Bookstore opens study space

first_imgNotre Dame students looking for a good place to study who find the Library too quiet, the Coleman-Morse Center too crowded and LaFortune too full of distractions now have a place to turn for a spacious but collaborative atmosphere — the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore.The Bookstore recently opened a study space on its second floor, complete with tables, comfortable chairs and light background music.Director of Retail Operations Keith Kirkpatrick said he hopes more students will begin taking advantage of this new study space.“So far we’re seeing that it’s being used — not as much as we want it to be used, but that will probably increase,” he said. “This area on the second floor has a great view — a two story window where you can see the Dome.”  The study space opened just before spring break, but Kirkpatrick said the decision to implement the space was made at the end of September.  A senior class business project was to conduct a focus group dealing with the integration of the café and the Bookstore, as well as ways to increase student traffic.“Feedback from the focus group was basically that they wanted [part of] the second floor cleaned up with desks and made it into a study area,” Kirkpatrick said.  Kirkpatrick said the Bookstore is able to be more creative with the store layout in the spring semester, when the rush of football season has ended. In the fall, the textbook department is collapsed and used for a line queue, but in the spring, that space can be consolidated for other displays.  “[Study space] is something we didn’t think about before because for us not having space allocated to sell stuff hurts the [business],” Kirkpatrick said. “But we got creative and made the space so we’re not really losing anything.”School supplies, which were previously situated toward the back of the second floor, have been moved adjacent to the study space so that all of the materials students might need are conveniently located.   “One of the other initiatives we have is to reach out to campus to create a gathering space,” Kirkpatrick said. “We have a number of departments on campus that actually hold class here — it’s almost on a weekly basis that they come downstairs … I hope they will use the upstairs also.”  Kirkpatrick said the Bookstore decided to make the space slightly bigger when they began talking to the Registrar’s Office, who needed additional space for graduation projects. The study space will be used as a sort of graduation headquarters this May. Cap and gown distribution, guest ticket pickups and senior surveys distribution will take place there on May 12 and 13.  Kirkpatrick said he hopes student traffic will continue to increase as word about the additional study space moves through campus.  “We get a good number of students [studying in the Bookstore] right now, especially in the café area downstairs. The chairs are comfortable, it’s fairly relaxed, fairly quiet, and it’s open — our hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. which is a pretty good stretch of time,” he said.  The study space will only last until the end of June, when the bookstore will begin to prepare for the 2010 football season.  “We’re going to have it up through finals, but it will probably come down by mid- summer because we’re going to need to reset the floor get ready for fall,” Kirkpatrick said.last_img read more

