Students robbed at gunpoint

first_img Their possessions have not yet been recovered. South Bend Police took serial numbers of the electronic devices, one of the students said. If the burglars take the computers to a pawnshop, the serial numbers will be checked and police will be notified. Two of the students own the home, but homeowner’s insurance only has a $2,000 deductible; he said they would not likely recover all $3,000 worth of stolen items. All three residents were in the home on the 1100 Block of East Sorin Street at the time, but only one was downstairs when two men rang the doorbell and entered the home. One of them had a rifle. The Office of Student Affairs contacted all three students and offered aid in finding alternative housing options, but they said will continue to live on East Sorin Street. Three Notre Dame students were robbed at gunpoint in their off-campus home Thursday night and, according to one of the students, lost $3,000 worth of possessions. “I’d never felt unsafe in my own house,” he said. “I’ve talked to neighbors and it just seems like … they say this is the worst that it’s ever been.” According to South Bend Police logs, the robbery was a home invasion and robbery by suspects armed with a rifle.  Another student, a Notre Dame junior, was already on the ground in the kitchen, he said, while the other, a senior, was not on the ground floor and was unaware of the invasion. The two burglars repeatedly asked where the money was and went upstairs to take several possessions before leaving the house, the student said.  Police arrived at the house four to five minutes after they were called, another one of the victims said. Several police officers responded, looked for fingerprints and took pictures. He said he found the police to be very helpful after the robbery, but would like to see more police presence in his neighborhood. “When I came down I saw a man with a rifle on my couch looking through things,” he said. “I asked the guy what he was doing there. He told me to get on the ground immediately … so I got down on the ground.” The police log lists a cell phone, wallet, backpack, two iPods and three computers among the stolen items. Two of the residents also lived at the home during the 2009-10 school year. One of them said neighbors say there have been numerous robberies on their street, but they always felt comfortable living there. “Overall I think they might need maybe one or two more squad cars to patrol the streets where students live,” he said.  As a result of the incident, one of the victims said he would advise all students who live off campus to take extra security measures, such as keeping doors locked — even while at home — and not walking alone at night. The residents have taken new security precautions, however. One of them said they are changing the locks on their doors and adding an extra security code to their security system so the police are called immediately. One of the victims, a second-year law student, said he had gone upstairs for a moment when he heard the doorbell ring. The Observer will not name the three students because they are victims of a crime.  “Those are little things that we sometimes ignore but can make a big difference if there are people out there willing to hurt Notre Dame students,” he said. “I would just say don’t take anything for granted. South Bend has a lot to offer but at the same time it’s not the most safe area.”last_img read more

