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Group discusses student safety

Aaron Steiner | Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Campus Life Council (CLC) task force chairs reported on the initial progress of their groups at Monday’s Council meeting, and student body president Bob Reish led a discussion about student safety, specifically regarding communication between students off campus who are victims of crime and the University.

Reish said he was notified that a group of students residing off campus were assaulted over the weekend, and a concern was brought forth regarding the methods in which University officials are made aware of such incidents, especially when students are physically harmed.

“Is there any kind of avenue where the University reaches out [to these students]?” Reish asked.

Sr. Sue Dunn, assistant vice president for Student Affairs, said that if a police report is filed, “that comes to the attention of [Notre Dame Security Police] (NDSP), and in turn NDSP would report that to [associate vice president of Residence Life] Bill Kirk.”

In addition, affected students can informally notify the University of the incidents, Dunn said.

Reish said this issue ties in to his administration’s goals regarding student safety.

Nicole O’Connor, student government Parliamentarian and chair of the Task Force on Student Safety, spoke earlier in the meeting about what the focus of her task force.

The group has discussed taxi services and will work with Senate Community Relations Committee chair Gus Gari to gather information about various local taxi services, O’Connor said, and they are considering developing a grading system to aid students looking to use taxi services.

O’Connor also said her task force is looking into outdoor lighting in the Mod Quad area, and has contacted Landscaping Services. In addition, Dunn, a member of the task force, met with Christopher Dressel of the South Bend Department of Community and Economic Development to discuss creation of bike lanes around Notre Dame’s campus.

O’Connor said they specifically discussed the possibility of making a bike lane along Vaness St. heading towards Twyckenham Dr.

Grant Schmidt, student body vice president, said the Task Force on Technology and Study Spaces in Dorms has three projects.

His task force is working to address the possibility of installing Pharos printers in all dorms, addressing study spaces around campus, and working to develop a calendar system utilizing Google Calendars.

Schmidt asked Fr. Pete McCormick, rector of Keough Hall, to describe what he has done within his dorm using Google Calendars.

McCormick said he has created a calendar for the dorm that is now embedded in the dorm’s Web site.

McCormick said he thinks Google Calendars can be used across the University.

“Every single student who now has a Gmail account has, by virtue of that account, a calendar account,” McCormick said.

“This is so simple, but the problem is … building the infrastructure to do it,” he said.

Meg MacCaughey, SUB representative and chair of the Task Force on New Student Introduction to Notre Dame, said her group has focused on transfer as well as international and multicultural students.

The Office of Admissions currently runs Transfer Orientation, MacCaughey said, and her group is looking into see how Student Activities or Student Government can get involved.

“We want to see what aspects we can touch upon, and which we can’t,” she said.

The task force is also discussing creating a universal booklet for all new students at the University, combining information received from various sources across the University to help “integrate students a little more quickly,” she said.

In other CLC news:

u Reish told the Council about a new student government initiative called Freshmen Leadership Experience (FLEX) which seeks to integrate more freshmen into student government.

“It’s taking 25 other students who didn’t make freshman council … and students who might not be as interested in the programming side,” he said, and getting them involved with various student government initiatives.