SMC seniors coordinate Make-A-Wish golf event

first_imgA team of Saint Mary’s seniors hosted the “Par-Tee for Make-A-Wish” golf outing Sunday at Juday Creek Golf Course in support of a young boy battling a severe illness. As part of a marketing management class, students Keely Noonan, Kelly Conaty, Kelly Kropp, Courtney O’Neill and Katie Dapper were charged with the task of creating a fundraising event for a charitable cause. The group chose the Make-A-Wish Foundation because Dapper serves as its representative at Saint Mary’s. They met with the Make-A-Wish representative in South Bend who then told them about Hayes, a boy who suffers from chromosome depletion, O’Neill said. (Editor’s Note: Hayes’s full name is not being released in the interest of privacy.) “We wanted to raise money for Hayes so that he could go to Disney World and meet Mickey Mouse, something he has been wishing for,” O’Neill said. The students said they thought a golf fundraiser for Make-A-Wish would be a perfect fit for their class project. “Golf is something that appeals to college-age students as it gets nice outside and it is a fun Sunday activity,” said Dapper.   The event, which advocated for Make-A-Wish and united Saint Mary’s and the greater community in support of Hayes, raised $1,000, enough money to make Hayes’s wish a reality, O’Neill said. During Sunday’s outing, 75 participants spent the day putting, chipping and swinging on the driving range, O’Neill said. The group said they were thankful for the generous support and contributions from the South Bend community, including silent auction donations of car rentals, a set of new tires and gift cards to local restaurants. “Our group went out and solicited for those donations and got a really great response from many places in South Bend,” O’Neill said.   The event also featured wine tasting, sponsored by vendors Fruit Hills, Madison County and People’s Winery, O’Neill said. “[The event brought] together people from campus and community to help inform them about make a wish and to help make a little boys wish come true,” she said.last_img read more

NFL funds Notre Dame team to research concussions

first_imgThe National Football League (NFL) and General Electric (GE) have teamed up to fund concussion-related research projects nationwide, and a Notre Dame research team is behind one of the 16 projects chosen so far.Professor Christian Poellabauer said the 16 projects were chosen from a pool of more than 400 proposals by a panel of experts for the first of two GE-NFL Head Health Challenges, each of which will share in a $10 million grant.  KERI O’MARA | The Observer “It’s very exciting, because having support from two powerhouses, the NFL and GE, is incredibly helpful,” he said. “The opportunities that come from that — collaboration and expertise — can really make a difference.The goal of the Notre Dame project is to create an application for tablets and smart phones that diagnoses concussions based on voice patterns, specifically vowel sounds, which can be altered by concussive impacts, Poellabauer said. He said being selected means his team will receive both the grant money and further assistance with their research.“It’s not just funding, it’s more like a partnership,” he said.Poellabauer said GE’s support in particular could be important in gaining approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), given the corporation’s experience with the application process.Poellabauer said the winning award was granted to research that either diagnoses concussions more quickly and accurately, develops new treatments for concussions or improves assessment of when athletes are ready to return to competition. He said his project is unique among the winning proposals, most of which involve brain imaging.“Our voice procedure seems to be very different from the other proposals,” he said.The funds will be used for two aspects of the team’s research, Poellabauer said. The first use will be proving the technology can work, which is called “proof of concept.”Poellabauer said the main component of the proof of concept is data collection. He said the team is partnering with high schools in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Texas to test the system on student athletes.Participants will provide a baseline recording before their respective competition season and then the schools’ athletic trainers will administer subsequent tests after practices and games, Poellabauer said. The recordings will all be analyzed and compared to the baseline, and the results verified against any diagnosed concussions among the participants.Poellabauer said the overall data collection effort will involve more than 1,000 students and the researchers expect a minimum of 50 concussions to occur within that group.The second use of the funding will be developing an algorithm so that the app is fully functional on the device without the wireless connection and cloud computing currently required, Poellabauer said.“There’s some work involved in getting it all to work efficiently on tablets and smart phones,” he said.The researchers are partnering with the software company Contect Inc. to eventually bring the application to the public, Poellabauer said. Contect is focusing their efforts on commercialization while the researchers improve and test the effectiveness of the application.“Our hope is by 2015 to have this in the market,” Poellabauer said.Poellabauer said chemistry and biochemistry professor Mayland Chang was also doing research related to concussions and other traumatic brain injuries and would submit a proposal for the second GE-NFL Head Health Challenge.“The NFL has committed to funding concussion research given the attention concussions have had the last few years,” he said.Tags: concussions, NFL, Notre Dame, researchlast_img read more

