Month: January 2021

Saint Mary’s to provide exclusive on-campus housing for seniors

first_imgNew living accommodations for Saint Mary’s seniors will be available next year, as Regina South will be opened exclusively as on-campus housing for seniors.  Janielle Tchakerian, director of Residence Life and Community Standards at Saint Mary’s, said the College is “very excited” to offer this opportunity to the students. “It’s a privilege for their senior year,” she said.  The updates to the residence hall include 36 available single rooms, a visitation policy to match that of Opus Hall, the only other senior-exclusive residence on campus, a reduced meal plan requirement and the acceptance of pets weighing under 30 pounds.  “For some students it’s a great comfort,” Tchakerian said. “It allows them to bring a family pet from home to live with them in their last year.” Tchakerian said to accommodate students’ pets, the South courtyard will become a “pet friendly” yard. “We know that they can’t just be cooped up inside their rooms,” she said.  She said she has already seen a positive response from rising seniors during two information sessions, some of which have expressed interest in rooming with pets such as cats, dogs, rabbits and hedgehogs. In addition to allowing pets, the new Regina South will also offer seniors more space.  Each of the 36 rooms will be offered as a single, including rooms that were previously offered as quads or doubles. Regular-sized singles will be parceled together as a two-room suite, Tchakerian said. The building that used to house the smallest singles on campus will now house the largest, she said.  Each floor will have a microwave and refrigerator available, as well as a shared single-room for storage.  “For a lot of our students, moving off-campus loses financial aid,” Tchakerian said. “We wanted to make an affordable option on campus. Because Regina South is [currently] not occupied, we decided to look at it and see if we could make it more attractive for our rising seniors.” There will be a special room selection for seniors on Feb. 1, during which names will be drawn in a lottery first for Opus housing, then for Regina South, following the same process. “So they don’t have to wait until April to find out where they are going to live,” Tchakerian said. “Those students who might be on the fence about living off-campus will know.” The class of 2013 will be the first to try out the new arrangement and policies regarding pets. “The most attractive part of Regina South is the new rooming and meal plan,” Tchakerian said. “This is a great compromise in meeting [students’] needs.”last_img read more

Scholar studies Generation Y in Hungary

first_imgProfessor and visiting scholar Tamás Karáth gave a lecture Tuesday entitled “Young and Broker in Hungary: Post-Communism and Generation Y” in which he analyzed the effects of generational transition and communism in his native Hungary. Karáth is a professor of Medieval English Literature at the Institute of English and American Studies of Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Hungary. This semester, he is a visiting scholar at the Nanovic Center for European Studies. His lecture addressed the situation facing the youth of Hungary based on a recent survey, Youth 2012, which gathered demographic information on Hungarians ages 15 to 29. Karáth said the toughest issue facing Generation Y in Hungary is living in a democratic society run by a generation new to democracy. “There is a paradox of socialization for these youngsters that they are expected to behave democratically,” Karáth said. “They are expected to grow up through the maturity of a democratic society while they did not really receive any inherited democratic values from the parent and grandparent generations.” Karáth divided his presentation into four parts, focusing on terms and definitions, generational patterns in Hungary, the Youth 2012 study and its implications for Generation Y around the world, and how Generation Y defines itself as members of the generation enter college and adulthood. Karáth said while Hungarian youth displayed unique social characteristics because of their post-communist society, they still share a common bond with the global Generation Y. “Indeed, the survey confirmed that there are striking differences in maturity, activity profiles and the autonomy level of this age group,” Karáth said. “However, certain findings in areas of media use, technology and communication strategies confirmed certain characteristics between the Hungarian Generation Y and the global Generation Y.” Karáth paid special attention to the term “post-communism” and defined it at the outset of the lecture. He said it was important to note the specific meaning he was using in his lecture. “Now, what we mean by post-communism varies greatly from country to country,” Karáth said. “Present-day democratic practices and the tradition of these democratic practices varies significantly between the countries. Also, post-communism might be different according to the type or nature of the communism that those countries had experienced before the transition. So it is important, in order to clarify this idea within Hungary, to see both sides of the transition before and after the change.” Karáth said the transition from communism to democracy is reflected in the generational gap evident today. “The transition has often been interpreted in terms of generational relations. All over Europe, there is a sense of a very critical Generation X, Generation Y age group, which are today’s youngsters,” Karáth said. “We can see a very drastic confrontational attitude of post-transition youngsters and pre-transition establishment, and the generation that is associated with the establishment.” Karáth said 34 percent of Hungarians ages 15 to 29 could not imagine living anywhere but Hungary, while 24 percent of the same age group could envision themselves leaving for more than five years, even forever. These mobility statistics give Hungarians reason to be relatively hopeful about the future, Karáth said. Karáth also said 29 percent of the individuals in Hungary’s Generation Y do not trust democracy, a number that is far below the European Union average of 49 percent. Karáth characterized this figure as a product of the paradox of socialization. Contact Jack Rooney at [email protected]last_img read more

