Archives : Jan-2021

first_imgNotre Dame students stepped into South Bend to save fine arts at a local elementary school as its staff prepared to lose funding for some of its most important programs, student government community relations chair Claire Sokas said. Perley Primary Fine Arts Academy is an arts magnet school inside the South Bend School Corporation. Its curriculum specifically focuses on aspects of the arts, ranging from singing to film to gardening. “Until last year, Perley had some of the lowest standardized test scores in the country and was considered a failing school,” Sokas said. “However, last year, the principal and the staff at Perley set a goal of 65 percent passing for the [Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus (ISTEP)], and between the fine arts curriculum and constant assessments of reading, writing and math skills, they were able to meet their goal.” The administration hoped to keep improving during the 2010-2011 academic year, Sokas said. “The goal the staff decided on this year was 80 percent, which would be a dramatic increase from the year before and would move Perley permanently beyond the ‘failing school’ status,” Sokas said. However, this hope recently received a blow when the school learned it would lose after-school funding at the end of summer 2011. As the program searches for more funding, Notre Dame students have volunteered at Perley on weekday afternoons. “While the University and groups in the community are working to find funding to revive the arts program, which had depended on this money, there is no one to facilitate the after-school homework sessions, which teachers had relied on to make sure students were completing homework and had a good grasp on the material,” Sokas said. “These homework sessions were integral in Perley meeting its 65 percent passing benchmark, and the principal has told me that they will be equally important in reaching their goal this year.” Three to four Notre Dame students work at Perley for an hour Monday through Thursday to help students with their homework while they wait for the bus to the local Boys and Girls Club. “We are here at Notre Dame because we value education,” Sokas said. “Now we have the opportunity to get off campus into the schools.” Senior Meaghan Crowley became involved in the programs at Perley as part of a minor in Education, Schooling and Society (ESS). Crowley is analyzing the effect of art on an institution for her senior thesis. The South Bend School Corporation began its magnet programs to encourage more racial equality in the school system and Perley became a fine arts magnet in 2007, Crowley said. “The difference is now the kids have more art on a daily basis and in the after-school program,” Crowley said. “Art is integrated in to the classroom, so instead of having a normal math lesson or a normal history lesson the kids might draw or paint to engage what they are doing.” When Perley’s grant expires, the school will be left without money that was crucial to running the programs. More expensive courses like cooking were already replaced with classes that use fewer resources, such as movement, and the school will rely on volunteers to support the program, Crowley said. “The after-school programs were funded so area artists would come in and work with the kids,” Crowley said. “A real artist or ballet teacher would come in each week.” Volunteers from Notre Dame are already planning how they can contribute to the fine arts curriculum next semester by teaching new classes after school, Sokas said. The after-school program was an important component of fine arts at Perley. “I can tell that the kids are really, really motivated,” Crowley said. “The discipline problems in the school have gone down because the kids want to be in the after-school program.” Perley students signed up for the after-school program with no charge but applied for only a certain number of spots. After one disciplinary mistake, a student would lose his or her spot, and the space would be given to another child on the program waiting list. Junior Shannon Crotty spent Monday afternoon helping elementary students at Perley with their homework. “In all honestly, I have not done as much service as I would like to here,” Crotty said. “I heard about this opportunity through student government and had free time in my schedule. I love working with kids so it worked perfectly.” Perley is the closest elementary school to Notre Dame, and students could learn more about the South Bend community close to campus by volunteering at the school, Crotty said. “This is an opportunity to go out and see the community as well,” Crotty said. Perley enrolled almost 300 students from the local area, and a majority of these students represented minorities and lower-income families, according to the Indiana Board of Education. “We are constantly looking for new ways to establish relationships in the community that can be sustained,” Sokas said. The beND campaign launched by this year’s student government was an effort to address off-campus concerns and improve community relations with the larger South Bend area. “It is an easy way for us to get into the school and remember that things like learning how to read are integral for the rest of our lives,” Sokas said. “Watching these kids love [learning] reminds me of how lucky I am to have an education. I want them to grow up having the same opportunities.”last_img read more

