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2021 Notre Dame Class Council Reviews

| Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Notre Dame class councils promote the wellbeing of their respective classes by sponsoring functions that promote unity among class members, according to the student government website. Each class council ticket runs in its election as an executive board — president, vice president, secretary and treasurer — in the spring and then interviews for other council positions. The exception is first-year class council which holds elections in September, with individuals running as dorm representatives.

The Observer spoke to each class council on what has been done this semester, what is being planned for next semester and what the councils have struggled with.

Senior Class Council

To celebrate seniors’ last year at Notre Dame, Senior Class Council (SCC) has hosted regular events such as bagel and coffee giveaways, a yoga and smoothie wellness event, senior appreciation night and a gameday concession stand.

SCC drew out hundreds of seniors for its Theology on Tap event, which featured a talk from Fr. Pete McCormick at Legends. President Timmy Gallagher said it was one of the highest-attended events this semester.

SCC caters events to seniors living on and off campus and adjusts locations to better serve both communities — such as setting up food giveaways next to student parking and at the edge of campus near off-campus student housing.

The Sunday after the last home football game against Georgia Tech, SCC invited all seniors to help clean up the stadium. Gallagher said the turnout was high, which was “really cool to see.”

While SCC got off to a slow start due to scheduling issues — mainly due to the career fair and other senior-focused events at the beginning of the semester — Gallagher said SCC still hit everything it wanted to do.

SCC is in the midst of planning for the senior class 100 days dance and senior week for next semester.

Junior Class Council

Junior Class Council (JCC) president Jake Lowry said his council has been trying to make up for lost time due to COVID-19 and put funding to full use.

“Our goal is to give back to juniors as much as we can — because we pay a lot to go here,” Lowry said in an email.

This semester, JCC hosted a concession stand prior to the Notre Dame-Toledo football game which was one of the highest-selling stands all year, Lowry said. JCC held a Christmas card writing session for DePaul Academy and a homeless shelter work-day as service events while they sent out monthly newsletters to keep the class informed and planned a junior class formal and a Raising Cane’s lunch giveaway.

Just last week, JCC put on Junior Appreciation Week featuring a different giveaway and activity each day of the week. Giveaways included class of 2023 sweatshirts, beanies, fuzzy socks, Christmas trees and facemasks.

Lowry also said it can be difficult planning on-campus events with juniors turning 21 and going out to bars so JCC is hoping to offer more events with alcohol next semester. In addition, JCC is planning a class of 2023 South Bend Cubs game event, a field day, trivia night and themed SYR at Legends as well as more apparel sales for juniors who studied abroad during the fall semester.

Sophomore Class Council

In order to give more freedom and creativity to their committees, the Sophomore Class Council (SoCC) executive board dissolved its six focused committees and instead created six teams that can host any type of event.

“We’re trying to have everyone come to be as engaged as possible. If it means doing something that you’re passionate about with a social event, then go for it,” vice president LuLu Romero said.

SoCC’s largest event this semester was a karaoke night with supplies to build gingerbread houses, Insomnia cookies and hot chocolate. The winner of the gingerbread house competition received a large prize from Irish Woodworks.

One event president Paul Stoller said he hoped to put on this semester was a cleanup effort by Saint Mary’s Lake.

“It’s gotten cold, so we’re probably not going to do that until the spring. But I do wish that we sort of did something along those lines this past semester,” Stoller said.

Next semester, SoCC is planning a “re-do” weekend for sophomores who missed annual events their senior year of high school and freshman year of college — including prom, DomerFest and a typical class photo in Notre Dame Stadium.

First-Year Class Council

First-year class council (FCC) is made up of an executive board and a representative from each residence hall. Elections for FCC occurred in September, and the executive board and hall representatives began meeting in October. Therefore, FCC did not host any events until the end of October.

Stanford Hall representative Pablo Oropeza also cited fall and Thanksgiving break as obstacles for FCC initiatives.

“It’s been a slow moving thing, but we’re getting there,” Oropeza said.

A class of 2025 Mass and concession stand are among events FCC has held. FCC was planning to hold a dining hall worker appreciation event, but Oropeza said they dropped the idea shortly after another student group held a similar event.

Next semester, FCC will focus on larger events. This includes planning a first-year formal, ordering class merchandise and selling candy grams for Valentine’s Day.

With the lifting of COVID restrictions this year, all four class councils have successfully taken advantage to plan engaging, in-person social events. Both SCC and JCC recognize the impacts of planning events that appeal to older students and have implemented strategies to connect students. SoCC has a fresh outlook to unite sophomores after a difficult first year, and their re-do weekend sounds promising. With a delayed start, FCC hosted fewer events but should have a better chance to hit the ground running next semester.

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About Alysa Guffey

Alysa is a junior pursuing a major in history with minors in digital marketing and journalism, ethics and democracy. While she calls Breen-Phillips her home on campus, she is originally from Indianapolis. She currently serves as the Notre Dame News Editor.

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