Open dialogue is one of the greatest tools to help eliminate violence against women, said Tena Dellaca-Hedrick, a victim advocate and outreach educator at the Fort Wayne Sexual Assault Treatment Center, in a lecture Tuesday. “Silence really is a killer,” she said. “By not talking about issues we don’t address them.” The Belles Against Violence Office sponsored Dellaca-Hedrick’s lecture, “From Passion to Purpose: a Survivor’s Story,” held at Saint Mary’s. Dellaca-Hedrick said it is important to not make generalizations about survivors of violence, who are more common than some might think. “Making assumptions about people and experiences victimizes them,” she said. “It victimizes them all over again.” Dellaca-Hedrick said the most important part of her job is to inform survivors of the options they have to respond to their assault. Part of supporting a victim, either as a professional or friend, is accepting and supporting the decisions the survivor makes after the assault, she said. Senior Brianda Salas said the lecture changed her preconceptions about how common violence against women is. “When [Dellaca-Hedrick] said that three quarters of women experience some kind of sexual violence in their lifetime, I was shocked,” she said. “Simply burying the issue in the back of our minds isn’t going to help anyone. There needs to be awareness.”
During this semester’s first meeting of the Campus Life Council (CLC), members discussed their hopes for increased collaboration between different groups on campus this year. Student body president Pat McCormick invited members to present their most immediate concerns and goals for the year. “CLC is designed to be a forum where all of the stakeholders in the University could come together and discuss the most pressing issues,” McCormick said. “We can have a tangible impact on student life and the life of the community as a whole.” Judicial Council president Susanna Sullivan said she hopes CLC can foster a better relationship between students and the Office of Residence Life and Housing (ORLH). “I want to facilitate a greater respect for the [disciplinary] process and also bring about a greater transparency to it,” she said. Diversity Council representative Alexa Arastoo said she hopes to increase awareness of diversity on campus, especially now that over a quarter of the student population are considered minorities. “As the percentage of students who identify as a minority grows, my goal is to see if Notre Dame can graduate more people who have an openness to those kinds of issues,” she said. “I hope that we can see a greater integration between minority students and the rest of the student body.” Farley Hall rector Sr. Carrine Etheridge said she would like to see CLC work on reducing student apathy on important issues. “I think we could do better on helping to form authentic community,” she said. “It would be great if the same atmosphere in the Stadium on Saturday carried over to Monday morning.” Etheridge said she hopes CLC will focus on accomplishing practical goals, rather than attempting to tackle sweeping policy changes. “I’d like to see us do practical, doable things,” she said. “Things that would improve the quality of life for students.” McCormick said he believes CLC can have a profound impact on student engagement and greatly enhance student life at Notre Dame. “It’s exciting for us to have this opportunity to think through how we can work through these issues,” he said. “We have the ability to utilize each facet of the student union well.”
What started out as a simple pick-up flag football game between Notre Dame’s men’s lacrosse seniors and community children last year has now developed into the Irish Experience League. According to Director Kevin Dugan, manager of Youth and Community Programs, the Irish Experience League is a free five-week program for boys and girls in the local community and is led by student athletes and volunteers. “The goal of the Irish Experience League is to use the virtues of the five pillars of Notre Dame athletics ⎯ excellence, education, faith, tradition and community ⎯ to positively influence children,” Dugan said. “These are the key fundamental principles we shape our student-athlete experience around. We want to impact as many young children as possible with the virtues inherent with these fundamental building blocks of success.” The league was a collaborative event between the Notre Dame Athletics Department and the Alliance for Catholic Education’s (ACE) Play Like A Champion program. Dugan said the league began with 40 participants but doubled to 80 by last week. More than 40 volunteers helped throughout the course of the fall. “Every week we would play flag football for one-and-a-half hours and then go through 30 minutes of Play Like A Champion character building lessons,” Dugan said. “Seeing student-athletes serving alongside fellow students, faculty and staff was powerful. I think their influence helped plant big dreams, goals and aspirations [in] these kids.” Devon Dobson, a senior on the men’s lacrosse team, said he decided to join the program to reach out to the youth community in South Bend. “Through Coach Corrigan and Kevin Dugan, we were able to partake in the program by coaching, officiating and playing in the flag football games each Sunday,” he said. Dobson said the children came to grasp the importance of teamwork, fair play and good character through the Irish Experience League. The program shed light on the resources at Notre Dame and the positive atmosphere the athletes brought to the community, he said. “The boys and girls of the Irish Experience took away the true meaning of ‘Play Like a Champion Today,’ which is the motto of the program,” Dobson said. “They gained a firm understanding in the value of team work and undertook confidence in themselves as individuals to succeed.” Tim Abromaitis, a graduate student on the men’s basketball team, said the best part of the experience for him was the connection he felt with the participants. “A lot of conversation centered around common interest in sports, but getting to hear about school and home life was also interesting and insightful,” he said. The program also brought the Notre Dame and South Bend communities closer through fun experiences, he said. “It was good how the program tied together all these different aspects with playing a sport all the kids love,” Abromaitis said. “I hope they enjoyed playing football with me as much as I did with them, but also learned some life lessons in teamwork, dedication and relationships.” Dugan said participants not only left with a greater sense of what opportunities they could pursue in their future, but also built relationships between the internal and external communities around Notre Dame. In the future, he said he hopes to see the Irish Experience League expand. “We see this league growing to multiple locations around South Bend,” Dugan said. “We see it becoming a hallmark volunteer opportunity for the whole Notre Dame family.”
The Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) met Tuesday to discuss budget allocations for clubs on campus, including two appeals from campus clubs. Both the Biology Club and the Social Work Club appealed the allotments received from SGA. Every club on campus is given the option to appeal its allotment and bring the issue to one of the SGA meetings. Clubs can only appeal a decision “if a procedural error has been made by the finance committee,” according to SGA finance committee bylaws. After hearing the appeals, SGA members discussed as a group whether or not to grant appeals for both of the organizations. Many questions came up during the discussion. “What exactly is a sponsorship?” senior class vice president Noelle Radko asked. “I’m not sure exactly what it is, and I know there may be some confusion about that among different clubs.” Student body president Nicole Gans explained that sponsorships, according to the finance bylaws, “serve to cover recognized clubs and organizations’ expenses that are campus-wide events or travel-related.” “It is important for all of you and any club on campus to come to see me if you have questions. I’m always in the SGA office,” SGA Executive Treasurer Liz Busam said. “If anyone is ever unclear on anything concerning allotments or finances, you can ask.” SGA Executive Secretary Emma Brink echoed Busam’s offer. “If you hear of any clubs having lingering questions, you can tell them to visit the SGA office and we can explain things to them there,” Brink said. According to the bylaws of the SGA finance committee, the purpose of allotments is “to fund the ‘material’ expenses of the club,” including “equipment and material for regular operations.” SGA give student clubs the option of applying for sponsorship from SGA for other expenses. SGA concluded its meeting by voting on the appeals. “I’m really proud of everyone for being able to make a decision on allotments,” Gans said. “We were able to work through things pretty fast, so I’m happy that we were able to get all of our allotments finished.”
On Thursday morning, pro-life activist Randall Terry visited Notre Dame’s campus to host a press conference and deliver a letter to University President Fr. John Jenkins. The document was also submitted to over 100 University faculty and professors who signed a letter earlier this week addressing controversial statements made in an April 14 homily delivered by Bishop Daniel Jenky of the Diocese of Peoria, Ill. Jenky is a member of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees and serves as a University Fellow. In his homily, Jenky compared the dispute over President Obama’s healthcare reform to challenges the Catholic Church has faced in the past. He cited Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin as examples. The letter signed by at least 143 Notre Dame professors and faculty was addressed to Jenkins and University Fellow and Chair of the Board of Trustees Richard Notebaert. It called for a public statement distancing Notre Dame from Jenky’s statements. The professors and faculty also requested for Jenky to renounce his statements or resign from his positions at the University. In Terry’s response, he and the 13 other cosigners call on the professors and faculty who submitted the letter to Jenkins and Notebaert to repent or “have the decency to resign.” “You clearly have little honor, and even less regard for innocent human life,” Terry’s letter stated. “There was not one word – not one syllable – in your letter that condemned or confronted the atrocities being committed by Obama. By your words and your omissions, you show your own treachery against innocent human life, and the teachings of the Church.” In the version submitted to Jenkins and Notebaert, the letter requests “immediate action” be taken against the signing professors and faculty “who have unethically cast aspersions upon a holy bishop.” Gary Boisclair, press agent for Terry and one of the letter’s signees, said the visiting group was looking for a response from the faculty who reacted to Jenky’s homily. “[We look to] the faculty’s call to repentance and to apologize to Bishop Jenky for their damaging statements to this humble, holy leader of the Church,” he said. Boisclair said the group believes Catholics must protect Jenky and the remarks made in his homily. “It is necessary for Christians and Catholics to stand up when a bishop proclaims the gospel of Jesus Christ so clearly,” he said. “If they are being calumniated by people within a Catholic institution, it is the Christian’s responsibility to stand up and defend the bishop.” As of Thursday afternoon, Boisclair said the group had not received a response from anyone their letter was submitted to. “I’m not holding my breath, to be honest,” he said. In addition to hosting a press conference, Boisclair said the group submitted their letter to professors and faculty through the Mail Distribution Center. He said the group also personally delivered a copy to Jenkins’ secretary in the University president’s office. University spokesman Dennis Brown declined to speak on the visit or the letters delivered. “We do not comment on the personal views of our Trustees, or what others think of them,” he said. “We do, however, support the First Amendment right of parties on all sides of this issue to express their views.” According to a press release from Randall Terry Media, Terry and his team followed their visit to the University with a press conference in Fort Wayne, Ind., in front of the offices of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend “in solidarity with Bishop Kevin Rhoades.” Six of the signees of Terry’s letter, including Terry himself, identify themselves as members of “ND 88,” the group of 88 individuals arrested in May 2009 for protesting Obama’s commencement address at the University.
Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) is investigating a report of aggravated assault that occurred on campus over the weekend, according to an email alert sent to students Saturday. The assault occurred outside a North Quad residence hall at approximately 6 p.m. on Saturday, police reported. “A male visitor to campus reported being pushed to the ground and then struck repeatedly in the face after a verbal argument,” the email stated. The crime alert reported the suspect to be a student-aged white male with blondish-brown hair and a height of about 6 feet 2 inches tall. Anyone with information about this assault is encouraged to contact NDSP. “Reduce the opportunity for crime by planning ahead for your safety and looking out for your friends,” the email stated. To report a crime in progress, suspicious activity or another emergency, dial 911 from any campus phone or 574-631-5555 from a cell phone.
Saint Mary’s Senate provided an update on parking issues and brought forward a motion to have the Holy Cross and Regina residence hall side doors open longer in its meeting Tuesday. Last week, the Senate appointed senior Chelsea Fordon and junior Chloe Deranek to bring students’ complaints to light and see whether or not more student parking could be provided. The pair met with director of security David Gariepy. Deranek said Gariepy could do nothing to give students more parking. “Chelsea and I met with Dave, he said there is not a way to get more parking in Regina,” Deranek said. “He said you have to understand just as much as the students are unhappy, so are the faculty and staff. They feel they have been here longer so they deserve more parking. He said no matter what he does he gets yelled at by someone and that it is not an option.” Gariepy clarified questions on Angela Athletic Facility parking, Deranek said. “You can park anywhere in Angela, just not in the hall director spot and in [handicapped spaces],” she said. “I know a lot of people who park in the hall director spot and you will get towed.” Fordon said Gariepy offered to sit in on a future senate meeting to answer any future questions they may have and clarify rules concerning senior parking. “The parking over by Angela, there actually is senior parking and it is supposed to be seniors only,” Fordon said. “When I asked him how they mandate that he said they ticket people who they think are not seniors.” First year Leah Walsh said the Senate should see whether or not the Holy Cross and Regina residence hall doors could be unlocked for longer hours. “The side door opens at 10 a.m. and closes usually at 5, so in the morning it is particularly hard,” Walsh said. “It is inconvenient when you go to dinner and you can leave out of that door on the way to dinner but by the time you get home it is locked.” The senate appointed student body vice president Maddy Martin to ask vice president for student affairs Karen Johnson if these side doors could be open longer and for clarification on the times these doors are open. Contact Kiera Johnsen at [email protected]
Among the Advent traditions celebrated on campus this season is Las Posadas, a procession that celebrates the journey of Mary and Joseph to the birthplace of Christ. Three residence halls are hosting the event this week, the final part of which will start at the Grotto at 9 p.m. tonight and end at Farley Hall. Las Posadas, which means “lodgings” in Spanish, is a Christmastime tradition that originated in Spain and is now celebrated annually in Mexico, the southwestern United States and Latino communities in Central and South America. Elaine DeBassige, rector of Farley Hall, said she grew up with the tradition of Las Posadas in New Mexico and wanted to ensure that the tradition became a part of Notre Dame’s Advent season. “Notre Dame has held Las Posadas celebrations in years past, but usually it was just one night out of the year, and I don’t think it has been this organized,” DeBassige said. In traditional Las Posadas observances, two individuals dressed as the holy couple lead a candle-lit procession to the home of a local family, who hosts a meal and prayer. A priest will normally bless the home and lead the prayer service, which often takes place on nine successive nights leading up to Christmas Eve Mass, with Mary and Joseph walking down the church aisle to meet the Christ child at the crÃ¨che. “The celebration is usually a novena,” DeBassige said. “Nine families will host the event in community, but we decided it would be easier to have only three dorms host this week.” Keenan Hall hosted the event Monday night, followed by Howard Hall on Tuesday night. Farley Hall will host the final procession tonight. The Keenan Hall procession began with prayer at the Grotto, followed by a procession featuring traditional music in Spanish, sung by the student group Coro Primavera. Afterward, Ofelia Juarez, a Keenan Hall housekeeper, and several of her family members prepared traditional Mexican tacos for the attendees. Keenan Hall rector Noel Terranova said Juarez has offered her cooking expertise for such events in the past. “Ofelia is part of our family,” Terranova said. “She cooked for our Las Posadas celebration last year. She brings her family, her sons and grandchildren.” As part of the procession, freshman Halie Berrigan from Farley Hall dressed up as Mary and freshman Luke Joseph from Siegfried Hall dressed up as Joseph. The two said they agreed to don the costumes for Las Posadas at the request of DeBassige. “We have a Monday night tradition where we have Mass and she feeds us, so she asked if we wanted to be Mary and Joseph,” Joseph said. Las Posadas was new for many students who took part in the event, including Berrigan. “I hadn’t heard of Las Posadas,” Berrigan said. “It’s a new tradition for me, and it’s cool to be a part of it.” Contact Charlie Ducey at [email protected]
