Likins describes role in investigation

first_imgWhen the University completes its investigation into the death of junior Declan Sullivan, it will turn over its findings to Peter Likins, who will conduct an independent review. Likins, 74, is the former president of Lehigh University and the University of Arizona and has a doctorate in engineering mechanics. He told The Observer his experience with tragedy while serving as a university president and his background in engineering prepared him for his role in the investigation. “I think my background as an engineer helps me look at the facts in situations like this,” he said. “[Engineers] want to know exactly what happened … That’s the way we’re disciplined.” Sullivan, a videographer for the football team, died on Oct. 27 after the hydraulic scissor lift from which he was filming football practice fell. Likins also dealt with tragedies during his 24 years as a university president. In 1986, Likins was the president of Lehigh when a female student, Jeanne Clery, was murdered in her dorm room. A federal law mandating that every university report the occurrences of crime on and near its campus was later named after Clery. He was also president of the University of Arizona when a student shot three professors to death in a classroom in 2002. “Those are two very dramatic examples, kind of book ends, 1986 and 2002, and a lot in between,” he said. “Because I have that kind of trauma in my own presidential experience, that helps me understand all the dimensions of what is going on now at Notre Dame.” Likins is not being paid to review the University’s findings. “[University President Fr. John Jenkins] called me and asked if I would help him, and as a fellow president I’m pleased to do that as best I can,” he said. Likins clarified that he does not have a team to assist him and is not conducting the investigation. Rather, he will assess the internal investigation conducted by the University. “I’m not going to conduct a parallel review,” he said. “If I have to say to them, ‘Gee, you ought to calculate blank, blank, blank,’ they will calculate [it].” While waiting for the University to complete its investigation, Likins remains in Tucson, Ariz., and stays updated through weekly communication with Jenkins. “I speak to the president roughly once a week just to serve in whatever role he seeks from me,” Likins said. That role sometimes includes answering questions, but Likins said he mainly serves as a sounding board for Jenkins. “That is one of the things that a president needs in a crisis such as this, is someone who understands the depth of his pain,” he said. “Someone he can talk to — not in a matter of reviewing the facts, that’s not the role that I play in my conversations with the president — but just hearing his account of what this experience has meant to him and to Notre Dame.” Likins said it is not clear if he will review the University’s findings before or after they are released to the public. “That has not been explicit in our conversations, but what is clear is they are trying to keep me informed and they have given me anything I asked for,” he said, but added, “None of it is to draw judgment. It’s too soon for that.” Although the University has not explicitly asked him to come to campus, Likins said he expects to come to South Bend at some point to respond to questions regarding his review of the investigation. “If [Jenkins] is going to put forth in an open and transparent way a review of this tragedy, part of that seems to me is to put me in the arena also so people can ask me questions,” he said. Likins said he had no previous affiliation with Notre Dame and has never visited the University. University spokesman Dennis Brown said University officials suggested several individuals as candidates to conduct an outside review of the investigation, including Likins. “As a highly regarded university administrator, engineer and leader in college sports, he has ideal credentials for this assignment,” Brown said. “We very much appreciate him accepting our request to take it on.” Likins was a member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics from 2004 until his retirement and served the NCAA as a member of the Presidents’ Commission. He later served as a member of the Executive Committee and chaired a presidential task force on the future of intercollegiate athletics, according to a press release. He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Stanford University and his master’s degree in civil engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also received a doctorate in engineering mechanics from Stanford.last_img read more

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Students network at Winter Career Fair

