Bagpipe band continues musical tradition

first_imgThe Notre Dame Bagpipe Band has shared their musical talent with football fans and the Notre Dame community since the 1950s, first as a part of the Irish Guard and now on their own.According to the band’s website, the Irish Guard realized how detrimental the cold was to the bagpipes. The Guard continued without them, and the band slowly dismantled until former Notre Dame student and piper Paul Harren revamped it in 1991.Danny Suma, sophomore bagpiper, said most students are not familiar with the band’s history. Photo courtesy of James Elliott “Something most students don’t know about the bagpipe band is that when we re-emerged after splitting with the Irish Guard, we did not have the rights to the ND [kilts], so the pipers would wrap bed sheets and blankets around their waists to make kilts,” Suma said.The band gained access to kilts in 2001, according to its website. Suma said the group became very involved in campus life, especially on football game days.“The band performs during home games outside or inside of the dome, depending on the weather, and then does the player march from the library,” said Suma. “We also play small gigs and tailgates throughout the day.”Suma said he most enjoys spending time with his fellow pipers.“They’re all super outgoing and a fun group of individuals,” Suma said. “It definitely makes standing outside in a kilt in cold weather much easier.”Senior piper Colin Patience has 7 years of playing under his belt and serves as the band’s pipe major.“A pipe major is a captain of a bagpipe band that teaches new pipers, leads the band in performances and manages gigs and schedules,” Patience said.“I joined the band day one of freshman year back in 2009,” Patience said.“I was looking into the band before I even got accepted to Notre Dame. My favorite part of the band is performing on home football game days.”Though their main events took place during football season, Patience said that students and faculty could look for the band next in Chicago, where the pipers will perform in the St. Patrick’s Day parade.Tags: bagpipes, band, clubs, Irish Guard, traditionlast_img read more

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ND students continue education through ACE

first_imgWhile many students in the class of 2014 said goodbye to Notre Dame this summer, students in the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program stayed on campus for more classes and learning.Photo courtesy of Bill Schmitt Maria Lynch, associate program director and a graduate of ACE, said while it is true that ACE is a two-year program where college graduates teach in underprivileged Catholic schools, the program offers much more to its fellows and participants.“Current Teaching Fellows, as well as graduates of the program, are an integral component of the Alliance’s greater mission of strengthening Catholic Education across the country,” Lynch said. “ACE programs form school leaders, work to increase Latino enrollment in Catholic schools, train educators of English as Second Language and Exceptional Children, partner with schools to strengthen instruction and school culture and so much more.”According to recruiting coordinator for ACE teaching fellows Matt Gelchion, there are 178 ACE Teaching Fellows this year, 95 of which are first-year teachers, who will work in 120 different schools in 31 different communities across the country.Anthony Barrett, senior English major and ACE intern, said the ACE program is unique and different from other teaching programs.“Because ACE has only about 180 members, they are able to provide members with high-quality support and guidance,” Barrett said. “ACE is a faith-based community that serves Catholic schools. ACE is fully funded and includes a required M.Ed. program. Finally, the summer preparation for ACE is longer and more rigorous.”The ACE journey begins the summer before the first year of teaching with graduate coursework and student teaching, according to Katie Mullins, a first year ACE teacher and a graduate of the Notre Dame class of 2014. Students return to campus before their second year to continue their coursework.Mullins said she began teaching third grade at St. Ambrose Catholic School in Tucson, Ariz., two weeks ago. She said teaching has always something she has been interested in, and she is excited for the year.“I am thrilled to finally be diving head first into this ministry of teaching.  I am excited to learn from my fellow ACErs, the wonderful teachers at my school and, most importantly, my students,” Mullins said.Gelchion said he hopes the future is bright for the ACE program.“We distribute postcards that showcase students holding signs that say, ‘My Goals: College & Heaven.’  That’s our mission: to help put students on the path to a life-changing education and a lifetime of happiness with God. That’s how we’ll measure our success,” Gelchion said. “My hope — and certainly it’s an ambitious one — is that every student whose life ACE Teachers touch will be helped on that track.”Tags: ACE, servicelast_img read more

