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TRANSPO, Haiti relief focus of discussion

Molly Madden | Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Council of Representative (COR) discussed ongoing issues including student awareness of TRANSPO locations, as well as continued relief efforts for Haiti at their meeting Tuesday night.
In light of the violent outbreak involving a Notre Dame student at a TRANSPO stop last week, COR distributed 4,000 wallet-sized cards that have the TRANSPO route and times of pick-up to the Notre Dame student body.
“Given what happened last week, I want to make sure that everyone knows exactly when and where TRANSPO stops,” student body president Grant Schmidt said.
COR members suggested having the bars and restaurants that TRANSPO stops at post a large map of the route along with a stack of the cards so that students have full knowledge of the times and location of the bus. Schmidt said the businesses were open to having posters displayed in their buildings.
COR also discussed the ongoing student efforts to raise money for Haiti relief. Schmidt said student government collected $4,103 from the donation boxes that have been in prominent locations on campus, as well as an additional $3,000 in online donations. 
Schmidt said student government decided how the money raised would be divided among the five charitable groups that had been selected. He said they had chosen to give 10 percent of the donations to the Red Cross, 10 percent to the Notre Dame Haiti Program, 20 percent to Friends of the Orphans, 30 percent to the Holy Cross Missions in Haiti and 30 percent to Catholic Relief Services. 
“We obviously have a direct connection to Holy Cross and we also have students who are very involved with Friends of the Orphans,” Schmidt said. “We know exactly where that money is going.”
The sum that has already been raised is going to be sent to the five groups Friday, but fundraising efforts will continue and more money will be sent to the charities as it is raised. 
One fundraising venture that was addressed was the creation of a Haiti relief shirt, which was first suggested in last week’s COR meeting. Members have created a shirt design and have received complete funding from the Alumni Student Club, which will allow all of the profit to go directly to Haiti. The motion to sell the shirts passed and they will begin to be sold on campus as soon as they come in.
One of the major issues discussed was the upcoming revision of the du Lac student handbook. 
“This is a huge deal,” Schmidt said. “This isn’t something that should be taken lightly.”
Schmidt said the Office of Student Affairs told student government what the main topics they want to discuss would be, but any issues can be brought up and addressed. 
The four issues that Student Affairs is most concerned with are procedures for dealing with sexual assault, the means in which accountability for off-campus activities is addressed, the potential for minor changes in disciplinary processes and the awareness that students have of policies outlined in du Lac. 
Schmidt encouraged all of the members of COR to look at du Lac with their individual groups about specific concerns and questions. Next week’s meeting of COR will be primarily focused on discussing potential issues that members found in regards to du Lac.
“This could be one of the more important things we do,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt also said there have been many questions about the budget of Food Services such as ones pertaining to why the dining hall meals are so expensive, why meals can’t carry over and why students can’t take food to go, among others.
“We’re going to present questions to Food Services and get explanations for why these things are the way they are,” Schmidt said. “Or, on the negative side, we could possibly expose something that we can deal with and change.”