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Group addresses prayer service, diversity concerns

Margaret Hynds | Thursday, September 26, 2013

At Wednesday night’s senate meeting, Student Body Vice President Nancy Joyce addressed the service Sunday night held to pray for the most recent on-campus victim of sexual assault.

She said the prayer service was part of an ongoing response to any possible future sexual assaults.

“I wanted to stress that this was not a spontaneous event,” Joyce said. “It has been part of an ongoing conversation in the Senate and student government.”

Meanwhile, Student Body President Alex Coccia opened the meeting by asking the senators to bring back “cab cards” to their dorms, which have the phone numbers for South Bend taxi services.

As its first order of business, Senate unanimously voted to pass a resolution that changed the wording of several Student Union Board position titles to reflect consistency within the group.

As its second order of business for the meeting, the Senate hosted Carolina Ramirez, a junior serving as student government liaison to Diversity Council, who led the group in a diversity workshop, an activity required by the group’s constitution.

“I want to challenge you guys today as student leaders to really sit here and talk openly and honestly,” Ramirez said.

As part of the workshop, Ramirez screened a video, which was shown to rectors, assistant rectors and resident assistants during their training this summer. The video comes from “A Call to Action,” a diversity forum that took place as a result of an act of racially-motivated vandalism Feb. 2012.

The video showed students speaking about their own experiences with racial prejudice within the Notre Dame community.

When the video was over, Ramirez asked Senate to break up into small groups to discuss their reactions.

After finishing small group discussion, Ramirez asked the senators to share their thoughts. The resulting discussion focused largely on how to address inappropriate behavior.

“I challenge you all,” Ramirez said, “to continue this conversation. Take it back to your dorms and to your friends – that’s how we can move forward.”