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Professor receives $4.3 million award from NSF

first_imgProfessor of physics Mitchell Wayne, a member of the High Energy Physics group, received a $4.3 million award from the National Science Foundation to fund work at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, according to a press release.The funding will support the Phase I upgrade of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the laboratory, the press release said.“The basic theme of our research is to try to understand what the fundamental building blocks of the universe are, and how they combine to make up the things that we see,” Michael Hildreth, also a professor of physics and member of the High Energy Physics group, said. “CMS is a specific project at CERN running at the Large Hadron Collider. CMS is a large particle detector that observes proton-proton collisions at the LHC.”The LHC is a circular accelerator with a 16-mile circumference that collides beams of protons at extremely high energies, Wayne said. The CMS detector is an apparatus, made up of several sub-detectors, that precisely measures the particles a high-energy proton collision creates.“Our goal in particle physics is to study the structure of matter and the basic forces that govern how matter behaves, at the most fundamental level,” he said. “One of the ways we do this is by measuring the products of the collisions of particles, like protons, at very high energies.  The higher the energy, the deeper we can probe into the nature of matter. Higher energy also gives us more ability to create and discovery new particles that can only be created in our experiments.”The High Energy Physics group works with graduate students and other scientists from around the world to analyze and manage data collected at CERN, Wayne said. With the grant, they will now become involved with upgrading the CMS detector at CERN.“A significant part of the $4.3 million will be used to purchase new photo-detectors, called Silicon Photomultipliers (SiPM) for part of the CMS detector known as the Hadronic Calorimeter, or HCAL,” Wayne said. “These are a new technology that will perform much better than the photo-detectors currently in place at CMS.“The testing and installation of these devices, about 16,000 in total, will take place at CERN. Here at Notre Dame we will be fabricating several hundred optical decoder units, or ODUs.  These use fiber optics to bring signals of light created in the HCAL to the new photo-detectors.”Many American universities and laboratories are working together on the upgrade, Wayne said, but only eight U.S. universities received their funding from the National Science Foundation, after writing a “cooperative agreement” proposal. The eight schools received a total of $11.5 million, but Notre Dame received the largest part of it, at $4.3 million, Wayne said.“[The award] enables Notre Dame to play a leading role in the upgrade project, which is great for the visibility of Notre Dame as a leading research university,” he said. “The work we are doing is really key for a successful upgrade of the CMS experiment, so our efforts are recognized by collaborators from around the world.”The award will also be used to support the salaries of the High Energy Physics group’s engineers and technicians, Wayne said.“The past few years have been a difficult time for research funding in the U.S. … so it is especially gratifying to get this significant award for our research,” he said. “We are very appreciative of the support from the NSF and we are also thankful for all the help provided by Notre Dame’s Office of Research and the College of Science in getting this award.”Tags: CERN, High Energy Physics Group, National Science Foundationlast_img read more

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SMC TOMS club hosts first annual TOMS Day Out

first_imgOutgoing Saint Mary’s TOMS club president Nora Clougherty will run the first annual TOMS Day Out on Saint Mary’s campus this Thursday.The TOMS company, through its “One for One” business model, helps to give a new pair of shoes to the poor in third world countries every time a pair of its shoes is purchased. When TOMS eyewear is purchased, part of the profit goes to help restore sight to those who are poor. TOMS tote bags are a new addition to the “One for One” organization. Every time one is sold, a new bag, along with a safe home birth kit, is given to a pregnant mother in need of one.TOMS Day Out is an event that invites everybody on campus to wear their TOMS apparel if they have any. Clougherty said her goal for this event is to help people see the impact they have made by purchasing TOMS merchandise.“I hope to make people understand that something as simple as purchasing shoes can impact the world,” dhe said. “You’re able to see that not only is it someone with a pair of shoes walking by, it’s another kid with a pair of shoes walking by.”Clougherty started the Saint Mary’s TOMS club last year in hopes of bringing her passion to life on campus.“I was just messing around their website one day, and I noticed a tab that said campus involvement,” she said. “When I clicked on it, I noticed there was no Notre Dame [chapter] or saint Mary’s,” Clougherty said. “I just really wanted to take something that I loved so much and bring it to Saint Mary’s.”Ever since, Clougherty has been devoted to getting more people aware of and involved with the TOMS mission. After she graduates, Clougherty will pass on presidency of the club to sophomore Emerald Blankenship.“Emerald is clearly passionate about TOMS, and she’s been extremely helpful with many of the TOMS events that we have had this year,” Clougherty said. “She’s just as passionate, if not more passionate than I am about TOMS.”Clougherty recalls the Skype session that the club had with TOMS founder and CEO Blake Mycoskie.“That was the most inspiring event for me ever,” she said. “It still baffles me that we were the ones chosen.”Clougherty said she hopes the club will expand beyond Saint Mary’s.“I hope it grows into a bigger club here at Saint Mary’s. I hope that eventually everyone on campus is wearing them on TOMS Day Out in the future,” Clougherty said. “I hope too that it grows into Notre Dame.”Freshman club member Liana O’Grady said TOMS is great way to implement change because people can see the change they make everywhere they go.“TOMS is such a big organization,” O’Grady said. “It’s nice to see that it can have such a huge effect on our small Saint Mary’s campus.”O’Grady recalled the effect of giving simple T-shirts to children on a mission trip that she has recently taken to Uganda.“I can imagine the same look on the faces of the kids who receive a pair of shoes from TOMS,” O’Grady said. “It’ll be great to see the number of shoes that have been donated just by girls on our campus during TOMS Day Out.”Senior club member Claire Boyd said the club overall has made a positive impact in her time at Saint Mary’s.“It helped to open my eyes to different world issues going on today,” Boyd said. “It has made me more aware of … business companies that have a give-back model such as TOMS. I hope other companies can use the same give-back model that TOMS has.”Tags: saint mary’s, TOMS, TOMS Day Outlast_img read more

