University looks to revise du Lac

first_imgEditor’s note: This is the second and final installment of a two-part series examining the policies and possible revisions of du Lac, the student handbook.Senior John Saulitis has been on both sides of the University’s disciplinary process.He faced the consequences of ResLife himself and used that experience to assist others as a peer advocate.One thing Saulitis has learned is that students who are ResLifed at Notre Dame are not “criminals.”“People make mistakes, and when you make something as rigid as the ResLife process, as du Lac is, you’re going to catch a lot of good people that maybe did something that they regret,” Saulitis said.The University is currently making revisions to du Lac, the student handbook, and student government will make recommendations for changes Monday. If accepted, the recommendations would update du Lac to make it more student-friendly, student body president Grant Schmidt said.Associate Vice President for Residence Life Bill Kirk said du Lac is reviewed every six to eight years, and he characterized this process as a “major” review.The University is evaluating all student life policies for “their effectiveness, consistency and appropriateness with [the University’s] mission,” Kirk said.Schmidt said the most important recommendation will be for the adoption of a medical amnesty policy, which was recently passed in Student Senate.If adopted by the University, the policy would prevent a student seeking medical treatment for a friend from getting in trouble with the Office of Residence Life and Housing (ORLH).The policy would allow ORLH to educate the student, through alcohol classes for example, but the incident would not go on the student’s disciplinary record, Schmidt said.Saulitis agreed that student safety should come before the rules of du Lac.“Maybe that person falls and hurts themselves and there’s parietals. You can’t sit there until the morning if they’ve broke an arm or something like that,” Saulitis said. “Student safety should always come before the rules at Notre Dame.”Kirk said his Office has not yet been provided with details on student government’s suggestion for a medical amnesty policy.Schmidt said student government will also propose that discipline be handled at the most localized level possible. In particular, the recommendation will ask that first offenses be handled at the discretion of the rector.“If you [get in trouble] in Fisher, don’t you think if it’s your first incidence of intoxication, the rector of Fisher should probably call your rector?” Schmidt said.Student body vice president Cynthia Weber said, “Our mentality is that problems should be dealt with at the most localized level. Things that can be handled in dorm often should be handled in dorm.”Breen Phillips Hall rector Rachel Kellogg said many du Lac first-time offenses are handled in the residence halls, and she thinks students are often unaware of this as ORHL and rectors are concerned about privacy issues.“There are a lot of first-time issues that get dealt with in hall that I think a lot of people don’t see,” Kellogg said.Schmidt recognized that many rectors already communicate with each other before taking the discipline to a higher level, but said this policy would make it a requirement that a student’s rector be given the choice to deal with the incident in the dorm.Junior Zach Reuvers has been ResLifed more than once, and he said he sees an inconsistency in the way the University handles some infractions in the dorm and some in ORLH.Reuvers said he was ResLifed for playing beer pong — a drinking game involving shooting ping-pong balls in cups of beer — in his dorm room, but he said he knows of other instances where drinking game violations only levied a hall fine.“The [disciplinary] process in the residence halls needs a clarification,” Reuvers said. “They admitted in my hearing that they don’t typically hear drinking game sanctions unless they are really serious.”Along with the medical amnesty policy, student government is also discussing a recommendation to lift the ban on drinking games, Schmidt said.“I’m not trying to condone underage drinking,” Schmidt said. “But we are trying to address that the general culture on campus has changed.”Weber said drinking games have become a part of the culture, and are often times not abusive.“The genesis of drinking games has gone from drinking games are a way to get drunk, whereas now drinking games are such a part of drinking culture,” Weber said. “Drinking games happen to be a part of the casual drinking culture that is not binge drinking.”Schmidt said the goal is to prevent abusive drinking, and allowing drinking games on campus may help reduce the number of students who go to off-campus parties.“We will recommend that they at least look at that policy because a lot of times students are driven to off-campus parties [because of on-campus alcohol rules],” he said. “We want people to stay on campus.”Kirk said it is unlikely the University will revise du Lac to allow drinking games.“Drinking games are virtually always associated with drinking alcohol to excess and with the intention of becoming intoxicated … I can’t envision a change in our rules or regulations that would in any way moderate the University’s disapproval of such behavior,” he said.Kellogg said drinking games can be problematic in the dorms, especially for freshmen.“Its so easy to get drunk faster than you intend to,” she said.Under student government’s recommendation for a revision of the drinking game ban, the rector would determine whether the drinking game caused students to abuse alcohol, Schmidt said.As a rector, Kellogg said she sees her role in enforcing du Lac as educational.“It’s not just a list of dos and don’ts,” she said. “It’s more about living together in a community that is fair and pleasant for everyone.”In his role as a peer advocate, Saulitis said while every University needs a disciplinary process, he sees some weaknesses in the ResLife system.“I think the biggest problem with ResLife that they’ve gotten to the point where it’s all about the rules and not about the students anymore,” he said.To make the process more “about the students,” Saulitis recommended students work for ORLH and sit on the decision-making panel in administrative hearings.“I think students would be as tough as the people in Reslife,” he said. “I think a student would ask different questions, would ask important questions.”Kirk said the University is seeking student input on possible du Lac revisions.“We look forward to hearing from students,” he said. “All the input will be considered — whether or not it will find its way into the revision of du Lac will depend entirely upon its consistency with the University’s mission to contribute to the moral, intellectual, spiritual and social growth of the students and groups that make up our University community.”last_img read more


