Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) has the same powers that a public police force does. Within its jurisdiction, NDSP officers can carry weapons, investigate crimes and make arrests that can lead to criminal charges.But when somebody gets arrested by the South Bend Police Department (SBPD), files a complaint with the agency or is the victim of a crime to which it responds, that information becomes a public record under Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act (APRA).For NDSP, it’s a little more complicated.The distinction between a police force like SBPD and one like NDSP hinges on the legal distinction between private and public agencies.Under APRA, “public agencies” — like local police departments — are required to release certain records by law. However, private university police departments like NDSP have long been considered private agencies under state law, and therefore not subject to APRA.The legal status of NDSP has been the subject of intense legal scrutiny in the past two years.Lindsey Meyers ESPN filed a lawsuit against the University in January 2015, after Notre Dame refused to release incident reports related to student athletes on two separate occasions. Last month, the Indiana Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision, ruling in favor of Notre Dame that NDSP is not a public agency under the law.While the ESPN case made its way through the legal system last year, the Indiana State Legislature passed HB 1022, which would have required private university police departments to disclose records only in situations where someone was arrested or incarcerated, shielding them specifically from the rest of APRA. It was vetoed by then-Governor Mike Pence in March. The state legislature, which passed HB 1022 with overwhelming support, will have the opportunity to override the veto when the new legislative session begins in January.But, just one day after the final ruling in the ESPN lawsuit, the South Bend Tribune reported another law — HB 1019 — was passed last year that contained language such that it inadvertently changed the state’s definition of a “public agency” to specifically include university police departments.Effective July 1 of this year, the law changed the term’s definition, which now reads in the Indiana State Code as the following:“Public agency”, except as provided in section 2.1 of this chapter, means the following: … (11) A private university police department. The term does not include the governing board of a private university or any other department, division, board, entity, or office of a private university.”On Nov. 18, The Observer submitted records requests for three case files to NDSP. Capt. Rick Miller said NDSP could not fulfill the request and recommended the requests be directed to the University’s Office of General Counsel.The Observer submitted the records requests to General Counsel, and agreed to a meeting to discuss the matter with Brian Guarraci, assistant general counsel, whose primary areas of practice include “litigation and risk management, student affairs, campus safety and security, the Clery Act and advising University departments on statutory, regulatory and policy matters,” according to the Office of General Counsel’s website.Within the 24 hours required for a response under state law, University spokesperson Dennis Brown denied all three records requests.“The University of Notre Dame, including its Notre Dame Security Police Department, is not a public agency of the government and thus is not subject to requests for public records under Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act (APRA),” Brown said in an email.Two days later, Brown informed The Observer in an email that its meeting with the Office of General Counsel had been cancelled: “because we have nothing to add beyond the response I sent to you on Saturday, there is no need for a meeting.”When asked why the University considers NDSP not a public agency given the definition of public agency in the 2016 version of the Indiana Code, Brown said the change was erroneous and that a correction to the law had already been drafted.“ … Regarding the technical printing error in the last legislative session, language from HB 1022 regarding private universities was erroneously included in a conference committee report for HB 1019 (concerning public access to police recordings), and in contravention of the legislative drafting rules for the Indiana General Assembly,” Brown said.“This resulted in two conflicting versions of Ind. Code 5-14-3-2. As is common after legislative sessions when technical corrections are identified by Indiana’s Legislative Services Agency (“LSA”), this technical error has been identified by LSA as one of several technical errors requiring correction through a Technical Corrections Bill. In September 2016, the Technical Corrections Bill prepared by LSA specifically correcting this erroneous inclusion was approved for forwarding to the Legislature by a 12-0 vote of the Indiana Code Revision Commission …“ … The Technical Corrections Bill will proceed to the General Assembly after it reconvenes in January 2017. Once enacted, the corrections will be retroactive as of July 1, 2016.”Until the corrections bill passes, however, it seems that NDSP is subject to APRA as a public agency under state law.Because the University has chosen to deny records requests, organizations and individuals seeking records would have few options for recourse except to sue for access before the state legislature passes the corrections bill.The Observer has no plans to sue for access.News Editor Katie Galioto contributed to this report. Tags: APRA, ESPN, ESPN lawsuit, HB 1019, HB 1022, NDSP, records
