Month: January 2021

Project supports cancer patients

first_imgHundreds of students gathered in South Dining Hall Saturday afternoon to make fleece blankets for cancer patients at the annual Aidan Project. The project, sponsored by Circle K and Knott Hall, began in 2006 when former Knott resident Aidan Fitzgerald, then a sophomore, was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Over 400 students attended Saturday’s event. Knott service commissioner Mitchell Lopes said participants made 324 blankets and raised $2,000 from T-shirt sales, both improvements from last year’s event. The money will be donated to the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis where Fitzgerald was treated. The blankets will be donated to multiple hospitals, but primarily to Riley. Lopes said Fitzgerald developed the idea for the project after he went into remission. “After he beat the cancer he thought it would be great if he could start something in tribute to cancer [treatment], so he came up with this project,” Lopes said. “He [had a friend in] Circle K and lived in Knott, so he brought the two together.” Sophomore Mara Stolee, Aidan Project commissioner for Circle K, said the project is so popular with students because of its convenience. “We run the event on campus, in South Dining Hall, which makes it extremely easy [for them] to take a few hours of their time and do something nice for others,” she said. Circle K not only purchases the fleece, but also precuts it, Stolee said, making it feasible for students to stop by only briefly and still complete a blanket. Lopes agreed that it is easy to contribute to the Aidan project. “It’s a fairly quick project, so you don’t have to spend hours of time or a full day there,” he said. “You can pop in for 15 minutes, make a blanket, and you’ve done something constructive that helps someone. There’s a sense of accomplishment being able to say, “Hey, I only spent 15 minutes and I helped this great cause.” Junior Tyler Smith has attended the Aidan Project the past three years because of his close relationship with Fitzgerald. “I came to know him through my brother, who was his roommate and best friend,” Smith said. “Going to the Aiden Project is not only a way to help those who have cancer, but to support Aidan.” Smith said Fitzgerald’s personality helps the project continue to reach high attendance numbers. “He is very well-liked throughout the Notre Dame community,” he said. “And even though he has graduated, [Fitzgerald] continues to maintain many friendships with people still here.” Sophomores Cara Curran and Colleen Kerins also participated in the Aidan Project because of personal relationships with Fitzgerald. “We went last year because Aidan was a Cavanaugh football coach, so a lot of Cavanaugh girls were involved,” Kerins said. Curran said the project is a simple way to give back to those less fortunate. “You can just go and relax and hang out with your friends,” she said. “And they make it really easy for you to make the blankets.” Stolee said the brilliance of the Aidan Project stems from the way it takes a simple idea and applies it on such a large scale. “Cancer changes the way people live their lives, but with the Aidan Project we hope to change the way that they live with cancer by offering them gifts of love and support,” she said. “Cancer patients fight a hard battle, and it is important that they know each day that people care about them and are cheering them on.”last_img read more

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Group discusses diversity, inclusion

first_imgIn Wednesday night’s Student Senate meeting, senior Luis Llanos, chair of the diversity council, and junior Carolina Ramirez, student government liaison to the diversity council, presented the council’s resolution in support of recent changes to community life and its recommendations to the University for moving forward. Ramirez said the resolution praises the University’s many useful resources for combating discrimination and harassment on campus, including speakup.nd.edu. “We’ve also received a lot of great feedback for the new training that rectors and hall staff went through,” she said. “Our goal is to make sure everyone feels welcome in the dorms regardless of their backgrounds.” However, Llanos said the resolution proposes suggestions for improvement in these areas. “We’re requesting that a visible statement of inclusion be placed in each classroom,” Llanos said. “This is about making sure everyone – students, faculty and staff – feels ‘at home under the dome.’” The resolution also recommends Halal and Kosher foods be made accessible to students with dietary restrictions, that it be made mandatory for faculty and staff to attend diversity in-services, that the University add a “cultural enrichment” course requirement, and that Notre Dame increase efforts to recruit and retain ethnically and culturally diverse faculty members. Senior Daniel Colston, director of internal affairs, said the crucifix that already hangs in each room on campus is already an effective symbol of inclusion.  “If I were to say a racially insensitive slur, seeing a piece of paper up on the wall wouldn’t prevent me from doing that more than Jesus would,” he said. The resolution also suggested rectors be “required to collaborate in the process of choosing a Freshman Orientation staff.”  “We want to get the word out to students – especially students from diverse backgrounds – that it’s important to be a part of their dorms. … What we hope to do is to push them to be a part of the Frosh-O staff so that the freshmen have a better time,” Llanos said. “… Frosh-O can really play a huge role in how your freshman year goes, and we really want everyone to have someone not only they can trust, but who can empathize with them.” Alumni Hall senator Juan Jose Daboub said the suggested changes to Frosh-O are too extreme. “I feel like we’re trying to put people in a bubble and protect them from all of this. And it’s great that we’re trying to help them, but what if in the end we’re actually hindering them?” Daboub said. “What if they get into the real world and they realize they’re not going to be babied?” Llanos said he does not think these measures “baby” students.  “The only thing we’re looking for is for people to feel at home. It’s not babying, it’s just saying, ‘Hey, don’t transfer. Why are you miserable?’ I think that’s the Catholic thing to do,” Llanos said. Contact Margaret Hynds at [email protected]last_img read more

