Month: January 2021

Basketball event connects cadets

first_imgThe 26th annual Flyin’ Irish Basketball Invitational brought service men and women from across the country together for a weekend of friendly competition. Organized and staffed by members of Notre Dame’s Air Force ROTC program, the Invitational serves as the largest ROTC sporting event in the nation, with all teams guaranteed a substantial number of games, according to junior Angela Ferreira, coordinator of the event. “All ROTC branches the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force [were] represented,” she said. “The teams play through their brackets so that everyone is guaranteed at least three games.” Teams from universities across the country, including Michigan State and Texas A&M, traveled to South Bend for the weekend to compete, Ferreira said. “Many of the teams are local, but Texas A&M comes in every year and almost always wins,” she said. “We have four teams from the Notre Dame Air Force ROTC, two ND Navy ROTC teams, one Tri-Mil team with ND Army/Navy/Marines and one cross-town team from Trine [University] who is in our same detachment.” Ferriera said the event connects students who will work in the same field after graduation. “We have boards set up [at the event] for seniors that have lists of people who know which job type they will have, like intelligence or analysis, so they can meet some of the people they’ll end up working with,” she said. “The juniors have just finished field training as well, so they have the opportunity to reunite with people they met there.” Additionally, Ferriera said the event provides an outlet for students to meet others whom they may not normally interact with. “We don’t have a lot of chances to interact with other detachments now, but we’re all going to be in the Air Force or Army or whatever branch together after this,” she said. Colton Kennelly, a freshman from Iowa State and a member of the university’s Air Force ROTC program, made the eight-hour trip to Notre Dame and enjoyed the interactive atmosphere. “It was my first time at the Invitational, and it was a lot of fun playing a lot of basketball,” he said. “It really makes the ROTC experience something beyond drill and marching stuff all the time.” Kennelly’s team lost to the ND Tri-Mil team in the semifinals Sunday, but he said the merit of the event was beyond winning or losing. “It was fun to bond with some of the guys, work on our teamwork and just have a good time,” he said. Sunday’s championship men’s game featured the Notre Dame Tri-Mil team against Texas A&M, with A&M pulling away in the overtime win. Additionally, the Notre Dame women’s Air Force team fell to Marquette’s Navy team in the women’s bracket final.last_img read more

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Organization screens film on first gay bishop

