Month: January 2021

Student art showcase exhibited at the Snite

first_imgCandidates for Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master’s of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees have come together to display their art once again.The BFA and MFA thesis projects are currently on display at the Snite Museum of Art and will be until May 16.“This annual exhibition of culminating works by seniors and third-year graduate students in the Art, Art History and Design Department demonstrates a broad awareness of the themes and processes of contemporary art and is often provocative,” a Snite Museum press release said.The Efroymson Family Fund Emerging Artists Awards were given for the fourth consecutive year, the press release said.The winners of the awards were MFA students Christopher Andrews and Ryan Bantz and BFA students Shelley Kornatz and Takashi Yoshii.“The gallery showing means a lot,” Yoshii said. “We’re one of the only schools that allow us to actually display our designs in an actual art museum, and in a great art museum.”Yoshii’s project “Revolution” has been in design since last July. The project focuses on wheelchair design.“I went through a lot of research … talking to physical therapists, spending a day in a wheelchair, trying to cook in a wheelchair, and from there it’s the concept development,” Yoshii said.BFA student Andrew Pautler said he enjoys Yoshii’s work.“My favorite project is probably Takashi Yoshii’s project,” Pautler said. “He thought of a totally new way to think about the wheelchair and designed one that could really help handicapped people add ease and functionality to their daily lives. The rendering of the final wheelchair is crazy awesome.”Pautler’s BFA project, titled “New City Catholic Church,” is also featured in the Snite.“I knew I wanted to do something related to the Catholic Church,” Pautler said. “From my own experience and personal research over the past 12 months, I found that the Catholic Church in many ways is extremely outdated and is in fact dying in many ways.”His project creates a hypothetical Catholic parish that offers recommendations and resources for parishes around the country.BFA student Katherine Campbell said she is excited to have her artwork shown in the gallery.“It was quite surreal to see my thesis on the wall during the opening with so many people viewing it,” Campbell said. “It is a great honor both as a student and a designer. I will never forget the experience.”Campbell’s “Love & Dignity” is a digital print design for a stained glass window triptych, inspired by Pope John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.”“Everyone did such a wonderful job and the entire exhibit looks amazing with our hard work displayed in the gallery,” Campbell said.BFA student Matthew Degnan began his “Rex,” a large-scale sculpture robot, last fall.“I began construction when I came back to campus on January 5,” Degnan said. “I finished the skeleton by mid-February and spent the last month sheeting the work in plastic, painting it and adding decals.”Through their theses, many of the students looked forward to future career plans.“Working on a large-scale work has motivated me to hopefully pursue a career as a scenic designer,” Degnan said.last_img read more

Outage hits Inn, South Dining Hall, West Quad

first_imgAround 200 guests evacuated the Morris Inn and several campus buildings suffered a power outage early Saturday morning after a water build-up caused electrical problems. University spokesman Dennis Brown said the Morris Inn was evacuated around 4:45 a.m. Saturday. “There was some flickering lights at the Morris Inn and there was some smoke, and they could smell something burning,” he said. Officials found that the smoke and the burning smell came from a motor on an air conditioning unit. The unit was turned off and guests were allowed to return to their rooms after five to 10 minutes, Brown said. The source of the problem was a water build-up in an electrical manhole located north of Keough Hall. In order to fix the problem, power was shut off in five campus buildings, he said. The Morris Inn, South Dining Hall, Welsh Family Hall, Duncan Hall and Keough Hall were affected by the power outage. Brown said the University used the campus public address system to alert people in the affected buildings that power would be turned off. Power was turned off around 7 a.m. and was restored by 10 a.m. in the Morris Inn, South Dining Hall and Duncan Hall. It was restored in Keough and Welsh Family Halls by around 2 p.m.last_img read more