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Professor emeritus to visit China

first_imgEmeritus chemistry professor Subhash Basu is scheduled to present the lecture, “Characterization of Biosimilar Anti-cancer Agents Using Apoptosis Assays,” in Suzhou, China on Nov. 20 as part of the 12th Annual Congress of International Drug Discovery Science and Technology (IDDST).The theme of the conference, “Shaping the Bright Future of Drug Discovery,” is part of a larger effort to provide “the perfect meeting place to exchange information and discuss breaking scientific discovery toward enabling technologies that are driving bio/pharmaceutical innovations, the drug discovery and development process,” according to the IDDST invitation letter.“I think at least 200 people are going to talk in four days, so [the conference] is very important,” Basu said. “You increase your horizons of known people. Not only do you sell your product, but you also get ideas, so it’s very important to get an invitation from there and interact with those people all over the world.”Basu said conference attendees include vice presidents, CEOs and directors from some of the largest research and pharmaceutical companies around the globe. Although the conference includes many aspects of the drug delivery process, Basu said he is presenting on the use of liposomes in cancer drug delivery.“The research is focused on finding new chemicals, which can kill cancer cells,” he said.Basu, who has worked at Notre Dame for the past 44 years in the area of breast and colon cancer drug discovery, said the goal of his lab is to use the smallest and least toxic dose of chemicals to cause cancer cells death without harming normal cells.“The dying of normal cells means the DNA gets degraded, but cancer cells, they don’t want to die,” he said. “They are immortal.”15 years ago, Basu said an undergraduate in his lab ran an experiment using the anti-cancer chemotherapy drug, Cisplatin. Results of the experiment showed that Cisplatin killed cancer cells by apoptosis, which Basu said was not known at the time.The lab published the paper and then began working on other chemicals with the ability to induce apoptosis, Basu said.“It caught the attention of the whole world that cancer cells could be induced for apoptosis, which then I said, I can bank on that … that I want to kill cancer cells by apoptosis induction,” he said.In addition to his cancer research at the University, Basu said he is currently in the process of establishing a non-profit foundation, the Cancer Drug Delivery Research Foundation.“I conceived of this new foundation [for] cancer drug delivery, how we deliver these apoptotic chemicals,” he said. “I have four or five more patents to apply for immediately so I’m preparing myself to build a new lab, a new crew and everything.”Basu said future patents will help finance cancer research, and he said he should receive all necessary confirmations to move forward with the project within the next six months.“Now, I have in my possession all the equipment,” he said. “All I need [is] declaration from the IRS that this foundation is tax exempted, and then I can accept the money from different agencies.”Until then, Basu said he plans to continue his research and attend various global conferences.Next month, “Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology” will publish a chapter on potential anticancer drugs written by Basu.Tags: annual congress of international drug discovery science and technology, anti-cancer, apoptosis, cancer cells, characterization of biosimilar anti-cancer agents using apoptosis assays, chemistry, china conference, DNA, IDDST, research, shaping the bright future of drug discovery, subhash basu, suzhou chinalast_img read more

