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Council discusses term changes

first_imgAt its Tuesday meeting, the Council of Representatives (COR) discussed problems with the transition at the end of student government office terms, including ineffective training of new officers and difficulty in event planning during the transition period. Student body vice president Andrew Bell said the issue comes up repeatedly and could be addressed in a Student Senate amendment. A common complaint, Bell said, is the inability of students studying abroad to serve the next semester. “Are there certain positions where we think it’s possible to start at different times in the year other than the usual April 1 to April 1?” he said. “I guess the options are shifting the dates of the term start, or are there positions we think could be shorter or is there a single time frame we think everyone should have?” Ricky Bevington, director of First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership (FUEL), a freshman leadership program, said he thought a single set of term dates is best because it simplifies the process for students considering running for office. “If we streamline it, I think it would be best for attracting people to these positions,” he said. Julia Sutton, Student Union Board (SUB) manager, said the current term transition of April 1 presents her group with a challenge in programming the rest of the semester. “SUB has issues with this. We physically can’t not plan after April 1. Antostal’s after April 1,” she said. “I guess it would be ideal for programmers not to be considered in that.” Sutton said part of the problem with having a different term end-date for SUB members is that it would leave them ineligible to run for another office. Sophomore class president Brett Rocheleau said the April 1 date negates the opportunity for class councils’ event programming for April, a month ideal for outdoor events. “I think for class councils the election time, March 1, is good. I would just recommend they change office around May 1,” he said. “Then they could get a lot of events done in April.” Student body president Catherine Soler said programming is a possibility during April despite the transition period. “You can plan events [for April] as long as it’s approved by Programming Board and you have that transition with the new people going in [to office],” she said. “I think it’s hard, it’s an extra step, but I don’t think that makes it impossible.” Kate Clitheroe, senior class president, agreed a smooth, cooperative transition period between office-holders is essential but often overlooked. “I think if you’re going to have an April 1 date, you need to emphasize there needs to be a period of transition where you help the new people get acclimated,” she said. “The duty’s not clear enough … it may be on paper but it’s not enforced.” Soler said it might come down to personal responsibility on the part of officers to ensure their successors are properly trained. “Is there a real reason, or are we just being lazy in our transition?” she said. “I think maybe that’s something we need to take more responsibility for.”last_img read more

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TextPride offers access to licensed images

first_imgTwo Notre Dame graduates have created a way for college students to show school spirit through text messages. The TextPride app, available for limited release this weekend,allows users to put licensed school images in text messages to liven up anything from gameday updates to smack talk. 2012 graduate Evan Wray said users can choose from a variety of pictures to use in their text messages, and every purchase of the app supports your school. “For Notre Dame, for example, we have two different packages with 25 images in each,” Wray said. “These are all licensed Notre Dame images. They’re the images you’ll see in the programs, on T-shirts, the identical leprechaun and everything. They’re a really cool way for Notre Dame students, fans and alumni to show their spirit in an extra way.” Wray said he and business partner Sean O’Brien developed the idea for TextPride during their senior year after looking into emoticons. “The more we started thinking about it, we asked ‘What does everyone at Notre Dame love?’ And they love Notre Dame football and sports teams, and that’s the same with many other Division I schools,” Wray said. “So we thought why not try to incorporate University-specific emoticons into text messages?” While the initial version only works for text messages, the next version of the app will work for email and social media as well, Wray said. Wray said originally they wanted to pursue the app as a side project but recognized its potential as a start-up. “I was a walk-on on the football team so I know how crazy fans are … but that’s where we thought there would be a market, at least at Notre Dame,” he said. “When Sean and I sat down and talked about it, we realized this could be bigger than Notre Dame and even bigger than the college universe.” O’Brien said 32 schools have signed on to allow TextPride to use their images, and 10 more are in the works. Much of the app’s initial success can be credited to funding and advice from the Notre Dame network, Wray said. “It’s unbelievable how helpful people have been,” Wray said. “We have an entire team of mentors, investors and people giving us guidance who have been through this process before, and they’re all connected to the Notre Dame network … Just because we’re all connected to Notre Dame, everyone is so willing to help.” O’Brien said the first investment came from Patrick Salvi, a Notre Dame alumnus and professor at the Notre Dame Law School.   Because of the influence Notre Dame has had on their business, O’Brien said it is only fitting to launch the app for limited release at the football game against the University of Michigan on Saturday. Promotion events to familiarize people with the app include giveaways at the Eddy Street concert Friday night and a tailgate before the game Saturday, he said. The full release of the app will take place in a few weeks. “We have a special promotion on Friday at the Eddy Street concert with giveaways for anyone who comes by. … We’ll explain how to use [the app] and how to get it,” O’Brien said. “Saturday you’ll be able to see our team members walking around with TextPride gear on, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions.” The TextPride app is available to download from the Apple App Store as well as from www.textpride.com. Contact Tori Roeck at [email protected]last_img read more

