Initiatives rearrange student government

first_imgThe outside of the student government office on the second floor of the LaFortune Student Center looks the same as always. But adjustments inside that office have changed student government’s appearance from the inside in dramatic ways this semester. Student body president Pat McCormick has led several projects throughout his administration so far that changed the structure of student government. The changes were McCormick’s attempt to better address the problems that matter both day-t o-day and on a larger scale. “I’m very proud of the record that our team had put together, and it has been the team, around trying to advance these issues simultaneously, both issues of convenience and issues of consequence,” McCormick said. ‘Issues of convenience’ McCormick attempted to connect to the day-to-day lives of students specifically through the creation of the Department of Constituent Services in April. “What we wanted to try and do was to create a committee whose sole job it was going to be driven by the voices of students whenever they spoke,” McCormick said. “I think architecturally that was a critical move.” Director Heather Eaton said the new department serves primarily as a gathering place for student opinions. “Constituent services is really meant to make sure that what we’re doing are the things students want, and we want to make sure students know that they can always talk to us and voice their concerns or what they would like brought up,” she said. Eaton stepped into her role as the department’s chair with some uncertainty. “Because it was a new role … at first, I’m not sure everyone had a clear idea of exactly the purpose I was going to serve,” Eaton said. “That was probably what took the longest time, figuring out how I fit in and what I was exactly responsible for, but now that I’ve gotten there, the Constituent Services committee has been a great help to all the other committees in helping them plan for their year.” Eaton said students can submit their complaints about day-to-day life at Notre Dame to her group. “I know I have a lot of complaints, and I go through the list, and I’m like, ‘Amen! That bothers me too,’” Eaton said. “You kind of think about it, but when the moment that’s inconvenient passes, you forget about it.” Constituent Services collected over 900 responses to a December survey. Eaton said this feedback allows the group to act on the student body’s ideas. “We asked what people wanted to see sold at the Huddle, and our department actually started working on that,” Eaton said. The survey resulted in discussions with the Huddle staff, Eaton said, and students will soon see 24-packs of water bottles and more visible price tags on the shelves. Eaton also organized Hall Council visits from the student body president, vice president and chief-of-staff. “It was just an opportunity for them to meet students and become more of a familiar face so people feel comfortable getting in contact with them,” she said. While the department has been successful collecting student feedback and addressing small concerns, Eaton said cutting through red tape in the administration could still be a problem. “I’m not sure necessarily that we have had a big impact on administration and making changes that allowed for us to do differently that other student government administrations,” she said. ‘Issues of consequence’ The most dramatic change for student government organization this semester occurred in the semester’s 11th hour. Student Senate passed a 13-page resolution during its last meeting of the semester that resulted in a merger between the Council of Representatives (COR) and Senate. The Department of Internal Affairs led the fusion between the groups and wrote the constitutional reforms that made their fusion official. Department members Ben Noe and Paige Becker pushed the changes forward through the process. “We realized more and more, perhaps the role of the Council of Representatives was created to fill was not being fulfilled, possibly even couldn’t be fulfilled the way it was currently set up,” Becker said. Becker said some people struggled to admit COR could be obsolete or inefficient. “There were occasionally places where we would run into the perspective that this is the way it’s always been,” she said. With the new resolution, Senate morphed into a new body that McCormick said better represents the student body. However, the new Senate is currently untested and next semester will reveal how effective the change is for the group. As the office plans more organizations, Noe said he hopes everyone will continue to cooperate. “I think the majority in general is in favor of change, but I think there is also going to be going a small but vocal minority opposing some changes, just in general,” Noe said. “I know there are some people that are not entirely satisfied with the changes made here, and I would hope that those people don’t use that bitterness or that irritation with this change to hurt future changes that could help student government.”last_img read more

