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Group addresses fundraising for Haiti crisis

Molly Madden | Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Council of Representatives (COR) addressed the student efforts to raise money for relief in Haiti and Transpo safety in its first meeting of 2010 Tuesday.
“The magnitude of the crisis in Haiti is very significant,” student body president Grant Schmidt said. “It merits a response from the University.”
Initial fundraising efforts have included setting up donation boxes in all campus eateries and other prominent locations and creating a link on haitidisaster.nd.edu to donate money online.
Student body vice president Cynthia Weber said the total collected for the weekend was around $4,500, with $2,500 coming from the online donations.
COR members were pleased with the results but discussed other ways of raising awareness and funds for the people of Haiti.
“People have been very quick to donate and are in a giving mood,” Weber said. “We need to look at ways to harness their energy and give them more ways in which to donate.”
COR members suggested passing around the donation boxes at high-attendance campus events such as AcoustiCafé and the upcoming men’s and women’s basketball games.
Another suggestion included designing a T-shirt for the student body to purchase with profits going directly to the Haiti cause.
Schmidt and Weber said the money that has been collected is going into its own account. Fifty percent of the funds will be distributed to five charities dedicated specifically to Haiti, including the Holy Cross Mission in Haiti, the Red Cross, the Catholic Relief Fund, the Notre Dame Haiti Program and Friends of the Orphans.
The remaining 50 percent of the donations will be sent to organizations and relief efforts that student leaders decide on at the end of the week.
Schmidt also addressed the incident that resulted in the assault of three Notre Dame students by a Transpo bus stop early Sunday morning.
Schmidt said he had been in contact with Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) and Transpo and wanted to make sure that the assault became an isolated incident.
“We want to make sure this service we are providing is safe,” he said. “We don’t want events like this to be happening.”
COR members acknowledged that this was the only violent incident to occur in the four weekends that the 7A Transpo route has been running and agreed that the service is safe, but said that students need to be more aware of the bus’s exact route.
Schmidt said there would be small cards printed that would have the exact route, stops and times of the Transpo bus, complete with phone numbers for NDSP the South Bend Police Department. The cards will then distributed to the student body.
“We’re printing the cards because we need to emphasize as leaders that students still need to be cautious,” Schmidt said.
In other COR news:
u Schmidt brought up “The Mobile Party” comic that ran in The Observer Jan. 13 and the response that it has created.
“Obviously, student government does not approve and we are going propose in the Senate that a task force be created that can address the homophobic nature on campus,” Schmidt said.
COR members noted that sexual orientation was not part of the non-discrimination clause on campus and Schmidt said Student Government was looking into the legality of adding sexual orientation to the clause.