first_imgAs students return from Fall Break, the Campus Life Council (CLC) reconvened Monday afternoon to discuss on-campus diversity, gender relations and office hours. Coccia said he joined student body vice president Nancy Joyce and student body chief of staff Juan Rangel to meet with representatives from the Office of Student Affairs to discuss topics including diversity in leadership positions. The Council has considered the need to diversify leadership in the past, Coccia said. “This is something that has been recommended since … 1992, [1993], [1994] … that was a topic of discussion before we got there, so I think that [the Council’s suggestion] helped reinforce that point,” Coccia said. Coccia said his team also suggested all classrooms and residence halls on campus include a statement of inclusion. On the topic of gender relations, Coccia said the group also encouraged the Office of Student Affairs to “get the conversation started” on what it means to be a transgender student at Notre Dame, specifically what it means when it comes to student housing. He said PrismND, the recently created student organization for LGBTQ student issues, will be examining this topic as well. Another topic that was discussed during the meeting was students’ use of office hours. Specifically, the Council discussed the fact that students often don’t use office hours very much, if at all. Coccia said the Council will focus on these and other issues as the school year progresses.  “We’ll focus, for the rest of the semester, on the intermediate steps…. to either help get us more information, or to start addressing some of the issues we’ve been talking about,” he said. “We’ve been asking so many questions… [and] we want to start figuring out what the solutions are.” Contact Thomas Hughes at [email protected]last_img read more

first_imgObserver File Photo Students will meet with business representatives from 133 employers tonight in hopes of professional experience, whether it may be a job after graduation or a summer internship.Abercrombie & Fitch, Keurig Green Mountain, Apple, Coca-Cola and Ernst & Young are employers who will be attending theFair according to the Career and Internship Fair’s listing on GO IRISH.The Career Center and other organizations host a variety of events in preparation for the Fair, Flanagan said.“Many clubs and organizations host events around the Career Fair, and there have been numerous prep sessions for students to get ready,” Flanagan said. “[The] day of the event, we have the Diversity and Inclusion Reception from 12:30-2:30 p.m. in the Monogram Room, and the Career Fair runs from 4-8 p.m.“For first time attendees to the event, we have the backstage pass program from 3-4 p.m. (meeting at GATE 3), offering an early glimpse of the fair and tips from participating recruiters and members of our team on how to make it a successful experience.”The main goal of the Career and Internship Fair is to bring students in contact with a variety of employers who offer a wide range of opportunities, Flanagan said.“Whether students are exploring what options they have to gain experience while here at ND or preparing for their first opportunity after graduation, we are excited to have so many organizations send representatives to interact with our students live,” Flanagan said. “The event serves to kick off the spring recruiting season, where many of these employers and others return to campus to conduct interviews with students.“Student and employer feedback on connections made at the Career Fair, plus the number of students receiving interviews as a result of the Career Fair, are strong indications [that] the event achieves this goal.”While the Winter Career and Internship Fair is, along with the Fall Career Expo, the Career Center’s biggest event, the Career Center works throughout the year in other ways to help students become successful in their internship and career searches, Flanagan said.“While the career fairs are highly visible on campus, it’s the individual meetings students have with career coaches, access to GO IRISH and other online resources and participation in any number of exciting networking programs, workshops, or courses we offer, that have ongoing impact for students,” Flanagan said.Flanagan urges students to view the Winter Career and Internship Fair as an opportunity, rather than an event to fear.“Here are three keys to success: research attending organizations and their opportunities through GO IRISH, arrive dressed for success with a plan to follow up with recruiters of interest and relax — enjoy the opportunity to connect with a real live person and ask some questions of your own,” Flanagan said.Tags: Career Center, career fair, career fair 2015, internship fair, winter career and internship fair, winter internship, winter internship fair The Career Center will be hosting its annual Winter Career and Internship Fair this Thursday in the Joyce Center from 4-8 p.m., Hilary Flanagan, director of the Career Center, said.A wide range of industries will be at the Fair representing 133 employers, with a mix of full-time and internship opportunities available for students from all majors, Flanagan said.“Our team begins planning the next career fair right after the current one is complete — the events are ever evolving based on student and employer feedback and needs,” Flanagan said.last_img read more

