Students to present history projects at SMC

first_imgHamilton said she hopes “the students gain a deeper understanding and an enthusiasm for history.”  “[National History Day] is a good way to engage younger students and get them into history,” said Kelly Hamilton, professor and chair of the Saint Mary’s History Department.There will be a history fair held in Spes Unica for the schools in the South Bend area that participate in National History Day. Students will exhibit their history knowledge with poster board projects, research papers, skits and even student-designed Web sites. “The more these students are taught that history is important to understand, the better. I’m hoping that a real love for history will be one of the real benefits of participating in this competition,” she said.  The program has been held at Saint Mary’s for the past three years and it’s expected to be held at the College in the future. Winners from each age group will advance to the state competition, Hamilton said. If those students succeed at the state level, they will compete at the national level with students around the country. “This is a really good opportunity for our students as well,” Hamilton said. “The nicest thing is our students are really impressed by the level of work they see by younger students.” The Saint Mary’s History Department is sponsoring a National History Day event tomorrow for fourth- to 12th-grade students on campus. Judges include members of the History Department, sponsors of National History Day and two Saint Mary’s history and education students. This year’s theme is “Innovation in History.” Students will be divided based on grade level, and judged on their depth of research and their presentation. Hamilton said National History Day could lead to internships for Saint Mary’s students to help develop history programs at local schools. The competition will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. An award presentation will follow in Carroll Auditorium where the winners will be announced.  “We are very proud of hosting [the event],” Hamilton said. “It’s very nice to see younger students interested in history and doing such nice projects. That is what we hoped to accomplish, and it’s really rewarding.”last_img read more

LGBTQ students discuss life on campus

first_imgLike many students, senior Melanie LeMay decided to attend Notre Dame for an elite education, to strengthen her faith and because it was a place where she felt at home.“My story about coming to Notre Dame is pretty much like any other Notre Dame student’s,” LeMay said.Two months into her freshman year, however, LeMay said she discovered she was gay and suddenly felt isolated at the University she previously called home.“It felt right, it felt real. But at the same time, it was devastatingly scary,” she said. “I felt alone and isolated and unwelcome, like I couldn’t tell anyone.”For months, LeMay refrained from coming out to her friends, and even dated a male as she struggled to come to terms with her sexuality.“After I knew I was gay, I tried to be straight. I was worried about the ramifications of my faith life,” she said. “I cared about him a lot, but I didn’t have romantic feelings for him. We broke up in April and that is what sealed the fact that I was gay.”By April of her freshman year, she said she had come out to her friends with positive results and had been welcomed into the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community on campus.“For the first time, I felt like I was coming home to Notre Dame again like I had when I first got there as a freshman,” she said. “I could be myself and be comfortable here and flourish here, and there are people who would love me and accept me for who I am.”However, that is not to say that being gay at Notre Dame is easy.In response to T-shirts that said ‘Gay? Fine by me,’ some students made T-shirts that said ‘Gay? Go to hell,’ LeMay said.