Soler, Bell push job board reform

first_imgStudent employment opportunities are inefficiently advertised by the online job board, student body president Catherine Soler said. “I think it’s a totally underdeveloped resource,” Soler said. “The biggest complaint is that it’s not as comprehensive as it should be.” The Student Employment Office, a division of the Office of Financial Aid, runs the current job board. Campus employers must supply the Student Employment Office with information on job openings. Soler said students suggested restructuring the page itself so that it is easier to access and navigate. “A lot of the feedback we’ve heard was about making it a lot more user friendly. Right now they have broad, generic topics for what the jobs are, and sometimes there are no jobs beneath those topics,” Soler said. “Ideally we’d like to upgrade the software to something you can sort, by location, time or days of the week.” Student body vice president Andrew Bell said confusion often arises from the application process being separate for each employer and detached from the job board itself. “The theme of [the suggested changes] is just streamlining the searching and application process,” he said. Regardless of the difficulties students face in using the page, Soler said a bigger problem is the lack of awareness of the job board’s existence and location. “Another complaint is finding the job board is difficult since it’s under the student financial tab, not many students look there. Putting it in a place where it’s more visible to students would be better,” she said. “Another big thing is student awareness. Some people don’t even know it exists.” Soler said departments’ reluctance to advertise certain jobs, presumably to avoid an excess of applications, presents an obstacle to an accurate job board. “One complication is that not everyone wants to advertise jobs,” she said. “But we think, if over 40 percent of students are employed, everyone should have the opportunity to inquire.” Soler said she felt improving student access to job information was especially important at Notre Dame, where some students face significant financial burdens. “Notre Dame is an expensive place to be. Whether people are working for tuition, or spending money or any other reason, giving students the best opportunity for employment will definitely benefit the student body,” she said. “For something that’s this much of a necessity, with such a demand on campus, there should be an easier way for students to find these opportunities.” Bell said campus employment offers students more than a paycheck. “Beyond the obvious financial benefits, I think having a job is an important part of being a well-rounded person, especially as we look toward leaving Notre Dame as the most well-prepared people,” he said. “This shouldn’t be a difficult process.”last_img read more

Fencers honored at White House

first_imgAfter representing the United States in this summer’s London Olympics, two Notre Dame students and one alumna were recently given another once-in-a-lifetime experience – this time, stateside. Senior fencers Gerek Meinhardt and Courtney Hurley and Hurley’s sister, 2010 alumna and fencer Kelley Hurley, were invited to the White House to be honored alongside other returning Olympians on Sept. 14. Meinhardt, a member of the fourth-place-finishing men’s team foil, said he was impressed by the welcome the U.S. Olympians and Paralympians received from President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. “The First Lady, Michelle Obama, gave a speech about how she was in London and led the delegation there,” Meinhardt said. “Then President Obama gave a speech as well about how the Olympics inspired him. It was really nice. The three of them waited and stayed there for an extra hour and shook hands with every single athlete – every Olympian and Paralympian that was there – which was about 500 of us.” Meinhardt said Obama was personable and welcoming. “He was very laid-back and really friendly with us. He seemed really humble,” Meinhardt said. “He was really, really cool, and he definitely tried to make us all feel special.” Courtney, who earned a bronze medal as part of the women’s team epee, said she was anxious prior to meeting the Commander-in-Chief. “I was very happy and nervous,” Hurley said. “I couldn’t get any words out of my mouth because I was so nervous. Biden was a little less intimidating, and Michelle gave us a hug, which was nice.” Meinhardt said Obama expressed his gratitude for the students’ dedication to honoring America in the Games. “I said it was an honor to meet him, and he said congratulations and that they appreciated us representing the U.S.,” Meinhardt said. Courtney also had the rare opportunity to meet fellow Olympian Michael Phelps at the event. “I did meet Phelps,” she said. “But to be honest, I wasn’t even interested compared to Obama. I was like, ‘Move out of the way. I’ve got to meet Obama.’” After the meet and greet held on the Great Lawn, Meinhardt said the Olympians and Paralympians were offered a tour of the White House interior. “We were able to walk through a short tour of some of the White House rooms, like the big library that they have,” he said. Meinhardt said she will never forget the opportunity. “It was a really short trip, but they were really accommodating with us,” he said. “It was a great experience, and it was really nice that the Olympic Committee and obviously the White House were able to organize something like that for us.”last_img read more

