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Student senate approves judicial council nominees, discusses Callisto usage

| Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Notre Dame student senate approved new judicial council positions and discussed the implementation of Callisto for reporting sexual assaults at its meeting Wednesday.

Judicial Council president Matt Ross presented his nominations for the new vice presidents of judicial council. He named freshman student Shady Girgis as vice president of elections and first-year student Myrofora Zambas as vice president of peer advocacy. With no debate nor objections, both nominees were named as vice presidents.

Senate then moved on to its general orders, announcing three resolutions to bestow emeritus status on three past student-body representatives. Student body chief of staff for the past term Michael Markel, vice president Becca Blais and Student Body President Corey Robinson were all recognized.

Lastly, two students presented two sexual assault awareness and prevention proposals to be instituted in Notre Dame’s 2017 academic year. Jade Martinez, student government’s director of health and wellness described Callisto Reporting Software, which allows students to report assailant information easily and confidentially.

“Callisto sends these sexual assault reports directly to the Title IX coordinator for further investigation,” she said. “Names of assaulters can be matched using this software, offering the potential of a safer campus by prosecuting violators faster.”

Martinez also stated that the committee is working to have this software installed by the fall, after solving its pricing ambiguity.

Isabel Rooper, student government director of gender relations went on to promote aggregate data releases for Notre Dame’s sexual assault policy.

“This push to release detailed information on sexual assaults would provide increased awareness and intervention in sexual assault occurrences on Notre Dame’s campus,” she said.

The aggregate data released would include “the number of sexual violence reports filed, number of investigations opened, policy decisions, sanctions imposed and changes in these sanctions and length of each case,” Rooper said.

This data would collect the information Notre Dame chooses to exclude in sexual assault surveys sent to students Rooper said.

According to Rooper, currently, Notre Dame’s lack of standardization in data makes it difficult to compare our school to other universities around the nation.

“Releasing aggregate data has the potential to make strides in sexual assault reporting, improving on current methods of both surveying and spreading awareness about the weight of Notre Dame’s, and every university’s, sexual assault problem,” she said.

Presently, Rooper and Martinez were unsure if Holy Cross and St. Mary’s would join in Notre Dame’s movement to install Callisto reporting software and release aggregate data.

Proceeding these presentations, there was no new business to attend. The senate agreed to adjourn the meeting with no obligations.

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