Students cheer on NFL teams

first_imgOn a night featuring two prestigious teams in professional sports battling on the field, big budget commercials and a rocking half time show, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV. Sophomore Packers fan Sam Mitchell said he felt pure ecstasy following the Packer’s victory. “It is just exuberance,” Mitchell said. “It was a tremendous game, but the best team won, and congrats to Green Bay.” Mitchell said the triumph was particularly sweet because of the low expectations for the No. 6 seeded Packers. “We overcame so much adversity over the course of the season. Some injuries, a lot of people counted us out in the middle of the season,” he said. “We stayed focus and we knew could do it.” Junior Steelers fan Nick Grasberger said while the game was fun to watch, the Pittsburgh loss was a tough pill to swallow. “It was fun [to watch]. There was no one I would rather have then Ben [Roethlisberger] at the end of the game, but it wasn’t our year, I guess,” he said. Despite the loss, Grasberger said he expects the Steelers to fair better next season. He also said Pittsburgh remains the top NFL franchise in terms of Super Bowl victories. “We’re going to win next year,” he said. “We have six [Super Bowls]. [Green Bay] has four.” Junior Sara Teising said watching the Packers, her favorite team, in the big game made for a special Super Bowl experience. “It makes it super intense. I feel like I am part of it. I have been preparing for it all day,” she said. “I’m watching with friends at a house and eating food. We’ve been looking forward to this.” Teising said being a Green Bay fan runs in her family’s blood. “My grandpa was a Packers fan, so there is some sentimentality to watching. He taught me well.” Sophomore Emily Hefferon said she enjoyed watching the Super Bowl for the social experience it entailed. “The Super Bowl is such a weird tradition if you think about it. We eat a ton of food while we watch big dudes run around in spandex,” she said. “At the same time, it’s so great and classic American.” Senior Ian Heraty said he enjoyed the competitive action on the field, despite not being a fan of either team. “I’m glad it was a good game. It seemed like Pittsburgh was out of it but they did a good job of coming back.” Sophomore Patty Walsh said she hoped for a Steelers win. As a Chicago Bears fan, she said she is not fond of either team. “I loathe the Steelers slightly less, so I’m rooting against the Packers,” Walsh said. “The only way I’d really be happy is if they both lost.” When it came to entertainment for the show, Walsh said she was surprised at how the commercials failed to entertain her. “I think because [the game] is projected to have some of the highest viewership ever for anything on television, a lot is riding on the commercials and they have not been up to snuff,” she said. “Maybe they should have paid their creative teams more.” Sophomore Margaret Bellon said while she was not a fan of either team, she was drawn to watch for other reasons. “I always like watching football, but both of these teams aren’t my favorite, so I don’t really have that much of an interest in this game,” she said. “I am enjoying watching the commercials though.” Junior John Rozema said he was also drawn to the game for the commercials. He said the off field conduct of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was suspended earlier in the season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, drew him to root for Green Bay. “Honestly, I’m really just watching for the commercials. I have no particular attachment to either team,” he said. “My only opinion is that I don’t care for Roethlisberger for obvious reasons, so I guess, go Packers.” In addition to the commercials, students watching the game had mixed feelings about the halftime performers, the Black Eyed Peas. Bellon said she was surprised they performed at the game. “I am usually excited for the halftime show but I don’t really know why they chose the Black Eyed Peas,” she said. Heraty said while the music of the Black Eyed Peas did not hold much appeal to him, the group made up with their theatricality. He said their backup dancers with light-up costumes were especially entertaining. “There were a lot of elements of the performance that were significantly better than the music,” he said. “Basically, I liked the glow-people.” Hefferon said regardless of why one watched the game, the Super Bowl is a bonding event for students and America overall. “Whether you are watching for the football or the commercials or because everyone else is, you’re still participating in an awesome and unique experience,” she said.last_img read more