“If I had been a closeted student seeing a student wearing a shirt like that, it would have just pushed me further into the closet,” she said.Senior Patrick Bears, an openly gay male, said he knows of many students who had the word ‘fag’ written on the bulletin boards outside their dorm rooms.But Bears said it is more common for students to act uncomfortable, rather than hateful, around gay students.“When I was living in Stanford, I was pretty much the gay kid on the first floor. Some of the kids would just give me weird looks when I walked by,” Bears said. “They looked as if I was terrifying, as if I had giant talons for hands.”Senior Eddie Velazquez, who knew he was gay when he decided to attend the University, said subtle looks or comments take a toll on students who are not completely comfortable with their sexuality.“It’s the equivalent of throwing a tiny pebble at somebody. If each comment is one pebble, you think it’s just one pebble, it’s not going to hurt,” he said. “Over the course of a semester, they add up to 1,000 pebbles. Suddenly, the burden is a lot heavier.”Bears attributed students’ behavior to ignorance rather than outright discrimination.“They don’t really have any experience,” he said. “It’s more or less a fear that comes out of ignorance.”Bears said students could become more educated simply by asking questions.“For most any gay person, if you have any questions, feel free to ask us about them,” he said. “A lot of us are more than willing to talk.”Another way students can help facilitate an accepting environment for the LGBTQ community is to lead by example, Valezquez said.“When you act in a positive manner and when you show willingness to accept, good vibes are contagious,” he said.One particular challenge for gay students is finding and connecting with other gay students because currently no official student club exists for the LGBTQ community, Velazquez said.“One of the concerns for gay students who do enter into our student body is that they may not necessarily find gay students to find interests with and to talk to,” Velazquez said. “Until they do find a good group of friends, it’s difficult for students to be able to relate to their peers.”Core Council for Gay and Lesbian Students, an advisory group to the Vice President of Student Affairs, has meetings that attract a regular group of 15 to 20 students. However, many more LGBTQ students attend the University, Velazquez said.Despite having a smaller pool to choose from, LeMay said dating definitely occurs.“I was in a long-term relationship with another Notre Dame student my sophomore and junior year, so it is possible to date here,” she said. “I know that we interact a lot with the Saint Mary’s gay community as well, which helps the girls.”Velazquez said the dating patterns among the LGBTQ community at Notre Dame are quite similar to those of heterosexual students at Notre Dame.“They are gay students, but they are still Notre Dame students. So they still fall into the same range,” he said. “I know people who have been in the same relationship for three years and then other people who just do not take interest.”The students said Notre Dame, which is repeatedly ranked high on Princeton Review’s list of ‘Alternative lifestyles not an alternative,’ was more accepting than its reputation may imply.“There is this kind of idea that Notre Dame is a terrible place for you to be gay. It may be worse than other schools, but it’s better than a lot of schools,” Bears said.Though LeMay said she probably would not have come to Notre Dame if she had known she was gay, she has no regrets.“I’ve had a happy four years here, three of which I was out,” LeMay said. “I would not change my experience for anything.”last_img read more