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Belles explore College’s past

first_imgSaint Mary’s students will have the opportunity to trace the footsteps of earlier Belles during Heritage Week, to be held this year Feb. 18 to 22. Heritage Week celebrates Saint Mary’s history, giving students insight into the traditions of the College. Heritage Week will feature tours of Saint Mary’s landmarks and speakers from around campus. Senior student government vice president Meghan Casey said she hopes students take the time to enjoy the events offered during the week. “I am hoping for good attendance at events because they are really awesome this year,” she said. “It’s nice that we have different time slots for different events so more students can join us. They are all awesome opportunities for our students at Saint Mary’s. They really show the true nature and past of the College.” The week kicks off Monday with Heritage Room tours with Sr. Veronique Wiedower, Casey said. Tuesday will feature Tea Tours at the Riedinger House. The Riedinger House once played host to some of the College’s classes but now is only used for special events and socials. Sophomore Grace McSorley said she is “most excited” for tea at the Riedinger House. “I have always wondered what the inside of that little house looks like because it’s so cute from the outside,” she said. Saint Mary’s students will tour the archive rooms in Madeleva on Wednesday, Casey said. On Thursday the Belles will gather for dinner during dining hall hours, where chair of the board of trustees Mary L. Burke and Wiedower are speaking, Casey said. “I am really looking forward to the dinner to hear from Sr. Veronique,” Casey said. “I am excited to hear her speak and I just love the whole week. It really shows the importance of knowing the history of the College and the support that students, faculty and staff give to college. It’s been really fun to plan and get ready for.” On Friday the Belles will conclude the week by congregating for Mass in the Holy Spirit Chapel of LeMans Hall, Casey said. Student government vice president of external affairs Katherine Sullivan said the week offers students ways to learn about achievements of former Saint Mary’s students. “I think that Heritage Week is so important because it embodies the past, present and future stories of Saint Mary’s College,” she said. “By signing up for our events and attending things like the History of Social Events featuring alumna and author Kymberly Dunlap Andren [of the class of 2004], students will learn about past Belles and their journeys.” Sullivan said the week’s events not only serve as a bonding experience but a learning one as well. “Heritage Week strengthens our community and teaches students about the College’s great journey,” she said. “I truly hope that we see many students attend these events and learn about how this wonderful place came to be and continues to grow.” Saint Mary’s editor Jillian Barwick contributed to this report. Contact Kelly Kony at [email protected]last_img read more

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SMC professors embrace theater

