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Chairs update on semester progress

Maddie Daly | Thursday, November 29, 2012

Because of the new Senate structure established this year, student government department chairs no longer attend the weekly meetings to give updates from their various committees.  However, at Wednesday’s meeting, each department head came to give an update on each group’s work so far this semester.

“Hopefully this will give you a good idea of what student government has been working on,” student body vice president Katie Rose said.  

Director of campus technology Yiting Zheng spoke about new mobile sites and printing problems.

“We have added grade and course search to the mobile Notre Dame website [m.nd.edu] so you can access that on your phone, in addition to laundry view and campus maps,” Zheng said.  “We have also been working with printers, both making sure printers in dorms are working and trying to get printers in O’Shaughnessy Hall.”

Junior Liza Manfred from the Department of Constituent Services talked about future plans for fielding student suggestions.

 “Essentially what we’re going to do from here is act on suggestions and responses we heard and figure out a way to stay in touch with the student body a little more regularly,” Manfred said.

The Department of Internal Affairs, represented by senior Ben Noe, is not only responsible for the new Senate structure but also for the creation of the two newest department representatives, athletics and campus ministry.

Junior Brendan Dolan represents the athletics department and explained their first initiatives.

“Our main goal was to get on board with the Leprechaun Legion,” Dolan said. “We worked on music in the stadium, the ticket sharing program for basketball and trying to get NDTV to stream games that are streamed online at UND.com.”

Junior Parker Dwyer updated the group on the Department of Residence Life.

“We have been working on the installation of hydration stations in the Rock, Rolf’s and all the halls,” Dwyer said.  “We also submitted an accelerated hand dryer request like the ones in LaFortune [Student Center] and talked with food services to work on doing away with meal times so you can get, say, three meals a day without having to wait for the lunch shift to end and the dinner shift to start.”

Junior Michael Masi from the Department of University Affairs discussed the emphasis on campus safety.

“After some recent accidents and incidents with cross walks and things like that campus safety has really been a big concern of mine,” Masi said.  “We have expanded Safe Walk services by adding a golf cart to reach towards Saint Mary’s College, Eddy Street Commons and several popular off-campus student housing sites.”

Sophomore Ernst Cleofe, head of the Diversity Council, and has been working on three specific goals.

“Our three goals have been to continue working with the Diversity Council, trying to figure out where they’re going in the future, trying to keep momentum with the Call to Action movement and promoting a generally welcoming atmosphere on campus,” Cleofe said.

Sophomore Matt Devine from the Department of Gender Issues described their attempt to de-formalize the issue of gender interaction on campus.

“One of the main pushes we’ve been doing is changing the way we talk about gender on campus or trying to get students to speak about them at all,” Devine said.  “All freshmen attend certain talks to frame the way their four years progress, and we want to make these discussions more informal – not a segmented dialogue but a continuous conversation.”