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FLEX to create freshmen involvement

Sarah Mervosh | Tuesday, November 25, 2008

As a part of his plan to get more freshmen who didn’t have the opportunity to join the Freshman Class Council involved in student government, student body president Bob Reish has implemented a new program called the Freshman Leadership Experience (FLEX).

FLEX is composed by four committees – the Intercollegiate Committee, the Google Apps Committee, the Freshman Booklet Committee and the Legal Services Committee. Each committee is made up of 8 students and has its own project to work on for the year, Reish said.

The Intercollegiate Committee is working on bringing other colleges together to discuss how they integrate freshmen. They are looking at schools that are similar in size, academic standing and religious affiliation to Notre Dame, Reish said.

FLEX member Meghan Donoghue, who is on the Intercollegiate Committee, said they are also working on making a “a big flow chart of power from Father Jenkins down” so students know “who’s in charge of what.”

“In general, it’s really hard to know who to go to if you have an issue,” she said.

Donoghue joined FLEX because she wanted to get involved on campus, and had experience with student government in high school.

The Google Apps Committee is working on informing students on what Google Apps can do for them, FLEX programmer director Blair Carlin said.

“They’re going to promote all of the things that Google has to offer,” she said. “There is so much that the student body doesn’t know that can really help them.”

Reish said the Freshman Booklet Committee will put together a booklet of advice from upperclassmen for freshmen to use.

Reish gave examples of the type of advice that would be in the book, such as going to the dining hall at certain times that are less crowded or going to one away game a year.

“It’s just advice that you learn throughout the years,” he said.

The Legal Services Committee is researching through other universities to gather legal advice for on and off campus, Carlin said.

“They want to produce a know-your-rights type pamphlet as well as set up some sort of contact through the law school,” she said.

In addition to working on these group projects, Carlin said FLEX will bring people from higher level positions in student government to speak to the group, so that the freshmen can get to know more about what student government has to offer.

“We really want to expose them to all the different branches of student government so that they knew the different avenues that they could take and that they weren’t just limited to being the president of their class,” she said.

Donoghue said that she isn’t sure if she will run for class council next year, or try something different.

“I’m just waiting to see what intrigues me,” she said.

While Freshman Class Council is made up of one representative per dorm, dorms were not taken into consideration in the interview process that Carlin conducted. FLEX is meant to be something completely different than Freshman Class Council, Carlin said.

Donoghue said that she feels that the members of FLEX are diverse, which is what Carlin intended when she interviewed students.

“I didn’t want everyone to be the student body president in high school,” Carlin said.