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Major issues mark first Senate meeting

Justin Tardiff | Thursday, August 30, 2007

Concession stands at Notre Dame Stadium and the Joyce Center will now accept Domer Dollars, student body president Liz Brown and vice president Maris Braun announced Wednesday during the first Student Senate meeting of the academic year.

Brown told members of the Student Senate that, after collaboration with Food Services and Vending Services, Domer Dollars could now be used in the Stadium and the Joyce Center.

“This is obviously a great new program that we have,” Brown said.

The announcement was a political coup for Brown and Braun, whose campaign platform last year included the addition of Domer Dollars at the two largest venues for Notre Dame athletics.

Mike Davy, the manager of continuous improvement for Food Services, said the guest meal exchange program will continue on a trial basis for the next year or so as Food Services studies how it affects its budget.

The program, Davy said, allows student who live on campus the opportunity to purchase up to five guest meals, for five dollars each, per semester. The five meals, which remain separate from a student’s regular meal plan, are priced at a significant discount for any guests who visit students and want to eat at a dining hall, Davy said.

Adult guest meal tickets for dining hall meals range from $5.50 for the continental breakfast to $12.25 for dinner. Special dinners cost $15.75. The guest meal exchange program does not include special dinners, such as any meals on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of football weekends and meals for Junior Parents Weekend, Easter and Thanksgiving, Davy said. The exclusion of these days from the program is not necessarily permanent, Davy said, but will be assessed at the end of the trial program.

Students can pay for the meals, which have been pre-loaded into their meal plan and which are now available for use, with Flex Points, Domer Dollars or cash. Students can pay the monitor at the front of the dining halls for the meals on an as-needed basis.

“We had a lot of great collaboration, a lot of help from Food Services to find out what is the most feasible plan for Notre Dame,” Brown said.

If students use up the five meals, they can purchase more dining hall meals at regular guest meal prices, Davy said.

After the guest meal program was explained, Senate committee chairs briefed senators on plans for the upcoming semester.

Oversight committee chair Ian Secviar announced his committee’s intention to make a comprehensive appraisal of the Student Body Constitution, which was amended several times last year for clarity. Secviar said grammatical and spelling mistakes remain in the current Constitution. He said he intends to introduce a series of amendments to remedy these errors.

The University Affairs committee will hold its first student-faculty issue debate Oct. 13, said chair Callie Pogge. The debaters will address immigration issues.

Residence Life committee chair Mariana Montes said she and her committee plan to discuss lowering laundry prices in the residence halls and adding printers to more dorms.

In other Senate news:

uChief executive assistant Sheena Plamoottil said the student government Web site should launch next week.

uAcademic Affairs chair Carol Hendrickson said that because of the increase in the cost of USA Today over the summer, the College Readership Program, which supplies copies of USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times to campus locations five times a week, will have to make budget adjustments. The newspapers will no longer be provided free of charge on campus during study days or on Fridays before breaks.

uThomas Noble, the director of the Medieval Institute and a history professor, is the new Faculty Senate liaison to the Student Senate.