Formber USCCB official discusses sexual abuse

first_imgAfter more than two decades of media scrutiny on the issue of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Dr. Kathleen McChesney, former head of the Office of Child Protection at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, provided an assessment of the Church’s progress in a lecture Monday night. The talk, entitled “Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: Where are We Now?,” was part of the Provost’s Distinguished Women’s Lecture series. McChesney offered an overview of the history of abuse in the Church, the Church’s responses and possible remedies going forward. McChesney stressed while the involvement of clergy in abuse is reprehensible, the sexual abuse of minors is a major societal issue in the United States. “This is not just a Catholic problem. Sexual abuse of children occurs in youth serving organizations, it occurs in public schools … it occurs in other faiths, other denominations,” she said. “Most important, child sex abuse occurs most often within families.” Sexual abuse is grossly underreported, she said, with one in four women and one in six men having suffered attempted or actual abuse by adulthood. The reluctance to report the abuse leaves the true number of incidents within the Church difficult to pin down. Church investigations have found at least 15,000 allegations with some merit, although some victims’ groups estimate the number to be as high as 100,000, she said. “It doesn’t matter if this number is one,” she said. “The number exists and it’s a horrible aspect of our Church.” While still a major concern, allegations have been on the decline in recent years, McChesney said. “Since 2004, when new cases have been counted … 95 have been reported,” she said. This number, down from an average of approximately 600 reports a year over the decades, is partly attributable to measures taken by the Church to prevent the abuse, McChesney said. “There’s lots of programs in place, there’s been lots of training, there’s lots more screening,” she said. While there is a vast range of circumstances in the cases, a study done by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice found a few recurring characteristics, including a frequent lag in reporting the crimes for as long as 20 years and a vast diversity of misconduct ranging from attempted fondling to forced sexual intercourse, McChesney said. Most of the crimes occurred between 1960 and 1984, and victims were primarily boys between the ages of 11 and 14. The number of reports of abuse deemed to have some merit between 1950 and 2011 identify approximately 6,000 clergy members as being involved, representing between four and five percent of clergy members over that period, she said. The response of Church leaders in the early years was largely limited to three options. Firstly, many would attempt to settle the cases with families in some fashion, not necessarily involving the courts, she said. Many reported perpetrators were also sent to undergo treatment The third measure, often criticized by the public, was to move the accused clergy member. “After the offender came back from treatment, they would offer transfer him, which might have made some sense at the time, but ultimately they would put them back in the same environment,” she said. One of the first substantial efforts was made by the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1992, when McChesney said leaders initiated educational programs, brought in lay professionals on staff and extended screening processes. The major breakthrough came in 2002 with the release of a series of articles by The Boston Globe criticizing the procedure of “settle, treat and transfer,” used in hundreds of cases. The Church soon released a “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” which was in large part later made canon law. Since then, the Church has spent $169 million on prevention efforts, including a secondary John Jay College study on possible causes. “In addition to wanting to know what the scope of the problem was, they also wanted to know why it happened,” she said. “The study did not find any particular psychoses, neuroses or any particular behavior characteristics that you could apply across the board.” Moving forward, McChesney pointed to a few possible avenues for improvement. “There’s a great need for more research into preventative methods and what’s working,” she said. “If you do more research in this area you can contribute not only to the Church but for society in general.” McChesney also emphasized the need for continued outreach to victims and their families in an effort to help repair the damage done to the faith lives of those affected. Ultimately, she said these efforts were crucial because of the importance of children to the Church and society. “All this matters because children are a gift, God’s gift to all of us,” she said. “If we don’t, as adults, do everything we can to protect them … then shame on us. We’ve ruined the gift.”last_img read more

