Month: January 2021

Rocheleau, Rose win in single-ticket race

first_imgJuniors Brett Rocheleau and Katie Rose won Wednesday’s election for student body president and vice president with 57.3 percent of the 2,382 votes, vice president of elections for Judicial Council Caitlin Ogren said. Rocheleau and Rose ran unopposed in the first single-ticket election in student government records. Ogren said 42.7 percent of students who participated in the election abstained from voting for the Rocheleau-Rose ticket. “Fewer students voted than in last year’s election,” she said. “More students abstained than in last year’s election.” In last year’s primary election, 163 voters abstained, representing 4.04 percent of the total vote. Despite this decrease in voter turnout, Rocheleau said he looks forward to hearing students’ opinions about campus issues. “It’s exciting to see what people think about our vision, how they want to add to it, the different goals and things they’d like to work on,” he said. “And being able to communicate with them and seeing how they take our vision and how they help us grow is going to be the most exciting time for me.” Rose said she expects to enjoy working on the initiatives she and Rocheleau developed for their platform. “I’m pretty excited to see some noticeable changes in student life and for students to be excited about those changes and to keep being engaged in working with us on those,” she said. The incoming administration hopes to advocate for the student body in matters of consequence and convenience, Rocheleau said. “We want to hear the pulse of the students as well as act on it,” he said. “We want to hear what drives them, what’s really important to them, and we want to advocate on those issues.” Student body president Pat McCormick extended his congratulations to Rocheleau and Rose. “I think that Brett and Katie are uniquely capable of advancing the vision of the kind of student government that we’ve built this year, and I’m excited to see how they build it even bigger in the year to come,” he said. Before handing over the reins to Rocheleau and Rose on April 1, McCormick said he will take advantage of the upcoming transition to culminate the work of his administration. “I think that there are a number of different ways that we’re hoping to do that, and I’m really looking forward to the coming weeks and to doing our best to support Brett and Katie as well as they transition to these roles,” McCormick said. Rocheleau acknowledged that some aspects of his time as student body president would likely be difficult. “I would say any administration faces challenges along the road, but that’s why we want to build a strong team behind us — so when we do face any difficulties that lie ahead of us, that we as a team can come together and work on trying to overcome the obstacles that we face and in the end overcome them and accomplish our goals,” he said. Rocheleau said he wanted to thank his supporters as well as everyone who participated in the election. “From everyone who voted for us … even for those who abstained, just to still vote, I think that’s important,” he said. “We’re looking forward to getting the next administration started, keeping what Pat and I laid out last year and hoping to advance the vision.”last_img read more

SMC honors Earth Hour

first_imgFor one hour, the entire earth will be dark. Tomorrow, the Sisters of the Holy Cross will participate in Earth Hour with millions of people worldwide by turning off their lights. From 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., the Sisters encourage members of the Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame communities to turn off their lights and other electrical devices in an effort to promote ecological sustainability. Sr. Veronique Wiedower, vice president of the Division for Mission, said Earth Hour has an important humanitarian element tied into its focus on sustainability. “The idea is that we are a global village, and the same is going to be true about water as with oil in that there are not endless amounts,” she said. “We need to know what it means to be responsible for those resources, or responsible in our use of those resources.” The Sisters’ participation in Earth Hour stems from their mission of standing in solidarity with the less fortunate of the world, Wiedower said. She said one community can have a significant impact when united with other communities across the globe. “It is important to be in solidarity with poor who do not have access to these resources everyday,” Wiedower said. By shutting off lights this Saturday, the Sisters hope the conservation of resources will spark further efforts to share with those who need them desperately, she said. “During this time of Lent, when we give up, we give an opportunity to give someone access to resources,” she said. “What each person can do is important.” Sr. Wiedower encourages participation in any form. “If you can’t shut off everything, do a little bit. Each person makes a difference,” she said. “You never know what the tipping point might be, and you might be that last person needed.”last_img read more

