Project to tackle vulnerability

first_imgThe seventh annual Edith Stein Project will focus on vulnerability in relationships of every type, conference co-chair junior Margaret Kennedy said. “The theme is ‘Encountering Vulnerability: Courage, Hope and Trust in the 21st Century,’” she said. “We chose to focus on vulnerability this year because we often see it in a negative connotation and run away from it. But we also have a positive necessity of vulnerability in relationships.” Co-chair senior Rebecca Roden said 29 speakers will lecture on the many aspects of vulnerability in daily life. “We thought vulnerability would be a good theme because there is a lot of variation in interpretation and a lot of different ways to go,” Roden said. Professors from several universities, including Notre Dame and Holy Cross, will speak to the audience, as well as individuals in fields related to the conference theme. Kennedy said Project Rachel founder Vicki Thorn will speak on the body’s physical response to love and relationships. Project Rachel is a ministry and resource for women experiencing grief after abortions, according to the project’s website. “We always talk about that we can reduce love down to a series of chemical reactions,” Kennedy said. “But what happens after that? Vicki will look at this.” Popular Notre Dame Philosophy professor David O’Connor will lecture on masculinity and vulnerability, Kennedy said. O’Connor teaches the course “Ancient Wisdom, Modern Love,” which reflects part of the theme of the conference, she said. “He will be juxtaposing Christ and Socrates as examples of masculinity,” Kennedy said. Roden said the planning committee aimed to place students on positive life trajectories and encourage acceptance of vulnerability. “I hope students will have a better sense to answer the question, ‘What does it mean to be vulnerable in relationships with others?’” she said. “I want them to know that’s a positive thing.” Kennedy said the conference always intends to echo the teachings of Edith Stein herself. Stein lived in Germany during the Nazi regime and was killed because of her Jewish heritage. “She’s the patron of our conference because she wrote a lot about dignity of women,” Kennedy said. Though the conference focuses on women from a Catholic perspective, Roden said she wants attendees to know the planning committee hopes to reach a broader audience. “Male students, professors, staff — we want everyone to come,” she said. “Come and bring your questions. Even if you end up disagreeing with a talk or presentation, you could add to the question and answer session or still gain something from it.” Kennedy said 250 students are expected to register. “It’s really cool to bring together so many undergraduates,” Kennedy said. “To bring in that many is to spark a lot of fruitful dialogue.” Kennedy said anyone can register for the conference up until it begins either online or at McKenna Hall, where the conference will be held. The conference begins today at 12:45 p.m. and runs through Saturday. A full schedule of events is available online at nd.edu/~idndlast_img read more

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Council elections take place

