Talk centers on snow removal

first_imgFollowing the recent passage of a new snow ordinance in South Bend, members of the Council of Representatives (COR) discussed the ramifications for off-campus students at Tuesday’s meeting. The new ordinance includes a penalty for residents who fail to shovel the sidewalk within 24 hours of the end of a snowfall. According to WNDU, the fine existed in the previous ordinance, but the city could only impose it after having paid someone else to remove it. “We’re concerned about students over break,” student body president Catherine Soler said. The city is establishing a snow removal program, which it hopes to staff with volunteers to clear the sidewalks at residencies occupied by the handicapped or elderly. Off-campus president Ryan Hawley said he thinks off-campus seniors will respond negatively to the new ordinance. “Students don’t have the money, time or energy to shovel our sidewalks,” he said. But student body vice president Andrew Bell said it is important for students to fulfill the responsibilities that come with living in South Bend. “When you choose to move off campus and into the community of South Bend, you’re choosing to follow these rules,” he said. “We just need to remember we chose to be part of this. The real issue is about students not being around a lot of the time.” Chief of staff Nick Ruof said the administration would be meeting with city representatives to discuss Notre Dame students’ role in the removal program and how the city will handle fines over breaks. “They’re looking for Notre Dame students to shovel elderly people’s sidewalks,” he said. “We’ll be meeting with the city attorneys in a few weeks.” Soler said it could serve as an opportunity for students to get service hours for Resident Life penalties. Bell reminded members that a cooperative effort between students and the city, especially through the volunteer removal program, could help alleviate any issues that may arise with student residences. “Just like everything else in a community, it’s give and take,” he said.last_img read more

Expert lectures on dating, relationships

first_imgBoston College “date doctor” Kelly Cronin asked Notre Dame students last night to risk breaking their hearts. Cronin gave a lecture at Legends sponsored by the Gender Relations Center (GRC) titled “Notre Dating: The Lost Art of Friendship and Romance.” She said the hookup culture has become pervasive at most American universities. College students, Cronin said, often respond to pressures largely by substituting intensity for more personally intimate experiences. “It’s crazy that a casual thing can be taking your clothes off in front of someone, but that asking someone on a date is this super formal thing,” she said.    Cronin is a doctoral candidate in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. She is also associate director of the Lonergan Institute and a faculty fellow in Boston College’s Center for Student Formation. Cronin is a nationally known speaker on college campuses. Cronin said current academic studies of the relationship between college students and sexuality falls far short of the reality that she has learned through talks with students. She said the reality is the modern student is very unlikely to “date.” “There is only a small sliver of people who do this thing called ‘dating,’” she said. Cronin said the rest of the population pursues various levels of intimacy, ranging from the nonexistent intimacy of a casual hookup to an extremely serious relationship. Cronin said that general conclusions could be drawn about college dating life. “At [Boston College], I found about 23 percent were involved in what I call ‘pseudo-married couples,’” Cronin said.  “Pseudo-married couples have a problem because people hate them.  People hate them because they’re so … happy.” But Cronin said some of these couples are secretly afraid their relationships have progressed too quickly. “These people are often stuck in relationships or hiding out in relationships and are afraid that maybe their friends are right ⎯ they’re not fun after all,” Cronin said. “[These are people] who are suspicious that the relationship that they’re in is maybe a little further than they should be at that stage of their life.” Cronin said the hookup culture is another characteristic of the college population. A strong trend during freshmen year, she said it generally fades somewhat in subsequent years.   “High freshman year, [hooking up] settles down the second year,” Cronin said.  “However, juniors … [go] abroad and they say, ‘I’m going to go hook up in Scotland. I need hooking up with an accent.’” A further portion of the population “opts out” of the culture entirely, she said. The problem, she said, is the hookup culture is so pervasive it dominates the social scene at American universities. “It’s not that everyone’s involved in it … But it’s the thing that gets talked about,” she said. Though the culture has very strict rules, Cronin said those rules are unwritten. She said “hooking up” means completely different things to different people. Cronin said this hookup culture’s biggest problem is it instills exactly the wrong habits in students, degrades their sexuality and creates a harshly aggressive culture.   She challenged students at the talk to ask someone out who genuinely interested him or her before spring break, but acknowledged the process is difficult. “I have great hope that you guys can fix this,” Cronin said.  “I’m asking you to try, just try.” Dr. G David Moss, interim director of the Gender Relations Center and assistant vice president of Student Affairs, said the Center wanted to address the lack of knowledge about dating and how to improve awareness.   “I think that in many ways our students have lost the knowledge of what dating is … We want to give them a renewed understanding of what dating is and how dating can be done,” Moss said.   Students appreciated Cronin’s candor and humor. Sophomore Stephen Zerfas said the number one reason he attended the lecture was to get the complimentary Starbucks voucher. “[But] I also was excited to come and hear about how to date and have healthy relationships despite how counter cultural dating currently is,” he said. Sophomore Lissa Stolte agreed. “Professor Cronin’s discussion of dating and the hookup culture was fun, hilarious and impressively accurate,” she said. “I also really liked hearing her tell stories about her students at Boston College — it was nice to have concrete examples of people who obviously felt as awkward about dating as a lot of Notre Dame students evidently do.” Cronin said ultimately students must be courageous, but not fearless, when entering the dating scene.   “You can fix this by dating people without it becoming super intense, to show care and concern and to be open to the beginnings of love,” she said.last_img read more

