Students get ready for finals week, search for open study space

first_imgFor some students, end of the semester responsibilities make Christmastime feel anything but the most wonderful time of the year. Students across Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s campuses cope with these demands using different strategies and methods. St. Mary’s sophomore Bryanna Hillary strives to tackle assignments in advance of due dates to avoid the stress of last minute rushes. “I need to confront stress right away so that I can avoid the building up of it,” she said. “I’ll write a paper as soon as it’s assigned even if it’s not due for a month just so I won’t have to think about it.” Many of Hillary’s peers, like sophomore Jordan Diffenderfer, are less eager to cross things off the to-do list. “I just pretend that I am not stressed,” she said. “[I] put it off and then I have a lot to do hours before it is due.” Notre Dame senior Mike Rodio said he’s learned to better deal with finals stress over the years, but doesn’t necessarily have time to start work earlier. “Generally, I used to be a lot more stressed out around finals, freshman and sophomore year, but now I kind of realize that you can be stressed or you can be totally relaxed about it, but the work remains the same,” he said. Rodio said finding a quiet study spot around finals time is difficult, so he steers clear of the usual locations. “I don’t even bother with LaFun or the library because not only are they crowded but they kind of have that stressed out feeling,” he said. He said he prefers to study in the basement of Keenan Hall, where there are fewer distractions. “There’s no windows so you don’t realize how late it is when the sun is coming up and you’re still finishing your paper,” Rodio said. “If I were to go to anywhere else I’d go to the music rooms in Crowley.” Notre Dame senior Kelsey Clemson said the key to effective study is constantly rotating your studying location. “The change of surroundings helps me to stay on task and not feel like I’m being punished by having timeout in the library or something,” she said. “Also for test-takers, changing where you study actually helps you to have better memory retrieval during tests.” St. Mary’s junior Mary Parks said keeping workspaces open later at the College would make last minute work more manageable. She said for late night crammers, finding a study space can be a challenge. “I think my stress level would decrease if the library could be open past midnight, even if only during the last week of classes and finals week,” she said. While Saint Mary’s may not cater to the procrastinating set, the College will be offering numerous study break options next week. Saint Mary’s Annual Finals Week Late Night Breakfast, a complimentary meal prepared for students by faculty, administrators and staff, will be offered Monday. Notre Dame will hold its 2011 Study Break in South Dining Hall next Monday, 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. Students can enjoy a pause from studying with school-themed snacks, games, coloring and origami. From now through the last day of finals, the Hesburgh Library will be open 24 hours a day. From Dec. 12 to Dec. 14 the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, Leep Varsity Shop and Irish Hockey Shop will hold Student Appreciation Days, offering coffee for 50 cents and a 10 percent discount on most items. For those students hoping for some divine intervention, the Office of Civil and Social Engagement at St. Mary’s is sponsoring the 12 Days of Christmas, which will include nightly Advent Vespers in the Regina Chapel at 6:45 p.m. and a craft show Saturday night. Carrie Call, director for the office, said the show offers students an opportunity to take a break from books and to take in some retail therapy. “[The craft show] is a fabulous way to reduce your stress, get away from studying, celebrate the end of the semester and buy awesome gifts,” she said. “It will help reduce the stress of Christmas shopping too.”last_img read more

