Who’s your president? Cloutier, McDermott vie for presidential seat

By on April 5, 2011

Junior Andrew McDermott and sophomore Benjamin Cloutier are in agreement about what challenges Quinnipiac will face in the upcoming years, but the candidates for student government president have different ideas about how to best serve the student body.

At the Student Government Association executive board debates on Monday night, McDermott brought up familiar student complaints about Quinnipiac’s meal plan and housing selection process. Cloutier, who led the effort to expand the Bobcat Den’s hours last semester, focused on increasing communication between SGA and the student body.

“We’re not really doing much help to anyone if they don’t know about it or if they can’t give any input,” Cloutier said.

McDermott and Cloutier, current presidents of their respective classes, both saw problems stemming from Quinnipiac’s quick expansion from one campus to three. McDermott said that student life needed to grow to match the university’s physical expansion.

“At the office of undergraduate admissions, where I work, we tell all prospective Bobcats that we are three settings, one university,” he said. “How can we say that when we don’t have reliable transportation and student life on all three campuses?”

McDermott wants to create a five-year plan for student life at Quinnipiac, including the possibility of creating three separate Student Programming Boards, one for each campus.

Cloutier brought up the possibility of bringing a “university hour” back to Quinnipiac. This would mean altering class schedules to create a one hour period during the week where there would be no classes. It is meant to encourage attendance at student events and participation in organizations by alleviating scheduling conflicts.

McDermott said that while a university hour is a great idea, he did not think it was feasible right now.

“You would have to add another academic building [on the Mount Carmel campus], otherwise you’re going to be adding more Saturday classes,” he said.

Both candidates also support expanding SGA, but they had different ideas about how to go about it. In an interview with the Chronicle, Cloutier said he would like to add two representatives to the junior and senior classes, as there are currently eight representatives for freshmen and sophomores and only six for juniors and seniors.

McDermott had a more unorthodox idea for adding new members to SGA. Instead of simply adding members to certain classes, he would like to give representation to other campus populations.

“I feel that right now, what it is is a popularity contest,” he said. “Yes, this is how real world politics go, but at the same time if we are able to have Athletics have two chairs, Greek life have four chairs, religious groups have another three chairs, something of that concept, then I feel personally that we would be able to better address students’ needs.”

Cloutier stressed that he was already working for students and would continue to so, regardless of the election outcome.

“I want to do something. I hear about it and I do it,” he said. “That’s the difference between me and my opponent I think. There’s a lot of different ideas getting tossed around, but I’m actually working on the ones I want to see accomplished currently, presently. I’m not waiting around.”

Read statements from McDermott and Cloutier here.

Photo credit: Ilya Spektor


About Matt Ciepielowski


  1. Judging from the debate

    April 5, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    I was present at the debate yesterday, and what Ben Cloutier said in his opening statement is that he will have a door to door policy where he will visit every dorm rooms and talk to people in ground level for what their concerns are. He made the same statement when running for SGA in the past, but did not deliver it at all. Making the same promise again after failing to follow up on it just shows him as a “all talk, no work” candidate. His speech was vague too, which shows he does not really have enough experience and doesn’t know what he is getting into.

    I was very impressed with Andrew McDermott’s specifically outlined plans to solve student concerns like Meal plan and transportation between campuses. I also liked his idea of increasing student activities and programming in York Hill & North Haven campuses.

  2. Judging from the candidates

    April 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    It is apparent to me that the person who would best suit our school as next President is Ben Cloutier. The fact that the commentor above me “Judging by the debate” posted the same exact comment in both Presidential-related articles makes it apparent he is in bed with McDermott, probably a Delt cronie of his.

    I’m sure the previous commentor followed Cloutier around scrutinizingly to make sure he kept his previous promise. I’m also sure McDermott kept every single promise he made when becoming Junior Pres.


    After watching the debates I can tell that Cloutier is far more passionate about the situation. He has a clear and able mind. McDermott gave off a vibe of indifference, almost as if he could care either way the election goes.