Division of Student Affairs honors exceptional student leaders

first_imgSeven graduating seniors received awards from Notre Dame’s Division of Student Affairs at the annual Student Leadership Awards Banquet held March 31, according to a University press release.The press release stated Student Affairs will also honor graduate student Aamir Ahmed Khan at the Graduate School Awards Ceremony on May 15.Keri O’Mara | The Observer According to the press release, each of the eight awards acknowledges particular leadership qualities in students “who have made exceptional contributions to the Notre Dame community.”The Mike Russo Spirit Award highlights a student’s service and personal character and was given to former student body president Lauren Vidal for her efforts regarding campus safety, mental health awareness and community outreach, the press release stated.“Having an opportunity to really listen to those around me and speak on their behalf in larger conversations about campus climate or needs fueled my efforts each day,” Vidal said. “I learned that it is only when you follow the needs of your peers and school, when you put their needs first, that you truly lead in the role.”The Rev. A. Leonard Collins, C.S.C., Award was presented to former student government chief of staff Juan Rangel for his dedication in serving the interests of the student body, according to the press release.  Particularly, the award recognized Rangel’s commitment to increasing support for students of high financial need and undocumented students.“I think, especially with us all being college students, it’s really easy to become individualistic and think about the needs and necessities that we ourselves have — we need to go to office hours and we need to get good grades and we need to find a job,” Rangel said. “But there’s so many concerns that we have ourselves, that we sometimes forget the concerns of others around us.”Rangel, who served as the 2014-2015 Campus Ministry multicultural intern, also co-founded and became president of the Student Coalition for Immigration Advocacy in order to raise awareness about immigration issues and to stimulate outreach to undocumented students, he said.The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., Award celebrates a senior who has promoted a spirit of diversity and inclusion during his or her time on campus and was awarded to Matthew Wong for his service as chair of the Diversity Council of Notre Dame, according to the press release.“I think [this award] really shows that Notre Dame is putting diversity and inclusion at the forefront,” he said.  “It’s acknowledging students who are taking steps to making Notre Dame more welcoming, regardless of socioeconomic background, race, gender, ethnicity — whatever it may be.”The Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C., Leadership Award, given to senior Grace Carroll for her work coordinating this year’s Campus Ministry Freshman Retreat, honors a student “who embodies Blessed Fr. Moreau’s vision of educating heart and mind, as well as someone who has demonstrated significant effort to advancing the Catholic character of the University,” the press release stated.“I was really surprised to get the award, never expected to get it,” Carroll said.  “I’m just doing what everyone around me is trying to do, and that’s just trying to be a better person every day.”The John W. Gardner Student Leadership Award recognized senior Christina Gutierrez for her commitment to service in the greater South Bend community, according to the press release.  Gutierrez said she specifically received the award for her work volunteering and fundraising for the Monroe Park Grocery Cooperative in South Bend and for her service as president of the Notre Dame chapter of the World Hunger Coalition.“I’ve been blessed to have free time and to have resources to provide to other people who need them more,” she said.  “Getting to use that for a greater purpose and for an issue that’s really important to me — hunger and malnutrition and healthy eating — and getting to pair that up with meeting people from the South Bend Community, I think is really cool.”The Ray Siegfried Award for Leadership Excellence, presented to Megan Heeder for her involvement in the Robinson Community Learning Center’s Youth Development AmeriCorps and the Center for Social Concern’s Summer Service Learning Program, honors a student who has demonstrated leadership, athletic ability and a love for the Catholic faith, according to the press release.Heeder, who participated as a three-sport varsity athlete her freshman through junior years, said she was honored to receive the award because it acknowledged her “some degree of success in creating a positive change in the lives of other people.”“Because if I leave here without doing that, then what was the point of being here at all?” she said.The Denny Moore Award for Excellence in Journalism acknowledges a graduating senior who, according to the press release, exhibits exemplary character and writing ability and was awarded to former Scholastic editor-in-chief, Jonathan Warren.“I think Notre Dame’s values, those of educating the whole person and serving others, values I’m told Denny Moore exemplified, really lend themselves to a meaningful education in journalism,” Warren said. “I’ve been grateful to work with other students, professors and mentors who have helped me to explore journalism as a practice of empathy and service to others.”The Sister Jean Lenz, O.S.F., Leadership Award, to be presented to Khan for his accomplishments as the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 president of the Muslim Student Association, distinguishes a graduate student who promotes a welcoming and diverse atmosphere on campus, according to the press release.“I was very overwhelmed,” Khan said, recalling the moment he learned he was to receive the award.  “This is undoubtedly the biggest extracurricular recognition that I have ever received throughout my career.”Tags: a. leonard collins award, blessed basil moreau, c.s.c leadership award, c.s.c. award, division of student affairs, john w. gardner student leadership award, ray siegfried award, rev. theodore hesburgh, student leadership awardslast_img read more