first_imgTags: Theatre Saint Mary’s professor of history Bill Svelmoe and associate professor of theater Mark Abram-Copenhaver were busy this summer going beyond the classroom to act and direct at the local South Bend community theater.Photo courtesy of Zara Osterman Director of media relations Gwen O’Brien said Svelmoe first began his career in acting once Abram-Copenhaver recruited him for a non-speaking role as King Louis in the College’s 2002 production of “Learned Ladies.”“He put me in tights and said I’d have to do a little dance at intermission,” Svelmoe said. “So I did a dance in tights and it was utterly humiliating. But as I was sitting there watching Mark work with the actors, I was just fascinated by it.”Svelmoe said he enjoys the differences between the academic realm and the performing arts.“A lot of what we do in academics is solitary … the research and the writing and all that,” Svelmoe said. “Theater is such a collaborative art. I love the rehearsal process almost more than the shows themselves.”Svelmoe soon found himself in numerous theater productions throughout greater Michiana, and the community has greatly appreciated his critically-acclaimed performances, O’Brien said. In the past year alone, he has starred in “The Great Gatsby” and “Acting: The First Six Lessons”  (The Acting Ensemble), “The Fox on the Fairway” (Elkhart Civic Theatre), “Radium Girls” (Saint Mary’s College), and “Leading Ladies” and “The Clean House” (South Bend Civi Theatre).Svelmoe said that theater has been a major influence on another one of his other hobbies: writing fiction.“I think theater taps into that same area of my brain that writing fiction does, because when I am writing I can feel the emotions of the different characters,” Svelmoe said.O’Brien said Svelmoe will finish a play and his second novel while on sabbatical during this academic year.The community theatre has also enriched Abram-Copenhaver’s life in many ways, O’Brien said. He spent his most recent sabbatical year as executive director of the South Bend Civic Theatre, where he has served since 2000 in various roles.“Now I’m back (on campus) and one of the most interesting opportunities is to keep looking for all the ways that having this theater nearby is a resource to our students,” Abram-Copenhaver said.O’Brien said two of Abram-Copenhaver’s students are in the midst of conducting an independent study called the “Frankenstein Adaptation Project.” The students are working on the South Bend Civic Theatre’s fall production of an original adaptation of Mark Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” and both have taken part in community workshops with a local playwright and have written their own adaptations.Abram-Copenhaver said his position at the South Bend Civic Theatre allows him to assure theater remains a fundamental part of the College’s and local community’s life.“I have the very lucky position at the Civic Theatre of being able to help a region regard theater as a powerful, vital part of what’s going on in the community life,” Abram-Copenhaver said. “My great opportunity at Saint Mary’s is to have intense involvement in the future of individual students and help them to grow their skills, excitement and vision of what theater can be.”last_img read more

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Conference to investigate climate investing

first_imgOn Tuesday, the Mendoza College of Business will host various companies and speakers at McKenna Hall for a conference titled, “Climate Investing: Transition to a Low-Carbon World.”Leo Burke, director of the Global Commons Initiative at Mendoza and director of the conference, said he hopes to discuss the investing opportunities in greener technologies and the impact those investments can make.“Of all the energy produced today, 85 percent is coming from fossil fuels,” Burke said. “We need to significantly slow that down or make a change. In order to do that, we need to invest money: invest money in renewable technologies, invest money in microgrids, invest money in new infractures of all kinds … it all takes money. This impact investing is an important tool or an important approach we can use to make that transition.”The conference will take place all day Tuesday and Wednesday with an opening prayer from University President Fr. John Jenkins. The panels will discuss “Climate and Carbon,” “Investment Perspectives,” “Industry Policy and Perspectives,” “Global Perspectives” and “New Opportunities and a New Generation,” as well as keynote addresses.  Burke said he received massive support and influence for this conference from his interactions with panelists and the Vatican recently discussing environmental issues.“It was very much [an inspiration],” Burke said. “The Pope’s encyclical gave a wind in the back, so to speak, for the conference and his visit to the United States … reemphasizing the need for caring for the earth. All of this makes this time for the conference very timely.”Vince Cushing, chief technology officer (CTO) of the conference’s largest sponsor, energy company QCoefficient, said he wants the conference to go beyond discussion and incite action.“I know a lot of people with a lot of good opinions and good policies,” Cushing said. “But when it comes to [people] executing and doing things, I don’t really have a really long list. So I thought this would be a great opportunity to see people from Notre Dame accomplish something, not just talk about it.“Politicians talk about [the environment] all the time and everybody talks about how it’s important to clean up the environment, even the Pope does that. What we’re short on is people who turn that around, execute on that and accomplish something, not letting the rest of our lives be worse off.”Speaker Joyce Coffee, managing director of the ND-GAIN project, another co-sponsor of the conference, said the conference will raise awareness to the climate-investing opportunities in assisting those most susceptible the harmful effects of climate change“Our data shows that people in rural countries are at least ten times more likely to experience an climate change impact than those in wealthy countries at any given year,” Coffee said. “The new innovative place for climate investing is adaptation. Those companies that seek out these opportunities have amazing collateral benefits, bringing people out of poverty, … decreasing the bottom line, decreasing global conflict. All of these are enhanced by investments that should be furthered by the corporations sponsoring the conference.”Burke said his greatest hope for this conference is that it will be a part of lasting change.“No conference is going to be the end-all-be-all by itself,” Burke said. “This conference is a stone in a wall that contains other stones that enable something that could be erected. I have great faith that when talented people come together … with the wish to make change that something new can happen.”Tags: climate investing, Environmental conferencelast_img read more