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Students learn about international programs at Study Abroad Fair

first_imgTags: NDI, study abroad Students interested in studying abroad gathered in the galleria of the Jordan Hall of Science on Monday night for the University’s 2015 Study Abroad Fair, during which they could meet with international program representatives and learn more about the wide variety of programs that Notre Dame offers.Notre Dame believes studying abroad is a vital element to academic formation, according to the Notre Dame International (NDI) 2015-2016 study abroad brochure, and as such provides eligible students with an array of opportunities to take classes abroad.Sophomore Rebecca Wiley said the variety of classes and experiences outside of the classroom are what draw her to the idea of studying abroad.“The ability to discover a new culture different from what we get here on campus is what draws me to the opportunity to study abroad,” Wiley said.Wiley said after visiting the Ireland booth at the Study Abroad Fair that the unique class offerings in Dublin appealed to her.“Studying abroad gives you a chance to take new classes — for example, in Dublin you have to take an Irish culture class,” Wiley said. “It gives you a chance to meet new people that you never knew here on campus and collaborate on projects and subjects that you’re interested in.”This year’s Study Abroad Fair also provided pizza and door prizes for students that came to learn more about the international programs. Door prizes included two round-trip plane tickets to NDI study abroad locations and three $200 gift cards to Hammes Bookstore.“I was especially excited for the two free round-trip tickets knowing that next year would be the first year that airfare would be considered a personal expense,” Wiley said.Sophomore Erin Callaghan said the fair helped her narrow down her choices for program locations based on her language of study. Callaghan, a German major, said that she hopes to be fluent in German and believes studying abroad will further contribute to sharpening her language acquisition skills.“Learning a new language makes me more appreciative of other people’s cultures because we are often usually only focused on our own,” Callaghan said. “It gives you a broad perspective of other parts of the world that we may not be exposed to.”Sophomore Rosie LoVoi said she was surprised by the large interest in study abroad programs.“I recognized a lot of people in my grade who were preparing to apply, but I also saw more freshmen than I expected,” Lovoi said. “I think it goes to show that the Notre Dame community is really interested in furthering their academic experience outside of what’s familiar.”After attending the fair, LoVoi, a Program of Liberal Studies major, said she was most interested in participating in the Dublin program.“Dublin is a really interesting city that has a lot of literary history and resources to offer,” she said.LoVoi said she thought the fair was a success and gave students and representatives a chance to share their personal opinions on their experiences studying abroad.“It was really awesome to see how many different options there were that can appeal to different kinds of interest and can get people out of their comfort zones,” she said.last_img read more

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PrismND hosts online forum for questions on LGBTQ issues and allyship

