Revisions made to regulations in duLac

first_img Other major changes included relaxing restrictions on where students can host tailgates, clarifying the University’s policies on holding disciplinary records and making the formatting easier to read, said Nick Ruof, student government chief of staff. “This revision is the result of an unparalleled level of collaboration between so many at the University,” Coughlin said. “Over the three-year process, many students, faculty and administrators had a hand in the work.” Many of the changes adopted were part of nine recommendations made by the CLC last year.  The revisions were made after a three-year review process, which began under former vice president for student affairs Fr. Mark Poorman, was finalized this summer under his successor, Fr. Tom Doyle.  Rouf said he and other student government administrators were excited about some of the changes, specifically those defining what constitutes sexual assault and defining University sanctions. “This policy is very much in line with what many other colleges and universities do in terms of student disciplinary records,” Coughlin said. “Where is it written?” he said. “They didn’t add any medical amnesty clause.” “They clarified a lot of things and made it more user-friendly,” he said. While Rouf was happy with some of the changes, he said many students expressed concern that no clause strictly stated that students would receive amnesty from any sanctions for helping a friend who in danger. A section on medical amnesty was one of the nine recommendations made by CLC.  “If somebody gets in trouble because they’re helping someone out or they call the police, can that be taken into consideration?” he said. The process involved input from the Committee for Sexual Assault Prevention (CSAP), the Campus Life Council (CLC), student government and rectors. While a clause making reference to the University’s policies concerning holding disciplinary records was added, it only states that the University will maintain most disciplinary records for seven years and only not create a disciplinary record when a student is issued a verbal or written warning.  However, Rouf said he would like to see a section in duLac that clearly defines medical amnesty, rather than the vague language currently seen in the handbook.center_img Coughlin said ORLH always has and will continue to “take into consideration the circumstances surrounding a violation and the impact the misconduct had on the community as a whole, as well as on those directly involved in the incident, when making decisions about individual situations.” However, Rouf said the current policy punished students with minor violations by exposing them to scrutiny from potential employers and graduate schools. The handbook is routinely updated with minor changes every year and undergoes a major revision process every five to eight years as part of standard University procedure, Coughlin said. “Both men provided strong leadership to the entire team that worked on the three-year project,” said Brian Coughlin, assistant vice president for student affairs. “Having so many campus stakeholders involved and the fact that it was a team approach throughout the three-year project made implementing changes easier.” The CLC made no recommendations concerning a clause regarding disciplinary records. Rouf said he would like to “push this topic for a bigger discussion.” The University’s student handbook, duLac, was revised this summer, with clauses clearly defining sexual consent and the Office of Residential Life and Housing’s (ORLH) sanctions added while a proposed section defining medical amnesty was not adopted. “This subcommittee’s recommendations were based on input from students, faculty and administrators as well as bench-marking with other colleges and universities,” he said. “Having clearer definitions about what constitutes sexual assault was one of the clear goals of the new policy, both as a way to educate the campus community and prevent sexual assault as well as address these incidents when they happen.” “It’s a big concern with kids going to medical school and stuff like that because if they get in trouble, the University has to notify the medical school they’re applying to,” he said. “It’s so cutthroat that any little thing a medical school can find to not accept you, they’ll do it.” “They finally listed out sanctions — what the Office of Residential Life can do to somebody,” he said. Coughlin said defining sexual assault was one of the clear goals of this round of revisions.last_img read more

Students rally at midnight madness

first_imgStudents flocked to the Angela Athletic Facility Thursday night for Saint Mary’s annual pseudo-pep rally, Midnight Madness, and the announcement of the Tostal performer at the College this spring. Freshman, sophomore, junior and senior students donned their designated class colors and competed for class spirit points by participating in relays, dancing and other games. The Student Activities Board (SAB), which hosts the event, distributed free giveaways, including T-shirts featuring the event name and each class’s graduating year. Despite the abundance of games, the most anticipated of Midnight Madness is the announcement of the spring’s Tostal performer. The Board announced Timeflies, an electro-pop duo, will perform on campus this spring. “It’s a great way to get the classes bonding through competition,” junior Bridget Haines said. “We’re basically rewarded with for playing games, having fun and dancing around with free T-shirts.” The Saint Mary’s cheer team also led a coordinated cheer and fired up the crowd with chants. “It’s a great event to show not only class spirit, but SMC spirit,” junior Eileen Cullina said. “Nights like these make me really happy that I am a Belle.” The event, typically hosted after spring break, is one of the only organized times in the year in which classes intermix. Sophomore Kelsey Collins said the event felt similar to a sisterhood coming together. Fellow sophomore Allison Burns agreed. “I feel as if I finally understand what Saint Mary’s is about,” Burns said. “The sense of community is overwhelming – in a good way.” SAB president and senior Liz Kraig said this year’s Midnight Madness had the largest attendance in history, especially with the freshman class. The newest members of Saint Mary’s discovered the event solidified their place in the College’s community, freshman Clarisa Medina said. “It’s really nice to see the freshman class together,” Medina, a member of the freshman class board, said. “It’s encouraging to see everyone excited for their next three years here.” Midnight Madness is deliberately hosted halfway through the second semester to bring the campus back together at a hectic time, SAB co-chair Cara Nozykowski, said.  “I like the idea of us just celebrating being together and what a great school we have,” Nozyowski said. “Plus it’s great to have a break from midterms.”last_img read more