We won’t tolerate it’

first_imgEditor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series about the Call to Action movement and the experiences of minority students within the Notre Dame campus community.  One year ago today, members of the Notre Dame community gathered in a town hall meeting to discuss incidents of racial discrimination experienced by the Black Students Association (BSA) and the African Students Association (ASA) and to develop a plan to move forward.  Students learned from a Feb. 24, 2012 email that during the span of one week, fried chicken parts were placed in both organizations’ mailboxes in the LaFortune Student Center. Members of the community shared similar stories of racial tension and exclusion at the town hall meeting March 4, 2012, which made it apparent that the harassment directed towards the BSA and ASA were symptomatic of a larger problem. Emerald Woodberry, current president of the BSA, said the intense emotion shared at the first town hall meeting indicated minority students had kept a lot of their thoughts bottled up. “The first [town hall meeting] took people by surprise – no one knew what was coming,” Woodberry said.  “That’s what I’m worried about, the fact that students were living with this emotion, holding onto it and not sharing it with anyone. … I’m worried about that and the implications that has on a student and their experience at Notre Dame.” Another town hall meeting will take place March 26. But Woodberry said the steps student leaders have already taken have begun to develop support frameworks and help minority students navigate life at Notre Dame. “I think it’s our responsibility to make sure this doesn’t happen again, that we have platforms for students to come and talk and express these things and know that something will come of [their story],” Woodberry said.  ‘The voice to make a difference’ Students themselves have the power to demand that better support frameworks are created, ASA president Chinelo Onyeador said. “Without the students, nothing would have happened,” Onyeador said.  “We can do anything we want it we really want it – we really do have the voice to make a difference on campus.  I think students have so much power, that’s the bottom line.” The movement began with one person: former BSA president Brittany Suggs, Woodberry said.  “Initially when the [items were placed in the BSA and ASA mailboxes], both clubs’ officers reported the incidents to Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) and there was an official report filed,” Woodberry said. “Shortly thereafter [the Feb. 24, 2012] email came out [from then vice president of student affairs Fr. Tom Doyle and vice president and associate provost Don Pope-Davis] with Brittany’s name signed [as well]. “That was huge.  It basically said we won’t tolerate it, this happened but it won’t end here.  We’re going to keep pushing and keep fighting.  We sat down [and] literally brainstormed what we can do, how we can get students involved and where this is going to go.” That initial meeting prompted the groups and the other collaborators to arrange the town hall meeting, Woodberry said. “If things like this happened at other times we need to know about [those incidents] – that’s not going to cut it, that’s not going to work for us.” Shaping a movement By collaborating with the administration, student leaders within the BSA and ASA united to formally create the Call to Action movement, Onyeador said.  “The BSA and ASA were the groups targeted so we became spearheads of the group,” Onyeador said. “Now we’ve gotten the Diversity Council involved, members of other minority groups have participated in the communities, some of the students who teach the Contemporary Topics class – it’s a really diverse group of students, that’s definitely diversified a lot more than last year.” Several administrators have been instrumental in the movement, but none more so than Iris Outlaw, director of multicultural student programs and services, and assistant vice president of student affairs Dr. David Moss, Woodberry said.  “Both Ms. Iris and [Moss] really helped us to focus in on all of the things we need to do without being overbearing,” Woodberry said. “We took all the things that we got from the town hall meeting, and started to collaborate with student government and different offices on campus to see what we can do. … As things fell into place, we had committees in place that were planning things, then coming back and reporting to us.” The efficient collaboration between student and administrative leaders and immediate commitment by the administrators to the students’ goals allowed the movement to successfully pursue its initiatives, Woodberry said. “I’m not sure how things have happened in the past, but I’m not sure there has ever been such a strong coalition between students and administrators where students have led the way,” Woodberry said. After beginning their terms as this year’s leaders from the BSA and ASA, Onyeador said they spent a semester learning the progress Suggs had made during the 2011-12 school year. “There was a lot that Brittany did by herself, [so] Emerald and I spent the first two [or] three months of figuring out all she did,” Onyeador said.  “The first months of school were basically transition months, after that we looked at what we had and where we had to go from there.” Student government Diversity Council liaison Ernst Cleofe said student government partnered with Call to Action committee members as the movement set its agenda. He participates on the movement’s steering committee with Outlaw, Moss, Woodberry and Onyeador, Cleofe said.  “I didn’t want to be the strongest voice in the room, but student government … wanted a role that is step by step in every single process in any capacity they needed,” Cleofe said. “We don’t want to be at the forefront because we don’t think that’s our place.  The Call to Action movement is a student-driven organization, and I think the way student government views it is that we’re here to help.” Some of the most significant developments fostered by the movement will affect students from the first moment they step onto Notre Dame’s campus and begin residence life in the dorms through freshman orientation, Cleofe said.  ‘Just the place where I live’ Onyeador said minority students often struggle to find a “home under the dome” through on-campus dorm life.  “I think that’s one of the things about dorm life – minority students don’t always feel it’s for them,” Onyeador said. “That’s why so many leave campus so soon – many minorities move off-campus after their freshman year – which is quite unusual for the typical Notre Dame student. “I’m still on campus but that’s not my choice, that’s been my parent’s choice. Overall my dorm experience hasn’t been horrible, but it’s just the place where I live, it doesn’t feel like a community to me.” This sense of exclusion for minority students often starts during freshman orientation, Onyeador said. “A lot of students – not just minority students, majority students too – have complained about Frosh-O being really awkward and really uncomfortable, not that welcoming,” Onyeador said.  “I know they try to foster community … but it’s not comfortable for anyone, let alone the one Hispanic girl or the one black girl in the dorm.” Onyeador said reworking freshman orientation training allowed this year’s program to run more smoothly. “We’ve gotten a lot better feedback from the freshmen [than in years past],” Onyeador said. “A lot of the people who were on Frosh-O staffs said they were on their dorms’ Frosh-O staffs because they had had bad experiences and wanted to make it better for someone else.” Efforts to improve dorm life for minority students affect more than just freshman orientation, Onyeador said. “They are changing Resident Assistants’ (RA) training; that also started this past year,” Onyeador said.  “Last year, I had a really great RA, but I just feel like sometimes RAs feel uncomfortable because they don’t know how to interact with someone who is not the typical Notre Dame student – it’s not like they’re intentionally trying to leave anyone out, they’re just not used to it.” Holding each other accountable As the Call to Action movement continues, NDSP has also developed a more comprehensive reporting system for any type of harassment on campus, Woodberry said. “We’ve also started creating a new website called [email protected], which is going to be launched in March,” Onyeador said. “On it you can report any incident of harassment – racial, sexual, sexual orientation, whatever it is. It’s a one-stop shop for reporting.” Creating a venue so that students can more easily report harassment works hard in hand with efforts to strengthen the relationship between NDSP and the rest of the campus community, Onyeador said. “Sometimes we forget that they are here to serve us and to help us but the relationships that students have with [the officers] are not always positive,” Onyeador said. “NDSP is trying to show us [what their role on campus actually is] – they have a pamphlet that they’re working on that explains our rights as students and their rights as a police department. “We don’t know what we can do and what we can’t do – we don’t know our rights. This pamphlet is trying to do a better job of explaining that to students,” she said. NDSP also instituted a new policy per the recommendation of the movement, which will require officers to offer business cards after every interaction with students, Onyeador said.  “A lot of students have had issues with NDSP in the past, whether in questioning whether they are actually students here or accusing them of something, so we’re trying to hold these officers accountable,” Onyeador said. Looking to lasting change It’s been one year since the town hall meeting when the ball began rolling on these initiatives. Though the initiatives have already produced some tangible results, students will be the ones to affect lasting change in their perceptions of diversity, Cleofe said. “It’s an overall change on the part of the student body that is really going to change the way diversity is treated on campus,” Cleofe said. Cleofe said he hopes people remember the principles behind the idea of the Notre Dame “family.” “Personally, it’s something I feel really strongly about – not just [in terms of] racial diversity, but people from all different backgrounds accepting each other and being a family, which is what Notre Dame is supposed to be all about,” he said. Woodberry said the movement focuses on the needs of individual students by working to reach both majority and minority students and clearly express what constitutes unacceptable, discriminatory treatment. She said she hopes this continual conversation will help the Call to Action leaders to continue working on initiatives that will improve the ability of the Notre Dame community to welcome all of its members. “That’s the worst thought ever that someone, somewhere on our campus doesn’t feel a part of this Notre Dame community – this Notre Dame family that we harp on all the time,” Woodberry said. “Talking to those marginalized students and taking their opinions seriously is the most important part of all of this. Even if it’s just one student that this reaches, that one student is really important.”last_img read more