first_imgPrismND will be hosting a Facebook livestream event Tuesday at 8 p.m. to address questions from the Notre Dame community related to allyship and LGBTQ issues. In an attempt to further their reach and better understand the issues that community members are facing, the organization decided to host a Q&A session. They created an online forum, which closed Monday night, for questions to be submitted through, which they hope to find topics that are most indicative of the community as a whole from, senior Baylea Williams, PrismND’s president, said. “We knew there were a lot of questions in the community, so we wanted to get the information out there because a lot of people just don’t know where to go,” Williams said. Williams said the organization hopes to promote participation and an understanding of allyship using social media as a first step. After the forum closes, the officers and members of the organization will sift through the questions and, if time permits, answer all of them throughout the livestream, Williams said. “We really have no expectation about the questions. It’s more so trying to answer what questions people have — whether it’s specifically about their personal life or about the community at large or about their faith life,” Williams said.In addition to creating a safe space for questions about LGBTQ and allyship issues to be answered, the group also hopes to open the doors and help students on Notre Dame’s campus to get more involved in allyship. Junior Justine Wang, moderator and coordinator of the Facebook livestream and the organization’s diversity and allyship committee chair, said the submitted questions are necessary in order to understand the atmosphere of campus.“Advocacy is only effective when we seek to understand the setting we are operating within, and every college campus responds differently,” Wang said. Though the main goal of the livestream may be to help students in the LGBTQ and ally community find answers to their questions in a safe atmosphere, the organization also hopes to have an influence on the rest of Notre Dame’s campus by developing a deeper understanding for the problems faced by members of the LGBTQ community. “Every human has a right to their sexuality,” Wang said. “Allyship is about acceptance more than anything, so by uniting the allies on campus, PrismND will be able to have a powerful presence.”Tags: acceptance, inclusion, LGBTQ, PrismND, sexualitylast_img read more

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Student groups prepare to host Notre Dame Night Market

first_imgStudents looking for a study break Thursday night can visit the Dahnke Family Ballroom in the Duncan Student Center from 7-9 p.m. for the Notre Dame Night Market. Hosted by the Notre Dame Taiwanese Student Association and cosponsored by the Multicultural Student Programs and Services, the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, among others, the night market brings together multiple cultural clubs for a night of entertainment, food and games.As a change from past years, this year’s night market will feature booths from non-Asian American cultural clubs, such as the Caribbean Student Association of ND and Latino Student Alliance.“By collaborating with these different clubs and departments, I’m trying to make it more open to the campus, more open to the Notre Dame community and more inclusive in general,” junior Isabel Chan, co-president of the Taiwanese Student Association, said.Senior and Taiwanese Student Association co-president Kathrine Fetizanan said night markets are one of Taiwan’s “most inviting tourist attractions” and the club’s goal is to bring that to campus.“We’re just basically trying to let people have a glimpse into what a night market could be,” she said. “ … The purpose is to have everyone included, make it all inclusive and have people not only see Taiwanese culture but also … try to look at different cultures and immerse themselves a little. It’s a cultural immersion experience.”Students who attend the event will receive two tickets to use at the booths with the option to purchase additional tickets. Chan said five tickets will be $5 and 10 tickets will be $8. With these tickets, students can get food or play games at the booths.The Japan Club will be making mochi and rice balls this year, senior and Japan Club vice president Billy Adler said.Students can also play games at the booths to earn raffle tickets. The raffle prizes include snack baskets, an Echo Dot, headphones and gift cards.Adler said the planning for the event includes logistical preparation as well as making the food.“My favorite part is actually on the day of,” he said. “It’s always crazy two hours before the event’s starting. Everyone’s running around trying to get things set up. I actually really enjoy that.”Fetizanan said she enjoys the event because it highlights a part of Taiwanese culture while allowing people to have fun.“Night markets for me hold a really sentimental value because part of my family is Taiwanese,” she said. “It was a place not only for fun and social gathering; it was a place where our family could just be family. I really like that this night market gives people the opportunity to not only culturally immerse themselves, but also spend time with friends and just take a little break from life.”Last year, about 150 students attended the night market, Chan said. This year, the planning committee is expecting about 300 people, which Fetizanan said is due to the new location.“It’s in the Danhke ballroom, so we have a lot more space,” she said. “ … Because it’s bigger and there’s more clubs participating and there’s a lot more to do this year, we’re expecting a larger turnout.”Tags: culture, Multicultural Student Programs and Services, Notre Dame Night Market, Notre Dame Taiwanese Student Associationlast_img read more

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Reviews of 2018 Notre Dame student government departments

