Newly-elected government officials convene for first time

first_imgAt the new student government administration’s first Student Senate meeting, the group bestowed emeritus status upon the former student body president, vice president and chief of staff. Senate also passed a resolution requesting the campus-wide implementation of hydration stations, sustainable water sources with filters and coolants. Ben Noe, director of internal affairs for student government, said the emeritus resolutions thank former student body president Pat McCormick, vice president Brett Rocheleau and chief of staff Claire Sokas for their service to the student body. Noe said he thought the resolution bestowing emeritus status upon Sokas was especially important. “The chief of staff is the role that is all of the work for very little glory,” he said. “It’s a tough job because they kind of have to be the rule enforcer and the boss, while at the same time, they have to be your friend as well … and I think Claire did an outstanding job this year.” The resolution advocating for hydration stations requested the University “implement hydration stations in the remaining residence halls and academic buildings so all students can enjoy clean, fresh-tasting water and the University can continue fulfilling its sustainability goals.” Rocheleau, now student body president, said the hydration stations would cost approximately $70,000 in total. “Right now, all dorms next year will have hydration stations in them, so those will be implemented over the summer,” he said. “But right now, we still haven’t been able to get approvals to get them in academic buildings … If there were a filtered water source, it would be a benefit.” Contact Marisa Iati at [email protected]last_img read more

Corps recognizes University

first_imgNotre Dame graduates again swelled the ranks of Peace Corps volunteers during the past year, earning the University the18th slot on the Peace Corps’ annual review of the top volunteer-producing midsized colleges and universities across the country. The University website reports that about 80 percent of Notre Dame students are involved in service through the Center forSocial Concerns, while at least 10 percent of graduates spend a year or more volunteering. Mike Hebbeler, a director in the Center for Social Concerns said this culture of service at the university as a principle reason for Notre Dame’s 18th spot on the list. “A good number of students are actively engaged in service learning projects, community service, and international development. Many students come in with these interests, and the university does a great job of deepening those interests,” Hebbeler said. In a press release announcing celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, Rok Teasley, a Peace Corps recruiter, also commended Notre Dame students for their ability to translate their classroom learning into practice. “Notre Dame students enter into service with an excellent understanding of the issues global communities are facing,” Teasley said. “I am constantly inspired by the students I speak with and their passion and commitment to social justice, sustainable change and working to bring peace into the world.” This is the 13th consecutive year Notre Dame has made the Corps’ list. Since the Peace Corps was formed in 1961, 865 Notre Dame alumni have served as Peace Corps volunteers. Twenty-three graduates currently volunteer with the Corps abroad. Still, Hebbeler said students often fear entering into post-graduate service programs because of their perceived effect on their future careers. “So often, I hear students say, ‘I’m falling behind’ or ‘my friends are advancing their careers,’” Hebbeler said. “They see it as taking a year off. As our recruiter likes to say, if you spend two years though doing project development in Moldova and you return to the States to find friends working for a certain firm, you’re going to come back and be their boss.” Rather than viewing post-graduate service as time off, Hebbeler said students should embrace these programs as opportunities for maturation and becoming more independent and creative, all skills transferrable to the American workforce. “You can call it a job or you can call it service. The work doesn’t change,” Hebbeler said. Patrick Starr, a recent graduate of the Peace Corps, explained in a press release how his time in Benin helped clarify his future professional goals. “My service still resonates very powerfully with me today. I decided to attend business school immediately following the Peace Corps to hone my financial skills in preparation for a career in impact investing,” Starr said. “I hope that by targeting investments of capital to the people most in need, I can marry my background in finance with my love of serving others.” Post-graduate service does not suit everybody, however, and Hebbeler ensures students fully consider their motivations for entering into a service program. “The first step is taking a moment to think more deeply about what they feel called to and what is stirring within them,” Hebbeler said. “I challenge them to think about the mission of the University and how that might be a guide for them as they enter into the world.” The Peace Corps has opportunities for students from all disciplines, and Hebbeler encourages students from across the university to consider post-graduate service. “Take the time to listen to what’s stirring within you and think deeply about how you might live out the gospel, how you might work for justice and contribute to the common good,” Hebbeler said. “The Peace Corps allows you to live out these motivations daily.” Contact Aubrey Butts at [email protected]last_img read more

