January 2021

Association prepares for student elections

first_imgSaint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) is preparing for elections set to take place at the beginning of March. The Observer reported Monday that SGA introduced a new organizational structure for the 2012-2013 school year. SGA held a meeting Wednesday night for potential candidates running for positions within the new structure in Senate, SGA, Student Activities Board (SAB), Student Diversity Board (SDB), Class Boards and Residence Hall Association (RHA). SGA chief of staff and senior Emily Skirtich gave attendees information about campaigning, highlighting its positive elements. “This should be a fun process for everyone,” Skirtich said. Students were informed about campaign platforms, which students will use to advertise their views, beliefs and why they want to run for office. Any student running for Senate will have their own personal platform, while students with running mates will have one platform for the entire ticket. There are specific guidelines that each candidate must follow in order to participate in elections, Skirtich said. Concerns about election violations, such as vandalizing another candidate’s poster or students voting for their own tickets more than once, were also addressed. All candidates must get approval for all campaign materials by the Elections Committee and the Office of Student Involvement, Skirtich said. For Senate and SGA, the last day to get approval is Feb. 24. Any student planning on running for election on a Class Board, SAB, SDB or RHA must get approval by March 2. Any student who may not get a position in the Senate or SGA still has an opportunity to be involved in one of these activities, Skirtich said. “There are plenty of ways to be involved, so do not be discouraged if you do not get the initial position that you want,” she said. Changes will be made to the voting process to raise awareness, SGA vice president and senior Jacqualyn Zupancic said. SGA has decided to not only send links by email, but also allow students to vote in the Student Center from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Another informational meeting will be held tonight at 6 p.m. for interested students. Campaigning for office will begin at the end of February. Voting for SGA and Senate will take place March 1, while voting for Class Boards, SAB, SDB and RHA will take place March 8.last_img read more

Student runs marathon to raise disease awareness

first_imgWhile much of the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s communities spent Sunday recovering from this weekend’s gameday festivities in Chicago and preparing for midterms, Saint Mary’s senior Emily Pearl revved up for the Chicago Marathon. Pearl ran the marathon to raise money for Steps for Doug, an organization advocating research and awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. She said the cause was personal for her, as the organization was established in honor of a friend’s father diagnosed with the disease. Pearl, who does not consider herself an avid runner, encourages everyone to take part in a marathon. “I think anyone who has ever thought about doing a marathon should. It was one of the best experiences of my life,” she said. “I’m not even a runner, but it was still something I would consider doing again and again. As long as you put your mind to it, anyone can do it.” After struggling in last year’s marathon, Pearl came better prepared to this year’s race. “Last year was my first time running [a marathon], so I didn’t know what to expect. I started the race too fast and was not thinking about the four hours I had left to run,” she said. “This year, I knew what was ahead of me and I did a better job pacing myself.” She said the milder weather made this year’s race more manageable. “The weather was awesome. It was chilly out, which was perfect for running,” she said. “It was really hot last year, which made the run difficult. I feel most tired when I’m hot so it was great having a little chill in the air this year.” Pearl said she is now considering participating in a triathlon, but will definitely be competing in more marathons in the meantime. “I am definitely going to continue running marathons,” she said. “During the actual race I always tell myself that I’m never going to sign up again because of how long it is, but the feeling I get when I’ve finished the race is like nothing else.”last_img read more