first_imgA bishop clothed in traditional, religious vestments strides to the front of the altar, raises his arms in a gesture of welcome to the assembled congregants. A traditional sight Sundays in churches around the world, but St. Mary’s, Putney in London welcomed a very nontraditional bishop. Bishop Gene Robinson began to preach, telling the congregants, “There is a lot of fear around, have you noticed? … It is an astounding thing, fear, and it does terrible things to us. Perhaps it is the Church that is acting most fearful right now.” As he drew breath to continue, a man in the second row stands up to scream anti-gay obscenities at the bishop until the rest of the congregants rose to their feet and drowned out his tirade with a powerfully-sung hymn, accompanied by the church’s organist until the man was thrown out of the church. This interaction is featured prominently in the film, “Love Free or Die,” which members of GALA-ND/SMC gathered to watch and discuss with Bishop Gene Robinson himself Saturday afternoon. The movie tells the story of Robinson’s work to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) inclusion within his church, the Episcopalian Church, the Anglican Communion and the United States at large, while living his life with his partner Mark Andrew and their two daughters. Robinson said he has tried to live his life as a witness to the integrity of homosexual relationships and homosexuals everywhere, so that his example might change people’s minds and open their hearts. “When we discuss this issue as an issue, you can be all over the map,” Robinson said. “But when you know a real person, or when you know a real relationship there is nothing that speaks more powerfully than that. [Gay-rights activist] Harvey Milk said that coming out was the most political thing that you could do. Not standing on a soapbox, but just simply coming out and living your life openly so that people know you and know what values you hold. He predicted it would change the world and that is exactly what he’s doing.” His private life has been brought further into the world stage during his time as a bishop of the Episcopalian Church, but this spotlight has only extended the power of the love he and his partner live out in their lives, Robinson said. “I had 16 or 17 years of living it more privately before I was thrust onto the world stage, so I wasn’t just a newbie – I didn’t come out the day I was elected bishop,” Robinson said. “What I discovered during that time was that the example of me and my partner and the love that we shared and the way we raised our children changed people’s lives locally, people that we knew, and so when you get on the larger stage it just broadens the number of people [that you touch]. “They might not know you that well, but they can see what you’re doing, see what you believe in, by how you conduct your life and all of a sudden they’re unwilling to believe in all those terrible things that have been said about gay and lesbian people.” The film evidenced how Robinson directed much of his efforts toward broadening the acceptance within the Episcopal Church for homosexuals, specifically by advocating for the creation of a liturgy to bless same-sex unions and the official willingness to ordain homosexual clergy. On July, 12, 2012, the Episcopal Church approved an “official liturgy for blessing same-sex unions, enabling priests who have the approval of their bishops to bestow the church’s blessing on gay couples whether they live in a state where same-sex marriage is legal or not,” according to a July 10, 2012 article by the New York Times. Since Robinson’s ordination, one other openly partnered homosexual bishop has been elected. Mary Glasspool was elected a bishop for the Diocese of Los Angeles on December 4, 2009 as the 17th female bishop and first lesbian bishop chosen within the Episcopal Church. Throughout his work, Robinson has faced opposition taking the form of everything from the open hatred displayed by the man in St. Mary’s, Putney, to relatively civil disagreement like that displayed by Bishop Robert Duncan, his colleague in the seminary. Duncan led the departure of his diocese from the Episcopal Church in 2008, which was renamed the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. Robinson said this Duncan has voiced opinions to the House of Bishops that he not only disagrees with, but knows to be untrue. “I think the division in our church, these people who left, that had a lot more to do with control and power than anything religious,” Robinson said. “They would claim otherwise, so we would have to disagree about that. Now they’re fighting over the ordination of women … once you allow schism to be the remedy, there’s no end to it. … I think leaving the table at this day and time is maybe the worst sin, because if we all stay at the table and are willing to talk about these things we will find a way through them.” Though he has faced extreme opposition even in the form of death threats and an assassination attempt, Robinson he has felt God’s presence and love throughout his advocacy work and time as a bishop. “I know it sounds like a cliché, but God has seemed palpably close during all of this. Sometimes, so close that prayer seems almost redundant,” Robinson said. “I’ve tried to be in touch with God through my prayer life and to let God be in touch with me. “Someone gave me a piece of calligraphy that said sometimes God calms the storm, but sometimes God lets the storm rage and calms his child. I feel that’s what God has done, quieted my heart and kept me calm in the middle of this raging storm.” Robinson said the success of the movement for LGBTQ inclusion and the work of individuals like himself depends on the strength of their straight allies. “I think this is one of the most important things of all,” Robinson said. We will never be more than a very tiny minority and we need desperately our straight allies to advocate for us because it’s the right thing, because they know us and know what our values are. You’ll be in places where we’re not even welcome. It’s sort of like in the ’60s, with racism, people started to – when someone would tell a racist joke – to say, ‘You’re not going to talk that way around me and if you’re going to talk that way I’m not going to be around you.’” Refusing to remain silent when anti-gay sentiment manifests itself is how straight allies can speak up for their LGBTQ neighbors and tangibly change how they are incorporated into society and its institutions, Robinsons aid. “I think straight allies have to come out too, that is to say to come out as an ally,” Robinson said. “And sometimes, they will experience too some of the negative reaction that has been a part of our lives for a very long time.” Robinson said the biggest changes will happen when LGBTQ individuals show the world that the love and acceptance they hope to receive will be mirrored in their acceptance and love of their own identities. “I think the main thing is to be who you are, as boldly and as resolutely as you can. To not walk around with your head down as if you’re ashamed of who you are, but to be proud and to live your life as fully as you can,” Robinson said. “That will change more people’s minds than you will ever know. People are watching all the time, they’re learning all the time – the question is what they are learning about you as a gay or a lesbian or a bisexual or a transgender person. “I think in large part the degree to which we are accepted is in direct proportion to how much we accept ourselves.”last_img read more

