Forum illuminates sports marketing careers

first_imgOver 75 percent of the Notre Dame student body participated in a high school varsity sport. The University boasts one of the greatest collegiate athletic programs in the country, its football team is ranked No. 4 in the nation and the interhall football program is one-of-a-kind. Yet, the University offers no majors related to the business side of sports for a student population generally interested in athletic competition. Sponsored by the Marketing Club, the annual Sports Marketing Forum offers students a chance to discover opportunities in the industry and network with established professionals. “We have a lot of kids interested in sports but we don’t have the resources here for students interested in sports,” Marketing Club president Ally Schneider said. “The purpose of the forum is to give interested students an idea of the opportunities available in the industry and for them to hear from people successful in the sports marketing.” Schneider, a senior, said the event is growing bigger and bigger each year. “This is the fourth year we’ve done it,” she said. “It has become one of the signature events of the Marketing Club.” The forum will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at Giovanini Commons inside the Mendoza College of Business. The event is open to students of all majors. “It’s a really great opportunity to network with some high figures within the sports industry,” Schneider said. “All of our speakers are very high up in their companies and all interested in meeting Notre Dame students.”           Schneider said four speakers will share their experiences will students at the event. The speakers include: Mary O’Connor, vice president of the Olympic Marketing and Global Platforms of Omnicon’s The Marketing Arm; Julie Souza, vice president of business development for “Sports Illustrated;” Frank Murtha, president of Professional Sports Consultants Inc. and Theodore Loehrke, vice president of team business development for the National Basketball Association. Schneider said students’ attendance at past events helped them land a job after graduation. Regardless of whether students are seeking career opportunities right away, Schneider said the event has a lot to offer. “It will be really interesting to hear from some careers in the sports marketing industry,” she said.last_img read more

Hesburgh reflecting pool stages ND Children’s Choir performance

first_imgNotre Dame students, faculty and community members will be able to rediscover their inner child at the Notre Dame Children’s Choir’s performance of “Noye’s Fludde,” taking place Friday and Saturday at the Hesburgh Library courtyard on a stage above the reflecting pool.The children’s opera (pronounced “Noah’s Flood”) tells the Biblical story of Noah and the Ark. Children’s Choir director Mark Doerries said adult actors would play the characters of Noye, Noye’s wife and their three older children’s wives. Eleven-year-old Benjamin Capedveille will sing the voice of God, members of the older children’s choir will play Noye’s children and town children and members of the younger children’s choir will play the animals on the ark.Doerries said while past productions of British composer Benjamin Britten’s opera have focused on the story of Noye and his wife, this performance is different.“[The performance] is from the point of view of the child, and what would it be like to imagine, to create, to build, and then to inhabit, to bring all these animals into the ark from the point of view of the child,” Doerries said.To create this feeling, Doerries said the children have been involved in every step of the production process. Younger choir members chose which animals they wanted to play and drew pictures of them. Student production designers then created exact frames for the costumes, and before each performance or rehearsal, the children finish the costumes themselves, he said.“I met with the designers, and we were trying to come up with a way to get the kids involved. We thought, ‘who out of all of us has the best imagination?’ And it was the kids,” Doerries said. “The kids’ imagination is unsurpassable, so that’s why we decided to use them as the starting point.“Coincidentally, this is exactly how the original [1958] production did it. They had the kids design and build the costumes they used in the original productions, staying true to children’s operas’ community character.”Sophomore set designer Olivia Bratton said the children also put together the prop representing the ark during each performance, representing a change in scene.“The idea is really playing off how imaginative kids can be,” Bratton said. “[The performance starts in] an art classroom, but especially for young kids, it’s not as much about teaching them art as it is about giving them materials and seeing what they can do themselves.“They teach themselves, because especially within art kids have such an innate ability to create. The idea is that Noye is the teacher within a specified area, and then the kids’ imagination goes wild and they create the ark, and they have these materials by which they can do so.”Doerries said the performance will be interactive, with attendees receiving coloring books, bubbles and sidewalk chalk.“We want to invite the audience to rediscover that imaginative space of the child, that so often we lose when we grow up,” Doerries said. “We become overly-structured. This is really my first year working full-time with children, and I have been inspired by the way that they think and the way that they imagine the everyday. What is mundane to us is exciting and new to them. It would be incredible to recapture that ability to see the world as a fresh, inspiring place.”Joseph Mace, who plays Noye, said the audience interactions mirrors the journey of the adult characters of the show, who start off as cranky, unimaginative and contemporary and undergo a change during the show.“I’m most pleased at the concept coming in, which is this idea of a rediscovery of my own childhood as an actor and as a singer,” Mace said. “It’s been personal, but artistically too; to see Noye at the beginning of the opera is a very stodgy, uptight art teacher, and as he’s teaching the children’s imaginations create this story that we tell of Noye.“He becomes Noye, and his journey of accepting that creativity and that spark of imagination, and then for me by the time the animals show up … he goes in and out of understanding his own creativity and his own spirit and his own life that’s more than what he allows it to be as a cranky grown-up.”This is the Notre Dame Children’s Choir’s first year. Doerries said it currently has about 50 members, and he hopes to expand to 100 or more in the coming years. He said it draws staff members’ children as well as children within the community.“I like singing, and I like singing with people who like to sing also, and it’s fun being there because I get to be with my friends,” nine-year-old Lilia Lyden, who plays the dove in the show, said.Tags: benjamin britten, mark doerries, noah’s flood, notre dame children’s choir, noyelast_img read more

