College celebrates heritage with Week

first_imgThis week, student groups are sponsoring Heritage Week, and students are encouraged to rediscover the campus’s history. The theme of the week is “The Avenue Always Leads You Home.” According to Student Activities Board (SAB) chief of staff Kelly Zenere, the Avenue is a universal symbol of Saint Mary’s. It sends students on new journeys, and welcomes them home, she said. The groups sponsoring the weeklong celebration include Campus Ministry, Resident Hall Association, SAB, Student Diversity Board and Student Government Association. Cassandra Palmer, SAB’s mission commissioner, said this week is all about remembering the history of Saint Mary’s. Palmer said the college stemmed from the Sisters of the Holy Cross, and it is important to keep them in mind when students think of Saint Mary’s heritage. “[The Saint Mary’s students] are the ones who keep our heritage alive,” Palmer said. Zenere said Heritage Week is held so the students don’t forget where they come from. For these reasons, each day’s events are centered on educating the students about Saint Mary’s rich history. On Monday the college archives will be on display in the Student Center. According to Palmer, there will be 24 large poster frames of photos from past to present, including a photo of the class of 1907. There will be a long sleeve T-shirt give-away on Monday in the Student Center, and archivist John Kovach will give a talk in the lounge from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. According to Zenere, Kovach will be hosting a questions and answers session. “[Bring] your ghost story questions,” she said. The Reidenger House will be open for tours and tea from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Space is limited, so students must sign up for times in the Student Center. On Wednesday, Sister Mary Louise “ML” Gude will be hosting three tours of the convent, and providing information on the history of the Sisters and the College, according to the schedule. Thursday, students are invited to share a meal with the nuns at the Heritage Dinner at 6:30 in Stapleton Lounge. At the dinner students are encouraged to ask questions, and listen to the stories of the Sisters themselves, Zenere said. Heritage Week will wind down with a S’more Meet and Greet with the Nuns in the Lillie O’Grady Room at 2 p.m. Friday. Zenere said this event is special because they are taking the event to the nuns. Since so many nuns are unable to leave the convent due to health issues, SAB thought it was important to move an event to a location the nuns could attend. “After all, they are the reason for the week,” Zenere said. Zenere and Palmer could not stress enough the importance of the week. “We are trying to, in a sense, abridge the ignorance of our heritage,” Zenere said. “We have such a rich history that we should be aware of.” “Saint Mary’s prides itself in forming strong, independent women … without these past strong, independent women, we wouldn’t be where we are now,” Palmer said.last_img read more

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Senior football managers ensure team runs smoothly

first_imgBehind every sports team, there is a legion of coaches and staffers that makes sure everything goes according to plan. Senior football managers Justin Cullen, Nathan Feldpausch and Claire Kueny are Notre Dame’s 12th men both on and off-season. Cullen oversees the essentials to all football games — equipment. “I’m the head student in charge of the equipment room and the locker room on both a day-to-day basis and on game day,” he said. Cullen’s job involves coordinating the laundry service with St. Michaels, issuing apparel and gear to the players and fixing any equipment malfunctions that occur during practice. Cullen said his role behind the scenes on game day often goes unnoticed. “What people don’t know is when the team goes out for practice, we set up white boards where different positions meet with their position coaches before the game,” he said. “We do this at halftime too.” Away games make his job a little more challenging, he said. “For away games, after halftime we immediately start moving stuff to our semi because the buses and the semi pull out within an hour of the end of the game,” he said. “That process usually takes through the end of the third quarter and sometimes the beginning the fourth quarter.” While Cullen oversees the equipment, Feldpausch is in charge of administration. Feldpausch works under Chad Klunder, director of football operations.  His main job is to monitor the players’ whereabouts, he said. “I actually get issued a work phone that has the player contacts and figure out where they are when they aren’t on time,” he said. “I always jump a little bit when I hear the [work] phone. [I think,] ‘Uh, oh what do I have to do now?’” His most unique job is watching over Irish coach Brian Kelly’s bag, he said. “I got Coach Kelly’s bag [and] I have to keep it with me at all times,” Feldpausch said. “I carry it on the plane with me and make sure it does not leave my sight.” Kueny oversees personnel involved in making the football game days run smoothly. “I’m the personnel manager, so I’m the person responsible for organizing, scheduling and training all the sophomore and junior managers,” she said. During practice, Kueny makes sure the junior and sophomore managers set up the field properly and know what drills are being performed. She is also responsible for setting up the field before the game and helps run the pre-game warm ups. While the program is fairly fluid now, it is in the midst of changes, she said. Next year, the number of football managers will decrease. Only those who express a deep interest in the football program will work with Irish football, while the other managers will specialize in the Olympic sports, Kueny said. “We’ll have a football pool for people who really want to do football and an Olympic sports pool, so people really go towards their interest,” she said. Cullen said the managers support the team both on and off-season, but their hard work comes to fruition 12 Saturdays a year. “We work for about eight months of the year, [but] when you really think about it, it comes down to 12 football games,” he said.last_img read more

