ND science professor dies at 64

first_imgJ. Keith Rigby, Jr., associate professor of civil engineering and geological sciences, died Saturday at his South Bend home. He was 64. Rigby, a paleontologist, joined Notre Dame’s faculty in 1982 and taught courses in physical geology, historical geology, environmental geology, sedimentation and stratigraphy, according to a University press release. During his time as a professor, Rigby won the Teacher of the Year award from Sorin Hall as well as the College of Engineering. He also won the Distinguished Scholar award from the College of Science. Rigby also had numerous accomplishments in the field of paleontology. Most notably, in 1997, Rigby led a team of volunteers on a paleontological expedition in northeast Montana and the group unearthed a massive fossilized skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus widely regarded as the largest such specimen ever found. The Salt Lake City native was a graduate of Brigham Young University and earned master’s and doctoral degrees in geology from Columbia University. He is survived by his wife, Susan, and six children. Visitation will be held Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Welsheimer Family Funeral Home in South Bend, and one hour prior to the funeral service, which will take place Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Mishawaka.last_img read more

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Charity work empowers girls abroad

first_imgSaint Mary’s junior Mileva Brunson hoped to bring global education from the halls of the College to women in need around the world. As president of the Saint Mary’s College chapter of She’s the First, Brunson is now able to do just that. She’s The First is a non-profit organization that sponsors girls’ education in the developing world through social media and student leadership so they can be the first in their families to graduate from secondary school, Brunson said. “I found out about She’s the First through my women’s studies course last year,” Brunson said. “For my final paper I researched girls’ education in developing countries which is how I learned about She’s The First.” After conducting research, Brunson said she wanted to get Saint Mary’s involved with the organization. “Notre Dame already had a chapter so I knew it was possible for Saint Mary’s to create a chapter with She’s the First where students would be very interested,” she said. “While I was abroad in Rome last spring, I began the process of creating a chapter on campus.” Speaking with the Student Involvement Office at Saint Mary’s led Brunson back to her women’s studies professor, she said. Brunson said her professor helped her to find an advising faculty member for the club while Brunson worked on getting together a small team comprised of herself as the president with a vice president and secretary to assist her while she was abroad. “I had sent out a school-wide email through the Student Government Office on campus and received such a great response from the students here,” Brunson said. Every semester, the Saint Mary’s chapter of She’s the First will hold an event to raise funds for the girls they sponsor, Brunson said. “Our first fundraiser will be a cupcake bake-off, much like the one that Notre Dame’s chapter holds, in October,” she said. “Lindsay Brown, the president of the chapter at Notre Dame, began the cupcake bake-off which has become a national campaign for She’s the First.” Brunson said she and Brown have been in contact with hopes to combine efforts with She’s the First to create larger events between the two campuses. Tammy Tibbetts, founder and president of She’s the First, said she was impressed by the work Brown and Brunson have done on their campuses. “I’m so proud of the global impact students in Indiana are making through She’s the First. Both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame, led by Mileva Brunson and Lindsay Brown, respectively, are using social media (and creative fundraising ideas, like cupcakes) to collectively change girls’ lives around the world,” Tibbetts said. “They are using their own access to higher education to pay it forward to girls who are simply striving to complete a basic education – an idea we hope continues to spread across their campuses and the state.” Brunson said she wants to see her chapter succeed. “With this being our first semester, I hope to have a good response from the girls so we can create a strong club foundation,” Brunson said. “My goal for She’s the First is to raise campus-wide awareness for our cause.” If even one girl can receive a chance for education, the boundaries are limitless, Brunson said. “Not only [is She’s the First a] great opportunity to reach out to global students, but to take the opportunity of our education at SMC and educate other girls around the world,” she said. For more information on She’s the First, contact Mileva Brunson at [email protected],Editor’s Note: This article has been edited to correct an incorrect quote about Brown’s work to establish a girls’ soccer team in Cambodia. The next cover girl for Seventeen magazine might be a familiar face. Senior Lindsay Brown has been named a finalist for Seventeen’s second-annual “Pretty Amazing Contest,” and the winner will be put on the cover of the magazine’s October issue. Brown said the contest rewards girls who have been doing exceptional work. “Each year Seventeen puts a real girl on the cover to celebrate the accomplishments of one of the readers that has done something that they say is ‘pretty amazing,’” Brown said. “It can be anything from … charity work or an athletic accomplishment or dance.” In addition to appearing on the cover of Seventeen Magazine, the winner also receives $20,000 toward her work and tours the world giving speeches on behalf of Seventeen, Brown said. Brown said she found out about the contest from the president of the non-profit She’s the First, an organization that sponsors girls’ tuition in impoverished areas; she was working for She’s the First at the time. “My friend in New York City who’s the president of She’s the First found out about it on Twitter …. and she forwarded it onto me,” she said. “It was due April 30th, and I never really got around to it until the last day.” Brown said she started working for She’s the First her sophomore year by running a simple bake sale with the help of her then-teammates on the Notre Dame women’s soccer team to raise money for tuition at a girls’ school in Nepal. “I went on the Nepal website and emailed the founder,” she said. “It was really cool talking to her and telling her, ‘Oh, my soccer team helped me raise the money,’ and she used to play soccer. We instantly hit it off.” This experience led Brown to start her own non-profit, the S.E.G.W.A.Y. project, which stands for “Soccer Empowering Girls Worldwide and You.” “It kind of worked out that it stands for that because when I got to Nepal, the girls … were just so timid, reserved and shy,” Brown said. “I was telling my mom, ‘What good is it to have them in the classroom if they’re not leaders in the community?’ That’s when I realized soccer can be used to teach confidence and leadership so they can segue into community leaders.” Brown said she was amazed by the impact the soccer team had on that Nepali village. “The boys really started respecting the girls when they realized, ‘Oh, they can play soccer,’” she said. “It was weird. [These are] things we don’t think about, but in their community it’s ground-breaking.” So far, the S.E.G.W.A.Y. project has launched three girls’ soccer teams in Nepal and is expanding to other countries, Brown said. “I’m creating one in Cambodia,” she said. “We’re also partnered with a team in Kenya. Our goal is to help them fund their team trip to a tournament in Minnesota next July.” Brown said she hopes the Pretty Amazing Contest will create publicity for her organization and inspire other girls to make efforts to perform service. “I hope girls can realize that something as simple as a bake sale can make a huge impact on a girl’s life,” she said. Brown said the contest’s results should be announced within the next two weeks.last_img read more

