Performance sparks diversity dialogue

first_imgThis year’s performances of “Show Some Skin: It’s Complicated” aims to spark campus dialogue on normally taboo topics by dramatizing monologues submitted anonymously by members of the Notre Dame community. These provocative, deeply emotional and often humorous monologues focus on issues of sexuality, race and image, the show’s directors said. “Show Some Skin: It’s Complicated”  will be performed in the Carey Auditorium in the Hesburgh Library at 7:30 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday. While “Show Some Skin” is meant to entertain, sophomore Lucas Garcia, an assistant director for the show, said the performances try to impart deeper meeting.   “‘Show Some Skin’ is a way for students to tell each other their stories,” Garcia said. “Sometimes students don’t feel strong or courageous enough to share all of themselves face to face with other students.” Director Edithstein Cho, a junior, said this year’s performances show the intersection of individual identities with a special focus on feelings of exclusion. Last year’s show, “The Race Monologues,” centered primarily on racial or ethnic diversity. “Our production is about community-building,” Cho said. “The underlying framework is to have a place where we can talk about these issues of diversity.” Aside from issues of race, Garcia said gender, social status, sexuality, mental illness, multi-culturalism and many other categories will be addressed. “We are focusing on different facets of people’s identities that make them complicated,” Garcia said. “No one is simple. No one is just white, fat, black, gay. We’re complicated. It’s complicated … and that deserves recognition.” Senior actor Suzann Petrongolo said she sees the importance in recognizing these complexities. “We can fall into the trap of creating a generalized background. It’s good to bring to light that we all have our individual stories,” she said. “We can look at each other differently with these individual stories brought to light,” she said. Garcia said the actors themselves, charged with giving a voice to these stories, carefully work to construct their monologues with the author’s feelings in mind. “The actors must live with their pieces and work very hard to be faithful to the voice inherent in the text,” Garcia said.  Sophomore acting coach Nicole Sganga said the show transcends the ordinary limits of the stage, beyond a typical dramatic performance. “‘Show Some Skin’ is not just a performance, it is a real human experience,” she said. “By coming to the performance, students will see a side of the Fighting Irish they have never seen before and gain new perspectives.” Freshman actor Clarissa Schwab said the opportunity to perform in the show provides a chance to share personal experiences publicly. “Acting in ‘Show Some Skin’ created a safe place for me to discuss the issues brought up in the monologues, and even our own personal experiences, within a community that is founded upon love and understanding,” she said. Cho said ‘Show Some Skin’ aims to create a forum for sharing experiences for the entire campus community, opening a dialogue to discuss presumed differences that can actually unite a community. “Students come because they know this topic doesn’t have a real venue yet,” Cho said. “We want to create this space ourselves.”last_img read more

Notre Dame set to build Keough School of Global Affairs

first_imgIn August 2017, Notre Dame will open the Donald R. Keough School of Global Affairs — its first new college or school since the Mendoza College of Business was founded in 1921.A University press release issued Wednesday said the school was made possible by $50 million donated by Donald and Marilyn Keough and will be housed in Jenkins Hall, a building named for University President Fr. John Jenkins to be constructed beginning in spring 2015 on Notre Dame Ave. south of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.According to the press release, “the school will conduct research on critical issues of international development, peace, human rights and governance; offer a master’s degree in global affairs and support a range of innovative dual-degree programs and undergraduate programs to enhance students’ preparation for leadership in an increasingly interconnected world.”Current professor of history R. Scott Appleby will serve as the school’s inaugural Marilyn Keough Dean, the press release stated.The Keough School will include many already-existing international units, including the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development.Donald Keough is chairman of the board of investment banking firm Allen & Company Inc. after retiring as president and chief operating officer of The Coca-Cola Company in 1993.According to the press release, the Keoughs’ contributions have also led to the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, two endowed chairs in Irish studies, a summer internship program for Notre Dame students in Ireland, Malloy Hall, three library collections, the restoration of O’Connell House in Dublin, the Keough-Hesburgh Professorships for scholars who demonstrate a commitment to Notre Dame’s Catholic mission and the Keough Hall men’s residence.“Through the Keough School, Notre Dame will prepare students for effective and ethically grounded professional leadership in government, the private sector and global civil society, engaging them in the worldwide effort to address the greatest challenges of our century: threats to security and human dignity that come in the form of crushing poverty and underdevelopment; failed governance and corruption; resource wars; civil wars; and other forms of political violence and human rights violations,” Jenkins said in the press release.Tags: Donald R. Keough, Global Affairs, Jenkins Hall, Keough School of Global Affairs, Marilyn Keough, R. Scott Applebylast_img read more