Poorman appointed to Portland

first_imgFr. Mark Poorman has been appointed executive vice president and associate professor of theology at the University of Portland, effective July 2011. Poorman, associate professor of theology and former vice president for Student Affairs at Notre Dame, said he is “grateful, honored and excited to accept the invitation to serve the University of Portland as executive vice president.” The University of Portland, a Catholic university in Oregon, has been closely affiliated for more than a century with the Congregation of Holy Cross in South Bend, Ind. Poorman’s administrative responsibilities will include management oversight of the divisions of University operations, financial affairs, University relations and student affairs, he said. “Specifically, the vice presidents who lead all those divisions will report to me and I will support them so they can be as effective as possible in their service to the University,” he said. “Of course, as a priest I will be involved in the pastoral mission of the University.” Poorman said the faculty at the University of Portland is centered around students, and the Catholic character of the institution is evident in many dimensions of the school’s academic and community life.  “The University of Portland is interested in educating the whole person — intellectually, emotionally and spiritually — something to which I’ve devoted my priesthood and religious life,” he said. “So it’s a good fit.”  Poorman served as vice president for Student Affairs from 1999 to 2010. In this position, he was responsible for a $25 million annual budget and 300 staff members. His administrative duties involved supervising Notre Dame’s residential life as well as other student services, activities and programs, including Campus Ministry, Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP), the Student Activities Office (SAO), the Counseling Center, Health Services, the Career Center, the Office of Alcohol and Drug Education, the Gender Relations Center and Multicultural and International Student Services. He stepped down from his position as vice president in November 2009, effective June 30. “During his tenure as vice president, Poorman led the Division of Student Affairs through a period of growth and development in numerous areas, including the integration of academics and residential life, the enhancement of programs and activities contributing to campus social life, ongoing efforts to welcome and retain a diverse student body and continuous improvement of a broad range of student services,” a press release said. Poorman also oversaw the construction of Ryan and Duncan residence halls, the Coleman-Morse Center, Hammes-Mowbray Hall, Legends of Notre Dame and the renovation of St. Liam Hall. Prior to his appointment as vice president, Poorman served at Notre Dame as executive assistant to the executive vice president and the president. Poorman graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Illinois, and earned his master of divinity degree from Notre Dame. He was ordained a priest in 1982, and his first assignment after ordination was to come to Notre Dame to serve as rector of Dillon Hall, associate director of Campus Ministry, and instructor in theology. He then pursued graduate studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, where he earned a Ph.D. in Christian Ethics. After earning his Ph.D., Poorman returned to the Notre Dame theology department to serve full-time on the faculty. One of Poorman’s most significant experiences at Notre Dame, he said, has been serving as priest-in-residence in Keough Hall. He has lived in Keough since 1996, the year the dorm opened. “I have always considered the pastoral presence of Holy Cross in the residence halls to be one of the best features of our higher education institutions, and surely one of the most rewarding ministries in the Congregation,” he said. Poorman said living with students enhances his understandings of his other roles. He plans to live in a residence hall at the University of Portland. “It has kept me very close to the experiences of students and has afforded me a perspective that informed my roles as faculty, staff and administration and indeed, my vocation as a priest,” he said. “Leaving Keough will be one of the most difficult separations I’ll have to make in moving to Portland. The community we have there is special, even by Notre Dame’s high standards.” Poorman said he looks forward to serving the University of Portland, because it is a Holy Cross institution dedicated to teaching and learning, faith and formation, as well as service and leadership. “University of Portland embodies the same Holy Cross charisma of ‘educating in the faith’ as our other schools: Notre Dame, Stonehill College, King’s College and St. Edward’s University,” he said. Poorman said in all of these places, members of the Congregation serve as faculty, staff, administrators and pastoral ministers. “Our hope is that we are able, through the grace of God, to be agents of formation and transformation for students and others,” he said.last_img read more

Saint Mary’s joins Cristo Rey national partnership

first_imgThe Cristo Rey Network announced Jan. 18 that Saint Mary’s College is among its list of 14 National University Partners. As a National University Partner, Saint Mary’s has teamed up with the Cristo Rey Network of 24 high schools across the country to ensure that low-income students have an equal opportunity of obtaining a secondary education. “The partnerships demonstrate Cristo Rey’s ongoing commitment to ensure that all of the graduates of its network high schools have access to the academic, social and financial supports they need to complete a college degree,” Saint Mary’s media contact Gwen O’Brien said in a press release. As part of this partnership, Saint Mary’s sends admission counselors to recruit at nearly all of the network high schools. “This means we work with the network, the high school personnel and other partners in opening doors to postsecondary education to their students,” Mona Bowe, vice president of Enrollment Management, said. “But it goes beyond that,” Bowe said. “We participate in the annual Summit, where we can exchange ideas with the guidance counselors and learn from them about their students and their success stories.” According to Bowe, Saint Mary’s alumnus Janae Renteria is now the guidance counselor for one of the Cristo Rey High Schools in Tucson, Ariz. The college is very proud and honored to say they sponsored her to attend a national conference last fall. Saint Mary’s involvement with the Cristo Rey Network stems back even before the Network’s launch in 2001. Bowe said she visited the original Cristo Rey High School in the 1990s. “As I learned more about the high school, and about the network as it was formed, I realized how close their goal and mission were to ours,” Bowe said. “In particular, these caught my eye: learning in a context of faith, rigorous Catholic secondary education and a real world Corporate Work Study.” Saint Mary’s Office of Admissions has enrolled a number of Cristo Rey students at the College, who have contributed their diverse views to the developing community. Bowe said she is proud to note the contributions of the Cristo Rey students, and also expressed that the college gives the students something in return. “The partnership gives us the best of both worlds,” she said. “We [offer] Cristo Rey students an outstanding Catholic education paired with women’s leadership development, and in return, we get some of their best and brightest women to join our community of learners, and their experiences enrich our community.”last_img read more