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Shoebox Lunch Opens Eyes to Culinary Heritage

first_imgParticipants in Monday’s “Shoebox Lunch” were blindfolded and led on a cultural immersion experience by visiting artist Fereshteh Toosi. The multi-sensory performance was hosted by the Saint Mary’s College Moreau Art Galleries and incorporated taste, smell, touch and sound to connect attendees with recorded stories about food told by black men and women.Each attendee received a brown paper bag containing an assortment of props, such as dried Michigan cherries and a shaker of barbecue spices, associated with each true story shared. Toosi said the paper bags symbolized the historic significance of the stories since the tradition of “sack lunches” emerged as a result of restaurant segregation during the Jim Crow Era.The 40-minute program was originally designed for the visually impaired, Toosi said. The idea of designing such a program arose after working with a Chicago community to design a garden, she said.“There were a lot of older people in the neighborhood with different health issues, and we wanted to make the garden accessible in a lot of different ways,” Toosi said. “People who are blind have different needs for accessibility than those who have physical disabilities. People who have loss of a certain ability, they’re not less able than us. … It is interesting to understand what their experience is.”Toosi said conversations with people in the community caused her to use food to represent cultural heritage.“We were having conversations with people … and the idea of a food garden came up, having vegetables that would reflect the culture of the neighborhood,” Toosi said. “Everyone has their own food heritage.”Saint Mary’s philosophy professor Megan Zwart said she enjoyed the first-person stories — in particular a contributor’s story about the negative health associations with “southern soul food” and how true traditional soul food actually includes a lot of vegetables and fruits. Zwart said she appreciated the multi-sensory aspect of the performance.“I thought by eliminating visual experience and emphasizing sensory experiences of smell, taste and sound, the event was able to highlight our complex associations between food, memory and history,” Zwart said. “Whether one grew up eating the kinds of soul food [Toosi] spotlighted or not, everyone has strong associations between food and memories, which can be triggered by a smell or taste or sound.”Sophomore Mikhala Kaseweter said Toosi’s piece was her first experience with a sensory art exhibit. Kaseweter said she enjoyed the connections made between history, real life experiences and the culinary arts.“It was almost as if I was no longer in Le Mans but rather in Alabama [or] Chicago,” Kaseweter said. “Blind to my surroundings, I was temporarily transported to another time and place — another life, really.”More information about “Shoebox Lunch” and Toosi’s program can be found at garlicandgreens.infoTags: Culinary Heritage, Fereshteh Toosi, Food Heritage, Moreau Art Galleries, Shoebox Lunchlast_img read more

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Famed author criticizes systematic mass incarceration