first_imgDepartment of Student LifeThe Department of Student Life, co-directed by senior Claire Marie Kuhn and junior Eduardo Luna, focuses on matters of residential life, campus dining and student events and programming. They have emphasized coordinating with Campus Dining, meeting monthly with director of residential dining Scott Kachmarik, to improve campus dining halls. This semester, the department held a survey to gauge student dining preferences, which was presented to the head chefs of the dining halls. Their discussions with Campus Dining have also led to the creation of a weekly student poll to determine which Sirius XM music station should be played in the dining halls on Fridays. During midterms, the group also co-hosted several other events, including Flick on the Field and the Syracuse vs. Notre Dame game watch in Duncan Student Center. Luna said the group is currently working on a research project to compare Notre Dame policies and student life to those of other universities. They hope to use this data to frame residential life proposals in the spring.Grade: B+ University AffairsThis semester, the Department of University Affairs — previously known as the Department of University Policy — shifted its focus toward assessing student life. Directed by senior Maria Palazzolo, the department is currently reviewing Notre Dame’s parietals policies, pushing for amnesty for residents who have violated parietals but wish to leave an unsafe or uncomfortable situation without punishment. The group also collaborated with NDSP for the first time to co-host the annual Campus Safety Summit. This year, the department is conducting research for a new safety app to help NDSP quickly locate students who feel unsafe on or near campus. The group is also working to help resolve conflicts between clubs and the Student Activities Office (SAO) and is collaborating with SAO to offer training for students on how to use SAO360, the platform student organizations use to register their events. In the future, the department hopes to expand current campus safety initiatives by introducing GreeNDot training to employees of South Bend bars that students frequent.Grade: A Department of Academic AffairsSenior Caroline Cloonan, director of Academic Affairs, has led several events for her department this semester, most notably Majors Night, an event that allows students to meet with representatives from different academic departments. The event drew about 500 attendees and also featured a raffle where students could win prizes. This fall, the department also hosted Rise ’n Roll and Einstein’s Bagels giveaways and Play-Doh Power Hour, where students were given a free container of Play-Doh as well as complimentary snacks. Cloonan is also a member of Academic Council, faculty senate and has been working with other student government members to update the University’s Honor Code. Next semester, the department is rolling out “Coffee Hours,” a program where students can request $10 vouchers to take professors out to coffee on campus.Grade: B+ Department of AthleticsJunior Katherine Wallace, athletics representative, worked with the Department of Athletics, Development Office and the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs this semester to organize a wristband sale to support the Notre Dame Veterans Fund. Additionally, the department collaborated with the Gender Relations Center and other student government departments to encourage all varsity teams to become GreeNDot certified. In November, the group also hosted a Notre Dame vs. Syracuse game watch in Duncan Student Center. This semester, the department has worked to further several other initiatives, such as providing feedback on proposed NCAA legislation and coordinating “Irish Fight for Life,” a program that works to foster relationships between athletic teams and patients from the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Unit at South Bend’s Memorial Hospital.Grade: A- Department of Social ConcernsThe Department of Social Concerns, according to its mission statement, “aims to break down the complexities associated with sustainability initiatives on campus and provide channels of advocacy to respond to crises of international scope.” To this end, the department has worked on several projects this year, including setting up a table and giving out hot chocolate to inform the student body of the results of the National Climate Assessment and coordinating with Catholic Relief Services to hold a Fair Trade Christmas Market. The department is also working on establishing a sustainability coalition with student governments at other colleges, and is collaborating with the Office of Sustainability to form a campaign encouraging students to avoid obstructing access routes such as handicap ramps when parking Lime Bikes. Sophomore Kevin Gallagher was appointed to the role of director of the department in October, following the departure of the previous department director. Gallagher said the department hopes to provide more consistent programming going into the spring semester.Grade: B Department of Diversity and InclusionThe mission of the Department of Diversity and Inclusion is to foster a more inclusive community in terms of race, religion, nationality, socioeconomic status, citizenship status and sexual orientation. This semester, junior and department director Mita Ramani worked to better establish the structure of the department, as it is only in its second year. Ramani said the group’s semester goals were to work with cultural clubs on campus, strengthen diversity initiatives and build a stronger relationship with the administration’s Multicultural Student Programs and Services department. The group reached out to over 40 cultural clubs on campus to offer their support and have co-sponsored over 20 campus events this semester, she said. They also hosted the third-annual Race Relations Week, which sponsored Dia de los Muertos events, Asian Allure and a talk by Megan Red Shirt-Shaw, a Native American activist. In addition to these campus events, the department has been working closely with the Office of Student Enrichment for a stronger advertising distribution system and the Diversity Council to assess dorm multicultural commissioners. While they’ve hosted and co-sponsored a number of successful events, however, the department is still working on reforming larger issues on campus relating to diversity and inclusion.Grade: B+ Community Engagement and OutreachHeaded by sophomore Fritz Schemel, the goal of the Community Engagement and Outreach Department is to not only get students connected with the South Bend community, but also the broader national community through civic engagement opportunities. This year, the department’s work began with Welcome Weekend, when they hosted a South Bend farmers market that included about 12 local vendors selling everything from food to artisan goods. Before the midterm elections, the team also partnered with NDVotes to set up voter registration tables at various locations around campus. Since the beginning of the semester, the department has pushed to make South Bend education a greater part of the Moreau curriculum, which will likely be implemented next year. The group has plans to host a South Bend