first_imgIt was a place junior Declan Sullivan crossed dozens of times performing his duties as a student videographer for the football team. It was a place the Sullivan family chose as a meeting point after Notre Dame football games. It was a place within sight of Sullivan’s fatal accident almost one year ago. Now, it is a place of memorial. About 75 people gathered Saturday afternoon before the football game against USC to dedicate a memorial to Sullivan, who died last October after a scissor lift from which he was filming football practice fell. A plaque, two benches and some trees now sit between the Guglielmino Athletics Complex and the LaBar Practice Field. Sullivan’s mother Alison addressed the group gathered to honor her son’s life. “We didn’t envision anything that could be more perfect,” Alison said. “I think if [Declan] could see this, he would be in awe. He would say, ‘Gee, this is amazing. I love this. It’s epic.’” The group chuckled at the use of the word “epic,” a word that Declan strived to embody in his life. “He always wanted to be epic, and I think he would look at this and say, ‘Indeed, it is epic,’” Alison said. University President Fr. John Jenkins led the ceremony and asked God to bless the memorial. “Lord God, we ask your blessing,” Jenkins said. “May it be a place of memory, a place of prayer, a place of consolation and a place of hope, so that all who spend time here remember Declan and be inspired by his life.” Jenkins then joined members of the Sullivan family and Vice President for Student Affairs Fr. Tom Doyle in sprinkling holy water on the memorial. Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick also presented the Sullivan family with the flag they helped raise at the opening football game of the year, and representatives from video services gave the family a framed photomontage in the shape of the Notre Dame monogram. Inscribed on the plaque is a poem written in honor of Declan and a shamrock logo with Declan’s initials inside. Alison said both components are particularly meaningful. The poem was written by a family friend and refers to Declan’s life as “never ordinary.” Alison said Declan often quoted a line from the movie “American Beauty” when a minor character said, “There is nothing worse than being ordinary.” “That was kind of his mantra,” Alison said. “The reference in here to ordinary is something I think Dec would really get a kick out of.” Alison said Declan would also appreciate the shamrock logo. “From the time Declan was a little boy, he was enamored with shamrocks,” she said. “It’s very significant because it’s a symbol that he really liked.” Jenkins told The Observer the memorial was an opportunity to honor Declan’s memory. “The loss of Declan was a tragedy to all of us in the Notre Dame family,” he said. “This [dedication] was a chance for all of us to come together in a place dedicated to his memory, to memorialize it and to give thanks for his life.” Jenkins also expressed gratitude to the Sullivan family. “The Sullivan family, from the day Declan died to today, have been such an inspiration to all of us, and it is particularly meaningful for me to bless this place with them,” he said. “We are grateful to them for helping us work through the tragedy of Declan’s death.” Alison also thanked Jenkins and Doyle for their help with the memorial and throughout the year since her son’s accident. “I wanted to thank [Jenkins] for giving us a lot of leeway with this and really letting us do what we thought would best memorialize our son and brother,” Alison said. “And [Doyle] for really helping us every inch of the way with everything from the moment of the accident through the past year.” Megan Doyle contributed to this report.last_img read more

first_imgThe worlds of science and art are headed on a collision course, and master forgers are forewarned: Science will catch them red-handed. Notre Dame’s nuclear astrophysicist professors Michael C.F. Wiescher and Philippe Collon are using proton-induced x-ray emission (PIXE) and Accelerator Mass Spectroscopy (AMS) to analyze various artifacts without destroying any parts of the samples. The application of such methods involves dating artwork, determining prior locations of artifacts and identifying pigments through particulate analysis. In so doing, art forgeries are more easily identified and more information about the artifacts is gained, according to Wiescher and Collon’s January article “Accelerated ion beams in art forensics” in the academic magazine Physics Today. This new approach is unique in that it comes from the area of physics. Collon said using AMS is akin to pouring a bottle of wine into Lake Michigan and trying to examine the wine particles, saying the process allows researchers to specifically examine from the backgrounds that interfere in the separations. He said the main focus is to look at a few trace atoms in a large matrix. Collon said he enjoys his focus using the AMS program. “I have a love for astrophysics and nuclear physics,” he said. “I love applying AMS to those areas.” Collon said the accelerators used at Notre Dame are similar to the ones in European art museums, save for the fact that the ones overseas work specifically on art works, forgeries and archeology. He said the majority of research conducted at Notre Dame is related to nuclear astrophysics. Collon