first_imgBestselling author Michelle Alexander discussed racial injustice and mass incarceration in the American justice system during a lecture at Saint Mary’s in O’Laughlin Auditorium on Tuesday.Alexander said the criminal justice system has created a new form of the former Jim Crow laws, exemplified in practices like discrimination against felons.“In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race explicitly as a justification for discrimination, exclusion and social contempt, so we don’t,” Alexander said. “Rather than rely on race, we use our criminal justice system to label people of color criminals and then engage in all the practices we supposedly left behind.“Today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against criminals in nearly all the ways it was once legal to discriminate against African-Americans. Once you’re labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination, employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, exclusion from jury service are suddenly legal.“As a criminal, you have scarcely more rights and arguably less respect than a black man living in Alabama at the height of Jim Crow. We have not ended castes in America; we have merely redesigned it.”Alexander said the war on drugs and the get-tough-on-crime movement contributed to the problems of mass incarceration.“Since the drug war began in the 1980s, more than 40 million people have been arrested, primarily for non-violent drug-related offenses,” Alexander said. “There are more people in prisons and jails today just for drug offenses than were incarcerated for all reasons in 1980.“Most Americans violate drug laws in their lifetime. But this war has been waged exclusively in poor communities of color despite the fact that studies consistently show now that for decades, contrary popular belief, colored people are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites.”Alexander said blindness inhibits progress against the oppressiveness of mass incarceration.“If you are not personally affected by this new system, if you yourself have not done time and are labeled a felon and are forced to check off that box on housing applications, employment applications, if you don’t have a brother, sister, nephew, mother, father behind bars, if you yourself have not been made to lie spread eagle on the pavement with a gun at your head, if you yourself have not been touched, it is easy to go around and have no idea what is going on,” Alexander said. “If we are going to build a movement to end this system, we first have to make visible what is in plain sight.”Alexander said more African-American adults are under correctional control today, in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850.“What makes neighborhoods safe is not the number of guns but the number of good schools, good jobs, good opportunities for people, opportunities to improve one’s life,” she said. “In so many towns and communities across America, a choice has been made, and it is a deliberate choice, a choice that has been made over and over again.“Rather than good schools, we have built hi-tech prisons. Rather than create jobs, we have embarked on an unprecedented race to incarcerate that has left millions of Americans permanently locked up and locked out.”Alexander said images of racial progress create misconceptions on why prisoners cannot improve their own prospects.“Over the years I’ve given a lot of thought to how we’ve been lulled to sleep, become so indifferent to the suffering and exclusion of those we think of as criminals,” she said. “The reasons are numerous, of course, but among the most important, I think, are the images of great racial progress — images that reinforce that those who are left behind, those who have been stuck at the bottom, those who are cycling in and out of prison find themselves there for reasons that can be barely described as ‘their own fault.’”Alexander said unintentional biases and stereotypes contribute to the reasons police stop African-Americans more than whites.“Most police officers, like the rest of us, know better than to state racial biases, but more importantly, so many of the biases that drive law enforcement decision-making operate on an unconscious level that many well-meaning, well-intentioned officers cannot admit to themselves their own biases,” Alexander said. “A police officer driving down the street seeing a group of young black kids walking with their pants sagging a little bit — the officer says, ‘Oh you know what, I’m going to jump out, check them out, frisk them, see if they got anything on them. I’m doing my job, keeping the streets safe.’“He may not mean those young men any harm. He’s just trying to engage in some good aggressive policing. But that same officer seeing a group of young white kids walking down the street, even with their pants sagging. The officer is not likely to jump out and have them spread eagle on the sidewalk.”Alexander said despite all the problems, there is hope and good news after the events in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, in recent months and the decrease in incarceration rates.“In honor of all those who risked their lives to end earlier forms of racial and social control, I hope we will commit ourselves to building a truly revolutionary human rights movement for justice,” she said. “A movement for education, not incarceration, for jobs, not jails, a movement to end all legal forms of discrimination against people released from prison — discrimination that denies them basic human rights to work, to shelter, to food. … A movement that challenges all of us to respond for greater care and compassion and concern to those we view as the others.”Tags: mass incarceration, michelle alexander, Racism, saint mary’s, SMClast_img read more

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Office of Community Standards adds ‘expectation of responsibility’ to du Lac

