Dorms continue Christmas traditions

first_imgAs the semester winds down, many dorms come together to celebrate Christmas with different traditions.As part of its celebrations, Alumni Hall has a candlelight Mass each year. According to Alumni Hall president Matthew Krach, everyone wears formal attire to the Mass, which he says is well-attended.“Everyone wears suits and ties and dresses up, and usually it’s a standing-room-only Mass, so it’s pretty good,” Krach said. “We have this hanging Advent wreath near the altar, and for each Advent Mass we always have one of the shorter freshmen try and light the wreath with one of the lighters, and it always takes like five minutes for them to actually get it lit.”The dorm also hosts a Christmas party each year for those who have volunteered in the dorm during the semester.“We have a Christmas dinner for anyone who’s contributed to the dorm in any way, like any commissioners, or Eucharistic ministers or people who play in the band,” Krach said.In the days leading up to Christmas, Breen-Phillips Hall hosts its Christmas-themed formal and announces the winners of its decorating contests, according to Sister Mary McNamara, the hall’s rector.“In BP we have, usually just before Christmas, our formal dance, and the week leading up to the dance we have a gingerbread-house-decorating contest and a section-decorating contest,” McNamara said. “At the dance, at the end of the week, we announce the winner of the hall-decorating and gingerbread-house-decorating contests.”This year, Father John Conley, the Siegfried rector, contacted Sister Mary Jane Hahner, the Pasquerilla West rector, and the two dorms combined finances to decorate the tree between them.“[Conley] thought that it would be a wonderful welcome, pointing up to the two new dormitories too, and be … special for this time of the year for everybody,” Hahner said. “I thought it was great, our kids seemed to like it, and it just adds a little bit of Christmas cheer.”Pasquerilla West also lights the “Ugly Bush,” the bush in the roundabout in front the dorm, each Christmas as part of its community-building traditions.“We have to buy solar-powered lights, and because Indiana’s so gray, you have to charge them under lights [inside],” Hahner said. “Forty to 45 girls came out for the lighting, and we sang ‘Oh Ugly Bush, Oh Ugly Bush’.”Around Christmas time each year, O’Neill Hall hangs a wreath with an apostrophe next to it as a symbol of their hall, according to O’Neill Hall president Owen Lane.“The O is all around O’Neill,” Lane said. “The joke, or just motif, is everything that has an O, you put an apostrophe after it, so that’s definitely the most pervasive symbol for O’Neill Hall,” Lane said. “And so that, as a Christmas wreath, is perfect, especially when you consider — I’d say that we get into the Christmas spirit pretty well in O’Neill.”Edward Mack, former O’Neill Hall rector, said the wreath was purchased from Walsh Hall several years before he began working as rector in 2002.“The guys used to say that if you are flying into the South Bend airport, and know where and when to look, the wreath is so big you can see it from the air,” he said in an email. “I was lucky enough to see it from my flight once, and I have to say, I had tears in my eyes.”However, O’Neill Hall is not the only dorm to decorate for Christmas with a symbol of their dorm. Each year, McGlinn Hall hangs a shamrock, the dorm’s mascot, on the building’s side.“I think that when the residents of McGlinn wanted to pick their mascot, they just thought about the Irish and what they thought of was shamrocks,” hall president Jenny Richardson said. “I personally really like our mascot because I think it’s easily identifiable, and it really relates to Notre Dame.”Tags: christmas, dorms, residence hallslast_img read more

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Student awarded scholarship to study in Cambridge

first_imgSenior John Huber, applied and computational mathematics and statistics major, received a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Cambridge, according to a press release.Huber’s research has focused on constructing mathematical models for the transmission of mosquito-borne pathogens, including malaria and dengue.Huber will pursue a master’s degree in veterinary science in the Department of Veterinary Medicine. A native of Gainesville, Florida, Huber has researched infectious disease, which he considers the intersection of his interests in global health, mathematics and social justice.“At a time when drug resistance is rapidly outpacing the discovery of new antibiotics, I am excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the body of research on such a time-sensitive matter,” Huber said in the release. “I feel honored to join the Gates Cambridge community and look forward to an enriching year at Cambridge in the Department of Veterinary Medicine.”According to the release, Huber will complete an M.D.-Ph.D. program and pursue a career in academic medicine.“I am interested in serving as a clinician and conducting epidemiological research in the field of infectious diseases, where I would make clinically relevant contributions in the interest of global health,” he said in the release. “Further, I aim to teach at the graduate of postgraduate level to educate the next generation of physician-scientists.”Huber is one of 36 American students out of 800 applicants to receive the scholarship, which fully funds postgraduate study and research in any subject at Cambridge, according to the release.This postgraduate scholarship program was established through a $210 million donation to the University of Cambridge from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation in 2000. According to the release, this donation is the largest to a U.K. university.This scholarship emphasizes social leadership in its selection process, and the mission of the program is to create a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.Tags: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Gates Cambridge Scholarship, University of Cambridgelast_img read more

