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Costumed members discuss communication

Megan Doyle | Thursday, October 28, 2010

Student Senate was filled with Harry Potter characters Wednesday as its members discussed ways to communicate more effectively with students across campus.

In anticipation for Halloween, the members of Senate dressed as Harry Potter characters, and the student leaders became Ron Weasley, the Golden Snitch, Lord Voldemort, Hedwig, a dementor, the Whomping Willow and other figures from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Student body president Catherine Soler and vice president Andrew Bell led the meeting as Hermione Granger and Harry Potter.

Moving to more serious topics, Soler and Bell discussed campus-wide e-mails, table tents in dining halls and poster displays around campus.

Student government will host “Whine Week” in November to take suggestions and complaints from students in the dining halls, Soler said.

Students can also join the Notre Dame Student Government fan page on Facebook to stay updated on student government events and submit comments to campus leaders.

“We really want to encourage students to send their feedback and their complaints through our Facebook page,” campus technology chair Casey Cockerham said. “Students live on Facebook anyways so it is a great discussion page.”

Senators gave differing reports from their dorms on the effectiveness of “The Week” e-mails that are sent out to all students Sunday night with campus events to be held during the week ahead.

“In my dorm girls said they really liked ‘The Week,'” Welsh Family Hall senator Elizabeth Jen said. “They just wished it would be more effective if it was organized by date.”

Some senators said members of their dorms disregard “The Week” because the information is not concise.

“A lot of guys in Siegfried do not like ‘The Week,'” Siegfried senator Kevin McDermott said. “They preferred bullet points or direct links.”

Lyons Hall senator Erinn Riley said a more localized version of “The Week” e-mails sent out within the dorm rather than across the whole campus might be more successful.

Senators also discussed posters and other information displays on campus.

“A lot of people in my dorm like the table tents in dining halls that are quick and easy,” McDermott said. “But many people overlooked posters because there are so many.”

Student Senate also discussed possible changes to midterms week.

“During finals week there are limitations on what activities are available so there will not be a ton of distractions,” Bell said. “During midterms week all those commitments are still out there.”

Some members of Senate said they wanted more emphasis on midterms week.

“Midterms are usually as much as or about five percent less of my grade than my final exams,” chief of staff Nick Ruof said. “But midterms week seems the same as any other week in the semester.”

Most senators said the schedule for midterms was too staggered to limit help everyone.

“Most clubs also recognized that it was time for midterms and everyone was busy,” Cavanaugh senator Tegan Chapman said. “Nothing needs to be mandated.”

Soler concluded the meeting by reminding the senators to save their costumes for the Harry Potter dinner to be held on Nov. 17.