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Student government outlines plans for upcoming semester

MAUREEN REYNOLDS | Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Meetings for all divisions of Student Government begin this week, and members are starting work on some of the most important issues and events facing the student body this year.

The most significant Student Government event in the near future is the Church in Africa Conference, taking place at the end of September. The conference, organized by the theology department, brings together members of the Catholic Church from the United States as well as Nigeria and other African countries.

The conference will focus on the social, economic and political problems facing Africa and some steps that could be taken to remedy them.

“We want to show how to work together to make things better [in Africa] and [the United States], and how people in this country can work better with the people in Africa,” said Student Body President Pat Hallahan.

Student Government volunteered to advertise the conference to students, said Student Body Vice President Jeremy Lao.

“The people organizing this event jumped at our offer to make students aware of it,” Lao said.

The conference is a two-part event; the first half will take place on campus and the second half will be held in Nigeria.

In addition to the conference itself, a student exchange program is being organized which will bring six students from Nigeria to campus in September for the fall semester, and six Notre Dame students will study in Nigeria beginning in January.

Another project will be a combined effort between the Student Senate and the Executive Cabinet. These groups will assess the Student Union’s constitution, their budget process and the general cooperation within the organization. Depending on their findings, they may suggest improvements that could make the Student Union run more efficiently.

“I really think that … we can set a real foundation of what Student Government is going to look like for the long term,” Hallahan said.

Finally, Student Government will also focus on getting the Teacher Course Evaluations published.

Student Government, Lao said, will discuss the issue with the University Academic Council at a meeting scheduled for sometime this fall.

“We’re following the lead of our peer schools, such as Northwestern [University], which do publish their TCEs,” said Lao.

Hallahan believes publishing the TCEs will cause them to be used more effectively.

“The school is here for the students, and the TCEs are an opportunity where the students can really benefit. If we don’t get them published, it’s not effective for the students to be filling them out,” Hallahan commented.

The first Student Senate meeting takes place tomorrow. Executive Cabinet met Monday night, and the first meeting for the Campus Life Council will be Monday, September 8.