Month: January 2021

Director of Libraries to leave the University

first_imgDirector of Hesburgh Libraries Jennifer Younger will step down from her position at the end of the academic year to take a new position with the Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA), the University announced Monday.“We are indebted to Jennifer for the vital role she has played in the many advances in the Hesburgh Libraries over the past 13 years,” Provost Tom Burish said in a University press release. “She has provided the leadership and made the strategic decisions that have enabled the Libraries to experience substantial growth and improvement.”Younger, who has held the position since 1997, was praised by Burish for advancing access to electronic materials, renovating the lower level of the Hesburgh Library and expanding the University’s collections.“Since 1997, it has been my great pleasure to have led the Hesburgh Libraries in a period of sustained growth and success, made possible by expanded University support and the achievements of an outstanding library faculty and staff,” Younger said in a press release. “We have been inspired by the extraordinary vision of [University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh] 40 years ago in building a great library for Notre Dame.”Younger’s vocational change comes on the heels of a petition for Library reform that garnered 1,200 student signatures during the fall semester. The petition, which was organized by graduate student David Morris, called for an increase in the number of collections and the Library faculty, as well as the renovation of the entire building.“It provides a fresh start, allowing us to find a scholar-librarian who will fully support our mission and who will implement the strategic plan for the Library that is being drawn up by the Provost’s Office,” Morris said of the University’s search for a new Library director.Younger will take a new position in the CRRA, where she has represented Notre Dame. The CRAA is a collaborative effort between 11 member schools to help increased partnership and share electronic resources.“I am very pleased to continue my involvement in this collaborative initiative to share resources with scholars in all fields interested in the Catholic experience,” Younger said in the press release. “As a founding member of the CRRA, Notre Dame has played a key role in creating global access to the vast array of materials held by Catholic institutions in North America.”CRRA board member Artemis Kirk, who is the university librarian at Georgetown, said the CRRA was fortunate. Younger would be able to devote more of her time to the organization.“Jennifer has been the driving force behind the creation of the Catholic Research Resources Alliance, and all of its members are indebted to her for her leadership,” Kirk said. “We’re delighted that she can devote even more of her energy and expertise to strengthening the alliance, and we appreciate Notre Dame’s commitment in understanding the importance of the CRRA.”last_img read more

No structural damage to Grotto after July fire

first_imgSzakaly said the fire began by accident when the candles in its back, left corner combusted.  “Workers had to go through the entire Grotto and break off the small pieces.” Szakaly said wooden sticks used to light candles may have also been left accidentally in the candles. There was no structural damage to the Grotto, but some rearranging has taken place. The Grotto was closed for just over two weeks following the fire and has since reopened. “The fire was so hot … the granite flaked, almost like peeling an onion,” he said. The Grotto is now back to normal after the campus landmark caught fire at the end of July. “There is no rack in the back corner,” Szakaly said. “The top tiers of the racks have also been removed, so flames aren’t as close to the ceiling. The racks are arranged differently.” Szakaly said the fire was not as damaging as the fire in 1985 during the Michigan State football game. These two fires are the only fires in the Grotto’s recent history, according to Office of Public Information and Communication. Szakaly said candles will now be in glass containers, as opposed to the plastic containers.center_img A fire started at the shrine July 26 just before the evening rosary, said Fr. Anthony Szakaly, assistant provincial and steward for the Congregation of Holy Cross priests in the Indiana chapter. The group maintains the Grotto.  “People need to be aware that those lit candles are fire, and anytime we’re dealing with fire we have to be careful,” he said. Szakaly said he was most touched by the outpouring of concern for the condition of the Grotto by members of the Notre Dame community. He said the Grotto acts as a place for spirituality, God and prayer. “It was a warm, humid day with very little breeze,” he said. “There were a large number of candles lit for a summer day.” “We’re looking at what that’s going to mean [in terms of cost],” Szakaly said. The Grotto reopened on August 13 after rigorous cleaning. The Grotto is a one-seventh scale of the original Grotto in Lourdes, France, constructed on campus in 1896, according to a University website dedicated to the landmark. “It shows how important the Grotto is,” he said.last_img read more

