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Group discusses ad, business agreements

Maddie Hanna | Thursday, September 29, 2005

Director of administrative services for the University Dan Skendzel explained Notre Dame’s agreements with TRANSPO and FedEx Kinko’s to senators at Wednesday’s Student Senate meeting, which also heard continued backlash about the University spot “Candle.”

“We’re seeing this as a long term relationship” between FedEx Kinko’s and the University, Skendzel said. “We see FedEx Kinko’s as being able to grow with the University.”

He said the University decided this summer to choose FedEx Kinko’s, located on campus in Grace Hall and off campus on State Road 23, for its expertise, pricing and convenience. The Grace Hall Kinko’s accepts Domer Dollars and can release print jobs ordered from a dorm room or other campus location.

While the Grace Hall Kinko’s is currently open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, Skendzel said there will be weekend hours as well as expanded weekday hours.

“But I don’t have a timetable on that,” he said.

He also noted that course packets will now be available through the Hammes Bookstore unless professors print the packets through Decio.

Matt Erste, major accounts manager for FedEx Kinko’s, said students would “hopefully” be able to use the FedEx services before winter break.

Skendzel also discussed the updated TRANSPO routes and services available to students. He focused on The Sweep, which links Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, and Route #7, modified this year to include stops along the Grape Road corridor. The routes are free for Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students, faculty and staff.

“We have been pleased at this point with our agreement with TRANSPO,” Skendzel said, emphasizing the benefits to students who travel off campus for service. “We also see it as a great way to get students active in the community.”

Skendzel said the University would be working to make sure TRANSPO buses were on time and transporting students “in a timely manner,” urging senators to take advantage of the system.

“There’s no reason to be afraid of it,” Skendzel said. “It’s a new experience.”

In response to questions about adding the Castle Point apartment complex as a stop on the routes, Skendzel told senators to send petitions to TRANSPO general manager Mary McLain.

“They generally change their routes based on demand,” Skendzel said.

Senators also discussed a revised letter from the Diversity committee criticizing the widely debated “Candle” ad, which did not air during last weekend’s game against Washington but is scheduled to run during the Purdue game.

Many senators complained that last week’s letter contained inaccuracies and poor diction. This week’s letter, addressed to vice president of public affairs and communication Hilary Crnkovich, met with much wider approval and was described by more than one senator as “a vast improvement.”

But some senators still found issues with the letter’s wording, especially the line, “Notre Dame is a household term across the nation when it comes to two subjects – Catholicism and football.”

“I don’t have a problem with that,” O’Neill senator Steve Tortorello said. “But I can see how someone would say, ‘What about academics? What about social justice?’ … That’s implying that people around the country only know us for those two things.”

Others defended the statement as necessary to the letter’s goal.

“I think that’s the point, though,” Pangborn senator and Diversity committee member Lisa Rauh said. “Like you said, there’s so much else here [not shown in the ad].”

Alumni senator Drew Beatty said he thought senators were focusing too much on their reaction to the ad and not its objective.

“The point of the commercial isn’t supposed to make me, as a Notre Dame student, feel better about Notre Dame,” Beatty said. “It’s to attract applicants … it’s a marketing tool. Our main audience is middle class, white Catholics. It still hits its goal.”

University Affairs committee chair Matt Walsh said Beatty’s point was the problem with the ad.

“I think Notre Dame would be a pretty bad school if we just got white, middle class Catholic kids to come here,” Walsh said. “If I was in high school [and watched this], I’d say, ‘Maybe I’ll go to BC or Georgetown.'”

Minority Affairs committee chair Rhea Boyd said from working in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions she had seen how hard Notre Dame tries to recruit minority applicants.

“We need to do that,” Boyd said. “And the commercial doesn’t help us do that.”