Monthly Archives: January 2021

Sullivan family speaks about son’s death for first time

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first_imgIn the year since the accident that took the life of junior videographer Declan Sullivan, the University fell under the scrutiny of national media, was investigated by the state of Indiana and paid more than $40,000 in fines. But behind all of this was one family who spent the past year learning to cope with the loss of a son and brother in the best way they knew how: putting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. “Bringing a child into the world, it’s a profound change in your life. Losing a child like this, it’s equally profound,” Sullivan’s father, Barry, said. “It’s not something you get over, it’s not something you put behind you. You do get used to it.” For the first time since the accident, the Sullivan family spoke to the media and said they do not blame the University for their son’s death. “We saw people who were in pain like we were in pain, but their’s was compounded by this sense of responsibility,” he said. “Any inclination that we might have felt quickly dissipated. They shared our sorrow.” Barry said his family has spent more time on Notre Dame’s campus in the year since Sullivan’s death than they had in any previous years. “I do remember thinking right after Declan died, ‘Will this be a sad place for us? Can we ever come back here and feel happy again?’ And I’m glad that we did,” he said. “They talk about the Notre Dame family, and we definitely feel a part of that.” Sullivan’s sister, Wyn, is a sophomore at Notre Dame and chose to stay at the University despite the loss of her brother. She came back to campus the Tuesday following her brother’s death, one day after his funeral, and returned to classes that Wednesday.. “A lot of people asked why I didn’t leave campus, but I feel like it almost would have been worse not being here,” she said. “If I’m having trouble, people understand. There’s a lot of support.” Wyn, who was a freshman at the time of the accident, said she cherishes the few months she shared with her brother at Notre Dame. “It helps me to remember him, being here and being in this atmosphere,” she said. “He wouldn’t have wanted me to leave.” For the Sullivan family, the most important result in the wake of Sullivan’s death was not pointing fingers, but rather making sure similar accidents do not happen again. As part of Notre Dame’s agreement with the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA), the University started a campaign to raise awareness about scissor lift safety. Barry said his family was supportive of this venture and he contributed a video clip to the campaign to help raise awareness. Wyn said enforcing improved safety standards is more important than any monetary fines the University paid. “The University has so much money, it probably wasn’t a very big hit to them. But that’s not the important part to me,” she said. “As far as any monetary value, how can you put a value [on his life]?” While Notre Dame conducted an internal investigation into Sullivan’s death, negotiated with IOSHA and eventually came to an agreement, the Sullivans adjusted to a life where the dinner table is always missing a setting and the family is forever one member short. Wyn said when she thinks of her brother, she remembers goofy times they had — like when he tried on a female Santa costume or the year she and her younger brother, Mac, got Sullivan footsie pajamas for Christmas. “It was funny watching him run around the house in those,” she said. Wyn also said her family has grown closer and their outlook on life has changed in the year since Sullivan’s death. “As cliché as it sounds, living every moment to the fullest and making the most of the time that we have here, we keep that in better perspective than before,” she said. But on the one-year anniversary of Sullivan’s death, his parents and siblings will take a few moments to remember all that has occurred in the last year. Wyn will stay on campus, while Barry, and his wife Alison, will attend Mass at Old St. Patrick’s Church in Chicago, where they were married and Declan was baptized. “I think all of us are kind of taking a break away from our normal routine,” Barry said. “Just try to be together and put ourselves in a setting where we can reflect.” Wyn said she hopes the Notre Dame community will remember her brother’s originality, and strive to emulate his freedom of expression. “He didn’t care what anyone else thought, he was just going to be himself. Some people can never do that,” she said. “So I think being able to do that and kind of remind the student body about embracing their inner self and letting their personality actually come through is really important.”last_img read more

Mock trial competes at UCLA

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first_imgThe Notre Dame Mock Trial team sent teams to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) this weekend for its first competition of the year, and members said they performed well despite tough competition. The team, which is broken down into four smaller groups for competition purposes, sent its top two teams to UCLA for an invitational competition against 18 others. Junior Lauren Dugas, treasurer of the team, said the team performed respectably. “It’s at a national level, so it’s pretty stiff competition,” she said. “We did okay for our first competition [of the year] at this difficulty level.” Although the team participates in invitational competitions throughout the fall, senior co-president Stephen Payne said these contests do not count toward the team’s overall performance at the end of the school year. “Our actual competitions start in February with regionals and then it goes on from there to ‘super regionals’ and then the national championship in April,” he said. “Before then the invitational tournament are sort of like a preseason, just practice.” Dugas said the competitions consist of four rounds, two in which the team acts as the prosecution and two in which the teams acts as the defense. “You go through the entire court proceedings, opening statement, direct and cross examinations of the prosecution witnesses, direct and cross examinations of the defense witnesses and closing arguments,” she said. Three judges score the trials, awarding up to 10 points for each individual aspect, Dugas said. The team with the most points at the end of the trial wins that particular ballot. Sophomore team member Allie Soisson said the team prepares for the competition by attending two classes a week with their professor Will Dwyer, a lawyer from Chicago. “We also work on our own individual parts and collaborate in team practices on what we think needs the most work,” Soisson said. Soisson said the competition this weekend at UCLA was difficult. “The California schools tend to be some of the best schools in the country and the competition was very strong there,” she said. “I think we were all hoping to do very well but everyone was impressed by the teams we were able to see there.” Despite the high level of competition, Payne said the tone at the invitationals is more casual than that of competitions in the spring. “When you get to the competitions that start counting, I think some of the rounds we get pretty intense,” he said. “Obviously it’s part of the activity because it’s like you’re putting on a court case.” Payne said Notre Dame’s relationship with other teams varies. “Some times you may have some rivalry with and other teams you might be very friendly with,” he said. “Regardless I’d say the atmosphere can get pretty tense.” For some of the team members, like Dugas, mock trial serves as a preparation for future careers in law. “I did mock trial in high school and then I joined the team freshman year thinking I might want to go into law,” she said. “Since then, I’ve continued with the organization and my education and I’ve realized it’s something I want to do.” However, Payne said many others participate in mock trial for reasons other than preparation for law school. “It’s really valuable in terms of practicing public speaking and making an argument,” he said. “Some people in the program certainly don’t want to go to law school, they just enjoy it.”last_img read more

