie Sullivan ’21. She was not immediately available for comment upon request.

Meet the Candidates: Aidan Pierce ’22, Senate

Aidan Pierce ’22 is running for SGA Senate. (Photo courtesy of Pierce)

Aidan Pierce comes to Saint Anselm after a lot of hard work. He’s been raised by a single father, whom he cares for deeply, and from an early age accepted that getting a job and helping support the family was just something you had to do. He says that his childhood, “taught me to respect where your dollar goes.”

To an extent, this respect for a dollar has influenced his run for the Student Government Association. Like Jackson Peck ’22, a fellow candidate for SGA Senate, Pierce believes that the College should be more transparent with its budget. He notes, however, that while he supports a more transparency, he does not believe that the budget is “malleable” for students. He argued that just because a student is paying the college doesn’t mean they have a consistent say in how those dollars are spent.

He firmly believes that Saint Anselm students should recognize that they “subscribed to a community” by enrolling at the College. With that comes a need to respect the tradition of the school.

Because of his respect for the history and values of the school, Pierce broke with his fellow Senate candidates on the controversial issue of contraceptives for students. He doesn’t believe that the school should be forced to distribute something that is clearly at odds with its values.

When asked where the line should be drawn between an open and diverse community and one that honors the teachings of the Catholic Church, Pierce created his own test. He would support groups, like T.E.D.A., that are “not offensive or antagonistic to the Catholic mission.” Pierce says he is a part of T.E.D.A., and he would have voted for the club’s approval had he been in the Senate last year.

Instead, Pierce is deeply concerned with the environment and intends to spend his time as a senator writing policies that makes campus greener and lessens its environmental impact. He believes he can make a lot of headway on the issue, bringing senators from all classes together to affect change.

“I feel like that’s going to be a universally agreed upon thing,” he said of his ideas for making the Hilltop more environmentally friendly. He hopes to bring composting to Davison Hall and improve access to recycling and trash disposal around campus.

In addition to pursuing a run for the Student Government Association, Pierce is a member of Ultimate Frisbee and College Republicans. He also has an off-campus job.

Voting is on Wednesday, September 19th and Thursday, September 20th.

Race for Class of 2022’s President Gets Ugly

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The candidates for the Class of 2022 president share a hug after a raucous debate. From left to right, Trevor Nelson, Gina Gagliardi, Sean Bentley, and David Chairez. (Photo by Kenny Otis ’22)

The candidates for President of the Class of 2022 gathered, along with about 35 of their classmates, in the basement common room in Dominic Hall this evening for an impromptu debate. The race for president has become the most heated campaign for the Student Government Association the Hilltop has seen in several years, with sharp barbs being traded and bitter campaigning being the dominant theme.

The debate was organized by Sean Bentley ’22, who is running for class president. Bentley was given the first opening statement and the final closing statement, as well as setting the date and time of the debate. The other three candidates were present as well, David Chairez ’22, Gina Gagliardi ’22, and Trevor Nelson ’22, although it is unclear if they all knew about the debate in advance. David arrived part-way through opening statements.

The first topics debated by the candidates were ones that have been discussed in The Hilltopper’s candidate profiles as well as the SGA-sponsored speeches: safe sex and intervisitation. Chairez and Nelson agreed that the College should play an active role in promoting safe sex on campus through providing contraceptives. Bentley applauded the practice of safe sex while lamenting the possible spending of student tuition dollars on purchasing contraceptives. He applied the logic the Supreme Court used in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014) decision – you cannot force someone to purchase a product in direct violation of their deeply held religious beliefs. Gagliardi countered that this kind of policy discussion was the job of the SGA Senate, not the class president.

On the topic of intervisitation, Bentley, Chairez, and Nelson all agreed that the policy should end, while Gagliardi said that she wanted to take “everyone’s voices” into account when making decisions, adding that she had spoken to some members of the Class of 2022 who said that they liked intervisitation.

