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Student senate discusses resolution proposals

Scott Englert | Thursday, February 25, 2010

 Senators discussed and passed two resolutions at its meeting Wednesday. The votes concerned the annual academic forum and the dissolution of the Department of Economics and Policy Studies.

Junior Austin Holler, chairman of the Committee on Academic Affairs, proposed the resolutions.
In a brief presentation, Holler first briefed senators on the Notre Dame Forum — an annual campus event that had been held since 2005 until its cancellation this year. Administrators have said they plan to hold the Forum again next fall.   
Past topics discussed at the forum include global health, immigration and energy and sustainability 
 “It was planned for the fall semester but the speaker had an issue and it was postponed,” Holler said. “For lack of better terms, it got put under the rug.”
In proposing the resolution, Holler said he would ask “the University take action to make sure that it (the Forum) is an annual event,” Holler said.
The resolution passed unanimously.
“It adds to the overall intellectual engagement of students at Notre Dame,” Farley senator Elise Jordan said.
Duncan senator CJ Kelly agreed to the importance of the event.
“There should be a lot of thought put into the topic,” Kelly said. “The purpose of it is to inspire discussion and debate.”
In addition to Senate expressing its support for the Notre Dame Forum, it also voted unanimously to pass Holler’s second resolution regarding the dissolution of the Department of Economics and Policy Studies. 
Senior Jeff Lakusta, chairman of the Committee on University Affairs, said it was important to note that this resolution was not intended to offer the Student Senate’s view of the dissolution of the department.  Rather, the resolution calls for the decision — set for Thursday — to be delayed, and for the student body to have a more active voice in the process.
Committee chairs and senators agreed there has not been enough information presented to students for a decision of this magnitude.
“We at least need to understand the reasoning behind such a big decision,” Lakusta said.
Lyons senator Clair Sokas said she also believes more information is needed.
“They should have educated us before,” Sokas said.