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College celebrates season with Madrigal dinner

first_imgSaint Mary’s Music Department will usher in the Christmas season this weekend with its 39th annual Madrigal dinner, a medieval-themed feast and musical performance. Junior Toni Marsteller, who scripted and directed the performance and is cast as the Wench, said the theatrics and music are interwoven in the meal rather than preceding or following it. “[The dinner features] Renaissance and medieval-style music, and there are actors who provide a little comedy throughout the dinner,” she said. Music professor Nancy Menk, who will direct the Madrigal for the 28th time, said the choir performances will include a combination of traditional songs with a few fresh selections. “Some songs are standards,” Menk said. “We always sing the Wassail Song when we bring out the Wassail bowl, we always sing ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas,’ and each year I try to add one or two new songs.” First year Katie Corbett plays the role of the Jester, who taunts the other characters throughout the performance. “I’m an acting major, so I read for the Jester role, and it sounded really funny,” she said. “I’m really excited, but I’m also a little nervous. I hope everyone enjoys the show.” Corbett’s Jester conspires with junior Sophie Korson’s character, the Cook, to play tricks on the Wench. Korson, who has never participated in the Madrigal dinner before, said she decided to take part simply for the fun of it. “It sounded like fun, and I was open to trying it out,” she said. Sophomore Lauren Murphy, a member of the Women’s Choir performing at the dinner, said the performance helps spread the Christmas cheer around campus. “I like dressing up and getting into character,” she said. “The show really helps set the tone for the Christmas season.” Over her nearly three decades at the helm of the Madrigal, Wenk said the tradition has evolved significantly. “Before my time, they actually stopped the show and did an opera right in the middle of the show,” she said. “One of the major changes was to change from a co-ed to an all-women’s choir, about seven or eight years ago, to better represent Saint Mary’s College.” Menk said she is amazed by the transformative effect the show has on Regina Hall, where it is presented. “The girls look so beautiful in their dresses and the room looks amazing,” she said. “By the time we’re done with it, it’s amazing to think it’s just a dorm lounge.” The Madrigal dinner will be celebrated Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.last_img read more

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Communications class teaches at Center

