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Resolution voting delayed

Kaitlynn Riely | Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Campus Life Council (CLC) voted Monday to rework a Student Senate-generated resolution that seeks to improve life for Notre Dame’s Native American students.

The resolution, written by the Senate Multicultural Affairs committee, passed unanimously at a Nov. 2 Senate meeting. But instead of voting on that resolution, CLC decided Monday to create an ad hoc committee to revise it.

Multicultural Affairs committee chair Destinee DeLemos presented the resolution, which identifies ways to provide resources to the University’s Native American student population – about one percent of the student body.

The resolution:

uCalls for academic departments to free seats for non-majors to take courses on the study of Native American history and culture

uRecommends the College of Arts and Letters explore the creation of a contemporary Native American issues course.

uSuggests that University President Father John Jenkins consider appointing a faculty or staff member to serve as an official advisor to Native American students.

uCalls for University literature and formal University addresses to describe the history of the University with “an overall sensitivity and respect” for Native Americans’ role in that history.

Welsh Family rector Candace Carson raised the concern that the proposals listed in the resolution – specifically those that call for changes in academic areas and the creation of an advisory position – are beyond the CLC’s scope and abilities.

Further consideration of the proposal, she said, is necessary to clear up issues raised by council members.

Student body vice president Bill Andrichik, who led the meeting in student body president Lizzi Shappell’s absence, approved a proposal to allow DeLemos to serve on the ad hoc committee. Chief executive assistant Liz Brown, Knott Hall rector Brother Jerome Meyer and Dillon Hall rector Father Paul Doyle will join Carson and DeLemos on the committee.

Kellen Lewis, secretary of the Native American Student Association of Notre Dame, joined DeLemos in speaking on behalf of the resolution.

Lewis said the appointment of an advisor to aid Native American students in their transition into college and their progression through the University would be a great service.

“The Native American experience is unique because we are already working against the stigma at home that we should not be going to college,” Lewis said. The more common experience is for young Native Americans to stay on the reservation, he said.

The lack of a special advisor and other resources for Native Americans is “discouraging,” Lewis said.

“I know a lot of us sometimes feel as though we should have gone to Stanford or Harvard or Dartmouth, where our group is more taken care of,” he said.

Since the resolution was passed by the Senate, it will still proceed to the College of Arts and Letters, but will not be sent to Vice President for Student Affairs Father Mark Poorman until the CLC approves it, Andrichik said.

In other CLC news:

uBrown, Student Voice and Input task force chair, said she met with Director of Residence Life and Housing Jeffrey Shoup about the creation of a tentatively titled “duLac for Dummies.” ResLife will work with her committee to create a pamphlet to make students aware of the major points of duLac and may also create a Web site with the same information, Brown said.

uHall Presidents Council co-chair Katie Cordelli, chair of the ad hoc Student Safety task force, said her committee is exploring the possibility of inserting three to five pages of information about safety into Contemporary Topics textbooks for freshmen.