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Senate votes not to impeach Carroll Hall senator

On Wednesday, the Notre Dame student senate discussed a bill of impeachment put forward against Carroll Hall senator Hunter Brooke.

A majority of senators voted not to move to an impeachment trial after the Student Union Ethics Commission (SUEC) issued a bill of impeachment after Brooke contacted first-years in FUEL (First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership) about a “senatorial aid” position.

Student body vice president Sofie Stitt addressed requests to close the meeting, which would have required all guests or individuals not on the senate roll call to leave. Judicial Council president Madison Nemeth said discussions of disciplinary actions should be closed but are not required to be.

“We’re not required to close the meeting,” she said. “It takes a two-thirds vote to close the meeting. However, the standard code of parliamentary procedure, which the constitution does require you to follow, says that for disciplinary actions, meetings should be closed.” 

Brooke chose to waive his right to close the meeting.

“I know that meetings are closed for that reason: to protect the reputation of the defendant,” he said. “And I’m really appreciative, as the defendant for that. But I don’t see any need to do that, and I’m happy to waive that right and keep the meeting open.”

Because no motion was made to close the meeting, the meeting continued and Stitt read a letter from the SUEC. 

“Any member of the student union may report issues to the Student Union Ethics Commission,” she read. “The Student Union Ethics Commission, or the SUEC, shall then convene to review the allegation and provide a recommendation regarding further action. If a bill of impeachment is the recommendation of the SUEC, it will be brought before the senate at the next meeting.” 

“A bill of impeachment,” she continued, “shall cite specific allegations of misconduct. Misconduct — this is from the constitution — shall include disturbance of peace and content or negligent performance. Disregard is already in the student union violation of constitutional bylaws.”

If a majority of senators vote to move toward an impeachment hearing, the alleged individual can present evidences and witnesses in his defense. The senators would then need a two-thirds vote to remove the individual from his position. Stitt clarified that the senators would merely be voting if the proceedings warrant a move toward a hearing. 

“What you guys are deciding today,” she said, “is [if] what you’ve seen merits a hearing that will happen not next week, but when we get back.” 

The senators had an opportunity to question Nemeth regarding the procedure of the recommendation. They asked how the complaint came, how Judicial Council gathered evidence to recommend the bill of impeachment, how advisory members in the committee were chosen and what disciplinary actions should follow. 

The senators then moved toward a debate, which required Brooke to leave the room. Because Montgomery Auditorium had been reserved for a later event, the senate only had a few minutes to debate. 

Senator James Baird yielded his time to former Judicial Council president David Haungs, who recommended not to proceed with a hearing.

“The report as such has two strains. First, that the supposed violation [is] based on the idea that ‘senatorial aid’ is not a position mentioned in the documents of the Student Union or the Senate. The second is that the supposed violations are based on the fact that Hunter contacted students who already have another position,” he explained. “These two strains of arguments should be laughed out of the room, [and] you should get back to business that matters.” 

At 6:38 p.m., because time was running out, the senate moved to the Resource Center on the third floor of LaFortune Student Center to continue their debate. However, the senators only had until 7 p.m. to debate the matter. 

The senate discussed options to yield the matter until next semester. However, a majority of the senators voted to proceed the debate and extend time until 7:10 p.m. 

Keough Hall Senator Derick Williams yielded his time to former senator Benjamin Erhardt, who was a senator the last time an impeachment inquiry was presented.

“You’re voting to go on a hearing, but you’re also voting to impeach him,” he said. “I think that should only happen when there’s a very, very clear instance, knowing intent to violate some sort of constitutional provision, or many provisions violated if there wasn’t an intent there. I don’t see that in this case.” 

“One of the really big focuses of us as a FUEL is to not overwhelm the FUELers, to be very intentional with how we present Student Union to them,” Joey Kositzke, co-director of FUEL, said. “Having information spread like that really undermines the work that we do.”

“If you’re letting one person go around every other body of power, where are we putting senate in the rankings of power?” Keenan Hall senator Connor McCloskey said. “Just please consider the ethics of what we’re doing, even if we just motion to make this into a hearing and then we don’t impeach.” 

Stitt put on the floor a motion to vote on the bill of impeachment. After the motion passed, the senators voted on to the bill of impeachment, to either move forward with a hearing or drop the matter. 

A majority of the senators voted not to proceed with a hearing, and the senate motioned to recess until next semester.

