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Web site discussed in informal meeting

Madeline Buckley | Thursday, February 12, 2009

Student Senate held an informal meeting Wednesday to discuss the creation of a Web site with information about South Bend geared towards students.

The meeting was informal because the group lacked enough members for quorum and could not call the meeting to order.

Community Relations committee chair Gus Gari said the off-campus Web site will be broken up into tabs routing students to different categories, such as entertainment, off-campus living, safety and security and more.

“The bottom line is this is useful to the entire student body,” he said.

For example, Gari said the site will have information about different off-campus housing options and how to sign a lease for students who are contemplating moving. The housing options tab would give students all the information they need, he said.

Because this student government administration has focused on off-campus safety, the site will also have a lot of information about safety and good community relations, Gari said.

“There will be resources about being a good neighbor and communicating better with the community,” he said.

Gari said he presented this information to the Council of Representatives (COR) Tuesday and received feedback.

“COR mentioned having a ‘Your Rights’ tab on the site,” he said. “We were also told to be stressing stuff from the Eddy Street Commons project.”

The ‘Your Rights’ tab would detail what is expected of students when they move off campus, he said.

COR members also suggested tracking the parts of the site that receive the most hits and then making those tabs more accessible to students, Gari said.

Student body president Bob Reish said the site is for on-campus students as well as students living off campus.

“I think people get confused because it’s called the off-campus Web site,” he said.

Continuing the discussion of off-campus living, Reish said he has been approached several times about the University’s lack of a list of off-campus student addresses. The University only requires one address from students, and many students give their home address, he said.

Reish asked the senators if they believe the University should require the address of off-campus students.

“I think that’s private information,” Duncan Hall senator Ben Linskey said.

However, Reish said without the information, neither the University nor student government can stop students from unknowingly breaking zoning laws, and they cannot give information about basic off-campus living trends.

“I know of students who have gotten kicked out of their houses because they were zoned incorrectly,” he said. “Right now we don’t have that information so if a student rents a house, they could potentially get a house zoned for a single family.”