SMC students stand up to cancer

first_imgLast week, the Saint Mary’s Stand Up to Cancer club sold T-shirts as a fundraiser for the national organization “Stand Up to Cancer” as the first of many events the club will host throughout the year to reach their fundraising goal.Photo courtesy of Christina Hutch Senior and club president Christie Hutch said the club’s mission is to host events that will raise awareness and funds for cancer research.“This organization is unique because it gives 100 percent of donations to the best and brightest scientists in order to accelerate the pace of groundbreaking research that can save lives,” Hutch said. “This is an important issue now more than ever since government funding for cancer research is diminished, and yet cancer takes one person’s life every minute.”Hutch said the club brings students of Saint Mary’s and community members together, united behind a single and very important cause with hopes to find a cure.“[Our] events, fundraisers and projects each year … have been very successful so far,” she said. “All of the money we raise is sent directly to Stand Up to Cancer at the end of each year.”The club volunteers at Memorial Hospital in South Bend and holds an annual dinner-dance specifically for cancer patients and survivors in the community, she said.Hutch said last year the club dedicated a ribbon tree in the Student Center for students and guests to tie a colored ribbon in remembrance of or support for someone who has had cancer.The club’s T-shirt sales this past week were in preparation for one of their biggest fundraisers, the third annual SMC Stands Up to Cancer Pink Party Zumbathon, she said.“We are able to raise funds and awareness for all types of cancer through this awesome organization,” Hutch said. “Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer, and that is who we’ll be dancing for. We are excited to share this experience with the community again this year.“This event unites students with community members from South Bend, Mishawaka and Granger to dance for a cure.”Hutch said student dance groups, including the SMC Dance Team, Troop ND, P Fresh and the Irish Dance Team, as well as the student a capella group Bellacapella, will perform.The event will feature more than 20 local Zumba instructors who will take turns teaching, according to a press release.Nursing major and sophomore Megan Tobin said she is going to attend the event to support people she knows who have battled cancer and her fellow Belles who have been affected by the disease.“I have witnessed family members as well as close friends battle cancer, so I want to do anything I can to support them,” Tobin said.“Not only are we able to be there for those battling, but we get to have fun and get a great workout out of it,” Tobin said. “I think it also gives people incentive to go. Before the event they think it’s just going to be a fun dance class, but after, they realize they were a part of something much bigger than that.”Sophomore Katherine Kingsbury said it’s important for the Saint Mary’s community to be aware and involved in the South Bend community, especially because it’s sometimes the small things that make the biggest impact in someone’s life.“I’m excited that I can support my community in such a fun and engaging way,” Kingsbury said.The Zumbathon will take place November 1 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Angela Athletic Facility. The public is invited to take part and no prior Zumba experience is necessary. Those attending are encouraged to wear pink and dance.Tickets can be purchased ahead of time through participating Zumba instructors or at Tu Sei Bella Fitness Studio in Toscana Park in Granger, Indiana. All profits will benefit Stand Up to Cancer in support of cancer research.Tags: Cancer research, pink party zumbathon, saint mary’s stand up to cancer, SMC stands up to cancer, Stand Up to Cancer, stand up to cancer clublast_img read more