LGBTQ students discuss campus relationships

first_imgEditor’s note: This is the third and final installment in a series about the experience of LGBTQ students at Notre Dame in light of recent requests that the University grant club status to a gay-straight alliance. For senior Rocky Stroud II, meeting up with other gay men on campus is not as simple as getting coffee or hanging out in a dorm room. With other gay students sometimes still in the closet, it often takes planning, and a bit of secrecy. “[Some guys don’t] want the same guy who has been labeled or somewhat seems like he’s gay to keep coming in and out of his room,” Stroud said. “People will then either suspect or know or figure out that he is not coming over to just watch the game.” So when Stroud spends time with a male student who is not out to the Notre Dame community, the pair will go off campus for dinner, wait until late at night to see each other or sometimes, look for obscure places to hook up. “There are rooms on campus that students have used,” he said. “The Jordan science lab was one of them.” At a Catholic university that has not recognized a gay-straight alliance or added sexual orientation to its non-discrimination clause, the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community has formed an underground network that helps them find friendship, love or simply a hook up. Sophomore Mia Lillis said this network is particularly important at Notre Dame — not only for meeting potential romantic partners, but also for finding support. “In an environment like this, a community is necessary because we still feel discriminated against by the official standpoint of the University,” Lillis said. “So we all connect to each other so we can have that haven.” Running underground Students said the underground network is particularly strong among gay men on campus, who meet each other through word of mouth, unofficial student clubs and technology. For those students that use the network to hook up, Stroud said there is often a mutual understanding of secrecy. “It was always kind of like an understanding,” he said. “You won’t tell. I won’t tell. No one will know sort of thing.” However, when the underground nature of the network is accidentally brought to the surface of social circles, things can get messy. For example, Stroud once had a closeted student contact him asking to get together. When someone later saw Stroud calling him, it resulted in accidentally outing the student. “It’s always walking on thin ice and there’s a lot of room for hurting people unintentionally,” he said. Despite the challenges of connecting with other gay men on campus, Stroud said he feels the pool is larger than many straight students might think. “I personally have found it to be enough of people to choose from,” he said. “There are definitely categories to pick from.” However, Lillis said the underground network is less connected among lesbian students because gender stereotypes allow women to stay in the closet if they choose to do so. “Girls will come out to their close friends and then they don’t really feel the need to get connected to the community,” she said. “It’s very possible that there is an equal amount of gay guys and gay girls on campus, it’s just that the girls are not as networked in as the guys.” Another difference between the gay and lesbian communities on campus is the amount of sexual activity among members, which Lillis said is typical of the LGBTQ population in general. “A few [girl] have hooked up, but a very minimal amount,” she said. “I think we are very wary about hooking up with someone or even starting a relationship with someone simply because we do not want to jeopardize friendships.” Without a University recognized gay-straight alliance and only a few sanctioned get-togethers a month through Core Council, senior Jason G’Sell said students use invite-only Facebook groups, websites and cell phone applications to connect. On one popular cell phone app, Grindr, gay men create profiles and the app sorts users by distance, he said. “It shows you headshots of people based on location. So this guy is the closest to me. He is 558 feet away,” G’Sell said. “You can guess by their age and how close they are [if they are a student.] Some people will say on their profile that they are a student at Notre Dame or a grad student or something.” G’Sell said students can chat on Grindr and choose to meet in person. While he said the original purpose of the app was to find people to hook up with, most students do not use it for that purpose. “On campus, it’s more of a social networking tool than a hook up tool,” he said. Lillis said lesbian students do not use websites or apps to meet each other, and mostly meet by chance. “A lot of it is just heresay,” she said. “I’ll come out to someone and they’ll be like, ‘oh, I know a lesbian.’” A key component of the underground network is OutreachND, a student organization solely for LGBTQ students that