Center for Arts and Culture opens

first_imgNotre Dame’s new Center for Arts and Culture, established by the Institute for Latino Studies, aims to celebrate cultural diversity through art and community. The Center will host an open house today and give tours of its inaugural exhibition from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. and from 3 to 7 p.m. The Center is located in the West Washington National Historic District of South Bend beside the Indiana Center for History, the Center’s executive director Gilberto Cardenas said. The Center houses a printmaking studio, an art gallery and the University’s Office of Community Relations. “This whole area will become a cultural area,” Cardenas said. “That’s another reason we selected to have the center here.” The Center’s internationally-known fine-art print studio, Segura Publishing, was previously located in Tempe, Ariz. Cardenas said this printmaking studio will fill a unique niche in the community. “There’s not a single print studio like this that does lithography, etching and woodcuts in northern Indiana or southwestern Michigan,” he said. “If you’re just graduating or a student, there are hardly any opportunities at facilities like this. But hopefully, in time, we’ll create opportunities for artists in this region to work.” Cardenas said the first works to be featured at the Crossroads Gallery will be by artist Martina Lopez, a photography professor at Notre Dame. Cardenas said he hopes to feature a wide variety of artists in the future. “We’re hopeful some of our international programs will help us bring in artists from around the world, from South Africa or Latin America,” he said. Cardenas said the Center will seek to create and display art “to address social issues that affect all Americans and people throughout the world: hunger, health, justice.” The Center aims to offer opportunities for students and faculty to apply their artistic skills and work off campus, Cardenas said. “We hope to soon have student work study, interns, people who want to learn more about the arts and people involved in marketing,” Cardenas said. “We also want to have a visiting lecture series, to bring in lecturers who are involved in community arts to lecture [at the Center] or on campus.” Cardenas said the Center wants to have a strong connection with the University and the community, as well as with other universities in the area. “We’re hopeful that we will be able to attract students and faculty and campus units to get involved with us for a mutual benefit,” he said.last_img read more

Third annual research day on campus

first_imgOn Monday, the Harper Cancer Research Institute (HCRI) hosted their third annual Research Day, which promoted interdisciplinary communication and featured cancer research from laboratories across campus.Undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students presented 80 research posters at the event, which also included addresses from several speakers, program coordinator Angela Cavalieri said.“This year, we had posters representing cancer research from 28 HCRI labs,” she said. “The presenters are ND undergraduates, IUSM-SB [Indiana School of Medicine-South Bend] medical students, technicians and post-doctoral fellows. We’ve also had local oncologist participation as well as affiliated institutions such as RiverBend Cancer Services.”Cavalieri said presentations at the event involved both keynote speakers and local oncologists.“There will be presentations from ENSCII Fellows and then from faculty recipients of the Walther Cancer Foundation’s ABC Grant funding,” she said. “This year we were pleased to be host Dr. Christoph Reinhard, Sr. Director, Lilly Oncology, Pre-clinical Oncology Tailoring [as keynote speaker].”The three-year-old Harper Cancer Research Institute is the result of collaborative efforts between Notre Dame and IUSM-SB, Cavalieri said. The event, which was open to the public, was important to increasing awareness of the research being done on campus, she said.“This event was a logical answer to presenting research in the areas of chemistry and biochemistry, biological sciences, engineering, applied mathematics and psychology,” Cavalieri said. “Each year the event grows in scope and attendance.”Junior Matthew Metzinger placed second in the undergraduate category for his poster investigating the link between obesity and ovarian cancer. He said he was honored the judges viewed his research as worthy of an award.“My poster presentation focused on how CT scans can be used to quantify and visualize body fat in mice,” Metzinger said. “This work is important because we use CT scans in many of our projects that study the correlation between obesity and ovarian cancer.“While we know this correlation between obesity and ovarian cancer exists, very little is known in terms of how having a higher body mass index increases a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer.”Sophomore Katrina Burgos, an intern at the Institute, said the day was a great success and important to the greater Notre Dame community.“We had a great turnout,” she said. “I believe that Research Day is a great event for the campus and the community to see what researchers are working on at Harper, especially undergraduates who can be found in every lab.”Cavalieri said she attributes the success of the event to the teamwork of everyone involved.“We have a large number of very active Harper Cancer Research Institute members who assist with everything from judging the poster contests to emceeing the research presentations and a cast of behind-the-scenes people who make the event successful each year,” she said.“Collaboration is vital in scientific research, especially when it comes to cancer,” Burgos said. “Events like Research Day give scientists the opportunity to learn more from each other.”Tags: Harper Cancer Research Institute, Research Daylast_img read more