‘Shark Tank’ judge visits campus

first_imgAddressing a maximum-capacity crowd in Mendoza’s Jordan Auditorium last Friday, investor Kevin O’Leary of the hit ABC show “Shark Tank” shared his thoughts on great entrepreneurship and judged three business proposals pitched by Notre Dame student entrepreneurs.Before transforming the auditorium into a mock ‘shark tank,’ O’Leary first explained what the show reveals about entrepreneurship.“The American Dream is alive, and we watch it happen on Shark Tank,” O’Leary said. “Watching Shark Tank is watching the pursuit of freedom.”Rosie Biehl O’Leary shared clips from a previous episode of Shark Tank in which mother-and-daughter team Tracey Noonan and Danielle Vilagie pitched their cupcake-in-a-jar business called Wicked Good Cupcakes to demonstrate how the show acts as a platform to such freedom.Noonan and Vilagie were put to what O’Leary calls the true test — taking a commodity that is ubiquitous in America and building a national brand. O’Leary said the addition of a platform like Shark Tank to a business like Wicked Good Cupcakes substantially contributes to its success and made it possible to build a national brand on something with little proprietary value. Wicked Good Cupcakes is now the fastest growing cupcake company in America.“Shark Tank is a giant platform, is a giant infomercial worth about $12 million,” O’Leary said.Following its appearance on Shark Tank, O’Leary said Wicked Good Cupcakes saw sales increase to 15 times what it was before the show aired.“The Shark Tank factor is very much alive, and I think America has figured that out,” he said.Shark Tank and entrepreneurship are all about personal freedom, and that’s why O’Leary said he came to Notre Dame — to discuss how that personal freedom can be achieved by future entrepreneurs.O’Leary organized his thoughts into three different lists that exhibit key traits necessary to becoming a successful entrepreneur.The first list he shared with the audience stated the three commonalties of all deals ever funded on Shark Tank.First was the ability of the entrepreneurs to articulate the business’ vision in 90 seconds or less. Second was their ability to convince investors that they were the right team to execute the business plan, and third was a complete comprehensive understanding of their business models and numbers.The second list elucidated six attributes of what it takes to make a great entrepreneur.The first attribute is one’s preparation to make a “life/balance sacrifice,” O’Leary said.“There will be no balance during the period you are growing your business because you have to fall in love with your business,” he said. “It must consume you. It will eat your hours. If you don’t have the passion, your competitor will.”O’Leary said great entrepreneurs have a little knowledge about everything but a lot about what they are selling. Put shareholders first, have a passion for what they sell, use technology to improve efficiency and understand business is a global competition.An entrepreneur’s concept of a global market is one of the most important attributes to have, especially in the modern business world, O’Leary said.“For the first time there are more than a billion market cap companies outside the United States … so in every industry there is a giant competitor,” he said.Addressing the students in the audience, O’Leary said when “when you graduate, think global because your competitor is, and they want your share.”After being an investor for a long time, O’Leary said businesses that sustain and maintain profits understand the following rules: employees are the primary assets and are to be anchored by culture, the customer always come first, service trumps price, the boss does not necessarily make the most money, everybody is replaceable and business is war.O’Leary said knowing business is war is of utmost importance for any entrepreneur hoping to preserve a business, and he warned prospective entrepreneurs to not be distracted by a desire to solve all of society’s problems.“Your job is go out into the world and understand who you serve, but not solve all of society’s problems,” he said. “Your job is go into war everyday and win. Stay focused to the mission that business is war.”Next, O’Leary entertained three business pitches from three groups of student entrepreneurs, and he only had harsh remarks for the first business pitch called Aerofit, a chain of airport fitness centers.“The truth is some ideas are inherently flawed and this [one] is,” he said.The second team, seniors Joe Mueller and Federico Segura, pitched their business called Sessa, a social investing app, and O’Leary said he was interested and would be in touch.The final student entrepreneur was freshmen Michael McRoskey who pitched his business called Red Bag, which sells $5 homeless care packages.O’Leary said he was reluctant to invest in the company for fear it would become more of a charity than an actual business.Audience members then voted for their favorite business idea via Poll Everywhere. Sessa won the audience vote and walked away with a $100 cash prize and an expectation of a phone call from O’Leary.O’Leary concluded his lecture with the cheer “Go Irish!” and spent the following day tailgating with fellow Irish fans before attending the Notre Dame vs. Louisville football game.Tags: entrepreneurship, Kevin O’Leary, Red Bag, Sessa, Shark Tank, Wicked Good Cupcakeslast_img read more