Senior Class Council to engage seniors in ‘Guac off’ challenge

first_imgSenior Class Council will host a “Guac Off” event at Legends of Notre Dame on Wednesday night at 7 p.m., where teams of seniors will compete to create the best guacamole. The event is open to taste testing from all grades, and the senior class judges will be determined via raffle at the event.Senior class vice president Janet Stengle, who helped organize the event with Campus Dining and Legends, said she has received positive feedback about the competition.“Campus Dining was really enthusiastic about the idea,” Stengle said. “Legends has been great. They are providing fresh ingredients and all the materials needed.”The 10 teams are comprised of up to three people, and each will receive its own station with the basic ingredients Legends provides, including avocados, tomatoes and cilantro. Stengle said Legends’ catering levels the playing field for all competing teams and is easy and safe, as ingredients will come chopped and ready for guacamole preparation.Senior Class Council utilized Facebook and email to spread the word about Wednesday’s “Guac Off,” she said.“Email has been super effective because it’s the one way you can actually reach every single member of the class,” Stengle said. “We’ve been promoting over Facebook, as well, and spreading through word of mouth, and it seems like people are really excited about it.”Although the teams and judges are limited to the Class of 2018, Stengle said Class Council wants this event to be inclusive for all guacamole lovers.“We want it to be a fun event for everyone who comes, not just the people who are making the guacamole,” she said. “We’re trying to do something different and get people involved in various ways. You can be mixing, you can be judging, you can be just hanging out, watching and having fun, so that’s our goal.”Stengle said Senior Class Council encourages people to come, cheer their friends on and enjoy a night of guacamole Wednesday. Additionally, Senior Class Council’s next event, “Life Beyond the Notre Dame Bubble,” will place Feb. 11 at noon in the Dahnke Ballroom in Duncan Student Center. Featuring presentations from South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Lou Holtz, this event will offer advice to the Class of 2018 for post-grad life, Stengle said.Tags: Guac Off, guacamole, Legends of Notre Dame, senior class councillast_img read more

