In the first meeting after spring break, Campus Life Council (CLC) members discussed the possibility of reopening the Notre Dame Bike Shop. Student body chief of staff Claire Sokas said the Bike Shop was displaced when part of the Art, Art History & Design Department moved to the Old Security Building, where the shop was previously housed. Student advocates are trying to find a new space to work from, she said. “It has no place to function, so it doesn’t exist right now,” Sokas said. “They’re looking into a lot of options, but no one has stepped forward to offer a place.” Student body president Pat McCormick said mechanics at the shop repaired approximately 331 bikes in the 2010-2011 school year. Sister Carrine Etheridge, rector of Farley Hall, said the Bike Shop offered an important service to students on campus. “The campus has expanded so much, you almost need a bicycle,” she said. “And if you’re a freshman with no car, where else do you go if your bike breaks?” Members of CLC also discussed other ways to aid students in on-campus travel. Etheridge said an auction for old bikes would be helpful for students. McCormick said Student Senate would discuss a resolution calling for the University to take definitive actions to make space for a bike shop before the fall semester. “It will continue in a sustainable way, using salvaged parts and student mechanics,” McCormick said. “I’d also like to introduce a resolution expressing Campus Life Council stakeholders’ support to see if we can engage some other partners on campus as we move forward.”
With the 50th anniversary of the Hesburgh Library less than a year away, Notre Dame officials decided it was time to give the campus landmark a much-needed facelift. Members of the Notre Dame Facilities Design and Operations office renovated the Library over the summer, guided by input from the University Architect’s Office and a team of librarian planners. Head librarian Diane Parr Walker said these renovations aim to modernize the Library and make it a more welcoming facility. “As a place where students spend a great deal of time in intellectual pursuits, we wanted the library to offer inviting, inspiring and comfortable spaces that will foster intellectual engagement,” Walker said. In response to complaints of drab interior decoration, the renovation team focused on remodeling the first-floor periodicals room, more commonly known as “The Fishbowl.” The popular study area was repainted and carpeted, its furniture was replaced, new lighting was installed and its remaining periodicals were moved to a nearby reference room. The new first-floor design also features a “digital sandbox” area equipped with a Microsoft touch-screen surface table. Walker said the Office of Information Technology hopes to use this area to determine which services and technologies students find helpful and to expand upon that information for future planning. Walker said plans are also underway to install a cafÃ© in the former vending machine area, also on the first floor. Projected to open in November, the cafÃ© will serve coffee, pastries, soups and sandwiches, and is intended to accommodate students studying in the library for long periods of time. “We’re anticipating the cafÃ© will be a great service for people who are studying long hours in the Library to be able to get breakfast, lunch or a snack without having to leave the building,” Walker said. The design team also revitalized the Library’s exterior courtyard near the reflecting pool by planting a variety of trees and shrubs while bringing in benches and bistro tables for additional outdoor seating. Walker said the courtyard will be completed by early September. Walker said the renovation was initially set to be completed before the end of the last school year, but was ultimately delayed by furniture issues. “We were hoping to do the project really quickly and have it available by the middle of the spring semester,” Walker said. “What always happens with construction and renovation projects, though, is however much time you think they will take, you should go ahead and double or triple it.” Walker said new furniture was also ordered for the Library’s music and media area this summer after students complained the old tables were too small and inflexible to accommodate their equipment needs. The furniture is expected to arrive before the academic year begins. Walker said student input was highly valued during the renovation process, so students can expect to have future opportunities to express their concerns and provide feedback. “I hope students will be excited to see how many of their ideas we’ve included,” Walker said. “We held many discussions and planning sessions with students last spring to gather input, and we incorporated as many ideas as we could.” Although no additional projects are planned at the moment, Walker said the Library would carry this summer’s momentum into establishing a comprehensive interior renovation plan. Overall, Walker said she hopes to realize University President Emeritus Fr. Ted Hesburgh’s vision of the Library as Notre Dame’s academic heart and a modern center of inspiration and higher learning. “Twenty-first century libraries should offer a variety of spaces to foster and inspire intellectual engagement across disciplines,” Walker said. “Many peer institutions have already renovated their libraries to offer these kinds of services. I’d like to see us at Notre Dame do the same for our students and faculty.”
