Council reflects on USC night game

first_imgThe Council of Representatives reflected on the various changes to the gameday experience implemented for the USC game at its Tuesday meeting. Oversight chair Ben Noe said holding the game at night for the first time in over 20 years at Notre Dame Stadium enhanced the overall experience. “I thought it was the most exciting game atmosphere in the stadium I’ve ever felt,” he said. “I think the whole night-game concept went really well.” Council members voiced a number of opinions on the piped music, perhaps the most notable addition to Saturday’s game. Senior class president Anne Huntington said she enjoyed the addition to the usual band music, but felt it was overdone. “I don’t know if it had to be played so often,” she said. Noe said he did not think the recorded music detracted from the usual band performances and that it helped increase excitement among students. “I think we had a fairly pleasant balance between the band and the recorded music,” he said. “I think the canned music also got the students a little more riled up.” Junior class president Kevin Doherty said the contrast in genre made the recorded music a welcome addition. “A lot of students have said they’re sick of hearing the Celtic Chant six times in one drive,” he said. “I think it was a welcome change just because it was something different.” Huntington said a more modern approach could invigorate the crowd. “Our band is awesome, but they’re playing a traditional march and USC was playing DJ Khaled,” Huntington said. Student body vice president Brett Rocheleau agreed. “[The band’s songs are not] really songs you sing to, except the Victory March,” Rocheleau said. “If they play music people will sing to, they’ll get the student section more riled up.” Student Union treasurer Eric Biro added that a more mixed opinion on the new music among the student body than the council members could lead to its discontinuation. “Unless we get a big outcropping of student support for the music, we may not get it again,” he said. Student body president Pat McCormick suggested the possibility of a Student Senate resolution to formally recommend the continuation of the canned music. First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership (FUEL) director Ricky Bevington reminded members to consider the views of the marching band members. “If [the resolution] is something you might do, you have to consider all groups on campus, especially the band. They feel like they’re being left out, neglected,” he said. “It’s very traditional at Notre Dame that the band provides the music. It’s unique.”last_img read more

Historian connects higher education and football

first_img “One autumn day about ten years ago I was watching a game in person and started wondering how American colleges had ended up with the ritual of so-called ‘big-time’ football,” he said. To research for his book, Ingrassia traveled to archives around the country, including a number of Big Ten universities such as the University of Michigan and Ohio State University, as well as the University of Chicago, Harvard University and Georgia Tech. He noted the views of several intellectuals on football’s place in top universities in the early 1900’s. “These coaches were making this argument at the same time that athletic departments were being created at many universities and coaching itself was becoming a profession,” he said. “So this argument was a way for them to assert their identities as professional university educators.” Erika Doss, professor and chair of the department of American Studies, said Ingrassia’s talk is relevant to Notre Dame because football is the largest culture that exists at Notre Dame. Edmund James, president of the University of Illinois from 1904 to 1920, felt students and professors at top universities, who were intellectually fragmented among different departments, were united by football, Ingrassia said. American cultural historian Brian Ingrassia discussed the influence of college football on today’s universities in a lecture Friday at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. Ingrassia said he began researching the history of football in relation to the historical changes in the structures and aims of universities since the 1800’s. “What I discovered was that many university administrators and professors consciously embraced football in the early-1900’s Progressive Era as a way to help make institutions of higher education legible to taxpayers and non-academics,” Ingrassia said.center_img Ingrassia, an American history professor at Middle Tennessee State University, extensively studied the influence of football on American culture for his recent book, “The Rise of the Gridiron University: Higher Education’s Uneasy Alliance with Big-Time Football.” “Another intellectual of the time, G.T.W. Patrick, a professor of philosophy at the University of Iowa and author of ‘The Psychology of Football,’ explained that football was good for modern men because it allowed them to re-capture the elements of Darwinian civilization,” he said. Ingrassia also discussed the significance of stadiums on college campuses. “By the 1920s, I argue, football gained permanence at many campuses when big, reinforced-concrete stadiums – especially many war memorial stadiums – were built around the country,” he said. “Today, a stadium is a permanent space on campus that brings about ideas of a bygone society.” Ingrassia said social scientists in the early 1900’s studied football and promoted its development because they thought it would help teach morals to younger people. Coaches such as Fielding Yost, John Heisman and Knute Rockne stressed their missions to discipline players as well as spectators, Ingrassia said.  “All top research universities have chairs of different departments, which compete for funds and resources,” Doss said. “Football fits into this perfectly because as new rules were created and coaches’ salaries increased in the early 1900’s, it became another aspect of the professionalism that was occurring on college campuses.”last_img read more

