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Group discusses safety, prayer services

| Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Student Senate reconvened Wednesday evening to discuss campus safety, sexual assault prayer services and suggestions for new projects.

After the Senate unanimously approved last week’s official minutes by voice vote, student body president Lauren Vidal made announcements concerning campus safety.

Vidal spoke about a new campus safety video that will be circulated in the near future, as well as an effort to receive more feedback from students and the administration about safety efforts. Vidal noted a new mobile app will soon allow students to request an O’SNAP ride.

Student body vice president Matt Devine opened the floor to discussion after bringing up the series of sexual assault prayer services that are planned by Student Government. Under current policy, prayer services are held at the Grotto every time a sexual assault is reported. Devine raised concerns about declining attendance and asked senators to comment on the important and efficacy of the effort.

Christopher DeSapio, representative for Stanford Hall, praised the mission of the prayer services, but noted publicity efforts to increase attendance may backfire because of the somber nature of the prayer service and the issue of sexual assault.

After discussion on the prayer services closed, Devine asked the senators to present initiatives or goals they want to accomplish during the rest of the year.

Off-campus representative Kevin McManus asked that “safety continue to be addressed with even more concrete action.”

“We should try to find ways to make campus more green and environmentally friendly, especially with older buildings” said Ashley Calvani, representative for Cavanaugh Hall.

DeSapio raised the issue of the impact of new construction, especially around the football stadium, and suggested Student Government investigate more closely how it will affect student life.

Elle Huang, representative for Howard Hall, asked that Student Government find a way to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11 next year, suggesting “a moment of silence or an event coordinated with ROTC.”

The floor then commented on proposals to notify students about off-campus crimes and acts of violence. Under current policy, such events must involve Notre Dame students and occur on campus in order for the entire student body to be notified.

Devine suggested the Senate look for “the most appropriate long-term response.”

“If you’re moving off campus, you should take the responsibility to check safety for yourself,” said Calvani.

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