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Group discusses College Park

Mary Kate Malone | Tuesday, February 1, 2005

After recent problems between College Park management and Notre Dame students living at the off-campus apartment complex, the Council of Representatives met Monday to discuss the issue and possible solutions. Senior class president Darrell Scott spoke for students whose apartments were damaged during the winter break from broken water pipes at the off-campus apartment complex run by Paramount Management.The Observer reported Jan. 12 that eight units, housing 23 Notre Dame students, were severely damaged when pipes burst above second-floor units. The Observer then reported Jan. 28 that in the last month three students, who were without a place to live for a week and half after classes resumed in January, decided to pursue a lawsuit against Paramount.Scott provided representatives with a packet of information describing the situation in greater detail and said he hoped a plan could be implemented to assist students who might face similar problems in the future.Scott said students who are currently having problems with the management have been able to use their connections with student government and their concerned parents to confront the management at Paramount. “My fear is that a senior or junior in the future will not have direct access to COR, or any resources,” Scott said. “The last think you want to be dealing with when living off-campus is mismanagement.” Student body president Adam Istvan suggested the new off-campus safety committee address the issue and commended Scott for bringing the concern to the forefront.”This is for the off-campus safety committee. … There is no reason why the student union can’t help – this is a great issue to be discussed in the public arena,” Istvan said.Hall Presidents Council Co-chair Liz Cain, one of the students filing the lawsuit, suggested appealing to the Office of Resident Life for assistance. However, off-campus representative Dave McGowan noted the focus of ResLife is on-campus issues rather than off-campus topics.”You want ResLife to stretch into off-campus issues, but part of being off-campus is dealing with these types of things on your own,” McGowan said. “It seems like ResLife is completely separate from that.” COR members ultimately agreed to send the issue to the Student senate off-campus safety committee.Additionally, Istvan updated representatives on the Board of Trustees report, the second of three reports student government takes to the Board this school year. The 21-page document will focus on campus diversity issues, Istvan said.”The report is seeking to get the Board to acknowledge that these issues exist on campus,” Istvan said. “It covers racism, sexism and heterosexism.”He encouraged representatives to read a copy of the report, which was scheduled to be posted on the student government Web site Monday night.Istvan also noted the need for the student body to stand behind the BOT report.”We encourage students to wear their green shirts on Thursday because it is important that the report comes from the student body, not just student government,” he said. The third Board of Trustees report, to be presented in April, will attempt to offer solutions to the diversity problem described in the second report, Istvan said.