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Group discusses recurring issues with O’SNAP

| Thursday, February 19, 2015

Student Senate met in LaFortune Student Center on Wednesday night to discuss potential issues with the revised O’SNAP program and possible future budget cuts.

“I think there’s been some concern about the ways that SafeWalk and O’SNAP are being utilized. … There have been some issues with dispatching SafeWalk; I know it’s not an isolated thing,” St. Edward’s Hall senator and sophomore Jake Wittenberg said. “There have been a few issues with dispatching and a little clarification that we could take back to dorms, or some discussion on the procedures and efficiency of the program would be helpful.”

While the topic will not enter into a formal discussion for a few weeks, other senators shared similar sentiments.

“I feel like there’s been some discrimination with size and gender,” Keenan Hall senator and junior Ryan Rizzuto said. “… A few weeks ago, I called, and I had to keep belaboring a point that I was concerned for a girl who was very intoxicated.”

Rizzuto also said he experienced an issue several weeks ago when he called to be picked up with a few of his friends. He was told there was no danger or reason for O’SNAP to pick them up if it was a group of six or more.

“I don’t think they have any right to do that,” Rizzuto said. “If O’SNAP is a shuttle service, then we really need to hone in that message to the student body and figure out why it’s harder to be picked up if you’re a guy than a girl.”

Student body vice president and senior Matthew Devine brought up the issue of newspaper subscription and distribution on campus.

According to Devine, the University currently spends about $50,000 on newspaper subscriptions annually, but only about 100-150 papers are actually picked up per day.

“I think we need to reassess,” Devine said. “… We’re looking to see if we can do individual subscriptions, but that doesn’t necessarily stay true to the purpose of making it available to everyone.”

Alumni Hall senator and sophomore Scott Moore proposed potentially decreasing the order, if possible.

“If we can’t get a smaller quantity, I’d rather see it disbanded,” Moore said.

The Senate will continue the conversation on the topic throughout the remainder of the semester, ultimately deciding whether to keep all of the subscriptions for the 2015-2016 school year.

“It’s going to be contentious, whatever the decision is, so we’re trying to make sure we get the most comprehensive thoughts from everyone,” Devine said.

The Senate also unanimously passed a resolution moving Off Campus Council elections to the third week of April, as opposed to April 1.

“The purpose behind this is essentially is that there can’t be a comprehensive list of all the students living off campus in about mid-February, when we’re asked for one, which makes it hard to have elections,” Judicial Council president and off-campus senior Kathryn Peruski said.

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About Rachel O'Grady

Rachel O'Grady is a senior Political Science major living in Ryan Hall and is currently serving as an Assistant Managing Editor. Hailing from Chicago (actual Chicago, not the suburbs) she's been a Cubs fan since birth.

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  • Jack

    It would be a HUGE mistake to get rid of the New York Times and Wall Street journal for students, it’s how a lot of us keep up on world news and business news. ND should be able to fork over 50K a year to keep it’s students informed.

    • Scott Moore

      If it were possible to order a quantity of papers to match student demand (<200), I would wholeheartedly agree. In light of the alternatives, though, it's simply not a worthwhile investment. And who knows, if student government drops the ball, the administration (or Mendoza for the WSJ) might step in and fund it themselves.

  • Mike

    People need to understand that O’SNAP is NOT a shuttle service!!!!! It is a service for those who are genuinely scared or need assistance getting across campus. It was never designed for drunks and lazy groups of people who just don’t want to walk. Too many students are abusing the service and inconveniencing those who attempt to use O’SNAP for its designated purpose.

    • Mike

      Also, SafeWalk does not exist anymore- it was renamed O’SNAP