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Fr. Ted stressed academic integrity in athletics

first_imgPhoto courtesy of University Archives Sixty years ago, well before the advent of ESPN, conference realignment and a playoff, the college football system faced many of the same questions it does today regarding the role of student-athletes in university life, the balance between academics and athletics and the need for institutional integrity in the face of big-time college sports.Sixty years ago, a university president just two years into his job wrote an article for a fledgling sports magazine addressing such college football-related issues.The president was Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, the magazine was Sports Illustrated, and the views Hesburgh set forth would come to define his and Notre Dame’s view of intercollegiate athletics for the next three decades of his term and beyond.In the Sept. 27, 1954, issue of Sports Illustrated — the seventh ever produced for the magazine that now has more than three million subscribers and was the first to feature a college football player on its cover — Hesburgh, who had recently started his term as Notre Dame president in June 1952, penned an article titled “The True Spirit of Notre Dame.”In it, Hesburgh espoused his views on intercollegiate athletics as a so-called “spectator” of the game, rather than as an expert. Early in the piece, Hesburgh made clear that administrators at Notre Dame are “in favor of intercollegiate athletics,” though with a few caveats.“I must add that we favor intercollegiate athletics within their proper dimensions,” Hesburgh said in the Sports Illustrated article. “It goes without saying that the proper dimensions should be those of university life and purposes.”To understand these dimensions, one must understand that college and professional athletics differ because college athletes must be students above all, Hesburgh wrote.According to Hesburgh, colleges can emphasize the role of the student-athlete by not admitting any student incapable of doing collegiate work, requiring athletes to follow the same academic requirements as other students, taking “no fresh-air courses” and giving athletes the same treatment in campus life matters as they would for other students.Hesburgh then set forth a framework governing how Notre Dame selects and treats its student-athletes. He noted that entrance requirements for athletes are the same as they are for everyone else at Notre Dame and that “many excellent athletes are not admitted because of their high school deficiencies.”Tommy Hawkins, who played basketball for the Irish from 1956 to 1959, said the admissions criteria for the University was particularly stringent, focusing on even more than grades and athletic ability.“That was a very sensitive time because the athletes who were chosen for scholarships were hand-picked at that time,” Hawkins said. “Their families were investigated; they wanted to see that people came from good families.“It just wasn’t how good you were as an athlete. Nobody said this to me, but I got the feeling that you had to clear the deck on a lot of different levels before you were extended a four-year scholarship to Notre Dame.”Dave Casper, who played tight end for the Irish football team between 1971 and 1973, said athletes knew of Hesburgh’s standards for them from the start of their careers.“I know that [Hesburgh] thought it was important to have a great athletics program, just as it was important to have everything … everything should be of excellence,” Casper said.Once athletes were enrolled at Notre Dame, their major focus was not to simply win a monogram but also to receive a diploma, Hesburgh said. Athletes had to stay eligible in order to do both, which required them to have a 77 percent academic average at the time, even above Notre Dame’s then-passing mark of 70 percent.Gerry Faust, who coached the Irish football team from 1981 to 1985, said Hesburgh was very resolute in what he considered his top goal for the football team.“He and [former University executive vice president] Fr. [Edmund P.] Joyce both felt the most important thing was that the young men graduate,” Faust said. “If they didn’t graduate, then they’re not fulfilling what the University is all about, so therefore they never took anybody that couldn’t make it academically.”The final main tenant on which student-athlete life at Notre Dame was based, Hesburgh wrote, was that athletes should “live a normal collegiate life.” Living such a life required that athletes not be swayed by the promise of illegal deals or recruiting benefits and that the University display integrity in all aspects, doling out the same punishments to athletes that they would to any other student.Gene Corrigan, who served as Notre Dame’s athletic director from 1981 to 1987, said adherence to NCAA and University rules was something Hesburgh emphasized from his first moment on the job.