Involvement Fair in January, hosting representatives from community partners in addition to continuing their highly successful Back the Bend campus-wide day of service in April. The department’s work has been promising so far, but it is still waiting for several initiatives to pay off.Grade: B FUELSophomores Clark Bowden and Rachel Ingal, co-directors of First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership (FUEL), have the mission of developing talented and passionate leaders by working with roughly 20 first-year students interested in becoming future leaders in student government. Working as motivators, they hope to teach freshmen how to effectively work in student government to improve student life at Notre Dame. This semester, they have restructured FUEL to establish specific committees to enable the first-year students to work on projects of their own. The freshmen created the committees themselves, and the department plans to implement the events the group planned next semester. While FUEL has made steps in the right direction to prepare first-year students for leadership, it is hard to tell how successful their efforts are as the first-years have yet to actually put any of their ideas into action.Grade: C+ Department of Gender RelationsLed by junior Elizabeth Boyle, the Department of Gender Relations has sought to create a more tolerant environment for all students, specifically in regards to gender identity and sexual orientation. Their semester goals were to increase the number of students who are GreeNDot trained, write policy in response to Title IX changes, host Notre Dame: Unfiltered, audit the prevalence of sexual assault in study abroad programs and partner more closely with PrismND. They have worked with the organization Aunt Flow to provide free feminine hygiene products on campus as well as Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) on the blue light phone system. The group has succeeded in bringing SOS Advocacy training to campus, a program training individuals to work a 24-hour rape crisis hotline, accompany survivors to the hospital and offer medical advice and serve as counselors and consultants at events involving sensitive material. The program, typically six weeks long, will be held over two weekends early next semester.Grade: A Department of Faith and ServiceRecognizing existing faith-based and service-oriented organizations on campus, the Department of Faith and Service has worked collaboratively with Campus Ministry, Notre Dame Right to Life, BridgeND and the Office of Sustainability throughout the semester. Under the leadership of sophomore Aaron Benavides, they have co-sponsored a number of events, including Fellowship Night, Notre Dame: Unfiltered and Respect Life Week. Earlier in the semester, the department also released a statement on the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church and worked with the University administration as part of the Campus Engagement Task Force. As a whole, the department strives to encourage students to individually improve their mind, body and spirit in addition to promoting community and dialogue on campus through service and faith-based projects.Grade: A- Executive ControllerThis year’s executive controller is senior Dylan Jaskowski, who described his primary duties as managing the student government budget, sitting on the financial management board and approving expenses. His main focus this year has been helping to bolster financial support for student clubs on campus, in coordination with a larger push within student government for increased collaboration with clubs. Last year, the Financial Management Board raised the percent allocation of the student government budget for clubs from 36 percent to 39 percent, and Jaskowski says he hopes to work with the Club Coordination Council to further increase allocation this year. Another focus of Jaskowski’s term has been to make the University more fiscally transparent. As such, he worked with the Development Office to host a seminar on University spending.Grade: B+ Department of Campus TechnologyThe Department of Campus Technology, led by senior and director Thomas Krill, has carried on long-term projects as well as taken the department in new directions this semester. The department has continued to promote the Wi-Fi Feedback Survey, which gives students the chance to report issues in internet connectivity so that the Office of Information Technologies knows which areas of campus need the most help. This year, it partnered with an IT project management course, in which, over the course of the semester, students put together an implementation plan for an outdoor activity app called IrishGo. Additionally, the department has worked to represent students’ interests at various councils this semester, including the Learning Management Guidance Council, the University Council on Academic Technologies and the ND Mobile Advisory Council. Responding to student feedback, the department had a printer installed in the north wing of Duncan Student Center. CTI has laid the groundwork this semester for more projects next year — the group has plans to redesign the ND Mobile homepage, develop a prototype version of IrishGo and partner with Apple Inc. to host workshops in the bookstore.Grade: B+ Department of CommunicationsThis semester, Communications Department co-directors senior Peter Seidner and senior Vivian Nweze devoted their efforts to the McGavick-Gayheart platform promises of transparency and approachability. They accomplished this in a number of different ways, including by hosting “Lunches with Gates, Corey and Bri,” an event where 10 students are invited to lunch in North Dining Hall with the student government executives and are able to share their comments, concerns and suggestions with the current administration. Since launching the lunch initiative, the officers have met with about 80 students. The department has worked to uphold student government transparency by ensuring every senate meeting is streamed on Facebook Live. Next semester, the department is aiming to improve their social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Grade: A- Department of Health and WellnessUnder the leadership of sophomore Grace Dean, the Department of Health and Wellness has been working to improve the overall physical and mental well-being of students in a variety of ways. Their main goal for the semester was to work with the University to expand student access to mental health resources. In an effort to partner with health groups on campus, they invited members of the mental health advocacy group Active Minds and several McWell Public Health fellows to sit on their committee. The department also worked with the Department of Student Life to create Campus Dining’s “Dining Hall Hack” contest and has hosted several successful events promoting student stress relief and mindfulness, such as “Macaroni & Chill” and “Berries on the Quad.” Finally, in terms of policy-making within student senate, they wrote and passed a resolution to encourage professors to include mental health resources on University syllabi.Grade: A- Dominique DeMoe | The Observer Tags: 2018 Student Government Insider, McGavick-Gayheart, Student governmentlast_img read more