Speaker reflects on serving those with disabilities

first_imgHelping is not the same as serving. On Tuesday, Susan Latham, Saint Mary’s associate professor of communication and sciences disorders, explored this idea as it relates to the difference between helping those with disabilities and serving those with disabilities. For Latham, serving those with disabilities means working alongside them.“When we say we want to help others, we’re meaning that they need to be helped rather than talking about serving others and being alongside them,” she said.Latham said that many speech and language pathologists utilize a medical model which focuses on fixing or helping those with disabilities. “This idea comes from a medical model orientation — as well as when we say that we’re fixing people — it means that we’re starting from someone’s deficits rather than their strengths,” she said. “It sees disability as a problem that belongs to the disabled. The issue is seen having to do with the individual rather than the issue being with society.”A social model finds issue with society, not the individual, said Latham. “If we look at a wheelchair-using student being unable to get into a building because of some steps, the medical model suggests that this is because of the wheelchair, rather than the steps,” she said. “If we approach this disability through the social model, the steps are the disabling barrier. This model draws on the idea that it is society that disables people by designing everything to meet the needs of the majority of people who are not disabled.”Latham quoted author Rachel Naomi Remen and said that those in the medical profession have to connect with their patients in order have meaningful interactions. “‘Fixing and helping create a distance between people, but we cannot serve at a distance. We can only serve to which we are profoundly connected,’” Latham said. “So, I feel as a speech language pathologist, I need to be profoundly connected to my clients, to my families that I work with, and I can’t do that at a distance.”Serving, as opposed to helping, helps health professionals to see the individual as a whole, Latham explained. “When you’re helping someone, and you say you’re helping someone, you see that life as being weak,” she said. “When you fix, you see that life as broken. But when you serve, you see life as a whole. I believe that’s how we should approach our work in the medical professions and health professions.” Latham said the relationship that grows from merely helping an individual with disabilities is rooted in inequality. “The relationships that we have when we’re helping, is one that is not between equals … and what happens then is that these people who you work with feel that inequality,” she said. “They’re ashamed when they haven’t done the work that you’ve told them to. We have to make sure that we’re making them feel, at least equal, if not, the most important person in the room.”Latham noted that service requires introspection on the part of health professionals.. “What happens when we help? We become aware of our own strength,” she said. “When we serve, we don’t serve with our strength — we serve with ourselves and draw from our experiences.” Latham said serving is about becoming one’s true self. “This is really about becoming our true self,” she said. “Not the fault self. Not who you think you’re called to be or how you think other people perceive you. We’re not embracing our failures or our limitations by serving.”While helping or fixing can be draining in the professional field, serving those with disabilities can be a rewarding and energizing experience. “Service is a relationship between people,” she said. “When we try to fix and help, it becomes draining, and that’s when [professionals] become burnt out. What happens in the schools and hospitals when you have speech language pathologists who want to quit all the time? And they want to quit all the time from schools because it’s impossible to serve others if you have a caseload of 120 students. “You’re going to have to approach your caseload by asking how do I fix this? How do I help people? Not, how do I serve people? And people get burnt out because we don’t find happiness in helping or fixing. When we are serving, it is very rewarding. Our work itself will renew us. I always know when I’m serving others because I feel excited, I feel that enthusiasm.”Latham said that while helping those with disabilities may provide some satisfaction, service goes deeper and makes a health professional feel gratitude for being able to do that work that they do. “In helping, you may find a sense of satisfaction, but in serving, you will find a sense of gratitude.” Tags: Disability Awareness Week, Speech and Language Pathologylast_img read more