first_imgArmed with crisp résumés, snappy suits and firm handshakes, hundreds of students descended on the Joyce Center Field House Wednesday to speak with recruiters from 130 companies at the Winter Career and Internship Fair. Students from all colleges and majors were invited to explore summer job opportunities and career options spanning several industries, from accounting and marketing to engineering and health care. Senior marketing major Emma Higgins said the fair provided opportunities for students to network with companies they are interested in working for. “The fair is a great way to talk to people who have already had internships and to get your name out there,” Higgins said. “Advertising doesn’t hire until they have a need. Typically you won’t know if you have a job until July. I want to go into advertising though, so I’m looking at those firms.” Like many other Career Fair attendees, senior marketing major Lindsey Downs said she took time to prepare for the fair prior to speaking with companies she was interested in. “I researched the different companies that would be present and what jobs they offered,” Downs said. Senior marketing major Chrissy Carson said she used campus resources to prepare for the fair. “I had my résumé looked over and printed out some business cards,” she said. Students with career goals outside the traditional corporate world were able to speak with companies in specific industries. Sophomore science major Elizabeth Leonard said she came to the fair in search of a position in a health-related industry. “This is the first career fair I’ve been to. I’m looking for an internship from either Cardinal Health, Stryker or Healthscope,” Leonard said. Although he began applying for positions with several advertising firms prior to the fair, junior marketing major Tom Temmerman wanted to speak with a few of the firms he applied to in person. “I have already applied to [advertising] firms. One that I’m interested in is Leo Burnett, and today I’m hoping to talk to them directly,” he said. Temmerman said he thinks the Career Fair provides Notre Dame students the chance to make valuable connections that may lead to interviews and eventually job offers. “I know some people who’ve been asked for an interview and then have a job the next day,” Temmerman said. Senior Accountancy and Spanish major Anna delCastillo came to the fair in search of a job with one of the “Big 4” accounting firms. “I’m looking at jobs with Ernst & Young, Deloitte, PWC and KPMG,” delCastillo said. “I’m staying for a fifth year [master’s] in Accountancy, so I’m trying to get a feel for the job market.” Alumni presenters and PricewaterhouseCoopers employees Chris Cugliari and Lauren Wickel are proof of the career fairs’ success in placing students in employment opportunities after graduation. They both obtained interviews for their current positions by attending Notre Dame career fairs like this one. Cugliari said he attended every Notre Dame career fair since the spring of his sophomore year, and Wickel said she spoke with employers at the fair during her junior spring semester and senior fall semester. Sophomore Civil Engineering and Spanish major Emily Palmer said the career fairs have given her the skills to put her best foot forward in the often overwhelming job market. “[The fairs] are pretty helpful. You learn how to talk both to interviewers and in the work place and how to articulate yourself well,” she said. Sophomore Jennifer Loconsole, who is studying the same fields as Palmer, said she has become more comfortable in what to do at the fairs. “The first one I went to, I learned that I wasn’t really good at it,” she said. “Now I’m less nervous and know more about what to say and do, and I should get better each fair I go to.”last_img read more

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Professor lectures on ethics of HHS mandate

first_imgIn a lecture about medical ethics Friday, law professor Carter Snead addressed why a non-Catholic or non-religious person without moral objections to contraception should be concerned about the recent Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate. “The past several years have seen a concerning array of challenges for religious liberty in particular and [for] freedom of conscience,” Snead, the recently appointed director of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture, said. Snead began his discussion at the 27th annual Clarke Family Lecture with an outline of events corresponding to the current conflicts in religious liberty. These included the 2009 rhetorical shift of the terms “freedom of worship” to “religious liberty” in the 2011 non-renewal of a grant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (U.S.C.C.B.) for a sex trafficking victim’s program and the 2011 threat of withholding Medicaid funds to states. “[These events] have raised grave concerns in the minds of people who value religious freedom, and value rights to conscience,” Snead said. Another section of Snead’s speech addressed concerns raised by those from a pro-life perspective regarding religious liberty in the “contraceptive” mandate, a subset of the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010.  “[The religious liberty concern] was that mandates would force some employers, such as Catholic institutions, to facilitate behavior that they hold to be gravely immoral, thus severely diminishing the efficacy of their public witness to the truths of their faith,” he said. Snead said there are “costs” to religious liberty and conscience under the mandate. He said the mandate acted in violation of some people’s most deeply held beliefs. Snead referenced the letter University President Fr. John Jenkins wrote to HHS in September, which said accepting this regulation would be “an impossible position.” “The [regulation] would compel Notre Dame to either pay for contraception and sterilization in violation of the Church’s moral teaching, or to discontinue our employee and student health care plans in violation of the Church’s social teaching,” Jenkins wrote. Snead said President Obama’s speech on Feb. 10 attempted to address religious liberty concerns and promised to find accommodations where employers “will not have to pay” for objectionable services. But Snead said the final rule remained unchanged. Additionally, Snead said the mandate was in violation of broader issues of religious liberty and conscience. “Are there reasons for those who don’t have ‘a dog in the fight’ to be concerned about this issue?” he said. Snead said he had serious concern regarding abortive drugs, an unprecedented violation of religious liberty, a flawed form of governance, irresponsible social engineering, coercion and erosion of civil society. More specifically, Snead said the HHS mandate was a radical imposition of religious liberty and conscience. “[The mandate] conscripts institutions and individuals into facilitating the provision of goods and services anathema to their deeply held religious beliefs,” he said. Carter concluded his lecture by providing the audience with a plan for the future.  He said a case needs to be made for the richness of religious liberty and conscience. Additionally, society needs to pursue rights under federal law and U.S. Constitution, he said. “We need to make our voices heard,” he said.last_img read more

