Joshua Diehl, the chief strategy officer for autism services at South Bend’s LOGAN Center, explored the issue of care for the developmentally disabled throughout history in a Tuesday lecture, “The Past, Present and Future of Services for People with Disabilities: A LOGAN Perspective.” Diehl will be a fellow in Saint Mary’s Master of Autism Studies and is involved in autism research at Notre Dame.Diehl said the purpose of his speech was to discuss the history of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.“It has really been a checkered past and I want to intersperse how [the Michiana] region has played a role in changing that checkered past — at least moving forward to improve the situation of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” he said.During the 19th century, Diehl said states implemented sterilization laws that had adverse effects for disabled people.“The movement toward eugenics greatly affected people with developmental disabilities,” he said. “ … Sometimes people were killed. There was not protection under the 14th Amendment … court case after court case went against people with disabilities.”The terms “moron, idiot and imbecile” were not derogatory terms during this time, Diehl explained, but instead were medical terms used to classify people with disabilities.“Someone who was a moron had moderate intellectual ability, an idiot had moderate intellectual disabilities and a person with very severe intellectual disability was an imbecile,” Diehl said. “It is fascinating because it transferred into pop culture and the way that we insult each other. The term that replaced these terms was mental retardation, and the word retard has taken on that role. We have a more visceral response to the word retard, but we do not have that same visceral response to these words.”Following the World Wars, there was a proliferation of institutions that frequently offered poor care for patients, Diehl said.“One of them was in South Bend,” he said. “What was different about this hospital was that it was for all ages and it was enormous; it was for all of the northern area of Indiana … the conditions were atrocious, children were stacked upon children with huge ratios that were one to 40.”In the 1950s, public schools were allowed to deny children with disabilities, Diehl said. In response, a group of parents created the LOGAN School which focused on education for children with disabilities and job preparation for adults with disabilities. In the 1970s, congressional legislation ensured education for everyone regardless of disability, he said. LOGAN and other organizations had to adapt from being schools to support centers.“That transition to school took a long time and it is still is taking a long time,” Diehl said.Diehl said that a deep awareness of disabilities is no longer adequate, and a better understanding is needed.“Everyone is aware now that developmental disabilities exist and are important, but I think what is missing is knowledge about them,” he said.Diehl encouraged people to share new ideas to improve education for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.“If you are afraid to say your idea, remember someone pitched an idea about a tornado filled with sharks, which became the multimillion-dollar movie ’Sharknado,’” he said.Tags: Autism, disabilities, logan center, services
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Notre Dame undergraduates, staff members and alumni will present live at TEDxUND 2018 on Saturday at the Patricia George Decio Theater in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. TEDx is a program created by the TED program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.TEDx is not new to Notre Dame — similar conferences organized by the administration took place here in 2014 and 2015 — but this is the first year that the event planning has been spearheaded by students, specifically by juniors Caitlin Murphy and Tim O’Connell, the student government directors of student life.Both students, after being elected to their student government positions last April, applied for the TED license during the summer and began planning the event once they returned to school. In September, they sent out speaker applications for TEDxUND, O’Connell said.“We had our TEDx organizing team read through those,” he said. “There was about 125 applications. Our team narrowed those down to 45 people, interviewed 25 and then chose our final 16 who would present.”“In the interviews, it was us and our advisor, Patrick Gibbons, executive director of academic communications in the provost’s office,” Murphy said. “He was such a huge help to this entire process.”Despite the long process and a talented pool of applicants, both students said they felt like they chose a diverse background of speakers. Among them are students, alumni, faculty and community members.While only 400 students received tickets to the event, Murphy said 1,400 students applied for the student ticket lottery. More community tickets were available on the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center’s website and sold out in about two hours.Murphy and O’Connell said they hope to follow the original mission of the TED organization while also showcasing ideas, culture and knowledge specific to Notre Dame.“The mission of the TED organization is to unleash new ideas, inspire and inform,” Murphy said.The organizers chose the theme “Dare to …” for the event, and each speaker has this theme incorporated into the title of their TED talk.“Our idea is to start a conversation that is representative of Notre Dame,” O’Connell said. “We have a very diverse pool that we’re pulling many different ideas from. We have a lot of different people on this campus who do a lot of amazing things who you may never meet, but this is an opportunity to start a new conversation.”The morning TEDxUND 2018 session will take place from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. The afternoon session will run from 2 – 4:30 p.m. A TEDxUND livestream will be available in the Duncan Student Center’s Midfield Commons from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.Tags: TEDxUND