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Baker/Kohler to head Saint Mary’s Student Government Association

first_imgSaint Mary’s College Student Government Association (SGA) announced the incoming student body president and vice president, Kaitlyn Baker and Maddie Kohler, on Friday.Election week was exciting and stressful, but Kohler felt particularly confident during her speech in the dining hall Wednesday during dinner, she said.“We were always anxious to see how the other candidates were going to campaign,” she said. “But Wednesday night, when we gave our speeches, I was so proud to be telling the students what we want to do, if elected, and express our love for the College.”Kohler said she and Baker plan to attend SGA meetings and shadow the College’s outgoing student body president and vice president, McKenna Schuster and Sam Moorhead, to prepare for their term, which officially begins April 1.Baker said she and Kohler will begin the board application process for student-run organizations like Student Diversity Board (SDB), Residence Hall Association (RHA) and Student Activities Board (SAB). Students were elected into such positions prior to this year, Baker said.Though they both have SGA experience, Kohler said she and Baker look forward to working with Schuster and Moorhead to guide them into their new positions.Kohler said she and her partner intend to add a function to the new BelleMobile app that would track Blinky, a nightly shuttle service sponsored by Saint Mary’s Security to transport students safely around Saint Mary’s campus, as well as back and forth from the Grotto.“There’s a lot of questions that need to be asked and a lot of research to figure out how we could create such a function,” Kohler said. “I’ll have to reach out to IT and try to develop that over the summer.”Baker said they want to begin promptly on some of their larger initiatives, such as the Blinky tracker and diversity within SGA.In addition, Baker said they want to talk with security about transporting students during the day.“The issue seems to be that girls come home with groceries and luggage, and they need a little help getting from point A to point B, so maybe we can talk with security about being more available during the day,” Baker said.Kohler said she wants students to know she and Baker are interested in their concerns.“We’ve already had students reaching out with ideas, and students feel like they can communicate their wants and needs to us,” Kohler said. “ I really want students to know we are approachable.”Baker said she and Kohler hope to recruit a diverse group of students to be in their presidential cabinet.“I want to make sure minority groups are represented and reach out to some of the diverse clubs to find out what their needs are,” she said. “I want to make sure their voices are heard.”SGA added an “International Chair” to ensure the needs of all students are met, and Baker said she thinks including SGA representatives within that addition may help.“We can’t really cater to the needs of diverse students if we don’t have any diversity in SGA,” Baker said.Baker said she also wants SGA to maintain its transparency while she and her partner are in office.“In our platform, we tried to be really honest and highlight ideas we know we could work towards,” she said. “We really want to hear from students and keep Senate meetings open to students to voice their concerns.”Baker and Kohler both said they are excited for the “Big Belle, Little Belle” Program to begin next fall. The program will pair up current sophomores and juniors with incoming first-year students and give new students a guide for their first year of college and beyond.“Right now, the program is voluntary and the Office of Student Affairs is in charge,” Baker said. “We hope students will want to share their Saint Mary’s experience with new students and serve as a mentor and friend.”Kohler said, overall, the elections were a good example of friendly competition amongst classmates.“All of the candidates did a great job campaigning and getting their message out there,” Kohler said. “Now I’m really excited to meet with [the] administration and communicate our ideas and figure out what plans are already in the making.”Tags: Kaitlyn Baker, Maddie Kohler, sga, sga electionslast_img read more

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Ricketts, Ruelas compose mental health memo to Board of Trustees

