When Ashley and Megan found out who their freshman roommates would be last summer, they were surprised to find that they were already Facebook friends with each other. Considering roommates are assigned randomly freshman year, it was unique enough that both girls were from the same small state.
Ashley Henry and Megan McGarel, freshmen in Howard Hall and both from Tennessee, now have even more in common: they were both recently elected as representatives for Howard next year. Henry will be Howard’s Student Union Board Representative and McGarel will be Howard’s Senate Representative, and both are excited to get more involved and to meet new people through their new roles in the dorm.
Henry explained that she and McGarel knew each other from the Girl State program in Tennessee.
“It’s your own little government that’s only girls, you vote for governors and stuff like that,” Henry said. “You have cities within that , and we knew of each other because we were in the same city.”
As far as both roommates running for a position in the election, McGarel said they talked about it a little bit beforehand, but it wasn’t a huge issue.
“We both really wanted the position, but nothing that became a stressful thing,” said McGarel. “With midterms coming up there’s other things to stress about. But we were both really anxious before the results came out and kept asking each other ‘Have you gotten an email yet?’”
These roommates are not the only girls in the hall looking forward to a new role in Howard: Bridget Doyle and Kerry Walsh, also freshmen, ran unopposed as Howard Hall presidents. Doyle and Walsh met during Freshman Orientation at the beginning of the year and had a math class together. They decided to run together due to their shared love for Howard and their pride in the dorm.
“As presidents, Bridget and I hope most importantly to foster community and spirit around Howard,” said Walsh. “By encouraging the spirit of Howard, we hope to increase participation in hall-wide events, especially service opportunities. Personally, we are both very excited to connect with the residents of Howard. We can’t wait to get to know everyone in Howard-especially the incoming freshman!”
The current presidents of the hall, Bridget Callaghan and Charitha Isanaka, are sad to be stepping down, but have plans for the last few months in the position.
“The simplest way to describe our role in the dorm is to serve as a liaison between Howard and outside of Howard,” said Isanaka. “We do this by having routine meetings, informing the dorm of events, motivating them to do things outside of Howard, and eventually building community and making this place home. We want to end our term with a bang! So we’re having a campus wide golf tournament and the Tunnel of Love coming up.”
Callaghan also wishes well for the upcoming freshmen who will replace her next year.
“I am really excited for the new presidents and commissioners because I hope that they bring new energy to the dorm, said Callaghan. “This experience has made my overall college experience so much more than I expected. I really enjoyed it and it changed my perspective of ND and Howard. I would say this has been the highlight of my ND career thus far.”