    • Judging from the debate

      April 6, 2011 at 12:31 am

      Nice job showing Sigep “class’. Of course you are a Sigep cronie probably sleeping in Ben’s bed right now.
      This is why 85% of QU population (non-greeks) are not your fan!

      • Judging from the candidates

        April 6, 2011 at 10:00 am

        Actually, the only organizations i’m involved in at QU are WQAQ and CAP, but keep assuming, it makes you look like a scholar.

        And now that you didn’t deny you are a Delt, let me dish some advice: as a starting organization, you may want to support your candidate on the basis of Support, not attempt to defame the other candidate with bullshit claims. I will admit McDerm is a good kid, hell i’ve talked to him a few times. But I still don’t see him as a better alternative to Ben, he just doesn’t have that professional quality and image a president of a University like ours should have. Just my opinion.

        But of course you’ll just continue spewing bs onto this thread and other ones related to the election (under different aliases). Let’s hope people listen to reason and not blabbing.

        • Judging from the debate

          April 6, 2011 at 11:17 am

          Well, whatever organizations you are involved in, you attacked an educated response to the debate like being very overprotective of Sigep and with strong sense of hatred towards an organization – in this case being Delta Tau Delta.
          I don’t know how much of a scholar a person is who cannot stand someone’s thoughtful support to a candidate, and has to write attacking an organization without even having any idea whether the writer is in that organization or not in the first place.
          My point in voting for McDermott instead of Cloutier was that from the debate and having followed SGA for more than a year, I have seen that McDermott is “substance” person with never ending passion for Quinnipiac community whereas Cloutier as “all talk, no work” candidate who has failed his promises in the past. Thats my opinion, and I don’t care if your opinion is different. So, suck it up.
          And finally, I don’t need to accept or deny whether I am a Delt. If you are smart enough, you would have understood from the thread till now.

  3. TKE

    April 5, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    I’m voting for the Derm. Just because I hate SigEp.

    • Blake

      April 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm

      Way to make TKE look classy.

  4. Judging from the candidates

    April 5, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    ignorance is abundant. nice job showing class, TKE

  5. Theta Delta Chi

    April 5, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    TKE is a joke

    • DTD - TKE

      April 6, 2011 at 6:19 pm

      Dont know who had people in SGA. Doesn’t matter. We started to run QU last semester PERIOD

  6. Bobcat

    April 5, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t hate ayone.
    But yeah, i think McDermott is a better candidate.

  7. Ricky Williams' Bong

    April 6, 2011 at 10:29 am

    alright listen…ben clearly had the better debate. his personality lends to being a charismatic and personable public speaker. derm doesnt have that. what derm does have is an undying passion for this school and an absolutely incredible work ethic. to say derm doesnt care which way th elections go only goes to show you really dont know derm. ben would make a good president, and i think he will be that next year. derm has done everything to deserve this post though, and it would be a shame to see it ruined by uninformed voters and political factions (SigEp)….oh well, i guess that just makes it like real politics


  8. Ron

    April 6, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Cloutier is only running cuz SigEp needs a candidate, not because Cloutier intends to do anything as SGA President. Who got an award from John Lahey again? Who has addressed campus concerns for his whole time in SGA? Not Ben Cloutier.

  9. rando

    April 6, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    McDermott’s ideas all seem more feasible. While I like Cloutier’s enthusiasm, I feel like his ideas are all a little inefficient (going door-to-door to every dorm to hear concerns sounds good in theory, but there are better, more efficient, and less time-consuming ways to gather that information).

    I think either candidate would be good for the school, but McDermott seems like his goals are more specific and will have a greater impact. Cloutier’s campaign promises all seem to be very generic and vague, like how he wants to bridge the gap between SGA and the student body. I’m pretty sure every presidential candidate has probably said that. Promises like that are great, but it means virtually nothing if you can’t offer tactics.

    I vote McDermott.

  10. #bencloutier

    April 6, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    like the wise women of 3lw say “haters they gon’ hate”

  11. Pat Munroe

    April 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    When there’s no accountability for what you say your words carry no weight. So I Pat Munroe would like to say congratulations Ben Cloutier and it’s well deserved.