As severe winter weather hit the South Bend area Tuesday, neither Notre Dame nor Saint Mary’s had made a decision whether to remain open for Wednesday classes. As of Tuesday night, the National Weather Service predicted snow accumulation could reach 12 to 18 inches by Wednesday morning, with an additional two to three inches of snow accumulation during the day Wednesday. University spokesman Dennis Brown said Notre Dame usually makes decisions to close offices and cancel classes based on winter weather around 5 a.m. The University last closed due to winter weather on Dec. 12, 2000, Brown said. Final exams were postponed for one day due to snow. In a weather advisory e-mail Tuesday night, Brown said students, faculty and staff should stay tuned to hear early Wednesday morning whether the University would remain open. “If the decision is to close, the information will be communicated via local television and radio stations, as well as on the University home page,” the advisory stated. Patricia Ann Fleming, Saint Mary’s senior vice president and dean of faculty, sent a similar e-mail to the Saint Mary’s community Tuesday afternoon. Fleming said the College planned to make a decision early Wednesday morning. “Should classes be canceled and offices closed, dining services will be in full operation, residence hall staff will be available and security staff will be available for emergencies,” the e-mail stated. Fleming also said if Saint Mary’s campus remained open and students felt conditions were not safe enough to drive to campus, they should e-mail their professors immediately. South Bend Mayor Stephen Luecke declared a “Snow Route Clearance Condition” Tuesday that will remain in effect until 8 a.m. Thursday morning. This condition prohibits parking on streets designated as snow routes. A Monday media advisory from the City of South Bend said Luecke would likely issue a Snow Emergency on Tuesday or Wednesday, which makes it illegal to drive on all streets throughout the city. As of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, no such declaration had been made.
Undergraduate tuition, room and board and student charges will total $52,805 for the 2011-12 school year, according to a University press release. Notre Dame tuition will be 3.8 percent higher than it was this school year — the first year tuition and room and board costs exceeded $50,000. Tuition also increased 3.8 percent for the 2010-11 school year, which was the lowest percentage increase since 1960. Tuition will cost $41,417 for the 2011-12 academic year, according to the press release, and room and board rates will average $11,388. In a letter to parents of current undergraduates about the tuition increase, University President Fr. John Jenkins said he appreciates the sacrifices families make for students to attend Notre Dame. He said the University would continue to “honor [their] commitment by providing an educational experience that is second to none and fully consistent with our Catholic values.” University officers and trustees have focused on containing costs and limiting spending due to ongoing economic difficulties, Jenkins said in the letter. He also said 96 of Notre Dame students graduate within four years, which is one of the highest retention and graduation rates in the country.,Undergraduate tuition, room and board and student charges will total $52,805 for the 2011-12 school year, according to a University press release. Notre Dame tuition will be 3.8 percent higher than it was this school year — the first year tuition and room and board costs exceeded $50,000. Tuition also increased 3.8 percent for the 2010-11 school year, which was the lowest percentage increase since 1960. Tuition will cost $41,417 for the 2011-12 academic year, according to the press release, and room and board rates will average $11,388. In a letter to parents of current undergraduates about the tuition increase, University President Fr. John Jenkins said he appreciates the sacrifices families make for students to attend Notre Dame. He said the University would continue to “honor [their] commitment by providing an educational experience that is second to none and fully consistent with our Catholic values.” University officers and trustees have focused on containing costs and limiting spending due to ongoing economic difficulties, Jenkins said in the letter. He also said 96 of Notre Dame students graduate within four years, which is one of the highest retention and graduation rates in the country.