Bentley theorized that Saint Anselm College was losing potential students to schools like SNHU and UNH because of the intervisitation policy but did not provide any evidence to support the claim. Nelson also spoke about the need for such a change to come through the SGA Senate rather than the class president.

Asked about fundraisers, the candidates each presented a plethora of ideas to blend class unity with fundraising. A popular idea is a fair or carnival, which would bring in the Greater Manchester community, although there was controversy over whose idea it was.

Bentley presented it as his idea but Chairez countered and said that he first proposed it at SGA-sponsored speeches. Gagliardi proposed a scavenger hunt and a game night while Nelson suggested a class-wide game of manhunt or other night-time games. A follow-up question from The Hilltopper about how these events would actually raise money for Junior Formal and the Senior Package was ignored by the moderator.

The most contentious moment of the night, undoubtedly, centered around “Cake-gate” – the scandal that has consumed the race. The Hilltopper has been pursuing this story for nearly a week and has spoken to several sources about it. Bentley was going around Dominic Hall the evening before the SGA-sponsored speeches, giving out cake to potential voters. When he encountered Gagliardi giving cookies out to voters, a piece of cake that was in his hand ended up on another student, Matt, who is a friend of Gagliardi. In the debate, Gagliardi said that the cake was clearly thrown at her and Matt “took the bullet” for her, while Bentley said that it was gravity and his “need to go to the gym more.”

A separate source from the Class of 2022, speaking to The Hilltopper on a condition of anonymity over fear of retribution, said that Bentley had dropped the entire sheet cake on a classmate’s bed, picked it up after the icing fell onto the bedsheets, and proceeded to hand out the cake without apologizing to the student for ruining the bed or telling anyone it had fallen on the bed.

A post on Sean’s campaign Instagram (@seanforprez2022) with a picture of half a cake and a caption attacking his opponents for passing out candy and cookies as if they were “in 2nd grade” was taken down after Chairez mentioned the comment at the debate.

In a comment to The Hilltopper before the debate, Bentley said, “I categorically deny throwing cake at Ms. Gagliardi. It is completely outrageous that I am being accused of this. While I did pass at cake to the residents of Dominic Hall last week, I would never throw anything at anyone, which obviously includes Gina. This story is 100% [false] and it is clear that it is nothing but a distraction.” He continued, “My opponents refuse to debate me because they know we have the momentum heading into the election so they having else [sic] better to do than spread false rumors about me. Disgraceful!”

Kevin Chrisom ’22 is serving as Bentley’s campaign manager. After the debate, he told The Hilltopper that he thought “Sean did a very nice job. Unfortunately, the audience seemed to be a bit of a distraction but it was all in good fun.” He said that he was with Bentley when the cake was being passed out and “[Sean] did not throw cake at anyone,” calling Gagliardi a liar, and insisted that his candidate “never physically took a piece of cake and threw it.”

Chairez said that the debate “was great” and the turnout shows that “our freshman class care[s] about what we have to say to improve our lives here at St. A’s.” On the matter of Cake-gate, David said that he doesn’t “believe Gina is a liar. I feel I can take her word over Sean’s because Sean has called me and Gina out, he has disrespected our campaigns…What I’ve heard from other people is that it did happen.”

Gagliardi said that the debate was “definitely a wild environment but each candidate had an opportunity to display their views.” When told about Chrisom’s comments, Gagliardi offered a brief response, “That’s really interesting because they never could give a clear explanation as to…how the cake ended up on Matt.”

Nelson could not be reached for comment immediately after the debate.

As Election Eve turns into Election Day, voters in the Class of 2022 will have to make up their minds. John Tobin ’22, a nursing major, attended the debate tonight. When asked by The Hilltopper for whom he planned to vote, his response was simply, “I honestly don’t know.”

While several students were seen sporting David Chairez for President stickers after the debate, it seems the race is anyone’s for the taking.

