Senate discusses ‘senior exclusion policy’ plans with sophomore class council president
Jack Jerit | Tuesday, December 3, 2019
In its weekly meeting Wednesday, the Notre Dame student senate met to discuss the upcoming changes to residential policies announced last spring by the Division of Student Affairs — specifically, the “senior exclusion policy” which would prevent seniors living off campus from participating in hall sports teams, hall dances and other events.
Daniel Feldmeier, sophomore senator from Siegfried Hall, opened up the discussion with a question about the exclusion policy.
“What is the end goal of the senior exclusion policy?” Feldmeier said. “I just wanted to make that clear.”
James Bathon, senior senator from Keough Hall, clarified that the policy is not yet in place, only likely to be enacted at some point in the future. Feldmeier refined his question’s wording after the clarification.
“To be more specific, to tell the administration that we will not accept these policies or that we will accept these policies with a contingency,” Feldmeier said.
Jordan Theriault, the sophomore class council president, answered Fledmeier’s question by speaking about a planned open forum next week in the Duncan Student Center with Heather Rakoczy Russell, the associate vice president for Residential Life, who met with the Senate earlier this year.
“We’re trying to figure out what to do next. And basically kind of what you said, it’s just nothing finalized,” Theriault said. “But next Monday, Ms. Russell is going to come to the Duncan Student Center to the Midfield Commons. It’s going to be kind of like a forum. The idea is that we filter questions for basically what the class is feeling. I don’t think people understand necessarily what the policy is.”
Theriault also said he spoke about meeting with rectors and RAs but was unable to get much information on the policy. Senior Quentin Colo, off-campus senator, also commented that the senator’s hands are ultimately tied compared to the power of the University.
“I was just gonna say, I don’t know how strong a bargaining chip is here, so the ‘repealing’ might be the wrong word because the best thing we can do, unfortunately, is send a resolution to Ms. Russell’s desk, but you can read,” he said. “That being said, if anyone is interested in signing a resolution condemning the senior exclusion policy, I’m interested in next session.”
Theriault said that the sophomore class council planned to send an email the following morning to inform the student body about the upcoming forum meeting with Rakoczy Russell on Monday in Duncan.
Earlier in the year, the sophomore class council had discussed sending a proposal to the University about the senior exclusion policy. Responding to questions about that proposal from senators, Theriault said that the proposal was not sent out due to concerns about students not knowing enough about the policy to provide helpful information about the policy.
After the discussion, those in attendance broke up into smaller groups of five to plan policy for the spring semester. The senate will meet one more time this semester next week.