Mourdock’s debate comments complicate Indiana Senate race

first_imgThe Indiana senatorial race seemed like an easy win for the Republicans at the beginning of election season, but now Republican candidate Richard Mourdock, the Indiana state treasurer, and Democrat Joe Donnelly, Congressional representative for Indiana’s 2nd District, are in the middle of a dead heat in the race for the seat. Mourdock beat Republican incumbent Sen. Richard Lugar in the May primary, when several staunch conservative groups backed him early. Lugar, a moderate Conservative, had wide support transcending partisan divides, Notre Dame professor and former political reporter Jack Colwell said. “Lugar was known for reaching across the aisle and trying to reach a consensus with Democrats,” Colwell said. “Lugar probably would have been a shoo-in, but when Mourdock won the primary, that changed things in Indiana.” Another curveball flew in the race earlier this week in the second senatorial debate, when Donnelly and Mourdock answered a question about abortion. Mourdock’s reply has stirred a national response. “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” Mourdock said during the Oct. 23 debate. Mourdock later clarified he was not suggesting that God preordains rape, and said his comment was misinterpreted. It has proven influential in discussion of both the senatorial and presidential elections, however. Days before the debate, the Mourdock campaign released an ad in which presidential candidate Mitt Romney endorses Mourdock. Romney has since publicly expressed his disagreement with Mourdock’s statement, but continues to endorse him. Donnelly offered a press release in response to Mourdock’s comment. “I am pro-life, but this controversy is not about pro-life. It is about Mr. Mourdock’s words and his continuation of extreme positions,” he stated in the release. “His words were extreme, but maybe as important, hurtful to survivors of sexual abuse. It is legitimate for Hoosiers to expect candidates running for the United States Senate to not take such positions.” Other Indiana politicians have weighed in on the matter, including Indiana Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg, who released an official statement. “I was shocked by Richard Mourdock’s comments regarding survivors of rape,” he stated in the release. “Rape is rape, and statements like these rub salt in the wounds of sexual assault survivors everywhere.” Colwell said it is too early for polls to show how the comment has affected the senatorial race, but the widespread media coverage it received will surely make a difference. “Not many people were watching the actual debate, but the coverage is now on the front page of every paper,” Colwell said. “It’s a big story everywhere, and we’ll find out soon enough it is big enough to tip the race for Donnelly.” Indiana has traditionally been a conservative stronghold, though the nuances of the individual races may threaten that status today, Colwell said. “When [President] Obama carried Indiana four years ago, that was the first time since 1964 that a Democrat carried Indiana,” Colwell said. “In the senate race, they split the ballot at times, so the Democrats have a chance.” He said he thinks the selection of Mourdock over Lugar in the Republican primary may have been a dangerous move for the party, jeopardizing their stronghold. “If Lugar were running, I think the race would be over, a Republican win,” Colwell said. “If Mourdock loses, the ultra-conservatives will have thrown away a certain Republican senate seat since they thought it didn’t matter which Republican candidate ran.” Colwell said he thinks Mourdock’s chance for success in Indiana is challenged by his tendency to make incendiary remarks like this one. “Mourdock was known for making some controversial comments. Among other things, he said there is too much bipartisanship in Washington, and also sought to block the Chrysler recovery effort as state treasurer,” Colwell said. “That enabled Donnelly to get closer in the polls.” The gap between Donnelly and Mourdock may be coming even closer after this week. Colwell said Donnelly, a Notre Dame graduate, is challenging the traditionally conservative Indiana political climate with his bipartisan popularity. “Donnelly is a moderate Democrat, so that fits in perfectly for him – he’s able to get in the middle with some of the Democrats who would have voted Lugar but are wary of Mourdock,” Colwell said. Colwell said he expects Mourdock’s comment to affect Romney’s recent success in gaining female voters. “Historically, women vote Democrat, and just as Romney is closing that gap nationally according to the polls, here comes this issue,” Colwell said. “Many think that what Mourdock said would be especially offensive to women, especially young, single women that have been a real target for both presidential campaigns. “Now, instead of being able to answer questions about the economy, he’s fielding questions about Mourdock, and that’s the last thing they want in these closing days.” Contact Ann Marie Jakubowski at [email protected]last_img read more