“He said to me one time, on one of my first meetings with him, ‘Do you know all the rules of the NCAA?’” Corrigan said of Hesburgh. “I said, ‘Father, I don’t know them all, but I understand them.’ He then said, ‘I want to tell you something. If you or any of your people ever break those rules, you’re out of here by midnight, and I don’t talk to attorneys.’”Similarly, Hesburgh stressed Notre Dame’s role as an integrity leader in the 1980s, an era when college football was beginning to grow into the billion-dollar business it is today, Corrigan said.“He felt like we had to be a leader as far as ethics were concerned, as far as doing things right, as far as graduating people, behaving themselves as athletes,” Corrigan said. “He did not want [athletes] to live together. He and Fr. Joyce were adamant that we would not have anything like an athletic dormitory.”Despite some of his hardline stances, Hesburgh had little involvement in the day-to-day affairs of Notre Dame’s sports teams, mainly leaving that responsibility to Joyce, who Hesburgh described as his “watchdog” in the 1954 Sports Illustrated article.“I would have lunch with Fr. Ted probably once a year, and we’d just talk about all things that had to do with intercollegiate athletics, what we were doing, what’s going on in the whole country,” Corrigan said. “But that was never his interest.”While Joyce largely oversaw athletics, Hesburgh wouldn’t hesitate to intervene if he felt athletes weren’t living up to standards, Corrigan said.“He would get upset if there was a sport where the kids weren’t behaving,” Corrigan said. “That meant more to him. He liked to win, don’t get me wrong, but that wasn’t everything to him, not at all.”Hesburgh also took a special interest in ensuring some of Notre Dame’s early African-American athletes felt welcome, according to Hawkins. The former basketball player, who was one of just 10 African-American students when he arrived on campus, said Hesburgh personally welcomed him to Cavanaugh Hall at the start of his freshman year and continued to check in on him afterwards.“He always kept track of me and from time to time, I’d get a message to drop in and see him so he could see how I was doing or if there were things that were bothering me,” Hawkins said. “Amazingly enough, as busy as he was, he always took the time to say, ‘Hello’ and ‘How are you doing? Is everything okay?’”Hesburgh attended Notre Dame home sporting events, but rarely, if ever, went to away games, according to Corrigan. While Hesburgh wasn’t an overly vocal fan at games, he cared deep down about Notre Dame’s athletic performance, Faust said.“When we were on the road, he would invite my wife to watch games at WNDU-TV,” Faust said. “My wife said he would never show his emotions in public, but privately, he was rooting right and left all the time.”After his retirement as University president, Hesburgh took a role in influencing policy on the national college athletics landscape, serving as co-chairman of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics from 1990 to 2001. Hesburgh and co-chairman William C. Friday, president emeritus at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, oversaw a committee that released two reports, one in 1992 and one in 2001. The 1992 report called for stronger presidential leadership and academic and financial integrity in collegiate athletics, while the latter report set forth the academic standards that formed the basis for the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR).In 2004, Hesburgh received the NCAA’s Gerald R. Ford Award, which is presented to an individual who has provided leadership as an advocate for intercollegiate athletics over the course of his or her career.Hesburgh’s receipt of the award, which came a half-century after his Sports Illustrated article, represented the culmination of an approach to intercollegiate athletics that often deviated from the norm at the time.Hesburgh himself recognized the difference in his views compared to others, particularly when he wrote in Sports Illustrated of the criticism that came from his decision to bench a star basketball player for a game against Kentucky for having an average below 77 percent. After the Irish lost to Kentucky by one point in overtime without the suspended player, Hesburgh defended his approach with the following words:“At times like this, when the walls are falling in on an administrator, it is good to seek quiet courage in the epigram above a hero’s grave: ‘Death is not rare, nor is it of ultimate importance. Heroism is both.’”Tags: athletics, Remembering Father Hesburgh, student-athleteslast_img read more