Center for Spirituality to hold lecture series

first_imgBeginning next month, the Saint Mary’s Center for Spirituality (CFS) will bring three speakers to campus as part of the 2013 Spring Lecture Series, “Mind, Body, Spirit: Connected.” CVS director Sr. Kathleen Dolphin, PBVM, Ph. D, said these lectures will illustrate the overall goal of the Center, reminding people how the body, mind and spirit of a person are connected and dependent on one another. “The mind and spirit are intimately connected and mutually enriching to each other in an academic setting,” she said. “We’re in a unique position to engage the Saint Mary’s community in discussion of the critical issues related to spirituality that are facing students.” The lecture series, sponsored by the College’s Annual Endowed Lecture Series Fund, kicks off March 5 when Margaret O’Brien Steinfels will deliver a talk called “Perspectives on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.” Steinfels is the former co-director of the Center for on Religion and Culture at Fordham University. “What we are trying to talk about in this first lecture is the Catholic intellectual tradition, which is very strong throughout history,” Sr. Dolphin, PBVM, Ph. D said. “It’s an acknowledgement of the power of human intellect.” Sr. Dolphin said the human mind is a crucial part of a developing spirituality. “It’s an emphasis on the mind in that we must think about the issues of the world, and it’s concerns and the issues in the church,” she said. “We are constantly thinking about what role the church plays in these issues.” Sr. Dolphin said she admires Steinfels as both an author and a speaker. The two have a history together that came about long before their mutual interests in spirituality and the Catholic tradition. “I went to grade school with Margaret in Chicago, so I’m very excited to hear see her speak and talk,” she said. “I highly respect her.” However, Sr. Dolphin said she is also looking forward to the other two lectures in the series. The second speaker visiting campus is Suzette Bremault-Phillips, from the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Alberta in Canada. Bremault-Phillips will speak March 26 in a talk called, “Exploring the Body/Spirituality Interface.” The talk, according to Sr. Dolphin will focus on the use of spiritual experiences in medicine. “She is exploring how the body and spirit get along with each other,” Sr. Dolphin, PBVM, Ph. D said. “She is studying the impact spirituality can have on someone who is ill. She’s done research on how people get better and recover if they’ve had some sort of spiritual or religious experience.” Sr. Dolphin also said she is extremely interested in this lecture because the topic of connecting science and religion in this way is still in its early stages. “I’ve met [Bremault-Phillips) before and she’s very energetic and very convinced there is something about spirituality and physical/mental health that we need to take a look at,” she said. “It’s a new field and study so I’m excited.” The third and final speaker in the series, Mary Jo Weaver, is a Professor Emerita of Religious Studies at Indiana University speaking on April 2. Her talk, titled “The Evolutionary Adventure of Catholic Spirituality,” focuses more on the development of Catholic spirituality throughout history, according to Sr. Dolphin, PBVM, Ph. D. “Catholic spiritually has evolved over the years and seen major changes,” she said. “We’ve seen old ways that didn’t work for people falling by the way side.” Sr. Dolphin 5 said the audience might be hesitant of the talk or unsure of how to react because of the world “evolution” in the lecture’s title. “Some people don’t like the world “evolved” when it comes to Catholic spirituality,” she said. “But it has certainly and Weaver is a high-energy speaker who has a lot to say on this subject.” Each lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the CFS at (574) 284-4636 or visit read more