Rector recounts history of Log Chapel

first_imgPositioned on the edge of St. Mary’s lake, the Log Chapel at Notre Dame stands as a physical landmark of the University’s storied history.  The location serves as the gravesite for the first priests to serve the South Bend community and represents the long commitment of Notre Dame to the people of this area, Fr. Peter Rocca, rector of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, said.  “[The Log Chapel cemetery] is filled with people who have just given themselves to this place and really believed in the mission of Notre Dame,” Rocca said. Today, the Log Chapel is frequently used for weddings, baptisms, Masses, morning and afternoon prayer by the Old College seminarians, and other small gatherings, Rocca said. “It’s a small place. We have a number of bigger chapels on campus,” he said. “But if you want something more intimate, then this is the perfect place for it. It is filled with history.” Rocca said Jesuits set up St. Joseph’s Mission in the South Bend area, but in the wake of the French and Indian War, the British forced all of the priests out of the area. As a result, the Mission lacked a resident priest from the late 1750s until around 1830. Fr. Stephen Badin, the first Catholic priest to be ordained in the United States, eventually took over the Mission, Rocca said. Badin built the chapel in the 1830s, after the United States government forced the Potawatomi Native Americans out of the area. “At this mission, St. Joseph’s Mission, the government had decreed that all Native Americans would have to have a forced migration from this area all the way west of the Mississippi River,” Rocca said.  Rocca said once the Native Americans were forced out, all the land in the area where St. Joseph’s Mission was located came under government authority. Badin bought some of the land in order to maintain the Mission’s independence. “So, in order to have some authority and have some land that the government did not own, Fr. Badin ended up buying about 650 acres here,” Rocca said.  Badin built the original log chapel within those 650 acres, Rocca said. In November 1842, Fr. Edward Sorin arrived in South Bend and took up residence in the log chapel.  “That was the first chapel and residence,” Rocca said. “So then, soon after that, Fr. Sorin and the [Holy Cross] brothers built the Old College building.” Rocca said before Sorin arrived, Badin and his colleagues worked hard to aid the Catholic population of South Bend. But it was Sorin whose vision for a University led to the founding of Notre Dame.  “Fr. Sorin’s principle aim in coming here was to start a college,” Rocca said.  The original log chapel fell into disuse in 1848 and then burned to the ground in 1856, Rocca said. It was not until 1906 that a replica of the original chapel was constructed.  “There are four people buried in the Log Chapel,” Rocca said. “Fr. Badin is buried there. He died around the year 1853, and he was buried for 50 years in Cincinnati, Ohio. But his dream, his wish, was always to be buried under the shadow of the Golden Dome. So, after 50 years, his body was exhumed and brought back here.” Three of Badin’s successors are also buried in the Log Chapel: Fr. Louis Deseille, Fr. Benjamin Petit and Fr. François Cointet, Rocca said. Deseille and Petit were Jesuits, while Cointet was a Holy Cross priest. Rocca said when the government forced the Potawatomi out of the area, Petit accompanied the Indians on their forced migration, which has since been referred to as the “Trail of Tears.” Petit got sick when he returned from the infamous march and died at the age of 29.  Rocca said the legends of these men and their everlasting presence in the Log Chapel heighten the site’s significance for him. “For me, it is very moving to be able to celebrate in a place where you have buried right in the middle aisle – I mean, they’re right there where you can’t miss them – the person who really started this place and then his successors, including a Holy Cross priest, who helped continue it.” Rocca said. “And to see what it has grown into today, I mean, it’s pretty awesome. Its overwhelming.”last_img read more