ND grads take final vows

first_imgOn Saturday, three Notre Dame graduates professed final vows of poverty, chastity and obedience during their ordination as deacons in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Alumni Brian Ching, Mark DeMott and Jarrod Waugh have nearly completed the process of becoming Holy Cross priests and will be ordained priests in April 2013. After this weekend’s ordination, DeMott said the group gains new responsibilities from their profession. “Becoming a deacon is the final step before becoming a priest,” DeMott said. “This year, I will become comfortable assisting the priest at Mass and preaching homilies. I will also baptize new Christians and preside at weddings and funerals.” The ceremony, which is available for viewing on YouTube, is similar to the typical Mass format, but those being ordained play a special role after the homily, Ching said. “Those who are about to profess their final vows all line up at the center aisle of the Basilica and lay prostrate, lay full belly down on the floor,” Ching said. “It’s a beautiful image of our abandonment to God because laying face down on the floor is a sign of utter abandonment, of utter submission to God’s will.” The congregation then sings the Litany of the Saints, invoking them to pray for those making their profession, Ching said. “After that follows the actual profession,” he said. “The provisional superior, our boss, holds one end of the Book of the Gospels and we grasp the other end of the Book of the Gospels and publicly profess, making a public promise just like marriage is, to remain true and faithful to our Lord and to the constitution of the Congregation of the Holy Cross through the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.” DeMott said he has been preparing to take his final vows for many years, gaining experience through assignments at Saint Stanislaus Parish and Saint Joseph High School in South Bend, as well as the Holy Cross Lakeview Secondary School in Jinja, Uganda. “My relationships with Holy Cross priests, brothers and sisters in these places helped me to learn what it means to be a Holy Cross religious – to live together according to the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and to serve generously, forming both the mind and the heart,” he said. “Daily prayer and meeting regularly with a spiritual director was important in this process as well.” In addition to the formal training he has received over the years, Ching said he spent more time in prayer and contemplation during the last few months before his profession of final vows to get ready for the event. “There’s a short-term preparation as the months grew closer and closer to be a bit more deliberate and spend some more time in prayer giving thanks to God for His gift of my vocation, for His gift of Holy Cross, for my brothers in Holy Cross,” Ching said. DeMott said professing his final vows in the Basilica was especially meaningful because his Notre Dame education was “transformative” in his decision to discern the priesthood. “Before college, I had never attended Catholic school and had never studied theology,” he said. “I developed a new appreciation for the Word of God, I learned about the Mass, and I began to understand the connection between theology and service to those in need. Outside the classroom, I had the opportunity to explore ministry and service in the Church.” DeMott also served as rector of Keough Hall and is currently a residence hall director at the University of Portland. Ching, who joined Old College his sophomore year at Notre Dame, said the “Notre Dame experience” was conducive to discerning the priesthood. “Certainly the experience of what we describe as the Notre Dame family, living in a community of caring and committed Christians all moving together to what God is calling them to do, being in that environment where our faith is not something we try to hide but something we try to celebrate … had a deep impact,” Ching said. “It allowed me to feel comfortable to express to my friends, especially my college friends, that this is something that God is calling me to.” Ching said he is both excited and nervous about being Christ’s representative on Earth. “I don’t become a priest for my own glory, my own popularity,” he said. “I become a priest because I want to serve Jesus Christ, and that means constantly being in a relationship with Him and having His life exude through me to the people of God. … That’s a daunting challenge.”last_img read more