Contact Sam Godinez at sgodinez@nd.edu.

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Recently elected Gen Z representative excites students

On Nov. 8, at the age of 25, Maxwell Frost became the first Generation Z congressman-elect in the country. Representing Florida’s 10th District, Frost will take his seat in the House of Representatives on Jan. 3, 2023, for the 118th United States Congress.

Students tended to say that a younger representative can offer greater representation.

“Hearing the news of Frost’s election really excited me because I do feel more represented with him being the first Gen Z congressman,” said Notre Dame first-year Mac Johnson.

In addition, the impact of the congressman’s election offers a voice to a different perspective on pressing issues, another student said. 

“It’s so important for Gen Z to gain representation in Congress because our generation offers a fresh perspective on divisive issues,” Saint Mary’s sophomore Mari Prituslky said. 

Tommy Rafacz, a first-year in O’Neill Hall, seconded that the congressman-elect offers a new voice in the House.

“I think it’s good to see fresh voices and perspectives that should come with a new generation,” Rafacz said.  

David Campbell, professor of American democracy at Notre Dame, said that age does not get as much attention as other identity factors.

“But it should, because when you look at public opinion, young people often differ from older people in many of the positions that they take and those views should be represented in the system,” he said. 

Campbell also said that a younger representative is more likely to lean toward the extreme positions of his party. 

“A younger person coming up in either party is more likely to be on the extreme wings of the party,” he said. “And that’s because they have come of age in an era when the parties are highly polarized.”

Although there is a difference in age brackets between younger and older politicians, Campbell does not believe that there will be a significant change in political representation.

“I’m not sure that it does represent any kind of dramatic change, in that it’s still a relatively small number [of younger candidates],” he said.

Nonetheless, certain issues on both parties will become more important as younger candidates become elected.

“We know that this is a group — and this is actually true on the left as well as on the right — that are far more accepting of LGBT people,” Campbell said. “We also know that young people in general are more concerned about the environment than their elders… I would expect both parties actually to take the environment more seriously than they have.”

Mike McKeough, a junior in Alumni Hall, emphasized how Gen Z representatives can better reflect the values of young people.

“We’re getting different viewpoints that reflect a different demographic of the population,” McKeough said.  

Finally, Campbell believes that younger politicians are more inclined to use social media as a means to facilitate communication with their voters.

“We usually think of younger candidates as being very media savvy, much more so than their elders,” he said. “[So] I’d be interested to know whether or not there’s any evidence that Frost was more adept at using social media or communications strategy than either his immediate opponent or other candidates in that same area.”  

Contact Sam Godinez at sgodinez@nd.edu

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Notre Dame approves international security studies minor

On Wednesday, Oct. 5, the Notre Dame Arts and Letters College Council approved a new international security studies multidisciplinary minor degree for all undergraduate students.

The minor will be co-directed by Dan Lindley, associate professor of international relations in the department of political science and director of the Undergraduate Certificate Fellows program. 

Although details are currently in discussion, the minor is set to require students to take U.S. National Security Policymaking, a military history class and three electives relating to international security, which can be met through any University department. Additionally, the minor will not require a senior thesis, unlike the Notre Dame International Security Center (NDISC) Certificate. 

“Any course that has a preponderance of its subject matter focused on war would count towards the minor,” Lindley said. “So there’s a wide range of opportunities for people to satisfy the three other electives.”

As a multidisciplinary minor, this minor is for undergraduate students in any field who have an interest in international security.

“We’re intending the minor to be multidisciplinary so that people from other fields can do it and thrive in the minor because the minor doesn’t require a senior thesis,” Lindley said. 

Given the current conflicts on the global stage, interest in international security has increased, said Rosemary Kelanic, assistant professor of political science.

“There’s always some level of interest out there, but I think it can increase or decrease based on current events,” she said. “This is a topic about real events in the world that are hugely consequential to people’s lives, and I think that students find that very attractive.”

However, Lindley recommended political science students steer away from the minor.

“If you do the minor, and you intend that many of your classes to fulfill the minor are also poli-sci, then you’re facing up to 14 classes in poli-sci, and that’s maybe a lot for some people unless you are really devoted to it,” he said.

Instead, Lindley recommends political science students interested in international security apply for the NDISC certificate since the certificate program is “richer in detail and kind of more fun to talk about,” but it does not show up on a student’s transcript. In addition, a minor degree has more substance than a certificate, Kelanic said.

