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Senate continues discussions on Gateway housing decision, amends constitution on election endorsements

| Thursday, November 11, 2021

Following the Nov. 3 senate meeting that was cut short due to an unexpected fire alarm, the Notre Dame student senate was able to return to their agenda on Wednesday evening. 

Heaven Carter | The Observer
On Wednesday evening, the Notre Dame student senate met to discuss proposals regarding Gateway student housing and amendments to the undergraduate student body constitution.

Student body vice president Matthew Bisner opened the meeting with a prayer to honor Veterans Day. On the schedule for the evening, the senate proposed a resolution regarding the controversial announcement that the 2021-2022 cohort of Gateway students would have to seek housing off campus for the next academic year. Additionally, two amendments were presented — an order to amend the electoral code in respect to endorsements and to revise hall presidents council. 

Due to the evacuation during its last meeting, the student senate had been unable to pass the resolution regarding Gateway housing. Daniel Schermerhorn restated the resolution and the floor was opened up for debate. 

Gateway first-years Liam Redmond and Robert Corrato shared their experience and accounts of discouragement with the housing decision. Redmond expressed a frustration with Residential Life not working with alternative solutions.

“We have proposed various solutions,” he said. “They didn’t say they looked at them and they didn’t say why they wouldn’t work. So, it’s just an issue to us that they’re not responding to our solutions.”

Some of the solutions they proposed were using study spaces in the halls or allowing juniors to enter a lottery to move off campus.

According to both Redmond and Corrato, the lack of communication has not just been an issue for students but also for parents. Redmond said Residential Life will not listen to parents’ concerns, which leaves the issue in the hands of the students.

Following the debate, the floor was opened for senators to vote on the resolution. The resolution was passed unanimously. Redmond and Corrato said they hope this step allows Gateways student voices to be heard. 

The student senate moved the discussion to general orders, and an order to amend the constitution of the undergraduate student body to revise hall presidents council was brought to the table. This amendment was in reference to changing the way that Hall of the Year is scored.

To conclude the meeting, an order to amend the constitution and electoral code with respect to endorsements was brought up for discussion. This amendment was ultimately passed.

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