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NDSP reports two robberies over the weekend

first_imgOver the weekend, two students — one male and one female — were the victims of separate robberies, according to an email Tuesday from NDSP.The email stated neither student sustained injuries and no weapons were involved.According to the email, the first robbery took place along Twyckenham Drive near the soccer practice fields Saturday at around 2:40 a.m. The suspect approached a male student, falsely identified himself as a police officer and threatened the student with arrest unless he gave him $40.“The suspect told the victim to get into his vehicle and drove to several ATM machines where the victim attempted unsuccessfully to get cash,” the email stated. “Eventually the suspect drove the victim to a residence hall on campus where he accompanied the victim inside.”The student then retrieved cash from a friend and subsequently gave it to the suspect, and at 3:13 a.m. the suspect left campus, the email stated.The email stated the suspect was described “as a tall, heavyset black male with short hair wearing a red and black baseball cap, black frame glasses, a black shirt and gray sweatpants driving a mid-sized silver SUV with dark interior that was in good condition.”NDSP released a picture of the suspect’s alleged car in the email.The second robbery occurred Sunday at around 5:30 p.m. and involved two suspects, according to the email.“ … A female student was walking southbound on the east side of Notre Dame Avenue across from Cedar Grove Cemetery, talking on her cell phone,” the email stated. “Two high school-aged males on bicycles rode up from behind her, grabbed the phone from her ear and headed southbound off campus.”According to the email, one suspect wore a red jacket. NDSP was unable to locate either suspect.The email asked anyone with information regarding the robberies to contact NDSP at 574-631-5555.Tags: robberylast_img read more

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Hall organizes annual ‘chapel crawl’ event

first_imgTags: Community, Howard Hall Chapel Crawl, Lent, Mass Many students regularly attend Sunday Mass in their dorms, but during the Lenten season, students from Howard Hall encourage the community to take Mass attendance a step further. Since 2011, students organizing the annual Howard Hall Chapel Crawl have scheduled Mass in a different chapel every day of Lent, allowing participants to attend Mass in every dorm chapel and many chapels in other buildings on campus.Sophomore Emily Patton, a resident of Howard Hall, organized the event as liturgical commissioner last year and now runs the Twitter account and Facebook page for the event. She said she encourages the campus community to attend Mass in various chapels during Lent to gain new experiences and perspectives while bonding with fellow students.“Every night during Lent — except Saturdays — we have a Mass hosted in a different dorm, and we communicate with all the dorms to make sure it fits their schedule,” Patton said. “We try to hit all the fun food-Masses like the Dillon milkshake Mass and whatnot, and then, throughout Lent, we encourage people to go to those Masses, and someone in Howard leads a walkover to Mass every night of the Chapel Crawl.”Patton said the Twitter account — @chapelcrawl17 — is a new addition this year that will notify its followers of the Chapel Crawl’s schedule.“It gives people updates everyday on what Masses are happening, so if people subscribe to the Twitter with their phone, they can get a text telling them when we’re going to Mass,” she said.While a few students try to attend Mass every day for the Chapel Crawl, most only stay for part of the scheduled Masses, Patton said.“Over the course of the Chapel Crawl, we probably get 20-30 people participating — not all at the same time — but we have had a pretty diverse group of people sign up to do walkovers this year, which has been pretty cool,” Patton said. “Sometimes people will bring their friends to Masses, too. The attendance at the Masses really depends, like if it’s midterms week, or Dillon’s milkshake Mass. It just depends on the day it falls on.”Freshman Clare Buntrock, liturgical commissioner for Howard Hall, said attending daily Mass can be a valuable experience during Lent.“Besides just seeing all the chapels, it’s a reflective experience going to Mass every day … I’d say it definitely builds community while also building your spiritual life as well,” Buntrock said. “A lot of people have commented that going to Mass every day really changes your perspective during Lent. It’s a way to grow spiritually.”The goal of the Chapel Crawl is to get as many students both in Howard Hall and outside dorms to participate, Patton said.“I think it’s a cool way to visit different dorms and see all the cool chapels on campus,” Patton said. “We don’t hit them all, but we hit quite a few of them, and we do get all the dorm ones. It’s a goal for some people to go to every dorm Mass before they graduate, so we’re kind of providing them a fast way to do it.”Patton said the Chapel Crawl enables students to bond with their peers and form new friendships.“The idea is to show everyone the chapels, and you’ll occasionally meet new people through the Chapel Crawl,” she said.“It’s a nice way to build community.”last_img read more

