Philadelphia police commissioner defends protest response

first_imgPHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw has defended her actions during days of widespread protests against police brutality this summer. She held a news conference Thursday after an independent report harshly criticized her direct decision-making. The critique came in a report conducted by two independent firms and released by the city controller’s office on Wednesday. Critics and protesters have denounced the city’s use of tear gas and other less-than-lethal munitions during at least three incidents. In one instance, officers fired at protesters who had made their way onto Interstate 676 and were trapped by police vehicles.last_img read more

Chairman reflects on Forum

first_imgCoordinators of this year’s Notre Dame Forum event were pleased with the first semester’s events and were already preparing the series of Forum events that will take place in the Spring semester, said Ed Conlon, associate dean in Mendoza College of Business and chairman of the Working Committee for the Notre Dame Forum. This year’s Forum topic, “The Marketplace and the Common Good,” viewed the issue from many different angles at several panel discussions consisting of University professors and alumni as well as a lecture given by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center in November. Conlon said members of the Forum’s Working Committee and Steering Committee thought the Friedman event overall was a success and were happy with the results of the evening. “I think that Thomas Friedman’s lecture went very well,” Conlon said. “I know that a lot of discussion took place after it among the students.” The Forum coordinators recognized a few issues after Friedman’s lecture that they would like to work on for the future, Conlon said. “I think there was a fair number of students there and the event sold out in two hours, but we did see a lot of empty seats. In the future, we want to look at the way tickets to these events are distributed to that the students who get the tickets are people who really want to attend,” he said. Conlon said he and other Forum coordinators were pleased to see a high level of participation in the sponsored small group discussions the weekend after Friedman’s lecture. The purpose of the small groups, which took place in various residence halls, was to offer a venue where students could casually discuss the issues Friedman raised in his talk. “The discussion groups in the dorms brought up some very good points in relation to the topic,” Conlon said. “I was very pleased because students are very busy and it is often hard to get them to come to events. We did a poll of the level of attendance at these small group sessions and we found that we had around 20 or more people at every event.” Conlon said he thought the Forum’s first semester events were successful but the Working Committee decided that Friedman’s lecture would be the last Forum event of the fall semester. “We decided when we got into Thanksgiving that there would be too much going on,” he said. “But we are working on a number of things for next semester.” Conlon said students and faculty could expect four Forum sponsored events spread out over the spring semester, including a lecture given by U.S. Senator Evan Bayh on the role government and politics plays in the common good. By the time Bayh comes to campus on Feb. 21, he will have already have left his position in the U.S. Senate. Conlon said he was slightly concerned about the level of student attendance now that Friedman’s talk, considered the “signature” event of the Forum, has passed. But was “confident” the planned events will be appealing to students. “I think having Senator Bayh come here to talk is a big deal,” Conlon said. “Especially for the reason he left office. He didn’t feel like the officials in the Senate and House were looking out for the will of the people. I think he will draw a lot of students.”last_img read more

