Month: January 2021

Saint Mary’s hosts all-school formal

first_imgSaint Mary’s women will pack the Gillespie Center at the Hilton Garden Inn on the Saint Mary’s campus from 8 p.m. to midnight for the annual all-school formal Friday. Freshman Lauren Wells, Residence Hall Association (RHA) 2013 formal chair, said this year’s dance theme is the “Phantom of the Opera.” “[The committee] chose this theme because of the grand elegance and romanticism that surrounds a beautiful love story like that of ‘Phantom of the Opera,’” Wells said. Guests can expect a simple yet classic theme, which will include colors such as black, gold, red and white, Wells said. Wells said she was selected as the formal chair in September and her committee has been planning since November. She said the most challenging, time-consuming part of the planning process was organizing all the logistical details of a huge event: everything from a security detail to finding decorations and picking out the menu. “Although I will be working most of the formal, my enjoyment and satisfaction will directly come from the positive reactions and complements of our guests,” Wells said. “All I want is for our students to have a phenomenal experience.” Residence Hall Association president Sarah Copi said the committee was pleased with the choice of venue. “We, as [the] RHA, are really excited about the new venue and we are very proud of all the hard work Lauren and her committee have put in for this event,” Copi said. Wells said Belles look forward to the Saint Mary’s formal because it offers them a chance to celebrate with their classmates. “There is something about a Saint Mary’s formal that is so different than any other dances/formals of its type,” Wells said. “Knowing the fact that all your girlfriends are always there for you to have a good time definitely makes people more interested and excited to attend this formal.”Junior Kathleen Sullivan said she could not imagine missing the event. “My philosophy is, I have four years to go to formals with my best friends. Why wouldn’t I go?” Sullivan said. “I think it was a really good idea to have it at the Hilton Garden Inn because it’s really convenient for all students.” Junior Erica Chiarello said her date is traveling from West Virginia to attend. “I’m really looking forward to hanging out with my friends and having a great time,” she said. “I’m also excited to have a friend from home coming to visit.” Junior Katherine Kautz said this will be her first formal after spending time studying abroad. “I’m excited to see all of the dresses girls decide to wear, especially since it’s red carpet season,” Kautz said. Tickets are available for purchase from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Student Center atrium today. The cost is $15 per person or $30 per couple. Contact Meaghan Daly at [email protected]last_img read more

Librarian discusses future of academic publishing

first_imgBryn Geffert, Amherst College librarian, addressed the currently flawed state of the libraries on campuses across the country in his lecture, “Academic Libraries and Academic Publishing: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.” The Saint Mary’s College Cushwa-Leighton Library hosted Geffert on Tuesday night in an effort to provide students with optimal researching capacities. Geffert, who previously served as the library director at the United States Military Academy, said he wanted to foster a world where all scholars would be able to access information with only an Internet connection regardless of where they live. He said typically, a researcher is paid for his or her research and when he sends it off to an institution to get published he relinquishes his rights to the piece. In most cases, his institution buys the work back from the publisher, but Geffert said  the author does not see a dime of profit unless he sells an unrealistic amount of copies. “I cannot imagine a more dysfunctional, more in jeopardy state that academic publishing could be in,” he said. “This is an absolutely perverse model. We could not devise something more preposterous. “And what is the effect? Escalading serials expenditures. Publishers are able to charge whatever prices they want because they have control of the market. The trajectory is absolutely unsustainable, [and] institutions cannot keep up” Geffert said three major scientific publishers have almost become monopolized: Elsevier, Springer and Wiley. Because these three companies control so much of the market, they are able to charge authors obscene amounts of money to publish their works, he said. “Now the result is that libraries must pay more and more each year for publishing, leaving less money for books and material for students,” he said. “Cambridge University Press has eliminated entire series just because there aren’t enough libraries that can afford to buy from them.” In 1986, libraries were spending 44 percent of their budgets on books, according to Geffert. Last year, that number dwindled to 22 percent because they were forced to spend so much on journal publishing costs. At his library at Amherst, 56 disciplines have lost presses since 1993, Geffert said. “I’m not arguing that there’s a shortage of outlets for publishing,” he said. “Anyone with a manuscript can get it looked at. But my argument is that there is a need for good, quality, not-for-profit, university presses.” Geffert said hundreds of third-world countries are suffering from empty bookshelves. Geffert said he believes the current library and publishing system is failing that universal mission associated with universities implied by the word’s Latin root.”Its hard for universities to provide light to their own students, let alone shedding light on the world,” he said. “So what can we do about it? We can accept the status quo and do nothing. Or, we can accept the status quo and work around the edges. “We can contest the status quo, kicking and screaming and see what happens. Or we can create a new status quo.” The Public Library of Science (PLOS) has done exactly that, Geffert said. He described PLOS as a series of top quality scientific journals, available online for free. An author must pay a fee to see their work published in this library, but most of the contributors are researchers who are funded by government grants, he said. He said the main issue is translating this setup to liberal arts colleges like Amherst or Saint Mary’s. Geffert said he has worked to help Amherst establish a new kind of press that will hopefully make literature available to the largest possible audience. “We have announced everything [faculty members] publish at the College’s press will be available free of charge on the Internet,” he said. “Everyone with tInternet can access what is published at Amherst. The reader can download and share it. We have been knocked off our seats with how excited the media is.” Through college endowment and volunteers, the College would be able to do so without ever realizing a dime for revenue. “The ultimate dream behind this endeavor:[is] at some poine, there is a tipping point at which the savings we are realizing from not borrowing from other institutions will cover the costs,” he said. Though he acknowledged his goals were idealistic, Geffert said he truly believes that if implemented, this system of shared information will change academia. “I imagine a day where a student in India has the same access to information as a student of a wealthy university as a student in Appalachia. That’s the ultimate dream I think we should be striving towards,” he said. Contact Marissa Pie at [email protected]last_img read more