Artists advocate for reform

first_imgActivist-artists and avid supporters of immigration reform Julio Salgado and Steve Pavey contributed their work to La Fuerza’s “Education without Barriers” week April 9 at Saint Mary’s. The week explores the intersection of education and immigration reform. Both Salgado and Pavey use images to advance the cause of undocumented immigrants in the United States. 
”Art defines culture,” Salgado said. “We need to use art as a tool to fight the hate against us because this country is anti-immigrant. I want people to value education for everyone. My dream is to
 create a country that educates population doesn’t criminalize it.” As a self-identified undocumented immigrant, this issue touches Salgado personally, he said.  His work seeks to address the disenfranchisement felt by undocumented immigrants, Salgado said. Salgado said he initially was inspired by the civil disobedience displayed in Washington, D.C., when an undocumented student was arrested for refusing to leave the sit-in advocating passage of the Federal Dream Acts.   

”There are so many dreams of potentially fixing immigration reform, fixing it the right way, but there really is no right way,” Salgado said. “We must change the way we’re seen, change the way we exist. We never go deep into what it means to be an immigrant in this country. I use art to dignify myself because it’s hard to see images that are very negative about us.” One of his projects, “Undocumented Apparel,” is a social commentary on how people take advantage of Latin American immigrants, Salgado said. “We don’t have a say to form how we’re being portrayed in the media,” said Salgado.   The “artivist” and photographer Steve Pavey, also displayed his work as part of La Fuerza’s “Education, Not Deportation” art gallery in the Saint Mary’s Student Center Tuesday, April 9.

   Pavey said he hoped to empower youth to take ownership of the fight for immigration rights. “Undocumented youth need to be the leaders of this movement,” Pavey said. “I work for the undocumented youth, I let them lead.”

 Pavey, who has a PhD in applied cultural anthropology, said he admires Paolo Friere, a Brazilian educator who advocates participatory research.

 “[Friere] believes in the people themselves, the knowledge they own-if they can connect to that knowledge, they can become powerful,” Pavey said. “An immigrant worker in the field knows much more about themselves than I do.”

 Pavey has followed and chronicled stories of people like Marco Saavedra and Isabel Castillo, undocumented immigrants who protested against the injustice of their marginalization.

 “I am committed to using social scientific methods to facilitate social change and work for justice,” Pavey said. “The way to critique the structural evils in our political economy is to be with the least of us. I want to be a part of empowering their voices.”