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Sexual assault reported

first_imgNotre Dame Security Police (NDSP) sent an email to students Tuesday evening alerting them of a report of sexual assault committed by an acquaintance in a North Quad men’s residence hall early Saturday morning.The email stated the report was made to a University administrator and warned students of the risk of sexual assault.“Sexual assault can happen to anyone,” the email stated. ” On college campuses, perpetrators are more likely to assault an acquaintance than a stranger.  Being aware of your own safety and watching out for your friends are important steps you can take to reduce the risk of sexual assault.“Being aware of your own safety and watching out for your friends are important steps you can take to reduce the risk of sexual assault.“The perpetrator, not the survivor, is responsible for any instance of sexual assault.  Nothing a survivor does or does not do is an excuse for sexual assault.”Tags: observer staff report, sexual assaultlast_img read more

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Diversity Council trains student senators

first_imgThe student Senate meeting Wednesday night focused on diversity training for the senators. The training consisted of four different presentations given by students on the Diversity Council, which represent different cultural and religious backgrounds and concluded with a presentation by student body vice president Matt Devine.The University needs a balance of cultures on campus, Daphne Reynolds, the diversity council representative for the Native American Student Association of Notre Dame (NASAND), said.“Being mixed race in a family setting means learning how to be balanced,” Reynolds said. “You can’t choose one ethnicity over the other because this would be denying the importance of the other culture and demeaning your child in a way. Diversity is a big part of ensuring that we don’t forget who we are.”Sophomore Muslim Student Association Representative Khaoula Morchid followed Reynolds with a presentation about religious diversity on campus and her experience as an international student.“One of the highlights of my time at Notre Dame has been the opportunity to look at faith from a different perspective and not from a specific religion,” Morchid said. “It’s so enlightening to hear stories about countries and cultures that I wouldn’t know much about otherwise. Ask questions and explore rather than assume what someone has lived.”Senior Veronica Guerrero, the First Class Steppers Diversity Council Representative, said students should get involved in different activities on campus that are not associated with their ethnicity.“If your friends invite you to activities for ethnicities that you aren’t necessarily a part of, it’s because they want you to go, not because they want you to feel awkward,” Guerroro said. “Just because you’re not part of the ethnicity or religion doesn’t mean you can’t go to their events, the group wants you there.”After sharing the story of his personal identity, Devine said a strong sense of self should encourage acceptance of others.“Even though we comprise ourselves of different categories and we come from different dorms, quads, states, religions, that it is something that is specific to you,” Devine said. “Hopefully a self-awareness of our own identities will lead to a different type of awareness of other people and where they come from.”Devine said he sees an occasional disparity between how his peers identify themselves and how they tend to stereotype others.“In a way we’re all minorities because we only know our own story and a little bit of other people’s,” Devine said.Tags: diversity council, Senate, senate group, Student governmentlast_img read more

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Tau Beta Pi honors Notre Dame engineering students

