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Packets to warn new students of penalties

Kaitlynn Riely | Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Campus Life Council (CLC) members passed a resolution Monday supporting the addition of cautionary information regarding third party Web sites and illegal downloading of files into the booklets distributed by each residence hall to incoming freshmen.

But the original resolution – introduced by Liz Kozlow and Jacques Nguyen, chairs of the Task Force on Social Concerns – was amended before it could pass with the council’s support.

Kozlow and Nguyen presented a design for an insert that warns freshmen the Office of Residence Life and Housing has the right to use pictures and language on Web sites like Facebook and MySpace for disciplinary purposes.

The insert also cautions that the most frequent Office of Residence Life and Housing violation is the illegal downloading and uploading of files.

Kozlow said the Social Concerns committee felt it was important to warn incoming students of the consequences of such behavior before they arrive at Notre Dame.

“We decided that maybe giving this to freshmen and working with freshman orientation staff in the dorms is the best way,” Kozlow said.

Some rectors on the council voiced opposition to the addition of the insert into their Frosh-O booklets, saying it would not mesh well with the welcoming message of the rest of the booklet.

Carroll Hall rector Father Jim Lewis said he does not feel the insert is appropriate for the booklet his dorm sends to its incoming freshmen.

“This feels more like a duLac reference as opposed to ‘Welcome to Carroll Hall, welcome to the University – oh by the way here’s this cautionary information,'” Lewis said.

Welsh Family rector Candice Carlson said while she has dealt with privacy issues regarding Facebook in her own dorm, she agreed with Lewis’ assessment.

“I don’t necessarily think the freshman orientation booklet is the place for this,” Carlson said.

Lewis and Sister Susan Dunn, the rector of Lyons Hall, both suggested presenting this information to new students when they attend their first section meetings with their RAs.

But student body president Lizzi Shappell defended the resolution to add the insert, citing her own experience as an incoming freshman eagerly flipping through the pages of Badin’s orientation booklet.

Each dorm’s freshman orientation booklet is a good venue to disperse the information, Shappell said, since students are already enthusiastic about reading it.

“It is essential to have this information in whatever capacity,” Shappell said. “While I see the merit in passing it out in the first section meeting … I really think it’s important to include this in the Frosh-O booklet.”

Before voting, the council amended the resolution to give each dorm more flexibility regarding the insertion of information about third party Web sites and illegal downloading, rather than use the insert designed by the Task Force on Social Concerns.

The resolution was changed to suggest that each hall add “information pertinent to this topic” into its freshman orientation booklets. Each residence hall maintains the discretion to decide whether to add this information and in what form to present it if it chooses to do so.

Knott Hall rector Brother Jerome Meyer and SUB manager Jimmy Flaherty both expressed worry that future additions to the orientation booklets could take away from the uniqueness of each one.

“I think we have to be careful of having cookie cutter booklets going out,” Meyer said. “I think each hall has its own booklet and there’s a little bit of difference in each one.”

The resolution, in its amended form, will be sent to Vice President for Student Affairs Father Mark Poorman.

In other CLC news:

uSince it was the council’s final meeting, former student body president Dave Baron asked members to rate the success of the CLC this year and make recommendations for items to focus on when the group reconvenes in the fall.

Members suggested topics including extending move-out days at the end of the year, addressing the problems of alcohol abuse and gambling and making the Office of Information Technologies more student-user friendly.