Bellah has compiled for his forthcoming book, “The Modern Project in the Light of Human Evolution,” which engages the consequences of rapid industrialization, especially environmental degradation and the way the human is viewed as a person. Bellah described the startling impact of industrialization by tracking the growth of human expansion with a social development index. In 2000 BCE, human society earned an unimpressive rank of 4. By 100 CE the Roman Empire reached 43 on the index, a limit or “hard ceiling” which remained unbroken for centuries. The industrial revolution in century Britain shattered this “hard ceiling,” as the index topped 1000 by the year 2000 and is expected to climb to an immense value of 5000 in the next century, Bellah said. Such increases, though they drive his research, cause challenges for humanity. In the face of this extreme change, Bellah said, “How do we as a species adapt to a rate of change that no biological species has ever faced before?” To explain the immediacy of this question, Bellah considered Malthus’ famous prediction that humanity will deplete its resources and encounter a “hard ceiling” beyond which it cannot pass. Although industrialization may have raised the ceiling, whether society will collide softly or violently with this boundary remains to be seen, Bellah said. The boundaries that humanity faces brought to mind the uniqueness of the modern condition and led him to ponder if the great religious traditions could provide relevant solutions in a rapidly advancing society. In viewing the new understanding of the human person that accompanies modernization, Bellah said religion remains pertinent. In the second half of his lecture, Bellah examined how the recognition of human dignity has evolved alongside industrialization, as seen in “The Declaration of Independence” and the United Nations’ “Universal Declaration on Human Rights”. Though the idea of the dignified human person permeated multiple societies, from ancient Palestine to imperial Rome, Bellah emphasized these documents “put the demand for human rights on the table.” Bellah acknowledged “Gaudium et Spes,” produced during the Second Vatican Council, as a critical, Catholic contribution to the global focus on human rights that did not limit the special value of the human person based on creed or ideals. The unprecedented transformations of modernization coupled with the value of the human person form is what Bellah said he considered two enormous societal tensions in a world that has been made fragile by exponential human growth.,Dr. Robert Bellah, professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, delved into the dilemma of human evolution, religion and modernization in his lecture on Tuesday in the McKenna Hall Auditorium. The lecture drew together concepts of the modern world Bellah has compiled for his forthcoming book, “The Modern Project in the Light of Human Evolution,” which engages the consequences of rapid industrialization, especially environmental degradation and the way the human is viewed as a person. Bellah described the startling impact of industrialization by tracking the growth of human expansion with a social development index. In 2000 BCE, human society earned an unimpressive rank of 4. By 100 CE the Roman Empire reached 43 on the index, a limit or “hard ceiling” which remained unbroken for centuries. The industrial revolution in 18th century Britain shattered this “hard ceiling,” as the index topped 1000 by the year 2000 and is expected to climb to an immense value of 5000 in the next century, Bellah said. Such increases, though they drive his research, cause challenges for humanity. In the face of this extreme change, Bellah said, “How do we as a species adapt to a rate of change that no biological species has ever faced before?” To explain the immediacy of this question, Bellah considered Malthus’ famous prediction that humanity will deplete its resources and encounter a “hard ceiling” beyond which it cannot pass. Although industrialization may have raised the ceiling, whether society will collide softly or violently with this boundary remains to be seen, Bellah said. The boundaries that humanity faces brought to mind the uniqueness of the modern condition and led him to ponder if the great religious traditions could provide relevant solutions in a rapidly advancing society. In viewing the new understanding of the human person that accompanies modernization, Bellah said religion remains pertinent. In the second half of his lecture, Bellah examined how the recognition of human dignity has evolved alongside industrialization, as seen in “The Declaration of Independence” and the United Nations’ “Universal Declaration on Human Rights”. Though the idea of the dignified human person permeated multiple societies, from ancient Palestine to imperial Rome, Bellah emphasized these documents “put the demand for human rights on the table.” Bellah acknowledged “Gaudium et Spes,” produced during the Second Vatican Council, as a critical, Catholic contribution to the global focus on human rights that did not limit the special value of the human person based on creed or ideals. The unprecedented transformations of modernization coupled with the value of the human person form is what Bellah said he considered two enormous societal tensions in a world that has been made fragile by exponential human growth.