Foreign RAs visit for inspiration

first_imgWhen a Catholic university in Mexico decided to start a residential dorm program for its students five years ago — the first such program in a country where most students live at home during college — the university needed an established example of Catholic residential living to learn from. Enter Notre Dame, which partnered with the University of Monterrey to host three of its resident assistants (RAs) and an administrator from Wednesday to Sunday, giving them a chance to engage in dorm life and plan ways to bring the Notre Dame spirit back to Monterrey. “The people here were very welcoming and amiable,” said Hector Campbell, a junior at the University of Monterrey. “We learned a lot of things to incorporate little by little. We hope to strengthen our relationship with the university so our residents are inspired by this.” As they learned about residential life at a Catholic university, the Monterrey visitors packed plenty of activities into their five-day visit, including meetings with Office of Residential Life and Housing, Student Affairs, Campus Ministry and the rectors of the newest dorms, said Erika Garza, Student Life coordinator at the University of Monterrey. Meals were also a chance for the group to learn about life at Notre Dame. “We had activities all day and Notre Dame RAs have been with us for all our meals, so we can ask them about what they do,” said Armida Lopez, a junior at the University of Monterrey. Before leaving campus Sunday, the visitors attended a Notre Dame football game — an experience they said they were anticipating all week, especially after feeling the energy on campus Friday and Saturday. “We’ve seen very little kids and also very old people with that passion for Notre Dame,” Garza said. “The love for Notre Dame has no age.” Although the visitors said they admired Notre Dame’s residential life, differences between the two universities will make dorm life at Monterrey a distinct experience. The University of Monterrey is only 41 years old, and its residential program is barely older than Notre Dame’s Duncan Hall. Only 420 of the university’s 12,000 students live on campus, compared to 80 percent of Notre Dame undergraduates. The university also only has two dormitories — one for men and one for women — connected by a garden, sharing one chapel and with no inter-dorm visitation. “There are plenty of common areas on the rest of campus,” Garza said. While Notre Dame already has a long and rich dorm history, Lopez said, at the University of Monterrey, “we are still creating that history.” Lopez and the other visitors had plenty of ideas for creating their campus’ own traditions — ideas gleaned from their observations of Notre Dame residential living and from advice given by Notre Dame’s rectors and resident assistants. “I learned that students form a sense of dorm identity through activities,” Lopez said. “For RAs, there’s a line between friendship and authority.” Garza said she picked up some very concrete tips from her Notre Dame visit. “Many of the campus activities work because they’re free. The residents don’t have to pay anything,” she said. “Dorms should put most things to a vote so that residents feel involved in decisions.” One thing not be up for debate, however, is penalties for rule infractions, Garza said. “There has to be a sense of importance to the sanctions,” Garza said. “We want rules about alcohol [and other disciplinary issues] to be successful.” The Monterrey visitors said they also want to bring home another unique aspect of Notre Dame’s campus culture: its spirituality. “We don’t have anything like the Grotto, but we’d like to incorporate more spirituality,” Lopez said. “It’s amazing that students here still go to Mass and pray at the Grotto without their parents telling them.” The Monterrey group said they enjoyed their visit so much that they are already planning ways to come back to campus. Garza said she wants to spend a month at Notre Dame during the summer working with the Office of Residence Life and Housing, and the students said they hope that the partnership between the two universities grows — including a possible trip by Notre Dame students to Monterrey. The Monterrey visitors also visited Loyola University in Chicago after they left Notre Dame for a further example of residential life at a Catholic university. As they left campus Sunday, they left a message for the Notre Dame students and administrator: “Thank you, and Go Irish!”last_img read more

Students evacuated from Cairo begin classes three weeks late in London and South Bend

first_imgOne year ago, junior Chris Luboja began preparing to spend the spring 2011 semester studying abroad in Cairo. This week, he moved into Stanford Hall, enrolled in classes on campus and met with professors and advisors to make sure he could catch up after beginning classes three weeks late. Luboja is one of 12 Notre Dame students who were evacuated from Cairo on Jan. 31 due to ongoing protests in Egypt. The students arrived in Cairo Jan. 20, planning to spend a semester at the American University in Cairo (AUC). After their evacuation, they chose between returning to Notre Dame’s campus in South Bend and entering Notre Dame’s London Program. “It is disappointing,” Luboja said. “Obviously you get to see a bit of history, which is really amazing, but at the same time all of us were ready to be there for four months and experience that area and travel around that region.” As one of five students who returned to South Bend, Luboja said he based his decision on his personal comfort level. “I had spent the last year kind of mentally preparing myself for Cairo, so I don’t think I was really in the mindset to jump on board with London,” he said. Luboja said he was able to enroll in courses that will allow him to continue working toward his majors in finance and Arabic. “The University pretty much left all the doors open for us,” he said. “They were really accommodating because they want to make sure we graduate on time and get the classes we need.” Junior Alex Huth, who was in Cairo with Luboja, decided to enter Notre Dame’s London Program. “I wanted to go to London because I had already decided I wanted to study abroad,” he said. Mike Huth, Alex’s father, said he encouraged Alex to go to London. “I think all of them were really unhappy with the way things turned out and really disappointed,” Mike said. “We were kind of encouraging them to go to London, … stay the course on this overseas semester.” Alex arrived in London with six other Notre Dame students last week. He said the process of being evacuated from Egypt to Turkey, deciding whether to go to London or return to South Bend and scheduling courses for the semester was more stressful than the days he spent in Cairo without access to Internet or mobile phone connections. The University was helpful, Alex said, but the process was “a nightmare.” While Alex has not determined whether he will continue his major in Arabic in addition to his finance major, he said Notre Dame’s London Program is working to arrange an Arabic course for the students who left Cairo. “In my opinion, Notre Dame did a really good job being accommodating to us,” he said. Alex said he and the six other students who were originally in Cairo live in a dormitory building in Chelsea, an area of the city that is a 45 minute walk from Notre Dame’s campus in Trafalgar Square. The other Notre Dame undergraduates studying in London live more than an hour walking distance from Chelsea. Junior Henry Hodes also chose to go to London after leaving Cairo. Despite the disappointment of leaving Cairo, he said he is happy to still have a study abroad experience. “I’ve not regretted it since we got here,” Hodes said. “Again, it’s not Cairo, it’s not what we originally intended,” he said. “We’re having to be a little flexible when it comes to where we’re living, for example.” Mike Huth said while it was scary to be out of touch with his son while he was in Cairo, he was impressed by Notre Dame’s communication with parents. “There was about a two-day period where we really didn’t have much contact at all with [Alex] and … we were glued to CNN pretty much from the time we got up from the time we went to bed,” Mike said. “[Notre Dame] did a great job of staying in touch by e-mail and the American University in Cairo also did a great job.” Luboja said he and the other 11 students continue to follow media coverage of the events in Egypt. “Now it’s a little personal having been there,” he said. He also had the opportunity to meet Egyptian students and has kept in touch with them since he left Cairo. “Every time I talk to them they say, ‘You have to come back’ because I think they kind of feel bad that they weren’t able to see everything,” Luboja said. “I definitely plan on going back once everything stabilizes.”last_img read more