Former Irish receiver receives 10-day sentence

first_imgFormer Irish wide receiver Will Mahone plead guilty to and received a 10-day sentence for four misdemeanor counts, according to the South Bend Tribune. Emily Kruse | The Observer The counts included resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, assault and aggravated menacing, the Tribune report stated. Mahone, who faced two seasons of limited play due to injuries, is no longer enrolled at the University.Irish coach Brian Kelly originally suspended Mahone indefinitely June 16 following his arrest in Ohio on five charges, according to an announcement from sports information director Michael Bertsch.Mahone was arrested June 14 around 10:30 p.m. after police in Austintown, Ohio, responded to a complaint about a fight, the South Bend Tribune reported.He was initially charged with assault of a police officer, intimidation of a public servant/party official and vandalism of a government entity, all felonies in Ohio, as well as with misdemeanor resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, according to a Mahoning County Sheriff’s report.Witnesses told police Mahone was intoxicated while head-butting, punching vehicles and trying to fight people, the Tribune reported. Mahone physically resisted arrest and shouted expletives and threats at officers, and allegedly responded to an officer’s request to get on the ground with “(Expletive), white boy.”He continued to resist arrest after being taken to the ground by an officer, the police report obtained by the Tribune alleges. Allegedly, the handcuffed Mahone repeatedly yelled at officers, “Take these cuffs off, and I’ll kill all of you.”Mahone was also accused of trying to kick police and thrashing his head backwards and striking an officer on the forehead, according to the Tribune.Mahone was initially taken to a hospital to receive treatment for a cut on his eye, but he continued to shout expletives and was later transported to Mahoning County Justice Center for incarceration, the Tribune reported.“The University is aware of this incident and is confident that it will be handled in a prompt and professional manner through the criminal justice system,” Notre Dame officials said in a June 16 statement published in the Tribune. “Internal discipline is handled privately, in accord with our own policies and federal law.”Tags: Arrest, Irish football, Will Mahonelast_img read more

Men’s rowing club to host ergathon for cancer research

first_imgThe men’s rowing club will host Saturday its first annual Joseph D. Boyle Memorial Ergathon to raise funds for pancreatic cancer research.The ergathon, to be held in the Joyce Center Rowing Gym from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will honor the memory of the father of junior rower Joe Boyle, who died of pancreatic cancer last October.“My way of dealing with grief has been to give back, do something positive and be optimistic,” Boyle said, “It’s what my dad would have wanted, and I decided that I wanted to do something constructive in helping other people that have pancreatic cancer. It would be a good way to give back in his memory instead of just wallowing in grief.”Junior rower Bryce DeVenecia said the team invites the entire Notre Dame community to participate.“We’ve contacted all the alumni, and now we’re trying to reach out to the students mainly and see whoever wants to come and put in a couple meters for the cause and spread awareness about pancreatic cancer,” he said.According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate for stage I pancreatic cancer is 14 percent and 3 percent for stage III.“Pancreatic cancer is very under-researched, very underfunded, so this event is to spread awareness and raise funds,” DeVenecia said. “We’re giving the funds to the Harper Institute for Cancer Research, and we’re hoping to raise a lot of money to start a lot of research here on campus and also spread awareness on campus about this terrifying disease.”Boyle said an ergathon is “similar to a walk-a-thon or run-a-thon or jog-a-thon” but performed on an indoor rowing machine known colloquially as an ergometer, or erg.“The whole men’s team is going to row as many meters as possible in four hours,” Boyle said, “We’re getting donations pledged to us per 500 meters. Some of us are planning to row 42,000 meters, so that’s 84 500s, so if you donated a dollar per 500, that’d be an $84 donation.”A rowing marathon is 42,000 meters, DeVenecia said.Although this year’s ergathon is the first, the team hopes to expand the event in the future.“We’re going to make it into an annual event, so sometime in the early spring or late winter every year,” Boyle said. “Hopefully, every year we’ll raise more money and keep it going in honor of my dad, keep the event alive and see how we can grow it. … We’re trying to get through the first one, but next year we’ll definitely network it way ahead of time.”“Anyone that wants to come out and support us is welcome to,” he also said. “Thanks for the support and check us out on Facebook. Like it, spread it around. Donate a dollar, five dollars, whatever you want — every penny counts.”Tags: Bryce DeVenecia, Ergathon, Joe Boyle, Men’s Rowinglast_img read more

