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Baron provides updates, emphasizes unity

Mary Kate Malone | Tuesday, September 6, 2005

As students, rectors and professors took their seats at Monday’s Campus Life Council (CLC) meeting, student body president Dave Baron noticed a clear division.

“As you can see, there is already a conglomeration of rectors on one side and students on the other, and that is not in the best interest of this group,” Baron said. “We need to be one united group committed to building a unified campus.”

Baron plans on using the Council to identify and improve areas where voices aren’t being heard – whether they are those of rectors, faculty, students or minorities.

After a quick seat rearrangement, students were sitting in between rectors and professors.

Baron first updated members on the progress of projects that were not yet completed at the end of the school year last spring.

Judicial Council President James Leito, charged with improving vending and laundry machine prices on campus, shared with members a letter from vice president of student affairs Father Mark Poorman. The note outlined the changes that have been made in response to Leito’s requests for lower laundry and vending prices.

“We had mixed emotions about Father Poorman’s response,” Leito said. “Given the fact that we were initially met with a lot of resistance, it’s great that we got something.”

In his letter, Poorman promised to maintain current soft drink and snack pricing for the next two years, lower laundry prices through the use of Domer Dollars and begin a rolling price adjustment plan for vending prices.

“The main problem with [using Domer Dollars to save laundry money] is that the card system isn’t always in place for that to be used,” Leito said.

Baron also updated members on the creation of a diversity course requirement for Notre Dame students. The Senate’s minority affairs committee has been exploring the possibility of making a diversity class a graduation requirement.

“We did a lot a research about it. Father Jenkins came to the minority affairs meeting last week, which is a good sign that he thinks diversity needs to be made a priority,” Baron said.

The class would likely be a double requirement – meaning it could be taken to fulfill a fine arts or literature requirement as well.

Baron concluded the meeting by outlining three CLC committees that will each focus on a specific campus issue – social concerns, campus grounds and structures and student voice and input.

The social concerns committee will continue last year’s work on the diversity course requirement as well as tackle the issue of sexism in male dorms. Baron cited last spring’s Morrissey Manor SYR unofficially titled “Beach Bros and Bikini Hos” as an example of sexism.

The campus grounds and structures committee will focus on improving campus aesthetics – from flowers to trash cans to drinking fountains. The committee stems from Leito’s suggestion last April that campus appearance be made a greater priority for the council.

The student voice and input committee will seek to have the student perspective represented on a more widespread level.

“Let’s look throughout the University and see where student voices can be better represented and be a bigger part of the administrative process,” Baron said.

Baron told each committee to select its chairperson by the next meeting.

The council also approved its bylaws, which is a listing of its rules and responsibilities.