Speaker warns of texting, driving

first_imgDiveeta Thompson, an activist against distracted driving, spoke to students about the dangers of texting and driving Wednesday in the Student Center Lounge. In the lecture, sponsored by the Office of Student Involvement, Thompson said drivers have a responsibility to themselves and to other drivers not to drive distracted. “Driving is a privilege,” Thompson said. “Distracted driving affects not only you as an individual but also everyone else on the road.” She spoke about the organization “Stop Texting AND Distracted Driving (STANDD)” she founded after she lost her son to distracted driving in 2008. “My son Rodney was a senior in high school and had a lot going for him,” Thomspon said. “He was reaching for his phone one night because someone had texted him. He was getting ready to read a message and lost control of his car. He hit a utility pole and was killed instantly.” Since the death of her son, Thompson said she has made it her life’s work to promote awareness about texting and driving. “Unfortunately, it became my passion to stop distracted driving,” she said. “Every time a family is touched with this issue it rivets me. I am happy to lend my voice to the cause, and I hope you will all do the same.” Thompson said it is important for individuals of all ages to join the cause but believes this is especially true for college students. “Being young college students you have so much promise,” Thompson said. “You all have such a bright future ahead of you. Is it really worth the risk to text and drive?” As part of the presentation, Lieutenant Tim Williams of the Mishawaka Police Department also spoke on the issue. Williams said a person driving while using her cell phone has the equivalent distraction level of someone driving with a .08 blood alcohol content. “When you are texting and driving you show the same signs that a person makes when they are impaired,” he said. Williams said the consequences of texting and driving are more than just a $500 fine in the state of Indiana. “If you are involved in a serious crash and we find out you were texting while driving you could face both jail time and hefty fines,” he said.   He said any driver’s primary responsibility is to make sure he or she drives safely. “As a driver your responsibility is to the safe operation of your vehicle,” Williams said. “It is not to the person on the other end of the phone or your passengers in the car.” First year student Morgan Carroll, who worked with the Office of Student Involvement to invite Thompson to campus, said texting and driving is a serious issue. “I think it is important to be educated on this issue because it not only affects you as an individual, but also everyone on the road,” Carroll said. “It is a real life problem, and I think that Thompson’s lecture did a wonderful job of bringing this issue down to a personal level.” Thompson said she believes change starts with a voice. She has traveled the country lending her voice to the cause, and at the end of her lecture she asked everyone in the audience to lend theirs as well. “Be a voice for us,” Thompson said. “Be a voice for my son. Save a life.”last_img read more