does not apply for club status at the University, G’Sell said. “It’s totally underground. By going there you’re not outing yourself,” he said. “It’s only through word of mouth that people would hear about them.” The group puts on parties once a month and has a private Facebook group that students must be added to in order to see. “We just hang out and play silly games and stuff,” Lillis said. “It’s just for fun.” ‘The gay loophole’ Despite the challenges to identifying as LGBTQ at Notre Dame, students have found one clear advantage — parietals don’t apply when they want to sleep over with members of the same gender. “It’s the gay loophole,” G’Sell said. “We joke about it all the time. It’s like, if the University is going to screw us over in every other dimension, at least we get this one thing. We get the gay loophole.” When G’Sell was dating his ex-boyfriend, he said he spent the night more than once. “I slept over in his room,” G’Sell said. “No one cares. Again, there is still the rule against having sex and that applies to everyone.” According to the student handbook, du Lac, one reason parietals exist is to respond to the privacy needs of students sharing common living space. “It’s kind of awkward then if someone is gay because how are you supposed to enforce that? Would it make my roommates more uncomfortable if I had a gay guy over or if I had my girlfriend over to sleep over?” Lillis said. “Because one of them the University doesn’t approve of, but the other one the University has nothing to say about.” Stroud, who lives off campus now, said he never ran into a problem when he had male students sleep over in the dorm. However, he said he was often cautious so he did not out a closeted student by accident. “Yes, parietals and the RA couldn’t get me in trouble, but running into another guy could get him in trouble,” he said. A range of relationship experiences G’Sell said once LGBTQ students enter a relationship, the degree to which couples are “public” varies. However, these students said they have been able to engage in typical Notre Dame dating experiences — from SYR’s to dining hall dates. When G’Sell was dating his ex-boyfriend, he said “everyone” in their dorms knew they were together. “He came to Duncan’s dance with me. I knew his rector and he knew my rector,” he said. “There was no doubt about it. I mean, we would hold hands all the time and kiss in public.” Stroud said he has had “all sorts of experiences” in the dating world, from relationships to hook ups to dining hall dates. “Just like a normal couple would,” he said. Stroud said his first Notre Dame gay experience was at a party his sophomore year, before he was out to the campus community. “This guy was just kind of looking at me funny, differently than a straight guy would look at you,” he said. “I kind of let it happen.” After that, Stroud hooked up with him for the next week or two. He said in an underground network that often relies on immediacy and secrecy, a relationship that lasts even a few weeks can seem more serious than it is. “It makes relationships be the extreme,” he said. “It’s either a one night stand, maybe twice, or monogamy is going to start happening to where it is serious after a week. There is no room to ‘date’ because of the underground culture just perpetuates easy access, convenience and no strings attached.” However, Stroud has now been dating another student for the past three months, and said their relationship is fairly public. “It’s a very open, kiss you goodbye, hold your hand type of relationship,” he said. “Everyone can pretty much tell when we’re walking down the quad that we’re dating.” When Lillis came to Notre Dame, she assumed she would be single her entire college experience. But as a freshman, she met an alumna who lives in the area and they began dating. Though Lillis has been out since middle school, she sometimes felt uncomfortable expressing affection in public at Notre Dame. “We would hold hands on campus sometimes and I was so wary of who was around and who was looking at us,” she said. Without sexual orientation in the University’s non-discrimination clause, Lillis feared she would receive backlash at work if a co-worker saw her with another girl because she works at an organization that values Catholic tradition. “I feared that my orientation was a conflict of interest at the job,” she said. However, she said she didn’t experience any overt negative reactions from the campus community when the couple was affectionate in public. She said current students seem to be progressive when it comes to gay men and women expressing themselves romantically on campus. “I think a large part of the problem here is not at all the student body,” Lillis said. “I think the student body is majority on board with granting the gay students on this campus what they are asking for, but I think a large part of it is the administration and the alumni that are holding this University back.”last_img read more