first_imgFor some students at Saint Mary’s, class time on Thursday is now spent in a different type of environment – teaching guests at the South Bend Center for the Homeless.  “Public Communication,” holds classes for the guests at the Center and teaches them the basics of communication studies. After only three weeks spent at the Center, some students are already feeling a sense of learning for themselves and their guests. Senior Tara Fulton said has already noticed how working at the Center is a wonderful experience for herself and her group members. “This Thursday will be our fourth class visit, and we are very excited to continue on with the process. The veterans that come to our class every week are very enthusiastic, and always willing to participate,” she said. “I think that the veterans’ participation and enthusiasm has really made us the students as a group feel good about teaching the class. It seems like the veterans truly enjoy the class, and are gaining better communication skills after every class.” Throughout the weekly lessons for the veteran’s group, Fulton and her fellow classmates have been teaching different aspects of communication to their guests. “My group hopes to gain more personal experience with our communication skills, and insight into how others communicate,” Fulton said. “We want to help our guests communicate better, where they can take what we teach in our class to the outside world and use that information to better their communication interactions. “Two main aspects our group will focus on with the veterans are how to control their humor and sarcasm better when communicating with people.” Overall, Fulton said she is happy to be enrolled in the class and looks forward to continuing the work her group has begun at the Center for the Homeless. “The veterans are a great group of guys, and are very eager to learn, which makes my group and I happy and willing to go teach every week,” she said. Senior Caroline Gallagher is part of a group that teaches the children at the Center. “Our group is called Club P.S., which includes the kids,” Gallagher said. “Although our class has only been at the Center for three weeks, we have had such a great experience so far.” Before arriving, Gallagher said the group was a bit nervous, as they did not know what to expect from the experience. “After the first day with the kids, any sense of being nervous was completely gone,” she said. “The children are extremely vibrant and excited to learn new things- plus they love having older kids to hang out with for an hour every week.” Gallagher said, she believes her group has already gained a lot from being at the Center for the Homeless. Although they have faced a few hurdles, Gallagher said the group is thrilled to be working with Club P.S. “The biggest thing that I hope our students gain from my group being at the Center for the Homeless is how important communication is in every aspect of every person’s life,” Gallagher said. “I hope that the curriculum we teach them is something that they will remember for the rest of their lives, and will help them to be successful in communicating with the different people that they will meet throughout their lives.” While Gallagher and her group know teaching children is a lot of responsibility, she said they feel capable of providing the necessary tools for their students to thrive. “As a group, I feel we are capable of doing exactly what we have to in order for the students to get the most out of their Thursday afternoons with us,” Gallagher said. “While the semester progresses, I am excited to see where our lessons take us with the kids.” Contact Jillian Barwick at jbarwi01@saintmarys.edulast_img read more

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Gameday celebrates seniors

first_imgIn less than 24 hours, a 38-0 walloping of Wake Forest on Senior Day and losses by the top-2 football teams in the country led the Irish to a perfect 11-0 record and their first No. 1 national ranking in the BCS era. All this excitement combined with unseasonably warm weather made for “an incredible weekend,” said Mike Seamon, director of Game Day Operations. “The perfect weather, Senior Day and the undefeated record all contributed to it being one of the best home football weekends anyone can remember,” he said. “It was a wonderful opportunity for the Notre Dame family to celebrate both the seniors and the special season we have been experiencing.” Seamon said this was one of the most special Senior Day celebrations in recent memory due to strong student support for the football team and its seniors. “It was evident that the student body shares a mutual, special affinity for the team, and vice versa,” he said. “Couple that with an undefeated record, and it made for a particularly special and memorable day in Notre Dame history.” The ideal conditions brought a perfect storm of about 115,000 fans to campus on gameday, Seamon said, and pregame attractions on campus also drew in large numbers of visitors Friday and Saturday. “The Friday tunnel tour had a season high of more than 5,300 visitors, and the pep rally was standing-room only,” he said. “The player walk on Saturday was absolutely packed the entire way from the Guglielmino [Athletics Complex] to the Stadium.” Seamon said the lopsided final score helped minimize traffic on campus. “Post-game traffic was much better and more manageable this weekend given that the game was clearly decided early on in the contest,” he said. According to a press release, the Indiana State Excise Police arrested 36 people on 49 charges this weekend. Officers apprehended 32 minors on 39 charges, including illegal possession or consumption of alcohol and the possession of a false form of identification. Two men were arrested after a large fight broke out in the C1 parking lot. The men were preliminarily charged with battery, public intoxication, battery on law enforcement and resisting law enforcement.  According to the press release, one Excise Police officer was injured while breaking up the fight. Officers also arrested two adults on drug possession and paraphernalia charges. Arrest statistics from Notre Dame Security Police were unavailable at press time. Now, as the stadium moves into its offseason, Seamon said he and his Game Day Operations team will work to make the Notre Dame football experience even better for next year. “As has been our typical practice the past few years, we will spend the next several weeks reviewing the season from several different angles and will identify how we can build upon the program for next season,” he said. To provide feedback on the game day experience or suggestions and comments for next season, fans can visit gameday.nd.edu. Contact Anna Boarini at aboari01@saintmarys.edulast_img read more