At Saint Mary’s, the senior theatre majors are always busy. Seniors Stephanie Johnson and Regan Hattersley have already started preparing for their senior comprehensives and the American College Theatre Festival (ACTF) that is open to all theatre majors, minors and those interested in the arts. A comprehensive is an hour-long play Saint Mary’s senior theatre majors put on every year. The students cast and direct their plays, as well as design the set and costumes.Johnson noted the extensive time commitments theatre majors have to undertake, as she said she has to manage her time between performing in shows, working backstage and juggling her school work.“Not only do theatre majors work hard in the classroom, but we work hard outside of the classroom as well,” she said. “Being in three productions at one time while having a full schedule of classes have perfected my time management skills.”Hattersley said in an email that seniors spend fall semester choosing and analyzing a play.“In the spring we use all of this writing and research to produce our play,” she said. “We have to cast people, hold rehearsals, build a set and generally do everything else that goes into a performance. Then at the end of it all, March 3 for me, we sit back and watch all of our work come together for a one-night performance of our show.”Hattersley said helping a senior with her play, whether by acting in it or working backstage for it, is a “great chance to give back and participate” in the Saint Mary’s sisterhood.“Should you ever need help in any situation, we live in a community where help is reciprocated across the board,” she said. “So put some good karma out there and look out for audition notices early next semester.”Even if you are just an audience member, theatre can be an immersive experience, Hattersley said.“The magic of theatre as an art form is that it is an experience like no other,” she said. “As an audience member, you get to enter the lives of the characters and the world of the play in a one-time-only experience. Theatre is an almost limitless art form. It opens doors that allow for discussion of difficult topics. When you sit in the theatre, you, as the audience, get to be a part of something special.”For theatre majors, the senior comprehensive process helps students critically evaluate and collaborate, Johnson said. “Not only must a student exercise her ability to critically evaluate a piece of theatrical work, but [she] also has to effectively collaborate with her peers in creating the piece, as theatre is an art form which can not be effectively accomplished alone — unless one is doing a one-woman show,” Johnson said.If a student has never acted before but has always wanted to, Johnson said the senior comprehensives are a great way to to gain experience. “Working with your friends as they develop their passions is fun,” she said. “It is a learning experience and an opportunity to make new friendships.”Junior Rebecca Strom, who has a theatre minor, said she acted in a senior comprehensive show her freshman year, an adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland.” She also stage managed for a senior comprehensive show her sophomore year, an adaptation of “Women Playing Hamlet.”“I only have experience acting in one comprehensive,” she said. “But, I like it more than the main stage shows because I like the student collaboration. These shows are low-pressure ways of getting into theatre. With stage managing, I learned a lot more because I was learning alongside the student in charge of her comp. I saw what she had to prepare and the work that really goes into these shows.” Those who are interested in theatre can also attend the American College Theatre Festival (ACTF), which is a regional event that allows students to attend workshops and see shows other schools have worked on during the year. Madison College in Wisconsin will host this year’s festival from Jan. 8-13, and Johnson said she will be preparing for the trip by finding lodging and making sure everyone can participate in the festival each day it runs. Johnson said students can attend regardless of whether or not they are theatre majors.“ACTF is a national theatre festival,” she said. “It helps theatre enthusiasts grow in their specific interests while introducing them to new people.” Both Strom and Johnson have been nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship in past years. In order to qualify for this scholarship, students must attend ACTF and perform a two-minute scene and a one-minute monologue for a panel of judges. Strom said ACTF is a great opportunity to network and support other theatre students at nearby colleges. “The festival is a good experience and a great way to see what other schools are doing in their theatre programs,” she said.Johnson said students do not have to be theatre majors to appreciate theatre. Participating in theatre in college can help students “gain new skills and make new friendships,” she said. Watching live theatre can be an “exercise in empathy,” she added. “Theatre is about human stories,” Johnson said. “Watching live theatre is watching the stories of the struggles we all face.”