 Contact Rebecca O’Neil at [email protected]last_img read more

Globetrotters to take the court at Purcell Pavilion

first_imgThe Harlem Globetrotters, the world famous “Ambassadors of Goodwill,” are set to square-off against the World All Stars in the Purcell Pavilion on Saturday at 7 p.m. as part of their 2014 “Fans Rule” World Tour.Herbert “Flight Time” Lang, a guard in his 15th season with the Globetrotters, said both long-time fans and newcomers will be able to enjoy the fun of the match.“If you come to a Globetrotter game, you can come expecting to have a great time. You’re going to see some great, high-flying slam dunks … a lot of fun, a lot of crowd interaction and just a fun-filled event,” Lang said.Lang said he will be joined on Saturday by Kevin “Special K” Daley, Will “Bull” Bullard, the all-time shortest Globetrotter Jonte “Too Tall” Hall and the 10th female signed by the Globetrotters Tammy “T-Time” Brawner.Lang said he enjoys seeing how much young girls enjoy watching Brawner and the two other female Globetrotters on the current roster show off their skills.“Little girls, of course, love to see a girl competing amongst the boys and competing well,” Lang said.A prominent feature of the “Fans Rule” Tour is the opportunity for fans to vote online as to which four of five unorthodox rules will be applied during each individual game, with one rule enforced each quarter, Lang said. Fans have been able to choose rules since last year, but this year’s tour offers three new rule options.Lang said the new options are the “Hot Hand Jersey,” “Make or Miss” and “Trick Shot Challenge.”For “Hot Hand Jersey, ” each team has an orange jersey they can pass from player to player and the player receives double points for any shots they make while wearing the jersey. In “Make or Miss,” the teams start the quarter with two players each and one player is added anytime they score while the shooting player is removed anytime they miss. In “Trick Shot Challenge,” each team’s coach receives three challenge flags and can challenge any player on the other team to shoot a trick shot that is worth five points if made but negative five points if missed.The fans also have the chance to vote for two rules that were instituted last year: “Six on Five,” where the Globetrotters’ opponents are allowed to send in an extra player for the quarter and “Two Ball Basketball,” for which a second ball is introduced. Another rule from the team’s last tour, the “Four Point Shot,” has been made a permanent rule for all games during this tour, Lang said.Lang said he enjoys how the rule voting makes every game unique. He said his favorite of the options, and usually the fan favorite, is the “Trick Shot Challenge.”“It’s just a way to change the game and let the fans decide what they want to see,” Lang said.Lang said one of his favorite parts of any Globetrotters show is interacting with fans for about half an hour after every game.“During those moments you really get to see how you touched these kids’ lives, and at the same time it’s a chance for those adults who went to see the Globetrotters when they were kids to tell you about their experiences,” he said. “Just to be able to bridge the gap between generations and allow parents to share some of the same memories that they had when they were kids is a pretty cool deal.”In his 15 years with the team, Lang said he has played at Notre Dame several times. He said he appreciates the atmosphere each time he comes to the University and expects the Globetrotters will continue to stop at campus on their tours.“For some reason, we always have a great turn-out here,” Lang said. “They love the Globetrotters. As long as they continue to show up, we’ll continue to come back.”The Globetrotters gained popularity not only in the South Bend area but also worldwide. He said the reason for this popularity is that the individual players, past and present, have committed to their roles as ambassadors of goodwill.“I think we’re so beloved because we’re able to bridge gaps and we’re able to communicate with people without even speaking,” he said. “We accept the responsibility of being role models; everywhere we go we’re ambassadors of goodwill. Any player that joins the Globetrotters knows coming in that it’s more than just basketball. We go into hospitals, we go into schools delivering positive messages, we donate to charities and people recognize that.“The guys who started before us set such a great foundation for us to follow that it’s almost impossible not to like the Globetrotters.”Lang said he considers playing for the Globetrotters to be the best job in the world, and one he never expected to have when he was growing up.“I think I have the best job in the world,” he said. “For me it means the world because I grew up in a small town in Arkansas and I never thought or imagined I would have the chance to play professional sports, let alone on a team as popular as the Globetrotters.”Lang was a standout at Centenary College in Shreveport, La., where he led the conference in scoring as a junior and won the college slam dunk contest as a senior.“The thing that probably vaulted me to the Globetrotters was winning the college slam dunk contest at the final four that year in 1998,” Lang said, “After I won the dunk contest I actually ended up going back to school for a semester and finished up my teaching certification. I worked in the gym as a personal trainer for ten months before the Globetrotters invited me to their training camp in August of ’99. Once I got invited to training camp, the rest is history.”One of the better ball-handlers on the team, Lang said when he does tricks he is trying to entertain the fans with something that has long been a part of the Globetrotter tradition.“As far as dribbling, I’m just following in the footsteps of legends like [Fred ‘Curly’] Neal and Marques Haynes. It’s just a lot of fun getting on the court and hearing the crowd react to you sliding hallway across the court patting the ball.”Lang said his dunking and dribbling abilities aren’t enough by themselves for him or anyone else to be a member of the Globetrotters.“To be a Globetrotter it takes more than just being a dunker or a great shooter, it’s a combination of everything. You have to be a people person and you have to be willing and able to go out into the communities and get along with all kinds of people.”Videos of the Harlem Globetrotters can be found on the team’s website and Facebook page.Tickets for Saturday’s game are $19 and up and are available through the Purcell Pavilion box office or harlemglobetrotters.com.Tags: basketball, Globetrotters, Purcell Pavilionlast_img read more

