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Senate considers revising SafeWalk, news subscriptions

| Thursday, April 10, 2014

At Wednesday night’s student Senate meeting, members discussed NDSP’s SafeWalk program, as well as student readership programs.
Student body president Lauren Vidal co-authored and presented a resolution during the meeting.
“Student government would like to work with the Notre Dame Security Police to revitalize the current SafeWalk program in an effort to institutionalize safe, efficient and expedient transportation during the evening hours,” she said.
Revitalizing SafeWalk, which was a part of Vidal and student body vice president Matt Devine’s campaign platform, includes the initiation of a program similar to those at several other universities around the country, including the University of Florida (UF).
The UF police department currently uses a “Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol” (SNAP) to provide students with vehicle transportation between locations. Notre Dame hopes to integrate this concept by adding golf carts to the present SafeWalk program in order to increase efficiency and accessibility to the student body.
Devine said in addition to the integration of golf carts, student government also hopes to make SafeWalk more popular among students, emphasizing safety.
Freshman Cavanaugh Hall senator Ashley Calvani suggested highlighting SafeWalk during freshman orientation.
“I think it would be really important … if you could get it in freshmen’s faces so that they would know exactly what it is and what its for,” she said.
When taken to a vote, the resolution passed.
At Wednesday night’s meeting, Senate also discussed the student readership program. Each year, student government purchases subscriptions to three newspapers ­— the New York Times, USA Today and the South Bend Tribune — for the student body. The print copies of the papers are available in North and South Dining Halls, Hesburgh Library and LaFortune Student Center.
Currently, student government is evaluating the program, questioning if the three newspapers currently supplied are the best choices for students and if print newspapers are necessary if online access is supplied.
Freshman Alumni Hall senator Scott Moore spoke in favor of maintaining a print subscription.
“A lot of people still do like a print copy in their hand in the dining hall,” he said.
Although less well-known, online access is currently available for students through the student readership program, Devine said.
Sophomore Keenan Hall senator Ryan Rizzuto expressed concern over the choice of newspaper subscriptions stating that improvement could include the addition of The Wall Street Journal.
“In my finance class, my professor tells us that we should read The Wall Street Journal every single day, and it’s kind of frustrating that we don’t have access to it,” he said.
Vidal said to manage the high cost of The Wall Street Journal, the readership program would have to exclude another paper. She also said Notre Dame receives a discounted rate for The New York Times through USA Today’s collegiate readership program.
“If we scrap USA Today, we’re looking at a higher price for The New York Times,” she said.

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About Margaret Hynds

Margaret is a senior Political Science major and the former Editor-in-Chief of The Observer. She hails from Washington, D.C., and is a former Phox of Pangborn Hall. Follow Margaret on Twitter @MargaretHynds

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