first_imgEric Richelsen | The Observer Student government compiled its new research and recommendations on mental health in a memo to the University Board of Trustees.Student body president Bryan Ricketts said the memo is an extension of a report on student stress and mental health written by Lauren Vidal and Matthew Devine, last year’s student body president and vice president, as well as Shannon Montague, their chief of staff.“We thought it was a great conversation,” Ricketts said. “Their look at student stress examined how conditions can exacerbate mental illness, or even create it for the first time. Now we’re examining some of the leftover questions, looking more at the actions taken to help students with mental illness.”Dan Sehlhorst, student body chief of staff, said the memo contained a further analysis of mental illness in relation to high-risk groups on campus, as well as information about individual colleges’ responses to student mental health needs.Sehlhorst said student government issued two main recommendations in the memo, suggesting changes to address the climate and procedures related to mental illness on Notre Dame’s campus.Ricketts said student government defined stigma reduction and emphasized the role of community as segments of its recommendation about the climate surrounding mental illness on campus.“Through a combination of academic research, campus research and data analysis we did over the summer, we were able to sit back and decide what we, as a student government, want to accomplish this year,” he said.Sehlhorst said the memo addressed five procedures related to mental illness — parental education, collegiate targeted outreach, high-risk group targeted outreach, faculty education and college referral education.Educating parents about the mental health resources on campus could help them provide support to their children in times of need, Sehlhorst said.“We want to help parents know better how to refer their students if they were identifying signs that they needed some additional help — maybe they’re way too stressed over the phone, maybe they’re really depressed,” he said.Vidal and Devine’s report highlighted freshman students and international Asian students as those with a higher risk of stress-related mental illnesses, Sehlhorst said.“We identified five additional high-risk groups: LGBTQ students, racial and ethnic minorities, students who have a background of high socioeconomic need, men and non-Catholic students,” he said. “Each of those groups face mental health issues in a different way. They often face different types of mental health issues, so they need to all be dealt with in a specific way.”Sehlhorst said different on-campus organizations have close relationships with different demographics, allowing them to serve as a resource for different high-risk groups.The memo also notes the importance of faculty education about the mental health resources on campus, such as the Campus Assessment Response and Education Team (CARE Team), Ricketts said.Sehlhorst said student government suggested broader faculty training programs to teach faculty members about ways to recognize mental illnesses and how to help put students in touch with the resources available to them.“It would start with the actual training … so they know the warning signs and resources available,” he said. “A lot of colleges do this really well already. Basically, what we are identifying is we can still improve even further.”Ricketts said it is important to continue the collaboration between the different colleges at the University, continuously evaluating the best way to help students access the resources they need.“These are all ideas, initiatives that we’re using to frame how we’re dealing with mental health and how we’re engaging with administrators and the colleges on mental health issues,” he said.To address mental illness, student government has also created a department of health and wellness and assisted in the development and promotion of the McDonald Center for Student Well-Being, Ricketts said.Members of the Notre Dame community have vocalized their desires to address mental illness on campus, Ricketts said.“This is an issue that affects students, and we want to make sure we’re continuing that dialogue and continuing student engagement with the issue,” he said.Tags: Board of Trustees, mental illness, Notre Dame, Student Government Memolast_img read more

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University breaks research funding record

first_imgNotre Dame has broken the University’s previous record of research funding raised in a fiscal year (FY) after receiving $138.1 million in research funding for FY 2017, according to a University press release Monday. The funds raised surpassed the record set in FY 2015 — $133.7 million — as well as the monthly record, with $27.6 million received in June alone.According to the release, the sources for the research awards include federal funding, which accounted for 57.8 percent; foundations or other sponsors, which provided 26.9 percent of the funding; and industry, which accounted for the final 15.3 percent.University president Fr. John Jenkins said the record-breaking amount is a reflection of the hard work of Notre Dame’s faculty.“Our scholarly, robust faculty can take pride in this milestone,” he said in the release. “It advances Notre Dame’s reputation as a national research university, and it represents a welcome infusion of spending in South Bend. Congratulations to Robert Bernhard, our vice president for research, and most of all to our talented and hardworking faculty for an achievement that is all the more remarkable in a time of government retrenchment.”Bernhard echoed Jenkins, as he said in the release that an increase in the number of proposals submitted this year contributed to the increase in funding.“This year’s success is tied directly to the dedication of our faculty who worked harder than ever in this difficult funding environment to compete for grants,” he said. “In fact, Notre Dame researchers submitted over 1,200 proposals this year, representing a 30 percent increase in proposal value since last year. I look forward to seeing many of these proposals — especially those that continue our important collaborative relationship with the city of South Bend, such as the Wireless Institute’s proposal for a city-scale platform for advanced wireless research — become actively funded research projects.”According to the release, the University remains committed to supporting this “collaborative relationship” with the local South Bend community through research funding, with 75 percent of such funding committed to local initiatives. Among beneficiaries of this funding is the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory in downtown South Bend, which received almost $7 million in research awards in FY 2017.The release said some of the largest research funding awards include more than $1 million from the U.S. Department of State to the new Keough School of Global Affairs for the Peace Accords Matrix, a $2.5 million award to the College of Science from the National Institutes of Health for continued support of VectorBase — a bioinformatics resource for invertebrate vectors of human pathogens — and a $1.6 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to the College of Arts and Letters for training Catholic thought leaders to engage in dialogue between science and religion.Tags: research fundinglast_img read more

