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Members discuss du Lac

Molly Madden | Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Council of Representatives (COR) continued discussing the upcoming revisions of du Lac as well as issues student government wants to bring to the attention of the University’s Board of Trustees.

Tuesday’s meeting opened with student body president Grant Schmidt discussing questions that members of COR had brought forward after meeting and speaking with their individual councils last week. Questions were brought forth relating to the handling of sexual assault, off-campus violations, disciplinary actions and the actual formatting of du Lac.

“Sexual assault will be the most important issue to be revised in du Lac,” Schmidt said. “The terminology will be a huge part of the revisions especially when dealing with who is a ‘witness’ and who is a ‘victim.'”

Student body vice president Cynthia Weber said the process surrounding the determination of sexual assault would also be raised as a concern when student government submits its questions to the committee that is revising du Lac.

“Right now there’s discussion about creating a whole new procedure for dealing with victims and people guilty of committing sexual assault,” she said. “It is also going to be made clear what resources are available for victims.”

COR also discussed the issues that arise when a Notre Dame student receives a citation off campus from law enforcement and subsequently receives a citation from the University.
“There’s been a lot of debate going on about violations off campus and getting hit twice; you get cited by the state and Notre Dame,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said he discussed this issue with a rector and said that he was told it was about community relations.

“If Notre Dame was hands-off about students getting in trouble, all of our relations with the community are thrown off,” he said.

Some members of COR brought up the confusion over what rules in du Lac Notre Dame students are responsible for following off-campus, including when they are in their home states.

“There’s an issue with over being cited for something off campus because we don’t know what specific rules we are accountable for following,” Weber said. “For example, we don’t have to follow parietals when we are off campus or at home.”

Members of COR also brought up disciplinary actions. The rules now state that dorm offenses are subject to the rector of the dorm, but some members said many students felt they were getting fined for reasons such as leaving too many pairs of shoes in the hallway.

Members suggested the creation of an office or committee that students could appeal to about rectors’ decisions.

COR also talked about which issues student government representatives will present to the University’s Board of Trustees Thursday evening. Schmidt and Weber outlined seven issues they would like the Board to know that the student body is concerned about.

“We don’t ask the Board to respond,” Schmidt said. “The Board members go to a lot of meetings that weekend and we hope that when they attend those meetings they know of the various issues that the student body is concerned with.” 

One of these issues was revising the non-discrimination clause to include sexual orientation. A resolution passed in the student Senate last week that called for the creation of a task force to deal with the homophobic nature of campus and the Senate called for the addition of sexual orientation to the non-discrimination clause.

“It looks very possible that the clause will be revised to include sexual orientation,” Schmidt said.