USCCB director lectures on abuse

first_imgLeadership and protecting children from sexual abuse will be the focus of a pair of lectures presented this week by Dr. Kathleen McChesney, former executive director of the Office of Child Protection at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The first presentation in the Provost’s Distinguished Women’s Lecture series, “Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: Where are We Now?” will take place Monday night in McKenna Hall. McChesney said the talk would include an assessment of the problem and a discussion of potential solutions. “I’m going to discuss the nature and scope of the problem of sexual abuse over time in the U.S. and some of the actions that can be taken by Catholic bishops [and other Church leaders] to respond to allegations of abuse,” she said. “I’m going to talk about, from my perspective, having worked on this issue … why it’s important.” For McChesney, the importance of the problem is three-fold. “There’s no doubt that the – if you want to call it – sexual abuse crisis has affected first of all the victims. Even though each is affected in a different way, the relationship between the victims and their families and the Church is altered,” she said. “Talking about Catholics in general, there is huge disappointment, there is disbelief, there is anger, there is a loss of trust and faith. There’s a range of reactions,” she said. “Then there’s society in general … For those who didn’t like the Church anyway, for some people this is reinforcement.” While the Church is responsible for addressing these issues, it is important to realize sexual abuse is the result of the actions of individuals, she said. McChesney looked to bring the discussion to the University because she said Catholic institutions have a role to play in tackling the problem. “I think Notre Dame, like many other Catholic institutions, we look to for leadership and guidance in areas regarding ethics and morality,” she said. “They need to shine a light on problems like this, they need to provide ethical and moral leadership to other components of the Catholic Church, they need to conduct research into the issues surrounding sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults.” Prior to her time at the USCCB, McChesney was the third ranking official at the FBI. She said leaving was a difficult choice, but worthwhile. “That was a somewhat hard decision to leave the FBI, because it was not that long after 9/11 and there were a lot of changes going on at the FBI and I had a responsibility to help make them,” she said. “But I also saw that the problem of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church was a lot bigger than people thought. … There’s a mission involved, what you’re doing is hopefully making things better for children.” The second lecture, “The Privilege to Serve: Leadership the FBI Way,” will take place Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at the Law School. While McChesney will be speaking in the context of a former FBI official, she said her advice and lessons would be broadly applicable. “In many ways – not in every way – in most ways, leadership in the FBI isn’t any different than leadership in other organizations when your workforce is made up of men and women,” she said. “Men and women are motivated and inspired by many of the same things, they bring the same personal complexities to the workplace.” McChesney hopes the talk will give students an opportunity to assess their ability to take a leadership position in the future. “Leaders need to be involved with people, they need to like people, they need to be the kind of people that seek a challenge and really value problem solving,” she said. “It is a privilege to serve others in a leadership role. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the FBI, at Notre Dame or John Deere.”last_img read more

University receives award for service

first_imgThe Corporation for National and Community Service honored Notre Dame with a place on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.  Jay Caponigro, director of community engagement, said this honor is a reflection of the University’s mission to promote the common good.  “Community engagement is a constitutive element of Notre Dame’s mission and day-to-day functioning,” Caponigro said.  Caponigro said University President Fr. John Jenkins encourages the campus community to engage in service, providing many resources for the University to foster this engagement. “In his inaugural address, Fr. John Jenkins renewed the commitment of the University’s founder, Fr. Edward Sorin, stating that ‘this college will be one of the most powerful means for doing good in this country,’” Caponigro said.  The University provides a large amount of resources to provide security in the community. The Center for Social Concerns (CSC) facilitates community-based learning and has 30 full-time staff members. Its annual budget is over $3.5 million. In addition to CSC, the Robinson Community Learning Center also serves thousands in nearby communities. Both organizations offer students the opportunity to participate in service learning projects. Junior Denise Azores-Gococo decided to participate in the CSC’s International Summer Service Learning Program (ISSLP) this.summer. He will volunteer his time in El Salvador and will be working to bring healthcare to mothers and young children in rural areas of the country “The Notre Dame community and environment has motivated me and sparked my interest in doing things in which I can give of myself to others,” Azores-Gococo said.   Caponigrotsaid Notre Dame’s commitment to service is engrained in students even after they graduate. “Over 80 percent of Notre Dame students annually report participation in service learning or service,” Caponigro said.  The ethos of service continues after graduation: approximately 10 percent of each year’s class spends a year or more in full-time volunteer service after graduation. Caponigro said the distinction of being named o  the President’s Honor Roll increases the public’s awareness of the contributions Notre Dame faculty, staff and students make to local communities and the nation at large. Caponigro said he hopes this recognition will inspire others universities to become engaged in community service.  “I think that recognition promotes additional [community service] engagement, and holds universities more accountable to achieve meaningful impact, in collaboration with our communities,” Caponigro said. ” We need to continue to support this engagement at all levels, and measure the impact(on students and community partners whenever possible.”last_img read more