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Jenkins details University’s new initiatives relating to diversity

first_imgUniversity President Fr. John Jenkins announced new initiatives the University has implemented as a result of findings from the President’s Oversight Committee on Diversity and Inclusion early Wednesday morning via an email to the student body. Jenkins said these programs were “positive steps” toward improving diversity on the University’s campusThese initiatives addressed three major groups, Jenkins said in the email — faculty, students and staff.In regards to faculty, new initiatives included a diversity and inclusion panel on the Office of the Provost’s website, diversity workshops, continued participation in the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium, work with the National Center for Faculty Diversity and Development and new inclusion plans, Jenkins said in the email. “Each college/school has now completed a comprehensive diversity and inclusion plan, focusing on five areas: making the case for diversity; resourcing the recruitment effort; hardwiring the faculty search process; strategies for retaining and developing faculty; and improving climate,” Jenkins said.In terms of student life, Student Affairs staff are participating in multicultural competencies workshops, new pieces of art celebrating the University’s “commitment to diversity” have been selected to be showcased in the Duncan Student Center and the Office of Student Enrichment has helped underprivileged students, according to the email.“With the goal of creating a more inclusive environment, the Office recently launched the Fighting Irish Scholars Pilot Program to facilitate peer mentoring between upperclassmen and first-year students, as well as providing financial resources and programming,” Jenkins said in the email. “Instructors in the Moreau First-Year Experience course were given training to enhance the cultural competency component of the course taken by all first-year students.”In the email, Jenkins said staff hirings and promotions had become more diverse, and the University had implemented a new system for tracking its commitment to affirmative action where “senior management … [tracks] gaps in hiring versus market availability across the University.”Widespread participation in “Walk the Walk Week,” and the events surrounding the celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. highlighted the University’s commitment to diversity, Jenkins said in the email.“Notre Dame’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration … has become one of the most widely-attended MLK Day commemorations among universities nationally, with over 4,000 students, faculty and staff in attendance this year,” he said.Jenkins said a commitment to diversity was key in maintaining Notre Dame’s Catholic mission, and he hoped these initiatives would spark new conversations on diversity and inclusion, according to the email.“We cannot be afraid to talk openly, in ways that are both honest and respectful, about the opportunities and challenges, hopes and anxieties, before us,” he said in the email. “Yet, whatever challenges there are, they should lead us to recommit ourselves to building a community of respect, love and mutual support that will reflect the spirit of Notre Dame.”Tags: Diversity and Inclusion, duncan student center, Father John Jenkins, Office of Student Enrichment, Walk the Walk Weeklast_img read more

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Pro-life activist speaks on abortion debate

