first_imgNotre Dame’s Army ROTC Iron Irish competition tested more than physical strength Wednesday.The second year of the annual competition placed the four army platoons against each other, racing across campus to complete tasks, Cadet Second Lieutenant and senior Scott Vitter said.Platoon B1 won after performing well through several of the events, Vitter said.“We did very well on the swimming portion,” he said. “Overall, we came out on top.”The competition is the culmination of a semester-long scored competition between the platoons, Cadet Lieutenant Colonel and senior Tom Capretta said.“The main reason we run the Iron Irish Race is to build platoon cohesion through competition.  Cohesion is important to the success of any unit in the military,” Capretta said. “As cadets, we try to improve ourselves and each other, and building a cohesive team is an important part of accomplishing that goal,” Capretta said. “The competition also affords leadership opportunities to our upperclassmen, which is important preparation for us as we look to become commissioned officers in the U.S. Army.”The Iron Irish competition included five events. The platoons competed in a timed swim, rope climb, ruck run, simulated rifle competition and a “mystery event,” which was a paintball tournament on White Fields between the platoons that was postponed due to a thunderstorm warning.“The weather was terrible, but it was a lot of fun,” Vitter said. “The storms added another dimension to the competition, making it more difficult, but people stepped up and worked.”He said event planners hope to have the paintball tournament in future years.“At the end of the day, all of the tasks are meant to be completed by everyone,” Vitter said. “There’s more to get out of the competition than who has the fastest time.”Vitter said before the competition he was hopeful his platoon would perform well as a unit.“I hope we show the camaraderie and group mentality that we’ve developed over this semester,” Vitter said.Cadet Corporal and sophomore Trevor Waliszewski, also a member of platoon B1, was also hopeful for a win.“A win would increase the solidarity of our platoon and establish as the clear favorites for all battalion competitions next year,” Waliszewski said.Waliszewski said the competition helped his platoon think together.“The Iron Irish is an event designed to motivate us to work harder during Physical Training sessions throughout the year,” he said. “As we will be completing all of our challenges as a platoon, the event encourages teamwork and makes us look out for one another.”Waliszewski said the event helps prepare for real-world combat experience.“The Army teaches us a Warrior Ethos including the statement, ‘I will never leave a fallen comrade,’ and Iron Irish allows us to put that into effect as we complete all the challenges as a team. It’s a competitive environment where we can learn lessons that will make us better officers in a real-world combat environment,” he said.Vitter said he attributes his platoon’s win to the group mentality.“Our platoon has come a long way since last semester in terms of teamwork and cohesion,” Vitter said. “That was the biggest part of today. We may not be the biggest or strongest platoon out there but we worked together and that’s what the competition was about.”last_img read more

first_imgStudents can grab free handouts and tips on energy awareness as they move through South Quad on the way to class Monday as part of Energy Week 2010. Energy Center student advisory board chair Jonathan Conway said the schedule for Energy Week will include lectures, movie screenings and tours of different campus buildings. “Honestly, the goal is just to make students aware about energy issues and sustainability on campus,” Conway said. “We try to have different events for different groups of students.” Barbara Villarosa, programs and research specialist at the University Energy Center, said the week of student-sponsored energy awareness will educate students on energy challenges. “What we like to do is plan a variety of events that will be attractive to all students,” Villarosa said. “Some students much prefer learning by lectures but others would rather enjoy a film.” The diverse range of events will center on a common theme of education. “We have kept the same mission [for Energy Week] each year,” Villarosa said. “We want to increase awareness across campus to provide educational opportunities to learn about current energy issues and topics that are facing our nation today.” Energy Week 2010 began Friday on Irish Green with “Green is Gold” T-shirt sales and games to create awareness, Villarosa said. The Energy Expo on Saturday drew many science and engineering students despite the campus festivities for the football game day. Energy companies and organizations including General Electric (GE), Midwest ISO, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Notre Dame’s Office of Sustainability and student environmental groups