Alta Gracia promotes fair factory practices

first_imgFocused on promoting service and socially responsible business practices, members of the Notre Dame community met in Geddes Hall on Wednesday to discuss the apparel company Alta Gracia. The clothing company provides workers with living wages while maintaining competitive pricing in the apparel market. Since its inception 10 years ago, Alta Gracia has surpassed Nike and adidas as the No. 1 supplier of collegiate apparel and is gaining ground as Notre Dame’s chief source of blank T-shirts, event presenters said.  Alta Gracia’s website states it is also the only clothing factory in the world that pays the people who make the clothing a living wage, the amount of money needed to support a family. During the presentation “Alta Gracia: Changing Lives One Shirt at a Time,” senior Alta Gracia intern Caitlin Alli said the company can provide adequate food, clean water, clothing, shelter, healthcare, child care and education for its workers by charging $0.30 more per shirt.   “With the extra $0.30, Alta Gracia is able to pay their workers a living wage of $2.83 an hour — that is 240 percent higher than the minimum wage of $0.83 an hour in the Dominican Republic,” Alli said. College students nationwide have demonstrated an interest in paying extra if it means their purchases will have a direct positive impact on workers’ lives. Notre Dame, Duke, UCLA and Brown are among the 350 schools nationwide that are currently working with Alta Gracia to produce their collegiate apparel. Alta Gracia has already partnered with The Shirt Committee and agreed to produce The Shirt for the 2012 football season. Junior Andrew Alea, president of the 2012 Shirt Committee, said Alta Gracia’s mission makes it the perfect vendor for this year’s version of The Shirt. “They produce quality shirts, have a quick turnaround time, are fully committed to The Shirt Project and their message of ‘changing lives one shirt at a time’ is consistent with the inherent goals of The Shirt Project and the University of Notre Dame,” Alea said. According to the presentation, Alta Gracia relies heavily on workers’ stories and college student activism for marketing. Senior Amanda Meza had the opportunity to visit the Alta Gracia factory in the Dominican Republic last spring. “During my time in the Alta Gracia village in the Dominican Republic, I stayed with a local family,” Meza said.  “There was little water and the electricity went out frequently. I was able to talk with the factory workers and to spend some time in their shoes.” Meza has since returned to Notre Dame with a passion for the Alta Gracia cause and hopes the community becomes more involved in the company’s mission. “Alta Gracia can make the shirt for any Notre Dame club on campus,” said Meza.  “The factory makes the literal shirt, and a local South Bend vendor imprints the graphics. We need students’ support.” Sophomore Alta Gracia intern Samuel Evola said Notre Dame’s proponents of Alta Gracia are working to sell more of the company’s clothing at the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, as well.   “We know that socially responsible clothing is highly profitable, so we hope the [Hammes] Notre Dame Bookstore will support Alta Gracia,” Evola said. “We’re hoping to have as much as $500,000 worth of Alta Gracia gear for sale in the bookstore down the road.”last_img read more