A rape was reported to the University’s deputy Title IX coordinator, according to Notre Dame Security Police’s (NDSP) crime log Thursday.The alleged rape occurred Sept. 22 in an unspecified campus residence hall, the log entry said. The report is currently under Title IX review.Information about sexual assault prevention and resources for survivors of sexual assault are available online from NDSP and the Title IX office.Tags: crime log, NDSP, rape
While fans in attendance at last week’s Bengal Bouts finals believed they were witnessing the end of a four-month boxing season, the men in the ring, gasping and bleeding for a common cause, saw something quite different — another beginning to the larger, seemingly endless fight to protect Christian minorities in Bangladesh.According to Bengal Bouts captain senior Cam Nolan, Bangladesh has a population of around 170 million people but is only around the size of Wisconsin, making the country densely populated. Since Christians make up only about a half percent of the country’s population and are often not ethnically Bengali, these Christian tribal groups rarely have access to the same resources and privileges of other residents of the country.“Their government doesn’t even acknowledge they exist basically,” two-time Bengal Bouts boxer junior Chris Lembo said. “They don’t give them any public or private education, any healthcare, any help in the law system or anything. So they’re basically seen as non-existent to anyone.”Helping to combat this injustice are the Holy Cross missions in Bangladesh, who, using the money generated through the Bengal Bouts tournament — including over $137,000 from this season alone — are able to successfully support these struggling communities in areas the local government has consistently failed, Nolan said.“The Holy Cross educates them, they give them a church, they give them a community [and] they represent them in court,” Nolan said. “They are a power to be dealt with, and they protect a lot of these people that are underprivileged and would otherwise be harassed and taken advantage of.”Nolan and Lembo, who traveled to Bangladesh as part of an ISSLP program in the summers of 2016 and 2018 respectively, volunteered as English teachers for the tribal children while at these various parishes and hostels. However — whether it was playing soccer with the students after class or sharing a meal with the village in the evening — the two men said they learned through their experience their role as a teacher was often secondary to their role as a fellow human being.“The hardest part of it is you quickly realize that you don’t get to change the world,” Nolan said. “The biggest thing you can do is simply be present, I’d say. You know, how much is two months of English really going to change these kids’ lives? Not a lot, but you get to see what the funds have done for the past 89 years and will continue to do. So, it’s really just about being present, bearing witness and having the experience and coming back to Notre Dame fully committed to Bengal Bouts, fully committed to making sure this club survives.”Nolan said coming to terms with this realization and learning to accept the village’s generosity was challenging after seeing the intense poverty of the local families, many of whom live in mud houses and survive on a household income of only around one U.S. dollar per day, Lembo said.“It tears at your heart ‘cause you’re like, ‘No, don’t love me. I want to love you. I want to serve you,’” Nolan said. “And you spend so much of the summer being served by these people and eventually you just have to allow yourself to accept love because that’s honestly the most you can do to them, is to be a gracious guest sometimes. That’s all you can do. And that was such a weird paradoxical lesson to learn. God, that was difficult. … That was difficult.”In the classroom, Lembo said his average day with the students consisted of roughly two hours of English lessons followed by an hour or two of dancing, playing games and, of course, boxing. Interacting with the students in these ways produced a wide array of memorable moments, one of which Lembo said was one of the highlights of his life.“The kids at the end of the class were begging [him and his co-teacher Ben] to sing. … We were like, ‘No, you guys have to sing for us first.’ And they agreed,” Lembo said. “And all at once, in unison, they sang the Notre Dame alma mater, like, to us. To us. We asked them to sing for us and they sang our alma mater, and we actually started crying. … I couldn’t believe it.”Nolan said the true impact of his time in Bengal Bouts did not fully register to him until this year’s tournament when, after advancing through the quarterfinals, he came up short in a hard-fought semifinal matchup, ending his boxing career at Notre Dame.“As soon as I was done … I knew I lost. He was better than me, and I was fine with that. But I just wanted to cry,” Nolan said. “And it was ‘cause I felt this metaphysical bond between myself and this experience that I had after freshman year. The door was finally, in so many ways, closed. That I was driven to love the club. I was driven to fundraise. I was driven to train and teach all these kids in the Bengal Bouts program because of this love for these kids [in Bangladesh]. … And it was heartbreaking, but I was telling myself, ‘I hope it’s enough. I hope I’ve served you well.’”(Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified a competitor’s year. The Observer regrets this error.)Tags: Bangladesh, Bengal Bouts, Bengal Bouts 2019, ISSLP, service