will display their latest innovations on the quad Monday, according to the Energy Center website. “The quad display is probably the most well attended because it is the most visible,” Villarosa said. “Last year over a thousand students stopped and talked to the different people outside.” Students can learn about making a different in the energy field after graduation during the energy career lecture Tuesday with a representative from GE, Conway said. “The career lecture has always drawn quite a bit of interest,” Villarosa said. “The upperclassmen are interested to know what it takes to get out there in the energy field in their careers.” Wednesday night will feature a lecture titled “The Future of Alternative Energy,” showcasing Notre Dame professors and their research conducted on campus, Villarosa said. “I think the lecture on Wednesday will be the most exciting event,” Conway said. “Notre Dame professors will be speaking about the future of energy.” Five professors from the College of Engineering and the College of Science will speak during the lecture on possible forms of alternative energy and their research here at Notre Dame. “We are providing opportunities to learn about energy awareness and highlighting the current energy research going on here at Notre Dame that is usually conducted behind-the-scenes,” Villarosa said. “Not everyone is aware of the outstanding developments and innovations going on in this field.” The Energy Center will also screen “The 11th Hour” and “No Impact Man: The Documentary” during the week and sponsor tours of the campus power plant and Geddes Hall. “There are important problems in the energy field that we need to work to find solutions for,” Conway said. “There are little things we can do every day in our dorm rooms and bigger things we can do as we move into the real world.” The week will close with Mass at 5 p.m. on Thursday in Holy Cross Chapel in Stinson-Remick Hall and a trivia night to test energy knowledge at Legend’s on Thursday evening, Conway said. A full schedule of events is available online at the Notre Dame Energy Center’s website. “This is a student-sponsored event,” Villarosa said. “It is planned and organized and really executed by the Notre Dame Energy Center student advisory board with the support and help of all the students in GreeND.”last_img read more

first_imgEditor’s note: This is the third installment in a three-part series discussing the Rutagengwa family’s search for God from the 1994 Rwandan genocide in light of their trip back to Rwanda in December.Notre Dame freshman Fiona Rutagengwa is the child of genocide survivors.Her parents, Jean Bosco Rutagengwa and Christine Rutagengwa, survived the 1994 Rwandan genocide and spent 40 fearful days in the Hotel des Mille Collines, better known as “Hotel Rwanda.”Fiona Rutagengwa said the atrocities her parents faced and witnessed have motivated her to work to prevent genocide in the future.“My parents went through a lot and they haven’t talked about it throughout my life,” she said. “But knowing about their past inspired me to learn more about it, and I’m doing political science because I want to learn about international studies and how to make peace accords.“I feel like [my family background is] an important part of my life, and that’s basically why I’m here.”Fiona Rutagengwa was born in Rwanda and moved to the United States when she was four years old because living conditions were unsafe for her family, she said.“It’s kind of unbelievable, because I was born in Rwanda, and the way I saw it, it was the aftermath, and I’ve really been protected from the reality of the situation because all I remember was sunny days and banana trees everywhere,” she said.“But my parents kept telling me about what happened, and I realized that the developmental aspects … are a little iffy over there. It’s unsafe. My father told me that the reason we came here was it wasn’t safe enough.”Despite the dangers the Rutagengwas faced during and after the genocide, Fiona said her parents emphasized faith throughout their trials.“You’d think it would take me away from God a little bit, but actually, seeing the way my parents dealt with it … they appreciated the fact that they survived and how they got out of the situation,” she said. “So that made their faith stronger, especially my mom.“She thanks God every day and she stresses that it’s a blessing to be on this earth, and it’s made her a lot more religious, and that’s the way she raised our family — to be grateful for every day you have and the family that you have and all those people that support you. It’s really influenced the way she looks at the world and the way she raises us.”Fiona Rutagengwa said her father has written a memoir about his personal search for God from the genocide, parts of which he once shared with her high school religion class.