Belle prepares for marathon

first_imgWhile some students are traveling to Chicago this weekend to watch the Fighting Irish take on the Miami at Soldier Field, Saint Mary’s senior Alyssa Vinluan is going to the city for her own athletic competition. Vinluan will run 26.2 miles Sunday when she races in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. This will be Vinlaun’s first marathon, which she has been training for since June 1. Despite months of training, running and planning for Sunday, she has only been running for just over a year. “I only started running in July of 2011,” she said. “That is when I ran my first mile. I started to sign up for 5Ks and 10Ks, and then I did the Holy Half.” Despite making a commitment in only January to run the Chicago Marathon, Vinlaun said running a marathon has been a life-long goal. “I have always wanted to do a marathon, but it was something I never thought I could actually do,” she said. Vinluan’s inspiration to run a marathon came almost a year ago. Her older brother Gilbert, who has run five Chicago Marathons and participated in an IronMan competition, was visiting for Christmas and Vinluan said she was discussing with him her “new passion for running.” “He was like, ‘Then you should sign up for the Chicago Marathon,’ and so in January, I registered for the race and committed to it,” she said. Vinluan said her brother’s experiences with running and the Marathon have been a convenient and needed means of support. “We’re not running [the race] together because he’s a much faster runner than I am,” she said. “But I knew I’d have somebody there with me the whole time, and that has been a big help.” Vinluan has been emailing and texting her brother for advice, and the two update each other on their training runs. In addition to the support of her brother, she said her boyfriend and friends have been constant sources of encouragement for her throughout her months of training. “[Senior] Dani Haydell, who is on the Saint Mary’s cross country team has done some of my runs with me,” she said. “And my boyfriend, Brier, who did track and field when he went to Notre Dame, also did some runs with me. Also, my family has been really encouraging and helpful.” In addition to the intense training and constant self-discipline needed to prepare for the Chicago Marathon, Vinluan has also raised money for a charity, Opportunity Enterprises. Based out of her hometown of Valparaiso, Ind., Opportunity Enterprises is an organization that supports people with multiple disabilities. The funds from the marathon will support the organization’s early intervention program, All About Kids. “I am proud to be running and raising money for such an amazing program,” she said. “The support of my family and friends in helping me reach my fundraising goal is the best part [of my marathon experience.]” Despite the support from her loved ones and her excellent experiences with Opportunity Enterprises, Vinluan said there have been some obstacles to her training and final goal. “Training in June, July and August ⎯ that was no problem because it was summer,” she said. “But once school started and I had to manage training with classes, Dance Marathon, my job at the writing center and my other responsibilities, it was difficult. It took a lot to make me go out and run 10 miles on a Wednesday.” However, Vinluan said she is excited to participate in her first marathon and is eager for the family time that will follow the race. “My boyfriend flew in from California and will be waiting for me at the finish line,” she said.last_img read more

Broadway star to visit Saint Mary’s

first_imgWith five Tony Awards, two Grammy awards and many other accomplishments on her resume, Audra McDonald, star of ABC’s “Private Practice” and Bess in “George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess” on Broadway, is this year’s Margaret Hill Endowed Visiting Artist for 2013 and will visit Saint Mary’s on Monday. “She has got something good for Saint Mary’s,” Katie Sullivan, associate professor of theatre, said. “She shows diversity in the world of which she works as performer. She will show students that they can do more than just hope to be successful in one area.” At only 42 years old, McDonald is the youngest actor and the only African-American to win five Tony Awards. McDonald attended Julliard School for classical vocal training and graduated in 1993. “The balance is found in that my goal is just to continue to evolve as an artist,” McDonald said. “So anything I do whether it be in recording, theater, or television the goal is the same: to be challenged and to grow as an artist,” McDonald said in an email interview. McDonald will be conducting a master’s class at the College on Monday morning. “I have conducted master classes in the past,” McDonald said. “I have also participated in [master’s] classes so I know how scary they are for the participants. “My main goal is to make the student as comfortable as possible and in a sense make every one else in the room ‘disappear’ so that it is just the two of us exploring the material. I think these one-shot evaluations have value because any chance to perform for a live audience is a lesson within itself.” Sullivan said she knows that McDonald’s master class will be something for the students to remember as they continue on in their careers. “She is so inspiring to students and very relatable. She has a family; she’s a working mother with a life,” Sullivan said. “She is covering all areas well. She’s just like us; trying to do the art that she’s trained for. She seems to really enjoy working with young people.” McDonald is well known for playing Naomi on “Private Practice.” She was on the show for four years before taking time away to focus on her family. For the Tuesday’s series finale, however, McDonald rejoined the cast for the last time. Contact Jillian Barwick at [email protected]last_img read more