University asks Supreme Court to review HHS case

first_imgIn May 2012, Notre Dame filed its initial lawsuit for relief from Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate.Two years and four months later, after several rounds of denials and appeals, the University’s attorneys filed paperwork Friday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case, citing the Court’s June ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby’s decision not to provide certain types of birth control in its health insurance plan.“The University of Notre Dame … asked the U.S. Supreme Court, in light of its decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. to vacate an opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and remand our case for consideration,” Paul Browne, the University’s vice president for public affairs and communications, said in a statement. “The 7th Circuit had denied Notre Dame’s request for a temporary restraining order regarding government-mandated contraceptive services.“In [this] filing, Notre Dame continues to challenge the federal mandate as an infringement on our fundamental right to the free exercise of our Catholic faith.”Sara Shoemake Notre Dame’s lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services argues that the provision of the Affordable Care Act that orders health care plans to cover contraceptives violates its religious beliefs, even if the University isn’t paying for the coverage. The University currently provides the coverage through its third-party health care administrator, Meritain Health, in accordance with the accommodation available to religious employers.In the filing, attorneys Matthew Kairis and Noel Francisco wrote that “the lower courts declined to protect the University of Notre Dame du Lac from being forced to violate its religious beliefs by participating in a regulatory scheme to provide its employees and students with coverage for abortion-inducing products, contraceptives and sterilization.”The petition argues that the 7th Circuit Court’s decision “cannot be reconciled” with the Supreme Court’s ruling on Hobby Lobby.“Contrary to Hobby Lobby’s clear command, the 7th Circuit chose to conduct a lengthy analysis of whether Notre Dame was correct in its assertion that the actions it must take to comply with the accommodation would ‘make the University an accomplice in the provision of contraception, in violation of Catholic doctrine,” the petition states. “The 7th Circuit failed to appreciate that whether a particular action makes the University complicit in the provision of contraceptive coverage is a religious judgment, rooted in Catholic teachings regarding the permissible degree of entanglement in illicit conduct.”The petition further argues that the accommodation allowing Notre Dame to provide the contraceptive coverage through Meritain Health still imposes “a substantial burden” since Notre Dame still has a religious objection to maintaining that contractual relationship.“The government has effectively ‘poisoned’ the insurance market for Notre Dame, making it impossible to offer health coverage consistent with its religious beliefs,” the attorneys wrote. “Just as a Mormon might refuse to hire a caterer that insisted on serving alcohol to his wedding guests, or a Jew might refuse to hire a caterer determined to serve pork at his son’s bar mitzvah, it violates Notre Dame’s religious beliefs to hire or maintain a relationship with any third party that will provide contraceptive care to its plan beneficiaries.”In June, Notre Dame law professor Rick Garnett told The Observer that Hobby Lobby was not yet technically eligible for the same accommodation as Notre Dame since it is a for-profit, nonreligious corporation. However, “it is still an open question whether the revised mandate violates the [Religious Freedom Restoration] Act as applied to Notre Dame and other religious employers.”However, both Hobby Lobby and Notre Dame “are both entitled to invoke the [Religious Freedom Restoration Act]’s protections,” which was enacted by Congress to provide more generous accommodations to religious objectors than the Constitution requires, Garnett said.In an essay published on the SCOTUS blog, law professor and director of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture O. Carter Snead wrote that the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision “follows from the most natural and straightforward reading of [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act], given both its text and the jurisprudence in which it is situated.”The attorneys’ argument in the petition concurs with Snead’s analysis of the accommodation in his essay.“The accommodation in this context forces the religious employer to say ‘no’ in a manner that functions as a legally operative ‘yes,’” Snead wrote.Tags: ACA, contraceptive mandate, HHS Lawsuit, HHS Mandate, Hobby Lobby, Meritain Health, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, U.S. Supreme Courtlast_img read more

