Notre Dame has a history of exploring issues of academic interest, but the University hopes this year’s annual Forum will also demonstrate its ongoing commitment to issues of interdisciplinary and global importance. The Notre Dame Forum, a signature event for the University, has returned after a year’s absence. This year, the Forum will directly address the role ethics and morals should play in the reshaping of the global economy, said Ed Conlon, associate dean at the Mendoza College of Business and chairman of the Notre Dame Forum working committee. Conlon said the University selected this year’s topic, “The Global Marketplace and the Common Good,” because it is a timely issue and as a result of Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 encyclical, “Caritas in Veritate,” which directly addressed the Catholic Church’s view on the issues raised by business ethics in the light of the financial crisis. “Notre Dame wanted to build on the issues raised in ‘Caritas’ by having a year-long conversation about the role of the economy and business in furthering human development,” Conlon said. “Basically we want to discuss how markets and economies play into the overall development of humankind.” The format of the Forum will look a little different than in previous years. Instead of a single panel discussion, it will be a yearlong conversation in an attempt to bring a broader scope to the issues facing the global marketplace, Conlon said. The University modified the Forum’s format at the request of University President Fr. John Jenkins. This year’s Forum will feature several satellite events taking place before and after the signature event, a Nov. 3 lecture by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. “There was a sense that the Forum should not be a single event and there was a lot of discussion how Notre Dame should really dig into a topic of importance that would go beyond having a single event,” Conlon said. “The idea was to enlarge the scope of the Forum to encompass a lot of different things in relation to one topic over the course of the academic year.” Conlon said the satellite events are intended to give the students various perspectives and background on the topics that Friedman will address in his November talk. “People will leave the satellite events knowing the Catholic Church’s point of view on the topic but also knowing what theology has to say about the economy and the connections it draws to public policy,” he said. Junior Shannon Crotty, a member of the working committee, said she thinks the satellite events are beneficial because they encompass multiple areas of study on campus. “The satellite events are designed to be focused on different areas that the global economy touches,” she said. “It involves multiple different colleges and brings many different arenas together.” The satellite events have been the primary focus of the working committee, as students and faculty worked to make sure the discussions encompass a variety of issues and appeal to the students. The first event took place on Sept. 6 in conjunction with the fall Career Expo and featured companies talking about corporate social responsibility. The next event, a panel discussion titled “Morals and Markets,” will take place Sept. 21 in Washington Hall. The addition of satellite events was an attempt to achieve one of the main goals of the Forum, to better engage students in scholarly discussion. Working committee member senior Shanna Gast said she thinks adding satellite events before and after the signature discussion night rectified this problem. “In the past, the Forum has always had this buildup and has been a huge event, but then discussion was started and ended with that one event,” she said. “But these issues won’t go away through a panel that comes and goes on campus. Now, there will be an ongoing dialogue all year.” The day following the Friedman talk, there will be discussion groups between brother and sister dorms with designated student leaders to facilitate discussion about the issues Friedman raised, Gast said. While the working committee continues to develop events and bring awareness to the student body about the Forum, Conlon said University officials are excited about this year’s topic and believe the expansion in the scope of the Forum better fulfills the University’s mission. “One of the things I’ve heard from people is that this is the way it should be,” he said. “Notre Dame should be having yearlong discussions on topics of importance and this topic is not one that’s going to go away. A great university should make information like this available to the student body, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
The International Career Night is about networking for careers abroad, Holly Rivers, assistant director of the Kellogg Institute, said. The career fair, which focused on jobs in Africa, Asia and Latin America, occurred Monday night at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. This year’s fair is the first the Institute has held in several years. “Shannon Coyne and Stephanie Mulhern are two seniors in the Kellogg Institute programs, and a few months ago they basically came to me and asked if we could do this fair again this year,” Rivers said. “They sat down with me and decided the topics of speeches. If they hadn’t asked me, we wouldn’t be doing it.” This year the fair focused more on introducing students to types of jobs and introducing them to people in international business rather than actually attempting to place them in job positions. “We aren’t giving students jobs,” she said. “What we are doing is providing students with people and speakers who have experience and will talk about it to give students guidance in choosing international careers.” Rivers said the aim of the event is to provide networking opportunities. “The goal is for students to make contacts that they will then follow up with and continue the conversation. They shouldn’t be done after this evening,” Rivers said. International careers can be in the United States or actually abroad. Many of the students and faculty at the event had their own ideas of what made a career international. “Any career in which your decisions and your actions either directly or indirectly influence people in other countries is what I think is an international career,” senior John Villecco said. “I guess you could say that when you’re actively aware of the implications of your actions on other countries and change your thoughts based on it, that’s an international career.” Students said the fair was a great experience and guiding tool for their endeavors. “I’ve spent a significant amount of time abroad, and I’m just fascinated by other cultures,” junior Hilary Kelly said. “I’ve gotten a lot of tips on how to network and find contacts, and lots of info on what to do and how to prepare.” Rivers said the fair gave students the opportunity to see what skill sets are needed in international careers. “The Kellogg Center created the event to give student the opportunity to see how international careers can help them use languages, academic skills and experience in a career setting,” Rivers said.
