SAB sets goal to plan one major event per month

first_imgSaint Mary’s Student Activities Board (SAB) established a new goal this year — increasing student activity. Instead of hosting one big event per semester, they agreed to increase it to one event per month. The Board started off the year with Belles Bash rather than the annual Jamaica Shaka. The event featured fireworks, inflatable games and food. “We had a good turn out,” Allison Courtney, president of SAB, said. “Around 800 people showed up to the event.” In addition, SAB hosted an outdoor movie night with the screening of Toy Story 3. As part of their goal, SAB had to create new events to fill each month of the academic year. The Board celebrated October with October Fest. The event featured a band, food and beverages and a beer garden for those students over the age of 21. Also in October, the Board hosted its annual pumpkin carving contest, and turned the quad into one big pumpkin patch. In November, SAB created Bellakazam, a Harry Potter inspired celebration for the whole campus. The event consisted of a Great Hall Dinner, a Quidditch match and a magician, Courtney said. The event coincided with the creation of a Saint Mary’s Quidditch team, a new club on campus. December featured a Winter Wonderland, where SAB invited elementary students from one school in the community to attend a day of holiday celebration. The kids made crafts, decorated Christmas cookies, had pictures with Santa and watched the movie “The Grinch.” In addition, the board still hosted Sundaes on Sunday every other Sunday of the month. Sundaes on Sunday is an event held in Vander Vennet Theater in the basement of the Student Center. SAB provides students with free ice cream sundaes and there is a showing of a popular television show that airs on Sunday night or a movie. In the past, they have watched anything from the movie “Killers” to “Hocus Pocus.” “This year we really encouraged member involvement,” Courtney said. “We wanted the events to be the idea of the members, not just the [board executives.]” The Board collaborated with other campus clubs to make the events a community-wide project. The Board has big plans for next semester, including SMC Tostal — the annual event that brings activities and a musician to campus — an ice skating rink in the quad in February and a campus-wide Easter egg hunt.last_img read more

Saint Mary’s hosts Winter Wonderland

first_imgSouth Bend may still be void of snow, but Saint Mary’s students welcomed children from across the community to a Winter Wonderland celebration Saturday. The Student Activities Board (SAB) held the second annual holiday party in various locations around Saint Mary’s campus for underprivileged children aged five to 12. The children in attendance were mostly from Coquillard Primary Center, a Title I school the College collaborates with through tutoring programs. In addition to the elementary school, Saint Mary’s extended the invitation this year to South Bend’s Center for the Homeless and Hope Ministries. Over 20 different St. Mary’s clubs united to help create the seasonal spirit. Junior Stefanie Schwab, SAB treasurer, said in a College press release that100 children, mostly from Coquillard, attended Winter Wonderland last year. “It is exciting because we have 20 clubs participating in the event this year,” Schwab said. “The clubs range from the Student Diversity Board to cheerleading, and all bring something unique to the event. [The event is] a great opportunity for the students to interact with the kids and to give back to the community that we live in.” The Around the World Club partnered with the History Club to host a table that created different crafts using candy canes, teaching the kids about how Christmas is celebrated in other countries. The English Club gathered to read Christmas stories to the children from Coquillard. Santa Clause sat on the bottom floor of the Student Center listening to children’s, as well as college students’, Christmas lists. Sophomore Emily Murphy worked a shift with Santa Clause, helping children create picture frames for their photographs with Santa. “They got their picture right away, which was nice. The [children] made the picture frame while the picture developed,” Murphy said. “I helped out with the glue gun because we didn’t want them to get hurt.” Junior Megan Woodring, chair of SAB’s Traditional Events Committee, said in the press release that SMC Wonderland is one of the best events of the semester.   “This event stands out because it brings everyone in the Saint Mary’s community together for one specific purpose: to give back during the holiday season,” Woodring said. “It gets everyone in the holiday spirit.”last_img read more

