Rent-A-Text arrives at Saint Mary’s bookstore

first_imgSaint Mary’s students took advantage of the new textbook rental program at Shaheen Bookstore, which was acquired by Follett Higher Education Group on Oct. 20. Thirty-six percent of students rented textbooks through the Rent-A-Text program, which accounted for 18 percent of the Bookstore’s total sales for the semester, Jim O’Connor, a regional manager at Follett, said. Notre Dame, which started the same program last semester, had a similar success rate, with 25 percent of students renting their texts. O’Connor said Saint Mary’s also has an increase in used texts. “With the introduction of this initiative along with a tremendous increase in the availability of used textbooks resulted in 41 percent of the SMC student purchases at greatly reduced costs as compared to a new textbook price,” O’Connor said. O’Connor said renting texts allows students to spend less for a semesters worth of books. “The Rent-A-Text program offers another cost savings alternative to the students,” O’Connor said. “The greatest advantage is the lowering of the upfront expenditure by students for the purchase of their course required materials. Renting a textbook will result in a savings of over 50 percent as compared to the cost of a new textbook.” Students who would like to rent books can either do so at the Bookstore, pre-register online at rent-a-text.com or do an express registration at the time of their first rental transaction, O’Connor said. “All that is required is that the student is over the age of 18, have a valid government issued ID and a credit card for collateral,” O’Connor said. “The actual transaction may be tendered utilizing cash, check, credit card or student charge. The collateral is only utilized in the event of a non-return.” Students wishing to purchase books they had rented can do so at any time, O’Connor said. He said there are no disadvantages to the program as long as students return the books at the end of the semester. “The failure to return will result in a full charge for the book plus penalties since that rental book will need to be replaced to ensure inventory of that title is available for rent for an upcoming term by other students,” O’Connor said. According to O’Connor, not every textbook in the library is available for rent in the bookstore, but there is a large database from which students may choose. “Since the Shaheen Bookstore is part of the Follett Higher Education network a large national data base of rental eligible titles is immediately available,” O’Connor said. “A faculty member may visit rent-a-text.com to view this national list as they are determining a selection for a future term.” O’Connor said there is a local rental list that is available if a book is being used for multiple terms. “A local rental title must meet certain criteria. The Store Manager will work closely with the faculty to identify potential additions to the national list,” he said. Junior biology major Krystal Holtcamp said she rented her books this semester to help curb costs. “I thought it was a really good option to be able to rent books especially me as a science major it’s very helpful because my books are so expensive,” she said. Holtcamp said it was a simple process. “I had a great experience,” she said. “All I had to do was show them my ID and they had it ready for me.”last_img read more

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Legends touts ‘best lineup’

first_imgWith its web page advertising this semester’s list of acts as “Our Best Lineup Ever,” Legends of Notre Dame Nightclub is not mincing words this spring. The statement is supported with a video trailer promoting the array of artists performing at the nightclub this spring. Aaron Perri, general manager of Legends, said the spring lineup is remarkable because of the variety of acts. “I try to pick a lineup that contains a wide variety of entertainment, to appeal to the broadest range of people. We have some of the best concerts, comedy and variety acts from across the country,” he said. “Our concerts span every genre and style, from rock to indie, to hip-hop and country. We hope there is something here for everyone.” Perri said Legends will feature nearly 60 acts over the course of the semester, with a top-heavy lineup. “More than half of [the artists] are nationally touring acts, the same acts you would pay $20 to $50 to see in other cities,” he said. “I think we’ll have numerous shows that hit capacity. There are no real low points on our lineup.” Perri, who has been in charge of booking the professional entertainment at Legends for the last seven and a half years, said he has been arranging the lineup since last October, just finishing in mid-January. While variety is important, practicality is a major consideration, he said. “At the end of the day, the booking process comes down to availability and affordability,” Perri said. The bold advertising and planning this spring is a continuing hallmark of Legends, Perri said. “Each semester we try something new and cutting edge,” he said. “We kicked this year off with an ambitious video marketing trailer and we’ll continue with our innovative marketing campaigns all semester.” Perri said Legends operates like any professional nightclub, doing 95 percent of its own event planning. During the semester, Legends allows the Student Union Board (SUB) to host several shows. SUB manager Julia Sutton said this freedom of planning has allowed the organization to contribute to Legends’ already stellar lineup, which includes Super Mash Bros., Big Sean, Axis of Awesome and John Mulaney. “I feel like we have a really good variety of acts. There will be something for everyone,” she said. “Everyone on campus can get out to Legends and enjoy it this semester.” Sutton said SUB has planned a variety of acts, ranging from more established groups to up and coming artists. She said SUB tends to focus on newer artists, who appeal to a wide range of students. “Because we do our big concert outside Legends, we like to do up-and-coming stuff inside,” Sutton said. “Our primary purpose is to program for the entire student body, so we want to take as many tastes into account. We’re focusing more on quality of act.” One thing SUB is trying differently this semester is bringing in slam poet Anis Mojgani, Sutton said. “We usually stick to comedy, but we thought Anis was too good to pass up,” she said. While Legends may be advertising this as its “best lineup ever,” Perri said Legends is simply continuing to strive to be one of the best live entertainment venues in America. “A couple of years ago Pollstar named Legends as one of the top 12 nightclubs in the country for live entertainment,” he said. “It’s important to note that we are not simply competing against nightclubs at other college campuses. We had a great lineup that year, but I believe this year is even better.”last_img read more