Students bring Christmas cheer to Robinson Center

first_imgHoliday cheer filled the air with cookie decorating, holiday music, snacks and Santa visits at Saturday’s fourth annual Winter Wonderland at the Robinson Center. The Community Outreach event, sponsored by Student Activities Board (SAB), was held for students at South Bend community schools and the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) children of Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame, SAB vice president Alli Gerths said. Gerths said over 1,500 flyers were printed to advertise the event and 300 families from ECDC were invited,. “Winter Wonderland is primarily for underprivileged students so it’s really important that children have a chance to spend Christmas with their families and big holidays that might not have the opportunity to do so otherwise,” Gerths said. She said SAB recognizes that Christianity isn’t the only religion celebrated in South Bend. “We don’t want to just exclude it to [only] Christmas although there is a lot of Christmas stuff going on,” Gerths said. “We want all the holidays to be celebrated, that’s why we call it winter wonderland.” In addition to the visiting Santa, children had access to a variety of crafts such as make your own reindeer and coloring pages, Gerths said. “We want to make it a warm welcoming place for kids to be able to decorate their houses with, we assume they take those crafts home and actually use them to decorate their house because that’s apart of the Christmas spirit,” Gerths said. She said Santa was an especially big hit at the event for kids of all backgrounds. “Their excitement about Santa is unreal. We have kids here from every different nationality and kids from oversee,” Gerths said. “Santa goes across worlds so it’s really cool to see them get excited about it, just as we are excited about it in the United States.”SAB values the importance of giving back to the South Bend community through outreach events like Winter Wonderland, Gerths said. “I know sometimes there’s a little bit of riff between community members and the college students,” she said. “We want to allow the kids to make really good memories here at Saint Mary’s and make it a positive place for the community,”   Contact Alex Winegar at [email protected]last_img read more