added that although the work in the nuclear labs at Notre Dame remains focused on research and experimentation, the professors are now using applied physics in connection to other studies such as art, archeology and anthropology. “It really is a sort of melding of these different areas,” he said. Collon said he and Wiescher are continuously developing these applied physics programs. He said the specific focus on art and archaeology took place more recently in the past four to five years. “This is a program that we’re developing. It’s something that is growing, that is taking on more and more importance,” Collon said. “It’s a sort of parallel to our main activity, which is basic nuclear physics.” Additionally, current undergraduate research focuses on AMS in connection with carbon-14 dating, Collon said. These students are given the opportunity to work with these techniques, most often using the 11 million volt tandem accelerator. Collon said no commercial plans exist for AMS technology. Although the campus science buildings belong to Notre Dame, the National Science Foundation (NSF) pays for the labs. At this time, the NSF would like the lab activity at Notre Dame to continue with its basic research. He said the NSF recognizes the goal of these particular research labs to serve the science community in the widespread study of physics, not just one area alone.last_img read more

first_imgNovelist Michael Collins, member of the Notre Dame class of 1987, read excerpts from his most recent novel, “The Death of All Things Seen,” on Wednesday in the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore.As an undergraduate, Collins was a varsity track athlete at Notre Dame on scholarship from Limerick, Ireland, majoring in English and business.“I came as an athlete and only survived two years at Notre Dame on scholarship, and I was allowed by the benevolence of [University President Emeritus] Fr. [Theodore] Hesburgh to stay without finishing my running career,” Collins said. “What he did say was, ‘If you’re going to stay on here, do something, don’t be a quitter. You’re not leaving the team because you’re a failure.’ And I said ‘No, I want to become educated. I want to do something else.’”That “something else” was first programming software — a skill he taught himself — at Microsoft under Bill Gates, and then later becoming a successful novelist whose works have been translated into 17 languages.William O’Rourke, professor emeritus and founder of the Notre Dame Creative Writing graduate program, said Collins was the reason he founded the program.“Michael was one of the most extraordinary students I’ve ever encountered, and it wasn’t just because he had over-the-horizon genius in writing,” O’Rourke said. “He has this ability of prose which very few people have, he’s a long distance runner world class and he also worked with Bill Gates at Microsoft.“He traverses three cultures.”One of Collins’ early novels, “The Keepers of Truth,” which is set in a town that closely resembles South Bend, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the IMPAC Award. The book led to both his recognition in the literary world and his firing from Microsoft, because they were unaware of his writing career, O’Rourke said.Since then, Collins has written 10 novels in total, all part of an American series that “lament the passing of American greatness,” Collins said.Collins read from his most recent novel, “The Death of All Things Seen”, which is the last in the series.“[The Death of All Things Seen is] a Chicago novel. It’s both sociological, realistic and philosophical — a genre that’s very popular these days,” O’Rourke said.Collins attributed his recent success to the current political climate surrounding the election of President Donald Trump.“When I started writing, it was to understand my own country, to process all that I had left behind in Ireland — again in 1983, Catholics versus Protestants and the whole in Ireland, you got to America and you never wanted to go home.” Collins said. “Writing is about psychotherapy for me. Perhaps it takes a point of dislocation to better receive the past or understand it. It would not be until I became an engineer for Microsoft in the mid ’90s that I would begin to reflect on our collective future.”“The Death of All Things Seen” begins in 2008 in the wake of the economic crisis and the election of then-President Barack Obama. The novel “moves around the central idea that there is no single narrative anymore — that each life simply occupies the same moment, that one’s perception and understanding of the world is never the same to any one person,” Collins said. “This is a world of fracture.”Collins, who is an ultra runner in addition to novelist and is captain of the Irish National 100k team, says that distance running and writing overlap in the areas of self-deprivation and discipline.“Every book takes about three months to write. You spend a lot of time preparing for a book and then you have to find a three-month space to do it. Writing a book is not difficult when you decide to do it,” Collins said. “I do 100-mile races, people think three months is long, but 100 miles is long too. If you prepare for it … you say on that particular day, ‘I’m going to do it,’ to the detriment of everything else in your life.”Collins then offered some advice to aspiring novelists.“Compress everything into a short period of time. If you give yourself too much time to do something, you give yourself an out.”Tags: creative writing, Ireland, Michael Collins, rev. theodore hesburgh, The Death of All Things Seen, Tracklast_img read more

