In the spring of 1972, Robert (Bob) Calhoun Kersten ran one of more memorable Student Body Presidential campaigns from his office in the fourth floor bathroom of Walsh Hall.
Kersten’s candidacy was intended satire of student government and he ran under an oligarchy platform. Despite University violations, Kersten’s running mate was Uncandidate the Cat, the “first female Notre Dame poobah” [Observer, 03/03/1972].
Kersten won the election by the largest margin to date, although he hadn’t planned much for his actual presidency. Student Body Vice President Uncandidate the Cat was replaced by Ed Gray, who was replaced by Dennis Etienne (H-Man) in October 1972. Kersten’s presidency was relatively uneventful as Etienne ran much of the day-to-day activities. Etienne won the following year’s SBP election.
Kersten’s antics are remembered still today. The Observer and Notre Dame Magazine have mentioned him in recent articles. Legend’s of Notre Dame Restaurant also offers a “King of Campus” steak in his honor.