Students host prayer service for immigrants

first_imgMembers of the Notre Dame community gathered at the Grotto and prayed for justice for the undocumented immigrants who would be affected by the outcomes of the United States v. Texas, a landmark court case the Supreme Court heard Monday. The event was organized by the Student Coalition for Immigration Advocacy.According to an article by Voice of America, the United States v. Texas case will analyze the legality of President Obama’s executive decision to establish Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). This program allows undocumented parents to defer deportation, assuming they have no criminal record, have been in the U.S. since 2010 and have a child who is a citizen or legal permanent resident.Fr. Joe Corpora, CSC, director of the Catholic School Advantage Campaign, led the opening prayer for the event and said the main reason for the gathering at the Grotto was to pray for just results for the millions of undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S.“We gather this afternoon at Our Lady’s Grotto to pray for our nation and for all who call this land our home,” Corpora said. “Immigrants have always enriched the United States since the very beginning.”Corpora said to also keep in mind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) students. DACA is another immigration program that allows undocumented immigrants who entered the country before they turned 16 and arrived in the U.S. before June 2007 to receive exemption from deportation and permission to work legally in the U.S. for two years.“Today we pray especially for DACA students here and all around the country and we pray for the improvement of our nation’s laws,” Corpora said. “We remember that we are all pilgrims on a common journey towards God. We pray for the families, children, women and men who suffer because of unjust or ineffective immigration laws.”Corpora said to pray to soften the hearts of the members of the Supreme Court so they can come to a just conclusion that will help and not hurt the many undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. today. He said to pray for mercy for these immigrants and to remember in God’s eyes no one is a stranger because they are all made in the image and likeness of him.To conclude the service, those who attended were invited to light a candle to show their solidarity for all undocumented immigrants and to display their hope that better policies would be implemented that would allow for safe migration.“Inspire in each of us a commitment to welcome a stranger, to protect the marginalized, and to create a more just and humane world,” Corpora said.Tags: DACA, DAPA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, United States v. Texaslast_img read more