“It gives it more visibility within the University and employers or graduate schools or wherever students go afterward,” she said.

Individuals involved in the minor will have to attend a seminar series on Tuesdays every two to three weeks, as do other NDISC certificate students. They will also be available to attend study abroad trips and research opportunities, though space is limited. 

Last spring, Lindley worked with associate dean for undergraduate studies Mary Flannery to cover all points to propose the minor. After several conversations, a final draft was presented to the College Council that was approved after vigorous discussion.

“It was good discussions [that] gave us an opportunity to present our views and our beliefs and how it fits into the general framework here at Notre Dame,” Lindley said. “I think we’re going to be a great complement.”

One of the curiosities regarding the minor was the lack of gender diversity in the coursework, generally attributed to the male-dominated environment of international securities. 

“I really do think women have been marginalized in it for a long period of time,” Kelanic said. “There’s a lot of sexism and gender issues and discrimination in the world in general, like across all aspects of society, not just international security. And so it’s really a society-wide problem, not just an international security problem. It’s perhaps maybe a little worse in international security than in other topics, but I’m hoping that that’ll change over time.” 

However, the tides seem to be shifting, Lindley said.

“Nowadays, the entire class is sometimes majority female. So things are changing,” he said.

Lindley and Kelanic addressed their argument by providing Avril Haines, director of national intelligence, who gave a conference on Sept. 14 accompanied by Amy McAuliffe ‘90, assistant director of the CIA’s Weapons and Counterproliferation Mission Center, as examples. 

There is an ongoing discussion about whether the minor will be first available in the spring or fall semester. 

Contact Sam Godinez at sgodinez@nd.edu.

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University groups hold student engagement opportunities on Election Day

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, the midterm elections will be held for all 435 seats of the House of Representatives, 35 out of 100 U.S. Senate seats and thousands of local elections in each state. With many students voting for the first time, the midterm elections are an indication of where the nation will head towards. 

However, many students try to avoid political conversations — and those who don’t prefer to engage in political conversations with those from their political preference.

As NDVotes co-chair Grace Scartz wrote via email, “We have seen that ND students often shy away from conversations seen as political, or will only engage with people they know believe the same things as they do.” 

Additionally, Scartz said she believes students feel as though they cannot make a significant impact in the political world and are discouraged from engaging in politics altogether.

“Lots of students also feel that they cannot have an impact on politics and feel disaffected by the acrimonious political environment all around us,” Scartz said. 

Many clubs around campus will host events for students on Nov. 8 regarding the outcome of the midterm elections and to increase political engagement on students. 

NDVotes, in alliance with the Student Latino Association as part of the ‘Nuestro Voto” (our vote) campaign, will host a Pizza, Pop, and Politics in 1050 Nanovic Institute from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The meeting will host professor Ricardo Ramirez, director of the Hesburgh Program in Public Service, to discuss civic engagement from Latino voters in these midterms. 

The College Democrats will host a meeting in the Montgomery Auditorium at LaFortune at 7 p.m. to discuss any concerns regarding the midterm debate last week. The meeting will be an open forum among club members to discuss any concerns they had over last week’s debate, co-president Anne Guzman said.

“[O]ur club has taken actions to keep our community on campus safe,” Guzman said. “We created a full plan of action to make sure that what was said during this debate doesn’t go unaddressed because of how harmful it is to the campus community at large.” 

The College Republicans will host an Election Night Watch Party in 155 DeBartolo Hall at 7 p.m. The watch party is set to serve Chipotle catering and drinks to its guests, as they watch the results of the midterm elections.

“Tomorrow will mark the beginning of a new day for America,” president PJ Butler wrote in an email. “For two years, the Democratic party has done everything that they can to bleed this country dry. But the bleeding will finally stop when red prevails.”

Students whose permanent address is in St. Joseph County can vote in-person tomorrow. Voting locations can be found on the St. Joseph County website.

Contact Sam at sgodinez@nd.edu.

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Senate participates in MiND workshop, provides update on UHS self-scheduling

On Wednesday afternoon, the Notre Dame student senate convened in the Montgomery Auditorium of LaFortune Student Center to observe presentations on the Health Department Expo and the MiND workshop, as well as share announcements over upcoming topics. 

Because senators were allowed to wear costumes, the meeting began with various senators sharing their Halloween costumes. Afterward, student body vice president Sofie Stitt began a roll call followed by a unanimous approval of minutes by the senators. 

