Get Involved with the Gender Relations Center and the Notre Dame Community

FIRE Starters

Finding Identity, Relationships & Equality

FIRE Starters are the Gender Relations Center’s peer educators who assist in developing and implementing programs for the campus community that foster dialogue on issues of identity, gender and healthy relationships. FIRE Starters promote open and inclusive discussion, and encourage their peers to respect the inherent dignity and equality of every member of the Notre Dame family.

Benefits of being a FIRE Starter

  • Gain knowledge and confidence through leadership training to:
    • Design and implement programs and events
    • Deliver presentations to a variety of audiences
    • Facilitate dialogue with peers
  • Learn more about GRC topic areas as a part of one of four small groups:
    • Relationships & Authenticity- explores the various relationships within our lives & promotes ways to develop healthy & safe connections with others (peers, friends, roommates, dating interest, to name a few) while being true to our authentic, holistic selves
    • Interpersonal Violence Prevention - creates awareness about how sexual assault & relationship violence occurs within our culture, as well as promotes prevention strategies to encourage each of us to be "our brothers' and sisters' keepers"
    • Sexual Identity - explores how sexuality & its different elements form our identity & inform our connection to God, others & the world
    • Gender Identity - examines how human beings, created in the image & likeness of God, form their masculinity & femininity through roles, cultural expectations & personal experiences 
  • Participate in conceptualizing, planning and executing programs & events designed by students for students
  • Have fun! FIRE Starters are a dynamic and diverse group of students who get to know one another through retreats and trainings, programs and social gatherings.


Gender Relations Event Facilitators (GREFs) are the logistics and hospitality specialists within the student leader cohort, who work with GRC staff to plan and implement logistics for and hospitality at GRC events, specifically major campus-wide events such as the Time to Heal Dinner, Take Back the Night, and any guest speaker presentations. 


  • Gain knowledge and confidence through leadership training to:
    • Plan and execute logistics for major campus-wide events
    • Assist with facilitating events day-of
    • Speak to peers, faculty/staff and community members about the various topic areas the GRC's programs & events cover
  • Develop skills as hospitality ministers at GRC events, helping to create a welcoming, inclusive environment for attendees
  • Have fun! G.R.E.Fs are a dynamic and diverse group of students who get to know one another through retreats and trainings, programs and social gatherings.

leadership Training and Development for FIRE STarters & G.R.e.f.s

Comprehensive training consists of an overnight retreat in August, day long retreat in January, monthly large group meetings, monthly small group meetings and social events. The retreats and regular meetings serve to educate student leaders on issues that the GRC addresses, improve leadership and facilitation skills, and strengthen the GRC student leader community.  Most importantly, training nurtures our student leaders' moral formation as role models at Notre Dame.

Training Retreat

Prior to the start of the academic year, all GRC student leaders are required to attend an overnight retreat which facilitates self reflection, community building, and exploration of how to best serve the broader University community. Through a series of workshops, activities, talks and reflections, student leaders gain an understanding about the history, identity and mission of the GRC, examine any biases that could hinder their ability to be inclusive discussion facilitators, learn techniques for group facilitation and ways to serve as role models on campus. There is also a mandatory day-long retreat in January at the start of the spring semester.

Monthly Large Group Meetings

These training and planning meetings typically occur in the first week of the month during the fall and spring semesters. They build on the overnight training retreat by educating student leaders about particular issues for upcoming GRC programs, developing leadership and facilitation skills, and strengthening the student leader community.


Each of the small groups: Interpersonal Relationships & Authenticity, Sexual Assault Prevention, Sexual Identity, Gender Identity, & GREFs, meets with its GRC staff adviser monthly. These small group meetings allow time for conceptualizing and planning upcoming programs and events, as well as personalized mentoring by staff advisers. 

Social Events

The Christmas Party and Year-End Celebration are a time to enjoy good food, great company and conversation.

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Dorm Commissioners

The GRC Dorm Commissioners are an essential link between everyday student life and the Gender Relations Center.  

Their charge is to:

  • Promote the mission of the GRC with their leadership and communication skills
  • Participate in leadership training workshops and retreats
  • Provide guidance on resources available to students on issues such as:  relationships, sexuality, pregnancy, LGTBQ and sexual assault
  • Serve as a liaison between GRC and Hall Council
  • Make announcements about upcoming GRC events at, Hall Council, etc.
  • Attend GRC scheduled meetings (every other month) to discuss current programs, needs for upcoming programming, brainstorming sessions, etc.
  • Coordinate a monthly program for the dorm community that deals with issues related to forming healthy safe relationships, sexuality, gender and/or sexual identity. These can be created in conjunction with the GRC and/or FIRE Starters  but also be promotion of an established GRC event such as a media campaign (bulletin board), co-sponsorship of an existing event (promoting in the hall and encouraging resident participation) , or bringing a GRC “canned” program to the hall community
  • Volunteer (as needed) at GRC programs

If you are interested in becoming a GRC Dorm Commissioner or Fire Starter, email .