“It was funny because that day I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know about him, like his experience, because it’s not every day that he talks about it,” she said. “I was there with my sister, and it was kind of eye-opening to see what he went through.”Fiona Rutagengwa said her father emphasized a message similar to that of Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel — that we should “never again” make genocide a reality.To better understand the meaning of Jean Bosco Rutagengwa’s message, theology professors Fr. Dan Groody and Fr. Virgil Elizondo and project coordinator for the Institute of Latino Studies Colleen Cross accompanied the couple to their home country in December.Fiona Rutagengwa said Groody first introduced her to Notre Dame when he began working with her parents two years ago.Even though she was unable to return to Rwanda with her family in December, Fiona Rutagengwa said her parents have begun to share more with her about their personal experiences, thus inspiring her to live out her father’s mission.“My mom told me the story about my family and what they’ve been through,” she said. “Her sister has experienced a lot of things, and she told me about her other sister who died, and she was really maimed and everything, and that image hasn’t escaped my head for a long time.“My mom has a lot of things hidden from me, but when she tells me things, it explains a lot about how my family is now and what the after effects are. I appreciate her telling me. It kind of gives me inspiration to do more and really carry out my father’s plan of having it never again be a reality.”Tags: Genocide, Rwandalast_img read more

first_imgThe Observer took home more than two dozen awards from the 2015 Indiana Collegiate Scholastic Press Association (ICPA) awards ceremony this weekend in Indianapolis, including second place in the Division I Newspaper of the Year category and third place in the Best Overall Design category.The News department, led by former News Editor and current Assistant Managing Editor Lesley Stevenson, took home first place for Best Continuous Coverage of the Campus Crossroads project, third place in the Best News or Feature Series category for the coverage of Mental Illness Awareness Week and third place for Best In-Depth Story for former Editor-in-Chief Ann Marie Jakubowski, former Assistant Managing Editors Isaac Lorton and Samantha Zuba and senior sports writer Mike Monaco’s coverage of the Academic Dishonesty Investigation earlier this school year. Additionally, the news staff won second place in the Best Special Issue category for the Mid-year Marks student government Insider, and the staff as a whole won first place in the Best Themed Issue Category for the 2014 Commencement issue.Sports writer Mike Ginocchio won third place for the Best Sports Feature Story with his story “Hegarty recovers from stroke, becomes starter.” The Sports staff, led by former Sports Editor and current Assistant Managing Editor Mary Green, won third place in the Best Pullout/Wrap Section category for Aug. 29 Irish Insider.The Observer Editorial Board won third place for Best Staff Editorial for its Oct. 3 Viewpoint “A Call for a Clear Honor Code.”Six Scene writers won awards over the weekend in a variety of categories. Jimmy Kemper won third place for Best Entertainment Story with “Why Taylor Swift’s Spotify power move is the worst.” Matt McMahon and Caelin Miltko won in the Best Review category; McMahon took first with “St. Vincent: Queen of New pop,” while Miltko took second with “‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’ blurs line between art and life.”Miko Malabute and Scene Editor Erin McAuliffe won in the Best Entertainment Column category, McAuliffe won second for “Envisioning Wes Anderson’s Theme Park” while Malabute won third for his piece “To cancel or commend Colbert?” Marc Drake won second for Best News or Feature Series for “Scene in South Bend.”The Graphics department won second and third for Best Special Issue/Section Front Cover for the Irish Insiders on Sept. 5, which was created by former Photo Editor and current Assistant Managing Editor Wei Lin and former Graphics Editor Keri O’Mara, and Oct. 17, which was created by Online Editor Michael Yu and O’Mara, respectively. O’Mara and former Scene Editor Allie Tollaksen won third place in the Best Informational Graphic category for their “Notre Dame Style Guide.”The Photo department, led by Lin, earned three awards, including first place in the Best Sports Photo category for former Assistant Managing Editor Kevin Song’s “Corey Robinson: The Catch.” Photographer and news writer Emily McConville won third in the same category for “Redfield Comforts McDaniel,” and former Photo Editor Grant Tobin earned third place in the Best Feature Photo category for “Sad Muffet.”Song won second place for Best Overall Website design for, which was launched last January. Song and Yu won third place for Best Special Presentation for the Commencement 2014 feature website, while Multimedia Editor Brian Lach won second place in the Best Video category for “Shamrock Series: Indianapolis.”Tags: Awards, ICPAlast_img read more