first_imgThis year, Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honors society recognized three Notre Dame students with its most distinguished awards. Tau Beta Pi awarded scholarships to Adam Farchone and Huili Chen, and a laureate honor to Ashley Armstrong.Farchone, a senior chemical engineering major and this year’s president of the Indiana Gamma chapter, said he was honored to be chosen as a scholarship recipient.“It’s a very competitive pool of applicants from around the nation,” Farchone said. “The top one-eighth of all engineers were all competing for the same scholarships, and they only give out a few hundred so it was … very exciting to hear the news.” Farchone said he worked in professor Marya Lieberman’s lab, researching the nano-electronic application of DNA origami. Currently as a intern for the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), Farchone said he will complete two years of service upon graduation teaching science at a high school.“After those two years, I plan on going back to graduate school into a Ph.D. program in chemical or biomedical engineering, with the goal of someday working in the healthcare field,” Farchone said.Farchone said one of his main goals as president of Indiana Gamma was helping engineering majors get involved with service opportunities in the South Bend community. There are many ways for engineers to carry out Tau Beta Pi’s motto of “Integrity and Excellence in Engineering” by serving others, he said.“There’s so many different avenues to improve the lives of others … and that was what excited me about the major,” Farchone said.Huili Chen, a senior double-majoring in computer science engineering and psychology, has similarly been very involved on campus during her time as an engineering major.According to a college of engineering press release, Chen does complex networks research to understand aging and other key biological processes. She has additionally displayed a strong commitment to service while at Notre Dame by participating in several of the Center for Social Concerns’ programs.Ashley Armstrong, a mechanical engineering major who graduated from Notre Dame last spring, was honored as one of Tau Beta Pi’s five 2015 laureates for her achievements in academic excellence and athletics, according to the society’s website.“Doing golf and engineering, there were times where it was quite challenging,” Armstrong said. “My sophomore year was one of my hardest years. In the spring, we had our NCAA regionals during school finals, so I had to take five of my finals within two to three days before we left for regionals.As two-year captain of the University’s varsity golf team and a two-year Capital One Academic All-American honoree, Armstrong said she was able to succeed both in class and in sports because of Notre Dame’s strong support of student athletes.Armstrong said she was also involved in undergraduate research, working with Professor Steven Schmid and DePuy Orthopaedics.“We were investigating a novel manufacturing process in order to make surgical equipment cheaper and lighter … for hip replacements,” Armstrong said.Armstrong said the strong engineering community at Notre Dame helped her reach her level of success. As a graduate student in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois, Armstrong said she hopes to continue to incorporate this collaborative spirit in her school and work environments.“Everyone tried to help each other,” Armstrong said, describing the Notre Dame engineering department.  “We did a lot of group work and it was a really collaborative environment. … I know I couldn’t have done any of [this] without all of the great friends that I made in the process and also my fellow Tau Beta Pi members.” Tags: College of Engineering, Indiana Gamma Chapter, notre dame engineering, Tau Beta PIlast_img read more

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University installs new organ in Basilica

first_imgAlthough there are many weddings during the summer, there weren’t any scheduled in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart during the first two weeks of August. Nor were there any Masses. From Aug. 1 to Aug. 14, the Basilica was closed so a new organ could be installed.Peter St. John The efforts to replace the organ were led by associate director of music and choir Andrew McShane; rector of the Basilica Fr. Peter Rocca; and the late Gail Walton, former director of music. The new organ was funded by Wayne and Diana Murdy. McShane said the process of replacing the old organ began 10 years ago, due to increasing maintenance costs.“It was the cost of the upkeep of the organ that was the main factor,” McShane said. “We were spending thousands of dollars a year just to service the organ, but that wasn’t the only problem with it. There were some design flaws, mainly the winding, and, also, the organ was never really big enough for the Basilica. So when you would have a big crowd, like on Easter or Christmas or [a] football weekend, people from basically the altar area to the Lady Chapel really couldn’t hear. It just was not an adequate-sized organ for the space of the Basilica.”Professor of organ Craig Cramer, who served on the committee for the new organ, said the University’s administration was very supportive of the project.“The administration was really aware of the ongoing mechanical problems and inadequacies of the old instrument,”  Cramer said.  “I don’t think it took a lot of convincing. I think the problem was more just one of ‘How do we want to do this project?’ so that we really do it right and don’t compromise the instrument.”Cramer said this process can take some time.“You have to have meetings with the administration,” Cramer said. “You have to explain your position vis-a-vis the old organ, and you have to educate all concerned about what an organ is, what it could be, what it should do, what its role is in the liturgy and then you just come up with a plan.”According to an email from McShane, the organ is equipped with 5,164 pipes, four keyboards — each of which have 58 notes and 30 pedals — as well as an air conditioning system to keep the temperature consistent throughout. It was built by Paul Fritts and Company and took 1,100 hours to design and 36,000 man hours to install.Michael Plagerman, a graduate student in the Master of Sacred Music program who is studying the organ, said he believes these features will allow the organ to be used for a diverse array of music.“The main advantage of this new organ is that it is very large, more than twice the size of the instrument it replaces,” Plagerman said. “A much wider variety of literature can be able to be played on it and a much wider variety of both choral and congregational accompaniments will be possible, in the liturgy itself and it will become, I think, a major recital instrument for our program.”The organ is currently in the process of tuning and voicing, McShane said, and will not be completed until Thanksgiving. It will be dedicated on the feast day of Fr. Basil Moreau and will be blessed by Bishop Daniel Jenky.Tags: Basilica, Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Murdy Family Organ, new organ, organlast_img read more