Michael Rosen ’22 also attended the debate. He told The Hilltopper that he thought the debate went okay. He continued, I think the moderator didn’t let the audience ask enough questions. I felt like it was very controlled.” He was disappointed that the audience was only allowed to ask two questions. Rosen said he went into the debate undecided and left even more undecided, saying that he “had to do some thinking now after finding out that Sean threw a piece of cake.”

Polls are open Wednesday, September 19th and Thursday, September 20.

Meet the Candidates: Brendan Joyce ’22, Vice President

Brendan Joyce ’22, right, with his sister, Rowan ’19, left. (Photo courtesy of Joyce)

The first question of the interview nearly stumped Brendan Joyce. When asked to name his favorite book, the candidate for freshman class vice president was overwhelmed by the seemingly limitless possibilities of books he’d consumed in his 18 years. He finally settled on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, confirming it was a “great book!”

He’s the 10th member of the Joyce family to come to Saint Anselm College. His sister, Rowan ’19, is known for her drawing talent, but Brendan has his own talent. He’s a guitar player and singer whose go-to is “Self Control” by Frank Ocean.

Being familiar with Saint A’s hasn’t stopped Joyce from having some big ideas about the college’s future. He has some specific policy goals, like extending intervisitation an extra hour on weekdays. It seems to be the proposal most likely to succeed, he says, because desk workers are already working the 11-12 hour on weeknights.

Joyce has joined other freshmen SGA candidates in calling for more trash bins on campus. Increased access to trash bins is an issue that SGA has long thought about addressing, but it has been repeatedly stymied by the cost of the project. The bear-resistant trash cans on campus are expensive.

On the issue that has generated buzz throughout the freshman class, access to contraceptives, Joyce admitted he doesn’t know where he stands. He made clear he “doesn’t want to go against the student body” but admitted that starting off their careers at Saint Anselm by asking for easy access to contraceptives may not be the best first impression for the members of the Class of 2022. He says he’s happy to let Kate Shubert ’22, candidate for Senate, lead the charge on the issue and serve in a supporting role.

Before running, Joyce thought about how he could best serve his class. He originally intended to run for class president, but he believes he’ll be a better fit as vice president because of the role’s focus on policy issues. In addition to intervisitation and trash cans, Joyce is hoping to bring air conditioners to common spaces in dormitories around campus.

Joyce’s big goal is bringing a fountain to campus. He’s ready to lead the charge on fundraising, and he’s already got a design in mind: a Saint Anselm statue in the middle of a pool with water streams shooting into the base. Don’t worry though, he was careful to mention that the water would not stream over the statue.

His most controversial position, however, may be that he shies away from the buffalo chicken at C-Shop. He says it just hurts his mouth sometimes.

Voters in the freshman class will have to weigh Joyce’s big ideas and decide whether to elect him their vice president. There is one other student running for the position.

Brendan’s opponent, Tyler Cullen ’22, did not return The Hilltopper’s request for an interview.

Voting is Wednesday, September 19 and Thursday, September 20.

Meet the Candidates: Jackson Peck ’22, Senate

Jackson Peck ’22 is running for SGA Senate. (Photo courtesy of Peck)

Showing up to the interview in a Ringelstein for Senate t-shirt, Jackson Peck wears his liberal ideas on his sleeve – literally. His favorite book is Our Revolution by Bernie Sanders and, like the former presidential candidate, he feels like those with the power should be more transparent. Sanders was talking about the billionaires on Wall Street. Peck is talking about the administrators on the first floor of Alumni Hall.

“I know as a senator I don’t have any real authority to craft the budget,” Peck said. “What I do want though is more transparency…” He wants more updated budget information publicly accessible to the student body, saying that few things are as important as students knowing where their money goes.

It’s a big goal, but Peck is confident that senators from the Class of 2022 will be able to make a real impact because they are unified on the important issues affecting their class and the school. He pointed to Kate Shubert’s proposal for bringing contraceptives to campus as one such issue, noting that all of the candidates are on the same page when it comes to the issue.