International students adjust to life at Notre Dame

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first_imgFor most Notre Dame students, leaving home for college means adjusting to independent living, a Midwestern twang and colder weather. For about 900 international students, however, the transition is far more abrupt. Freshman Rena Multaputri said the close-knit community at Notre Dame made leaving Indonesia more manageable. “I went to a Mass in the Basilica on my first day here at Notre Dame and I saw people hugging each other during mass and singing the Alma Mater proudly at the end of it,” Multaputri said. “It opened my eyes to the tight community that the University has to offer, and I am grateful to be a part of it.” Multaputri said she had always had a desire to study away from home. “I had always known I was going to pursue my education somewhere else outside Indonesia because my family had always put importance on education for both me and my sister,” Multaputri said. “After I got my acceptance letter, I tried to find more information about Notre Dame and the other schools that I got accepted into … the more that I knew about Notre Dame, the stronger my desire to come here.” Though she plans on working in the U.S. immediately after graduation, Multaputri said she plans on eventually ending up back in Indonesia. “I have never put much thought on what I am going to do after I graduate, but most probably I will stay for a few years to find some working experience and then go back to Indonesia after that,” Multaputri said. Sophomore Pedro Suarez, originally from Brazil, said his greatest challenge was adjusting to American food. “It’s a cultural thing. We’d sit down for long dinners and long lunches,” he said. “I eat really slowly because at home I’m used to meals being events that bring people together, but here it’s so different: people just eat fast, whenever it’s convenient.” Suarez said though he loves the community at Notre Dame, he misses his close-knit family in Brazil. “People in Brazil are very attached to their families … My friends are all living with their families as they’re going to college and to them it’s a very alien notion to think of living on their own, doing their own laundry and getting their own food,” Suarez said. “I think it’s hard for a lot of Brazilians to study abroad because of their attachments to their families, regardless of what opportunities may have presented themselves.” Although American life is vastly different from what he was accustomed to, Suarez said the move was not too difficult. “I’ve always grown up in a fairly American environment, I even went to an American school,” Suarez said. “It was still weird to transition from primarily talking in Portuguese to talking in only English, but I got used to it pretty quickly.” Junior Jonathan Faubert said the language change was a formidable adjustment, but one he was well prepared for. “I’ve been to so many different countries that I don’t really get culture shock anymore,” Faubert said. “I’m used to living in different places, and meeting different people in different environments … so for me the differences between Mexico and Notre Dame were not a huge shock.” Faubert said the Notre Dame fascination with football seemed alien to him at first. “[On the Hesburgh Scholars Weekend] they gave us private tours of all the facilities on campus … we actually saw Brian Kelly’s first practice,” Faubert said. “We all thought, ‘This is fun,’ but we didn’t understand why it was such a big deal … now I get it.” Junior Nathalia Conte Silvestre said she immediately adopted the football obsession. “The football culture is so awesome … to a degree it’s the same as soccer back home,” Conte Silvestre said. Other elements of the Notre Dame experience also made her feel at home, Conte Silvestre said. “The religious appeal and how very accepting of faith in the students are is very appealing to me,” Conte Silvestre said. Conte Silvestre said she chose Notre Dame because it afforded her the greatest degree of academic flexibility. “I chose Notre Dame – and going to college in the States in general – because there is no liberal arts higher education in Brazil, and because I had a good idea of what I wanted to do with my life but wasn’t totally sure,” Conte Silvestre said. “The possibility of coming here as one major but still being able to explore other fields attracted me to Notre Dame … I was an [architecture student] first semester and then fell in love with design here.” The sense of community on campus was equally important, Conte Silvestre said. “I’m so attached to my family, and if I had gone to a school that didn’t have such a community feel like Notre Dame I wouldn’t have been able to survive,” Conte Silvestre said.last_img read more