The array of choices when it comes to pre-made energy bars and drinks can be overwhelming. Some are sweet, some are salty, some are fairly delicious, and let’s be honest … some are barely edible. While most are packed with nutrients, oftentimes they also contain ingredients you’ve never heard of, strange sugars, sodium and preservatives. If a $2.79 bar of processed fluff doesn’t sound satisfying during your next hike, it might be time to create your own homemade energy bars and drinks. You can choose exactly what you are putting into your bar — and your body.With all the buzz about “super foods,” it’s hard to know which ingredients are really essential for an active lifestyle. Nicole Monson, certified holistic nutritionist, recommends using chia seeds, whey protein, maca powder and hemp seeds. Chia seeds have been used by the Mayans for centuries, and elite athletes for decades, to maintain energy levels for improved stamina and endurance, perfect for your next century ride. Whey protein provides the ideal amino acid ratio that helps build muscle. Maca powder combats adrenal fatigue and contains phytochemicals, which have been shown to boost energy levels. The perfect balance of omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids in hemp seeds “promotes healthy levels of inflammation throughout the body and aids in muscle recovery,” said Monson, who is a nutritional health coach for Natural Grocers.Other favorites include raw cocoa powder for its antioxidants, oats for their heart-healthy soluble fiber and dates for their potassium. Tart cherries can help combat inflammation, and pumpkin seeds are a rich source of magnesium, which prevents muscle weakness. Coconut in all forms is a nutrient-rich addition: coconut water, coconut oil, coconut flakes, coconut milk and coconut sugar, which has a low glycemic index and spikes blood sugar less than other sugars, leading to fewer cravings later.We’ve created four recipes for you to try using a variety of these ingredients that can be found at any natural grocery store. Each recipe is packed with super foods … and better yet, super flavor!CHERRY CHOCOLATE CASHEW ENERGY BARS2 cups coconut flakes2 tablespoons almond butter2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted12 mejool dates, pitted and chopped (approx 1 1/3 cups)3 tablespoons whey protein powder2 tablespoons raw cocoa powder1/2 cup dried, tart cherries (unsweetened)1/4 cup crushed cashews2 tablespoons hulled hemp seedsPlace coconut flakes, chopped dates, protein powder, cocoa powder, almond butter and coconut oil into food processor. Pulse until well combined and sticky. Add in tart cherries, cashews and hemp seeds. Pulse lightly until well combined. Line 8-inch-by-8-inch pan with parchment paper. Place mixture into pan. Place a second small sheet of parchment paper on top of mixture, and press firmly to smooth out mixture into pan. Place pan in freezer. Let harden 10 to 30 minutes, and then cut into 8 bars. Keep in airtight container in the refrigerator or in the freezer, if you prefer a firmer texture. Makes 8 bars.SPICED PUMPKIN PROTEIN BAR 1 cup oats, gluten free2 ripe bananas3 tablespoons whey protein powder (you can substitute hemp or brown rice protein powder)1/8 teaspoon sea salt1 tablespoon coconut oil, softened2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds2 tablespoons chia seeds2 tablespoons hulled hemp seeds2 tablespoons crushed walnuts2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (nutmeg, clove, ginger and cinnamon)1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakesPreheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, combine oats, bananas, protein powder, sea salt and coconut oil. Pulse until well blended and smooth (approximately 1 minute). In a large bowl, combine pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and spice. Stir to combine, and then add wet mixture from processor. Stir to coat evenly. Mixture will be sticky. Place mixture into greased 8-inch-by-8-inch baking pan. Spread coconut flakes onto batter, pressing down firmly. Bake 15 minutes. Let cool before slicing into 6 bars. Keep in an airtight container in your refrigerator. Makes 6 bars. MACA MOCHA SMOOTHIE 6 frozen coconut almond milk ice cubes1 frozen banana, sliced2 tablespoons vanilla whey protein powder2 teaspoons maca powder1 tablespoon chia seeds1 tablespoon cocoa powder2 shots espresso, cooled1 cup unsweetened coconut almond milkPlace all ingredients in blender. Pulse until well combined. Divide between two glasses and drink immediately, or let rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow chia seeds to “gel” and smoothie to thicken. Makes 2 smoothies.STRAWBERRY CHIA FRESCA 1 1/2 cups coconut water, divided2 tablespoons chia seeds1/4 cup coconut sugarJuice of 1 fresh lemon (2 tablespoons)12 frozen organic strawberries2 cups seltzer waterPlace chia seeds and 1/2 cup of coconut water into jar, and leave covered overnight in the refrigerator. When chia has worked its magic, the seeds will puff up and become a gel like consistency. When chia seeds are ready, remove from refrigerator. In small saucepan over low heat, combine coconut sugar and the juice of 1 lemon. Whisk continuously as sugar begins to dissolve; allow to dissolve completely (approximately 5 minutes). Remove from heat. Place 6 frozen strawberries in each of two large glasses. Divide the chia mixture and lemon sugar mixture evenly between the two glasses. Add 1/2 cup coconut water and 1 cup seltzer water to each glass. Makes 2 spritzers.