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IDEA Center promotes entrepreneurship

first_imgNotre Dame’s IDEA Center, located on the third floor of Innovation Park on Angela Boulevard, is home to a plethora of whiteboards and colorful markers, Google-esque decor and people with a passion for innovation. A resource for anyone affiliated with Notre Dame, the IDEA center is transforming the way students think about entrepreneurship. The IDEA Center is one of the many offices in Innovation Park — a building and community dedicated to collaboration and business acceleration. Beyond the IDEA Center, the other Innovation Park residents are growing companies that are committed to meeting needs in their respective markets. Karen Slaggert, the director of student entrepreneurship, has been leading the efforts to expand opportunities for students within the IDEA Center and Innovation Park as a whole. In the IDEA Center, Slaggert said there are countless resources for students in any stage of the thought development process — from the inception of an idea to launching a successful company. The Center calls the process of surrounding students with resources part of the “commercialization pipeline.”As with any business development process, funding is an essential resource in the Center’s business-acceleration model. “We have one more pitch event this year and I think at that point we will have given away about $50,000 to our students to work on their ideas,” Slaggert said. Slaggert said one of the most prominent opportunities to gain access to funding is the McCloskey Business Competition, a competition for Notre Dame students, faculty and alumni. Slaggert said that this year the competition will offer about $400,000 in cash and prizes: $256,000 of which is cash prizes, and the rest is in-kind offers — donated services from various alumni and companies. “The prizes are great, but the real value of the McCloskey Competition is getting help and mentoring, judges who evaluate at different stages of the competition and give them feedback,” Slaggert said. Slaggert emphasized the importance of networking and alumni relations, both of which are at the core of the IDEA center programing. “The one thing about Notre Dame people is that they are always willing to help. They are always willing to give back,” Slaggert said. The IDEA Center connections proved to be especially valuable for seniors Luke Maillie and Andrew Munch, Notre Dame students who have developed wearable technology to detect the damage level of UV rays at any given moment. Slaggert said the members of the family behind Radio Flyer — the makers of the little red wagon — are Notre Dame alumni who heard of Maillie and Munch’s creation. Instantly, they said they would love to work with the product.“One thing that resonates with students on this campus, we believe, is that even though you might say ‘I’m not an inventor, I’m not an entrepreneur,‘ it’s safe to say that most students on this campus want to make the world a better place. They want to bring about change, and entrepreneurship and innovation is the way to do that,” Slaggert said. In order to increase exposure to the entrepreneurship process, Slaggert has also been heavily emphasizing internship opportunities in Innovation Park as a whole. “Just in the IDEA center, we have hired just about 60 [interns] since last summer,” she said. “I would love to double that by placing students with other startups in the building, connecting students to other students to work on their ideas.” To this end, the IDEA Center is creating a database to connect students with the internships they are interested in pursuing.“We are going to have a platform so students who want internships can post their resumes and indicate which of those groups they would be willing to intern with,” Slaggert said. ” … Once they indicate what their preferences are, their resume will be available to everyone who is hiring.” Overall, Slaggert stressed that all students should look into IDEA Center and Innovation Park opportunities. “I would want students to know that they have a place they can come where countless people will do anything they can to help them figure things out,” she said. “We can help. Just come check it out.” Tags: entrepreneurship, IDEA Center, Innovation Park, Internshipslast_img read more

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Chorale, Undertones complete tours over break