Student receives scholarship to study at Cambridge

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first_imgSenior MurphyKate Montee won’t need to shy away from the classic senior spring question: “Do you know what you’re doing next year?” Montee, along with 13 other students, will head to Churchill College at Cambridge University as a Winston Churchill Scholar. “The scholarship offers pretty much all of my school costs, travel and visa. It’s an incredibly generous gift from the Winston Churchill Foundation,” said Montee, the second Notre Dame student to receive the award.   “I’ll be doing Part III, which is a taught program in math,” she said. “I’ll be concentrating in theoretical math, probably with a geometry and topology focus.” Although Montee will continue to pursue mathematics, the subject has not been her sole focus at Notre Dame. In fact, she is a math and music double major. “I love them both.  They are both beautiful and creative in their own way, and very fun,” Montee said. “The feeling of proving something in math is very like the feeling after a successful performance. It’s a high.” Montee first heard about the Churchill math program over a year ago from the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) and later from a friend from the University of Michigan, Nicholas Triantafillou, who also won the award for 2013. She said her interest was immediately piqued, and she felt driven to apply for the Churchill scholarship. “It’s a really great taught math program at Cambridge, very rigorous and with lots of interesting possible topics,” she said. The application process included the submission of a personal statement and a collection of short essays focused on Montee’s interest in England and Cambridge University. Montee was also interviewed by Peter Patrikis, executive director for the foundation in the United States, over the phone, during which she was informed of her acceptance. “Mr. Patrikis was pretty sneaky about how he told me actually,” Montee said. “We had been talking for about fifteen minutes, and he asked, ‘So, what are you most looking forward to when you’re in England next year?’ It was a really exhilarating moment when I realized that I had actually done it.” The Churchill Scholarship is the latest in a number of distinguished awards for Montee. She recently won the Alice T. Schafer Prize in Mathematics from the Association for Women in Mathematics and the Norman and Beatrice Haaser Mathematics Scholarships from the Notre Dame Math Department. While Montee is passionate about her work in mathematics, she said she is going to make some time to enjoy her new surroundings next year. “This is going to be my first long term visit abroad,” she said. “I’m looking forward to meeting people, and travelling to see the geography and some great musical sights.”last_img read more

Group debates diversity council recommendations

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first_imgAt Wednesday night’s meeting, the student Senate voted against a series of recommendations by the Diversity Council that will be submitted to the offices of Student Affairs, Auxiliary Affairs, and the Provost concerning diversity. Last week, senior and chair of the Diversity Council Luis Llanos and junior and student government liaison to the Diversity Council Carolina Ramirez presented the recommendations for fostering an environment of inclusion on campus. The recommendations represented what minority students said would improve their on-campus feelings of inclusion. The final clause in the resolution, a subject of a heated debate, reads: “Resolved, that the Student Senate supports the efforts and recommendations of Diversity Council.” After the Senate discussed adjustments to the resolution, the group an amendment proposed by O’Neill Hall senator Kyle McCaffery. “Resolved, That the Student Senate supports the efforts and recommendations of Diversity Council, and that the discussion of recommendations be continued by the offices of Student Affairs, Auxiliary Services, and the Provost, so that any ambiguities in the resolution will be clarified.” This version of the Senate’s resolution was the one that was up for discussion and final vote during yesterday’s meeting. The objections about the original statement stemmed from the statement’s implication that the Senate as a whole supports the recommendations of Diversity Council. Duncan Hall senator Bob Pak said, “I don’t feel as though most students would enjoy having [a cultural enrichment requirement] stacked on – if you put students in a situation where they’re being forced to talk about openness and diversity, they’ll be less invested.” Carroll Hall senator Joe Kelly took objection to another recommendation. “I don’t support having rectors becoming more involved in Frosh-O staff selection. I would appreciate changing the language to say we ‘support the spirit’ of the recommendations.” Alumni Hall senator Juan Jose Daboub proposed the following amendment: “Resolved, That the student senate supports the efforts and recognizes the hard work of the diversity council.” Fisher Hall senator Michael Lindt said, “I feel like that wording makes it sound like we’re saying ‘good job,’ but that’s it.” Siegfried Hall senator Rohan Andresen said, “These recommendations are coming from a group within our community, and the Diversity Council has heard their complaints. I think it would be unfair to our constituents – especially the ‘silent minority’-to just push them away.” During the final discussion, Club Coordination Council [CCC] president Maggie Armstrong said, “in adding the ambiguity clause, I think we essentially negate showing our support.” When her resolution went up for final vote, it failed to pass by a margin of one vote. Senior class president Carolina Wilson, who penned the original resolution, voted against the amended version. “I felt that the word ‘ambiguities’ in the amendment of the final clause means that it would not be in full support of the recommendations that Diversity Council has put forth and I am in full support and trust in the recommendations they have come up with,” she said. The resolution and recommendations of the Diversity Council will still be submitted in the coming weeks, and, should someone propose it, a new resolution in support of Diversity Council’s recommendations could be voted upon by the Senate. Contact Margaret Hynds at [email protected]last_img read more

