“We’re really excited about this,” he said. “We’ve done a lot but we’re still not quite there yet.” Crawford said his talk would be centered on developments the College of Science is making in order “to enhance and expand research and enterprise.” Crawford said one of the goals was to cultivate Catholic tradition in the field of science. This particular initiative will be centered on the three Catholic pillars of truth, service and the common good. “We don’t want to see this program fail,” he said. “We don’t want you to feel violated when you buy books.” “A lot of universities like Michigan, Stanford and [the Massachusetts Institute of Technology] were fighting for this opportunity,” Crawford said. “This is the first accelerator the U.S. government has invested in since 1982 and Notre Dame is going to build it.” “We’re going to be launching a program called Compassionate Care, largely for our pre-med students,” he said. “This will have our students partner with hospice care on the local level, but we will also be participating on the international level with sending a few students to Africa to do work in those communities.” “The first goal we have is to enhance and expand undergraduate research in our core disciplines,” Crawford said. “That way every year will be different and it will help to expand our international collaborations,” he said. “The rental idea came up on the national level,” Kirkpatrick said. “We did a pilot study in fall 2009 and we’re going to be implementing across the country next academic year.”The program will allow students to pay a fee to rent the book for a semester for a price that is up to 50 percent off the price of the new book. “The biggest plus to this program is the upfront savings,” he said. “This program also provides the incentive for professor to make the books more affordable for students because they verbally commit to use the same book for four semesters.” Crawford said even with the individual proposals, the College will continue to be involved in continuous development. This includes creating a new institute within the College for 2011 focused on pure mathematics. The institute “will bring in the best math professors from all over the world for a semester.” Director of Retail Operations for the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore Keith Kirkpatrick then took the floor to talk about a rental system for textbooks for the 2010-2011 academic school year. The plan features seven goals, most of which are centered around creating and providing more research opportunities for students within the College of Science. Kirkpatrick said he believes the price of textbooks is “out of control” and the rental program will help drive costs down. Crawford also said Notre Dame recently was awarded $3.5 million to build a new nuclear accelerator for the federal government. The Council of Representatives (COR) brought in two guest speakers at its meeting Tuesday to discuss the Strategic Plan initiative within the College of Science as well as the new service that will allow Notre Dame students to rent their textbooks. Dean Gregory Crawford from the College of Science discussed the strategic plan that is in the process of being implemented within the College. Crawford said he was there to see what the student leaders thought about the effort.“This is a really important step in having student input in academic decisions,” student body president Catherine Soler said. “This is about moving forward and forming good relationships.”
Students can best protect themselves while shopping online by paying attention to who they are purchasing from, said David Seidl, Information Security Program Manager for Notre Dame’s Office of Information Technology (OIT). As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, OIT is working to inform students of the dangers that can come from breaches in cyber security, including online shopping. Seidl said the two biggest areas where online shoppers neglect to protect themselves are in checking the credibility of the site they purchase from and the form of payment they use to buy their merchandise. “People will go to one website and get linked over to some fly-by-night site that’s not something like an Amazon,” he said. In order to prevent being scammed, Seidl said students can visit resellerratings.com, a website with ratings on different online retailers. “Resellerrattings.com generally gives you a star-based rating scheme. If you see it has 500 and has been in business for 10 years, then the website is probably okay,” he said. Another general rule of thumb to keep in mind is to think about the type of deal the website is offering. “One of the giveaways is that if something is too good to be true, it probably isn’t [true],” Seidl said. Another area where online shoppers run into problems is in the way they chose to pay for their purchases. Seidl said the best way to pay for merchandise purchased online is with a one-time use credit card number. “The basic concept is that you are able to go to a credit card companies website and click on a function that can generate a one-time use number,” he said. “The number is no longer valid after the purchase.” As opposed to giving a credit card number, where there is the possibility for someone to steal it and use it until the card expires, a one-time use number will be invalid after the transaction is completed, Seidl said. If, however, an online purchaser must choose between using a credit card or a debit card, Seidl said to opt for the credit card. Aside from potentially giving a website complete access to one’s checking account, there are also more safeguards put into place for credit card theft. “Credit cards have more protections by law so potential issues for you are much smaller,” he said. In addition to offering advice about online shopping, OIT is also hosting a number of speakers Tuesday at the Notre Dame Conference Center in McKenna Hall to advise on different topics related to cyber security. The first portion of the day features two speakers, who will address topics aimed at technologically oriented students and professionals. During the afternoon, events will be geared toward a wider audience, with speakers focusing on securing one’s mobile phone and tips for parents to protect their students online. A complete listing of the day’s events can be found on OIT’s website.