Literary society honors professor

first_imgEnglish professor Laura Walls’s fascination with the life and teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson began at age 12, when she stumbled across an antique volume of the transcendentalist leader’s “Essays: First and Second Series.” “[Reading the book] gave me a kind of permission to really think for myself and listen closely to what other people were saying,” Walls said. “I was getting a lot of messages at the time about conforming and doing what everybody else does. I began taking seriously the fact that here was a voice that said, ‘Dig below and you can think for yourself.’” Today, the decorated scholar is widely considered an Emerson expert, as evidenced by her recent acceptance of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society’s 2012 Distinguished Achievement Award. She said she continues her mission of “helping Emerson teach students today” through her work at Notre Dame. But Walls said she still learns from Emerson’s writings because he is “somebody you just can’t leave alone.” When faced with a complex problem, she looks to the thinker for guidance. “He’s a brilliant writer who’s never satisfied with the second or third answer,” she said. “Every time you’ve got it all down pat and you’ve got all the answers, you come back to Emerson and it makes you think of something you’ve never thought of before, and you’re unsettled again.” Although Emerson and his writings always fascinated Walls, she said she began her freshman year of undergraduate studies at the University of Washington as an intended biology major. “However, I had this realization towards the end of my freshman year that what I was doing in the lab wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life,” Walls said. “This upsetting, Emerson-type moment made me ask about science itself, about what it was and what it did.” Just as she did in her youth, Walls said she returned to Emerson’s work once again, this time consulting his most famous essay, “Nature.” “After rereading this work, I switched my major to English and decided to pursue the Emersonian project of thinking through the nature of things,” Walls said. In 1987, Walls began teaching and working toward her Ph.D. in English at Indiana University, where she was able to reconcile her differing academic interests. “I got interested in history and philosophy of science at Indiana,” Walls said. “I discovered there how I could put my two lifelong interests of science and literature together.” A former faculty member at the University of South Carolina, Walls said she came to Notre Dame last year because of the high prevalence of “moral and intellectual seriousness” at the University. “Emerson was originally a minister, and religion was always important to him even though he left the ministry when he was younger,” Walls said. “He wanted to redefine religion for the modern world, so I was really intrigued at the thought of teaching Emerson and the American transcendentalism movement at Notre Dame.” The idealism present among Notre Dame students reminds Walls of her own beliefs, she said. “I get a sense that students really do want to change the world and make it a better place,” Walls said. “Idealism has always been a part of me, and Notre Dame is one place where my own intellectual and teaching ambitions are a good fit.” Since her Emerson Society recognition, Walls has continued working on a biography of Emerson’s contemporary, Henry David Thoreau. “We know a lot more about his life in the last 15 to 20 years through research, and surprisingly, there hasn’t been an extensive biography of him for decades,” Walls said. “I thought it would be a really good time, given I have spent a great deal of time on him, to write down what we now understand of his life story.” But the voice that sparked Walls’s 12-year-old imagination continues to inspire her, and she said she hopes her students experience the same powerful inspiration in their own academic pursuits. “I think young people today need to make this world their own, and once you really think a meaningful thought through and own it yourself, then it really is yours,” Walls said. “That’s the foundation for action and intellectual work.”last_img read more