When the 2013 class of Army ROTC cadets graduates next month, a group that has followed a similar path at Notre Dame will disperse to all corners of the country to begin serving in the United States Army. Senior Michael Dompierre will head to Ft. Huachuca, Arizona in early June to begin officer intelligence training and will then proceed to his first assignment with the 4thInfantry Division, 1st Brigade based at Ft. Carson, Colorado. Dompierre said knew he wanted to join the Army ROTC when he was a high school student and joined as a freshman. “When I received the scholarship, I decided it was a no-brainer,” he said. “The Army would pay for school, and I would have the chance to serve the Nation afterwards, which is something I had always wanted to do – especially after 9/11.” Dompierre said he was surprised by the amount of leadership skills he developed after four years as a University cadet. “Looking back on who I was freshman year, it seems hard to imagine that I am the same person today as I was then. Our program excels at taking intelligent followers as freshman and turning them into even more intelligent and capable leaders by senior year,” Dompierre said. He said he is grateful to the ROTC program for preparing him as a cadet and as well as an adult. “Throughout my time in Army ROTC, I have been pushed and trained to successfully exert my influence as a leader and to get outside of my comfort zone,” Dompierre said. “I feel prepared, as the academic year comes to a close and my time at Notre Dame ends, to become an Army Officer and lead soldiers for the purpose of accomplishing our mission, whatever the American people determine that to be.” Seniors Arthur Kostendt and Abigail Nichols followed a slightly different path than most cadets. Kostendt and Nichols were not involved in the program their freshmen and sophomore years but instead attended a Leader’s Training Course (LTC) in Fort Knox, Kentucky, the summer between their sophomore and junior years. This qualified them for enrolment in the Army ROTC Advanced Course, allowing them to commission with the 4-year cadets. Kostendt said he decided to commission after graduation during the summer of his sophomore year; the University’s LTC program allowed him the opportunity to join the program. “For me, joining Army ROTC was a perfect storm of circumstances. Although my older brother has been involved with the Marine Corps for almost 8 years, military service was not really on my radar until sophomore year,” Kostendt said. “I received a mass-blast email from the Army ROTC unit, advertising the LTC. It seemed like a great way to entertain my new aspirations, while getting some money for college at the same time.” Kostendt said he was apprehensive about adjusting to a junior class of cadets that already had two years to bond, but he said he found that life as a cadet at Notre Dame was far less stressful than he anticipated. “Both ROTC cadre and my fellow cadets made a great effort to ensure that I was up to speed,” he said. “The army has high standards, and our battalion is composed of very high quality individuals, which made adjustment a breeze.” Kostendt said pride keeps him moving forward toward becoming an Armor Officer in the Ohio National Guard. “I experience a real sense of honor, camaraderie, and fulfillment when wearing the uniform, which isn’t something I totally bought into before joining, and it’s not something I expected to motivate me once I was in,” Kostendt said. “Though adventure and scholarship money were powerful enticements to join, pride has been a tremendous reward.” Nichols said she also decided to join the Army ROTC after attending the LTC program in the summer before her junior year. “It took a little while to adjust to a military state of mind, but after a while I developed a more intuitive sense of the army’s very particular culture which promotes hard work and creativity, but is also extremely structured,” she said. Nichols said the time commitment has been the most demanding aspect of being a cadet. “What took me most by surprise was the amount of involvement ROTC requires. It is not just a twice a week activity, but has rather evolved into a full time job, like it will be after we graduate,” Nichols said. Nichols will attend the Basic Officers Course for Military Intelligence this summer until she goes to her first duty post with the 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade in Fort Lewis, Wash. in October.