Notre Dame and Loyola team up against cancer

first_imgNotre Dame has teamed up with Loyola University Chicago in a multidisciplinary effort to advance the fight against cancer.This collaboration follows Notre Dame’s recent cooperation with the Harper Cancer Research Institute and the Indiana University School of Medicine – South Bend.“The work with Loyola is just another avenue for sciences to interact with clinical collaborators,” director of the Harper Institute M. Sharon Stack said. “This is one way that we can interact and give [Notre Dame] scientists more opportunities to partner with clinicians.”Stack said Loyola scientists and clinicians at the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center within the Stritch School of Medicine were initially motivated to “get together” because they were interested in a shared mission as two Catholic healthcare institutions.The partnership began when members of the Loyola administration visited Notre Dame in the spring of 2013 and suggested a research retreat for the two institutions in Chicago in July of 2013, Stack explained.“I would actually choose the word collaborate rather than partner for the interaction with Loyola,” Stack said. “[Loyola is] more clinically focused in its cancer research program and it wanted to expand interactions with basic scientists. Notre Dame has more basic scientists looking for clinicians to collaborate with.”Currently, the Harper Cancer Research Center and the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center have funded corporations and submitted proposals to establish specific collaborations, Stack said.The collaboration is beneficial to cancer research everywhere, she said. It invites “novel scientific perspective” by bringing together “people with different sets of expertise.”Specifically, Notre Dame scientists will have the opportunity to bring some of their drugs and ideas to clinical trials using the Loyola system, Stack said.The Harper Cancer Research Institute routinely researches and discusses many different types of cancer, Stack said. Ongoing projects in collaboration with the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center include cancer vaccine development, ovarian cancer, leukemia and melanoma.Stack expressed high hopes for the collaboration.“We’re hoping that one or more of these collaborations would end up in some joint grant proposal between a Harper and a Loyola investigator,” Dr. Stack said.In this way, she said the two institutes hope to progress the fight against cancer.Harper also plans to host a research retreat in South Bend this spring with Loyola collaborators, similar to the retreat held in Chicago last summer, Stack said. The key to beating cancer lies in getting the best expertise possible by using the skills of various scientists to address cancer-specific problems.“What we’re really looking for … are people with clinical insight that can help us to make sure that the questions we’re addressing and our various model systems are the most accurate and representative of clinical problems,” Stack said.Contact Joanna Lagedrost at [email protected]: Cancer research, Loyolalast_img read more

‘Show Some Skin’ encourages boldness

first_img“Show Some Skin: Be Bold,” a show comprised of anonymous monologue performances submitted by members of the Notre Dame community, will take place on Thursday and Friday of this week.The show, now in its third year, allows students to anonymously share their views on topics revolving around personal identity.The “Show Some Skin: Be Bold” production team prompted those who submitted monologues with questions designed to engage writers on how race, culture, nationality and sexuality intersect with identity, the show’s producer Edith Cho said. (Editor’s note: Edith Cho is a former Viewpoint columnist for The Observer.)However, the anonymous submissions shape the theme of the event more closely than those involved in its production, Cho said. Junior Abigail Hebert, a performer in the show, said “Show Some Skin” is unique in its direct connection to the faculty, students and staff of Notre Dame.“The plays I’ve performed in [as a Film, Television and Theater major] were written decades or centuries ago, so the playwright seems very removed, but for the monologues we’re using it could be written by someone sitting next to me,” Hebert said.The show’s director and sophomore Clarissa Schwab said she hopes the show will ignite discussion within the Notre Dame community.“We don’t want their experience to start and end with the top of the show and the end of the show, with the curtain rising and the curtain falling,” Schwab said.“We want these topics to become integrated into the average Notre Dame conversation. We don’t want these stories or topics to be taboo anymore, we want to have them out in the open,” Schwab said.Hebert said she hopes those who come to see the show will see the common humanity between themselves and those who submitted the monologues.“There are levels on which we can connect and come together as a community and support each other, because we all feel lost,” Hebert said. “We all may be different but the bottom line is we are all a Notre Dame family.”“Show Some Skin” is the first independent student group to be invited to perform at the DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts, Cho said. Academic departments such as First Year of Studies and the Center for Social Concerns have also been utilizing the monologues submitted for this event, she said.“The fact that [students] are willing to come gives us a lot of hope that they will bring these issues to action,” Cho said.Tags: Center for Social Concerns, debartolo, jaros, madison jaros, news, show, show some skin, social concernslast_img read more