ND blog network spurs online dialogue

first_imgStudents, faculty and staff are using the Notre Dame blog network to connect globally, according to Don Schindler, the managing director of Marketing Communications at AgencyND. Schindler, one of the founders of the network, suggested the idea upon starting his employment at the University in 2009. “I was an avid blogger at my previous position before joining the University, and I believe that blogs are great way to communicate online, especially when it comes to being found via the search engines,” Schindler said. Fueled by his passions for blogging, Schindler put his idea into action with the team at AgencyND, the University’s communications unit, using a program called WordPress, which currently powers over 60 million blogs worldwide. The Notre Dame blog network went live in February of 2010 and started to gain traction in June of that year, Schindler said. The University provides this service for free, he said. It provides both student and faculty bloggers a platform to use under, giving them an instantly higher search ranking than blogs posted elsewhere from a .com or .org domain. “For students, the blog network allows them to get a feel for what blogging is like,” Schindler said. “Most small businesses and large corporations are creating blog networks and expect their employees to engage their customers through this type of platform.” Currently, there are 171 blog sites with 602 users in the network, according to Schindler. More than 114,731 unique visitors have visited 189,617 times and looked at 432,203 pages as of Tuesday. One current promoter of the Notre Dame blog network is professor Christine Becker of the Film, Television and Theatre Department. She has started using the blogs for her course on British television. “I decided to try it out because I wanted to foster more conversation among the students and get them exposed to each other’s ideas more fully,” Becker said. Students in Becker’s course are required to blog and post weekly comments, voicing their opinions and responses to different British television programs. “I’m so often impressed by the depth of thought students express in short essays,” she said. “It struck me as unfortunate that I was the only one who got to read them and believed students would benefit from seeing what their peers were coming up with, so that’s another reason to have them blogging.” According to Becker, blogging has become an important tool in the marketing world since it provides a coveted goal of many businesses: exposure. Not only does the Notre Dame blog network provide Notre Dame programs and courses with exposure in the virtual world, it also delivers a unique opportunity for experts in other parts of the world to contribute to the Notre Dame conversation. “The class is on British television, so I also envisioned a possibility of student posts generating feedback from others beyond the class, including possibly British scholars and students who could lend first-hand insights from their cultural perspectives,” she said. The blog posts are aggregated onto the main page of the website, which also provides a list of blogs students can follow. Students who wish to join the blog network need faculty approval and can visit to get started.last_img read more

Whole Foods to open in fall

first_imgHealth-conscious students will have options beyond the Huddle’s limited organic and gluten-free options when Whole Foods opens in Mishawaka in the fall. After investigating the South Bend area for years, the high-end grocery chain will take over the 24,000 square foot space on Grape Road formerly occupied by Borders, according to the South Bend Tribune. Sophomore Kelly Cronin said she is greatly looking forward to shopping at the new Whole Foods. “There’s so much good food there,” Cronin said. Cronin said she suffers from Celiac disease, which restricts her to a gluten-free diet. Although the dining hall offers special meals for her, Cronin said she is excited to take advantage of Whole Foods’ vast inventory of gluten-free products. “Whole Foods has some really great gluten-free breads and muffins, and they’re not in the refrigerator,” Cronin said. “Whereas the gluten-free stuff — at least at South [Dining Hall] — is in a little fridge, and you have to heat it up.” Cronin said the presence of Whole Foods might also improve the gluten-free options provided in the dining halls. “[Whole Foods] is going to allow the dining hall to offer more services because they won’t have to dig or order or do special things to get us food,” she said. Besides opening up possibilities for the dining hall, Cronin said having a Whole Foods would give her more options for snacks and meals in her room. “[Whole Foods has] better gluten-free cereal,” Cronin said. “Before I was diagnosed [with Celiac disease], I used to eat a lot of cereal. Gluten-free Chex is great, but sometimes I want something other than Chex.” Junior Connor White said he is excited for Whole Foods to open because of the variety of organic foods sold there. “I try to find more organic foods to eat here,” White said. “I’m stoked [for Whole Foods] because that’s where I do all my grocery shopping back home.” White said despite Whole Foods’ notoriously high price point, organic food is cheaper there than at other local food stores. “[I’m excited about] getting organic produce that’s not $5 for an apple,” White said. “[Whole Foods’ price point] is better than any of the other health food stores around here. Obviously it’s a little bit more expensive than Meijer, but I’m willing to spend that much extra if it’s better food.” A large part of student body president and vice president elect Brett Rocheleau and Katie Rose’s campaign platform was opening a high-end grocery in Eddy Street Commons. Now that Whole Foods is opening in Mishawaka, Rocheleau said he and Rose are entertaining different ideas for a new store in Eddy Street Commons. “Now we’re going to … really open it up to the students and do more surveys to see what the students would like to be on Eddy Street,” he said, “as well as communicate with South Bend and the mayor’s office to see what they think would be a nice place to open up there.” Rocheleau said Student Senate’s Constituent Services Committee will send out email surveys to students regarding not only a new store in Eddy Street Commons, but also a new LaFortune Student Center restaurant to replace Sbarro’s when its contract expires next year. Cronin said she thinks student government should not abandon plans to open a specialty grocery store in Eddy Street Commons. “Having some sort of grocer would be really nice within walking distance [of campus] so you don’t have to have a car,” she said. “[Whole Foods] is not on the bus route, which is not so convenient.” Instead of Sbarro’s, Cronin said she would like to see a Chinese restaurant in LaFortune, such as Pei Wei, P.F. Chang’s or a more health-conscious establishment. “For those midnight munchies, we already have Reckers and the Huddle,” Cronin said. “I think we’re pretty well set on our high-caloric junk food.”last_img read more