first_imgEarlier this month, Mendoza College of Business seniors Mary Cornfield, Alisha Anderson and Caitlin Crommett launched BlueBucket, an organization that forms partnerships with restaurants to collect donations for local charities.“It had originally come up last semester, and then this semester, I’m in a class called Design & Entrepreneurship … so I’m working on BlueBucket in that class,” Cornfield said. “We keep getting positive feedback from customers and restaurants, so we thought we might as well try it out.”Restaurants participating in the program decide which items on their menu they want to list as BlueBucket items. Then, whenever a patron purchases one of the designated BlueBucket items, a portion of the price is donated to a charity chosen by the customer.Mary McGraw | The Observer “It’s nice to see something we’ve been doing in class actually make it into the community,” Cornfield said. “It’s nice knowing that the products we bring into market is actually helping charities raise money.”Anderson said the creators of the BlueBucket organization envisioned the program as a community-building agent, linking local restaurants and charities. She said BlueBucket is a different kind of fundraiser because of one key element.“BlueBucket is unique in that it incorporates the concept of consumer choice,” Andersen said. “There are lot of fundraising techniques out there — round-up, coin collection, credit card-point donations, etc. — but very few incorporate the idea of consumer choice.”However, the process of launching BlueBucket did not come without its challenges. Cornfield said they underestimated the difficulty of spreading the word about the organization, and Anderson said the process of getting restaurants on board with the program proved to be not as easy as they had predicted.“The BlueBucket concept seems obvious to us, yet to a customer that is walking into a restaurant, it is not so simple,” Andersen said. “We need to make sure the restaurants and their employees can effectively and clearly communicate the idea to the customer.”BlueBucket works exclusively with independent restaurants. Currently, there are five restaurants on board: Sassy’s, Indulgence, Rohr’s (at the Morris Inn), Rein Juicery and Thyme of Grace.Andersen said that from a charitable perspective, she hopes that BlueBucket serves as more than just a fundraiser for the charities involved.“We hope BlueBucket will be able to not only raise money for several extremely deserving local charities but also bring attention to the great work that they do and perhaps inspire community members to get more involved with such charities,” Andersen said.“From a restaurant perspective, we hope BlueBucket serves as a way for restaurants to appeal to millennials and the community at large,” she said.Tags: BlueBucket, mendoza college of businesslast_img read more

first_imgThroughout April, Don Quixote’s Ventures at Notre Dame will encompass several cultural events to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the publication of Miguel de Cervantes’s widely-known novel. According to the Nanovic Institute’s website, Notre Dame will be celebrating the anniversary with a series of events “exploring the impact of this influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age.”Emily Danaher | The Observer Throughout the month, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures will be hosting a variety of events including readings, films and an academic symposium. Encarnación Juárez-Almendros, associate professor of early modern Spanish literature, said the events are important for promoting Hispanic culture on campus.“These events bring awareness of the literary and cultural importance of the best-known Spanish author and work to the greater Notre Dame community,” she said. “This intellectual undertaking underlines the relevance of the Hispanic cultural tradition as part of the University of Notre Dame’s global and multicultural commitment.”On Friday, undergraduate students in beginning Spanish courses will participate in QuijoteaND — Becoming Quixote. According to the Nanovic Institute website, starting at 2 p.m. the students will be reciting key passages from “Don Quixote” at various locations around campus, ultimately meeting up at the Grotto at 3 p.m.The Quixote Film Series will have showings of Jorge Alí Triana’s film, “Bolívar soy yo,” on April 20 and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Oscar winning film, “Birdman” on April 28, according to the Nanovic website. Both films will be shown at Andrews Auditorium in Geddes Hall at 7 p.m. and are open and free to the public.Students from Juárez-Almendros’s graduate seminar will present papers in 118 O’Shaughnessy Hall on April 23, 3:30 p.m. Students presenting include senior Mayra Almeida-Trejo, graduate students Alejandro Castrillon, Laura Fernández, Thomas Mann, Paola Uparela-Reyes and Leila Vieira de Jesus Gemelli, and Ph.D. candidates Marisol Fonseca-Malavasi and Natalia Rios-Puras.The final event is an academic symposium April 24, sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.“Four invited internationally recognized early modern Spanish scholars will lecture on diverse aspects of this complex novel,” Juárez-Almendros said. These scholars include Frederick de Armas of the University of Chicago, Anne Cruz of the University of Miami (Fla.), Edward Friedman of Vanderbilt University and Luciano Garcia-Lorenzo of the Board of Governors of Scientific Research in Madrid.The symposium will take place at Gillsepie Conference Center at Saint Mary’s College from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.Tags: department of romance languages, don quixotelast_img read more