Notre Dame administration honors student leaders

first_imgEditor’s Note: A version of this article appeared in the April 10 edition of The Observer.Notre Dame’s Division of Student Affairs presented awards to seven students at the annual Student Leadership Awards Banquet on April 1, according to a University press release. Senior Jenna Ahn received the Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C., Leadership Award for her work with Campus Ministry and the Center for Social Concerns (CSC). She has served as a leader in efforts to unite students working with both offices, the press release stated. “I think it’s essential that Campus Ministry work together with the CSC because the two, faith and justice, are deeply connected,” Ahn said. “Collaborating between Campus Ministry and CSC reminds us to always be contemplatives in action  where what we contemplate will be put into action and where our actions will become forms of contemplation.”Ahn said she became involved with the CSC’s Summer Service Learning Program (SSLP) and the International Summer Service Learning Program (ISSLP), through which she traveled to Kolkata, India.“I decided to get involved with the SSLP after my freshman year because I was interested in continuing to ask the difficult questions about structural sin, poverty and suffering,” she said. “I left with more questions than answers. “I participated in the ISSLP in Kolkata because I wanted to experience and walk in the footsteps of Mother Teresa. I wanted to learn to love more radically, not for my own benefits and sense of ‘feel-good,’ but to love the other as to will only their good.”Senior Elizabeth Tucker, a four-year member of the varsity women’s soccer team and two-time captain, won the Ray Siegfried Award for Leadership Excellence, the press release stated. Tucker has combined community service with her athletics, having her team adopt a patient from the local hospital and organizing tutoring at a local elementary school, she said. “My junior year … I decided that it would be really cool to get involved with the Fighting Irish Fight for Life program, because it was a way [the soccer team] could adopt a little sister and bring someone in and bring so much happiness,” Tucker said. “It’s been really fun for me because I’ve gotten to know her very well.” Senior Julia Steiner, former editor-in-chief of the Scholastic magazine, won the Denny Moore Award for Excellence in Journalism. The magazine has devoted more attention to the topic of diversity under her leadership, the press release said. “I think it’s really interesting to not only understand the differences that we all share on the outside, but to strike up these conversations and to begin to understand how we all think differently, how we see the world differently,” Steiner said. “… We did not have an outward push for diversity; it was kind of a thread that seemed to weave in throughout the year.”Steiner said she also credits the magazine’s success to its staff.“I accepted [the award] individually, and I am proud of the work that I’ve done, but at the same time, it was really a group effort,” she said. “That’s probably what I’m most proud of; Scholastic won News Magazine of the Year for the second year in a row in the state of Indiana.”Senior Edithstein Cho received the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Award for her role as co-founder and producer of “Show Some Skin,” a student production that aims to shed light on students’ stories about difference and identity, according to the press release.“I saw minority students on our campus talked amongst themselves and did a lot of problem identification on race issues, which is articulating what is insensitive or racist,” Cho said. “To go beyond problem identification and to engage and change how people engaged race, the three of us [Cho, senior Hien Luu and JeeSeun Choi, class of 2012] wanted to hear deeper narratives. “The monologues [in ‘Show Some Skin’] show that the writers are human beings who have flaws and prejudices of their own, alongside having their own baggage that determines how they orient themselves. We named our production, ‘Show Some Skin,’ in order to challenge our community to dig deeper into their identity and experiences to create a starting point for dialogue. ‘Show Some Skin’ is a form of art for social justice.”Karen Antonio, a doctoral student in the department of biochemistry and chemistry, won the Sister Jean Lenz, O.S.F., Leadership Award for her contributions in promoting women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields through her organization of monthly lunch meetings for women to present and hear research presentations, the press release stated.“You have this informal, comfort way of talking to faculty and staff,” Antonio said. “You get a different side of professors; you’re eating lunch, talking about what you do, your family, your pets, whatever you want, and it’s not that constricting, professional box that you are usually in. “As far as women in science go, you’re able to unite people in a very comfortable way that probably would not have been available otherwise.”Senior Alex Coccia, student body president emeritus, won the Rev. A. Leonard Collins Award, which is given to a senior who has made large strides toward advancing the interests of Notre Dame students, according to the Student Affairs website. Coccia worked to improve the campus climate for LGBTQ students, undocumented students and students affected by sexual violence, the press release said.“I want to ensure that all students feel welcome at Notre Dame, and breaking the silence on issues that create oppressive environments is the first step towards that goal,” Coccia said. “Ultimately, the student experience is sacred, and we must ensure that we as students do all we can to create a welcoming environment for all.” Tags: 2014 Commencement, Alex Coccia, leadership, Student Affairs, student leaderslast_img read more