Professor makes playwright debut

first_imgFormer Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s professor Matthew Benedict will make his debut as a local playwright Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the South Bend Civic Theatre.His play, titled “A False Lie,” begins when two strangers meet on an ordinary fall day in Cape Cod, both attempting to escape their complicated lives, Benedict said.“Over the course of the ensuing day, they slowly reveal to each other their physical and psychological scars, and through this joint revelatory act, each embraces the ‘false lie,’ or ‘truth,’ ignored,” he said. “‘A False Lie’ explores how trust cultivates truth and truth triggers redemption.”Benedict, who most recently taught a course in language and literature last semester at Saint Mary’s, was also a member of the Notre Dame Department of English for 18 years. He received his M.A. in English and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Notre Dame, he said.Benedict said the two main characters of “A False Lie,” Grace and Kane, are protagonists from two separate short stories he had published years ago.“In these intervening years, I’ve tried several times to put them into the same narrative,” he said. “Attempts at several short stories and even a novel failed, and rightfully so. One day while working on another play, a thought bubble appeared: Put Grace and Kane in a play.“Bingo. Six weeks later, I had the first draft of ‘A False Lie.’”Benedict said he enjoys writing plays because of their need for physical movement accompanying psychological action. He doesn’t experience writing fiction the same way, a genre that can cause a writer to become obsessed with the work’s introspectiveness.“I guess if there’s a ‘lesson’ from the history of ‘A False Lie,’ it’s you have to have both the courage and the patience to try different forms,” he said. “Something that’s somewhat dead as a poem, for example, might actually work as a play. Something that just doesn’t feel right as a story might be a photograph.“Finding the appropriate medium, form and genre is as important as what that medium and form and genre eventually become.”Benedict said he is excited for the play’s production and hopes the story will hold together and be plausible, even poignant, for the audience.Saint Mary’s first-year Mary Prebys, a former student of Benedict’s, said she will definitely be in the audience to see Benedict’s passion and brilliance for writing and theatre shine through his work.“Professor Benedict’s class last semester was hands down my favorite class,” Prebys said. “He had an incredible way of relating all of the texts we read to each other and to our world and society today.“I learned so much in his class, but I believe the most important thing he taught was the importance of asking questions outside of class.”Prebys said Benedict was always willing to meet with students, which was when she saw firsthand his zeal for teaching.“It was in those conversations that I truly felt myself grow, not only in my writing, but in how I mentally approach a topic and think through that topic,” she said.“Even though he taught a literature class, I felt I grew more as a philosopher and critical thinker, in the best way possible.”Saint Mary’s first-year  Colleen Maus, another former student of Benedict’s, said Benedict was very intriguing in class because the students never knew what to expect from him.“He always managed to command the class in an engaging and interesting manner,” Maus said. “We could easily tell how passionate he is about his field.”Benedict said he is currently working on two plays: one an expansion of a short story and the other historically-based.“I’m also doing some very rudimentary work with comic and graphic writing,” Benedict said. “We’ll see where it goes. You just never know, which is why I like writing, and teaching so much: You just never know. But what joy, excitement and fun it is finding out.”Tags: Playwrightlast_img read more