Notre Dame Running Club expands to include men

first_imgThe Women’s Running Club recently expanded to include men under the new name of the Notre Dame Running Club. The women placed third and the men finished fifth at regionals, which took place at the University of Kentucky two weekends ago.Senior Claire Brady and junior Liam O’Connor, co-presidents of the running club, said they received approval from RecSports to merge the two groups right before fall break.“It worked out really nicely since we were changing our constitution a little bit, changing our club-tier status to include both competitive and non-competitive components,” Brady said. “It’s been a very good collaboration in the few weeks that it’s been going on.”O’Connor said the men’s running group went through a long process of getting approval. Since there was a moratorium on new clubs by RecSports due to limited resources, Brady said expanding the club to include men seemed sensible.“The men’s running club was denied officially three semesters in a row, and at that point we reached out to the women’s club and started working on the possibility of one co-ed club,” O’Connor said.Merging with the women’s running club meant the men could officially race in competitions since runners are required to be a part of a recognized club in order to compete in the league, Brady said.“I think there are over a hundred members of the NIRCA (National Intercollegiate Running Club Association), which is the league, so pretty much every major institution [participates],” O’Connor said.Sophomore John Riordan said races include the majority of the Division-I running schools.“We’re in the most competitive region, so Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State are all really good,” O’Connor said.While the fall season consists mainly of cross-country races, O’Connor said the running club trains year-round and combines three sports into one: cross country, track and road races.“We do want to stress that [the club is] open to runners of all levels and experience … ” Brady said. “Grad students can join as well, and they’re allowed to compete in the league too, so that’s pretty cool.”Women interested in joining the running club can either email Brady at [email protected] or show up to practice, which Brady said is held Mondays and Wednesdays at 5 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on God Quad.Junior Bridget Bruns, running club treasurer, said the club is a great way to get active and be outside.“It’s a great community, and I love all the girls,” she said. “If you like running, you should join.”The men’s team meets at 4 p.m. at the steps of LaFortune Student Center, and Brady said men interested in joining the club can either show up to practice or email O’Connor at [email protected]“The guys have daily practice, and most active members show up at least three times a week,” O’Connor said.Running with the club is a great outlet for people to relieve stress, get outside and run, Riordan said.“You can come to as many practices as you want,” Brady said. “We also have fun runs on the weekends. We went to a park nearby to run some trails last Saturday, and I think we’ll try to do some more things like that.”Tags: Division I, RecSports, Running club, women’s running clublast_img read more