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St. Edward’s Hall continues to build on traditions

first_imgEditor’s note: This article is one in a series profiling the dorms of Notre Dame.In 1882, St. Edward’s Hall was originally built by the Brothers of the Holy Cross using clay bricks that were made out of the clay from Saint Mary’s Lake and St. Joseph’s Lake. At the time, the hall served as a dormitory for children at the Notre Dame Grammar School, remaining so until 1928. After a massive fire in 1980, the hall was rebuilt into its current structure. Named after Notre Dame founder Fr. Edward Sorin’s patron saint, St. Edward’s is the oldest building presently used as a dorm.Juniors Cole Edwards and Brendan O’Donnell — who serve as hall president and vice president, respectively — said the size and culture of the dorm provides the foundation for its community. “The dorm is very tight-knit, very small … everybody knows each other,” Edwards said. “[The freshmen] know a lot of the sophomores, they’re starting to get to know the juniors and seniors a little better. I’m trying hard to meet as many as I can, as fast as I can.”The traditions of St. Ed’s are shaped by the history of the dorm. Its spring formal — also known as Yacht Dance — takes place on the last day of classes, when Stedsmen and their dates cruise around Lake Michigan after enjoying dinner in downtown Chicago. According to the dorm’s official website, St. Ed’s began its Mullets Against Malaria event in 2013, in which participants don a mullet in order to raise money for Nothing But Nets, a charitable organization which provides mosquito nets to those living in areas with high risk for malaria transmission. In recent years, the dorm has reported over $8,300 in charitable fundraising due to this event alone.These dorm traditions have continued to change with time. During a past Founder’s Week, which contains week-long dorm programming in the fall semester, former St. Edward’s commissioner Kurt Roemer organized a badminton tournament in which Stedsmen compete against each other for the championship of the “Steds Shuttlecock Showdown.” Alumni heavily contribute to the funding of St. Edward’s Hall’s traditions, with 2018 Notre Dame Day contributions totaling around $13,100, in addition to a challenge pool share of around $35,300. O’Donnell gave credit to Fr. Ralph Haag, the rector of St. Edward’s Hall, for helping to form a welcoming community. “Our rector, Fr. Ralph, is a really good guy,” O’Donnell said. “He looks out for all the kids — he’s a big part of St. Ed’s.” “I don’t know any other dorms that have that kind of relationship, and he has really been the foundation of St. Ed’s for however long he’s been here,” Edwards added. “Without that, everything we do and continue to do and, you know, issues that we work through, he makes sure that everything that makes St. Ed’s what it is stays what it is — and that’s huge for us.”Tags: dorm features, Mullets Against Malaria, Ralph Haag, St. Edward’s, St. Edwards Hall, Yacht Dancelast_img read more