Fr. Jenkins introduces renovations

first_imgIn an undergraduate town hall meeting featuring University President Fr. John Jenkins, Vice President for Student Affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding and Dean of First Year of Studies and Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs Hugh Page Tuesday evening, Fr. Jenkins announced plans to build two new residence halls, renovate the Hesburgh Library and construct a new multi-disciplinary research facility on campus.Kelly Konya | The Observer Jenkins said the new dorms will be built directly east of Mod Quad and open in the fall of 2016.  This development has become a necessity due to the overcrowding of existing residence halls and the sparse availability of on-campus housing for transfer students.“One of the most important aspects of Notre Dame, we feel, is the residence halls. Here tonight, you will be the first to know that we will have two new residence halls,” Jenkins said. “The reason we’re going to have that is because the halls are overcrowded … some transfer students can’t get into the dorms, and we need more space so that we can make space for study halls and social space.”Jenkins said the new halls will be built “through the generosity of a couple of benefactors,” but did not specify who the donors are or how much the buildings will cost.The renovations to Hesburgh Library are long overdue and will include a more open area on the first and second floors and a new entrance on the north side of the building, Jenkins said.“When I was an undergraduate a long, long time ago, it looked pretty much like it does now, so it probably needs some renovation,” he said.“The entrance will allow you to see upstairs and downstairs when you enter,” Jenkins said. “It’s a better gathering place. We also are planning group study spaces.”The University also plans to erect a new research facility to the east of the library, he said.“One of the important things at Notre Dame in recent years has been the ever-expanding research work of our faculty,” Jenkins said. “They’re doing important work for labs and research centers.“It will be a multi-disciplinary facility, so various faculty from various fields can come together on research work.”Jenkins also addressed the Campus Crossroads Project and said the motivation behind the proposed stadium renovations is to provide much needed class and social space while maintaining the walkability of campus.“The challenge is we need some more buildings and we’re running out of space,” Jenkins said. “We have this wonderful facility that is used maybe eight times a year. Through a lot of work and a lot of planning we said, ‘Okay, look. This structure is here and it just sits there. Why don’t we use that space to add some needed buildings?’”He also said the University plans to continue to strengthen its global connections and provide more opportunities to study abroad and inspire faculty collaborations “so that the world can know about Notre Dame and we can know about the world.”After Jenkins concluded his remarks, Hoffmann Harding began her portion of the presentation and said the University plans to eliminate the hall tax from the dorms.“What we learned through part of our interview process with students is first of all, [the hall tax] didn’t demonstrate the hospitality we wanted to welcome you into our residential communities,” Hoffman Harding said. “We want to program and offer things for you in our halls, but there were better and more effective ways that we could do that.”Hoffmann Harding also highlighted last summer’s renovations to Lyons Hall and announced St. Edward’s Hall will undergo renovations this upcoming summer.Page then took the stage and addressed issues related to the core curriculum. He said the University is currently in the process of reviewing the requirements for undergraduate students.“As you know, we have a set of requirements for students at the undergraduate level, and the purpose of those requirements is not to make you jump through hoops,” Page said. “The purpose is to make sure that there is a rich and full and meaningful undergraduate education for everyone that gives you the skill sets that you need and imparts the virtues that are necessary for responsible citizenship in the 21st century.”When the panel took questions from students in attendance, several students raised concerns over the University’s ongoing legal proceedings against the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) mandate for employers to include contraception in their employees’ healthcare plans.Jenkins said following the most recent rejection of the University’s appeal, the University will temporarily comply with the mandate or else face a fine of one million dollars per day. Jenkins said the University plans to continue its legal action, calling this just “the first inning” of the court battle.Jenkins also fielded student questions on the Campus Crossroads Project, the Board of Trustees’ audience with Pope Francis and the University’s role in the ongoing conflict in Israel and Palestine, particularly  Jenkins’s condemnation of the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Tags: Board of Trustees, fr. jenkins, new dorms, town hall meeting, undergraduatelast_img read more

SMC Status of Girls report receives update

first_imgTheir voices were absent from the first Status of Girls (SGI) in Indiana report, but girls living in Indiana will tell their own stories in interviews as Saint Mary’s prepares a second study.Last fall, Saint Mary’s released the first SGI report, a comprehensive statistical study on the health and well-being of Indiana girls ages 10-19, according to a Saint Mary’s press release.The report, compiled by six members of the Saint Mary’s faculty and 60 students, provided a detailed summary of what girls’ lives in Indiana were like and served as a resource for scholars, non-profit leaders and policy-makers. At the time, Saint Mary’s was the fifth all-women’s college in the nation to release such a report, per a press release.Noticeably absent from the report, however, were the voices of young girls. Terri L. Russ, associate professor of communication studies, and Marne Austin, assistant professor of communication studies, have since designed the current phase of the ongoing project to fill this void for the second SGI report by collecting oral histories from girls in Indiana ages 10-19.Russ and Austin hope to generate a deeper understanding of the lives of girls while encouraging the surrounding community to take part in this important research project and talk about the things important to them, Austin said.“In order to understand girls and their lives, we must invite and attend to their voices and the things they feel are important to them,” Austin said.As faculty and students work on a second SGI report, additional professors are collecting oral histories from girls from around the state, Russ said.“The hope is that by combining statistical data with narrative accounts, we can come to a deeper understanding of what the lives of girls in Indiana are like,” Russ said. “What do they care and worry about most? What do they wish adults knew about their lives? Additionally, we hope to create a searchable digital archive of these oral histories that can serve as an additional resource for other researchers, educators and agencies working with young girls.”In order to fully understand the lives of girls, it’s important to take the time to talk to them about their lives and the things important to them, Russ said.“While this might seem like common sense, surprisingly few researchers actually take the time to do so,” Russ said. “We are not those researchers, and in fact, we argue that any research about young girls without talking to them has little true value.”The professors want to hear the voices of their communities and add it to their research to ensure they are compiling a fuller overview of Indiana girls’ lives, Austin said.“We are looking for girls from all demographic backgrounds,” Austin said. “In other words, it doesn’t matter what your race, ethnicity, religion, income or sexual orientation is.”The procedures and methods for this project have been reviewed by the Saint Mary’s Institutional Review Board to ensure that all phases of the project adhere to standard academic ethical guidelines. These guidelines dictate that project participants will not be harmed during the research process and that confidentiality of all participants will be maintained, according to a press release.Russ and Austin hope their research contributes to the building a greater understanding of girls’ lives in Indiana, Russ said.“The only requirement is that you be between the ages of 10 and 19 and live in Indiana,” Russ said. “Participation will only take about an hour of your time, but the results will be long-lasting and significantly important.” Tags: saint mary’s college status of girls, SGI report, status of girls, status of girls in indiana, status of girls reportlast_img read more