first_imgSarah Olson | The Observer North Dining Hall now features NDH Marketplace in place of Grab ‘n Go, where students can buy smaller snacks using flex points instead of a full meal swipe. The changes were mainly student-driven.Director of student dining, Scott Kachmarik, said meal counts have been up this semester, as students are coming into both dining halls to explore the changes to the facilities.“ … If you’ve seen the dish line or some of the server-y things, students have been coming in,” he said. “So that’s a good thing. But like I said, we’re trying to figure it out — timings and things — and we’ve got to get everyone settled into a routine.”The meals served at both dining halls will now feature more “plant-forward” and “plant-centered” foods, senior director of campus dining, Chris Abayasinghe said.“Our program is a signatory of a program called Menus of Change University Research Collaboration,” he said. “This is a cross-university collaborative to look at the future of what food is and also being able to kind of be a central voice, if you will, for foods from a dietary perspective … and essentially say, ‘Can we take all of these dining trends as well as concerns with the social, ethical and environmental impacts and have a consolidated response to this?’”Students now enter into South Dining Hall through the dining room, rather than going directly into the buffet area, Kachmarik said.“We were able to take where those severies — where [students] used to enter before — and we’ve now expanded the breakfast area on one side and consolidated our allergen friendly on the other,” he said of the change.In the renovated North Dining Hall, students enter through an automated turnstile system which reads their new ID cards, Abayasinghe said.“Sometimes when [students] go through the turnstile system and they tap the card, they’ll tap again before the gate opens so it’ll deduct a couple of meals,” he said. “So I know that our folks over in card services are working to address this specific issue, including the option of ‘Should we do a built-in buffer?’ so that way if the system reads your card, it won’t read it again for another 10 seconds or something along those lines.”North Dining Hall’s monitors, who previously swiped students’ ID cards upon entry, will begin to work as cashiers or ambassadors in the dining rooms, Kachmarik said.“The ambassadors are really going to play a different role,” he said. “Rather than taking your card and swiping you in, they’ll be roaming throughout the dining room and they’ll be bussing tables and helping clean up — [when] we get spills and things like that — but really to engage the students, more so than what they were doing just at the greeting.”Abayasinghe said throughout the planning process of renovations, campus dining consulted student feedback. The decision to replace the Grab and Go in North Dining Hall with the NDH Marketplace  — where students pay with flex points and Domer Dollars instead of a meal swipe — was “student-initiated” he said.“Through the process, student government identified an advisory council called the student advisory council for us,” Abayasinghe said. “And what we heard was that exchanging [a meal swipe] — and I’m trying to use the exact terminology that the student raised to me — ‘It feels to me like swiping for Grab and Go for a dining hall meal, I just feel like I’ve lost something.’”The suggestion by student government to adjust Grab and Go was not intended as a call to replace the service in North Dining Hall, student body president Becca Blais said.“According to our co-director of student life, Caitlin [Murphy], while the suggestion of improving Grab and Go did come from our office, the suggestion of replacing Grab and Go did not originate from our office or any of our discussions,” Blais said in an email. “We’ve heard quite a bit of student feedback on improvements, and we’re continuing to gather feedback on the changes in order to share with Campus Dining.”Campus Dining remains positive about the change, however, as using flex points or Domer Dollars instead of meal swipes at the marketplace will allow students more flexibility, Abayasinghe said.“If you’re running between classes, or if, for example, you don’t have the time to be able to enjoy a meal in the dining hall, you can go into this place and instead of you losing a whole meal swipe, you can choose to utilize two or three dollars,” he said. “You can choose to utilize whatever amount you want based on what you want so that way you get to make that determination.”Students can now swipe into the dining halls multiple times within a meal period, allowing additional freedom to students, Abayasinghe said. The number of flex points allotted to each student this semester has also increased when compared to the fall of 2016 semester, he said.“What we wanted to do is to say “Well, tell you what. You have x amount of swipes a week. If you choose to utilize all of those swipes within the first two days, that’s your prerogative, because it has to match how you dine,”” Abayasinghe said.Reggie Kalili, assistant director of marketing, said he enjoyed the new environment in the dining hall.