The national unemployment rate among autistic adults is 90 percent, a statistic not surprising for Jan Pilarski, former director of the justice education program at Saint Mary’s, whose autistic son, Chris Pilarski was let go of his job after only three months of employment despite his attainment of a college degree, she said. “As a parent of a young adult with autism, I always knew that once our son, Chris, finished the end of his schooling that it was going to be a rough road,” Jan Pilarski said. “There’s that unknown of wondering what will happen after that, because everything has been supportive up to that point. I guess I put my social justice hat on and looked at it broadly and structurally to say there really is a systemic problem. It’s chronic unemployment for these young people, and [I] just sat with it for a while to think what can we contribute to this and how can we address the problem.” Jan Pilarski subsequently founded Green Bridge Growers, an innovative social venture providing skill-matched employment for underserved young adults on the autism spectrum through an urban aquaponics farm, she said. “I knew it had to be something that was more entrepreneurial, because traditional employment wasn’t going to work,” she said. By combining Chris Pilarski’s interests in science and organic farming with the study of other types of plant growth, Jan Pilarski said she saw alternative ways that food was being grown sustainably. She and her son toured the country to see how his love of natural sciences could be applied in an autistic-friendly work environment, she said. “He enjoys the outdoors much more so,” Jan Pilarski said. “Even office work is to a degree fine, but he likes the hands-on work. He found himself really enjoying the science work, the minerals in the water and how to do testing of the water, so for him that was where all the dots got connected and enabled him to use his skills.” Jan Pilarski said when she saw aquaponics in action for the first time three years ago, she made the connection between her son’s passion for environmental science and employment opportunities for autistic adults. “It fits very well, and we’ve taken it to others with autism,” she said. “It fits so well because you have to make sure the water has the proper chemistry pH levels, and people with autism really get into checking all that. They like to check things like the temperature of the water and the air [and] observe the fish and look at how they’re growing and doing. All of those different parts really accommodate the interest and skills of people with autism.” Now in its second year, Green Bridge Growers launched a crowdfunding campaign Nov. 20 on Indiegogo with the goal to build their second next-stage commercial greenhouse, Jan Pilarski said. “We have a clearly defined project on Indiegogo, which is to raise the funds for our aquaponics venture,” she said. “We have a prototype greenhouse with Hannah and Friends, and [we’re] working there with training and development with people in the venture.” The project itself will create jobs for five young adults with autism and grow 45,000 pounds of vegetables each year, Jan Pilarski said. Because of her history as the Saint Mary’s social justice coordinator, Jan Pilarski said she was able to find the link between social justice and sustainable food. “Through the classes I teach at Saint Mary’s that emphasize social justice … we’ve looked at things relating to climate and our personal use of energy and kind of looking at it through how our consumption affects the environment in the class that I teach,” she said. “Food and what we consume and how it’s grown – that all has an impact on the climate because of carbon outputs [and] also in terms of how sustainable we are. It fits in Catholic social thought as well.” One of the key members of Jan Pilarski’s six-person team is Aisling Sheahan, a native of Ireland currently visiting the area for three months. For Sheahan, who majored in childhood studies and wrote her thesis on autism in Ireland, the link with autism fit perfectly with her blogging expertise, she said. “I think it’s great the way they’re helping out young adults with autism, because when I was doing my thesis, it’s just all about children,” Sheahan said. “I’m reaching out to the autism bloggers, just to get mentioned under blogs as guest blogs, [and] blogging about their own experience with their child. We’re going to try to make a difference for when they’re older, because I think autism parents just focus on the now.” Jan Pilarski, who holds both Notre Dame undergraduate and master’s degrees, said she is hopeful the Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame, and South Bend communities will contribute to Green Bridge Growers’ campaign and become actively involved with the entrepreneurship’s mission. “Partnerships with both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame are wonderful and help us meet particular needs that we have as a venture,” she said. Contact Emilie Kefalas at email@example.com