Zahm rector issues sudden resignation

first_imgAfter Zahm House rector Scott Opperman resigned Thursday night, confused and concerned residents spent the weekend learning more about the situation and remembering the leadership Opperman provided during his one year and three week term. Associate vice president for Residential Life Heather Rakoczy Russell confirmed Opperman’s departure and said Fr. Tom Doyle will serve as Zahm’s rector “while an active search for a permanent rector is underway.” Opperman replaced former rector Corry Colonna in the fall of 2012. Zahm House resident assistant Connor McCurrie said from the beginning, Opperman emphasized the importance of creating a welcoming community. “[Within] the first week he was here, he changed everything from a hall to a house,” McCurrie said. “He continued that approach throughout his time here and really made sure we knew this that this was our dorm, that it was going in the direction we wanted it to and that we were a community first and foremost.” The hall staff members were the first notified about Opperman’s resignation when they were called to the Main Building for a meeting late Thursday night, McCurrie said. Junior Sam Hyder said his first reaction was disbelief, though a House meeting called Friday partially clarified his confusion. “Scott was a big part of Zahm; he loved Zahm and everybody loved him,” Hyder said. “On Friday, everybody met and they brought in representatives from  [the Office of] Community Standards and [the Office of] Student Affairs to explain the situation.” “As they were explaining it, we still weren’t getting a lot of answers from them. Part of that was because Scott preferred to keep the reasons for his resignation out of the public eye, but it kind of left all of us confused.” Hyder experienced his first year in Zahm with former rector Corry Colonna and his second with Opperman, and he said Opperman brought a change in leadership style. “My freshman year, the rector wasn’t really an influential part of the community,” he said. “He wasn’t a bad rector; he just didn’t fight for us like Scott did. We could really tell that Scott had our best interests at heart.” Opperman’s dedication to the hall and its residents was obvious, Hyder said. “The biggest strength he had was that he put Zahm first and that he cared for the men in Zahm and the overall community of Zahm,” he said. “At times, he acted as an intermediary between the administration and Zahm, but the bottom line was that we knew he would fight for us … and that he would give his all to this community in every way that he could.” Freshman Norbert Kuc said he already had a sense of this bond between Opperman and the residents after only three weeks living in the hall. “I only knew Scott for about three weeks, but I saw him as like a father figure to us. I’m sure the upperclassmen will vouch for me when I say that,” Kuc said. “There were some upperclassmen here who would call him ‘Dad.’ He always had his door open, so if anyone had a problem, he was like your dad away from home, basically.” “If any of us had something going on, we’d be down there to talk to him in a heartbeat. He really felt approachable, and it seemed like he wasn’t as much of a ‘rector’ as he was someone from your family who cares about you and was on your side.” From his perspective as a member of the hall staff, McCurrie said the community will miss Opperman, although interim rector Fr. Tom Doyle “will keep moving us forward.” “Clearly, we’re all a little bit sad that Scott is gone,” McCurrie said. “He was great for the community … and we hope that he’s doing well now. “[Scott] was very personable and very pastoral in his approach. He was a huge help to many of the guys here, and he was everybody’s good friend. I think he did a great job of balancing our dorm traditions with the University policy … and he really helped us solidify our community while he was here.” McCurrie said residents wore Zahm apparel throughout the weekend to show support for Opperman, and more than 100 people went to the Grotto on Thursday night after hearing the news. “We have not had any communication with Scott, but we know he has received hundreds of texts and emails from people in the dorm making sure he’s okay and that he knows he’s in our thoughts and prayers,” he said. Hyder and Kuc both said Zahm’s annual “Hesburgh Challenge,” an event first organized by Opperman, was one of the former rector’s greatest contributions. “[Opperman] wanted to do something last year to honor [University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore] Hesburgh for Hesburgh’s 95th birthday and Zahm’s 75th anniversary, so he organized this challenge to build community and fight for better camaraderie,” Hyder said. The second iteration of the Hesburgh Challenge took place the first weekend in September this year, during which the dorm decided to partner with an elementary school in Haiti to raise money and build a lasting relationship, Kuc said. The sense of a “community within a community” that Opperman created helped Kuc become comfortable with the transition to college in his first weeks here, Kuc said. “He said that all of Notre Dame is your home, but Zahm is specifically your little area of this broader place,” Kuc said. “Even if you don’t feel comfortable going to the advisors or anyone else who is supposed to act as a family figure for you, you can always go to the other guys here at the dorm for support. “He would always say ‘watch out for your brothers.’ We were all expected to watch each other’s backs because we’re all in this together. That was a big thing for him, that you can’t leave your brother behind.” Doyle will serve as interim rector effective immediately until a replacement is found. Doyle served as the University’s vice president for student affairs from 2010 to 2012 and is a fellow with Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives.last_img read more

