LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — An attack on a gay Louisiana teenager is now being prosecuted as a hate crime. Police initially said they didn’t see evidence of a hate crime in the attack on Holden White, who spent days in a coma and nearly a month in the hospital. Chance Seneca pleaded not guilty to attempted murder after allegedly choking White with a cord and slicing open his wrists. Prosecutors added the hate crime charge last week. Seneca’s attorney said his client would also plead not guilty to the hate crime charge. The two teens met on Grindr, a dating app for gay, bisexual and transgender men.
For a second year in a row, Waste-Free Wednesdays have challenged students to eat and drink consciously in the dining hall during the month of November. The challenge, organized and directed by senior Elizabeth Davis, reduced monthly waste by more than half last year, and similar success was found this year. Davis said the project met its primary goals. “We had a two-fold goal: to decrease the amount of liquid and food waste, of course, but also to increase awareness of how much we were wasting,” Davis said. The challenge was created through a partnership through the Office of Sustainability, Food Services and the GreeND Club. Students with no leftover food or drink on their trays were given raffle tickets, which could be entered into a drawing for 100 free Flex Points. “The partnership between the three groups allowed there to be a student arm collaborating with the administrative aspect as well,” she said. Analysis of the typical student eating patterns showed that at the beginning of the year, the average patron of South Dining Hall wasted 6.01 ounces of food per meal. The November data revealed that this number has fallen to 5.11 ounces — a 15 percent decrease. North Dining Hall increased its waste slightly during the challenge, going from 3.27 ounces to 3.34 ounces wasted. Combined, the campus decreased from 4.26 to 4.23 ounces wasted per person per meal. “We did pretty well, since the recorded total number of people who didn’t waste in both dining halls was 949,” Davis said. “The exciting thing is, if we maintain this level of reduction, we’ll be saving 67,500 pounds of food per year in South Dining Hall.” Davis said some of the reduction could be attributed to the smaller trays now used in South Dining Hall, but that the project’s work to increase awareness was also a definite success. “It’s so easy to just take more food than you need when you’re going through the dining hall,” Davis said. “If people kept the project’s idea in the back of their minds, we could save an unbelievable amount of food.” Sophomore Tim Bontrager was named winner of the raffle Wednesday and was awarded the 100 Flex Points. Davis said one common misconception about dining hall waste blames Food Services for the waste problems, claiming the organization makes too much food and disposes of it after each meal. However, Davis said, leftover cooked food is donated to two local homeless shelters and not added to the wasted food total. While the University is very conscious of food disposal, little can be done with the leftovers that students leave on their trays, and by addressing this issue, the Waste-Free project solves a different aspect of the dining hall sustainability problem, she said. “We really wanted to create a positive image for the whole thing, instead of making people feel reprimanded for wasting,” Davis said. “If we can continue this trend, we can make a big difference.”