“I used to work in North Dining Hall so for me it’s quite the transformation in terms of just the overall atmosphere,” he said. “It’s brighter. It’s more welcoming and from the employee end, if you’re working in a nice new place, it just lends to a better attitude so people are just happy in general.”Tags: dining, Food Services, NDH With the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year came a number of changes to campus dining. Reckers shortened its hours to 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weeknights and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday nights, while three additional South Bend businesses — a Pizza Hut off-campus, the Philly Pretzel Factory and Danny Boy Draft Works — have started accepting Domer Dollars. The full North Dining Hall (NDH) facility reopened and both dining halls began operating technology consistent with the new ID cards.last_img read more

first_imgBefore coming to Notre Dame, assistant band director Justin McManus said he thought working for the Band of the Fighting Irish was one of the “wonder” jobs.Now the band’s assistant director, McManus said belonging to the organization has been an experience unlike any other.“It’s unique because you get a different appreciation for [Notre Dame],” he said.In order to share this experience with current students, as well as provide them with a chance to learn more about the program, the Notre Dame Band will be hosting an open house Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Ricci Band Rehearsal Hall. The event will give students a chance to familiarize themselves with the opportunities the band offers as well as talk to current band members.McManus, who first proposed the open house, said the event was developed to improve the program’s recruitment of non-freshmen. The band has no trouble recruiting students who are new to campus but struggles to draw in upperclassmen and graduate students, he said.Many students interested in band are hesitant to join freshman year because they’re concerned about the time commitment and would rather focus their energy on adjusting to college life, McManus said.“Then they think they just can’t join after freshman year,” he said.McManus said he hopes the open house will both help to dispel this assumption and provide students with the information they need to get involved.The open house will commence with a brief overview of the program, which will include a description of the different types of bands and ensembles it offers as well as their respective time commitments and skill requirements, McManus said. In addition, the event will have 17 different instruments available for students to try and there will also be a tour of the band facilities.Junior MacKenzie Cavanagh and senior Brynn Alexander, the two band ambassador coordinators, will be joining McManus to provide a student perspective on joining the band.Alexander said she hopes the event will provide students with a “fun way to get to know the band and see if it’s a good fit.”Students do not need to be well-versed in an instrument to join, McManus said. The sheer breadth of the band program provides a place for all students, from beginners to long-time experts, he said.For example, several bands are better suited for beginners, such as the basketball band and hockey band, Cavanagh said. After becoming well-acquainted with an instrument, students can audition for programs requiring more skill, such as the marching band, she said.Cavanagh said the band is eager to work with individuals of all skill sets and works to accommodate each individual in their specific needs.“Everyone is very welcoming,” she said. “Everyone is very supportive.”Tags: Band of the Fighting Irish, Open House, Ricci Band Rehearsal Halllast_img read more

first_imgAlthough the Blais-Shewit administration has achieved many smaller goals so far, it has not yet accomplished much of what it promised to have done at this point in its term and has had to re-evaluate and adjust the timeline of several of its major platform points. The group has set a solid foundation for the rest of its term through outreach and relationship-building, but it remains to be seen whether or not it can follow through with the projects it has started.Grade: BTags: 2017 Student Government Insider, blais-shewit, Callisto, sexual assault, Student government, sustainability, University Health Services As the first half of their term draws to a close, student body president Becca Blais and vice president Sibonay Shewit said they have been working hard to integrate student feedback into their initiatives.“We’re still in the process with the [student government] website and a few other things, but just [focusing on] changing the image of student government and going to Moreau classes,” Blais said. “We’ve been working with a lot of business classes now lately and just getting the name brand out there, redoing the social media.”In order to increase their visibility and collect student input, the administration has conducted a “Town Hall On-The-Go” initiative and visited every hall council, Shewit said.