Women’s boxing captains fight for Holy Cross missions

first_imgOn Monday night, 78 women will take to the ring to raise money for Holy Cross missions in Uganda in the 11th annual Baraka Bouts. Nine captains lead these students in their boxing training and fundraising efforts while serving as mentors and leaders for the novice boxers. Senior captain Anna Carmack said she joined the women’s boxing team her freshman year at Notre Dame, not knowing she would love the sport so much. “I was very hesitant. I had never done anything like boxing before, but I decided to give a shot,” she said. “I ended up loving it, and I was pretty good at it, as well.” Few women join the boxing team with previous boxing experience, so the captains are responsible for teaching the basics of the sport, Carmack said. “We’re doing all the instruction. We have coaches who help us a ton, but a lot of the instruction does come down to us,” she said. “We’re teaching the girls how to stand, how to punch, how to move. “The first few weeks are purely workouts and instruction. You’re not going to be in the ring; you aren’t going to be throwing punches [because] you first have to learn how to stand.” Carmack said the captains help run eight practices per week, and team members must attend at least four of them. “It would be a lot for us to try to be at all eight, so we can spread it out and at least have four or five of us at each practice,” she said. “We also divide up the big roles, like being in charge of merchandise and programs.’ The primary goal of Baraka Bouts is fundraising for the Holy Cross missions, Carmack said. “Each girl has to raise $350 to participate because the whole point is to raise money for the Holy Cross missions in Uganda,” she said. “One hundred dollars has to be through ticket sales, and the rest can be personal donation, donations from friends or family or ads in the program.” Senior captain Anna Heffron said she visited one of the schools supported by a Holy Cross mission in Uganda this summer. “I was actually working with a different organization, a palliative care group, but I was quite close to Lakeview [Secondary School],” she said. “It was amazing, and the kids were so great. They were so friendly and welcoming and enthusiastic.” Heffron said the funds raised by Baraka Bouts often pay for tuition for children from poorer families. “Fifty dollars will pay for tuition and room and board for an entire semester,” she said. “Additionally, at the school I visited, they were having problems with building integrity. They have to build a new dormitory … so a lot of what we raise will go toward supporting that [project].” Heffron said the Baraka Bouts captains try to instill the Holy Cross spirit in their boxers.   “We teach the mind and the body and the heart,” she said. “There’s a point where the motto ‘Strong bodies fight so that weak bodies may be nourished’ clicks, and where the mission of the club clicks.”You have a strong, healthy body, and it’s so easy to raise money through Baraka Bouts and women’s boxing. It makes such a huge difference. If you get five people to come to the tournament, that’s $50, and that just paid for a kid’s schooling for an entire semester.” Junior captain Tori White said she enjoys seeing the girls develop their skills throughout the season. “They want to improve, and they want to do well,” she said. “It’s been a lot of fun just watching the growth and the passion that girls develop for it.” Carmack said she is proud of everyone’s progress. “We get these girls who have come so far, and I don’t think they realize all the time, until you stop them,” Carmack said. “Then you say, ‘Remember, you didn’t even know where your feet went or what to do with your hands. And now you’re going to go in there and be fighting, and you’re going to have people cheering you on.’” Even after three years on the team, White said she is still nervous for the bouts. “As captains, we can also be in their corners, too, and coach them through their fights,” White said. “So you can’t really be freaking out about your fight when you are in someone else’s corner. Part of being a captain is putting your own worries on the backburner.” White said she always tries to keep the fundraising mission of the women’s boxing team in mind. “You get to learn a new sport, but you are also doing it for a really good cause,” she said. “Girls can get upset about losing, or they don’t think they fought well, but they’ve raised $350, and that’s going to make such a big difference in kids’ lives. “That’s the really fulfilling part, and it’s powerful to know that you can make that much of a difference and enjoy doing [it], to.” Contact Catherine Owers at [email protected]last_img read more