Bolstering a relationship with South Bend

first_imgIn a February interview with The Observer, now-student body president Lauren Vidal said the top priority for her and vice president Matthew Devine, both seniors, was to promote service both on campus and in the community.“We really have this idea of service, and although we understand that’s a broad term, we really [prioritize] service to our peers and to our community as a whole,” she said in the interview. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Huth Student Government sponsored Quad Markets on Oct. 10 on North Quad. Local vendors sold goods ranging from accessories to produce.Now, 10 months into their term leading Notre Dame’s student government, Vidal and Devine have narrowed their service focus while also expanding their vision of a more complete, mutually beneficial relationship between students and the city of South Bend.“We’ve really tried to be very deliberate with how we approach that image of [students] going out into the community and trying to also balance bringing part of the culture of South Bend to campus and also helping students to find ways that fit their lifestyle so that they can go off into South Bend and explore, or at least have some sort of visibility to what South Bend is,” Devine said.Through programs such as Quad Markets, the recently launched 29 for 29 — which pairs each residence hall with a South Bend family that has recently moved out of the Center for the Homeless in order to build relationships between students and South Bend residents — and the annual CommUniversity Day, Vidal and Devine have striven to create a stronger bond between the University and the city.South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said the relationship has grown deeper over the course of Vidal and Devine’s administration and recent years.“I think our relationship is enviable as college towns go,” Buttigieg said. “I’ve been in university communities where there isn’t a good relationship, where it’s either hostile — I’d say that’s true at, for example, Harvard and Cambridge — or where the university and the community are kind of doing their own thing and not very involved with each other.“Here is very different. And it’s important that we not take that for granted because we really benefit from it.While University president emeritus Fr. Theodore (Ted) Hesburgh advanced Notre Dame as a global institution during his administration, Buttigieg said, University administrators and students have continued to cultivate an international presence, but also develop a robust relationship with the local community.Buttigieg said collaborative projects such as the Eddy Street Commons, the Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture on West Washington St., the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Facility and Notre Dame involvement in community organizations such as La Casa de Amistad and the Robinson Community Learning Center are recent developments that have greatly benefited both the city and the University.“All of that would have been very hard to picture 10 or 20 years ago,” Buttigieg said.In response to recent student feedback, Vidal and Devine have also addressed the issue of crime in the community in collaboration with local law enforcement agencies, holding periodic meetings with representatives from the University, city, county and state levels.“In terms of the relationship with South Bend, finding the most effective channels of communication has been a key to our relationship with local law enforcement,” Vidal said.“It’s been a huge success. We’ve seen that really opening a forum for communication between all the parties allows us to figure out what’s really happening in terms of looking at all the instances of crime or robbery or burglary and figuring out what we can do as students to encourage safety and what they can do better in terms of serving us.”Buttigieg said clear channels of communication between students and the city extend beyond law enforcement, and there is still room for growth in the relationship.“There are so many different dimensions to the relationship — students as people who get involved, volunteer, start things, do things in the city; students as residents, whether you’ve got students living in the city limits or not, they’re all in the community and so we need to make sure we’re meeting the needs of students, and there’s no better voice for that than student government; [and] students as participants in the economy, working or shopping or eating or drinking in the city,” he said.“All of those things will work better if student government is able to create a flow of information about where the opportunities are for the students to know and then where the needs are for us to know, so that we’re doing a better job of connecting students to the community at large. I think a more structured relationship would probably help us get a feel for what’s on students’ minds and how much access they feel they have to the city.”Buttigieg said small changes, like signs pointing out that downtown South Bend is less than two miles from the heart of campus, can help make a positive difference.Devine said more students have also contributed to the growth of the relationship by taking advantage of work experience available in South Bend.“There have been a lot of people who have started looking at South Bend in different ways,” Devine said. “There have been a lot more people taking advantage of professional opportunities here in South Bend.”Through internships and volunteer opportunities, students can gain meaningful experience and career preparation, Buttigieg said.“Students can get that hands-on experience not just as practice … but as real-world impact,” he said. “And they’ll find a lot of partners, not just in city government, but in the non-profit community, the business community. It’s a small enough community that you can navigate it and have an impact at a young age in a short of amount of time.”Vidal, who spent the summer in South Bend interning for Indiana Legal Services, said she had a positive experience and grew more attached to the city, as more students have done, too, through cultural events and unique dining options in South Bend.“There are a lot of new and exciting businesses in South Bend, … a lot of cool new restaurants that we’ve seen that a lot of students have adopted as their own,” Vidal said.Buttigieg said students have become more “active citizens” and bring ideas he never would have thought of to the city rather than the city soliciting student help.“There’s a level of energy there that’s really exciting,” he said. “And we’re going beyond the traditional model of student involvement as going down to the soup kitchen.Going down to the soup kitchen is great, but we’ve got students applying their talents in so many different ways to the life of the city.”For their part, Vidal and Devine have sought to bring South Bend to campus and encourage students to bring campus to South Bend.“There are lots of positive things obviously happening in South Bend,” Devine said. “We’ve tried to promote the visibility of it, too, but also bring some of those positives to campus and help us develop our image off campus, too, as what we can be as a University.”Overall, Buttigieg said he hopes the relationship between the University and the city stands out as one of the strongest elements of both parties.“Our goal is for the relationship with the city to be one of the reasons you would come to the University of Notre Dame,” Buttigieg said.Tags: City of South Bend, Downtown South Bend, Lauren Vidal, Matthew Devine, Notre Dame, Pete Buttigieg, South Bend, Student governmentlast_img read more