MSA degree ranked No. 4

first_imgNotre Dame’s Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program was recently ranked No. 4 in The Public Accounting Report’s annual rankings of MSA programs, a two-spot jump from last year’s No. 6 position. Additionally, the Public Accounting Report ranked the program No. 1 in the country of those programs with a faculty of its size.  H. Fred Mittelstaedt, Deloitte Foundation professor of accountancy and the chairperson of the Department of Accountancy, said he is pleased with the rankings.  “I’m very grateful for the rankings,” Mittelstaedt said. “I think they reflect the quality of our program, because I would say we are the best accounting program in the country – undergrad and graduate. So it’s nice when rankings come out that reflect that.”  Mittelstaedt said The Public Accounting Report’s rankings are based on a survey of accounting professors across the country, who are asked to rank undergraduate programs, graduate programs and public accounting firms.  Professor Michael Morris, chairperson of the Mendoza College of Business’ MSA program, said being ranked at the top of the list is a welcome distinction.  “The Public Accounting Report… rankings are based on the perceptions of accounting faculty nationwide, so to be at or near the top of the rankings from such a broad-based and knowledgeable group is really an honor,” Morris said.  Mittelstaedt said since the rankings are so objective that it is difficult to attribute the jump to a qualitative difference in the program. “It’s hard to say why that jump [from six to four] would have been there,” Mittelstaedt said. “I’m not sure we did anything in one year to make the jump, but it’s just a concerted effort to have as good students as we can and then place them as well.” Morris said the quality of MSA faculty and students reflects in the program’s high rankings year after year.  “The program has been consistent in delivering a quality education by an experienced and renowned business faculty,” Morris said, “[The] M.S. in Accountancy staff have gone the extra mile to provide the highest level of student services, and the level of support from various segments in the University has enabled the program to offer a flexible curriculum and achieve 100 percent placement the last two years.” Mittelstaedt said the rankings recognize programs that best prepare students for success in public accounting.  Notre Dame’s MSA students certainly qualify for successful accounting careers. Mittelstaedt said the MSA program boasts a Certified Public Accountant exam pass rate of over 80 percent, and 84 percent of 2013 MSA graduates were placed with one of the “Big Four” accounting firms.  “We probably place more people with the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms, as a percentage, than any other school in the country,” Mittelstaedt said.last_img read more

South Bend updates taxi ordinances

first_imgThe City of South Bend has worked to better regulate local taxi companies and improve the municipal code, assistant city attorney Ann Carol Nash said.  “What we’re really trying to do is help taxi drivers know that they’ll do better business-wise if they become more customer oriented. … I’m hoping the requirements of the ordinance will help them along,” Nash said. “It will be good for taxi business and better for the city as a whole.”  In an effort to improve safety, the City now must inspect taxi vehicles once a year and the South Bend Airport must do the same once a year.  “We make sure the car is in very good condition,” Nash said. “We always did inspect [the cars], but we standardized our criteria with the criteria of the airport, so there is no confusion.” Following a suggestion made by former Notre Dame student body president Grant Schmidt, all cab drivers the City licenses must display a placard inside their vehicles that shows the driver’s name, the company, the cab number, a city map and the company’s rates. The drivers must also post the phone number of the City’s Central Office in case an issue arises, Nash said. “One of the biggest complaints we have gotten is people feel they were overcharged,” Nash said. “You should be able to look at this card and know what it is you’re going to be charged.”  Nash said other major changes include requirements for taxi companies to have more vehicles and drivers, increasing from two to six of each. At least two taxis must be available at all times, she said. “We need someone available all of the time. … We don’t want anybody stranded,” Nash said. “We require them to have something available.”   Nash said in order to be more customer-friendly, improve business and encourage safety, taxis must equip themselves to accept credit and debit cards. “It’s been a long time since we had a taxi driver hurt,” Nash said. “They’re already vulnerable – they have to drive anywhere in the city anytime they’re called. We certainly don’t want them hurt. If they’re taking debit cards instead of cash, they’re better off.”  Due to public health and safety risks, the City forbids smoking in vehicles, Nash said. She said passengers who smell tobacco smoke in their taxi should immediately report it to the City number posted in their cab. “Nobody should be smoking in the cab,” Nash said. “We’re dead serious about that. That’s not allowed. … There’s absolutely no excuse for that.”  Nash emphasized to students the importance of only using City-licensed taxis because these are the only safety-inspected vehicles. She said the City also screens licensed drivers for unsafe driving records and administers drug tests to them. “We have some security measures in place when we do our licensing of our drivers,” Nash said. “If you get into a taxi that isn’t licensed, you have no idea if that person has a criminal history, how they drive or even if they have a license at all. You can’t just rely on the fact that they call themselves a cab driver. We encourage people only to use City-licensed vehicles.” Nash said before getting into a taxi, students should look for special taxicab license plates and should verify that the outside of the vehicle displays the company name and rates. She said if the taxi does not display the required placard and license, students should not use the vehicle and should report a description of it to the City or to the police.  Nash said these changes will ensure students and other customers have positive and safe experiences in taxis. She applauded Notre Dame students for relying on taxis, especially while intoxicated, and she said this usage has made drinking and driving a non-issue in her eyes.  “Don’t be afraid to get in cabs,” Nash said. .The drivers are very safe, and are very excited to serve the students. … for the most part you’re going to get great service and safe driving. These are the people who are doing it right. The people who are doing it wrong are giving others a bad name.”  Contact Abi Hoverman at [email protected]last_img read more