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Notre Dame, Navy partnership serves as foundation of historic series

first_imgAs many young men enlisted or were drafted into the military during World War II, Notre Dame’s enrollment sank and the University was on the verge of closing. Thanks to an agreement between the Navy and Notre Dame, however, the University was able to keep its doors open. Observer File Photo Members of the Notre Dame ROTC program perform an end of year Presidential Pass Review on South Quad.Notre Dame’s connection with the Navy began in 1941, Capt. Mark Prokopius, the commanding officer of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) at Notre Dame, said.“The students would go through a four-year continuum of classes and then get a reserve commission in the Navy,” he said. “But, with the advent of World War II, the Navy realized the need to basically make more officers.”Thus, in 1942, the Navy began a V-7 program at Notre Dame to train midshipmen over the course of four months. In September of that year, Prokopius said, the Navy began a V-12 program at the University.“The V-12 program basically really was designed to put more officers into the Navy,” he said. “Roughly 125,000 people went through the entire program in the entire country. Notre Dame did almost 12,000 of those. In the end, having those midshipmen, those Navy personnel on campus really saved the University.”In return for the Navy’s contribution to Notre Dame’s success, Prokopius said, University President Fr. Theodore Hesburgh established a football relationship between the Naval Academy and the University.“When Fr. Hesburgh came back to the University in 1945 and subsequently became the president in 1952, he was so grateful for what the Navy had done for the University that he made the promise that we will continue the relationship with the Navy,” he said. “And that has then perpetuated into the longest running, uninterrupted, intersectional rivalry in the country.”Navy broke Notre Dame’s 43-game series victory streak in 2007. Prokopius said at the time, he was commanding a submarine and several officers who had graduated from the Academy.“I came in, in the morning, and taped to my computer screen was a picture of Jimmy Clausen getting sacked by a Navy defender, with the Navy defender in this horizontal dive,” he said. “It was a three-overtime game, and it was pretty rough breaking that string, but being a Notre Dame grad and then going at it with my Naval Academy junior officers that worked with me, it was fun.”Sophomore Bridget Ralph, a member of the Naval ROTC at Notre Dame, said she is looking forward to the game this weekend because of her connection to both schools.“I live in Annapolis and I’ve grown up near the Naval Academy,” she said. “I’m really excited for a Notre Dame-Navy game because I’ve been to a lot of games at home because my dad works at the Naval Academy. So I’m kind of a Navy fan, but obviously a Notre Dame fan in this game.”The University is pulling out all the stops for the pregame festivities, Ralph said, as there will be a fly-over and a flag-unfurling.“This game is the military appreciation game, so we’ll have our color guard on the field and then there’s going to be a flag unfurling,” she said. “I know a lot of people in the Navy ROTC do the flag-unfurling, so there will be a big flag and they’re practicing with the band and everything.”Junior Matthew Bartilotti said both his father and grandfather were in the Navy — a tradition that influenced his decision to join the Naval ROTC. His father graduated from Notre Dame in 1990, which Bartilotti said affected his decision to attend Notre Dame. Bartilotti added that the University’s appreciation for the military also impacted his decision to attend Notre Dame.“When you look at all the Navy ROTC programs, no school really comes close to Notre Dame’s respect and appreciation for the military,” he said. “I’ve heard from people who are ROTC units at California state schools or even some other schools where they can’t wear their uniforms to class because some students are so anti-military. Some professors, even, are so anti-military that they just avoid that confrontation.“It’s kind of humbling to see how respected the ROTC students are for what they do at this school and what we will be doing. It’s really humbling to see how supportive and how appreciative our student body is.”This respect for the military is evidenced in the Navy-Notre Dame games, Bartilotti said.“Navy is the one team that nobody boos when they run out the tunnel,” he said. “I don’t know how much of that has to do with Notre Dame being a more conservative school than most other schools — I just think that our student body has a good sense of patriotism and pride for the military, which is so refreshing, especially when you hear what happens at some other schools.”Tags: Football Friday Feature, Naval Academy, Naval ROTC, Notre Dame-Navy rivalry, ROTClast_img read more

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Student body presidential candidates: Mario Markho and Charlie Ortega Guifarro