first_imgThe Judicial Council approved 10 tickets to run for Class Council. Six tickets are running for Sophomore Class Council, while two tickets are running for Junior and Senior Class Councils each. Elections will take place online today from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. SOPHOMORE CLASS COUNCIL Juan Rangel, Alison Leddy, Christina Gutierrez, Paul Luczak Juan Rangel, Alison Leddy, Christina Gutierrez and Paul Luczak hope to unite their class through communication and programming. “We will ensure that we communicate with the entire class on a regular basis, as well as allow plenty of opportunities for the class to communicate with us,” Rangel said. “We also will ensure that we offer something for everyone when it comes to providing programs and events for the class.” Rangel, Leddy and Gutierrez are currently members of Freshman Class Council. Luczak is a member of the First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership program. Rangel said he and his running mates are enthusiastic about enacting a number of initiatives. “We are excited to begin working on allowing Domer Dollars to be used on Eddy Street, apparel like sunglasses and rugby shirts, short and concise weekly newsletters, service opportunities with Habitat for Humanity and teaming up with other student organizations to plan great events,” Rangel said. Kevin McMannis, Cristin Pacifico, Ryan Newell, Kai Gayoso The main focus of Kevin McMannis’ ticket is to establish a tight-knit class by catering to students’ ideas, he said. McMannis said his ticket’s ideas include organizing a “farewell picnic” after final exams, creating neon class apparel and holding a class Mass and monthly town hall-style meetings. “We’d like to host a festival on Irish Green near the end of fall and enjoy the last of the ‘warm’ season together,” he said. “We want to bring in a band, rides and food to celebrate the fall and get ready for a white winter.” McMannis is running with Cristin Pacifico, Ryan Newell and Kai Gayoso. The four ticket members serve on Freshman Class Council. McMannis is the freshman class vice president and Pacifico is also a member of the Student Union Board. “We understand what is expected of us and we have crucial programming experience,” McMannis said. “At the same time, we have fresh ideas and a fresh start, which we think is also very important.” Timothy Scanlan, Nathan Foje, Andrea Palm, Emily Voorde Tim Scanlan, Nathan Foje, Andrea Palm and Emily Voorde want to use class events and apparel to generate pride in the class of 2015. “To do this, we plan on throwing an off-campus Winter Ball and hosting a year-long Class Cup that will pit dorms against each other in various competitions,” Scanlan said. The campaign also calls for increased communication between students and the Class Council. “We will have a ‘Class of 2015 Stimulus Package’ that will allow anyone to submit an idea to Sophomore Class Council and we will help fund and run their event,” he said. The ticket also emphasizes designing class bro tanks and snapbacks as a priority. Kevin Walsh, Martin Walsh, Jeanette Kim, Shannon Hogan The platform presented by Kevin Walsh, Martin Walsh, Jeanette Kim and Shannon Hogan aims to foster class unity. “Our main focus is giving the class of 2015 their most enjoyable experience at Notre Dame to date,” Kevin Walsh said. Many of their ideas include an outdoor ice rink, class trips to the Indiana dunes, a capture the flag tournament, themed school days, a class barbecue and multiple fundraisers for charity. “To us, our duty as leaders of the Sophomore Class Council is to provide the most opportunities for students to enjoy themselves during their sophomore year here,” he said. The ticket also plans to streamline communication between the council and students. Jack McKenna, Andrew Pemberton, Caroline Chang, Therese Germain The time is now to change the Class of 2015’s Notre Dame experience for the better, Class Council candidate Jack McKenna said. McKenna, who is running with Andrew Pemberton, Caroline Chang and Therese Germain, said his team hopes to bring vision and passion back into student government after an “unsatisfying year” on Freshman Class Council. “We believe this deficit of excitement is a detour and not a destiny,” McKenna said. “We deserve better than what we’ve been offered and we intend to challenge the status quo in a way no one else can.” In order to get the sophomore class back on track, the ticket proposes a variety of initiatives that would give voice and power to the sophomore class. These items include converting Class Council meetings to a town hall format, pushing for acceptance of Flex Points and Domer Dollars at Eddy Street Commons and giving students choice in the Class of 2015 spirit gear. McKenna also said class fundraising should focus on improving dorm amenities and giving back to the greater South Bend community. Billy Christy, John Mueller, Maggie Wilmouth, Kelsey Hutchinson Billy Christy, John Mueller, Maggie Wilmouth and Kelsey Hutchinson aim to unify their class through constituent outreach, spirit promotion and council-to-council communication in event planning. To improve council efficiency and “personalize the interactions between student body and government,” Christy said his team will focus on reaching out to their peers through individual interaction and a four-member outreach committee. “We’re the only campaign that has promised to go door-to-door to meet with every member of the class of 2015 at least four different times during our term,” Christy said. Christy said his team plans to work with other class