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Senate considers Notre Dame Day, student readership

| Thursday, April 9, 2015

The student senate listened to a presentation regarding Notre Dame Day from Aaron Wall, the associate director of the Student Development Committee, and reviewed the status of the College Readership Program for the 2015-2016 academic year Wednesday night.

Notre Dame Day starts at 6:42 p.m. (18:42, the year ND was founded), Sunday, April 26. Wall said the event is the best time for ordinary people to influence life on campus.

“This is the day that all of us, like me, who’s never going to have my name on a building here, is never going to have an endowment scholarship in my name, this is the day that us regular folks get to have deep impacts on Notre Dame,” he said.

Ten families have donated a collective $1 million, which will be allocated to over 750 organizations including student clubs, residence halls, athletic teams, academic departments and Notre Dame scholarships. How the money is divided will depend on donations made at notredameday.nd.edu. Each $10 donation allows for 5 votes which can be split however the donor desires. Wall said these donations are intended for smaller communities within campus, not the university as a whole.

“This day is about impacting smaller areas,” he said. “It’s not about the Notre Dame Endowment, this is not about huge sums of money, this is about localizing the impact of our donors.”

Additionally, there will be a 29 hour streaming broadcast where over 80 students, 71 faculty and staff and 45 alumni will share their stories and experiences about Notre Dame. It is expected to be broadcasted to over 50,000 people. Wall said The Shirt will be revealed on the broadcast April 27 at 6:57 p.m.

Next, the senate discussed the College Readership Program which provides The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal for students at various locations around campus. Currently, 700 copies are ordered each day, but an average of only 150 are picked up each day. Student body president Bryan Ricketts said the program costs student government approximately $50,000 a year.

“The money that we’re spending on this is unsustainable,” he said. “[Student body vice president] Nidia [Ruelas] and I are concerned that spending $50,000 a year for 150 students isn’t the best, and that money can be spent elsewhere.”

The senate then discussed alternative ways to keep the student body engaged in U.S. and world affairs, including obtaining individual or dorm subscriptions to the newspapers, expanding the Political Brew events on campus and boosting the current press clips program, amongst other ideas. Ricketts said the method of making news available to students will probably need to change.

“We’re paying for an expensive format that most students don’t engage with,” he said.

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About Megan Valley

Megan Valley is one of the Associate News Editors for The Observer. A junior majoring in English and the Program of Liberal Studies, she hails from Flushing, MI and lives in Flaherty Hall.

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