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Community members warned about Eastern Equine Encephalitis

first_imgIn an email sent to community members Thursday, University Health Center director Sharon McMullen warned both community members and weekend visitors that eight cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) have been reported in Southwest Michigan “not far from” Notre Dame’s campus.In the email, McMullen encouraged people to take precautions against the mosquitos.“Anyone outdoors between dusk and dawn is urged to apply an insect repellent that contains 20% to 50% of the active ingredient DEET to exposed skin and clothing,” she said in the email.Furthermore McMullen said in the email individuals should avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk, which are heightened times of mosquito activity; clothe themselves in garments with long sleeves and long pants and are light-colored; use nets or fans over any place they are eating food outside; cover windows and doors to prevent mosquitos from entering buildings and empty standing water from places mosquitos are likely to lay eggs.“Chills, fever, malaise and joint or muscle pain” are all symptoms of EEE, the email said. McMullen also said in the email individuals younger than 15 and older than 50 are the most at risk for severe disease. As a precaution, the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore has insect repellant for sale.Tags: disease, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, mosquitos, University Health Centerlast_img read more

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Saint Mary’s SGA president reflects on semester of community-building during time of administrative transition

first_imgLooking aheadStepping into the spring semester, Nelson said she and Allen hope to complete several projects that have been in the works since the start of the academic year, including the reinvigoration of Dalloway’s Coffeehouse.“I would love to see Dalloway’s become something by the end of our term,” Nelson said. “And that’s something that I think is really important because I think that it helps with so many of these things that we talk so much about when we talk about community, … when we talk about keeping girls on campus because it’s safer. How are we fostering that? We can’t just expect them to hang out in the McCandless first floor lounge, right? So I’d love to see that happen. I think that we have a really good chance of seeing that happen.”Additionally, Nelson said SGA hopes to continue promoting community through other channels, including a preview day for first-year students from underrepresented groups.“I’ve worked … on the past preview days, but I’d really love to see one just for our minority students, and even talk about what that looks like in terms of recruiting diversely, but also retaining our diverse students. Equity is a huge problem on this campus that I don’t yet know how to address,” she said. “We’ve had lots of great conversations about that. I’d love to see progress in terms of equity.” Student Government Association has made improvements in several areas of student life, largely due to the hard work and creative thinking from its committees. Nelson and Allen have pushed to address the core value of community on campus, and the high event attendance shows that these efforts have been largely successful. When faced with criticism for decisions made within SGA, Nelson and Allen could benefit from heightened transparency and more direct communication with the students. In the upcoming semester, the pair should have a greater presence on campus, either by attending committee events or taking leadership of future initiatives.Grade: B+ Tags: Nelson-Allen, Student Government Association, Student Government Insider 2019 When seniors Terra Nelson and Olivia Allen stepped into their respective roles as Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) president and vice president for the 2019-2020 academic year, they brought a lot of big ideas to the table. They campaigned on a platform that included installing printers in every dorm, opening Regina parking lot to students, expanded Munch Money use and a weekly organized “This Week at Saint Mary’s” email.Though administrators encouraged Nelson and Allen to continue thinking of innovative solutions for student issues, they also offered them a healthy dose of perspective, Nelson said.“I think in the beginning, it can be a little bit discouraging when you’re working with [the administration], and they’re saying, like, ‘Hey, great idea, but it’s not going to work out,’” she said. “There are really good reasons that you can’t do those things. I think from our perspective, we come in, and we’re like, ‘Well, how hard can it be?’ There are so many things that you need to consider. They have been so helpful and given us room to dream big, and also reining it in and … calling our attention to things that we might not see. I’m really thankful, always grateful for that added feedback and mentorship.”Moving forward with the platform proved to be more difficult than expected, Nelson said, with unexpected layers of bureaucracy and precedents making it challenging to enact more far-reaching goals. Despite these hurdles, Nelson said she and Allen are extremely pleased with the accomplishments they’ve made thus far and look forward to continued momentum going into the spring semester.