Transfers acclimate to Notre Dame customs

first_imgNotre Dame’s 2013 transfer orientation, led by former transfer students Joseph Ragukonis and Heather Bartlow, welcomed 129 new Domers this past week during a four-day orientation. Ragukonis said the purpose of transfer orientation is to make transfer students’ transition into the Notre Dame family as smooth as possible.  “Our goal during orientation is focused on helping them adjust to Notre Dame, the community and making new friends right from the start,” Ragukonis said. “We especially emphasize what is special and unique to Notre Dame and show them that even though they are transfer students, they are just as much a part of the University as everyone else.” Bartlow said the Transfer-O committee is aware transfer students come to Notre Dame already having had some college experience, and therefore the program focuses more on orienting students with their new school.  There are many challenges that come with transferring to a brand new school, Ragukonis said, including a change in academic difficulty and adjusting to a new college experience while your peers have already settled into life at Notre Dame. “Transfer students who come to Notre Dame have left everything they have worked hard to achieve at their old school in order to attend a new school where they must adjust to different academic expectations, a different social environment and a new campus,” Bartlow said. Transfer students are also offered last pick of classes, which can make it difficult to build an optimal schedule, and they can have trouble meeting peers who have already formed their friend groups during freshman year, she said. “To help alleviate any challenges, we keep open as many lines of communication as possible so that the new transfers can seek our help if they want,” Ragukonis said. “We also make clear that everyone at Notre Dame is happy to help them with a transition.” Bartlow said the orientation involves many social events, such as a welcome mass, a campus tour, a scavenger hunt, a trip to the Indiana dunes, a field day and a grotto visit to help the students make friends and feel comfortable in their new environment.  “My favorite part of the orientation was the grotto visit,” Bartlow said. “A few of the committee members gave a brief history, led a prayer and shared a personal reflection with the new students. I think this event gave students the opportunity to bond in a unique way due to their shared experiences.” She said the grotto visit allowed students to reflect on their journey to Notre Dame, and each student received a specially made Transfer-O candle, which the students could light at the grotto.  The Football 101 program, held Friday afternoon, was a favorite for Ragukonis.  “During Football 101 we were able to get one of the leprechauns and cheerleaders to help teach the new transfer class the cheers and other aspects that make up game days on campus,” he said. “That was definitely one of the best parts.” Students also meet with advisors to aid in scheduling their classes and can choose to “Adopt-a-Dorm” if they are living off campus, to connect them with an on-campus hall, she said. “The Transfer-O Committee understands what it is like to transfer to Notre Dame since each member has been in the exact same shoes as the incoming students,” Bartlow said. Knowing what the transfer students were going through during the program was a huge motivator in her decision to lead the program, Ragukonis said.  “My previous two experiences of Transfer-O, both as a new transfer student and last year as a transfer orientation committee member, were two of the most amazing experiences of my life,” he said. “I wanted to be co-commissioner so that I could have a change to make the new transfer class have as great an experience as I had, at the University that I love.” Bartow said she received excellent feedback at the events and was very thankful for the support of their fellow committee leaders. “We had great attendance at all of our events throughout the four-day orientation, and every new student I talked to said they enjoyed it,” Ragukonis said. “I know it went well when multiple new transfers were asking me how they could go about getting on the orientation committee in the future.”last_img read more

Author provides insights on dignity

first_imgProfessor Christopher McCrudden of Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland offered his insights on the difficult concept of human dignity to students and faculty on Tuesday.McCrudden’s lecture centered on his book, “Understanding Human Dignity,” and took place at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.McCrudden said the subject of his book is difficult but regularly invoked in a variety of situations.“There are relatively few uncontroversial things that could be said about human dignity,” McCrudden said. “The very least that could be said about it is that the concept of human dignity has never been so omnipresent in everyday speech. It is frequently referred to in political, oral and legal discourse. … The power of the concept is unquestionable.”As pervasive as the concept of human dignity is, it can nevertheless be a point of contention, McCrudden said.“As dignity has become more pervasive, in particular, in human and constitutional rights, it has begun to lose its ‘fatherhood and apple pie’ innocence,” McCrudden said. “The greater scrutiny that dignity has been receiving, though, has resulted in a deep-veined skepticism.”McCrudden said the discussion of human dignity has immense academic and real-world impact and consequences, mainly in the sciences and in human rights.“[There are] two areas [in which] the criticisms of dignity are particularly intense, not to say, vitriolic,” McCrudden said. “First, dignity is seen as placing limits on some developments in areas of scientific pursuit. … Critics of the use of human dignity in the life sciences see dignity as a conversation-stopper.”There has also been pushback against the idea of human dignity by some people who stand for particular human rights, McCrudden said.“Some see human dignity as undermining, for example, the American conceptions of freedom of speech, sometimes when it is being used to prohibit speech, namely hate speech,” he said. “Others, more numerous, I think, see human dignity as a Trojan horse for religiously-inspired attacks on various other aspects of liberalism, such as equality or justifying attacks on autonomy — the power of choice.”McCrudden said his book attempts to rationalize and discuss the place of human dignity, even in the areas of contention.“The purpose of this book, despite its length, is not to be the last word on [this] subject. … That is not the point. That’s why the discussion should take the book as a launch pad to start over,” McCrudden said.The lecture was sponsored by the Kellogg Institute for International Study.Tags: Christopher McCrudden, Hesburgh Center for International Studies, Human Dignity, Kellogg Institute, Understanding Human Dignitylast_img read more

