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Group discusses budget details

Kaitlynn Riely | Thursday, February 1, 2007

Discussion of Student Union Board (SUB) manager Patrick Vassel’s proposal at Tuesday’s Council of Representatives meeting continued over to the Student Senate Wednesday, when senators spent about 30 minutes debating two possible budgetary adjustments to the constitution.

Vassel said the part of SUB’s budget that allots to “policy-based programming” could be moved so it falls under the student government’s budget. Student body president Lizzi Shappell said student government was already using the fund.

“It’s our money,” Shappell said. “We ask for an allocation, then whenever we are using it, we go over to [SUB’s] comptroller. It’s basically our fund to use.”

Vassel also brought up a section of the constitution that states that any events with budgeting costs that exceed $5,000 mush be approved by the Financial Management Board (FMB).

He suggested raising the approval limit to $10,000 because, he said, SUB often books events that cost more than $5,000 and they need to move fast to reserve the act or the performer. The delay incurred when SUB has to notify the FMB of its request, though not a substantial one, may prevent SUB from booking the event, Vassel said.

Senators offered their opinions on these two points before sending the issue to Chris Hollon, chair of the Senate Oversight Committee, for further review.

This was the only new business Senate discussed.

However, the Senate was informed of a new initiative at the start of the meeting when Notre Dame Millennium Development Initiative Assistant Director Tim Lyden addressed the senators to describe an upcoming program to facilitate discussions about Notre Dame’s Millennium Village Project in Uganda and development in general.

Lyden said a student advisory council – made of approximately 20 students, most of whom have experience in sub-Saharan Africa – will visit residence halls this semester to answer questions about the project.

“We want these groups of students to lead discussions about economic development,” Lyden said.

The dorm discussions will take place during the last three weeks of February, he said.

“It’s very informal and it’s open to any level of knowledge,” Lyden said.

In another effort to expand knowledge, Academic Affairs chair Jim Grace said he was exploring ways to connect students through a tutoring program. Grace said he was researching whether students can use insideND to post tutoring requests.

Community Relations chair Josh Pasquesi announced March 2 as the date for the community summit that will take place between Notre Dame students and local college, university and city representatives. The summit will take place at Notre Dame Downtown, Pasquesi said.

In another area of community relations, he said he has been in contact with Mikki Dobski, director of communications and special projects for the office of the mayor of South Bend about sponsoring a freshman bus tour of South Bend next year.

“We want to make sure this becomes an annual event, hopefully run by the city,” Pasquesi said.

Walsh Hall senator Karen Koski announced that the Senate Social Concerns committee will be conducting research on the best way to publicize the presence of ombudspersons at the University.

“We’ve been working on promoting ombudspersons because there is a lack of knowledge of what an ombudsperson does or is,” Koski said.

In other Senate news:

u Shappell, student body vice president Bill Andrichik and Chief Executive Assistant Liz Brown will present an update on their initiatives to the Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees Thursday.