“Like we said when we were campaigning, people don’t think student government does anything, and part of us addressing that was focusing more on working on what students are saying that they want,” Shewit said. “ … I think we’ve found if we don’t put so much absolute effort on our communications and getting out to students, we can’t expect them to know what’s going on in our office.”Throughout this semester, student government has also worked to foster connections with the South Bend community, junior and chief of staff Prathm Juneja said.“The area I think we’ve had our strongest focus in is the community engagement and outreach portions,” he said. “Student governments often neglect the South Bend relationship and I think our director, [senior] Adam Moeller, has done just the most incredible job there.”While the administration has not yet reached a partnership with the Awake campaign — a campaign that would donate five cents to a local community partner every time a student brings a reusable cup to a coffee vendor on campus, which was one of the administration’s main platform points — Juneja said student government has accomplished some of its other sustainability initiatives. These achievements, he said, include a Styrofoam ban, and working with campus dining to implement anaerobic digestion, an alternative to composting.“We’re still working on the Awake campaign, but in the meantime, our director of sustainability was able to change the way the Huddle treats plastic bags,” Juneja said. “They were able to get people to stop offering bags. You used to always get a bag with your stuff at the Huddle — we were sending out thousands of bags a week and that’s not happening anymore.”The cabinet has also implemented several of its diversity and inclusion initiatives, such as auditing resident assistant training and hiring a third diversity and inclusion officer, Blais said. In addition, the University’s statement of diversity and inclusion will also be incorporated into prospective students’ acceptance packages.“They do the initial acceptance letter and then they follow immediately with your package and [the statement] is going to be in the package,” Blais said. “We’re still pushing for it to be in the initial acceptance letter, but we have the second one confirmed.”Though the University Counseling Center (UCC) had already begun to discuss internal reviews, Blais said student government also played a key role in ensuring that the UCC underwent evaluation by the Jed Foundation, which is currently wrapping up its review.While they have implemented certain items from their platform, however, many of the administration’s initiatives regarding sexual assault remain in the works.According to their platform, one of Blais and Shewit’s top priorities was to implement Callisto — an online tool which allows students to submit time-stamped reports of sexual assault — by fall of 2017. However, Callisto is still being evaluated by the committee for sexual assault prevention (CSAP) and Blais said they hope to implement it in 2018 at the earliest.“We had to go over the technology logistics and go over data security, over is it is right for Notre Dame?” Blais said. “Are there competing apps or services or anything, which we found there aren’t — things like that. So it is actually moving forward with a decision soon, which is extremely promising and exciting, especially for such a large new service to the University.”Blais and Shewit also planned to create a way for students to call Notre Dame Security Police by typing a key code into buildings. However, they are now instead looking into implementing a safety app which will allow students to contact Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) on the go, Blais said.“If they don’t pilot a new app — because there are challenges with looking at a new app — then they would either embed it directly into ND Mobile or they want to have a direct call button in ND Mobile for NDSP,” Blais said. “So we’re looking to bring the emergency call system to your pocket.”After further conversations with University Health Services, Blais said, the cabinet also reevaluated its goal of implementing a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) rape kit administration program on campus, a platform point passed down from the Robinson-Blais administration.“In terms of safety, it’s actually better to have [rape kits] at the hospital because those nurses are trained to use them,” Blais said. “And we could train our nurses but they administer them more often, so they have experience with them. You can’t mess up a rape kit, and they’re very easy to mess up. But we have transportation from campus to those rape kits that’s free of charge.”Although the cabinet may not accomplish every item on its platform, Juneja said, it will work to advance each initiative as much as possible.“I don’t think we will achieve every single bullet point on that platform, but I do think that we will leave on April 2 and feel like at least we started pushing on everything,” he said. “So I don’t think we’ll have any regrets.”last_img read more