first_imgWith a Facebook page, a photo and video campaign and a petition in the works, several graduate students in peace studies are trying to raise awareness about a recent outbreak of mob violence against immigrants in South Africa.The attacks, in which people have been shot and stabbed and shops looted and burned, have left several dead and thousands of migrants displaced, The Guardian reported. Most of the victims are from nearby African countries such as Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. In the face of international backlash, South Africa arrested hundreds and sent its army to parts of the cities of Johannesburg and Durban, where the violence is centered, to quell the unrest.The violence is the latest in a series of outbreaks over the past several years. Sarah Bosha, a second-year masters student in peace studies who helped form the Notre Dame campaign, said some South Africans, especially in poorer areas, believe foreigners take away South Africans’ jobs.Francis Opio, also a second-year masters student, said he and other students from Africa had the idea for the project, which is unaffiliated with other campus organizations, last week after they talked with each other about what they had heard about the violence.“We thought, not only as peace studies students but also as human beings, we needed to speak up,” Opio said. “How could this be happening to an African but also being orchestrated by an African? It was really horrible.”The campaign, called “Students Against Violence,” began Friday outside the library, where students encouraged passersby to record a video message or take a photo with a sign that said “Say No to Xenophobia.” The students created a Facebook page to post the photos and discuss news from Africa.The group will also collect signatures for a petition, which they will submit to the South African consulate in Chicago, Bosha said. Bosha, who is from Zimbabwe, said the petition stems from her and other students’ dismay at the slow response of international leaders.“We felt like there’s a deafening silence from other African governments — I know my leader, President [Robert] Mugabe, didn’t say anything for a long time,” she said. “The South African president didn’t quite say anything for a long time, the AU took a really long time to say something, and it was disheartening to us because there were people from our country, people from other countries that were being killed, and it just seemed like it was business as usual. No one seemed moved, who had the authority to do something about it.”The petition will remind the South African government about its obligation to uphold the right to life under the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, Bosha said.“The idea is to call upon the South African government to what it’s supposed to do according to its treaty obligations and also to call upon South Africans themselves that are committing the violence — it’s not all of them, but the ones that are — that this is against the values that we as a continent uphold,” Bosha said.Bosha said the campaign will also address a general lack of knowledge about the situation in South Africa.“It was interesting to see how something so huge as someone’s loss of life in such a terrible way like being burned to death or being decapitated or being murdered could slip by the eyes of the world,” she said. “It surprised me that some people didn’t know — but it’s not something that was blasted in international media.”First-year masters student Christian Cirhigiri said after the petition is submitted, the campaign will go beyond the immediate problem of violence in South Africa. He said the social media platform will be a space both to raise public awareness of African news and for African students to talk about issues on the continent, such as attacks by Nigerian terror group Boko Haram or the killing of 30 Ethiopian Christians by ISIS.“This is not just for South Africa,” he said. “We would like to create a space for a movement here on campus where African issues are brought to light, that the Notre Dame community gets to know or gets to feel that we are representing nations that are affected, and we would like to have their support as well as the support of leaders here.”Tags: africa, Peace Studies, south africa, students against violence, violence, xenophobialast_img read more