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Saint Mary’s administration, alumnae respond to ‘The Hunting Ground’

first_imgSaint Mary’s President Carol Ann Mooney will a host a students-only conversation about sexual assault Tuesday at 5 p.m. in Vander Vennet Theatre, in light of discussion surrounding the CNN documentary “The Hunting Ground.”Director of media relations Gwen O’Brien said Tuesday will be the best opportunity thus far for dialogue between administration and students. She said Mooney is committed to the topic of sexual assault and wants seniors to have a chance to discuss their concerns before graduating.“Carol doesn’t intend to leave this topic at the end of the semester,” O’Brien said. “This conversation will continue.”O’Brien said the conversation will involve only students, with the exception of Connie Adams, director of the Belles Against Violence Office. She said the discussion is necessary in order to make progress.“[Tuesday] is a time for students to have the opportunity to speak candidly with Carol without the media present, because it really is about the students,” she said.O’Brien said she hopes students will be honest with President Mooney because that is the best way for the conversation to be productive.Over the past several weeks, “The Hunting Ground” has sparked discussion and debate on both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame’s campuses. The College screened the documentary April 9, which features Notre Dame as a school that ineffectively responds to sexual assault allegations, some against Saint Mary’s students. Mooney introduced the film, and from the audience during the panel, she addressed concerns that she had disregarded a student’s sexual assault complaint.A second panel discussion, run by students, April 20 covered a range of issues and proposed a list of recommendations for the Saint Mary’s administration on providing more support to victims of sexual assault.Alumnae, as well as students, have expressed concerns about the issue raised in the film. Through Care.org, 2013 graduate Jessica Lopez created an online petition. Lopez said the petition, which resembles the petition that arose from the April 20 panel discussion, has 301 signees, with a goal of 500.The petition seeks to grab the attention of Saint Mary’s administrators, specifically President Mooney. A section of the petition written to President Mooney reads, “as the first lay alumna president of Saint Mary’s College, you have the power to make a truly significant impact on the history of our college. You can encourage your fellow administrative officials to make sexual assault a priority issue to address.”Lopez said there are several reasons alumnae are signing the petition.“First, we love our school, we support its mission, and we want to hold it accountable for its actions,” she said. “Second, we support our students and advocate for their safety. Three, we have been impacted by sexual assault either personally or through a friend, and we don’t want the past to repeat itself.“We expect better outcomes for the current and future students of Saint Mary’s College.”Lopez said she saw “The Hunting Ground” on April 9 when it showed in Bloomington, Indiana. During her time at Saint Mary’s, Lopez was a history and humanistic studies double major with a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS), and she heard about the documentary on the GWS Facebook group.Lopez said she decided to draft the petition for alumnae because of her love for the College.“I think it is important that the voices of its students are not only heard, but that their requests are acted upon,” Lopez said. “Saint Mary’s is a community of strong, educated women who believe in their school’s ability to lead in this mission for change.”The main platform for advertising the petition is social media, Lopez said.“With our current access to social media, the relationship between student and alumnae has never been stronger,” she said. “I want the students to know that the alumnae are listening and support their cause for change.”The response to the petition has been exciting and speaks to the Saint Mary’s experience, Lopez said.“I am delighted with the response we have had from the alumnae so far,” she said. “It truly goes to show how tight the bonds of sisterhood are at Saint Mary’s. At times we have to be our own advocates, and this is that time.”Lopez said current students have been the guiding force behind drafting the alumnae petition.“Their passion and activism truly inspired me to hold myself accountable as an alumna and fulfill the pledge I made after graduating from Saint Mary’s, that is ‘to continue the mission of Saint Mary’s College by integrating the core values of learning, community, faith, spirituality and justice into my life beyond Saint Mary’s.’“The students are the greatest resource [and] our school, our administrators, can benefit from listening to their experiences.”Alumnae of the College are welcome to sign the petition at http://chn.ge/1GqKxLyTags: Alumnae, petition, President Mooney, saint mary’s, The Hunting Ground Erin Rice | The Observer last_img read more