University experiments with online classes

first_imgAs DARTing season begins, Notre Dame students have even more class choices than before, thanks to the new option of online courses.   Elliott Visconsi, chief of digital affairs and professor of English and law, has worked to bring the option of online courses to Notre Dame. Visconsi said the University decided in April 2013 to join respected schools, such as Boston College, Washington University and Northwestern, in offering classes through a program called “Semester Online.” “The reason that we’re in Semester Online is so that we can experiment, we can learn, we can understand how Notre Dame students inhabit online courses, how these kinds of courses and this style of learning fits into the Notre Dame experience,” Visconsi said.  Visconsi said Semester Online works the same way as regular courses. He said students can DART into the online courses Notre Dame offers, or they can receive permission from their advisors to take classes taught by professors at one of the other schools in the consortium, receiving transfer credit.  Senior Katie Dickerson said she currently is taking an online course called “Drugs and Behavior” offered through Emory University. Dickerson said the class is not as different from traditional classes as she initially expected.  “The nice thing about how these classes work is that you still have to ‘go to class.’ Once a week you log in with a webcam – your professor and classmates do the same – and you have lecture and discussion like you would in a normal classroom,” Dickerson said. “The work you do outside of class will depend on the type of class it is. … [For my class,] instead of a book, we have recorded video lectures from our professor.”  Visconsi said the biggest challenge for the faculty has been learning to create a course in a new context.   “When you have a seminar-style class discussion in this format, you have to come up with a different set of strategies. … The energy is different, the kind of questions that you need to ask of students are different,” Visconsi said. “Creating a good online course means you have to take an existing course and be inventive, make it born digital, create it anew for this platform.” Dickerson said she has had a great experience and would take an online course again, but it can be hard to connect with the professor, especially when he is located in a different part of the country. She said it can also be challenging to manage time when taking a class that relies heavily on independent work.  Visconsi said online learning is like any other kind of unconventional education.  “Think about all these projects. There was a time when study abroad was not acceptable, or the idea that you would go downtown and work at the homeless shelter and get college credit for that [was] not acceptable,” Visconsi said. “And then people started to pilot and experiment and say, there might actually be a way of adding another way of experience.” Dickerson said she believes online education will only add to the Notre Dame experience.  “Notre Dame strives to improve education and innovate in all areas. Online education is going to be increasingly relevant in coming years, and it only makes sense that [the University] would be working to make that happen,” Dickerson said.  Notre Dame will offer one online course in the spring, “Shakespeare and Film,” taught by Professor Peter Holland. More information about Semester Online is available at Contact Emma Borne at [email protected]last_img read more