Class Gift Campaign supports education

first_imgA Saint Mary’s education costs more than what many students pay to attend, since tuition and room and board cover only 80 percent of the College’s budget, while donors fund the remaining 20 percent each year, according to a Saint Mary’s press release. However, current Belles have an opportunity as well to take part in sponsoring their fellow students’ educations.The Class Gift Campaign allows student leaders to educate their community about the importance of giving and encouraging donations, class of 2014 tri-chair representative Jillian Fata said.“The … Campaign provides students with an opportunity to make a gift, which promises future Belles the same education and great experiences we [current students] have every day,” Fata said.Director of annual giving Heather Frey said Tuition Free Day, which took place March 25, teaches the community about this “tuition gap” that is annually bridged by the generosity of alumnae, parents and friends of the College.Frey said last year, more than 8,000 donors, including 73 percent of the class of 2014, contributed $10 million in gifts to the College to support every aspect of the student experience.“[Tuition Free Day and the] Class Gift Campaign introduce students to the idea of giving back to Saint Mary’s, [so students can] see how their gifts can directly impact the College,” Frey said.Throughout their four years at the College, classes work to raise money for their senior gift. This gift is then presented to president Carol Ann Mooney during senior week, as a token of gratitude for the graduating class’ time as students, Frey said.“[The gift] shows their commitment to passion on the blessing of a Saint Mary’s education,” Frey said.Fata said each senior class votes on what this special gift will be. In recent years, gifts have gone to building funds, including renovations or additions to Spes Unica Hall and Angela Athletic Facility, various student scholarships and the restoration of the portrait of Sister Madeleva Wolff in the basement of Madeleva Hall.“Making a gift shows how much [students] love Saint Mary’s and that we want others to experience the same opportunities we have had here,” Fata said. “Gifts allow the College to continue changing the lives of everyone that steps onto campus.“Studies show that students who make a gift are twice as likely to donate [to the College] after graduation, which means participating now has positive long-term effects.”Fata said donating also increases the value of a student’s degree.“Organizations like U.S. News & World Report use data from alumnae donations when calculating national collegiate rankings,” Fata said. “So, the more alumnae that give, the higher our ranking and the more marketable we are after graduation.”Fata said she is hopeful the end-of-the-year push will be successful. The class with the highest participation percentage by April 24 is rewarded each year with a “Party on the Island” in front of Haggar Parlor, which Fata said always draws contributions.“Students can get involved with Class Gift Campaign by coming to any of our tabling events, contacting a student representative or visiting the annual fund office in the basement of Madeleva [Hall],” Fata said. “Participation is the most important part of the campaign; it’s not about giving a ridiculous amount of money, for we even accept gifts of just one dollar.”Tags: Class Gift Campaign, fundraising, saint mary’s, SMC, Tuitionlast_img read more