Notre Dame’s student body has always been a spirited group, but this year, the Leprechaun Legion is making changes that they hope will improve the overall atmosphere of all sporting events. “Our goal is to try to find different ways to get students to come to games,” Matthew Cunningham, president of Leprechaun Legion, said. “We want to keep them entertained and engaged and loud and to create kind of a home field advantage.” To encourage maximum participation from the student body, the Legion has recently decided to expand itself so that every sport will have its own loud, boisterous student section. “The Legion last year focused on basketball,” vice president, Kristen Stoutenburgh, said. “It’s historically been men’s basketball so we expanded to encompass not just the student section at basketball games but also the student section at all sporting events. Every student on campus is part of the Leprechaun Legion.” But for those who want to be more involved in the Legion than simply attending various athletic contests, new changes in the organization’s leadership structure will provide a way. The Leprechaun Legion board is comprised of an executive council, board leaders, marketing members, and the board of student representatives. Essentially, the board will work to find areas in which the student section can improve, Cunningham said. “We have weekly meetings and we talk Notre Dame athletics about how to make them the best that they can possibly be,” Stoutenburgh said. “ There are also individual sports committees, which take charge of the student section for their particular sport. Any student can join a sports committee. “I think we have a great student section,” Cunningham said. “I think part of the reason people come to Notre Dame is the great athletic programs. But we can do better.” He noted that last year’s decision to add music to the football games as an example. “It added a great dimension to the stadium atmosphere,” Cunningham said. Other things like the Leprechaun Legion shirts, which were distributed at several sporting events early in the year, serve to bring the student body together as a united force, Stoutenburgh said. “They’re not just there to watch. They’re there to be a fan and support their team,” she said. The bigger, more excited student sections will unite fans, but they will also lend support to the athletes. “We want to be the best, not only for our own enjoyment but also to support the players and the coaches,” Stoutenburgh said. “Athletes know the Legion stands behind them.” The energy the student section generates can play a crucial role in Notre Dame games. “Coaches will say ‘Yeah, the crowd was great today, it really gave us a boost when we needed it,’” Cunningham said. “That’s what we’re trying to do here – give the students and coaches that extra energy.” In the end, the Leprechaun Legion serves two purposes. It is a voice for the student body within the athletic department and it brings fans and athletes together. “There’s not that big separation between us,” Stoutenburgh said. “We’re all one team.” For more information on the Leprechaun Legion, email [email protected] with your name and sport of interest.,Notre Dame’s student body has always been a spirited group, but this year, the Leprechaun Legion is making changes that they hope will improve the overall atmosphere of all sporting events. “Our goal is to try to find different ways to get students to come to games,” Matthew Cunningham, president of Leprechaun Legion, said. “We want to keep them entertained and engaged and loud and to create kind of a home field advantage.” To encourage maximum participation from the student body, the Legion has recently decided to expand itself so that every sport will have its own loud, boisterous student section. “The Legion last year focused on basketball,” vice president, Kristen Stoutenburgh, said. “It’s historically been men’s basketball so we expanded to encompass not just the student section at basketball games but also the student section at all sporting events. Every student on campus is part of the Leprechaun Legion.” But for those who want to be more involved in the Legion than simply attending various athletic contests, new changes in the organization’s leadership structure will provide a way. The Leprechaun Legion board is comprised of an executive council, board leaders, marketing members, and the board of student representatives. Essentially, the board will work to find areas in which the student section can improve, Cunningham said. “We have weekly meetings and we talk Notre Dame athletics about how to make them the best that they can possibly be,” Stoutenburgh said. “ There are also individual sports committees, which take charge of the student section for their particular sport. Any student can join a sports committee.” “I think we have a great student section,” Cunningham said. “I think part of the reason people come to Notre Dame is the great athletic programs. But we can do better.” He noted that last year’s decision to add music to the football games as an example. “It added a great dimension to the stadium atmosphere,” Cunningham said. Other things like the Leprechaun Legion shirts, which were distributed at several sporting events early in the year, serve to bring the student body together as a united force, Stoutenburgh said. “They’re not just there to watch. They’re there to be a fan and support their team,” she said. The bigger, more excited student sections will unite fans, but they will also lend support to the athletes. “We want to be the best, not only for our own enjoyment but also to support the players and the coaches,” Stoutenburgh said. “Athletes know the Legion stands behind them.” The energy the student section generates can play a crucial role in Notre Dame games. “Coaches will say ‘Yeah, the crowd was great today, it really gave us a boost when we needed it,’” Cunningham said. “That’s what we’re trying to do here – give the students and coaches that extra energy.” In the end, the Leprechaun Legion serves two purposes. It is a voice for the student body within the athletic department and it brings fans and athletes together. “There’s not that big separation between us,” Stoutenburgh said. “We’re all one team.” For more information on the Leprechaun Legion, email [email protected] with your name and sport of interest.
