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Senators discuss partnership with Apple

Claire Reising | Thursday, January 17, 2008

Senators discussed recent off-campus break-ins and a possible partnership between the University and iTunes at their meeting Wednesday.

Residential Life Committee chair Mariana Montes said Notre Dame might be considering a partnership with Apple’s iTunes U, which would allow audio and visual material for classes to be distributed through iTunes. She said prospective students could also view public University information on iTunes U and that other universities, such as Duke and Stanford, have used this technology to attract outstanding high school applicants. Duke launched the program in 2004, giving incoming freshmen iPods to download professors’ lectures, she said.

Although the University has known about iTunes U for some time, it has not yet been able to implement the program due to “legal issues,” Montes said.

Montes and senior Patrick Finnigan, the undergraduate representative to the University committee on academic technology, will propose the iTunes U option to the committee Jan. 25. Montes expects the committee to be receptive to the proposal because the legal implications have now been thoroughly explored with Apple, she said.

Student support for iTunes U is essential to bringing the technology to Notre Dame, Montes said.

“From my understanding, the legal issues are almost resolved. … They want student support to make sure this is something that students are definitely going to utilize within the classroom,” she said.

While Montes’ committee is anticipating success in its endeavors, Community Relations chair Colin Feehan said his committee has experienced setbacks due to break-ins at off-campus student apartments during winter break.

According to Feehan, there were approximately six to 12 break-ins on Vaness Street, 11 at Stadium Club and 10 at Clover Ridge. In most cases, students reported stolen appliances and other items.

“Our committee will be looking into the different security measures that different complexes and landlords took to see how they did and didn’t do so well,” Feehan said.

Academic Affairs Committee chair Carol Hendrickson, who examined the increased price of course packets last semester, said some Arts and Letters course packets are not being sold in the bookstore. In some cases, she said, they are being sold in Decio. The Office of Information Technologies is forming a team that will work to give students the option of increasing their print quotas online.

“That is on its way to getting accomplished,” Hendrickson said.

In other Senate news:

u The Senate briefly discussed the number of Catholic faculty members. History professor Tom Noble said the December Faculty Senate meeting focused on the hiring and retention of Catholic faculty. Hendrickson said the Academic Committee may discuss the Catholic character of the faculty this semester.

u Social Concerns chair Karen Koski said the Michiana Social Forum, a localized version of the World Social Forum, will be held at the St. Joseph County Public Library Jan. 26 from noon to 4:30 p.m. Discussion topics will include labor and human rights, peace and justice and sustainability, Koski said.

u Gender Issues chair Brenna Doyle said the speakers for the Health and Body Image Conference, which will be held from March 11-13, have been selected. Speakers include graduate students, doctors and physicians, and two keynote speakers. One of these will be Anne Simonton, who lectures about sexist and racist propaganda in the media, according to her Web site.

u Multicultural Affairs Committee chair Ninny Wan said the committee has planned community service events for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is on Monday. Most events will take place between noon and 4 p.m. University President Emeritus Father Theodore Hesburgh will commemorate the national holiday by speaking at the Hesburgh Center Auditorium.