OIT implements Sakai changes

first_imgSakai, the online learning platform utilized by the University, received a variety of updates over the summer, including a new color scheme and drop-down menus, Laura Gekeler, learning management system (LMS) administrator and concurrent instructor, said.“We made changes to address both student and faculty needs, although I have to say that we heard more from the general student body than faculty at large this time,” she said.Susan Zhu | The Observer Gekeler said her office worked with an advisory board that included faculty and student representation to gather feedback. The changes, which took effect June 8, included bringing the design elements in line with Notre Dame colors and adding course site drop-down menus directly from the site ribbon, which aids in mobile navigation.“Based on student feedback, we reduced the number of default tools in each course to the two most frequently used ones — ‘Gradebook’ and ‘Resources.’ she said. “Faculty can still use the other tools, but they need to intentionally add them to their courses when they want to use them. Students told us they often found courses with tools which contained no content, and they were frustrated at having to click through them to discover that.”Gekeler said the LMS team routinely reviews potential updates to the learning management system based on advice from the Learning Management Guidance Council, a team with cross-campus faculty representation.“The council has already approved one change,” she said. “Our team is currently working to implement a way to make [student] Sakai grade data available in the mobile ND app. We intend to make it available sometime this fall.”Gekeler said 38 percent of faculty who have teaching assignments use Sakai.“Surprisingly, this means that 80 percent of our undergraduate population has at least one class which uses Sakai,” she said.Notre Dame is among several universities that also use Sakai’s services, Gekeler said.“Our Sakai practices and methods follow in the footsteps of those who’ve used Sakai far longer than Notre Dame,” she said. “We’re involved in a rich community of practice from whom we’re still learning.”Gekeler said some instructors only use Sakai to share grades and files.“Sakai is an easy way to disseminate digital course content, including grades,” she said. “Then there are faculty who intentionally extend their face-to-face classroom engagement beyond the classroom through the structure of their syllabus, their course methods and their use of tools in Sakai. Other universities, such as Rutgers, Duke, UNC and Loyola are involved in this trend as well.”Conducting classes completely online using Sakai as the main delivery platform is also possible, Gekeler said.“We have some of those types of Notre Dame courses supported by Sakai as well. Many institutions have complete online programs conducted entirely in Sakai,” she said. “This is not to be confused with the popular buzz word “MOOC” (massively-open online course) which requires special infrastructure to scale for masses. Our current Sakai environment is not set up this way, nor is it an established or recommended practice to scale Sakai for masses of concurrent users.”Tags: Office of Information Technology, Sakailast_img read more