‘A great and holy priest’

first_img“Come, Holy Spirit.”When University President Emeritus Fr. Edward “Monk” Malloy stood before a capacity crowd at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Tuesday night, he invoked God’s guidance in illuminating the complex, dynamic life of University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh.Facing a congregation of Hesburgh’s family and friends and flanked by dorm presidents, class council executives and student body leadership, Malloy recalled the circumstances of his last meeting with Hesburgh.“A couple weeks ago, Fr. Charlie Kohlerman, the superior of Holy Cross [House], our healthcare and retirement facility where Fr. Ted lived for a number of years, called me and a number of other of Ted’s close friends and said, ‘The end is near. If you want to have a last, final conversation with Ted, you’d better do it quickly,’” Malloy said.Malloy eventually found Hesburgh outside in the cold, smoking an unlit cigar.“I said, ‘Ted, what have you been thinking about?’” Malloy said. “He said, ‘Eternity.’“He said, ‘The phrase that keeps coming into my mind: No eye has seen nor ear heard what God has in store for those who love Him.’“I was blown away, of course. And I recognized at that point that he knew that he was going to die soon and that he was full of utter gratefulness for his life and all of the gifts that he had enjoyed along the way.”Malloy and Hesburgh fondly remembered the people who had helped and otherwise impacted Hesburgh throughout his life, starting with Ned Joyce, the former University executive vice president Hesburgh described as “his best friend in his whole life,” Malloy said.“You couldn’t have found two people that personality-wise were more different. Their politics, their ecclesiology — all different. But Ted was proud when he said, ‘We never had a fight.’ I think that was influenced by the fact that Ted had the last word.”Malloy said Hesburgh recalled Helen Hosinski, his secretary and assistant for 47 years, who in 2004 earned a place among only 24 other individuals on Notre Dame’s Wall of Honor in the Main Building.“Ted used to say, ‘We’re just figureheads. It’s the women of Notre Dame like Helen who really run the place,’” Malloy said. “That, of course, is very true.”Malloy recalled the early beginnings of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, a program made possible only through Joan Kroc, the inheritor to the McDonald’s fast food fortune, after Hesburgh presented “his dream of a peace institute” at a conference in San Diego.“After it was over, a woman came up he had never met before and she said, ‘How much would it cost?’” Malloy said. “… We came back [to Notre Dame] … He said, ‘It’s going to take six or seven million dollars. We’ll be happy to come out and meet with you.’ She said, ‘That won’t be necessary. I’ll send it to you in the overnight mail.’ He went, ‘What?’”Hesburgh and Malloy talked about Hesburgh’s fondness for Notre Dame’s Land O’Lakes environmental research center in Wisconsin, where he often went after the academic year to fish, read and enjoy nature.“When I was having my last meeting with him, I said, ‘Did you ever hear the rumor that when you were out fishing, when you couldn’t see anymore, that somebody in a wetsuit would go down below the boat and hook the fish on the line?’” Malloy said. “He said, ‘No, that couldn’t possibly be true.’”Malloy recounted Hesburgh’s appointments to the Civil Rights Commission as a member and later as its president. Though inexperienced in civil rights and policy issues, Hesburgh did not shy away from the chance to fight “this great scourge on American life.”“He went from somebody without much experience in this important issue in our common life to someone who was responsible, in a sense, for the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” Malloy said. “Hard to explain it, but many times he played a providential kind of role in the events of our time.”Hesburgh was a “daredevil,” Malloy said while laughing about Hesburgh’s drive to experience every place he went to the fullest. Through all his travels, Hesburgh remained devoted to celebrating Mass every day and frequently invited non-Catholics and atheists alike to join him.“He celebrated Mass in a submarine between California and Hawaii and on aircraft carriers. He went to the Antarctic, and then he flew in a supersonic transport,” Malloy said. “… But his great dream in life was to be the first priest to celebrate Mass in outer space as an astronaut. He and Walter Cronkite were lined up, but then the tragedy of the Challenger disaster happened, and he was never able to fulfill that dream.