first_imgIn an email to students early Wednesday morning, the Office of Community Standards announced a large addition to du Lac, the University’s code of conduct.The addition to the handbook is comprised of the Expectation of Responsibility clause, which outlines new policies regarding underage drinking on campus as it relates to student safety and wellbeing.Du Lac outlines the new expectations as the following:“In situations where someone requires medical attention due to an alcohol and/or drug-related incident, students are expected to:proactively contact an appropriate authority (e.g. Notre Dame Security Police, residence hall staff, 911, etc.) to seek medical attention, andremain with the individual requiring medical attention andcooperate with responding emergency officials.”According to du Lac, students who fail to act “in the spirit of the Expectation of Responsibility in an emergency situation where action is clearly warranted” may be referred to the University conduct process.The Office of Community Standards cited students’ concerns for disciplinary action when deciding whether or not to seek help for students who may have imbibed an unsafe amount of alcohol as a key reason behind the changes to University policy.Students who help others will be exempt from disciplinary status outcomes (disciplinary probation and dismissal from the University with/without the opportunity to reapply) even if they had been acting in violation of the University’s alcohol or controlled substance policies, the clause outlines.Students who help others may, however, be subject to “formative and/or professional outcomes,” including workshops, meetings with University administrators and/or University partners, written assignments, apologies, restitution, alcohol assessment or counseling, psychological assessment and random drug screening.Students requiring medical attention will also be exempt from disciplinary status outcomes, and will be subject to formative and/or professional outcomes as well as “loss of privilege outcomes,” according to du Lac.Loss of privilege outcomes include “loss of parking and/or campus driving privileges, loss of extracurricular privileges, loss of specific privileges within a residence hall, loss of opportunity to live in campus housing, ban from an area of campus and no contact orders.”The clause also makes clear that exemption from disciplinary status outcomes only applies to alcohol and drug-related violations of the student code of conduct that are related to the incident in question.The entire Expectation of Responsibility can be found at http://dulac.nd.edu/community-standards/standards/responsibility/Tags: du lac, expectation of responsibility, office of community standardslast_img read more

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2016 Election Observer: Sean Savage

first_imgEditor’s Note: Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, The Observer will sit down with Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s experts to break down the election and its importance to students. In this 12th installment, Saint Mary’s Editor Nicole Caratas asks professor of political science and author Sean Savage about the significance of third-party candidates in this election. Nicole Caratas: As a political science professor who has written on the presidency, what about this particular election has made it so different, allowing for third-party candidates to gain more visibility than in previous elections?Sean Savage: One unique fact about the 2016 presidential election compared to previous, more recent presidential elections is that most voters dislike both major party nominees for president. In particular, Hillary Clinton consistently receives poor ratings in polls for being honest and trustworthy while Donald Trump receives poor ratings for his judgment, temperament and experience in government. This situation may lead more voters than usual to either not vote at all or to vote for a third-party nominee. We had a similar situation in 1992 when 19 percent of voters supported Ross Perot for president.NC: What would it take for a third-party candidate to win this election? Is it possible for either Jill Stein or Gary Johnson to gain enough traction to affect the outcome of this election?SS:  It is very unlikely that a third-party nominee can win a presidential election. However, if the combined popular voters for Johnson and Stein average 12 to 15 percent nationally, with more than 15 percent for Johnson in a few states, then either Trump or Clinton could win the presidential election with an overwhelming majority of the Electoral College while only winning between 43 and 45 percent of the popular votes nationally. In 1992, Bill Clinton won 43 percent of the popular votes but about two-thirds of the Electoral College votes.NC: When asked about the Syrian [refugee crisis], Gary Johnson recently answered with “What is Aleppo?” He later stated that when America involves itself militarily, we end up in worse situations. In a world that is so interconnected, what would be the impact of having a president who does not believe much in foreign policy? Does this undermine his perceived ability to govern America? SS: If most Americans believe that U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East should be active and interventionistic, then it would be detrimental for the U.S. to have a president with Gary Johnson’s ideology and limited, inadequate knowledge of foreign policy. However, he’s a libertarian, and most libertarian voters would agree with him that the U.S. should exert little or no military intervention abroad.NC: Many people argue that a third-party candidate is the solution, and many others argue that this would split the vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. What is your take on this idea? Should people vote based on issues they believe in, or based on fear of someone they disagree with winning? SS: Just as Americans have a secret ballot and the freedom, unlike voters in Australia, to choose not to vote, Americans vote for third-party and independent candidates for all types of reasons. The most common reason is dissatisfaction with the nominees and/or platforms of the two major parties.NC: Turning it back to campus, what is the impact of an election with two third-party candidates on young people and voter turnout in that age group?  SS: I have been teaching at [the College] since 1990. I recall that students were very interested in the 1992 and 2008 presidential elections. Except for the Sanders campaign in the primaries and caucuses, they seem to especially lack interest in the 2016 presidential campaign. Voter turnout among young voters will probably be lower in the 2016 general election than it was in 2008 and 2012.Tags: 2016 Election Observer, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Sean Savage, Third Partylast_img read more