Lindsay Brown is living every girl’s dream. This week, Seventeen Magazine announced Brown as the winner of their “Pretty Amazing” contest and revealed the cover of this month’s issue, featuring a glamour shot of the Notre Dame senior. “It’s surreal. I can’t wrap my head around it,” Brown said. “Just thinking how many girls will see the story and the cover – they have 13 million readers, and that doesn’t even include follows on Facebook and Twitter and other social media platforms – it’s hard to grasp.” The “Pretty Amazing” contest honors a “real girl” who has done something exceptional, and Brown said she was recognized for her charity work. Brown said she has led cupcake bake sales for the organization She’s the First, which funds girls’ tuition in poor areas, and has started her own non-profit called the S.E.G.W.A.Y. Project, which uses soccer to empower girls abroad. “All the other finalists were so amazing in their own way … but I think my story shows you how you can take whatever your passion is or whatever your talent is and turn it around to help other people and continue it after college,” Brown said. Part of the $20,000 Brown received from winning the contest will go toward furthering her work, she said. “We’re helping fund Kibera Girls’ Soccer Academy’s soccer program [in Kenya] for the year,” Brown said. “Over Christmas break, our plan right now is to go coach a girls’ soccer clinic there for about a week.” Brown said the S.E.G.W.A.Y. project also sponsors girls’ soccer programs in Nepal and Cambodia, and Seventeen Magazine flew her from Cambodia to New York City this summer to participate in the photo shoot featured in this month’s issue. The rest of the money will go toward Brown’s tuition, she said. A former member of the Notre Dame women’s soccer team, Brown said she lost her full scholarship when she decided to stop playing for the team. “We’ve sent 50 girls to school with cupcake sales, and now it’s coming back around and helping me go to school,” she said. Another perk of winning the “Pretty Amazing” contest is the opportunity to give important speeches on behalf of Seventeen Magazine, Brown said. “October 11 is the United Nations’ Day of the Girl, so I’ll be speaking at various events there, and there’s a women’s empowerment project called 10×10 Documentary … and they’re working with the U.N. on this three-day event,” Brown said. “I’ll be working with them, and I’ll be in New York City presenting an award and giving a speech on my project.” Brown said she is excited that her achievements will publicize Notre Dame because they reflect the education she has received at the University. “I really don’t think this cupcake sale and campaign would have been as successful at another university because the Notre Dame community understands the value of helping others,” she said. “When I got to Notre Dame and saw the reality that girls still don’t go to school and it’s taboo for them to play soccer, I wasn’t ok with that. Notre Dame gave me the tools to do something about it and to change it.” Brown said she found out she won the contest Tuesday when her former teammates, who helped launch the She’s the First bake sales, and the leprechaun surprised her at her job at the Career Center. “It was cool because all of [my teammates] were with me at the beginning of this experience, and it was just insane seeing what it built up to,” she said. “To have them there [when I found out I won] was really special.” Brown said she looks forward to sharing the good news of her win with the girls she works with in Nepal. “I can’t wait to Skype with them and show them,” she said, “[but] the mail will take 3 weeks.”