Professor defends Thoreau’s view of Irish

first_imgNotre Dame English professor Laura Dassow Walls delivered a lecture Friday afternoon exploring new ideas about American writer Henry David Thoreau’s relationship with Irish immigrants in his hometown and their effect on his writing. The cross-disciplinary lecture sponsored by the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies was titled “‘As You are Brothers of Mine’: Thoreau and the Irish.” In the presentation, Walls sketched a vision of a positive, respectful interaction between Thoreau and the local Irish though “hasty readings” of his work, particularly “Walden,” which might suggest racism or scorn towards the immigrants, she said.   “Hasty reading of ‘Walden’ have given Thoreau a bad name in Irish studies,” she said. “The temptation to use Thoreau as a metric to view English hostility to the Irish remains. “Central to all of this is the notorious chapter in ‘Walden’ in which the narrator retreats during the thunderstorm to the shanty on Baker Farm where John Field lives with his family, lectures them at pedantic length about how he, one of their nearest neighbors, lives the good life and how they could too if only they lived the same way as he.” Walls said though many literary critics react to such episodes by saying, “Henry, how could you?” her examination of his primary writings while researching for a prospective biography have brought her to a different perspective. “Thoreau used his various writing projects to stage problems [including] multiple contrasting voices,” she said. “This multi-valence has made him a useful resource for everything from anarchism to communitarianism, from misanthropy to compassion, from wilderness escapism to civil disobedience. “With all of the above, you can add them all up and oddly enough, they do not cancel each other out … Thoreau relentlessly probes the conventions of his time. Seeking the ground that will not yield under pressure, he probed the Irish immigrants with all the rest.” Thoreau held all members of his society to a high standard, Walls said, and at times found fault with all, including the Irish. But the Irish, unlike most other groups, gave him “cause for hope” too, she said. When the writer moved to Walden Pond in 1844, he lived among the Irish immigrants in a shanty on land purchased from Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walls said. “[The cabin] Thoreau built [at Walden] was nothing less … than an Irish laborer’s shanty, repackaged to house a Yankee laborer’s lifelong dream to escape from labor altogether by becoming a great writer,” she said. The patronizing tone of the John Field lecture episode in “Walden” has frustrated many scholars as an example of Thoreau’s arrogance towards the Irish, but Walls said she reads it as a parody of the first half of the book. “Note that Thoreau sets himself up as an insufferable pedant; a meddling, tiresome intruder who lectures the beleaguered family in reckless abstractions cast in absurdly run-on sentences; a ‘philosopher’ wagging his finger in their faces,” she said. “This is an extravagant parody of the entire first half of ‘Walden.’ “But, if he can’t reach John Field, who is standing right there in front of him, with [his] entire future and the future of [his] children hanging in the balance, how can he possibly reach us? For roughly 200 pages, Thoreau has been lecturing us on and on about how our proper economic choices will lead to our spiritual [well-being], and just like John Field, we haven’t heard a thing. Have we changed our lives? No, nothing has changed.” Walls said she believes Thoreau reprises the content of the book’s first half to emphasize his underlying point, which happens to take place in the course of this conversation with the Irish family. By examining his intentions more closely, she said readers can better grasp the respect he had for the hardworking Irish people and their ability to “boldly live” apart from the mainstream American culture. Contact Ann Marie Jakubowski at [email protected]last_img read more

SMC hires new admissions director

first_imgSarah Gallagher Dvorak, a 1999 alumna of Saint Mary’s College and previous director of undergraduate admissions at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., has been named Saint Mary’s new director of admissions, the College announced in a June 18 press release.According to the press release, Gallagher Dvorak received a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Saint Mary’s and a master’s degree in mass communication from California State University-Northridge. “We couldn’t be happier with our choice of a new director,” vice president for enrollment management Mona Bowe said in a press release. “We were blessed with a very well-qualified candidate pool, yet we only had to look in our virtual backyard to find the strongest one.”In addition to her position at George Mason, Gallagher Dvorak’s career has also included work at Edelman Worldwide Public Relations in Chicago as an assistant account executive; WSBT-TV in South Bend as a news producer; Marymount High School in Los Angeles as communications coordinator; Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania as assistant director of admissions; and Indiana University Bloomington as associate director of recruitment outreach and senior associate director of marketing and communications, as stated in a press release.Gallagher Dvorak said her various roles have provided her with a wide breadth of experience and knowledge about higher education and college admission. As director of admissions at Saint Mary’s, Gallagher Dvorak will direct all efforts related to the recruitment and admission of undergraduates at Saint Mary’s. “This involves a number of areas, including, but not limited to, international and national travel and outreach to prospective students and families, managing the visit experience and events both on and off campus, coordinating our alumnae recruitment program, managing the application decision process and marketing and communication efforts,” she said. “I also supervise and manage a team of 17 staff members. I’m really excited to build upon the great work my team has accomplished and take the SMC Office of Admission to the next level; to think outside the box about how we can reach prospective students and spread the message about the quality of both a Saint Mary’s education and an all-women’s education.”Bowe said Gallagher Dvorak is well-versed on the challenges of recruiting undergraduate students, and she has a proven record of attracting great students.“I believe that what makes her unique for this position is that she is one of our own Belles,” she said. “She values the education she received at Saint Mary’s and can speak first hand to the strength of the liberal arts, writing program and other unique aspects of a Saint Mary’s education. She is a great leader, and like many of our Belles, a great role model for our young staff.”Gallagher Dvorak said she has taken on this role at the perfect time, as everyone from the Vice President to the President of the Board of Trustees is supportive of the admissions team’s efforts.“Recruiting for a small, private, all-women’s college can be challenging, but I have complete confidence that our team will succeed,” Gallagher Dvorak said. “I was also lucky enough to hire a number of new counselors this summer, and I look forward to bringing our team together throughout the year in an effort to get to know one another better and to work as cohesively as possible toward our goals.”After spending the last 15 years in a variety of cities around the country, Gallagher Dvorak said she is thrilled to return home to Saint Mary’s. “Doing what I love at a place I love is a dream come true. Saint Mary’s molded me into the capable woman I am today, and I strive to use the knowledge I have gained throughout my career to spread the mission of Saint Mary’s both nationally and internationally,” she said. “I believe I have two significant responsibilities: to lead a team that empowers young women to seek out a college that will help them grow in mind, body and spirit; and to help these women find the place at which they can explore, discover and ultimately become their best selves.”Tags: admissions director, Saint Mary’s Admissions, SMClast_img read more