Conference promotes peace discussions

first_imgSteph Wulz This weekend Notre Dame will host undergraduate and graduate peace studies students from around the world for research presentations and international peace building discussions at the 24th annual Notre Dame Student Peace Conference at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.The conference, titled “Building Peace: Integrating Two Decades of Progress,” is funded by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and organized by a committee of peace studies undergraduates. Conference co-chair Jimmy DeFrieze said the committee chose the theme due to its broad range of presentation topics for the post-Cold-War era.“We started with the question, what have we learned about peace in the past two decades?” DeFrieze said. “Because it’s easy to look in a history book and find out what happened in World War II, but it’s a lot harder to integrate everything in recent years.”DeFrieze said 200 participants registered for the conference and 40 presenters were selected from more than 100 submissions, representing a growth in interest in the conference in recent years.“We’ve actually grown a little in status,” he said. “We were mostly recruiting from around the Midwest and the smaller region, but now we’ve grown to an international conference. We’re recruiting people from London, from Africa. We have better keynote speakers as well.”Fellow co-chair Ana Dionne-Lanier said increasing numbers of participants have learned of the conference through social media and networking.“We have an external contact list that we always use throughout the country to other peace studies programs, but even that’s growing to include even more programs that are outside peace studies,” she said.The conference schedule features roundtable discussions, panel discussions, multimedia displays, a general session and a keynote address, as well as meals and receptions. Dionne-Lanier said the two roundtable discussions allow for more nuanced discussions about various topics in peace studies.“They’re all papers that we went through this abstract process with, who we pulled out as people who had something very unique and interesting to say about peace studies and that really stood out and could stand alone,” Dionne-Lanier said. “We gave [the students] the opportunity to lead their own discussion. It’s going to be a more intimate session, so they can really talk about their research and get into it.”According to the conference schedule, the panel discussions will concern a number of topics, from human trafficking to refugees to feminism in the field.“The panel discussions came together really nicely because we looked at all the abstracts and looked at the different major themes in peace studies that we’ve identified and seen, and through that … were some things that came across throughout the abstracts,” Dionne-Lanier said. “They ended up coming together across these broader topics.”Dionne-Lanier said the general session tonight, led by Kroc Associate director Anne Hayner, will allow attendees to network with others in the field.“We’re bringing together all these people from all over the country and a few international students, so it gives them the extra opportunity to network with each other and to build this larger network of peace builders as we all move on in our careers,” Dionne-Lanier said.On Saturday, Andrew Mack, director of the Human Security Report Project at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, will deliver the keynote address, “Understanding the Global Decline in Violence: Will it Last?”According to his webpage, Mack has written or edited 60 books and published over 60 articles on politics and security.“He’s a really big player in the field, and we’re very, very excited about him, especially because he’s an expert in what we’re trying to do,” DeFrieze said. “His presentation will be about the global decline in violence, and that’s obviously a major change since the Cold War.”Registration for food and materials is closed, but Dionne-Lanier said anyone is welcome to attend the presentations and discussions. Tags: Peace Conferencelast_img read more