The Morris Inn recently earned the AAA Four Diamond rating for the second year in a row since its 2013 renovation. The award applies for the 2015 calendar year.“We were thrilled to get this award during our first year [since the renovation]. It was really a testament to our design and the passion of our opening team,” Morris Inn director of sales and marketing Megan Akatu, Notre Dame class of 2004, said. “We are even more excited to receive the award a second time.”Photo courtesy of Megan Akatu The Morris Inn is currently one of only 10 hotels in Indiana to hold a Four Diamond Status, and it is the only one north of Indianapolis. “Four Diamond properties contain the top five percent of hotels in the U.S.,” Morris Inn general manager Joe Kurth said. “You just can’t have anything at Notre Dame that’s not in the top 95th percentile.”In order to become AAA approved, “properties must pass an unannounced, on-site evaluation,” according to the AAA website. Hotels must provide acceptable comfort and hospitality, and restaurants must meet requirements for cleanliness, food preparation and service. Hotels that earn a Four Diamond status are defined as “upscale in all areas and progressively more refined and stylish, with physical attributes that reflect enhanced quality throughout,” according to the AAA website.Kurth said the evaluation consists of a three-hour inspection of the property, assessing everything from room decor and dining options to towel size and thread count of the sheets.“I agree completely with the status,” junior Rachael Biscocho said. “I stayed at the Morris Inn with some of the cheerleading team during the polar vortex in January. … After the renovations, the staff is still fantastic and now the rooms are brand new and gorgeous. And Rohr’s, one of the restaurants inside, has delicious food.”Junior Dominic Bush said he also had an enjoyable experience at the Morris Inn.“I was really impressed,” he said. “The room was big, the shower and bed were great, the room service was fast and the food was good.”Kurth said one of the hotel’s most appealing aspects that many students might not know about is the concourse linking the Morris Inn to McKenna Hall. The underground tunnel allows campus visitors, especially those present for academic conferences, to travel quickly and easily to the University’s conference center.“The concourse has just been redesigned to include seasonal portraits of campus and highlights from various academic departments,” Kurth said. “It’s great for professional visitors who may not have a chance to see the whole campus during their visit. Having that, along with the new award, is a tremendous asset.”Kurth said all of the Morris Inn’s renovations were, to a certain extent, geared towards helping it achieve the higher ranking and prestige.“We’re just trying to stay competitive and support everything else on campus, and the new ranking has been a big draw,” he said.Tags: AAA Four Diamond, Morris Inn
Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) is investigating a report of sexual assault committed late Friday night, according to an email sent to students at 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning.The reported assault occurred in a South Quad men’s residence hall, the email stated.The email was the fourth students received this school year to report a sex offense. The allegations mark the seventh sex offense reported to NDSP or other University officials during this academic year, according to information released in the NDSP’s Clery Report daily log.The email quoted “du Lac: A Guide to Student Life,” Notre Dame’s official policy book, and warned students of the risks of sexual assault as well as the standards of consent.“Sexual assault can happen to anyone,” the email stated. “Anyone initiating any kind of sexual contact with another person must seek consent and not engage in sexual contact unless consent is given.“Students should maintain caution and awareness of their surroundings to avoid risks.“On college campuses, perpetrators are more likely to assault an acquaintance than a stranger. Being aware of your own safety and watching out for your friends are important steps you can take to reduce the risk of sexual assault.“The perpetrator, not the survivor, is responsible for any instance of sexual assault. Nothing a survivor does or does not do is an excuse for sexual assault.”Tags: Clery Act, NDSP, sexual assault