first_imgA crowd consisting of students, parents, grandparents and even a few children gathered in DeBartolo Hall on Thursday to listen to Alexandra DeSanctis’ lecture titled “Surrender is not an option — Reclaiming the abortion debate.”Notre Dame’s Right to Life Club invited the 2016 University alumna to speak. DeSanctis writes about and speaks out about her passion: the right to life.“I enjoy it a lot, but it’s difficult work, and it’s disheartening work a lot of the time in many ways,” she said. “As I’m sure you all know, I’m staring at a lot of evil. We all stare at a lot of evil when we think about this issue, and it takes a toll. But at the same time, I’m actually incredibly hopeful for the future of the pro-life movement … I’m convinced, absolutely convinced that this is a fight we can win.” Rebecca Stella | The Observer Alexandra DeSanctis speaks at her lecture titled “Surrender is not an option — Reclaiming the abortion debate” on Thursday night.DeSanctis highlighted the points she believes could make a difference in the abortion argument. One major point she made was the importance of defining abortion — both scientifically and factually — in order to reset the terms of this debate. “It’s very simple — we all know this. An embryo from the moment of conception meets the scientific criteria to be considered a life,” DeSanctis said. “It has human DNA, so it’s a human … Its DNA is entirely distinct from both its mother and its father. It is inside the mother but not part of the mother. This right here is why the reality that abortion is the right that dare not speak its name matters so much.”DeSanctis said these facts are never recognized because the opposition knows the result of this information will expose abortion for what it truly is.“If they acknowledge a fetus as a human being, suddenly they are in an ethical minefield,” she said. “Suddenly they have to explain why it is okay to end a human life.”She discussed how, as a pro-life supporter, one must begin to call abortion what it truly is.“That’s the real foundation of my remarks tonight … because I believe we all know — whether in our minds or deep, deep in our hearts — that abortion is the taking of a human life,” DeSanctis said. “Abortion thrives in the dark, in euphemism.”Once abortion is exposed for what it truly is, DeSanctis said, it does not look as enticing to its supporters. “Dispensing of a human life does not look like exercising your rights or obtaining health care,” she said. “It doesn’t look like freedom, and I doubt it feels like freedom, but these are the things we hear about when we try to talk about abortion.”DeSanctis concluded her talk by stating that no one likes the reality of abortion, leading individuals and large groups to stand up for what they believe in. She said this belief inspires passionate pro-life supporters, including the Notre Dame community, to make trips every single year to Washington, D.C., for the March for Life to say abortion needs to end.“That’s the hard work of the pro-life movement,” DeSanctis said. “What each of us chooses to do each day, whether we care for expectant mothers in need, whether we have those tough conversations even when we’d rather not. By never being afraid to say what abortion is, we have the power to show women that the life inside of them is a human being, that it’s distinct, that it matters, that it’s valuable and that they are valuable.”Tags: Abortion, March for Life, Pro-life, Right to Lifelast_img read more

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SCOP brings controversial panelists to campus to discuss transgender medicine

first_imgWhile Cretella has not been a practicing physician since 2012, she is now the executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, a group that has been labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a “fringe anti-LGBT hate group that masquerades as the premier U.S. association of pediatricians to push anti-LGBT junk science.”During the panel, both Hruz and Cretella advocated against the use of puberty blockers and hormone treatments in individuals under the age of 18 who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria.According to the American Psychiatric Association, gender dysphoria “involves a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify.” While individuals with gender dysphoria may want to socially transition, cross-dress or medically transition with sex-change surgery and/or hormone treatment, gender dysphoria is distinct from being transgender.The American Psychiatric Association defines transgender as an umbrella term for individuals whose gender identity or gender expression differs from the sex or gender to which they were assigned at birth. Experts have determined that not all transgender people have gender dysphoria.Before the lecture, junior Ellie Gardey, the co-president of SCOP, said she submitted an Observer letter to the editor because she knew the panelists would address “an admittedly controversial topic.”