The 2013-14 class of senators met for their last student Senate meeting Wednesday night, during which they discussed the nondiscrimination clause within the student Constitution for nearly an hour and 15 minutes and passed two new resolutions.The debate concerning the nondiscrimination clause involved two major opposing views. One group, spearheaded largely by Judicial Council president and senior Michael Masi, pushed for a broad statement that would refrain from naming specific groups protected from discrimination.In Masi’s proposed alternative, the clause would acknowledge “the beauty and uniqueness of all God’s children, and therefore prohibits any discrimination within the Student Union.”Other senators supported altering the originally proposed amendment with a revision put forward by seniors Alex Coccia, student body president, and Juan Rangel, chief of staff.Coccia and Rangel’s proposed amendment stated, “This Constitution recognizes the God-granted dignity of all persons and their right to respect, justice and a welcoming environment, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability or disability, religion, socioeconomic status, documentation status and nationality. This Constitution forbids any acts of harmful and unjust discrimination within the Student Union.”Senior class president Carolina Wilson said many of her classmates reached out to her specifically asking her to vote in favor of a resolution containing specific groups that would be protected from discrimination. Wilson read from an email sent to her by a peer, which asked her to vote in favor of the revised amendment “to promote inclusivity on campus and to ensure members of the LGBTQ community are given a clear message that they are respected and valued.”Rangel said he and Coccia included documentation status in their version of the nondiscrimination amendment in direct response to interactions with undocumented students.“One of the reasons it was important for me to include documentation status in our nondiscrimination clause is because I’ve had a lot of conversations with undocumented students who have applied to Notre Dame, and quite a few have been accepted as part of our incoming class,” Rangel said. “But they have a fear that we are not an undocumented-friendly school.“I feel that if we don’t include them in our nondiscrimination clause, it will only hint that they are not a part of our student body yet, and it think to them it will be very meaningful.After a contentious debate, the resolution proposing amendment written by Coccia and Rangel passed.Sophomore senators Phil Krebs of Zahm House, Kyle McCaffery of O’Neill Hall and Rohan Andresen of Siegfried Hall presented a resolution “supporting enhanced communication among residence halls, residents and University administration.”Their proposed resolution addressed recent conflicts between students and the Office of Housing, particularly surrounding the transition of Zahm House’s five-man common rooms to common space.The Senate passed the resolution, which McCaffery stressed does not seek a reversal of the Office of Housing’s decision regarding the Zahm common rooms.Instead, the resolution requests that the Office of Housing “consult more closely those residential communities in which the administration is considering making changes in order to promote a greater understanding between the students and the administration.” It further requests that the “administration consider how to communicate changes in a more timely manner so that affected students can prepare appropriately.”“We all know how foundational the living experience is at Notre Dame, and we feel that with this experience in Zahm, there is a lack of understanding how deeply the students are affected by these changes,” McCaffery said.The Senate also passed a resolution presented by Fisher Hall senator and sophomore Michael Lindt calling on the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of the Provost for increased focus on and attention to the Faculty Fellows program. The program is an initiative within the Office of Student Affairs that seeks to have the University faculty become more involved with student life, particularly through the residence halls, to facilitate conversations and interactions.The senators voted on several different student and faculty awards and approved the assistant student treasurers as well as Irish Gardens manager.Tags: Faculty Fellows, inclusion, Office of Student Affairs, Office of the Provost, Senate
Photo courtesy of L’Osservatore Romano Saint Mary’s College President, Carol Ann Mooney (left), and senior Kristen Millar shake hands with Pope Francis as they deliver the 225 letters from Catholic women across the United States on Nov. 26.Elizabeth Groppe, director of the CFS, said the group of women were inspired by Pope Francis’s call to Catholic youth to contribute to the Church’s life and mission. This call to action comes at a time when an estimated 35 percent of millennial women (born between 1981 and 1995) who were baptized Catholic have turned away from the Church and no longer practice their faith.In August 2014, the “Voices of Young Catholic Women” project was underway, Groppe said. The College extended a national invitation to young women to write to Pope Francis to more than 700 members of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association. The invitation was also extended to Saint Mary’s alumnae, Catholic parishes in the diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Catholic high schools with which Saint Mary’s has connections through the College’s recruiting network, team leaders of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) and Catholic web media.The ProjectFollowing the national invitation, the project’s team compiled the letters, poems and other forms of creative expression into a binder for Pope Francis as they were sent to the College, Groppe said.The responses addressed four main questions, including: what is cherished about the Catholic tradition, what it is like to be a young woman today, how young women can contribute their gifts to serve the Church’s mission and what other ways young women can support one another’s return to the Church, if disconnected, Groppe said.College president Carol Ann Mooney said the project ties in with the Saint Mary’s mission “about as clearly as anything does.”