SMC alumna discusses fashion boutique launch

first_imgSaint Mary’s alumna Vanessa Cooreman Smith combined her love of fashion with her drive to succeed when she launched Flourish Boutique in Granger in 2008, and she returned to the College on Monday to share the story of her business. The lecture was co-sponsored by Saint Mary’s Business and Economics Department and the Cross Currents Program’s Collegiate Speaker Series. Smith, who graduated in 2004, said the boutique was a dream of hers that began during her undergraduate years. “When at Saint Mary’s, I found myself trying to fit my passions and creative talents into other avenues that were more practical for living in the Midwest,” Smith said.   During her junior year at Saint Mary’s, Smith said she discovered her passion to start her own business, and after college began to take classes in business and fashion through the Art Institute Online.  “All the time I was doing that, I was planning, saving and researching,” she said. “Despite my fear of failure, I knew it was my calling in life was to start my own business. Smith combined a small business loan and her savings to open Florish Boutique in 2008 as a women’s clothing and accessories store, Smith said. The business’s mission is to help women “flourish” both in fashion and in life. “The definition of the flourish has two meanings: first, as an embellishment or flair on clothing with that as a testament to the clothes we have, and second, is to thrive or prosper,” Smith said. Smith said her goal is to help women find unique and special clothing, but also to make them feel confident and great about themselves.   “Only two months after Flourish opened, the stock market crashed,” Smith said. “I knew it was too late to turn back. “Looking back, when faced with the recession at that time, I felt like all my life’s mentors were preparing me for something difficult. The personal stress and toll was insane, we sold our house and our cars because we were so determined to make it work.” We had to come up with many creative marketing strategies like fashion shows, trunk shows, giveaways, etc. to help us during this time.” Smith said the adversity in the beginning served as motivation for her future success. “Despite everyone’s advice to close, it was like whenever someone told me to close, I became even more determined” Smith said. Two turning points of the business was her “giving philosophy” to gain fans and the use of social media, Smith said. “The turning point felt like a huge shift in momentum, but it didn’t mean overnight or lack of stress,” Smith said. Today, despite the recession, Flourish have experienced year after year growth,,” Smith said. “We launched our e-commerce store in 2011, [were] featured on CNN and have gained a big fan following through Facebook and blog posts,” Smith said. “We also now have specialized staff, internship position, and are outgrowing our current space.” Smith said in the future, she would like her business to become a major player in the online world of boutiques. “If you start a business it will be challenging, but on the other side you can live your dream,” Smith said. “Life can throw things at you, but you must pursue a job you love to do.” Contact Angela Bukur at [email protected]last_img read more

SMC student named ‘Maid of Erin’

