Senate discusses ND Safe app, dorm gyms
Kathryn Muchnick | Wednesday, September 21, 2022
The Notre Dame student senate passed resolutions regarding first-year class council elections and received nominations for Judicial Council’s Committee on the Constitution in its meeting Wednesday evening.
ND Safe app
Keri Kei Shibata, chief of the Notre Dame Police Department (NDPD), began the meeting by introducing the NDPD’s new app ND Safe. The app is designed for Notre Dame students, faculty and staff to easily access multiple safety resources, including one-button calls to the NDPD, ND Fire Department, St. Joseph County 911 and a non-emergency dispatch center.
The NDPD launched the app to address a common concern about expanding the blue-light emergency call boxes around campus.
“[The blue-light phones] very rarely get used,” Shibata said. “We thought it would be a more effective use of resources to put a mobile blue light in each of your hands.”
In addition to the mobile blue light feature, which allows users to quickly contact emergency services and share their location, the ND Safe app includes a Friend Walk program. Friend Walk contacts a designated friend or parent and shares the user’s location so that the contact can monitor their walk home.x
ND Safe also offers a “social escape” feature, in which the app will call the user’s phone within a designated amount of time. This allows the user to flee uncomfortable situations under the pretense of a friend or family member’s emergency.
The app has links to emergency contacts and resources related to Title IX, the University Counseling Center (UCC), University Health Services, a suicide lifeline and bike and scooter registration.
Shibata encouraged all students to download ND Safe and enable push notifications and location sharing to access all of the safety features. As of Wednesday evening, NDPD has recorded 350 downloads, Shibata said.
After the presentation from Shibata, sophomore Anna Dray, the director of University policy for the student union, updated the senate on her work to make dorm gyms more equitable. Dray has been reviewing surveys filled out by senators that reflect the state of dorm gyms.
“There is a notable disparity between women’s and men’s gyms that we’re looking into,” Dray said.
She is continuing her research to better understand this disparity and to find out what funds dorms could use to improve their gyms.
The goal, though, is not to improve dorm gyms that already have high quality equipment, Dray emphasized. Rather, she is focusing on equity.
“We’re just going to try to give the dorms the same equipment, so everyone has the same access to the same things,” Dray said.
Student body vice president Sofie Stitt then previewed several upcoming events, including a coffee and bagels giveaway with Residential Life on Sept. 23 and a suicide healing and memorial prayer service Sept. 27, before moving on to general orders.
The senate passed resolution SS2223-08, which suspends the elections for first-year class council representatives who are running unopposed.
Senior Madison Nemeth, Judicial Council president, and senior Jared Schlachet, student union parliamentarian, read out the nominations for Judicial Council’s peer advocates and Committee on the Constitution members. After a unanimous vote of approval, the senate congratulated the new Peer Advocates and committee members on their positions.
After the nominations, senators shared updates on resolutions they are currently writing. Sophomore Derick Williams, who is sponsoring resolution SS2223-09 to lower the barriers that limit access to campus recreational programs, recently met with Mark Williams, the director of RecSports, Christine Conway, the director of the UCC, and Consuela Wilson, the director of the Office of Student Enrichment.
“All three parties are in agreement that it sounds like a great idea,” Williams said. “It sounds like they’ll be able to utilize the systems and structures that they already have to implement this program.”
Finally, Stitt introduced a new section of the senate meeting to allow senators to discuss new ideas and collaborations during the meeting. Many senators voiced ideas based on their constituents’ concerns. Notably, senators are looking to address the shortage of bike racks outside classroom buildings given the new rule that scooters must be left outdoors. Senators also discussed gluten free options in the dining halls and petitioning the provost to grant band and ROTC members early class registration.
After closing announcements, the meeting was adjourned.
Contact Katie at [email protected]