SMC SAGA sponsors Pride Week

first_imgNews WriterThis week, Saint Mary’s College Straight and Gay Alliance (SAGA) will be hosting Pride Week in celebration of the LGBTQ community.Sophomore coordinator Bridget Venard said Pride Week is an opportunity for Saint Mary’s students to support friends who identify as LGBTQ.“[Pride Week’s] purpose is to remind people that it’s hard to be of a different sexual orientation in our society, but that you should still be proud of it,” Venard said. “[Sexual orientation] shouldn’t be something that could set you back. … It’s celebrating that community and making our presence known that, yes, there are gay people on our campus, [and] not everyone is the same.”Venard said Pride Week gives allies a chance to become more educated about the LGBTQ community as well. A panel discussion on Tuesday at 7 p.m. will allow students to hear about current events from different perspectives.“It’s another chance to celebrate diversity and equality here on campus,” senior coordinator Hayley Miller said.Venard said SAGA is offering a variety of activities for students to celebrate the LGBTQ community, including a community outreach with the GLBT Resource Center of Michiana.The purpose of Pride Week is to make students, no matter what their sexual orientation, aware of the organizations and clubs, like SAGA, that are available to support students and build a better community, Venard said.“We often live in a binary where you are either one or the other, or you don’t talk and celebrate how we are different,” Venard said. “You don’t have to be gay to be in the club; you can just come to the club and learn from our events and try to think about it in a different way. As a liberal arts school, we try to learn in different ways, [and] it’s very important let people know that people identify in different ways.”After overcoming obstacles within the club, senior coordinator Brookelin Propes said she is looking forward to seeing the impact of Pride Week.“We worked so hard, so I’m excited to watch it all come together,” Propes said. “Hopefully [we] see a lot of people come out to the events we have created.”Venard said she is looking forward to the week ahead because of the personal connections that will be made on campus.“I really value this week in that it creates personal connections among people,” Venard said. “This week is meant to empower people to be proud of who they are and speak out and represent their identity if they choose so.”Miller said she believes this week will be rewarding because of the many signatures already on the Pride Week banner, which is available for signing in the Noble Family Dining Hall.“We had to overcome a lot of obstacles to put this week on, so the fact that we have so many signatures on the banner already is rewarding,” Miller said. “It’s something we believe, and we want others to believe in us as well.” Tags: LGBTQ, Pride Weeklast_img read more

SUB improves visibility, promotes annual events

first_imgJunior Scott Copeland, executive director of the Student Union Board (SUB), said the organization’s main focus this semester was to improve student life on campus by enhancing traditional SUB events and introducing new ones.“On the most basic level, SUB exists to [plan] for the undergraduate student body – so, to provide entertainment, really just to enhance the student experience here at Notre Dame,” Copeland said. “We do that through a variety of ways, like we put on the spring concert; we do stress relievers during finals week. … We have kind of staple events like that, but we also try to branch out and target specific groups of students.”SUB began the school year with events Copeland said would both “enhance the first experience of campus” for new students and excite older students about their return to school. Popular events this time of year were SUB regulars – Comedy on the Quad, Movie on the Quad and Pups and Pumpkins, which brought dogs from the humane society to campus, he said.“Our overall [plan] … for the semester, in our eyes was to, at the beginning of the semester, have events that are all-inclusive, that welcome new students to campus, welcome returning students back to campus,” Copeland said. “So we were able to, I think, succeed in that. … And again, just trying to emphasize the open atmosphere of these events – like putting [them] out in places where students are going to walk by, students are going to notice.”SUB also hoped to branch out this semester, Copeland said. It worked with the Native American Student Alliance (NASAND) to celebrate Native American heritage month on campus and reached out to other underrepresented groups throughout the semester. SUB also introduced new events, including a bus trip to the Mockingjay premiere.“That was one of our goals this semester, to branch out, do some new things,” Copeland said. “We brought a spoken word artist, the Asia Project, to campus, and that was one of the first times we’d done that.”Coordinating the brand-new events this semester required additional planning and creativity from SUB members, Copeland said.“We try to prevent the reinvention of the wheel from year to year, so there are a lot of events that we put on every single year — Comedy on the Quad is one, Fall Mall, concerts, stress relievers, movies — there are a lot of events we do every year,” he said. “And so whenever you do branch out and try to do something new, you can definitely refer to longstanding programs for ideas on how to get it done, but there will always be challenges that come up and you’ve just got to work through them.”SUB recognized it was important to focus on its longstanding events, too, and make them more fun for students, Copeland said.“You’re always going to have movies in DeBart Thursday, Friday, Saturday,” Copeland said. “So how do you make it so students don’t get bored of them? How do we make it so that those types of events are better?”Copeland said spring semester events will include the Collegiate Jazz Festival, AnTostal, the spring concert and a comedian performance. Student recognition and involvement can be challenging, but SUB is working to create a bigger name for itself on campus, he said.“For events, you always have to think about attendance,” Copeland said. “That’s one of the ways the success of an event is judged — how many people came? How did they enjoy it?”“One of the strategies that we tried to use is almost to build the SUB brand,” he said. “… So we’ll give away pens or frisbees or T-shirts at SUB events, just to try to make people aware that we’re here. Because people kind of hear about SUB, but we’re almost kind of a ghost organization, I feel like. In other universities, their student programming boards are huge, you know, everyone knows them and they do super cool things. So that’s what we’re trying to build.”Overall, Copeland said he believed SUB accomplished what it set out to do at the beginning of the year.“We wanted to put on awesome events, of course, but we wanted to collaborate with other clubs, we wanted to incorporate more student groups in our events, again, getting back to our mission, which is to enhance the undergraduate experience,” Copeland said. “… I think we’ve done a great job of that this semester.”Tags: Student government, Student Union Board, SUBlast_img read more