As part of the 2012 Notre Dame Law Review Symposium, former Maine Representative Thomas Allen delivered the keynote address entitled, “The American Congress: Legal Implications of Gridlock” on Nov. 16 in the Eck Hall of Law. The lecture, part of the yearlong Forum titled “A More Perfect Union: The Future of America’s Democracy”, focused on the current state of U.S. politics with its unwavering convictions and lack of compromise. “We’re asking here at Notre Dame whether our political system has the capacity to deal with the threats and the opportunities that our country faces,” Law School dean Nell Jessup Newton said. “How can we promote productive discourse, innovative thinking, and effective action?” Allen sought to answer this question by providing his perspective of Congress and the roles of Democrats and Republicans within public office. “What I’ve been trying to do is figure out what it is that is separating the parties,” Allen said. He discussed the constant campaigning, the efforts toward redistricting and the parties, which he said are now selecting their voters instead of having voters select them. Allen said people’s ideas and values are bundled into worldviews, and the former is grounded in individualism and the latter in community. Allen said partisanship and discourse between the two parties is an issue. “What I experienced here was this tremendous conflict in the way we viewed each other and that was a problem,” he said. “Congress today is deeply divided because to each side the opinions of the other make no sense.” Allen said this conflict is less about the role of government than it is about the enduring tension in American politics and culture between individualism and community. “[They] are two parts of the American psyche, part of our culture, part of our politics, and what has happened for a variety of reasons is that our American psyche has been split down the middle and these two parts of who we are are at war with each other,” he said. Individualism and community should not be separated, Allen said, and he hopes Congress can find a way to work back to the system of the 1970s. “Republicans and Democrats differed but could collaborate on those issues which simply couldn’t be dealt with through any other way but with some sort of government action,” he said. Allen said interest group politics is still a present-day factor, but now it is fueled by unprecedented amounts of campaign money. It is overlaid and often dominated by what he referred to as worldview politics, a class of values much deeper than the competition among interest groups in Washington. “Interest group politics is now often overwhelmed by world view politics, a widening hardening conflict between those who believe the mission of government is to enhance the common good and those who believe that government inevitably infringes on personal liberty,” Allen said. This conflict causes the political system to get stuck, he said. He highlighted terms such as ideologically polarized, internally unified, vehemently oppositional and politically strategic as aspects of the political system that cause difficulty in allowing majorities to work their will. “This is compounded by the asymmetric polarization of the parties,” Allen said. With a seemingly constant gridlock between the political parties in office, Allen said a smoothly functioning governmental system appears unlikely.
As we look for words with which to characterize the student government administration of Alex Coccia and Nancy Joyce, the word “activism” comes to mind. So do the words “inclusion,” “conversation” and “justice.” These words represent the substance of this administration’s leadership: They are working to empower the community to combat issues that divide it. Coccia and Joyce set the bar high during their campaign and first months in office at the end of last school year, and they have made progress on much of their original agenda. In Coccia’s May 1 State of the Student Union address to student-body leaders, he outlined an ambitious array of goals, and we at The Observer have seen movement on nearly all of them. His Nov. 20 State of the Student Union address demonstrated similar success and a continuing drive to move forward on issues of utmost importance to our campus. More importantly, these efforts have occupied a very visible space on our campus. Planning town-hall events, orchestrating prayer services, executing events and fostering dialogue between students and community stakeholders – we see their work, we see their progress on issues big and small and we commend them for that effort. If one person within our community feels hurt by exclusion or discrimination, that alone should drive us. And according to information in the report submitted by Coccia and Joyce to the Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees, 7 percent of students said they have not had an overall satisfactory experience here at Notre Dame. In this report, submitted on behalf of the student body, Coccia and Joyce highlighted several issues on which they called for action: racial and ethnic