That weak bodies may be nourished’

first_imgGuided by the motto “Strong bodies fight, that weak bodies may be nourished,” Notre Dame boxers will lace up their gloves tonight for the preliminary rounds of the 83rd installment of the Bengal Bouts boxing tournament. Famed Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne founded a boxing tournament at Notre Dame in 1920, but the tournament’s current purpose – to raise funds for the Holy Cross missions in Bangladesh – was solidified in 1931 by Bengal Bouts director Dominic “Nappy” Napolitano, who coined the “Strong bodies fight” motto.   Senior captain Jeffrey Ulrich said Bengal Bouts is instrumental in improving the lives of Bengalis served by the Holy Cross missions, which use tournament proceeds to build schools and clinics and empower people through education and poverty relief. “Bengal Bouts is the main contributor in funding schools, medical facilities and students’ expenses in the Holy Cross missions in Bangladesh,” Ulrich said. “The biggest impact we make is in giving people the opportunity to make their own path in the world, since most families are relegated to a limited number of social, professional and economic statuses.” The club reinforced its relationship with Bangladesh in 2008 when five Notre Dame boxers and a camera crew traveled to the country to volunteer at the Holy Cross missions for the first time. Their experiences were captured in the documentary “Strong Bodies Fight,” directed by Notre Dame film professor William Donaruma. This year, captains Daniel Yi, Pat Bishop and Danny Leicht, along with junior Ian Cronin, continued the tradition of serving in Bangladesh for the fifth year in a row. Yi said he was able to experience the work of the Holy Cross missions throughout his summer in Bangladesh. “I was fortunate enough to be chosen as one of four boxers to go to Bangladesh, and I got to see firsthand the work that Bengal Bouts has helped accomplish,” he said. Senior captain Ryan Alberdi said participating in Bengal Bouts has a deep impact on both the boxer and the Bengali people. “Every day, Bengal Bouts is changing the lives of the boxers in the program and their Bengali friends on the other side of the world,” he said. This year, 165 Notre Dame men will fight in the tournament after training intensively since the Monday after fall break, Alberdi said. “It has been about four months of training,” he said. “Practices were for about two hours a day, five to six days a week. On a typical week, I would say that I put in around 15 hours of training through practices and on my own time.” Aside from the opportunity to fight for a worthy cause, Alberdi, Yi and senior captain Alex Oloriz said staying in shape was a major motivation for joining Bengal Bouts.     “I got involved in Bengal Bouts because [in] freshman year, I was quickly losing my high school football physique,” Oloriz said. For senior captain Jack Lally, his fourth and final Bengal Bouts could help him complete the “perfect quartet” by winning the tournament each of his four years at Notre Dame. Achieving this honor would earn him an honorary Notre Dame monogram. Lally said the pressure to win for a fourth time motivates rather than intimidates him. “I mean, there’s always pressure,” Lally said. “I’d rather be in this position than never having won a fight. … There’s pressure in anything, but I enjoy it.” Ulrich said the club also hopes this year’s tournament raises at least as much money as last year’s event. “Last year, we raised [more than] $200,000,” he said. “Beating that is [going to be] our greatest challenge.” Preliminary bouts of the tournament begin tonight at 6 p.m. in the Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center field house. Contact Nicole McAlee at [email protected]last_img read more