ND Shakespeare Festival promotes student involvement

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Shakespeare at Notre Dame Students actors from the NDSF’s Young Company perform a scene from Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” for the festival’s 2014 season. Student and professional actors participate in the NDSF each year.Mudge said in addition to undergraduate and graduate students, the Company hires professional actors from surrounding communities to participate in the festival.“We have a young company … that’s undergraduates, grad students and recent grads who tour a Shakespeare play or a classical play all throughout Michiana,” he said. “They … form a part of the professional company, which are [Actor’s Equity Association] actors from the union of professional actors and local pros, designers and coaches that come from all over the country and work at Notre Dame in the summer. … [Students] would be working right alongside Tony award nominees and Chicago’s version of that, Jeff awards.”Aside from the hired actors, Mudge said he is particularly excited to work with Hyler and Yousefzadeh, who will be directing “The Tempest” and “Pericles, Prince of Tyre,” the festival’s two featured shows this season.“[Tempest director Hyler] has a bunch of great experience that has led him to another gig he has next year. He’s directing the first ever Broadway production by Cirque Du Soleil, which is the largest theater company in the world,” Mudge said. “This is the first time they’ve ever been on Broadway and he’s the staging director. … So what’s nice is because we’re Notre Dame, and because, also, it’s a really lovely kind of family atmosphere and a lovely place to come to work, he returns and works with us on multiple years even though he could be off doing anything.”Because of Hyler’s outside experience, NDSF is able to experiment more than they have in the past, Mudge said.“If anybody has tumbling, gymnastics or musical skills, we want to see them, or at least know it,” Mudge said. “West is going to be adding elements of modern circus arts into The Tempest.”Mudge said Yousefzadeh, who is directing Pericles, brings a slightly different perspective than Hyler.“She just has that kind of terrific perspective you want in someone who works with undergrads,” he said. “She treats them seriously, makes sure that they have a chance to be as creative as professionals, recognizes that sometimes at that early career phase you don’t quite know where you’re really going. So she knows when to step in and guide a little bit more. [She has a] really great sensibility for that.”Mudge said NDSF also gives Notre Dame faculty a chance to showcase their skills, too.“Right here [at Notre Dame], too, are resident artists,” Mudge said. “Marcus Stephens teaches scenic design and other theater courses, and he is a brilliant designer who always brings a different lens through which to see the play and through which to be onstage and inhabit the play. He has a tremendous creative brain that I very much value and enjoy working with.”The first priority of NDSF, however, is to ensure that the basic foundation of Shakespeare plays — the text — shines through, Mudge said.“Our focus, always, is on great storytelling and compelling narrative,” Mudge said. “If there were a core to [NDSF], it’s ensuring that the phenomenal language with which Shakespeare crafted the plays rings through very clearly. If you’ve got all the effects in the world but you can’t hear ‘to be or not to be,’ something’s missing.”Students who audition and aren’t cast in the Company or would prefer not to act also have an opportunity to work on the festival. Junior Mary Patano worked as an assistant stage manager during last summer’s festival.“I had never really done a lot of stage management before, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but it made me appreciate all of the work that goes into the shows,” Patano said. “I helped with some of the set building, I helped with costume changes, I was there for teching the lights, the sounds and all of these wonderful things that people put so much work into just kind of made the show. It’s a lot of work.”Patano also said she enjoyed interacting with students outside of the festival.“You all live together in the houses, so you have these dinners, and everyone comes together and it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “I really liked living in the house. We had a super-fan house where everything was covered in Notre Dame stuff.”Because of the valuable experience and the bonds created, Patano said she recommends students get involved.“I’ve never regretted auditioning for something, because if you don’t audition or don’t try it, it’s an automatic no,” she said. “So giving it that shot, I think, is worth it, especially for NDSF, especially because Shakespeare’s so relatable to everyone. … I learned how to take initiative and work with people who aren’t just students. You’re working with professionals… You can’t beat their experience.”Mudge said students like Patano who participate in the festival use the experience they learn for years to come.“Many of the folks who’ve been through the young company report that it is an absolutely profound, life-changing experience,” he said. “Their awareness of how people behave and why people behave that way is enhanced immeasurably by working with these plays. … I keep coming back to them because I change. My perspective change and suddenly I see new things in the plays all the time.”To schedule an audition performance email [email protected], and to inquire about a position working backstage email [email protected]: NDSF, Shakespeare, shakespeare festival The Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival (NDSF) is offering students the opportunity to work with world-class theater professionals this summer.This Saturday, Ryan Producing Artistic Director of the NDSF Grant Mudge and the two directors for this summer’s main shows, Pirronne Yousefzadeh and West Hyler, will hold auditions for students and other members of the Notre Dame community for the festival.“We have a mission that primarily is to explore the plays of William Shakespeare but focus on our surrounding communities,” Mudge said. “One of our key components is providing opportunities for students with the pros. That’s how Shakespeare’s Company did it. … So it’s an unusual program in that regard and I think it’s a very special program because of that.”last_img read more

