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Senate receives miNDful training, hears new orders regarding election procedures

| Thursday, October 14, 2021

Notre Dame’s student senate convened Wednesday on the second floor of the LaFortune Student Center to receive miNDful training and to discuss new election orders during its last meeting before fall break.

After senate was opened with a prayer from student body vice president Matthew Bisner and announcements, the senate welcomed Paige Jackson, assistant director of diversity, education, outreach and assessment for Notre Dame’s multicultural student programs and services (MSPS), to lead a miNDful training workshop.

MiNDful, standing for Microaggression Intervention at Notre Dame, is a recently launched training program similar to the GreeNDot program. The goal of the course is to give the Notre Dame community the ability to identify and intervene when they encounter racial microaggressions on campus or elsewhere.

Jackson led the group through the training course by first introducing them to implicit biases and microaggressions.

She said microaggressions can be either intentional or unintentional and that the miNDful training program should be used in learning situations where the aggressions were unintentional. Otherwise, purposeful racially motivated insults should be reported right away, Jackson said.

“I want to highlight that racial microaggressions can be unintentional and intentional. They can be conscious or unconscious; they can be visible or invisible,” she said.

Bella Laufenberg | The Observer
Paige Jackson leads the Notre Dame Student Senate in a miNDful training workshop during their meeting Wednesday.

She showed the senate members several examples of microaggressions, including assuming persons of color are affirmative action admits or tokenizing them for admissions materials, to highlight that these actions can harm students even if the statements were not intended to do so.

Jackson said she encouraged students to take the RAVEN approach to intervening when they are in a potentially harmful situation: Redirecting the conversation, asking probing questions, values clarification, emphasizing your own thoughts and next steps.

Another strategy Jackson said she recommended is directing the person toward resources to address how their comments could be perceived as hurtful.  On-campus resources can include MSPS, the Gender Relations Center and diversity.nd.edu among many others.

After Jackson concluded her training, the senate attended to new business.

Junior Judicial Council president David Haungs introduced two new orders..

“The election code moves Article XV, the elections section, into its own body of legislation,” Haungs said. “The other order is to shorten the time window during which allegations can be made, gives the Senate the ability to make meaningful appeals decisions and standardizes the process for releasing information pertaining to allegations.”

The senate also heard from Student Union Treasurer senior Meenu Selvan about her nomination for the president of The Shirt Project and from Baumer Hall senator sophomore Daniel Schermerhorn about how he intends to draft an order to address the lack of housing for Gateway students.

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About Bella Laufenberg

Bella Laufenberg is a sophomore biological sciences major, who likes news much more than organic chemistry. She has a supplementary major in classics and is in the journalism, ethics and democracy minor. At The Observer, she is the New Writer Editor and works production.

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