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Campus heightens assault awareness

first_imgStudents can learn about sexual assault prevention and campus resources as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Week, which began Sunday and will continue until next Sunday. Elizabeth Moriarty, assistant director of the Gender Relations Center, said the week raises awareness of rape and sexual assault in the Notre Dame community, shows support for survivors and highlights education and prevention efforts on campus. “We want to give [students] ideas about how we can prevent rape and sexual assault from happening and give hope to people that have been victimized,” Moriarty said. “There is a community that wants to help them in their healing process.” Moriarty said the campus needs to acknowledge sexual assault and demonstrate care and concern. The Gender Relations Center organizes Sexual Assault Awareness Week as part of its violence prevention initiative, Moriarty said. The Center recruits student government, clubs and organizations, athletic teams and academic departments to co-sponsor events. “A lot of times it’s a private and internal issue that people deal with,” Moriarty said. “Trying to increase understanding of that is one of the main issues of the week.” The Gender Relations Center will host a Mass of Healing in Dillon Hall Wednesday. This is the first year that Sexual Assault Awareness Week has included a Mass at which the liturgy is devoted to healing from rape and sexual assault. Victims may choose to receive the Anointing of the Sick at this Mass. Take Back the Night will not be part of Sexual Assault Awareness Week this year, Moriarty said. This event includes a march as a public statement against sexual assault, a speak-out for people to tell their stories and a public gathering celebrating that people can join together in the fight against sexual assault. Take Back the Night will be April 28 this year. Moriarty said another important difference this year is the Gender Relations Center’s effort to involve other campus groups in the events. “We’re really trying to be more intentional about reaching out to other departments and student groups to get them involved [and] to try to make this a campus initiative instead of just a Gender Relations Center initiative,” Moriarty said. Sunday, the liturgies in campus Masses will focus on healing from sexual violence. On Tuesday, the Gender Relations Center will host the annual A Time to Heal Dinner at which community members can discuss issues related to sexual assault. “A Time to Heal [is] a unique opportunity for people to hear faculty, students and staff speak about healing from sexual assault from their own perspectives” Moriarty said. “Talking about rape and sexual assault can be very challenging. [A Time to Heal is] people having a conversation sitting around the dinner table. In the Christian community, that’s a pretty important metaphor.” Senior Mariah McGrogan is co-chair of the student government Gender Issues Committee. She was heavily involved in planning Sexual Assault Awareness Week and will speak at the A Time to Heal Dinner. “I’m going to be talking about how people can overcome what is sometimes awkward about talking about sexual assault in order to take an active role in preventing it,” McGrogan said. “I think the communal aspect is very important in something like a dinner for A Time to Heal.” McGrogan helped plan the student government initiatives of Sexual Assault Awareness Week. These events include a self-defense class, T-shirt distributions and the You Are Not Alone Reception. The You Are Not Alone Reception is an initiative in which student organizations, residence halls, departments and offices will create quilt squares to say Notre Dame will not stand for sexual assault, McGrogan said. These squares will become part of a quilt that McGrogan hopes will be complete by the Gender Relations Center’s Festival on the Quad on the last day of classes. McGrogan said she hopes Sexual Assault Awareness Week will enable survivors of sexual violence to gain a sense of community and take a step in their healing processes. She also hopes students that have not been directly affected by sexual assault will gain a better understanding of how sexual assault affects the Notre Dame community. Moriarty said students and faculty are working to make Notre Dame a safer place. “The good news is that we have the power to make a difference, to stop these things from happening and to better support those who have survived rape and sexual assault,” Moriarty said. “I hope that [survivors] know that there are people here that want to help them … so they know they’re not alone.”last_img read more