Arts and Letters adds new minor

first_imgThe College of Arts and Letters recently announced a new cross-disciplinary minor in Philosophy, Religion and Literature (PRL), open to students of all majors      Professor Henry Weinfield of the Program of Liberal Studies will direct the new minor, which he said will replace the former Philosophy and Literature minor. “Last year, I was asked by John McGreevy, the dean of the College of Arts and Letters, to take over the directorship of the Philosophy and Literature minor, which had existed for at least a decade,” Weinfield said. “In the discussions I had with the dean, we both agreed that it made sense to combine Philosophy and Literature with Religion and Literature, which had not yet been formally organized as a minor.” Weinfield said the minor, which will be formally launched in the spring semester, will require 15 credit hours. The requirements will include a three-credit Gateway Seminar in philosophy and literature or religion and literature, a three-credit capstone essay and three additional three-credit courses. According to the minor’s website, the course of study will be organized along two separate tracks, Philosophy and Literature and Religion and Literature. Despite the existence of two options, Weinfield said students in the minor will take classes that incorporate elements of the other track. “If students concentrate in Philosophy and Literature, for example, they must take at least one course in Religion and Literature,” Weinfield said. Weinfield said he worked with professors Vittorio Montemaggi of the Department of Romance Languages and Literature, David O’Connor of the Department of Philosophy and Susannah Monta of the Department of English to craft the new minor. Weinfield said he is looking forward to the exchange among disciplines that the minor will facilitate. “The PRL minor brings together disciplines that have traditionally been central to Notre Dame,” he said. “Literature frequently has a religious or philosophical dimension, and so it’s natural that philosophy, religion and literature be conjoined and brought into conversation with one another.” Weinfield said the minor is open to all students who want to consider the relationships among the three disciplines.” “There are many students at Notre Dame who are pursuing majors that previously did not allow them to accommodate their interests in philosophy, religion and literature,” he said. “These students will now have a home.” Montemaggi said the minor is intended to be simple for students of all colleges and majors to pick up. “Without compromising academic rigor, the minor is designed to have maximum flexibilit, so as to allow students to pursue the trajectory within it most congenial to them, in fruitful connection with the rest of their studies and interests,” Montemaggi said. Weinfield said he hopes the new minor will also prompt interchange among students and faculty of all departments. “In the College of Arts and Letters, we want to be building bridges and creating conversations that involve undergraduates, graduate student, and professors in ways that go beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries, and we want people in other colleges to be part of those conversations,” Weinfield said. “Hopefully, the PRL minor will be a vehicle for doing all of this.” Contact Nicole McAlee at [email protected]last_img read more