SMC hosts visiting artists in Moreau Art Galleries

first_imgBecki Jeren | The Observer Students from Saint Mary’s observe artwork displayed in the Moreau Art Galleries during last Wednesday’s exhibit.Wednesday evening, the Moreau Art Galleries at Saint Mary’s highlighted a new exhibit titled “Impermanence,” featuring works by artists Gwenessa Lam and Dana Heeyun Jang.Jang’s series of work, “Presence of Light,” uses photography to capture the physical sense of light that is normally unseen, the artistic statement in the gallery brochure said.Furthermore, the statement said, her work “captures sunlight coming through the historic Chicago Building which is situated on the zero point of Chicago. With long shutter speed and subtle choreographic gestures of the photographer, this series attempts to capture the subliminal essence of sunlight.”Lam’s works used oil paints to depict different angles of shadows.According to the event brochure, Lam explores “the intersection between the perception, memory and representation of place. Drawing from notions of the uncanny, [Lam’s] paintings depict darkened interiors and shadows removed from their everyday context. … In [Lam’s] artwork, furniture pieces and tableaux are distorted, rendering them amorphous or anthropomorphic.”Ian Weaver, assistant professor of art, said he was fascinated by both artists’ unconventional approach toward form.“I don’t typically see work that’s formless. And both of Lam’s and Jang’s works complement each other, depicting a nontraditional sense of the physical world,” Weaver said.Elise deSomer, a junior at Saint Mary’s majoring in art and English literature, said she appreciated the overall theme of the display.“I think that the overall theme ‘Impermanence’ really captures the feeling when words can’t really describe something—almost like sand slipping through your fingers,” deSomer said. “I really appreciate the minimalism of the artists’ visions and how well it works with the atmosphere of [the Moreau Art Galleries].”“The artists’ work is more modern, and it’s great to see a caliber like this. … It’s an opportunity to broaden the artwork here for the community,” she said.Weaver said he is very enthusiastic about this year’s show and hopes it will involve the South Bend community.“One of my goals is to expand in South Bend and to work with different school groups, libraries and churches — the civic community — in order to not just display our own works,” Weaver said.Weaver said he is excited about the current exhibit and bringing the community to Saint Mary’s to broaden the range of artwork.“I’m hoping to get more people here from both campuses and in the South Bend area. One of my goals is to expand in South Bend and to work with different school groups, libraries, and churches,” he said.Weaver invited teenagers from the area to display their artwork in a “pop up show”on Oct. 3 and 4, where the faculty will work with them to help produce their own work and then install their artwork in the gallery.“I want to expand the gallery to others to give [area teenagers] a chance,” Weaver said.The Moreau Art Galleries are open Monday through Friday, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The “Impermanence” exhibit will run until Oct. 2.Tags: Art Gallery, moreau art gallery, saint mary’slast_img read more