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Students petition SMC in wake of demonstration

first_imgWednesday afternoon, Saint Mary’s vice president for student affairs Karen Johnson sent an email to students in response to events last week “that called into question the faithfulness to the Saint Mary’s College mission as a Catholic, women’s, residential, undergraduate college in the liberal arts tradition.”Stephanie Szymas Last Thursday, the Feminists United club at the College hosted a display of 1,852 flags, each of which represented 10 services offered by Planned Parenthood not related to abortion.The next day, Saint Mary’s senior Mary Robin created a petition on the website change.org titled “No More Celebration of Planned Parenthood at Saint Mary’s College.” As of midnight Thursday night, the petition had 595 signatures.Robin said the goal of the petition is to encourage the administration to reaffirm the College’s identity as a pro-women, Catholic institution, dedicated to educating the truth about the sanctity of life and Planned Parenthood.“This petition is simply asking the administration to stick to the mission and guidelines it is supposed to honor in the first place,” she said in an email. “This petition is asking Saint Mary’s to reaffirm its loyalty to the Catholic faith and clearly declare its dedication to the pro-life, pro-women movement that Planned Parenthood so obviously works against.”All of the information on the petition’s webpage was obtained from students in the Feminists United club, students who witnessed the display or social media posts, including the post by Planned Parenthood Action celebrating the display, according to Robin.She said the petition has received support from Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese, as well as alumnae and families of students.“The comments on the petition page have varied from joyous gratitude to everyone signing for this reaffirmation of Saint Mary’s Catholic identity, to sheer sadness and disappointment in this public display of support for an abortion business, all the way to downright frustration — families promising to withdraw financial and public support for Saint Mary’s until a positive, pro-life statement is made by the school,” Robin said.In yesterday’s email, Johnson said in the email the College consistently upholds its Catholic mission.“As a Catholic college, we strive to foster a culture in which faith and reason are cultivated,” she said.  “The liberal arts tradition calls us to investigate, study and ponder the very difficult circumstances facing society. We do so through the lenses of both faith and reason.”Johnson said education can occur outside the classroom in the form of College-hosted lectures, department- or club-sponsored panel discussions and distribution of facts and information through mediums such as posters or handouts. In the email, Johnson shared the following three guidelines, which she said are consistently followed by Saint Mary’s:“Education at Saint Mary’s includes examining and critically evaluating controversial issues from many perspectives. Saint Mary’s supports a long and revered tradition of open dialogue and free access to information.”“At a Catholic institution, activities that advocate and support Catholic teachings are appropriate and welcome.”“It is inappropriate for Saint Mary’s College student clubs and organizations to advocate for or support organizations, agencies or groups that act contrary to Church teachings or to sponsor events that advocate positions contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.”Concerning the third guideline, Johnson said students’ ability to host events goes hand-in-hand with a responsibility to uphold Saint Mary’s mission.“The co-curricular environment provides an opportunity for advocacy and support. Some student clubs and organizations exist to effect change. Student organizations are granted certain privileges such as the sponsoring of events; those privileges are accompanied by responsibilities. Because Saint Mary’s College is a Catholic college, among those responsibilities is consistency with Catholic teachings. Sponsorship of a speaker, in and of itself, does not constitute advocacy or support of ideas expressed by the speaker,” Johnson said. Saint Mary’s student body president senior Kaitlyn Baker said in an email to the College’s students yesterday that she initially sought her position in order to allow all voices to be heard.“I also believe that there are two sides to every story, and in most cases, even more than two sides,” Baker said. “It is important for us as young women to be well-educated and then given the freedom to think critically about what we have learned, form our own opinions and stand up for what we believe is right.”Along with standing up for beliefs, it is also important to listen to, learn from and respect each other, Baker said.“We all know that there is more than one way to be a Belle,” Baker said. “And since this year’s core value is community, it is important that we unite as a community to recognize, learn from, and respect the unique gifts, talents and opinions that every Belle brings to the table.”Robin said the purpose of the petition was not to degrade Saint Mary’s, but rather to an attempt to improve it.“ … I believe the level of response speaks to how highly we all esteem and love our school,” she said. “We have such high expectations of this beautiful school and are so proud of its heritage. … It is a painful sight to see its most important identity compromised in such an unmistakable way.“We want our school to be as bold and courageous as the students it educates,” Robin said. “We expect our school to be so especially when its Catholic integrity is challenged on such a critical issue. The Sisters who founded Saint Mary’s would want no less of us and neither will our daughters who may want to come to our alma mater.” Tags: Belles for Life, Feminists United, Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood Projectlast_img read more

