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Istvan gives State of Union

Amanda Michaels | Thursday, September 23, 2004

Fulfilling his constitutionally mandated duty, student body president Adam Istvan delivered the State of the Student Union Address to Student Senate before its meeting Wednesday night.

The speech detailed his administration’s past achievements, current projects and future goals.

Istvan began by discussing his meeting with University President Emeritus Father Theodore Hesburgh after the spring election, and what he learned from the encounter.

“He told us that during his tenure as president, he did only two major things to improve this university: Open the administration to laity and bring women into the Notre Dame student body,” Istvan said. “He said, ‘Sure I did some other things, but my advice to you is this: Focus on one or two things that you can do, here and now, that will make a lasting difference for Notre Dame.'”

Istvan wove the idea of “focus” throughout the rest of the speech, going on to detail what he has done and hopes to do during his term.

He lauded the success of the DVD rental in LaFortune, which he reported has 500 students currently registered in the Huddle Video database and has already met the goal of 100 rentals per week required to make the service financially self-sufficient.

The introduction of Fair Trade coffee into the dining halls and the Huddle was also a point of emphasis for Istvan, who thanked the senators for their support of the project.

Istvan reached the integral part of his new policy with the NDSafeBus project.

“Far too often, we have been confronted with the stark reality that coming from a night of fun can be extremely dangerous,” he said. “That’s why I am focusing my energy on NDSafeBus.”

The NDSafeBus proposal aims at making a free, safe mode of transportation available on Friday and Saturday nights for students going to and from off-campus hot spots. Istvan said he hopes the idea will get Senate approval to be the topic of the October Board of Trustees Report and wants the NDSafeBus functional by the spring semester.

In a preface to the Senate meeting, Istvan introduced the idea of the non-discrimination clause amendment up for debate later in the evening. He fully endorsed the amendment.

Other goals Istvan included discussed the formation of an ad-hoc committee to focus on the causes and potential remedies of eating disorders at Notre Dame, bringing a national newspaper to campus for student readership, making course packets available for purchase with a student account and planning a Sexual Assault Awareness Week.

Istvan ended by encouraging those in attendance to become actively involved.

“I urge you all tonight to take to his heed. Focus on something and pour your full effort into it,” he said. “At the end of your time at Notre Dame, when you can see a definite impact on life here, then we have succeeded.”