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Group, BOT to discuss technology

Mary Kate Malone | Thursday, September 14, 2006

Student government’s fall presentation to the Board of Trustees (BOT) will focus on technology and student networking, student body president Lizzi Shappell announced at Wednesday’s Student Senate meeting.

Vice President for Student Affairs Father Mark Poorman and the chair of the Student Affairs committee on the BOT selected the topic, Shappell said. The Board wants to learn more about the popular social-networking Web site, Facebook.com, as well as students’ use of Instant Messaging, e-mail and cell phone usage.

To do that, Shappell, student body vice president Bill Andrichik, chief executive assistant Liz Brown and two or three students will “introduce the Student Affairs committee to this social network that many people outside the 16-25 year-old range are not very familiar with,” Shappell said.

Instead of issuing a formal report, the team of students will first provide information about Facebook.com to Board members and then engage in a conversation about how technology affects the social lives and social networks of students, Andrichik said.

The Oct. 5 presentation is the first of three BOT meetings student government will participate in this year. Since student government did not learn the topic of the presentation until last Friday, no firm plans about the presentation have been set in motion yet.

However, Andrichik said they are considering having a few students keep a daily log of time spent using Facebook, Instant Messenger, e-mail and cell phones.

In other Senate news:

u Shappell and Community Relations committee chair Josh Pasquesi met with Karen White of the South Bend Common Council last week.

White, who is chair of the Council’s Community Relations Committee, invited Shappell and Pasquesi to a special meeting on Sept. 27 where Council members and a group of students will discuss the disorderly house ordinance – a point of contention since it was amended in summer 2005.

Previously, tenants were allowed three reported noise violations before the city of South Bend could send them a notice to abate. Now, the ordinance allows the city to send a notice to abate after just one reported noise violation.

The city also sends the landlord a notice to abate. If the noise violation reoccurs, both the landlord and the tenants get fined – unless the landlord evicts the tenants within 30 days of the receipt of notice of the prohibited conduct.

At the Sept. 27 meeting, students will be able to voice their concerns to Council members, and Council members can do the same.

u In anticipation of the upcoming mid-term election season, junior Mike McKenna, coordinator for Rock the Vote, asked senators to encourage their constituents to register to vote.

He said his bipartisan group wants to provide students with the informational resources they need to be “responsible citizens.”

u Senators rejected a resolution that would re-name Zahm Hall “Zahm House.” The measure needed a two-thirds majority to pass, but only received 14-of-24 votes.

Maddie Hanna contributed to this report.