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Notre Dame, IU partner on graduate program

first_imgThe Eck Institute for Global Health and the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) have paired up to offer IUSM students the opportunity to earn a joint Medical Doctor/Master of Science in Global Health (M.D./M.S.) degree beginning this fall. Director of the Eck Institute David Severson said officials from IU initially proposed the program to Notre Dame’s administrators. “We felt it was a great opportunity to increase our interactions with other Indiana universities and to expand the scope of our M.S. [in Global Health] program at the same time,” Severson said. Joseph Bock, director of global health training at the Eck Institute, said the program aims to give people the tools to increase global equity in access to healthcare. Indiana University’s interest in global health took root years ago in a research-based program in Eldoret, Kenya known as AMPATH, Bock said. Indiana University students travel overseas every year to study under a professor who conducts research on health challenges in Kenya. “Because of AMPATH, they are getting an increased number of students applying who are interested in global health,” Bock said. “Indiana University is interested in making its global health portfolio robust. Certainly they have already done that with AMPATH. This [dual degree program] is another way they are doing that.” Acceptance into the dual degree program is separate from acceptance to IUSM, Bock said, and IUSM students will compete with other applicants for spots. Those accepted will take a year of absence to enroll in the M.D./M.S. program and receive their Masters in Global Health from Notre Dame. The year-long program takes place over two semesters and a summer, according to a University press release. Students will complete 30 credit hours, a research project and a six- to eight-week international field experience. Bock said the current Master of Science in Global Health program sends students around the world to countries including India, Tanzania, Malaysia, Ecuador and Haiti. Students have partnered with organizations such as the National Institute for Medical Research in Tanzania. “We are open to students coming in and suggesting places they want to go,” Bock said. Upon completing their international field experience, the future dual degree students will return to any Indiana University campus to complete their third and fourth years of medical training.  Bock said the dual degree program will allow students to take courses that pertain to their specialized interests but also require skill-oriented, core classes. One core class will ensure students can use geographic information system data in a mathematical model. “The students who take the epidemiology class, which will be required next year, will need to be able to do that,” Bock said. Severson said he would love for Notre Dame eventually to establish a school of public health.  “The Eck Institute for Global Health will continue to seek to recruit and establish expertise in the areas [bio-statistics, immunology, and epidemiology] with an eye toward building a framework that a school could be established around,” he said. Bock said Notre Dame wants to inspire students to help people who cannot pay for even inexpensive medicines. “It’s a crime against humanity that you have people out there with tuberculosis who can’t take the medicine for the six to nine months simply because they can’t afford it,” he said. Severson said students want to impact the global community. “I think many students today … see an opportunity to incorporate this interest in global health in their career goals,” he said.last_img read more

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Judge rules for Notre Dame in ESPN suit