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Faculty senate calls for sanctuary campus designation of Notre Dame

first_imgIn a special session held Monday evening, the Notre Dame faculty senate passed a resolution calling for University President Fr. John Jenkins to declare Notre Dame a sanctuary campus for undocumented students. American Studies professor Jason Ruiz, who was part of the group presenting the resolution, said the resolution was “asking for Fr. Jenkins to keep doing what he’s doing.”“Fr. Jenkins, I think, has taken a national leadership position in terms of supporting and admitting undocumented students,” Ruiz said. “A lot of us who are involved in sort of a larger movement to support undocumented students are really worried about what’s going to happen with the next presidential administration.” The resolution from the faculty senate joins two other documents — a resolution from the Notre Dame student senate and a petition signed by more than 4,300 students and faculty — calling for Fr. Jenkins to declare Notre Dame a sanctuary campus. “[Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] (DACA) … is a set of federal protections in place that Notre Dame benefits from, in terms of being open about admitting and giving financial aid to undocumented students,” Ruiz said. “President-elect [Donald] Trump has vowed to terminate DACA, so a lot of us who work on these issues politically [and] professionally are in a serious state of concern and crisis over what we see as the impact of the impending termination of DACA.”While Fr. Jenkins has not declared Notre Dame a sanctuary campus, Ruiz said University policies currently in place are emblematic of such a campus.“Personally, I’m more interested in the policies than the terminology [of a sanctuary campus],” Ruiz said. “However, I push for sanctuary because that term has a salience and a political meaning and — for people that are Catholic — a spiritual and traditional meaning for our school as a Catholic institution. “For me, I pushed sanctuary because it makes a lot of sense for Notre Dame to say we push for sanctuary for the undocumented. The policies, however, that Notre Dame has in place are great, and I’m proud that Fr. Jenkins is already enacting them, and I’m extremely pleased with the fact that [faculty] senate would support them.”American Studies professor and member of faculty senate Annie Coleman said the debate on the resolution was fruitful. “It seemed like the senators that were at the meeting were strongly, generally, in support of our students and supporting the general notions of human dignity and justice and freedom and civil rights that this sanctuary movement kind of resonates with,” Coleman said. “Mostly we talked about the specific provisions at the end of the resolution, and what was the best way we could word those to express the support of undocumented students that were at Notre Dame and future undocumented students.”Coleman said a major goal of the resolution was to craft something that represented the consensus of the faculty. “I wouldn’t call this a radical document,” Coleman said. “It’s not advocating the breaking of laws, but it is establishing philosophical basis for support of the rights of students in the Notre Dame community and consistent support, no matter what policy changes might happen down the line.”English and digital humanities librarian Daniel Johnson, who was partially responsible for drafting the resolution, said the authors “stressed transparency and worked hard to strike a balance, signaling support for vulnerable students — both broadly and by way of specific provisions — without flouting the law.”“In the end, I think the senate feels it has adopted a widely-supported resolution, which, far from defying the university or its administration, encourages the administration to continue developing positions it has already articulated,” Johnson said in an email. “The resolution, in all phases of development, was viewed as a document in alignment with Notre Dame’s principles and traditions.” Tags: DACA, Faculty Seante, Sanctuary campuslast_img read more

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Time to Heal dinner explores sexual assault and relationship violence

