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Non-discrimination amendment passed

Amanda Michaels | Thursday, September 23, 2004

After the State of the Student Union address by student body president Adam Istvan, Student Senate passed a non-discrimination clause amendment to the Student Union constitution at Wednesday’s meeting.

Introduced to the floor by Diversity Affairs committee chair Nicholas Coleman, the amendment recognizes the equality of all, “regardless of color, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social or economic class and nationality” and forbids any act that goes against these standards. Under the clause, allegations of discrimination will be dealt with by the Student Union Ethics Committee.

“This amendment helps the process of eliminating discrimination at Notre Dame, and ensures that the Student Union is fair to everyone,” Coleman said.

He added that such clauses are a standard part of university and corporation constitutions nationally and went on to quote civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

“‘Injustice anywhere is an affront to justice everywhere,'” he said. “We owe it to the University to ensure that students are fairly and justly treated.”

Chief executive assistant Dave Baron said the clause was carefully crafted, with wording derived from both the 1976 letter from the American Bishops, ‘To Live in Jesus Christ’, that affirmed the basic rights of homosexuals and the ‘spirit of inclusion’ section in DuLac, the University student handbook.

Though the amendment was only up for discussion Wednesday, with a vote planned for next meeting, there was no debate. The amendment was approved by a unanimous vote.

In other Senate news:

u The amendment to the Student Senate attendance policy amendment was approved unanimously. It was previously sent back to the Oversight committee for clarification of wording. The new policy includes provisions for three unexcused absences from full Senate meetings and three unexcused absences from committee meetings.