first_imgWhile many students spent the last week of break at home or traveling, members of Notre Dame Chorale and the Undertones went on tour.Chorale took 55 members for a week-long tour in California, said senior Caiti Crahan, the group’s president. Crahan said the group, which consists of 65 to 70 members, takes a domestic tour each winter break to fundraise for an international trip every four years. Photo Courtesy of Ralph Moran Members of the Undertones perform at Seattle’s Space Needle over break. The group, a subset of the Glee Club, spent part of their vacation on a West Coast tour. The Notre Dame Chorale also toured the West Coast over the break.“On winter tour, we’ll take a break in the middle of the concert and all the students introduce themselves while we pass around collection baskets, and we make a lot of money,” she said. “Alumni are very generous and they donate to it.”On the tour, the group performed concerts in cities such as San Diego, Newport Beach, Palm Springs, Los Angeles and San Francisco.“We do a city per night usually,” Crahan said. “Once in a while we’ll do two nights in a city if we want to give people a free day in the middle.”The concerts are each an hour long and feature a mixed repertoire of Christmas music and songs from the group’s fall show. While the director puts together the program, the group’s tour commissioners do most of the planning, starting with reaching out to alumni clubs in September.“Our entire trip is student planned,” Crahan said. “ … It gives the students a lot of practice being responsible for a trip like that.”Crahan said planning includes reaching out to alumni groups and asking them to help find a church where the group — who practice twice a weekly during the school year — can sing. Alumni also find host families for the students and provide dinner while the choir is there.While Crahan said the trip was a financial success — the group raised over $18,000 — she mentioned another purpose of the tour is to build community within the group.“It’s an intimidating group to join because most of us are such close friends because we’ve spent two or three or four years doing this sort of thing together,” Crahan said. “For the freshmen, it can be a little hard to approach a group of juniors and sophomores who are super tight.”To help facilitate bonding, Chorale mixes up rooming assignments on tour every night.“You’re supposed to spend a lot of time with different people and get to know them better,” Crahan said.For the Undertones, an all-male group that is a subset of the Glee Club and sings pop music, the tour is primarily about becoming better friends and engaging with alumni, Undertones president Ralph Moran said.“It’s certainly a goal to at least break even,” Moran, a senior, said. “We primarily go on tour for two reasons. One is to bring another dimension of brotherhood to the group … [and] engaging the alumni, whether they be singing alumni or just regular Notre Dame alumni.”Moran said it’s rewarding to have alumni say they wished the groups visited more often after creating and rehearsing a set.“At the end of the day, that’s the thing that makes Notre Dame extra special,” Moran said. “We have this strong alumni network and we tour to share our music with those people.”While the group typically does a winter tour in California or Florida, this year members toured the Pacific Northwest for the first time.“The primary reason is that we think there’s been a dearth of groups willing to go up there, and there’s a lot of alums that are hungry for Notre Dame’s art scene to come and visit and engage that,” Moran said.As part of the tour, the group performed in places such as Spokane, Seattle and Portland. They also went to schools and gave workshops, during which they answered questions about music, college and Notre Dame.“We went to schools where there’s a lot of hype surrounding Notre Dame, so we served as an outlet for them to ask questions about the admissions process, what it’s like, etcetera,” Moran said.One of Moran’s favorite parts of the tour was performing in the Space Needle in Seattle, which made the Undertones one of only a few musical groups to do so.“It goes without saying, singing in the Space Needle was out of this world,” Moran said. “The Needle rotates on the top so you stand on glass and there’s nothing underneath you and you slowly do a 360 around the Needle. We were not even given a time we were supposed to finish, we were just told once you completed a full rotation around the Needle, then you’ll know that it’s time to wrap up your set. That was just amazing because we had the full skyline of Seattle and the ocean and then we had a really energetic crowd as well.”The group started planning the tour in early October by reaching out to alumni clubs.“It was a massive networking bonanza,” Moran said. “We had to talk to so many people to make sure the concerts could come together in this place none of us had visited before.”The group also rehearsed its set, which included songs from Taylor Swift, Neon Trees and The Jackson 5.Moran said based on the reception they received, the tour was very successful.“We hope that it has paved the way for future groups of any type, whether that be singing groups or musical groups or dance groups, to go to the Northwest and pursue a similar trek,” he said.Tags: choir tours, chorale, The Notre Dame Chorale, The Undertones, winter breaklast_img read more

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Judicial Council hosts final debate before student body election