“We are concerned at Saint Mary’s not simply with, of course, the academic and intellectual development of our students, but also their moral, social and spiritual development. That’s our philosophy,” Mooney said. “This project is not just about Saint Mary’s or our students, but it is more about our Church and how it can better reach out to young women and keep them close, well-served, sustained and nourished by the Church.”Kristen Millar, a senior and active participant in Campus Ministry, said she was first asked to help with the project last year, and agreed to help without any idea of what it would turn into.“As I met with [members of the CFS], we went over some of the articles that spurred this project — about Millennials leaving the Church and the problems young women face today — and it was shocking for me to discover all of this because I honestly didn’t know,” Millar said. “I felt as though I’ve been sheltered from the need that exists in the Church to re-inspire young women in their faiths.”One of the articles that prompted the project was America magazine’s 2012 article titled “A Lost Generation?” about fewer women in the United States practicing their faith, Groppe said.After reading the article, the group knew something needed to be done, Millar said.“At a time when many have left the Church, letters that give expression to the beauty, truth and goodness that young women do find in Catholicism can make an important contribution to the New Evangelization,” Groppe said. “Letters may also generate ideas about ways in which the Church could strengthen its support for young women amidst the many challenges they face to their baptismal holiness and human dignity, including epidemic levels of sexual violence and a media culture that degrades women. The intent of this project is constructive and hopeful.”The CFS received 225 letters, including several poems, some prayers and a number of drawings and works of art, Groppe said. Most notably, students at Saint Ursula Academy in Cincinnati designed a handmade pink and red satin stole for Pope Francis.Though most of the letters have been kept confidential, the letters expressed love for the Church and the Pope, but also included concerns about today’s secular culture, which often objectifies women, director of media relations Gwen O’Brien said.“Some writers shared private sorrows, like that of sexual assault,” O’Brien said. “Others recognized the problem and ideas on how to address it.”Delivering the Letters to Pope FrancisOver Thanksgiving break, Bishop Kevin Rhoades, of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Mooney, Millar and alumna Grace Urankar, (class of 2014) traveled to Rome to deliver the letters Nov. 26 at the weekly papal audience.Urankar said the weight of the project did not hit her until she literally found herself carrying the bag with the large binder containing the 225 letters through the metal detector at the Vatican.“To physically carry them reminded me of the old belief ‘strength in numbers.’ It means so much to me that other young Catholic women appreciated our mission and united with us in letter writing,” Urankar said. “With so many voices represented, how could we not be heard?”After the papal audience, Rhoades introduced Millar and Mooney to Pope Francis in Spanish, and all were able to shake Pope Francis’ hand as they delivered the binder and stole.“I presented the stole from Saint Ursula’s, and then President Mooney gave Pope Francis the binder and said that the letters contained the joys, hopes, griefs and sorrows of young women from the millennial generation,” Millar said. “He shook both of our hands and said ‘Please pray for me, I need the prayers,’ which was incredibly moving and humbling to hear.“The very day before, Pope Francis was in France, and the next day he was leaving for Turkey, so it just shows you how much of an effort he is making to reach different communities and address different issues,” Millar said. “He’s a universal symbol for the universal Church, and we were honored to be able to present him with a national symbol — the letters.”Mooney said the experience of delivering the letters was wholly thrilling.“It’s not only thrilling to go to Rome, and it’s certainly thrilling to actually talk to the Pope, but it was truly thrilling to feel like we were there doing something that was really important,” Mooney said.Besides attending the papal audience and meeting Pope Francis, the group attended a Mass offered by Bishop Rhoades and had dinner with the students studying in the College’s Rome study abroad program, Millar said.The group also toured the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, led by Rome program professor Harula Economopoulos, and they visited the sites of historic Rome, such as the Colosseum and Pantheon.“One night at dinner, President Mooney, her husband, George, and Grace and I sat down and had a really good conversation about the project and the Pope and how we need to remember that the pope is human too,” Millar said. “A lot of times we think of him as a more distant figure, when in actuality he is going through the same trials of being a human like we are, and he has the same joys and hopes and fears.“When we saw him in the audience, he was so charismatic and gets so much joy out of being with the people. You can tell he wants to be in the community helping people and knowing people. He stays in the crowd as long as he can, even if he’s in his ‘Pope mobile.’“I am just grateful to be able to do my part in answering his call to young women,” Millar said.