Keough School seeks to globalize Notre Dame experience

first_imgSince its establishment as Notre Dame’s newest school last academic year, the Keough School of Global Affairs has been extending its reach to undergraduates. In addition to its master’s program for graduate students, administrators hope the school will open global opportunities for undergraduates and globalize Notre Dame.Ted Beatty, the Keough School’s associate dean for academic affairs, said the school had three goals in mind when it was established.“The University, six years ago, made the decision to create the Keough School, partly to expand globally oriented programs on campus — research programs, teaching programs — that already existed. That was one goal,” Beatty said. “The second goal was to increase the international profile of Notre Dame, generally, and to try and globalize the campus. A third goal was to focus on policy issues. We have people from departments — political science, economics, sociology, etc. — in the Keough School. All that exists in Arts and Letters and elsewhere, as well. Our specialty, though, is to focus on critical issues of the 21st Century and policy issues surrounding them.”Another one of the main ideas behind the school’s founding, Beatty said, was to consolidate a series of existing programs and institutes in one school.“We bring together these seven institutes and centers that already existed and bring them together under one roof and try to support the programs they already have and build programs on top of that,” he said.One of the main offerings of the Keough School is a two-year master’s degree in foreign affairs. This aspect of the school’s work began a year and a half ago, Beatty said. However, this year a new series of supplementary and second major, minors and other programs are being opened for undergraduate students.“Our goal for undergraduate programs is to offer Notre Dame students, wherever they are at the University — whatever they do — we want to offer them a way to globalize their Notre Dame education,” he said. “Of course, there are many ways they can do that outside of the Keough School — through study abroad, in departments, whether they’re a history major, or an economics major, or an architecture major, or a science major — they can do global things in those departments, and that’s wonderful. But what we do differently than departments is focus on the critical issues of the 21st century, these policy related issues.”A number of interdisciplinary options, designed to showcase the intertwined nature of today’s world, are available to students, Beatty said. Even if students don’t have time in their schedule for a major or a minor, Beatty encouraged Notre Dame students to explore their place in the world through the Keough School.“If you’re a first-year student setting foot on campus thinking, ‘okay I want to do architecture, or engineering or political science, or whatever, but I’m interested in global issues and the ways in which the world is a globalized place,” he said. “What happens in the United States or London or Geneva or Nigeria or China or India has ripple effects across borders.’ Students want to understand themselves as global citizens they come and look at the menu of opportunities that the Keough School is offering.”Beatty said he hopes the school continues to expand in the coming years.“We’re at the very early stages. We’re a startup,” he said. “For the next five years we’re going to continue to be a startup. We’re hiring faculty every year and expanding capacity. One element of growth over the next five years is simply expansion of capacity — to do research, to offer curricular programs, to connect with policy issues. One aspect of that … is focusing on ways we can get undergraduates connect with, interested in, policy issues. We just opened a Washington, D.C. office this summer. We’re looking forward to ways in which we can connect undergraduates with opportunities in Washington and beyond.”Tags: Foreign Policy, Global Affairs, keough school for global affairslast_img read more

Notre Dame, Tesla partner to offer new architecture course

first_imgNotre Dame is launching an architecture design studio course with Tesla, the University announced in a press release Nov. 19.The course centers on Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in Reno, Nevada. According to the release, the factory is “the highest-volume battery production facility in the world.” Participants in the course will work with local government and study the movement of people and materials through the factory.Michael Lykoudis, the Francis and Kathleen Rooney Dean of the School of Architecture, said the partnership between Notre Dame and Tesla reflects the University’s commitment to both tradition and adapting to the future.“Our school is part of a continuum that links timeless principles of traditional urbanism with cutting-edge technology to find solutions for tomorrow’s problems today,” Lykoudis said in the release. “Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy pairs naturally with our commitment to the responsible use of resources in service of humanity.”Marianne Cusato, adjunct associate professor of architecture, said the course will help students develop “urban planning” skills. Cusato is the head of a team of Notre Dame faculty from various fields, among them chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Jeffrey Kantor.“At its core, the new design studio is an urban planning exercise because the Gigafactory contains all of the elements of a city: police, fire, public works, offices, restaurants, etc.,” Cusato said in the release. “We hope the patterns we explore in this studio will have applications far beyond the course.”In addition to studying processes at the Gigafactory, students will also focus on “airports and large factories,” the release said. Overall, the course will focus on moving materials and people through large structures during all stages of production.“We are excited to collaborate with the students and faculty at Notre Dame,” Pete Rusin, project architect at Gigafactory 1, said in the release. “A university setting allows us to look at our processes through a new lens while at the same time inspiring the next generation of innovators.”According to the release, the course will also address collaboration between businesses and local governments in response to rapid urban expansion. At 7,000 employees, the Gigafactory is currently 30 percent complete. However, as expansion continues and production increases, the Reno-Sparks region will receive about 10,000 new residents a year, the release said. Students will respond to this growth through the course, presenting economic development proposals, ways to increase “affordable housing” and develop infrastructure to adapt to an increase in residents and businesses.Students can participate in the course during the spring 2019 semester, the release said. At the end of the course, students will present in front of “Tesla management and Notre Dame faculty.”Tags: architecture, design study, Gigafactory 1, Reno, School of Architecture, Teslalast_img read more