Panel discusses role of torture in CIA interrogation tactics

first_imgNotre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights hosted a discussion panel Tuesday titled, “Tortured Nation: Morality, Security, and Torture,” examining the moral and legal implications of a recent report on detention and interrogation of terror suspects from the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights and panel moderator Daniel Philpott said a university committed thoroughly to social justice must confront and discuss the question of torture given the Committee’s report.Last month, the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a report that details the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) secret interrogations of terrorism suspects immediately after Sept. 11, 2001. The report revealed the methods employed in the CIA’s interrogation program, including waterboarding, slamming prisoners against walls, sleep deprivation and confinement in cramped space. Further, the report suggested that these methods were not necessary because they did not yield information necessary to foil terrorist plots, Philpott said.Director of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies Paolo Carozza said the Committee’s report exposes massive institutional and moral failure in the United States.“Torture is about destroying the human person,” Carozza said. “It is a direct, intentional attack on the very elements of the human personality — on human identity and on the human capacity for truth. It is a way of taking human beings and destroying their personhood to such an extent that they can no longer be a part of the human community. That’s why torture has been condemned for 200 years, and that’s why today it’s a problem.”Thomas Durkin, attorney and co-director of Loyola University Chicago’s National Security and Civil Rights Program, said he is most concerned by those seeking legal justifications for torture and the potential incorporation of torture into policy.“One thing I’m absolutely certain of is that it is a mistake to make exceptions to the law and try to shoehorn something into the law that doesn’t belong in the law,” Durkin said. “The more I look into these actions, and the more I become radicalized by my defense work at Guantanamo, I witness a continuous state of exception.”Notre Dame professor of theological ethics Jean Porter said the only effective way to reverse this policy is to take strong, public steps.“I think the Justice Department should move immediately to prosecute those involved,” Porter said. “I think that victims should be transferred to open court and tried if at all possible and be paid reparations.“I think we have an obligation of justice to the victims of torture. I happen to be old-fashioned enough to believe in retributive justice. We may never be able undo the psychic damage that we have done to these men, but we may, in some way through the legal system, be able to publicly affirm our belief in humanity.”Michael Desch, chair of the Department of Political Science and co-director of the Notre Dame International Security Program, said public moral revulsion to torture suggests it may be unhelpful to achieve the nation’s long-term strategic goals.“You need to distinguish between the tactical effectiveness of torture, whether it’s ever useful to get information that people otherwise wouldn’t give you, or is it useful for terrorizing people into doing what you want them to do,” Desch said. “I think that all the evidence points to its effectiveness on the tactical level.“Then there’s the question of its effectiveness on the strategic level or the policy level. Here, I think the arguments of critics of are far more compelling. Even if torture is often beneficial on the tactical level, the connection between that and achieving strategic or policy goals is often less clear. “In order to reduce the egregious effects of torture, Desch said it is important to consider how often the CIA uses torture.“Would we never use enhanced interrogation on someone we suspected of having knowledge of a ticking time bomb? Would we never use it for a hostage situation in which the timely location of hostages was essential? I’m not sure I could safely say I would never do it,” Desch said. “If we’re honest with ourselves, and it was our son or daughter’s life at stake, I think we’d have a hard time saying we’d never use extreme methods.”Kelly Jordan, Dean of Students at Holy Cross College and a former Commander in the U.S. Army, said the United States should respond to the information in the report by having its leaders work to repair the damage and pledge it will never happen again.“Surrender to the allure of torture and justification of its use is indicative of the triumph of a culture of narcissism over a culture of honor,” Jordan said. “The trauma of these things on character, requiring someone to conduct or support morally questionable acts, destroys the capacity within an individual for social trust, and I would argue, within our nation itself.”Tags: Center for Civil and Human Rights, CIA, Morality, security, torturelast_img read more