Sociology professor dies at 70

first_imgObserver Staff Report C. Lincoln Johnson, associate professor of sociology emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, died Thursday. He was 70 years old. Johnson specialized in statistical methods and social psychology, pursuing a particular interest in the effects of globalization on the world food supply. In addition to teaching a popular course titled, “Global Food Systems: the Sociology of Food,” he applied this interest to local needs by serving on the board of the Northeast Neighborhood Center Food Pantry in South Bend and actively served the community. A native of Valparaiso, Chile, Johnson joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1971 after earning master’s degrees from the New School of Social Research and the University of Kansas in 1966 and 1968, respectively, according to a University press release. He earned his doctoral degree from the University of Kansas in 1974, graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1963 and earned a bachelor’s degree in divinity from Southern Methodist University in 1966. Johnson, who directed Notre Dame’s Laboratory for Social Research for 14 years, once said his many interests helped him better understand himself and his place in society. “I have a wide range of interests, but each area of study usually comes down to focusing on that interesting intersection between self and society: How one understands a sense of self in a rapidly changing world, and how the social structure tends to shape and mold the ways we think and act,” he said. Contributions in Johnson’s memory may be sent to the Center for Social Concerns, Relief for World Hunger, Geddes Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556.last_img read more

Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s extend benefits to same-sex spouses of employees

first_imgNotre Dame and Saint Mary’s will extend benefits to all legally married spouses of employees, including same-sex spouses, now that same-sex marriage is recognized under Indiana law.The Office of Human Resources sent an email announcing the change to benefit-eligible faculty and staff Wednesday.“On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from decisions striking down bans on same-sex marriage in several states, including Indiana,” the email stated. “This means that the law in Indiana now recognizes same-sex marriages and the University will extend benefits to all legally married spouses, including same-sex spouses.“Notre Dame is a Catholic university and endorses a Catholic view of marriage. However, it will follow the relevant civil law and begin to implement this change immediately.”Saint Mary’s Director of Media Relations Gwen O’Brien said in an email Thursday: “ Same-sex marriage is legal in Indiana. Saint Mary’s College will follow the law.”Notre Dame Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications Paul Browne said the number of employee families that will be covered under the expanded policy won’t be known until employees begin signing up for the benefits, according to a South Bend Tribune report Thursday.Tags: employee benefits, Indiana Gay marriage, same-sex marriage, Supreme Courtlast_img read more

Ugandan children’s choir performs at Saint Mary’s

first_imgThe Ugandan Kids Choir, a ministry of Childcare Worldwide, performed in Little Theatre at Saint Mary’s College on Thursday. According to the their website, Childcare Worldwide’s global mission is to “build a bridge between concerned people in the West and children in the developing world, to help meet their spiritual and physical needs through a ministry that emphasizes education and is based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Choir tour leader Susanna Spaid said the choir has been raising awareness and sponsorship for child poverty since 2006. She said the children are able to perform nationwide, mainly at churches and schools, but they have also performed at Disneyland, CenturyLink Field — home of the Seattle Seahawks — and on the steps of the White House.According to Spaid, the choir is on an 11-month tour around the United States performing traditional Ugandan music and dances. The choir is made up of five girls and five boys all of whom are eight to 12 years old. All of the children come from an impoverished life and many are orphans.“They have the opportunity outside poverty to achieve their dreams,” Spaid said. She said on their tour, the children travel with four adult leaders — two of whom are from Uganda and two from the United States.“We as tour leaders act as their parents, bus drivers, mentors and teachers,” Spaid said. “We currently work in nine countries around the world and we are able to continue this program through sponsorship. Our program lasts through trade school so that way the children are set up for future employment and so that they are able break the cycle of poverty.” During the performance, the children introduced themselves and told the audience what they wanted to be when they grow up. They aspire to become nurses, doctors, pilots, teachers and engineers. Together the children said, “Greetings from Africa. We are happy to be here.”At the end of the show the children went into the crowd and danced with audience members. Nancy Menk, chair of the department of music which sponsored the event, said the concert offered Saint Mary’s students a glimpse into the music of other cultures.“It’s a great opportunity for our music education majors to see and hear authentic performances of African music,” she said. “This presentation is another example of Saint Mary’s College’s increasing emphasis on global studies and intercultural activities.”For more information on sponsorsip and volunteering with the Ugandan Kids Choir, visit www.ugandankidschoir.orgTags: africa, Singing, Uganda, Ugandan children’s choirlast_img read more