first_imgAnn Curtis | The Observer Alumni Tim Gancer speaks with a participant in the 2017 Fall Career Expo.Planning for the Career Expo began last spring with choosing a date and reaching out to repeat employers and potential new employers, director of employer engagement LoriAnn Edinborough, said. The planning is a huge undertaking requiring organization of countless moving parts to ensure employers and students alike have a productive and rewarding experience.“A lot of the employers will say we offer one of the best career fairs around and I think we just want to make sure they have an unsurpassed experience while they’re here from our end of, you know, providing it for them,” Edinborough said.Edinborough said that due to the excessive heat expected for Wednesday evening, the dress code of the Expo has been switched to business casual attire to ensure a more comfortable experience. She also said one of the biggest developments this year is a new app, ND Career Expo.“With this career fair app, you can do a quick search, have a quick definition of what that company is and the industries that they’re seeking, so you have a little bit of a synopsis while you’re waiting,” Bridget Kibbe, director of undergraduate career services, said. “Then you can ask more of a strategic question instead of coming up and asking, ‘What do you do?’”On the student side of the planning, Kibbe said her team streamlined the way they did student preparation, switching from 30-minute appointments to resume reviews and workshops covering resume writing, general preparation and interview practice.“I think the big part is making sure we plan well in advance, and I think this year we certainly did a very good job in doing that,” Kibbe said. “We offered [workshops] across, you know, every day of the week, Monday through Thursday and on Friday and at different times, again, very well-attended, so that’s been a huge plus for us.”While some students may regard networking and trying to “sell themselves” to employers as their worst nightmare, Kibbe said that the career counselors work to dispel that view of the career fair in their meetings with students, urging students to instead focus on the valuable conversations they can have with alumni and employers.“We certainly want students to feel that if they have no idea what they want to do, this still is a great place to attend because it’s a discernment tool,” Kibbe said. “Just talking to alums who have probably been through this before themselves, you know, what was their career path, what did they get involved in on campus, what classes did they take, what activities.”Kibbe said all students, no matter where they are in their educations or career discernment process, should attend the career fair to begin to understand how the skills developed in their classes are preparing them for future careers.“It’s not about your major. It’s about your skill sets and what’s developed, so we don’t want students to feel like your major defines your career path,” Kibbe said. “For so many employers, it is about your competencies: your comfort level in communication, critical thinking skills, things like that.”Tags: career fair, Center for Career Development, Fall Career Expo Thousands of students will descend on Notre Dame Stadium this Wednesday evening for the annual Fall Career Expo. The Expo, which is the Center for Career Development’s largest career fair of the year, will take place from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. and includes representatives from 247 companies looking to hire students majoring in everything from English to biochemistry.“The Expo is open to all students — undergraduate, graduate, everybody’s welcome to attend,” Ryan Willerton, associate vice president of career and professional development.last_img read more

first_imgAnna Mason Saint Mary’s students celebrate Belles Beginnings with designed posters welcoming incoming first years to campus.“That will really help girls target: ‘Who am I? What am I about? What are my passions?’” Nelson said. “When you get to college, you can have the study skills and you can have the intellect, but if you don’t have the confidence, if you don’t have the coping mechanisms, you’re going to kind of flounder. That wholeness framework is going to focus on that.”The road to begin building strong relationships, Allen said, starts with understanding the self through the new peer mentor program.“It’s all about exploring your core values and digging deep to know what makes you you, how you can take what you know about yourself and apply that to your friendships and how you get along with other people,” Allen said. “I think giving that to the freshmen is going to give them a huge leg up on being here and making strong relationships and having an amazing experience here.”Student Government Association (SGA) members welcomed incoming Belles with milk and cookies in their dorms Thursday night to make sure the new students felt ”really loved and special,” Nelson said.Friday will feature the Belles Outdoor Fiesta, a party with pinatas and guacamole, to provide students with another opportunity to meet one another as well as SGA members. Nelson and Allen said they hope to become familiar faces to first year students as another way to ease the transition to college.“It’s kind of like the more people you know and the more faces you’re familiar with, the more you feel at home,” Allen said. The new pre-Domerfest event will sport an ACDC-inspired theme with giveaways and t-shirts featuring the incoming class’ graduation year, Nelson and Allen explained.“We’re having food — we’re not making it, ‘You must be in by this time or you can’t go,’” Nelson said. “This year, it’s come between 8:30 and 9:30, and we’re going to hang out and have fun. You’re not going to feel miserable and then we’re going to walk you over to Domerfest.”Additionally, there will be an alternative event on the College’s campus for students who do not want to attend the traditional Notre Dame Domerfest.