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Roles of new task forces discussed

Aaron Steiner | Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Campus Life Council task force chairs detailed the initial plans Monday for their groups, which focus on new student introduction, student safety and technology in dorms.

Meg MacCaughey, SUB representative and chair of the Task Force on New Student Introduction, said her group will work on various projects “that we think are really important to integrating new students to Notre Dame.”

One priority is international students.

“Coming to Notre Dame is otherworldly in itself,” MacCaughey, who is a transfer student herself, said. “We’re really aiming to integrate them more into campus life.”

Her task force will also review the transfer orientation program, which is organized by a student group.

“It’s a very different process than freshman orientation,” she said. “[My task force is] hoping to work with the students that work on them.”

The task force will also address how all students are integrated into the greater community.

“South Bend gets a bad rap but in reality it has a lot to offer in term of culture and other opportunities,” MacCaughey said.

She also said because other campus offices manage freshmen orientation, Student Government and CLC will not address the orientation process that she said is already “well managed.”

“We’re really not going to focus on Frosh-O since they do a really good job of it,” MacCaughey said.

A possible review of Frosh-O changes was discussed at previous CLC meetings, but MacCaughey indicated CLC would not touch Frosh-O issues in the meeting yesterday.

Student body president Bob Reish called the group’s initial plans “very comprehensive.”

Student Government parliamentarian Nicole O’Connor addressed security concerns as chair of the Task Force on Student Safety.

“Ongoing projects [from last year’s task force] include the good neighbor guide,” O’Connor said, which helps students who are moving off campus understand their new responsibilities as neighbors. Another area of concern was the banning of taxi services on campus.

Sr. Sue Dunn, assistant vice president for Student Affairs, said after a follow up she discovered that no taxi service companies were banned from campus.

“No specific companies have been banned yet, but a few specific drivers have been banned,” she said.

O’Connor also said her task force will review security concerns in the Hesburgh Library, citing a letter from a student detailing safety concerns.

Another safety concern was lighting in Mod Quad, which Zahm rector Corry Colonna said was worsened by construction in the area.

“Will there be adequate lighting there?” Colonna asked.

O’Connor said the task force will look into getting more lighting or blue lights as well as working with the University architect.

O’Connor also talked about the possibility of creating bike lanes on roads surrounding campus.

Grant Schmidt, Student body vice president, is the new chair of the Task Force on Technology and Study Space in Dorms.

The four issues for his task force are examining the Pharos printer systems in dorms, reviewing the University’s central calendar system, discussing the possibility of using advertising screens within dorms and evaluating study spaces across campus.

Schmidt said Devin Fee, the Student Senate Campus Technology Committee chair, would help his task force with many of their initiatives, especially in examining the calendar system and the possibility of integrating Google Calendars.