DSLC workshops address intersectionality, diversity

first_imgThe ninth annual Diverse Students’ Leadership Conference (DSLC), “Rethinking Leadership and Diversity,” took place on the Saint Mary’s campus Tuesday and Wednesday. The 16 workshops spread out over two days made it the largest event of the year hosted by the Student Diversity Board (SDB) and the largest student-led conference at Saint Mary’s.“After months of planning, our hard work is finally on display, and our hope is that [students] find everything to be insightful, challenging but most of all enjoyable,” senior Lucy Macfarlane, DSLC chair and SDB vice president, said at the beginning of the conference. “We hope [students] are inspired to make change where [they] see change is necessary ⎯ even if that’s within [themselves].”The two keynote speakers, activists Faisal Alam and Kevin Powell, were chosen to help students realize their own potential as leaders and rethink their previous understanding of what diversity means, Macfarlane said.“I think the keynotes actually had a lot in common,” she said. “[The speakers’] breadth and variety of life experiences demonstrated to them the necessity of self-actualization. When you know yourself and accept all facets of your identity you are more capable of accepting and including others in positive change.“Leadership is not categorized into one thing ⎯ like a man in a dark suit ⎯ but rather the creation of a safe space that allows others to voice their opinions and experiences. Diversity encompasses us all and must be a positive force for good.”Alam and Powell, the opening and closing lecturers, respectively, emulated this by sharing the stories that led them to the forefront of intersectional activism.“When people ask me where I’m from, I have to ask, ‘Well how far do you want to go back?’ The partition in Pakistan, to my birth in Germany…” Alam said.Alam founded Al-Fatiha, an organization that supports Muslims struggling to reconcile their faith, sexual orientation or gender identity. The queer-identified Muslim activist of Pakistani descent referred to himself as an “accidental activist,” as his experience grew out of inconsistent religious and societal expectations.“Today, there are second and even third generation Muslims born in the United States,” Alam said. “I am a one-point-five generation immigrant. What that meant for me was that I was straddling two different cultures: my Pakistani culture and Muslim faith, as well as my American identity.”Living in the context of the convergence of diametrically-opposed norms from the American public and from the traditions practiced in the privacy of a Muslim home comes more easily to Alam now than it did in the past, he said.“If I am an American Muslim teenage girl, I may want to go to the Britney Spears concert in Indianapolis, or in Chicago, on Friday night, and I will wear my headscarf because I am adherent to my faith and there is no conflict between the two in my mind,” Alam said. “Whereas in generations past, or even immigrant parents sometimes, American culture is often viewed as a threat to their own identity so there’s a stronger inclination to latch onto it.”Alam said modern-minded Muslim immigrants and children of Muslim immigrants aspire to enact progress rather than reform in the Islamic faith.“Progressive Muslims want a revival, a progressive form of Islam that is rooted in social justice and equality,” he said.This move towards equality is evident in the increased amount not only of tolerance but also of active incorporation, Alam said.“Just in the past five years there are communities that are growing and places of worship that are not only inclusive to the LGBT people but are also not gender segregated, particularly in times of prayer when generally women and men are separated,” he said.Women in the mosque are usually found praying behind men or on a balcony, Alam said. He said this segregation is nonexistent in these new progressive communities.“Men and women are praying side by side,” Alam said. “Women are allowed to lead prayer, which is a notion many people view to be outside the fold of Islam.”As this movement gains momentum in smaller communities, activism is occurring in the public sphere as well, Alam said. He said Keith Ellison is the first Muslim representative elected to Congress and one of two Muslims in the United States House of Representatives who recently announced their support of LGBT community.“There is diversity in the Muslim world,” Alam said. “There is a reality and a side of Islam that people haven’t seen before. American Islam is a unique blend of the Muslim faith and the American identity as well.”  Caroline Genco | The Observer The keynote speakers also spoke about the degrees to which minorities belonging to multiple distinct demographics face marginalization.“When we talk about diversity and leadership, there is not only so much history that needs to be looked at as how those notions of diversity were first defined in the United States, but also what different leadership looks like,” Alam said. “On top of that, if you add different layers of marginalization, what works within certain communities and what will not work within other communities.”Saint Mary’s students, faculty and staff discussed various other layers of social complexity throughout the DSLC. Marc Belanger, associate professor of political science, spoke about immigration and globalization. Graci Martsching, assistant director of Student Involvement and Multicultural Services, promoted inclusive leadership in her lecture.Other professors discussed diversity within the workforce and economy, specifically with regard to disabilities. Adrienne Lyles-Chockley, the head of the justice education program at Saint Mary’s, spoke about the intersection of race, gender, poverty and imprisonment, while both students and professors explored the true meaning of masculinity and tried to debunk immigration stereotypes.“My favorite part of the week was grabbing lunch with Kevin Powell, the closing keynote, at Whole Foods,” Macfarlane said. “He’s vegan and we just spent time in the hot-food line soaking in our conversation and the expectation of delicious vegan pizza. His emphatically encouraging demeanor and humility is profound, and I am lucky to have spent time with him.”Macfarlane said the DSLC event exceeded her board’s attendance goals for both keynotes and all the workshops.“It was the best it has been in recent years, with over 200 people registered,” she said. “The best takeaway I can have from this conference is that every person who came to me only had feelings of empowerment and knowledge was gained.“I wanted the conference participants to look within themselves and discover their own potential as leaders and advocates for inclusive change. I think we accomplished that this year.”Tags: Diversity, DSLC, Islam, saint mary’s, sexuality, SMClast_img read more