Professor reviews masculinity and media

first_imgNotre Dame professor of theology John Cavadini said society has forgotten what it truly means to be a man in his talk “Media and Manliness: A Brief Study“ at the Edith Stein Conference on Friday.To illustrate his point, Cavadini described the book “How to Be a Man,” which he said profiles individuals whom authors consider great men. Cavadini said the book failed to portray a positive ideal of masculinity.“Many stories [in the book], which answered the question how to be a man, depicted promiscuous, disloyal, cowardly, uncouth, abusive, violent, unfaithful, chauvinist, discourteous, greedy, ruthless, parasitical and lazy men,” he said.Many men may fall into these categories, so it is good to be warned about following in their footsteps, Cavadini said.“But the fact that the title of all of the stories is “How to be a Man” puts them into a different perspective,” he said. “That is, as though as a culture we have forgotten that the word ‘man’ can represent any ideal with positive content. Or as though as a culture we are uncomfortable with the very idea that the word ‘man’ might have something distinctive and positive about it.”Negative media portrayals of what it means to be a man have the power to harm men’s opinions of themselves, Cavadini said, just as misogynistic portrayals of women in the media are harmful to women.“Feminist writers of the last decades have rightly pointed out that standard cultural narratives about women are internalized by many girls and women as self-loathing, precisely insofar as they are women,” he said. “I wonder now if our standard cultural narratives about men are beginning to do the same thing.”There are portrayals in the media of what it means to be a true man although they are not often recognized as such, Cavadini said. An episode of “The Office” ends with Michael Scott crying while he professes his love for his girlfriend Jan. Throughout the episode, other characters assert their manliness through acts of force and control, but it is Michael’s profession of love that is most manly, Cavadini said.“What’s more manly than the risk of assertion of true love?” he said. “Whatever else it is, true manliness seems to involve not force … not control … not the status of domination … but the risk of self-assertion that makes one truly vulnerable and accountable.“Putting oneself in a position where one risks looking silly, but has something to live up to — the risk of love, which will always involve the waiver of the privilege which disdains love and tries to replace it with force, control or status. None of the other versions of manliness involve any risk freely accepted.”True masculinity is ultimately more gentle than what the media portrays or what society believes, Cavadini said.“The message seems to be that true manliness has nothing to fear from a world which seems to deconstruct the privileges of masculinity because true masculinity has nothing to do with these things in the first place,” he said. “True manliness, it seems, is the willingness in a man to take the risk of the assertion of love, that is, of self-gift, magic that was always the reality all along.”Tags: Edith Stein, Edith Stein Project Conference, How to Be a Man, John Cavadini, Media and Manlinesslast_img read more

Notre Dame under investigation for Title IX violation

first_imgThe University of Notre Dame is under investigation by the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) for possible Title IX violations pertaining to the University’s handling of sexual violence cases, University spokesman Dennis Brown said in an email Monday evening.The OCR said today that it had opened the investigation on Feb. 19.“The accused student in this matter is no longer enrolled at the university as of the spring semester of 2015, nearly a year before we learned of the OCR charge,” Brown said.Notre Dame is one of 167 colleges and universities under investigation, according to a list released by the OCR.The University had previously been under investigation for possible Title IX violations related to its handling of sexual assault cases in 2011, according to a letter sent in 2011 to University President Fr. Jenkins from the OCR. The OCR opened the investigation in December 2010, after the death of Saint Mary’s College first-year Lizzy Seeberg. Seeberg killed herself after reporting that she had been sexually assaulted by Prince Shembo, a Notre Dame football player.The investigation was resolved on June 30, 2011 and Notre Dame agreed to make changes in its handling of sexual assault cases, according to the OCR resolution. The University agreed to educate students on the reporting process and the steps law enforcement will take after a report is filed, the resolution said. It also agreed to conclude Title IX investigations within 60 days of a complaint, the resolution said.Tags: Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, sexual assault, sexual violence, Title IX, title ix processlast_img read more

