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Jenkins’ assistant speaks to group

Karen Langley | Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Frances Shavers, executive assistant to University President Father John Jenkins, brought a different perspective to Monday’s Council of Representatives (COR) meeting.

Shavers’ responsibilities involve four general areas – athletics, community relations, alumni relations and government relations. She spoke to representatives about the importance of an active student government.

“It is great for us because you bring an enthusiasm to your roles and your passion about Notre Dame and making this place even better,” Shavers said. “One of the things I’ve appreciated about Jenkins is that he is definitely a person who values excellence in all walks of life.”

Shavers said Jenkins would be receptive to student opinion, she said.

“He can come to the table with an open mind, or with his mind made up, but can change his mind because he is listening to you,” she said. “My observation of him with students is that he is very interested in what you’re saying. He thinks deeply about what you say both during the conversation and afterwards.”

Jenkins is at heart a scholar but stays balanced between administrative duties and scholarly pursuits, Shavers said, citing some of the president’s interests – running, “Seinfeld” and Plato.

“He understands that both the academic and administrative sides are necessary components of Notre Dame,” she said. “One supports the other.”

Shavers urged students to participate in the upcoming inauguration events.

“If I could do one thing over when I was a student here, I would have attended the events when [University President Emeritus] Father [Edward] Malloy took over from [University President Emeritus] Father [Theodore] Hesburgh,” she said.

In other COR news:

u Sophomore John Trippi was approved without opposition as Judicial Council vice president of Peer Advocacy.

“[Trippi] is only a sophomore, but he said this is something he is willing to work on for his entire time here,” Judicial Council president James Leito said. “One of the main problems with Peer Advocacy is that it’s usually led by a senior. Having such a young person in charge can lead consistency to the program.”

Peer Advocacy is a resource for students who have a hearing with the Office of Residence Life, Trippi said.

“It’s a resource for them to get to know the process better, for someone who has not gotten in trouble before,” he said. “My one fear is that students will think of us as their lawyer to get them out of trouble. We don’t have the power to do that, but we can tell them what their rights are.”

Trippi said he would recruit peer advocates and start an advertising campaign to inform the student body of this resource.