first_imgSara Shoemake | The Observer On Monday, St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Steven Hostetler issued a verdict in Notre Dame’s favor in a lawsuit filed by ESPN regarding access to campus police records. Hostetler ruled that Indiana’s current Access to Public Records Act (APRA) does not apply to private colleges and universities that appoint police officers, including the Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP).ESPN and Paula Lavigne, an ESPN reporter, filed a lawsuit against the University on Jan. 15 after NDSP refused to grant Lavigne’s requests for incidence reports related to student-athletes on two separate instances.ESPN argued NDSP is subject to Indiana’s APRA and should be required to produce the requested records because it exercises the police powers of arrest, according to a plaintiff brief filed March 9.In his ruling, Hostetler wrote the Court recognizes Notre Dame and other private universities that appoint campus police officers as “state actors,” not public agencies.“The powers given to officers appointed by Indiana’s private colleges and universities are significant,” Hostetler wrote. “However, it does not follow that Notre Dame is a public agency under APRA simply because NDSP is a ‘state actor’ for constitutional law purposes.”Hostetler wrote he shares discomfort with Indiana Public Access Counselor (PAC) Luke Britt surrounding the notion of a private party exercising police powers without having to provide its records to the public, despite his decision not to apply APRA to NDSP.Britt, an attorney appointed by the governor, issued two separate opinions stating that he considered NDSP to be a public agency and subject to APRA. Britt’s opinions differed from previous opinions issued by Indiana Public Access Counselors in 2003, 2009 and 2011.In a defense brief filed Feb. 12, Damon Leichty, an attorney representing Notre Dame, argued Indiana Legislature did not intend for APRA to apply to campus police departments because it did not change the statute after these previous opinions were issued.“If the Legislature thought that those three Public Access Counselors were wrong, and that private colleges and universities in Indiana were intended to be public agencies under APRA, the Legislature has had since 2003 to codify that intent,” Hostetler wrote. “It has not done so.”Hostetler wrote that although Indiana Legislature may consider adapting APRA in the future, it cannot be interpreted to apply to private colleges and universities in its current state.“This Court will not strain the language of the statute in order to do what the Legislature has not, even though there are indeed persuasive reasons why the statute should be amended to read the way ESPN desires,” Hostetler wrote.Paul Browne, vice president for student affairs and communications, said the University supported the ruling.“We are pleased that Judge Hostetler has agreed with the long-recognized status of the University’s records,” Browne said. “As always, our police department will continue to investigate and report in a manner consistent with the highest standards of law enforcement and in accord with state law.”The South Bend Tribune reported Plaintiff Attorney James Dimos said ESPN is unsure of whether or not it is going to appeal Hostetler’s ruling.Tags: ARPA, ESPN, lawsuit, NDSP, public records accesslast_img read more

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‘So much more power than we think’