Former civil rights lawyer reflects on career

first_imgA year ago, Russell Lovell, professor emeritus at Drake Law School, got a call from Benny Anders, the president of the Iowa-Nebraska chapter of the NAACP. Anders joked that now that Lovell was retired, he was now going to be working full time for the NAACP after years of being a volunteer civil rights lawyer. According to Lovell, “it’s been pretty much the case.” Thursday evening, in the Eck School of Law, Lovell, a 1966 graduate of Notre Dame, discussed his many years with the NAACP, with whom he has been recently fighting the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. Lovell also spoke on his inspirations for becoming a civil rights lawyer, the challenges that caused within his family and the importance of public service and civility. Lovell’s talk is part of programming for Notre Dame’s “Walk the Walk” week, honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Lovell said that his passion for civil rights started with his admiration of Jackie Robinson as a child, when his mother bought him a book on the Brooklyn Dodgers second baseman. Lovell said he was shocked by “the kind of harassment the kind of terrorism the kind of threats he faced being the black man who integrated this American game that was a white man’s game.”Lovell said that his views on civil rights didn’t become solidified until later in life because of his conservative upbringing in a country that was “the only red county north of the Mason-Dixon line when Goldwater ran.”Another figure who influenced Lovell was Ed Murphy, a Notre Dame law professor and his advisor during his time with the Young Republicans at Notre Dame.“What I recall about him was, and I think it’s really important to you today, he was the model for civility,” Lovell said. “When I hear the president-elect talking about his enemies … Ed Murphy would never talk about his enemies. He might talk about the Democrats who he disagreed with as opponents with different views, but he would never use the word enemies.”During his time at Notre Dame, Lovell said that he also began to question his views because of the work of University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh.“[Hesburgh] was a catalyst by example … almost no other American had the impact on peace and justice that he had over these years and so he was clearly a role model for me,” Lovell said. “He always had me thinking in terms of, if I disagreed with some of his views, he made me rethink those views.”As Lovell moved closer and closer to advocating for civil rights, he drifted further and further from his parents who did not share his views. This came to a head when Lovell protested against a restaurant that his father legally represented because it would not admit a black classmate during his time at the University of Nebraska’s School of Law.The singular event that Lovell sights as being instrumental in driving him to spend his life fighting for civil rights was the King assassination.“[King] died when I was in law school, martyred in 1968,” Lovell said. “I remember the emotions across the nation, the riots. In Lincoln, Nebraska, people just poured out onto the streets, marched to the only black and white integrated church there. If there was ever an a-ha moment that was the one.”After this moment, and after two years as a law clerk, Lovell began his career as a civil rights lawyer in Indianapolis, later moving to Drake University to teach law and volunteering with the NAACP, which he called the, “oldest, the boldest and — to use contemporary terms — the baddest civil rights organization in the country.”Lovell concluded his talk by advocating for students to engage in public service and fight against racial discrimination.“You don’t get rich doing it, but you can make a living do it,” Lovell said. “So my challenge to you is to give a thought to raising the status of lawyers in the eyes of the public, make a difference, consider racial justice. The country is in crying need for people to be more involved.” Tags: Civil Rights, NAACP, Notre Dame Law Schoollast_img read more

Jenkins releases statement addressing repeal of DACA

first_imgUniversity President Fr. John Jenkins released a statement Tuesday condemning the repeal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the program would end.“A decision to discontinue DACA would be foolish, cruel and un-American,” Jenkins said in the statement. “Foolish because it drives away talented people the country needs; cruel because it abandons people who have done nothing wrong and have known life only in the United States; and un-American because we have always welcomed immigrants to our land of opportunity.” Wei Cao | The Observer Students gathered in front of the Main Building on God Quad last fall to demonstrate their support for DACA students at Notre Dame.Jenkins promised Notre Dame would continue to advocate for DACA students.“In coming days, I hope to meet with congressional leaders to argue for a permanent fix to this pressing problem,” he said in the statement. “In the meantime, Notre Dame will continue to support DACA students financially, maintain their enrollment even if Congress fails to act and provide expert legal assistance should it become necessary.”Tags: DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivalslast_img read more