first_imgSarah Olsen Community members participate in the Time to Heal dinner Wednesday. The dinner, hosted by the Gender Relations Center, aims to assist the victims and survivors of sexual assault and relationship violence.Gebhardt cited the 2016 campus climate survey indicating 14 percent of student respondents said they experienced non-consensual contact or non-consensual intercourse. She noted that fewer than 10 percent of women actually report instances of sexual assault.After Gebhardt’s introduction, a panel of four alumni shared their experiences with sexual assault. The panel consisted of Mariah McGrogan, class of 2011, Amanda Pena, class of 2015, Michael Nolan, class of 2015 and Deirdre Harrington, class of 2015.Nolan started the discussion and shared his story about domestic violence during his freshman year of college.“It’s really difficult to spot an abusive relationship especially when you’re in it,” Noland said. “In each moment it kind of felt like a surprise too like this wasn’t like him. I didn’t really understand the gravity of it until I became an SOS advocate for the Family Justice Center and I went through the training to help other victims of domestic violence.”Nolan said the cycle of violence consists of abuse, feelings of guilt on behalf of the perpetrator, excuses and rationalizations, normal behavior and then justification of the abuse. He said in order to break the cycle, a support system is necessary.“I relied heavily on my friends telling me this guy’s no good,” he said. “You guys can be that friend, that person that notices you’re friend is probably in a problematic relationship and let them know.”Pena said she became a GRC Fire Starter, a peer educator that assists in developing programs fostering dialogue on campus, after her best friend was raped and subsequently dropped out of school.“I lost my best friend and that was a really difficult day to not only see, but it was something that made me want to act in more ways,” Pena said.She said she grew up seeing a lot of domestic violence in her family with almost every woman in her life experiencing it.“Every woman I knew had a story,” she said. “I grew up honestly believing that any man at some point was going to rape or hurt me. I strongly believed that.”Pena said after her experience with sexual assault and rape she first coped with it by distancing herself from it. However, when she saw the prevalence of the issue in society, she realized she needed to be an advocate for victims.“After I was assaulted I just called my friend and he picked me up and he just said ‘What do you want to do?’” she said. “You can impact so many people in ways you don’t even know just by walking alongside them.”McGrogan told the audience they had already taken an important first step by coming to the dinner and taking an interest in sexual assault and violence prevention.“By taking that first step I know that I don’t need to tell you don’t sexually assault each other,” McGrogan said. “I know I don’t need to tell you guys to do these things because you innately understand these things are wrong. What I can tell you is what you can do to help someone who is experiencing them.”She said the most powerful thing one can do as a friend of someone who experiencse sexual assault or relationship violence is to help them regain their autonomy.“When you are a victim of sexual violence or relationship violence at the core what is happening to you … your decision-making process about who you love or who you want to be with has been taken away with you,” McGrogan said.McGrogan said she was a victim of sexual violence  and that it was a hard journey from that experience ten years ago to her place on the panel today. She said she attributes her healing to the people that supported her along the way.“Throughout all of that there have been multiple people who have stood by me who have said ‘I believe you. You don’t have to convince me.’ And that is the most powerful thing you can say,” she said. “Take it as a compliment that someone is looking at you in their darkest hour and saying ‘I want you to stand with me.’”McGrogan said she hopes that in the future there will be more progress in terms of sexual assault prevention and healing.“I hope that by the time another 10 years pass we will be even farther along the journey of addressing sexual assault on college campuses as we are now. Because as strange as it is to think because of all of the problems you guys are seeing it’s on every campus across the country and it is getting better.“Talk about it. Take steps like coming to events tonight. And just be there for one another.”Tags: Gender Relations Center, sexual assault, Violence prevention The Gender Relations Center hosted its annual “Time to Heal” dinner Wednesday night to acknowledge the effects of relationship violence. Christine Gebhardt, director of the center, said the event aims to embrace victims and survivors, as well as embolden the community to be a place of hope and healing.“It is hard even when you work in violence prevention everyday to acknowledge that violence is in our midst,” Gebhardt said. “And we can often rationalize that it doesn’t happen here within our communities. But we know that’s not the case.”last_img read more

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Former national ACLU president offers defense of free speech

