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Friday, April 19, 2024
The Observer

Senate meeting discusses future of Campus Dining, Club Coordination Council updates, passes first two constitutional amendments of the academic year

The Notre Dame student senate assembled Thursday evening to hear from presentations on the future updates on Campus Dining and Club Coordination Council (CCC), and passed the first two constitution amendments of the school year.

Senate gathered Thursday to discuss matters regarding dining and club funding. The executive cabinet also provided an update regarding Title IX policies and procedures that affect the campus community.

The meeting commenced with an executive announcement providing an update on Title IX procedures and policies. On Wednesday, representatives of senate met as a committee and approved the October 2020 draft for procedure resolving concerns of discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. They will be presenting this information to a number of different University bodies and are working to get as much feedback as possible to finalize the procedure. The senate also acknowledged Abby Wolfe, director of University Policy, for her work on this procedure.

Chris Abayasinghe, senior director of Campus Dining and Auxiliary Programs, returned to the senate meeting after presenting a few weeks previously to provide some updates on the campus dining experience.

“We have had a significant focus on individually serving each of your meals versus having them pre-packaged,” Abayasinghe said, acknowledging some of the requests made by students during the fall semester.

Cheryl Bauer, director of Sourcing and Sustainability, hinted at some things to look forward to at the dining hall.

“We are looking at more things to bring in and opportunities for you to experiment with,” she said. “Next month is vegan month in the U.S., so we might be having something there that is surprising.”

Additionally, Bauer explained that they are looking forward to expanding opportunities in self-service. Something to anticipate next semester includes the possibility of cereals and overall steps to bring back normalcy in the dining halls, she said.

Luis Alberganti, director of residential dining, also revealed that somewhere around the next weekend for Halloween, they are planning a “Spooktacular” event.

Afterwards, Ricardo Pozas Garza, (CCC) president, gave a presentation on funding in the Student Union Club. He gave a comprehensive analysis of how CCC is getting involved with clubs on campus, particularly in the allocation of funds.

The request for Student Union club funding, $2.4 million, are high compared to the available resources, $371 thousand. As such, the CCC has developed a system to cutting and sorting club asks in order to provide the necessary resources to student organizations.

Spring Allocation is the time in which 92% of Student Union funding for clubs is directly allocated, so it is vital that the CCC effectively gauges an effective method to provide for on-campus groups. However, there are additional difficulties this year as a consequence of COVID-19.

“First of all, we see the club activities and programming are significantly down this semester,” Pozas Garza said. “Revenues and expenditures are also significantly down.”

Nevertheless, with the help of the virtual activity fair this semester, many organizations were able to “recruit members exceptionally better than [CCC] feared.”

In addition, the CCC holds semesterly information meetings (CIMS) to share important information with clubs. Pozas Garza reported that 271 clubs attended this fall’s CIMS.

The CCC Committee on Club Consulting (C6) is an initiative that CCC is putting together in order to increase their impact on campus.

“Essentially, the CCC has been very reactive instead of proactive, in terms of helping clubs out,” Pozas Garza said. “What we should be doing is being more proactive and more engaging. We need to access what their needs are and help them work through those needs.”

Pozas Garza said he was excited about their first major project, the Notre Dame Disabilities Club Forum, which features organizations such as Special Olympics of Notre Dame (SOND), Access-ABLE and others.

Finally, the meeting ended by passing the first two constitutional amendments of the school year. Chief of staff Aaron Benavides introduced SO2021-12, which was to “essentially abolish the executive programming board and establish the executive committee.”

After a fellow senate member raised a point of debate on the order.

“At the end of the day, what the executive committee is all about is Student Union cohesion and bringing together the different organizations so that we can work together to serve the student body,” Benavides responded.

SO2021-12 was passed, alongside SO2021-13, an order to amend the Constitution of the undergraduate student body to revise article VIII, which outlines the operational procedures of the CCC.