Cartographer delivers keynote for GIS Day

first_imgIt’s an exciting time to be a cartographer.Tim Wallace, a graphics editor and cartographer for the New York Times and Ph.D. candidate in geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, delivered the keynote speech, titled “Newsroom Geography,” at Notre Dame’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day. The speech, given Wednesday afternoon in Carey Auditorium at Hesburgh Library, was part of Notre Dame’s second annual Digital Week and explored the design process and applications of cartography in journalism.GIS Day is an “annual salute to geospatial technology and its power to transform and better our lives and the lives of those around us,” according to the Center for Research Computing’s website.Wallace said his design process is influenced by the belief that the best graphics are those that facilitate reader comprehension by making complex stories accessible.“A really good graphic will immediately give you the story,” Wallace said. “You don’t want to overburden or overwhelm your reader. A good principle that I work with would be, ‘How can I strip this down, or design this thing, so that the person who I’m communicating with knows what I’m talking about immediately and fully understands the concept that I’m trying to convey when they finish reading it?’”In reports of investigations of disasters, such as the Malaysian Airlines flight that disappeared in 2014, Wallace said geographical graphics can be especially useful in transmitting complex data to readers.“People were really craving information when flight MH370 went missing,” Wallace said. “We’re always looking for reliable data to show what’s happening, and it doesn’t always come in a very friendly, mapping-ready format. We have to find the pattern in the data, the signal in the noise. We find the visual to support the story.”Comparative geographic visuals also help to make areas all over the world accessible to readers, especially through graphical juxtaposition of familiar locales with distant ones, Wallace said. And while most of his cartography work is done from within an office, creating graphics of spaces worldwide engenders passion to visit those places, he said.“It’s a job that inspires wanderlust,” he said.Interactive maps, he said, are a favorite of readers because they allow sophisticated spatial mapping of information, such as chronological maps that show stories visually developing in time. Advancements in technology have transformed the industry, as mapmakers can now use more precise data and more high resolution satellite imagery than ever before.“I would say that nowadays we are experiencing ‘geo heyday,’” Wallace said. “If you compare it to past times — people have always been making maps and doing geography, but the tools for visualization have changed.”Cartography at the New York Times has been impacted by recent trends toward readers consuming news online rather than in print, he said.“One of the foremost things we think about when we’re making our maps is not just to show the geography but also to think of the scale of the display that people are consuming information on,” Wallace said. “More recently in the last few months we have started creating graphics that are really designed to be mobile first.”Wallace said he was excited about the possibility for geographical content to continue to create and support journalistic storytelling on the cutting edge.“Nowadays, it seems like the sky’s the limit. We can do a lot with interactive data. We can do a lot with colors,” he said. “But maybe we’ll find over time that that sky wasn’t the limit.”Tags: cartography, Digital Week, GIS Daylast_img read more

Saint Mary’s alumna examines women in the workforce

first_imgSaint Mary’s alumna Mary Burke presented as a keynote speaker on women in the workforce for the College’s 11th annual Diverse Students’ Leadership Conference (DSLC) on Monday.Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer According to the Student Diversity Board’s website, Burke, who graduated in 1985, has had over 25 years of investment banking experience within the food industry. She specializes in financial restructuring, recapitalizations, turnarounds, private and public placements of debt and equity capital, as well as providing corporate finance and strategic advisory services. She is currently a founding partner of Lakeshore Food Advisors, LLC.In her talk, she said there is more to a career than just the money made.“Sure, we work to make some money … but I think another way to look at it is, we are all looking for meaning, engagement, challenge and satisfaction,” she said.She credits her conceptions of being female in a male-dominated field as stemming from advice that a former boss gave Burke when she was one of the only women in her field, she said.“My boss pulled me aside and said, ‘Mary, there are not really many women in the work you are doing. So whatever you do, people are going to remember,’” Burke said. “So I took that to heart, because there really are few women that I work with. Most of the clients that hire me are men.“I still believe today that if I work hard, maybe a little harder than others, and am a little better than others … that it will be remembered,” Burke said.According to Burke, women have to work harder to prove themselves in order to thrive in a male-dominated work world.“Whatever you want to do, hard work is what brings promotion and satisfaction,” she said. “No one deserves to be promoted or receive a pay raise without hard work.”The U.S. women’s soccer team and their recent lawsuit demanding higher pay exemplifies this point, Burke said.“Had these women complained and sued four years ago and really hadn’t proven themselves, they would not have been as well-heard as they are today,” she said. “Work rewards are not going to come to you for just showing up. You need to work hard, and find some meaning in it.”“ … It’s the only way because, I will tell you, there are women I have worked with over the years who will complain and bellyache about this and that,” she said. “Just if you work harder on this or that — try a little harder — you get the work done and you’re going to succeed. And that goes a long way.”Burke believes the gender gap between careers will vanish someday, but only if the conversation continues, she said.“We have to keep talking about it,” she said. “We have to make an effort. When you’re the boss, make sure you pay people equally. You have to pay it forward. I think what the U.S. women’s soccer team did was great, but they didn’t do it when they were nobody. They got really good, and then got to pay it forward for the rest of us. I think those conversations are important.”However, Burke said the data regarding differences between pay for men and women needs to be examined critically.“I think we have to look at the data, too, because I do sometimes think a lot of women are in nursing, education, social sciences, while the pay for those jobs is not necessarily the same as in investment banking, which is almost all guys,” she said. “So we have to be careful with the data. But the men and women who are nurses, they deserve the same pay for the same work.”Other keynote speakers Kristi Pellegrini and Bree Newsome will speak Tuesday as part of the Conference.Tags: Diverse Students’ Leadership Conference, DSLC, women in workforcelast_img read more