Notre Dame passes reaccreditation review

first_imgThe Higher Learning Commission (HLC) gave Notre Dame the highest marks in all criteria in its decennial reaccreditation review, according to Fr. John Jenkins, president of the University.“The report praised the academic distinction of many departments and observed that faculty showed an ‘unusual’ commitment to their undergraduates,” Jenkins said in a faculty address. “‘In short,’ they wrote, ‘Notre Dame [provides a high-quality education across the broad] in a way that is truly exemplary.’ … I thank every faculty member for making the University a place that merits such high praise.”Dan Hubert, accreditation program director, said the University must complete this process every 10 years in order to remain accredited.“Without being an accredited institution, [Notre Dame] does not qualify for federal financial aid, we don’t qualify for federal research dollars,” Hubert said. “Your credits, if you transfer somewhere else, may not transfer and as well as accepting credits from another institution coming in, they have to be accredited. There’s a lot that plays into being an accredited institution.”The reaccreditation process consists of a self-study based on HLC criteria and a follow-up visit during which an evaluation team verifies and further explores the report, Hubert said.“It was about a two year process for us to thoroughly look at the University,” Hubert said. “… We worked with about 120 faculty to gather the information to address these five criteria that the Higher Learning Commission has for us. We then had to write that up into a report for submission: it was a 245-page report, with links to almost 1,000 other documents.”The five overarching criteria components that a university must meet are mission; ethical and responsible conduct; teaching and learning: quality, resources and support; evaluation and improvement; and planning and institutional effectiveness, according to the HLC website. Hubert said each criteria component had a team assigned to it.“When we design the self-study team we chose faculty leaders to head up each of the five criteria areas,” Hubert said. “They shepherded the process and were well-respected faculty that had also held previous leadership roles on campus … It is one of the thankless things that the faculty and staff do on campus.”Hubert said the Higher Learning Commission is in the process of adopting a different reaccreditation schedule.“Instead of going for a full 10 years and having to do a whole report every 10 years, we are on a new system called Pathways, which in four years, we will provide an update to [the HLC],” Hubert said. “Then, three years after that, we will provide another update, and then at the 10-year mark, we will provide another update but it will only be for a three-year period. We will be continually updating our report along the way.”Hubert said the report was an overall success.“We hit everything because across the board, they gave us the highest marks that you could receive, so we really give kudos to the faculty and staff that worked on it to make sure we had everything covered,” Hubert said.Tags: Higher Learning Commission, HLC, reaccreditation reviewlast_img read more