Live coverage: tributes to Fr. Ted

first_imgSince the death of University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore “Ted” Hesburgh on Thursday night, the Notre Dame community has honored him with various tributes around campus. We have collected some of those moments here.March 111 p.m. – A Rosary was held at the Grotto in remembrance of Fr. Hesburgh.Tickets for Wednesday’s memorial tribute will be available in the Stepan Center from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis, and students are limited to one ticket with a valid Notre Dame ID card. The memorial tribute will feature speakers,  music and videos to celebrate Fr. Hesburgh’s life and legacy.NDtv will film a student-made tribute Sunday from 12 to 3:30 p.m. in front of the reflecting pool by the library. All are invited to stop by and share their reflections about Fr. Ted.https://www.facebook.com/events/42755301075295310 a.m. – University President Emeritus Fr. Edward “Monk” Malloy celebrated Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and reflected on Hesburgh’s legacy in the homily. The Notre Dame Liturgical Choir led a rendition of the Alma Mater in Hesburgh’s honor at the end of the Mass.9:33 a.m. – The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team unveiled the patches it will wear to honor Fr. Hesburgh in its Sunday afternoon game against Duke. Feb. 281 p.m. – No. 2 Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team observed a moment of silence in honor of Hesburgh before its game against Dartmouth in Loftus Sports Center. The team also wore “Fr. Ted” stickers on its helmets.“If you look at the history of Notre Dame, Knute Rockne made Notre Dame famous, and Fr. Ted took that and made Notre Dame a great university,” Irish coach Kevin Corrigan said.All day – The American flag in the middle of South Quad flies at half-staff. Feb. 279:45 p.m. – The Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra played the Notre Dame Alma Mater in honor of Hesburgh following its concert Friday night.“Notre Dame lost her greatest son,” orchestra director Daniel Stowe said.7:00 p.m. – Hesburgh was honored by the hockey team before its game against No. 9 Boston College at Compton Family Ice Arena with a moment of silence and a video tribute, in addition to “Fr. Ted” stickers on the Irish helmets.“I had no idea when I first started here what kind of man we had with us here on campus,” Irish coach Jeff Jackson said.7:00 p.m. – The 85th annual Bengal Bouts Tournament remembered Fr. Hesburgh with a moment of silence and a 10-bell salute while his picture was displayed on the video boards.5:27 p.m. – Senior Associate Athletics Director John Heisler sent out an email to the Notre Dame football media list reading, “Beginning today, Notre Dame athletic teams will wear ‘Fr. Ted’ patches or stickers on some combination of their uniforms, warm-ups or helmets. Moments of silence will be observed prior to home events in each of Notre Dame’s 26 varsity sports. In the near future, there will be commemorative signage created for each Notre Dame home athletic venue — to be featured either on the field or court itself or displayed elsewhere at the facility.”3:28 p.m. – The Notre Dame softball team announced through its Twitter account that players would wear black ribbons in their hair during two games against No. 20 Missouri and Georgetown “in honor of the late Father Theodore.”3:00 p.m. – A bouquet of flowers sat in the snow at the feet of the Hesburgh statue that stands in front of Hesburgh Library.11:00 a.m. – University President Fr. John Jenkins held a press conference to reflect on Hesburgh’s influence on the University and to provide details about the schedule for the upcoming days.“Next to Fr. Sorin, no one had a greater impact on this University,” Jenkins said. “Notre Dame lost a piece of its heart last night. But Fr. Ted lives on.”At first light – Notre Dame Landscape Services began putting up Hesburgh banners on light poles across campus.Throughout the night – Notre Dame students, faculty and community members gathered at the Grotto to remember Hesburgh. Candles spelling out “TED” were arranged on one of the racks, and some people sang the Alma Mater.1:03 a.m.- The Observer tweeted out the news that Hesburgh had died at the age of 97, confirmed by a University spokesperson.Tags: campus tributes, Fr. Theodore Hesburghlast_img read more