Three Saint Mary’s students who took part in the People’s Climate March in New York on Sept. 21 shared their experiences there at a panel called “Marching for Sustainability and Global Climate Justice” on Friday as part of the Justice Education Department’s Justice Fridays series.Assistant professor of political science and gender and women studies Sonalini Sapra said she was one of two faculty members to walk alongside Saint Mary’s students in Manhattan. The Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) funded the trip, Sapra said.“I heard about the march over the summer through 350.org, and the purpose of this rally … was to get people mobilized and show there are a lot of people who want the government to do a lot more [for the environment],” Sapra said.The rally was purposefully scheduled close to the United Nations Climate Summit called by Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the UN, Sapra said. World leaders, including the President of the United States, attended to prepare for next year’s round of climate change negotiations, Sapra said.Sapra said roughly 400,000 people attended the environmental rally in New York, which was one of 2,600 similar events in more than 150 countries across the globe.Saint Mary’s junior and global studies major Eleanor Jones said she was motivated to attend the march so that the Midwest would be represented among other regions of the country.“I was really interested in joining [and] going to the march because I’ve always been interested in global issues,” Jones said. “I think a lot of the activism is seen on either coast.”Jones said she appreciated connecting with a variety of groups representing different demographics concerned with climate change but especially cherished the concerted moment of silence during the rally.“We happened to be right by the sign that said ‘moment of silence,’” Jones said. “It was really quiet within that minute, and at the end of the minute we just heard this big roar that escalated over the entire march.”The College’s first environmental studies major, sophomore Mikhala Kaseweter said she was also touched by the marchers’ cheers.“My favorite part of the march were the chants we did,” Kaseweter said. “The fact that you could hear literally thousands of voices at the same time [was] just pretty empowering.”Kaseweter said her attendance at the march fulfilled a personal desire to further her environmental activism.“There’s actually more reasons I went than I can articulate,” Kaseweter said. “I follow all sorts of activism pages, [but] I’ve been kind of impersonal with my activism.”Sapra said she and the Saint Mary’s students attended organized supplementary climate justice workshops offered the day before the march.“I went to one about Karl Marx and climate change,” Sapra said. “I also went to one put together by indigenous women.”Associate professor of English Chris Cobb attended the march as well.“I went because the march seemed like the best opportunity that the people of the world have had to make a statement about climate change that would be heard and begin to gain more attention in the media from governmental leaders,” Cobb said. “It’s obviously not something … that is [going away].”Cobb said the size of the march, though unexpected, was a testament to the importance of climate justice.“The size of it … was a kind of wonderful surprise,” Cobb said. “We knew the march was big, but as we got about eight blocks, we gradually gathered ourselves back together and miraculously found a Chinese restaurant. … It was almost two hours until we came out. People were still coming.”Cobb said he was also struck by the number of and diversity in constituents of the march.“The environmental movement has been dealing with the issue of elitism,” Cobb said. “This march really spoke to me that this issue may not be over, but environmental justice has become a centrally accepted idea. There were so many issues being represented, and everyone understood that these issues are bound up together. That was very exciting for me to see that way in which the movement has developed.”Unlike other protests and public displays of activism, the march was not a somber or grim event, Cobb said.“This was not a mean event,” he said. “This was an event that was very joyous, coming out of a deep love for the community, and I think … the call for climate justice is shown to be a very positive call for people who love people.”Tags: 350.org, Climate change, Climate Convergence, Climate Justice, CWIL, environmental movement, Justice Fridays, PCM, People’s Climate March, People’s Climate March 2014, sustainability