ND Day to feature first campus wide Global Development Challenge

first_imgThis Monday, as part of Notre Dame Day, the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) will host the first ever Global Development Challenge.“[The] Global Development Challenge is comprised of six stations centrally located on campus, each relating to a global development challenge that NDIGD and the Notre Dame Community are currently working to address. Each station has a hands-on, interactive challenge for students, faculty, staff and members of the South Bend community to participate in,” event planner Meagan McDermott said.McDermott said events will include a scavenger hunt, a geography challenge and a 3-point shooting contest.“Notre Dame Day is about celebrating the best aspects of the University, and so we’re excited to showcase the global development work NDIGD and the Notre Dame community is doing in such a fun and interactive way,” she said.Participants can take on the challenges individually or in teams of up to four people, McDermott said. The six challenges are slated to take no more than an hour and can be completed any time between 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.“Some of the stations will make for great photo opportunities, and there’s no better way for students and their friends to spend some down time between classes. The challenges were planned in such a way that anyone can participate and have fun, whether you’re taking on the challenges by yourself or with a group of friends,” McDermott said.McDermott said winners will have the opportunity to either play basketball or have dinner with former Notre Dame basketball player, Ruth Riley.“Each task relates to a global development issue that Notre Dame is currently working to address in the developing world, such as clean water, education and one of my passions, fighting malaria,” Riley said in a video promoting the challenge.According to McDermott, the original idea for the events came from Riley and her commitment to helping those in the developing world.“[Riley] envisioned [the Global Development Challenge] as an opportunity to spread the word about the work that NDIGD is doing to the rest of campus. We were excited about the opportunity to involve students in our mission, and saw Notre Dame Day as a great day to hold the event as we try to spread the word about the work that our office is doing to different parts of campus,” McDermott said.A portion of the $10 registration fee will go to Connectivity, Electricity and Education for Entrepreneurship in Uganda, one of NDIGD’s many projects, McDermott said.“This is a great opportunity to learn more about the aid and support Notre Dame is providing to those most in need. The global development work being highlighted through the Global Development Challenge is central to Fr. Sorin’s goal of being ‘a global force for good,’” she said.Tags: Global Development Challenge, NDIGD, Notre Dame Day, Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development, Ruth Rileylast_img read more