HPC names Walsh ‘Hall of the Year’

first_imgThe Hall Presidents Council announced the Hall of the Year awards at its weekly meeting Tuesday, with Walsh Hall winning Hall of the Year, Keenan Hall bringing home Men’s Hall of the Year, and Farley Hall taking Women’s Hall of the Year, Michael Wajda, co-chair of Hall Presidents Council (HPC), said.“All three dorms had enthusiastic and sustained participation in their hall events, achieved in large part through their personal outreach to all members of the dorm communities,” Wadja said in an email.The dorms are selected by a committee consisting of the HPC Executive Board, the Judicial Council President and two student Senators, Wadja said. The selection committee focuses on how the dorms embodied “mind, body and heart,” based on their Hall of the Year presentations and monthly Rockne submissions.“Walsh did an astounding job of engaging the women of Walsh in mind, body, and spirit, through their Harry Potter Week, their Brother-Sister Broomball and their Soul Sister discussion series,” Wadja said.“Their ‘I am WILD’ initiative also highlighted all of the cultures within the dorm in a way that was inclusive and engaging.”According to the Hall of the Year results on the Hall Presidents Council website, Farley placed second, trailing Walsh by half a point.“Farley engaged both the women within the dorm as well as the greater campus community with their variety of events and invited all residents to ‘Come Share Life,’ their new Hall motto,” Wadja said.“Farley’s award affirmed the attitude that has been seen in Farley all year,” Casey Skevington, president of Farley Hall, said.“‘Farley’ – just one word makes me smile,” Skevington said. “To me, it means home, family and friends all wrapped into one loving environment. I have been blessed to watch and be a part of the growth of our community all year long.“I could not be more proud of the women that live within the Finest dorm on campus.”Keenan placed third in the overall competition but first out of all men’s residence halls and earned the highest presentation score of all dorms as well, according to the results.“Keenan in particular revealed that they made it their goal to reach out to individuals who might not necessarily be the first ones to participate in events but are members of the community nonetheless,” Wadja said.Howard came in fourth but earned the highest score in Rockne category, according to the website.“We heard from so many presidents and vice presidents about events, processes and structures which reflected the unique cultures of their residence halls,” Kathleen Clark, co-chair of HPC, said at the awards.“They each found a personal leadership style which matched the greatest need of their dorm. We will give out three awards tonight, but we are immensely proud of each of you and what you were able to achieve this year. All of you deserve recognition for a job well done.”All three winners will receive a monetary award from HPC, Wadja said, while Keenan Hall and Walsh Hall will receive Dome Dances next year.Tags: Farley Hall, Hall of the year, hall president’s council, Keenan Hall, Men’s Hall of the Year, Walsh Hall, Women’s Hall of the Yearlast_img read more

Snite Museum appoints Joseph Antenucci Becherer as new director

first_imgThe Snite Museum has appointed Joseph Antenucci Becherer as its next director, the University announced in a press release Tuesday.Becherer previously served as head curator at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has worked at Meijer Gardens since 1999, according to the release, and in 2009 took on the roles of “chief curator and vice president of sculpture and horticulture, collections and exhibitions.”Becherer is also a professor at Aquinas College, where he teaches classes about art from the Renaissance, Baroque and Contemporary periods.In addition to his responsibilities at the Snite Museum, Becherer will “play a major role” in developing the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art at Notre Dame upon its opening in 2021, the release said.“This directorship is a great honor and opportunity beyond measure as the museum and entire academic community fully embrace the essential role of the arts at the heart of Notre Dame,” Becherer said in the release. “Following in the great tradition that is the Snite Museum of Art, I look forward to working with donors, staff, faculty, students and artists to create in the new Raclin Murphy Museum of Art, one of the nation’s pre-eminent and most innovative university art museums.”Maura Ryan, vice president and associate provost for faculty affairs, led the University’s efforts to appoint the next Snite Museum Director. Ryan said she looks forward to watching Becherer develop the University’s fine arts projects.“We are thrilled to have someone of [Becherer’s] artistic vision, talents and operational experience joining our team at Notre Dame,” she said in the release. “We are confident he will continue and enhance the museum’s role in the University’s vibrant arts district that is taking shape on the southern edge of our campus and includes the Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park, which opened in 2017.”Becherer attended Ohio University, where he pursued undergraduate and master’s degrees in fine arts, the release said. He earned his doctoral degree at Indiana University.In his most recent works, Becherer “oversaw legacy gifts” from sculptor artists George Segal and Beverly Pepper and curated a “monumental exhibition” featuring artwork by Ai WeiWei, the release said. He has also served as chair of a national committee that commissioned a statue of President Gerald R. Ford in the U.S. Capitol rotunda.Tags: Joseph Antenucci Becherer, Meijer Gardens, Raclin Murphy Museum of Art, Snite, Snite Museum, Snite Museum of Artlast_img read more