University receives $15 million donation for religious studies institute

first_imgThe University announced in a press release Friday that it has received a $15 million donation from South Bend residents Rafat and Zoreen Ansari and their family for the creation of a worldwide religious studies institute.According to the press release, the future Rafat and Zoreen Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion will be will be included in the Donald R. Keough School of Global Affairs. R. Scott Appleby, the Marilyn Keough Dean of the Keough School, said in the press release that this addition to the school will provide opportunities for faculty members and students to explore the effect of religion on a global scale.“The various roles of religions in alleviating suffering, accompanying the migrant and the refugee, serving the poor and reducing violent conflict are far less understood and publicized than the havoc created by a tiny minority of deluded religious extremists on every continent,” Appleby said in the release. “The Ansari Institute intends to change the conversation about religion — not by denying the troubling aspects of religious expression, but by directing attention to the vast good done by religions, and the even greater good they might accomplish in partnership with universities and other public and private institutions.”The Ansari family said in the release they hope the institute will “help foster partnerships globally and locally,” and bring together communities “through a shared understanding of certain guiding principles inherent in all the world’s religions.”“Notre Dame is well positioned to understand and enhance the role of religions and religious people in addressing systematic problems like poverty and violence – something we care about deeply,” the Ansaris said in the release. “Having raised our family and built our lives in this community, so close to Notre Dame, we determined that now is the ideal time to partner with the University in this new way.”University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the release that he is grateful for the prospect of deeper interfaith understanding within the University this donation presents.“The need for people of faith to focus on what unites us rather than on what divides us has never been more urgent,” he said in the release. “This extraordinary gift from an esteemed local Muslim family, longtime friends of Notre Dame, will allow us to bring together scholars of the first order to foster dialogue and deepen understanding. We are immensely grateful to the Ansaris for making this aspiration a reality.”Tags: Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion, Keough School of Global Affairslast_img read more

‘Mamma Mia 2’ screening moved indoors, Belles enjoy a movie night

first_imgAfter weeks of planning, Sunday’s student government sponsored event was threatened by rain. The event was a Support a Belle Love a Belle (SABLAB) movie screening of ‘Mamma Mia 2’ meant to be screened outside. The Social Concerns Committee of the Student Government Association also helped plan the event.“It was supposed to be an outside movie, but obviously it’s pouring down rain, so we could not have it outside,” senior Abby Carter, co-chair of the Social Concerns Committee, said. “So were having Mamma Mia [2] play in the Carroll auditorium.”Fellow social concerns committee co-chair and senior Bella Krochey said she was glad people showed up to the event in spite of the rain.“Hopefully it still goes OK, I was really really sad that it rained, but we still had people come and stay and everything so it’s really uplifting” she said. “We were a little scared cause the rain.” Krochey also expressed concerns about the rain interfering with the event.“[I thought] ‘Oh my god, what if no one comes because it’s in the auditorium in Madeleva [Hall]?” she said.Instead of letting the rain stop their event they got busy trying to get the word around about the location change from Dalloway’s Green outside LeMans Hall to Carroll Auditorium in Madeleva Hall.Despite changes in locations, other aspects of the event such as the time — 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. — and the free goodies, like the blankets for the first 50 people present in line, were not subject to change.“We’re still giving out t-shirts, [Let’s Spoon] frozen yogurt, blankets and we’re having a raffle for two blankets,” Carter said at the event. Despite the rain, the turnout was high, with a line that stretched down the hallways of Madeleva, filled with Belles doing homework and chatting excitedly as they waited for admittance. “We ordered 300 of everything so we hoped hoped for this much turn out, but we definitely didn’t expect it,” Carter said, “So  this is really nice. … [Since] the week before we came to school, we’ve been planning.”Girls in line were excited to speak about what this event meant for them as a community event.“I’m a huge Mamma Mia fan and me and my friends just figured it’d be fun,”  freshmen Allison McPeek, who had several friends joining her, said. “Me and my roommate, we always blare [the soundtrack] in the car [or] in our room when we’re getting ready, so we’re pretty pumped for this.”The competition to get the free blankets was fairly intense, attendees said.“I’ve been waiting in line for a solid 20 minutes now, I got here at 6 [p.m.] so, an hour before they start passing out the free stuff,” said McPeek. “When I got here there [were] already like 70 other people ahead of us. We’re not even near the front of the line.”Tags: Mamma Mia 2, SABLAB, Student Government Associationlast_img read more