“One time on one of his birthdays we celebrated Mass right along the Sea of Galilee in a motel in a room with a Christian-Arab driver,” he said. “And all I could think of, here was Ted, right next to where Jesus would have been doing the same thing in his ministry.”Hesburgh was the first priest to say the Mass at Lambeth Palace, the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and he always sought new opportunities to explore and inform himself about the world, Malloy said.“Ted was in 100 countries, I think,” Malloy said. “One time, I was able to go to Tibet, and he said, ‘I’m so envious of you. I’ve only been to Nepal and Afghanistan and China and India and — but I’ve never been to Tibet.’ I said, ‘Too bad, Ted.’”Malloy said he used to eat lunch with Hesburgh and other former University administrators, and their conversations often reflected their “great admiration and regard for [University President] Fr. John Jenkins.”“How happy we were that someone of such great talent and enthusiasm and holiness was serving in succession to us,” Malloy said. “For me, one of the iconic moments in my time at Notre Dame was when the two of us put our hands on John’s shoulders at his inauguration and said a prayer of blessing. What a privilege that was, as we passed the mantle on.”Malloy closed his reflection with a blessing for Hesburgh.“When I left him on that last meeting, I asked him to bless me, which he did graciously,” Malloy said. “Now I want to say on behalf of all of us, Fr. Ted Hesburgh, C.S.C., you have been a great and holy priest. You have been our pastor here at Notre Dame, as you have for the country and the world. Now, go to God, and may you rest in peace.”Junior folk choir member Laura Camarata, who sang at the service, said Malloy’s remarks enlightened her understanding of the former University president.“For a lot of us students who didn’t know him personally, it was really beautiful to get to know him through the reflection and get to know some of his idiosyncrasies and his pleasures and his favorite places,” she said.University Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves said the wake service served as “a wonderful way to send [Hesburgh] off.”“It was a beautiful service, and Monk did such a wonderful job of touching every aspect of Fr. Ted’s life and I think, bringing him back to life for all of us,” Affleck-Graves said.Lewis Hall president, junior Katie Ferrara, said her experience sitting behind the altar was “humbling.”“We were invited to represent the dorm communities,” she said. “I know that Fr. Hesburgh really encouraged the family aspect of the University and to be here feeling incredibly unworthy to be here — someone told us yesterday, ‘It’s not you, it’s your position,’ — being able to represent the dorm family for someone who — the Notre Dame family meant so much to him, was quite the blessing.”In the LaFortune Student Center, one of many campus hubs where the wake service was streamed live, viewers crossed themselves whenever the priests made the sign of the cross, participating through the TV screen with Malloy and the congregation.Student body vice president senior Matthew Devine said despite the campus-wide sadness following Hesburgh’s death, the community has an opportunity to celebrate Hesburgh’s life and legacy. Malloy’s speech “struck the perfect tone,” he said.“We’re very glad to see his life remembered in this way, to bring together so many people over his life who were so meaningful to him and to celebrate his life,” Devine said. “We hope that our lives can be a testament to his, to the life that he led. We’re just very grateful to have been a part of this and to be with his friends and family in this important time.”“Beautiful” became the defining word of the evening service, as student body president senior Lauren Vidal, student body president-elect junior Bryan Ricketts and junior class vice president Michael Fliotsos also described the wake as such.“As students here, we’re all honored, and we look forward to continuing remembering him throughout the days to come,” Vidal said.News Writer Clare Kossler contributed to this report.Tags: Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Bryan Ricketts, Fr. Hesburgh, Fr. Monk Malloy, Fr. Ted, Fr. Ted Hesburgh, Lauren Vidal, Matthew Devine, Monk Malloy, Ted Hesburghlast_img read more