Vietnamese Student Association to hold Notre Dame by Night

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first_imgThe Vietnamese Student Association of Notre Dame will put on its annual cultural show, Notre Dame by Night, on Saturday as a celebration of the Lunar New Year.Though this is only the third year the club has put on the show, it has grown exponentially over the past several years and become a cornerstone of the club, the club’s president and vice president, juniors Nhu-Y Nguyen and Emily Luong, said. Once freshmen with minor roles in the show when it first debuted in 2017, they are now in charge of leading the club and organizing the show.Nguyen said that, like the club itself, the event has a two-fold mission: to celebrate Vietnamese community among the club’s members and to share their culture with others. Nhu-Y Nguyen In 2018, the Vietnamese Student Association celebrated Lunar New Year by putting on its annual Notre Dame by Night show.“It’s a cultural club, so [our mission is] obviously to spread awareness of our culture on campus, and also to our members, especially those who are not really well-connected with our roots and our culture,” Nguyen said.The club uses its events to promote Vietnamese culture for Vietnamese-American students, international Vietnamese students and non-Vietnamese students who are interested in the culture.“With this club we want to create unity and spread awareness of the culture especially, through food, through performances, through music,” sophomore Frankie Tran, the club’s event coordinator, said. “We want to make this club and this mission come alive through the events.”Notre Dame by Night, which reaches the club’s widest audience, is an evening of Vietnamese song, dance and food.“It is a series of performances and then the different aspect of the story is a skit interwoven through the performances, and because of that we show a narrative through our performances and through the skit and through the songs,” Tran said.The narrative of this year’s performance is centered around the theme of identity.“Every year, we change up the skit or the message we want to bring to the audience,” Tran said. “This year, we’re really focusing on a student’s identity of how sometimes students might not know or might not place a large emphasis on their Vietnamese identity and may push it away to focus on their dorm community or academics. Hopefully we can bring that to life in a very respectful way.”The notion of multi-cultural identity is something that the club values because of its importance for many Vietnamese students.“When I moved here to Notre Dame, there was definitely a regional culture shock in the sense of going from a lot of diversity to a little bit, and because of that, I think back home, you weren’t really aware or at least proud of your ethnic identity because you took it for granted, almost,” Tran said. “And so for here, you kind of place more emphasis because there are so few and you really want to strengthen that background and really want to share it with others who have not had that exposure.”Notre Dame by Night is also a celebration of Tết, the most important holiday of the Vietnamese culture that celebrates the Lunar New Year.“Overall the story is pretty much about identity, but the other story that is being told is what is our culture when we talk about Lunar New Year?” Nguyen said.The show is equally about sharing Vietnamese culture with others as it is about celebrating the culture among the members themselves.“We hope to bring it to our members who are away from home and also to bring it to the Vietnamese community who don’t have the youth to bring the spirit of celebration and just to have a place for them to gather and to really celebrate with each other,” Nguyen said.Luong said this event in particular stands out because of the time and effort that goes into planning.“To me, I feel like this event really brings most of our members together and actually work towards one goal,” she said.Most of the club’s yearly events are activities catered mainly towards the members of the club. This one stands out because it is planned and performed by the members themselves and shared with a wider audience.“In other events, it’s the board organizing something and our club members attending it,” Luong said. “For this, it’s our club members and everyone working together to put on something for the entire Notre Dame community to come and enjoy.”Notre Dame by Night will be held Saturday in Washington Hall at 7 p.m.Tags: lunar new year, Notre Dame by Night, Vietnamese Student Association, VSAlast_img read more

‘Agnes of God’ tackles corruption in Church, questions of faith

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first_imgThe Notre Dame Student Players will premiere “Agnes of God,” a play seeking to reconcile faith with trauma, Thursday at 7 p.m. for their spring production in the Lab Theatre in Washington Hall.“Agnes of God” follows the story of Dr. Livingston, a psychiatrist asked to investigate the case of Sr. Agnes, a cloistered nun alleged to have given birth and murdered her newborn.“Dr. Livingston’s task is to determine whether or not Agnes is clinically insane,” said Savanna Morgan, the play’s director.Corinne Wehby, who plays Livingston, said Agnes’ case brings back unwelcome memories for the psychiatrist. Though Livingston grew up Catholic, personal tragedy led her to renounce her faith long ago, Wehby said.“[Livingston] just looks at the Church in a very, very poor light,” she said. “She sees this corruption and wants to protect other people from kind of falling victim to that, like she has in the past.”As she digs deeper into the case, Livingston is forced to confront the very questions of faith she had long left behind, Wehby said.“I think she, for the longest time in her life, has abandoned all ideas of the Church, of her faith,” she said. “For the first time, I think, in years, she has to start addressing these issues of faith again. … It turns into this psychological kind of war over Agnes.”When it comes to portraying darker subjects — including sexual assault — the play strikes a balance between elements of melodrama and realism, Morgan said.“I’ve done everything that I can to ignore … hyperbolizing the trauma,” she said. “When audiences come see the show, they’re able to say, ‘This is something that’s real, and something that the Church needs to confront,’ as opposed to dismissing it as, ‘Oh, this is just a story.’”Wehby said “Agnes of God” does not take sides when it comes to matters of faith, but instead seeks to show how religion — or the lack thereof — can sway individuals’ thoughts and feelings.“There’s some instances where faith is blinding some characters to different truths about the situation,” she said. “But then there’s certainly instances where for my character, her lack of faith is almost blinding her.”Assistant director Patrick Starner said the play does not dwell on its darker themes, but rather on how they work to develop its characters.“It’s more about not even quite the aftermath [of traumas], but just wrestling upon the implications that they have years afterward,” he said.The audience should not expect the play to proclaim a single message or moral, but to leave them wondering, Starner added.“The biggest thing that I hope people take away is just more like a reflection or a questioning of their own lives,” he said.Tags: Agnes of God, Notre Dame Student Players, Theatre, Washington Halllast_img read more

‘Our students are carrying weight that is more than books into classrooms’: End Hate at ND panelists discuss University life