ND alum launches social media app

first_imgA Notre Dame alumnus is trying to transform social media by introducing forward-oriented timelines that enable users to connect with other users based on their future locations and travel plans.Andrew McGill, a 2007 graduate, is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Flypside. The smartphone application allows users to create a new form of a post, called a Flyp, which communicates where a user will be in the future, how long his or her trip will be and what he or she is interested in doing while there. After creating a Flyp, McGill said, users can view and connect with friends, friends of friends and others with similar interests who will be at the same location at the same time. They can also find events, promotions and activities that will be occurring while they are at a specified destination.Susan Zhu “We wanted to create a platform for people in motion to connect with each other ahead of time and find cool events that match the user’s interests,” McGill said. “Flypside is the ultimate social planning tool, as it relates specifically to your future.”McGill said the application also transforms the nature of a tag and hashtag in social media by enabling users to now communicate future identity, interests or intent. “You can assign a #hostelname to a Flyp, then select it to see who is staying at your hostel. If you plan to go surfing while on spring break, add #surfing to your Flyp to view other people interested in surfing who are also there,” he said. “You can even enter and then select ‘University of Notre Dame’ from your profile to see if there are other Notre Dame students crossing your path on spring break or during your summer travels. The [uses] are endless.”McGill said he was inspired to create Flypside through his international travels. After seven years as a gasoline trader at BP, McGill completed an around-the-world tour that included South America, Australia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.“This made me notice two main points related to being in motion: the ‘who’ and the ‘what,’” he said.The ‘who’ can range from meeting up with close friends or acquaintances, to strangers who share similar interests, McGill said, while the ‘what’ is the events, promotions and activities taking place at a certain location.“Like Yelp filters restaurants based on a user’s interests, we want to sort and publicize people, events and promotions related to each of our user’s future location based calendars,” he said.While Flypside’s versatility and practicality make it useful for a very broad audience, McGill said the initial target demographic is the Millennial generation, particularly college students and frequent travelers.“When I was at Notre Dame, I studied abroad in London and thus know how beneficial Flypside will be for college students who are traveling,” he said.McGill said privacy, a concern for most big social media and tech company’s today, is one of the company’s key priorities.“Flypside is making sure to create privacy barriers that users can easily control,” he said. “In order to prevent harassment, users cannot send more than one introductory message to other users, which is similar to a Facebook friend request accompanied by an introductory text.”McGill said Flypside is still in its early launch stages, but has already released an application for iPhone and Android platforms. In order to make Flypside a successful company, McGill said he has worked carefully to create a great team around him, including both employees and advisors.“Good team members must, one, believe in the idea, two, believe in you and three, have the skills and resources to help,” McGill said. Aiming to boost growth, McGill said, the Flypside team is now putting their collective efforts into user acquisition and the creation of strategic partnerships.“Friends and mentors can sometimes get you in the door, but after that you really have to sell and prove yourself,” he said.Additionally, McGill said the Notre Dame community has been supportive and helpful, especially as the University looks to bolster its presence in Silicon Valley through the California Initiative.Mike Ferrigno, president of Notre Dame’s MBA Entrepreneurship Club, said Flypside is an excellent example of how Notre Dame is fostering entrepreneurship.“I am excited to see more Notre Dame startups developing as Notre Dame increases their presence in Silicon Valley,” Ferringno said. “Andrew’s passion for getting the Notre Dame community involved with Flypside is very encouraging for the program.”Flypside represents an exciting opportunity for college students to connect with a new form of social media, McGill said, and he hopes the Notre Dame community will take advantage of it. Tags: Andrew McGill, app, California initiative, Flypside, social medialast_img read more

University denies NDSP records requests

first_imgNotre 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, recordslast_img read more