Tags: Breakfast Bingo, Charity Day, Claire Kozlowski, Colleen Tigani, Notre Dame Women’s Rugby Football Team, Women’s Rugby Photo courtesy of the Notre Dame women’s rugby team The Notre Dame women’s club rugby team plays in a tournament at Ohio State University in The team is a Division I club sport and competes against teams in the Big Ten.Although varsity sports are a big aspect of the Notre Dame experience, club sports also have a large impact at the University. The Notre Dame Women’s Rugby Football Club, which is growing both in numbers and competitively on campus, is one example.“We’re a Division I club sport [in the Midwest Rugby Union] and we play in the Big Ten,” senior Colleen Tigani, president of the club, said. “We usually play local teams like Michigan or Michigan State, but then we also travel to Penn State and Ohio State. We are a very competitive club. We have regular practices twice a week, meetings as well, run-throughs on Friday and games on weekends.”Senior Claire Kozlowski, the team’s field captain, said they originally played only a version of rugby that had fifteen-member teams, but it added a team of seven in order to go to Philadelphia for the Collegiate Rugby Championship this May.“This is our first year starting a sevens team, which is actually the type of rugby that is going to be in the Olympics in 2016,” she said.Kozlowski said the team aspect of rugby is what motivated her initially to join the club.“When I was a freshman one of the upperclassmen in my dorm, who I played flag football with … was like, ‘You should come play rugby.’ and I said, ‘No thank you, I don’t want to die.’” Kozlowski said. “I went to a practice and never played rugby in my life … but fell in love, and everybody was super encouraging [and] super welcoming, and that’s how it has been the past four years.”Tigani said the team, which also includes Saint Mary’s students, has improved her entire experience at Notre Dame.“For me right now, it’s kind of like a second family.” she said. “You run into girls on the team outside of practice, and it’s like, ‘Oh I know you!’ And it’s weird to explain, but it’s kind of like you always have a person on the team that’s going to be there for you in your classes or outside of sports, then you also have that bond of coming together and playing as a team.”Kozlowski said rugby teams have a camaraderie that makes the sport less intimidating than it seems.“Rugby is one of those games that unless you play it it’s really hard to explain,” she said. “Literally every single moment, you lay your body out on the line for your teammate … and you know that your teammate is doing the same thing for you.”Tigani said the team will host events this semester in order to fundraise, including Breakfast Bingo on Friday at 10 p.m. in LaFortune Ballroom.“There will be breakfast food, and there’s going to be a bingo tournament and different style bingo games and prizes,” Tigani said. “But I think our biggest event will be the weekend of April 12, our Charity Day. We do pink jerseys and pink socks, and we raise money for breast cancer awareness and research. It’s actually going to be paired with our alumni game this year, so some friendly faces will be back to play us.”Looking forward, Kozlowski said she would like to see an increase in membership.“The less they know about rugby the better, we like to say,” she said. “We really like to teach people. That’s how every single one of us started.”Tigani said she encourages those interested in joining women’s club rugby to email her at [email protected]
Monday evening, the Saint Mary’s Student Diversity Board (SDB) hosted the third Diversity Dinner of this academic year in Regina Hall’s South Lounge for students to come together over a family-style Tunisian meal. Monica Villagomez Mendez | The Observer Saint Mary’s students tasted a family-style Tunisian meal at the third annual Diversity Dinner in Regina Hall’s Lounge on Monday.Student government association (SGA) international co-chairs senior Catherine Sullivan and sophomore Ngoc Truong organized the event to further their initial goal established in the fall semester: highlighting diversity within the Saint Mary’s community.“The Diversity Dinners aim to not only feature a variety of cultural foods, but they are meant to also help along students’ understanding of who their fellow Belles are,” Sullivan said.Sullivan said this is the third Diversity Dinner she helped to organize, following two other successful meals featuring Chinese and Italian dishes.“Because of how successful the two other dinners have been, we have had to put a cap on the dinners of 50 people,” she said. “We’ve filled up the dinners every time and we are hoping to expand for further events.”Monday’s dinner showcased Tunisian food thanks to one of the two Fulbright scholars at Saint Mary’s, Olfa Slimane, who is originally from Tunisia.“I wanted to share my culture because as a Fulbright scholar, I am a cultural messenger,” Slimane said. “This is my status. As a teaching assistant, I have to share my culture with others, and sharing culture means sharing food.”According to Slimane, the meal consisted of Tunisia’s most famous dishes, and it reminded her of her home country.The cuisine included couscous, something Slimane said Western diners are familiar with but cooks from Eastern countries prepare differently. The meal also included pureed carrot, lamb sauce, Tunisian salad and aja. Slimane also brewed a sweet green tea with peppermint leaves for the event.