Max Lander | The Observer Student protesters marching from the LaFortune Student Center to the Main Building on Friday as part of a protest against proposed new residential policies.Protesters gathered in the Sorin Room of LaFortune Student Center to organize and distribute posters Friday afternoon. At 2:30 p.m., hundreds of protesters exited the building and began walking towards the Main Building. In front of the Main Building, students waved flags representing their dorm communities and chanted phrases including, “We want Erin,” in reference to the vice president of student affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding, and, “Erin lives off-campus.”Junior Joey Oswald said he attended the protest out of curiosity as well as frustration with the administration’s new policies.“Part of me just wanted to see the protest, to see what would happen, and part of it was I definitely think the administration made an explicit attempt to exclude off-campus seniors,” Oswald said. “I think they have to attempt to include off-campus seniors, so they should reverse the decision to exclude seniors from dances and interhall sports teams and stuff like that. One thing that I think that they might have missed is that they’re focusing on seniors being leaders in the community, and I think that off-campus seniors can still be a very valuable part of a dorm community. I know that in my dorm in Morrissey, there are seniors that come from off-campus every Sunday to Mass or are at a lot of dorm events, and I always enjoy talking to them.”While various students appeared in front of the crowd to speak through a megaphone, groups of students began questioning whether they should go inside the building. The event’s organizers had announced through the Facebook event that an agreement had been made with the University administration and Notre Dame Police Department that no protesters would enter the building. However, small groups began to try and enter the building through doors beneath the main steps of the building. These groups were turned away by Notre Dame employees.At 2:50 p.m., a group of protesters rushed up the steps and entered the Main Building while the event’s organizers tried to dissuade them. When inside the building, a group of approximately 25 students sat down in front of the Office of Student Affairs, located on the second floor. Thomas Murphy | The Observer Students gathered in front of Main Building on Thursday to protest a new residential life policy that stipulates on-campus residents and off-campus students will now enjoy different privileges relating to residential life.Freshman Brian Donahoe said the new policies conflict with the principles of community emphasized to students by the University before they first arrive on campus.“Me and my roommate have hosted three [prospective students] in the last three weeks, and every single time, we really promote how inclusive Notre Dame is and how much community there is, and we say that once you accept the letter of admission, once you’re in, you’re a part of the Notre Dame family for the rest of your life,” Donahoe said. “It feels like they’re already kicking Notre Dame seniors out of the family before they’ve even graduated, going against pretty much all of their propaganda that they have for everyone looking to come to Notre Dame.”At 3 p.m., protesters began entering the Main Building in larger numbers and eventually over 100 students had gathered outside the Office of Student Affairs’ doors. The doors were locked, but administrators were visible inside watching the students and making phone calls. Protesters began slipping papers and protest signs beneath the doors of the office and chanting that the office places “money first, students last.”Junior Connor Polk, one of the first protesters to enter the building, said he did so in order to bring greater attention to the demonstration.“Everybody’s saying, ‘Let us in, let us in,’ and there was no one really stopping us from going in, and in the original protest online it said we were going in the Main Building,” Polk said. “It seemed like no one was coming out, and we were just talking to ourselves. We thought we’d go in and actually see if we can get some people to notice.”Though he will have graduated by the time the new policies go into effect, Polk said he felt obligated to defend the rights of off-campus students.“It won’t affect me because I’m graduating in 2020, but I know how important it is to have the seniors included and the off-campus juniors included — I disagree with the three year rule as well — so I think it’s kind of ridiculous that they tack this on to an otherwise-good, informative email,” Polk said. “ … I hope they repeal the rule. I hope they tell everybody, ‘We understand, we listen, we see the petition, we see your protests and we understand this was wrong.’ The logic behind it does not make sense to me — I can’t fathom how anyone in the administration thought it’d be a good idea to exclude our students from community building activities.”Junior Savanna Morgan said the new residential policies are particularly damaging to members of marginalized communities.