councils to create both bigger and better events for the sophomore class and the general campus community. The ticket’s platform also proposes organizing class-sanctioned trips to Notre Dame varsity athletic events to unify the sophomore class in both class and school pride. Christy said these specific proposals all converge in the goal of outreach on multiple levels: Dorm to dorm, section to section, door to door, person to person. “We’ll be the ticket who knows if we’re successful because of our vast outreach,” Christy said. JUNIOR CLASS COUNCIL Elizabeth Helpling, Neal Ravindra, Jessica Puricelli, Greg Yungtum Increasing class unity while making student government available to students’ needs is a priority for Elizabeth Helpling’s ticket, she said. To do this, Helpling, Neal Ravindra, Jessica Puricelli and Greg Yungtum will circulate a class council newsletter, amongst other things. “We want to make student government activities catered to (the students’) expectations and more accessible, while accommodating their busy schedules,” she said. Class unity is a huge focus of the ticket’s platform, Helpling said, which includes involving students who are studying abroad in campus life. “We especially want to make sure that our classmates who are studying abroad are still connected with the students here on campus,” she said. “We plan to organize care packages and outreach efforts to students abroad.” The ticket also looks to continue successful activities the class of 2014 enjoyed in the past, Helpling said. “We also want to bring back some of the more popular events that our Class Councils have put on in the past, such as the Class Mass and expanding the 2014 class merchandise,” Helpling said. Nicholas Desmone, Kerry Hunt, Jacob Kaminski, Matthew Schmit Nicholas Desmone said the members of his ticket are focused on delivering a number of exciting experiences to the members of the class of 2014 next year. “Simply put, our ticket wants to create events for the class of 2014 that are worthwhile,” he said. “Instead of focusing on an array of smaller events, we want to pursue large goals.” Desmone said potential event ideas include having a new concert on campus in the fall semester and planning multi-day service trips coupled with recreational activities such as a trip to Cedar Point. The ticket, which also includes Kerry Hunt, Jacob Kaminski and Matthew Schmit, also wants to plan a charity dinner as one of their signature events. “We’d like to host and sell tickets to an on-the-quad dinner for sophomores with delicious food (such as) steak, seafood, amazing deserts and music,” he said. “The money collected would go to a charitable cause.” Desmone said what sets his ticket apart from other potential candidates is the group’s spirit of innovation. “I believe what separates us from our opponents is our specific ideas and originality,” he said. “We are beyond driven and excited for this.” SENIOR CLASS COUNCIL Tricia Corbran, Claire George, Daniel Klodor, Chris Champlin Tricia Corbran, Claire George, Daniel Klodor and Chris Champlin hope to make senior year about “the class as a whole,” Corbran said. “The focus of our senior year should be on making an unforgettable experience filled with events that everyone feels included in and that people actually want to go to,” she said. Some of those events would include a “Senior Bar Throwback Night” at Legends, as well as tours of the Stadium, tunnel and 14th floor of the Hesburgh Library. Another area of focus, Corbran said, is helping students transition from Notre Dame to the real world. “We hope to hold a series comprised of several workshops … with speakers on managing personal finance … how to cook more than Easy Mac but stay on budget, and getting students into contact with alumni clubs and other students in the locations where they will be working following graduation,” Corbran said. She said a main strength of her ticket is the experience each candidate has. “We feel that our ticket is a good representation of the senior class,” Corbran said. “We have a large range of experience from a president that has been involved with Class Council since freshman year to a secretary whose involvement has been outside of student government.” Megan Rodts, Caitlyn Koscielski, Kevin Mitchell, Louis Medina The goal of Megan Rodts’ ticket is to be “student-centered” and stay in active communication with the Class of 2013, Rodts said. Rodts runs with Caitlyn Koscielski, Kevin Mitchell and Louis Medina. Their platform, titled “Enriching Our Futures,” aims to help prepare students for post-college life by offering cooking classes and a monthly lecture series. “We’re really excited about this lecture series because it will involve current faculty or Notre Dame alumni who have excelled in their professions, and will be focused on what they did during their senior years and immediately after college that they found successful and vital to their career path,” she said. The ticket also hopes to hold social events including a “Fall Senior Week” in addition to the senior week before graduation, as well as a senior tailgate at the last home football game, Rodts said. She said her ticket has a great combination of “super experience” and “fresh perspective.” “We find that this is really important because the current structure of the Class Council system is very effective for younger classes; yet as we grow, the system also needs to grow and change,” she said. “We acknowledge that and look forward to restructuring the Council in order to provide for these more mature needs and program successfully for our class.”last_img read more

