The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Students debate name change for programming board

Amanda Michaels | Thursday, September 16, 2004

In response to the debate over the restoration of the Student Union Board’s former title, Student Senate discussed the issue at their Wednesday meeting.Cavanaugh senator Jordan Bongiovanni called for an informal meeting to determine why the constitutional mandate to use the name Campus Programming Council was not followed.Currently, the student programming group uses the name Student Union Board. At the previous Senate meeting, SUB manager Jimmy Flaherty defended the continued use of the name ‘SUB’ even though the new constitution required the group to use ‘CPC’, citing limited time available to organize his staff and address the issue before school ended in May. Student body president Adam Istvan supported Flaherty and said that he and Student Affairs told Flaherty to continue to use ‘SUB’, as they considered the amendment process an appeal. Bongiovanni expressed concern about this situation at podium on Wednesday.”Whether it was deliberately intended or influenced by a third or a fourth party, a violation of the Constitution has occurred,” she said. “To ignore it is to condone improper action.”Bongiovanni acknowledged the difficulties of navigating the new constitutional framework, which she conceded was still “very foreign” to many of the student leaders, and said that she is not looking to assign blame to any of the parties involved.”[The informal meeting] will be a process of discovery,” she said. “It’s about discovering mistakes and correcting them … about figuring out what happened so it doesn’t happen again.”Morrissey senator Josh Pasquesi said he feared that rehashing an already closed topic would promote the stereotype of an apathetic student government. Other senators, including Siegfried and Alumni senators James Leito and Vijay Ramanan, supported Bongiovanni.Former Keenan senator Dan Zenker also came to the meeting to support the proposal.”It’s up to you guys to be leaders … and to be aware of mistakes of the past,” he said when yielded the floor. “You don’t want to dwell on it, but you want to know what went wrong.”The proposed meeting would take place outside the bounds of the Student Senate, and has no specified goal of a resolution or motion to take back to the floor, Bongiovanni said. The option to take the issue to the Ethics Committee was available, but Bongiovanni said she wanted to keep the situation informal to avoid friction between student leaders.”It’s in any student’s right to sit down and talk about something, there’s no controversy in that,” Student Affairs director Brian Coughlin said. No date has been set for the meeting, and because of its informality, senators are not required to attend.

In other Senate news:

– Rock the Vote student coordinator Peter Quaranto told senators to encourage their constituents to become involved in the campus-wide fight against voter apathy. He listed a number of Rock the Vote events coming up, including faculty panels on foreign and domestic affairs and the debate between the editors of the Nation and the National Review. Quaranto also said that events centered around debate, dialogue or an issue-focused seminar could be arranged in individual dorms to spark student participation. “Student government and Rock the Vote are tied in that fighting apathy is fighting apathy,” chief executive assistant Dave Baron said when introducing Quaranto. “If students are interested in national politics, then they’ll be interested in local politics.”