Polar Vortex: Tri-campus community closes as temperatures near record lows

first_imgTags: Polar Vortex, Snow Day, winter weather Holy Cross students share power-outage experienceNotre Dame alumni discuss 1985 Polar Vortex-like temperatures Christina Interiano Maintenance staff persevere, keep working during Polar Vortex temperaturesSaint Mary’s students, staff, faculty discuss safety measures taken during dangerous winter weatherCold weather causes multiple leaks, pipe bursts at Universitylast_img

Creche Pilgrimage features nativity scenes, brings community in to meditate

first_imgSong, prayer and children’s voices rang out across campus this Sunday as the South Bend and Notre Dame communities came together for Notre Dame’s sixth annual Creche Pilgrimage. Hosted by the McGrath Institute for Church Life, the event featured 30 creches — Nativity scenes — from Africa which were distributed around seven different locations on Notre Dame’s campus, including Jenkins-Nanovic Halls, the Eck Vistors Center, Coleman Morse Center, Geddes Hall, Hesburgh Library, Main Building and the Snite Museum of Art. Starting at Jenkins-Nanovic Hall, participants spent time viewing and meditating at the various creches while the Notre Dame Our Lady’s Consort Chamber Choir serenaded them in the background. After a gospel reading and recitation of a mystery of the Rosary, participants filed out to repeat the same program at the next few stops on the pilgrimage. The event was widely attended by residents of the South Bend community, especially parents with young children.Senior Theresa Rice, a Church Life intern for the McGrath Institute, said the event was intended to unify the South Bend and Notre Dame campus communities during the Advent season.  “It seems a really intuitive union of a campus community that sometimes a little insular — and a larger South Bend community,” Rice said. “It’s one of those events the McGrath Institute does that reaches out — that doesn’t just serve Notre Dame or the academic community but serves the parish and local family community as well. I think one purpose [of the event] is just to foster that engagement but also to enrich our understanding of the Nativity.”Each creche depicted the Nativity uniquely, inviting the viewer to contemplate a different aspect of Christ’s birth. While some creches show Christ being welcomed with joy and celebration, others focused more on the poverty and lowliness he was born into. All sought to emphasize Christ as the central figure, according to the printed brochure for the event.  “I think my own engagement with the Nativity story has been really cool,” Rice said. “We have 30 creches and I got to write the descriptions for each of them. So I meditated on the pictures provided … and think about, what does it mean that Mary is kneeling in this one? What does it mean that there are four shepherds in this one but no shepherds and three wisemen in the other one?” Many of the participants of the event expressed similar appreciation for the beauty and compelling narratives the creches offered. One creche made of corn husks captured the attention of Gail Dukes, a librarian at the Holy Cross School in South Bend.  “Their eyes were huge. I think eyes are mirrors to the soul and the explanation of how they were amazed at the child and what was happening — their eyes were just amazed,” Dukes said. “And I liked the detailed creches with the beads — to make those ones you have to sit down and connect every bead. … You have to be dedicated to finishing such detailed work.”Rice said seeing the enthusiasm of participants like Duke is one of the things that makes the event so special. “Just seeing people’s engagement with the displays … that’s been really cool to see the way it has enriched the campus community,” Rice said. “And it’s so great to have them [the creches] around to remind me of Christmas, you know, when life gets busy.” Graduate student Angela Martinez said she appreciated the way the event spread Christmas spirit to the broader community.“I live in town now, so it’s nice how campus is able to offer this for the community and for families, and help us enter into the Christmas spirit in the life of Christ,” Martinez said. Tags: creches, nativity scene, Pilgrimagelast_img read more

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