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Fifth-year seniors search for campus community after classmates graduate

first_imgFor fifth-year accountant student Mike Quinn, the phrase “home under the dome” has lost a bit of its meaning. “The campus of Notre Dame was home as an undergraduate,” he said. “Now, our home base is Mendoza. If you want to go somewhere else on campus it feels very disconnected.” Quinn is one of many students who decide to attend the University an extra year to complete degrees in specialized fields. But Quinn said he encountered disconnect in his fifth year. “I felt jealous that [my friends] got to go be on their own feet and I was stuck with the same college routine,” he said. “They have their responsibility at work whereas someone like me who’s staying in graduate school, we still have to go to class, do homework and group projects and have exams to worry about. It’s like a whole new step of life.” Quinn said he rarely moves beyond DeBartolo Quad for classes and feels removed from the days of dorm life and spending time in LaFortune or the dining hall, not to mention the shift in his social life, he said. “The people I knew who were staying the fifth year were the people who you’d give the head nod to or chitchatted with after class, but not necessarily great, true friends,” he said. John Villecco, a fifth-year senior completing a double major in anthropology and PLS, agreed. “Most people at the end of last year had regrets about having to leave,” he said. “But it’s been really interesting to see them go off and have them live their lives, and I still have this safety net while I can observe them from afar. I’ve been able to spend more time reflecting on what I want my life to look like. “[They’ve] been a buffer so that I feel ready to leave now.” Villecco said the number of people he recognizes on campus has decreased, but it has allowed him to foster more in-depth friendships. “[The fifth year] allowed me to focus more on a smaller group of friends,” he said. With a more intimate group of friends, Villecco said his classmates compare schedules more often and have settled into a more consistent routine than he did in his previous years. It also allows them to veer away from social norms, he said.  “It’s easier to have a good sense of self,” he said. “You almost feel like you’re not required to abide by as many social rules. I’m separate in a positive way. I’m separate from [social] expectations.”last_img read more

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DSLC closes with women’s activist

To conclude the Saint Mary’s Diverse Leadership Conference (DSLC) on March 21, Zainab Salbi, co-founder of the non-profit organization Women for Women, addressed the Saint Mary’s community about her experience as an advocate for women’s rights in the war-torn Middle East. “Twenty years ago I embarked on a journey,” Salbi said. “I knew I would dedicate my life to changing the world, and I knew I would change the lives of women. Along my journey I learned many important lessons that have allowed me to not only help others but also help myself.” Speaking in Carroll Auditorium on Wednesday evening, Salbi said women should band together to encourage new ideas and should never degrade the opinions of their peers. “It is time for women to unite,” she said. “It is time for women to echo each other and roar in one voice. Women must have the audacity to be pro-active with articulating what we want and how we want to be defined in this world.” Women must respect each other to truly effect change, Salbi said. “If I have any judgment of a woman inside the silence of my heart she will feel it and it will affect her,” she said. “The most important thing we can give a vulnerable woman is respect.” Salbi said her journey to end injustice included embracing herself for who she is. “Going to different war zones was not the hardest journey for me,” Salbi said. “My hardest journey was to save myself and find the peace within my own heart.” She said she always advised other women to share their stories, but was hesitant to talk about her own. “For many years I encouraged other women to speak out and tell their true stories and hardships,” Salbi said. “It was easy for me to tell other women’s stories, but not my own.” With some encouragement from her publisher and women she interviewed from war-torn areas, Salbi said she chose to share her story with the world. “I felt as though I had too much honor and pride to say that I had been raped and was in an arranged marriage, but once I came clean and told the world, I felt as though a burden was lifted off of me,” she said. “I learned it is our individual responsibility to break the silence.” Salbi said sharing her story was a part of her healing process, but to truly heal, she had to change her cynical perception of men. “There are really good men out there in the world,” she said. “We must not corner men. We must collaborate with them. We have to reach and work alongside men or there will be no transformation.” Salbi said women’s activists should make an effort to spread joy through their work. “It is our presence that is part of our work,” she said. “We must work to transform the world with joy. We must smile. We must dance. Dance when you have torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the battlefield. Dance in your blood. Dance and be free with joy.” College president Carol Mooney said Salbi’s lessons encapsulate the true essence of a Saint Mary’s education, and these lessons will have a lasting impact on members of the audience. “She did a remarkable thing tonight,” Mooney said. “She bore her soul in public, in a way that has the power to move other people. I believe she will leave a lasting impact on anyone that spends just one hour with her.” To end her talk, Salbi encouraged members of the audience to start their own life journey. “As you embark on your journey I encourage you to tell, live and be your truth,” Salbi said. “Telling your own truth is not an easy journey, but let me tell you it is worth it. Do it now. Jump off a cliff and live your truth right now. Don’t wait.” read more