Six cases of COVID-19 confirmed in St. Joseph County

first_imgThe Indiana state government confirmed a total of 126 positive tests for COVID-19 and three deaths in the state, according to their website Saturday morning. Six of the positive cases are individuals residing in St. Joseph County. As a result of the increasing number of cases, South Bend mayor James Mueller warned against all nonessential travel in a press conference Thursday afternoon, the South Bend Tribune reported. Mueller declared a state of emergency and advised people to practice extreme social distancing.While the city has not instituted an outright travel ban, Mueller stressed that residents should be cautious and stay at home.“While our number of positive cases, at five, is still low, and our hospitals still have capacity, this situation can get out of hand fast,” Mueller said.The city’s declaration will expire after seven days and must be approved for an extension by the South Bend Common Council, according to the report.In addition, Notre Dame announced Friday afternoon in a tweet that two members of its community tested positive for the virus. The University said the affected individuals are in quarantine and receiving medical care. Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, James Mueller, South Bend, St. Joseph Countylast_img read more

Minority students at SMC struggle to find mental health resources

first_imgEditor’s note: This is part three of a three-part series on mental health services at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. Follow these links to find part one and part two.Imán Omar, a Saint Mary’s senior, feels the pull of many strings: she is a black, Muslim, South African woman who spent the past four-odd years at a predominantly white institution.“It’s a constant battle where I feel like I don’t belong anywhere and have had to create my own identity,” Omar said. She struggled to feel a sense of belonging at Saint Mary’s — and she is not the only one. Minority students at the College often have to try harder to find mental health and wellbeing resources that cater to their unique needs.In terms of staff, Saint Mary’s counseling center is better off than most higher-ed institutions. The national average for mental health professionals to students is around 1:1,000-1,500, while the ratio of counselors to students at Saint Mary’s is about 1:460.But for many minority students, it’s difficult to find common ground with professionals who lack expertise in multicultural or international counseling. As of the spring 2020 semester, none of the three mental health counselors at Saint Mary’s specialized in this area.Omar said this is why she sometimes felt misunderstood by the counselors at Saint Mary’s.(Editor’s Note: Omar is a former News Writer for The Observer)“I had an experience with a counselor [at Saint Mary’s] where I was explaining how I felt isolated in terms of identity, which is normal for international students,” Omar said. “But I’m also Muslim and African, and all these identities affect me. She just kind of went, ‘Well, you chose to come to a Catholic college.’ Which was valid, but that’s not what I’m trying to hear from a counselor.”Notre Dame has three senior counseling staff members who specialize in multicultural counseling, but while students in the tri-campus community are encouraged to take advantage of academic and extra-curricular resources from all three institutions, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross cannot receive counseling at Notre Dame.These services are reserved for “degree-seeking students” at the University, according to the University Counseling Center (UCC) website.UCC director Christine Conway said Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students are not eligible for UCC services because the colleges “offer their own counseling services.”Tom DeHorn, director of counseling and health at Holy Cross, offered a similar explanation. “Students have [a health clinic] here and they’re paying tuition to utilize these services,” he said. “They’re paying for our services because they’re a Holy Cross student.”Available resourcesSaint Mary’s offers a number of other resources specifically for multicultural and international students, many provided through the International Student/Scholar Services office in the College’s Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership.However, Omar said these resources are often not enough to support all students who need them. As a result, minority students sometimes have to look in unconventional areas to get the help they need.“It shouldn’t be all on the students to get everything they need, especially because I feel like international students get used so much for diversity advertisements,” Omar said. “You’re advertising that you’re diverse and inclusive, but this means that you should take care of the diverse students on campus.”Students sometimes turn to residence hall staff for mental health support instead of seeking professional help directly.“Many students visit hall directors to talk about a variety of things including mental health,” Holy Cross Hall director Ally Straeson said. “Some turn to their RAs or the hall MA for support, but there are many who come directly to their hall director. Whether a student turns to a hall director, an RA, or an MA, they are always provided with resources and referred to the Health and Counseling Center or other campus resources including Campus Ministry and BAVO.”Saint Mary’s hall directors are not trained to provide mental health counseling. Instead, Straeson said, they’re taught to connect residents with the appropriate resources when they need help.