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Representatives outline committee goals for new term

Mary Kate Malone | Thursday, April 6, 2006

The first Student Senate meeting under the new administration of student body president Lizzi Shappell and student body vice president Bill Andrichik was markedly quieter than last week, as brand new members were sworn in as senators.

A new group of students representing the University’s 27 residence halls took their oaths and committee chairs spelled out their goals for their upcoming terms.

Jim Grace, chair of the Academic Affairs committee, said he hopes his committee can advance the goals already set in place by previous chair Chris Harris. He said his committee is looking into better student advising, an alumni contact network through GoIrish, and a continued push for improved student/faculty relations.

The committee on Community Relations, chaired by Josh Pasquesi, will be creating a South Bend internship guide for students and a guidebook to highlight different businesses and restaurants in the area.

Sheena Plamoottil, who is chairing the Diversity committee, has a defined set of goals.

“Our major issues are religious, sexual and socioeconomic diversity,” she said. “Those are the major fields we’ll be looking at.”

Plamoottil also mentioned looking into providing more help for financially needy students in terms of club dues.

Recent transfer student Ashley Weiss, chair of the Gender Issues committee, said she wants to use “new avenues” – like adding a male co-chair – in order to “really focus on breaking down the awkwardness toward male and female relations” at the University.

Chair of the Residence Life committee Pat Knapp said he plans to work on “exciting new initiatives” including extending the spring move-out times, extending Grab ‘N Go options and investigating the use of Domer Dollars across campus.

Chair of the University Affairs committee, Aly Baumgartner, said she wants to plan student/alumni receptions before pep rallies during football weekends because “student/ alumni relations seem to be in a big issue.”

She will also take over the Catholic Think Tank – which brought Lou Holtz to campus March 31.

Chris Hollon, chair of the Oversight committee, said he wants to make the Student Union constitution easier to use.

“We want to make it more simple and clear up the inconsistencies in it,” Hollon said.

Lastly, Destinee Delemos, chair of the ad hoc Minority Affairs committee, said her first goal is make her committee permanent – an issue that has stirred dissent in recent days after a resolution proposing such a measure was rejected in the Senate March 29.

She said she is also in the process of putting a large photograph of University president emeritus Father Theodore Hesburgh and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the first floor of LaFortune near Starbucks.