first_imgErin Rice After an Aug. 28 email announced Commencement would be held in the Purcell Pavilion of the Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center (JACC) due to Campus Crossroads construction, students were dismayed to learn each graduate would be limited to three tickets each. However, University President Fr. Jenkins announced in a town hall meeting Feb. 17 that a mild winter and faster-than-expected work by the construction crew made it possible to temporarily halt construction for Commencement weekend.“We know the decision to relocate commencement to the Joyce Center troubled the senior class in particular,” Jenkins said. “Due to the outstanding hard work of our architectural and facilities team here at Notre Dame and our construction partners and the blessings of a relatively good streak of winter weather, construction is ahead of schedule, giving us a window to make the stadium available for commencement and making it possible for all family and friends of the graduates to attend.”Over 3,000 students are graduating this weekend in 19 different ceremonies, University Registrar Chuck Hurley said. Nearly 23,000 guests are expected to attend the University Commencement ceremony in the Stadium, he said.“Post-baccalaureate students have their degrees conferred and receive diplomas on Saturday,” Hurley said.“Undergraduate students have their degree conferred by Fr. Jenkins at the University Ceremony on Sunday morning, then receive their diploma at various College or departmental ceremonies on Sunday afternoon.”Commencement will begin at 9 a.m. in the Stadium on Sunday, while the College and departmental ceremonies will begin at 1 p.m. that same day, according to the Commencement website.Planning for Commencement is year-round, Hurley said.“[There are] over 100 commencement-related events this week,” Hurley said. “The Office of the Registrar coordinates the commencement ceremonies.  Various colleges and departments plan the academic components of individual ceremonies.”“The Office of Campus Safety oversees the security and safety protocols at events.”In the case of severe weather  — defined as lightning, high winds and heavy and persistent rain – the Commencement ceremony will be moved into the JACC, the Commencement website said. Each graduate received three “Severe Weather” tickets; all other guests without a “Severe Weather” ticket will be able to watch the ceremony live, which will be broadcasted in auditoriums in nearby large buildings, the website said.Tags: 2015 Commencement, Notre Dame Stadium, Office of the Registrarlast_img read more

first_imgThe Kroc Institute sponsored a panel discussion Monday on the recent nuclear deal with Iran at the Hesburgh Institute for International Studies. The event, titled “The Iran Nuclear Agreement: Is it a Good Deal?” featured political science professor Michael Desch, law school professor Mary Ellen O’Connell and adjunct professor Major General Robert Latiff. Moderator David Cortright, director of policy studies at the Kroc Institute, began by defining the objective of the talk, which was to evaluate the effectiveness of the recent agreement negotiated between the Islamic Republic of Iran, the United States and several other countries in preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The first panelist, Desch, outlined the military and political situation before the negotiations began and described the most important terms of the agreement.Desch said prior to the nuclear talks, the United States possessed 7,100 warheads, while Israel had somewhere between 80 and 200, and Iran controlled none. Additionally, he said that there was a wide discrepancy between the nuclear capable delivery systems, which include intercontinental ballistic missiles as well as naval and air resources, of the three countries: The United States has 886, Israel has 300, and Iran between 100 and 300.“If you want a nuclear weapon, there are two ways to get it, actually three ways to get — you can buy one from somebody, but I don’t believe that’s ever happened in the history of the nuclear era,” Desch said.These two methods, according to Desch, are either enrichment of uranium through centrifuges or plutonium production from a heavy water reactor.Desch said the deal seems to have achieved the objectives desired by President Obama and his administration and advances United States national security interests.“It’s not perfect, but on the other hand, it’s as good as it gets,” Desch said. O’Connell spoke next, examining the deal in the context of international law and the possible alternative options at the United States’ disposal. “We’ve heard about two options that are allegedly available as alternatives to this very complex agreement, and one option is [to] continue with the sanctions, and the other option is [to] attack and eliminate Iran’s nuclear program with military force,” O’Connell said.The sanctions route is infeasible, O’Connell said, because the United Nations has already lifted the most effective ones, and any new unilateral sanctions the United States imposes in the future will be extremely weak in comparison. The agreement contains provisions for sanctions that will immediately snap back into place if Iran violated certain terms and requirements. The use of force to destroy the Iranian nuclear program is both morally questionable and practically very unlikely to succeed, O’Connell said.It is a violation of international law to use military force, except in cases of self-defense, she said, and any military action in self-defense must follow the principles of necessity, meaning every other option has been exhausted, and proportionality, meaning the act of self-defense does not inflict significantly greater harm than the original offense. According to O’Connell, the number of nuclear sites and their high levels of protection mean actions like bombing raids will prove ineffective and could produce civilian casualties in the millions.O’Connell said if the U.S. breaks the nuclear agreement through either unilateral sanctions or military force, Iran can easily stop following the terms of the deal.