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COR: Group considers new off-campus Web site

Joseph McMahon | Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Council of Representatives discussed the creation of a Web site centered on life off-campus at their meeting Tuesday.

The Web site, which would be based off models used by Boston College and Georgetown, would include a number of resources, possibly including a guide to student safety and a list of restaurants in South Bend. The Web site is scheduled to launch sometime in March and is being funded by the Student Activities Office.

“[The site will contain] anything pertaining to off-campus so that it will all be in a centralized location,” said Nicole O’Connor, the student government Parliamentarian and chair of the Task Force on Student Safety. “It will help students be aware of everything that is going on.”

Student body president Bob Reish said it is important to include elements on the site that will encourage students to visit it.

“I would hate to spin our wheels if this is something students aren’t going to use,” he said.

Off-campus president Billy Lyman said the inclusion of the University’s policies towards off-campus conduct would be critical for many students who currently feel the policies are very arbitrary.

“Right now people don’t really know what the University policy is,” he said. “It seems kind of arbitrary.”

Sophomore Class Council president Cynthia Weber said it is important for the Web site to include more than just basic safety information and suggested the creation of a database for South Bend restaurants.

“It is important to have some other elements on the Web site besides just good neighbor information to attract people to the site,” she said.

Lyman suggested including a database of available student housing in the South Bend area. He said the listings would help students find alternatives to the traditional landlords and possibly lower costs.

“I think housing listings could be a helpful thing,” he said.

Lyman also said he would like to create a temporary Web site as soon as possible before the official one is launched.

“We want a temporary solution in place as soon as possible,” he said.

In other COR news:

Weber said she has been contacted recently by a number of transfer students interested in joining Sophomore Class Council, but was unsure of how to include them. She said she was currently considering a shadow program where they could follow current members of student government.

Student Union Board (SUB) president Pat Gartland said he welcomed anyone interested in joining his organization.

“Anyone interested in SUB is more than welcome anytime,” he said.