CUSE funds summer research projects

first_imgSenior biology major Kiley Adams considers her day-to-day activities to be her most valuable memories of this past summer.But for Adams, who spent the summer researching community-based rehabilitation (CBR) models to increase opportunities for people with disabilities in rural India, those day-to-day activities were far from mundane. They included playing soccer at a Tibetan refugee camp, teaching physical therapists how to swim and “attempting [or] failing to make perfectly round chapathi for lunch.”“I traveled to the four corners of India, [and] lived, dressed, cooked, danced and worked with locals in pursuit of [research],” Adams said. “Some days, my research project entailed conducting more formal interviews with CBR professionals, such as [those] at Vidya Sagar, an NGO in Chennai for children with disabilities, but, other times, it meant getting devoured by mosquitoes while attempting to stomach bamboo stew to learn firsthand some of the struggles of village life that may prevent people from seeking [disability] services.“I thought I knew exactly what my Indian adventure was supposed to entail — independent research on the community-based rehabilitation model for peoples with disability in rural India. Little did I know it would also entail an overnight camel safari into the Thar Desert — a little too close to the Pakistan border for my mom’s liking — time spent living with a rural village family and learning their traditional trade of carpet weaving, or literally walking into another country – Myanmar — after playing a game of glorified charades with their military personnel on border patrol. India is an extremely unpredictable country — the power may be cut at any second, you may or may not be able to find reliable water and food and just when you think you have picked up enough of one of India’s 1,652 languages, you travel a few miles away and no one speaks it anymore. The challenges to living in India are as endless as are the rewards.”The adventure was funded by the Notre Dame Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE), which has recently been renamed the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement, although its acronym is still the same.Kati Schuler, administrative coordinator for CUSE, said in an email that 323 grant applications were submitted to the Center for the 2015-2016 academic year. Of those 323 applications, 166 were for summer activities, including, Schuler said, “independent research, creative endeavors, service learning, internships and research assistantships, conference presentations and attendance and immersion and discernment activities, as well as specialty grants.”This past academic year, CUSE awarded 96 grants. 38 of those were allotted for summer activities.“After each grant deadline, CUSE has a committee review all of the completed applications,” Schuler said. “After the committee members review and score each proposal based on criteria for each grant type, the committee meets as a group to discuss the scores assigned to each proposal and make award decisions. Proposals that receive high scores are awarded grant funds. Because funding is so competitive, students are encouraged to come to CUSE for workshops … and make appointments with CUSE staff [for] individual advising and proposal feedback.”Schuler said the maximum award amount available from CUSE differs between the academic year and summer. The maximum award during the academic year is $1,500, but the amount increases to $3,000 for the summer period.“As part of our grant application process, students are required to submit detailed budgets outlining all anticipated expenses, and CUSE works closely with campus partners to facilitate cost-sharing arrangements to provide students with as much financial support as possible,” Schuler said.Each funding recipient went through a long and strenuous process before submitting their grant proposals.“The earlier you start planning your project and crafting your proposal, the more likely your proposal will be awarded funding,” Schuler said, “You can schedule a meeting with a member [of] our undergraduate research team to receive individual advising at any stage of the process, from how to start planning a project to proposal feedback for grant and fellowship applications.  Developing projects and crafting grant proposals requires various different components, such as securing a faculty mentor, requesting recommendation letters and [Institutional Review Board] approval, all of which are taken into account when reviewing proposals and awarding grants.  So start early and use the resources and services available to you.”Adams said CUSE helped her conduct successful research.“Their application process ensured that I had not only my research question more fully developed, but also my travel and safety plans,” she said. “I have found CUSE nothing but helpful in the grant-writing process, with so many people willing to read drafts of proposals and budgets alike.”Tags: CUSE, grants, India, summer researchlast_img read more