first_imgKATHLEEN DONAHUE | The Observer Sexual assault activists Andrea Pino, left, and Annie Clark, who were featured in “The Hunting Ground,” speak at a Sept. 11 event at Legends. The film explores ‘rape culture’ that students still try to understand and fight.“I think rape culture exists because people don’t know it’s a problem,” Zyber said. “A lot of the time women are taught ‘watch out for yourself,’ ‘take care of yourself,’ ‘don’t dress this way,’ but we also need to educate men, especially at a young age, to not do the raping. … I think there is a lack of awareness on both sides.”Abigail Palko, the associate director of the Notre Dame gender studies program, said rape culture is “the idea that we have cultural norms and/or ideas about what kinds of behavior is okay that make it more likely for rapes to happen.”Rape culture can manifest in a number of ways on campus, including the communities in which students live, student alcohol use and abuse and the language used to talk about consent and sexual violence.Dorm culturePalko said scholars who study rape culture often look at spaces like fraternity houses, and though Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s do not have Greek life, those types of communities still exist on campus.“I know we don’t have frats or sororities, but we have a very strong dorm culture here, and … those environments — when there’s excessive alcohol, when there’s unhealthy understandings of sexuality and sex ed and very tight homosocial bonding — those kind of environments are more likely to lead to increased rates of sexual assault,” she said.Notre Dame senior Shannon Sheehan, the director of Loyal Daughters and Sons, a student-run performance that shares anonymous stories of gender issues and sexual violence, said the single-sex dorm system at Notre Dame creates a power imbalance in intimate interactions.“Systems like parietals and single-sex dorms really just heighten the sexual tensions we have on campus and encourage victims to feel shame about being assaulted because they could have been doing something that was against the rules,” Sheehan said. “So at Notre Dame, if you’re [a girl] going to a guy’s dorm to hook-up, or if you’re going to a guy’s dorm for a party, you’re entering their space, and there’s a power dynamic in place.“Personally, I’ve heard experiences of this and there are a lot of girls who don’t feel like they can speak up, like they can’t say no, especially if it’s in a situation where they’re breaking parietals. You might be drunk, you might think it’s a great idea to go back to a guy’s dorm, and then realize ‘I don’t actually want to be in this situation,’ but there’s really no way out without straight up accusing the guy of assault or risking getting in trouble.”In recent years, the University administration has begun to use the dorm communities as spaces for students to lead sexual violence prevention initiatives, most recently the GreeNDot program.“Sometimes our dorm cultures can be places where students can find themselves in situations that they’re not comfortable with,” Gender Relations Center Director Christine Caron Gebhardt said. “… [But] I think our dorms can be used in a positive, cultural way. We have strong connections to our sense of community and identity to our dorms. And it can be a place where if the community sets forth the expectations, that we all set as a campus and reinforces that.”By viewing residence halls principally as Christian communities, University Vice President for Student Affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding said the dorms can powerfully counteract rape culture and sexual violence.“I emphasize … the influence that halls do have within our culture,” Hoffmann Harding said. “They’re formed fundamentally to build Christian community, and for each one of you to know one another individually. And that dovetails so well, and so nicely into this concept that we speak about so often, which is to be our brothers’ and our sisters’ keepers. And to the extent that we cultivate and live that within our communities, I think that makes Notre Dame’s possibility for the prevention of all violence, as powerful as any place in the country.”Alcohol cultureAdvocates have termed the time between the beginning of the school year and Thanksgiving break, the sexual assault “red zone,” when a higher proportion of assaults occur. Saint Mary’s senior resident assistant Natalie Hartman said first-year students are particularly vulnerable to campus drinking culture during this time.“I think the drinking culture is prevalent in different settings and context, but first years are the most susceptible to it,” Hartman said. “They are in all new surroundings, new places, with new people. … Everything is new.”Conversations surrounding campus sexual assault often include an indictment of binge drinking on college campuses, and Hoffmann Harding said, like most schools, the majority of Notre Dame’s sexual assault cases do involve alcohol.