Students look back on Hurricane Katrina

first_imgNearly 10 years have passed since images of the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina first appeared in major news outlets, but for some Notre Dame students the memory of the hurricane is still as fresh as on the day Katrina made landfall, Aug. 29, 2005.“[The hurricane] is something that I will always remember,” Mari Tumminello, a junior from New Orleans, said. “I can’t even believe it was 10 years ago. It shocks me that it’s been that long.”Janice Chung | The Observer Tumminello was 10 years old when Katrina hit. She said she and her family evacuated their home after reports that the hurricane had become a Category 5 storm reached them.  They drove in heavy traffic from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and then flew from there to Miami where her father, an airline pilot, was based.She said her family watched the coverage of the hurricane and its aftermath from their hotel in Miami, as reports that New Orleans had been spared the brunt of the storm grew increasingly dismal following the failure of the levee system and the subsequent flooding of the city.The uncertainty during that time was the worst part, Tumminello said.“They only reported the flooding, so we had no idea what happened to our house, what happened to anything,” she said.Flooding across the city caused billions of dollars in damage; according to a Dec. 2005 report by the National Climate Data Center, flood water covered over 80 percent of New Orleans, in some places up to 20 feet deep.“We were lucky in that my house didn’t flood where I was,” Tumminello said. “The levees by us stayed strong, which was great. But we had tons of wind damage, we had brick walls fall down, we had shingles. My neighbor, his house imploded, we had a tornado go down our street.”But although Tumminello’s house fared well in comparison to much of the city, she said her family was unable to stay in New Orleans. With limited flights leaving New Orleans in the weeks and months following the hurricane, Tumminello said her father had to move their family temporarily to Miami in order to keep his job at the airline.“Seeing it as a kid and not understanding everything about it — why we couldn’t go back, why we had to stay — made it so much more difficult,” she said. “In hindsight, it was a good experience for me in the end, moving away, experiencing something else, and that would have never happened had Katrina not happened.”In Pass Christian, Mississippi — which according to a 2008 report by the National Hurricane Center experienced the highest storm surge of the hurricane at 27.8 feet — Notre Dame senior John-Paul Drouilhet had a very different experience of the storm.Like Tumminello, Drouilhet’s family evacuated the area, but while Tumminello’s family temporarily relocated to Miami, Drouilhet’s returned home to find much of their city leveled.“The church and school were just gone,” he said. “There was nothing left to either of them.“Everything was just kind of destroyed.”Drouilhet said in the aftermath, volunteers helped construct temporary schools for children to attend until the city could locate resources for more permanent school buildings.“Shortly after the storm, they got enough volunteers to come back, and we actually built a school out of a skating rink in the same town,” he said. “Seventeen days and we opened the school. I mean it wasn’t perfect, it was a skating rink with walls built in it, but it was what we needed.”Drouilhet’s community was not the only one in need of school buildings. Coming in late August, Katrina left thousands of children without a school to attend at the beginning of a new school year.Senior Carter Boyd, of Shreveport, Louisiana recalled the hundreds of evacuees who escaped to his town, many of them school-aged children.While the hurricane itself did relatively little damage to Shreveport, which is in the northeastern part of the state, Boyd said the evacuees from coastal cities posed a major logistical problem.“I was in sixth grade, and I remember the schools just became flooded with students, because it was the beginning of the school year, so a lot of kids were joining the classes right about that time and it was just an overwhelming situation having not enough seats but so many kids,” he said.In order to respond to the influx of evacuees, Boyd said volunteers converted many school gyms into temporary shelters.“I remember going and volunteering with my family in one of these shelters and just seeing how many people they had crammed in there with limited supplies,” he said. “It became a logistical disaster.”Like Boyd, senior May Stewart said she remembers returning to school to see many new faces. Stewart lives in Vacherie, Louisiana, a small town about an hour west of New Orleans.“I think I noticed most of the damage when I went back to school,” she said. “I went to a Catholic school in a different town, but we got a ton of students from Catholic schools in New Orleans that were displaced because of the storm, and so it was weird to be in school with people who lost everything that they had.“One of the girls that I became really close with, she only had one picture that she was able to bring with her from her house. I couldn’t imagine that.”Stewart said she thinks part of the reason the hurricane was so devastating was that its intensity took people by surprise.“No one really thought it was really going to be as bad as it was going to be,” Stewart said. “And then, by the time we realized that it was, it was kind of too late to make plans.”Tumminello, Drouilhet, Boyd and Stewart all said Katrina left a lasting impression on them, even 10 years after it hit land.Stewart said since witnessing Hurricane Katrina, any news of impending disasters makes her anxious.“I’m always looking and seeing what storms are coming up and where they are going, and it sounds horrible, but praying that it doesn’t happen in Louisiana because I know what would happen to my town,” Stewart said.But despite the tragedy of the storm, Tumminello said some good came out of Hurricane Katrina.“It was definitely a terrible time in my life, but it’s something that’s shaped who I am today and I wouldn’t be the person I am today had it not happened.”Tags: 10 years later, Hurricane Katrina, New Orleanslast_img read more