ROTC battalion undergoes tactical exercises

first_imgMost members of the Notre Dame community woke up Friday morning looking forward to one last day of work before the weekend, but the Notre Dame International Security Program (NDISP) Fellows and the Marine options in the Navy ROTC battalion instead geared up for tactical exercises conducted at the Sherwood Forest paintball arena. Friday’s event marked the second time NDISP and the Navy ROTC Marine options have collaborated on this USMC Small Unit Tactics Seminar, Michael Desch, co-director of NDISP, said. “The purpose was twofold: familiarize NDISP fellows with what goes on on the ground with a Marine squad, and to give the fellows and the Marine option cadets the opportunity to get to know each other in a non-academic environment,” Desch said. “I hope we were able to combine national security education and a bit of fun.” Marine option platoon commander Mike McCormick said the ROTC program asks its cadets to participate in both physical and mental real-world simulations. “We train to be leaders both with physical training to develop the requisite self-discipline, toughness and endurance, and we train for the moral and mental aspects of leadership through leadership positions within the unit and through exercises like tactical and ethical based decision games,” he said. McCormick said the first game called for the Marine options to assault a guarded fortress to retrieve two officers who were acting as high-value targets (HVTs). “The Marine options arrived at Sherwood around 10:30 a.m., checked out equipment, walked over the course and did a couple of our own tactical exercises,” McCormick said. “When NDISP arrived and got the equipment, we listened to a quick safety brief, and then the [Marine options] demonstrated the orders process and a HVT capture exercise.” McCormick said this was the most memorable part of the seminar. “It demonstrated the difficulties caused by casualties and the importance of a succession of command and aggressiveness in overcoming casualties,” McCormick said. NDISP Fellow Peter Campbell said he was most impressed by the Marines’ obvious training and communication. “The thing that stands out in my mind was their amazing ability to work as a team, and their extensive training in this kind of operation and advance,” Campbell said. “It was impressive to watch them work together, and to watch their communication and improvisation as the exercise unfolded.” Next, the NDISP fellows were organized into three squads and asked to complete the same HVT exercise, Campbell said. “The first fire team [squad] took heavy casualties and got pinned down very soon in our operation, so we had to improvise,” Campbell said. “Myself and the other amazing members of fire team two had to decide enter the building on our own and had to compete the mission with a hasty plan that we developed on the fly.” Campbell said his fire team took the two HTV officers by surprise when the squad reached them. “I think in some ways we surprised them, they didn’t know we were coming in the front door, and we went in the front door, up the stairs and onto the balcony without them even knowing,” he said. “There’s such a strong element of chance in the execution of these things.” Tyler Thomas, a Navy option working out with the Marine battalion to gain a better sense of military collaboration, said flexibility is essential to any mission. “If you are not constantly changing the original plan and adapting to new situations, you will undoubtedly fail,” Thomas said. “No plan is ever perfect, no matter how much time is spent planning, so being able to adapt and make split second decisions will be the difference between life and death.” The biggest struggle for the NDISP participants completing the mission was maintaining communication and coordinating improvisation between the squads, Campbell said. “That really drove home the friction, the complexity, the uncertainty and the need to just act,” Campbell said. “There is such a temptation to stay where you are to stay safe, but what’s really needed is to do the opposite of that: keep moving, that’s the safest thing to do even though it’s contrary to your human instinct.” After both groups executed the objective, they combined forces to play multiple two-sided paintball games, Thomas said. “Playing a few rounds of paintball with NDISP after assaulting the fortress was definitely the most fun,” Thomas said. “It was nice to continue training in a more relaxed and fun atmosphere.” Campbell said he was awed by the way that the Marines accomplished each objective. “There was that one superhero moment where the gunnery sergeant picked up the flag and ran by two people, shooting with one hand and carrying the flag in the other – he shot them both in the head and won the game,” Campbell said. “I’m just so impressed with the communication and execution of the Marines and especially their officers, their ability to move without being detected and to arrive in places where you didn’t expect them and then you get shot in the face.” Thomas said he walked away with an increased understanding of the importance of communication. “The biggest lesson that I think everyone learned was the importance of communication; without communication you have three fire teams trying to implement their own plan of attack,” Thomas said. “Communication allows for the integration of the fire teams so that the objective can be completed using teamwork, which minimizes the amount of casualties experienced.” For Campbell, the seminar put a human face to military operations and tactical decisions. “For me it really brought home the inherent difficulty of even the most simple military operation,” Campbell said. “The take-away, whenever you ask the military to carry out an operation, is that it always carries that sense of uncertainty and difficulty… It is not something to be taken lightly … hopefully this will give [the NDISP Fellows] a better understanding of the difficulty inherent in those tasks.” Contact Nicole Michels atlast_img read more