Saint Mary’s president announces task force to combat sexual assault

first_imgSaint Mary’s president Carol Ann Mooney announced in an email to students, faculty and staff on Wednesday she is creating a Presidential Taskforce to take on the subject of sexual assault and sexual misconduct at the College.The decision to create the Presidential Task force comes after the April 9 screening of the CNN documentary “The Hunting Ground,” according to a College press release. “The Hunting Ground” detailed two cases of sexual assault at Saint Mary’s, including the case of former student Lizzy Seeberg, who committed suicide after allegedly being assaulted by a Notre Dame football player.Since the screening, there have been two panel discussions on Saint Mary’s campus, as well as a private conversation between Mooney and students Tuesday.“Last night, April 28, 2015, I met privately with students to listen to their thoughts on ‘The Hunting Ground’ and the issues it has brought forward,” Mooney wrote in her email. “I have decided to form a Presidential Taskforce to continue the dialogue on the issue of sexual violence. This will be a Saint Mary’s taskforce, chaired by me and comprised of faculty, administration, and students.”Mooney said in her email students can apply to be on the task force by submitting a letter to her office by May 30.She also outlined the role and goal of the task force in the email.“This taskforce will recommend ways to further improve our efforts to prevent sexual assault and sexual misconduct and to assist and support student survivors of sexual assault. It will also examine procedures for handling cases of sexual assault when they occur,” Mooney said.“We must ensure that we have the best possible policies and practices in place and improve our communication about them. Saint Mary’s College should be a national leader in this area.”Tags: President Mooney, Presidential Taskforce, saint mary’s, The Hunting Groundlast_img read more

Freshmen participate in Moreau First-Year Experience

first_imgAll Notre Dame freshmen will take the new Moreau First-Year Experience course during this school year. The course places an emphasis on the holistic growth of the student and aims to ensure a seamless transition for incoming students into every facet of the Notre Dame community, especially experiences in the classroom and residence hall.Maureen Dawson, associate professional specialist for the First Year of Studies, said the weekly course of about 19 or 20 students is meant to create a platform for conversation about the college experience.Lucy Du “The long term goals for the course are actually coincident with the short term goals for the course: to give students a sense that they are entering a supportive community and that they have the time and space to think about their work in a very holistic way, integrating their academic and residential experiences,” Dawson said.Dawson said transitions are always difficult, especially in institutions with deep traditions.“One of the reasons for making the change at this point was a growing concern for students’ well-being, especially their emotional health,” Dawson said. “I think that’s what shifted the paradigm from the excellent work in the physical education department to this current program.“Students have the choice of the activities that are meaningful to them,” she said. “In the class they have an academic framework in which to contextualize their experience, the space to share with other students and a chance to reflect on the choices and opportunities before them.”Dawson said the curriculum design for the course began with discussions back in 2014 and was approved at that time. The course is a credit-bearing course graded in the fall and spring.“In the course of the fall and spring semester, we are looking at a series of topics spanning 13 weeks each semester,” Dawson said. “The topics were formulated from this originating committee and there are seven broad areas to be covered: Orientation to University Life, Community Standards, Cultural Competency, Academic Strategies for Success, Health and Wellness, Mindfulness and Wellbeing and Spirituality.“It is structured, in our minds, so that for students and teachers it’s consonant with one credit’s worth of work,” she said. “The course is based off a flipped classroom model, so for each week students will prepare by doing a reading or watching a video and coming to class in time for a discussion of those materials.”Dawson said there is value in the repetition of topics due to the fact that a student in week three has an entirely different outlook than a student in week eight or week 13.“A topic like cultural competency is treated early in the semester, at mid-term and at the end of the semester so that students get a sense of what culture is, how identity plays into group dynamics and how to engage with difference on campus. Topics repeat and refer back to each other over the course of the year,” Dawson said.“When topics are treated in an iterative fashion, you get into them a little more deeply and you get to understand them a little bit more,” she said.Dawson said the main focus of the experience is to integrate academic life, residential life and everything else that happens on campus.“We looked at where students lived on campus, and we identified seven residential neighborhoods that were clusters of four or five residence halls,” Dawson said. “Sections of Moreau are populated with students in the same residential neighborhoods.“Meaning is found in a lot of different experiences, and this course gives students the opportunity to learn from one another and to think about complex and controversial issues and come to a sense of understanding about their sense of self.”Freshman Kathleen Ryan said she liked the idea of getting different perspectives from a wide array of students.“There’s a football player, a soccer player and a volleyball player in my course, so I really like that diversity,” Ryan said. “Just getting to hear their perspectives and what they think about their experiences at Notre Dame is a great thing.”Ryan said she appreciates the sense of unity the Moreau course creates as a required course for all freshmen students.“We’re all doing it as one class together,” Ryan said. “You get that in your majors, but I like that we’re now getting it as a university.”Richard Meland, another freshman, said he enjoyed the portion of the class he has attended thus far.“I like the way they organized it by neighborhood,” Meland said. “It’s a great opportunity to meet people in Mod Quad, in my case. The course is going to have a lot of subject matter that is going to spark great conversation.”Meland said he believes everyone should learn how to swim, a part of the physical education program that is not replaced by any portion of the Moreau course.“It’s a bit disappointing that the physical education course was replaced,” Meland said. “I thought they would have a been fun break from the more academic classes.”Maureen Dawson said she and her colleagues in the First Year of Studies are very open to student feedback.“We plan to have opportunities for students to weigh in on the course as it stands now,” Dawson said. “Student opinions and comments will be taken into consideration as we revisit the course in the future.”Tags: First Year of Studies, Maureen Dawson, Moreau First Year Experience, PE, Physical Educationlast_img read more