As Saint Mary’s students wrap up a week full of tests, quizzes and paper, they also prepare to head off campus for spring break to locations across the country and world. Junior Mariah Niedbalski will head to the sunny southwest in Albuquerque, N.M. to be reunited with her older sister. “We’re going camping. I’m really excited, but I am afraid of bears, so I am also nervous,” Niedbalski said. “We are also going to see a Goya exhibit. Being an Art History major, [that] makes me really excited.” Although many students are headed to warmer destinations to escape the dreary Indiana weather, some have less typical plans. Junior Caitlyn Paulsen is staying in the United States to spend time with her boyfriend, who lives in Ireland, but will visit over break. “My boyfriend that I met in Ireland is from Spain [and he] is coming to visit me and we are going to do some traveling,” Paulsen said. The couple will visit Chicago, Boston and Newport, R.I., where Paulsen has family. “I haven’t seen [him] in five months,” she said. “He’s going to meet my family for the first time.” While Paulsen’s boyfriend is arriving from Europe, juniors Erin Coen and Katie Schultheis are headed there. “We studied abroad [in Ireland] spring semester of our sophomore year and are going back to visit friends,” Coen said. Coen and Schultheis said they loved Europe so much that they are headed back there for a full week. The two Saint Mary’s juniors said they plan to visit Dublin and Maynooth, places where they studied. “[We have] no plans but to hang out with [Irish] friends,” Schultheis said. “I wouldn’t mind being stuck in Ireland. I wouldn’t be too torn up about it.” Schultheis said she is most looking forward to “just being back and seeing everyone again.” Many other students this break will choose to go home for the week. Sophomore Colette Curtis will return to her home in Marshall, Mich. “I’m really looking forward to seeing my dog and my family,” Curtis said, “I miss my family.”,After a hectic midterms week filled with study sessions, late nights and too much caffeine, most Notre Dame students are eagerly looking forward to spring break. Senior Christopher Stare said he will spend his spring break on a five-day cruise in the Bahamas, where he hopes to relax and forget about the concerns of school life. “I’m looking forward to getting away from the stressors of everyday life and getting back to the things that really matter: fun, friends and more fun,” Stare said. Other students, such as sophomore Marissa Bulso, will travel across the pond to Europe. Bulso is taking a trip with her college seminar class to Chartres, France, where the group will study and create a presentation on the Chartres Cathedral. “Chartres Cathedral is one of my favorite examples of Gothic architecture,” Bulso said. “Having the chance to study it and then see it in person is an amazing opportunity ¾ exactly the kind of opportunity you associate with studying at this University.” Sophomore Katie Carter will escape South Bend for a week of Florida sunshine. Carter said she is road-tripping with her roommates to Santa Rosa Beach. She said the vacation will be worth the long commute. “Even though the drive is sure to be extremely long, I’m really excited for a week of warm relaxation, especially after this busy week of midterms,” she said. Sophomore Benjamin Redgrave has more unconventional plans for his spring vacation. He will first road trip to New York and Maryland with six of his close friends, and then will spend the rest of break on a college seminar class field trip to Twin Oaks, a utopian community in Virginia. “While the long drive with friends is sure to be fun, I’m really looking forward to sight-seeing in New York and visiting an actual utopian community,” Redgrave said. Other students, such as sophomore Ronnie Seman, will return home over break, using the time to reunite with friends and family. Seman said he is especially excited to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with his friends at the University of Pittsburgh. “I’m really looking forward to bringing the ‘Irish spirit’ to UPitt,” Seman said. Others plan to remain at Notre Dame over spring break. Junior Alex Bowman, who is remaining on campus, said he is optimistic about a week of warm weather. “The weather promises to be a balmy 45 most of the week, so maybe if I turn the radiator up high enough it’ll feel like I’m in Florida,” he said. Although excited to take time off, students leaving campus said they will miss aspects of their life at Notre Dame, even in just the brief week away. “I will, of course, miss my several close friends that I have made while here at Notre Dame,” Bulso said. “I will also miss seeing the Golden Dome. I feel like Mary greets me everyday on the way to class, reminding me to keep everything in perspective.”