President Jenkins addresses Notre Dame faculty

first_imgUniversity President Fr. John Jenkins offered information on several University initiatives including the fundraising campaign and campus construction in a speech delivered to the Notre Dame faculty Tuesday afternoon in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.His remarks also addressed addressed the ongoing investigations into possible honor code violations involving several football players.Photo courtesy of Barbara Johnston, University of Notre Dame Jenkins said Notre Dame’s recent fundraising campaign had received $1.1 billion in total donations and pledges and the 2013-14 fundraising year had “shattered the University’s previous annual record by nearly a quarter of a billion dollars.”“People do not give large portions of their wealth for the sake of mediocre results,” he said. “Critical for our recent success is the confidence that you, our faculty, inspire in potential benefactors. … I see the remarkable success of the early phase of the campaign as an endorsement of the quality of your work and the depth of your commitment.”In the speech, Jenkins explained the status of the University’s investigation into possible violations of the honor code involving both student athletes and students who are not varsity athletes.He said the athletic department’s compliance office became aware of “a potentially problematic situation involving a current student athlete as well as a student who served for a brief time as a paid student employee of the athletic department, although that position had no role in academic tutoring or advising of student athletes.”“I want to underscore that the current investigation has not revealed any misconduct or knowledge of impropriety by regular, full-time staff,” he said. “However, given the student’s brief status as a paid employee, there was the possibility of what the NCAA considers an ‘excess benefit’ given to the student athlete by a representative of the institution.”Jenkins said the decision to release the names of the student-athletes involved came as a result of the names leaking through social media before the University made an announcement.“In order to deter unfounded speculation about individuals not involved, we made an exception to our policy of not releasing the names of students involved in such a process and confirmed the identities of implicated students who had already been named in the public forum,” he said.Jenkins also mentioned a recent survey of faculty that indicated while Notre Dame faculty on the whole are more satisfied than faculty at a comparison group of schools, “women … are on the whole less satisfied than men, those at associate rank for an extended period are less satisfied than others and faculty in general are less satisfied with the climate for women and minorities.”“I want to thank you for your commitment to all our students, particularly those in minority groups,” Jenkins said. “We will continue to work to foster an environment of mutual respect and welcome for all.”He also detailed goals for the new Keough School of Global Affairs – the first new school at Notre Dame in nearly a century. He said history professor Scott Appleby became the dean of the new school this summer after 14 years as the John M. Regan Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace studies. The new school will open in August 2017.“The school will offer a Master of Global Affairs degree and we will also consider creating a supplementary undergraduate major with thematic tracks in areas such as peacebuilding and development,” Jenkins said.He updated the faculty on the Campus Crossroads project and said work will begin in November on the west side of the stadium for the student services center and on the east side for the anthropology and psychology departments’ building and a digital media center. He said they hope to begin construction on the stadium’s south side in fall 2015 for a third building that will hold the music department and the sacred music program.Jenkins announced the ceremonial groundbreaking and blessing of the construction site for McCourtney Family Hall, which will contain laboratory space for science and engineering research, will occur “in a few weeks.” Construction will begin soon on Jenkins and Nanovic Halls, the previously announced interconnected facilities housing the social sciences and the new Keough School, he said.In 2016, the University will begin work on the new Walsh Architecture Hall. Two new dorms located east of Knott Hall will open in fall 2016, and construction will begin next spring. A “very significant renovation” will take place on the first and second floors of the Hesburgh Library as well, he said.“We are tremendously excited about the facilities these projects will provide … A great university is much more than bricks and mortar, of course. It is what goes on in the buildings — not the buildings themselves — that are the real marks of progress,” Jenkins said. “Nevertheless, to be able to provide you, our faculty, with facilities for your important research, scholarship and creative endeavors … are great blessings for us as we continue our work in service to the mission of Notre Dame.” Tags: academic investigation, fr. jenkins, Keough School of Global Affairs, observer staff reportlast_img read more