diversity, sexual orientation and gender issues, socioeconomic status and immigration. We highlighted three specific issues in this Insider because we believe work in these areas has been at the heart of the Coccia-Joyce administration. And these issues are important to address so that all feel welcome and comfortable in the Notre Dame community. While these issues are of the utmost importance and we are proud to see Coccia and Joyce make progress on them, these issues do not encompass everything and everyone at Notre Dame. When The Observer spoke with Coccia about the foci of his administration, he said they work to empower students so that they “feel welcome on campus and have a sense of ownership for their academic, residential, spiritual and extracurricular environments.” “Nancy and I were elected with the expectation, among students and administrators, that we would use the opportunity to not just make convenient changes and additions to student life, but to raise the student voice in areas that are too often neglected – the issues of sexual assault and racial and ethnic inclusion fit into the latter category. … We really do believe in our classmates and our friends and in their ability to be a positive force for good in the world.” Here is where we perceive a problem. Who defines what good the world needs, what justice is? If we return to the four buzzwords at the beginning of this editorial, only “conversation” has a precise meaning. Inclusion, activism, justice – who gets to define these abstract ideas? To our student body president and vice president, we repeat our commendation for all of your hard work and for your focus in making sure every student feels safe and welcomed on campus. However, we challenge you to consider that some of the issues you elevate in your work might not represent many of our 8,452 undergraduates, especially those who disagree with your prioritization and approach to these issues and those who don’t know exactly where they stand. We believe the primary duty of a student government administration is to represent all of the student body: left, right, center and off the ideological map. And though the progress made by this student government administration on certain issues is remarkable, it neglects students who have different views on what “good” is, what “justice” is. The conversation should not be defined by The Observer Editorial Board, by the student government administration or by only the student groups that mobilize their participants effectively. Instead, we believe our student-body government should represent all of the student body, even those members who do not exercise a loud voice. Though the Coccia-Joyce administration said they are working to solicit opinions and engage students, we do not see this communication represented in their formulation of broad-scale initiatives. We give the leaders of this administration a grade of “A” because their work truly has been outstanding, but we also challenge them to think about ways in which their approach has been limited so that we can continue to work toward a better campus community.
“Live, Love, Dance” was the theme of this year’s annual Dance Ensemble Workshop, which highlighted 13 student dancers Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings in O’Laughlin Auditorium.The program, presented by the Saint Mary’s Department of Communication Studies, Dance, and Theatre, included pieces choreographed by Saint Mary’s faculty members Laurie Lowry and Michele Kriner and guest artists Marlayna Locklear and Sarah Edgar.Lowry said the event has taken place at Saint Mary’s for more than 33 years. The dances highlight the many facets of the College’s dance program, bringing together examples of both modern dance and classical ballet, she said.“We have a group of dancers who come to us and have studied ballet for a long time and they’re quite proficient, and then we have dancers who don’t have ballet background but more modern,” Lowry said. “Trying to blend those into one big piece and give everyone a chance to showcase what they can do. … I wanted the dancers to know what it felt like to be in a larger work that has a story to tell.”Lowry choreographed the first act, “Alice’s Adventures,” while collaborating with her students. She based the piece on Lewis Carroll’s classic story “Alice in Wonderland.”“I usually walk into rehearsal and everything is thought out, but with “Alice” I walked into the space and I said all I have is this script,” she said. “And I played the music, looked at the dancers, and we built it together.”The complete performance combined multi-layered efforts by costume designer Melissa Bialko, technical director Michaela Duffy, lighting designer Catherine Cislo and artwork by senior Abby Kramer, Lowry said.The second act included “Magnifique,” choreographed by Lowry and “So Pretty in the Sky” and “On Any Monday…,” both choreographed by dance professor Michele Kriner. Guest artist Marlayna Locklear choreographed “At the End of the Day,” a contemporary-modern style dance. Guest artist Sarah Edgar choreographed “Tourbillon,” a historical piece with roots in eighteenth century Baroque dance.