Clark, Pino speak at Legends

first_imgTags: Andrea Pino, Annie Clark, Gender Studies, GRC, sexual assault, The Hunting Ground Friday afternoon at Legends of Notre Dame, Annie Clark and Andrea Pino, co-founders of End Rape on Campus (EROC), spoke to students, faculty and community members about sexual assault at Notre Dame.Katheleen Donahue | The Observer Pino and Clark, who were featured prominently in the CNN documentary “The Hunting Ground” directed by Kirby Dick, spoke at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s last week as well as Indiana University at South Bend.In addition to the two women’s stories, the documentary also includes the story of Lizzy Seeberg, a Saint Mary’s first-year who committed suicide in September 2010, ten days after accusing a Notre Dame football player of sexual assault. Last spring after its debut at Sundance Film Festival in 2015, the documentary was screened at both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, sparking intense discussion of victims’ rights and resources on both campuses.The two women’s involvement with the campus sexual assault prevention began after each was assaulted at the University of North Carolina during their undergraduate career there. After exhausting all other options, Pino said, the two filed a Title IX lawsuit in 2013 along with three other women against UNC.Of their transitions from survivors to advocates, Pino said in the early phase of the complaint the two women had no legal training, and as a result had to learn as they went.“We really just learned from the books that we had read in our classes,” Pino said. “… I was taking a Women’s and Gender Studies course and also a political course that looked at feminist political theatre. It was only looking at Catharine MacKinnon that I realized that I had rights from Title IX. It was actually written in my course material, and I was like ‘cool.’”She said that the two only became involved in “The Hunting Ground” through a coincidence when the filmmaker visited UNC’s campus to promote his documentary “The Invisible War.”“Kirby Dick was actually doing a tour with his previous movie on military sexual violence, and one of my residents when I was an RA went to the screening and said, ‘You have to listen to what’s happening to my RA. She’s in the [New York Times], you should read it.’ And he actually reached out that same evening,” Pino said. “It was only a few weeks after we had filed our complaint, so we’ve been working with Kirby since the very beginning. … We were working on the film for two years, so from when I was a junior in college up until Sundance.”Both women emphasized, however, that the documentary was not the extent of their advocacy work, but rather an instrument through which to bring the issue of campus sexual assaults to the forefront of the public’s minds.“[The documentary] is a great tool, but it’s not the only one,” she said. “We have different organizations and also this film, but that doesn’t mean the work is over. And so we don’t want it to just be screened on campuses and then just to say that’s the end, but it needs to be a conversation starter”Professor Abby Palko, associate director of the gender studies department, said she as a faculty member and her students felt unsure of how to best go about combatting a campus culture that allows sexual assault to happen.“What can they do to impact campus culture so that everyone understands — and buys into — the idea that rape isn’t tolerated?” she said.Playing off the fairly unique residential life at the University, Clark said ending rape culture begins with supporting all members of the community.“This seems very obvious, but supporting one another and supporting people when they come forward,” she said. “I know there’s some tensions or rivalry I guess between Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame, but making sure that if a Saint Mary’s student comes and shares something with you that you support that person, and doing the same with your fellow students here at Notre Dame.“We’ve heard a lot of survivors in the time we’ve been here say that as soon as they’ve come forward they’re quickly shamed or ostracized. They don’t want to go by certain [dorms] because they’re made to feel uncomfortable. I really think that supporting survivors when they come forward, and also doing little things every day to have this conversation, to engage in prevention. Even if there’s somebody who just makes a rape joke in one of your classes — it’s calling that out,” she said.Speaking again to campus cultures, Clark spoke to the importance of support networks that extend beyond simply the current student body — particularly alumni of University because of the financial relationship they have with the institution.“Alumni have a lot of power, particularly with schools like Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame where there’s such a tie,” Clark said. “There are sometimes families who just keep going. They have a responsibility, too, to hold their school accountable.”To that end, Pino she said she saw a vital connection between students but also faculty and staff, whose institutional memory far exceeds that of students who only spend four years on campus. The communication of past and present individuals involved in the University community would allow for expedited change and a sense that victims are not alone in what they have experienced, she said.“I’d like to add to that the importance of mentorship between older students and younger students, faculty and alumni is so important and valuable,” she said. “Oftentimes we don’t see that. … It’s very difficult to hold the institution that you love accountable. But it’s even more difficult if you don’t know what’s going on, what has been going on. It’s looking beyond the four years. It’s looking at what happened eight years ago.“We have much more of a knowledge because we had each other’s experience, we had those that had come before us. So we knew it wasn’t just a problem for us, we knew it would continue to be a problem because it had already continued.“Sexual assault prevention requires a community of students that are on the ground, but also those who have left and have much more experience.”last_img read more