University, South Bend communities convene to protest executive order

first_imgStudents, faculty and South Bend community members braved the 20-degree weather and gathered at Fieldhouse Mall in a peaceful protest against President Trump’s executive order that is attempting to temporarily ban the entry into the U.S. of nationals of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya for 90 days.Carrying signs that read “no human being is illegal” and chanting, “No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here,” a group of around 20 students, faculty and staff marched from McKenna Hall to join a larger group huddled outside of LaFortune Student Center.Photo courtesy of Daniela Cabada The event was organized by the We Stand For, a club dedicated to seeking social justice following the recent presidential election. The group was responsible for the silent sit-in Sanctuary Campus movement last semester, which asked University President Fr. John Jenkins to recognize a petition circulating the student body to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival students and make Notre Dame a sanctuary campus.Junior Matthew Donohue, a core member of We Stand For and an organizer of the rally, hoped to use Notre Dame’s position as a premier, Catholic institution to gain awareness for social justice issues and made it clear that We Stand For does not oppose the administration.“We applaud the administration in coming out in strong condemnation against it … it’s been great to see Fr. Jenkins’ support especially with the Mass last Wednesday,” Donohue said. “It’s very easy to see some of these protest movements as either against the administration but this is a solidarity rally. It is nonviolent, very peaceful. This event is to complement the support that we’ve seen from the administration, from the Office of the President and the student body president very strong statements in support of the students here.”This demonstration was part of a larger grassroots movement, Academics United, that was started by two Muslim Ph.D. students from Virginia Tech who were personally affected by the executive order, which remains on hold after a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Thursday, and asked fellow students, post-docs and employees of universities to stand with them. Photo courtesy of Daniela Cabada As a student of Notre Dame, a university that boasts a diverse background of professors from all over the world, Donohue said he believes that the ban — or anything that would decrease the diversity of the University — would only serve to weaken it.“So much of our academic richness and strength comes from diversity, comes from abroad,” Donohue said. “People come to America for freedom for opportunity and freedom of expression and thought that might not be in the countries that they’re coming from. People coming from all over truly do cherish and engage in and strengthen American life, especially American academic life. This is in solidarity with students, faculty, staff.”The rally opened with a prayer led by Imam Muhammad Sirajuddin, of the Islamic Society of Michiana.Following an a cappella rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” sung by sophomore Selwin LeMont and interspersed chanting, three members of the Notre Dame academic community took the floor to share their personal perspective on the ban.A. Rashied Omar, a scholar of Islamic studies and faculty member of the Kroc Institute for International Studies, used the word “kairos” to describe today’s political atmosphere.“We are living through challenging times,” he said. “Kairos is a biblical term, a Greek word, which means a moment of truth. It is both a moment of crisis as well as a moment of opportunity.”Perin Gurel, an assistant professor of American studies and concurrent assistant professor of gender studies, said she spoke from the perspective of a female Muslim immigrant with the privilege of citizenship.“Our criticism of the ban must take into account both gender and race, as well as other structural factors, like citizenship status, national origin, sexuality, ethnicity and disability,” she said. “We must love and strengthen our communities, but we also must push against old-fashioned identity politics and towards a politics of solidarity that recognizes our differences and is informed by each other’s intersectional, historically-constituted identities and experiences.”Lastly, Majd Alshoufi, a Master’s student in international peacebuilding and a non-Muslim Syrian human rights activist and community-based trauma therapy expert, said he realized the kindness and the power of good Muslims after an Islamic community took him in after being arrested for participating in nonviolent protests for Syrian refugees. “Jihadist terrorism that claims the name of Islam is real and dangerous,” he said. “Second, most radical Islamic terrorists have been dying — literally — to send one very important message to the [billions of] Muslims around the world, namely that they are the real Islam and that they are the only good Muslims. … Kind Muslims, like the ones who protected me in Turkey, are the single most important actors in the fight against terrorism.”Following the official speakers, a diverse group of people utilized the space to share their own stories and personal statements about the executive order.“It is critical to give a platform to the student and the faculty voice to make this issue known, to increase awareness and kind of a catharsis for people more affected by this issue to make it known to them that people stand with them,” Donohue said.Proceeds from the event went to the Islamic Society of Michiana, a nonprofit religious organization that provides Michiana Muslims with spiritual, educational and social activities, as there is no refugee resettlement organization in South Bend. We Stand For is collecting donations via a GoFundMe page until the end of February, with the end goal of $2,000.Donohue said he had a message for President Donald Trump.“Show me what democracy looks like — this is what democracy looks like,” he said. Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to We Stand For as Stand with Us. The Observer regrets this error.Tags: DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, Donald Trump, executive order, We Stand Forlast_img read more