Senate suspends one-ticket Junior Class Council election, names winner

first_imgStudent senate voted to suspend the Junior Class Council election for the class of 2020 and declared the only ticket the winner Wednesday night.Laksumi Sivanandan will be president, Brandon Garcia will be vice president, Quentin Colo will be treasurer and Gabrielle Meridien will be secretary.Judicial Council president and senior Matt Ross brought the order before the student senate to instigate the vote.The majority of senate supported the suspension, with only four members voting against it. The dissentors included junior Sebastian Lopez, the senator from O’Neill Hall, who “vehemently opposed” the order.“Why are we shortcutting democracy?” Lopez said. “Why are we stealing the freedom of choice?”Lopez suggested there were not more tickets because of a lack of advertisement of the election.Sophomore Joe Witt, president of the current Sophomore Class Council, voted to pass the suspension and opposed Lopez’s suggestion regarding the advertisement of the election.“There are three tickets running for Sophomore Class Council and two running for Senior, so I don’t really think that [advertisement] is a big deal,” Witt said. “Laksumi is one of the best vice presidents [and] one of the best people who I am very happy to hand the reigns over to.”Witt said Sivanandan, Garcia, Colo and Meridien will all be present at the upcoming Winter Carnival on Saturday and at the Gatsby Dance if their future constituents would like to meet them.Senior Sara Dugan, president of Senior Class Council, also expressed support for the suspension of the campaign.“I would echo Joe’s sentiment that it is unnecessary and honestly just annoying to Laksumi and her ticket to not pass this,” Dugan said.Following Dugan’s comment, senate voted to pass the order, making Sivanandan and her ticket the future Junior Class Council.Senate also heard from representatives from two campus groups promoting the upcoming Be The Match Drive, a nationwide effort to break the world record of the most people added to the bone marrow registry in a single day.Junior Clay Elmore, last year’s president of the Notre Dame Be The Match club, implored student senate to attend the drive and promote it among their dorms.The drive is a result of the return of 20-year-old Chris Betancourt’s battle with leukemia last September, Elmore said. With the help of his friend Dillon Hill, 19, Betancourt has created a bucket list for the last one or two years of his life.On the list was Betancourt’s wish to break a world record, and the record that Betancourt and Hill settled on was to have the most people register with Be The Match, a bone marrow transplant registry, in a single day, Elmore said.“Universities all around the nation, and not just universities … are hosting these drives, and everyone who gets registered on March 1 is going towards the total,” Elmore said. “Any person registered at Notre Dame will be part of the world record, if they’re able to break it.”The drive will take place March 1 at the Duncan Student Center in room 246 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Elmore said. There will also be a table on the first floor from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.To register with Be The Match, students only need to have their cheeks swabbed, a five-minute process, Elmore said. The swab will allow the doctors to find donors of the correct ethnicity in order to make a suitable pair for the transplant.“Sometimes, pairing people with their match can be the only way to save a life,” Elmore said. “Bone marrow transplants are by no means a 100 percent cure, but if you do get to the point of a bone marrow transplant, usually patients are pretty desperate for something and are willing to take on whatever challenges it presents.”The Love Your Melon campus group will also be present at the drive, sophomore Jenna Koenig, who also spoke to senate regarding the drive, said.“[Love Your Melon’s] mission is to put a hat on every kid battling cancer,” she said.Love Your Melon uses the profits from their beanie sales to support non-profit partners, Koenig said.“Be The Match is one of our non-profit partners, so that’s why we’re doing the drive with them,” she said.Senior and student body president Becca Blais expressed support for the drive because of her own experience receiving a bone marrow transplant.“I had a random donor that I found through Be The Match,” Blais said. “It’s really important to me, personally, that we can get a lot of people involved and it makes such a big difference. A cheek swab literally will save someone’s life.”Seven minutes into the meeting, the senate voted against two senators’ motions to close the meeting, allowing the meeting to continue as planned with the presentations from Be The Match and Judicial Council.Tags: Be the Match, Bone Marrow Donor, bone marrow registry, Class of 2020, junior class councillast_img read more