SMC SGA president, VP speak out on divisive topics, encourage respect for all students’ viewpoints

first_imgIn the beginning of their term as student body president and vice president, seniors Kaitlyn Baker and Maddie Kohler set goals to collaborate with Notre Dame, increase campus safety and be transparent, and now at the end of the semester Baker said new initiatives have propelled those goals forward.This year, Baker said campus safety has been one of Student Government Association’s (SGA) main initiatives this semester.She said there has been a minor setback with updating the app in the Apple App Store, but they hope it will be ready to download for the spring semester.Another initiative Baker and Kohler campaigned for was collaboration among the tri-campus community.Baker said they meet monthly with Notre Dame’s student government. It can be difficult, she said, because Notre Dame’s student government functions very differently from Saint Mary’s.On the subject of working with their respective administrations (or boards of trustees), Baker said the student governments of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s differ greatly.Members of the SGA leadership get to meet with the Board of Trustees every time they come to campus to update the Board on campus happenings and issues, whereas Notre Dame student government only gets to bring one issue as a formal proposal to their Board of Trustees each year.Kohler said one new initiative, the “Big Belle, Little Belle” program ­chaired by the First Year Concerns committee, pairs a juniors with first-year students.More first-year students signed up than juniors, Kohler said, so SGA reached out to seniors to mentor the newest students. The program allows older students to mentor the newest Belles and provide the sense of the sisterhood the College prides itself on.SGA expects this program to become a Saint Mary’s tradition, Baker said, which allows the “big” and “little” pair to spend time together doing a variety of activities throughout the year.Food Week was also a huge success this year, Kohler said, with themed dinners each night and a food truck arriving on campus at the end of the week.Students were able to purchase meal tickets in the dining hall and get their dinner from a food truck for another option.The SGA Finance Committee, led by vice president of finance senior Shannon Golden, has changed this year, Baker said. The committee is now made up of the class senators, two from each class, including one senator at large from the graduate program.“This committee of senators reviews all requests for SGA funding and can decide to approve or deny [requests.]” Baker said. “We worked with [2014-2015 SGA president] McKenna [Schuster] and [vice president] Sam [Moorhead] at the end of their term last year to rewrite the finance outlaws because they were severely outdated.”From this budget, the “big” boards including Student Activities Board (SAB), Student Diversity Board (SDB), Residence Hall Association (RHA) and SGA are allotted a percentage of the total budget that comes from student fees included in tuition.“As of right now, Senate meets on a need basis,” Baker said. “They met in the beginning of the year to approve the budgets and they will meet again before the semester ends.”Instead of promoting to SMCard that last year’s administration started, Baker said SGA has invested in ID scanners to track attendance at events.Students scan their IDs at events, which electronically tracks the number of students attending.Baker said the scanner helps with planning and improving events, more than incentivizing attendance like past SMCards.“With the scanner, we can look at what are the events students are going to and allows to prioritize where funds should go,” she said.Since much of SGA funds comes from the student fees, Baker said, the scanners provide data on successful events and events that may need more planning.In response to the Planned Parenthood controversy in November, Baker released a statement about the importance of heeding all student voices.“I also believe that there are two sides to every story, and in most cases, even more than two sides,” Baker said in her statement. “It is important for us as young women to be well-educated and then given the freedom to think critically about what we have learned, form our own opinions and stand up for what we believe is right.”Baker said her statement was about respect on campus and confronting controversial topics as a community.“As a student leader, [students] needed to respond,” she said. “[Planned Parenthood] was a big topic for several weeks. To not say anything about it would have been ignorant if we’re supposed to be the voice of the students and advocate for students.“Anytime there’s a controversial topic, people are opinionated. But the most important thing was reiterate that we’re all still Belles and should have respect for the community.”Last week, SGA and SDB hosted a student dialogue event, closed to faculty, staff and the media.The idea for the student dialogue followed campus controversy about Planned Parenthood, but also in light of the harassment junior Maranda Pennington faced when a homophobic slur was written on her whiteboard.“We broadened the event to be an opportunity to discuss all of the types of controversy that have been occurring and how we can move forward, make changes and be better as a community,” Baker said.Students had the opportunity to voice their opinions, she said, but at the end of the event, all students in the room recognized the importance of their fellow Belles.Kohler said SGA hopes the event was a learning opportunity for students who attended.“We [closed] the event knowing that we are still one community [and] it’s okay that we are at a Catholic institution and have different beliefs,” she said.Each year the College focuses on one of the four core values: faith/spirituality, justice, community and learning. This year, Kohler said, the College has chosen community. In response, SGA has been encouraging committee chairs to think about this year’s core value when planning their events.The student dialogue was an example of SGA’s dedication to community, she said.“We are trying to engage the community and keep all students in the know,” Kohler said.Correction: The Kohler-Baker administration grade that ran in the Student Government Insider on Dec. 11 said, “Baker and Kohler have worked to be transparent, but have failed to do so in the SGA financial restructuring.” The financial policy was restructured by the Schuster-Moorhead administration in the 2014-2015 academic year. The Observer regrets this error.Tags: SMC SGA, student government in focuslast_img read more

Club protests University’s potential invitation to Trump to speak at Commencement

