Board reviews rules, bylaws for elections

first_imgSGA president Rachael Chesley, a junior, also said the board the candidates would be informed of the election rules and requirements two weeks before the election. She said this would give candidates more time to prepare and the student body more time to learn about their platforms.  The board voted to keep the required GPA to run at 3.0. After voting on these stipulations, the board passed the bylaws and election rules for the upcoming year. SGA will have its next meeting in the 2010 fall semester. Many board members thought that having the candidates commit to the next year too early would be a bad idea. Junior Megan Griffin, executive treasurer, said having the elections at that time was good because the people running for office would have to be upholding their responsibilities throughout the year, even during stressful times.  The Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) held its final meeting of the academic year Wednesday to discuss and vote on the bylaws and election policies for SGA. The board decided it wanted to increase the number of candidates running for elected positions and also the number of students voting in those elections. Junior Laura Smith, SGA vice president, said the elections would be held the week before Spring Break, which will make next year’s elections a bit earlier than those in the past.  “The average GPA at Saint Mary’s is 3.17,” junior Emily Skirtich, executive secretary, said. “The requirement is already below that and so I think it would be a bad idea to lower it further. We don’t want our representatives to be below average.”  “When students are as busy as they are during the end of the year, they don’t have the time to read about who is running, let alone to run themselves,” Gans said. “The timing really diminishes involvement.”  The minimum 3.0 GPA requirment to run for office was also debated. Many of the officers felt the requirement should be lowered because it could get more students interested and involved in the election process. However, others felt this would be lowering the standard too much.  One of the concerns about the rules was the timing of elections. Sophomore class president Nicole Gans said elections had been held too close to finals. last_img read more

I love being around students’

first_imgFr. Tom Doyle’s first days as vice president for Student Affairs since students returned to school have been jam-packed, and that’s just the way he likes them. From 8 a.m. to after dinnertime, he’s in back-to-back meetings. He’s addressing an email about a fire drill occurring during the middle of mass. He’s going over the schedule for events for the Purdue weekend. But after the workday is over, that’s when his real work begins. After hours during the past week, Doyle rode the mechanical bull during Irish Shenanigans, donning full priest vestments. He jousted against the senior class president and won. He attended Activities Night. “Going to student activities night was the highlight of my day,” Doyle said. “I love being around students.” Interacting with students will help him accomplish one of his primary goals for his first year as vice president for Student Affairs. Doyle aims to answer two essential questions: Who are the Notre Dame students of today and how can his department support them in becoming the best they can be? “My question is, who are the students? That’s the first question. Then you start to build programs and structures around who the students are,” he said. Doyle said he plans to collect data about the Notre Dame student body and conduct research about its generation to find out how Student Affairs can best serve the student body. “How do we promote a virtuous way of life? How do we help people to have fun? How do we help them to play? How do we help them to laugh?” he said. “How do we encourage them to make mistakes in life? We can’t learn if we don’t make mistakes.” Doyle also plans to make some structural changes over the course of the semester, the first of which occurred over the summer when the position of associate vice president for Residence Life was eliminated. Bill Kirk served as associate vice president for Residence Life since 2003. “Bill served the University extremely well for the past two decades,” Doyle said. “He was a loyal, a thoughtful and a caring administrator for Student Affairs. “The position was eliminated in anticipation of a restructuring that I want to do,” he said. In his position for Student Affairs, Kirk oversaw the Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) and the Office of Residence Life and Housing. Brian Coughlin, assistant vice president for Student Affairs, has temporarily taken over as head of Residence Life and Housing. Ann Firth, associate vice president for Student Affairs, is overseeing NDSP. In the coming year, Doyle also aims to recognize the diversity of the student body and the Church — from traditional Catholics to openly gay students. “It is a big Church. How do we all sort of belong as one Church together?” He hopes to work to attract and facilitate all types of diversity, including economic, cultural and geographical diversity, as well as diversity of experience. “I think there is a narrow segment of the American population for which Notre Dame is a very attractive option,” he said. “But we do grow through deep and meaningful relationships with people who are different than us.” Doyle also considers the culture of the University’s 29 residence halls as particularly important. “People don’t live in less than 100 square feet because they can’t find a better value somewhere else,” he said. “The culture of these buildings is what makes people come back. “We need to work hard to preserve them,” he said. “We can’t take them for granted.” And as a new resident of Pasquerilla East Hall, Doyle is not taking his new home for granted. “I love living in a dormitory,” he said. Plus, living in a female dormitory has its perks — the girls bake him cookies. “That’s never happened in a guy’s dormitory,” Doyle said with a laugh.last_img read more

