Campus Collaboration: Inclusive and Solutions-Based
Last year, we campaigned on a promise to ACT — to be approachable, collaborative and transformative in our approach to student government. In this latest installment of our monthly Scholastic letter, we’d like to update you on our efforts to efficiently and openly collaborate with groups around campus. By forging partnerships with student and administrative groups, we’ve been able to affect serious change in ways that will improve your experience at Notre Dame.
Since we took office, we’ve worked side-by-side with SAO to provide them with feedback from the student body with the goal of improving their student services. This has led to more SAO office hours, the development of an SAO360 training program for club and hall leaders, and an upcoming third-party audit of the department as a whole. Perhaps most excitingly, SAO is in the process of completely revamping the SAO360 platform, with hopes of releasing a more intuitive and user- friendly program in January. We’re grateful to the leadership of SAO for hearing our feedback and criticism and are pleased to report progress on this critical issue.
Nov. 1-7 marked Race Relations Week, and we were pleased to instruct our department of diversity & inclusion, led by Mita Ramani, to collaborate with multiple campus groups on this initiative. In the same sphere, we proudly required our cabinet to complete multicultural competency training with Paige Jackson of Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS) and recently fulfilled a $1,000 grant request to the Black Student Association (BSA) to assist them in bringing a prominent speaker to campus. We have been laser-focused on building relationships with groups on campus which represent marginalized members of our community, and are looking forward to further collaboration with the MSPS, BSA and Diversity Council in the months to come.
On the administrative side, we’ve held numerous meetings with Campus Dining, with the intent of diversifying food options on campus, improving the dining halls and developing and marketing useful technology. We’ve seen the fruits of this partnership in Tapingo, the new mobile ordering app which has received excellent reviews across campus, as well as the announcement of new restaurants.
Going forward, we’re pleased to relate that ground will be broken soon on a restaurant to replace Reckers: Pizza Pi will offer pizza and other Italian food as well as a bar for students on campus 21 and over. We’ve consistently pushed for additions to campus focused on resident assistants and other seniors that choose to live on campus, and are thrilled to see Campus Dining respond to student feedback with direct action.
Additionally, we’ve convened student focus groups on the dining halls and worked to present student opinions, through surveying and discussion, to Campus Dining as they structure their future menus.
Across all our different areas of work on campus, the urge to collaborate — to pool resources, lend support to other groups and to work innovatively with a wide range of campus voices to compel change — drives our thinking. We look forward to more progress to come, and, as always, thank you for the privilege of representing you.
Gates, Corey, and Bri