Three employees injured after aerosol can ruptures

first_imgTags: aerosol can, injuries, South Dining Hall Three South Dining Hall employees sustained minor injuries Thursday around 11 a.m. after an aerosol can ruptured in the kitchen of the dining hall, University spokesman Dennis Brown said.Brown said the employees were transported to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center for evaluation after the incident, which occurred when the can was accidentally exposed to heat.Brown said the kitchen was not damaged.Director of Notre Dame Food Services Chris Abayasinghe said the dining hall’s response procedure is to coordinate with other campus departments, such as the Notre Dame Fire Department, Notre Dame Security Police and Risk Management, and to review the incident afterwards.last_img

Saint Mary’s to host National History Day competiton

first_imgEvery year across the country, students channel their passion for the past through National History Day (NHD), a competition where students present projects through various media.Saint Mary’s is one such site hosting a regional NHD contest on Saturday, where students and professors will judge history projects made by local students ranging from grade to high school.Chair of the history department Bill Svelmoe said the College annually hosts this event.“Saint Mary’s has been hosting this one for many years now,” he said.The local students will present their projects mainly in Spes Unica Hall, where the history department is located.“[The projects] range from posters to papers to theatrical presentations,” history professor David Stefancic said. “And this year I have the pleasure of judging websites.”The competition organizes new themes every year. According to the National History Day website, this year’s theme is “taking a stand in history.”“The topics that I’m looking at are activism: … abolitionists, [the] Declaration of Independence, [the] Civil Rights movement in the ’50s, a young soldier from the Civil War, censorship [and] Tiananmen Square in China,” Stefancic said. “They have to do with social change and revolution.”While many history majors participate, students with any major can volunteer to judge the projects, Svelmoe said.“It’s not just [history] majors and it’s not like you have to really know what’s going on in history,” he said. “Remember, these are often little kids and, as a judge, you can request the age group [to judge].”Junior history and English literature major Brooke Lamb said it is a good opportunity for all Saint Mary’s students. Lamb said judging focuses more on the interview process and understanding what the students have put into their projects.“I think that anyone on campus could judge and [the history department is] willing to have volunteers,” Lamb said.The judges work in groups to examine and compare presentations.“You don’t judge anything by yourself — there’s usually three of you, at least, that are working together,” Svelmoe said. “It’s not all on you to crush some child’s dreams.”Judges score the students on their visuals and presentation and give feedback on the projects.“At the end of the day, you get together and you rank the presentations,” Svelmoe said. “The top ones advance [but] you try to say something encouraging about all of them.”Stefanic said student judging is a good way to see what young students are doing at lower levels.“You have a chance to see what’s going on there, particularly if you’re considering going onto teaching in grade school or junior high,” Stefancic said. “Also, you have a chance to meet some really cool kids.”The day also introduces local students to the College and Stefancic said the competition is a hidden recruiting tool for the students participating.“There have been instances where the students who were taking part of this met us and then decided to come to Saint Mary’s,” he said.Tags: Bill Svelmoe, David Stefanic, National History Day, SMC history departmentlast_img read more