Group uses hip-hop as a tool for restorative justice

first_imgA group in Chicago has found a new tool for restorative justice: hip-hop.Circles & Ciphers, a hip-hop youth leadership development organization, will perform at the Center for Social Concerns on Wednesday. Their performance is hosted by both the Center for Social Concerns and the Kroc Institute.Jason Springs, associate professor in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, said he invited the group to his class last year. He said due to the success of their visit, he decided he should invite them to campus again, but this time to perform for a larger audience. Circles & Ciphers performed peacemaking circles — a restorative justice tool — for Springs’ class.“I write and teach on restorative justice and I have currently a multi-year research initiative,” Springs said. “The peacemaking circle is one of the tools of restorative justice. It draws on aboriginal and indigenous forms of justice practice in which parties through a conflict or parties harmed by one another … they sit together in a circle and it’s facilitated by a circle keeper.”Springs said these circles are meant to offer healing for groups affected by some kind of conflict or violence. According to their website, Circles & Ciphers infuses their peacemaking circles with improvisation and hip-hop to talk about difficult topics such as manhood, relationships with women and substance abuse.“They’re young people from various neighborhoods in Chicago and [who], in various ways, have experienced violence,” Springs said. “Now [they] are integrating hip-hop and spoken word poetry with restorative justice in order to respond to violence in these neighborhoods.”According to their website, Circles & Ciphers was started by two Project NIA volunteers to strengthen the relationship between group home residents and their surrounding community. It started as a bi-monthly peacemaking circle which helped group home residents with decision-making and self-expression. By 2011, Circles & Ciphers expanded to an organization that now executes peacemaking circles in schools, prisons, group homes and other communities.“Circle processes can address the trauma that people experience, the harm, they can mediate conflict,” Springs said. “They’ve told me that when they do a conflict circle with various people it can go for two or three days.” Springs said his motivation to bring the group back to campus was to expose the students to real-life advocacy.“At the Center for Social Concerns and in Peace Studies students come to us because they are passionate about concerns over justice and peace,” he said.In a field such as peace studies, Springs said learning in the classroom is not enough.“The challenge for a professor in peace studies is you can’t just teach the concepts and the cases. You have to try to connect the students with the real world and how these things are practiced,” he said. “My primary purpose was to bring people who are working in the most violent neighborhoods in the country there in the south side of Chicago into the classroom to talk about their work.”Springs said he thinks using hip-hop as a tool in peacemaking circles engages the youth and enables them to speak in more creative ways. Though his goal is to expose his students to restorative justice processes, he said he believes it is important to equip the Notre Dame community as a whole with these methods.“We get students in our classes that come to our classes because they want to go out and change the world, make some difference,” he said. “We’re trying to make these living connections with these students to help them get engaged with what’s going on.”Tags: Center for Social Concerns, Circles and Ciphers, Hip hop, Kroc Institute, restorative justicelast_img read more

Saint Mary’s to hold siblings weekend in March

first_imgSaint Mary’s Little Siblings Weekend is a yearly tradition for Belles to share their college experience with their younger brothers and sisters. The committee for the weekend has been hard at work planning this year’s event. Committee members for the event, junior Chloe Jacobs and senior Madeline Flynn, are planning to make sure the events are fun for a wide spectrum of ages.“When I went to little siblings my freshman year, my little siblings came, but all the activities were for very little kids, and my little siblings weren’t really having a great time,” Jacobs said. “So I wanted to come up with a theme where we can have activities where little kids can enjoy it, but also older kids can enjoy.”This year’s theme is Lil’ Sibs Around the World. “I feel like in general with all the globalization and everything, international stuff is just so important,” Jacobs said. “Teaching people, and kids especially, about other cultures and activities they do in a fun way is so important.”The committee has been organizing fun events and activities that are meant to pertain to a large age and cultural range.“It’s such a broad category we can collaborate with so many different kinds of people that you didn’t even know existed,” Jacobs said.To help represent many different cultures, they have enlisted the help of clubs such as the French club, Spanish club, German club and the Irish dance team.  The different countries will have tables run by committee and club members. Each will have an activity and a food item pertaining to their country. “Essentially what the little sibs will be able to do is they can go around with these passports we’re going to give them and they can get stamps in different countries,” Flynn said. “For France we’re doing canvases and there’s going to be croissants,” Jacobs said. “For England, one of the things we’re doing is the kids are going to write a letter to the queen or the royal family.”Before the fair, the committee has a cozy opening night planned. “For Friday, we bought the rights to Coco, so yeah, we’ll show that movie and Sodexo is catering popcorn and candy, that’s going to be the opening night activity,” Jacobs said.Following the international fair in Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex, there will be a full buffet in the center. The Irish dance team is also donating time that night not just to dancing at the event, but to teaching the kids how to dance.“There’s kind of like two parts — there’s the international fair and afterwards we’re having a dance part where we’re going to have the Irish dance team come in and teach how to dance,” Jacobs said.On Sunday, there is a farewell tea party in the making and there will be meal passes during the weekend for the kids.Lil’ Sibs around the World will take place from March 1 to March 3.  Tags: Lil Sibs Weekend, Lil’ sibs around the world, Little Siblings Weekendlast_img read more