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Black Lives Matter founders discuss motives behind movement

first_imgRosie LoVoi Patrisse Cullors, right, along with Opal Tometi, center, gave a lecture Monday night in DeBartolo Hall about #BlackLivesMatter, a hashtag they started, which ignited a social movement across the nation.“We started using social media to connect this community and to amplify the message that our lives matter, despite a society and a system that continues to devalue and continues to dispose of us in a way that is egregious. It’s deplorable, and we know it’s happening,” Tometi said. “We used this platform to connect with more and more of our brothers and sisters from across the country, moving from discussions around police brutality and addressing state violence more broadly. We knew police brutality was just one facet of the violence our community is facing.”The pair shared their stories and how it shaped their involvement in the movement: Tometi is the daughter of undocumented Nigerian immigrants and Cullors grew up “very poor” in Los Angeles, which she said has a particularly brutal police department.“By the time I was about 13 years old, almost every young boy in my neighborhood had been arrested, had been to juvenile hall and a young boy named Matthew was given a 25-year sentence at 14 years old,” Cullors said. “And I was disturbed, to say the least, as a child. Even as I child I knew that was not right, that was not correct.”Both talked about their experiences as activists, not only with Black Lives Matter, but previously as well: Tometi worked with immigration issues and Cullors with the penal systems. “We’re taking into account that many of us, in this type of work, oftentimes feel that justice won’t come, or we’re cynical about the system,” Tometi said. “We know it wasn’t really made for us or that it was made to do exactly what it’s doing right now, and we carry that.”Tometi answered students’ questions about how to become effective activists.“My basic advice is to do the work,” she said. “Oftentimes, it can be very theoretical, and we find a bit of safety in theorizing about the challenges and theorizing solutions. But if you’re going to be a scholar-activist, you have to engage. You have to take a step of faith and join the movement. “This is the call. We need everybody on deck for this time in our history, and it requires both theory and practice. Do it in a community. You are not by yourself. You’re in a room full of folks who have conscience and who care. You’re not by yourself in this, and I think that’s oftentimes the myth we’re sold and we buy into, that you’re the only one who cares about these issues.”The lecture was part of Walk the Walk Week, in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who Cullors said was an example of activism that engaged, citing King’s 32 arrests as evidence.“We have a long history in the black community of disruption, a long legacy,” Cullors said. “What we’re doing here is we’re adding to that legacy and we should be proud of it and embrace it. The only way we’ve seen systemic change happen in this country is disruption. “It’s not through sitting with elected officials behind back doors — that’s not been the way that we’ve seen an evolution in the culture. We would still be segregated if that were the case. Jim Crow segregation — because we’re still segregated — would still exist.”Within the Black Lives Matter movement, specifically, Cullors and Tometi stressed the importance of “collective care” and “healing justice” to allow activists to continue to work “long distance.”“Healing justice is key in our work, in the Black Lives Matter network and movement,” Cullors said. “In this generation, we’re really trying to understand what care looks like. How are we in this movement and caring for ourselves and caring for each other, and how do we do this as long time runners? “What we’ve witnessed is trauma exists everywhere, whether through being in PWIs [predominantly white institutions], whether that’s through having to see the consistent killings and brutalization of our people or whether that’s just living your life as a black person.” Cullors said she didn’t want to “pigeonhole” what might be in store for Black Lives Matter in the future, but Tometi said she feels positively about the success Black Lives Matter has had in creating a new future.“That’s what Black Lives is saying – we’re going to create a world in which our lives matter, whether you like it or not,” Tometi said. “That world is coming. It has to come.” Tags: Black lives matter, martin luther king jr. day, Walk the Walk Week Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, who, along with Alicia Garza, started the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter as a response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case, gave the keynote lecture for Walk the Walk Week on Monday night to a crowd of over 500 students, staff and community members. Cullors and Tometi said the phrase started in a Facebook post made by their co-founder, Garza, which was then used as a hashtag that went viral.last_img read more