Jeffrey Sachs argues for holistic approach to global development

first_imgThe Kellogg Institute for International Studies hosted economist Jeffrey Sachs on Thursday to discuss universal approaches to sustainable development using morality and compassion.Sachs directs the Earth Institute at Columbia University and has been named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders twice.According to a University press release, Sachs has traveled to more than 125 countries and advised leaders such as the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pope Francis. He is currently a special adviser for millennium development goals to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.Sachs said he sets himself apart from normal economic writers with his adherence to the application of a moral framework to classical economics.“We are in a new period in history,” Sachs said. “Humanity has put Earth into an unprecedented new phase.“The scale of human activity is so great we are imperiling the survival of the human species.”Sachs said technological advancement, starting with the invention of the steam engine, has been both positive and negative in advancing the human condition.“We have now the capacity to transmit, to process, to store data and all information that we know of,” he said.Sachs attributed the global warming epidemic the world now faces to the boom in technology. He said the application of that technology to everyday human life will decide how the world fares moving forward.“It is feasible … to eliminate extreme poverty in our community,” Sachs said. “If we do care, [the poverty rate] will come down to zero in the next 15 years.”Sachs said economic, social and environmental crises can only be solved by global solidarity. This solidarity, he said, must come from the awakening of the world to the realities of the detriments humans are currently causing through environmental depletion and social injustice.“Economic growth and poverty reduction are hampered by three large hurdles — growing income inequality and social exclusion, [the] continued poverty trap in parts of Africa and Asia and growing economic crises,” he said.Sachs said the only way to overcome these hurdles is to utilize sustainable development with a moral grounding, unlike the technological and economic developments of the past.“Sustainable development is the holistic integration of economic, social and environmental objectives in an approach to scientific analysis, governance, problem solves, and human action,” he said.Sachs said sustainable development currently exists at the forefront of worldwide organizations’ agendas, highlighted by the negotiation of sustainable development goals by the United Nations in September. He said the only way to continue to live in this world is to utilize sustainable development in a way that changes the trajectory of the destruction of the environment and of social conditions.“We know how to make an economy grow, but that’s no longer the issue,” he said. “… The hard part is to do that in a way that meets people’s needs. We are destabilizing the planet, and we are destabilizing it everywhere.”With the sustainable development the world has already seen, people have the resources and technological development to alter the effects of these different crises, Sachs said.“We are all going to be driving Teslas in 10 years,” he said. “At the United Nations, we are trying to show that it is very practical to decarbonize even a major economy like the United States.”Sachs said it is possible for the world to alter its current path of imperilment, but a change with sustainable development as a framework must occur. This can only be employed if world leaders and the overall population overcome its indifference toward global issues, he said.“Our greatest challenge, ladies and gentleman, is the globalization of indifference,” Sachs said. “I have no doubt that Notre Dame will be leading the way.”Tags: Earth Institute, Jeffrey Sachs, Kellog Institute for International Studies, sustainable developmentlast_img read more

