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Student senate meets on Zoom for final gathering of term

| Thursday, April 9, 2020

The 2019-2020 student senate convened for the final time over Zoom on Wednesday, passing three resolutions and nominating individuals for the Irish Clover Award, the Frank O’Malley Teaching Award and the Michael J. Palumbo Award.

First, the senate passed a resolution that urged the University’s division of student affairs and first-year advising to increase communication with first year students before they arrive at the University and urged the departments to reinstate the peer advising program once in place between first year students and upperclassmen. 

The resolution was drawn up and proposed by the First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership (FUEL). Co-director of FUEL Alix Basden said the resolution was drafted after hearing feedback from first year students, many of whom expressed confusion regarding the scheduling of their classes.

“[It’s] just asking for increased communication in the scheduling process really,” Basden said in regards to the resolution. 

The peer advising program was not instated this year as an option for first year students. In the past, first year students were matched with an upperclassman with similar academic interest with whom they could meet and discuss the college transition.

The senate also passed a resolution regarding the Hall of the Year selection process in light of the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the University. The resolution allowed for Hall of the Year presentations to be presented over Zoom, restated who will be on the selection committee and reallocated 5% of the selection weight to the presentation percentage.

The final resolution the 2019-2020 senate passed, SO19-38, clarified an earlier resolution which states the makeup of the Student Union Board executive director selection committee. 

The senate then heard and voted on recipients of the three awards. The first was the Irish Clover Award.

“The Irish Clover Award is given to two outstanding members of the Notre Dame community for exemplary service to the student body. Recipients may include students, faculty, staff, administrators or alumni,” parliamentarian, sophomore Thomas Davis said.

The student senate chose outgoing student body vice president, junior Patrick McGuire and outgoing student body president, senior Elizabeth Boyle. 

The senate then awarded the Frank O’Malley Undergraduate Teaching Award to chemistry and biochemistry professor DeeAnne Goodenough-Lashua. The award is named in honor of former Notre Dame professor Frank O’Malley and is given to a faculty member “who has had an outstanding impact on undergraduate education at the University and shown exceptional service to the students of the Notre Dame community,” Davis said.

Finally, the senate awarded the Michael J. Palumbo Award to former Judicial Council president and former student union parliamentarian, junior Halena Hadi. This award, named in honor of its first recipient, honors an undergraduate student for his or her outstanding dedication and service to the University of Notre Dame Student Union.

“She is supremely deserving of this award, due to the nature of her two positions and the fact that she has worked the past two years to better the student union, ensuring adherence and respect to the Undergraduate Constitution at every turn,” the Ethics Commision said in a nomination letter. “Her grace and sophistication under the stress of two complicated election seasons was commendable, and her hours of work making sure these elections went smoothly were even more so.”

With this senate meeting, the 2019-2020 senate’s term came to a close. The leadership of the senate under student body president Rachel Ingal and student body vice president Sarah Galbenski has now started.

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