Gender studies professor speaks on women’s roles in fight for peace

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) hosted Notre Dame gender studies professor Ashley Bohrer who spoke in a presentation titled “Disturbing the Peace: A Feminist Defense of Conflict in a Time of Rebellion“ on Wednesday as a part of International Education Week. The talk was co-sponsored by the gender and women’s studies department, the department of social work and gerontology and the department of global studies.The event began with interim CWIL director Alice Yang presenting a brief background of International Education Week.“The International Education Week is a joint initiative by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education. It is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide and an effort to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract the future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences,“ she said.Yang then introduced author and activist Bohrer and discussion facilitator Frances Kominkiewicz, a part of the department of social work.Bohrer opened her talk by discussing the implications of when people define peace as all times outside of war.“This sort of engenders the idea that when bad things happen or when violence occurs, it is a momentary phenomenon, the result of a bad person or a bad apple or a bad choice,“ she said. “The normal state of things on this account is peace and violence or conflict is a momentary aberration under this view. Anyone who disrupts the normal order of things, including through advocating for change, is someone who is disturbing the peace.“Bohrer said that despite popular belief, conflict and peace work closely together.“Those who conceive of the world as structurally violent understand conflict, not as in opposition to peace, but crucially, as a means to achieve peace,“ she said.Peace advocates engage in conflict regularly, she said, as first seen by protestors in the Civil Rights movement.“It was a crucial piece of the nonviolent direct-action strategy of the Civil Rights movement to take on actions that would invite state violence in order to demonstrate to the world the actual everyday brutality of Jim Crow,“ Bohrer said. “If we think that peace activists are somehow conflict avoidance — that they’re trying to move away from conflict, in fact, we see them running headlong into it time and time again.“Because systems of oppression are incredibly ingrained into today’s society, Bohrer believes taking them down requires conflict.“Given the resilience of the structures of capitalism, white supremacy, coloniality and the heteropatriarchy, it actually seems quite absurd to me that we should expect to assume that the elimination of the systems of harm would occur politely, quietly or without a massive disruption,“ she said. “In this sense, in order to achieve a real lasting powerful and substantive elimination of harm and suffering, we are going to need to engage in a lot of conflict and a lot of contestation.“Bohrer explained how society uses a definition of peace that criminalizes the voices of protestors, which she said is just as dangerous as the use of weapons.“The state’s ability to capture the discourse of space, and to coalesce support behind its violence, is through its reliance on a particular notion of peace — one that emphasizes stability, order and the denial of structural violence,“ she said.After discussing how many people were arrested at protests in 2020, Bohrer said her worries lie in “the way that the peace is defined in charges of breaching or disrupting peace [by] the ruling or reigning order, which we know to be one of structural racism, police brutality and extrajudicial state-sanctioned murder.“Bohrer suggested that people should look at this issue through a feminist perspective to obtain a deeper understanding.“We need to begin thinking about the ruling order as the systematic abuse of oppressed, unexploited people,“ she said. “In feminist accounts of intimate partner abuse, the term gaslighting emerged in order to talk about the psychological and discourse effects of abuse.“Examining what it means to be feminist, Bohrer reflected on the ways the movement is impeded by gender expectations and lifted by women who defy them.“[Feminism] is a lens of analysis that highlights how the ruling order of our contemporary society is structured through violence and harmful expectations of normative gender,“ she said. “Feminist movements around the world have often been at the forefront of utilizing disruptive tactics in order to draw attention to the violence and suffering caused not only by the state, but also by the media, social norms, the family and other institutions.“Because of the mission of feminism, Bohrer argues today’s protests fall under issues concerning feminists.“I think we also have to insist that the current racial justice uprising is a feminist movement and is a feminist concern,“ she said. “Police violence is a feminist issue. Racial justice is a feminist issue. Rising fascism is a feminist issue.