Year in Review: 2019-2020

first_imgND and SMC student governments cancel South Bend Transpo Midnight Express — Aug. 27, 2019Due to an increase in costs, the student governments of Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame canceled the South Bend Transpo Midnight Express. The Midnight Express was established in a partnership with Student Affairs, South Bend Transpo and Notre Dame Student Government in 2009 to provide a safe and dependable transportation service between campuses and into downtown South Bend on Friday and Saturday nights between 9:00 p.m. and 3:30 a.m.Although the Midnight Express was a Notre Dame-run program, the program was utilized more often by Saint Mary’s students, and ridership had declined 25% over the past three years. After South Bend Transpo planned on increasing the costs of the Midnight Express service by 50%, an increase of nearly $30,000, Notre Dame’s student government reached out to Saint Mary’s student government to discuss eliminating the program.University strips student ID cards of campus-wide dorm access — Aug. 27, 2019Notre Dame eliminated student ID card access to all dorms, only allowing access students to access their own residence halls. While the decision was made to increase safety and security for students living in residence halls, the announcement prompted outrage among students. Notre Dame student government issued a statement regarding the policy after it was announced.“The decision by the Office of Residential Life is very upsetting, and we have heard many concerns from students over the past 24 hours since the policy was announced during RA training,” the statement read. “ … We were not included in discussions on this issue and look forward to meeting with the administration to express the concerns of the student body.”This change came soon after the Office of Residential Life mandated incoming students to live on campus for six semesters. In April 2019, the office introduced a number of new housing updates, including a new differentiation policy that sparked outrage in the community and prompted a petition with more than 6,000 signatures.Notre Dame announces it will host the first presidential debate of the 2020 election — Oct. 11, 2019University President Fr. John Jenkins announced the University will host the first presidential debate of the 2020 election campaign on Sept. 29, 2020 in the Purcell Pavilion in the Joyce Center. While Notre Dame has invited presidents and world leaders to campus in years past, this will be the first time the University will host a presidential debate. “I think our democracy so badly needs a place where we can have serious conversations,” Jenkins said in his announcement. “Our politics have been taken over by tweets and by slogans. We need to engage seriously about serious topics from across the political spectrum, the whole political spectrum…I see these debates as a particularly powerful expression of that effort to provide a forum where we can have serious conversations in our democracy about challenges facing us.”Notre Dame stops using coal for energy — Oct. 14, 2020As a direct result of the Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy, a multi-pronged plan for a more sustainable campus initiated by the University in 2015, the campus power plant phased out burning coal a year ahead of schedule. In order to make the transition from coal, a new gas line was built to complement the original line in the power plant, and the oil storage capacity was doubled. In addition, the University elected to invest $113 million in renewable energy projects shortly after announcing the five year plan to cease burning coal, which included the creation of a hydroelectric plant on St. Joseph River, a geothermal system and a new thermal energy East Plant. The University’s sustainability plan looks out almost 50 years in the future, spearheading more projects and initiatives to allow Notre Dame to become carbon neutral by 2050.Archbishop Scicluna speaks on Vatican’s sex abuse crisis — Nov. 13, 2019Archbishop of Malta, Charles Scicluna, visited campus to discuss the Church’s sexual abuse crisis, as a part of the annual 2019 ND Forum. With decades of experience investigating clerical abuse, Scicluna served as the deputy promoter of justice at the Vatican’s Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and the promoter of justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Most recently he was promoted to secretary adjunct of the CDF in 2018. During his talk he said he wished February’s Vatican summit had been more constructive, but pointed to the May 7 mandate, which requires church leaders to report all cases of abuse to their superiors, as a productive outcome.“If we don’t get to this point, after a year we’ll be knocking on the door of the bishops,” he said.  