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FLEX program’s goals discussed

Sarah Mervosh | Thursday, October 15, 2009

Student body vice president Cynthia Weber informed senators of the goals of this year’s Freshmen Leadership Experience (FLEX) program at the Student Senate meeting Wednesday.

“It’s kind of like your student government-student union crash course,” Weber said.

FLEX will have three main aspects, Weber said.

“One of them is a mentoring aspect,” she said. “Each person in FLEX will be assigned and grouped with another older member in student government who will show them things like how to be with administrators, meeting etiquette.”

The other aspects will be hearing experiences of members of student government and working on a project, Weber said.

There will be four committees and each will be assigned a project, she said.

The first committee will collect anecdotes and advice from upperclassmen and compile a booklet to be sent to freshmen over the summer, Weber said. This project was started last year, but never finished.

Student body president Grant Schmidt said the booklet will contain advice on how students can make the most of their time at Notre Dame.

“It’s more like make sure you go to an away game before you graduate. Make sure you climb on top of Stepan,” he said.

Nika Giger, multicultural affairs chair, said she the booklet will be helpful for freshmen and generate enthusiasm.

“I know the summer before I came, anything I got from Notre Dame, I was excited,” she said.

The second committee will be a student outreach committee, and be responsible for talking to students and listening to their opinions.

“What we really wanted to do … is kind of have a grassroots campaign,” Schmidt said. “Really kind of go out and find out what students are frustrated with, find out what students want to do.”

“It’s point is to seek our opinion and seek out students,” he said.

Another committee will gather opinions about the Freshmen Orientation experience, Weber said. The point of the committee will be to have the students with the freshest memory of the experience working on next year’s freshmen orientation.

“Often times the ones evaluating it have had a couple years and can kind of see things in hindsight,” she said.

“The idea is not just to talk about it but to do some outreach to other students to form sort of a comprehensive response to other students,” Weber said. “Things they liked, things they’d like to change.”

The final committee will work on the idea of getting off-campus discounts, Weber said.

Last year, student government created a booklet of discounts that students could use off-campus if they bought the booklet, she said.

“Whether it be more looking at Domer Dollars off campus, whether it be looking at a card that’s easy to carry, or looking the booklets again, this committee would be working on that,” she said.

Though freshmen may not be as interested in going off campus as older students, Schmidt said the point will be to get freshmen involved in a legitimate project.

“The off-campus concept of having discounts is appealing to many students,” he said.

Gender issues chair Robyn Grant commended the FLEX program.

“The nature of FLEX is geared toward freshmen,” she said. “It would be nice if they took initiatives that might be more easily achieved and tangible.”

“It’s another way for freshmen to get involved other than Freshman Class Council or a Senate committee or Student Union Board,” Cristi Yanker, who was a member of FLEX last year, said.