“Notre Dame’s cases that are reported to us are typical of what you would read nationally, in terms of the challenges,” she said. “ … And the majority of our cases do involve alcohol, in one form or another. And as a result, it is a significant concern for us.”Caron Gebhardt called alcohol “the number one date rape drug,” and said it can make consent a murky issue.“[Alcohol] can often be utilized in different ways,” she said. “It really is impactful on the ability to provide consent. And so a lot of the ways in which violence prevention has focused on the role of alcohol in either avoiding consent or how it impacts the ability to both receive and seek consent.”In many national conversations about campus sexual violence, Palko said, people tend to blame alcohol for causing sexual assault.“In the national context, I think [alcohol] tends to be more a causal [relationship to sexual assault],” she said.Sheehan said alcohol does contribute to a rape culture at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, and can facilitate instances of sexual violence, but does not necessarily cause perpetrators to assault someone.“A lot of times, sexual assault in college is linked to alcohol abuse,” she said. “But, in fact, there are a lot of college campuses where there’s a huge binge-drinking problem, but there actually is a very small sexual assault issue. So Princeton is a great example: a lot of alcohol abuse at Princeton, a lot of binge drinking, but very, very, very low rates of sexual assault.”Language and consentBeyond the dorm and alcohol cultures, Sheehan said sexual violence can often stem from a lack of understanding of what she called “enthusiastic consent.”“It’s not reaching for a condom, or going back to someone’s room,” she said. “At any point during a sexual encounter, you can stop, or you can say, ‘I’m not comfortable with this anymore,’ and if one of parties continues — a girl or a guy — that is considered assault and that is considered rape.”Furthermore, Sheehan said the language people use to talk about sexual assault contribute to a rape culture that is more hostile to survivors of assault.“Rape is the only crime where the victim becomes the accused,” Sheehan said. “You would never tell someone, ‘Oh, it sucks that your TV was stolen. You shouldn’t live in that neighborhood [or] you should have a security system.’“No one says, ‘Are you sure your TV was really stolen? Are you sure you didn’t give it away? Did you invite that burglar into your house?’ But that’s the language that’s used around rape.”With campaigns and programs like GreeNDot and “It’s On Us,” Caron Gebhardt said the culture surrounding sexual assault at Notre Dame is improving and can continue to progress by making small changes unaffiliated with established programs.“Cultures set norms, and if in the culture as small as dorms or as large as campus or a nation, the norms are either unspoken or not set forth, then people fill up the norms with the behaviors that they do,” she said. “ … And so how you combat rape culture, is you create spaces where those things that allow for rape culture — isolation, manipulation, apathy, objection of women — you slowly create situations where those things can’t happen.“You don’t give a perpetrator an opportunity to be able to engage in behaviors that could harm another person. Because it’s not just set forth by a policy, it’s set forth by certain people’s messages and behaviors that they send every day. By what they say, by what they do, and how they engage with each other.”Ultimately, Zyber said, even the smallest actions, and simplest conversations contribute to a cultural shift to hopefully end sexual violence.“I think we can all make a contribution to make it better, and that’s what gives me hope,” she said. “ … Just being aware of it and talking about it has so much more power than we think it does. I appreciate both campuses opening up in dialogue about this because I think that’s the best way to start moving towards a solution.”Tags: alcohol, consent, Dorm Culture, language, Pareitals, rape culture, Same-sex dorms, sexual assault, sexual assault series 2015, sexual violence, The Hunting Ground Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a five-part series on sexual assault at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. Today’s story focuses on the meaning of rape culture.After several screenings on campus earlier this year, CNN will air “The Hunting Ground” for a national audience Thursday at 9 p.m. When the documentary debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January, it was billed as “a piercing, monumental exposé of rape culture on campuses, poised to light a fire under a national debate.”The film, which examines Notre Dame and other universities’ handling of sexual assault cases, generated a renewed sexual violence discussion at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, but Saint Mary’s junior Lauren Zyber said most students still don’t know what “rape culture” is or why it’s a problem.last_img read more

