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Members refocus toward on-campus programs

Megan Doyle | Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Student Senate discussed shifting student government’s focus from off-campus issues to on-campus safety and programming during its meeting Wednesday

“We are in a transitional period where the off-campus business has been a lot of our focus,” student body vice president Andrew Bell said. “We are trying to look back to on-campus issues.”

After members of student government met with University leaders, South Bend law enforcement, the Prosecutor’s Office and members of the local community Tuesday, Student Senate discussed the results of the meeting.

The meeting focused on the ways students and members of the local community can protect against crime, student body president Catherine Soler said.

“The real focus was on what students can do to be safe in the community,” she said.

But Soler said on-campus students should also remember to take small safety precautions, like locking the door to their rooms.

Bell said student government wants to focus more attention toward on-campus issues after so much discussion about off-campus arrests.

“This is definitely a conversation we can bring back to dorms,” Soler said. “We need to ask what we can do here to make our nightlife on campus a little livelier.”

Soler said the Student Activities Office (SAO) and student government have discussed late-night programming as a way to keep students on campus on weekend nights.

“We want to know if SAO set up programming from midnight to 2 a.m. if students would attend those events,” Soler said.

Student government will soon host a week for students to give their ideas and complaints in public places around campus.

“We should be setting up tables to ‘whine and dine’ in the dining halls,” she said.

Bell said well-rounded input can lead to the best decisions so student government encourages students to share their feedback.

“We really want to keep a pulse on how students are reacting to these events and stay updated on how students feel about them,” he said.

Members of Student Senate and other student government groups investigated other schools to gauge how they deal with community relations.

The ideas from that report will play a role in the next step for Notre Dame’s leaders, Soler said.