first_imgAbout 30 people gathered outside Main Building on Monday to demonstrate against the University’s potential invitation of President Donald Trump to speak at the class of 2017’s Commencement ceremony, citing his hateful rhetoric and discrimination against minorities and marginalized groups.College Democrats, Diversity Council and We Stand For organized the demonstration in order to “protest the possibility of President Donald Trump speaking at Notre Dame’s Commencement this year” and ask University President Fr. John Jenkins to “rescind the invitation he made to then-candidate Trump, and invite a different Commencement speaker,” according to the Facebook event page.Emily McConville | The Observer The University has not made an official announcement on whether it has invited Trump to speak at Commencement. Vice president for public affairs and communications Paul Browne said the University invited all primary presidential candidates, including both Trump and Hillary Clinton, to campus last year to speak at an envisioned series on foreign policy. None of the candidates accepted, and a separate invitation would have to be issued to Trump to speak at Commencement.In an interview with The Observer in December 2016, Jenkins said he had not decided whether to invite Trump to be the Commencement speaker. In response to a question at a town hall meeting on athletics about whether he knew who the Commencement speaker would be, Jenkins responded in the negative.College Democrats co-president Andrew Galo said Monday’s demonstration was a follow-up to a petition written by members of College Democrats and the Diversity Council, also in December, which asked Jenkins not to invite Trump to speak at Commencement. The petition garnered more than 3,000 signatures. Galo said Jenkins’ office had not responded to the petition.“In the short term, we’d like to have some clarity in terms of where Fr. Jenkins is at in terms of his thought process and decision-making process, but really this is about making sure we don’t have President Trump as our Commencement speaker and that we really do honor our graduates and we honor our values,” he said. During the demonstration, Galo urged Jenkins to make “a principled choice, a moral choice” not to invite Trump to Commencement. “We know that Commencement is a special time for all students and for all graduating seniors,” he said. “I myself am a graduating senior, and … we’ve worked way too hard for this to be the final event for our time here at Notre Dame.”Diversity Council co-chair Mylan Jefferson said the group is against inviting Trump to Commencement because his words and actions are not inclusive, which goes against the mission of the group.“2017 graduates … they shouldn’t have to worry about their safety on campus or feeling like they need to protect themselves from any of the hateful words or actions that may be taken against them, so we strongly urge … Jenkins to rescind the invitation to Donald Trump, because this is a time for us to celebrate,” she said. Senior Xitlaly Estrada told the story of her parents, who came to the United States from Mexico as young adults and “built an empire, and this empire was not determined by monetary things that they owned but rather the education that they have offered us throughout the years.”Estrada said Commencement was supposed to be about her family, as well as the families of students who are black, LGBT, transgender or Muslim — all of whom she said were discriminated against under the Trump administration.“This is for all of them,” she said. “So I cannot stand idly by as I watch this University attempt to invite this hateful, bigoted man. I cannot.” English and Africana Studies associate professor Stuart Greene said while Trump should be listened to and public discourse should be civil, Trump contradicts the values of the University as a place of respecting human dignity. Greene said he was particularly concerned by Trump’s “silence, his lack of action in addressing the enormous rise in hate crimes across the U.S., [and] his silence, until recently, about Jews in this country who are the victims of a Holocaust that this administration failed to even recognize.” “To be silent amid all the violence sends a very powerful message to those who don’t embrace the dignity of all individuals that it’s okay to persecute, that it’s okay to be violent, and I cannot in good conscience embrace … the very idea that we should invite someone that contradicts the very mission of Notre Dame,” Greene said. Carolina Arroyo, associate professional specialist of political science and adviser of the College Democrats, said Trump is responsible for inciting violence, such as the recent shooting of two Indian men in Kansas which left one man dead and is currently being investigated as a hate crime.“Someone that is on our email list … made a very good point that if we had a student here that said those kinds of things or took those kinds of actions, that student, number one, would not be accepted, and/or if that person came to the University, would be expelled,” she said. “So how can we accept a person like Donald Trump to come here and speak to us?”Anyone who wanted to speak at the demonstration was invited to do so. Topics included responding to arguments that liberals do not care about free speech, standing up for people with disabilities, arguing against Trump’s planned tax cuts and increase in military spending, recalling stories of discrimination by Trump supporters and a contentious argument about diversity on the class of 2017’s Facebook page.At the end of the rally, Wallace said the organizers would send another letter to Jenkins asking him to respond to the December petition.The College Republicans are planning to encourage Jenkins to invite Trump to Commencement during Jenkins’ upcoming office hours, according to club vice president Dylan Stevenson.Tags: 2017 commencement, College Democrats, demonstration, diversity council, Donald Trump, protest, We Stand Forlast_img read more

PrismND continues to support LGBT community

first_imgThis academic year, PrismND — Notre Dame’s first official LGBT and ally organization — aims to continue its mission of trying to help the campus experience of students in the LGBT community.“We try to help those students improve their Notre Dame experience and advocate for them,” senior Baylea Williams, PrismND’s president, said.Senior Kelly Valenzi, the organization’s vice president and Diversity Council representative, added that PrismND seeks to be a social space as well.“We are a closed door and safe space for closeted and not-out students for some social interaction with their community,” Valenzi said.PrismND offers a wide range of activities for its members, such as weekly “hangouts” to give members an opportunity to be social with each other and eat food. The organization’s officers hold weekly office hours for students to come and talk about any problems they are facing.They are also planning meetings designed to help the group’s committees brainstorm ideas for events. Additionally, PrismND puts on panels, such as an upcoming discussion on what it is like to come out of the closet.The group is not a political organization, Williams said. Instead, it is mostly concerned with actions of the administration and the administration’s policy on campus.“PrismND is not political,” she said. “We don’t hold events that are geared towards political parties. For example, we had no part in the protests regarding the Commencement speaker [Vice President Mike Pence].”Williams described the four committees that make up the basic structure of the wider organization: The Social Committee is in charge of events meant “to instill camaraderie” and attract new members. The Spirituality Committee seeks to develop the faith aspect of the PrismND community, including through LGBT masses on campus. The Diversity and Allyship Committee works to highlight the intersectionality of the Notre Dame community. Finally, the Service Committee examines how the South Bend community and beyond can be “reached out to and helped out.”Regarding plans for the coming academic years, Valenzi said they are not working with the administration on any big issues but are planning collaborative efforts with other student groups.“We’re planning collaboration with student government and Saint Mary’s LGBT organization, SAGA,” she said. “One of our goals for the year is to increase work with other student groups.”For more information, email [email protected]: human rights, LGBT, PrismNDlast_img read more