“I don’t normally cook for myself; I eat at the dining hall,” Slimane said. “I actually don’t cook much.”Yet, Sullivan said that was not the case for the Diversity Dinner — Slimane not only chose the dishes for the meal, but she also spent three days talking with her mother, who lives in Tunisia, on the phone while cooking every part of the dinner.“Olfa [Slimane] was originally an English teacher in Tunisia and came to Saint Mary’s to teach Arabic,” Sullivan said. “We spent all of Monday morning listening to French hip-hop music in the kitchen of Saint Mary’s [while] cooking lamb.“Olfa [Slimane] is such a great addition to our community here, and she was so excited to share her home cuisine with everyone,” she said.Senior and self-proclaimed foodie Nancy Reynolds said she first took interest in the event because she wanted to experience Tunisian cuisine.“The food was delicious, and I was excited to try different dishes that I otherwise wouldn’t get to taste,” Reynolds said.Reynolds said she thinks the Diversity Dinners are very beneficial for Saint Mary’s students to experience other cultures on a micro-level while in college.“What better way to experience a variety of cultures than with family-style meals?” she said.Senior Emmie Scanlon said she came to the event because she was paired with Slimane in SGA’s international buddy program, which effectively brings together American students and international students at the start of each school year.“It’s been such a fun experience learning about Tunisian culture and becoming good friends with Olfa,” Scanlon said. “This dinner made me learn even more about her, and on top of that, the food was so tasty.”Sullivan said the next scheduled Diversity Dinner will feature Mexican food, and four students from Mexico are already committed to taking on the role of chefs. The Diversity Dinners will end with the fifth dinner, which Sullivan said will offer German cuisine.Tags: Catherine Sullivan, Diversity Dinners, international buddy program, Ngoc Truong, Olfa Slimane, SDB, Student Diversity Board, tunisia, tunisia dinner, tunisian cuisine, tunisian food
Notre Dame students are busy decking the residence halls for the holiday season. The 29 dorms on campus each celebrate in a different way, with unique events and traditions.This past Friday, Carroll Hall hosted its signature event, Carroll Christmas, inviting the entire student body to start celebrating the holidays. This year’s turnout for the event was almost double last year’s, with an estimated 600 people in attendance, Carroll Christmas commissioner and junior Mitchell Meersman said.Meersman said this year’s event featured its traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony, horse-drawn carriage rides and performances from student music and comedy groups, in addition to arcade-style “Reindeer Games.” Carroll Christmas was first hosted 15 years ago, replacing “Carroll Haunted House,” a Halloween-themed signature event.“There are things that we always do at Carroll Christmas,” he said. “We always have Santa and the elves, and our freshmen are traditionally the ones who dress up. It’s a rite of passage kind of thing. In Carroll Hall, they dye their freshmen’s hair gold, and then at Carroll Christmas you work a shift as an elf.”Wei Lin | The Observer Meersman said Carroll Christmas is one of his favorite dorm traditions.“I would encourage everyone to try and make it out to Carroll Christmas before they graduate, especially if they’ve never been to Carroll before,” he said. “It’s a great way to get introduced to Caroll. We’re really not that far away.”Junior Patrick DeJong, president of O’Neill Hall, said the dorm’s signature Christmas decoration is its large O’Neill “O” wreath.“Once the ‘O’ comes out, everyone gets excited,” he said. “Everyone knows it’s Christmastime.”O’Neill also spreads Christmas cheer inside the dorm, DeJong said, with section decorations and a “Secret Santa” gift exchange.“O’Neill really revolves around its sections,” he said. “Going out with the guys, going Christmas shopping, getting trees, getting lights, getting gifts, getting stockings is just a blast. It really gets you in the mood for Christmas.”Dillon Hall employs 5,000 lights to produce its annual light show, senior and resident assistant Tom Hite said, which has been a tradition in Dillon for more than 10 years.“We have a ton of lights on the side of Dillon, in multiple colors,” he said. “The performance is about 10 minutes long. It’s synched to music. It’s a giant production.”The annual light show premiered last night and will run at 8 p.m. every night this week.Pangborn Hall focuses on creating a festive environment within the dorm community with events such as door decorating competitions, cookie decorating and a tacky Christmas sweater party.“Since we’re here for so long, we’re here up until Dec. 17 or 18, I think it’s important to make the dorm a homey atmosphere,” sophomore and hall president Annie Batcheller said. “Your dorm’s already your home. When I’m at home during Christmastime, I want my home to be decorated, and I want it to look like Christmas. This is the same thing.”Hite said the residence hall system at Notre Dame allows students to come together and celebrate the holidays in a familial setting.