Saint Mary’s students celebrate Senior Week traditions

first_imgTo celebrate the bittersweet farewell to four years of college, Saint Mary’s seniors had the opportunity to participate in a series of events planned during the College’s Senior Week.One of the people in charge of planning these events was senior Sarah Connaughton, the president of class council.Connaughton said planning Senior Week has been a stressful yet enjoyable experience.“We had a Senior Week Committee that came together to help plan the various aspects and fundraising for the year,” Connaughton said. “We wanted to offer a nice mix of events in hopes that everyone can enjoy various aspects of the SMC community. A lot of people have put effort into making this week and we just want it to be a fun and relaxing week for all seniors to enjoy.”In the week approaching Commencement, seniors participated in a number of activities including an alumnae brunch, Belle tower tours, handprints in the tunnel and a final walk down the Avenue, Connaughton said.“Some of the events are more outgoing, but others are more reflective,” she said. “It’s special because it is a great way to appreciate all that SMC has given us during these past four years.”Connaughton said that she was most excited to add her handprint in the tunnel between Le Mans Hall and the Student Center.“I remember seeing those handprints from prior classes during my freshman year, so I am excited to make my own mark finally,” she said. “After the handprints, we have ‘Opening the Circle’ which is a tradition that pulls from the ‘Closing the Circle’ ceremony during freshman orientation. The last event of the day is ‘Party on the Island’ which will also be the last event of the week. It’s going to be a blast and it is the perfect way to end Senior Week with our fellow Belles.”The final walk down the Avenue as a class is typically a very emotional but beautiful moment for seniors, Connaughton said.Senior Allie Royce said this symbolic event is what she looked forward to most out of Senior Week.“The Avenue is obviously such a distinct part of Saint Mary’s and to be able to do one final walk with our entire class is a really meaningful tradition,” Royce said. “In a way, it’s the end of an era, so to be able to say goodbye with your best friends is so special. And then to add to the sentimental moment, we read letters from our family and friends. I know it’s going to be emotional, but I think it will be the part of Senior Week that sticks with me the most.”Royce said that although the week is all about “lasts,” she does not feel ready to say goodbye.“Saint Mary’s has been home for the past four years and there are so many little things I’ll miss about it, especially all of the people,” she said. “Sure, it’s sad and emotional to have that last walk down the Avenue, but I get more emotional when I’m reminded that my friends won’t be down the hall from me anymore.”Royce said even though this week feels sentimental and emotional, she was excited to spend it celebrating alongside her fellow graduating Belles.“I think these events are so special because it’s our time to celebrate our four years,” she said. “Within such a short amount of time, we’ve made so many memories, accomplished so much, overcome challenges and made a new place home. I love that we have an entire week as just seniors for one last go around.”Tags: Opening the Circle, SMC Senior Week, SMC Senior Week Committeelast_img read more

Professors debate free speech and protest

first_imgProfessors debated the role of the freedom of speech at public universities in a debate sponsored by the Notre Dame Student Chapter of the Federalist Society, American Civil Liberties Union and the Constitutional Studies Program Wednesday at Eck Hall of Law.Josh Blackman, a law professor at the South Texas College of Law, began the debate by sharing his own personal experience reconciling free speech with social protest. He said he was once protested by students while giving a lecture at the City University of New York (CUNY). The protest ultimately prevented from him from delivering his lecture, he said.Blackman said students protested his lecture because of his conservative views on topics such as President Donald Trump’s travel ban and DACA.“They were convinced that because of these positions. … I didn’t belong on their campus,” he said.The students’ belief in making their campus a safe space — a space free from prejudice — was what motivated them to protest against him, Blackman said.Blackman said although he believes the protest was organized with good intentions, it insulated students from hearing opinions different from their own.“Where I think they went awry was instead of presenting themselves in a way that challenged me and ask[ed] questions, they sought to shout them down,” he said. “And when I tried to engage them and ask them questions, they were utterly unable to effectively respond.”Instead, he said, colleges and universities ought to encourage those holding different opinions to engage in conversation with one another.“Law schools, I think, have an obligation, and all colleges have a duty, to expose their students to a wide range of perspectives,” he said.To do so, he said he believes guest speakers should be protected from protestors seeking to interrupt their presentations or antagonize them.“Why does a speaker need security?” he asked. “At CUNY, I was actually quite afraid.”Agustin Fuentes, a professor of anthropology at Notre Dame, followed Blackman. He said he acknowledged the importance of free speech but warned it can also be used as a tool of prejudice.“To understand why protests happen on campus, we have to understand the world in which we live,” he said. “The landscape of inequality is real. Discrimination is pervasive and powerful. Racism, sexism, bias and inequality create very unequal experiences and difference perceptions of and relationships with U.S.A. society.”He added that social protest is crucial because it is a significant way in which students today challenge inequality.“The current movement to speak up, speak out and not shut up — that is, to protest — is about opposing the intentional propagation of lies, misrepresentations and deliberate assertions that seek to deny or remove the rights of others,” he said.Fuentes also said he defended making campuses safe spaces because it offers protection to those who are victims of prejudice.“Freedom of speech does not mean that those individuals who are unfairly at risk for [hate] cannot be offered spaces of protection where they’re able to participate or engage with others in a context free of direct targeting,” he said.Fuentes said because freedom of speech risks harming victims of inequality, whether intentionally or unintentionally, discussions about free speech should not be made outside of the context of social prejudice.“If we engage in this conversation without thinking about context of all involved, if we think there is some bottom line that no matter what, words cannot do the damage, I think we’re really short selling what words do,” he said.Tags: ACLU, Constitutional Studies Program, Debate, Free speechlast_img read more