‘Together, we can do even more’With the letters delivered, the project’s team has since returned to the United States and hopes the idea behind the project will continue to be discussed in the Church and beyond, Millar said.One of the group’s more modest hopes, expressed by Mooney, Millar and Urankar, is simply for the letters to be read.“Some young women poured their hearts out in the pages of those letters, so what one hopes is not only that they are read — and I trust they will be — but that with the Holy Spirit, there’s some realization of unmet needs and how the Church can work to meet them,” Mooney said.Urankar said she believes Pope Francis will read and hold the letters’ intentions in his heart.“It is a challenging time and culture for us as young American Catholic women, but we are strong, committed and prepared to build the kingdom of God,” Urankar said. “I hope Pope Francis realizes this through our letters, and I hope anyone who has witnessed this project knows the same.”In regards to the project’s development, Mooney said she was impressed by the enthusiasm of the students and their courage to aim for the top from the very beginning.“Quite often, one loses that optimism and that belief that they have the ability to make change,” Mooney said. “We all need to keep that belief in ourselves alive. The optimism and enthusiasm that fueled this project is very important for everybody to keep.”The project will continue to manifest, Millar said, if women advocate for other women in our daily lives in all situations, as pressures build from society to remain faithful.“It’s important that women see their roles in the Church and within one another’s lives as vital and necessary, because they are,” Millar said. “I have had challenges in my faith and how to live it out, but ultimately I was able to make this trip because of the women mentors in my life. That’s the most important aspect for me.“To have seen the progression of this project was amazing, and we were able to receive an outpouring of messages of women in the United States saying, ‘This is awesome,’ and ‘This is so needed,’ which shows that this needs to be an ongoing conversation to bring about change.“We all just need to remember that although you may be one person, you can do so much, and together, we can do even more.”Tags: bishop kevin rhoades, Campus Ministry, Carol Ann Mooney, Center for Spirituality, Elizabeth Groppe, Grace Urankar, Kristen Millar, letters, millennial, Pope Francis, Vatican, Voices of Young Catholic Women Pope Francis asked, and Saint Mary’s delivered — literally.In the fall of 2013, 10 Saint Mary’s students, the Office of Campus Ministry and the Center for Spirituality (CFS) came together to discuss ways in which the Catholic Church could better reach young women around the world. Together, the group came to one conclusion: write to Pope Francis.
K. Andrea Rusnock, associate professor of art history at Indiana University South Bend, spoke about the importance of art exhibitions for the Soviet Union in a lecture in DeBartolo Hall on Thursday.Exhibitions have historically served as a way to promote a state’s achievements on a large scale, Rusnock said.“Exhibitions in the Stalinist period gave the public access to art and culture and politics, while at the same time shaping these perceptions,” Rusnock said. “While these seem to be leisurely activities, they were educating the masses about the achievements of Stalinist society through Socialist realist art and other sanctioned visual materials.”Rusnock said particularly in the Stalinist period, the Soviet Union built monumental exhibitions to demonstrate the successes of the state on an international level.“These were a means of proselytizing the virtues of the Soviet system to worldwide audiences,” she said.Rusnock said the 1937 International Exhibition in Paris presented a particular opportunity for the Soviet Union to demonstrate its ideological dominance, as the Soviet pavilion was built directly opposite the German one.“Mukhina’s famous sculpture ‘Worker and Collective Farm Woman’ is atop the pavilion facing off against the German pavilion across the road,” Rusnock said. “They stand poised ready to vanquish anything in their path, specifically the Germans.“The presence of the Soviet pavilion and its towering statue served as a beacon to signal to all the world what was best about Stalin’s Soviet Union on this anniversary.”Rusnock said the All Union Agricultural Exhibition, established in 1939, was the Soviet Union’s most ambitious attempt of the decade to portray the Stalinist collectivization in a positive light.“It remains the premier example of the Soviet government’s utilization of architecture and space as the tool for extolling the success of collectivization, and hence the achievements of Stalin’s Soviet Union,” Rusnock said.The central piece in the exhibition was a large statue of Joseph Stalin, symbolic of his authority and power, Rusnock said.“Stalin literally and figuratively dominated the exhibition space,” Rusnock said. “From his great height dressed in his long grey coat, he looks down on the populace with a slight smile, as if to signal he is the benevolent father of Soviet farms and farming.”Rusnock said the exhibition also featured a steel and glass mechanics pavilion, to represent the technological progress spurred on by collectivization.“The pavilion signaled industry, modernity and the industrial prowess of agrarian life in the Soviet Union,” she said.Rusnock said some of the artwork featured in the exhibition was mass-produced to circulate and promote these depictions of Soviet success.“The actual works of art could be owned by the public. … You could take it out and own it at home,” Rusnock said. “A lot of these images were also reproduced as postcards, so you could send socialist greetings to family and friends.”