University Honor Code outlines academic disciplinary procedures

first_imgNotre Dame’s Undergraduate Student Academic Code of Honor Handbook has 9,213 words. It spans 25 pages.The document, to an extent, is a guiding force in determining the current fates of the five Irish football players who have been withheld from practice and competition this season.Mary McGraw | The Observer Irish junior cornerback KeiVarae Russell, senior receiver DaVaris Daniels, senior defensive end Ishaq Williams, graduate student linebacker Kendall Moore and senior safety Eilar Hardy have been held out of practice and competition during the probe into “suspected academic dishonesty.”Notre Dame announced its investigation Aug. 15. The University said “evidence that students had submitted papers and homework that had been written for them by others” was initially suspected at the end of the summer session and referred to the compliance office in athletics July 29. Notre Dame said the Office of General Counsel then initiated “an immediate investigation.”Irish head coach Brian Kelly said Thursday evening he expects hearings to be wrapped up within the next 24 hours.In an attempt to better understand the ongoing process that has spanned — at least publicly — nearly 50 days, The Observer has highlighted certain aspects of the Honor Code.In an attempt to understand some notably vague areas of the Honor Code, The Observer reached out to University President Fr. John Jenkins and the Rev. Hugh Page Jr., Co-Chair of the University Code of Honor Committee, but they each separately declined interview requests.Who?The University Code of Honor Committee consists of 12 members — six students and six faculty members. Of the students, there is one representative each from the Colleges of Business, Engineering and Science and two students from either the College of Arts and Letters or the School of Architecture. There is also one student Co-Chair member.Colleges or schools may set up Honesty Committees at either the departmental or college level, and students must constitute the majority of a given committee’s members. The chair of a department or dean of a college requests students to “participate in investigating and determining responsibility” in Honor Code cases by serving on Honesty Committees.The department chair or college dean bears the responsibility for “publicizing the names of committee members,” either by posting them in the offices or on web sites.Students or faculty members reporting potential violations are instructed to submit reports “to the Honesty Committee of the department or college offering the course [in which the potential violation occurred].”The Honor Code does not stipulate which Honesty Committee should hear case(s) regarding potential violations that may have occurred in multiple courses spanning different departments or colleges.According to Notre Dame’s website, Russell is in the Mendoza College of Business, while Daniels, Williams and Hardy are in the College of Arts and Letters. Moore, who is currently enrolled in graduate courses, graduated in May from the College of Arts and Letters.When?The Honor Code does not stipulate in what time frame students should be notified of “guilty” decisions.The Honor Code states, “if the committee decides a student is responsible for a major or minor offense and assigns a penalty, the chair of the Honesty Committee notifies the student in writing of the committee’s decision and of the penalty.”Students wishing to appeal decisions of major or minor offenses must do so within seven days of the notification of the decision.If the committee finds the evidence does not support a finding that a violation occurred, the chair of the committee notifies the student of the decision.“The notification should, if possible, be sent within one week of the hearing,” the Honor Code states.Tags: academic investigation, Code of Honor Committee, DaVaris Daniels, Eilar Hardy, Honor Code, Ishaq Williams, KeiVarae Russell, Kendall Moorelast_img read more