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Students strike to speak out against racial injustice

first_imgCourtesy of Mary Killeen McCans Students changed their profile picture in their Zoom accounts to various Black Lives Matter messages to signify their intention to strike.Striking for four demandsOne of the main goals behind the Notre Dame Strike for Black Lives was to “stir the pot,” McCans said. With this protest, the organizers hoped to not only open up a space for the dialogue, but to stand in solidarity with the Black community.“We want students talking about the movement and buying into it on a local scale,” Morejón said. “Another important aspect is of it was communicating support for our Black peers here at Notre Dame. This year has been full of so much grief and hardship for the Black community. There’s an urgency in this moment to build support and communicate compassion through action.”Though elevating consciousness about racism was at the cornerstone of the strike’s mission, the organizers also strived to not merely talk the talk, but also walk the walk. As such, they are aiming to have four demands met: calling attention to on-campus racism, supporting the racial justice movement, defunding the Notre Dame Police Department (NDPD) and ceasing the University’s investment in private prisons and detention centers.In regards to defunding the NDPD, Morejón said the group acknowledged it could be “a contentious demand.”However, they believe a reform is necessary due to the “the nature and history of policing in the United States,” Donahue said, and their “over-reliance” on weapons.“We believe that a large portion of NDPD’s responsibilities such as handling drunk students and monitoring for alcohol consumption could be handled by strategies that do not disproportionately impact students of color,” Donahue said.To bolster action to meet such objectives, the organizers collaborated with other students working in organizations like Notre Dame Socially Responsible Investing (ND SRI) and the Black Student Association (BSA), which have previously advocated for these goals.ND SRI was founded in the spring of 2019 in order to “introduce a socially responsible investment option to faculty and staff 403(b) retirement funds to avoid current investment in privatized prisons,” junior Madeline Whitney, one of ND SRI’s founders, said.As stated in Notre Dame’s Office of Human Resources’ webpage, the University’s faculty and staff must participate in the University of Notre Dame’s 403(b) Retirement plan “upon meeting the one-year-of-service eligibility period of employment.”This mandatory plan, in which 95% of all faculty and staff invest their retirement money, is a mutual fund comprised of different stocks run by Vanguard, one of the world’s largest investment companies.Among the stocks which make up the mutual fund are CoreCivic and GEO Group, two of the largest private prison and detention center corporations in the nation, which respectively own 120 and 125 facilities across the U.S.Whitney said investing in these corporations represents a “massive violation” to Notre Dame’s Catholic values, which include the “utmost protection of life and dignity of the human person.”“As institutions that run for profit, there is a strong incentive to fill each bed and keep people locked up for longer in abhorrent, inhumane conditions,” Whitney said. “Through their investment, our faculty and staff are directly profiting off these human bodies.”Lapsley said he was “taken by surprise” by the University’s investment in CoreCivic and GEO Group, and only became aware about it through the strike.“The University has a whole investment strategy,” Lapsley said. “It’s very complicated and most faculty have no idea where retirement funds are being invested, we just don’t. So there’s a lot of details of that we’re not privy to.”However, he said after learning about this situation, he expected more faculty members would demand change.“I do hope there is some faculty pressure or some way that we can address the issue,” Lapsley said. “The money should be invested in ways that reflect Notre Dame values, that should be the guiding light.”Through the strike, Whitney said she not only hoped to raise awareness about this situation, but also increase social justice at Notre Dame.“The strike is for so much more than just advocating for a socially responsible investment option, and I believe it will achieve its goals of standing in solidarity and bringing awareness to racial inequality on campus,” Whitney said.Building momentum for future changeThe strike was a one-day event; however, Donahue, McCans and Morejón said they hope it will spark change.“This can’t just be a one-and-done effort,” Morejón said. “If we want to go beyond performative activism, this has to be a catalyst for sustained and meaningful action once the day is over tomorrow.”Student body president, senior Rachel Ingal, was inspired to participate in the strike and said she hoped the University would be on the forefront of fighting racism.“I have been amazed to watch this movement grow and see student organizers take the helm to hold Notre Dame to a higher standard, and I wanted to help them build momentum for this cause,” Ingal said. “It is important to capitalize on the current conversation around racial justice to enact real change, and I would hope that Notre Dame could be a leader on this front the way we once were.”Ingalsaid she is looking forward to work “hand in hand” with other student activists, and that their demands would be addressed in conversations throughout her administration’s mandate.