Notre Dame Food Services introduces changes

first_imgEric Richelsen Notre Dame Food Services (NDFS) implemented many changes to start the year, including the adoption of new policies that work towards making food services on campus more health-conscious, as well as increasing overall campus sustainability efforts.Chris Abayasinghe, director of NDFS, said plans for this year’s changes began with evaluations performed at the end of last semester.“Annually, we review how our students are utilizing the meal plan, the popularity of menu offerings, hours of operation, and make changes,” Abayasinghe said in an email. “This year, we increased our commitments to sustainable foods, made available a new meal plan offering in collaboration with our partners in athletics and sought to institute practices to divert trash from the landfill. Additionally, we increased the amount of Flex dollars available for use at our on campus restaurants.”Abayasinghe said that preparations for implementing the changes involved cooperation of efforts between multiple departments, all ultimately aimed towards both increasing campus sustainability efforts as well as benefiting local businesses. The changes will affect on-campus eateries as well as North Dining Hall (NDH) and South Dining Hall (SDH)“The changes with reusable bags at Grab ’n Go were the result of working with the Office of Sustainability and student senate. This included surveying the student body last semester and running an awareness campaign to help educate how many bags were discarded annually. Linda Kurtos, my colleague in the Office of Sustainability, along with her staff, assisted my team on campaign roll out and survey data review. By doing so, we were able to shift our spending to support Prairie Farms — a cooperative that sources its milk from local Indiana family farms.”At the center of changes to food services this year is the Green Plan, which, according to Abayasinghe, is “aimed at filling a gap in service flexibility.” Under the Green Plan, which combines “a component of on-campus and off-campus spending” and does not replace any previous plans, $315 in Domer Dollars and $315 in Flex Points are placed on the participating student’s ID card. The student is allotted up to 14 dining hall meals per week, and as with the defaulted Gold Plan, unused Flex Points will carry over from first semester to second semester, and expire at the end of the school year in May.According to the Notre Dame Food Services website, students may request to use the Green Plan in place of the Gold Plan by submitting an email via their student email account to [email protected] within the first two weeks of each semester. In the email, the participating student should write ‘Change to Green Plan’ in the subject line, and include with your name and ndID ‘90’ number in the body of the email. The cost to upgrade to the Green Plan is $242.50 per semester, which will be charged to the student’s student account.Both dining halls and campus retail locations have updated menus, Abayasinghe said.“As an example, at Au Bon Pain, we now feature antibiotic-free meats and feature local produce (when seasonally available) in addition to prominently displaying caloric info on the menu signs,” he said, “At Decio, our chefs have increased the availability of vegetarian and vegan menu entrees.”“The dining halls routinely evaluate the popularity of the weekly menu cycles and adjust as needed. This week, we are bringing in Celebrity Chef Jehangir Mehta to host theme dinner events at NDH and SDH and train our staff in more plant forward food menu-writing and preparation techniques.”At Grab ’n Go, gluten-free sandwiches are being offered daily for the first time, and disposable brown paper bags have now been replaced by reusable bags which may be purchased at the Grab ’n Go desk or at the Huddle for $1.20. Cash, Flex Points and Domer Dollars are all accepted forms of payment.According to the Food Services website, Styrofoam cups will also no longer be available in the dining halls in an additional effort towards raising sustainability.Student reactions to the changes have generally been positive.“At [Au Bon Pain] I really enjoy the fact that they put the calorie counts on their sandwiches just so you know how healthy everything is and exactly how many calories you’re getting,” sophomore Stephanie Mellert said. “In New York they have a similar policy and it just really helps people eat a lot healthier and make better life decisions.”One negative reaction, however, has been to Grab ’n Go’s implementation of reusable bags, which some students believe will not realistically be purchased and used.“In terms of Grab ’n Go, I like the whole idea that they’re trying to go green and save paper, but at the same time I don’t think it’s realistic that students are going to pay for a bag when they have a backpack,” sophomore Brigid Walsh said. “So mostly people, at least from what I’ve seen, kind of carry the food in their arms and sometimes depending on what you get that can be a little bit difficult.”Abayasinghe said NDFS has more changes planned for the year but will also be reassessing and possibly adjusting already-implemented changes based on student feedback.“We are looking at launching a composting pilot program and other waste diversion measures this year,” he said.Tags: Food Services, grab ‘n’ go, NDH, SDHlast_img read more