“[It’s] for the girls who don’t feel comfortable or maybe who don’t want to go to Notre Dame yet,” Allen said. “It gives them the option if they feel more comfortable staying, and that’s something we really want to emphasize — there’s a choice there, and we support whatever. We’ll have SGA girls at both, so the [first years], whether they want to go or not, they’re supported in both decisions.”The pair said they find it important that every first year student enjoys themselves at the pre-Domerfest happenings but know that they can stay on campus to build relationships with other Saint Mary’s women.“We just want each girl to be able to find their space, find their people, and it’s going to look different for each Belle,” Nelson said. “There’s no same girl, there’s no same interest. We just really wanted to create that space, and we’re really proud of the work that’s been done. We’re hoping that this gives them a good taste for what the rest of our term is going to look like.”The community-driven events will continue throughout the first week of classes with each night featuring a different event. Allen said this will continue first year students’ involvement around campus as well as encourage returning students to strengthen the relationships they have already made.“On our platform, where we talked so much about how we love the tradition of the College, we love the community and we want to enhance it. We want to make it better,” Nelson said. “Olivia and I, we hate when girls say there’s nothing to do at Saint Mary’s. We want them to say, ‘There’s awesome things to do at Saint Mary’s, and I was given a lot of opportunities.’”When it comes to the Saint Mary’s experience, Nelson said she hopes to provide first year students with an experience that will help them love the campus as much as a student returning for her final year.“It’s senior year, you come back and see your friends and it feels like home,” she said. “That’s the beauty of Saint Mary’s. It clicks; it happens. That’s senior year though. Freshman year, that feeling isn’t there yet. That’s where we lose retention, that’s where girls transfer, that’s where they say, ‘I don’t fit in here. There’s nothing to do here. I’m bored.’ ‘We want to start getting that ball rolling with the feeling that we have coming into senior year where ‘I am good and I love Saint Mary’s’ — we want them to be introduced to that feeling early on. They’re going to fall in love with it, I think, anyway. We just want it to happen sooner.”Tags: Domerfest, First Year Orientation, saint mary’s, Saint Mary’s Student Government Association Each academic year, Saint Mary’s focuses on one of its four core values — learning, community, faith and spirituality and justice — with this year’s focus being community. Seniors Terra Nelson and Olivia Allen, student body president and vice president respectively, said they plan to incorporate the Saint Mary’s sisterhood in as much of first year students’ experiences as possible, beginning with orientation.After receiving feedback on previous orientation experiences, Nelson said the pair have worked to make lasting changes to the peer mentor program as well as the weekend’s events to focus on community and wellness. These steps, along with the College’s increased focus on student life, sets to assist with first year students’ successes.last_img read more

first_imgA 21-year-old man was charged with voyeurism Nov. 21 for allegedly pointing his cell phone camera at a student in a Zahm House bathroom stall, according to court documents obtained by The Observer. The man was previously enrolled at the University and has been identified as Benjamine Wears.On Sept. 22, around 3 p.m., a student told Zahm rector Robert Francis that while using a first floor restroom in Zahm, he saw the person in the stall next to him holding a cell phone near his ankles with the camera application open. According to the probable cause affidavit, the cell phone was “pointed into [the student’s] stall under the divider between the two stalls” and the student could see the camera application and images on the screen.Thinking a friend was trying to prank him, the student yelled “what the [expletive]” but the person did not leave the stall. The student waited until the occupant left the stall and eventually saw a man with black shoes and a green backpack with a plastic bottle exit and “bolt” out of the bathroom without washing his hands, court documents said.The student chased after the man but didn’t catch him, and later that day reported the incident to the Zahm rector, according to court documents. A police report was filed that afternoon.The next weekend, the student saw the suspect, “who identified himself eventually as Benjamine Wears by both name and by ND ID card,” according to the probable cause affidavit. Police on Oct. 4 interviewed Wears, who said several times he had not been at Zahm.When asked why he tried to swipe into Zahm in August, even though his card wasn’t able to open the door, Wears said he was testing to see if his ID really wouldn’t work on the dormitories, court documents said. When asked about a similar incident that happened