Student body president encourages freshman participation

first_imgDuring her campaign with senior running mate Matt Devine, student body president Lauren Vidal emphasized her intention to institute an “open door policy” within the student government office—and she intends to follow through.Vidal said she particularly hopes freshmen will utilize this feature of her administration.Emily McConville | The Observer  “I would more than encourage them to stop by our office,” she said. “Our committees are very active and are always looking for members. I would also tell them to stop by activities night at the [Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center]. I think that there, the freshmen get the best understanding of the sheer magnitude of groups that the University has to offer.”Underneath the umbrella of student government departments, there are two groups specifically created for freshmen to be in a leadership position and play an active role in Univeristy life.One is the Freshman Class Council (FCC). FCC is run through the Student Activities Office (SAO), not student government, but is responsible for programs and initiatives within the freshman class.FCC is composed of 29 representatives, one from each dorm. The Judicial Council will hold elections for these positions in mid-September, and later the representatives will elect their officers from within the class council.“FCC was a great way promote class unity,” former Pangborn FCC representative and sophomore Mallory Dreyer said. “My favorite program we put on was an organized free skate for freshmen at Compton [Family] Ice Arena. Most freshmen didn’t know that there were regular open skate times, and so the event was a great way to introduce them to it.”The second group designed for first-year students is FUEL, the First Undergraduate Experience in Leadership. FUEL is run as a department within student government, and serves the purpose of introducing freshmen to different areas and departments in student government, Vidal said. This year, FUEL is in the process of adopting what its co-director sophomore Louis Bertolotti described as “a few new approaches.”“There will be a variety of new opportunities for leadership positions, and we aim to make the body a much slimmer, more efficient body capable of making real positive change on campus,” Bertolotti said.Vidal said making participation in FUEL a worthwhile and all-inclusive experience for first-year students is a goal of her administration.“[FUEL is] a wonderful opportunity,” Vidal said. “We’re working this year to make it a microcosm of how student government more broadly works, emphasizing policy changes and how policy can be turned into initiatives.” The group will allow freshmen to participate not only in their own department but also in another, to integrate them more fully into student government work, FUEL co-director sophomore Marisa Olsen said in an email.“Students will be on the FUEL department as well as another department that carries out initiatives that they feel will improve student life at Notre Dame,” Olsen said.  “…Being on FUEL gives them the opportunity to make a huge difference on campus, which is pretty exciting as a freshman.”Tags: class of 2018, FCC, FUEL, Lauren Vidal, Matt Devine, Student governmentlast_img read more

