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Seniors oppose dome regilding

Mary Kate Malone | Tuesday, March 22, 2005

As the scaffolding inched closer and closer to the Virgin Mary, senior class president Darrell Scott sought and obtained the Council of Representatives’ support of his initiative to halt the regilding process of the golden dome at last night’s meeting.

“I am asking to delay the scaffolding procedure until after May 16 [day of graduation],” Scott said.

The regilding began March 7. Since the process is highly contingent on the weather, its duration is not known. However, it is certain the scaffolding will completely cover the dome on graduation day.

Scott said there is little time to waste if the senior class hopes the dome will be visible come graduation.

Scott said he plans to organize an online petition pending the approval of the Office of Student Affairs. He told representatives he met with two administration officials last week and was waiting for the support of the Council before continuing the discussions.

Student body president Adam Istvan expressed firm support of Scott’s initiative.

“It is ridiculous to not start the process after May 16,” Istvan said. “I give full support of my office to Darrell.”

After receiving many e-mails from his constituents, Scott delved into the University’s media archives to investigate the details of the last time the dome was regilded, which occurred in 1988.

“I have been looking through Observer and Scholastic articles and have conclusively found that the last time the dome was regilded they waited until after graduation,” Scott said.

Representatives speculated as to why the dome’s regilding process was such a pressing matter. Some suggested the earlier time was chosen to ensure the procedure was finished come fall – when a new coaching era will begin for Notre Dame football and a new president will have stepped up in July to lead the University.

Regardless of the reasons for what many representatives called the “untimely” touch-up of the dome, Istvan promised his administration would utilize all its resources to ensure the University takes notice of the student body’s opposition, going so far as to allude to the need for a protest.

“This isn’t something the University is going to scoff at – I will call South Bend media to come to the protest,” Istvan said. “And the University will get bad press.”

Though Istvan emphasized the need for a protest, Scott told representatives that he believed peaceful negotiations between student government and those responsible for the regilding should solve the problem.

“I believe that the administration will agree to stop the procedure,” Scott said. “But if not, then we will be prepared to do a constructive protest of dissent.”

In other COR news:

uThe council approved Alec White as co-director of programming for the Student Union Board.

SUB Manager Jimmy Flaherty said White would be a perfect fit for the job.

“Alec brings something to the table that is very unique, an infectious level of enthusiasm,” Flaherty said.

Flaherty also asked the council to approve Caitlin Burns, who did not attend the meeting, as the chief controller for SUB. The council approved.