“The one thing I didn’t realize before we stepped into office was how many pieces of the puzzle there are when you have so many committees and so many people to report back to,” Nelson said. “That’s just a lot to manage and then execute. But all in all, I think this semester has gone really well. There are a lot of things that I’m proud of, [and] a lot of things that I think, ‘Man, I hope that we can get that done next semester.’”Much of this success is owed to the SGA committee members who have worked diligently to carry out the platform ideas introduced by the executives, Nelson said. The Community Committee has been especially active this semester, she said, making improvements to first-year orientation and advancing plans to reinstall Clarissa Dalloway’s Coffeehouse as a student-space on campus.“When we started this year, just kind of looking over first-year orientation, we wanted to make it more community-oriented, and we wanted to make it more fun,” Nelson said. “We had community events for the first years, and it was just so awesome to see them gather in McCandless on that first night of school, hang out and eat cookies together.”Improvements were also made to pre-Domerfest activities, Nelson said, resulting in resounding approval from both first-years and those who have witnessed previous years of programming.“Everyone said, ‘It’s the best that we’ve seen it,’ which was the goal,” she said. “We want people to look back on that first week and say, ‘Wow, there’s a lot of good that was done.’”The first event in Dalloway’s, free post-game snacks for Saint Mary’s students returning from the Nov. 23 Notre Dame vs. Boston College football game, as well as other on-campus activities were well-attended and received, Nelson said. This level of turnout is an essential part of the Nelson-Allen platform which ran on the core value of “community,” she said.“The turnout for everything has been really, really strong, and that’s not something that I’ve ever seen,” Nelson said. “I’m proud of that.”The Mission Committee has also contributed to community building on campus, both by scheduling rotating masses followed by snacks in McCandless, Regina and Le Mans, and by posting a list of different locations to practice non-Catholic faiths, Nelson said.center_img Making decisions in a time of transitionSimilar to former SGA president Madeline Corcoran and vice president Kathy Ogden, whose term coincided with the resignation of former College President Jan Cervelli, Nelson and Allen are experiencing some shifts within the administration.The Presidential Search Committee has spent the past weeks narrowing down a field of potential candidates to fill the office of Interim President Nancy Nekvasil, who will vacate the position in 2020. Additionally, vice president for student affairs Karen Johnson announced in November that she will be retiring at the culmination of this semester.“It’s difficult when there is so much transition within the College to really push some of these big things,” Nelson said. “It doesn’t hinder us, but it makes the conversations different because we don’t know who’s taking over next year, next semester, in terms of our vice president of student affairs, and that’s big.”Despite changes in leadership, Nelson said she feels confident about the way SGA has performed this past semester and hopes Saint Mary’s students are noticing.“I think that SGA this year is in a really healthy place,” she said. “I hope that the student body sees that.”Though SGA has found success in many areas, they faced some backlash from students after announcing they would be collaborating with Residence Hall Association (RHA) to plan the annual Navy Ball instead of hosting a fall formal.“For me, I feel like a lot of times [students] just see the really negative side,” she said. “A great example of this was when we planned the Navy Ball, and that was because formal was off the table. So we made Navy Ball different, and we tried so hard to revamp it, and honestly, it was a phenomenal turnout. I was shocked. In terms of safety, I couldn’t have been more pleased, but … it’s hard for me to see all the positive when you get that one really angry email.”If there is any negative feedback, Nelson said, it could be the result of a disconnect between the student body and the members of SGA, who experience different perspectives of the work the group does on campus.“I know that SGA is in a healthy place, and I think that we’re working really hard, but again, from the outside looking in, you never know,” she said. “That’s something that I am not quite sure how we can fully address. I think that transparency is really important, but it’s also really important to just be professional.”SGA will continue to be intentional in addressing each student concern they receive, Nelson said.“I feel that there’s definitely work to be done,” Nelson said. “I think we’re in a very healthy spot. I know that we can improve. I’m curious to see what that looks like, and I’d love student feedback on that as well.”last_img read more

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