“If the goal is to have the dorm be a family, which I feel that Dillon is, it’s nice to have everyone decorating on Friday afternoon,” he said. “The whole section’s out decorating, Christmas music is blasting, we’re drinking eggnog. That’s kind of like a family event.”The Carroll dorm culture is also conducive to celebrating the holidays as a community, Meersman said.“In Carroll, we study together, we hang out together. Christmas is a family thing,” Meersman said. “Because we’re celebrating it together, it solidifies the whole idea of the Notre Dame dorms as trying to create that family.”Outside of the dorm, University-sponsored decorations and events help contribute to the holiday spirit on campus, Batcheller said.“Notre Dame does a great job,” she said. “I love how there’s garland in the Main Building. I love all the free food. It feels like everyone’s in a little better mood because of it.”Despite the impending stress of finals, Hite said students find ways to enjoy the holiday season and spread Christmas cheer.“Christmas is a big holiday,” Hite said. “Do it right. Go all out. Spend time together. Because it’s easier to be in a better mood during finals week when there’s Christmas lights up.”Tags: Carroll Christmas, Dillon Hall light show, Pangborn Hall
Zachary Llorens | The Observer Who they are: Student body presidential candidate Corey Robinson, a junior Program of Liberal Studies major with sustainability and business-economics minors, currently serves as the vice president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and previously held the role of athletics representative on the Vidal-Devine executive cabinet. The San Antonio native and former Knott Hall resident is a receiver on the football team and the co-founder of the non-profit One Shirt One Body.Robinson’s running mate, Becca Blais, is a sophomore political science and peace studies major from New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Blais served on Judicial Council as an election committee member her freshman year and most recently held the position of director of Internal Affairs on the Ricketts-Ruelas executive cabinet. The Farley Hall resident is also a Dean’s Fellow in the College of Arts and Letters.Top priority: Strengthening and expanding sexual assault resources on campusRobinson highlighted the ticket’s plan to train nurses at St. Liam’s to becoming Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE), who would be able to administer rape kits on campus and help care for sexual assault victims, while Blais noted a desire to improve the Title IX process that follows sexual assaults, including evaluating the disciplinary and rehabilitation measures for students found guilty of sexual assault.Best idea: Providing a SANE in St. Liam’sRobinson noted how, at the moment, sexual assault survivors at Notre Dame must travel off campus via taxicab or personal vehicle to St. Joseph Hospital in order to have a rape kit administered, which can create unsafe or frustrating circumstances that might discourage survivors from taking these steps in a time-sensitive process. They propose to “give students the resources to be safe and comfortable” right on campus by training nurses in St. Liam’s to administer rape kits, and they have researched the steps and funds necessary to follow through on this idea as soon as they take office.Worst idea: Reform of student senateWhile a good idea in theory, their plan to reform student senate needs to be more detailed and efficient. They mentioned bringing in speakers, such as University administrators and faculty members, to gauge and incorporate student thoughts into their decisions, similar to what Robinson experienced within the athletic administration in his role on SAAC. However, senate has already done something similar to this in the past year with negligible results. Blais also recalled how senators tend to get bogged down in parliamentary procedure and become discouraged from sharing their ideas as the year progresses. But procedural reform does not seem to be enough to fully change a group like senate, which has had a minimal impact on student life, so more specifics are needed for how they can accomplish this effectively.Most feasible: Partnering with the Career Center and local organizations to help students find internships in the South Bend areaMuch like their plan to train St. Liam’s nurses to become SANEs, Robinson and Blais have already laid the groundwork for their “Strengthening the BoND” initiative, which would connect students with local internships through groups like enFocus and by posting a greater number of opportunities more clearly on the Career Center website. For students who would like to work but don’t have cars, Blais said they have also looked into the “doable” process of rerouting Transpo lines to help students efficiently travel to their jobs.Least feasible: Overseeing Notre Dame’s divestment from fossil fuels in the University endowment. The push to have the University divest from corporations that profit from fossil fuels has been a goal of several past student government officials and groups on campus. And while it is a commendable goal and one Robinson and Blais would certainly be