“We have no intention of inflicting any anxiety on any member of the Notre Dame community,” Gardey said. “We believe it’s an important topic to have so that we can have policies that are in the best interest of children.”Gardey said she didn’t agree with the SPLC’s classification of the American College of Pediatricians.“We believe they do not hate people,” she said. “The SPLC has expressed hatred towards certain groups in the past, but the American College of Pediatricians has not.”The Observer interviewed both parties — protesters who attended the panel and Gardey — and researched the two panelists. In a previous interview, Cretella referred to transgender children as “mentally ill,” asserting that “no one is born in the wrong body.” She said she believed transgender ideology is “cognitive and psychological abuse” on children. Gardey acknowledged Cretella’s past claims that puberty blockers and hormones used to treat gender dysphoria for children can be considered “child abuse.”“We’ve brought in Dr. Cretella for her world-renowned expertise on pediatric gender-affirming therapy,” Gardey said. “Dr. Cretella says it is child abuse, and we believe that people have the best interest at heart when they give children these gender-affirming therapies, so they’re not trying to hurt the child. But we believe that they inadvertently are hurting the child.”When the Gender Studies Triota Honors Society read about SCOP’s event in the Week@ND email, the group’s students applied for a permit to set up an information table in the library with their own “Transgender Medicine and Children: What ARE the facts?” pamphlet among other printed peer-reviewed research articles.Pamela Butler, associate director and director of undergraduate studies in the Gender Studies Program, said she was disappointed with the limited representation on the panel.“It was disappointing to me that their perspectives would be brought here and elevated as if they speak with scientific authority,” Butler said. “When really they’ve been discredited and debunked widely by every legitimate medical organization that’s ever responded to their claims. I was disappointed that there wasn’t a representative of mainstream evidence based medical treatment or a clinician who actually works with transgender youth representative on this panel.”During her portion of the panel, Cretella cited a number of psychological conditions that may predispose children to gender dysphoria including attachment disorders, severe depression, ADD/ADHD, PTSD and Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as discussing environmental influences.“[There’s] the issue of social contagion. We are seeing whole peer groups in schools around the nation that are coming out,” Cretella said.While Cretella focused on the causes of gender dysphoria, Hruz urged the audience to consider the scientific evidence he presented to empirically determine the best way to treat individuals with gender dysphoria.“These are real difficulties that these individuals experience, and they’re crying out for help,” Hruz said. “The question that we need to ask ourselves this evening is if the help that we’re offering to these individuals is truly in their best interest to help them.”When asked whether they had any experience treating patients with gender dysphoria or if they had conducted any peer-reviewed research on the subject, Hruz said he just published a paper in the Linacre Quarterly, the official journal of the Catholic Medical Association. Cretella said she had never treated an adolescent with gender dysphoria.  SCOP picked the two panelists after consulting with professors in science, technology, engineering and math at Notre Dame, Gardey said. Gardey declined to name the professors the group contacted.Members of the Gender Relations Center asked SCOP to include a transgender specialist, but Gardey said since they asked only a week prior to the event, they were unable to accomodate their request. When asked if they looked into panelists with opposing viewpoints to Cretella and Hruz or a panelist with experience treating transgender patients, Gardey said SCOP believed the speakers on the panel were the correct choices for this event.“Our purpose is to educate the public about this issue,” Gardey said. “And this particular panel is what we believe is best for the current moment, but we will be open to a debate in the future.”Tags: #SCOP, gender dysphoria, Transgender Serena Zacharias | The Observer Panelists Paul Hruz and Michelle Cretella define gender dysphoria. The panel explored topics pertaining to the medical treatment of transgender youths. The Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP) hosted two panelists on campus Thursday for a lecture titled “Transgender Medicine and Children: What are the facts?”The event’s panelists included two medical doctors — Paul Hruz, a professor of pediatrics and endocrinology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and Michelle Cretella, a general pediatrician and the executive director of the American College of Pediatricians.last_img read more

