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Senate discusses presentation, confirms nominee

| Tuesday, November 27, 2018

At their first meeting after Thanksgiving break, Notre Dame’s student senate continued a conversation from their previous meeting about students with disabilities. At their meeting immediately before Thanksgiving break, the senate heard a presentation from Scott Howland, coordinator of the Sara Bea Center for Students with Disabilities and Dr. Bill Stackman, the University’s associate vice president for student services. Howland outlined the services and accommodations that the Sara Bea Center offers to students, and Stackman led a discussion about a recent STAT article about a prospective Notre Dame student who is said to have requested a single room because his epilepsy required him to get a uninterrupted night’s sleep. According to the article, Notre Dame denied the request and the student ultimately enrolled in another university.

A week after the original discussion, members of the group still had insights to share about the discussion.

Junior and Welsh Family Hall senator Lindsay McCray brought up a point that sophomore senator Erin Hiestand of Ryan Hall made the previous week. Hiestand and McCray encouraged senators to consider the burden that having an epileptic roommate would have placed on the roommate who didn’t have epilepsy.

“How stressful would it be to know that if you accidentally wake up your roommate or do anything wrong in your room, ever, to mess up his sleep schedule, you could actually potentially kill your roommate,” McCray said.

Sophomore and Fisher Hall senator David Morris added Stackman said this situation has arisen before and students with disabilities have been accommodated at Notre Dame.

“I talked to the doctor afterwards, and they have a very set protocol and a way to help students with epilepsy,” Morris said. “He talked to me about how that works, and that there are not a lot of students with epilepsy who live in doubles on this campus, but this situation has happened before, and all the other students that had epilepsy were able to live in doubles their freshman year.”

The Senate also confirmed a new co-director of First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership (FUEL) because current co-director, sophomore Clark Bowden, chose to study abroad in the spring. Senior and student body president Gates McGavick, senior and student body vice president Corey Gayheart and senior and chief of staff Briana Tucker nominated sophomore Ryan Mullin for the position in a letter.

The letter said Bowden and FUEL co-director sophomore Rachel Ingal recommend Mullin. In his year and a half at Notre Dame, Mullin has been involved in FUEL, as well as the University Affairs and Student Life departments of student government, the letter said. Mullin also served as a Judicial Council peer advocate, a part of the Student International Business Club travel team and an associate in Notre Dame’s Jubilee Initiative for Financial Inclusion.

“Critically, he has also expressed a clear understanding of Clark and Rachel’s vision for making FUEL a hands-on, involved group that puts motivated young students in position to succeed in student government,” McGavick said, reading the letter to the Senate. “He has made clear his desire to continue the impressive progress Clark and Rachel have made, and, as mentioned above, comes highly recommended by his predecessors.”

After a vote, Mullin was confirmed by the senate for the position.

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About Claire Rafford

Claire is a senior from Tempe, Arizona majoring in English and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy and Business-Economics. She peaked when her team won the Battle of the Books state championship in 2011.

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