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Leaders reiterate yearly goals

Kaitlynn Riely | Thursday, September 13, 2007

Senate committee chairs informed senators of projects underway for this year – including an investigation of increased course packet prices – when Student Senate reconvened Wednesday after a week off.

Academic Affairs chair Carol Hendrickson will direct her committee in several projects, including one to investigate the reason for the jump in the price of course packets this year.

In past years, copy shops around campus sold the course packets, but this year, the Hammes Bookstore took over. Hendrickson said some students have complained about increased prices.

The reason for the price increase, Hendrickson said, is because the Bookstore is selling the packets for a profit.

“Because the course packets are being sold through the Bookstore for a small profit, the Bookstore has to enforce copyright rules that, if the course packets weren’t be sold for a profit, we wouldn’t have to abide by the same rules,” she said.

Course packet sellers in Decio and LaFortune thought selling all packets out of the Bookstore would be preferred by students, Hendrickson said, because it would be “one-stop shopping” and students would have the option to charge the costs to their student accounts.

Hendrickson said her committee will study whether students prefer one-stop shopping and the option to charge the purchase to a student account over cheaper prices.

History professor Thomas Noble, the Faculty Senate liaison, said he would be interested in bringing this issue up at the next Faculty Senate meeting.

“Apparently a lot of my colleagues had students come to them and wanted to know why these things are so expensive,” Noble said. He called the issue a “common interest” for faculty members and students.

“There is no reason why you guys ought to get gouged,” he said.

Hendrickson also expressed interest in aiding University President Father John Jenkins’ mission to involve more undergraduates in research. Jenkins delivered an address to faculty members Tuesday and focused on undergraduate involvement in research as a dimension of his overall goal to transform Notre Dame into a premier research university.

Hendrickson said she also planned to continue working on an initiative explored by her predecessor – to add clocks to classrooms in O’Shaughnessy and Hayes-Healy.

Residence Life chair Mariana Montes listed a seven-part plan for her committee to focus on this year. Montes said she wants to make Domer Dollars an option to use off campus at places like Rocco’s Pizza.

She shared a list of other committee goals: Improve dining hall quality by using locally grown food, add a computer and printing cluster to the Jordan Hall of Science, make laundry in the dorms free, expand workout facilities to all the residence halls, help professors use iTunes to make lectures downloadable as podcasts, and encourage Notre Dame Security/Police to both send out e-mails reminding students of tickets and install a safety call station near the D6 parking lot.

In other Senate news:

u Student government has made progress toward starting a coalition composed of students from Notre Dame and other area schools as well University and city representatives, said student body president Liz Brown.

Brown said she hoped the coalition would meet for the first time in the next few weeks.

u Sexual Assault Awareness Week, organized by the Student Senate Gender Relations committee, will take place the week of Nov. 12-16 to coincide with the showing of Loyal Daughters.

u O’Neill senator Matthew Malloy was elected to serve as the student liaison to Faculty Senate.