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County Officials Say They Have Control Of The Fieldbrook Foods COVID-19 Cluster

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 via Chautauqua County Government / Facebook.MAYVILLE — With 82 confirmed cases at Fieldbrook foods in Dunkirk, Chautauqua County officials say they believe the cluster is under control.County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler said of the 82 confirmed cases, 61 were employees and 57 of them have fully recovered. All 21 community contacts have also recovered.“It definitely was a cluster, we call it an outbreak, I think it has been under control now,” Schuyler said. “We’ve been able to control the outbreak within that facility. It doesn’t mean were never gonna have anymore cases there.”Officials also said there are enough positive COVID-19 cases to change how positive cases will be reported. Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel and Schuyler said, starting Monday, positive cases will be reported by zip code, instead of fire battalion units.There are currently 558 confirmed cases, with 450 fully recovered and 10 deaths, officials said.Schuyler said positive tests were “pretty even breakout of symptoms among all age groups.”last_img read more

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Councilmembers Voice Concerns Over Proposal Increasing Parking Costs

first_imgImage by Justin Gould / WNY News Now.JAMESTOWN – Members of the Jamestown City Council are expressing concern over a recommendation from Mayor Eddie Sundquist that would raise the parking meter fee to $1 an hour in the City starting Jan. 1.Multiple members, including Councilwoman Marie Carrubba, explained why the resolution made them hesitant during a City Council Work Session last night. Carrubba, who represents Ward IV, says that, after listening to concerns from business owners, she’s concerned that the increase in the rate could be a detriment to the Downtown economy long-term.“I understand the need to generate revenue, but I’d hate to see it drive out businesses that aren’t going to get people coming because they don’t want to pay for parking, especially right now with the number of people that are unemployed and are financially disadvantaged because of this (the pandemic),” Carrubba said. “I think it’s a tough thing to discourage people from coming down…”Carrubba notes that the rate, under Sundquist’s proposal, would double from the current rate of $0.50 an hour. That’s a 100 percent increase, which Councilwoman Vickeye James says she’s also concerned with. Councilwoman Kim Ecklund also weighed in on the recommendation. She says her main issues involve the idea that people would need to put in four quarters, rather than two, despite the fact that there’s a nationally-recognized coin shortage due the COVID-19 pandemic.Sundquist says part of the reasoning behind the increase is because the City is exploring a transition into an app-based meter feeding system to cover a transaction fee. The resolution, which he says will potentially double the revenue from parking meters, says that a mobile pay solution would be provided in November as part of a separate resolution.“They’re not going to use the app-based (system) and go up to the meter and be forced to put in (required information).” Ecklund said. “I’m in favor (of the technology).  and I agree with it from my perspective, but it’s not just about me. We have elderly residents that I have concerns about being able to utilize that system. So how do we manage that?”The Mayor’s Executive Assistant, Zach Altschuler, says that the meters will remain the same, but stickers containing instructions on how to download and use the app would be placed on the meters. However, he says coin-based meters would still be available.The resolution wasn’t tabled, meaning the Council should vote on it during its Voting Session October 28th. Share: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)last_img read more

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CDC: Do Not Travel For Thanksgiving

first_imgCropped vxla / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 WASHINGTON – One week before Thanksgiving, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising Americans not to travel for the holiday.The agency made the comments during a conference call on Thursday.The recommendation comes, as Coronavirus cases surge throughout the United States.The CDC says traveling right now could spread the virus from one part of the country to another. But for those who are still planning to travel, the CDC urges people to wear masks, social distance and wash your hands. Share: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)last_img read more

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Broadway Grosses: Twelfth Night Breaks Records, Beautiful Packs the House & Bridges Joins the Boards

first_imgAudiences are still clamoring to catch Mark Rylance pull double-duty as the neurotic, lovestruck Countess Olivia in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and then as the murderous titular madman of The Bard’s Richard III. The shows, performed in repertory, broke the house record of Broadway’s Belasco Theatre for the fourth time. Meanwhile, Beautiful, starring Tony nominee Jessie Mueller, packed in huge crowds this week, playing to over 97 percent capacity at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, and The Bridges of Madison County, starring four-time Tony nominee Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale, began Broadway previews. UNDERDOGS (By Gross)
 5. Rock of Ages ($361,214)
 4. A Night with Janis Joplin ($339,451)
 3. Outside Mullingar ($282,706) 2. Machinal ($214,329)*
 1. Bronx Bombers ($167,974)

 1. The Book of Mormon (102.63%)
 2. Twelfth Night/Richard III (101.94%)
 3. Wicked (98.62%)
 4. Beautiful (97.77%)
 5. The Lion King (97.74%)

 View Comments UNDERDOGS (By Capacity)
 5. The Phantom of the Opera (73.12%)
 4. Cinderella (72.71%)
 3. A Night with Janis Joplin (69.09%)
 2. Jersey Boys (68.53%) 
1. Bronx Bombers (61.90%)

 *Number based on 3 preview performances and 5 regular performances
 1. The Book of Mormon ($1,750,313)
 2. Wicked ($1,749,967)
 3. The Lion King ($1,653,132)
 4. Kinky Boots ($1,527,348)
 5. Motown The Musical ($1,169,588)

 Read below to find out who was on top and who was not for the week ending January 19:
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Nicky Silver’s Too Much Sun Opens Off-Broadway

first_img Too Much Sun Too Much Sun: something we never thought we’d say after this winter. The world premiere of Nicky Silver’s play celebrates its official opening night on May 18 at the Vineyard Theatre. The show stars Tony winner Linda Lavin and nominee Jennifer Westfeldt. Related Shows View Comments Star Files Show Closed This production ended its run on June 22, 2014 Directed by Mark Brokaw, Too Much Sun tells the story of Audrey Langham, a celebrated actress who unravels completely while preparing for a new production of Medea. With nowhere else to go, she descends upon her married daughter for a summer by the sea. She is not, however, greeted with confetti and champagne. Her arrival sets off a chain of events alternately hilarious and harrowing. In addition to Lavin and Westfeldt, the cast includes Richard Bekins, Matt Dellapina, Ken Barnett and Matt Dickson. Too Much Sun will play an extended run through June 22. Linda Lavinlast_img read more

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