first_imgAs students returned to Saint Mary’s campus for the new school year, many noticed new arrangements at Cyber Cafe.According to general manager of Dining Services Barry Bowles, the cafe went through a remodeling over the summer to help improve efficiency, to meet better the needs of students and to further sustainability goals held by Sodexo, the dining services provider of Saint Mary’s.Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer Bowles said the new configuration of the cafe is actually the same setup it had a number of years ago. He said the College had a need for more seating in the Student Center, especially since Rice Commons holds more and more events each year and thus cannot always be utilized by students.“We need seats,” Bowles said. “We need a comfortable space for students. … I’ve seen professors doing small groups in [Cyber] this year. Professors meeting with students in there, that type of thing. I think it’s serving its purpose to what we wanted it to do. I still am excited about what we’re doing.”Another change is the absence of the iMacs that used to line a wall of the cafe. Bowles said those computers were the most underutilized computers on campus, so IT moved them to other buildings on campus.However, the IT department increased the strength of the wi-fi in the cafe, and they are working on including charging stations so students can still use their personal devices, Bowles said.Not only did the cafe switch its market and seating area, but Bowles said other changes have also been made. Two programs the cafe is focusing on this year are options from Starbucks and sustainability.“Our biggest concern coming back was sustainability issues,” Bowles said. “All those little creamers and sugar packets and everything else. You’ll notice everything now is self-contained. We’re trying to reduce the amount of waste we have in that area. … It may not seem like much to have the bulk liquid creamer and the bulk sugar, but every little bit is helping.”Starbucks options will also increase in the cafe, Bowles said, and those changes are expected to happen in the near future.The new look of the cafe also helps decrease wait times for food and motivates employees to work better, Bowles said. People no longer have to crowd the cash registers because there is more open space to wait for orders.“We are busier, but students don’t wait as long, and now the wait is actually tolerable because not everyone is standing right there,” he said. “There’s places to go and sit down and wait for you to be called. It’s a lot more comfortable, and there’s not that big congestion.“What that did was ease the stress on the staff. It has this mental effect for employees that they are doing a good job and they are moving fast. Before, they couldn’t really tell.”As for the market, Bowles said the switch helped make everything look more organized. The new area made shelves a more viable option, and the products are better spaced out.The market also increased its selection, he said.“We’re carrying more products that students were looking for,” Bowles said. “What’s nice about how it’s laid out now is that it looks more organized and it looks a lot better kept than what we’ve done in the past.”He said some products were discontinued, such as two-liter bottles of soda, because those were not selling at the prices Sodexo was required to have. The chip section has been reduced, but the overall aesthetic of the market makes this less noticeable.Students and employees have welcomed the changes within Cyber Cafe, Bowles said. He has received positive feedback, and the cafe made $1,000 more in the first week of school than it had the same week previous years.Tags: cyber cafe, Food Serviceslast_img read more

first_imgA rape was reported to a University administrator Friday, according to Monday’s Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) crime log.The alleged rape occurred January 16 in a Notre Dame residence hall, according to the entry.Students did not receive an email crime alert from NDSP alerting them that a report had been filed with the University, due to the fact the University did not identify the report as a timely threat, in accordance with the Clery Act regulations.Information about sexual assault prevention and resources for survivors of sexual assault are available online from NDSP and from the Committee for Sexual Assault Prevention (CSAP).Tags: Clery Act, NDSP, NDSP crime log, sexual assaultlast_img

first_imgFarley Hall is hosting its signature event, Farley Hall Be Fine Day, on Friday to encourage conversations about femininity and raise money for the YWCA Women’s Shelter in North Central Indiana.The event began Thursday with an open mic night in the Farley basement. Throughout Friday, Farley residents will be handing out buttons and bananas outside DeBartolo Hall to encourage healthy eating, hosting yoga on North Quad at 1 p.m. and hosting a “Walk in Her Shoes” walk in high heels across South Quad at 5 p.m.Senior Yomara Acevedo, one of the event’s coordinators, said when the event was started during her sophomore year, it received a lot of backlash.“I thought it was a fun and interesting event, but it just sparked a lot of controversy that may or may not have been a good thing for an inaugural year,” she said. “So then last year … I remember it just being really watered down.