Club explores gender and sexuality in popular American sitcom

first_imgMen Against Sexual Violence, or MASV, hosted a screening and panel-led open discussion Monday night focusing on gender and sexuality in one of the most popular episodes of American television sitcom “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”“What struck me, apart from everything, is … there’s a list of guidelines that you follow: You follow these rules, you get what you want,” Aman Mital, MASV officer, said.“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is a show following a group of friends that run a bar in Philadelphia. The show is known for its cringe-worthy, offensive humor, as well as “the gang’s” shared vanity and cluelessness about women. In the episode discussed during the panel — “The D.E.N.N.I.S. System” — Dennis, one of the friends, explains his “fool-proof system for getting any chick’s undying love and affection for life.”Mital said the members of MASV visited the Reddit page devoted to pick-up techniques for men. What they found was surprising.“It’s a joke in the show … the things in it are so horrendous that we think that no one would ever do something like that, but that’s the actual technique for a lot of people,” Mital said.According to their mission, MASV is a group dedicated to taking responsibility for men’s role in sexual violence – not just physical, but emotional as well. An aspect of sexual violence that was discussed was the objectification of women by men. Panel member John Johnstin, assistant director of the Gender Relations Center, related the “D.E.N.N.I.S. system” to Ford’s assembly line.“A system is set up to work with interchangeable objects … if you’re running a system, are you actually dealing with individuals? Or are they just interchangeable objects that are there for that purpose?” Johnstin said.The perpetuation of this system in society, Johnstin said, harms both men and women. The discussion touched on how Dennis’s system affects his sister Dee’s perception of her own well-meaning boyfriend’s actions.The discussion delved into the sense of brotherhood seen, for example, in Fisher Hall’s “we are fishermen” chant, Siegfried Hall’s antics in the first pep rally or the hyper-masculinity of the Keenan Revue dance numbers.Finally, the discussion turned to the line between endearing persistence and stalking, as seen in the character Charlie’s seemingly innocent, but ultimately detrimental relationship with a waitress he claims he is in love with. “There’s a difference between wanting to be there for someone, and being obsessive … what you’re really saying is, ‘I don’t care what you want, it’s about me,’” Mital said.Keenan Hall rector Noel Terranova finished the discussion with a call to action.“If there is going to be someone on this campus who does something, has one meaningful interaction that can positively impact someone’s life or prevent something negative from happening, it’s going to be you, yourselves. So I would ask you to do just that, to really engage in this conversation.” Tags: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Men against Sexual violence, misogyny, showlast_img read more