“Every obligation Iran has respecting nuclear weapons is derived from the binding nature of international law, so to treat these rules as not binding in a case which the U.S. believes is exceptional or outside the rules, makes a nonsense out of the very obligations that we are holding Iran to,” O’Connell said.Latiff spoke last, discussing myths surrounding the deal and counterarguments to refute them. According to Latiff, inflammatory rhetoric and ignorance about the actual details of the agreement has overshadowed much of the public discussion on the deal.Some of the opponents of the deal have valid claims that Iran does sponsor terrorism and is an outspoken enemy of the United States, he said, but the U.S. must still negotiate with countries it finds contemptible or even evil if it wants to achieve anything peacefully.“Some of the money may be used to fund terror, but this is no reason to go war,” Latiff said.Latiff said a major misconception surrounding the agreement is that it limits the United States’ ability to attack Iran. “This deal gives us a better opportunity and more information should we decide to go to war, which I hope we don’t,” Latiff said.Another criticism of the agreement, Latiff said, holds the fact that International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors must request inspections in advance before they examine nuclear sites allows Iran to cheat on its obligations. However, Latiff said this was a necessary concession.“Would we allow foreign inspectors unfettered access to our nuclear facilities? No,” Latiff said.Tags: Iran, Kroc Institute, nuclear agreementlast_img read more

first_imgIn the five days since President Donald Trump signed an executive order on immigration, the approximately 30 Notre Dame students from the affected countries, and the staff who assist them, have been uncertain about their futures.“This is a big change, a big sudden change,” Arman Mirhashemi, a Ph.D. candidate in aerospace and mechanical engineering from Iran, said. “You don’t expect it, so you don’t know what to do with it.”The executive order, issued Friday, stops U.S. visas from being issued to nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen for 90 days; changes rules regarding refugees and Syrian nationals specifically; and calls for a review of the visa adjudication process, with the goal of preventing terrorism.Emily McConville | The Observer Notre Dame International’s (NDI) Director of International Programs, Rosemary Max, said most of the approximately 30 students from the countries affected by the order are graduate students in STEM fields, and many come from Iran. In addition, there are also “a handful of faculty handled by the order,” as well as two visiting professors who were slated to arrive next week, but now are most likely not able to enter the United States, University spokesman Dennis Brown said. While all the current students were safely on campus when it was issued, Max said the order still affects them. “These are students who are busy doing amazing things for us,” she said. “They have family members in other countries. Some of them have spouses in another country that they were hoping to go and see very soon, and so there are questions about whether they will be able to do those things in the next 90 days or not, and what will happen after that — we just don’t know.”  The order sparked protests around the country, including in South Bend. On Sunday, University President Fr. John Jenkins released a statement, condemning the order as “sweeping, indiscriminate and abrupt,” and urging Trump to rescind it. Saint Mary’s President Jan Cervelli also condemned the order. According to Mana Derekshani, director of the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership, no students of the College are from the affected countries. Soon after the order was issued, students from the seven affected countries received an email advising them not to leave the country. Max said students were invited to come into or email Notre Dame International if they had further questions — but there was not much information to give in response. For several days, the status of people from the affected countries who have green cards was still unclear. The Trump administration said Sunday green-card holders would not be prevented from entering.Some Notre Dame students who are citizens of one of the seven countries affected are also citizens of a country the administration did not name. Initially, dual citizens were included under the ban, but Max said dual citizens of some countries may soon be able to enter — but it isn’t clear which ones. “Someone from the U.K. but [who] was born in Syria might be able to travel, but it’s too early to tell,” she said. “It’s still very murky. I would say one thing is what’s on paper and what’s actually happening at the border — we’re trying to get our mind around those two things, so we can see how best to advise our students.” In addition, Max said it isn’t clear whether students can change their visa status from, say, a student visa to a work visa if they want to get a job. That, Mirhashemi said, is a concern of many students set to graduate this spring. He said a common path for students after school is to get a temporary work visa in their field of study. “Everything is on hold — all petitions and everything for anybody with Iranian origin, as well as the other six countries,” he said. Unlike many Iranian students, Mirhashemi, who has been in the United States for seven years, has permanent residency, as opposed to a nonimmigrant student visa. But over the weekend, he spearheaded an effort to write a letter to Jenkins expressing concern over the scope of the executive order and gratitude towards Jenkins for his statement against it. 21 students from the affected countries signed it — 19 from Iran, one from Syria and one from Iraq.  