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Senate sets goals for academic year

Mel Flanagan | Thursday, September 1, 2011

Student Senate kicked off the school year with a meeting at Irish Green Wednesday evening, away from its usual home in LaFortune Student Center.

“I believe this is the first Senate meeting ever at Irish Green, so you can check that off your bucket list,” student body president Pat McCormick said.

The group spent their time discussing goals the various committees have for the year.

Jason Lovell, University Affairs chair, updated the other members on the DeBartolo Hall lounge renovation. Although the University ran into problems with contractors and materials this summer, he said hopefully it would not set the project back too far.

“It still looks like it will be ready for use in mid to late September, with a few other things being added after that,” Lovell said.

Lovell said his committee is also looking into setting up an alternative-style debate to promote college leadership.

“It could be between quads or dorms,” he said. “It would be in a political debate style, on issues that we could get sponsored by USA Today or The New York Times.”

Social Concerns Chair Ellen Carroll said her committee will promote a “Home Beyond the Dome” theme for the school year.

“We’re thinking about the kind of legacy we want to leave behind,” Carroll said. “We want to be a welcoming community, not just to students on campus, but to our neighbors in South Bend and to other college communities.”

Carroll also mentioned the possibility of a series of events commemorating the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11. Potential events include holding a outdoor mass at night and screening Divided We Fall,” a film about the hate crimes that occurred in the aftermath of Sept. 11.

The goal of the Constituent Services committee is to improve communications between the student body and student government, Chair Heather Eaton said.

“We want people to feel like they can communicate with us and we can answer, not just that they e-mail us and we say ‘thanks’ and then they never hear anything back,” she said.

Eaton said the first Whine Wednesday of the school year will take place Wednesday, and the theme will be residence life and university affairs.

Residence Life Chair John Sanders said his committee is planning on tackling a few different issues this year. A Flex-10 meal plan is one idea being thrown around. Under this plan, students would receive only ten meals per week, but they would be given a greater amount of flex points.

“I’m working on getting each member of the committee to work on a separate thing,” Sanders said. “Regardless of how small it seems, if you want to do it, you should try.”