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Malloy, Sorin College residents explore dorm’s history

first_imgTom Naatz | The Observer Sorin Hall, left, more commonly known as “Sorin College” after it seceded from the University in 1969, was the first dormitory at Notre Dame. Four University Presidents have lived in the dorm.Prior to 1888, all students lived in residential areas in Main Building. As the University grew and living quarters became crowded, Notre Dame’s founder, Fr. Edward Sorin, decided upon the construction of a separate residence hall, originally intended to be called “Collegiate Hall.” It was only during the laying of the cornerstone on May 27, 1888, that Sorin learned that the hall would be named in his honor. Originally, the entire Notre Dame law school was housed in the first floor of the hall. Fr. Edward “Monk” Malloy, former University President and Sorin resident for 38 continuous years, said the law school’s location is what led to the construction of Sorin’s front porch.“The dean of the law school [Colonel William Hoynes] used to go in and out the front door, and one day some students, in an antic, were pouring water on their friends going out, and he got poured on,” Malloy said. “He went to the president, and the president said that we need to build a porch so Colonel Hoynes can get in and out safely.”Since its founding, Sorin has been home to four University Presidents, including Malloy and current University President Fr. John Jenkins. Former Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne and the football players comprising the “Four Horsemen” also lived in the hall.“In some ways, the dorm has changed as the University has changed,” Malloy said. Malloy noted that in addition to multiple renovations and physical changes to Sorin College, the dorm also houses fewer undergraduates than in the past.“When I first moved into Sorin there were 175 students, now we have 147, and that was deliberate to reduce some of the crowding and have more social space,” he said. “In terms of the spirit of the hall and the quality of the students, that’s always been one of the hallmarks of the dorm.”Sorin Hall seceded from the University in 1969. To protest the Vietnam War, the hall residents declared themselves separate from the University, unofficially renaming the hall “Sorin College.”“The seceding was never accepted by the University,” Malloy said. “Nobody did anything. That was the wisdom of [former University President] Fr. Hesburgh — he didn’t respond. He just let it go on. So, it’s still called ‘Sorin College’ by its residents, but the official name is ‘Sorin Hall.’”Hall president, sophomore Steve Provencher, said the dorm community finds its unrecognized secession humorous.“We have a banner that says ‘Sorin Hall: Hall of the Year 1888,’” he said. “And we also have a banner that says ‘1969: College of the Year.’ I don’t think we’ve actually ever won the [Hall of the Year] competition, but we have both those banners which is kind of funny.”However, the dorm’s nominal status as a separate “college” does have an effect on Sorin’s community, Provencher said.“I think we’re definitely kind of independent, and we don’t really care about ‘Rockne’s,’” he said. “We don’t really put a whole lot of effort into them, and we don’t really care about being ‘Hall of the Year.’ … It’s definitely more ‘Sorin loves Sorin.’”The legacy of Sorin College’s secession also lives on in one of the the dorm’s signature events, “Secession Week” — a week in April dedicated to hosting a variety of events for members of the dorm. The week culminates with “Kick-it for Kevin,” a kickball tournament to raise money for cancer research, held in honor of Kevin Healy, a Sorin resident who passed away from cancer in 2009.Sorin’s mascot is the “screaming otter,” which can be recognized on the hall’s crest and interhall sports jerseys, as well as in the residents habit of referring to each other as “brotters,” short for “bro-otters,” Provencher explained. Malloy said that a contest was held to determine the hall’s mascot.“A bunch of guys sat around and they came up with ‘screaming otters,’ and that was about the extent of it,” Malloy said.Malloy said he believes that Sorin enjoys high visibility within the campus community. “We feel we don’t have to explain who we are, people kind of know what Sorin is and who we are,” he said. “I think a second thing is, we’re like Switzerland. When there’s the first snowball fight, where one quad is against another, there’s Sorin just sitting. During first-year orientation time, Sorin doesn’t march around the campus yelling out its name. It never does this. It’s just taken for granted that pretty soon everyone will find out what Sorin is, who Sorin is.”Tags: dorm features, Fr. Monk Malloy, Residence Hall Feature, Sorin College For well over a century, Notre Dame’s first residence hall, Sorin College, has stood on God Quad beside the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Much has changed since its construction in 1888. For instance, the dorm’s front porch has not always been a part of the building, and Sorin has not always been known as a “college,” Sorin rector Fr. Bob Loughery explained.“That’s what defines us, having that kind of history as a dorm,” Loughery said.last_img read more