Students volunteer at Ted Cruz rally

first_imgJust five days before the Indiana presidential primaries, Ted Cruz paid a visit to South Bend to rally voters in pursuit of a crucial win in the race for the Republican nomination.Junior Dylan Stevenson, who attended the rally for the Texas senator at the Century Center on Thursday, said the place was “buzzing” with excitement and enthusiasm.“You had elderly people there, people with families,” Stevenson, vice president of College Republicans, said. “You had men and women, people of all shapes and sizes. It was a really diverse group. I’m guessing there were several principles that united the crowd, but if you were to see these people wandering around the store, you wouldn’t think they necessarily were to share political beliefs.”Fresh off a series of losses on the East Coast, Cruz seeks to defeat frontrunner Donald Trump in what has been deemed a deciding state primary by analysts. If Trump wins Indiana, he will likely secure the 1,237 votes needed the win the Republican delegate majority.Freshman Isabel Teixeira said Cruz discussed the unusual amount of power and responsibility held by Hoosier voters, as the Indiana primaries are often held too late to have a significant effect on national level.“The fact that Indiana is such a big deal this year shows what a weird election this is and what a divided election it is,” she said.Teixeira and freshman Lizzie Cameron said their biggest reason for attending the rally was to see Carly Fiorina in one of her first public appearances since being named Cruz’s running mate this past Wednesday.“There’s no one I really feel strongly about voting for, so we decided to go check out Cruz to see what he’s like,” Cameron said. “I like Carly a lot, and she talked about how close [she and Cruz] have grown and how he’s a really good, hardworking guy.”Cruz’s speech was catered for an Indiana audience and focused on three main points — jobs and wages, freedom and security, sophomore John Kill said.“At the moment, he was speaking to people in South Bend, but I think his audience at large was the people of Indiana,” he said. “The points he spoke to are the things Indiana conservatives, generally really care about and want to protect.”Junior Pat Crane, president of College Republicans, said Cruz put an emphasis Indiana jobs, particularly manufacturing jobs, which are being outsourced to other countries.“Touching on what really has been Trump’s line this whole time, we really want to bring these jobs back,” he said. “He was laying out an effective strategy for that.”In terms of freedom, Crane said Cruz promoted a return to a “Constitutional outlook” on life. Cruz also touched on religious liberty, a relevant topic in light of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed in 2015, Kill said.Stevenson said the senator looks to increase and strengthen national security in line with typical Republican platforms.“He’s going to rebuild the military so it’s not depleted, so it can take on radical Islam,” he said. “It’s a peace through strength sort of strategy.”Kill said Cruz made a point to differentiate himself as the “true conservative” candidate.“Not only did he say Donald Trump wasn’t a conservative, but he said he was just the masculine version of Hilary Clinton,” Kill said.“I think that was his point — not just to the people in South Bend that were there, but to his general audience in Indiana — that look, you know, the election is coming down to here,” he said. “You’re either going to vote for me, or you’re going to vote for Donald Trump. And a vote for Donald Trump is basically a vote for Hilary Clinton.”Kill plans to intern for the Texas senator this summer in his Houston office. Although he will not be involved in the campaign process, Kill said he will support Cruz in the presidential race.“I resonate with a lot of the things he said. … He’s a good family man, comes from a background that shows the importance of hard work and dedication to your family, to your country, to values and principles that I support,” he said.Stevenson said roughly 25 College Republicans members volunteered at the rally.“The energy was great. People started chanting ‘Ted’ part-way through,” he said. “There was really good energy, just overall a really good event. I don’t know what the Trump event will be like, but it’ll be tough to top that.”Cruz is not the only candidate targeting South Bend — Bernie Sanders will host a rally at Century Center on Sunday, while Trump is set to visit the same location Monday.Crane said he hopes to get a similar Notre Dame crowd for the Trump campaign.“That volunteer work is something we want to keep up, whether or not the nominee is Cruz,” he said. “You know, either way, we really want to support the nominee.”Kill said the University’s political atmosphere is sure to provide a stimulating forum for students as the 2016 election draws nearer.“Being here at Notre Dame, the combination of being Catholic and being millennials, that whole mix of things makes it a very interesting political climate. We’re not a left-leaning school, we’re not a right-leaning school — we’re somewhere in the middle,” he said.Associate News Editor Rachel O’Grady contributed to this story.Tags: 2016 Election, Indiana primary, Ted Cruz, Ted Cruz rallylast_img read more