Oppman, Lorenc elected SMC student body president, VP

first_imgDuring her time at Saint Mary’s, newly-elected student body president Bailey Oppman worked as a nursing assistant for a 94-year-old alumna of the College. Now, she hopes to take care of the Saint Mary’s community, working with vice president Lydia Lorenc to tend to the needs of the very people who put them in office: students.Oppman said she and Lorenc, both juniors, look forward to giving back to the College through their leadership roles.“I think this is our way of contributing, of leaving our footprint behind in some small way,” Oppman said. “We’re so passionate about this school.”According to Lorenc, the sisterhood at Saint Mary’s makes the College feel like home, so she and Oppman will strive to ensure that everyone feels welcome and appreciated on campus.“I think it all comes back to inclusivity,” Lorenc said. “We’re excited to really try to bring this community together, even more than it already is.”Lorenc said she hopes students embrace her as a leader and feel comfortable approaching her with any concerns or suggestions. She said she and Oppman will uphold the Saint Mary’s mission — to help students grow in self-discovery — to the best of their ability.“We’re looking to be role models,” Lorenc said. “Everything the school stands for as far as values … is a lot of stuff that we can identify with as well.”Oppman said she eagerly awaits setting an example for younger students, since she fondly remembers admiring the student body leaders who preceded her.“I think it’s really neat that you have these girls entering at a crucial time in their lives, and you can be someone they look up to,” Oppman said. “You can be someone they want to try to aspire to be.”According to Oppman, the added recognition from students and faculty has been difficult to grow accustomed to but added she and Lorenc feel prepared to assume their new positions with optimism and confidence.“We realize that there are people that are going to be watching us now, young and old,” Oppman said. “I think we can use that to our advantage and make the best of it by setting a good example. By embodying what Saint Mary’s stands for, we can make an impact on the girls around campus.”Lorenc said she and Oppman primarily aim to foster the enduring bond between Saint Mary’s women.“It’s always so fun when you’re out and about in the community and you run into another Belle,” Lorenc said. “You instantly feel a connection. It’s all part of the tradition here at Saint Mary’s.”According to Lorenc, Saint Mary’s produces principled graduates who recognize their own worth and prioritize the needs of others, as she and Oppman plan to do during their term.“I think being a Belle is extremely humbling,” Lorenc said. “A Saint Mary’s woman is unique in many ways.”Oppman said she feels compelled to preserve the value of sisterhood, since it unites students with different backgrounds and viewpoints, reminding them of their common humanity.“Empowering one another, standing behind one another gives me a lot of passion and drive to … stand behind the women I am so passionate about and love,” Oppman said. “Knowing you’re a part of that is really important, and it’s just a great feeling.”The opportunity to collaborate with and receive guidance from the student governments of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College will not be wasted, according to Oppman. “There’s only so many schools in the country I can think of that even have the same set-up we do, where it’s a consortium of colleges,” Oppman said. “It’s really unique, and it also gives us an advantage because there’s more we can do. We have allies.”Oppman said she feels honored to serve an institution so rooted in tradition because her Saint Mary’s education broadens her worldview and provides her with fulfilling opportunities, such as leading the College’s student body.“We are part of the women we’re here on campus with, but we also have a connection with women we’ve never met before, women who went here 40 years ago,” Oppman said. “I feel like I’m part of something bigger.”last_img read more