SMC first-generation students comment on lack of resources, diversity on campus

first_img“I wasn’t surprised.”That was the typical response from many of the low-income, DACA and first-generation students at Saint Mary’s when asked their thoughts on the college admissions cheating scandal. While Saint Mary’s was not implicated, many Belles have strong opinions on the admissions process and the greater significance of the scandal.Saint Mary’s senior Teresa Brickey, a first-generation and low-income student, said the issue of the cheating scandal is relevant to the tri-campus community and that some wealthy students are “allotted certain privileges.”“Honestly, this college acceptance scandal is nothing new —  people just got publicly caught,” she said. “The college scandal reaffirms the fact that higher institutions are created and sustained for a certain class of people. What the scandal highlights is the fact that a student can be mediocre, but if their parents’ bank account is big enough, then that doesn’t matter.”Damariz Olguin, a Saint Mary’s first-year, said she agrees.“It’s been happening for years — even in politics it happens,” she said.Olguin, a first-generation and low-income student, said it was interesting that most of the institutions implicated in the scandal were PWIs.“PWI” stands for “predominantly white institution” — an accurate descriptor for Saint Mary’s, Olguin said.“I wasn’t surprised that there were so few first-generation students here, but I was surprised that Saint Mary’s was a PWI,” she said.Junior Genesis Vasquez, a first-generation student, said she feels similarly. She said the history of higher institutional learning is entrenched in the exclusion of underrepresented populations, as most colleges were initially created for upper-middle-class, white students.“I was shocked at the scandal, but at the same time, I really wasn’t,” she said. “Higher institutions were not made for students of color, or first-generation students or students living in poverty.”Nevertheless, the College’s population of first-generation students continues to grow. Gloria Jenkins, dean of students, said in an email Saint Mary’s is continuously trying to create more opportunities to support first-generation students.“Currently, 27% of our student population is first-generation and 34% of our first-year students are first-generation, so we recognize the need to continue to support our students,” she said.Yet, Olguin said it was hard, at first, to find fellow first-generation students on campus. Although the College offers the “Belles Connect” program for first-generation, underrepresented, home-schooled and international students, Olguin said it was not explicitly advertised.“First-generation freshmen are allowed to come to campus a week earlier than everyone else for ‘Belles Connect,’” she said. “Except they’re not great at telling students how to sign up for it.”Olguin said living on campus early would have been beneficial, as she said she chose to attend Saint Mary’s without ever having seen the campus before. Since she is a first-generation student, she did not know what college life would be like and if she would fit in on campus, she said.Vasquez said she did participate in “Belles Connect,” but it was only by chance that she stumbled upon the website.“In high school, I was very active in looking for resources that would help me and I stumbled upon a website for it,” she said. “But, I don’t think it was advertised at all. I know a lot of people who would’ve applied had they known about ‘Belles Connect.’”Jenkins said only some students are eligible for “Belles Connect,” and there are many reasons why students may not know of, or want to participate in the program.“Some students miss out on the opportunity for many reasons. For instance, they may have been admitted after the deadline to register for the program was closed or it had reached its capacity,” she said. “Furthermore, I’ve had students tell me they didn’t want to participate because they didn’t want to move in a week earlier and leave home. Finally, some students informed me that their parents did not want them to come or [did not] forward the opportunity to them as they were the ones dealing with all SMC communication.”And fitting in on campus is not the only struggle these students face; for low-income students, Brickey said, there are some resources that she, and others, are never afforded.“We, myself included, were never afforded testing prep, tutoring or even the resources to understand admission processes,” she said. “Every year is a constant battle with financial aid offices and balancing an array of issues that our wealthier peers do not have to face. There is a resource gap between the two demographics on campus.”Vasquez said her biggest challenge has been affording Saint Mary’s.“Saint Mary’s recruits diverse students, but what are they going to do to ensure that students like me will finish college?” she said. “My biggest challenge has been financially paying for school. I don’t have to pay a lot, but it’s too much money for my parents to afford.”Like Brickey, Vasquez said finding resources that help her understand the financial aid process has been an uphill battle.“I’ve definitely asked friends about financial aid and they can’t answer me because their family does their financial aid for them,” she said. “I have to physically go to the financial aid office, and it’s not a problem, but sometimes you don’t want to go out of your way to find an answer.”While legacy students can fall back on their parents’ assistance when it comes to navigating the application process, Olguin said she had to do everything on her own because her parents, and even her academic counselors, were no help.“Admissions counselors should help first-generation students with the Common App,” she said. “Certain colleges should notice that if you’re first-generation you might be confused on certain things, so they should reach out directly to those first-generation students.”Vasquez said sometimes, there are so many challenges stacked against her she feels like dropping out of college entirely.“I wanted to drop out my sophomore year,” she said. “It was a constant thought in my head and it was something that I did not talk about with anyone. I think that’s often something that students with similar backgrounds to me think about. There are students who are in college and they’ll drop out because their family will need help and they feel like it’s their obligation to go back home and help.”But, to those students who feel like Vasquez, she said she recommends they seek out help in the form of mentorship and resources. Vasquez said the campus community should also address the emotional need of underrepresented students, as many first-generation students and students of color are often stigmatized for seeking counseling to treat their mental health needs.“Counseling has helped me so much,” she said. “I’ve had difficulty with mental health and I didn’t start getting help until I got here. Particularly in black and Hispanic communities, mental health is so stigmatized that you’re looked down upon if you have a mental health issue. We need to destigmatize that. Mental health only gets worse when coupled with the stress of academics.”Olguin said the College community should recognize some students have more privileges than others and that legacy students are “blessed” with an easier college experience.“It’s hard for us to do it all on our own,” she said.Tags: admissions scandal series, college admissions scandal, first generation, legacy, low incomelast_img read more