Class of 2021 demonstrates desire to be a ‘force for good’

first_imgAs the school year begins, 2,052 new faces will be welcomed as Notre Dame’s newest students on campus, comprising the graduating class of 2021.These students were chosen from a pool of 19,566 applicants — a record number for the University — among a group of 3,702 potential students admitted, for a final admissions rate of 18.9 percent. Don Bishop, associate vice president of student enrollment, said the University has increased its application numbers by 5,000 applications over the past seven years, a 35 percent overall increase. He said the record number of applicants is a testament to the University’s efforts at not only recruiting, but also engaging students.“We wanted to really engage students more than just recruit them,” Bishop said. “We’ve tried to state what we’re looking for. We’ve been more forceful in being a force for good in the world. There’s a unique mission at Notre Dame. We’ve combined this discussion of higher academics while still talking about mission and how Notre Dame’s different in its perspective.”Aside from the first-years attending Notre Dame, Bishop said, there are also 67 students entering the Holy Cross Gateway Program this fall, a program which ensures acceptance into Notre Dame their sophomore year if students successfully maintain a minimum GPA at Holy Cross. Bishop said the academic profile of these Gateway students would place them in the top 35 most selective research universities in the nation.In the enrolling class, 54 percent received a Notre Dame scholarship with the average funded scholarship totaling $36,000 for a student with demonstrated need. Bishop said among the nation’s top 20 private research universities, Notre Dame ranks 5th in the highest percentage of students receiving financial aid scholarships.“The word ‘engagement’ is really important,” Bishop said. “Rather than just recruiting, we’ve tried to engage community-based organizations that have long-term relationships with high-ability students from low-income status. We’ve formed partnerships … with several big organizations who know their students for us to get to know them.”Bishop said the need for financial diversity is important as well, and that the admissions department tries to accommodate for students from all financial backgrounds rather than just recruiting from the extremes of the spectrum.“We don’t just have wealthy students and low-income students, we actually have a pretty strong middle-class as well,” he said.The class of 2021 is particularly diverse in other areas as well, such as geographic location. Bishop said the University has tried to expand its global reach, and this year the incoming class will collectively travel over 1.5 million miles to begin their college careers at Notre Dame, with 750 miles being the median distance for an incoming student. This is also the first time Notre Dame will enroll over 1,000 women in its first-year class, Bishop said. This year, the largest metro area for enrolled students is New York City, the incoming class is 81 percent Catholic, 24 percent are children of alumni and 32 percent are international students or U.S. students of color.The application process was also more selective for the class of 2021 due to a large pool of high-achieving applicants. While over 7,500 applicants had a high school performance, a national test score or both that put them in the top 1 percent of the nation, Bishop said, only a third of these applicants were admitted. “We’re using the numbers less,” he said. “As you get more competitive, you stop using a certain set of numbers as much as you used to because they’re so high.“How much is there a difference between a 1580 on the SAT and a 1540? Or a 35 on the ACT compared to a 36? So you should make your decision based on other attributes on the application. We try to make the decision more on a holistic basis rather than just an algorithm based on numbers.”Bishop said the admissions committee tried to fill the incoming class with students who strived to be ambitious in areas other than just the classroom.“Compared to other universities, our students really believe in the mission of being a force for good in the world,” Bishop said. “Our students are this interesting balance. … There’s a balance between strong ambition to be successful and an expert in something, but also to have that expertise and that talent lead towards serving others.”Each decision to accept a member of the class of 2021 was done intentionally and with careful thought by the admissions committee, Bishop said.“At the end, I don’t feel there is a luck of the draw experience — it really is a very thought-filled, intentional set of decisions,” he said. “We understand exactly why this student got that spot. We’re trying to satisfy a lot of goals that the University has. So we’re looking for students in certain fields of study, the athletic department is recruiting athletes … we have all sorts of goals that the University has for us.“There has been, over the last seven or eight years, an evolution of more creativity, more intellectual curiosity among the students at Notre Dame. They seem to be really wanting to think more about not only their academic life, but doing something with it.”Tags: Class of 2021, Notre Dame admissions, Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Welcome Weekend 2017last_img read more