“I see it as my responsibility to show solidarity and support for these grassroots movements, and I have been grateful to have already had such fruitful dialogue with some of the student leaders involved in today’s strike,” Ingal said. “We will remain in dialogue throughout the year on how to further their vision, and we hope to bring these goals to other bodies like the student senate as well.”Even though the current climate is marked with ongoing protests and instances of intolerance, Lapsley said he was was inspired by the younger generation and said he felt optimistic about its ability to produce significant change.“I think your generation is probably more tolerant than any generation of my experience, so I actually have enormous confidence in the transformative power of your generation, and I say that sincerely,” he said. “I think your generation is not going to put up with the nonsense that my generation did.”Tags: Black lives matter, NDPD, Notre Dame Socially Responsible Investing, Strike for Black Lives Ever since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers in May, people all over the country have taken to the streets to speak out against racism. Inspired by this pursuit for racial equality, a group of students planned the Notre Dame Strike for Black Lives, a virtual demonstration seeking to increase awareness about racial injustice, which took place Monday.According to a statement multiple students and organizations posted on social media, students were encouraged to enter their courses’ Zoom links and share a message in the chat stating the aims of the strike. Then, they would log off Zoom and spend their class time researching and learning more about racial justice at Notre Dame and around the world.The demonstration’s organizers, seniors Annie Morejón and Mary Killeen McCans and junior Duncan Donahue, said they chose spearheaded this initiative to allow for increased student participation while shedding light on current issues.“We began conceptualizing what a student strike might look like and what the aims of our strike would be,” Morejón said. “We figured out what kind of demonstration would be most accessible to those who would want to participate and meaningful in raising awareness.”Students wishing to protest could submit a form expressing their interest in order to receive further information. Donahue said 260 students had registered their email addresses, but that some hundred more had shared information about the strike in their social media profiles. According to McCans, more than 800 people read their Student Strike for Black Lives document.Because the strike called for students to leave their classes, McCans said they encouraged participants to reach out to their professors beforehand.“Our goal is to get in the way of normal routines and bring awareness of issues to professors and students, not to derail lesson plans,” McCans said.Daniel Lapsley, a professor in the Department of Psychology, said he was given notice of the initiative with a politeness he deemed “characteristic of Notre Dame students.”“They informed me that they were going to have this strike. I was nonplussed by it — in fact, I rather encourage it,” Lapsley said. “I’d like to see some student activism, you know, I always encourage student activism in political matters and matters of justice and fairness.”As a teenager during the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Era, Lapsley said he witnessed similar unrest when he was growing up. Yet the current movement’s scope seems broader to him, and he said he hopes students will continue to advocate for justice.“I’ve never witnessed something like this since the ‘60s, and it’s galvanized the whole country. And I’m glad to see it’s galvanizing Notre Dame students,” Lapsley said. “I’d be frankly a little disappointed in the student body if the movement towards racial justices somehow didn’t resonate with our own students, who are brought up on a steady diet of Catholic social teaching.”Provost Marie Lynn Miranda also informed faculty members of the strike on Sunday night. In an email to faculty, Miranda said her aim was to “give [faculty] the opportunity to think about how [they] might handle/respond to the situation if it arises in [their] classrooms.”According to Lapsley, this was a “friendly” email sent to give professors notice about the event. As such, he found reassurance about discussing the strike’s objectives with his students.“I felt good about sharing the four agenda items with my class, which I did because the Provost shared it, so it gave me license to engage further. I thought was very helpful,” Lapsley said.Moreover, Patricia Culligan, Dean of the College of Engineering, made faculty members in the College aware of the Monday demonstration, and asked to consider recording classes so those participating in the strike would not be disadvantaged.Culligan said efforts to promote racial justice on campus are crucial.“The importance of cultivating an anti-racist culture in our college and on our campus cannot be overstated, and I thank everyone for the efforts they are lending to this vital mission,” Culligan wrote in an email to faculty.last_img read more

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