‘He built cathedrals’: Law school community remembers professor John Nagle

first_imgJohn Copeland Nagle is remembered as a man of faith.As Notre Dame’s John N. Matthews professor of law, Nagle walked in the light of Christ in everything he did — as a “beloved teacher, as a prolific scholar and as an exceptionally generous colleague,” former Notre Dame Law School dean Patricia O’Hara said.“He saw that light in all those whom he met, and he reflected that light in all he did — in his scholarship, which examined issues of environmental law, often from an explicitly Christian perspective premised on biblical concepts of stewardship; in his interactions with students and colleagues, which were marked by warmth, generosity, and humility; and in his role as a loving husband, adoring father and faithful brother,” O’Hara said in an email.Nagle died May 18 following surgery and a brief illness. He was 58 years old.Elizabeth Adams, a 2011 law school graduate, was Nagle’s student and research assistant. Adams said Nagle once called her into his office after she did poorly on a final in her first year in law school. Impressed with her writing ability and analytical skills, he offered her a job as a research assistant.Nagle exercised the same dedication in all of his interactions, Adams said.“I think one of the most striking things about him is he was so consistent and authentic in every area of his life,” Adams said. “He approached his profession the way he approached his family and the way he approached his faith and it was always just with such commitment and consistency. But he was seriously the most consistently kind person I’ve ever met in my life. He lived his values in a way that is pretty rare.”Within the legal sphere, Nagle’s specialty was environmental law. A dedicated outdoorsman, he published numerous books and articles on the subject. His work often conveniently brought him to spectacularly beautiful national parks, law professor Rick Garnett — who started at Notre Dame Law School the same day as Nagle — said.“I will miss teasing him, as I often did, about the sweet deal he arranged by deciding to study ‘scenic law’ and national parks,” Garnett said in an email. “‘How great is it,’ I would say, ‘that your “business trips” involve going to Denali and the Grand Canyon?’”A devout Protestant, Nagle often incorporated his faith into his scholarship on environmental issues.“He was so passionate about the work that he did and he wanted to make sure that we all understood it and understood the magnitude of it,” Adams said. “He was courageous and unafraid about pushing the boundaries. I mean, only at Notre Dame would you have such an esteemed academic blending faith-based work so much with environmental-based work, but he even took it a step farther.”Professor Bruce Huber, one of Nagle’s colleagues at the law school, said he suspected Nagle’s synthesis of faith and scholarship played a role in Notre Dame’s decision to hire him.“I don’t know exactly whose radar screen he showed up on first, but I’m sure that as soon as people caught wind that there was this rising scholar … that was not only a faithful Protestant but was incorporating these perspectives into his work, I’m sure that he would have jumped to the top of the list,” Huber said.Nagle was such an accomplished scholar, Huber said, that it is hard to pinpoint one piece of his work that rises above the rest in terms of significance.“I bet if you were to interview 10 scholars outside Notre Dame and ask what his key contribution to environmental law scholarship was, you’d probably get 10 different answers,” Huber said.Nagle loved the outdoors beyond the legal sphere, Huber added. He remembered his friend would raffle off a canoe trip on the St. Joseph River as part of an annual fundraiser at the law school.“He and his wife would generally take folks out canoeing and then they would go out for lunch or go out for drinks or come over to his place for dinner afterwards,” Huber said.A family man, Nagle was dedicated to his wife and daughters. Adams said Nagle’s family was an omnipresent part of his work and teaching.“We’re fortunate enough at Notre Dame to get to know our professors at a really cool level, but his love of family was evident from day one in everything that he did,” she said. “He loved [his wife] Lisa and the girls so much that as soon as he started lecturing, he would automatically start speaking about them five minutes in. It was moving.”Huber echoed that sentiment, adding that Nagle’s love of family extended beyond his own.“This was really where life’s action is for him, so he was always telling you what his kids were up to,” he said. “As much as he would tell me every minute detail of what his kids were up to, he wanted to hear about every minute detail of what my kids were up to, too. He would drop by the home every now and then with a random set of cupcakes, [saying], ‘I just thought your kids might need some cupcakes. Here’s some cupcakes.’ Or [he] brought over a cup of coffee for my wife, [saying] ‘I thought she might want a latte.’ He was just always doing generous things like that — random acts of kindness.”Nagle also often brought students into his family, hosting class dinners at his house and inviting students and research assistants to his family’s meals.“I really became part of his family,” Adams said. “They were always so welcoming. Dinners at their house began feeling like family dinners.”Nagle was “extraordinarily hospitable,” Huber echoed.“He would always be having his students over to his house for dinner, either students in his class, if he was teaching 60 students in the class — it didn’t matter,“ Huber said. “There must have been two or three nights a week during school time when he had something going on at his place, not always students. It was sometimes either folks from his church or through his wife’s ministry or various other things but he was just hosting people all the time.”Many of Nagle’s colleagues expressed hope he will be remembered not only as a decorated and accomplished academic, but also for his kind and selfless character.O’Hara said she saw Nagle’s generosity and humility captured when he “squirreled himself away” for six weeks to write a replacement law review article for a young colleague. The colleague had hoped to withdraw an article from one publication and instead publish it in a more prestigious platform, but had already committed — until Nagle intervened and offered to fill his spot despite the approaching deadline.“I never once heard John recount this story to anyone,” O’Hara said. “He simply heralded the achievement of his young colleague. I heard the story months later from the dean of the other law school involved.”Garnett emphasized the importance of Nagle’s faith in both his professional and personal life.“On a personal level, I’m sure that all of his friends will struggle — and, probably, fail — to find someone else in their lives who is as amiable, charitable and decent as John,” Garnett said. “His absence will leave a hole in all of his friends’ lives. On a professional level, his was an important and unique voice in the legal academy. The main thing about John, that everyone knows and everyone will remember, is that he ‘walked the walk’ as a Christian. He was always kind, always assumed the best, and did his best to love his neighbor.”Upon leaving his memorial service, Huber said he noticed a quiet determination on the part of attendees to carry forth the values Nagle prioritized in his own life.“I think many of us are feeling inspired to not only continue to do great scholarship, but to do it with this strong, human element in which we make sure we are, above all, fostering loving relationships with those in our field, with those in our family, with those in our school and just always … keeping the human beings who are around us at the center of the story,” Huber said.When thinking about Nagle’s life and legacy, Adams said she was reminded of a gospel story she heard at church — one she linked to Nagle as an illustration of her mentor’s character.“There was this parable about these three masons who were helping to build this cathedral, and one was miserable because he was like, ‘I just lay brick,’” Adams said. “The second one was a little less miserable because he was like, ‘Oh, I just build a wall.’ The third one was happy as a clam and he was like, ‘I’m so proud of my work because I’m building a cathedral.’ Nagle just approached everything with that kind of bigger vision of the greater purpose. … He built cathedrals with everything.”A version of this story was published June 17.Tags: Environmental law, John Nagle, Notre Dame Law Schoollast_img read more