Theology professor Fr. Brian Daley received the 2012 Ratzinger Prize in Theology, also known as the “Nobel Prize of Theology,” for his work in studying the early Church. Pope Benedict XVI will officially present Daley with the honor Oct. 20 in Rome. The annual Ratzinger Prize recognizes “distinguished scholarship in scripture, patristics and fundamental theology,” according to a University press release. Daley said the award reflects the Pope’s personal theological interests. “When the Pope was just Joseph Ratzinger and a professor of theology, he worked on contemporary theology, but was very strongly interested in the Bible, the early Church and the medieval Church,” Daley said. “So I think they try to honor those interests of his when they give out the prizes.” The other recipient of this year’s award is RÃ©mi Brague, a French Catholic philosopher who will visit campus next week. Daley said he is excited for his friends in Rome to attend the award ceremony and to shake hands with the Pope, whom he had the opportunity to meet briefly at a theology conference in the 1970s. “I see theology as a service to the Church, really, so it’s very moving for me to have some sort of recognition from the Church that commemorates our present Holy Father, who is one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century, and I look forward to meeting him,” Daley said. Daley said the award came to him as a complete surprise, but he feels honored for the Pope to personally recognize his work. “It’s simply a kind of vote of confidence from the Holy Father, who is a theologian, and who especially is interested in theology of the early Church and the Middle Ages,” Daley said. Daley said he considers his work part of a greater whole. “I see what I do as a theologian as very much part of the Church’s pastoral mission. … I don’t see a strong line between theology and preaching,” he said. “When I’m preaching at a liturgy, what I try to do is make the Word of God accessible to people and let it come alive. “My teaching, too, I see as trying to move from faith to understanding, to help people get a deeper grasp on what the faith of the Church is.” The Department of Theology at Notre Dame shares a similar perspective on its academic discipline, and Daley said the award reflects the quality of the department as a whole. “My sense of what theology is widely shared in the department. It’s a department that really does see its role as providing the understanding for faith,” Daley said. “Most people see their role as being part of the believing community, and everyone in the department is a person of faith.” Daley said he tries to be a minister of the Church through teaching, preaching and scholarship to the best of his abilities. “I love the Church and I try to represent the wisdom of the Church in what I do,” he said.
Saint Mary’s has partnered with Elkhart Community Schools to launch a Laboratory School Network, serving the county school system while expanding the College’s education program. The program began last summer with funding from an Elkhart County Community Foundation grant. The arrangement allows for a three-year partnership with the county, the College and Indiana University South Bend (IUSB), according to a College press release. A report in The Elkhart Truth said the Laboratory School Network’s goals are “to improve student learning, to reduce summer learning loss and to increase the application of research-based practices in elementary classrooms.” During the summer, students in the Laboratory School Network worked with Saint Mary’s education majors at Cleveland Elementary. Senior education majors Ellen Smith, Megan Calender, Griffin Bemisderfer, Kaley Jones and Allison Vasile participated in the new partnership this summer. Smith said the six-week experience furthered her development as an education major. “This summer I taught first grade summer school and it was an incredible experience,” Smith said. “It was so rewarding for myself and for my students because we always were learning from each other and I was able to practice being a teacher. “Saint Mary’s does so much to help make an impact in our schools by giving these students another positive adult in their lives.” Director of Media Relations Gwen O’Brien said in the press release that the mission of the Laboratory School Network is “to support learning for [Elkhart Community Schools] students and the professional development of pre-service teachers from Saint Mary’s.” According to The Elkhart Truth, “student teachers had taken it on their own to write grants for Saint Mary’s spiral notebooks, folders, pencils and other supplies that each student at Cleveland’s program will receive.” The program benefited the students’ education during summer, a time in which students often forget about schoolwork. It also offered Saint Mary’s students the experience of working with children in a classroom. According to an Elkhart Community Schools report, “Saint Mary’s and IUSB are the first higher education schools to put programs in operation … These lab schools are the first summer laboratory schools in northern Indiana public school setting.” Contact Christin Kloski at email@example.com
Three Notre Dame professors debated the limits of corporations’ responsibility to pay taxes Wednesday night in the Jordan Auditorium of the Mendoza College of Business in a panel discussion titled, “Greed and Taxes in Business,” the third part of the Berges Lecture Series on Ethics. Professor Joseph Holt, Professor Brian Levey, and Professor Kenneth Milani, all faculty of the Mendoza College of Business, examined the issue from different perspectives. Levey, a business law professor, spoke first from a largely legal perspective and argued that corporations should pay as little taxes as they can. “It is the duty of a director of a corporation to promote value of the corporation and, to do so, pay as low taxes required,” Levey said. “If I were still in practice, I would still not advise my client to pay more in taxes than they are legally required.” Deficits are the fault of the government, Levey said, citing that the 2011 tax code was 72,530 pages and that America’s inordinately high tax rate is 35 percent compared to the world average of 14 percent. Milani called upon his experience as an accountant to describe the tax situation for businesses. “Taxes are [the] third or fourth largest expenditure of business after wages, salaries, materials and advertising,” Milani said. “But here’s the rest of the story … they are telling you half-truths … It is true that the corporate tax rate is 35 percent but no country hands out credits like we do … The key is effective tax rate, which is 12 percent. “And it makes my blood boil when [people representing corporations] go on talk radio and throw that number a lot.” Holt addressed corporations’ taxes from a moral standpoint. “Look to the principle maximum … Society runs off of business and business runs off of society and business cannot succeed where society is failing,” he said. “… There is a difference from not being in trouble and being exemplary.” The next lecture in the series will take place Sept. 30. The topic of the next lecture will be “Long Term Principles in a Short Term World,” given by John Donovan, senior executive vice president of AT&T Technology and Network Operations.