Mirhashemi, who was involved in political and human rights activism in Iran, said Trump reminds him of former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was hostile to the United States, in that “both see the world in a binary.” He said he worries the order is contradictory to American values.  “When you’re looking at the United States, you’re looking at a country with a rich history toward freedom and justice,” he said. “So you don’t expect this happens in such a country. I think part of my concerns from this are what is going to happen both for me and — it’s not only something that affects the U.S. It affects everywhere.” Max said she hopes Trump will issue another executive order clarifying certain points in the first order, at which point NDI may host a forum to answer questions. In the meantime, she said the University would continue to support those students. “International students — when they come here — there are so many barriers already to get here in terms of traveling, visa, expenses, new culture — and so just maybe keep in mind that these are people who are quite resilient. They’re great resources for our community, and students should feel free to reach out to them and talk to them, and welcome them again especially in this time,” she said. Tags: Donald Trump, executive order, Immigration, Iran, Refugeeslast_img read more

first_imgAt a Mass for immigrants and refugees at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Monday night, associate professor of theology Fr. Daniel Groody said the United States’ and Catholics’ attitude towards immigrants and refugees is of utmost importance.Katelyn Valley | The Observer “What is at stake now is not just our politics, but our very salvation,” he said. The Mass was sponsored by Campus Ministry, the Office of the President and Student Government. University president Fr. John Jenkins presided, and student government leaders and Notre Dame Right to Life president Aly Cox read prayers and scripture, respectively. The Mass came little more than a week after President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning the issuance of visas to nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and stopping the admission of refugees for 120 days, in order to review the country’s immigration vetting process. The order, which a federal judge temporarily stayed over the weekend allowing some visa holders to enter the country, sparked protests around the world and in South Bend. It also created uncertainty for the approximately 30 students from the seven countries at Notre Dame as to whether they would be able to return home and come back, or get a job in this country. In his homily, Groody, who is also the director of Immigration Initiatives at the Institute of Latino Studies and has written and edited several books about immigration, directly addressed the executive order, focusing primarily on its effect on refugees. He recalled Pope Francis’ pastoral visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa, where many refugees arrive in unsafe boats, in 2013. Groody said the Mass reflected Francis’ compassion for refugees.  “We care about issues of national security, the future of our country,” Groody said. “We care about human insecurity and justice and peace around the world. At the same time, we are troubled by the decisions of our political leaders, decisions being made to build walls and close doors. But our readings remind us that as we build walls around our identities, we build walls around our hearts and keep God out as well.” Groody compared the United States’ intake of Syrian refugees to that of Jordan and Germany, who have resettled 1 million each; Lebanon, which has resettled 2 million, and Turkey, which has resettled 3 million. The U.S. has resettled 18,000. “Now our leaders say even this is too much, that this must change to keep us safe, to protect our homes, to ‘Make America Great Again.’ On the surface this is appealing, seductive rhetoric, for who would not want to be safe and secure and prosperous?” he said. “But … closing our doors not only deprives a stranger in need, it diminishes who we are personally and collectively.” Groody said attending to the needs of people both within and outside U.S. borders is a key part of Catholic Social Teaching. “Even if a country has a political right to control its borders, it also has a moral responsibility to be in the world and to do good for the world,” he said. Groody, quoting French diplomat and writer Alexis de Tocqueville, said part of what makes America great is its goodness. “Let me say this even more strongly,” he said. “The current executive order is not just about migrants and refugees, but the core values of our country and the shaping of the soul of our nation and presently betrays the foundational principles of our forefathers.” “Immigration is not our central problem,” he added. “Immigration is rather a symptom of deeper problems, like war, poverty, human rights violations, religious intolerance. Underneath these is what Pope Francis calls the ‘globalization of indifference’ — the feeling that, ‘The migrant and refugee crisis is not my problem. It’s not my concern,’ and in this case it’s not America’s responsibility.” Groody quoted Pope Francis’ 2013 sermon at Lampedusa at length, in which the Pope asked forgiveness for the world’s indifference to the migrant crisis.