Local exoneree shares journey, discusses justice system

first_imgThe Notre Dame Exoneration Project invited local exoneree Ray McCann and his attorney, Greg Swygert, to share McCann’s story with Notre Dame students Tuesday at the Eck Hall of Law. The two discussed McCann‘s road to justice and exonerations‘ role in bringing about political reform.McCann was accused of sexually assaulting and then suffocating an 11-year-old girl, Jodi Parrack, to death in 2007. Due to a lack of any kind of physical evidence linking McCann to the crime, he was never prosecuted for the sexual assault and murder of Parrack. Even so, friends and some family turned against him as news that he was the prime suspect spread. Then, in 2014, McCann was arrested and prosecutors instead tried to charge McCann with 5 different counts of perjury, which McCann speculated may have been a technique used to elicit a confession.“Personally, I thought it was a scare tactic,” he said. “Call it tunnel vision or whatever they had, they thought I had something to do with it. Personally I think it was their way of holding me for as long as they could to see if I had anything to due with it”These counts of perjury were largely based on the conflicting recollections of people McCann interacted with around the case eight years after the fact. However due to a unique statute of Michigan law, perjury in a case connected to a murder carries a potential life sentence. Due to the nature of the evidence, the prosecutor only proceeded with one of the perjury charges, which relied on supposed video evidence that later proved to be of dubious quality and usefulness. McCann took a plea deal in which he pled no contest to the single perjury charge and was sentenced to 20 months in prison.“I was wrongfully convicted of a perjury charge,” McCann said. “I took the plea, no contest, because I knew it was the fastest way to get back to my family.”McCann spent six months in isolation, during which time he lost his voice due to lack of use. He was then moved to a prison where, due to his background as a former cop and the nature of the crime he was associated with, he received death threats upon arrival. During McCann’s time in prison, a man named Daniel Furlong confessed to the sexual assault and murder of Jodi Parrack. His DNA was also found on her body, making it clear Furlong was the culprit. Though Furlong insisted that he did not know McCann and that he had nothing to do with the crime, McCann stayed in prison until he had served his full sentence of 20 months.  “Being in jail, knowing you didn’t do anything wrong, it’s a scary feeling,” McCann said. With the help of Greg Swygert and the Center on Wrongful Convictions, McCann was eventually exonerated after a lengthy legal battle. However, irreparable damage had already been done. After his time in prison, McCann had trouble readjusting to a world that still remembered him for a crime he did not commit. He struggled with acclimating to life outside of prison as well as depression, drinking and even suicidal thoughts. Swygert focused on the particulars of this case and the larger issues in the justice system it brought to light in his portion of the lecture. “What Ray’s case most shows is prosecutorial overreach,” he said. “Ray wasn’t charged with the rape and murder of Jodi Parrack, he was charged with perjury. It was done to coerce Ray to talk.”Another ethical issue, Swygert said, involved the tactics prosecutors used to try to make McCann confess.“The prosecutor went and acted like an interrogator, he told him things that were not true,” Swygert said. “Which raises some ethical questions.”This is because, unlike cops who are generally allowed to lie to interrogation suspects in order to get information or a confession, McCann was lied to by a prosecutor during what was technically a legal proceeding. This puts the exchange on shaky ground morally, and highlights a potential problem, or at least a degree of moral ambiguity in Michigan law.  “The system isn’t perfect”, professor Jimmy Gurule, who introduced McCann and Swygert, said. Gurule said 1 in 3 exonerations involved cases in which the person had been sentenced to a minimum of 50 years. Organizations like the Center on Wrongful Convictions look to right these wrongs through exoneration but use the issues raised to improve the justice system.  “If some good comes out of this, its that people are now working to make sure that this doesn’t happen to other people,” McCann said. Tags: criminal justice system, exoneration, Notre Dame Exoneration Project, Ray McCann, wrongful convictionlast_img read more