Conference reflects on Fair Housing Act

first_imgA conference dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act started Thursday night and will feature several panels and speakers on Friday starting at 9:30 a.m. at Eck Hall of Law. This all-day conference hopes to re-educate people as to why the Fair Housing Act, passed in 1968, is still relevant today and why housing issues still deserve the public’s attention.“We also want this conference to be an opening conversation to re-look at fair housing issues,” Judith Fox, clinical professor of law and the organizer of the event, said in an email. “There is a misconception out there that discrimination has been ‘solved.’ It has just changed clothes.”Recently, the St. Joseph County Bar Foundation organized a reading group dedicated to issues of discrimination. One book it focused on was Gabrielle Robinson’s “Better Homes of South Bend,” which tells the story of African-American workers who came up north for jobs. When they were unable to buy homes, they created their own neighborhood of homes.“Although the Fair Housing Act was passed 50 years ago, we cannot celebrate it fully because although we have won individual victories, the battle has not been won yet,” Robinson, who will speak at the conference, said.Fox said housing discrimination is why many people have been trapped in poor neighborhoods and poverty. Another group involved in the conference, the Contract Buyers League of Chicago, came together in the 1960s over unfair land contracts pointed at African-Americans because banks refused to lend them money.“We do not teach [fair housing] … or we teach it as ancient history,” Fox said. “Housing discrimination is still a part of the American landscape.”The conference will feature other attorneys, writers and professors speaking on informational topics involving fair housing and will end with an open panel that will include policy makers, academics and local residents. The panel will discuss how discrimination appears today and how we can fight it.Jay Lewis, a South Bend lawyer involved in the conference, said that South Bend’s history of segregation led to the problems with housing that still persist today.“The segregation of our past and to some extent, our present, is at the root of the fair housing issues,” he said. “We are hoping to get some momentum at Notre Dame and in South Bend to fight for fair housing. We are hoping to get more people interested in digging into this topic and learning more about the history of South Bend.”Robinson said housing discrimination has deep ramifications and the fight for fair housing can help people in the future, as well as the future of the country in general.“I know from the ‘Better Homes’ experience that it’s not just for people to live more comfortably, but it has a huge effect on the next generation,” she said. “Fifty percent of the ‘Better Homes’ kids have college educations, and they became teachers and lawyers and professors. … It’s really important for the success of future generations.”Tags: fighting for fair housinglast_img read more