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GreeNDot wins award, prepares changes for second year

first_imgMore than 100 students went through GreeNDot’s bystander training in its first year. Now, just starting its second year, the violence prevention initiative will be honored at Saturday’s football game against Nevada as one of the six organizations awarded the Presidential Team Irish Award.“I think two of the things that make GreeNDot remarkable for our campus is its cross-campus collaboration — you have faculty, staff and students all working in a way that’s different from every other violence prevention initiative I’ve ever been part of — and its impact on our campus has been really amazing,” Christine Caron Gebhardt, director of the Gender Relations Center (GRC), said. “People have really taken to the message, I think, because it’s very straightforward. It’s something people can get their hands on and it’s very practical.”The Presidential Team Irish Award recognizes a department as a group of people that live out core values of the University and do it in such a way that it impacts the entire University, according to the website for the Office of Human Resources. GreeNDot is a “campus-wide initiative for violence prevention” that works by promoting culture change about violence and how everyone does their part. “What we like about GreeNDot is that it takes a large issues like sexual assault, or stalking or domestic dating violence and breaks it into strategies that a person can do in their everyday life and that is suited to who they are so that all of the individual efforts and individual choices to do green dots have an overall impact of changing Notre Dame’s culture, as well as preventing violence from happening here,” Gebhardt said. She said the main service GreeNDot offers is bystander training, which encourages participants to “do their part” to prevent violence with the “3 Ds”: delegate, distract and direct. Over 300 people have expressed interest in being bystander trained this year, she said. The GRC plans on holding six trainings this year. “This school year, we’d like to have over 500 people to be trained,” Gebhardt said. “We have a number of overview speeches that we’d like to make sure that we reach. We are trying to reach more faculty because we feel like faculty can be one of the strongest voices.” The training teaches participants about “red dots,” or individual decisions that contribute to a culture of violence, and how to replace them with “green dots,” or individual decisions that promote change in this culture.“I think one of the most powerful parts of the training is the steps that a predator takes in order to find someone to prey upon,” she said. “I think it’s very intense, but it also helps people understand that when they see a situation playing out, while it may seem harmless, there’s actually an intentionality behind it that, as you see those steps, you see how you as a bystander may be able to intervene either before something happens, but also remind people that, regrettably, there are times that we can’t, but how they can intervene after and take care of the person who’s been harmed.”With the “strong momentum” from last year, Gebhardt said the GRC is hopeful about GreeNDot’s second year, especially with some of the changes being introduced. “One of the key things we recognize is really having students be more directly involved in the implementation, so we set up the student advisory committee,” she said. “I think that’s one of our biggest initiatives this year. Ultimately, we want this to be something the students feel ownership of and the students can shape it to what it needs to be for Notre Dame, not just for this year, but for the long-term future.” Senior Mary Kate Healey, one of the members of the new student committee and who is working on the social marketing subcommittee, said the students will help with advocacy and awareness. “You need to have students involved in order to make a campaign for students,” she said. “We’re the voice of the student body for the adults.” Healey was pulled in because of her previous work with Campus Ministry; she said other student council members were pulled from athletics, student government, etc.“If we’re going to say that we’re a community or a family and then acts of violence happens between students, there’s clearly something wrong there,” Healey said. “Having people from Campus Ministry brings that perspective, as well as letting the organization know that, as a faith-based institution, we’re not okay with what’s happening.”In addition to introducing the student advisory committee, Gebhardt said the GRC is also adding to their promotional plan for the program. “Ultimately, we’d like to get bystander stories out to people, because we’re hearing about the great ways in which people have used GreeNDot, and we want to get those stories out to other people so that folks can see that doing a green dot, while it’s courageous, may not be as hard as folks think it is,” she said. “If we can just have people share their stories, we can take that collection of green dots and show how we’re actually changing Notre Dame’s culture.“That’s really the heart of GreeNDot, that every day we’re sending a message about what Notre Dame stands for.”  Tags: greeNDot, Notre Dame Student Government, student safetylast_img read more