Indiana mayors speak about strategies to build better cities

first_imgThe University hosted Mayor James Brainard of Carmel, Indiana, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Thursday for a discussion of urban development and sustainability entitled “Designing Smart Cities: Mayors Taking Action.” Eddie Griesedieck | The Observer Mayors Pete Buttigieg and James Brainard of South Bend and Carmel, respectively, speak on the environmental impact of cities Thursday.While campaigning for mayor of Carmel, Brainard went door-to-door to meet with voters. He said the city did not have a clearly defined main street, and many residents debated the location of the city’s downtown area.“Carmel is a poor, Quaker farming community that had, at the end of World War II, only about 200 families — 500-some people,” he said. “Then, it started to grow, much like cities across the United States did that are on the edge of major metropolitan areas. But it grew as a car suburb.“It didn’t have really much of a downtown other than that little two blocks, and you couldn’t walk anywhere you needed to go. And some of the older neighborhoods didn’t even have sidewalks.”Brainard said he set out to develop a downtown area in Carmel and make the area more accessible to pedestrians and bikers. The town now has roughly 200 miles of bike trails, Brainard said, and almost all of its neighborhoods are connected.“More than anything, I kept hearing about a center — about being able to walk somewhere I needed to go, about being able to go out for a dinner and a show and not have to drive 40 minutes into downtown Indianapolis,” he said. “What it was was a yearning for a very traditional city — the same kind our civilizations have been building for thousands of years.”When developing Carmel’s downtown area, the city decided to put a height limit on buildings — restricting them to five stories, Brainard said. The effects of tall buildings are similar to the effects of urban sprawl, he said, and cause problems for both the environment and public health.“In addition to the environment, [sprawl] was bad for mental and physical health. People were separated from each other,” he said. “We’re social animals. But if you go up too high, you get the same mental and physical health impact.”The city has implemented other sustainable measures, Brainard said. The city uses the end product from its sewage plants and the methane flames utilized in sewage plants to create fertilizer, he said.“It used to just produce carbon, [and] you had to burn it off for safety,” Brainard said. “We’re using it now to heat up that sludge to turn it into fertilizer, and we sell it. It went from being an expense to a profit for us.”Cities have the power to affect wide-reaching environmental change, Buttigieg said, though their efforts are sometimes hindered by state and federal governments.“I think we’re finally beginning to realize that there’s more to government than the tension between state and federal [government],” he said. “And for a long time, we were led to believe that the tug-of-war between state and federal power was the only one that mattered, when actually, it increasingly feels like we’re in an environment where it’s really cities and towns against the world.”Buttigieg said it is important to ensure that local autonomy is protected, as higher levels of the government have begun to interfere with communities’ decision-making.“It’s certainly the case that cities are having their hands tied often by state governments over ideological reasons or power reasons,” he said. “And for the first time, we seem to see the federal government begin to want to move in the same direction.” Eddie Griesedieck | The Observer South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at a discussion Thursday on urban development and sustainability in cities.Cities have begun to form coalitions to combat climate change and bring about change from the local level, Buttigieg said.“If a critical mass of cities agree to take certain steps — whether it’s embracing the climate goals, moving toward carbon neutrality, getting a certain base of renewables, whatever those goals are — when us cities do it, that’s almost as good as if the entire world and national governments had come together and they make a decision,” he said.Buttigieg said the Smart Streets initiative — a project which created new two-way traffic lanes in the community — and the introduction of the LimeBikes into South Bend made the city more connected.“We’re now at 15,000 trips per week on this system,” he said of the LimeBikes. “In a city the size of South Bend, it’s extraordinary. We’ve seen a six-fold growth just from the first month to the second month, and we’re getting about a thousand riders per day.”Notre Dame students aren’t the only people using the bike sharing system, Buttigieg said.“A lot of the riders are actually from low-income parts of town where people may rely on this as a way to get to work,” he said. “And so the idea of bikes and bike lanes and bike sharing systems [as] something that’s just for affluent corners of the community really doesn’t bear out when you look at who uses them and how.”Buttigieg echoed Brainard’s comments and said it was important for cities to be well-connected and accessible to pedestrians.“The very mission, the function of a city — which is exchange — is usually best supported when people can encounter each other, which means being outside of a vehicle,” Buttigieg said.When it comes to local community development, Buttigieg said, partisan politics do not have as much of an influence as they do in national affairs.“When it comes to this local problem solving, even on what might be considered a national or global issue, often party doesn’t matter as much as you would think,” he said. “And a lot of that, I think, is because we’re in the business of solving problems in a very immediate level. We’re looking for solutions at a very immediate level.”Tags: Government, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, South Bend communitylast_img read more