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Immigration lawyer speaks at Saint Mary’s regarding policy

first_imgImmigration lawyer Cecilia L. Monterrosa came to Saint Mary’s to speak to students and other community members Tuesday about policies surrounding immigration. The conversation happened over pizza slices and lemonade and covered the constitutionality of some of the recent immigration policy implemented under the Trump administration.She broke down some of the simpler parts of policy such as definitions and the recent changes in policy, but admitted that the issue was also very complicated in nature.“[Immigration Nationality Act] INA is more complicated than the tax codes,” Monterrosa said.She places value on words such as immigrant and refugee, along with some of the finer details such as undocumented versus illegal.“The law does describe these individuals, but I prefer to say undocumented individuals. No person is illegal and that is absolutely true,” Monterrosa said.This distinction was important to Monterrosa because the language that undocumented individuals are referred to as in the media and by the President is less than flattering. She said she finds comfort in the fact that a lot of the proposed legislation is in her mind considered unconstitutional, and therefore will not be implemented. Monterrosa believes in the judicial system’s ability to check Donald Trump.“Every time you hear about the crazy stuff that is said in the news, always go back to the fact that there is a constitution and they cannot do this,” Monterrosa said. “It is frustrating to hear many of the things, especially because of the type of work that I do. It is very frustrating to hear the comments, to hear what goes on, to read the tweets, but my mind always goes back to ‘Well the Constitution says that they can’t do this, so sorry buddy you are not going to get this done.’”She offers up the Constitution as a sort of solace for both the people listening in the room and the people she helps on a daily basis.“If you live in the United States, then you are protected by the Constitution of the United States no matter if you are an undocumented immigrant, a citizen or whatever,” Monterrosa said. “We still have the U.S. Constitution and if there is a law that violates that, then that law is not valid.”She also offered some moral advice about how her listeners could offset some of this frustration within the community she helps. She said that little interactions and kindnesses can help to ease the process.“This [gaining immigration status] is very difficult for the individuals who are living it,” Monterrosa said. “Just be kind and be nice and treat everyone with respect regardless of where they came from.”Her focus of small acts of kindness does not outweigh her criticism of the policy that the Trump administration including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose position includes enacting immigration policy. She cites its choice to strengthen and broaden the restrictions of what causes people to be placed in removal proceedings, and the views of the administration that every immigrant is a threat to security.“Now it is coming to the point where they just want to put everybody into removal proceedings because everybody was a priority,” Monterrosa said. “That was not the case with the previous administration, and just previously, in general, they are using the national security to try and get away with these types of policy changes.”After many countries turned away Jewish refugees at the beginning of World War II who were late executed by the Nazis, the United Nations structured policy to make it illegal to turn away refugees who had a substantial claim that they were going to be tortured or killed if returned to their native countries. The U.S. agreed to this policy. Monterrosa used this policy as legal precedence against Trump’s policy involving the “migrant caravan.”“There are international human rights laws that have been violated, that are continuously violated and that will continue to be violated by this,” Monterrosa said. “[Turning the caravan away] is just one of the ways that [international law] will be violated because you cannot … turn away people who are more likely than not are going to be tortured in their country. You cannot turn them away. And the President says that they are going to turn them away, then he’s violating international law.”She cites that the most effective way that Saint Mary’s and tri-campus community members can help and positively affect immigration policy is through casting their ballots.“The only thing I can tell you to do to help is vote,” Monterrosa said. “Vote for individuals that you know will protect rights.”Tags: Immigration, Office of Civic and Social Engagement, trump administrationlast_img read more