SMC seniors write letters of gratitude

first_imgThis spring, Saint Mary’s College seniors have the opportunity to write letters to people who influenced their time at the college.The Senior Letter Project, spearheaded by senior class president Tori Wilbraham and senior vice president Lauren Osmanski, began as a way for members of the senior class to show gratitude to one another and to the Saint Mary’s community, Wilbraham said.“Our hope is that the Saint Mary’s community will take a few minutes to say thank you to one another for their presence and influence during their time at Saint Mary’s,” Wilbraham said. “I think writing letters is such a beautiful way to preserve a feeling or relationship.”Wilbraham said the Letter Project was a key part of her and Osmanski’s campaign for president and vice president of the senior class.Wilbraham said a message was sent to all members of the senior class, with examples of possible people to write to, such as a lab partner or a roommate. The letters will be sorted and distributed by the senior class officers. The message also stated that letters should be submitted by Friday, April 24, 2015.“[Students] may email a letter to [email protected] with the [recipient’s] name in the subject line. During senior week, the letters will be handed out,” Wilbraham said.Tags: Lauren Osmanski, Senior Letter Project, Tori Wilbrahamlast_img read more

350 groups participate in SAO’s annual Activities Night

first_imgMore than 1,400 students stormed into the Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center (JACC) for Activities Night in the first 15 minutes of the event, student activities program coordinator Mia James said. Activities Night is hosted by the Student Activities Office (SAO) every fall to allow new and returning students the opportunity to join clubs and organizations on campus and in the South Bend community.Wei Lin | The Observer “It’s so important to get connected to your campus and the community outside,” James said at the event. “It’s a true showing of how involved Notre Dame students want to be, that it’s been 37 minutes, and we’re flooded with people.”Between 3,000 and 4,000 students attend Activities Night every year, and the event expanded its layout this year to allow for a easier navigation, James said. Clubs and organizations set up tables in the Monogram Room and Heritage Hall, in addition to the tables in Field House in the main level of the JACC.“Last year, we experimented with a new layout, and the students were able to walk more and talk more,” she said. “We have about 300 Notre Dame organizations and clubs here and about 50 campus and community partners.”Pauline Hickey, German Club president, said she hoped to gain new members for the club by emphasizing the fun events club members can participate in.“The great thing about German Club is that we don’t have a ton of weekly meetings you have to attend,” she said. “We have a few big events, like Oktoberfest, which we’re partnering with Morrissey to host on South Quad. We’ll also have pretzel baking, a ‘Sound of Music’ sing-a-long and a trip to the Christkindlmarket in Chicago.”The German Club currently has roughly 30 members, Hickey said, but hopes to raise its numbers to about 50 members who will continue to celebrate German culture.“People don’t realize you don’t need to speak German to join the club,” she said.Juwan Bepo, the African-American Ministry intern with Campus Ministry, said although Campus Ministry has already established a significant presence, it has a table at Activities Night to encourage students to sign up for its weekly newsletter and so they can learn about programs, Masses and choirs.“We can never have too many people sign up,” she said. “And the interns at the table are welcoming and giving off a good vibe.”Freshman Brady McLaughlin said he was looking to join groups similar to those he participated in during high school, and he liked that Activities Night showed that Notre Dame had clubs “for pretty much anything.”“In high school, I was involved in cross country and track, National Honor Society and Campus Ministry,” he said. “I’m also looking for one or two new activities to try.”Sophomore Erin Flynn said she was also looking to branch out and join more campus groups.“I’m here to find out ways to get involved in every aspect of Notre Dame,” she said. “I signed up for a few clubs last year but didn’t go to many meetings, which is something I regret. … I’m also looking to join more things oriented around my major, with engineering and computer science.”James said SAO advertised Activities Night with posters, through social media, and in The [email protected], a weekly email newsletter sent to Notre Dame students, staff and faculty, as well as advertising to Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students.“We wanted a good balance of making sure people knew when and where Activities Night would be, but not shoving it in your face,” she said.Tags: Activities Night, SAOlast_img read more