St. Edward’s Hall residents sport mullets in support of malaria prevention

first_imgMullets are making a comeback, at least for the men of Saint Edward’s Hall.Mullets Against Malaria, an annual fundraiser for the dorm, officially launched on Thursday night when two barbers gave mullet haircuts to 33 residents of St. Edward’s.This year’s event director, sophomore Parker Mathes, said the fundraiser allows the St. Edward’s community to come together to support malaria prevention and include the entire campus in gaining donations and publicizing the damage malaria inflicts throughout the developing world.“We get mullets as a way to get people’s attention and raise awareness,” Mathes said.Rosie LoVoi | The Observer According to the website of the World Health Organization (WHO), there were approximately 198 million cases of malaria world-wide in 2013, resulting in 584,000 deaths. Mathes said the money raised by Mullets Against Malaria goes directly to Nothing But Nets, United Nations Foundation initiative that focuses on malaria prevention in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the organization’s website, Nothing But Nets works with partners like UNICEF, the United Nations Refugee Agency, the WHO and others to buy mosquito bed nets and supply them to African countries.This is only the second year of the fundraiser, Mathes said, but it hopes to build on the success of last year’s campaign, which raised $3,493 through the funding site YouCaring. The goal for the current campaign is $5,500 and donations are being accepted through GoFundMe.In addition to the mullets, Mathes said St. Edward’s is raising awareness by selling shirts for $15, which after covering overhead costs, sends $3 per shirt to Nothing But Nets.“The shirts aren’t a huge money-maker, but they’re a great way of getting the word out there,” he said.Mullets Against Malaria may not be a long-standing tradition, Mathes said, but it has already generated a lot of enthusiasm in its first two years.“The off-campus seniors came up with this idea,” he said. “They didn’t really like the current fundraising project and they were growing mullets out at the time, and so they wanted to find a way to link it together.”Mathes said participation has grown from 15 students last year to 33 this year, reflecting an effort to establish Mullets Against Malaria as an event that St. Edward’s will host for many years to come.In order to cultivate the ideal mullet, Mathes said, students need to start preparing early, so over the summer St. Edward’s president junior Griffin Hilly and vice president junior Brandon Ruggles sent out a video to all hall residents explaining the mission of Mullets Against Malaria and encouraging freshmen in particular to start growing their hair out before the actual campaign.Tags: malaria, Mullets Against Malaria, St. Edwards Halllast_img read more