in the Hesburgh Library, Wears said he was not responsible for the incident.After executing a search warrant for Wears’ phone and searching it, the Notre Dame Police Department did not find any videos of the inside of the bathrooms. However, the location data of the phone was consistent with Zahm House around the time of the incident, according to the court documents, and the phone’s data shows the camera application was open at a time consistent with the student’s description of events.According to the probable cause affidavit, the location data for Wears’ phone was consistent with the library around the time of the other incident, and the location data shows he left the library a few minutes after the time of the incident.Data from Wears’ phone allegedly shows he had visited websites where men were unknowingly recorded in bathrooms, according to court documents. However, there is no evidence he ever uploaded any videos to the sites.Wears faces one charge of voyeurism and had his initial hearing on Dec. 3., Jessica McBrier, the St. Joseph County prosecutor’s office spokesperson, said. Wears’ attorney, Michael Tuszynski, did not return a request for comment by the time of publication.University spokesperson Dennis Brown provided a statement on the alleged incident on behalf of Notre Dame.“The student is not enrolled at the University, and local authorities are addressing the matter,” Brown said.Tags: Hesburgh Library, NDPD, voyeurism, Zahmlast_img read more

first_imgThe 2019-2020 student senate convened for the final time over Zoom on Wednesday, passing three resolutions and nominating individuals for the Irish Clover Award, the Frank O’Malley Teaching Award and the Michael J. Palumbo Award.First, the senate passed a resolution that urged the University’s division of student affairs and first-year advising to increase communication with first year students before they arrive at the University and urged the departments to reinstate the peer advising program once in place between first year students and upperclassmen. The resolution was drawn up and proposed by the First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership (FUEL). Co-director of FUEL Alix Basden said the resolution was drafted after hearing feedback from first year students, many of whom expressed confusion regarding the scheduling of their classes.“[It’s] just asking for increased communication in the scheduling process really,” Basden said in regards to the resolution. The peer advising program was not instated this year as an option for first year students. In the past, first year students were matched with an upperclassman with similar academic interest with whom they could meet and discuss the college transition.The senate also passed a resolution regarding the Hall of the Year selection process in light of the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the University. The resolution allowed for Hall of the Year presentations to be presented over Zoom, restated who will be on the selection committee and reallocated 5% of the selection weight to the presentation percentage.The final resolution the 2019-2020 senate passed, SO19-38, clarified an earlier resolution which states the makeup of the Student Union Board executive director selection committee. The senate then heard and voted on recipients of the three awards. The first was the Irish Clover Award.“The Irish Clover Award is given to two outstanding members of the Notre Dame community for exemplary service to the student body. Recipients may include students, faculty, staff, administrators or alumni,” parliamentarian, sophomore Thomas Davis said.The student senate chose outgoing student body vice president, junior Patrick McGuire and outgoing student body president, senior Elizabeth Boyle. The senate then awarded the Frank O’Malley Undergraduate Teaching Award to chemistry and biochemistry professor DeeAnne Goodenough-Lashua. The award is named in honor of former Notre Dame professor Frank O’Malley and is given to a faculty member “who has had an outstanding impact on undergraduate education at the University and shown exceptional service to the students of the Notre Dame community,” Davis said.Finally, the senate awarded the Michael J. Palumbo Award to former Judicial Council president and former student union parliamentarian, junior Halena Hadi. This award, named in honor of its first recipient, honors an undergraduate student for his or her outstanding dedication and service to the University of Notre Dame Student Union.“She is supremely deserving of this award, due to the nature of her two positions and the fact that she has worked the past two years to better the student union, ensuring adherence and respect to the Undergraduate Constitution at every turn,” the Ethics Commision said in a nomination letter. “Her grace and sophistication under the stress of two complicated election seasons was commendable, and her hours of work making sure these elections went smoothly were even more so.”With this senate meeting, the 2019-2020 senate’s term came to a close. The leadership of the senate under student body president Rachel Ingal and student body vice president Sarah Galbenski has now started.Tags: 2019-2020 senate, 2020-2021 senate, Frank O’Malley Undergraduate Teaching Award, irish clover award, Michael J. Palumbo Award, zoomlast_img read more