From feeding sheep to teaching in missionaries, students reflect on their ISSLP and SSLP experiences

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Meghan Guilfoile Junior Meghan Guilfoile taught math and information, technology and communications classes to students in Uganda.During the program, students typically followed a schedule. Junior Teresa Breckler was staffed at an abbey in Connecticut and said her day typically started with feeding the sheep in the morning and then attending Mass. After a morning assignment, which ranged from garden, orchard or sheep work, she said she would have a homegrown lunch, partake in an afternoon assignment and then have dinner.Other students, such as junior Theresa Azemar, held a different schedule. Azemar worked in the north side of Syracuse, New York as a program coordinator for a youth program. Azemar said she worked from 1:00 to 9:30 p.m., and spent time in meetings with other staff members and working with the kids.“I was able to build a curriculum, and for four weeks of those eight weeks, I was working with [high school] kids, teaching them about the history of the north side of Syracuse in regards to redlining and gentrification,” she said.For her ISSLP experience, junior Meghan Guilfoile worked in Uganda near a Holy Cross missionary center and parish, teaching math and information, technology and communications (ICT) classes. She said in an email she taught class in the morning and then spent the afternoon and evening working on lesson plans and grading homework assignments. She also worked with nonprofit organizations.“On the weekends, my site partner and I would attend school events like dances or school debates to spend more leisure time with our students,” she said.No matter where they worked, students said they found moments to remember and treasure in all experiences.“I think one of the most memorable moments for me is when the high schoolers would drop their facades of ‘I’m too old for this,’ … and they would click with what I was teaching them,” Azemar said.Junior Bo Heatherman worked in a village in Bangladesh, where he said he and another student would often visit families in their homes.“They would just give us so much food,” he said. “ … That was one of the coolest parts of the trip was just seeing their lifestyle.”Sophomore Alex Lewis worked at Urban Ministries in a nonprofit health clinic for the uninsured in North Carolina, and said he enjoyed working with patients consistently over the course of the summer.“Some of my favorite experiences were days when I would work in several departments,” he said. “There was one particular day I helped one particular patient in five different capacities.”Sophomore Anna Staud worked at the Robinson Community Learning Center in South Bend.“One day I was working with the middle schoolers on a poetry workshop and this middle school boy turns to me and says, ‘Miss Anna, I think I really like poetry. I didn’t think I’d be good at it but I actually am.’ I still remember that so well,” she said.While the experience was generally positive, program participants said they encountered their fair share of difficult moments.Breckler said she got a concussion while at her SSLP.“Learning to allow other people to care for me and learning to care for myself by cultivating a physical self-compassion [was the hardest part],” she said. “I was challenged to cultivate … muscles and a toned body in order to do the work I needed to cultivate an interior balance and restfulness on the inside to care for myself.”Guilfoile said the hardest part was working at a slower pace and with different communication methods.“In the U.S., it is rude to be late to meetings or not complete work on time,” she said. “However, this was not the case in Uganda. When I asked when a meeting [would] start, I always got the response, ‘It will begin when it begins.’”Senior Ryan Bigej worked in Lima, Peru at a center for children with disabilities, and said in an email he gained a broader perspective as a result of the experience.“When I arrived in Lima, I had never worked with people with disabilities,” he said. “This experience helped me to realize just how much of a gift these children are. At the same time, I got an inside look at just how difficult it is for impoverished families to cope and function with a child with disabilities.”Heatherman, whose program operated in conjunction with Bengal Bouts, said he and the three other club members who were working in Bangladesh would share their experiences with others during their meetings.“The number one thing I’m bringing back is using what I saw and what I experienced there to help motivate people who haven’t had the chance to go and make the club more productive,” he said.Lewis and others said the experience has helped influence their career choices.“I’m bringing back a greater appreciation for the healthcare field, a greater understanding of how health care works and operates in the U.S. — especially for those who are uninsured — [and] a greater appreciation for service,” he said.Staud is considering going into education or education reform after working with the Robinson Community Learning Center, she said, which shaped her decision to do an SSLP.“[The experience gave me] an appreciation for the childlikeness and glee of all people,” she said.Tags: Bangladesh, Bengal Bouts, ISSLP, SSLP, Uganda Students can apply every year to conduct a summer of service abroad or in the U.S. through the International Summer Service Learning Program (ISSLP) and Summer Service Learning Program (SSLP).This past summer, 68 students served over 80 organizations across 18 countries through ISSLP, Rachel Tomas Morgan, director of ISSLP, said in an email. In addition, 238 students served over 160 organizations in 39 U.S. states through SSLP, Ben Wilson, director of SSLP, said in an email.last_img read more