“Students of color and queer people are disproportionately affected by dorm communities and the toxic environments that they’re forced to stay in, and by penalizing them for moving off-campus, [the administration is] aligning [itself] with a white supremacist agenda … a white supremacist and heteronormative agenda,” Morgan said.As the clock moved toward 3:30 p.m., the time at which organizers had agreed with the administration that the demonstration would end, protesters began sifting out of the Main Building. At 3:20 p.m., organizers of the protest — including former student body president Gates McGavick, former vice president Corey Gayheart and former chief of staff Briana Tucker — entered the building for the first time during the protest to encourage students to leave before 3:30 p.m. In an email sent to the student body early Thursday morning, the Office of Residential Life and the Division of Student Affairs announced changes in residential policies as a means of improving the dorm experience for students now required to stay on campus for six semesters and to incentivize seniors to stay on campus for their final year. The policies were met with an outcry from students and alumni who argued that the policies designed to “differentiate on-campus and off-campus experiences” are inherently exclusionary and discriminatory.By noon Thursday, a group of students — including members of the outgoing student government executive cabinet — created a Facebook event titled “Sit-In Against the Senior Exclusion Policy” planned for Friday afternoon. Close to 2,000 people marked themselves as “going” or “interested” in the event. Thomas Murphy | The Observer Students collect outside of the Office of Student Affairs on Friday in protest of the new residential policies.Even as the demonstration came to an end, Gayheart told the protesters they should continue fighting the University’s policies.“For you underclassmen that are here, don’t let this go — that’s what [the administration is] expecting us to do,” Gayheart said. “They are expecting us to forget about this this summer, and it will just be rolled out in three years, and nobody will know and we’ll all go on with our lives. Don’t let it go, and keep working and keep using your voice.”Tucker said that though the majority of protesters stayed outside, she understood what compelled others to enter the building.“We came in here toward the end, but we all saw students sitting down peacefully, not obstructing any doorways, so even though they didn’t necessarily follow the rules, they did come in here, and they were respectful,” Tucker said. “It can be frustrating when we’re literally on the exterior trying to speak to someone inside, and so I think for some people, taking that step and being a little more active in their protest was important.”Though an agreement had been made not to enter the building, McGavick said if the administration doesn’t want students protesting in the building, they should avoid giving them cause to do so.“It illustrates how offended people have been by this policy,” McGavick said. “I understand that administrators might be upset people came in the building, but they have to realize that just indicates just how hurtful this policy is. At the end of the day, it’s on them to make policies that don’t hurt students … and that’s what happened.”Outside the building, toward the end of the demonstration, protesters wrapped their arms over each other’s shoulders and sung the Alma Mater. No University representative addressed the crowd throughout the course of the day.Tags: division of student affairs, Erin Hoffmann Harding, Main Building, off-campus housing, Office of Residential Life, Protests, residential life, student activism
As students and fans made their way into Notre Dame Stadium ahead of the first two home games of the 2019 football season, they may have noticed an additional layer of security outside the gate. In the past, fans only underwent a bag check before having their tickets scanned. Now game patrons have to pass through metal detectors before entering the stadium.Vice president for campus safety and University operations Mike Seamon said the addition of metal detectors, also known as magnetometers, constitutes the most noticeable new security measure for the season.“The most, I think, visible change from 2018 season to 2019 is the introduction of magnetometers — or ‘mags’ as everyone refers to [them], or metal detectors,” he said.Seamon explained the metal detectors are designed to look for very specific items — namely weapons. Accordingly, everyday metal items — such as cell phones and keys — do not need to be removed, or “divested,” from pockets because they will not set off the magnetometers.“They’re looking for guns, knives, anything that could be used as a weapon,” Seamon said. “I’m not going to go into the technicalities, but it’s a very intelligent system. And so it’s been interesting, the first two games watching people take stuff out and be like, ‘where’s the bucket that I put it?’ And you’re like, ‘no, just keep walking, keep walking at what I call a normal pace.’”On Saturday, there will be signs outside the stadium instructing attendees not to remove items from their pockets so that traffic runs more smoothly.“We’re going to add signs that say you don’t have to empty your pockets … just to help people,” he said. “But I also think I’ve seen it, definitely between New Mexico and Virginia. Just like the bag policy, everybody gets more used to it with every game. They get a routine.”One of the motivating factors behind the change, Seamon said, was a series of events with outside partners the University hosted last year, including the Garth Brooks concert last October, the NHL Winter Classic in January and the Liverpool FC soccer match over the summer.“We started looking at this as early as last year at this time,” Seamon said. “There were a couple of things that invited us to get really serious about it. And we had been keeping our eye on that in through the industry, but we got really serious last fall when we hosted Garth Brooks in October. And then we hosted the Winter Classic with the NHL on Jan. 1. And then when we eventually hosted the Liverpool soccer match in July.”All three outside partners wanted to use magnetometers for their events, Seamon said.