Students of political science, economics and sociology can expect a new academic home in fall 2017. A gift from Robert and Elizabeth Nanovic, the largest in the history of the College of Arts and Letters, will fund Nanovic Hall on Notre Dame Avenue, south of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. The building will contain classrooms, faculty offices and laboratory and research space for those three departments. John McGreevy, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, said the gift would be a “breakthrough” for Notre Dame’s social sciences. “We’ve never had a building for the social sciences at Notre Dame,” he said. “It’s going to have great space in the building with classrooms and faculty offices and space for research, so we’re going to get the kind of student contact – where students come out of class and go right to a faculty office or right to a research lab – that we don’t always get at Notre Dame’s academic buildings. I think it could be – to use an overused word – really transformational for those departments.” Robert Nanovic is a 1954 graduate of Notre Dame who has served on the advisory council of the College of Arts and Letters since 1993, McGreevy said. “[The Nanovics] are longtime and extraordinary benefactors to the University. They’ve given money for scholarships, for programs, most notably thus far for the Nanovic Institute for European Studies,” McGreevy said. McGreevy said the choice to combine economics, political science and sociology was aimed at consolidating the three departments into one location from buildings across campus. These departments also share a strong connection with the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, he said. “They’re the three departments that probably have the closest ties to our international institutes,” McGreevy said. Professor Rory McVeigh, chair of the Department of Sociology, said he expects more interchange among the departments and the international institutes. “I think that one of the main benefits will be bringing us closer together with colleagues in political science and in economics, but also bringing us closer together with the international institutes,” McVeigh said. “Several of our faculty members and students are affiliated with international institutes such as Kroc and Kellogg, and we are currently separated on opposite ends of the campus.” McGreevy said the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, which was funded by a gift from the Nanovic family in 1992 and is currently housed in Brownson Hall, will move to Nanovic Hall when it opens. “It will be neat to have the Nanovic Institute and Nanovic Hall right together,” McGreevy said. Professor A. James McAdams, director of the Nanovic Institute, said he is very grateful that the institute will have a new location. “We truly appreciate this extraordinary gift from the Nanovic family,” McAdams said. “Nanovic Hall will bring the Nanovic Institute to the center of campus, making it more accessible for all of our students. … Finally, we will have a permanent space to call our own.”