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Band joins with Ugandan choir

first_imgWhen 2012 graduates Brian Powers and Nick Gunty traveled to Kkindu, Uganda, last summer, the pair gained much more than expected from their experience. Powers and Gunty, who comprise the band Frances Luke Accord, spent 18 days recording an album with the community’s Barefoot Truth Children’s Choir to raise money for members of the group. “During our stay, we were touched by the many people we met living in rural poverty, who at the same time abound in human potential and an unparalleled spiritual wealth,” Powers said. “Through our interaction with the children and with village leaders, it became apparent that many of these children face hardships that none of us would ever encounter in our lives.” Powers said one of the hardships for the 28 children in the choir is the lack of access to free, public education. “They are not prevented from attending school, but they cannot sit for the necessary exams unless they pay their school fees,” Powers said. “The costs associated with these school fees, including a school lunch and uniform, totals only 70 dollars a year.  But with an average annual income in Uganda of only 511 dollars per capita, many cannot afford even this modest amount.” To raise funds for the children to advance grade levels, the choir and Frances Luke Accord collaborated to record an album entitled “Kandote,” a Lugandan word meaning “I dream.” “All money from the sale of this CD is going directly towards paying these school fees,” Powers said. Kevin Dugan, an operations assistant for Notre Dame men’s lacrosse and the former manager of Youth and Community Programs for Notre Dame Athletics, developed the idea for the project. Dugan is also the founder and director of Fields of Growth International, an organization that uses athletics as a community and human development tool in rural villages in Uganda. “The project was also funded in large part through grants from Notre Dame’s Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts and the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement as well as some private donations,” Powers said. “Thanks to these generous grants, we had the unique opportunity to spend 18 days in the wonderful country of Uganda doing what we love: listening to, writing, performing and recording music -and bridging a wide cultural divide along the way.” Powers said the band sent the choir a CD before the trip so the children could learn the songs. Approximately 40 takes of each song were recorded before Frances Luke Accord selected the best one for the album. Kandote can be purchased at any online music store or at the band’s website, FrancesLukeAccord.com/music For fans to gain further access into the production of the album, the band uploaded a YouTube video entitled “Kandote” that details the group’s trip to Kkindu and its interaction with the Barefoot Truth Children’s Choir.last_img read more

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Saint Mary’s screens ‘Band of Sisters’

first_img“Band of Sisters,” a documentary produced and directed by Notre Dame alumna Mary Fishman, screened at Saint Mary’s on Wednesday and was followed by a panel discussion about the film. The film highlights various groups of nuns across the country and shows their work outside of the physical church after hearing the calls of Vatican II. In the movie, sisters campaign for housing, food sustainability and gardening for the poor. They also work in jails, assuring that inmates had the pastoral care they deserved. Sr. Veronique Wiedower said the film reflects the priorities of Holy Cross sisters at Saint Mary’s. “Although the sisters of the Holy Cross are not specifically singled out in the dialogue of the film, those of you familiar with the sisters, will recognize the sisters’ charisma and ministry in the words and examples of other congregations and visually in the pre-Vatican footage of religious life here on Saint Mary’s campus,” Wiedower said. During the panel discussion, Fishman said she wanted to combat stereotypes about nuns in ” Band of Sisters.” “I wanted to set the record straight,” she said. “… I was inspired by the more than 300 year history of religious sisters and I wanted to inspire other people.” Sr. Betty Moyer, a former campus minister at Saint Mary’s, said she hopes people gain a deeper understanding of human dignity and justice from watching this movie.  “[I hope] you feel anger where there is injustice,” Moyer said. Moyer said the documentary portrays well the “real world issues” sisters face in the world outside of the physical church.  “We must address ourselves, and involvement in social justice is what this movie calls us to,” Moyer said. “We do not know what He calls us to; [it is] literally a journey into the unknown.” Holy Cross Sr. Elena Malits, professor emerita of religious studies at Saint Mary’s, said sharing personal stories is important among the religious community.  “A very wise Holy Cross religious recently told me, ‘Someone’s truth is an invitation to a bigger heart and a bigger mind,’” she said. Malits said interacting with the larger community is also part of their vocation.  “That’s really our vocation, to live out that sense of gratitude and sense of participation in this beautiful world, and as I meet these different people and learn different stories, I begin to have a bigger heart and a bigger mind,” Malits said.last_img read more

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Visiting poet kicks off series at Saint Mary’s

