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Student body president, vice president preview Board of Trustees report to student senate

| Thursday, October 13, 2016

Student body president Corey Robinson, vice president Becca Blais and chief of staff Michael Markel previewed their report to the Board of Trustees to student senate ahead of their presentation to the board Thursday morning.

The theme of the report, entitled “Shake Down the Thunder,” is innovation and entrepreneurship.

“In the past, we’ve done sexual assault, or how we address that rape culture or mental health issues,” Blais said. “This year, we’ve done a 24-page report on the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship on campus.”

Robinson said he is excited to address the idea of innovation.

“We’re talking about shaking down the thunder, approaching innovation and ideas in a new way,” he said. “How can we produce different results in a new way, or putting in it a new light? For example, the way we’re doing Race Relations Week, how about instead of us talking about diversity, or a lack of diversity, we look at race relations through the visual arts.”

Robinson said he wants to look at problems and move away from the typical solutions.

“How can we attack these issues in a new way and a new light?” he said. “How can we, as a student government, encourage students to dream big, and do the right things and achieve their goals?”

There are no shortage of resources available on campus, Blais said.

“We have really incredible resources at this University, which is great, and we really don’t have these traditional barriers to getting stuff done,” she said.

Robinson, who started the non-profit “One Shirt One Body” with fellow student Andrew Helmin, said he personally found the Notre Dame community helpful.

“This has been really, just an amazing experience and I think that really, it has been beneficial for everyone, which is incredible,” Robinson said.

Additionally, the director of sustainability, Linda Kurtos, spoke to senate about what they could do to help with sustainability efforts.

“I don’t have to tell you guys that game day is a big day on campus,” she said. “We have over 9,000 vehicles that park on campus on game day, over 5,000 of those are tailgating with more than five people, which just means that there’s a ton of stuff going on.”

Kurtos said it was important to focus on recycling on game day.

“When you think about how much of the tailgates are made up of things that can be, and usually are recycled, we really should be doing more,” she said. “Once we have a bunch of food waste in with the recycling, we can’t use that as recycling, so we want to be aware of that.”

Additionally, Kurtos said she hoped senate would spread the word to other students.

“We’re also really looking for you guys to spread the word, but also for you guys to be aware,” she said. “If you’re at a tailgate, you know, make sure you’re using the right bag and you’re doing the right things. We need each of you to be personally responsible for making the University more sustainable.”

Kurtos told senate to be aware of its own carbon footprint.

“Think about what your impact is with waste and energy and water and resources and food, and think about how you are specifically impacting your environment,” she 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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