Play tackles controversial topics, student labels

first_imgThe play titled “Playing, Dating aND Maybe Mating,” written and directed by senior Matthew Mancini, addresses Notre Dame student stereotypes and follows these characters as they navigate friendships, dating and hook-ups. The show’s online trailer mentions characters such as “The Bro,” “The Best Friend” and “The Campus Catch.” “If people come they will be really surprised by the content and just how intricate all the characters are,” Mancini said. “We really dove into so many different topics and issues on campus.” Sophomore producer Blair Arbuckle said the play, which will be performed Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Washington Hall, covers topics such as females on birth control, eating disorders and domestic violence. “We have one character in specific that is interesting because you can see the different sides of his mind working,” Arbuckle said. “There are two people playing his other roles … demonstrating how you can have internal dilemmas and fights trying to find yourself and trying to deal with not only Notre Dame but life in general.” Arbuckle said despite the strong labels Notre Dame students place on each other, no one perfectly fits into these categories. “We were just surprised by how all the stereotypes were broken,” she said. “People aren’t as one-dimensional as people think. There’s no algorithm for anyone.” Mancini said the Gender Studies Program sponsors the play and all the directors and producers participate in the Gender Relations Center’s “FIRE Starter” program, which aims to educate students about relationships and identity. “Many of us participated in ‘Loyal Daughters and Sons’ last year,” he said. “The producers and I are part of the creative team of ‘FIRE Starters,’ and it was our job to create a creative program for campus.” He said the theatrical venue appealed to him because it offered a freedom and creativity to explore taboo topics. To properly address these issues, the creative team worked together to interview students in November across campus, Arbuckle said. Mancini said he then compiled common stories and experiences to form the script, with rehearsals starting immediately after Spring Break. “They’re real stories but none of the characters are based off of one person,” Arbuckle said. “We made a list of the different people we wanted to hit and then we went around and interviewed friends or whoever we could for about two weeks …We all came back together and had a meeting and talked about everything, all the different impressions. We took what we found, overriding themes and put them together to make characters.” Mancini said every Notre Dame student can identify with something he or she has struggled with as it is portrayed in the production. “The overall theme is self-love and individuality, finding confidence with being you,” he said. “I guarantee everyone that comes to the production will see someone they know or personally identify with. They’ll relate with the characters.” Mancini said the cast is very diverse. Not all are FIRE Starters, and actors and actresses include political science, economics and even anthropology majors.   “It’s all over the place. They were interested in doing the play and it was kind of word of mouth,” Mancini said. “I had worked with some of them before, but a lot of them were interested in being part of the production.” Arbuckle said she hopes the play fosters dialogue about the issues presented, many of which may be completely new and uncomfortable for the audience. “It’s more about getting it out there,” she said. “It’s unlike any play I’ve seen here because we say a lot that people keep to themselves and that people are afraid to say. We just want to put it out there and have it said, maybe for the first time you’ll hear it out loud, but then … we want you to go in your own direction.” Tickets for the play are available in the LaFortune Box Office for $3.last_img read more