“Working to change how conflict is only associated with masculinity, Bohrer spoke about how feminism fits into social evolution caused by conflict.“There’s a long history and feminist scholarship of seeing conflict as something inherently masculine or patriarchal,“ she said. “There is something feminist about militancy in the name of social transformation and liberation. The only possibility of building a truly feminist world is rooted in revaluing conflict and opposition to the ruling order of heteropatriarchy. And in this sense, I am arguing for conflict as a central strategy of feminist liberation and justice.“To end her lecture, Bohrer considered the meaning behind the slogan “No Justice, No Peace.“ Some consider it an echo of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, but Bohrer discussed its second connotation that is rooted in conservative ideas about protest.“Another wave of activism tends to interpret the slogan another way — until there is justice, there will be no peace, meaning we will not let you have your sham of peace,“ she said. “Much of the right-wing hysteria about this chant and about protests in general embraces this latter meaning interpreting the chant to be a kind of threat.“Bohrer approves of this chant being seen as a threat because she believes that disrupting social norms to obtain peace is key.“Of course, unlike the right wing, I think that this militancy is demanded to disrupt the current peace until we attain justice is the strength of social movements rather than their danger,“ she said. “If by peace, we mean something like the elimination of avoidable harm and suffering, then disruptive conflict is an essential part of achieving peace.“Bohrer then answered questions asked by Kominkiewicz and the virtual audience.When asked about this summer’s protests, Bohrer emphasized the distinct difference between violence against people and damaging property.“I will say that the only violence that occurred in these protests was the state using armed agents in order to be down the progression of justice and liberation,“ she said. “I am not at all convinced by the argument that throwing a brick through a Starbucks window is violence. I think that when we start to play that game, we enter into a deeply dangerous equation of violence against human beings and property damage.“Rather than considering this violence against property, Bohrer asked the audience to focus on the violence committed against marginalized populations.“I think we are always better off hammering home or talking about uplifting the violence that the state is doing, the violence that the current system does to people of color, exploited people, women, queer and trans folks, disabled people every single day,“ she said.Bohrer said not acknowledging violence against oppressed people and working with them obtain peace has severe consequences.“If we are not talking about that violence, I think we’re participating in gaslighting people who are responding to centuries of brutality by telling them that they have to be polite and nice or something in their response,“ she said. “All that does is serve the interests of abuse of power gaslighting for sure.“Near the end of the event, Bohrer gave suggestions on how to be unified with others who come from different backgrounds when working together for peace.“It’s really important to hold on to the fact that we don’t have to have the same experience in order to work together. … I really think about leaning into the concept of solidarity and coalition,“ she said. “So, my question isn’t necessarily how can I be united or have the same experience or use the same language as every woman around the world in different situations. But my question is much more … how can I stand in solidarity with other people’s struggles and with other women’s struggles?“Tags: CWIL, Feminism, gaslighting, injustice, patriarchy, peace, Peace Studies, Protests, racial justicelast_img read more

77-Year-Old Man Dies From COVID-19 In Cattaraugus County

first_imgMGN ImageOLEAN – The Cattaraugus County Health Department reported its first COVID-19 related death Tuesday.Health officials say a 77-year-old man with extensive underlying health conditions developed respiratory failure and died due to COVID-19 related complications.“We extend our deepest condolences to his family and the entire Cattaraugus County community,” said Cattaraugus County Public Health Director Dr. Kevin Watkins. “(He) was unable to overcome the extensive complications despite aggressive medical treatment.” Dr. Watkins says the man died while receiving care in a medical facility.So far there remain a total of 30 confirmed cases of the virus, with 10 active, 19 recovered and one deceased in Cattaraugus County.Officials report a total of 577 tests were administered since the outbreak began, 508 of those tests have coming back negative.Meanwhile, Chautauqua County officials reported no new confirmed cases of the virus on Tuesday.However, there remains two active cases with 22 patients recovered. Three people have died from COVID-19 in Chautauqua County. 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)last_img read more