Students participate in Women’s Marches

first_imgThe day after President Donald Trump was inaugurated, people across the country and the globe took to the streets in Women’s Marches to stand up for the rights of women and marginalized groups. Saint Mary’s students joined the marches both in downtown South Bend and in Washington, D.C.Sophomore Teresa Brickey was part of a group that traveled to Washington. She said the group received scholarships from the Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to attend the march.“I march because there are many injustices taking place in our country,” she said. “My friends have been targeted for their skin color, for their ethnicity, for their faith, for their sexuality, for who they essentially are. This past election cycle has highlighted the worst parts of our nation, of which evoke such targeting. Donald Trump has only affirmed and validated hateful beliefs against women and against marginalized people. Thus, I march for them, for myself and for our future. We must end systemic racism, we must end xenophobism, we must end homophobia, we must end discrimination of any and all kinds.”Being in Washington, D.C., for the march was “overwhelming,” Brickey said.“Marching with hundreds of thousands of people all fighting on behalf of intersectional feminism was one of the best things I have ever done,” she said. “To be able to do this in our government’s capitol was a privilege. We marched along the streets where laws are made and where our representatives work for us. We were living out our democracy in the place of which it was birthed.”Brickey said her goal was to call the new administration to action.“Our government needs to hear the people it works for because we are the reason it exists,” she said. “Our representatives need to actually represent us — the people.”Senior Caylin McCallick attended the South Bend march. She said it was important to march to show solidarity.“Marching — the act of walking around town in and of itself — would mean nothing if you are doing it on your own,” she said. “However, marching with a large group of people, you suddenly realize you’re not so alone, and that together you can affect change.”McCallick said she wanted to be a present ally and to offer her privilege to the crowd.“I wanted to see the faces of the active bystanders around me, and I wanted to bear witness to the fight,” she said. “I wanted to actually do something, and I was privileged enough to be able to do this.”According to McCallick, many other Saint Mary’s student and faculty were at the South Bend march.“I was so incredibly proud,” she said. “Seeing [Saint Mary’s students] around me affirmed my purpose for being there. We are part of a legacy of strong women, and we been through the best of times and the worst of times. In those moments as I saw those familiar faces, I knew we could get through this.”Junior Marilla Opra also attended the South Bend march. She said the experience was empowering.“Everyone I talked to was friendly and had something positive to say, even if we didn’t quite agree,” she said. “The overall feeling was one of unity and hope.”The marches were full of posters with different quotes and sayings that showed what the participants were there for. Opra said her poster included a quote from Audre Lorde that said, “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even if her shackles are different from my own.”“I felt this was an important message because I recognize that I have certain privileges as a cisgendered, white female that other women do not,” Opra said. “I’m a firm advocate for intersectional feminism.”According to Opra, a diverse group of people shared stories and experiences as part of the march.“The best part was listening to individuals go up to the microphone and explain why they were there to march,” she said. “We got to hear stories from a variety of people — teachers, sexual assault survivors, dads, members of the LGBTQ community and even children, each with their own unique perspectives. The diversity was phenomenal.”Opra said she did not march in protest, as many people perceived the marches to be, but rather a demonstration of solidarity.“I took the march as a message to Trump and his administration saying that these are the rights that we have, these are our values, and if you try to take them away, we will stand together and resist,” she said. “It’s also a message of hope to those who have valid fears of some of the rhetoric that was prevalent during his campaigning process. I personally didn’t see it as a ‘Trump protest’ but instead a movement of solidarity and unity.”Tags: Donald Trump, Feminism, saint mary’s, Women’s March, Women’s March on South Bend, Women’s March on Washingtonlast_img read more

Student Worker Participation Committee prepares next round of recommendations

first_imgTwo years after being formed by executive vice president John Affleck-Graves in 2013, the Worker Participation Committee (WPC) made its first round of recommendations in its review of the University’s licensing codes of conduct, specifically regarding the University’s prohibition on the production of Notre Dame–licensed products in China. The main recommendation was to conduct a pilot program to see if the University could exert its influence within selected Chinese factories to achieve and sustain certain worker rights.  Nearly three years after those recommendations, the University is producing licensed products in China. Both the WPC and its student counterpart, the Student Worker Participation Committee (SWPC), are preparing to make another round of recommendations. “The last big thing was, basically, it’s been decided that we’re going to produce in China. Now the question has become ‘How do we ensure that the factories where we’re producing meet certain standards?’” SWPC member and junior Adrian Mark Lore said. Editor’s note: Lore is a former Associate Scene Editor for The Observer.Junior Jackie Brebeck, SWPC secretary, said Notre Dame’s latest big change from the administration was acknowledging a willingness to back out from contracts with individual factories at the end of last semester.“There are these certain minimum requirements that are already in place,” she said. “The administration has basically confirmed that, if those companies don’t meet those requirements, they’re willing to say now ‘We’re just not going to produce with you.’”Lore and Brebeck said one of the major recommendations the SWPC was working on was the formation of a consortium with other colleges and universities. “There are other schools that have already been very conscious in this and are, honestly, kind of ahead of where our University is, so in our recommendation we say that Notre Dame should become a leader in this, especially because of Catholic social teaching,” Brebeck said. If the recommendation for the consortium is accepted, the formation of the group could start as soon as “late, late spring,” with a conference that would then begin the consortium, Lore said. The consortium itself would then likely start in the fall. The SWPC is dedicated to ensuring the University would remain a leader of the consortium. “We think that Notre Dame has a really rigid commitment to their values … I’d like to see the University keep leading the consortium,” Lore said. Lore said Notre Dame’s business makes up a mere percentage of work for most of these factories. Pushing too hard at once could result in the factories deciding it isn’t worth it to do business with the University, and in favor of business that “demands less.”  “We have to be conscious of how much power we have in changing what the companies do,” Lore said.The consortium, Brebeck said, would help address this problem by cooperating with more of the institutions with which these factories are working. “I feel like we are pushing to go big,” she said. “I want to go after the schools with the biggest contracts — they have the most influence, and we need to include them to be successful.” The other major recommendation of the SWPC is determining which standards are the most important for the factories to meet, Lore said. The University’s work with Chinese factories requires auditing to see which worker rights standards are being met and to make changes to improve those ratings. “China might not have certain labor laws, but we demand that they meet these standards, so those auditing companies, on our behalf, would go and check that they’re doing all that,” Lore said. “So what we’re doing right now … is framing what we want that system to look like: What are our top priorities when it comes to what the companies need to meet and how often do we want to audit? Do we want to work with other universities? Right now we’re drafting a recommendation to the administration of what we would like to see.”There are limitations to what these factories can accomplish at once, and some things cannot be implemented. For instance, Lore noted that unions weren’t “legally possible” in some areas, and thus aren’t a reasonable requirement to ask of factories. “Obviously, we want more than to ask them to meet the bare minimum, but in order to work well, you need to do it in stages,” Brebeck said. “While it’d be ideal to ask for more, it’s more realistic to ask stage-by-stage. I think we’re asking for change at a reasonable pace.” Tags: China, labor, Student Worker Participation Committee, Worker Participation Committeelast_img read more