“Those were three outside entities — Garth Brooks himself, the NHL and Liverpool soccer — that wanted to do mags,” he said. “They were used to that. We realized we were the host venue for their events. And when that kind of introduced into it, we were able to see how it worked.”Once football season ends, the metal detectors will be redeployed to the Purcell Pavilion and Compton Family Ice Arena for all home men’s and women’s basketball as well as hockey games.“Our plan is to do it for both all home men’s and women’s basketball games in Purcell Pavilion and for all the hockey matches in Compton,” Seamon said. “That that’s our standard now, where we use the same set of mags that are housed for the fall in the football stadium. One of the benefits of us purchasing is you don’t want to move them around too much because they’re sensitive. But yes, once the football season ends, we’re going to move a certain amount to the Joyce Center — to Purcell — and a certain amount to Compton and then we’ll use them there.”Football game day security involves more than just the magnetometers. Seamon and Dennis Brown, assistant vice president for news and media relations, described a number of other security steps in addition to the metal detectors. For example, starting last year, uniformed police officers have also been aided by two sniffer dogs, Toxi and Skeet. Other local law enforcement groups — including South Bend, Mishawaka, St. Joseph County and Indiana State Police — help ensure a safe environment on game day.“The cooperation and collaboration between the various law enforcement and first responders is really phenomenal,” Brown said. “And we’re fortunate to have people in South Bend police and Mishawaka police and state police who really are there to protect and serve. And at the same time, we have a mutual policy. So we’re there for them too.”Tags: Campus Safety, Compton Family Ice Arena, metal detectors, Notre Dame Stadium, Purcell Pavilion
Cate Von Dohlen | The Observer Executive Vice President Shannon Cullinan speaks at a staff town hall Wednesday evening. Four separate town halls took place featuring a series of University administrators discussing issues including funding and staffing levels.Throughout the town halls there was an emphasis on the importance of the University’s staff — staff makes “every facet” of the University work, Burish said.During his portion of each town hall, Jenkins said the University is allocating more funds for financial aid, and emphasized the need for students from all income levels.After some staff members took advantage of a voluntary early retirement package, Notre Dame has seen a 3% overall decrease in staff members in the past year. The University is redirecting those funds toward recruiting and supporting low-income Pell Grant students.“We’re going to try to make education more accessible to lower-income families,” Jenkins said. “We also want to get 5% of our students from first-generation families, families where neither of the parents have a bachelor’s degree. That’s going to require finance.”Cullinan went over the new building projects Notre Dame will be constructing and opening through summer 2022.Additionally, regarding the 2020 presidential debate being hosted at Notre Dame next September, Jenkins said there would not be many tickets available, and he’ll likely give most of the tickets to students.Staff were able to ask questions and raise concerns. One staff member, Donna Fecher of the aerospace and mechanical engineering department, asked a question regarding low salaries for staff members, and said many employees that are required to have bachelor’s degrees are being paid $750 more than the 2019 Federal poverty line.“I did a little bit of research,” Fecher said. “You mentioned keeping up with our peer institutions. … The salary for administrative staff is not competitive with our peer institutions. The average salary for our peer institutions is between $38,000 and $45,000. There are four positions listed on Notre Dame job boards currently, some of which start at $12.86 an hour. That equates to a $26,000 a year salary, which is only $750 higher than the 2019 poverty rate as stated by the Federal Government.”In response, Fecher was told the University is working on year-long study of the same topic, and would be presenting information on it in the spring town halls.Burish and Cullinan also addressed Notre Dame’s building services, campus safety, facilities, and enterprises and events teams on Wednesday night in the Carey Auditorium. Both Burish and Cullinan thanked the staff for their hard work and informed them of recent and upcoming campus changes.At the end of the town hall presentation, one staff member expressed concern of the expansion of the University and shortage of staff.Cullinan sought to gather input on this point from attendees in the audience.“How do we get better at this?” he asked. “… Can we change the priority of the work?”He said prioritizing the work is important and that he would follow up on this question.Mariah Rush, Ciara Hopkinson, Cate Von Dohlen and Genevieve Redsten contributed to this report.Tags: fall town hall, Father Jenkins, Tom Burish In a series of four town halls Oct. 15-16, University President Fr. John Jenkins, Provost Tom Burish and Executive Vice President Shannon Cullinan aimed to present information to staff across all divisions and take questions.Observer reporters covered three of the town halls, but were not present for the town hall that took place Tuesday at 1 p.m.