Senate passes nine election reform resolutions, votes on award winners

first_imgStudent senate passed nine election reform resolutions, voted on the winners of campus-wide awards and heard from residential life regarding the incoming waiver policy Wednesday.Judicial Council president and senior Matt Ross brought the election reforms to the senate, many of which dealt with issues experienced during the previous campaign cycle.All nine passed with no more than four oppositions and abstentions by the senate members, although five members voted to end the meeting prior to discussing the proposals.One resolution prohibited candidates from promising future positions to anyone, calling this “highly unethical behavior, the penalty for which may include a maximum penalty of forfeiture of candidacy,” as the Constitution reads.“As far as why we state a maximum penalty of forfeiture … is because including that language in there indicates that it is a very serious offense,” junior parliamentarian Colin Brankin said. “[Promising positions] is something that we hold to be very, very unethical.”The chief of staff is appointed by the student body president early on in the term, raising the question of how to monitor and when to condemn promising a position like chief of staff, sophomore Claire Saltzman, senator from Ryan Hall, said.“All of these positions have to be approved by Senate,” Ross said. “That’s what you guys do the first meeting of the year, you guys approve the entire Executive Cabinet.”Sophomore William Huffman, senator from Stanford Hall, did not believe the new senators would have the knowledge and experience to deny someone a position on the senator’s first meeting.“I’m not entirely confident in that check,” he said. “I don’t think a new senate would have the confidence to deny a person.”Brankin said that to fix this issue, the entire schedule of student body elections would have to change.“That’s just kind of the fault of the system,” Brankin said. “At the very least, we do have that check in place.”The resolution to harshly punish candidates who promise positions to constituents passed with no abstentions or opposing votes.The senate also passed a resolution allowing election allegations or appeals to be withdrawn before the allegation or appeal meeting takes place.“This was a question we ran into this year as to whether or not that’s allowed, so we want to make sure that we know that it is allowed,” Ross said.The party that submits the allegation or appeal would be the only party able to withdraw it, and would have to do so in writing.“If you have the allegation submitted, then the Judicial Council is aware that something is happening,” junior James Deitsch, senator for Fisher Hall, said. “Then the Judicial Council is just sitting on information that a candidate broke a rule?”However, the Judicial Council is restricted in their ability to act on unfiled election allegations.“I mean, we do that now,” Ross said. “People come to the office and say, ‘Oh, I saw this happening but I don’t want to file anything.’ I don’t have the power to launch an allegation.”Along with Deitsch, junior Sebastian Lopez, senator for O’Neill Hall, and junior chief of staff Prathm Juneja supported amending Judicial Council’s ability to follow through on unfiled allegations in the future.“I wonder if we could build an investigative arm into Judicial Council,” Juneja said.Next Wednesday is the current senate’s final meeting of its term, making that day the last time it would be able to make the change.The senate also passed resolutions allowing petitioning and campaigning in the Duncan Student Center, requiring the release of student body election turnout and result percentages, allowing the Judicial Council vice president to attend appeal meetings and giving senate the ability to temporarily suspend any rule of the Constitution by a five-sixths vote.Margaret Morgan, director of residential life, and Heather Rakoczy Russell, associate vice president for residential life, discussed the waiver policy for the six-semester housing requirement.“The waiver process has not been built yet,” Russell said. “The listening sessions we’ve been engaging students in is to ask if you have any strong feelings about what that waiver should look like, or what it shouldn’t look like.”Based on their conversations with students, Residential Life is looking into a system that uses campus allies to advocate for students who wish to waive the housing requirement, Russell said.“[Allies] could be other administrators, but people who students would feel comfortable telling their stories to and those people could be trained in a way that they could make the recommendation to Residential Life and preserve the anonymity,” Russell said.The ally system uses the same advocacy idea as the waiver system designed by the Waiver Policy Subcommittee of student senate.Residential Life also hopes to make interhall transfer easier in the future, in order to encourage students to remain on campus and allow them to live where they want, Russell said.Student senate also approved the nomination of Matt Ross for the Michael J. Palumbo Award.Sara Dugan, senior class president and acting chair of the Student Union Ethics Commission, nominated Ross for the award.“As Judicial Council president, Matthew has displayed exemplary fairness, commitment and ethicality throughout his term,” Dugan said. “Matthew also worked tirelessly, honorably and empathetically during a particularly demanding election cycle this spring.”Brankin, who, as parliamentarian, works closely with Ross, also supported the nomination.“I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award,” Brankin said. “He is one of the nicest and most genuine people you’ll ever meet.”Student senate voted on the recipients of the Frank O’Malley Undergraduate Teaching Award and the two Irish Clover awards.Nancy Michael, an assistant teaching professor of neuroscience and behavior, won the O’Malley award, and Fr. Don LaSalle and senior student body president Rebecca Blais won the Irish Clover awards.“Now seeing how much Prathm and Sib and Becca do as the leaders of the student body, for Becca to be vice president and know how much work it is, and then still want to be president this year, that just shows her dedication to student government,” Huffman said.Tags: Frank O’Malley Undergraduate Teaching Award, irish clover award, Michael J. Palumbo Award, ND student senate, Office of Housing, residential life, Senate, student body president elections, student senatelast_img read more