Lecture on society and abortion opens Respect Life Week

first_imgOn Monday in LaFortune Student Center, Professor Helen Alvaré of George Mason University delivered a lecture exploring the concept of women’s liberation in the context of abortion and the right to life movement. The lecture, titled “Women’s Liberation: Authentic Feminine Freedom in a post-Roe Era,” was the opening event for ND Right to Life’s annual Respect Life Week.As well as teaching family law, law and religion and property law, Alvaré writes articles about religious freedom and the First Amendment. She is also a chair of the Catholic Women’s Forum.During her talk, Alvaré examined common arguments by pro-choice advocates, which she claims have no evidence.“The arguments, the verbiage, the statements from interest groups and the legislature, they sound very much like the formulas coming out of the Supreme Court,” she said. “They’ve got this language, the Supreme Court opinion, that says, ‘This is what the Constitution says,’ and they tend to repeat them.”The first pro-choice argument Alvaré addressed was that abortion saves women’s lives. She said the rhetoric of life-saving has no “empirical evidence” to back it up, citing numbers from a pro-choice, non-government organization, the Guttmacher Institute.“Guttmacher acknowledges that over 90% of abortions women say are for social, personal, familial — not health — reasons,” she said. “Only 3 to 4% of all abortion patients list health as their primary reason.”Alvaré also challenged claims that late-term abortions are safer than childbirth, instead saying the leading cause for late-term abortions was unawareness of pregnancy.“The idea that abortion is primarily a matter of health, it just isn’t there,” she said.Alvaré said the numbers of medical complications from abortions are often incorrectly reported. One reason she highlighted is that further medical treatment is covered by hospitals, not the clinics themselves.“They do abortions. They don’t do the aftermath,” she said.Alvaré then shifted her focus to mental health and abortion. She said abortion does not alleviate stress associated with an unwanted pregnancy, contrary to the research of the American Psychological Association.“Those who perform [abortions] seem to have a drastic lack of curiosity about whether it hurts or helps women,” Alvaré said. “Shouldn’t everybody be interested in the question of the effects on women of a surgery performed 3,000 times a day?”Alvaré said the 1992 Supreme Court Case Casey vs. Planned Parenthood established a link between abortion and female empowerment, a claim which she says has no evidence.“There was absolutely no relationship that you could draw between women’s resort to abortion and their position in the educational and economic labor market,” Alvaré said. “You couldn’t even draw a graph of correlation, never mind causation.”Overall, Alvaré stressed the importance of understanding evidence in fierce political battlegrounds such as this one. She advised students and professors alike in the audience to check sources, check footnotes and always substantiate arguments with facts. Her parting advice: “Be the most educated person in the room on this topic.”Tags: Abortion, Pro-choice, Pro-life, Respect Life Weeklast_img read more