Faculty, staff and students gather for black ecumenical prayer service

first_imgEmorja Roberson, a Notre Dame graduate student in the Sacred Music department, immediately set the mood for the Black Ecumenical Prayer Service on Wednesday afternoon by leading students, faculty and members of the Notre Dame community gathered in song at Geddes Hall.Eliciting laughs from the congregation, Roberson said those gathered should enjoy and partake in the service.“We’re going to do a very simple song. One that’s very popular in the black community, and it says ‘Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around.’ … I want you to like church, so don’t feel bad if you want to clap.”After singing, the Rev. Canon Hugh R. Page Jr. — a professor of theology and Africana studies and the vice president, associate provost and dean of the First Year of Studies — welcomed those gathered. Page said Notre Dame plays an important role in ecumenism.“The Notre Dame community features prominently in the ecumenical movement for a number of reasons,” he said. “Our own theology department played home to many of the activities that were associated with liturgical reform. This was also … a place where my own denomination, the Episcopal Church, held a very important special session of its general convention to talk about addressing issues with race and inequity in our own denomination.”The noon prayer service, sponsored by the Black Faculty and Staff Association, was held in the African-American tradition with music and prayers inspired by the African-American religious experience. The theme of the service was “Stony the Road We Trod: Gathering Strength to Serve Black Students.”Following Page’s address, Roberson, accompanied by J.J. Wright, the Notre Dame Folk Choir director, led those gathered in singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” This hymn is also referred to as the “Black National Anthem,” as it became the official anthem of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in the 1920s.After a reading from Deuteronomy by senior Selwin Wainaina, Minister Karrah Herring — director of public affairs for Office of Public Affairs — delivered a short sermon, beginning by welcoming the congregation.“In the black church experience … when the speaker gets up — and if you are so moved by the spirit — it’s alright to shout an ‘amen’ or a ‘hallelujah,’” Herring said. “Can I get a witness to that?”After the congregation shouted a collective “amen,” Herring said it “might be the only amen I get for the next five minutes, but I will take that.”In her sermon, Herring drew parallels between the wilderness experience of the Israelites on their 11-day-turned-40-year journey to the promised land in Deuteronomy and the Africana community and the black experience in North American culture. Discussing why the Israelites’ journey was so delayed, she said this can be partially attributed to the disobedience and complaining among the group as well as other powers and enemies inflicting oppression and injustice on the Israelites.“I would argue that had they stopped for a few moments just to recognize the error of their own ways — regardless of what the culture was doing to them, regardless of what was happening during that time frame — had they stopped for a few moments to recognize that their murmuring, their complaining, their walking in circles wasn’t getting them to the next step that they needed to get to, I think they would have realized that they were on the brink of something great,” Herring said. “They were on the brink of the blessing of the promised land that was right in front of them within their grasp, and they didn’t see it because their minds were clouded with the issues and the challenges that were in front of them.”Herring then compared the oppression the Israelites faced to the oppression and lack of economic opportunities African Americans face in the United States. She gave statistics on the wealth gap in the United States, which says that on average, African-American family wealth sits at around $17,600 while white family wealth sits at around $171,000. Herring said such statistics make it easy to fall into the pattern of the murmuring and complaining of the Israelites.“When you look around you and you realize that on your professional journey, yourself and the people that look like you are often hitting a glass ceiling at a certain point — and when you look through that invisible barrier above you, you’re not looking at faces that have relatable characteristics looking back down at you — it could be very easy to lose faith, to lose hope and to lose direction,” Herring said.Herring said the Black Faculty and Staff Association and their allies are challenged to avoid falling into that negative cycle, and instead to support the next generation in fulfilling their destinies.“And just like God was with the children of Israel and God was with our ancestors, God is with us, covering us, guiding us, directing us so that we can move beyond our wilderness experiences and lead this next generation of leaders, students — many of whom are in the room today — into the destinies that God has called them to fulfill beyond the Golden Dome,” Herring said. “When we move out of that victim-minded state of self-pity, when we move out of the murmuring and complaining … and realize that the promised land is just on the other side of the challenges that are in front of you, I believe that we are on the brink of something great here at the University of Notre Dame.”After Herring’s sermon, Roberson and Wainaina led the congregation in singing “Made a Way,” which was followed by a litany for Black History Month. Page concluded the service with a prayer asking for the power to see and the courage to do what is necessary. Before leaving the chapel for lunch in Geddes Coffeehouse, the congregation exchanged the sign of peace in the form of hugs and handshakes.“I challenge all of us to keep in mind that though we honor the past and look to our ancestors and look to those who come before for us for guidance and wisdom, this is a new day,” Herring said in the concluding remarks of her sermon. “It is time to step into a new movement, to lead and guide the students of this University who need us to be strong so that we can all move together over it and into the promised land.”Tags: African American community, Black Ecumenical Prayer Service, Black Faculty and Staff Association, Black History Month, ecumenism, Folk Choir, Sacred Musiclast_img read more