“[Edgar] used 18th century geometric floor patterns to use in the dance, but she hasn’t used necessarily baroque steps,” Lowry said. “She also used 18th century goddess statues … and then she also took 17th century acting gestures and really incorporated that into the dance. And the last section of the dance is a contemporary phrase that she created.”Senior dancer Bethany Tabor said the opportunity to work on the piece with Edgar during an intensive weekend was a fantastic experience.“She brought a lot of new context to our company,” Tabor said. “I think new experiences, [such as] having a guest choreographer really broadens our experience overall.”Freshman Adrienne Bruggeman said she particularly enjoyed guest artist Locklear’s “At the End of the Day.” The hip-hop piece utilized eight girls and created amazing effects through opposing motions and formations, she said.Bruggeman said she also enjoyed Kriner’s contemporary modern “On Any Monday…,” which allowed dancers to improvise around a set framework.“I was blown away when the girls created an apparently seamless performance without meticulous direction,” Bruggeman said. “For me, it was hard to draw the line between what was planned ahead and what was the creation of the students.”Lowry said dancers began preparing for the performances in September. During the dances, she said she wanted her students to embrace the experience that truly belongs to them.Tabor, who danced in a number of pieces including the role of Alice, said she was happy with the success of the performances.“Dance is just such a part of who I am,” she said. “I’ve been doing it my whole life and I can’t really let it go, because it’s so intrinsic to my very being.”Tags: Dance
At this week’s Student Senate meeting, student body president Alex Coccia talked about the newest component of Student Government’s “One is Too Many” sexual assault prevention campaign, a series of videos slated for release after spring break. “[For the first film,] we’re working with a few [sexual assault] survivors who are willing to talk about their experience,” Coccia said. Coccia said an “institutional support video” will highlight various people at the University who aid victims of sexual assault, and it will also include other resources available to students. Another video will showcase bystander intervention, Coccia said.Student body vice president Nancy Joyce said she and Coccia do not plan to release the videos through the student government website.“We would like it to be a more grassroots effort,” she said. “We think it will be more meaningful if it comes from the student body.” The Senate also approved a new Student Union Board (SUB) executive director and passed two resolutions. Sophomore Scott Copeland will replace senior Kaitlyn Keelin at the end of her term as executive director of SUB. Keelin said Copeland served as a controller for SUB this year and managed the budget and purchases for different SUB programs.The first resolution passed expresses the Senate’s support of “the creation and actions of the food services’ student advisory council.” The council chose its 12 student members earlier this month.The second resolution amends the wording in student government’s constitution concerning the description of the Department of Gender Issues. The amendment adds “sexual violence” to the list of student needs the Department of Gender Issues pledges to address. Tags: Senate
Tags: Internet, internet outage, OIT The Office of Information Technology (OIT) battled a number of internet problems Monday, including issues with wired connections in the morning and a two-and-a-half hour campus-wide internet outage that began at 3 p.m. amidst the first day of scheduled finals.At 6:28 a.m., OIT began sending out information on Twitter about wired connectivity issues in the JACC, Hesburgh Library, Main Building and O’Shaughnessy Hall, among others, but announced at that point wireless connectivity was operating normally. At 7:39 a.m. the office announced on the social media site that the wired connectivity issues had been resolved.OIT senior director of User Services Katie Rose said the campus-wide outage occurred around 3 p.m. and that network engineers had sought a temporary solution.She said the backup connection is provided by a separate vendor, but operates at a reduced capacity. OIT is still unsure what caused the outage.“OIT network engineers are working with the vendors that provide connectivity to Notre Dame to identify the cause of the outage,” she said in an email. “For now, campus is using the backup internet connection that was activated at 5:30 p.m.”“ … The University can continue to use this connection for several days if necessary,” she said.Rose said the office was continuing to monitor the situation.“The OIT networking team continues to coordinate with our vendors to provide a reliable and fast internet connection and our entire division works diligently to ensure that students have the IT services they need, especially during finals week,” she said.
