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Talk centers on snow removal

John Cameron | Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Following the recent passage of a new snow ordinance in South Bend, members of the Council of Representatives (COR) discussed the ramifications for off-campus students at Tuesday’s meeting.

The new ordinance includes a penalty for residents who fail to shovel the sidewalk within 24 hours of the end of a snowfall. According to WNDU, the fine existed in the previous ordinance, but the city could only impose it after having paid someone else to remove it.

“We’re concerned about students over break,” student body president Catherine Soler said.

The city is establishing a snow removal program, which it hopes to staff with volunteers to clear the sidewalks at residencies occupied by the handicapped or elderly.

Off-campus president Ryan Hawley said he thinks off-campus seniors will respond negatively to the new ordinance.

“Students don’t have the money, time or energy to shovel our sidewalks,” he said.

But student body vice president Andrew Bell said it is important for students to fulfill the responsibilities that come with living in South Bend.

“When you choose to move off campus and into the community of South Bend, you’re choosing to follow these rules,” he said. “We just need to remember we chose to be part of this. The real issue is about students not being around a lot of the time.”

Chief of staff Nick Ruof said the administration would be meeting with city representatives to discuss Notre Dame students’ role in the removal program and how the city will handle fines over breaks.

“They’re looking for Notre Dame students to shovel elderly people’s sidewalks,” he said. “We’ll be meeting with the city attorneys in a few weeks.”

Soler said it could serve as an opportunity for students to get service hours for Resident Life penalties.

Bell reminded members that a cooperative effort between students and the city, especially through the volunteer removal program, could help alleviate any issues that may arise with student residences.

“Just like everything else in a community, it’s give and take,” he said.