first_imgSaint Mary’s sophomore Kaitlin Nelson earned the 56th Maid of Erin title in a Detroit Irish scholarship competition on Feb. 22, earning the right to represent the Detroit United Irish Society for one year.Katie McCarty | The Observer Nelson, a communications and theatre major, said The Maid of Erin is required to make public appearances and speeches at local Detroit events, especially during the Saint Patrick’s Day season.She said she discovered the competition through her family, which has been involved in the Detroit Irish community for generations.“My cousins have been a part of the competition and I always knew I would compete,” Nelson said. “I am also a part of a women’s Irish group in Detroit called the Daughters of Erin which is very involved in the competition.”The competition requires any girl of Irish descent between the ages of 16-23 to make two speeches, take part in an interview and perform in a talent portion in front of judges, Nelson said. The panel of four judges is composed of dignitaries in the community.“My first speech focused on my work with a program called Girls on the Run, a non- profit organization which teaches middle-school girls self confidence while training them for a 5K,” Nelson said. “My second question was an Irish history question and for my talent portion, I Irish danced. I have been Irish dancing for over 16 years now, and it has been a major part of my life taking me all the way to the championship level.”Nelson said the Saint Patrick’s Day season is the busiest for the Maid. Parties and fundraisers lead up to the largest event, the annual Detroit Saint Patrick’s Day parade.“The parade day begins at 4:30 a.m. with interviews with all the local news stations and radio shows, then off to Mass at 9 a.m.,” Nelson said. “The next part of the day is the Cork Town Races which is the city’s 5K, then the parade begins.“The Maid of Erin starts the parade and is driven by a horse and carriage. When I reach the end of the parade I go to the grand stand with the dignitaries and watch the rest of the parade.“There are many parties after the parade as well to celebrate Cork Town as it is Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, established in 1834.”Detroit’s 56th annual parade was Sunday, and participants marched in the second coldest winter on record, Nelson said.“Our faces were frozen but our Irish blood was flowing strong, keeping us warm.” Nelson said. “The parade was spectacular, and a lot of people came out despite the cold weather.”While Nelson reigns as queen, one of her many ambitions is to start a Detroit Irish organization for kids. There is a lack of opportunity for children, Nelson said.“I think Detroit exemplifies how diverse our community is and how proud we are of culture,” Nelson said. “As the Irish community, I think it is our responsibility to share this pride with the generations to come. We are proud of our heritage and the hard working people that got us where we are today and that should be passed down.”Nelson said she is most looking forward to being able to represent the United Irish Society at various community events in Detroit and to show Irish pride“No matter how tiring the events get, I remind myself how lucky I am to be a part of such a dedicated and hard working culture,” Nelson said. “Detroit’s Irish history dates back to 1834 and, through all the hardships, exemplifies how strong the Irish are. I am truly proud to be Detroit Irish.”Tags: Detroit, detroit main of erin, maid of erin, SMC, smc student named maid of erin, St. Patrick’s Day, st. patrick’s day maid of erinlast_img read more

Saint Mary’s Dance Marathon partners with SB Cubs

first_imgSaint Mary’s College Dance Marathon (SMCDM) and the South Bend Cubs are joining forces to raise awareness and funds for Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. The game will take place this Thursday, Sept 3, at 7:05 pm at the Four Winds Field in South Bend. The South Bend Cubs will take on the Dayton Dragons.Tickets are $9 and one-third of the proceeds go to Riley Hospital. Students and all other members of the community are welcome to attend this event. Tickets can be purchased through Wednesday in the Student Center Atrium.Co-president Allison Lukomski said SMCDM has a goal to sell 150 tickets. Reaching this goal will allow a Riley patient to throw the opening pitch at the game.Lukomski said SMCDM executive board’s goal for this year is to raise awareness of Riley Hospital’s involvement with the children and how the hospital provides treatment to all kids regardless of their ability to pay.She said the collaboration with the South Bend Cubs is a fun opportunity to bring the college and South Bend communities together as well as raise funds and awareness for Riley hospital.“I want to see our community, at large, come together and help us unite in the fight for all children who are battling for their lives,” Lukomski said “Dance Marathon is all about fighting for a cause that is bigger than yourself, fighting for the continuation of hope that is given at Riley and fighting for the little faces I have seen, for their health and for their lives.Lukomski said she wants Saint Mary’s College, University of Notre Dame, Holy Cross College and the South Bend community to feel united while helping children who are fighting medical battles.“Since DM was created here at Saint Mary’s, we have based our goals on the following: engaging our campus and community, supporting our Riley families and celebrating life’s victories and new hope,” she said.Co-president Maranda Pennington said this is the first year the two organizations have collaborated and Dance Marathon has aspirations of making it an annual back to school event.The collaboration with the South Bend Cubs will help to kickstart SMCDM’s goal to raise $100,000 for the main event in March.“We [raised] just over $90,000 last year, and are hoping to take that momentum and make this the best year possible for Dance Marathon,” she said.Pennington said the board not only wants to increase funds raised for the kids at Riley, but also the number of participants.Letter-writing executive Hannah Monte said she has been involved with Dance Marathon for three years.“Helping others has always been a true source of happiness in my life, and Dance Marathon has become a huge passion for me,” she said. “Seeing the joy and happiness in the faces of Riley kids helped me realize the differences we make in their lives through this amazing organization.”Monte said this year she has a personal goal to raise $1,000 for the kids.“Participation in SMCDM has been an amazing journey thus far and when looking into the future, I absolutely cannot wait to end SMCDM 2016 with sore legs form dancing and full hearts from giving,” Monte said.“It is an awesome feeling that everyone is coming together as a community to do something special like this for the Riley kids and Dance Marathon community,” Monte said, “We cannot thank South Bend Cubs enough for partnering with us and showing their support.”Tags: 2015-2016, Dance Marathon, Indianapolis, riley hospital for children, saint mary’s, South Bend Cubslast_img read more