College Career Crossings office shifts to virtual programming for fall semester

first_imgThe Career Crossings office at Saint Mary’s has provided students with resources, including  group seminars, and focuses on developing skills related to resumes, interviews, LinkedIn, internships and alumni connections, ultimately helping set up students up for career success. However, with the onset of COVID-19 last March, the department had to shift its focus from hosting in-person sessions to transitioning to a virtual platform.Director Stacie Jeffirs said that the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly changed the Career Crossing Office’s operations.“We transitioned pretty quickly in March when the College closed down,” she said in an email.Continuing with virtual programming this semester, Career Crossings launched its first Sophomore Springboard Session on Aug. 18.Assistant Director Angie Fitzpatrick said Career Crossing’s goal was to start its programming as soon as possible.“We want to engage students early,” she said in an email.Based on the number of RSVPs, attendance is expected to be nearly double this year. In addition, if students cannot attend the session, then they can review a recording of the information session, making Career Crossing’s information easier to access than ever.Furthermore, Jeffirs elaborated on the variety of upcoming services provided by CCO, emphasizing the importance of attending.“With each class year, there are different career development needs,” she said.First-Year Outreach will be conducted in one-on-one sessions for fifteen minute increments, personalized in order to get to know each student. Jeffirs explained that a “First-Year Action Plan” will be provided to freshmen in order to set a strong foundation and to confidently prepare underclassmen for the professional development expected of students matriculating into their sophomore, junior and senior years.Sophomore Springboard Session also addressed the importance of choosing a major and oftentimes applying for a first internship. For upperclassmen, the Junior and Senior Springboard Sessions tend to focus on graduate school and more specialized interning.In addition to Spring Sessions, the Career Crossings Office will also be offering “What’s up Wednesday!” workshops, beginning in September and lasting until the end of the semester. These will be topical events, Jeffirs said, which will go on to dive deeper into topics addressed in the Springboard Sessions, such as “Career Fair, Virtual Interviews, Resumes and LinkedIn,” all of which will be held online.“Ninety-nine percent of our programs will be virtual,” Jeffirs said.Jeffirs noted that an increased use in RSVPs, masks, and social distancing, will be utilized in order to minimize the risk of transmitting COVID-19. In addition, there will be plexiglass for employees when seeing students in the office.While a majority of programs will be online in the fall semester, Jeffirs said the office could “possibly add some more in person things in the spring.”Tags: COVID-19, fall 2020, Saint Mary’s Career Crossings Officelast_img read more