first_imgThe Judicial Council hosted the final debate for the regular student body elections Monday night at 9 p.m. in the Midfield Commons of the Duncan Student Center.Running for office this year are the following tickets, for president and vice president, respectively: junior Noble Patidar and freshman Connor Patrick; junior Connor Whittle and sophomore Jack Rotolo; junior Zachary Mercugliano and freshman Aviva Lund; freshmen Henry Bates and Thomas Henry; juniors Michael Dugan and Ricardo Pozas Garza and juniors Rachel Ingal and Sarah Galbenski.All six tickets were present at the debate, which was moderated by junior and Judicial Council president Halena Hadi.Hadi began the debate by explaining the questions posed to the candidates came directly from students, and three randomly generated tickets would have the opportunity to answer each question. The pairs of candidates then introduced themselves and provided a brief overview of their platforms. The Bates-Henry ticket concluded the introductions by spontaneously ripping off their tear-away pants, much to the amusement of the crowd.The first question was in reference to the upcoming presidential debate that will be hosted on campus next fall and how each ticket’s administration planned to unify the campus in the midst of such a divisive political climate.Galbenski started the conversation with a proposition to include a voter registration module in the Moreau First Year Experience because of the influx of “newly minted 18 year olds” on campus in the fall. Photo courtesy of Patrick McGuire Candidates for student body president and vice president debated Monday night at 9 p.m. in Midfield Commons. The election is Tuesday, and voting commences at 8 a.m. and ends at 8 p.m.Whittle brought up his ticket’s initiative titled “Share Your Story Week.” “There would be a video booth around campus with simple questions like, ‘Who inspires you?’ ‘What’s your story?’ I think questions like that raise an overall important way of approaching dialogue that is meaningful,” he said. Lund emphasized the “blue dot / gold dot” initiative.“Starting in the dining halls, we would want people to be open to having conversations with cool, new people by putting a gold dot on their table,” Lund said. “If you’re busy studying, you could put up the blue dot.” The next question asked candidates to explain how they would help students from diverse backgrounds feel a sense of belonging on campus.Pozas Garza discussed why increasing club funding could help promote inclusion. “BridgeND can provide a model that suits that conversation [about diversity],” Pozas Garza said. “Did you know that Diversity Council, for example, is a club? Those are the kinds of things we want to improve our funding upon.”Diverse religious backgrounds were also a part of this conversation. Patidar suggested a method reminiscent of ConvergeND’s quiz format for pairing up students of different faith backgrounds to engage in productive dialogue.The Bates-Henry ticket chimed in as well, proposing the national anthem of every country represented in the Notre Dame student body be played before every sports event “at the same time to promote unity on campus.”When asked how they would address transgender rights on campus, Whittle decisively communicated his ticket’s stance. “Hate has no place on this campus,” he said. “We believe that sexual orientation and sexual identity should be added to the University’s non-discrimination clause.”Ingal agreed with the importance of this addition to the clause, sharing an anecdote about a Notre Dame graduate student who faced discrimination from an academic advisor as a result of her transgender identity.In response to the next question about sustainability, the Patidar-Patrick ticket shared a specific facet of their platform.“At Starbucks … people don’t know that only the lid and the cupholder are recyclable and the actual cup is not,” Patidar said. “I don’t see why having an awareness initiative where you put a poster where you throw your trash away that shows what’s recyclable and what’s not … is that hard to do.”The following question dealt with the inclusion of low-income students in residential and student life.Dugan explained that as a low-income student himself, he had experienced some of these limitations firsthand. He emphasized a necessary change in compensation for resident assistants and increased communication from the Student Activities Office about student programming jobs.He also said the Dugan-Garza ticket would reallocate $10,000 in student union funds. “What we would do with that $10K is give it to the Office of Student Enrichment, which is the office that serves low-income students like myself,” he said.In regards to gender relations issues, Ingal said it was crucial to take a pre-emptive approach with the gender relations issue on campus.“Something that’s really important to us is protecting women during the ‘red zone’ which is the first six weeks of a semester,” she said. “That is the time when you’re most likely to see sexual assaults carried out successfully. … One way we want to do that is by amplifying GreeNDot training not only for Welcome Weekend staff but also for people at bars or ushers at football games.”Dugan provided statistics to support the claim that women need greater access to confidential sexual assault resources on campus.“Twenty seven percent of women on this campus experience non-consensual sexual contact, and 7% of men do,” he said. “Of those who experience non-consensual sexual contact, 4% are able and 2% wind up reporting. Those are numbers we should not accept.”The candidates were then asked how Notre Dame should extend its community to the locals of South Bend.Mercugliano shared his experience with a craft fair that allowed him to connect with local business owners.“They expressed a lot of interest in both having more craft fairs of the like and small business fairs not only here on campus but in downtown South Bend,” he said. “I think that would be a great way to increase community involvement.”Rotolo proposed the addition of a community engagement module to the Moreau First Year Experience curriculum.To round out the debate, the candidates gave their closing statements, where they thanked their campaign teams and summarized the key takeaways from their platforms. Hadi reminded the audience that the election would take place Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and students could vote via email or the Judicial Council’s website. She also said there would be a runoff debate Wednesday at the same location and time and runoff elections would take place Thursday. Tags: Judicial Council, Student Body President, student body presidential debate, student government elections 2020last_img read more

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