Student discusses Islamophobia

first_imgThe past week’s installment of Justice Friday at Saint Mary’s focused on disproving myths about Islam and highlighted ways to combat Islamophobia in the Saint Mary’s community. The lecture was led by junior Caylin McCallick, who spent the summer at Saint Mary’s learning from international students through a program, Study of the United States and Islam for Women’s Leadership (SUSI). She said she hoped to shine some light on the similarities between Islam and Christianity and dispel some of the stereotypes about Islam. “Islamophobia is the dislike or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force,” McCallick said.  “This ignorance of Islam is ritualized in our society today. For example, a child was arrested just this week for building a supposed bomb that was a clock he brought into class to show his teachers.”McCallick said this hatred is both baseless and senseless, especially because of the similarities between Islam and Christianity. “Muslims are monotheistic and worship the same God as Christians,” she said. “They believe in the teachings of a single prophet and preach peace and love in their holy book, the Qur’an.”She argued that the acts of a few radicals do not align with what the religion teaches or believes. “Islam comes from an Arabic word that means peace,” McCallick said. “It is a peaceful religion and most jihads are wars that you fight within yourself … Islamic extremists are not acting within the faith.”McCallick said the definition of jihad is deeper than common belief.“A jihad is the battle over your soul; it is the fight within oneself against sin. It is often translated as Holy War in America, which is a strong misconception,” McCallick said. “While there is such a thing as military jihad, one has to remember that Catholics and Christians have just war theory as well, and just like Christians, there has to be by a certain authority that approves the war for specific reasons and there are certain rules as to how that war can take place.”The lecturer said she feels offended by the misconceptions about Islam and Muslims post 9/11. “It hurts me that these ideas are still present in our culture today,” McCallick said. “This is such a misunderstanding and misrepresentation of a faith that is beautiful.”After explaining Islamophobia in America, McCallick opened the room up for discussion.Junior Miranda Pennington said being Muslim and American are not mutually exclusive. “Someone could be Muslim but it doesn’t contradict with them being American,” Pennington said.Sophomore Vanessa Odom said the fear is baseless and Muslims are misunderstood.“I don’t think that it is a fear of Muslims or Islam, it is a misguided fear of extremism,” Odom said. “It is an extremism phobia above anything else.” McCallick provided specific tips on how to combat Islamophobia. “We need to watch the language we use when talking about extremism,” McCallick said. “These acts are inspired not by truth but by a small group of people. … We shouldn’t throw around terms like Islamic or Muslim.”“Its better to ask questions in a respectful way than to assume things are the way they are,” she said. McCallick said we need to see people as related by the human race and as fellow humans first before seeing them as a religious group. The Justice Friday lecture series takes place every Friday from 12 p.m. to 12:50 p.m. in Conference Room A and B of the Student Center. Tags: Caylin McCallick, Islamophobia, Justice Friday, saint mary’slast_img read more

