From the Desks of Gates and Corey

Author: McGavick and Corey Gayheart, Gates

From the Desks of Gates and Corey Photo Courtesy of The University of Notre Dame

To the student body:

As the close of our term in office draws near, we find ourselves contemplating the privilege we’ve had of serving you over these past months. We’ve met so many incredible people, and have come to love and understand this special place in ways we could have never imagined.

One group we’ve been especially proud to work with is the student senate, comprised of the young student leaders you chose to represent your halls. We’ve had a productive past few weeks in this legislative body. We recently passed a resolution in support of including a sustainability module in Moreau, so that first years come to learn about environmentally sound, sustainable practices right when they get to Notre Dame. This comes on the heels of a resolution passed earlier this year to include mental health resources on all syllabi, so that students are aware of University Health Services and University Counseling Center resources and are hopefully more likely to take advantage of them. We also passed a resolution granting non-voting members of the senate speaking privileges, so that great organizations like Student Union Board are well represented in the democratic process of campus governance. Finally, we recently passed — with unanimous support — a resolution calling for the recision of Theodore McCarrick’s honorary Notre Dame degree.

This former archbishop has been credibly accused of horrific sexual assault crimes, and has been laicized by the Vatican. As such, we felt it was imperative that student voices be heard on this issue. So student government published a viewpoint in The Observer calling on the administration, shepherded the aforementioned resolution through senate, met with priests in the C.S.C. and communicated directly with Fr. Jenkins. We were pleased to see the degree withdrawn and we value any role which we were able to play in this process. It is of the utmost importance that our university consistently condemns perpetrators of sexual assault, supports sexual assault survivors and stands against bad actors in our church. Additionally, we have remained focused on student safety on and off campus. We recently held our second meeting with NDPD leadership and police chiefs from around the local area, as constitutionally mandated. This meeting helped us disseminate important information about staying safe in the polar vortex and directly express student concerns to significant
law enforcement figures. Crucially, we have used our relationship with this group to monitor the development of LiveSafe, a modern, easy-to-use campus safety app which will be released to the student body in the coming months. This app has found success at similar institutions, and we wholeheartedly feel it will make campus a safer place, and give you better access to law enforcement resources if you need them.

Looking ahead, we are in the planning process for Back the Bend, Notre Dame’s annual day of service and collaboration with the South Bend community. This April, hundreds of students will participate in community-building projects with our South Bend neighbors, an initiative that student government is proud to fund and support.

We are also excited to introduce Elizabeth Boyle and Patrick McGuire into their new roles as student body president and vice president over the coming weeks. We are certain they will be great representatives of this student body, and that they will continue some of the important work we’ve been doing. We will miss representing you, but are confident in our successors and the transition process.

With love,
Gates, Corey and Bri

P.S.: The new printer in the Duncan Student Center was us; we did that.