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first_imgA group of students, administrators and faculty gathered for “Identity and Belonging: Highlighting Diverse Voices in the Classroom and Dorm,” a panel discussion about diversity and inclusion Notre Dame on Thursday evening in Bond Hall. Sponsored by End Hate at ND, the Film, Television and Theater Department and the Gender Studies Program, the panel featured speakers who reflected on how Notre Dame could be a more inclusive environment for underrepresented students. Tom Naatz “Identity and Belonging: Highlighting Diverse Voices in the Classroom and Dorm” addressed inclusivity on campus, and featured the experiences of senior Savanna Morgan, an End Hate at ND organizer.Senior Savanna Morgan — one of the principal organizers of the End Hate at ND movement — began by speaking about her positive experiences at Notre Dame.“I’ve had some incredible experiences here as a student at Notre Dame,” Morgan said. “I’m studying something I love — theater and the art of playwriting and performance — and I’ve been afforded opportunities to participate in half a dozen theatrical productions, travel to half a dozen countries, sing the music I love with Notre Dame Jazz Band and for years I’ve conducted research on performance pedagogy with the support of several faculty across departments. I’ve met amazing people here and I’ve grown intellectually and spiritually in ways I couldn’t even have imagined growing up.”Nevertheless, Morgan said the positives only comprise a small part of her experience at the University.“While these accomplishments have been essential to my professional and intellectual growth, accomplishments have only made up a small piece of the pie that is my Notre Dame experience,” she said.Morgan then described three instances of overt racism she has experienced during her time as a student. Once during her freshman year, a group of students in her dorm harassed her about her hair and addressed her in a disrespectful way. In a sophomore philosophy class, she said a white student argued that America’s wealth excused the enslavement of African Americans, as well as the “genocide” committed against Native Americans; the professor did not challenge these remarks. Finally, she discussed being the victim of hate speech in Stanford and Keenan Halls last November — the incidents which incited the creation of End Hate at ND.Morgan condemned the systematic racism she said exists at Notre Dame.“We fail to address the preferential treatment of white people and white things,” she said. “Every type of thing at this school is extremely white, even our curriculum. Black and brown voices are not equally prioritized in the classroom or the dorm, so how can we expect student and faculty to value our contributions as human beings? As equals? … Not enough has been done to promote cultural consciousness and awareness of the dynamics at play in regards to power in the world and on campus.”Hugh Page, vice president and associate provost for undergraduate affairs, acknowledged that, though some progress has been made, Notre Dame has work to do in addressing issues of inclusion.“The root problem I would identify is how to enhance belonging on campus in ways that honor the identities and embody the experiences of faculty, staff and students, and empower them to be change agents and move towards becoming a more fully engaged community of what I would call compassionate intellectuals,” he said.While he mentioned some recent steps to alleviate the issue — including new administration posts related to diversity and inclusion, more affinity groups and college and school specific diversity plans — he lamented the lack of diversity at the school.“Some of our undergraduates are likely to receive degrees without ever having been taught or mentored by a faculty-person of color. Some will leave without having encountered or heard the works of some women and scholars of color,” Page said. “Many may well leave Notre Dame without having had opportunities to think about how colonialism, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and race have shaped American history and have impacted privilege, heritable wealth, the wellbeing of people of color and even access to education at elite colleges and universities like this one.”Justin McDevitt, the rector of Stanford Hall, spoke about his college years at the University of Houston. McDevitt said his school was one of the most diverse in the country, so the whiteness of Notre Dame was apparent to him.“I remember one football Saturday last year, I was walking across campus taking in the sights, the sounds and the excitement of game day. The bagpipes, the green shamrocks painted on faces, the Celtic font on shirts and flags and buildings — the sheer Irishness of that experience,” he said. “For the first time, I admit, I wondered how Notre Dame got so universally culturally white. This was only reinforced when I turned the corner between O’Shag and Fitz and heard gospel music coming from a tent right in front of DeBart. About seven or eight African American students were selling burgers to raise money for their student group … in a sea of people at Notre Dame on a game day — and in plain sight of the stadium — not a single person was at their tent buying food.”McDevitt said Stanford is committed to improvement after the hate speech incident and has introduced several measures to increase cultural sensitivity in the wake of that incident.“After the protest, dozens of my guys came to me and said, ‘J-Mac, this isn’t us. We’re not like this. We’re better than this,’” McDevitt said. “To which I would always reply: ‘We may not have done a lot of harm in the past, but we also haven’t done a lot of good either. And it’s time to change that.’”Director of the Gender Studies Program Mary Kearney said the school needs to work on creating more hospitable classroom environments to make underrepresented groups feel more comfortable. She called for adding diverse voices to syllabi and described how the gender studies program makes students feel welcome.“We encourage students to always connect what they are learning to their own experiences, their relationships with other people and the social institutions they interact with and move through,” she said. “We make space in our classroom discussions and course assignments for that kind of productive, critical reflection. Much more of that is needed at Notre Dame.”Director for academic diversity and inclusion Pamela Nolan Young called attention to the lack of diversity among Notre Dame faculty — particularly on the tenure track. While she noted there are several different types of faculty on campus, she said the lack of diversity in this group is troubling. She also noted that while the school offers cultural consciousness training for teachers, such workshops are optional.“Our current tenure track faculty population is 908 … of that number, only 84 have identified as being two or more races, African American or Latinx. We have 104 Asian-American faculty; 247 of our faculty are female,” she said. “So we have a long way to go in diversifying our faculty.”Arnel Bulaoro, the interim director of multicultural student programs and services, said his group has made progress in mentoring students from underrepresented groups as they perform undergraduate research. He stressed the importance of representation in education.“For well over a decade, identity and belonging have been the words that have anchored my work at Notre Dame … These [words] over the years have taught me that we have to pay attention to … who’s in the room, and who’s not in the room,” he said.Finally, Lyons Hall rector Kayla August described ways she thought dorm life could be made more inclusive. She offered several critiques of Welcome Weekend, noting that from the very first moment students arrive on campus they are exposed the school’s whiteness. As an example, she cited the songs dorms choose to use as their serenades.August — who is African American — said the school’s lack of diversity is immediately visible to incoming freshmen.“I have one-on-ones with all of my incoming freshmen,” she said. “I talk to them about how life is going at Notre Dame. One of my African American freshmen, the first time I had actually sat down with her, said, ‘I just feel like God put me in this hall. … I got a black RA and a black rector. You guys must’ve beat the system.’ It took her only two weeks to think that there was a system, and that someone beat it, and that she too needed to be invited into that community. I think that says something about what our students experience here.”Speaking about how overwhelming Notre Dame can be for students from underrepresented groups, August said the same student later told her she was just trying to survive her time at Notre Dame.“Our students are carrying weight that is more than books into the classrooms and into the halls. We need to help them,” August said. “It effects how they perform in the classroom, it effects how they get through campus. The same student … when I ask her how it’s going, she says, ‘I just got to get to senior year.’ She hasn’t even been here a whole year yet, and that’s the only thing I’ve ever heard from her when she walks into my hall.”Tags: belonging, end hate at ND, gender studies program, identity, race, Racismlast_img read more