Fifteenth annual Holy Half Marathon raises money for local children’s charity

first_imgOver 1,600 people ran a route weaving across and around Notre Dame’s campus in the 15th Holy Half Marathon and 10k race this past Saturday.“We’ve grown from two years ago, when we only had 1,500 allowed,” junior and event director Abby Smith said. “We upped the capacity to 1,700. Generally, the interest is at around 2,300 people, so our waitlist is pretty long.” Erin Finnessy Students and visitors of Notre Dame run through campus on the running route of the Holy Half Marathon and 10k Race on April 6.Smith and fellow event directors junior Kateri Budo and senior Logan Arnold work with a team of 11 other students who begin planning for the event in August.The students serve in a variety of roles to assist with every aspect of the race, including volunteer coordination, course mapping, social media and choosing the nonprofit organization the proceeds will benefit.The race, which was originally started as a means of fundraising for Hurricane Katrina relief, has now shifted its focus to supporting local organizations.“We usually try and find organizations that have an affiliation with either St. Joseph County or Notre Dame,” Smith said.This year, the proceeds of the race will go to the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program of St. Joseph County and Education Bridge.“The CASA Program of St. Joseph County gives legal aid to children, and Education Bridge, who we donated to two years ago, was started by a Notre Dame grad,” Smith said. “Basically, they build schools in South Sudan.  They’re a very young organization, but it’s cool because that means our donation is super impactful to them, because they can really use the funds.”Freshman John Sheridan, who finished second overall and was the male overall student winner, said he did not know how large the charity component of the race was until after the race. Sheridan, like many runners, said he decided to participate in the Holy Half as a personal goal to work towards.“I was a big runner in high school, and I like to have my eyes ahead for something, so it was cool to have something to train for,” Sheridan said. “The Holy Half obviously is a huge deal on campus, so I felt like it would be cool to try to train for that — so I guess it paid off.”A significant change to the event this year was the addition of an awards ceremony.“We’ve always in the past given the winners some sort of prize, but that was just a very private event,” Arnold said. “The winner would come up to us afterwards, and we would just hand them the medal.”This year, the three event directors announced the awards at a ceremony where members of the band played the Victory March and Alma Mater. Representatives from both CASA and Education Bridge also spoke.“We invited them to speak during the awards ceremony to share what their mission is about to see where the money that the Holy Half raises goes to,” Arnold said.Another change to the race this year was some modifications to the course route. The route is generally the same every year; starting at Stepan Center and going west, it laps the campus twice, passing by many iconic Notre Dame landmarks like the library, the grotto and the dome.“Last year was actually short by a little under half a mile — which is a lot — so this year, our race director has run it like four times now to measure,” Smith said.This year, the route seemed as though it was longer than 13.1 miles.“There was some construction along the intended race route that we did not know about until Friday afternoon,” Arnold said. “We found out about it way too last-minute to do anything so we just went around it. So that added some distance to the course and was also just a little frustrating.”Sheridan said his watch recorded it as 13.24 miles, but added that GPS is not perfectly accurate.“I heard people say 13.4, which is crazy, but I think it was long, but not by that much — not enough to affect anything,” Sheridan said.In its 15 years, the Holy Half has become a popular Notre Dame tradition, drawing students, alumni and members of the surrounding Notre Dame community.“I feel like it just brings everyone together, because there were just so many people yesterday that I had no idea ran and they were just so proud of themselves and running with people that they maybe would never interact with,” Sheridan said. “It’s a big community-building thing, which I think is awesome.”Tags: 10K race, Holy Half Marathon, marathonlast_img read more

Court rules Irish 4 Reproductive Health’s lawsuit against University, Trump administration can proceed

first_imgIndependent reproductive rights group Irish 4 Reproductive Health (I4RH) announced in a Friday email the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana will allow the organization’s lawsuit against Notre Dame and the Trump administration to proceed.The lawsuit was filed on the group’s behalf by the National Women’s Law Center — which released its own statement — Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and law firms Fried Frank and Macey Swanson.Filed June 26, 2018, the lawsuit claims the Trump administration and Notre Dame reached an unlawful agreement which exempts the University from covering certain types of birth control on its insurance plans.“In February 2018, Notre Dame entered into a secretive deal with the Trump-Pence administration to impose unnecessary and burdensome costs on us and restrict our reproductive healthcare options to methods deemed acceptable by [University President Fr. John Jenkins’s] coterie of advisors,” the email said.The suit argues this agreement violates the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage requirement.“Certain forms of IUDs and emergency contraception are not covered at all by University insurance plans, putting survivors of sexual assault and people experiencing intimate partner violence especially at risk,” the email said. “In direct violation of the Affordable Care Act, we now incur costs for all office visits, medications and devices associated with reproductive health.”The court ruled against the University and Trump-Pence administration’s efforts to have the suit dismissed.In an email, Paul Browne, University vice president for public affairs and communications, defended the legality of the school’s actions.“Our position is grounded in the autonomy of litigants, including the government, to settle claims, and we are confident that Notre Dame will prevail,” he said.I4RH also announced in its email that the group will travel to Washington, D.C. in March to be honored as the 2020 Students of the Year by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. The group is accepting donations to cover travel costs.This report was updated on Jan. 17, 2020, at 4:35 p.m.Tags: Affordable Care Act, Contraception, Irish 4 Reproductive Health, reproductive rights, trump administrationlast_img read more