Lecturer examines gender, citizenship

first_imgClaudia Nelson, an English professor at Texas A&M University, examined the definitions and implications of child citizenship in the lecture titled “The Lady or the Tiger? The Shifting Gender of the Girl Citizen” on Friday in McKenna Hall.The keynote address, part of the Fun with Dick and Jane Gender and Childhood Conference, explored the phenomenon of “child citizenship” in Victorian and contemporary literature. Nelson defined child citizenship as the process by which children learn to understand and engage in their social roles and become active participants within a community.“For some years now, critical debate in the field of children’s literature has been addressing the question of the child’s citizenship,” she said. “The term citizenship embraces a range of areas, if not the ability to vote or the requirement to pay taxes, then the expectation that the child will nonetheless engage in other activities that contribute to the community, from fulfilling domestic responsibilities to engaging in religious and or patriotic movements.”Although the role of child citizenship is often examined from a historical perspective, Nelson said it is not commonly examined from a gendered perspective. Nelson, who focused mainly on the process of child citizenship in young girls, said textual analysis of children’s literature through a gendered perspective reveals unique details about differences in child citizenship between boys and girls.According to Nelson, while the process of citizenship for boys requires conforming to social norms, young girls achieve growth when they reject traditional female gender norms.“The process of creating the girl citizen in a particular community is often represented as involving acts of public nonconformity to gender norms that the text identifies as inadequate,” she said.Nelson focused on texts ranging from 17th century to contemporary literature and analyzed the work of authors such as James Janeway, Sarah Fielding, Louisa May Alcott, Carol Ryrie Brink and Suzanne Collins.Nelson said the trend she noticed in religious Puritan and even secular, morally-focused literature is to use the child’s process of denouncing conventional gender roles as a path towards morality, while more contemporary literature focusses on young girls adopting gender roles from parental and societal figures.“The principled nonconformist becomes crucial to the text’s presentation of the twin ideas that the girl is indeed a potential citizen and that her citizenship requires a particular stance within her society,” she said.An important part of the narrative of child citizenship in young women is the transformative process of trauma, which Nelson said is usually represented by a central conflict within the novel that forces the girl to break from conventional gender norms.“In gendered terms, the pain works to establish a girl’s feminine vulnerability or sensitivity while later events establish that, as a mature citizen, she is nonetheless strong,” she said.Nelson said children’s literature that explores the process of child citizenship in girls is able to provide valuable criticisms against dominant cultural values and norms. Nelson said these novels help create alternative roles for young women and demonstrate the constructive power of childhood trauma.“It is time to turn our attention from the victimized child to the empowered child,” she said.Tags: Child citizenship, Claudia Nelson, Fun with Dick and Jane, Gender and Childhood Conference, The Lady or the Tiger? The Shifting Gender of the Girl Citizenlast_img read more

Panel discussion explores careers in sustainability

first_imgThe Career Center hosted a panel discussion Monday informing students on how to pursue careers in sustainability through advocacy and community leadership.South Bend city’s director of sustainability Therese Dorau said she did not know she wanted to be involved in sustainability immediately after graduating college. She said she stepped away from a Ph.D. program in chemistry at the University of Michigan to pursue a more fulfilling career before entering the field.“I [needed] to find a way to keep the science that I love, but do more with it,” she said. “I was just very unhappy. There wasn’t really a ‘why’ to my work as a Ph.D. student in chemistry.”Dorau said she encourages students to look for ways to apply what they are learning through their classes to broader areas of interest. She said this led her to what she is passionate about today, rather than feeling limited to one area of work.“I’m a person of faith, and I do believe that there was a hand involved in pushing me to the brink of hating chemistry so much that I had to find something else,” she said. “ … I was really grateful for the failure that I experienced as a teaching candidate at Michigan, because it allowed me to discover a field that I honestly didn’t know existed [and] that combined a lot of my interests.”There are a variety of majors and areas of study that can be applied to sustainability, Dorau said, if that is where a student’s passion lies.“There is always a way to take your skill set and the practical things that you’re learning, and apply them to the cause that you care about,” she said. “As I talk to students, I always tell them that my goal is always to say, ‘What is your major? What is your career interest?’ and then I can steer that toward sustainability. I can always find a home for you in the sustainability realm.”Megan Anderson, associate organizing representative of the Indiana chapter of the Sierra Club — an environmental advocacy organization — said her interest in sustainability stemmed from personal experiences serving communities that have been affected by environmental issues, but that she didn’t have a clear idea of how to become more involved until she went to college.“I kind of developed this lens of what I thought I might be interested in,” she said. “I didn’t really know much about it, I didn’t know what environmental justice was until I was in college [and] I didn’t know how systemic this issue was.”Anderson said discovering how much carbon pollution comes from the state of Indiana alone inspired her to start volunteering with the Beyond Coal campaign at Indiana University, which led to her current career.“I learned Indiana has a lot of coal plants and that we put out as much carbon solution as some small nations, which isn’t right,” she said. “We have not that big of a population, but our homes are really inefficient and our coal plants are big and dirty. … Some of your power is coming from one of these super polluters. It’s the sixth largest carbon polluter in the nation.”Katie Otterbeck, member of Notre Dame’s class of 2015 and campaign organizer at We Are Impact — another environmental advocacy program — said she first began working to make a difference at Notre Dame through GreeND when she arrived as a student.“I lived in Lewis Hall, and from my dorm room window I’d see — in plain view — our coal-fired power plant on campus,” she said. “So if you don’t know, we still burn coal here on campus. … It felt like what we were doing in GreeND wasn’t enough, and we had to do more.”Otterbeck said she and the rest of GreeND led a campaign to encourage the University to divest from fossil fuel companies as a “political statement.”“We have an ethically charged endowment,” she said. “So, therefore, the things that we’re invested in make a statement about our values, and if it’s wrong to wreck the climate then it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage. … [GreeND’s campaign] coinciding with the pope’s encyclical on climate, Notre Dame then announced in August of 2015 that it would invest $25 million in renewable energy as a fuel source on campus as part of a sustainability package.”Although the University still has work to do in becoming a sustainable campus, Otterbeck said this commitment is a step in the right direction and showed her the value of initiative and advocacy in a community such as Notre Dame.“We have a lot of work still to do on this campus,” she said. “This campus needs to be 100 percent renewable and we have a fight to fight. But that still felt like a personal victory for me, and that’s really all to say that I believe that the most effective way to enact positive social change is through backing up hard-hitting research with citizen activism and then advocacy.”Tags: Career Center, careers, environment, panel, sustainabilitylast_img read more