Election Night 2020: Minute-by-minute on the tri-campus

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first_imgAlysa Guffey | The Observer Notre Dame Television, a student broadcast media organization, is broadcasting election updates in real-time.9:25 p.m. — LaFortune Student Center: Sophomore Oscar Noem, watching results come in on NBC, admits some nervousness about the election.“I’m kind of anxious, to be honest. It’s a lot closer than I thought it would be,” he says. “It feels almost like watching a thriller.”Noem, who grew up in South Bend, says he voted in person a few days ago.“I doubt that they’re going to reach a full decision tonight,” he says, but he’s nonetheless keeping an eye on the news as results trickle in.9:28 p.m. — Biden wins the District of Columbia, gaining three electoral votes.9:28 p.m. — Duncan Student Center: The College Democrats’ watch party in the Dahnke Ballroom is crowded, with many students gathering to show support for their party. Their excitement could be heard down the hall. Sophomore Riya Shah said she has enjoyed the night so far and there is a “good energy” in the ballroom.“Definitely tense, stressed,” Shah said about the important election. “But it’s just nice to share that with other people and not keep it bubbled up.”“Being together is really important in fostering that sense of connection during these difficult times,” sophomore Grace Franco added.“I’m going to stay optimistic,” Shah said when asked about how she thinks the election will shake out. “I think we’re looking okay, especially if the Mock Election is any indication.”Franco voiced similar sentiments. “I think I’m definitely cautiously hopeful,” she said. Adriana Perez | The Observer First-year students gather near Smashburger in LaFortune Student Center to watch election coverage.8:30 p.m. — Trump wins Arkansas, gaining six electoral votes.8:30 p.m. — Duncan Student Center: Students remain entrenched in homework, mostly unfazed by the election updates. Some students can be seen regularly switching between detailed essays and election updates. Democrats of Notre Dame speak optimistically on NDTV, anticipating to see more blue on the election day map as the night progresses.8:54 p.m. — Trump wins Indiana, gaining 11 electoral votes.9:00 p.m. — Debartolo Hall Room 102: Around 40 people are gather for the ND College Republicans election watch, as three big screens are tuned into Fox News.“I’m happy,” sophomore Jason Maxwell said of the results in his home state of Oklahoma. But he’s not surprised, he adds — “it’s always red.”As people trickle in, sophomore Adam Morys, president of the College Republicans, walks around to make sure people are social distancing and to ask attendees to sign a thank-you card for the custodian who is staying in the building.First-year Joseph Kiely enters the room wearing a blue blazer with white stars, red pants and a “Make America Great Again” hat. He says he bought the outfit for the first presidential debate, which was canceled on campus. But he got to wear it for Halloween and tonight. A handful of others wear red MAGA hats or masks with the U.S. flag printed on them.9:01 p.m. — Trump wins Louisiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Nebraska, and Biden takes New Mexico and New York.9:04 p.m. — Duncan Student Center: The atmosphere grows a little louder in the Midfield Commons as some more students begin to trickle in. Students multitask between doing homework and checking election updates, switching between the essays on their computer and NDTV’s updates on the big screen. 7 p.m. — President Donald Trump wins Kentucky, and Democrat Joe Biden wins Vermont, the Associated Press reports.7:10 p.m. — Flaherty Hall: As the first polls begin to close, the energy in Flaherty Hall is almost like any other night. Watch parties have not yet begun, and students shuffle out the doors to get dinner in a steady stream.7:15 p.m. — Duncan Student Center: CNN announces first race call with Trump winning Indiana with 64.5% of votes against Biden’s 32.8%. Some 30 students observe election coverage in the Duncan Student Center main level, with around 15 students watching from the tables in Midfield Commons.Students characterized this year’s election as “stressful” due to the uncertainty regarding the time in which results will be announced due to a uncharacteristically large number of mail-in ballots.“I think it’s going to be a really long and interesting night,” junior Megan Lulley said.Junior Ella Sanger said she expects the country will find out the results in a couple of days, making for a tense election.“It’s definitely an emotional election for us,” Sanger said.7:30 p.m. — Trump takes five electoral votes in West Virginia.7:36 p.m. — Biden wins Virginia and gains 13 electoral votes.8 p.m — Trump takes Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee, and Biden wins Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island.8:05 p.m. — Le Mans Hall: Saint Mary’s sophomore Sam Swanson was not surprised when Biden took her home state Illinois: “I didn’t expect the results to be any different. I knew my vote would go for the Democrats because we’re such a blue state.”8:09 p.m. — LaFortune Student Center: LaFortune is uncharacteristically empty as results start to roll in. Students quietly work away on their computers in the main lounge, looking up toward the TVs occasionally and whispering with one another.Senior Courtney Sauder walks into the building to get food from the Huddle and looks at the results while she takes a break from homework. A group of first-years approach the TV by Smashburger, hands full of snacks, to watch and comment on CNN’s coverage of the election. Maggie Klaers | The Observer Few students sit in LaFortune Ballroom late Tuesday night. Most type away on their computers, occasionally glancing up at CNN projections.12 a.m. — Le Mans Hall: Sophomore Sam Swanson turns off the election coverage in her room, hopeful that she will find out more later in the day once more votes have been counted.“I think it’s just important to remember that not all the votes have come in and that it could take longer than expected to hear complete results.”12:08 a.m. — Biden wins Hawaii and Trump wins Ohio, Montana and Iowa.12:17 a.m. — Debartolo Hall Room 102: Cheering erupted from the College Republicans’ election watch in Debartolo Hall as Trump secured Iowa.12:35 a.m. — Trump wins Florida.12:40 a.m. — Biden makes a statement to a crowd in Delaware. “It ain’t over until every ballot is counted, but we feel good about where we are,” he says, as his wife, Jill Biden, stands by his side clapping.