Woman, activist, mother series wraps up with panel dedicated to activism balance

first_imgSaint Mary’s invited Dalila Huerta, Lety Stanton-Verduzco and Ameenah Starks to speak at its final woman, activist, mother panel Tuesday night. Each woman plays a vital role in activism within the South Bend community.Huerta currently works at La Casa de Amistad as the education and community programs coordinator and said her work is dedicated to cultural equity, decolonization and critical multicultural pedagogy. Stanton-Verduzco serves as the recruiter trainer for the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program of St. Joseph County.Starks is the assistant director of the Bowen Center in LaPorte County and works at the Islamic Society of Michiana, where she implements new programs to help reduce the stigma around Muslims in the Michiana community.Each panelist explained how her professional life has heavily influenced her life as an activist. “I have always been a museum arts educator,” Huerta said. “It was right after the [2016 Presidential] election and I was feeling motivated to do a little more within my job. I really wanted to build a relationship with students and at this time there was a job opening at La Casa de Amistad.” Huerta said she felt this would be an opportunity to build deeper relationships with students. “Another thing I really loved about this job opportunity was its commitment to community work and social justice,” she said. “So, bringing and building communities and advocating not just for South Bend but the greater Latinx population here in the United States.”Huerta said it was a big adjustment to pursue a career that wasn’t what she had studied in graduate school. “I do love that I get to do, through my job, a lot of things that I care about the most,” she said.Starks said it is hard for her to separate her life as an activist from her professional life.“Working in the community I began to see different types of people,” she said. “I would just become connected with rich people, poor people in various phases of their lives that were struggling in some situation. It always amazed me because I had just gone through that thing that they were struggling with.”Starks said she turned to God to guide her through her life. “I never planned this path for myself,” she said. “It’s kind of like I’ve been led to everything that I’ve done.”Stanton-Verduzco said her focus was working with children who she believed to be most vulnerable, especially because they can’t advocate for themselves.“I loved working with kids,” she said, “But I realized I only have them from 2:30 to 6:00. I can’t control anything before 2:30 and I can’t control anything after 6:00.”She realized that no matter how she helped them during that time frame, if situations surrounding the children didn’t change she wasn’t helping them as much as she wanted to.“Everything became ‘How do I incorporate what I’m doing to make it better for the families,’” Stanton-Verduzco said. “We started having things like family nights and encouraging parents to come and participate. I saw these little things impacting something greater than just those three hours I had with those kids.”Stanton-Verduzco realized there was a great need in the community and began to bring other people in the community together to train other people in advocating for children. The panelists closed with advice about balancing life, self care and activism.“I think it’s important to be with someone that supports what you do,” Stanton-Verduzco said. “It’s not that we have the same focus or passion, but we have the same values. If I am doing something in the evening, I know it’s not a burden to my family.”Huerta said being mindful helps her in balancing her life.“Make sure you’re doing something valuable and contributing to something,” she said. “I also realize I can’t do everything and it’s okay to say no.”Starks said keeping herself organized is the biggest contributor in a balanced life.“It usually becomes color-coded to let me know what is my time, what is work time and what other times I need to fill in,” she said. “Every month I go and look at what I have done. I have made a commitment that I will work toward my goal.” Tags: activism, Mother, saint mary’s, work-life balancelast_img read more