Saint Mary’s changes excused absence policy for March for Life attendees

first_imgA policy change that took effect on Sep. 27 now allows College students who attend the March for Life, a peaceful demonstration that takes place in Washington D.C. in protest of the legalization of abortion in the Roe v. Wade case, to have excused absences.Approval for the policy change was due to a Saint Mary’s senior, Katherine Dunn, religious studies major and president of Belles for Life, and her proposal. In the past, Susan Vanek, associate dean for advising and director of first year studies at Saint Mary’s, has sent out an email to faculty asking them not to penalize students for missing class for the March for Life, Dunn said. However, this has not stopped students from being penalized. “Students have experienced penalties through judgment by professors, attendance markdowns or other sly penalties, especially STEM majors,” Dunn said. “Therefore, we found that it’s necessary to officially excuse absences for the trip.” Jana Zuniga, a studio art major in the class of 2016, along with other passionate students, formed a petition in the 2015–2016 school year in order to try to get the policy changed. This is a method that many other students have tried in the past, Zuniga said. The reason Zuniga wanted to try again, she said, was because of her friends who have not had the ability to attend the march. “I had some friends who were nursing majors and they always talked about wanting to be able to go,” Zuniga said. “They wouldn’t be able to go because they would be penalized academically because of their clinical schedules.”She clarified that this is not only an issue for nursing majors, but all students who have classes that have attendance expectations.“I thought that the policy should be changed because it could be a very simple but public display of Saint Mary’s advocating for such a huge issue of injustice in our society,” Zuniga said. “Saint Mary’s of all colleges should be encouraging their students to take a stand on this particular issue.” Notre Dame Right to Life president, Sarah Drumm, who is a senior computer science major, said she has always been confused by Saint Mary’s policy because of how supportive Notre Dame is. “The University, for as long as I can remember, has been incredibly willing to work with us to support the March for Life,” Drumm said. “Even with the large number of students that go, they provide excused absences for all of the Notre Dame students.”Notre Dame provides excused absence request forms for students to fill out and turn in to the Office of Community Standards. According to Drumm, the office sets up specific times students can come to make the process even smoother. Drumm describes it as a “painless process.” “We always tell students at the March for Life information meeting that attending won’t be an issue academically, except if they go to Saint Mary’s,” she said. “I’ve never had a clear understanding of their policy or why they do what they do. That always felt a little unsettling to me.”This policy has been a frustrating topic of discussion among students for years, Dunn said. She feels the College, as a Catholic institution, should support students standing up for their Catholic beliefs. “I felt like I was always fighting administration,” she said. “In the past, we know Notre Dame students were granted excused absences and it’s an important enough event that we thought we should get excused absences as well.”Dunn said there was word of another petition going around both last school year and this school year, but she did not want to take that approach due to the failure of past petitions. “I’ve witnessed petitions go through to try to get excused absences, but none of those have ever worked,” Dunn said. “I knew we needed to approach this a different way.”Instead, Dunn put together a proposal for why she thought Saint Mary’s has an obligation to permit excused absences for students to attend the March for Life. Dunn began by bringing her proposal to Vanek who, according to Dunn, thanked her for bringing the proposal early in the school year, which was something students in the past had not done. Previously, Dunn said, students would present petitions closer to when they would go to the March for Life in January. Vanek then passed her proposal on to the Academic Standards Committee. According to the