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Senate discusses new first-year program

| Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Student Senate met Wednesday night to discuss upcoming projects for the school year, including the campaign “29 for 29.”

Student body president Lauren Vidal said “29 for 29″ pairs the 29 Notre Dame dorms with 29 homes in the South Bend area for service during the holidays.

All of the resident halls are included in this campus-wide service project. However, Senate discussed some of the concerns with the initiative.

“One of the problems is that students go home around the holidays, which is when the program would be taking place,” Vidal said.

Nonetheless, the initial lines of communication have been set with the Center for the Homeless, and the program is expected to start around Thanksgiving.

The group also discussed recent changes with the first-year program, in which Notre Dame has decided to abolish the physical education program.

Student body vice president Matt Devine discussed the structure of the new program.

“A committee of professors was formed to discuss unexplored opportunities for the program,” Devine said.

It was decided that a program including student socialization, cultural competency, extra and co-curricular activities and pedagogy would better serve the first-year students. Yet some members of Senate expressed discontent with the changes.

“P.E. was empowering people to play sports like squash that they wouldn’t normally play, and this was a great way to help people from different sets of backgrounds to come together and learn a new set of skills,” said representative for Alumni Hall Scott Moore.

The group is meeting with Dean Hugh Page next Wednesday to discuss their questions and concerns.

“I would encourage you … to harness any feelings that you may have about this so that we can have a discussion while respecting the decision that has been made,” Vidal said.

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