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Group discusses campus safety, dorm life

Margaret Hynds | Thursday, October 31, 2013

During Wednesday night’s Student Senate meeting, the group expressed concerns about the armed robbery that took place near McGlinn Hall before fall break and debated the pros and cons of Notre Dame dorm life.

Siegfried senator Rohan Andresen said the robbery should make Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) rethink the way it approaches on-campus crime.

“It was unforeseeable and it’s hard to prevent, but since we’re not a blue light campus what’s the best way to respond?” he said. “NDSP recommends putting their number in your cell phone but the young lady [who was robbed] obviously didn’t have hers.”

NDSP sent an email to the entire student body Wednesday with suggestions for how to stay safe in response to “two off-campus gun incidents and a robbery on campus.” Farley senator Casey Skevington said the email took her by surprise.

“I wasn’t aware that anything was going on, and I walk off campus to the store by myself a lot. It was kind of concerning that we didn’t hear about these incidents until now,” she said.

Student body vice president Nancy Joyce asked the senators about their experiences with the University’s dorm system, which is a large part of students’ Notre Dame experience.

“I know some of you, especially because you’re senators, probably identify your dorm as your primary community on campus, but that’s not true with everyone,” Joyce said.

Joyce, who works with the Campus Life Council, said the group wanted to “better understand how some dorms are different than others or how some clubs have becomes communities.”

Carroll Hall senator Joe Kelly said his dorm houses a tight-knit community.

“Carroll isn’t in a prime location, but living away from other buildings, you really come together, and it’s small enough that you can know everyone in your dorm,” Kelly said.

Class of 2014 president Carolina Wilson said most of her friends do not live in Pasquerilla East (PE), where she does, but the girls in her dorm were always there for her when she needed them.

“I like that PE doesn’t force upon you the PE community,” Wilson said. “… I guess I took dorm life for granted. I came here not knowing anyone and I did find a comfort in knowing that there was something I could do with the girls in my dorm. … It was nice to have that there if you were coming in with some uncertainty or homesickness.”

St. Edward’s Hall senator Michael Murphy said dorm camaraderie develops during freshman orientation.

“A lot of the community has to do with going through Frosh-O together. That’s your first intro to life at Notre Dame and it’s through your dorm,” Murphy said. “You need some type of association to align with, and for most people that’s their dorms.”

Alumni senator Juan Jose Daboub said dorm Mass on Sundays serves as a unifying event.

“I feel like it really contributes to community,” Daboub said. “I know guys who aren’t even Catholic but they go to Mass because of community … and I feel that’s really special to Notre Dame.”