Two years after inaugurating O’SNAP, student government and Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) are “rebranding” the campus shuttle service as SafeBouND. “What we found with O’SNAP was that people were abusing it as a party shuttle because of the golf carts,” student body vice president Becca Blais said. “What then happened, was that numbers were going up and up and up, not because students felt unsafe on campus, but because students wanted to take advantage of this free ride from one place to the next. We decided to bring it back to the safety aspect.”Joseph Han Student body president Corey Robinson said 16,000 students requested rides last year, just on the weekend. “The numbers from Sunday to Wednesday are very manageable, about 200 to 400 requests a week, but on the weekends it goes up to 600 or 700,” he said. SafeBouND will start at 9 p.m. every day, ending at 1:30 a.m. during the week and 3 a.m. on the weekends starting Thursday nights. The golf carts and minivan will only be available during the week; on weekends, SafeBouND will be a walking service. “We looked at the analytics from last year and those were the popular times,” NDSP captain of crime prevention, outreach and safety Tracy Skibins said. “Student government thought it was important we work around parietals as well.” The SafeBouND weekday hours are slightly shorter than the hours for O’SNAP, which went until 3 a.m.“With the numbers, cutting it back on the weekdays shouldn’t make much of a difference,” chief of staff for student government Michael Markel said. A “minimum of three and maximum of six” student walking pairs will be available on the weekends, Skibins said. To cut down on wait time, she said the pairs will be stationed at populated areas, like the library, LaFortune Student Center and Reckers, rather than being centered at Hammes-Mowbray Hall. “They have safety vests on that signify they work for SafeBouND, so you know they work for us,” Skibins said. “They also have a handheld radio that is in constant contact with our 911 dispatch center.”Robinson said the rebranding will help students realize the purpose of the service.“We think that since it will be a walking program during the weekend and the golf cart and van on the weekdays, it will be much more manageable,” Robinson said. “We think that will decrease numbers from that ‘party shuttle’ aspect and bring it down to the real issue at hand.”Blais said that by working so closely with NDSP, SafeBouND can “constantly” be adapted to fit the needs of the students. “We’re working to try to compliment SafeBouND with an off-campus safety program as well,” Robinson said. “We’re in the works for that, but our vision for down the road is to have an off campus safety program, which hopefully we can announce soon, partner and match up with campus safety and then we can have a more holistic view.”The program is open to the whole Notre Dame community, including faculty and students from Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross walking back to their campus. SafeBouND can be contacted through the ND Mobile app or by calling 574-631-5555.Both Skibins and Robinson said students also always have the option to call SafeBouND after hours to request a police or campus safety officer to assist them. “We’ll never turn anyone away,” Skibins said.Tags: NDSP, O’SNAP, SafeBouND, Student government, student safety
After waiting for months to hear if and when schools will return to normal, some tri-campus students are ready to take the stands at the long-standing tradition of Notre Dame football games. Football games have been a popular event for many students and alumni alike, but with many new regulations for the pandemic, some Saint Mary’s students said they have had to make a major decision. The stadium is only allowing a 20% capacity for students and with this, there are certain rules they must abide: no tailgating, students can only be seated together if they are a part of a household unit, households are seated 6 feet away from everyone else, masks are required and more. Students who buy tickets but cannot attend games due to cancellation or being moved off campus will be refunded, the email said.Tickets this year cost $250 and do not include the Syracuse game on Dec. 5, since it is being played after the semester has concluded. With so much change and uncertainty for what the semester still holds, many students said they were hesitant in their purchasing decision. Ashley Lurquin, a sophomore, decided to opt-out of buying tickets this year.“I just didn’t think it would be worth spending that much money for five games that I can’t really see my friends at,” she said. “It would feel more like attendance than an actual football game, if that makes sense. If I can’t really sit with all my friends tailgating or even in the game, I just don’t see the point.” Luruqin intends to watch the games on her personal TV with her close friends this season.For others, like sophomore Sophia Fleming, their love for the team is what’s ultimately lead buying season tickets. Fleming said the fun outweighs the regulations. “I want to have fun and experience the tradition,” she said. ”The prices weren’t bad, and I would pay for the tickets no matter the price. … I wish there weren’t regulations, but I want to go to games and I would do whatever it takes to be able to go.” Despite buying tickets or not, students said they understand the need for these regulations and feel they can’t be ignored. Senior Kelsey Mayti said the regulations make the tickets not worth the money. “I always knew deep down that it wouldn’t go completely back to normal, but I just can’t imagine myself going with all these rules in place,” she said. “I think being off-campus or even going home to watch games with friends and family freely would just be more relaxed than what they want us to do.”For Fleming, the being in the stands, shoulder-to-shoulder screaming and chanting for the Notre Dame football team is an experience that cannot be easily explained or recaptured, despite the circumstances.Tags: COVID-19, fall 2020, Notre Dame football, ticket sales