Higgins Labor Cafe relates unethical labor practices, globalization

first_imgIn Friday’s installment of the Higgins Labor Program’s (HLP) Labor Cafe discussions, members of the Notre Dame community gathered in the Geddes Hall Coffee House to discuss the supply chains of Notre Dame licensees  Students from the Center for Social Concerns Fall 2016 Human Trafficking Seminar delivered a presentation on the the topic titled “Exploring the Risk of Forced Labor Within the Supply Chains of Notre Dame Licensees.”Dan Graff, director of the HLP, said Labor Cafe events enable attendees to foster dialogue about pertinent social issues.“The Labor Cafe is an ongoing vehicle for discussion on contemporary labor questions,” Graff said. “It’s most of the time just a discussion-based convening, where we decide ahead of time that someone’s interested in talking about a particular issue, and they facilitate the discussion.”Seniors John Nolan and Michelle Kim and sophomores Maggie Feighery, Joseph Laski and Zoe Walker shared research they conducted about Notre Dame’s supply chains last semester as their final project for the Center for Social Concerns Fall 2016 Human Trafficking Seminar.Feighery said the University policies in place lessen the risk of unethical labor practices in the supply chains of Notre Dame licensees.“We do have a code of conduct for our licensees that we expect them to adhere to,” Feighery said. “We also have a freedom of association policy. We don’t allow our licensees to make products in countries that don’t allow workers to unionize. There are nine countries on that list — among them is China. We’re a member of the Fair Labor Association [FLA] , and our licensees are also members of the Fair Labor Association.”Despite these policies, as well as regulations mandating supply chain transparency, determining whether or not a product was partially made with unethical or forced labor can be an arduous task, Feighery said.“Supply chains are incredibly difficult to trace these days,” Feighery said. “A lot of that has to do with the rapid expansion of globalization. Even though information is spreading more easily, it’s not keeping up with how large the supply chain is getting and the different aspects of it. It can have as many as eleven parts, from where the cotton is sourced to where it ends in your hand. There’s been an increase in forced labor, which we’re seeing a lot globally.”Laski said several companies — such as Patagonia and Apple — have taken proactive measures to combat forced labor in the manufacturing of their products.“The main thing we learned from this is even the best companies have trouble getting deep into their supply chains,” Laski said.Tags: Center for Social Concerns, Higgins Labor Cafe, Higgins Labor Program, Labor Cafelast_img read more

Office of the Registrar tests new registration planning tool

first_imgThe Office of the Registrar is testing a new class registration tool — ND Academic Planner — that will be available to students during course registration for the Fall 2018 semester. The tool is intended to simplify the process of searching for courses, planning schedules and registering for classes.The Office of the Registrar collaborated with student government to create the planner and is receiving feedback from a group of around 40 students who are testing the tool during this semester’s registration process. University registrar Chuck Hurley said planners such as Coursicle and Schedulizer inspired the tool during the design process.ND Academic Planner’s uniqueness, Hurley said, lies in its integration with Banner, Notre Dame’s registration program.“[We] wanted to build something that was actually integrated with Banner because students will go to Coursicle and then they’ll have to print it out or write it down,” he said. “This will help students into all of our Notre Dame data there. So we’re really optimistic about it.”Senior associate University registrar Amika Micou said the integration with Banner is tool’s most popular feature thus far.“That always gets a round of applause the first time someone sees it,” she said. “I think it’s the thing that we’re doing that nothing else is or can do. So they’re very excited about that, and the whole planning side of it is something that we’ve heard is missing from the tools that we’re providing them now.”This integration with Banner will allow students to add entire schedule plans to their official schedules with two clicks, Hurley said.“Basically, instead of typing in the five CRNs or searching and then clicking on ‘add’ and things like that, it would allow you to apply these plans [as a whole],” he said.With the new planner, students will be able to search for courses by attributes such as subject, requirement or professor and add them to a potential schedule, which includes a visual representation of the schedule plan. Students can create up to five hypothetical plans, a number Micou said came out of discussions with students about the tool.“That was a discussion point,” she said. “So every time we had these small groups with student government, we said, ‘What number seems about right?’ Because we all agree that if you get too many out there it gets overwhelming, and five just seemed about right for them. It’s not too many, not too little.”However, Hurley stressed that creating these plans does not automatically register students for classes.“One of the keys, though, is that students still need to understand they would still need to go in at their time ticket and register,” he said. “Creating a plan does not automatically register a student for classes. It’s no different than looking up classes in class search right now, or going to Coursicle, or Schedulizer or something like that and creating some test plans. … Classes will be full, things like that, but it integrates the planner with registration.”Hurley said the creation ofND Academic Planner was largely student-guided. The Office of the Registrar tried to incorporate student requests into the planner.“We started kind of with a blank slate and said … ‘If you could wave a magic wand, what would you want to build plans in registration?’” he said.Tags: NOVO, Office of the Registrar, registration, Schedules, University Registrarlast_img read more