College recognizes seniors for service, engagement

first_imgFour Saint Mary’s seniors were honored with C.S.C. Awards for service in different disciplines. These awards are given by the Office of Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE) to students who are dedicated to community-based learning and volunteering.Senior biology major Sarah Lucas received the Sister Maria Concepta McDermott, C.S.C. Award for Service in Education.Lucas said she began volunteering at the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) her freshman year because she wanted to take a break from academics and work with kids.“I love children, so I thought it would be a great way to spend some time and give back,” Lucas said. “It’s kind of like a stress-relief on top of everything else.”Kari Alford, program director of the ECDC, said she nominated Lucas for this award because of her ongoing commitment to helping children.“She’s given freely of her time for so many semesters,” Alford said. “When I think of service, I truly think of the volunteering and consistency that we see from Sarah.”Saint Mary’s promotes an attitude of service that encourages students to sacrifice their time and help others, Lucas said.“At the college level, people are trying to figure out what they’re going to do,” Lucas said. “By giving back and just being part of the community, it really helps you focus on what’s important and find what you’re passionate about.”Volunteering at the ECDC helped her uncover some ambitions and realize her potential, Lucas said.“I knew that I liked kids, but I didn’t realize that I could probably pursue education, which is a possibility for me now,” Lucas said. “Being there to rub someone’s back doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but for a kid, it is. No matter how small what you’re doing is, you are contributing to a bigger picture.”Senior nursing major Anna Cronin received the Sister Olivia Marie Hutcheson, C.S.C. Award for Service in the Health Field. Cronin is the Vice President of the Student Nurse Association on campus, she said.Associate professors for nursing science Annette Peacock-Johnson and Patricia Keresztes nominated Cronin for the award. Both are members of the nursing department’s Student/Faculty Affairs Committee, and Cronin stood out after the committee reviewed the extracurricular, leadership and service activities of the senior nursing students, Johnson said.“Anna rose to the top of the list because of her multiple and varied service activities, which all related to health care,” Johnson said. “She consistently engaged in health-care service activities throughout her four years at Saint Mary’s and these activities were not only on campus, but in her home community, as well as her global service experience in Uganda.”Cronin said she served her home community when providing first aid services to a summer camp after her first year of college. After her second year, she volunteered as a patient aide at a children’s hospital, she said.She spent six weeks of the summer after junior year staying with the Sisters of the Holy Cross and working at a clinic in Uganda, she said, and would love to go back one day.“I didn’t really think of it as service,” she said. “My parents instilled in me at a young age that service is a responsibility. Everyone should do some kind of service. I thought of it as something I wanted to do — I wanted to help.”Cronin admires the spirit of service in her fellow nursing classmates, and loves working with people who have a desire to use their craft to help others, she said.“I would not be the kind of nurse I am without Saint Mary’s,” Cronin said. “Going through clinicals and this small of a nursing program, where you have the individualized attention and you can ask your professors anything, is great. They know you by name, they know what you’re capable of and they’re not afraid to push you.”Cronin intends to apply for jobs in either pediatric or nursing fields after graduation, she said.Senior Eleanor Jones, a global studies major with concentrations in international development, and gender and women’s studies, received the Sister Olivette Whalen, C.S.C. Award for General Service.Professors of modern languages and intercultural studies Julie Storme and Mana Derakhshani nominated Jones for the award.“She’s a remarkable young women in many ways,” Storme said. “Her level of social justice is so deep and broad.”One reason behind the nomination is Jones’ involvement with the Food Recovery Program, Storme said.“We take the leftover food from the dining hall every Monday and Wednesday evening and we drive it over to the Center for the Homeless,” Storme said. “We’ve done that for two years and we’ve had over 5,000 pounds [of food] saved.”Through the program, Jones has expanded the circle of social justice at Saint Mary’s by linking sustainability to human dignity, Storme said.“She’s managed to create enough commitment to the program that it will outlast her,” Storme said. “Eleanor created something that wasn’t being done, and, through sheer grit, made sure it happened by individual action.”Derakshani said she was impressed with the way Jones lives her life according to her convictions.“Sustainability and care for the earth is one of the missions that the Sisters of the Holy Cross have taken up as a contemporary issue, so it is fitting that Eleanor receive an award named after a Sister,” she said.Jones said she was surprised and excited to receive the award, since she sees herself as surrounded by many people who do great service work at Saint Mary’s. Another social justice initiative of Jones’s was inspired by an experience with SUSI (Study of the United States Institute), which hosts women from the Middle East and North Africa for five weeks, she said.One thing the women do is come together with a project idea to implement in their home country, Jones said.“Two years ago, the Jordanian team won the idea for SheCab, which is a taxi company that will be female drivers for female passengers,” she said. “So I got to go to Jordan last year, and when I came back with my friend Emily, we decided to start a fundraiser for the company.”By selling ‘Blinkie’s Belles’ t-shirts and hosting events such as yoga on the Le Mans lawn, the fundraiser raised over $2,000, she said.Jones said she spent her sophomore year abroad in South Africa, and will be returning there after graduation to volunteer for a year at a children’s home founded by a Notre Dame graduate.Emily Milnamow, who is a communications major, received the Patricia Arch Green Award. This is awarded to a student who has taken on a leadership role.Samira Payne, assistant director for the OCSE, nominated Milnamow because of the work she has done with the College Academy of Tutoring Program (CAT) — a program that goes into local Title 1 schools and provides tutors and teacher assistants to students.In her nomination statement, Payne said Milnamow has taken on a leadership role by putting in extra time with the CAT Program during her senior year.“Her calm and quiet leadership style has earned the respect of her peers, and even more impressively, the respect of 26 middle school students at Navarre Intermediate Center,” Payne said. “She has devoted many hours to planning and preparing for tutoring, and is always willing to jump in when needed. Her passion and commitment is evident in all her work with the CAT Program.”Receiving this award helped Milnamow realize her passions, she said.“What I love doing is what I’m good at, and other people see that, too,” she said. “This is what I love doing, and I would love it if this could be my job some day. It’s really cool that I was able to get [this award] and it’s affirmation that I’m on the right path.”Milnamow said her time at Saint Mary’s helped shape her into a leader.“The fact that Saint Mary’s is so dedicated to going out into the community and helping the community has really made the CAT Program what it is,” she said. “It’s given me the confidence to be able to lead, whereas before I would have been more of a follower. … I think that through my major — which is a lot about connecting with people and learning how to be an interpersonal leader  — a lot of that has helped me figure out how to lead in a way that people actually listen rather than just being a boss.”Tags: Commencement 2016, CSC awards, Office of Civic and Social Engagement, saint mary’slast_img read more

Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s deputy chief of staff examines feminist thought

first_imgWhen she was 10 years old — long before she ascended to the role of deputy chief of staff for mayor Pete Buttigieg — Suzanna Fritzberg dressed up as activist and reformer Susan B. Anthony for Halloween. Since then, her desire to advocate for women’s rights has only intensified, as she developed a more nuanced understanding of feminist thought, she said in a lecture in Spes Unica Hall on Thursday.“I have learned since then that feminism is about a lot more than predominantly white women protesting for the right to vote, in particular ways,” Fritzberg said. Fritzberg said she fills three major roles in her job as deputy chief of staff.“I’m a force multiplier, meaning that if the mayor needs to be somewhere, and he can’t make it … that’s my job,” she said. “I also help to manage city operations, and I am a contact point between departments of the mayor’s office.”One of her favorite parts of the job involves helping manage the city’s health and human services policy portfolio, she said. “I’m the city lead for a bunch of things that are big, complex problems that are deeply intertwined with the root cause of poverty,” she said. “For example, right now, I’m leading a work group to focus on developing a rental unit inspection ordinance because we think there are a lot of problems with lead contamination, mold contamination … in our affordable housing stock.”Fritzberg said she is particularly interested in the connection between social policy and political philosophy. She said this interest shapes her perspective on working for the government.“Government is a tool for accomplishing moral ends, not just technical ends,” she said. “Often, the problems that we think of as technical — for example, how do you best set up shelter systems so that homeless people have a place to go? — are also really intensely ethical questions.”Fritzberg said her understanding of women’s studies enables her to approach the challenges of her job with innovation and practicality.“I find women’s studies a really interesting and urgent academic field, particularly right now because we’re in this moment where dignity and personhood and freedom, if you’re not a white man, is a little up for grabs,” she said. “I find feminist thought particularly validating because it talks about lived experience rather than alternative facts, because it recognizes interdependence rather than elevating individual success at all costs and because it predisposes us to a careful evaluation of government’s role in everyday life, rather than reactive and basic assaults on individual freedom.”Fritzberg said familiarity with the problems women face can enhance awareness of other issues, as women’s studies is an interdisciplinary pursuit.“Feminist thought insists on this merger between theory and practice, between learning and doing, between saying and actually putting it on the line,” she said. “I think that women’s studies is such a rich field of productive intellectual labor.”The link between economic and social regulations cannot be understated, as policy influences gender and vice versa, Fritzberg said.“A lot of the welfare aid in the United States goes to women with children and there have been a bunch of different rules over many different decades that structure women’s personal, professional and sexual lives around a particular moral ideology,” Fritzberg said. “At one point … there was a rule that if you were receiving U.S. welfare aid, and you were an unmarried mother with children, you couldn’t have a live-in boyfriend or anyone living with you that was a male partner that wasn’t your husband.”Fritzberg said this precedent, known as “No Man in the House,” demonstrates that the personal really is the political.“There’s this conservative agenda about household composition,” she said. “At the same time that this program is meeting human need, it’s also exposing a tension over state power in individual lives and where we think the appropriate line is for the state to be dictating morality.”The interdisciplinary nature of women’s studies, Fritzberg said, benefits her immensely, as her job often requires her to synthesize various avenues of thought.“When I work on homelessness, for example, I have to get an on-the-ground understanding of our service system and our homeless population — sociology, a little bit of anthropology,” she said. “I have to synthesize data on the public and private expenditures related to homelessness — economics. I have to understand the political levers that we need to implement solutions — political science. And then I have to effectively communicate with city administration, community members, business owners and social service leaders, which is language arts.”Skills such as creativity and agile thinking foster a strong community capable of striving for social justice, Fritzberg said. “We’re connected to this long and rich legacy of feminist thought that allows us to turn our attention to any number of different topics with particular grounding in theory and methodology,” Fritzberg said. “I believe my choices at home and at work are opportunities to build a world that’s grounded in my values and my principles.”Tags: Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, deputy chief of staff, Feminism, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Saint Mary’s Gender and Women’s Studies, Suzanna Fritzberg, women’s studieslast_img read more

Lecturer explores history of care for developmental disorders

first_imgJoshua 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, serviceslast_img read more

TEDxUND 2018 challenges participants to ‘Dare to…’

first_imgNotre 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: TEDxUNDlast_img read more

SMC theatre majors prepare for comprehensives, spring theatre festival

first_imgAt 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.”last_img read more