Lecture examines avenues of understanding Alexander Csoma de Koros, Tibetology

first_imgThe life and legacy of founder of Tibetology Alexander Csoma de Koros were topics of discussion during a lecture in Jenkins and Nanovic Halls on Monday. Professor of theology emeritus and fellow at the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian studies Robert Gimello hosted the event, titled “A Protestant Scholar or a Buddhist Bodhisattva: Csoma’s Life and Works.”Professor Imre Hamar, a Professor of Chinese Studies at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary, said Csoma de Koros has great significance to the people of Hungary, who see him as a prominent national hero. Hamar said a debate exists over Csoma de Koros’s involvement with Buddhism, particularly over whether Csoma de Koros was a true follower of Tibetan Buddhism or a Protestant scholar.“For most Hungarians, Csoma is not so much a scholar who founded a new discipline, but a national hero who dedicated his life to find the true homeland of the Hungarian people,” Hamar said. “His main motivation was to find the origins of the Hungarian people.”The Hungarian people were originally nomads from Asia, and Csoma de Koros sought to understand the origins of both the Hungarian language and people, Hamar said. To do this, he travelled east to Asia, and eventually Tibet. Csoma de Koros was born in 1784 in a small village near the border of the Ottoman Empire, Hamar said. He was born to a Szekler family whose ethnicity held the ancient responsibility for defending Hungary’s borders against invaders. Instead of becoming a border guard, as was his obligation, he earned a scholarship to a Protestant school, Hamar said.During his time at college, Csoma de Koros became increasingly appreciative of the Hungarian people and language, and his desire to understand the roots of the Hungarian people grew. After spending some time studying Slavic languages in Europe, Csoma de Koros travelled from Hungary, through the Middle East, Persia and India before finally arriving in Tibet. It was at the command of a British officer, William Moorcroft, that Csoma de Koros began his studies in Tibetology specifically, Hamar said. Csoma de Koros compiled a Tibetan alphabet and book of grammar, “Alphabetum Tibetanum.” The book was intended to aid missionaries in their work in Tibet, Hamar said, although the main motif of the book was the struggle against many Protestant teachings.Hamar said Csoma de Koros was one of the first Europeans to bring Tibetan Buddhist teachings back to Europe, and he worked in three different monasteries in Ladakh, India. The Alexander books, which he wrote, were compilations of questions he had for his Lama — or teacher — in Ladakh, and his Lama’s answers. In 1834, he published the first Tibetan-English Dictionary. These were some of the first texts that were direct interactions between Eastern and Western thinking, Hamar said.“The Liu Institute was very glad to have an introduction by a leading expert into an important figure in the history of European knowledge of Asia, who is not well known in the western world except in Hungary, so we have the opportunity because of Professor Hamar’s lecture to learn more about this heroic figure,” Gimello said. Tags: alexander csoma de koros, alphabetum tibetanum, buddhism, tibetan buddhism, tibetologylast_img read more


Activist delivers lecture on world inequalities

first_imgAs Ben Phillips, co-founder of the Fight Inequality Alliance and a Hewlett Fellow of Public Policy at the Kellogg Institute, listened to Nelson Mandela speak at a rally in South Africa just four years after apartheid ended, Phillips said he realized two things. “The first was that I was in the presence of a hero, but the more important thing is that I realized I was in the presence of thousands of heroes,” he said. “History had not been made by one man. History had been made when so many people organized together.”Phillips brought his passion against global inequality to a lecture in the Hesburgh Center on Wednesday evening titled, “Winning the Fight Against Inequality (And Why It Needs You).” After high school, Phillips moved to South Africa to work as a teacher in a black township. It was there where he first became involved in social activism.“After that year in South Africa, I felt like it physically rewired me, and I therefore couldn’t do anything else other than work in social justice,” Phillips said.Over the course of his life working across the globe in campaign teams and social movements, Phillips said he learned the most important change is never done by professionals. “The key step for achieving change that makes society more equal is for ordinary people to regain their voice, regain their power … they do that by forming groups,” he said.Phillips covered a number of damaging effects inequality causes. In addition to hurting the most vulnerable members of society, Phillips said inequality also causes people who are well off to suffer.“Unequal societies are more violent, less trusting, have less economic growth and potential, harm the environment more, respect human rights less, generate more anger and intolerance and start to fragment and start to not operate as a democracy,” Phillips said.Phillips said cities all over the world live with a stark divide between the rich and the poor, and in many of these cities, the divide is growing.“Seven out of 10 people live in countries where the gap between the rich and poor is worse than it was 30 years ago. One percent of Indians own 50 percent of India,” he said. “In the U.S., the richest 10 percent of the population captured more than all the gains made since the recession. The other 90 percent went backwards.”Phillips said the rich not only hold the majority of the nation’s wealth, but they have power in multiple facets of society.“The problem we face is the problem of political capture,” he said. “Political capture means some people have so much money, they don’t just buy boats, they buy elections. The new golden rule is that the people with the gold make the rules.”In order to combat inequality, Phillips said change will require groups of ordinary, yet diverse people.“A successful movement that establishes a decent, equal society needs doctors and people struggling for peace work in order to take on the 0.1 percent, so I think an inclusive movement is key,” he said.While people may think social movements today are too divisive, Phillips said pushing against authority is essential in creating change.“In the 1960s, if you look at Gallup polls, most whites thought that Dr. King was divisive. There were newspaper articles about how the March on Washington was reckless, and people ask about Black Lives Matter, why can’t they be like Dr. King? They’re exactly like Dr. King,” Phillips said. “They are highlighting a new issue, and people need to hear it.“Phillips said the battle to create a lasting revolution requires a significant amount of time and dedication because combating inequality requires several fights to be won.“When you look at these groups that are making a difference, you see them on the news when they’re out on the streets with placards, but that’s about one percent of what they do,“ he said. “The key word is a series of planning, of building trust, of working with with communities. It’s many, many days of meetings in drafty church basements. It’s endless, and it’s that that brings real change.”Urging students to join the fight against inequality, Phillips said Notre Dame students can benefit from three lessons.“Today when we demolish deference, when we build collective power, when we build a new story, we can be in influence,” Phillips said. “It is not inevitable anywhere, but it is not impossible anywhere.”Tags: inequality, racial justice, social activism, wealthy inequalitylast_img read more