“The Health and Counseling Center does not have on-call counselors, but students have the opportunity to see a counselor from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. In the off hours, hall directors respond … and will be involved every step of the way,” Straeson said. “The only time Residence Life would no longer be involved is if the student was transferred to a mental health facility off campus or no longer a resident of campus.”While Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students cannot receive counseling at Notre Dame, the University’s Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS) is open for students across all three campuses. Director Arnel Bulaoro said MSPS works directly with the University Counseling Center and the McDonald Student Center for Well-Being (McWell) to create programs that serve underrepresented student populations.“In 2008, the University Counseling Center partnered with MSPS to serve as one of several campus locations for a program titled ‘Let’s Talk,’” Bulaoro said. “A more recent program, ‘Stock Your Toolbox’ … is a skill-based workshop designed to assist students as they face the everyday stress of life on the Notre Dame campus.”Bulaoro said MSPS serves as a bridge between minority student groups and institutions across the University. In order to connect students with mental health resources, Bulaoro said MSPS first helps students realize they are not alone, while also addressing the crisis of identity many may feel at the University. “One of the biggest hurdles we run into is the stigma students have of meeting with professionals,” he said. “Faculty also have their own struggles, and shared stories add perspective that make a student realize, ‘it’s not just me.’”Bulaoro sees MSPS as an entry point for students looking for resources all around campus. He said it is a “natural place for first encounters,” and a space for “all students in the tri-campus community.” Looking aheadHannah Simpson, president of the College’s Black Student Association, said Saint Mary’s could do more to support mental health for minority students.“There is still an issue of a lack of representation that should still be taken into consideration for the purposes of supporting underrepresented students,” she said.Students at Saint Mary’s are taking notice. In February, the Black Student Association held a round table event to break the stigma surrounding mental illness in the black community. Students met to discuss stigma, prejudice and lack of resources available to the black community, which can prevent students from reaching out to receive the care they need.Omar said she is unsure if resources for minority and international students will ever become more accessible in the tri-campus community. “It kind of feels hopeless in a way,” she said. “As an international student, I feel like I’ve screamed a lot of these issues to people and they’ll say ‘I hear you, but we’re not going to do anything about it.’”Tags: counseling, counselors, Health and Counseling Center, Mental health, minority, Multicultural Student Programs and Services, University Counseling Centerlast_img read more

Holy Cross announces new suspension policy for safety violators

first_imgOn Friday, Holy Cross College President Fr. David Tyson emailed the student body, announcing students who violate COVID-19 safety policies will be suspended from the College.“Any student(s) that is found to have violated published or stated protocols of the College; or order of the city of South Bend, St. Joseph County or the State of Indiana; or has engaged in behaviors that blatantly threaten the health of the College community, either on the campus, or off the campus; or tri-campus community, or the South Bend/Mishawaka community will be suspended from enrollment at the College,” Tyson said in the email.Suspended students who require care for COVID-19 will be allowed to stay on campus until they have recovered.“If an offending student requires quarantine, testing or isolation, the suspension will take effect at the end of the period and the suspended student will be removed from campus,” Tyson said. “A suspended student will not be eligible until the beginning of the academic year 2021-2022.”Tyson also explained why the new policy is only in place for students.“Established HR policies will govern alleged violations that involve faculty, staff and administration,” the email said. “We are a community that has various stakeholders that are not equal in their relationship to one another or bound by the same regulations. However, no one is exempt from scrutiny for intentional violations or personal interpretations of health and safety policies, especially in a pandemic.”Tyson stated that he will not allow individual actions to dictate the health of the whole community.“To tolerate a few irresponsible members bringing Holy Cross College to a standstill by their negligence and disregard for the community, itself, would in fact be the greatest of all negligences,” the email said.Tags: COVID-19, fall 2020, Holy Cross College, President Father David Tysonlast_img read more