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Senate passes resolutions to extend mental health services, recognized disabled students as underrepresented minorities

| Thursday, April 14, 2022

The student senate met in the Notre Dame Room in LaFortune Student Center on Wednesday night.Isa Sheikh | The Observer
The student senate met in the Notre Dame Room in LaFortune Student Center on Wednesday night.

The 2022-2023 Notre Dame student senate convened for its second meeting Wednesday night in the Notre Dame Room on the second floor of the LaFortune Student Center. 

Senators first heard about resources that student body vice president Sofie Stitt had prepared.

Parliamentarian Jared Schlachet discussed the difference between a resolution and an order — different motions the senate can vote on — and gave a presentation on parliamentary procedure.

“Part of the purpose of parliamentary procedure is to keep debate courteous, and to keep debate about the topic of debate,” Schlachet said. “The debate should never be about the people behind a resolution, or about other members of the senate.”

Moving into general orders, Sisy Chen, director of health and wellbeing, read Resolution SS 2223-04 aloud. The resolution called on the University to renew its subscriptions to the Calm app — which is “a meditation, sleep, and relaxation app, available for students and faculty to download free of charge on their smartphone device” — as well as TimelyCare — “a free virtual care service for students to address common concerns that can be safely diagnosed and treated remotely.”

The resolution said that the University “believes student utilization is not where it should be and is planning on ending their subscription.” 

Derrick Williams, Keough Hall senator, asked Chen to elaborate on contact with the university and their identification of a shortfall in usage by students.

Chen said she met with the directors of University Health Services, and explained that approximately 10% of the student body was using the application.

The resolution passed unanimously.

Jill Maudlin, director of diversity and inclusion for disability advocacy, introduced the next resolution, SS 2223-05. It called for the recognition of disabled students as underrepresented minorities. 

“If disabled students, including those with limb loss or limb difference, were considered under-represented minorities, they would gain access to Building Bridges and similar programs, including the Balfour-Hesburgh Scholars Program,” Maudlin read from the resolution.

Next, judicial council president Madison Nemeth nominated Sophonie Alcindor to the judicial council vice president of peer advocacy.

“Sophonie is well-prepared to fulfill the duties of vice president of peer advocacy, and I am confident that she will go above and beyond to build the Peer Advocacy program into a better known and more helpful organization for the students it serves,” Nemeth said.

Alcindor was confirmed by a unanimous vote.

The senate then considered bestowing emeritus status on former judicial council president David Haungs in resolution SS 2223-06.

“David Haungs faithfully and dutifully served as Judicial Council President for the 2021-22 term, putting forth his utmost effort to ensure the consistent and ethical operation of the Student Union within its constitutional mandate,” Nemeth said.

Class of 2024 president Paul Stoller moved to consider SO 2223-03 this meeting as opposed to during the next meeting. The order, introduced by Nemeth, sought to reappoint acting officials in the hall government of Fischer Graduate Residences’ undergraduate community. The resolution sought to reappoint currently serving hall leadership as acting officials for the rest of the year given that elections will not be held because undergraduates will not be living in Fischer Graduate Residences next year.

The order was passed unanimously, and the senate moved into announcements. Stitt discussed business that would be taken up in the next meeting.

Following the conclusion of announcements, the senate was adjourned.

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About Isa Sheikh

Isa Sheikh is a sophomore serving as Notre Dame News Editor, and a history and political science major hailing from Sacramento, CA. In the few minutes each week that he's not writing, he enjoys pretending to read on the disgusting bean bags in the DeBart Lounge, "u know what" at the Windsor Heights Dairy Queen and trying to bring up Joan Didion in each and every conversation. He can be reached at [email protected].

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