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CAMPUS LIFE COUNCIL: Task forces fall short of goals

Liz O'Donnell | Wednesday, December 9, 2009

 The Campus Life Council (CLC) has made strides on several projects this semester, but failed to produce results tantamount to the success of last year’s administration.

As in years past, the Council divided into task forces that met on a bi-weekly (or sometimes weekly) basis to discuss an specific issue pertinent to campus life. This year, the Council had three task forces: Student Disciplinary Records, Student Legal Services and Alumni-Student Relations. 

This semester, the Council passed one resolution, is in the process of discussing the second and has not yet introduced the third. 

While the members of the Council should be credited for this progress, they faced a number of roadblocks along the semester that set back their success.

The Task Force on Alumni-Student Relations was the only committee able to pass a resolution this semester, a surprise because the task force was only created toward the end of the semester.

The resolution, which CLC members passed at Monday’s meeting, is a proposal to add a member of the Alumni Association to sit as a member on the Council. 

However, some of the Council members questioned whether it is a good idea to extend voting privileges to the new member.

Student body president Grant Schmidt said the inclusion of a member of the Alumni Association will be beneficial for students because they will have alumni opinions on certain issues.

Originally, the task force was assigned to investigate communication (in terms of advertising) on campus. They chose to delay the topic, however, until after the new agenda.nd.edu Web site debuts next semester.  

The Task Force on Student Legal Services undertook a project more in depth than the other two committees when they looked into creating a system students could use for legal advice.

Chairman John DeLacio and the rest of the committee did extensive work on the topic. They looked at over 20 benchmark universities with legal services programs in order to decide what type of resource would be best suited for Notre Dame.

DeLacio and the rest of the task force proposed an online database that would carry names of area attorneys approved by the university. 

The task force submitted a resolution to the larger council that would seek approval from the Office of Student Affairs to continue on with the database. While it is still in discussion, it appears it will be passed within the first few weeks of the spring semester. 

The Task Force on Student Disciplinary Records, chaired by student body vice president Cynthia Weber had to change the direction of their task force half-way through the semester in order to make their end result more feasible.

Initially the task force investigated the removal of a “minor infraction” from a person’s disciplinary record if it was a student’s sole offense and if it was committed during the student’s freshman year. 

In investigating this topic, however, the group ran into several problems, which resulted in their decision to switch to issues pertaining to the handling of situations by outside agencies.

As it stands currently, the task force is looking to create a procedure where Residence Life staff would notify a student’s rector of the situation and ask if the rector would like to handle the situation in dorm rather than have it sent straight to the Office of Residence Life and Housing, as the policy stands now.

While the committee hasn’t produced a resolution yet, their aim is in focus and Weber said the task force has a draft. They hope to produce a resolution at the beginning of next semester.  

Grade: B-

While the task forces are off to a good start, they have failed to yield any tangible results. The resolution passed by the Task Force on Alumni-Student Relations is good for the Council itself, but does little to effect the daily lives of students on campus. In addition, the Task Force on Student Disciplinary Records was unable to draft a resolution by the close of the semester. Their decision to change directions halfway through the semester was necessary, but halted progress. The good news for CLC, however, is they have set themselves up to have a positive and productive spring semester.