Saint Mary’s highlights options for reporting

first_imgSusan Zhu Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of a five-part series on sexual assault at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. Today’s stories focus on the process for students reporting sexual assaults.Saint Mary’s students who are survivors of sexual violence have several different avenues through which they can report a sexual assault.Students can either report a sexual assault to confidential or non-confidential resources and individuals, director of the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) Connie Adams said.“We have confidential people on campus at Saint Mary’s and that’s myself in BAVO, Health and Counseling Services professional staff so counselors, nurses, nurse practitioner, psychiatrist all of those individuals and then the pastoral ministers that are in Campus Ministry,” she said. “If a student chooses to speak with a confidential person, he or she does not have to make a report unless he or she wants to make one.”Enacted in 1972, Title IX deals with issues relating to gender, and specifically prohibits discrimination based on gender for institutions that receive federal funding, Adams said.Saint Mary’s students who want to go through with the investigative process have two options for reporting their assault: They can either report to a non-confidential College resource or to law enforcement, Adams said.“Everyone else that is employed by Saint Mary’s is a non-confidential person or a responsible person, which means that if they’re an RA, in building services, a professor, if they work in the library, whatever they may be, they are a responsible person,” she said. “So, if they receive knowledge that sexual violence may have happened, then they are required by federal law to be reporting that information to the Title IX Coordinator. That means the institution knows and the institution has to take action.”Adams said if the survivor or third-party reporter decides to make a Title IX report or discloses information to a non-confidential person, the report goes to Title IX Coordinator Rich Nugent.The Title IX Coordinator has been designated by the institution to oversee all Title IX cases. Reports to non-confidential persons must be made to the coordinator, she said.“The report comes in to the Title IX Coordinator and the first piece is identifying if this is a Title IX issue … and identifying if we know who may have been impacted, victimized — who is the survivor,” she said. “When talking about Title IX, we use the terminology complainant — the person who filed the report.”Complainants get first priority to make sure their needs are met, she said.“There has to be those certain types of support and resources that are available while making sure that the individual is okay,” Adams said. “And making sure they have whatever they have to be able to continue in their academic environment and to be able to excel.”If the name of the perpetrator is provided, and associated with the college, Saint Mary’s has an obligation to investigate it, Adams said. However, if the perpetrator is not a Saint Mary’s student, the Title IX investigation does not move forward at the College, but rather at that student’s institution.“Really, the investigation piece is institutions can only conduct investigations if individuals are enrolled in the institution or employed in the institution,” she said. “Title IX doesn’t necessarily have to do with where something happened but who’s involved in the situation.”After a students files a report with the Title IX coordinator, she initially meets with a Deputy Title IX Coordinator for an intake meeting, in which the student receives options and information, and the Deputy Title IX coordinator offers support and determines if the complainant wants to move forward.Saint Mary’s has three deputy Title IX coordinators who oversee an area of the policy based on who is involved. Assistant vice president for Student Affairs Janielle Tchakerian handles cases involving students. Director of Human Resources Kris Urschel handles cases involving staff or administration, and Dean of Faculty Vickie Hess handles cases involving faculty members.“Depending on the information gathered, the investigation may move forward to investigation and adjudication. If the complainant wants the investigation to move forward or if the complainant does not, but the Title IX Coordinator identifies a safety concern for the wider campus community, the process continues,” Adams said.“Then we utilize — which is new this year — outside external investigators,” she said. “Local attorneys that have different kinds of specialties around sexual assault, higher education and what not that conduct more of the actual investigation component. What that looks like is sitting down and having meetings, gathering information, listening to stories, asking questions. They’re fact finding in an impartial manner.”Adams said in cases regarding student respondents, the Community Standards process begins next, which involves the Critical Issues Board.“What they’re looking at is based on the evidence, is it more likely than not, a preponderance of evidence standard, that the policy has been violated. They’re not looking at the law, they are looking at the policy. And ultimately if someone is found responsible for violating a policy, then there is some type of consequence. Ultimately, the greatest consequence is dismissing someone from the institution or firing someone,” Adams said.The process of pursuing a criminal investigation takes shape differently, in addition to having a longer time frame, Adams said. A Title IX process from start to finish is 60 days, unless extenuating circumstances change the timeline. The law enforcement process takes a minimum of one year because the prosecutor has to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the law has been violated, instead proving a policy violation has occured.“Title IX process start to finish — from the time that an institution knows, or reasonably should know, to the time that someone is found responsible or not responsible for a policy violation — is 60 days,” Adams said. “That doesn’t include the appeals process. The law enforcement process, you are lucky if it takes a year in terms of how that actually ends up playing out because it is a very different system and the components are different.”The law enforcement process looks at what state the crime was committed in, and what the laws in that state are, Adams said, while Title IX has to do with who is involved.“In this community there are a lot of different law enforcement agencies, … so if something happens on campus and the survivor wants to make a report, we are going to contact St. Joseph County as Saint Mary’s in it’s jurisdiction,” Adams said. “There’s Roseland, South Bend, Mishawaka, Notre Dame Security (NDSP) — those are the law enforcement bodies.”Adams said a number of years ago, the St. Joseph County prosecutor’s office formed a special division to address issues of domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence and stalking. Law enforcement reports made to St. Joseph County about sexual violence will be referred to the Special Victims Unit (SVU).“That team consists of investigators that are sworn law enforcement agents that are detectives and attorneys who work for the prosecutors office and other support staff,” Adams said. “There are officers, investigators, detectives that work for St. Joseph County, South Bend and Mishawaka and they are assigned to this division so they are members of their different departments but they come together and work as a team as part of SVU. They do the vast majority of investigations when it comes to law enforcement side of things.“Students need to know they have options when it comes to reporting sexual violence,” she said. “Even more importantly, they need to know there are support systems and persons in place to help whether they make a report or not.”Tags: deputy title IX coordinator, saint mary’s, sexual assault, Title IX, title ix processlast_img read more