Fiat, new group rooted in the Marian virtues, invites Saint Mary’s students into conversation, fellowship

first_imgSaint Mary’s students will gather Thursday at 7:30 in the Sacred Heart Chapel in Holy Cross Hall for personal reflection and small-group discussions.Fiat, a Latin word that translates to “so be it” and references “Mary’s yes,” is the name of a new student group on campus started by seniors Amanda Fischer, Claire Conlon and Kathy Stalter and junior Alex Guevara-Stevens.Liz Palmer, the assistant director of campus ministry, said Fiat was created because these students felt there was “a need to have community life and to foster prayer life on campus.”“They specifically promote the Marian virtues on campus … they thought that Fiat would be a great way to integrate Mary into the lives of our students,” Palmer said.Palmer said that while Fiat has been sponsored by Campus Ministry, the students lead in organizing and hosting monthly spiritual events that “are a way for someone to give their story about the intersection of faith and life.”At each event, someone is invited to share a personal reflection on one of the Marian virtues and elaborate on how they feel it relates to their life and the broader community. Students then spend time in small groups reflecting on the talk and discussing how it relates to other parts of their lives.While considering the amount of interest that has been generated so far, Palmer said much of the group’s success is due to the way student leaders have approached members of the campus community.“Something I have been reminded of through the Fiat group is the power of invitation,” she said. “Our Fiat leaders have been doing door-to-door outreach.”The inclusive aspect of this group, which is open to people of all faith backgrounds, is essential to the environment that the members want to achieve.“I love that it offers a personal relationship with God in a communal context,” Palmer said. “As a campus minister, I constantly see the need for community among our students, so that’s my favorite thing about the events, that they are fostering that community.”Fischer, one of the student leaders of Fiat, said she is really excited about what she describes as a “student-led, intentional faith-based community.” During the group‘s monthly “signature” events, participants hear from speakers that talk about the Marian virtue for the month, then engage in small group time and fellowship.She went on to underline Fiat’s goal.“It is so simple, but that is exactly what Jesus did — He built a culture of encounter in a simple way, and that is our aim,” she said.This Friday, members of Fiat will be joined by Beth Hlabse. Hlabse is a mental health counseling intern at Holy Cross College and a research project manager at the Kellogg Institute at Notre Dame, and is currently completing a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling with Divine Mercy University. In her talk, Hlabse will focus on the virtue of “constant mental prayer.”“So many of us don’t really know what prayer is or how to pray,” Hlabse said. “We don’t realize that prayer is the way we live in relationship with God … [and] the way we receive God’s love.”In looking at prayer through this different perspective, Hlabse found parallels with techniques she uses in her profession.“Many of us … fall into patterns of negative and destructive interior dialogue, or ‘self-talk,’” she said.These unhealthy tendencies can be addressed in different ways, Hlabse said, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, which assists people in recognizing unproductive thinking and particular stressors or misconceptions that might be causing it. The next step is then to reframe interior dialogue in a more realistic, constructive and positive way, she said.Hlabse will demonstrate “this process of tuning into and reframing our thinking is an opportunity for prayer” in her personal witness talk on Friday.“We can invite God into our headspace and consider how an all-loving God might be asking us to change the way we talk to and view ourselves,” she said.Tags: Beth Hlabse, Campus Ministry, fellowship, Fiat, Mary, prayerlast_img read more