ND groups and departments release statements in response to ongoing protests

first_imgOver the past two weeks, various organizations and student groups at Notre Dame have released statements in light of the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests and demonstrations that followed his death.Notre Dame Athletics issued a statement June 5, in which they committed to change and highlighted six broad areas to improve upon. Promising to listen to student-athletes and amplify their voices, Athletics plans on holding more forums for engagement. In addition, the statement said Athletics will work to diversify their staff and “make voter education and participation a priority for students and staff” for the upcoming national election.Wabruda, a student group that promotes brotherhood among Black men on campus, posted a statement June 9 calling on University President Fr. John Jenkins, his Presidential Cabinet and members of the administration to address racial inequality on campus.“The rising tide of racial consciousness sweeping across the nation due to the untimely passing of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and those who have unfortunately faced similar fates in the past has offered a moment of reflection on the racial inequalities and injustices present within our Notre Dame community,” the statement said.Wabruda’s requests included an increase of funds to student-led Black organizations by 50% for the upcoming school year and an increase in the percentage of Black students within the student body to 8-10% in the next two years. The statement also called the University to “require all incoming students to take two race sensitivity classes as a ‘Catholic Social Teaching’ pre-requisite before graduating from the University” and to redirect additional funds to support minority and marginalized communities in South Bend.College Democrats of Notre Dame issued a joint statement on June 1 with the Black Student Association, condemning police brutality, demanding justice for victims and calling for structural change at the University.“Structural criminal justice reform is the only way to save Black lives,” the statement said. “Staying silent on this issue enables oppression, and it is the responsibility of people in a position of power to take an appropriate stance.”The statement asked the University to support Black students when instances of racism occur and hold non-Black students accountable for their actions.“Being a predominantly white institution, Notre Dame has a responsibility to teach students to be anti-racist and to advocate for the black lives on campus,” the statement said.Notre Dame Right to Life also issued a short statement on June 1, encouraging people to join Notre Dame’s prayer service held on campus.“We mourn the senseless and unjust death of George Floyd,” the statement said. “And we renew our commitment to bear witness in our words and deeds to the intrinsic equal dignity and matchless worth of every member of the human family, without exceptions, from conception to natural death.”While the University responded to student requests to combat racism on campus Monday, members of the Black Alumni Club began circulating a petition Wednesday, asking the University to take more concrete steps in order to create a more diverse and inclusive campus for Black students.Tags: Black lives matter, george floyd, John Jenkins, Notre Dame Athletics, Protests, Racismlast_img read more