Student senate looks ahead to coming year

first_imgThe student senate looked ahead to the final two and a half months of its term at its meeting Wednesday night, going over student body presidential election rules, presenting committee plans and discussing potential speakers for future meetings.In light of the upcoming student body presidential elections, Judicial Council president Caitlin Geary answered questions and reminded senators about election rules outlined in the Student Union Constitution: Campaigning cannot take place on the second and third floors of LaFortune Student Center; campaigning cannot start until Jan. 31; and senators cannot endorse or express support for candidates. “I realize that you guys are going to know people and you guys are passionate about things. You are able to work on their campaign team but what you cannot do is endorse … basically you guys cannot have any personal or public appearances indicating your support for a candidate,” Geary said.Dillon Hall senator Tim O’Connell, head of the campus affairs committee, said the committee may approach the Huddle Mart to ask for bigger coffee cups and thicker sleeves, after the LaFortune student convenience store switched to compostable materials. O’Connell said the committee will also explore establishing laundry quota for on-campus residents or allowing the use of Flex Points for laundry and finding out the tobacco status of the University.Cavanaugh Hall senator Brittany Benninger, head of the sustainability committee, said her committee’s goals were to bring sustainability-focused organizations to campus.“We really want to get something on campus to bring an outside perspective,” she said.Benninger said her committee also wants to get involved with the City of South Bend’s sustainability initiatives and improving sustainability in LaFortune.McGlinn Hall senator Maria Palazzolo, head of the community engagement committee, said the committee wanted to invite South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg to a senate meeting, but they would probably not move forward with that goal until after the election for the Chair of the Democratic National Committee, for which Buttigieg is running. She said the committee may bring a downtown South Bend leader to a senate meeting instead.Palazzolo said her committee would also support South Bend First Fridays, advertise Transpo’s services to students and work on a taxi bill of rights for students.Flaherty Hall senior Jade Martinez, head of the recently renamed student relations committee, said her committee was working on allowing more campus organizations to plan stress relief activities, since only the Student Union Board (SUB) currently plans them. She said her committee would also work on raising student awareness of student government and putting safety doors in campus buildings so that students can go into a dorm space late at night.The senate then discussed ideas for presenters at future meetings. Among the suggestions were the campus architect, Notre Dame’s general counsel, representatives from RecSports, representatives from the University Counseling Center and members of the student governments of Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross Colleges.In addition, Dunne Hall senator Matt Donahue updated the senate on a recent faculty senate resolution asking the University to declare itself a “sanctuary campus,” committing to protecting undocumented students.“It was great to see that they were kind of considering the same issues that we were,” Donahue said.Tags: committees, LaFortune Student Center, student senatelast_img read more

Saint Mary’s hosts global cinema festival

first_imgThis week, Saint Mary’s will press play on the World Cinema Festival, where a new international film will play each night at 7 p.m. in Vander Vennet Theater. The event is free to the public.On Monday night, the feature film will be Sweden’s “A Man Called Ove,” while Tuesday night will feature Japan’s “Sweet Bean.” Wednesday night’s film will be Mexico’s “Guten Tag, Ramon,” and the World Cinema Festival will conclude Thursday night with the Kenyan film “The First Grader.”Mana Derakhshani, director of the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL), said in an email that film festivals enable students to glean new perspectives about different cultures. “Films open windows into other cultures,” she said. “They allow us for a brief moment to travel across oceans to get a glimpse of different perspectives. At the same time, they can enable us to see universal themes that concern all humanity. Both of these outcomes are an important part of a 21st century education. We live in an increasingly interconnected world, where success depends on our ability to empathize with those who are different from us and to work together in mutual understanding.”Derakhshani said she initially brought the World Cinema Festival to Saint Mary’s because of her passion for languages, but she soon saw its importance to gender and social issues. “​Saint Mary’s has offered a festival of films every year for over 15 years,” she said. “​I brought the event to Saint Mary’s first as a language professor but have continued it as part of the program the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership offers the campus and the larger community.”Julie Storme, director of the College’s intercultural studies department, said in an email that Derakhshani was imperative to beginning the World Cinema Festival, as Derakhshani applied for a grant to sponsor a French film festival, which is what sparked what is now called the World Cinema Festival. “More than a decade ago … [Derakhshani] applied for a grant through the French Cultural Services branch of the French embassy for a grant to sponsor a French film festival — it was known as La Tournée,” she said. “When she moved over to [the] Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership, she decided to continue the tradition as [the] World Cinema Festival.” Derakhshani said Saint Mary’s World Cinema Festival is another way for students to develop a global awareness. “​Internationalization has been an important initiative at Saint Mary’s for several years,” she said. “The World Cinema Festival is one way to bring more global awareness to students through programming.”Derakhshani said films are selected because they feature women in prominent acting or directing roles and because they examine important social issues. “We select films that have strong female leads, are directed by women or deal with important social issues,” she said. “We also look for films that have been award-winners.”Derakhshani said she hopes students will find the movies entertaining but also enlightening. “I hope that students will be entertained, but mostly that they will gain appreciation for the cinematic arts outside of Hollywood-produced blockbusters,” she said.Derakhshani said she feels international films often get slighted at major award shows like the Academy Awards. “​The Academy Awards only have one category for foreign films,” she said. “They cannot recognize all the wonderful films that are made in the world each year.”​Derakhshani said international film festivals, such as the World Cinema Festival, can help students become more globally and socially aware. “It all depends on your point of view regarding movies,” she said. “If it’s just a way to be entertained and escape real life for a couple of hours, Hollywood does that very well, but so do other countries. Being aware that there are good movies made in other countries is one way to be conscious of the world.”Tags: center for women’s intercultural leadership, CWIL, film festival, foreign films, International, Saint Mary’s World Cinema Festivallast_img read more