Club explores American culture

first_imgSenior Colin O’Neill, the president of the American Studies Club, wants students to know why he thinks American Studies is the best major at Notre Dame. American Studies, O’Neill said, is more than just an interdisciplinary study of what it means to be American. “It is understanding American thought and American behavior through our everyday experiences and things like [television], movies and books,” O’Neill said. O’Neill chose American Studies as a major because he was not interested in studying one specific subject, and the interdisciplinary approach of the classes appealed to him, he said. As president of the American Studies Club, which is in its second year at Notre Dame, O’Neill hopes that fellow students, both majors and non-majors, will also be drawn to the interdisciplinary aspect and want to join the club. “It’s an opportunity to take whatever it is you’re studying – economics, political science – and bring your expertise to a much broader conversation,” O’Neill said. “The club is all-inclusive and allows people from all majors to contribute to the conversation.” On Sept. 13, the club hosted an event titled “Mediating Media: The Contemporary Face of American Journalism?” in which members gathered together to watch clips of “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show”. American Studies professor Josh Roiland, who also teaches classes in the Journalism, Ethics and Democracy minor, facilitated a discussion related to the shows and their effect on politics and journalism. O’Neill said the club hopes to hold similar events in the future where students can speak to professors in an informal setting about contemporary issues in American culture. “We would like to let professors come in and talk about what their interests are,” O’Neill said. “We want them to share their thoughts on what they’re reading, watching and listening to, and then talk about how and why those things are American.” O’Neill also said that the club officers are trying to organize a “Mad Men” marathon as a potential event. He said that he hopes fun events like these will keep people interested and allow them to learn more about the connection between contemporary American culture and American history. This Friday, the club is sponsoring a lecture on the relationship between football and universities, entitled “The Rise of Gridiron University: Higher Education’s Uneasy Alliance with Big-Time Football,” at 3 p.m. in the Hesburgh Center Auditorium. Preceding the lecture will be a football tailgate with food and flag football, O’Neill said. “This event is a way for us to build awareness around something that is so relevant to us: football,” O’Neill said. Ultimately, O’Neill said that he hopes students will recognize that the American Studies Club, besides being interesting, informative and engaging, can also be a fun and worthwhile use of their time. “When people hear ‘American Studies Club,’ they hear the word study … but the emphasis of this club is to take our education and put it into something that is a part of our everyday lives, such as playing football on the quad,” O’Neill said. “There is something truly American about our everyday activities.” Contact Sarah McCarthy at smccart6@nd.edulast_img read more

Jenkins founds inclusion board

first_imgUniversity President Fr. John Jenkins announced the creation of a President’s Oversight Committee on Diversity and Inclusion in a letter sent via email to all faculty, staff and students Monday morning. The email stated that the committee’s purpose is to extend and deepen the diversity and inclusion of the campus community. “With many colleges and universities across the nation, we believe that a diverse community offers a richer educational environment,” Jenkins said in the email. “What is more, as a Catholic university, Notre Dame is part of one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse organizations in the world today, and we strive to reflect that diversity ever more in our community.” Jenkins said in the email that the committee was formed to “maintain … focus and facilitate appropriate communication, coordination and accountability” on issues surrounding diversity and inclusion on campus.  Jenkins will chair the committee. Other members include Laura Carlson, vice president and associate provost and dean of the Graduate School; Ann Firth, chief of staff; Erin Hoffman Harding, vice president for student affairs; Bob McQuade, vice president for human resources; Dan Myers, vice president and associate provost; Hugh Page, vice president and associate provost for undergraduate affairs and dean of the First Year of Studies; Matt Storin, senior project specialist and Sarah Wake, director of the Office of Institutional Equity. Committee members will regularly share information with the President’s Leadership Council and the Deans’ Council, according to the letter. They will also periodically update the University’s Academic Council, staff Town Hall meetings and student government leaders.last_img read more