College hosts State Department summer program

first_imgAs conflicts around the globe erupted over the summer, Saint Mary’s College hosted the Global Women Leaders Institute as part of a U.S. Department of State “Study of the U.S. Institute” (SUSI), which focused on understanding the U.S.’s role abroad and fostering a new generation of leaders.This past July, the College welcomed 20 undergraduate women from Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Iraq and Jordan, as well as four Saint Mary’s students, to share educational opportunities and personal encounters that may be applied in their home countries, director of media relations Gwen O’Brien said.The SUSI grant, which completed the last leg of its three-year cycle this past summer, brought in young women from diverse fields of study, Mana Derakhshani, associate director of the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) and the academic director of the Institute, said. The students’ range of academic interests were consistent with last year’s participants, Derakhshani said.The SUSI offered sessions on cultural identity, intercultural skills, gender and culture, women and peace movements, U.S. women’s history, women and political representation in the U.S. and globally and women’s economic empowerment, O’Brien said.The various political dynamics of the home countries of this year’s attendees show the appeal of the SUSI, Derakhshani said.“What they all have in common, is that they are emerging democracies trying to figure out how to transition from more traditional forms of leadership,” Derakhshani said. “This is a crucial time in all these regions for women to have a voice in public discourse and be ready for public service.”Derakhshani said the women who partake in the SUSI do so to gain new know-how that will enhance their leadership back home. Derakhshani said she helped her colleague, Martha Smith, design the leadership part of the curriculum.“They create a network of support and resources for each other,” Derakhshani said. “Finally, through learning about women’s issues in the U.S. and globally, they become more aware of ways they can advocate for themselves and women everywhere.”During the five-week program, the women traveled to Washington to visit the U.S. Institute of Peace; Chicago, to attend a seminar at the University of Chicago Law School; Detroit, for a seminar on Arab-American women’s leadership; and Indianapolis, where they met with the Secretary of State, O’Brien said.“These institutes are part of the Department of State’s soft diplomacy efforts around the world, because they bring to the U.S. young leaders and scholars to learn about the U.S., meet Americans, and develop their own skills,” Derakhshani said. “The SUSI on women’s leadership were an initiative of Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State, so they are relatively recent.”Closer to their temporary home, the women volunteered at South Bend agencies that are partners with the College, working at St. Margaret’s house, the Center for the Homeless, Chiara Home and more, O’Brien said.On a hyper-local level, Derakhshani said the SUSI helps women approach political change in their home counties while enriching the educational experience of the four Saint Mary’s students who took the course.“Through the presence of these young women on campus, and through their interaction with Saint Mary’s students, the SUSI contributes to the internationalization of the College,” Derakhshani said. “It dovetails beautifully with intercultural competence and global learning outcomes of the new Sophia Program.”Derakshani said the award of the State Department grant improves Saint Mary’s national reputation and increases the College’s visibility.“Through its participation in this program, the College gains recognition for its intercultural and global focus as well as its expertise in developing women’s leadership,” Derakhshani said.This summer’s participants worked in groups to develop specific action plans they intend to implement at home, Derakhshani said.“One of the most intriguing action plan was the Jordanians’ project to start a taxi company with women cab drivers,” Derakhshani said. “This is particularly important activism not only to break the stereotype of gender specific jobs or trade, but to provide safe transportation to young women who are often victim of sexual harassment in the street and on public transportation, and who are not allowed, or do not feel safe, riding by themselves in cab driven by men.”Tags: Global Women Leaders Institute, State Department, SUSIlast_img read more