Advocacy for the Common Good class facilitates political activism at Saint Mary’s

first_imgStudents in the Advocacy for the Common Good class have been preparing all semester for a march to advocate for the passage of a clean Dream act.In the past, the students in the class have worked in smaller groups on different issues of political advocacy. Their campaigns have featured issues such as gun control and immigration, sophomore Sophie McDevitt said, but this year’s group decided to do something different.“This is the first year where the entire class has been working on the same issue,” she said.On Friday afternoon, the Saint Mary’s students involved in the march will meet in front of Le Mans Hall, McDevitt said, and march to Senator Joe Donnelly’s office. Students from Notre Dame and Holy Cross will also participate in the march, leaving from locations on their respective campuses.“The goal is to put pressure on Congress to … continue DACA and keep it open to people,” she said.Professors, local media and multicultural groups from the surrounding community have been invited to participate in the march, sophomore Guadalupe Gonzalez said.McDevitt said the group hopes to demonstrate their commitment to this issue.“We want to put a physical face on this — to really show him that we’re serious,” she said.Throughout the semester, McDevitt said, the class has used a variety of methods to advocate on behalf of DACA.“We’ve had a petition and a couple of call-ins … to show them how serious [we are],” she said.In addition, Gonzalez said a group of students from the class has previously met with Donnelly.The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) recently stated their support of the passage of a solution to the uncertainty surrounding DACA. The tri-campus community reflects this goal as a group of Catholic institutions, McDevitt said.Due to the complexity of the issue, students in the class had to begin by evaluating their knowledge of the policy.“The first step we [took] as a class was to come together in workshops to understand the issue of DACA. … We all came from different backgrounds of knowledge on the issue,” Gonzalez said.By sharing their knowledge, McDevitt said, class members helped other Saint Mary’s students to see the impact they can have on people that could both benefit or suffer as a result of the loss of DACA.“From [then], it’s been a movement to educate others and educate ourselves — to push for more awareness on our campuses,” Gonzalez said.The students in the class have also used social media to share their campaign with the local community.Beyond Friday’s march, students plan to continue using social media to advocate for this cause, Gonzalez said, as well as host more vigils.“We’ve raised a lot of vigils,” she said. “A lot of Catholic Social Teachings say that we should [strive] for social justice, and this is a social justice issue.”Vigils have helped make this discussion larger than politics, Gonzalez said, as the support of the USCCB has drawn out the religious aspect of the issue. This recent publicity has drawn attention to the subject on all three Catholic campuses.“There’s definitely been some pushback from [the campuses], but I think a lot of people have opened up to supporting [DACA],” Gonzalez said.Tags: Advocacy For The Common Good, DACA, DREAMERS, DreamSBlast_img read more