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s Poetry Club hosted Austin Segrest, poetry editor of “The Missouri Review” and the club’s first poet of its inaugural poet speaker series Wednesday. Senior Susan Head, a member of the Poetry Club, introduced Segrest, who was chosen to speak in the series under the guidance of English professor Dionne Bremyer, one of Segrest’s friends who has encouraged students in the Saint Mary’s community to attend literary events and bring more speakers to campus. Segrest, born in Birmingham, Alabama, said he studied classics at Emory University. Head said his poetry is influenced by many of the classical poets, such as Ovid and Virgil, and their use and creation of myth. Segrest said he was also influenced by his study of language, his time studying abroad in Rome, his love of music and dance, and his mother, the subject of most of his elegies. “I’m fascinated by the challenge of how we can approximate what music can do in words while still using sound,” Segrest said. “That whole adventure is endlessly fascinating to me.” Segrest said he felt excited to be at Saint Mary’s, detailing how he believes he is “traveling east to west through his life,” a metaphor coined by poet John Donne. “It is really great to be in a place where I can tell there is such a love and care for the written word, and it’s a real honor for my poetry and my writing to be a part of this.  It really means the world,” Segrest said. Segrest said he has used psychoanalysis to revisit his personal and family past and to investigate the roots from which he sprung and the steps he has taken thus far in life. “My mother died when I was first coming into my own as a writer, so it was very influential on me, and it’s no surprise that it’s something I explored a lot in psychoanalysis,” Segrest said.   “There were just a few confluences that came together in my life, like I had just graduated from Emory University, I was working a research job, and actually living with my mother; I had moved in back home and so I think there were a lot of intersections coming together that then came up in the therapy that followed.” Junior Elizabeth Kenney said she enjoyed Segrest’s reading and liked learning his background. “As a writer, I thought it was really interesting to hear about his techniques and the subjects he chooses to use in his writing,” Kenney said. “I liked the rhythm in his poetry and the honesty and how it sounded just like a conversation.  I think he made an impression on many of the students in attendance, because he was so casual about his poetry but it reached very deep and touched on many topics people could relate to. “I thought his use of classical references were breathtaking, and having studied abroad in Rome, also, I liked making these connections and thinking of what the allusions mean for myself and then within his poems.” Founder of the poetry club, junior Claire Bleecker, said she began the club this year in order to learn more about poetry and to expose herself and other students to more types of this art. “We were excited to have Segrest come to Saint Mary’s, because I think it’s so important for young writers to know that becoming a poet is a plausible thing,” Bleecker said. “Poets aren’t just these mythological creatures but very genuine and kind people.” Contact Kelly Konya at kkonya01@saintmarys.edulast_img read more

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Candidate Profile: LaMagna/Andresen