Jenkins tests positive for COVID-19

first_imgThis report was updated Oct. 3 at 11:19 a.m.University President Fr. John Jenkins tested positive for the coronavirus, Paul J. Browne, vice president for public affairs and communications, said in an email Friday.Jenkins has been self-quarantining since his trip to the White House on Saturday for the Supreme Court nomination of Notre Dame law professor Judge Amy Coney Barrett where he was seen without a mask.Browne said Jenkins learned earlier this week a colleague whom he regularly associates with tested positive for the virus. Jenkins was then tested and received a positive result. As a result, he has entered an extended period of isolation.“My symptoms are mild and I will continue work from home,” Jenkins said in the email. “The positive test is a good reminder for me and perhaps for all of how vigilant we need to be.”Barrett tested negative for the virus, White House spokesperson Judd Deere said Friday.“Judge Barrett is tested daily for COVID-19 — she has tested negative,” Deere said. “She is following CDC guidance and best practices, including social distancing, wearing face coverings and frequently washes hands.”Notre Dame student government released a statement Friday afternoon extending prayers to Jenkins and all other students, staff and faculty who are currently fighting COVID-19.“Let us all remind ourselves that we must be vigilant and committed to doing our part in following all health and safety guidelines to ensure the safety of each other during this time,” the statement said.G. Marcus Cole, dean of Notre Dame Law, sent an email to the law school community Friday evening, saying all who were in attendance at the Rose Garden event underwent daily testing before the news of positive cases broke.“With the revelation of positive test results, each of us were asked to submit to more extensive testing today,” Cole said in the email. ”Please be assured that we take your safety very seriously. I know that you have each made extraordinary efforts to comply with the University’s Health and Safety protocols, and we will do what is necessary to honor your sacrifice and commitment.”Tags: COVID-19, Fr. John Jenkins, quarantinelast_img read more

Borrello Blasts Cuomo’s Executive Order Redistributing Ventilators

first_imgNew York Governor Andrew Cuomo provides a coronavirus update during a press conference in the Red Room at the State Capitol in Albany. Image by Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that he’d be signing an executive order allowing the state to take ventilators and redistribute to other hospitals, and a state senator says he’s opposed to the order. State Senator George Borrello (R-57th District) says that the health and wellness of Upstate New York residents is just as important as residents in New York City. Borrello released the following statement Friday afternoon:“With COVID-19 rapidly increasing in several upstate cities and communities, I was shocked to hear the Governor announce that he has signed an executive order allowing ventilators and personal protective equipment from upstate hospitals to be seized for distribution in downstate facilities.“We are seeing on a daily basis, the rapid spread of this unpredictable virus in cities and communities across upstate. Next door in Erie County, which borders the northernmost portion of the 57th District, cases are multiplying at lightning speed. Surrounding counties are also seeing sharp upticks in cases. Taking lifesaving ventilators and PPE from any of our hospitals creates the very real danger that residents and health care workers in the region could see their health, and even their lives, threatened by the lack of necessary equipment. “While we understand the extreme circumstances that hospitals in New York City and downstate are experiencing, the health and safety of our upstate residents is just as critical. I have sent a letter to Governor Cuomo asking him to reverse this reckless decision.” Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),He has to make sure his loyal voters get what they need. The city are the ones who keep re-electing him. You can ask anyone from UPSTATE NY, we agree cut off the shit show they call NYC and make them their own state!!! With him “stealing” the ventilators is that going to be before or after he sends citidots to UPSTATE NY hospitals??,We are nobody in UPSTATE regardless of your party, think about it,Oh borello and his soap box, little man with a big voice,Dirty politic.last_img read more