Student body presidential candidates, juniors Dominic Albergi, Louis Bertolotti and Corey Robinson, and their respective running mates, juniors Jennifer Cha, Elizabeth Fenton and sophomore Rebecca Blais, answered questions from the Notre Dame Judicial Council and student attendees during a debate Monday night in the basement of LaFortune Student Center. Judicial Council’s vice president of elections, Caitlin Geary, posed questions to the three campaigns, and audience members also asked questions. Kat Robinson | The Observer Geary first asked each ticket what unique experiences they could leverage to better serve the student union.Robinson said his relationships with University administrators will allow the Robinson-Blais administration to work effectively, and said he already has plans to travel to Brazil later in the semester with University president Fr. John Jenkins and provost Tom Burish to promote the University.“We have a lot of existing relationships with provosts, with Fr. John. So we really will be able to go straight to him and say, ‘Fr. John, what do you think about this? We have a lot of really great student ideas in this aspect, and we think that would be really successful.’”Blais, who before running for vice president served as director of internal affairs for the Ricketts-Ruelas administration, said she has extensive knowledge of the student union constitution. “It’s a beautiful 50-page-long document, and you guys should all check it out,” she said. “I really got to know the constitution, and I really know how it functions with student government.” Cha said she and Alberigi have worked to better comprehend current student needs, especially on issues of diversity.“For example, our University hairstylist program does not have a stylist, currently, that can cut ethnic hair,” she said. “I think it’s a very small step as a university, to hire a hairdresser, even for specific hours to cut ethnic hair. And it sends a huge message to students.” Bertolotti, the current director of the Student Union Board (SUB), said student government has always been his passion and referenced his experience with the First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership (FUEL). “There were fifty members at the beginning of the year. … by the end of the year, about five of us were showing up, and that really upset me,” he said. “So the next year, I took on FUEL, we streamlined it, we made it 35 members. We gave them all department directors to work on different departments. We really made it easy for them to get involved in student government.” Geary next asked how each ticket would bridge the gap between the student government administration and the student body.Bertolotti said he and Fenton plan to distribute a newsletter twice a month that would inform students of initiatives, as well as soliciting student input.“We have three goals for every single department in student government, and we know — because of our experience in student government — that every single one of these goals is feasible,” he said. “Every single goal has a timeline.”Robinson said he and Blais would like to reintroduce Fr. Hesburgh’s “open door” policy in their administration.“A lot of time, students don’t know what student government does, and we just want to be able to sit down and talk to you,” he said. Alberigi said his ticket’s experience as “outsiders” has inspired them to push for Notre Dame to be more welcoming to more students.“This is a question I’m really excited to answer, and here’s the reason — because we’re outsiders,” he said. “We haven’t been on the inside, studying the constitution since the beginning. We’ve realized that student government has $75,000 of your money to spend, and no one knows where it’s going. How many of the students think that student government has done a lot to impact our daily lives?“We offer the perspective of students that have felt alone on this campus, this campus that promises to be a family.” In her final question for the candidates, Geary asked, “If you could only accomplish one of your platform initiatives, which would you choose, and why?”Bringing the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program to campus was his ticket’s most important initiative, Robinson said. “We’ve talked directly with Nancy Brandt, the director of St. Joseph Hospital SANE program, which allows you to have 24/7 access to rape kits and other things on campus, and she said we definitely need to have and adopt at St. Liam’s,” he said. “It’s very easy to do. It’s $300 to train each nurse, and there’s two to three national conventions each month. So we can send the nurses in the summer, and that way during the school year we can have 24/7 access to sexual assault prevention and resources.” Alberigi said increasing mental health resources on campus was his campaign’s primary goal. “We believe the way to expand the University Counseling Center is by increasing demand, making it as streamlined as possible,” he said. “We want to improve access to everyone for facilities for support. And we know this can get done, along with our other initiatives, because it’s already in the works — we’re already working on it.” Fenton said she and Bertolotti would like to bring a standardized taxi system to campus.“We know we can get this done. We want to have Notre Dame-approved taxis, $3 flat rate, anywhere in the local area, to and from, regardless of how many people are in a taxi.”An audience member asked both Robinson and Bertolotti how they would reform the student senate. “I’ve had the pleasure of sitting on senate as the Executive Director of SUB this year, and I’ve seen that it’s kind of become a bully pulpit for the student body president and vice president. We want to make sure that the senators have their own power,” Bertolotti said. “We think that if we would create a senate president pro [tempore], or something along that nature, they would be able to control the dialogue.” Bertolotti said he and Fenton will differ from the Robinson-Blais administration, in that they will be “committed.”