able to promote with University administration, history has shown that the decision is out of the hands of members of student government and not one Robinson and Blais would be able to actively “oversee,” so much as one they could encourage.Bottom line: Robinson and Blais understand and noted how student government isn’t necessarily the end-all, be-all of student decisions, but rather an organization that has the power to work with other groups with similar ideas in order to achieve their goals. They know how to partner with student groups and University resource centers, such as the Career Center, to efficiently bring about change. Additionally, Robinson’s established relationships with University administrators, including University president Fr. John Jenkins and Athletics Director Jack Swarbrick, would likely help him and Blais accomplish their tasks in a timely manner. Tags: Becca Blais, Corey Robinson, Student government elections
Notre Dame International (NDI) has confirmed the safety of the two students known to be in Munich during the shooting at Olympia mall that left at least nine dead.Catherine Wilson, NDI executive administrator and international delegations coordinator, said Friday afternoon the University had confirmed the safety of two students registered to currently be in Munich, and were in the process of confirming the safety of other students in Germany.One of the students who was in Munich had just arrived back in the U.S., Wilson said. Wilson said all the other students currently in Germany have registered to be “fairly distant” from Munich, so she expects them all to be safe.NDI did not utilize a “world-wide” confirmation, which would require contacting all students currently studying abroad, not just those in Germany.Tags: Munich, NDI, Notre Dame International, student safety
When in 2013, Pope Francis, referring to gay and lesbian persons, said “who am I to judge?” he sparked a conversation on the Catholic Church’s stance on LGBT issues that has continued over the past few years. In a panel hosted by Campus Ministry, PrismND and the Gender Relations Center on Thursday evening in DeBartolo Hall, professor of theology at Providence College Dana Dillon and Dr. Patrick Beeman, an Air Force obstetrician-gynecologist, discussed the LGBT community in relation to the Church and Catholic teaching.After a brief discussion of the meaning of mercy by both panelists, Beeman talked about how his initial “knee-jerk reactions” against gay marriage and other LGBT issues changed when he went through a divorce, another act formally condemned by the Catholic Church.“I ran in circles that were uber-Catholic and I thought, ‘What am I going to do?’” Beeman said. “Then I realized that it doesn’t matter; I’m still called to be a Catholic.”Beeman said he was able to apply this same logic to those in the LGBT community, who he said could still seek Christ despite the Church’s official opposition to their actions. He said he moved more toward becoming an ally of LGBT people as a result of this experience.Dillon said supporting LGBT individuals falls within the greater Catholic social teachings on the common good and preferential treatment for the poor, which she said applied not just to those poor in wealth, but also marginalized groups.“The Catholic common good is the good of all and the good of each, where the two serve one another, rather than being in competition,” she said. “I think it is certainly true with the LGBTQ community, a historically marginalized group. Where we stand exactly in our Catholicism and our Catholic identity, we need to stand with those marginalized and vulnerable.”The panelists also discussed what Catholics can do better to aid LGBT individuals. Beeman said he thought Catholics ought to be better in helping gay or lesbian couples when they choose to start a family.“Yes, we don’t think that artificially produced pregnancies are a good idea for lesbian couples or for anyone, but couples who are going through pregnancy … we must be supportive of their health,” he said.Dillon said there must be a constant fight against derogatory speech and actions.“Every single one of us [should work] to create that environment resisting hate and oppression,” she said. “It is a different discussion … arguing about principles and about people and how we talk to them.”Dillon said her stance as an LGBT ally has often exposed her to criticism, especially when she defended John Corvino, an advocate for gay marriage, in his attempt to speak at Providence College. Corvino’s 2013 appearance at Providence was canceled.“I got lectured by people in Campus Ministry and the theology and philosophy [departments] on cooperating with evil, for my willingness to stand up and defend Church teaching and [to] also allow this man to come and speak on campus,” she said.Dillon concluded with a plea for acceptance by all Catholics.“I want to suggest that however you identify — gay, Catholic, both, neither — try to find ways to actively give people permission to be your friend and ally without agreeing on everything,” she said.Tags: Campus Ministry, Gay and Catholic, Gender Relations Center, PrismND