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University announces two new vice presidents

first_imgThe University announced it named Doug Marsh and David Bailey as vice presidents Jan. 5. Marsh, a South Bend native and a 1982 Notre Dame graduate, was promoted to vice president for facilities design and operations. Bailey, a 1983 Notre Dame graduate, was promoted to vice president for strategic planning and institutional research.As vice president for facilities design and operations, Marsh will be the university architect. For more than two decades, he has led planning, design and construction at Notre Dame, in addition to overseeing the University’s utilities and maintenance team. Bailey began his career on campus in 2011. Since 2012, he has led the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research. Previously he worked at IBM Corp., Gerard Klauer Mattison & Co and Goldman Sachs. After these promotions, Notre Dame now has 18 vice presidents, in addition to executive vice president John Affleck-Graves. Tags: David Bailey, Doug Marsh, John Affleck-Graveslast_img read more

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SMC dining hall reboots composting program

first_imgSince Feb. 8, yellow bins have sat next to the tray disposal area, where students can drop their napkins, food scraps, condiment cups and other compostable items in Saint Mary’s Noble Family Dining Hall as part of a new composting program.A sign next to the bins outlines what can and cannot be composted, and on the first few days the bins were in use, students involved in the program sat next to the bins to educate their peers on the importance of composting.Student groups Saint Mary’s Environmental Action Coalition (SMEAC) and Sustainability SMC implemented the initiative.“Composting was one of the main goals that Sustainably SMC tried to accomplish this school year,” Sustainability SMC co-president Kristhel Torre said. “The need to spread knowledge and procreate positive change drove this mission.”SMEAC president Mikhala Kaseweter, who studies sociology and also has a self-designed environmental studies major, said other students started a composting program in the dining hall two years ago, but it died out after they graduated. The goal of the clubs was to restart the program and make it permanent.Kaseweter said the process was difficult, and that they have worked on implementing the program for the entire year. Kaseweter said Judith Fean, Saint Mary’s vice president for mission, guided her through the process. Kenneth Acosta, head of dining services, was also helpful.“He provided the bins, table, information signs and a set of wheels,” Carolyn Arcuri, the other co-president of Sustainability SMC, said. “That’s right, a golf cart.”Initially, students dumped food waste into the woods, but now there is a bin near the College campus, which is what the golf cart is for. Students take food waste to the bin at the end of each day.“Carrying out the composting is quite the chore, but students have been very enthusiastic, so we hope to recruit more helpers,” Arcuri said.Kaseweter said the groups hope to build a farm on campus in the next few years.“Ideally we’ll make a more permanent bin when we get the farm,” she said.The composted waste will help provide nourishment for the upcoming campus farm, and according to Arcuri, it is currently helping to fertilize the campus Community Gardens.Kaseweter believes composting is important for the community at large.“It makes sense from a practical standpoint, aside from any environmental needs, because it recycles the nutrients while also eliminating waste,” Kaseweter said.According to Kaseweter, composting also reduces landfill waste. Instead, waste can be turned into rich humus that feeds plants.The presidents sit by the composting bins to help students learn about the program.“We hope that the students can adjust and fully participate in this sustainable practice,” Torre said.Kaseweter said she was excited about students’ enthusiasm.“When I’m at the bins and directing students, so many people thank me for starting this and say they’re excited about it,” she said. “Random students even ask me how they can also get involved.”Arcuri said she was surprised at how little students knew about composting before the initiative, but happy that they have shown interest in learning more.“Surprisingly, many students did not know you cannot compost plastic, but that is why we sit at the bins,” Arcuri said. “Sitting there, I realized how many people were into sustainable practices. It was obvious that girls cared about the environment and were happy to help. The only thing the community is lacking is convenience.”Sustainability SMC co-presidents Torre and Arcuri are juniors, so they will be available to continue the program into next year, and said they believe the enthusiasm of the students will help it last even beyond their graduation.Tags: composing, dining hall, SMEAC, Sustainability SMClast_img read more

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Students attend Urban Plunge immersion trips over break

first_imgOver winter break, 199 Notre Dame students traveled to 27 cities across the country as part of a Social Concerns Seminar called Urban Plunge. Urban Plunge is a one-credit seminar with a two to four-day immersion built to give students an opportunity to engage with communities experiencing poverty in U.S. cities.Kyle Lantz, director of Social Concerns Seminars at Notre Dame, said the program now known as Urban Plunge began on campus in 1968. Then just a Chicago-focused program, the trips were led by Monsignor Jack Egan, who worked in the North Lawndale neighborhood on the West side of Chicago and wanted to get members of the community more aware and involved in the area. Olivia Venvertloh Urban Plunge students display their artwork featuring slogans and lessons that they learned from their experience.“In 1968, the seeds of Urban Plunge began and it grew from there,” Lantz said. “Cleveland was the second city, and by the late ’70s we were going to a lot of different places.”Today the program continues, with students increasing their involvement not only in their home communities across the country but in South Bend as well. Lantz said that the South Bend Urban Plunge has grown from 10 students to 30 in the past year.“Locally, we want to create opportunities for Notre Dame students to engage the local community,” Lantz said. “There’s increasing interest in engaging South Bend in this way and it helps students have more tangible ways to continue this engagement throughout the rest of their time at Notre Dame.”Sophomore Olivia Venvertloh from San Diego went on immersion in Los Angeles. Her group stayed with the St. Francis Center in downtown L.A., but doing service projects throughout the city on their two-day immersion.“I had been to Los Angeles before but had never heard of Skid Row, which is a densely populated street with so many tents that you couldn’t see the sidewalk,” Venvertloh said. “I had never been faced with this kind of homelessness before.”This learning experience was supplemented with in-class coursework for all students participating in immersion, Venvertloh said.“They gave us more information on the different aspects of poverty showing that the road to homelessness is multifaceted and there’s not just one cause,” she said.There are also post-immersion class that deal with reflecting on the experience in the form of small group discussions and papers.The objective of the course is to inform students of the varying factors and causes of urban poverty within the lens of Catholic Social Teaching, Lantz said.“Students will be introduced or refreshed on what Catholic Social Teaching means, what does faith in action mean, and how are both the Church and other folks on the ground addressing the root causes of poverty in cities,” he said.The main point of the class, however, is to prepare students for entering the immersion, both intellectually and being in the correct mindset.“In addition, I think a big component is we are encouraging and teaching students how to go, what kind of posture, one of humility and listening and being open to learning from the community they are going to,” Lantz said.Tags: CSC, news, Urban Plungelast_img read more

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