Saint Mary’s website, the committee meets to determine education policies and regulations. It consists of the dean of faculty, the senior academic advisor, the associate dean for advising, the vice president for enrollment management, the vice president for student affairs, six faculty members and two students. Dunn’s proposal ended up being a three page document filled with reasons for why students should be able to have excused absences. “I wrote it on behalf of all pro-life Saint Mary’s students and alumnae,” she said. “They provide monetary support for us, and it wouldn’t be possible without them.”One of the main points Dunn touched on was the fact that the College is focusing on the core value of justice this year. Saint Mary’s has four core values: learning, community, faith and justice. Each school year, Saint Mary’s focuses on a different core value so that students are able to have a significant experience with each one, Dunn said.“We advocate social action and practice principles of justice and compassion,” Dunn said. “The value of justice challenges us to reaffirm our commitment to overcome prejudice and change systems that oppress. Justice also challenges the College to continue to develop programs which affirm human dignity in the workplace. It invites us to make an active commitment to diversity.”Dunn said there is no better way for Saint Mary’s to support this core value than to outwardly support students who want to participate in an event centered on social justice. Last year, over 100 students from Saint Mary’s attended the March for Life with approximately 600 Notre Dame students; that is 7 percent of the College attending the march without excused absences. President Jan Cervelli attended the march as well, which is something the Saint Mary’s president has not done in the past. “I extended another invitation for her this year as well,” Dunn said. “We loved having the support of our president with us on the March.” This year, Belles for Life is working more with Notre Dame Right to Life in an effort to bring a record number to students on the March. “The fact that absences will be excused on [Jan. 19] is a huge factor in getting more women to go on the trip,” Dunn said. “We want to bring a record number of students to the March in D.C., and we think we can do it.”Dunn announced the policy change at a Belles for Life meeting the day she found out. She said the member’s reactions were priceless. “Everyone was ecstatic and surprised,” she said. “I honestly didn’t think it was going to happen. Mother Mary is watching out for us — I don’t know why was I worried.”Zuniga said she was filled with pride for her alma mater when Dunn told her the news. “I was extremely proud of Katherine because I read her proposal and thought it was exceptional,” she said. “It was so well stated and articulate and I was very proud of seeing a change that took a lot of years of fighting for to actually happened. I am very excited and relieved for students.” Attending the March for Life is what inspired Zuniga to be a pro-life activist. Her passion has led her to her current job as a counselor at First Way, a pregnancy support center in Arizona.“I made the decision to become a more serious pro-life advocate after attending the March for Life my first year with Notre Dame,” Zuniga said. “That trip is what propelled me to what turned into 4 years of fighting for the pro-life movement and growing my passion.”Drumm said Notre Dame students have been given a sense of comfort knowing they are able to have excused absences. “It definitely makes things a lot easier for students to be able to work with professors and for professor to be OK with students missing class,” Drumm said. “I’ve never heard anyone say I couldn’t go on the March because my professor couldn’t work with me.”Dunn said she hopes that from now on, Saint Mary’s students will be filled with the same sense of comfort when they make the decision to attend the March for Life.Zuniga said she hopes all Saint Mary’s students who want to attend do attend the March this year. “I know Saint Mary’s already has a great presence for how small our school is,” Zuniga said. “I hope more students can participate and witness how many Americans unite together on this day for an issue that people are refusing to give up on.” Tags: March for Life, petition, Protests, saint mary’slast_img read more