“ … It wasn’t sparking any conversations. Part of this is we want to spark conversations on what it means to be feminine. So this year we’re trying to find a balance between it.”Junior Carly Gray, Farley Hall vice president, said they wanted to incorporate the word “fine” — Farley’s mascot — into their signature event’s slogan, eventually settling on the phrase “Today, I’m at my finest.”“Even if it does change year to year, we think we’ll still have a stronger message for the day than we have in the past and a concrete set of events that people can point to, and say, ‘That’s what Be Fine Day is about,’” Gray said.According to junior Micaela Mitchell, one of the Be Fine Day coordinators, the “Walk in Her Shoes” event will raise funds for the YWCA women’s shelter in North Central Indiana. The Be Fine Day Facebook page features stories from some of the women at the shelter, Mitchell said.“ … A lot of them were domestic violence victims,” she said. “One of them was a meth addict after her domestic abuse. They all were really positive and really emphasized that they have a place and a purpose and YWCA has really helped them find that, and find friends and find housing.“I think the most shocking about that was most of them were from different states — faraway states like Alabama, Florida — one of them is from Chicago — and they were escaping people.”Gray said she hoped the walk would also ignite conversations between men and women about femininity.“One of the goals of our event is sparking conversation and dialogue about different expressions of femininity and certain things that apply to women that wouldn’t apply to men — or at least men that don’t conform to feminine stereotypes, or something like that,” she said. “So we hope the walk will do that while also raising awareness about the Women’s Shelter, and also raising money for them as well.”Mitchell said Be Fine Day’s organizers wanted Be Fine Day to be an inclusive event, while still focusing on discussions about femininity.“ … We really tried to find a way to highlight the differences between men and women, but still create a dialogue so that we were still focusing on our goals and ideas, but we weren’t excluding people from engaging in that,” she said.Junior Lauren Saunee, Farley Hall president, said she hopes the event works to draw the community’s attention to the issues Be Fine Day addresses.“I think that at the end of the day, if people are talking, that’s what we want,” she said. “And also — bringing awareness, too. We talked about the women’s shelter. There [are] so many different charities in South Bend, but this is something we obviously have invested an interest in so just bringing that to the surface.”Acevedo said the ultimate goal of Be Fine Day is to recognize all types of femininity.“We want to emphasize, ‘If you’re athletic, you’re still a queen, and if you’re really, really feminine and you like dressing up, you’re also a queen,’” she said. “We want to highlight and celebrate all forms of femininity, whether you really like makeup and you really like dressing up, or you don’t.”Tags: Be Fine Day, Farley Hall, signature eventlast_img read more

first_imgNotre Dame announced the cancellation of in-person classes and closing of residence halls through a school-wide email on Wednesday.The University published a series of letters detailing regulations and suggestions for on-campus students, students currently abroad, faculty, staff and parents. The series of decisions responded to the continued spread of COVID-19 throughout the United States and more than 100 colleges closing their campuses, including Indiana University, Purdue, Northwestern, Duke and Harvard.Following the University’s announcement, the Department of Health confirmed the first case of coronavirus in St. Joseph County. Previously, there had been 10 cases confirmed in Indiana. Many students are satisfied with the school’s decision. “Notre Dame did the right thing,” senior Erin Shang said. “Many students travel in the U.S. or abroad during the break, and there is a potential risk of spreading coronavirus on campus. Closing the campus definitely decreases such risk.”Shang said she thought the policy was flexible. “The school doesn’t totally shut down,” she said. “Students who can’t return home can still remain on campus, and many departments are still operating.” According to the announcement, students are encouraged to stay or return home after spring break. However, some international students face difficulties going home.Junior Jiadai Li, who is originally from China, said she plans to stay in her dorm, Flaherty Hall. “It’s unrealistic to [be] going home,” Li said. “We don’t know the certain restart time of in-person classes, and I may not able to re-enter America because of the travel ban. The situation of the epidemic is still serious in China.”Residence halls will close Tuesday at noon. The Office of Residential Life will contact students who may be unable to return home, and they could be approved to remain on campus, according to the announcement email from the Division of Student Affairs.Miranda Ma, senior advisor for Asia of Notre Dame International, sent a message to a