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Saint Mary’s students to perform dance recital for students, community

first_imgWhile many students are wrapping up final papers and putting finishing touches on their projects, students in Saint Mary’s Jane Austen Dance class are preparing for their Grand Ball. The one-credit class is taught by professors Chris Cobb and Rosalind Clark. It provides an introduction to traditional English country dance popular in the time period Jane Austen lived in and wrote about. It features dances in popular books like “Pride and Prejudice” and “Emma.” The class concludes with a Grand Ball in which the students perform the dances for the South Bend community.Senior Leal Alday, who is currently taking the class for the third time, is excited to participate in her third Grand Ball. “They have a live band, so it’s really neat,” Alday said. “It’s a lot of fun because it’s not the type of dance for everyone, but it’s a fun type of dance. It’s active enough that you break a sweat, but you’re not dying at the end. It’s exciting to do it all with the people.”According to Alday and MacKenzie Rizzo, another senior in the class, a big reason why the class is so enjoyable is because of the professors.“Professor Clark is very enthusiastic and into it,” Alday said. “The dress she wears to the ball was made by her mother. She’s always excited, and her excitement is contagious. Professor Bonnell, another English professor, wears a full period dress complete with a cravat and everything.“Rizzo said the class offers a chance for students to relax and enjoy time with their classmates in a more casual environment than most classes. “It feels like a place for the whole English department to take a break for an hour on a Friday, make jokes and dance together,” said Rizzo. It’s fun to see … our professors in that environment. Professor Cobb is different in the Jane Austen class. A weight is lifted off his shoulders, and it’s a nice thing to see.” The Grand Ball  is open for the public to come watch. According to Alday, the audience sits in an upper balcony of the church normally reserved for the choir.“It’s held every semester, and there are community people that come every year to see,” Alday said. “It’s fun to dance in front of an audience. It’s not so many people that it creates pressure, but it’s cool for people to see what we’ve been working on.”Though period dress is not required for the audience or dancers, it is greatly encouraged. Students often use a local costume store to find costumes to wear.“Professor Clark has a friend with the local Casaday Costume Company, so a lot of people rent from there,” Alday said. “I’m going to be looking for a dress there Thursday, and if I  don’t find anything I’ll just wear something nice,” Rizzo said. “The professors want people to dress up more than they care about period dress. They want to see people dress nice and have fun.”The class learns about 10 dances and the professors cycle through a different set of dances each semester, so the class can be retaken for credit. Rizzo said you learn enough that the class presents a challenge, but it’s not too much that it’s hard to memorize the dances.Alday, who has taken the class three times, feels she has learned something new each semester.“They recycle some of the dances, but there’s still a lot that are new to me,” she said.Rizzo said though the class takes place on Friday afternoon, she always looks forward to attending it.“Normally I’m so exhausted that I want to take a nap and not go to class, but the second I step into class and the music starts, I start laughing, smiling and having fun with all my friends, she said. “I leave the class feeling 20 times better than I did coming in, and it’s refreshing.”The Grand Ball is Thursday, at St. Paul’s Memorial United Methodist Church in South Bend, and it is open for students and the public to attend.last_img read more

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Judicial Council announces tickets for student body president, vice president

