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Members talk about BOT report

| Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Council of Representatives met Monday night to discuss the Board of Trustees’ response to their proposal about off-campus safety for Notre Dame students. Student body vice president Karla Bell and chief executive assistant Dave Baron summarized their presentation for the council members, noting that the trustees were very receptive to the idea, in their opinion. “The presentation went very well. Contrary to what was said in the campus media, it was very well received. They said it was the best presentation they’d seen in a few years,” Bell said. Bell explained to representatives that the proposal consisted of four main points, all relating to off-campus safety. The four points included a required seminar for off-campus students, the participation of off-campus council representatives in South Bend council meetings, the participation of NDSP to help promote community relations and the creation of the Notre Dame SafeBus.Representatives raised several questions about the purpose of off-campus seminars. Bell said the seminars would likely take place at the end of this school year or the beginning of next and would teach those students planning to live off-campus how to be a good neighbor and follow the rules and regulations of the South Bend area. Baron also said he was pleased by the positive feedback they received from the Board of Trustees.”The trustees were impressed with the proposal to use a seminar to promote neighborhood involvement. The Board said it was the first time they had seen the idea,” Baron said.He said that though the off-campus safety plan was not formally approved, the discussion with the Board was successful and useful. “I was disappointed in the coverage. We didn’t go into the meeting expecting to get rubber stamp approval. We left the meeting feeling positive. We knew we had a solid discussion and we are very satisfied with that,” Baron said. Senior class president Darrell Scott raised questions about how the Notre Dame Security/Police was involved with the proposal that was presented.”We did not propose having NDSP patrolling the area. We want them to recognize what we are looking for and help us put our plan into action to better the relationships between Notre Dame students and their neighbors,” Baron said.Bell said the Board liked the proposal of NDSP involvement, and a meeting with them is being planned. The representatives also asked how trustees responded to the SafeBus proposal. “The trustees spoke of two main concerns. First, was that they did not want employees of the University condoning underage drinking,” said Bell. “The second regarded finding a bus company to provide the buses and take on the liability of transporting students on and off campus.” Off-campus representative Dave McGowan expressed the need for COR to respond to the Board’s concerns. “We need to tell them that we not supporting or facilitating underage drinking. It is important to stress to them that that’s not what we’re doing,” he said.Baron agreed and emphasized that when the bus starts running at 1 a.m. most students would be heading home. “We responded to their doubts by stating that after 1 a.m, most students are going home anyway. Also, we emphasized that the bus stops that are at bars are pick-up only,” Baron said.Baron concluded the meeting by noting the success of their presentation to the Board.”We think we helped to raise awareness of a significant problem,” Baron said.Bell also told members that plans regarding the SafeBus will proceed.”We are going to continue working on it. The next step will be to take it to the Senate, then the Campus Life Council and finally the Office of Student Affairs. We’re not stopping,” she said.

In other COR news:

u The Council voted and approved the appointment of Carsten Steinhaeuser and Meagan Powers to the positions of vice president of elections and vice president of peer advocacy, respectively.