The Saint Mary’s Math Club and math honor society, Pi Mu Epsilon, held a presentation about the world’s largest mathematics conference Wednesday afternoon in Madeleva Hall about their experience attending the Joint Mathematics Meeting (JMM) Conference.Nine members of the Saint Mary’s chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon discussed their January trip to the conference in Baltimore.“Mathematics is such a powerful, universal subject, that people from around the world can embrace it and learn more, together,” senior Brianne Michaels, president of Pi Mu Epsilon, said. “This meeting offers students the opportunity to learn about topics outside of the Saint Mary’s curriculum. The meeting also offers an abundance of networking opportunities and the opportunity to meet many new people from around the country and the world.”Junior Chloe McColgan, a Pi Mu Epsilon member and Notre Dame engineer, said the conference drew a global audience.“People came from all over the world to speak and to hear about math education,” she said. “As a student, I attended the conference because I wanted to listen to the many panel discussions that were going on, and to learn more about math and its applications.”Senior Devree Stopczynski said the Saint Mary’s students spent two full days at the conference, beginning from 8 or 9 a.m. and lasting until the late afternoon.Junior Meredith McGee, Pi Mu Epsilon treasurer, said she particularly enjoyed the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) committee on the participation of women poster session.“This event allowed us to see what institutions, such as other colleges or programs, were doing to interest middle and high school students about mathematics and other STEM careers,” McGee said. “Mostly, the programs that we heard about were for girls, minorities and the financially disadvantaged, which are often underrepresented in these fields.“Coming from a women’s college, it was exciting to hear about such efforts to encourage more female students to explore mathematics and to experience the different applications it can have.”McColgan discussed her favorite panel discussion, which focused on “the math behind origami.” She said she was intrigued by the ways to interest younger students, especially girls, in mathematics.Michaels said an unprecedented number of students, six seniors and three juniors, had the opportunity to attend the conference.“The mathematics education at Saint Mary’s is outstanding, but it is important to also, experience mathematics outside of the classroom,” she said.Tags: Pi Mu Epsilon, SMC Math Club
Michael Yu | The Observer Professor emeritus of history George Marsden gave a lecture entitled “Beyond Liberalism and Culture Wars: A More Inclusive Pluralism,” followed by panel responses by two Notre Dame professors on Friday.Speaking in the first installment of the Professors for Lunch talks sponsored by the Potenziani Minor in Constitutional Studies, Marsden described the development of American religious culture over the last several decades.Beginning in the 1950s, there was a gradual movement away from mainstream American Protestantism, Marsden said.“Religion was important in American culture, but until [the 1950s], the religion that was accepted was Protestantism,” he said. “So there was religion in the public life, but it also privileged one tradition at the expense of others.”Further diminishing Protestantism’s role in mainstream culture, Marsden said, was the rise of the counter-culture movement in the 1960s.“The counter-culture movement challenged the predominantly white Anglo-Saxon Protestant establishment,” he said. “Many of the mainstream Protestant denominations took that to heart, and there was a rapid moving away from any distinctly sectarian dimensions.”During the 1970s, both the idea that religion was a private matter and the assumption that secularized values would replace traditional ones gained acceptance in mainstream culture, Marsden said.In subsequent decades, Marsden said a growing religious right has proposed to reverse the absence of religion in public culture but has fallen short.“Ultimately, the proposals tend to be simplistic … and center around restoring Judeo-Christian consensus,” he said. “So, in effect, what the right is doing is proposing something like the golden former Protestant establishment.“These sorts of proposals then lead to the standoffs of the culture wars. The secularists want privatization. … From the right, there are more and more strident demands that society needs to go back to conservative Protestantism.”Marsden said no major religious group in America presents a compelling theory on religious pluralism, but tolerance of religious diversity nonetheless needs to be cultivated.In proposing a solution to religious intolerance, Marsden cited Abraham Kuyper, a 19th-century Dutch statesmen, who proposed “to look to a tradition that makes religious pluralism into a principle … the tradition which is today principled pluralism.”“He argued that healthy societies ought to cultivate religious difference,” he said.The government, Marsden said, should recognize the rights of religious communities “to maintain their own institutions, associations of charitable works and schools free from ideologically-based regulation.”