Chinese student chat group: “All international students (Non-American Citizenship or Green Card Holders) will receive an email from the Office of Residential Life and you will be approved to stay on campus.”Apart from residence halls, Fischer Graduate Residences will remain open, and all residents are permitted to stay until the end of their leases, according to the Division of Student Affairs letter.Off-campus residences are not affected by the campus closures. Most offices and departments serving students will continue to operate, including North Dining Hall, University Health Services and University Counseling Center.However, some departments may be closed or limited, leaving staff members concerned about their pay. When she received the email from the Office of the President at noon Wednesday, Faith Thomas, a staff member working at Duncan Student Center, began to worry about her job. “This is my only job,” Thomas said. “If the restaurants [at Duncan] close because the school closes, how can I get my salary? What am I going to do?”Later in the afternoon, associate vice president for human resources Robert McQuade sent a letter to Notre Dame staff.“All full-time and part-time regular employees will continue to receive the regular pay and benefits for work hours for which they are normally scheduled,” McQuade said in the letter. “This will apply even if their department goes to limited staffing or they are not able to work due to organizational decisions.”Changes to the University class schedule begin with an extra week before courses move to online-only, extending spring break until March 23. All in-person classes will be replaced with online courses or other alternative options from March 23 through at least April 13, according to the University announcement.However, the extension of break does not intend to encourage students to travel domestically or abroad, Emily Saavedra, international and graduate programs administrative assistant at the Law School, said.“The extension of break and online courses are the reaction to a global emergency and all the students should also take action on it, that is self-quarantine when it’s needed and social distancing,” Saavedra said. “If you go party in a foreign country right now and the outbreak starts, you may not be able to come back. In this case, we can’t guarantee the extension of the online course and other special-time accommodations particularly for you.”According to the Division of Student Affairs, students who have traveled to any country rated as a CDC Level 3 travel advisory — currently China, South Korea, Iran and Italy — are required to self-quarantine and self-monitor their temperature for 14 days before coming onto campus.While the campus is mostly closed, education and research continue. However, students and faculty have voiced concern about the potential difficulties of classes being conducted online.“The interaction and discussion between students on class may be affected,” law student Joseph Pog said. “In the classroom, students’ interactions are direct and immediate, which helps us to think more and learn more, but it may not be effective on the online course.”Pog said it’s understandable that the online course is the best solution in the current circumstance.“The professors should also be trained about how to deliver the online courses well,” he said.Students studying in labs or studios are especially concerned about online courses.“A lot of my classes are discussion or experiment-based,” junior ACMS and economics major Mitchell Larson said. “[Online classes] means I’m losing out on that education.”Notre Dame is working on the support of teaching transition. In a letter to faculty, Provost Tom Burish said a team supported by ND Learning and the Office of Information Technologies had been collecting and organizing a set of online resources to help with the transition to online instruction.“We recognize that these steps, while necessary, are disruptive and that delivering instruction remotely poses unique challenges for many courses and programs,” Burish said in the letter. “[But] we continue to provide our students with the best possible educational experience at Notre Dame under extraordinary circumstances.”The petitioner: “We international students face more vulnerable status”Before Notre Dame decided to close campus due to the coronavirus, more than 100 other colleges had already done so. Seeing other colleges close campuses one after another, some students began to worry about safety when students returned to campus from all over the country and world after spring break.A petition to transition Notre Dame to remote learning was initiated online Tuesday and obtained more than 300 signatures as of Wednesday evening. “We strongly petition the University to consider shifting all classes online for at least 14 days right after the break,” the petition said.Erin Shang, one of the initiators, said the reason for launching the petition was because many students