Panelists tell women to seek ‘balance’

first_imgCan Notre Dame women have it all?  Panelists Muffet McGraw, Susan Pratt-Rosato and Dr. Mary O’Callaghan addressed this question for this year’s first installment of the Professors for Lunch series. The panel discussion, titled “Can Notre Dame Women Have it All? Career, Family, and the Pursuit of Post-graduation Happiness,” brought the three women to the South Dining Hall’s Oak Room on Friday at noon. The audience was filled with members of the Notre Dame community, especially young women, eager to hear about the opinions and life experiences of the panelists. O’Callaghan, a Notre Dame alumna, stay-at-home mother and activist for children with disabilities, began the discussion. She said she was glad to be part of this discussion. “I’m really grateful to be part of this discussion, and it’s great that we have this conversation here because we can move beyond the rhetoric and think about how we view our vocations,” O’Callaghan said. She said it was important someone tell female students at Notre Dame that some of them will want to be stay-at-home mothers. “There’s a big emphasis on career success for Notre Dame graduates, but we do you a disservice if we don’t also tell you some of you will feel a strong pull to stay at home with your children,” she said. O’Callaghan and her husband had their first child while they were both in graduate school and shared the child-care duties. She said she was drawn to the idea of staying at home. “I felt being a mother really resonated with me on a deep level. It was simply my personal response to having this baby in front of me,” she said. O’Callaghan said she decided to finish her degree before becoming a stay-at-home mother after a friend advised her that people would more readily listen to what she had to say down the road, if she completed her education. She said this advice has paid off in her efforts as co-founder of InForming Life, a non-profit organization that offers support to parents whose child receives a pre-natal diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome. O’Callaghan also said there is a misconception that she and other well-educated stay-at-home moms are wasting their education. “Universities aren’t glorified vocational schools, and education is about more than career preparation,” she said. “Most of the stay-at-home mothers I know have found creative ways to use their education.” Pratt-Rosato, a Notre Dame Political Science professor, said that she initially found the question “Can Notre Dame women have it all?” somewhat offensive. She said she needed to know what “all” means because it is impossible to truly have everything one wants. “Can we have it all? Obviously no. We’re not Hermione Granger. Dumbledore didn’t give us a time turner so we can be a Fortune 500 CEO and then go home and breastfeed,” she said. She said, rather than trying to “have it all,” women should seek the balance in their lives that is right for them. “Life is about balance, and balance isn’t going to be the same for all of us,” she said. Pratt-Rosato said what bothers her most is the sense of guilt among both mothers who remain in the work force and mothers who stay at home. “That is the part that angers me, that we have to feel guilty about making a choice,” she said. “Recognize that life is going to present you with choices and see them as opportunities. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and know there’s no wrong choice.” She said women’s reactions to this question are bound to change over a lifetime. “What you want now in your 20’s is going to change in your 30’s, in your 40’s, in your 50’s and in your 60’s,” Pratt-Rosato said. Pratt-Rosato also echoed O’Callaghan’s opposition to the idea of stay-at-home mothers wasting an education. She said it is worth getting an education for its own sake. “Education can be an end in itself, it doesn’t have to be a means to something else,” she said. Pratt-Rosato said young women should not lose sight of the fact having the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom is a “luxury” and many American women don’t have that option. Muffet McGraw, Irish women’s basketball head coach, said in addition to choosing between the home and the workplace at the individual level, there should be an effort to change how we view the question on a societal level. “When you make your choice you have to make sure it’s a choice you’re making and not one you’re backing into,” she said. “The more confident you are when you make your choice the better you feel about it.” McGraw said in her case stereotypes about men and women have never fit her. “Women are supposed to be warm, sensitive and caring, but I’ve never been like that. Men are supposed to be ambitious, driven and confident and I’ve always been all those things,” she said. She said women need to challenge these stereotypes and need to make a greater effort to project confidence. “We just don’t sell ourselves. Believe in yourself, know what you can do and then tell people you can do it,” McGraw said. The Professors for Lunch panel series is sponsored by the Department of Political Science and the Tocqueville Program.last_img read more