“If American life is healthier by honoring the diversity that we have … there should be an equal honoring of religious diversity,” he said.History professor Mark Noll said in response there were three factors in American society that prevented the implementation of a Kuyperian religious pluralism: electoral exclusion, educational exclusion and subverted subsidiarity — a move away from decentralization.“America’s two-party political tradition … makes it very difficult to produce the kind of pluralism that would diffuse the culture wars … that we have experienced over the last 30 years,” Noll said.He said public school education contributes to making religious pluralism untenable in American society.“The American public school system has always been hegemonic, discriminatory, homogenizing,” Noll said. “On the other side, it’s also the most celebrated icon of democracy, freedom and the American way.”Noll said subverted subsidiarity, the third factor barring the promotion of religious pluralism, stemmed from the success of the civil rights movements applied too extensively in addressing local issues.“The civil rights movement became the unthinking modern paradigm and exemplar of all forms of public ethics,” he said. “This is rhetoric out of control because it looks to the expansion of central government power as the remedy for local ills and disagreements.”Philosophy professor John O’Callaghan spoke last on the panel.Although some scholars believe religious pluralism is a post-modern development, the pluralism that both Kuyper and Marsden advocate for is actually a “pre-modern” belief founded on Augustinian principles, O’Callaghan said.“Augustine distinguishes two different senses of belief,” he said. “There’s the belief that such and such is the case. We might call this belief in a fact. But the other belief that is arguably more important for Augustine is the sense in which we say ‘I believe you.’ That’s believing a person. And, for Augustine, it is that sort of believing a person that makes believing a fact the starting point of understanding.”O’Callaghan said a Kuyperian religious pluralism, based on Augustine’s philosophical tenets, seeks to learn more from others based on the assumption that one does not know.“That is the origin for Augustine,” he said. “The thought that it is standing in relation to others who know what we do not know that we come to know and understand what we do not otherwise know and understand.”Tags: history, Kuyper, Marsden, Potenziani Minor in Constitutional Studies, Professors for Lunch, Protestantism, religion
Social Justice in American Medicine (SJAM), a campus organization that studies healthcare injustices and participates in related community service, is raising money to build flu kits for the Sr. Maura Brannick Clinic in South Bend. The club is hosting a fundraiser at Five Guy’s Burgers and Fries on Eddy Street all day Tuesday, Nov. 18, on behalf of the clinic dedicated to serving those in the South Bend community without health insurance.“As we all know, South Bend winters are no joke, nor are the bouts of flu that sweep the local and student populations,” SJAM co-president junior David Boothe said. “Every year we make flu kits containing things like water and ibuprofen that we donate to the clinic so that the clinic can give them to its underserved patients to help mollify the sometimes debilitating flu symptoms.”Junior Nick Walter, SJAM co-president, said the club will receive 25 percent of the profits from Five Guy’s customers that specifically state that they are with the SJAM fundraiser. “The flu-kit project is always our most expensive and biggest group donation every year, with a cost of around $600. Our hope is to cover at least half of that cost with this fundraiser,” he said.Besides the annual flu kit project, Boothe said the club hosts talks from various medical lecturers and organizes movie watches for topical films.SJAM recently began teaching nutrition classes at the South Bend Center for the Homeless and is currently trying to make volunteer connections with other South Bend medical organizations, Walter said.“Our mission as a club is to educate our members about social injustices that particularly involve medicine and healthcare,” Walter said. “We then also do our part as volunteers in the community to help correct these injustices by helping the underserved in the local South Bend area.”Boothe said the club focuses specifically on how the issues plaguing the American health care system especially affect the underprivileged — the group most likely to be susceptible to the system’s shortcomings.“The medical system in American is a faulted system … and no matter what walk of life you take, it will affect you in one way or another,” Boothe said. “Through discussion and action, SJAM seeks to spawn the future generations of informed citizens and medical professionals who can make an impact in steering our system to the better.”SJAM meetings are held every other Thursday at 8 p.m. in LaFortune, with a meeting being held this week. For more information about the club or how to get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.Tags: Five Guy’s, SJAM, Social Justice in American Medicine, Sr. Maura Brannick Clinic