Saint Mary‘s implements new environmental studies major

first_imgThis academic school year marks the official launching of a new major in environmental studies offered at Saint Mary’s. Last spring, the program was approved by the Academic Affairs Counsel after a yearlong process of researching and planning for the curriculum. Historically, implementing a new major requires a two-year period in order to thoroughly understand the program’s vision, cost and demand, professor of environmental studies Christopher Cobb said. However, Cobb and professor of biology Cassie Majetic co-chaired the initiative on an accelerated time table to create the environmental studies major in one year. Cobb said one of the major motivating factors throughout the process was living out the College’s mission.Majetic said ever since the minor was established seven years ago, students have always shown interest toward majoring in environmental studies. Within two years, questions regarding a major surfaced. One Saint Mary’s student developed her own “student designed” major in environmental studies when the minor was the only option, Majetic said. Now, environmental studies is a significant interest among the students. Majetic said she spent the entirety of 2017’s summer developing the program’s core elements. In the following months, an innovation team composed of Saint Mary’s faculty from 15 different departments formed to propel the project further. The variety of faculty ranged from departments such as biology, philosophy, English, political science, art, education, math, economics and more.“We wanted a truly interdisciplinary program,” she said. “We wanted the major to be authentically Saint Mary’s.” The innovation team’s efforts culminated into a final proposal, which was presented to the Board of Trustees and then approved by the Academic Affairs Counsel. Once the new major was publicly announced, a number of Saint Mary’s students asked about declaring a major in environmental studies.“Admissions is super excited to advertise the new major,” Majetic added.In accordance with the College’s mission statement, Cobb said the class reflects themes from “Laudato Si,” Pope Francis’s encyclical on care for the environment. “‘Laudato si,’ [Pope Francis’s encyclical letter] makes it clear that everyone is called to creation care,” he said. “Environmental justice is very much a part of the charism of the Sisters [of the Holy Cross]. The direction we are going is very much consistent with their mission.”In addition, Cobb shared some of the team’s intentions that helped sculpt the vision of this program. “We were mindful that we wanted the major to connect with the natural area, the sustainable farm and the built environment of the campus as a space for learning about and practicing sustainability,” he said.Majetic said she was willing to meet with any students who have questions regarding the new major.She said she believes instituting the major aligns with Saint Mary’s’ Catholic mission.“We think, as a Catholic institution, we have a call to this work,” she said. “We have students who are very interested in this kind of work.”Tags: Academic Affairs Counsel, environmental studies, majorslast_img read more