Core Curriculum Review Committee releases final report

first_imgAfter taking feedback on a draft report released in November, the Core Curriculum Review Committee released its final report Wednesday by committee co-chairs Michael Hildreth and John McGreevy in separate emails to the faculty and student body. The report recommended changes to the University’s undergraduate course requirements and policies and is the result of a two-year curriculum review process. Its recommendations may be implemented for the class of 2022.The major changes recommended in the report are a reduction in the number of required math and science courses and a modification of the requirements relating to the arts, humanities and social sciences.Currently, an undergraduate student is required to take two courses each in math and science, and a course each in history, social science and the fine arts or literature. Under the changes to the math and science requirements outlined in the report, a student would take one class each in “quantitative reasoning” and “science and technology,” and one additional course in either. A student also would choose one course in art, literature or advanced language and culture, one course in history or social science and one integration course or a course in an undetermined “way of knowing.”CRISTINA INTERIANO | The ObserverThe report recommends continuing to require students to take two theology courses, the Moreau First Year Experience course and a University seminar in the first year. The report also recommends continuing to require students to take a foundational philosophy course but allows a student to take either a second philosophy course or one in “Catholicism and the Disciplines,” a new category of courses that cover Catholic topics but can be in any field.If accepted, the changes in the report will be the most significant changes to the core curriculum in more than 40 years, the email said.According to the email sent to students, each college council or equivalent body, the Faculty Senate and the Academic Council will have the opportunity to discuss the report’s recommendations.“Given that these changes are the most substantive to the Core Curriculum since the late 1960s, we are not eager to rush deliberation of the recommendations,” the email stated.In order for the report’s recommendations for changes to take effect, the Academic Council, followed by University President Fr. John Jenkins, will have to approve the proposal.“If approved by Academic Council and, ultimately, the University president, the new core curriculum would presumably take effect in fall 2018, allowing adequate time for various units on campus to plan for the changes,” the email stated.Tags: Core Curriculumlast_img read more

University aims to offer opportunities for discernment through the Inspired Leadership Initiative