University to begin using metal detectors at all reserved-ticket events

first_imgMetal detectors will be used at all reserve-ticketed events at Notre Dame beginning this fall, the University announced in a press release Thursday. The decision comes following recent efforts to enhance security at campus events, including enacting a clear-bag policy at all home football games.The policy will primarily affect major sporting events on campus including football games, men’s and women’s basketball games and hockey games, the release said. Metal detectors will first be used on Sept. 14 — the first home football game of the 2019 season.“As we continue to analyze our safety and security procedures, the introduction of metal detectors adds another layer of protection for guests, teams and staff,” Mike Seamon, vice president for campus safety and University operations, said in the release. “Most fans have likely experienced this added safety precaution when attending games at other college or professional venues. This technology aligns Notre Dame’s fan safety procedures with industry best practices.”Metal detectors may also be used at other sporting and non-sporting events on campus if determined to be necessary, according to the release. Individuals attending events where metal detectors are being used are encouraged to account for the metal detector process when making their plans.Individuals can learn more about the University’s security policies at Notre Dame’s official gameday website.Tags: basketball, football, gameday, Hockey, metal detectors, Notre Dame Stadium, securitylast_img read more

Saint Mary’s to continue in-person classes with new restrictions in place

first_imgIn an email to the Saint Mary’s students body Tuesday evening, President Katie Conboy addressed questions about the future of in-person classes after Notre Dame announced two weeks of remote learning.Conboy opened the email by thanking both students and faculty members who have worked to maintain a quality experience at the College.“We can see so many [students] complying daily with our masking and distancing protocols,” Conboy said in the email. “Thank you. We hope you, in turn, can see that faculty and staff have moved mountains to create a learning environment that not only aligns with our safety protocols, but also cares for those students who may require remote learning.”However, Conboy and her leadership team have concerns about growing infection numbers attributed to off-campus gatherings.“Right now, while we have only three positive cases among the Saint Mary’s College community, we are growing concerned,” Conboy said. “The trends on other campuses — high infection numbers that are largely due to off-campus activities — are undermining our own campus precautions.”While in-person classes will continue for the time being, Conboy said she will pursue preventive measures if cases continue to rise. She also urged students to stay on campus.“While we are not announcing such extreme measures at Saint Mary’s yet, we will not hesitate to do so if our positive cases spike,” Conboy said. “For now, your coursework will continue as scheduled, but we implore you to stay on campus.”To support Notre Dame’s decision to limit off-campus visitors, tri-campus dining and the Transpo sweep will be temporarily suspended. Blinkie will also only provide service to students on campus.Conboy reminded students that their behavior will determine any decisions by the College to transition to remote learning.“Our operational plan for the fall includes provisions to pivot our classes to fully remote, but no one wishes to make that decision — and I hope we won’t have to do so,” Conboy said. “Our ability to stay together will depend on your ability to adhere to these requests.”Tags: COVID-19, fall 2020, Saint Mary’s Collegelast_img read more