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Council plans outreach to Japan after disaster

John Cameron | Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Council of Representatives (COR) discussed student body outreach in response to the tsunami in Japan and the initial results from the push for student job board reform during its Tuesday meeting.

Chief of staff Nick Ruof spoke about student government’s initial plans for fundraising on campus for Japan.

“Right now student government is formulating a plan to do some fundraising to support some missions in Japan,” he said. “We’re in the works to set up collections in the dorms … a bucket for donations after mass, and we’re looking for other locations around campus to collect money.”

Student body vice president Andrew Bell said fundraising will a concentrated effort.

“We’re shooting for Sunday afternoons to be the main collection time,” he said.

Representatives from the Notre Dame Japan Club and the Asian American Association informed members about their current fundraising plans. Japan Club President Natalie Fang said the club plans to work with two local organizations, pending approval from the Student Activities Office (SAO).

“Japan Club has decided on the Japan-American Society of Indiana because we know all the money will go directly to Japan,” Fang said. “IUSB is already involved so it would be a local effort.”

Fang said the club also plans to work with the Diocese of Sendai in Japan. She said the diocese was an appropriate choice since Sendai was the first region hit and working with a diocese is consistent with Notre Dame’s Catholic identity.

On campus, the clubs are planning three joint fundraising projects. They will be selling Japan aid t-shirts and wristbands, holding a dinner-show and will be offering origami birds for donations through their Cranes Project, Fang said.

Student body president Catherine Soler also gave members an update on the reform and the recommendations her administration presented to the Office of Student Employment.

“They confirmed the link on the ‘current student’ page [of the University website],” she said. “They’ve also confirmed that the search for the job board on the website will lead directly there.”

Soler said the office also changed the process of informing incoming students about employment opportunities. They will now send information along with the financial aid award letter earlier in the summer rather than in August. The office also created a student employment handout to make information more accessible to students at open houses and campus visits.