Alumnae panelists discuss being women of color in college and beyond

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s Department of Psychological Studies, the Black Student Union, Providing Options and the Career Crossings Office teamed up to present an alumnae panel to students Wednesday evening to address questions about how alumna of color use their Saint Mary’s education and make an impact on their communities after graduation.The panel included Romona Bethany ’04, JAG specialist at Washington High School, Leila Ellis ’15, a program manager at Notre Dame, Ashley Harrison ’07, director of finance at the Logan Center, Kimmi Troy ’00, co-owner of TSB Fitness Studio and Deanna Ward ’01, school counselor at Discovery Middle School. The panel was hosted by senior psychology major Acacia Malone.The panel began with each person describing their own experience at the College. Ellis said Saint Mary’s wasn’t initially where she most wanted to attend college.“My first choice was actually the University of Michigan,” Ellis said. “I actually didn’t find out that I was accepted there until after I had started [at Saint Mary’s], but I don’t regret anything. I got the best of both worlds here, with Notre Dame right across the street.” Ellis said it took some time for her to grow into her role on campus.“Use your resources and don’t be afraid to make connections,” Ellis said. “I was an extremely shy student and it was a little challenging starting off. I only managed to branch out once I went to Notre Dame. I found a home there and in making those connections I was able to bring those skills back to Saint Mary’s. It was my junior year where I felt I really prospered.”Much of Ellis’ success can be credited to the relationships she formed with employees of the College, she said.“Meeting the faculty and administrators really helped me to figure out what my niche was,” she said. “I’m finally on the right track and I owe that to Saint Mary’s.”Harrison said Saint Mary’s helps instill a confidence vital to professional success. “Saint Mary’s gave me confidence to tackle the things that I wouldn’t want to do,” Harrison said. “The school does a great job of instilling the values and virtues that I needed to succeed. My professors had a lot of confidence in me that I didn’t even have in myself. It’s not the classes or the subjects that help you succeed, it’s that feeling of empowerment.”Troy also said students should be open to new experiences and go to events. “You never know what’s going to come out of that event that you went to, but maybe didn’t want to,” she said. Of course, college is difficult, but Troy said she came to appreciate her time at Saint Mary’s after her graduation.“The love grows once you’re out,” she said. “I’m originally from Detroit and it was a difficult transition to make. I was suddenly in a small community with people who had never interacted with African-American women before or only knew what they had learned on TV. … Once you graduate that lack of knowledge or racial bias does not change. It morphs into something different. Those experiences helped shape me.” Troy also said there are many ways for African-American students to feel more welcome in the Saint Mary’s community. “For me it was the extremely present history of the college,” Troys said. “There are historical images, buildings and the stories of the founders and Sister Madeleva that are everywhere. Once I believed that I was a part of that, that this is my school too it sort of became an instant sisterhood.” Women of color should feel empowered to become more involved in the Saint Mary’s community, Harrison said. “It’s all about the mindset,” she said. “You really need to believe that this is where I am, I’m not going to leave. Get involved — recognize that it might be intimidating, but embrace what you have. You only have four years, make the most of it.”Offering some of her own advice, Ellis said students should be bold in building relationships.“Use your resources,” she said. “They could be anything, not just professors or faculty members, they could be your friends or upperclasswomen. Don’t be afraid to jump in, don’t be afraid to reach out or to keep in touch.” Ellis also said she encourages students to work to overcome the mental setbacks they may face. “If you let that voice in your head that says you can’t do it stop you, you’re always going to be stuck at point A. Don’t let it,” she said. Harrison said it is important for students of color to move past their feelings of fear in order to embrace the Saint Mary’s community. “Once you get over that feeling, know that it is a family,” she said. “Regardless of race, regardless of ethnicity, we are a sisterhood.” The panel went on to discuss the importance of an education in breaking down prejudices.“There are a lot of stereotypes about me,” Harrison said. “But I have an awesome education and once I open my mouth I knock those stereotypes down and that’s what will help you succeed.”The panel then received questions from the audience. In response to a question about how Saint Mary’s could become more inclusive to women of color and attract more African-American students, Troy said the alumnae of the College need to stay in touch.“I think there needs to be more of a commitment to alumnae staying connected,” Troy said. “We need the school to facilitate the connection. … I don’t think you need outside firms, have women of color go to high schools around the country, even if just for an hour.” Ellis said her own experiences with Saint Mary’s recruiting reveal some of the problems of their current recruitment strategy.“When I was in high school and the Saint Mary’s representative came, it was honestly kind of off putting to have a Caucasian woman talking about diversity,” she said. “It made me wonder if she really knew what it was like to deal with issues of diversity and inclusion.”Faculty members at the College should emphasize being open to working with minority students, Ellis said.“Professors need to put that foot forward,” she said. “You don’t always get the warm and fuzzy feeling from teachers. In a lot of cases students will not share their stories unless they really feel comfortable.” Tags: alumnae panel, College Recruitment, Diversity, Saint Mary’s Collegelast_img read more

