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Senate discusses goals for the year

| Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The student senate met Monday to discuss goals and possible projects in committee groups at their weekly meeting in Duncan Student Center.

The meeting opened with a prayer and welcome by Fr. Pete McCormick, director of Campus Ministry. Following the approval of the minutes from last week’s meeting, which lasted over two hours, senior and student body vice president Corey Gayheart spoke about the success of last week’s fundraiser to benefit Notre Dame Veteran’s Fund.

“I want to thank everyone who helped with wristbands … at the pep rally alone we raised $2,500 for the Military Veteran’s Initiative here at Notre Dame,” Gayheart said.

Gayheart also announced upcoming events, which include “ABCs of Political Engagement,” presented by First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership (FUEL) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and a dorm voter registration contest in collaboration with ND Votes.

Student government is currently discussing potential hurricane relief projects with the Center for Social Concerns and Faith and Service, which may include a prayer service, fundraiser and supply drive, Gayheart said.

The senators then split into four committees –  Student Wellness and Safety, Sustainability, Student Finances and Residential Life – to establish a mission statement and goals for the school year. The committee chairs were elected at last week’s meeting.

The Residential Life committee hopes to engage students for “the enhancement of their residential experience,” junior committee chair Zachary Spitzer said.

The committee’s goals include finding better solutions to animal infestation issues — namely bats — as well as addressing campus water quality and increasing the transparency between the administration and the student body. They hope to better inform students regarding large University projects such as dorm renovations.

The Sustainability committee aims to change the culture surrounding sustainability at Notre Dame and streamline communications between all sustainability-centered groups, committee chair and sophomore Daniel Rottenborn said.

The committee set goals such as reducing food waste and increasing composting practices in the dining halls and eventually the residence halls. They hope to collaborate with the city of South Bend for projects, such as community gardens.

The Student Finances committee hopes to give a voice to those who struggle financially at Notre Dame, educate the entire campus about personal finance and increase transparency with the administration by holding the University accountable for its use of tuition funds, committee chair and sophomore Andrew Seketa said.

The Student Wellness and Safety committee has two main purposes, sophomore and committee chair Bailey Baumbick said.

“One, to increase the transparency and accountability of the administration regarding safety issues on campus, and secondly, to increase awareness regarding safety and wellness issues on campus,” Baumbick said.

The committee hopes to look into the blue lights on campus and work with Notre Dame Security Police about reporting incidents that occur on campus, among other projects.

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