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Notre Dame Outing Club offers students opportunity to experience nature

first_imgSophomore Ryan Wigglesworth, president of the Notre Dame Outing Club, wanted to create a space where he could share his passion for the outdoors. This nature-oriented club existed a few years ago, but Wigglesworth wanted to revamp the program.“An outing club was something that I really wanted when I was looking at colleges,” Wigglesworth said. “Notre Dame didn’t really have that, so that was my motivation when starting the club up.”Wigglesworth created the club last spring, and the 2019-2020 academic year is the club’s official kick off. The club is holding its first day trip Saturday, where 21 students will travel to Warren Dunes State Park in Michigan. Leadership of the club is currently working on plans for the rest of the year with possible outings including a backpack trip, a ski day, kayaking and short hikes, Wigglesworth said. The club is open to all Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students. No prior outdoors experience is necessary.“We’re trying to have a variety of activities, so there’s room for everyone to come on with a range of skill levels,” he said. “I would encourage anyone who is interested to sign up and try it out, even if it’s just for one afternoon.”The club has an official Instagram account, @outingclubnd, where the group will share pictures and stories from a variety of trips. Instagram has been one way Wigglesworth and the other officers have reached students with an interest in the club.“I have been pretty overwhelmed by the amount of attention the club has gotten,” Wigglesworth said. “At the activities fair, we got 270 people to sign up which was pretty cool, and the Instagram has exploded.”Freshman Mary Kate Temple is one of the new members of the club participating in the trip to Michigan this weekend. Temple has never visited Warren Dunes, but she said she is excited to explore the area with her classmates.“I knew coming to Notre Dame that I wanted to join a hiking or outdoors club,” she said. “I’m hoping to meet new friends from the club, and also get to spend some time in nature to get away from all of the stress and busyness of campus.”Wigglesworth said he hopes to create an atmosphere where students can connect with others who share similar interests. He also acknowledged the positive impact that nature has had on his life and his desire to share his passion with students across the Notre Dame community.Wigglesworth spoke to the club’s goal of venturing off campus to foster community. “Something that we really want to focus on as a club is doing more outside trips that aren’t at Notre Dame,” Wigglesworth said. “I think it’ll help students break out of patterns and find new stuff to do over the weekend, as well as create a community of outdoors-minded people here on campus. This club is special to me because I like being outdoors a lot, and I also like other people who like being outdoors a lot, so I’m hoping it will attract others who feel the same way.” Tags: nature, Outing Club, Warren Duneslast_img read more

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Many Stores Out Of Toilet Paper, Cleaning Products Amid Coronavirus Fears

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) Image by Justin Gould / WNYNewsNow.JAMESTOWN – Some area stores are running out of products like toilet paper as public concern surrounding the Coronavirus outbreak continues.Tim Snow, manager of the Washington Street Tops in Jamestown, says the grocery store ran out of toilet paper on Thursday.“Lysol type products and hand sanitizers are all out of stock at this point in time,” said Snow. “The company is working on procuring more, but right now we don’t have any.”Snow says a truck is scheduled to arrive Friday night, but there is no guarantee on what products will arrive. The manager of Foote Avenue Tops says they are very low on toilet paper products and completely sold out of cleaning solutions. Falconer’s Tops is sold out of hand sanitizer, but still has a supply of toilet paper, Lysol and Clorox Wipes.The local Walmart is also out of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. A limited supply of cleaning products is available.Lakewood’s Wegmans, who put a limit on some products earlier this week, says as of Friday morning they have some toilet paper and hand sanitizer available.In general, all stores contacted say they have seen a higher volume of customers. They say they are working to keep up with demands by bringing new shipments in.The Chautauqua County Department of Health is reinforcing that the risk for infection by Novel Coronavirus remains low in Chautauqua County. As of last check with officials, there are zero known cases of the virus in Chautauqua County.last_img read more

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