first_imgThe Judicial Council announced the three tickets for the upcoming elections for the offices of Notre Dame student body president and vice president in an email to students Tuesday.Freshmen Andrew Gannon and Mark Moran; juniors Alex Kruszewski and Julia Dunbar​; and juniors Gates McGavick and Corey Gayheart all received the requisite 700 signatures to be eligible for the electoral process.According to the email, a debate between the three tickets is scheduled for Monday at 9 p.m. in the Midfield Commons of the Duncan Student Center. Judicial Council is offering students the opportunity to submit questions for the candidates via a Google form, and “several of these questions may be read during the debate,” the email said.The election for student body president and vice president will take place Feb. 7. If none of the tickets receive a majority of the vote, a run-off will take place. Should that be the case, a second debate is set for Feb. 11, and the final election will take place Feb. 12, according to the Judicial Council’s website.The winning ticket will take office for the 2018–2019 term April 1, succeeding current student body president Becca Blais and vice president Sibonay Shewit.The Kruszewski-Dunbar​ campaign features eight “highlights,” including working with University administrators to decrease tuition, adjust the definition of “consent” at Notre Dame and ensuring plans for a Chick-fil-A restaurant in the second part of the Eddy Street Commons expansion project, according to the campaign’s platform.Kruszewski and Dunbar​ also list ideas specific to 15 departments within student government on their campaign platform, including plans for new departments such as a sustainability department and a University policy department.The McGavick-Gayheart ticket has centered its campaign platform around three adjectives: approachable, collaborative and transformative (ACT). McGavick and Gayheart have divided these categories into four, six and five subcategories, respectively.Some of the ticket’s main promises include holding the Student Activities Office accountable, working with Campus Dining to improve upon recent changes within the department and placing an emphasis on transparency within student government.Both the Kruszewski-Dunbar​ ticket and McGavick-Gayheart ticket promise to work to repeal the new six-semester housing requirement in their campaign platforms.The Gannon-Moran ticket has not yet publicly released a campaign platform.Tags: Judicial Council, student body president electionslast_img read more

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Contraception advocacy group petitions Jenkins

first_imgIrish 4 Reproductive Health (I4RH), an on-campus group at Notre Dame advocating for accessibility to all forms of FDA-approved contraception, submitted a petition Monday to University President Fr. John Jenkins asking for clarification on several points related to recent University policy changes regarding contraception.Sophomore Anne Jarrett, a member of I4RH, said in an email the petition was created with the hope of addressing ambiguous portions of the University’s policies.“The petition calls for an end to the ambiguity concerning the several changes to the University’s policy on health care which relates to birth control, IVF and contraception,” she said. “We believe students deserve to know exactly what the health insurance policy they pay for will cover in advance, instead of being kept in the dark.”The petition itself asked for clarity on five points — the first of which asked the cost of contraception and how much of that cost is covered by insurance. The second point addressed discrepancies in the policies between undergraduate students and graduate students. The third focused on which specific birth control methods are affected by the policy changes, and the fourth was related to the removal of “emergency contraception.” The fifth and last point concerned the freedom of conscience for those who use birth control.Kate Bermingham, a graduate student and member of I4RH, said in an email that the group is frustrated with the new policies related to contraception.“We’ve been pretty disappointed at how the changes have been handled and we are tired of the lack of clear information being provided by the University about what will and will not be covered,” she said. “I4RH’s position is that we need access to all FDA-approved methods of birth control. We think no student or employee should ever have to choose between the birth control method that’s best for their needs and what they can afford.”Becca Fritz, a senior and IR4H member, said in an email the group’s focus is to advocate for “comprehensive and accessible reproductive healthcare” for the campus community.“Our work centers around promoting discussion about this issue, calling attention to the University’s irresponsible handling of the insurance policy change and making condoms and dental dams accessible to people who need them,” Fritz said.IR4H is “an independent group of Notre Dame students,” Jarrett explained. She said the group is not seeking an association with the Student Activities Office, but it has been in contact with administrators.Bermingham said these administrators include dean of the graduate school, Laura Carlson, and Ann Firth, Jenkins’ chief of staff. Some of the group’s other advocacy activities have included two condom distributions and letters to The Observer.Sophomore Sam Kennedy, another member of the group, said in an email he thinks the group’s mission has generally been received positively on campus.“Many of my male friends in my dorm were enthusiastically in support of my work with the condom distribution,” he said. “They loved that someone was finally stepping up to address the issue of sexual health on this campus, and were ready and willing to take on some of the burden of safe sex and reproductive health through the use of condoms. We definitely brightened a lot of people’s days with the condom distribution. There were certainly a few disgruntled passers-by, but the overwhelming majority of people were delighted, thankful and overall positive in their reactions to seeing us. For me, the happiness we brought to people that day was one of the best things about the event.”Bermingham said 139 individuals, mainly current students and alumni, signed the petition itself. The administration has not responded to the petition yet, Jarrett said, but the group hopes to use the community’s response to the petition to “demand one.” In the text of the petition, I4RH requested a response from the administration by Friday, May 4.Tags: condoms, Contraception, Irish 4 Reproductive Health, petition, University President Fr. John Jenkinslast_img read more