“Now Corey’s told The Observer that he will be busy on weekdays from 2:30 to 7 p.m. on weekdays in the fall. Senate falls at 6 [p.m.], and so the constitution states that the student body president must be present for all of our meetings,” he said. “We don’t want to reform the senate around our interests, but rather we think it should be formed around your views.” Robinson said senate meetings could still be held at a reasonable time for all parties, and he has drawn ideas for senate reform from experience with the Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC).“SAAC, for instance, we come, we have an agenda. But what we do is really involve people, ask questions, brainstorm and come together and have these conclusions, right? And then we bring that unified voice to the athletic administration,” he said. “In the same way, we can put that on senate. … We want to have that unified approach.”In a response to an audience question regarding Alberigi-Cha’s platform goal of bringing an animal room to campus, Alberigi said the room would be full-time, but not necessarily accessible 24/7. “Animal therapy programs already exist at a number of other institutions. … These are programs that are completely possible,” he said. “So, how do we make that happen, what are the particulars? Well, we’ve looked into that, we think you start with the basics. ‘Puppy Days’ right now is run by student government — wonderful program. We want to expand that, to make it more of a medical program, where we have therapy dogs on campus.”The Notre Dame student government elections will take place Wednesday, when students will receive an email from Judicial Council with a link to an online ballot.News Writer Andrea Vale contributed to this report.Tags: Notre Dame, student body elections, Student government
The Center for Social Concerns (CSC) hosted a fair Wednesday night to connect students with over 30 South Bend service organizations and student-led volunteer groups. The fair allows students to find ways to interact with the South Bend community, Annie Cahill Kelly, director of community partnerships and service learning for the Center for Social Concerns, said.“The Social Concerns fair is an opportunity for students to meet directly with community partners … to become more engaged in the local community through service, through community based learning [and] through research,” Cahill Kelly said.Cahill Kelly said the fair ties into the Walk the Walk Week theme of service and allows students to integrate it into their everyday lives. “On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, on the actual day itself, people are encouraged to engage in service,” Cahill Kelly said. “But what’s nice about this — certainly following Dr. King’s message and the University mission — this is an opportunity to become involved for the entire semester and hopefully beyond for all the years the students are here.”Sophomore Montana Crowell said she attended the fair to help her continue to volunteer after working at a homeless shelter during winter break.“I worked at a homeless shelter over winter break so I really wanted to get more involved in service and that kind of stuff and just helping out really in any way I can,” Crowell said. “So I figured might as well stop by, see what’s going on.”Ethan Johnston, also a sophomore, said his past volunteer experiences made him decide to attend the fair.“I worked with refugees this past summer and didn’t do anything at all last semester so I figured it was about time to get started doing something,” Johnston said.Nicole Waddick, a sophomore, said she attended the fair to find an opportunity to improve her Spanish skills.“I’m trying to work on my Spanish, and so I’m kind of looking for a way I can get involved with a volunteer opportunity where I can work on my Spanish, so I can kind of get the best of both worlds I guess,” Waddick said.Freshman Falon Cole said she attended the fair in order to learn more about the issues facing the South Bend community.“I was interested, I guess, in getting to know the problems of this area,” Cole said. “I only live 45 minutes away, but I wanted to know what I could do to help in any setting and I think that service is very important. I really appreciate that Notre Dame hosts this kind of thing.”Jan Marable, director of the Family Resource Center at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, said they are looking for volunteers throughout the entire year.“We have Fit Kids 360, which is an athletic program, a reading program, so a tutoring reading program, Mission Literacy, coaches and other seasonal volunteer opportunities, Christmas and Thanksgiving, that kind of deal so we’re looking for all year-round volunteers and we’re pretty flexible,” Marable said.“You can volunteer one day a week or you can volunteer five days a week, it’s totally up to you, regarding your availability,” Marable said. Dayna Bounprasay, Case Management Advocate at the Family Justice Center, said students assist staff in finding new technology to help survivors of domestic abuse.“Students … provide immense support to our staff in our daily roles, doing research, updating us on new and improved tools for survivors,” Bounprasay said. “I would say one of my biggest things is newer and more up-to-date apps for safety and security, like updating us on technology and that’s great.”Cahill Kelly said all of the service organizations partnered with the CSC serve a role in educating students in a unique set of skills.“I consider all of the community partners as co-educators of our students whether they’re in a community-based learning course, whether they’re there just on their own to learn more about an organization or a particular issue and be involved over the course of a semester, a year, four years, whatever, it might be,” Cahill-Kelly said.“They are tremendous educators of our students and really bring a whole different skill set and just kind of wisdom, life experience to our students in really tremendous ways so it’s really a privilege to work with them and connect with them and to do the work I do.”Tags: CSC, service, social concerns, Spanish