Professor explores mystery of dark matter

first_imgIn the most recent installment of the “Our Universe Revealed” lecture series, associate professor of physics Antonio Delgado discussed dark matter.Michael Yu | The Observer “Normal matter — which is you, me, Jupiter, Mars, whatever — is only 4 percent of what we see in the universe,” Delgado said. “Only 4 percent of what we say [is] the energy budget of the universe is what you and me are made of.“The other 96 percent is something we have never been able to detect. … Out of the other 96 percent, 21 percent is dark matter.”Delgado said the rotation of the galaxies has helped scientists prove the existence of dark matter. The further galaxies were away from each other, the slower they were predicted to rotate around each other. However, Delgado said scientists found that the speed of rotation did not decrease with distance.“The farther away they are, the slower they have to rotate,” Delgado said. “This is what you expect. This is also why your dryer works, or your washing machine. If you’re on a merry-go-round, the closer you are to the rotating axis, the faster you go.“We saw that the rotation of the limits of the galaxies were more or less constant. It didn’t go down as expected.”Delgado said this unexpected discovery could be explained in two plausible ways: Either our understanding of gravity is incorrect or we don’t see all the matter that is affecting the orbital speeds. The invisible matter potentially affecting these speeds is known as dark matter, he said.Delgado said one gravitational explanation for the constant rate of orbital speeds is Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND). However, he said, MOND cannot explain certain phenomena in the bullet cluster — which consists of a collision of two galaxies.In particular, Delgado said, MOND cannot explain why the gas and the center of gravity of the collision are not in the same spot. Dark matter, however, could explain this discrepancy, Delgado said.“The center of gravity — where all the mass of this collision is — is not where you see the gas,” Delgado said. “So there has to be something else there to make sure that the mass is where you have seen it. You will never be able to explain ever that you’re modifying gravity. … There has to be more matter there.”Delgado said the process of lensing occurs when matter between a source of light and an observer bends the light traveling towards the observer. According to Delgado, the lensing of light between other galaxies and the earth could be caused by dark matter.“This is how we know that between the galaxy and the earth, the light is parted and you can get images where you see, from the earth, two different points,” Delgado said. “That’s because the light is parted by something between that you don’t see.”According to Delgado, dark matter is able to explain a variety of different occurrences throughout the universe, but at the moment, methods for detecting dark matter is limited.“Dark matter is a very possible explanation of different phenomena,” Delgado said. “We can explain different phenomena … but we have only detected [dark matter] right now through gravity. We haven’t been able to see dark matter in any other way.”Tags: dark matter, energy, matter, Physicslast_img read more

Three men arrested on WNDU property

first_imgThree people were arrested on multiple charges while hiding on WNDU’s property Thursday morning, University spokesman Dennis Brown said.A Notre Dame police officer confronted four men hiding behind cars on Dorr Road early Thursday, Brown said. The men then fled towards WNDU, where three of them were apprehended at about 2:30 a.m. while the fourth escaped.The three men were charged with stealing a vehicle, resisting law enforcement and possessing a handgun, marijuana and burglary tools, Brown said. Two of the three arrested were 18- and 19-years-old and the third was a juvenile, according to a WNDU article.Tags: Arrest, NDSP, WNDUlast_img

Belles for Life and the Cartesian Society host pro-choice, pro-life discussion, hoping to start conversations on campus

