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Group improves Hall of the Year selection process

Maddie Daly | Thursday, February 28, 2013

Student Senate debated resolutions to improve the transparency of Hall of the Year selection process at Wednesday’s meeting.

Department of internal affairs director Ben Noe dominated Wednesday night’s Student Senate meeting by presenting a resolution to improve the Hall of the Year process.

Both internal affairs and Hall Presidents’ Council (HPC) debated a resolution regarding the selection process and scoring system for the Hall of the Year, Noe said.

“The process for Hall of the Year has been changed a few times in the past few years, but hopefully this time we have it just the way we want it,” Noe said. “Currently, Rockne [Awards] are given to one winning dorm per month and count as bonus points added onto the dorm president’s presentation score. Our new system scores the Rocknes on a non-competitive rubric, counting as 30 percent of final score while presentations will constitute the remaining 70 percent.”

Morrissey Manor senator Billy McMahon said his constituents were unhappy with the results of last year’s Hall of the Year race as a result what they alleged were flaws in the scoring system.

“We won almost all the Rocknes last year and then nothing happened for us afterwards,” McMahon said. “When you’re giving 70 percent of the weight for Hall of the Year on a one-time presentation, it gets to be which dorm can put together the best Prezi or which dorm has the most charismatic speakers, not the day-to-day work the entire dorm puts in.”

Noe said this resolution intends to assuage concerns about the scoring system by giving more weight to the monthly Rockne awards, which previously constituted only about 10 percent of a hall’s final score.

HPC co-president Matt Lynch said the changes to the scoring system will likely promote greater participation by all residence halls.

“This year’s potential 30 percent more is more than last year,” Lynch said. “It’s not competitive because instead of there being only one Rockne winner per month, it’s more if you turn it in, you get credit, like attending class.”

Sophomore class president Tim Scanlan suggested an amendment to the Hall of the Year resolution to add the publication of the rubric used to judge the hall president presentations, The Senate approved this resolution.Noe presented another resolution regarding special interest student organizations, including the gay-straight alliance (GSA), Bookstore Basketball, Junior Parents Weekend, Knights of Columbus, student campus orientation committee and the debate team.

“It was brought to our attention in December that there are organizations that are not officially student organizations but are not clubs either, they are in a sort of gray area,” Noe said.

The proposed resolution would allow these special interest groups to access to the large pool of money available to the Student Union, Noe said.

“The Student Union constitution contains rules for the allocation of the $850,000 Student Union funds,” Noe said. “We are suggesting a total distribution of .25 percent of these funds, about $2,000, to the six special interest groups. It will be allocated based on a presentation as well as need.”

The groups will receive these funds in addition to funding provided by various outside sources, Noe said.

“These organizations need to have access to a sort of contingency money in case they need something not included in the outside funding budget,” Noe said. “The best example I can think of is Bookstore Basketball. It operates pretty much break-even because of the charity donations, so if they need new basketballs or other equipment they should be able to do so in a sort of emergency situation.”

Noe said this plan is one of several formulated since the Senate began to discuss how to include interest groups in budgetary considerations began in November.

“In conclusion, many plans have been considered, countless phone conversations have been had and ultimately this plan has the greatest benefit with the least amount of complication,” Noe said.

The resolution passed with just two opposing votes.

Current Student Union Board (SUB) manager Ashley Markowski presented her nominee for next year’s position, Kaitlyn Keelin, a junior Science-Business major from McGlinn Hall who has been involved with SUB since her freshman year. The group voted in favor of Keelin taking over this position.

Contact Maddie Daly at mdaly6@nd.edu