first_imgWho they are:Presidential candidate Mario Markho is a junior neuroscience major in Keough Hall from Toledo, Ohio. His running mate, Charlie Ortega Guifarro, is a Film, Television and Theatre major with minors in photography and the Journalism, Ethics and Democracy program. Ortega is a junior hailing from Miami currently living in Stanford Hall. They are joined by campaign manager and junior Tiffany Rojas, an off-campus economics major. All three are members of the Balfour-Hesburgh Scholars Program.Top Priority: Reducing dorm inequalityWhile neither Markho nor Ortega have experience working in student government, their respective experiences at Notre Dame prompted in them a desire to give back to the student body and help those with similar backgrounds feel more welcomed, especially in light of the recently implemented three-years-on-campus policy. The two created a comprehensive and practical platform based on improving student life, building on already-existing programs and providing clarity in dealings with the administration.One of the largest areas the two hope to tackle is the longstanding issue of dorm inequality, both within and across residential life. Infrastructure-wise, this includes plans to give fans to dorms without AC and to establish more sound pipelines for repairs and maintenance issues. Socially, the two hope to curb a negative drinking culture and the ever-present danger of sexual assault by establishing clear guidelines for registering parties, adjusting parietal times and implementing a first-time forgiveness policy for all parietals offenses. Holistically, the ticket also hopes to establish an art initiative within residence halls and establish regular opportunities for Confession within dorms.Best Idea: Online registration and scheduling for St. Liam’s and UCCThe Markho-Ortega ticket has a number of insightful suggestions for improving student life, but perhaps none are more practical and feasible than online scheduling for St. Liam’s. While the University already has online scheduling software in place for things as simple as booking a haircut appointment, attempting to schedule an appointment with a psychologist, psychiatrist or physician requires calling or going in person. Adopting this technology for University Health Services would not only be a welcome upgrade, it would also streamline its service and allow for scheduling beyond business hours.Worst Idea: Move parietals to 2 a.m. on Thursdays On one hand, the ticket’s rationale for parietal reform is well-intended; it was created in response to the University’s recent Campus Climate survey, which found that many individuals will choose to not leave situations that put them at risk for sexual assault for fear of punishment. However, the solution Markho and Ortega offer lacks prudence. On their platform, the two justify the time extension with the fact that “countless students have complained that [the parietals] extension does not apply to Thursdays, a night when most students still go out,” but disregard the glaring correlation between party culture and sexual assault. Rather than help the problem, the situation could potentially grow worse with such a change.Most Feasible: Promote a State of the Union / Town Hall to the student bodyAnother key facet of the ticket’s platform is promoting clarity within student government, a part of the organization that has struggled to remain consistent in recent years. The simple yet effective tool of organizing a bi-semester “State of the Union” would force the team to be transparent on its dealings with the University, as well as hold it accountable for implementing its campaign promises.Least Feasible: Establish an extra reading dayWhile not a bad idea in theory, the campaign’s hope to establish not one, but two extra reading days — one per semester — would require putting an incredible amount of pressure on the University and the provost’s office to even consider such a change. It’s extremely doubtful the administration would consider rewriting the academic calendar.Bottom Line: Well-intentioned, but lacking experienceMarkho-Ortega have clearly put work in to building what may be the most concrete platform in the election, and the ticket has many ideas which reflect a practical and insightful lens into where the University falls short. But running through many of their proposals is a common theme of naivete — the two may say they are running on the strength of their platform and not their clout with administrators, but a number of their policies realistically require a tremendous amount of influence that past administrations with much more experience have not even attempted. With just a one-year term, it would frankly be shocking if Markho and Ortega were able to move the University to forgive parietal offenses, publish CIFs or a complete breakdown of tuition. Additionally, several of the campaign’s ideas — such as section funds for resident assistants — are already standard University policy. While the ticket’s best ideas reflect an refreshing outside approach, their inexperience overshadows such proposals.Tags: 2019 Student Government Electionlast_img read more

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Panel considers financial aid, right to education