“In so many ways Francis reminds us that when we become so used to the suffering of others we lose to the ability to lament, we’ve lost something of our own humanity,” he said. “We’re not here to talk about politics but to proclaim and to live the Gospel, even and especially when there are ramifications relating to the political discord of our society.” Groody invoked Jesus Christ as both an example of an immigrant and as a model of compassion. “So we do so not just out of humanitarian concern, but response to the God who first showed us and came to our world as a migrant from Nazareth.”At Pope Francis’ Mass in Lampedusa in 2013, a special chalice was used which was made from driftwood from a recent shipwreck that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of migrants. One of the chalices used for communion wine at the Notre Dame mass was also made of driftwood from Lampedusa, as well as mesquite wood from the American Southwest, another site of mass migration. Those attending the Mass were also encouraged to touch a piece of a boat placed in the center aisle of the Basilica, process to the Grotto after the Mass for further prayer and then attend an information session and short film about Syrian refugees at LaFortune Student Center.Tags: Donald Trump, executive order, Immigration, Mass for Immigration and Refugees, President Donald Trump, Refugeeslast_img read more

first_imgThe Notre Dame student senate met Wednesday to discuss a new resolution to amend the student union constitution to add senatorial oversight over the spending of the different student union organizations. This resolution comes after the student senate met at the end of September with the Financial Management Board (FMB) to discuss potential ways to introduce more accountability into the usage of allocated funds.The resolution was spearheaded by the student from the senate finance committee and was specifically read to the senate by Samuel Delmer, a sophomore senator from the Dillon community in Baumer Hall, who answered questions about the resolution afterwards. Members of various student union organizations expressed their concerns with various aspects of the resolution. Eric Kim, a senior and the executive director of the Student Union Board (SUB), had concern with the frequency of the audits due to SUB’s financing of on-campus concerts.“For example, concerts — concerts take a long time to go through background checks, to go off the letters, to go through contracts,” Kim said. “It’s a long process, but it is a majority of our budget. Do we have to go through that constitutional process constantly to make sure that we are on budget and that we are still not off of allocating?”Delmer focused on the timing of SUB’s budgeting in his response.“When you budget, you budget for certain events at certain times,” he said. “The idea is that the treasurer is just making sure you’re meeting these times set forth.”Senior Quentin Colo, the off-campus senator, raised concerns about the senate stepping on the toes of the Club Coordination Council (CCC).“CCC gives accounts for the divisions but they can’t specify the clubs within each of the divisions,” Cole said. “Does this conflict with CCC policy?”Delmer said he was open to a friendly amendment excluding the CCC from the regulation of the resolution. Christine Arcoleo, a senior and the student union treasurer from FMB, brought up concerns about this resolution granting the senate too much jurisdiction over fiscal policy.“When I was seeking advice as to how to go about implementing accountability standards, my idea was not, ‘Oh just give senate the right to just look at these budgets and look at the finances.’ I was looking for actual steps,” Arcoleo said. “I’m very uncomfortable with the senate having the right to look at these numbers as it makes FMB useless, and it’s a very large amount of people that can have the choice to just be like, ‘I want to look at SUB’s budget, and I want to audit them,’ and stuff like that.”Delmer said the resolution is designed to increase oversight of the fiscal process.“The extent to which that first clause could be used, I think it is a useful clause in the end. If the FMB is doing its job, then that clause is not necessary, but if the FMB isn’t doing its job effectively, then that clause is useful in order to hold accountability,” “Delmer said. Ultimately we [the senate] are the representatives for the students. We are the representatives of the people.”Other major points brought up during the discussion included whether this resolution is constitutional based on how it treats special interest organizations like PrismND, the fact that individual students can already request these budgets from the FMB, the perception of SUB’s spending habits from the school, the structure of the FMB and enacting a requirement for the FMB to meet with the student senate once a semester similar to one passed last year for the CCC.Ultimately, the resolution was not voted upon and was sent back to the finance committee where there will be additional changes made to the legislation based on today’s discussion.Tags: Club Coordination Council, finance, Financial Management Board, student senatelast_img read more