Nanovic Institute to host first-ever Eurocup trivia night with trophy prize

first_imgThe Nanovic Institute for European Studies will host its first-ever Eurocup trivia night on Wednesday night in Jenkins-Nanovic Halls. “This is the first annual Eurocup competition,” Mark Kettler, director of the Eurocup trivia night, said. “This year really represents a huge expansion of the European trivia nights [held previously]. We’re moving from what was a fun night of getting together and asking questions about a common interest to a formalized competition.”The event will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The prize is a trophy, which is intended to encourage inter-hall competition and strengthen individual hall spirit, Kettler said. “We thought instead of just sending an open invitation to anybody who might want to join, we would actually try to encourage the residence halls to compete against each other,” he said. ”So the winner gets the Eurocup which would reside in their residence hall for a year and they bring it back and try to defend it next year. The [winner’s] team name and their residence hall will be emblazoned on the cup.”The purpose of the trivia night is to give students more exposure to the Nanovic Institute and potentially get them involved with it.“I hope that this is a fun night in which students can see how European studies can enrich their own academic career,” Kettler said.Students can register on the Nanovic Institute website event page or directly walk in to the event on Wednesday night. “If you register early, you will be considered for the best team name competition, and the best team name gets 10 bonus points,” Kettler said.The competition had 45 people from eight different residence halls registered as of Monday. Students referred to the trophy as a major incentive to attend. “I have a competitive streak so I think that having a bit of competition with a cool prize [the trophy] will make it a lot of fun,” sophomore Maureen Kenny, who intends to attend the event, said in an email.Anticipation for the trivia night extended beyond student participants as well.“I’m excited about it,” Anna Dolezal, assistant manager of student program at Nanovic Institute, said. “I used to participate in events like this during my master’s degree, and I really liked them. I think it’s a fun way to meet other people who are interested in these kinds of things. It’s a cool way to bring together people who have interests that you don’t often hear from daily conversations.”The Eurocup competition requires students to already have chosen their teams by the time of registration. As of Monday, for example, Lewis Hall had two teams fielded, Kettler said.“The idea that you have to form a team beforehand is that we really wanted this to be on people’s radar ahead of time, and to encourage this idea of inter-dorm rivalry,” he said. “The registration [for the trivia night] is not closed yet. We encourage you to sign up ahead of time because there’s the 10-point bonus at stake, but we’ll also accept walk-on teams.”In addition to the Eurocup prize, which ultimately goes to the winner of the trivia competition, there is also a “Eurocup junior” which goes to the team that has the most freshmen. “We’re just trying to encourage freshmen in their first semester to explore and to be aware of what the Nanovic Institute is, and how it can help them craft their studies and then pursue their interests,” Kettler said.Tags: interhall competition, Nanovic Institute for European Studies, Trivia nightlast_img read more

Zahm House has twice the amount of coronavirus infections of any other dorm, all residents will be required to undergo testing

first_imgIn an email to Zahm House residents, vice president for student affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding revealed the men’s residence hall has twice the amount of coronavirus infections of any other hall on campus. Residents will now be required to get surveillance tested by the end of the business day Friday. If not, students cannot attend Saturday’s football game.“I, other University leaders and your rector, Fr. Bill [Dailey], are all deeply concerned for your individual health and the health of our broader community,” she wrote. “Because of the increased number of cases in [Zahm], all eligible Zahm residents have received instructions for University surveillance testing over the past week.”Hoffmann Harding said those who have already tested positive or are in quarantine will be exempt from the mandated testing. While it is important for those who have been selected for testing normally to comply, she said it is especially important for Zahm House members in order to contain transmission.Residence hall members who have not already been tested will be scheduled at the testing center at Notre Dame Stadium on Friday during the morning or early evening time slots.According to the email, those who do not complete testing will be unable to attend the football game, and may also be “referred to the University’s conduct process.”Tags: coronavirus, surveillance testing, Zahm Houselast_img read more

