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Brown delivers final Senate address

Joe McMahon | Thursday, January 24, 2008

Student body president Liz Brown delivered her final State of the Student Union address to the Student Senate Wednesday. In her speech, Brown commended student government’s response to unexpected, hot button issues.

“Writing down my remarks would make this appear it was rehearsed,” said Brown, who gave her speech without any formal notes. “And nothing this year was rehearsed.”

Brown said she was pleased with her administration’s work on the party permit ordinance, rising course packet prices, issues surrounding energy use and the environment and the forum on immigration.

“We’ve had a handle-it-as-it-comes attitude, and a lot of that was helpful in dealing with the ordinance,” she said.

The unexpected issues have at times prevented Brown and student body vice president Maris Braun from pursing their campaign agenda, Brown said. Still, Brown has plans in place for her final two months in office.

Brown said next year’s academic forum will focus on energy and the environment. Her administration has helped organize a 10-week contest in which dorms will compete to see which residence hall can gather the most recyclables.

“One thing we’ve seen a lot of energy on campus about is energy and environmental issues,” she said.

In addition, there will be a follow-up student forum sometime within the next few months to further discuss the “controversial” issue of immigration, she said.

Brown said she recently submitted a proposal to Vice President of Student Affairs Father Mark Poorman requesting more money for residence hall workout facilities.

“This is an example of how we’ve responded to student needs on campus,” she said.

Lastly, in order to help improve relations with the surrounding community, Brown said there will be an educational session for students moving off campus. The meeting will inform future off-campus students of the expectations of their neighbors.

“In August and September, we realized there was a gap between the expectations of living in the dorm and living off campus,” Brown said.

In other Senate news:

uThe Senate listened to a presentation by Executive Chef Donald Miller from Notre Dame Food Services on the importance of using locally grown food.

In a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation, Miller said using locally grown foods reduces the carbon emissions caused by transporting them. Also, he said, locally grown foods have more nutrients.

“Sustainable food is a way of producing and consuming food that ultimately promotes the continuous well-being of our selves and our planet,” he said.

Miller said 85 percent of Notre Dame’s dairy products are produced locally. Moreover, he said, locally grown foods are more flavorful and free of pesticides and preservatives.

uThe Student Senate unanimously passed a resolution recommending that two new printers be added to the computer cluster in DeBartolo. The move would help reduce the pressure on printers that has been caused by more teachers putting readings on-line rather than forcing students to pay for costly course packets.

uAlumni Hall rector Father George Rozum was honored Wednesday with an official Senate resolution thanking him for his 30 years of service.

Since becoming rector in 1978, Rozum has seen a great deal of change. “When I came to Alumni 30 years ago, they didn’t have individual thermostats and there was only one light in the room over the sink,” he said. “There was cold and hot water, but it was never joined.”