first_imgRepresentatives from the University administration discussed the importance of providing access to higher education to individuals of all economic backgrounds in a panel discussion Wednesday. The panel took place as part of Mendoza College of Business’ annual Ethics Week, this year titled “Economic Inequality: on Campuses, in Communities and at Companies.” Panel guests included director of admissions Bob Mundy, director of financial aid Mary Nucciarone and former director of the office of student enrichment Marc Burdell.Mundy said receiving an undergraduate education is essential for individuals’ financial success as well as their personal development.“When we talk about the value of college education, there is considerable research that clearly shows the monetary value that over a lifetime a college graduate is likely to earn probably a million dollars or more over a non-college grad,” he said. “But there’s a lot of other value that — and certainly as a Notre Dame undergrad I hope you’re feeling this — a lot of other value to a college education. … College graduates tend to be more engaged in significant social issues, they tend to have lower unemployment rates, they raise children who are more likely to go to college. So, there’s a lot of social good that comes out of being a recipient of a college degree.”The benefits post-secondary education offers means institutions of higher learning ought to do their best to keep their doors open to students of all economic backgrounds, he added.“If colleges are truly to become instruments of positive social change, then it’s the responsibility of all colleges and universities to seek students who might come from backgrounds that are more economically challenged — so students of lower socioeconomic situations,” Mundy said. “And the good news on this front, as we talk about making college more accessible — and I suppose getting at the ethics of it all — is this population has become highly sought-after by just about every one of my colleagues in the profession.”Considering the steep price of higher education, however, students of low socioeconomic status are often discouraged from pursuing a college degree, he said.“Students of comparable academic backgrounds tend to enroll at a lower rate if they’re from a challenged economic environment. And some of that … is the fear of the cost,” Mundy said. “That college is an expensive venture under really any circumstances, and when you’re from a family whose annual income might be $30,000 a year and you’re looking at colleges where the full [tuition] is more than double that, that’s a daunting prospect. … We have to overcome that.”Nucciarone spoke next. She said the affordability of higher education should be defined in terms of the social and educational returns it can provide.“Affordability is about investment,” she said.This considered, Nucciarone said colleges and universities have an obligation to provide enough aid to students to ensure the cost of attending them does not outweigh their benefits.“There is a significant issue of access if the school does not have enough resources themselves to provide gift assistance to pay for college,” she said.However, Notre Dame has been able to offer more and more aid to students by the year, she said.“Our annual scholarship budget has just continued to increase, and much of it is funded through endowment or restricted-type of gifts,” Nucciarone said.Accordingly, the number of students coming from underprivileged backgrounds has also steadily increased, Nucciarone said.“We have a growing number of students who are coming from homeless backgrounds,” she said. “We have more parents who are drug-addicted, an increase in the number of undergraduates who are victims of abuse — and they are considered independent.”Nucciarone said Notre Dame students from low socioeconomic background tend to blend in on campus, often preventing them from receiving the resources and attention they need.“We don’t even know how many undergraduates lack health insurance,” she said. “For those in special programs, we’re paying for health insurance for those students, but the number of people I’ve made exceptions for has more than doubled in a year.”Some students must rely on University programs for support when school is out of session, Nucciarone said.“Students are using the Center for Social Concerns programming as their means of a way to get off of campus but have housing and meals during break time,” she said.Because many of Notre Dame’s undergraduates come from affluent backgrounds, those who come from economic insecurity frequently feel isolated, she said.“I’ve had students share their anger with me, stemming from class or residence hall discussions. They find themselves stuck in the middle of a discussion where poor people are being talked about in sometimes kind, sometimes ignorant ways,” Nucciarone said. “And what the people around them don’t know is that there is a poor person standing right in front of them.”Tags: Bob Mundy, low socioeconomic students, Office of Financial Aid, right to educationlast_img read more

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Swanson: Domestic Violence A Concern As COVID-19 Crisis Continues

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),Help from the criminal justice system,you say….you let my felony stalker free as an FN corona spore…..I was delayed 6mths for my chance to see justice served…and never talked to you.we never even met.you let him stalk me,drug me,spit on me,and ultimately I was tossed like a china corpse,and knocked out…hed been arrested 30x in 6yrs for these same acts,and worse.n you set him free,whilst my ptsd keeps me isolated before this crap took over the world….THEY DONT CALL IT >CRIMINAL< JUSTICE《 FOR NOTHING.Our system is a farce,and heads up people,Jamestown has it's own Bill Cosby,n not the funny sweater,jello bill….the evil, sinister bill…..the real Bill….he is out there. Dont believe me,ask the Anew Center. MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says domestic violence is a specific problem that he’s concerned about as the global COVID-19 crisis continues.“These are high stressed times where people are going to struggle with their mental health,” Swanson said during a recent interview with WNYNewsNow. “That struggle with mental health, along with it comes strain at home. I just hope people can stay level headed. If someone is violating the law, I hope that person being abused is able to call and get protection from law enforcement and seek help from the criminal justice system.”The county’s chief prosecutor says the pandemic will cause a drop in crime throughout the county this year.“When people are being out and about, and businesses being open, those things breed the opportunity for people to commit criminal acts,” Swanson said. “When you’ve got the majority of people staying home, and the majority of businesses being closed, the opportunity to commit crime is far less. We’re going to see a dip in crime this year because of (the pandemic).” last_img read more

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