CSC tackles interfaith dialogue through new faith development training

first_imgThe Notre Dame Center for Social Concerns (CSC) plans to tackle diverse dialogue head-on, offering a brand-new interfaith leadership program aimed at providing training to students interested in faith development and religious cooperation. The initiative, called Better Together ND, aims to bring students from the tri-campus community together from all types of faith backgrounds, including those who are non-religious, in hopes of improving conversation and eliminating barriers among religious and non-religious students.Melissa Marley Bonnichsen, the CSC’s director for leadership formation, said she is excited for the rollout of the program Sept. 13.“What excites me the most is the possibility of just getting a whole bunch of people together monthly over meals and understanding the power of diverse populations in shifting the culture on campuses,” Bonnichsen said.The program consists of a variety of workshop trainings, ranging in topics from building relational power, storytelling, peaceful dialogue and engaging allyship. Students will also share monthly meals to build relationships among people of different faiths or non-faith backgrounds.Bonnichsen said the idea and realization for this type of interfaith training came from attending conferences, engaging with student government and receiving a grant from Lilly Foundation through InterFaith Youth Core (IFYC), an organization that works with universities across the country.“There was thought from IFYC that Notre Dame should petition for a grant,” Bonnichsen said. “So I decided to pitch for a project called Better Together ND and with that, create space for people to get together for interfaith cooperation.”Sophomore Meenu Selvan, Notre Dame student government’s director of faith and service, worked on creating this interfaith leadership curriculum and said the initiative will have “workshops to learn about blind spots,” with the goal of dialogue among students different from each other. (Editor’s Note: James Broderick is co-director of FUEL for Notre Dame student government.)Selvan also said such programs have a strong reputation throughout the country, and have shown to be effective at achieving their goals.“The program adopted curriculum from the Institute for Interfaith Leadership, and they have worked with the government on interfaith programming, including with former President Barack Obama,” Selvan said.Sophomore Christoper Zahn, who comes from a Lutheran family, a minority among Notre Dame’s majority Catholic student body, said he believes Notre Dame’s atmosphere for people of non-Catholic or non-religious faiths is good but can be improved.“I have loved my time at Notre Dame so far and have never felt out of place due to my religious background,” Zahn said. “Yet I think that Notre Dame can be so much better, and I am excited to see offerings such as Better Together ND, a definitive step in the right direction.”The program is open to all students who seek interfaith cooperation, leadership development and meal-sharing opportunities throughout a semester or an entire academic year. There is a final information meeting Wednesday in the McNeil Library in Geddes Hall at 5:30 p.m.Bonnichsen said everyone has a perspective that can benefit others.“Even though we are a predominantly Catholic and Christian campus, what faith looks like is different and everyone has so much to bring as an asset to the table,” Bonnichsen said.Tags: better together, interfaith, social concernslast_img read more