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Group discusses campus safety, GLBTQ club

Nicole Toczauer | Monday, February 6, 2012



Members of Campus Life Council (CLC) discussed updates in campus safety and the proposed GLBTQ student group during their meeting Monday.

Student body vice president Brett Rocheleau said NDSP Officer Keri Kei Shibata and University police have expanded the crime-tracking devices available to students.

Shibata said NDSP has subscribed to CrimeReports.com, a website the community can use to access up to date information on local crimes. Shibata said students could also create their own accounts on the website to receive email updates.

“It’s important for us to be aware of what’s going on around us. Not only by paying attention, looking and listening, but by knowing what types of crimes to look out for,” she said. “This is a user-friendly way for students to know about the info collected by police agencies.”

Shibata said the South Bend Police Department is in the process of working with CrimeReports, as well. She said NDSP would suggest a subscription to the Mishawaka Police Department.

Student body president Pat McCormick said he and Rocheleau would continue discussions with local law enforcement today.

McCormick said the other goal of the meeting was to wrap up discussion on the proposed GLBTQ support group before Senate meets on Wednesday.

Sophomore Tom Lienhoop, a representative from the Core Council for Gay and Lesbian, Bisexual and Questioning Students, argued that students on campus need a peer GLBTQ group.

“AllianceND unofficially exists on campus and has been denied recognition at least 15 times,” he said. “This creates a negative stigma on campus that deters LGBT students because they don’t feel comfortable.”

Lienhoop said the hostile perception causes prospective students to choose other colleges and for some students to transfer out of Notre Dame.

“We’re losing excellent students and diversity to other universities,” he said. “(LGBTQ students) feel [excluded] and that they have a poor quality of life on campus.”

An official Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) group would allow for more student engagement, as well as give sovereignty to the gay community, he said.

“Core only has eight members,” Lienhoop said. “Alliance could have an open membership.”

Lienhoop said AllianceND would adhere to Church teaching through acts of service and by promoting human dignity.

“AllianceND is committed to service in the South Bend community and has already partnered with local groups,” Lienhoop said. “It could partner with local high schools to offer positive role models there as well.”

He said Core and AllianceND could work together to further the Spirit of Inclusion at Notre Dame.

“As a member of Core, I can attest they would serve unique spheres at Notre Dame,” Lienhoop said. “They would improve student life, alleviate the bad reputation ND has in this area and help the community.”

McCormick said that when a student articulates a need, student government has the responsibility to look into that need. It is a serious priority for student government when a student feels discriminated against, he said. 

“The fact is that a GSA or peer-to-peer group would meet a defined need … From a student government point, then, we have to advocate,” he said.

McCormick said Senate would vote on the resolution on Wednesday.