first_imgBelles for Life and the Cartesian Society invited Saint Mary’s students into open conversation Wednesday night with a pro-life and pro-choice discussion.Those who participated in the discussion were required to register beforehand and declare their stance on the issue. Upon arriving, the students were split into small groups of mixed opinions.On each table, sheets of paper posed six discussion questions for the small group, asking students to consider their own identity on the pro-choice to pro-life spectrum, the personal experiences that formed this opinion, issues surrounding reproductive rights and any positive or negative experiences they’ve had on campus.Other printed handouts outlined “Five Ways to Respond to Someone You Disagree With,” including “respecting honesty,” “understanding different values,” “giving something back,” “finding a middle ground” and “being a good human.”Megan Zwart, philosophy professor and department chair, said she was excited to see how the discussion mirrored the style of her course in dialogue and civil discourse.“My hope is that students will learn skills in that class, but then they’ll get excited about having conversations about difficult topics outside of class,” Zwart said. “And so this is the perfect example of students taking initiative and, you know, seeing the conversation that they think we need to work on around campus and then doing that work. So I’m proud to see it happen.”Senior Elisabeth Barrett, president of the Cartesian Society, the new philosophy club approved just after fall break, said the discussion was arranged in a manner similar to those that took place in Zwart’s class, with small groups of mixed opinions.“No one is going to be overloaded or feel one-sided,” Barrett said. “We’re listening with the intention to learn and understand rather than debate, combat. It’s not an argument. It’s a learning opportunity, I would say. I’m really hoping that it brings everyone who comes here closer together. Ideally, the entire campus.”Belles for Life has been working on a discussion session for a long time, but struggled to find a group that would act as a co-host, Barrett said. The philosophy club was quick to collaborate, she said.“I think coming out as a philosophy club, it paints us as pretty neutral,” she said. “In philosophy, you explore different perspectives. It’s very open. There isn’t really such a thing as, ‘That’s a bad idea’ or like, ‘That’s a bad opinion.’ And that’s pretty much what philosophy is — building upon different thoughts, different values, opinions, beliefs — all that.”Many of the Cartesian Society board members are pro-choice, Barrett said, but all were open to joining the discussion and excited to tackle an issue that they believe to be urgent and important.“We’re very excited to jump at this because … this is a conversation we need to have on campus and it is extremely divided,” Barrett said. “You’ll see posters up that Belles for Life have around campus and other people will write on it, like slander it. And personally, I am pro-choice, but I don’t think that you should disrespect other opinions like that still at the end of the day.”The event was intended to be more of a discussion than a debate, Barrett said, and overall, an exercise in listening and learning.“I think what’s great about this event is that it encompasses a lot of listening, a lot of learning and respect and it kind of reminds us all that we are all women, that we do care about people,” she said. “It’s shown that … at the end of the day, we all care about life in whichever capacity.”This type of open-minded conversation is meant to create safe spaces on campus, senior Morgan Chichester, president of Belles for Life, said.“It’s just basically just opening up the discussion in a civil way,” Chichester said. “This is just an event just for people to express their beliefs in an open safe environment on campus.”Chichester said she hopes participants leave the discussion having felt heard and encouraged to continue these conversations outside of their small groups.“I hope that people walk away with just a sense that they can express what they believe and … just growing in a deeper sense of listening to different people’s beliefs, and that we can just have more discussions like this on campus,” she said.Sophomore transfer student Annastacia Thompson said she identifies as pro-choice, and did not expect her opinions to change after the discussion.“I came to listen,” Thompson said, “Just to hear the other side and maybe understand it more.”Tags: Belles for Life, Cartesian Society, dialogue and discourse, discussion, philosophy, Pro-choice, Pro-lifelast_img read more

Students create ‘HERE’s the Why’ Instagram account to advocate for social responsibility

first_imgThe tri-campus community has taken the fight to bolster student compliance to COVID-19 health guidelines into their own hands via social media. A student-run Instagram page titled “HERE’s the Why” began sharing personal stories from students, alumni and other concerned members of the community late last week in an effort to promote reflection on individual responsibility.Notre Dame junior Kirsten Young said she decided to start the page after the University announced a two-week period of online classes following a spike in COVID-19 cases last week. “I felt that a lot of the rules weren’t being followed,” Young said. “We were at a point where we needed to turn things around.”Young said she thought sharing personal stories about the COVID-19 pandemic would help convince people to follow health guidelines. “I know I have personal reasons. I think hearing personal reasons from other people would be a great way to connect with students,” she said. “Notre Dame students are smart. Hopefully these stories will make them stop and think about their actions, and influence them to do better.”Kelly Mansour, a sophomore at Notre Dame, assists Young in maintaining the page. She said she got involved because she wanted to remind students about the impact following safety guidelines can have. “I know wearing a mask and keeping 6 feet apart can be annoying,” Mansour said. “I know I have been missing the college experience we had last semester, so it’s important to remember why we’re doing what we’re doing to keep campus safe. … It’s so easy to wear a mask and stay six feet [apart], but it makes such a profound impact, and we’re trying to show that.”The Instagram account has showcased a variety of concerns from both students and alumni, ranging from anecdotes about families and communities in hometowns to a spotlight on the influence the tri-campus community could have on the reopening of South Bend public schools. Multiple students have shared their misgivings about returning home, citing mental health concerns and unsafe home lives. In particular, Young said she has received multiple stories from members of the LGBTQ community who shared that they are not out to their families at home. “The idea of being sent home from campus is a huge source of stress to these students,” Young said. “They take it so seriously, so it’s hard for them to see other people not understanding the repercussions if the spread gets worse.”Another post contains student testimony about contracting and recovering from COVID-19. The student, sophomore Ryan Murdock, has been vocal about his own battle with the illness on the “HERE’s the Why” page and in a Letter to the Editor. Murdock said he shared his story so other students might understand that becoming ill with COVID-19 is a real possibility that should not be dismissed.“I think so many people think, ‘oh we’re young, we’re immune, it doesn’t really affect us’ … which is just not true,” he said. “People think it couldn’t happen to them, but it does.”Murdock said he experienced a 48-hour period of high fever and extreme fatigue after being contact traced to another student who had tested positive and moved into isolation. “I was feeling fine until I wasn’t and ended up in the emergency room with a high fever,” he said.Murdock said he wants other students to accept the fact that they have to make sacrifices in order to finish the semester on campus. “I get it, I wish we could go to parties, too,” Murdock said. “I wish we could have a normal semester like last fall but it’s just not possible. We can’t keep doing what so many people are doing … we have a responsibility to be better than that. If you think it couldn’t be you … you’re wrong, nobody’s immune.”Going forward, Young said she hopes “HERE’s the Why” will prompt students to think of the impact their actions have on others when making choices. “I know it’s so easy to fall into the temptations of being around your friends and drop your precautions a little bit,” Young said. “But remember every action you take has an impact on the people around, and it’s so important to be conscious of that right now.”Mansour echoed Young’s call to consider the impact of individual choices on the community. “It’s about the community, it’s about the common good,” Mansour said. “So we want people to just remember that when they’re talking with friends about their hopes for the rest of the semester, when they’re deciding what to do on a Friday night, that their choice to sit on the quad without a mask could impact more people than they could even imagine.” Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, HERE’s the Why, student instagram accountlast_img read more

