Student Senate dissolves Business Board, discusses safety
Mel Flanagan | Thursday, April 28, 2011
Student Senate approved an amendment to dissolve the Student Business Board and discussed educating freshmen on safety in the South Bend community at its meeting Wednesday.
The Financial Management Board (FMB) supervises the Student Business Board, which oversees the two student businesses on campus, Irish Gardens and AdWorks. The amendment would eliminate the Student Business Board and make student businesses directly accountable to FMB.
“Student Business Board has lost its purpose in the past few years,” Student Union treasurer Eric Biro said. “There used to be four businesses and it used to be a valuable resource to get the businesses together and talk about plans, but now there are only two.”
Biro said the Student Business Board rarely meets and does not provide the oversight it was designed to supply. As a result, Biro said FMB already effectively manages the student businesses and the amendment is only streamlining the process.
If the amendment is approved, the two student business managers will report to FMB’s monthly meetings as non-voting members.
“Without a Student Business Board general manager to go through, the student business managers can go directly to FMB or to their advisor,” Biro said. “It’s one less layer for them and for [FMB] when looking at the student businesses.”
Biro said the amendment would work toward solving the many ongoing troubles with the student businesses. For example, the Student Business Board general manager did not make the required monthly reports on the businesses to FMB, leading to communication problems.
Biro highlighted the problem of the student businesses repeatedly ending the fiscal year in debt. He hopes the increased accountability to FMB will help the businesses to become profitable in the future.
“It’s a position that can easily be eliminated and the action is supported by those most closely involved,” Biro said.
After the group unanimously passed the resolution, it discussed possible tactics for introducing freshmen to South Bend and informing them about safety issues.
Campus Technology chair Yiting Zheng said both her Freshman Orientation leader and her Resident Assistant spoke to her about off-campus safety, but she felt more inclined to listen to her Frosh-O leader than her RA.
Welsh Family senator Marcy Kreimier said her hall recognized the freshmen were more likely to converse freely with their Frosh-O staff than their Hall Staff.
“During my Frosh-O there was a time when the RAs and rectors left and [the Frosh-O staff] said you can ask anything you want since we’re your peers,” she said.
In terms of the information that should be distributed, Cavanaugh senator Gaby Nunez said freshmen should recognize Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) as an asset and encourage a positive relationship between NDSP and incoming students.
“Cavanaugh has a really good relationship with the officers who walk through our dorms,” she said. “I think that really helps with our opinions of them.”
Chief of staff Claire Sokas said the most important thing to remember when dealing with NDSP is to grant them the respect they deserve.
“Please be good neighbors, please be respectful of adults and authority,” Sokas said. “These are the things we want to start conveying to freshmen.”