Notre Dame class of 2020 brings ‘a unique balance’

first_imgSUSAN ZHU | The Observer While college admissions have largely been considered a numbers game in recent years, to Don Bishop, associate vice president of undergraduate enrollment, the members of Notre Dame’s incoming class of 2020 represent more than just high test scores and perfect grades; thanks to their unique and valuable personal attributes, he considers them perfect matches with Notre Dame.Bishop said the 2,050 incoming first-year students distinguished themselves from the record 19,505 applicants because of a very specific set of qualifications unique to Notre Dame.“The University has a very distinctive mission, and probably our most audacious statement is that Notre Dame will be a force for good in the world,” Bishop said. “We’re not just looking for the students who have the highest academic credentials. … It’s our job in admissions to find the students that will make the most use of all the resources that are at Notre Dame: the academic side of Notre Dame, the social development side of Notre Dame and, in the external sense, the service and leadership that we expect Notre Dame graduates to provide throughout their lives.”The pool of applicants, over 7,000 of which were in the top one percent of the nation, allowed the University to apply what Bishop describes as a “thoughtful holistic selection process that is focused on the nuanced attributes revealed through essays, letters of recommendations and extensive discussions of activities and the student’s motivation for their success” when selecting the class of 2020.“SATs and ACTs are helpful, but they just shouldn’t dominate the entire decision,” Bishop said. “Part of the reason for that is 10 years ago for the students that were in the top 1 percent of the nation in national testing, now we have a much larger group in that cohort. So once numbers get so high, the variation within that high range becomes less important. … I don’t think that matters enough for that to be the determining factor on saying ‘yes’ to one student and ‘no’ to another. So you look for other attributes.”Bishop said the University developed this evaluation process through extensive research about what determines a student’s success at Notre Dame, and is confident the incoming first-year students’ success will continue beyond college. “I often use numbers to evaluate whether we should the use the numbers as much as we have used them, and sometimes the research on numbers show that you should use numbers less,” he said. “We’ve talked to some of the top corporations in the world about how they evaluate people for projecting success after college. We’re trying to predict not only your success as an applicant at Notre Dame, we’re now increasingly trying to think through your potential success throughout your career in life.”Bishop said Notre Dame’s lack of interest in driving up its University ranking encourages him to admit a “unique kind of student with a unique balance” rather than an applicant who simply aims to check boxes.“Notre Dame is not interested in being a generic top-15 school and being rated highly within those 15. We are interested in becoming a better version of Notre Dame every year,” Bishop said. “We feel we’re No. 1 at who we are [and] we want to get better at who that is each year. We’re really acting out of a sense of, ‘We’re comfortable in our own skin, but we want to get better every year.’ We have a sense of purpose and mission, and we believe that we’re unique and we’re trying each year to become better at that.”The class of 2020 not only “sets another record for achievement by the incoming students” with the average student in the top 1 percent of the nation in either high school performance or national testing, Bishop said in an email, but also stands out for their service and leadership.“The admitted students are truly remarkable in their motivation for learning and commitment to service and leadership,” he said. “The enrolling class is comprised of students with compelling achievements and special talents with the potential to become tremendous servant leaders, scholars, researchers, creative artists and entrepreneurs.”Bishop said he is looking for these students to use their talents to seek a greater understanding of themselves and others.“There’s the intellectual ability, but we’re really trying to push our students toward a greater sense of wisdom, and we’re looking for students that want to seek out wisdom, not just accomplishment,” said Bishop. “My understanding of wisdom is not only being very bright, but then integrating it with a sense of knowing who you are, knowing who others are and developing a sense of purpose and fulfillment from that. And I don’t think the majority of other colleges talk like that.”Bishop said Notre Dame has also managed to remain faithful to the University’s Catholic identity while admitting increasingly high numbers of top students because “the top Catholics are attracted to Notre Dame.”“In the last six years we have doubled the number of Catholic applicants that are in the top 1 percent of the nation,” he said. “We’ve been intentional about identifying the unique nature of Notre Dame and we’ve gone out intentionally and found the top Catholics and engaged them in that conversation. … About 80 percent of our freshman class is Catholic. If you look at the other top-10 Catholic universities in America by top 10 most selective — and there are over 200 Catholic colleges and universities in America — they average only around 45 to 70 percent Catholic.”This continued admission of Catholic students, as well as students who buy into Notre Dame’s faith-based values, has also resulted in an increase in diversity, Bishop said. This year’s incoming class includes students from 1,362 high schools from 47 countries; 32 percent of the class is made up of U.S. students of color and international students.“One thing we know is that the top Catholic students insist on an increasingly diverse institution,” he said. “So they would not have come if Notre Dame had not proven itself to be open to all students and to provide a socioeconomic and a cultural diversity. So you have to do both at the same time: remain uniquely Catholic but also highly diverse.”Additionally, Bishop said he is optimistic that students of the class of 2020 are good matches with Notre Dame due to its record-setting yield rate, which indicates students have embraced the University’s mission.“Notre Dame is one of the most sought after universities. This year 56.2 percent of the admitted students enrolled — one of the top 10 yield rates in the nation,” he said. “Increasingly what we’re finding are students who can go to other top-15 schools, but view Notre Dame as not just a top-15 school, but No. 1 at who we are. And once you embrace who we are and you feel we’re No. 1, you don’t go anywhere else.”Tags: Admissions, Admissions Office, Don Bishop, Freshman Orientation 2016last_img read more