Notre Dame professor publishes study with new insights on fatherhood

first_imgCourtesy of r A father from the BaYaka tribe poses for a photo with his young sonin the northern Republic of Congo, where Boyette did his field work.Boyette did his dissertation research in a remote region in northern Republic of the Congo —accessible by a weeklong journey from the capital city of Brazzaville. There he studied the BaYaka and Bondongo people who live a very different lifestyle than one we’re used to. Although located in the same village, the two tribes have their own distinct cultures. The BaYaka people are a more egalitarian society, focused on cooperative living, whereas the Bondongo people are fisher-farmers whose society is hierarchical and status-based.Boyette noted that the differences between these two communities who live in such close conjunction is really what drew their study to this remote corner of the world.“Our interest was to work with both groups and try to understand differences and look to see if there were differences in fathering that are related to cultural differences, including things like variation in the family systems and what fathers do in the community,” Boyette said.They hypothesized that the testosterone levels of the BaYaka men and Bondongo men were different. Testosterone, a hormone which has been shown to decrease in men when entering fatherhood in some cultural settings, can be associated with physical strength and aggression. Gettler’s team hypothesized that since the BaYaka fathers place more emphasis on community and generosity, their testosterone levels will be lower than the Bondongo fathers, who are valued more for their strength and being a good resource provider.When the researches had an opportunity to collaborate via funding from the Jacobs Foundation, Boyette said that he and Gettler jumped at the chance.“[The Jacobs Foundation] offered us this opportunity to apply for funding to work on projects together,” Boyette said. “It was a really fantastic opportunity and Lee and I right away saw a really good opportunity to collaborate because we both had different skill sets that we recognized would work well together.”Before the two could conduct any formal research, they had to connect with the communities and get settled.“The first summer of our grant, [Boyette] went to field site and just basically was hanging out to gain trust with the communities to talk to them about ‘Here’s what we’re interested in, we’re interested in learning about your communities and here’s what we would do,’” Gettler said. “[Boyette was] getting permission from the communities, particularly the elders and the leadership councils in the community, to make sure that they were that it was acceptable to them, ethically, that we do this work.”Boyette said that the work was challenging, and it would not have been possible without the help of others who blazed the trail for him.Another challenge faced by the team was how to transport their materials. Gettler explained that this was an especially difficult project because they needed to transport large liquid nitrogen jugs to store saliva samples containing information about testosterone from the BaYaka and Bondongo men.“If we look at testosterone in saliva, it correlates really strongly to what is circulating in the blood in the body, but it’s obviously much less invasive than collecting blood so that’s the benefit,” Gettler mentioned. “Part of the reason that there are few studies in this kind of relatively remote setting is because of the challenges of dealing with the biological markers.”Boyette explained that they had to modify their travel plans in order to transport the materials to the remote communities because the canisters of liquid nitrogen need to be closely monitored at all times to prevent spillage.The researchers also struggled with the problem of how to quantify how the different cultures viewed fatherhood and how to decide who were the “good fathers.”Gettler explained that the team conducted a series of long interviews with the villagers to get a sense of the values that were sought after in a good father.“[Boyette and his team] spent a lot of time doing semi-structured qualitative interviews—we’d call that data ethnography,” Gettler said. “Our real goal was to try to understand how these communities are defining what a good father is and then can we find a way to operationalize that to get at whether good fathers, based on local values, have healthier kids.”Once they had sorted out the cultural ideas of fatherhood, the researchers had each respective father rank each other on the main values pointed out by each community. The questions that the fathers ranked each other by varied between the BaYaka and Bondongo groups: The BaYaka cultural ranked good fathers based on how they shared resources, how hard they worked, whether they had any spousal arguments, whether their children were healthy and if they contributed to community teaching. On the other hand, the Bondongo people ranked good fathers based on fishing/hunting abilities, how big their gardens were, if they traveled to get commercial goods for the community, if they had healthy children and if they contributed to social education.Boyette said that the different questions actually revealed a lot about the communities.  He explained that they found that the Bondongo fathers were actually sorted into two groups: one of the groups of fathers focused more on the hard, laborious chores of fishing and hunting, and the other group focused on the teaching of children and staying closer to the community. As Boyette and Gettler expected, the group of Bondongo fathers that focused on the strength intensive tasks had higher levels of testosterone than the group that focused more on the children. With the BaYaka tribe who are more focused on cooperative communities, the researched noted lower levels of testosterone in men who were ranked as better fathers.The team also noted a correlation between testosterone levels and martial arguments. They found that fathers in both communities who were rated as having more martial conflicts had higher testosterone levels.Gettler and Boyette both agree that their study has impacts outside the remote village in the Republic of Congo. Boyette said that he believes this study shows us that there is not just one way to be a great father.“There’s not one good way that men should be contributing to their families and we have to recognize that men see themselves as coming from particular different cultural backgrounds and that these may also suit their biology better or are promoted by their biology in different ways,” Boyette said. “We should be able to welcome various ways of being fathers and different ways of contributing to the child development and supporting.Tags: anthropology, Fatherhood, Jacobs Foundation Recently published in Nature Magazine’s Scientific Reports, Dr. Lee Gettler, an associate professor of anthropology at Notre Dame, has completed a new study which links testosterone levels in fathers with their broader cultural settings.Gettler said that he became interested in his research when he met Dr. Adam Boyette, who is now a senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, at a conference put on by the Jacobs Foundation.“[The Jacobs Foundation] put together a conference that was specifically bringing together a really large group of scholars who specifically studied fathers from diverse perspectives —psychology, sociology, neuroscience, anthropology — to try to get all these people in the same room to talk about how we can begin to kind of best understand the way that fathers impact human children,” Gettler said.last_img read more