“It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who’s won this election,” Biden said. “That’s the decision of the American people.”1:02 a.m. — Biden wins Minnesota, gaining 10 electoral votes.1:03 a.m. — Duncan Student Center: Only a few small groups lingered around TV screens to wait for results. Adriana Perez | The Observer First-year Abraham Figueroa poses next to another first-year Joseph Kiely at the Notre Dame College Republicans election night watch.9:45 p.m. — Duncan Student Center: NDTV ends their broadcast. Election coverage has yet to be shown on the big screen in the Midfield Commons following their show.9:56 p.m. — Pasquerilla West Hall: The vator lounges are empty, and instead, some Purple Weasels have turned to decorating their doors for Christmas, trying to ease the rising tensions with holiday cheer instead. The first floor has become an election-free zone, and a couple of students turn to Louie, the resident mini golden doodle, for comfort.10 p.m. — Trump wins Kansas, gaining six electoral votes.10 p.m. — Holy Cross Hall: Saint Mary’s sophomore Sarah Staniforth watched the results from her room. After seeing results stall in her home state of Michigan, she said, “I’m hopeful that there will be more mail-in ballots brought in over the next several hours. I was disappointed that Trump won Michigan in 2016 and I am hopeful for Biden’s chances this election.”10:07 p.m. — LaFortune Student Center: Most of the seats are vacant, and there are only a handful of students seated around the screens. They are illuminated by the glow of their computers as they type away at their assignments and simultaneously glance at the news. A student paces back and forth before the television for several minutes and then proceeds to sit down.10:13 p.m. — Johnson Family Hall: First-year students gather in a common room to watch as the numbers come in while they do homework and chat.“I’m frustrated with the results of Florida,” freshman Erin Pfeifer says. “I remember in 2016, my dad and I were really analyzing Florida because we wanted it to go blue. We were just trying to do the math of how Clinton could win Florida, but as more results came in we realized it wasn’t possible.”center_img Meghan Fahrney First-year students in Johnson Family Hall watch election results as they roll in on ABC.10:33 p.m. — Trump wins Missouri, gaining 10 electoral votes.10:55 p.m. —  LaFortune Student Center: Connor Patrick, a sophomore in Dillon Hall, watches the election updates.“It’s a lot closer right now than I thought it would be,” he says. “I understand it’s still early, especially because so many votes have not been counted yet with the unique nature of this election during a global pandemic. But, nevertheless, it was much closer than I thought it would be.”10:57 p.m. — Biden wins New Hampshire, gaining four electoral votes.11 p.m. Coleman Morse — In Coleman Morse’s main lounge, PrismND and the Diversity Council held a space free of any election news and talk until 11 p.m., as the building closed. Essential oils, canvas painting, and hot cocoa were the main distractions, alongside friendly chatter and a large screen showing a video of fish and turtles swimming underwater. Around 60 to 70 people showed up throughout the night, according to junior Matthew Bisner, vice president of PrismND.11:01 p.m. — Biden wins California, Oregon and Washington State, and Trump wins Idaho.11:10 p.m. — LaFortune Student Center: NBC plays on both ends of LaFortune Student center main lounge, with very few students in between. Roughly 30 seats are vacant, while six students work on their laptops. Maggie Klaers | The Observer College Democrats hosted an election watch in the Dahnke Ballroom in Duncan Student Center. Over 150 students came by to watch results over the course of the night.9:33 p.m. — LaFortune Student Center: Passing through LaFortune, J.C. Wackowski pauses to check the status of the election on the television in the main lounge.“No matter what happens when we get out of this, it’s going to be an interesting road ahead,” he comments.For Wackowski, a sophomore from California, “uncertainty” sums up his feelings about this year’s election. He says that in general, he has found open minds on Notre Dame’s campus.“I’m just thankful I’m an American,” he says as he adjusts an American flag face mask.9:37 p.m. — Biden wins Colorado, gaining nine electoral votes.9:42 p.m. — Debartolo Hall Room 102: At the College Republicans election watch, first-year Abraham Figueroa asks for a picture with Joseph Kiely, who is still sporting his U.S. flag ensemble.Figueroa says he believes Biden will win the popular vote. But Trump “is still gonna win the electoral college, by a small margin.” Perhaps a smaller margin than in 2016, he adds. Kiely is feeling “a little bit apprehensive,” he says. “I cannot call [the election results] either way.” Maggie Eastland | The Observer A few students remain in Duncan Student Center watching election results roll in while completing homework.1:05 a.m. — Trump wins Texas, gaining 38 electoral votes.1:17 a.m. — Debartolo Hall Room 102: A moderate crowd remained for the College Republicans’ election watch. Junior Alesis Juntunen said she thinks a candidate will claim victory at some point Wednesday.“I think [the election] is pretty well mirroring the election of 2016, but honestly I’m not super surprised by anything that’s happened so far,” Junteunen said.In contrast, junior David Fleming said, “I’m surprised by how well Trump is doing.”1:40 a.m. — Annunciata Hall: Saint Mary’s junior Abigail Pinnow contemplates the results of the election, citing her anxiety.“It’s a pretty stressful situation,” she said. “I’ve been checking election results at least once every hour even though I know that there won’t be final counts tonight.”Pinnow is grateful to have participated in the election this year, but wishes that the process represented a more diverse ranges of voices.“I’ve voted in every election since I turned 18 and this is my first presidential election,” Pinnow said. “I’m very thankful I was able to vote this year. I voted absentee by mail early last month. I was fully prepared to drive 12 hours home if I didn’t receive my absentee ballot in time. I do wish, however, that the electoral system was better set up to represent all voices, not just the voices of the already powerful and privileged.”2:20 a.m. — Trump delivers a statement from the East Room of the White House, prematurely declaring victory. Several states have not yet been called, and Trump says he will go to the Supreme Court to stop counting ballots.“We want all voting to stop,” Trump says to a cheering crowd. “We don’t want them to find any ballots at four o’clock in the morning, and add them to the list. This is a very sad moment, to me this is a very sad moment, and we will win this. As far as I’m concerned, we already have.”2:53 a.m. — Biden wins Arizona, gaining 11 electoral votes.3:07 a.m. — Biden wins Maine, gaining three electoral votes.News Editor Serena Zacharias and news writers, Adriana Perez, Maria Paul, Maggie Eastland, Maggie Klaers, Gabrielle Penna, Grace Doerfler, Elizabeth Prater, Emily DeFazio and Meghan Fahrney contributed to this report.Tags: 2020 election, Donald Trump, Joe Bidenlast_img read more