Peck came for the Transitions program and pointed to the fact that students took a two-hour alcohol course where they were taught to “maximize their buzz.” While Saint Anselm College may be willing to address underage drinking, it remains unwilling to acknowledge premarital sex.

As Peck explained, he received a 15-minute sex education course while at Transitions. Sex education at orientation was even more wanting, Peck said. The class was shown the “tea video” that addresses sexual assault and another longer movie about a domestic abuser who kills his girlfriend.

According to Peck, he wasn’t the only one who was surprised by this. He and his friends, including those running for Senate with him, talked about it more before he decided to follow up. When he went to Health Services, he was told there was no access to contraceptives.

While he knows it is an uphill battle, Peck thinks it’s important for the Student Government Association to take on the issues students care about. He noted that there was plenty of time for smaller, less important issues. For example, he says, the SGA spent their opening meetings discussing uniforms. Peck showed an excitement to address real policy issues, like transparency, sexual education, and recycling.

Peck has wasted no time getting accustomed to Saint Anselm. When he’s not campaigning you can find him at a College Democrats meeting or eating a buffalo chicken calzone at c-shop.

Peck is one of four candidates for Senate in the freshman class. They are running for four open Senate seats.

Voting is Wednesday, September 19 and Thursday, September 20.

Meet the Candidates: Sean Bentley ’22, President

Sean Bentley ’22, seen here in his iconinc fedora, is running for class president. (Photo by Nick Fulchino ’19)

Sean Bentley is a Politics major from Milton, Massachusetts, a town about 5 miles south of Boston. He can be identified around campus as the young man with the fedora, which he has made his calling card during the campaign. He was twice named Most Likely to Be President of the United States and believes that it is a strong example of his leadership skills, as is the successful backpack and school supply drive he organized in high school.

One of the main jobs of the Class President, he said, is “to keep order and keep a fun attitude and motive people when times are low.” He cited his high-level of personal organization and his propensity towards observation as keys to his being a successful class president.

He’s running for president because he believes he can “make more of an impact there than anywhere else.” The largest plank of Sean’s campaign platform is reform to the College’s policy of intervisitation. He believes that the policy needs to be rolled back gradually over an extended period of time, beginning with the beginning of intervisitation hours two hours earlier and ending two hours later each evening and culminating with the end of the policy. He acknowledges that this would be a big change and said, “I do want to discuss it in a committee, such a radical change, and start off small before we go big.” He argues that there are several reasons to alter the intervisitation policy, “There are some people who need comfort and companionship. I think it’s an antiquated policy. The Catholic Church itself is reforming and I think it’s time we’ve reformed.” Sean said he plans to work with the vice president and the class senators to implement these changes.

To build unity among the class and raise funds for Junior Formal, senior package, and other expenses, Sean has a few ideas. One is to use the resources of Dining Services to host bake sales to raise funds for the class. Another is to have a karaoke night in the Coffee Shop, similar to those that are put on by Orientation Leaders during the first-year Orientation Program, to foster a spirit of camaraderie among the class. Sean also proposed a “fair that could attract some non-St. A’s students and bring more money to campus” as well as attract the larger Manchester community to campus.

Sean pointed to the renowned Department of Politics and the NHIOP as deciding factors in his choice to come to Saint Anselm College. He also spoke highly of Dining Services, saying “I’m…a big foodaholic as well, so, considering St. A’s has one of the top 8, top 10 food programs in the country, that was a big factor.”

Saint Anselm College is only about an hour-and-a-half from his home, so it’s close enough to be “local” while still retaining its independence. His favorite order at the Coffee Shop is orange sherbet ice cream with a Raspberry Lime Rickey with Sierra Mist.

If you pass Sean on campus, he is sure to raise his fedora and say his catchphrase, “hat’s off to you.”

Voting is Wednesday, September 19 and Thursday, September 20.