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Group passes one resolution

John Cameron and Megan Doyle | Friday, December 10, 2010

Campus Life Council (CLC) addressed various issues relevant to student life, including alcohol education and off-campus safety, but passed only one concrete resolution.

The Council focused on researching and making suggestions for other student government groups. Rather than taking direct action, CLC members compiled information and held conversations about problems on campus.

CLC is composed of rectors, student government representatives and faculty members. These members split into three task forces that met bi-weekly to discuss residential life at Notre Dame and communication with the student body.

After underage drinking arrests skyrocketed earlier this year, the Council benchmarked Notre Dame’s relationship with local law enforcement against other universities. This research led to the only resolution passed by Council members.

The resolution requested a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the University, student government, the South Bend Police Department and the Indiana State Excise Police. The MOU stated that these groups would meet each semester and continue to discuss how to promote off-campus safety.

Underage drinking was the focus of the Culture Shift task force, chaired by student body vice president Andrew Bell.

“The overarching theme was there has obviously been a shift in how alcohol is used on campus and starting to understand that shift. Alcohol has become more of a center of socializing and not just a point of socializing,” Bell said. “This is not true for every single person, but seems to be part of the culture.”

The task force particularly emphasized the role of education in discouraging irresponsible or unsafe consumption of alcohol. Student-led events and continuous education after the beginning of the year were the most effective ways to educate students, Bell said.

The Communication task force grew out of a previous task force on discipline that was cancelled midway through the semester. The task force originally set out to address lasting discipline records and their effects on post-graduate opportunities, but last year’s administration found that a change could not be made in the Office of Residence Life and Housing.

Communications chair Mike Oliver said his task force addressed the effectiveness of “The Week,” a weekly e-mail to inform students of on-campus events.

“Students are flooded with information and may not receive the information that really pertains to their interests,” Oliver said. “What we are focusing on is a means of communication where students get event information pertinent to their interests.”

The Communications task force will disband shortly after spring semester begins, but Oliver said he hopes its ideas will become more tangible in the future.

“Next semester we want to bring [our research] all together and figure out a way to more effectively communicate with students,” he said.

The Communications task force worked closely with the task force on Residential Life. Chair Nick Ruof said the Residential Life task force aimed to facilitate on-campus programming.

“What we have been looking into is trying to make it easier for dorms, SUB and other organizations that program on campus to plan their events. It could be easier to plan events on campus,” Ruof said.

Ruof said the task force specifically addressed the costs, locations and publicity involved in planning student events on campus.

Residential Life members are developing a list of programming venues and a simplified way to reserve an open location for events, Ruof said.

The task force will pass its ideas to the Senate committees for Residence Life and University Affairs before it is disbanded in January, Ruof said.

At semester’s end, all three of the CLC task forces remained in the researching and planning stages. While the Council is an advisory group meant to discuss relevant student issues, they did not produce many formal recommendations toward policy changes.

Grade: B-

The task forces struggled to focus their goals and produce concrete results. While the one resolution passed was positive for community relations, it was the only formal recommendation made by the Council.