Number Of Residents Under Isolation, Quarantine Continue To Rise Locally

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first_imgShare: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) Photo: CDCMAYVILLE – Public health officials in Chautauqua County say the number of residents under isolation or some type of quarantine continue to rise.During Thursday’s update, the Chautauqua County COVID-19 Response team reported there were no new positive tests today. Although, they say they are not aware of the exact number of tests awaiting results because tests are being performed at a variety of sites.So far, the county has recorded 53 negative lab reports.“The large number of negative results is a positive sign that community mitigation strategies are working,” officials said. “Your efforts are paying off, keep practicing social distancing and everyday precautions to decrease the spread of illness.” From the beginning, the county has said its goal is to identify new cases quickly and prevent or limit secondary exposures to ensure public health and safety.Public health nurses conduct epidemiologic investigations per public health standards and in conjunction with NYSDOH epidemiologists to determine who may have been exposed to an individual confirmed by lab testing to have COVID-19.“In all three of the confirmed cases in Chautauqua County to date, the individual and all household contacts were identified and ordered in mandatory quarantine and all proximal contacts were identified and ordered into precautionary quarantine,” said officials. “If a broader potential exposure would have been identified, it would have been publicized.”Isolation and quarantine orders by the public health director are as follows:Mandatory Quarantine*:         11*confirmed positive COVID-19 case or a household contact of a confirmed positive COVID-19 casePrecautionary Quarantine*:    25*travel history to CDC level 3 country or proximal contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19.Mandatory Isolation*:              46* symptomatic of COVID-19 and pending COVID-19 lab testNursing homes, long-term care facilities, local hospitals, the federally qualified health center, and local physician practices in Chautauqua County are active partners and have been taking steps to assess and improve their preparedness for responding to COVID-19.  Their comprehensive response plans include plans for:Rapid identification and management of ill residents and patientsConsiderations for visitors and staffSupplies and resourcesEducation and trainingSurge capacity for staffing and equipment and suppliesSick leave policiesThese critically important providers of healthcare services need your help.  It is imperative that everyone abide by their visitation restrictions. Avoid visiting those most at risk; call instead.“The ONLY way we can protect our community and healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed with illness as a result of the novel coronavirus is to avoid being exposed to the virus,” said officials. “People at high-risk for severe illness include people aged 65 years and older; in a nursing home or long-term care facility; with high risk conditions – diabetes, chronic heart /lung / renal disease; who are immunocompromised; who are pregnant.”Health officials ask the community to understand that our actions will help stop the spread of the virus.  Keep those most vulnerable safe.Cancel all group activitiesHave supplies and medications on hand to minimize going outTake everyday precautionsClean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer that contains as least 605 Alcohol if soap and water are not available.Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Put distance between yourself and others – at least 6 feet.Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue. Throw the used tissue in the trash.Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.Stay home if you are sickCall your healthcare provider if your symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, cough) worsenIndividuals with questions or concerns regarding Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) or travel related questions are encouraged to call the New York State Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline 24/7 at 1-888-364-3065.For locally-specific information, County residents may also contact the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services at 1-866-604-6789 during normal business hours.last_img read more