Sophomore Sisy Chen, director of Health and Wellness, delivered a presentation on updates regarding her department’s progress on certain initiatives, including a high turnout event during midterms week. She highlighted a service project at the Basilica with the director of faith Ben Nash in honor of National Suicide Prevention.

She proceeded to speak about upcoming initiatives, including one with Campus Dining to set aside tables at North and South Dining Halls for students who attend the dining hall alone to sit with each other.

“We’re setting aside tables for people if they’re going to the dining hall solo, or they don’t have friends that can have lunch with them that day, they can proxy down at the designated table and get to know someone,” Chen said. 

Additionally, in late February, the dining halls will bring high-nutrient fruits, such as frozen fruits, avocado and other options. Finally, she spoke on the Code Red Initiative, intending to bring menstrual products to busy restrooms. 

Paige Jackson, assistant director of the Multicultural Students Programs and Services (MSPS), presented the MiND Workshop to the senate. Jackson discussed Critical Race Theory and microaggressions and how to respond to them.

“Critical Race Theory suggests the gains of marginalized groups are only achievable within the overarching systems of structural racism,” she said.

Evidence of her claims included institutions such as prisons that perpetuate racism.

“Our races are social constructs that we have developed on our own,” she said. 

Afterward, she moved toward the four types of microaggressions: the assumptions of criminality, exoticization, assumptions of intellectual inferiority and pathologizing cultural values. This, she said, is the consequence of racial battle fatigue.

To rid oneself of racial battle fatigue, she said, one must follow “R.A.V.E.N:” Redirecting the conversation or interaction, Asking probing questions, Value clarification, Emphasizing your own thoughts and offering concrete Next steps. 

She ended her presentation by praising Notre Dame’s inclusiveness.

“We’re very proud,” she said. “We have our spirit of inclusion statement. We have our mission statement. We have Jesus right there on God Quad. We have our pillars. We are very grounded within CSC (Center for Social Concerns).”

McGlinn Hall senator Lauren Taylor discussed updates on SS223-10, a resolution to add self-scheduling appointments to University Health Services (UHS) instead of by phone call. She spoke with Dr. Ed Junkins, director of UHS, who was impressed by the resolution. Taylor said UHS is hiring more individuals to answer phone calls. In addition, many have reservations that students will self-schedule an appointment and not attend. 

“They think that making someone go through the hassle of calling and waiting and all of that will make them more inclined to go,” Taylor said. 

Taylor suggested that the only way to know if their hypothesis is correct would be to test it out.

“We both agreed that kind of the only way to get over that is to test it out. We can do research, but it’s only so convincing as to what actually happens,” Taylor said.

Contact Sam Godinez at sgodinez@nd.edu

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Drainage issue termed ‘Lake Dillon’ fixed by University

This semester, the office of facilities and design repaired the section between South Dining Hall and Dillon Hall, commonly known as “Lake Dillon.” 

During heavy rain, the area would cause flooding which made it difficult for students to go across the area between the entrance of Dillon Hall and the exit of South Dining Hall.

“When [Lake Dillon] would flood, it would practically fill that entire sidewalk area,” Derick Williams, a sophomore and Keough Hall senator, explained. “It would become this little pond that would form, and everyone would have to walk completely around past other dorms, or they would just kind of brave the water and walk through.” 

The flood posed a greater danger to people with mobility issues and individuals who ride on bikes and scooters, Hunter Brooke said. “For certain groups, I think, it was especially a hazard, especially those with mobility issues, [and] those who have trouble getting around. And the last thing we wanted to see was someone slip and fall and hurt themselves,” Brooke, a sophomore and Carroll Hall senator, said.

Both senators explained how the improvements make the university more inclusive for everyone. “We really tried to make sure we’re not forgetting anyone and we’re not leaving anyone out,” Brooke said. “It’s just a continual process of making sure everyone has a good opportunity to enjoy their time here.”

Brooke and Williams worked closely on the issue once they were elected as hall senators last year, after much discussion regarding Lake Dillon.

“For me, it was huge,” Williams said. “It’s definitely something that continually got brought up to me by people that live in Keough.”

The sophomores spoke with Anthony Polotto, director of construction and quality assurance at the University. “I think one of the biggest things that we can take away is to say that Anthony and his crew over in the construction world for the University are very receptive to students,” Williams said.