Scicluna also spoke regarding the limitations of the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which established specific standards for handling cases of clergy sexual abuse, but only applies to priests and deacons.Having met with hundreds of survivors, Scicluna emphasized the imporatnce of listening to victim’s stories.“When you meet a person who has gone through this immense tragedy personally … you understand [the crisis] better,” he said.Student sit-ins against parietals — Nov. 17, 2019After reports of biased slurs directed at individuals in Stanford and Keenan Halls on Nov. 15 and 16, around 30 students refused to leave Stanford from 2 a.m. to around 5 a.m. to protest against parietals and to call for an end to hate speech on campus. Protestors left around 5 a.m. when University administration threatened expulsion if students refused to leave the premises. A few days later, students gathered in Sorin College for a second demonstration, organized by End Hate at ND, a coalition of students seeking a unified student body. The protests sparked discussions across the Notre Dame community about parietals with people arguing for and against the policy. A dialogue regarding discriminatory behavior at Notre Dame also ensued following the incident in Stanford Hall that provoked the protests.Body of Notre Dame student Annrose Jerry found in St. Mary’s Lake — Jan. 24, 2020Three days after 21-year-old senior Annrose Jerry was reported missing, her body was found in St. Mary’s Lake. Jerry was a senior science-business major in the Glynn Family Honors program who lived in Breen-Phillips Hall. She was a member of the Folk Choir and was last seen at a Folk Choir rehearsal on Jan. 21. There were no signs of foul play. Notre Dame community members gathered to celebrate Jerry’s life in a mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Saint Mary’s announces 14th president, Katie Conboy — Feb. 13, 2020Katie Conboy, who served as provost and senior vice president at Simmons University, was elected to succeed Interim President Nancy Nekvasil as the 14th president of Saint Mary’s College. Conboy previously served first as a professor of English literature and later as provost at Stonehill College, a Holy Cross institution in Massachusetts. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas in 1981, and her PhD in English literature from the University of Notre Dame in 1986.Former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg drops out of 2020 presidential race — March 1, 2020)After beginning his run in April 2019, Pete Buttigieg suspended his campaign for president after winning the Iowa caucuses earlier in the month, and coming in second to Senator Bernie Sanders in the New Hampshire primary. The announcement followed a loss in the South Carolina Democratic primary.“I firmly believe that in these years — in our time — we can and will make American life and politics more like what it could be,” Buttigieg said during his announcement at the Century Center. “Not just more wise and more prosperous but more equitable, more just and more decent.”Tri-campus community suspends all in-person classes until April 13 due to COVID-19 — March 11, 2020The University suspended all in-person classes beginning March 23 through April 13, replacing all courses with virtual teaching and other alternative learning options. All University-sponsored international programs were also cancelled, and students and U.S.-based faculty were directed to return home as soon as possible. Undergraduate residence halls were to remain open only to students approved to remain on campus.Saint Mary’s extended spring break until March 20 to prepare for a transition online, after cancelling all in-person classes until at least April 13. All non-essential faculty and staff domestic and international travel was also suspended, but students in the residence halls were given the option to return to campus.Holy Cross cancelled all on-campus activity until at least April 13 in favor of online learning. Holy Cross students were advised to return home and stay home until in-person classes resume, as residence halls closed.Saint Mary’s community mourns a student death — March 12, 2020On March 12, Saint Mary’s senior Isabelle Melchor died, the College said in an email to students. Melchor was a global studies major and deeply involved at the College. A professor remembered her as inspirational, saying Melchor was always quick to smile despite her health struggles.The suspension of in-person classes is extended to the conclusion of spring semester — March 18, 2020The University extended the suspension of in-person classes and online instruction until the conclusion of the academic semester. Students would be pro-rated room and board charges for the spring semester, and the 253 students living in on-campus residences were instructed to return to their permanent homes.Saint Mary’s followed the University’s lead the next day, as did Holy Cross.Tags: commencement 2020, commencement edition 2020, coronavirus, Katie Conboy, Pete Buttigieg, sit in, Transpo Midnight Expresslast_img read more