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Project to improve ND-gown relations

Sonia Rao | Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Improving town-gown relationships was the central focus of the Council of Representatives (COR) meeting Tuesday night, as student body president Lizzi Shappell shared developments in the upcoming Community Summit project.

The Community Summit is an event that aims to provoke thought and discussion about how to better foster a positive relationship between University students and members of the surrounding community. Set to take place in late February, it will include students from surrounding colleges and universities along with local government officials, Shappell said.

“Basically [the goal is to] share ideas under the umbrella theme of how to better integrate college students into the South Bend and Mishawaka communities,” she said.

Shappell presented three main discussion points for the Community Summit, which include creating “freshman initiatives” to get students involved in the community early, promoting student investment in the outside community and looking to the outside community as a place for internships and job opportunities.

Student body vice president Bill Andrichik added that members of the Mishawaka community have said they wished Notre Dame students knew there was “more to Mishawaka than just Grape Road,” and that areas such as downtown Mishawaka would be explored more by students.

Several COR members put forth ideas about improving the relationship between college students and their surroundings, including making information available to freshmen students about some of the good restaurants and entertainment options in the surrounding area.

In other COR News:

u Steve Cartwright discussed the happenings and goals of VOICE, a student board of the Center of Social Concerns (CSC), as part of the Organization Spotlight of the week. The organization acts as a liaison between staff and students, and tries to “better inform staff decisions as it concerns student opinion,” he said.

In addition, Cartwright said VOICE is focusing on marketing goals, including how to attract underrepresented students to the CSC.

“The most underrepresented student is the white male business student,” he said.