Student government candidates kick off campaign season

first_imgNotre Dame student body election season kicked off Thursday night in the basement of Cavanaugh Hall with a panel comprised of the presidential and vice presidential candidates, joined by their campaign managers. The panel was hosted by We Stand For —  a group that aims at “sharing resources and support for Notre Dame students in light of the election” — and was focused on clarifying how each ticket plans to address diversity on campus. Michael Yu | The Observer Candidates and campaign managers answer questions at We Stand For’s panel Thursday night. Pictured, from Left to Right: Daniela Naramatsu, Rohit Fonseca and Madi Purrenhage; and Sibonay Shewit, Becca Blais and Prathm Juneja.“Diversity at Notre Dame comes in many different forms,” junior presidential candidate Rohit Fonseca said. “Diversity is what makes us a great university; it’s what makes us special.”Fonseca’s running mate, junior Daniela Naramatsu, said their ticket emphasizes and exemplifies diversity.“Diversity at Notre Dame is the three of us — we have very different views, but we’re free to differ from each other and we’re free to talk about it,” Naramatsu said. “We think we’re a pretty diverse ticket because we’re able to bring a lot of different ideas to the table.”Junior Madi Purrenhage, campaign manager for the Fonseca-Naramatsu ticket, said a major part of their platform involves creating civil discourse on campus. “Our ticket is really passionate about the fact that we represent a lot of diverse opinions,” Purrenhage said. “Even if someone is the exact opposite of any of us, we can understand other people’s viewpoints. We tried to take a lot of different viewpoints into account in making our platform.”Similarly, junior presidential candidate Becca Blais said diversity played a significant role in the formation of their platform. “I see diversity as progress,” Blais said. “It’s acknowledging all the wonderful differences we have, and that progress comes in moving forward. I know, with us, diversity is a huge piece of our platform.”Blais’ running mate, junior Sibonay Shewit, said there is “more [Notre Dame] can do to celebrate diversity.”“Everyone recognizes that ND is a diverse university,” Shewit said. “We may not be where our peer universities are … but that doesn’t mean that it’s OK, so we want to really push that, and start these conversations.”The next steps, as Blais said she sees it, include coping with the political climate at Notre Dame. “I think we’re in a very ugly place right now with our political climate,” Blais said. “I think we’re afraid to talk to each other, to have these conversations. The biggest next step is changing that climate on campus and bringing down that hostility. It’s not an us and them — it’s an all of us.” Shewit said the impetus of promoting diversity falls on student government. “With every example, it starts with Student Government making these things their top priority,” Shewit said. “We want to be allies for the LGBTQ community, for the [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] students, we want to help with Walk the Walk week, we want to be there at Welcome Weekend, we want to be as open and visible as possible.”Fonseca said a major component of their platform is the creation of RouND Tables — “moderated face-to-face conversations about critical or controversial topics,” according to their platform.“You never see people having those hard conversations with people, face to face,” Fonseca said. “We’re going to do that with RouND Tables. If we did it today, we would ask if Trump should be invited to campus. The stuff you see in Viewpoints or Facebook, it’s not stuff you would say to people’s face. I think we can have these discussions face-to-face though. What we’re doing is getting you face-to-face with people who you would never see during your four years here.”Sophomore campaign manager for the Blais-Shewit ticket, Prathm Juneja, said he hopes to bring together students with different experiences and backgrounds.“What we’re focusing on what can we do to make it feel like students belong here,” Juneja said. “Every student belongs here, and how do we make them feel like that?”Tags: DACA, Student government, Student government elections, We Stand Forlast_img read more

