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Group praises ACE, Career Center

Maddie Daly | Thursday, November 8, 2012

Student Senate heard about opportunities with Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program and passed resolutions about excused absences at Wednesday night’s meeting.

Sarah Greene, from the ACE program, spoke about her experience teaching high school English.

“I was an English major here at Notre Dame and went on to teach high school English in Mobile, Ala., for the ACE program,” Greene said.  “ACE is a great option for teaching since it’s just two years and includes a Master of Education degree. Plus it prepares students well for teaching in Catholic schools.”

Greene saw this as an excellent opportunity for members of Senate because of their interest in leadership.

“Teaching really cultivated my own leadership skills, and I know that’s something you’ve been working to develop,” Greene said. “I encourage you to share those gifts, give them back to students in need. I just wanted to come and thank you for the service you do and let you know that we are located in Carole Sandner Hall. We have ample study space and plenty of smiling faces to welcome you.’

After thanking Greene for her information, the group invited sophomore Max Brown from the department of academic affairs to introduce two resolutions dealing with excused absence policies.

“The first issue we wanted to tackle is that regarding professional development,” Brown said. “A lot of times you have to interview for post-graduate opportunities or internships and the Career Center can help students get those excused absences. There are a lot of ways to get one for an interview, but essentially all of those excused absences are only for seniors. Specifically in today’s environment it is really important for undergrads to get those opportunities too.”

The group unanimously voted in favor of this resolution, and Brown expressed his approval.

“I’m really glad you passed that last resolution. I think that it is really important for a lot of us in this room,” Brown said.

Secondly, Brown introduced a resolution concerning the class absence policy regarding death.

“Currently, when a loved one passes away it is very difficult to get an excused absence unless they are part of an immediate family,” Brown said. “That doesn’t seem to fit the bill for instances that demonstrate extenuating circumstances where the University should allow students to get excused absences. So we decided to add the ambiguous term ‘loved one’ to this section of du Lac.”

Class of 2015 president Tim Scanlon asked how they came up with the specific addition of the term “loved one” in this resolution.

“We really thought a lot about how to define this. There are a lot of circumstances and it’s hard to define and name them all.  We are using ‘loved one’ so that the definition is at the discretion of the administration,” Brown said. “What it allows the administrators to do is to give students an excused absence even when the death is not an immediate family member but still someone very close. Also, they feel that they can have the power to ensure that this policy is not being abused.”

Every Senate member also voted in favor of the resolution. Student body vice president Katie Rose updated the group on last week’s discussion regarding the Career Center.

“After our discussion last week I had two very good meetings with some people at the Career Center,” Rose said. “Both were ridiculously productive, and a lot of the issues you brought up are going to be addressed. Thank you for your feedback; they were very appreciative.”

Chief of staff Katie Baker expressed her gratitude for the senators who worked for the Department of Gender Studies.

“Thank you for all your hard work last week during sexual assault awareness week,” Baker said. “The Time to Heal dinner was really amazing.  I hope you guys were touched by it as much as we were.”