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Active Minds members talk Mental Health Awareness Week

first_imgThe first week of October is Mental Health Awareness Week, an effort intended to recognize mental health issues across the country.Hoping to bring this awareness to Notre Dame’s campus is Active Minds, a chapter of the nation-wide organization with over 400 collegiate branches and has become “the voice of young adult mental health advocacy nationwide,” according to Notre Dame Active Minds’ website.Senior Delaney Schrenk, president of Active Minds, said she is excited for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week because of the current climate surrounding mental health issues.“I think right now is a really unique time to be on college campuses and interested in mental health because there’s enough news and press about it that people recognize it,” she said. “But, specifically at Notre Dame, I don’t think there’s enough conversation to support any change about it. We certainly have something to work on, and we have sort of a template that’s already on the consciousness of students here.”While the national Active Minds organization’s motto is “changing the conversation,” Schrenk said she views her club’s motto as “starting the conversation” on campus.“It’s hard to start a conversation about it if you don’t know that other people are thinking the same things to back it up. We really try to be visible with events and just in our day-to-day conversations with other people, whether it’s officers or members, with our friends, with whoever,” she said. “If you know that there are other people that feel the same that way you do, then it becomes much easier to talk to other people. And I think that’s really where the conversation starts.”Senior David May, vice president of Active Minds, said having these conversations about mental health would make a big difference for a large number of students.“One of our main goals is to promote that conversation, to promote more of an environment of openness and a lack of judgement so people can become more comfortable expressing what I think a lot of us have deemed as the ‘elephant in the room,’ which is mental illness on college campuses,” he said. “It’s so prevalent and so debilitating to quite the proportion of college students.”Sophomore Keely Thornton, a member of Active Minds, likewise said she hopes the week helps reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues.“The one thing I would say is the biggest problem with Notre Dame’s campus is the stigma around it because it is a high-achieving school,” she said. “You can’t say, ‘I’m suffering with depression; I can’t get out of bed today.’ You have to say, ‘Oh, I have a stomach ache.’ You have to fake it.”People’s lack of acceptance of mental disorders contributes to a lack of understanding, which worsens the situation, Thornton said.“Anyone can have a panic attack. You don’t have to have an anxiety disorder to have a panic attack. It’s a very normal thing, especially at a school like Notre Dame,” she said. “The fact that people don’t even know what that looks like is a problem.”Active Minds at Notre Dame meets regularly to have conversations about mental health, but Mental Health Awareness Week is their chance to spread their message across the entire campus. There are three major events this week. The first, “In Our Own Words,” a student story-sharing event, took place Monday night, Schrenk said.“Students write some sort of piece about their own experiences with mental health on campus or before or at any point in their lives and experience, and they share that in whatever way they want to,” Schrenk said. “It’s meant to sort of bridge that gap between other people’s experiences and knowing that there are other people out there who are feeling similar things.”“Send Silence Packing,” a suicide-awareness display, will be presented Wednesday on South Quad, featuring backpacks representing students who have died by suicide, as well as information and statistics about suicide on college campuses. Alison Malmon, the founder of the national organization of Active Minds, will deliver a lecture Wednesday in front of the display. She started the club at Penn State after her brother committed suicide.“It’s meant to be a very moving presentation, something that you really can’t ignore when you see it,” May said.Tags: Mental health, Mental Health Awareness Week, stigma, suicidelast_img read more

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Gunshots reported east of campus

first_imgThe Notre Dame Police Department (NDPD) received a report from the St. Joseph County Police Department of shots fired near campus’ eastern boundary, NDPD police chief Keri Kei Shibata announced in an email to the Notre Dame community Friday. The reported incident occurred Thursday around 10 p.m. ”in the area of Burdette, Bailey and Eugene Streets east of campus,” the email said.According to the email, the shots were fired from one ”moving vehicle” towards another. The involved parties encountered each other at ”another location earlier in the evening,” the email said.NDPD and county police have been in communication regarding the incident. Anyone with information is encouraged to notify the St. Joseph County Police.Tags: Crime, NDPD, St. Joseph County Police Departmentlast_img read more

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