SMC students host Hypatia Day to encourage STEM participation

first_imgSaint Mary’s will emphasize feminism in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields this Saturday with Hypatia Day. Named after the Greek mathematician, astronomer and philosopher Hypatia, the conference takes place to encourage young girls in seventh and eighth grades interested in participating in STEM fields.Associate professor of mathematics and computer science Kristin Kuter said the day is meant to interest more young women in STEM fields before they enter high school.“The goal is to encourage these girls to continue to study STEM and to pursue an education in STEM,” Kuter said.These girls will participate with Saint Mary’s students in activities in the fields in which they are interested. The chemistry, biology, physics, math, computer science, engineering and nursing clubs will host sessions with the girls, teaching them new things and giving demonstrations.The day will start with a speech from keynote speaker Laura Kloepper, assistant biology professor. Kloepper said she wants to inspire younger girls to be in science.“I like to get other people excited, not just about my work, but about science in general too,” Kloepper said.After the speech, the girls will go to sessions and demonstrations in their chosen fields.The biology club will help its participants to extract DNA from strawberries and put the DNA in necklaces.“All the students can go home wearing a necklace of strawberry DNA,” Kloepper said.Senior biology major Stephanie Dreessen said the club will also have the students examine and dissect preserved specimens.“We have a sheep heart, some crayfish, [we’ll] look at differences of a turtle that lives on land verses water, some owls,” Dreessen said. “And we’re also looking at some genetic base stuff, such as fruit flies, seeing some differences underneath a microscope.”According to senior nursing major Tyler Booth, the girls attending the nursing session will learn a lot of nursing practices, including bandaging and taking vitals.“We’re teaching them how to wrap legs and arms,” Booth said, “We’re teaching them how to take pulses, blood pressures. We’re teaching them how to listen to heart sounds and lung sounds on our medi-man.”Junior physics and applied math major Rachel Bonek said the physics club will teach its students projectile motion with a mini-cannonball demonstration.“They can calculate how far it’s going to go based on the angle in the force we put behind it,” Bonek said. “It should be fun.”One of the events of the day focuses on talking to parents about how to encourage their daughters who are interested in science.“We talk about the academic preparation and development of the daughters,” Kuter said.Senior biology major Cassie Libbing will be on the student panel, made up of STEM majors, which will answer parents’ questions about education and how to support their daughters.“Just by sharing experience, I think it gives them a better vision of what it might come to be for their daughters and also see the variety of paths you can take within the STEM area,” Libbing said.For the event, almost as many Saint Mary’s students will volunteer as there are girls that attend. Kuter said this can influence the visiting girls by showing how many female college students are pursing majors in STEM fields.“These middle schoolers really do get to see a lot of examples of the possibilities and what the potential is with these undergraduate Saint Mary’s students,” Kuter said.Part of Hypatia Day’s goal is to reach out to girls in this age group to keep them from dropping their interest in the sciences, and Kuter said the impact of the day should keep these girls interested in science.“Research has shown that that is the age when girls start pulling away from the STEM fields,” Kuter said. “That transition is key in order to keep women engaged within the STEM fields.”Kloepper said Saint Mary’s, as an all-women’s college, facilitates a connection between its students and young girls interested in the sciences through events like Hypatia Day.“It’s nice that we have this opportunity to reach out to them and kind of say, ‘No, stick with it, it’s an amazing career path,’” Kloepper said.Booth said she personally felt this impact when she was in middle school.“I felt I was very English-y and liked writing, and I wasn’t really interested in sciences because I thought that was something only boys did,” Booth said. “So I think it’s important to inspire them and show them that it’s something they can do too.”Tags: Hypatia Day, science, STEMlast_img read more