Professor examines legacy of JFK

first_imgAt the University Park Mall in Mishawaka on Thursday, Saint Mary’s political science professor Sean Savage lectured about his new book, “The Senator from New England: The Rise of JFK.”Savage was accompanied by 2014 political science alumna Sophia Schrage, and he thanked Schrage in the preface of his book.“I thanked her for her typing skills and her other help,” Savage said. “She was my student helper for two years during her junior and senior years, and after an extensive search I found somebody who could read my handwriting. She was a very big help in helping me get the manuscript together and getting it ready for the publisher.” Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer Saint Mary’s professor of political science Sean Savage speaks about his new book focusing on the life and political career of John F. Kennedy on Thursday at the Barnes and Noble in University Park Mall.Savage said one of the reasons it took him an extended period of time to research the book was because he wanted to go beyond the Kennedy Presidential Library.“My experience with all the different presidential libraries … is the Kennedy library is at the times the most secretive and hardest to get the information I’m looking for,” Savage said. “I did research starting in 1988, at the Roosevelt Library. So there’s Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson, five libraries.”Savage said he looked at multiple sources including the archival sources of Boston College, Boston University, Massachusetts’s Historical Society, the Manuscript Division of the Boston Public Library, the papers of Ed Muskie, papers of Sherman Adams and papers from Dartmouth College because he wanted to diversify his sources.“I wanted to get the largest number of … helpful, primary sources outside of the Kennedy library,” Savage said.What he found from all of his sources, Savage said, was that Kennedy pitched himself as a New Englander from the very beginning of his political career, thus the title of his book.“The whole title of the book is the ‘Senator from New England.’ Why didn’t I say Massachusetts? It’s because what I found out is early in Kennedy’s senate career, he was already pitching himself as a regional political figure, not just a state-wide one,” Savage said. “Partly of course was simply to win the election in 1952 — the 1952 senate race. He was already a congressman from the Boston area.”Savage also said timing was important in politics, especially for Kennedy.“It’s not just a matter of how talented are you, or how ambitious are you or how you want to run for this particular position, but are you the right person at the right place at the right time,” Savage said.Kennedy was Catholic, which made him one of the most attractive candidates for Lyndon B. Johnson to join forces with in the 1960 election, Savage said.“In 1956, it showed that only 51 percent of Catholics voted Democratic for president and this stunned the Democratic party. … If you can’t get the Catholic vote, you can’t win, … you have to have a Catholic running mate, so Johnson’s view of Kennedy was that he would be the most attractive, feasible and Catholic running mate for the 1960 campaign.”Savage said pictures of Kennedy with priests and nuns were taken during his campaign to help win Catholic votes.“The beginning of the general election campaigns in 1952, Kennedy was making the rounds at various festivals,” Savage said. “One of the things that I tell students is that as he was getting ready to run for president in 1960. … There were a lot of pictures of Kennedy with priests and nuns, students in Catholic school uniforms.”Savage also tied Pope Francis’ first visit to the U.S. to Kennedy’s Catholicism and contemporary fears about papal influence.“With the pope’s current visit to the United States … I had to mention this that right before the 1960 Democratic National Convention open in Los Angeles, Harry Truman answered the question of a college student, ‘Are you afraid if John F. Kennedy becomes President, the pope will take over the White House?’ And Truman supposedly said, ‘Well it’s not the pope that I’m worried about, it’s the dad.’ Truman always saw Joe Kennedy [JFK’s father] as pulling the strings on his son, the puppet.”Savage also spoke about Jackie Kennedy, who loathed politics, he said. However, she was popular on the campaign trail because she spoke multiple languages, he said.According to Saint Mary’s website,“The Senator from New England: The Rise of JFK” is Savage’s fourth book. His other books include “Roosevelt: The Party Leader, 1932-1945,” “Truman and the Democratic Party” and “JFK, LBJ and The Democratic Party.”Tags: JFK, John F. Kennedy, Sean Savagelast_img read more