Boyle delivers address, senators discuss election resolutions

first_imgElizabeth Boyle, a senior and student body president, delivered the annual State of the Student Union address to the student senate Monday night. The senate also discussed potential election reforms before the next election cycle begins in the spring semester. Boyle extended congratulations and thanks to the senate for their performance this semester so far before moving onto significant events from the semester relating to residential policy.“We started off the year with an announcement of new residential life changes, specifically the updates to the ID swipe policy.  I would like to specifically thank the Sophomore Class Council for the incredible leadership you have all stepped up to and for taking this conversation on,” she said. “The senate as well has been engaged with this since Day One by passing resolutions, bringing forth questions from their constituents and forming committees to come up with creative solutions. Additionally, on the executive cabinet end, our co-directors of student life, Abby Smith and Connor Whittle, have done a phenomenal job of expanding student engagement with administration specifically on the topic of residential life at Notre Dame.”Boyle also had high praise regarding recent efforts to be more inclusive on campus.“I have noticed an incredible growth in the way we as a student body truly embody the spirit of what it means to be Notre Dame— from an incredibly impactful Race Relations week hosted by Diversity Council and our director of Diversity and Inclusion Kenzie Issaac, to an increase in more inclusive student club like Acess-ABLE and even the physical presence of more ally stickers, pins and signs around campus, I feel that we are truly moving in a better direction,” Boyle said.She also commented on the administration’s efforts to create several new departments.“The executive cabinet added two new departments — Student Empowerment and Sustainability. We have been working more closely with NDPD to provide students with Know Your Rights materials, we have expanded campus access to the NYTimes,” she said. “Our director of Gender Relations Anne Jarrett has helped ensure that all student leaders will be GreeNDot trained, and our department of Community Engagement and Outreach led by Alex Yom has helped to redefine what it means to be a neighbor to the South Bend community.”Boyle also condemned recent incidents of hate speech on campus.“As we have discussed in senate, recent issues of hate targeted at members of our community, and specifically LGBTQ members of our Notre Dame community are repulsive and inexcusable. I decided to run for office in the first place because I want to make Notre Dame a home for all and I will continue to do that, but I cannot do that alone,” Boyle said. “It will take a coordinated effort of students, faculty, staff and administrators to push Notre Dame to be the truly Catholic — universal and accepting — place it was meant to be.”Boyle wrapped up her address calling for senators to rededicate themselves to their legislative duties next semester.“I challenge you to come back from this break with an intention to create policy and programming that will broaden what it means to be Notre Dame,” she said.Following the address, the senators switched their focus to discussing election reforms before the upcoming semester begins. The topic at hand was about the rules surrounding enumerated officials’ ability to endorse candidates.As of now, no person who was elected to serve in the Student Union may endorse a candidate, but certain officials who were appointed to their office are allowed to do so. This resolution sought to change that distinction for the following positions in the student union: Student Union secretary, parliamentarian, executive controller, Executive Cabinet department directors and Judicial Council president.Some senators had questions about the rules surrounding endorsements in the first place and their necessity.“What was the rationale behind stopping endorsements in the first place?” Keegan McArdle, a sophomore senator from Dunne Hall, said. “I don’t see why we have to stop it.”Samuel Delmer, a sophomore senator from the Dillon community in Baumer Hall, was one of the sponsors of the resolution and spoke about fairness as the catalyst for the resolution.“The rationale is to stop the divisiveness and make it more fair in an election,” Delmer said.There were some brief questions about self-endorsements by enumerated officials running for a different office. Patrick McGuire, a junior and the student body vice president, spoke about his personal experience running for office while a member of the Hall President Council.“I couldn’t say at Hall Council because I was Siegfried president that I’m also running for vice president, and you can’t in anyway imply that your office entitles you to the endorsement,” he said.Some senators expressed opposition to the current rules governing endorsements.“I personally think that’s kind of dumb that being at hall council just by the factor of being president that you can’t say to your hall ‘Hey I’m running.’ That seems to be an overly cumbersome restriction on your endorsement,” McArdle said. “You’re not necessarily using your office in that situation, so this might need to be revised further for exceptions like that.”It is tradition for the senate to propose electoral reform before the next semester begins as any legislation passed on electoral reform in the spring semester will not apply to that term’s elections. Because of this and the fact that senate was not available to meet again before January, some members of the senate wanted to pass the resolution so that the rules were the same across the board for the Student Union.However, after the discussion of the endorsement rules, the resolution failed to receive a majority and was rejected by the senate, one of the first resolutions of the year to be voted on and fail to pass.After this resolution’s failure, the senate moved two resolutions to order and passed both with minimal questions and discussion. The first resolution allowed the Judicial Council president and the advisor to the Judicial Council to help the vice president of elections decide if allegations of electoral misconduct are valid. The second resolution fixed a spelling error in the Constitution.The student senate will meet again in the spring to pursue new policy.Tags: Elizabeth Boyle, ND student senate, Patrick McGuire, Student government electionslast_img read more