first_imgNotre Dame is launching the Inspired Leadership Initiative (ILI), a one-year program that aims to reopen the world of higher education to people who are looking for something fulfilling to embark upon after completing a career, beginning with its first group of fellows in 2018.The program, which ILI founding director Thomas Schreier — a 1984 Notre Dame graduate — said will continue to develop as fellows offer input over its first few years, will be made up of 25 fellows looking to discern their paths into the next phases of their lives.“For me, it’s something which fills a void that higher education hasn’t ever addressed,” Schreier said.Schreier said he learned about these initiatives after noticing an article about Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative on the back of his alumni magazine. Schreier applied to and was accepted into both the Harvard and Stanford programs — at the time, the only two of their kind in the country. While Schreier was deciding between the two programs, vice president for University relations Louis Nanni suggested Schreier consider starting one of these programs at Notre Dame instead.One of the ultimate goals of the program is to make an impact in the Notre Dame community, Schreier said.“One of the things that we’ve used to define success from the very beginning is that this program needs to be very valuable for the fellows and their spouses, because they’re going to come here and give a year of their life to participate in this program,” Schreier said. “But we believe it’s a failure if it’s not every bit as beneficial to the University and to the broader South Bend community. And I think the value there comes from the fact that you’re going to have 25 accomplished individuals and their spouses here for a full year.”Steve Reifenberg, co-director of the Integration Lab in the Keough School of Global Affairs, said ILI presents an opportunity for these fellows to be mentors in areas of the University outside of the classroom or residence halls.“I think fellows would find different communities that they really connected with all over the University, but one that we’d hope would be this Integration Lab where we have these kind of projects and we have these teams working on things,” he said. “ … There’s a number of ways that would be, I think, interesting for these Inspired Leadership fellows, but also really valuable for these student teams, just for an example.”The four aspects of the Inspired Leadership Initiative that are “unapologetically Notre Dame,” Schreier said, are discernment, “an invitation to spiritual enrichment,” community and internationality. Christopher Stevens, co-founding director of ILI and a professional specialist in the Mendoza College of Business, said each of these four pillars of ILI set it apart from the established programs at Harvard and Stanford.“For the Harvard and Stanford programs you have to pretty much know what you’re going to do before you get there,” he said. “We think that that’s maybe not the best way to approach it … so we’re going to provide a period of discovery and discernment for fellows to be able to figure out what they want to do, and expose them to all kinds of things so then that they find a passion that they really can focus on.”Stevens said he and Schreier hope to make the cohort as diverse as possible in terms of careers, nationalities and other levels of education.“We want people from all kinds of levels,” he said. “Whether they’ve had a successful career in education or the military, whether they’re from the United States or not, we want a really diverse cohort because one, we think it’s going to enrich each other in the cohort a lot, but we also think it’s terrific for the students. Because the interaction between the cohorts and the students and faculty at Harvard and Stanford — the fellows call it life-changing. So we want to provide at least that opportunity here as well.”Schreier said the program seeks people who express passion for their chosen fields rather than people who have reached the pinnacle of these fields.“What we say is we want accomplished people,” he said. “And we use that word very carefully as opposed to saying successful, because I think when people think ‘successful’ what they think is somebody who was maybe the top of a business enterprise or something like that. What we want is people who have distinguished themselves in whatever vocation they’ve chosen.”Schreier said faculty, staff and administrators throughout the University have embraced ILI.“Chris and I have had in excess of 130 meetings with faculty, staff and administration throughout the campus … and as we’ve had those conversations we’ve gotten amazing support from people across the entire campus,” Schreier said.This support is essential for the program to function as intended, Stevens said.“We’ll have advisors for the fellows to be able to help them negotiate and navigate the entire University, to pick the courses that they want, professors that are going to be most right for them,” Stevens said. “Each fellow will have a faculty adviser/mentor. So there’s ample opportunities for faculty to be advisers and mentors or for staff people like advisers in the undergraduate school and that type of thing.”Ultimately, Schreier said he hopes ILI will make an impact beyond the fellows who participate in the program.“I think it’s not only going to be something that’s life-changing for the people that participate in it, but I think it’s also going to be a very powerful force here on campus,” he said. “We really do take to heart the words that kind of are pervasive around campus — that if we can help to transform 25 of these people into a force for good, we will have done our job.”Tags: Career Discernment, Community, discernment, higher education, Inspired Leadership Initiative, Keough School of Global Affairslast_img read more

Sexual battery reported

first_imgA sexual battery was reported to the University’s Title IX department, according to Friday’s Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) crime log.The alleged sexual battery occurred in Alumni Hall on Feb. 23, and it is currently under Title IX review. University spokesperson Dennis Brown said NDSP classifies crimes in accordance with the Indiana Criminal Code.Information about sexual assault prevention and resources for survivors of sexual assault are available online from NDSP and from the Title IX office.Tags: NDSP crime log, Sexual battery, Title IXlast_img read more

Notre Dame, NCAA face lawsuit concerning brain damage to football players

first_imgNotre Dame is facing a lawsuit, claiming the school knew and ignored the risks of brain damage its football players faced, according to a report from WNDU on Wednesday.The widow of Steve Schmitz — a Notre Dame running back and end receiver from 1974 to 1978 — is bringing the suit against the University and the NCAA. According to the report, Schmitz was diagnosed with “a disease associated with repetitive brain trauma” and died approximately three years later, in 2015.The legal issue surrounding the lawsuit concerns whether or not Ohio’s statute of limitations applies to the case and would prevent a lawsuit from being brought forward more than two years after the incident.In arguments before the Ohio Supreme Court, Notre Dame’s lawyer, Matthew Kairis, argued that opportunity for a lawsuit ended two years after Schmitz’s time on the team. Attorney David Langfitt said Schmitz did not know he was suffering brain damage at the time and that the statute should not apply to the suit.Tags: concussion lawsuit, football, NCAA, Steve Schmitzlast_img read more