first_imgEncouraging colleges and universities to defend free speech on their campuses, former national ACLU president Nadine Strossen spoke on her new book, “HATE: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech” in a lecture Tuesday night in Jenkins-Nanovic Halls.Strossen opened by saying she believes free speech on college campuses is under threat. Institutions are becoming hostile toward visiting speakers, with incidents like the March 2017 campus protest at Middlebury College — where students shouted down a speech by conservative author Charles Murray — becoming more and more frequent, she said. Courtney Becker | The Observer Former national ACLU president Nadine Strossen spoke on her new book, “HATE: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech” in a lecture. Strossen defended the idea of free speech combating hate in her talk.Society has grown too ready to label the open expression of unpopular or polarizing opinions as “hate speech,” Strossen said.“People use the ‘h’ word promiscuously to label and renounce and stigmatize any idea that they hate,” she said. “The classic way the term is used is to refer to speech that denigrates on the basis of who you are — people who are members of religious groups or racial or ethnic groups that have traditionally been marginalized and excluded. But we also are using that term more and more to completely denounce and ostracize people whose ideas we disagree with.”This tendency has changed how society views free speech in context of civil rights issues, she said.“The term ‘hate’ is used for policy ideas on the most important subjects — about race, about gender, about sexual orientation, immigration police — and it unfortunately has led to a great chilling of discussion, especially on campus,” she said.This trend has created a climate in which members of college communities feel unable to freely express their opinions, Strossen said.“There is a huge amount of self-censorship where faculty members, and students are reporting that there are entire subjects that they dare not speak about at all or dare not speak about candidly for fear of, as one of my friends put it, being called some kind of an ‘ist’ or some kind of an ‘obe,’” she said.Strossen said she chose to write her book to provide a defense of free speech in the face of this movement.“To the best of my examination of decades of evidence, now, of how hate speech laws have actually operated in other countries and how the absence of hate speech laws have operated in this country … I am more convinced than ever that well-intended as censorship is, it is at best, ineffective and at worst, counter-productive,” she said.Strossen said “viewpoint neutrality,” or the idea that the government “may never hinder speech speech solely because of its viewpoint,” is one of two main precepts of First Amendment law.“The Supreme Court has said that is the ‘bedrock principle,’” she said. “No matter how hated or hateful that viewpoint is, the way we respond to it is through our own ideas, not through suppression.”The second principle states speech ought to be protected unless it poses an immediate safety threat, Strossen said.“When you get beyond the content of the speech — its message, its idea, its viewpoint — and you look at the particular context … if that speech directly causes certain imminent, specific, serious harm — in other words, it causes an emergency that cannot be prevented in any other way than punishing the speech — then you can and should punish the speech,” she said.Strossen’s research found “non-censorial counter measures” — such as counter-speech — are a powerful way to combat hate speech, she said.“Non-censorial counter-measures … are even more effective than what I thought they would be,” she said. “My argument is based not only on free speech principles. … My argument is based on policy concerns and strategic concerns about what is actually effective not only for protecting individual liberty and democracy but also for bringing about equality and dignity.” Strossen called on individuals from both sides of the political aisle to push back against censorship, both on college campuses and beyond.“All of us should use every opportunity to preach not just to the choir and make common cause wherever we can, with whomever we can on issues where we agree,” she said.Tags: ACLU, Free speech, hate speech, Nadine Strossenlast_img read more

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Notre Dame graduate, journalism faculty member wins Pulitzer Prize

first_imgCarlos Lozada, a Notre Dame graduate and faculty member for the Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy (JED) in the Notre Dame Washington program, has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his work as a nonfiction book critic with the Washington Post, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced Monday.Lozada won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. According to the Pulitzer Prize’s website, Lozada was chosen “for trenchant and searching reviews and essays that joined warm emotion and careful analysis in examining a broad range of books addressing government and the American experience.”Lozada’s essays range from discussing politics, national dilemmas, the history of presidents and his own life and memories as an immigrant.Born in Lima, Peru, Lozada immigrated to California when he was 3-years-old. Lozada and his family moved back to Peru when he was 10, but he came back to America to attend college.According to the Gallivan program’s website, Lozada graduated from the University in 1993 with a degree in economics and government. He went on to receive a master’s degree in public administration from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1997.Before joining the Washington Post in 2005, Lozada worked with Foreign Policy magazine as its managing editor. He also was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in business and economics journalism at Columbia University from 2004-2005.At the Post, Lozada served as the Sunday Outlook editor, national security editor and economics editor, before becoming the nonfiction book critic in 2015.He received the National Book Critics Circle’s Nona Balakian citation for excellence in reviewing in 2016 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2018.For the last decade, Lozada has taught a weekly seminar course, “American Political Journalism,” which is taught as part of Notre Dame’s Washington program.Lozada, as a Pulitzer Prize winner, will receive a cash prize of $15,000.Tags: Carlos Lozada, Ethics and Democracy, Gallivan Program in Journalism, Journalism, Pulitzer Prize, Washington Postlast_img read more

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Missing former SMC student found safe, in good health

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Courtney Souvannasacd Tiffany Keokanlaya, pictured, was reported missing by her family July 20. She was found safe Friday.Keokanlaya, a 19-year-old from South Elgin, Illinois, was reported missing July 20 by her family. She was last seen on video that same day in Chicago carrying a backpack and suitcase.“Good news!” the Village of South Elgin wrote in a Facebook post Friday. “Tiffany Keokanlaya has been found safe and in good health. South Elgin Police would like to thank the public for the tips and insights leading to this successful search.”The Facebook post did not state the reason why she went missing, but the South Elgin Police Department stated in its initial news release that no foul play was suspected. Even so, her leaving the family home without notice was unusual, the release said.Keokanlaya was in the process of transferring to Elgin Community College from Saint Mary’s, where she was a Belles Connect Scholar.Tags: missing student, South Elgin, Tiffany Keokanlaya Former Saint Mary’s student Tiffany Keokanlaya was found safe Friday after she went missing six days prior.last_img read more

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