Siegfried president, vice president discuss dorm culture

first_imgDespite the fact that Siegfried Hall‘s signature event is aptly called ”Day of Man,” the hall opened as a women’s dorm in 1988 before transitioning into a men’s hall in 1997. Today, the men of Siegfried Hall are known for dominating interhall sports and braving the cold South Bend weather in t-shirts.Hall president and vice president, sophomores Patrick McGuire and Devan Shah, both said they decided to run for hall leadership because they initially wanted to play a more active role in their dorm community.“Something that we’ve had to learn … is that the things that make Siegfried great aren’t anything that the president or vice president can do,” McGuire said. “That culture can make it frustrating at times if you’re trying to make stuff happen, but I think we’ve really grown to appreciate the fact that the things that make Siegfried great are the interpersonal relationships and connections and interactions.”As president and vice president, McGuire and Shah said their responsibility is to simply let the residents of the dorm make Siegfried whatever they want it to be.“The people of Siegfried like to do what they like to do,” Shah said. “We realized that trying to do events where we’re getting everyone to come out and do the thing that we think is cool was never going to work … but giving them an opportunity to come out and do their own thing … was one of the best ways we could go about helping facilitate that culture.”As a result of that culture, the men of Siegfried do not place much emphasis on competing for Hall of the Year.“Hall of the Year is … about organizing events that people come to, that people from around campus come to,” Shah said. “As Pat and I have noticed this year, our job as Siegfried president and vice president is to try and bring as many people from Siegfried into the community and make them feel at home, and if what the people of the community want is to do their own thing, then we’ll do that, but that won’t win us Hall of the Year.”One event that does contribute to the culture of Siegfried, however, is their signature event — Day of Man. Each year, the men of Siegfried Hall sport short-sleeved shirts, shorts and flip-flops one day in the middle of February. The tradition — now 13 years old — began when one Siegfried student walked outside without a coat and immediately thought about what it must be like for the homeless to experience winter in South Bend.“We have a strong connection with the South Bend Center for the Homeless,” Shah said. “Every Saturday, guys will go and volunteer at the homeless shelter. So, it’s not just one day a year we try to help the homeless shelter, one day a year we raise money for them. Week by week, we try and do whatever we can to help them.”“Day of Man is a very visible moment for a very strong connection throughout the year,” McGuire added.Siegfried is also notoriously known for being one of the most athletic dorms on campus. Having won nine out of the past 11 O’Leary cups, the dorm has earned the reputation of being competitive powerhouse in interhall sports.“It’s a way for the guys in the dorm to bond just because that happens when you play sports with other people,” Shah said. “At this point, it’s just become a thing that happens. If there’s a sport that you might be good at, you sign up and go.”This year, they are currently on track to win their fifth-consecutive cup, but the athleticism of Siegfried is not limited to the O’Leary Cup.“The cool thing about Siegfried is that yes, we are a sporty dorm, and, yes, we make a big deal about the O’Leary cup,” McGuire said, “But we also have a really cool section sport dynamic … and we also have e-sports, like Fifa and 2K.”Siegfried’s passionate participation in interhall sports is an extension of that of their rector, Fr. John Conley.“Fr. John stresses a couple things that are important to the community: welcoming everyone, helping the homeless shelter and winning the O’Leary Cup,” Shah said. “It’s one of the first things you hear about [in Siegfried].“Fr. John’s dedication to the O’Leary Cup is just one example of his love for Siegfried, McGuire said.“Fr. John has been here ever since Siegfried Hall become a men’s dorm, so 22 years now. He lives and breathes Siegfried Hall,” McGuire said. “You can see that in everything he does. Every individual resident of Siegfried hall means a lot to him.”That level of love for Siegfried is something that translates into the way the residents feel about their dorm and is what makes Siegfried unique, McGuire said.“The personal care and connection that exists between the members is something we get from our rector,” McGuire said. “What makes Siegfried great is not really any sort of program that we will put on, but the spirit of the personal relationships and brotherhood.”Tags: Day of Man, Dorm feature, dorm features, Siegfried Halllast_img read more

University to cancel Scholars’ Visit in light of COVID-19

first_imgThe on-campus portions of the Notre Dame Scholars’ Visit (NDSV) have been cancelled as a precaution against COVID-19, the University’s Scholars’ Program and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions announced in a press release Tuesday.NDSV, an annual event that brings students being considered for merit scholarships to campus, was set to take place March 21-24. According to the release, interviews for program finalists will now take place online or over the phone March 21 and 22.All travel arrangements for the event have been cancelled. Finalists should monitor their emails for new announcements and instructions regarding the program over the next week, the University said in the release.“We recognize this announcement brings disappointment,” the release said. “The Notre Dame Scholars’ Program and Undergraduate Admissions teams are ready to speak with anyone who has questions or concerns.”The University issues all coronavirus-related updates on its response website.Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, notre dame scholars program, notre dame scholars visit, Office of Undergraduate Admissionslast_img read more