Reward Offered After Crews Find Bald Eagle Shot Dead In Cattaraugus County

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Cutout Photo: Carl Chapman / CC BY 2.0SALAMANCA – An up to $5,000 reward is offered for information that helps investigators looking into a fatal bald eagle shooting in Cattaraugus County.Seneca Nation Fish and Wildlife officials say on November 20 they received a complaint about a large dead bird in a tree along the Allegheny River off Old Route 17.A drone confirmed that the animal was a bald eagle. Days later, with help from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the body of the banded, sub-adult female bird was recovered.An examination determined that the bird had been shot. Bald eagles, although no longer listed under the Endangered Species Act, are federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.Shooting a bald eagle can result in prison time up to one year, as well as up to $100,000 in fines.Anyone with information that could help investigators solve the case is asked to call Manager Lawrence Becelia with Seneca Nation Fish and Wildlife at (716) 945-2779.last_img read more

Jamestown Public Schools Starting ‘Grab & Go’ Meals Next Week

first_imgTim Lauer / CC BY 2.0 JAMESTOWN – Jamestown Public Schools will start providing ‘grab and go’ meals next week part of the district’s fall reopening plan.School officials say starting next Tuesday both breakfast and lunch will be available to students attending school in-person or remotely.Students attending in person will be provided with two meals at dismissal for the following day, while those attending remotely or by distance learning may visit their school of enrollment to pick up the meals.On Thursdays, students will receive four meals, including lunch for Thursday, breakfast and lunch for Friday and breakfast for Monday. Parents are also able pick up school meals for their children with student ID numbers.For more, visit jpsny.org/mealinfo. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Fantasia Returns to the Cotton Club Stage in After Midnight

first_img Conceived by Jack Viertel, After Midnight is an evocative new musical that tackles the sexy, smoky glamour of the Jazz Age, set in the heyday of Duke Ellington’s years at Harlem’s Cotton Club. In addition to Barrino, the show currently stars Tony winner Adriane Lenox and Dule Hill. The tuner received seven Tony nods, including Best Musical, Best Featured Actress for Lenox and Best Director and Best Choreography for Warren Carlyle. After Midnight View Comments Related Shows Star Files Barrino catapulted to fame in 2004 as the winner of American Idol. Her debut album, Free Yourself, received four Grammy nominations and was followed by a second self-titled release. She made her Broadway debut in April 2007 when she took over the role of Celie in The Color Purple, receiving a Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for her performance. She won a 2011 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “Bittersweet,” the lead single from her third solo album, Back to Me. Barrino also headlined her own VH1 reality series, Fantasia for Real. She released her fourth studio album Side Effects of You last year. Grab your coat and get your hat, because Fantasia Barrino is back on the sunny side of the street! The Grammy winner and American Idol victor steps into the Cotton Club spotlight once more in the Tony-nominated musical After Midnight, beginning May 13. Barrino was the first guest star vocalist to heat up the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in the show, followed by a rotating roster of performers (most recently, Tony and Emmy nominee Vanessa Williams). Show Closed This production ended its run on June 29, 2014 Fantasia Barrinolast_img read more