Grandson of Gandhi discusses political tensions, legacies of activists

first_imgAlvin Kraja | The Observer Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of activist Mahatma Gandhi, spoke about contemporary political issues and his grandfather’s legacy during a lecture on Tuesday at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.Gandhi started his talk about the current situation in India with the recent government and its policies. He said he is “tremendously troubled of what is happening in India.”According to Gandhi, he has always tried to answer the question “Why the world today is the way it is.”Gandhi argued that the norms of society have shifted from peace and mutual respect for each other to hierarchy and domination. He said his grandfather saw future India from a different perspective from the current leaders of the governments.“[Mahatma] Gandhi saw people together. India in his vision belongs to one another,” he said. ”All Indians are human beings that share the same space.”Gandhi said the discrimination of the Muslim Indians still continues, and the government has not taken the right measures to fix this issue.“[There is a] polluted landscape in India right now,” he said. ”Free India should not belong to the majority of the religion, but to all.”Since 79.8% of Indians are Hindu, they have gained more privileges and despise the Indian Muslims, he said.According to Gandhi, this behavior of Hindus is not right because “Hinduism teaches to return good from evil.”He also cited a quote from his grandfather regarding the segregation of religion, supporting the idea that everyone is welcomed in India regardless of their religion.“God is one even if addressed by different names,” he said.Gandhi further discussed the discrimination of Muslims in India by comparing the United States with India.“A second-generation Indian American is able to run for president, but in India, Muslims should prove their loyalty to the country in order to vote,” he said.The lecture also mentioned the current situation in Kashmir. According to Gandhi, Kashmir has only eight million citizens, but it is speculated that the Indian government has sent more than 500,000 soldiers to patrol this area. He said this high concentration of soldiers is a result of the Kashmir population being 95% Muslim.“History does not provide roadmaps for what happens in the future,” he said. “Gandhi and King provided roadmaps for different situations. So what do we do?”To Gandhi, the solution to these problems is to express our opinions and actively protest for our rights.“We must speak out, we must inform, pass the new when we can,” he said. “Each of us should search for the next step.”To end his lecture, Gandhi mentioned the lack of knowledge of other cultures as very critical today.“We have neglected to know our fellow human being,” he said.If people were to learn more about a different culture, they would understand each other more, and this knowledge would solve the problems he mentioned throughout the lecture, Gandhi said.Tags: Hesburgh Center for International Studies, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies. Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, gave a lecture called “Is the Dream Alive? Reflections on Race, Nationality and the Legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King” at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies on Tuesday. The lecture was part of a joint event hosted by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies.Gandhi is a biographer and research professor at the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has written numerous books, including “A Tale of Two Revolts: India 1857 & the American Civil War” and “Mohandas: A True Story of a Man, His People and an Empire.”last_img read more

Man Charged With Strangulation Following Alleged Weekend Altercation

first_imgStock Image PANAMA – A Village of Panama man is facing charges following an alleged altercation over the weekend.The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office says Nicholas Shields, 29, was arrested on Sunday following the incident late Saturday night.Deputies did not release specifics, only saying Shields is charged with second-degree strangulation, second-degree aggravated harassment and second-degree harassment.They say he was brought to the Chautauqua County Jail for the centralized arraignment program. 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