Club hosts Talk it Out Tuesday at Saint Mary’s

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame communities will gather Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Stapleton Lounge, Le Mans Hall to discuss women in athletics.Notre Dame senior Alison Leddy, founder of the female empowerment club Notre Dames, said she hopes this week’s “Talk it Out Tuesday” event will strengthen the relationship between the two schools.“I recognize that most Notre Dame women never go to Saint Mary’s beautiful campus, yet we seem to expect Saint Mary’s women to come to our campus for classes, clubs and social events,” Leddy said.“This Talk It Out Tuesday is a great opportunity to explore Saint Mary’s and to chat about the very interesting issues surrounding women in athletics.”Leddy said the club’s weekly discussions generally deal with issues that affect women, but this week’s topic is especially meaningful.“I have always been interested in hosting Talk it Out Tuesdays at Saint Mary’s because I want Notre Dames to be as inclusive, collaborative and supportive of the women in the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s family as possible,” Leddy said.“We’ve reached out to coaches at Saint Mary’s because the input of female athletes would be extremely valuable in this conversation.”Although Leddy encourages participation of athletes in this week’s Talk it Out Tuesday, she said that all are welcome to discuss this topic.“For the non-athletes, there is absolutely room to contribute about perceptions of female athletics and the treatment of female sports fans,” Leddy said.“It’s a great chance to learn more, listen to insights from others, and get inspired.”Leddy said she worked closely with senior and community co-chair of Saint Mary’s student government association, Emily Getz, to coordinate the event. Notre Dames hopes this week’s discussion will spark weekly participation from Saint Mary’s students, Getz said.“Alison and I are hoping that by hosting the event here, students from Saint Mary’s will enjoy the talk and start going to Notre Dames on Tuesdays,” Getz said.“I see Notre Dames as a great way to bring women together.”Tuesday’s event is an open discussion, but Getz said she especially hopes to discuss why men’s and women’s sports follow different rules.“I hope women will recognize the differences in men’s and women’s athletics,” Getz said.“Through society, women and men are given these distinct norms, but in my opinion, not every man or woman fits these characteristics.”“People believe that because men are bigger, faster and stronger, women should play by a separate set of rules,” Getz said. “This is not necessarily the case.”She said she looks forward to hearing new opinions on the topic, since many students have played sports at some point in their lives.“We thought athletics would be an interesting topic of discussion, because of the community of the two schools,” Getz said.“With Saint Mary’s having all women athletic teams and Notre Dame having co-ed athletics, it will be interesting to hear people’s perspectives on both sides.” Tags: Notre Dames, Saint Mary’s SGA, Talk it Out Tuesdays, women in athleticslast_img read more

Notre Dame ranked fourth for study abroad participation

first_imgNotre Dame was ranked fourth among doctorate-granting universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad programs by the Institute for International Education (IIE), according to a University press release.IIE publishes an Open Doors report each year, which provides information on key facts and trends about students studying abroad around the world — both in the U.S. and foreign countries. According to the most recent ranking, which looked at the 2014-2015 academic school year, 64.2 percent of Notre Dame students studied abroad.According to the report, 1,302 Notre Dame students studied abroad last year and 2,028 received undergraduate degrees.  The report considers students taking courses abroad and those participating in non-credit educational experiences — such as volunteering and service learning — in the count, according to the IIE website.Pepperdine University, American University and the University of Denver were ranked ahead of Notre Dame this year. Last year, the University ranked 10th.The Notre Dame International office manages more than 50 semester-long study abroad programs in 26 different countries, according to the University press release.“More important than the numbers is what this data represent: That more than six in 10 students are studying abroad at some point in their undergraduate career at Notre Dame,” Michael Pippenger, vice president and associate provost for internationalization, said in the release. “Study abroad experiences contribute to students becoming global citizens, enhancing their intellectual work and enriching our community when they return to campus.”Tags: Institute for International Education, Notre Dame International, Open Doors report, study abroadlast_img read more