Nekvasil to announce Saint Mary’s College President-Elect Wednesday, following ten-month nationwide search

first_imgSaint Mary’s Interim President Nancy Nekvasil and other campus dignitaries will announce and introduce the incoming College president at a “special event” for students, faculty and staff Wednesday, according to a media alert. Nekvasil will be joined by Gretchen Flicker, chair of the board of trustees and an alumna from the College’s class of 1993, and Sr. Veronique Wiedower, CSC president of the Sisters of the Holy Cross and an alumna from the College’s class of 1970, in announcing the president-elect.The new president was chosen after a ten-month nationwide search and will be the 14th individual to fill the position since the College was originally founded in 1844. He or she will take office this summer.The search was conducted with assistance from WittKieffer, a national search firm specializing in “presidential and executive searches in higher education,” according to the presidential search webpage. The search committee included trustees, faculty, administrators, students, alumnae and parents.The event will take place on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the atrium of Spes Unica Hall.Tags: Board of Trustees, Gretchen Flicker, Interim President Nancy Nekvasil, president-elect, SMC presidential search commitee, Spes Unica, Sr. Veronique Wiedowerlast_img read more


Students Could Take SAT At Home If Schools Remain Closed

first_imgPhoto: PxhereJAMESTOWN – A home version of the SAT college entrance exam is being prepared in case schools remain closed into the fall, College Board officials said Wednesday as they announced the cancellation of June testing.Instead of a paper-and-pencil test given under proctors’ supervision, the home version would be digital and rely on “remote proctoring.” That could include using the computer’s camera and microphone to monitor movement or talking, College Board President Jeremy Singer said on a conference call with reporters.The rival ACT also will launch an at-home option in late fall or early winter, the exam’s administrators said Wednesday.“We would much prefer that schools reopen but we are ready to innovate and deliver in the unlikely case we need to,” College Board Chief Executive David Coleman said. Coronavirus-related school closures forced the cancellation of spring testing for about 1 million first-time SAT test-takers, the majority of them high school juniors planning to enter college in 2021, College Board officials said. The national June 6 session is the latest to be canceled.“We would much prefer that schools reopen but we are ready to innovate and deliver in the unlikely case we need to,” College Board Chief Executive David Coleman said.The three-hour, multiple choice test measures math and English language arts proficiency. The ACT also has a science component.Most colleges require SAT or ACT exam scores as part of the application process, though an increasing number of institutions have made them optional in recent years, often to be more inclusive of students without access to private test-preparation available to wealthier peers.In response to the coronavirus, California’s public universities and several other institutions around the country have made the tests optional only for 2021 applicants.If it’s safe, the College Board will resume and expand in-person SAT testing in August, with Saturday sessions offered once a month through December, officials said. Students who had planned to take the SAT for free in school this spring can instead take it in the fall.The not-for-profit College Board earlier announced plans to offer Advanced Placement final exams at home for high school students whose schools will remain closed through the May testing dates. The College Board has offered to help students and schools secure devices and internet access if needed. 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