Student body vice president Becca Blais’s goals for this semester included some major reform of the Notre Dame student senate, including eliminating some aspects of parliamentary procedure and generally promoting greater efficiency of the body.“[Parliamentary Procedure] being removed from Senate has facilitated discussion,” Blais said. “We did retain the basic outline of meeting structure that [Parliamentary Procedure] provides and we do use it when it comes to voting, but other than that, it is totally out. We no longer have to deal with tedious motions of moving in and out of discussion, and Senators don’t have to be self-conscious about using the wrong motion or speaking out of turn in a debate. The removal of [Parliamentary Procedure] has definitely had a beneficial impact on Senate, especially in regard to flow of and access to discussion.”The first change Blais made was organizing senate into a number of smaller committees, each of which has a chairperson and meets weekly, beyond the senate meetings.“The committee structure has provided a critical lens for senators to view their topics, a small group for break-out discussion, and a bond between the senators,” Blais said in an email. “The four committee focuses have been applied to the topics that we discuss in senate, and they have been used to spur additional policy research by the senators outside of the larger senate meeting time.”Every senator sits on two committees, according to Blais, unless they are on the Campus Life Council.“Committees meet once a week to work on policy, and I meet once a week with the committee chairpeople to discuss those ideas and plans,” Blais said. “The break-out discussions have facilitated better large-group discussion within Senate, and they provide a forum for everyone to bounce ideas and have their voice heard. The bond has formed due to them having another level of interaction — the sustained interaction among the senators has facilitated some awesome friendships in senate.”Each committee has a clear, articulated vision and the reform has been effective in setting meaningful policy agendas in a smaller group setting, Blais said.“Structurally, I think that senate’s greatest accomplishment has been the reconfigure of what is means to be a senator and student leader at Notre Dame,” she said. “Senators have taken on huge leadership roles, and they have brilliantly risen to occasion.”In the 16 meetings since the Robinson-Blais administration took office, the student senate has passed 16 resolutions on a variety of topics, ranging from the elimination of some elements of parliamentary procedure to a resolution calling on University President Fr. John Jenkins to make Notre Dame a sanctuary campus.The student senate has also heard several presentations throughout the year and were one of the first student groups to hear about the upcoming renovations to North Dining Hall. Additionally, they heard from representatives from the Title IX office, the Career Center, the Office of Community Standards and the Office of Student Enrichment, among others.Outside of the weekly senate meetings, a number of student senators have begun getting dinners together in order to discuss a their different ideas, Blais said.All senators have undergone GreeNDot bystander training this year, which has yielded a positive reaction from the senators on the whole, according to a midterm survey Blais issued to the senators.Student body president Corey Robinson said senate had been undervalued, but he said he appreciates the reforms that were made.“When you see what [Blais] did with it — giving senators autonomy, giving them responsibility and telling senators they can address any issues they want to — they’re excited to draft resolutions.” Tags: 2016 Student Government Insider, Notre Dame Student Senate, Senate, student senate
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The Gunners looked to be closing out a hard-earned 2-0 win at Selhurst Park on Saturday, only for a scrambled effort by Glenn Murray in stoppage time to set up a frantic finale before the substitute almost snatched a dramatic draw when his flying header came back off the base of a post. A fifth victory from their last six league matches moved Arsenal back above both Manchester United, who lost at Swansea, and Southampton, set to host Liverpool later on Sunday, to maintain momentum ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League last 16 first leg showdown with Monaco. Defender Per Mertesacker has challenged Arsenal to learn quickly from their warning at Crystal Palace to avoid any more costly lapses in concentration and stay in the Barclays Premier League top four. However, so long as the third goal remained elusive, the Eagles sensed there remained life in the match and were driven on by the energy of substitute Yannick Bolasie. Dwight Gayle sent a bullet header just over before Jason Puncheon was unfortunate to see his 20-yard free-kick drop wide. Murray’s scrambled close-range effort in the third of five minutes of added time set up a tense finale, which was almost a rounded off with the latest of equalisers as his diving header struck the base of David Ospina’s left-hand post. Palace certainly look a well-organised outfit under new boss Alan Pardew, and have a five-point cushion above the bottom three ahead of next weekend’s trip across to east London at West Ham. Murray, though, could not help but reflect on what might have been. “We pushed Arsenal all the way, and we were unlucky not to get something out of the game. It was a close one, some days they go in and others they don’t, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be,” the striker said, quoted on the club’s official website. “We proved to ourselves that we can compete with these sides and we were unlucky not to get anything from the game. “We have got a lot of (good) results when the gaffer first came in and I’m sure that’ll happen again. “We have got to take the positives out of the game and can now take confidence from it.” Mertesacker, currently captaining the side with Mikel Arteta still out injured, accepts Arsenal must retain focus at the back if they are to build on the positive work since the turn of the year. “At the end they tried to put us under pressure and get some strikers on. They nearly scored the equaliser so we were a bit lucky,” the German said, quoted by www.arsenal.com. “Sometimes you lose games, especially at the end, but that was a bit of a warning for us not to switch off too early. “Overall, though, we are absolutely delighted with the three points and we move on.” Arsenal had taken an early lead through a penalty from Santi Cazorla after Danny Welbeck had been tripped by Pape Souare, which the Palace bench protested happened just outside the area. It was 2-0 on the stroke of half-time when Welbeck ran across the backline and onto a through ball from Alexis Sanchez. The assistant referee’s flag stayed down, as the England forward went on to drive in an angled shot which Julian Speroni palmed out and Olivier Giroud gratefully lashed into the net for his 50th Arsenal goal. Despite all of Palace’s pressure, Arsenal remained dangerous on the break, with a looping header from Mesut Ozil hitting the top of the crossbar before Sanchez dragged his side wide when played into the left side of the penalty box. Press Association