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Senate approves new Judicial Council president

| Thursday, March 3, 2016

Student Senate met Wednesday evening to approve a new Judicial Council president and make amendments to both the Student Union constitution and the Hall of the Year presentation, review board and scoring system.

Senior Zach Waterson, current president of Judicial Council, nominated junior Caitlin Geary for the position. Geary serves as vice president of elections under Waterson, a position she has held for the past two years.

“There is no one more qualified for this position than Caitlin. She has been an excellent vice president of elections, demonstrating adept knowledge of the Student Union and its constitution and collaborating with myself on important Judicial Council initiatives,” Waterson said. “Over the past year, she has demonstrated composure under pressure, a strong foundation in ethics and morality and extraordinary skill at managing responsibilities, deadlines and the members of a team.”

Earlier in the meeting, Waterson also proposed amendments to redundancies and errors in the Student Union constitution, addressing grammatical corrections and more specificity regarding outdated subsections.

Waterson also nominated 2014-2015 Judicial Council president and Notre Dame alumna Kathryn Margaret Peruski as Judicial Council president emeritus, in recognition of her dedication and contribution to the University.

“Kathryn leveraged her experience to readily and generously provide support and counsel to Judicial Council president Zach Waterson and vice president of elections Caitlin Geary during several unprecedented situations, even well after her term had completed and she had graduated,” Waterson stated in his resolution.

Bestowing the title of Judicial Council president emeritus upon Peruski will be the first time this has been done in Judicial Council history, according to Waterson.

Other senatorial orders included amendments to the Hall of the Year review process, put together by focus groups within the Hall Presidents Council (HPC). Seniors Meredith Fraser and Seamus Quilty, co-chairs of HPC, proposed three amendments, all of which were passed by Senate.

The first amendment will allow four members of a residence hall to contribute to presentations received by the review board. In past years, only three residents from each dorm were allowed to be on the presenting team.

“We heard from the focus groups that one of the things [the hall presidents] wish they could have is a testimonial or a witness from a random resident in the hall … to share about why [their hall] is a great place to be, just to share why [their] hall is the best,” Quilty said.

The second amendment proposed that the director of the department of residence life be added to the nine-person Hall of the Year review board, effective immediately.

The third amendment changed the the Hall of the Year scoring system, so that 55 percent of the points come from a presentation and 45 percent from Rockne awards. Previously, 65 percent of points came from the hall presentations, while the Rockne awards only counted for 35 percent of the total score.

“Part of that 65 was a signature event form, where you submit a separate form about your signature event telling us more details about it,” Quilty said. “That’s graded and that’s part of that presentation score. Now, we’re just moving it to the Rockne because we felt that it’s more representative of what Rocknes are.”

“In addition, we created a favorite event form, so we’re moving that to the Rockne category too,” Fraser said.

Senate will not meet the week after Spring Break.

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