first_imgWho they are: Presidential candidate Olivia LaMagna is a junior from Farley Hall studying political science and business economics. She hails from Carmel, Ind., and currently serves as the junior class president. Her running mate, Rohan Andresen, is a sophomore from Siegfried Hall studying business and political science. The Phoenix, Ariz., native, is the senator from Siegfried Hall and a member of student government’s Department of National Engagement and Outreach.LaMagna and Andresen said the overarching theme of their campaign is maximizing each student’s experience at Notre Dame, focusing on the question “how do you ND?”“I feel that there’s one story you’re told as a freshman about what your experience at Notre Dame is going to be, but there’s a huge range of opportunities to explore on this campus,” LaMagna said.First priority: Review student government procedures and come up with best practices for organizing a cabinet and a planning timeline for initiatives. LaMagna said her experience on Junior Class Council with Anderson’s background as a hall senator will give each a unique but complementary view on how student government operates and how they can maximize its efficiency.Top priority: Focus on every individual member of the student body and enable each to meet his or her full potential, in whatever way he or she wants. This overarching campaign strategy provides a focal point for their academic, community engagement and programming initiatives.“We want to get rid of the red tape and barriers that hold students back,” Andresen said. “When each student is seen as their own unique person and when that uniqueness is recognized, that’s when you have a diverse campus.”Best Idea: LaMagna and Andersen hope to create a more collaborative relationship between Notre Dame and South Bend, and LaMagna said she wants students to understand that South Bend is much more than a convenient location in which to do service work.“There’s not enough respect for what residents of South Bend can bring to undergraduates at the University of Notre Dame,” LaMagna said. “We want to increase accessibility to the city of South Bend.”Her experience with planning and executing major events as junior class president has given her insight into how to navigate the “administrative red tape” for project planning and especially approving new vendors and sites, LaMagna said.Worst Idea: Their plan to organize a group of undergraduate and graduate students who could teach one-credit specialized classes in areas such as computer programming seems impossible. While the goal of helping students broaden their technical skill sets and branch out beyond the classes required for their majors is good, it would be very difficult to get off the ground. Perhaps organizing a set of independent workshops or lectures on such topics would be more doable, instead of orchestrating it within the class registration and DART systems.Most feasible: Appoint two students, one male and one female, to serve as co-chairs of the Gender Relations Department of student government.“We want to start bringing a diversity of perspectives into that [conversation] because we don’t want it to be … a one-sided discussion,” LaMagna said. “We want everyone to feel like gender relations is something that matters to them, because if you’re a person on this campus, it affects you.”Least feasible: The two hope to break barriers between the different colleges and academic departments by allowing students to register for classes outside of their declared majors.“Right now, students can’t take classes outside of their colleges once they’ve declared,” Andresen said. “We want to be able to open up classes for students outside of their major.”They propose that a time limit be set on the DART system so that first, students who need a particular class for their majors are guaranteed seats. After official DARTing has ended, LaMagna and Andresen hope to open up registration to students outside the college under which the class is listed.Although this plan would offer students more academic freedom, it does not seem feasible given the labyrinth of prerequisite and co-requisite courses often listed. While perhaps general elective courses could be opened up, department chairs would likely resist open enrollment in more advanced, major-specific courses.Notable quote: “This is probably about 10 percent of all the ideas we’ve come up with. That other 90 percent have just been scrapped because of conversations with people, whether that be students or administrators. … These ideas that we have in the platform have had a lot of thought and a lot of discussion.” — AndresenFun Fact: LaMagna said she is an extremely organized person with “spreadsheets that terrify people,” but her dorm room is incredibly messy. Andresen, on the other hand, keeps an impeccable room and “can barely leave without dusting something.”Bottom line: Their platform reflects a comprehensive examination of real student desires, and the two leverage their energy and enthusiasm to come up with new, bold ideas. Their student government experience prepares them for success in future roles, and their focus on programming, as well as on enabling and empowering individual students, suggests they would have a dynamic, visible presence on campus next year.Tags: 2014 Election, Election, Student Body President, Student governmentlast_img read more

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Student Affairs issues diversity goals