Civil rights movement leader speaks at annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day luncheon

first_imgAs part of Notre Dame’s “Walk the Walk Week” and in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the campus community joined together for a luncheon at the Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center. After a choral performance and an opening invocation, Diane Nash — a civil rights movement leader who helped integrate lunch counters and organize the iconic Freedom Riders — spoke with a panel of students and faculty about civil rights, nonviolence and the fight for justice. Events like these that bring people together in remembrance of history, Nash said, are healthy and beneficial for a community. However, she added “history’s most important function, though, is to help us cope with the present.”To truly honor King and the legacy of the civil rights movement, Nash said, holidays and monuments do not suffice — Americans must continue nonviolent movements which resist systems of oppression.“The Wright brothers were probably pretty good guys,” Nash said. “Wouldn’t it have been a shame if we had dedicated a holiday to them and never developed their invention — developed aviation? We would have missed out on a lot.”Nash noted, however, that substantive activism requires courage and sacrifice. She recounted a time she spoke at a college and a student asked her, “How can I make a social change and not get my professors angry with me?” “My response was, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’” Nash said. “I told that young lady about the many students in the 1960s who were expelled from school for participating in the civil rights movement. And that’s not even to mention those who were severely wounded, who went to jail and those who were killed. So, sacrifice is necessary.”Nash added that social movements begin when a persecuted group of people decide to stand up for the rights of themselves and others in their community. Genevieve Redsten | The Observer Diane Nash, a Civil Rights activist who advocated for lunch counter integration and organized the Freedom Riders, spoke Monday at the annual luncheon honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. as part of Walk the Walk Week.“Oppression always requires the participation of the oppressed,” Nash said. “If the oppressed withdraw their participation from that oppressive system, the system will fall.”Nash invoked the example of the Montgomery bus boycott, during which oppressed, black Americans refused to ride on the city’s segregated public buses. By withdrawing financial support from the oppressive system, Nash said, they forced the system to fall.But, Nash added, real nonviolent social movements require more than mere protest. First, they must educate the oppressed, educate their oppressors and negotiate with their oppressors, she said. Demonstration and resistance, she said, should only follow once these earlier steps are complete. Even after social movements make progress, Nash added, their work cannot end — they must fight to make sure the oppressive system does not repeat itself.Senior Kenzie Isaac, the director of diversity and inclusion for Notre Dame’s student government, asked Nash how she practiced self-care while working long hours to organize students — and while facing racist violence in the process.“I don’t think I was able to do a lot of self-care apart from the movement itself,” Nash said, but she added that the very act of resisting was restorative.“Not to resist being oppressed and discriminated against like that was unacceptable,” Nash said. “The movement itself was self-care.”Although Nash’s activism was primarily focused on ending racial segregation and racism, Isaac asked how other forms of oppression factored into her work.“You were a young person when you started out in the movement, you were a woman and, to tie all that together, you were an African American woman,” Isaac said. “And so, I’d like to hear more about how you being young and you being a woman in this male-dominated [movement] informed your approach to activism — and what sort of barriers or benefits that posed throughout your work.”Throughout her work in the civil rights movement, Nash said she faced sexist discrimination from other male civil rights leaders.“Women were very active in the civil rights movement. Women did everything that men did,” Nash said. “But it hadn’t occurred to us that the same thing that we were saying about justice and equality in the race were applicable to gender.”As new leaders undertake the fight for social justice, Libby Moyer, a panel member and a second-year Notre Dame law student, asked Nash what role white allies should assume. Nash agreed that white allies were essential to the civil rights movement — and continue to be important — but that black Americans nonetheless need their own independent activist spaces.“I also think it’s important for descendants of enslaved Africans in this country to have organizations and movements of our own. The civil rights movement was a movement of black students supported by black communities to eliminate segregation. We had white support,” Nash said.By assuming leadership roles and creating all-black movements, Nash said, black social justice leaders aren’t simply sidelining white allies.“If you make decisions about your household — if you decided that you need a refrigerator and what kind of refrigerator you need — and only you and your spouse make that decision, that doesn’t mean that you hate the man across the street,” Nash said.Before the event came to a close, Nash addressed the students in the crowd.“As you go through life, you will have decisions to make, and my advice would be [to] always make the decision that will make you admire and respect the person you see in the mirror,” she said.Tags: Diane Nash, Martin Luther King Celebration Luncheon, Martin Luther King Jr., MLK Day, Walk the Walk Weeklast_img read more