Officials, Rivals React To President Trump, First Lady COVID-19 Infections

first_imgImage by Rory Pollaro/WNYNewsNow.WASHINGTON — Like him, or dislike him, politicians seem to be of one accord in wishing President Donald Trump, and First Lady Melania Trump, well after the couple tested positive for  COVID-19 virus, although a few used it as a warning to take the pandemic seriously.Reactions were mostly positive, although a former staffer for President Obama posted, who also worked for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, tweeted and then deleted, a comment that “I hope he dies.”Overall, however, even his deepest political rivals said they are praying for the first couple.Vice-President, and Democratic Presidential nominee, Joe Biden said he hopes for a swift recovery. Biden and his wife tested negative for the virus on Friday. “Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery,” Biden said in a statement. “We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.”House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also extended good thoughts and wishes on television.“I always pray for the president and his family that they are safe. I continue to do so more intensified,” she said. “I know that he will have the best of care, and that is what we want for everyone in our country.”Closer to home, Congressman Tom Reed said this is an opportunity for national leaders to show who they really are.“We are sending our prayers and best wishes to the President and the First Lady. We wish them a speedy and full recovery. This is a moment that, I believe, we as leaders can demonstrate who we are as a country,” Reed said. “We must have a healthy respect for this virus. We must use our common sense, smarts, and medical best practices to mitigate its risks. But we will not stand down. We will not live in fear.”“In the end, we will get through this and we will overcome the challenges before us together,” he went on to say.Reed’s congressional opponent, Democratic nominee Tracy Mitrano said this episode is a caution to follow best practices in combating COVID.“I wish President Trump and the First Lady a speedy recovery both for their health and for the security of our nation. Today’s news is a sad reminder that no one is immune to COVID-19. It is vital that we all continue to follow the guidance and best practices that have been suggested by public health officials and medical experts to keep ourselves safe, by washing our hands, wearing masks when in public, and keeping our social distance. Together we can get through the hardships this virus has imposed and come out stronger,” she said.Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also sent good wishes, but said Trump’s diagnosis shows what happens when science is ignored.“I wish President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump and any White House staff members who are infected a speedy recovery. I join the nation in praying for the First Family’s health and safety,” Schumer said.But he went on to say “What happened to President Trump is a reminder of why the whole country, including Senators and staff, must follow the science and follow the protocols laid out by the CDC and public health officials. When you ignore the science, you don’t wear a mask, and you don’t follow social distancing guidelines, it puts you and everyone around you at risk.”However, not all comments were positive.Zara Rahim, who worked in Obama’s Office of Digital Strategy, and served as the national spokeswoman for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, deleted her tweet shortly after being published.“It’s been against my moral identity to tweet this for the past four years, but, I hope he dies,” Rahim wrote in the tweet.” Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more