first_imgThe Division of Student Affairs issued a list of 21 Diversity Recommendations this week, working within the President’s Oversight Committee on Diversity and Inclusion chaired by University President Fr. John Jenkins.Vice President for Student Affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding said the initiatives came out of research conducted by Matthew Storin, senior project specialist for Student Affairs. His work consisted of 138 interviews conducted this year, including 97 with students. Storin’s research was prompted by survey data on student satisfaction with campus life, Hoffmann Harding said.Steph Wulz “Our undergraduate seniors tell us that they have a terrific overall undergraduate experience, better than [at] our peer [institutions] which are some of the most selective in the country, and that is a result that you see regardless of ethnicity,” she said. “We’re very proud of that from an institutional standpoint.“However, we do not stack up as competitively with our peers in any ethnic group for satisfaction with the climate for minorities on campus, according to our students. … But surveys only tell you so much, so I asked Matt Storin to take on a special project this year to really get behind those numbers.”Storin said the most concerning finding to come out of his research was the indication that many minority students feel like they are the “other” on campus.“[Minority students] often feel that they are not having the same full, enjoyable experience that they feel the white majority students are having, those who might have been raised in a Notre Dame tradition and always wanted to come here,” he said.Many white majority students interviewed in the study expressed support for the concept of diversity and an increasingly diverse student body, but said they were not actively engaged with the issue or engaged in getting to know students different from them, Storin said. He said there were “inspirational” exceptions, however, of students in the white majority who felt passionate about improving the situation.The most optimistic conclusion to emerge from the research was the sense of community built into the Catholic and academic environments at Notre Dame, Storin said.“The figures show that we could probably make an argument that we have the strongest sense of community of any campus in the country,” he said. “So that’s a good foundation on which to build if we’re going to have programs and initiatives to direct more attention to engagement with people not like ourselves.“With that and the sense of social justice which is quite evident on this campus … there’s a lot that we can do … I’m pretty optimistic that, eventually, students are going to enter Notre Dame and realize right from the beginning, for those who don’t already, that whether someone looks like the picture of the leprechaun or not, that we’re all Irish and we’re in this one for all in a way that builds on our best traditions.”Hoffmann Harding said the 21 recommendations from Student Affairs fall into four groups, and responsibility for acting on each recommendation has been assigned to a member of her senior team who will report directly to her.The first group focuses on internal training within Student Affairs to be ready as a staff to serve a diverse student body, she said. This will include recruitment, retention and development efforts within the Division, with the goal of providing students with role models in the administration who might share their backgrounds and staying attentive to the diversity of the Division staff.The second group is aimed at students and addresses ways to augment and supplement support the work done by Multicultural Student Programs and Services.“One of the things I’d highlight that we heard very frequently in Matt’s interviews is orientation,” Hoffmann Harding said. “It’s the first impression of students when they come to campus, and I think it very importantly sets the stage for how we expect to interact with one another and the values that we hold here on campus.”The third group of recommendations will seek to create a more effective support system for students with high socioeconomic need, including revised advertising, parameters and available resources in the Rector Fund and evaluating the level of support needed for students staying on campus for breaks.“We need to do a little more benchmarking … to design some programs that will be very intentional and thoughtful about the communication and the services that we provide,” Hoffmann Harding said.The fourth group will seek ways to demonstrate a visible commitment to diversity on campus with symbolic reminders, facilities and communication strategies.“[We need] to think about this not just in terms of programs that we do but also in what we say both verbally as a Division … and what we see here on campus,” she said. “I’ve been struck often by how readily apparent it is that Notre Dame is Catholic. We have a crucifix in every classroom. We have the beauty of the Grotto, the beauty of the Basilica.“How can we use this as an occasion to celebrate places and symbols on campus, so it’s clear not only in the things that we do but in the things that you all see as students that diversity is an important value to us?”More immediate goals within this group include having a diversity statement posted in every residence hall by the end of the semester and instituting a new Student Affairs undergraduate leadership award recognizing commitment to diversity and inclusion, beginning this year.Hoffmann Harding said while the project began with a focus on ethnic diversity and minority student experiences, she hopes the project will engage all students and foster appreciation for each individual’s contributions to campus.“I think it’s a misconception in many ways [to say] that there is one difference that defines us, like race,” she said. “I think each and every individual student brings a different set of talents, a different set of interests and a different set of experiences to campus.“And I think as a Catholic institution, it is our obligation and responsibility to engage and think about what we can learn from others.”Storin said the recommendations involve everyone on campus because “if you go through four years here without branching out culturally, it’s a missed opportunity.”“I think we all understand [that] you cannot shove inclusion down the throats of people. … It has to be an evolving process,” he said. “[We need] conditions in dorms and in freshman orientation that lead people to get together.”He said the complexity of the issue means that it won’t be solved immediately, but conversation and feedback, particularly from students, will ensure continued progress. Hoffmann Harding said she and her colleagues would remain open to student feedback.“Any time you put a plan in place, it should not be something that lives on a shelf but should continue to morph and improve,” Hoffmann Harding said. “We have benefitted in putting together these recommendations already from student work — several of the suggestions on here came directly from Diversity Council and student government in a joint resolution that they passed.”Hoffmann Harding said she and Storin presented the recommendations to the President’s Committee and this set of initiatives is just one dimension of the work done by the different subcommittees.“This effort is so important to our mission as a University and for all of your experience as students,” she said. “It’s something that we take extraordinarily seriously and that we think really does derive from our mission to have every student feel welcome, to have a great experience here and to feel safe and comfortable coming to us.“I welcome feedback and conversation on this topic … and we’re going to give it our best to make a positive difference and to create the kind of climate that we all want together.”Editor’s Note: Ann Marie Jakubowski and three other Observer editors were interviewed by Storin as a group during his research process, but not to an extent that would constitute a conflict of interest. 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