The issue regarding the flooding was the lack of drainage structure. As Polotto said, “After hard rains, we discovered that we lacked some drainage structures to be able to effectively remove the water when we did have hard rains, instead of just letting the ground beside it soak it up.” 

To repair the issue, Polotto explained, construction installed catch basins tied to the sewer, “to make sure that when it does rain that we can collect the water and divert it away from the site.” 

Originally, repairs would have been finished before the start of fall break, but the deadline was pushed back to the end of fall break. “We have to identify resources,” Polotto said. “So there’s a little bit of planning and then you have to do the design work to understand what needs to happen.” 

In addition, the price of procurement deliveries has increased. “Right now we have to order material and material procurement deliveries are triple, quadruple, what they were a year ago with the current market,” Polotto said. “But there was a full commitment to get it done as quickly as possible.” 

Brooke and Williams sponsored Senate Resolution SS2223-08, cosponsored by Pangborn Luca Ripani thanking the Office of Facilities Design and Operations for the work they did. The resolution passed unanimously. “This was, I’d say, pretty solid unanimous,” Brooke said. 

A complication both senators had to procure was coordination with the student government.

“There’s so many different branches, there’s so many people and there’s also much of the university,” Williams said. “The University has so many different departments, so many different administrators, that it’s hard to identify who in the university handles what issue.”

But motivation came from the short time they will spend in the university. “We only have four years to make an impact,” Williams said. “[Student government] is so big,” Brooke said. “So sometimes it can be hard to reach people. And there’s so many organizations to it. So what we’re trying to do is just bring people together so that we can get a lot of people who kind of work hard on stuff like this in one room.”

Nonetheless, the senators sat they are thankful for the work that student government did to repair the flooding.

“We are very thankful for everyone in student government,” Brooke said. “Everyone in student government really understands or really wants to try and help students and improve conditions for the student body.” 

Constructions on the flooding have already finished and the only issue remaining is dressing up landscapes, which are expected to be completed before fall break. 

You can contact Sam Godinez at sgodinez@nd.edu.

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Notre Dame Stadium transitions to cashless payment options

Notre Dame Stadium is in its second year of going cashless, and its effects have prompted the entire campus to switch to accepting cards only. While this is Notre Dame campus’s first year going cashless, this is Notre Dame Stadium’s second year operating as such. All athletic facilities went cashless last year as well. 

The move was promptly made after the Coronavirus pandemic, to limit the movement of physical cash.  

Another reason involved security implications regarding cashiers’ handling of money. “We had a lot of people in our food area sitting there counting money.” Wendy Mott, Cash Manager for the University in the Office of Treasury Services, said. “Hundreds of thousands of dollars go through in cash, and they were spending their whole time counting it. Sometimes we would have up to three people count the same deposit.” 

This process also caused problems due to a shortage of employees. “Right now we have a lot of difficulty in hiring people, as everybody does, and especially in those food service areas,” Mott said.

 “Instead of counting cash, [employees] are able to be deployed to do other important things in the job as necessary, as [the University has] difficulty hiring her people.”

With a cashless process comes many benefits for the audience. These include saving time for the audience by ensuring faster lines when receiving food. “They don’t have to wait as long,” Mott said. “I think it’s a time saver.” This process was implemented in 2018 by GrubHub, where the client can order food and be in line without his physical presence in attendance. 

While she gave praise to its benefits, she also acknowledged the difficulties many international students face due to a lack of resources when coming to the United States. They usually come without a bank account, she said, but instead with physical cash. Thus, the treasury department worked to place handheld devices which trade physical currency to a card. 

“Something we did different this year,” Mott said, “was that we rolled out kiosks, Campus card kiosks, that are located one in Duncan and one in LaFortune.” In addition, students can use their Domer Dollars from their Irish1card, which can be used in stadium venues. “Hopefully,” Mott said, “80 plus percent of the students shouldn’t even be impacted by going cashless.”  

For the football game vs. Stanford on Oct. 15th, Levy, a third party concession stand vendor, will roll out a new credit card system, which will make transactions faster. As Lee Sicinski, Associate Vice President of University Events, said via email, “We will be replacing our point of sale system with a product from Shift4. Moving to this new system should modernize the purchasing experience, allow for faster transactions, and provide a wider variety of cashless payment methods (tap-&-go, Apple Pay, Android Pay, etc). We expect this technology to ultimately enhance the experience for all fans, and get them back to their seat faster.”