at Notre Dame didn’t take the coronavirus epidemic seriously enough. “Some friends made fun of me when I canceled my spring break plans because of coronavirus,” Shang said. “They were like, ‘Dude, why are you so uptight? This is just a flu. You gotta live your life.’” Shang said she also worried about the potential risk after the break, and she sent an “emotional email” to Erin Hoffmann Harding, “begging her to take some measures.” “However, I just got a very automatic and robotic response from her saying, ‘We’re dealing with this situation and finding solutions, please rest and we’ll be praying for you,’” Shang said. “It was at that moment that I realized one person’s voice wasn’t enough. I should bring more people to speak out.”A large part of the signatures drive from student originally from China, Shang said. Having grown up in Beijing, she said her own thought process about the coronavirus could be different from that of other students.“Many domestic students don’t think it’s serious because they don’t know how bad it could be,” she said. “They don’t know the medical system could run out of resources and the number of cases could just keep piling up.”There are still domestic students who are concerned about the outbreak of coronavirus, including Larson, who is from Wisconsin.“My grandparents live near me, and I am worried that they could potentially catch it, as they are a vulnerable population,” Larson said.International students are concerned not only about how coronavirus is impacting their own countries but also the risks it poses for them in the United States.“I can’t afford to get sick in the United States,” Shang said. “I don’t know if the health insurance will pay for everything. I don’t know how much it will cost if we use emergency serves, especially ambulances. We just have more financial concerns to worry about. … My parents can’t reach us because of the travel ban, and they will be worried sick if I get sick. The worst scenario, if we die here, our parents will never be able to see us again.”Domestic students don’t have these concerns, Shang said, as they have more options of insurances and their family is right here, but international students don’t necessarily have the same luxuries.“Sometimes I feel powerless,” she said.Shang called the petition a way for international students and all members of the University community to empower themselves. “Besides speaking out as a student from the Chinese community and the international community, the petition is also for all the members of the Notre Dame community,” Shang said. “I just hope the University can create a safe and healthy environment.”When she learned Notre Dame decided to close the campus, Shang said she felt better about the situation.“I’m really touched by the school,” Shang said. “I’m finally in relief.” Managing Editor Natalie Weber and Associate News Editor Serena Zacharias contributed to this report.Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, online courses, petition, Student reactionslast_img read more

first_imgYou’ve seen the pics. You’ve watched the teaser. But are you still a bit nervous about Disney’s upcoming Into the Woods film adaptation? If so, Rob Marshall has some words of assurance for you. The movie musical vet recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly about bringing the Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine tuner to the big screen. And though the new song was cut, there’s still a shot for Sondheim to take home another Oscar. As we still anxiously wait for the film’s release on Christmas Day, Marshall promises, “We built this thing using the best parts of Into the Woods which is so much of it…it’ll all be very clear when people see it. They’ll understand, it’s all there.” In addition to Streep, Into the Woods stars Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as her prince, Johnny Depp as the Wolf, James Corden as the Baker, Emily Blunt as his wife, Mackenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel, Billy Magnussen as her prince and Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood. And while it appears that one of the film’s major deviations from the show, Rapunzel’s fate, is still omitted, Marshall promises, “Rapunzel’s end is still pretty dark, it’s just a different kind of dark, and it’s just as harrowing, and just as sad.” The previously reported new song written for Meryl Streep’s Witch has landed on the cutting room floor. “It was beautiful and spectacular,” Marshall says of the number Sondheim wrote specifically for the film, “but it was very clear…that [the movie] was stronger without.” If the song instead appears as the first music cue in the end credits, it would still be eligible for an Oscar, according to Academy rulings. “I’m actually really impressed Disney’s doing this film, because it’s very brave,” Marshall adds. “I don’t feel we’ve watered it down in any way, shape or form. We’ve just made it a film.” View Commentslast_img read more