Saint Mary’s alumni hosted a casual networking event Friday to connect students and alumni, fostering a sense of support and community. The alumnae event included representatives of the Belles of the Last Decade (BOLD) committee, who work closely to assist new graduates with the transition from Saint Mary’s to the workplace. “As soon as you graduate from Saint Mary’s College, you become a member of BOLD automatically,” Kristin Murphy, a member of BOLD, said. “If you would like to be more involved, BOLD representatives have meetings twice a year to help the College prepare for the annual Donor Challenge and also help lead initiatives to engage with recent graduates.” Murphy said the BOLD committee is a valuable resource for graduates to maintain a connection with the Saint Mary’s community. “We try to assist recent graduates by highlighting grads around the country who are doing different things and hosting events like this, so we can connect with you guys and help you in whatever way we can by answering questions about transitioning to post-college life,” she said. For some current students, this event was an opportunity to personally meet some of the alum they have previously connected with in different settings and learn more about the transition after Saint Mary’s. “I was invited to come because I am a Phonathon representative, meaning I have the delight of calling our alumni every week and speaking to them,” junior Deirdre Drinkall said. “Our department invited us to mingle with some of the BOLD members.” Drinkall believes that alumni events like this are the foundation of the Saint Mary’s community. “Saint Mary’s is such a special school, and we’re so built on tradition. Events like this help foster this tradition,” she said. “It reminds me why they chose Saint Mary’s and why they choose to keep coming back to Saint Mary’s. It gets me so excited and invigorated to be at Saint Mary’s presently.” This event also helped ease students’ worries about the future as alumni provided insight into the post-college experience. “I talked with several of the alumni and learned some very good tips about how to transition out of college, how to find good internships, and also, how to find great places to live,” junior Claire Linginfelter said. The opportunity to build relationships with alumni helps students and alumnae grow the Saint Mary’s community. “It’s really important to build relationships with alumnae because it helps them feel more connected to our campus, and it helps students realize that Saint Mary’s is broader than our campus community,” Linginfelter said. Both alumni and students alike said that this event was a great way to bring both parts of the Saint Mary’s community together. “I think this just highlights the overall connection between those who have gone to Saint Mary’s and those who currently go to Saint Mary’s,” Murphy said. “As soon as you graduate, you will always be an alum and Saint Mary’s will always be your connection. It’s a lifelong sisterhood.”Tags: belles of the last decade, Community, networking
Shah can be seen in the film The Hundred-Foot Journey; he has appeared on stage in shows including Hansel and Gretel, The Comedy of Errors and The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other. Kumar’s stage credits include Tartuffe, Commercial Road and The Snow Queen. Kuppan, having previously appeared in East is East at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, has also performed in Rafta Rafta, Arabian Nights, and An August Bank Holiday Lark. Clarke’s stage credits include Pigeons, Privacy and Break the Floorboards. Atwal’s theater credits include All Our Daughters, Small Fish Big Cheese and Don Juan in Love. Karim has appeared on stage in Skane and Mogadishu. Additional cast members include Sally Bankes as Auntie Annie, Rani Moorthy as Mrs. Shah, Hassani Shapi as Mr. Shah/Doctor and ensemble members Pamela Bennett, Deepal Parmar, Ash Rizi and Karl Seth. Horrocks’s stage credits include Annie Get Your Gun, The Good Soul of Szechuan, Aunt Dan and Lemon, Cabaret and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, which earned her an Olivier nod. She went on to star in the film adaptation; other screen credits include Absolutely Fabulous. Din, who may be best known for his performance in Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, was last seen on stage in Bunty Berman Presents (which he also wrote) off-Broadway. His additional writing credits include Last Dance at Dum Dum, Notes on Falling Leaves and All the Way Home. East is East explores the clash of cultures between a multi-cultural family growing up in 1970s Salford. In the play, Pakistani chip-shop owner George Khan (Din) is determined to strictly raise his children in a Muslim household. His wife, Ella (Horrocks) becomes divided between her marriage and the free will of her children. The production will feature design by Tom Scutt, lighting by Richard Howell and sound and music by Alex Baranowski. View Comments The cast is now set for the West End revival of Ayub Khan Din’s East is East. Joining the previously announced stage and screen star Jane Horrocks as Ella Khan will be Amit Shah as Abdul, Ashley Kumar as Tariq, Darren Kuppan as Maneer, Nathan Clarke as Saleem, Taj Atwal as Meenah and Michael Karim as Sajit. Din will also star as George Khan in the production of his semi-autobiographical play. Directed by Sam Yates, the Trafalgar Transformed production will begin performances on October 4 and run through January 3, 2015. Press night is scheduled for October 15.