Senate approves COR merger resolution

first_imgAfter much debate, Student Senate passed a resolution combining Senate with the Council of Representatives (COR) at its meeting Wednesday. In his State of the Union address prior to the vote, student body president Pat McCormick said the resolution further enables the Student Union to act upon the will of the student body. “The time has come for us to think of ourselves no longer as independent organizations, but as a united student union,” he said. “All the rest of our goals for this year are dependent on this goal.” The resolution dissolves COR and adds six new voting members to Senate — the four class presidents, the Club Coordination Council president and the off-campus president. Originally, the resolution proposed adding the Student Union Board (SUB) manager and Student Union treasurer as voting members as well. However, many senators pointed out that these positions are not voted upon by the student body, as the rest of the positions in Senate are. “I’m against non-elected representatives having voting rights,” Fisher senator Colin Geils said. “I don’t feel they properly represent the student body.” SUB manager Joe Caparros said that while policy changes made in Senate have not affected SUB a great deal in recent years, it is possible they could in the future. “I do represent the interests of the Student Union Board but I also represent the interests of everyone,” he said. “The risk is that if policy does affect SUB more than it has in the past there is a danger for SUB to not have a say in any of that.” Student Union treasurer Eric Biro expressed concern that non-voting members of Senate did not have the “right of agenda,” the ability to bring resolutions before Senate. “I think there’s something to be said for the person who knows the most about the Student Union fiscal policy to lose that right of agenda,” he said. The senators voted to amend the resolution, changing the SUB manager and Student Union treasurer to non-voting members while also granting these members the right of agenda. The most hotly contested issue was the question of whether to add one of the co-chairs of Hall President’s Council (HPC) as a voting member. Pasquerilla East senator Katie Rose said members of her dorm had raised concern over an HPC co-chair being able to vote in Senate. “They already have a lot of power,” she said. “If we’re trying to increase representation of the Student Union, well the residence halls are already represented by us.” HPC co-chair Jay Mathes said he and fellow co-chair Billy Wardlaw would be able to provide the perspective of the halls as an aggregate force, rather than a particular one as the senators do. “We’re not divided by dorm, grade or gender and we’re one of the very few groups here on campus that are looking out for the benefits of all students,” he said. “The perspectives we have and the talks we have with presidents on a day-to-day basis add different conclusions. It’s a perspective we really need to take care of.” McCormick said an HPC co-chair would also offer the benefit of a representative with greater experience in student government. In the past, senators were always seniors. Now, almost all senators are sophomores or juniors, McCormick said. “It creates a body that tends to be younger and has this as their initial or second point of entry into student government,” he said. “You might have this conclusion that the HPC co-chair might exert undue influence on the other senators, but on the other hand, that might not be a bad thing either.” The co-chair would contribute a more seasoned opinion from the hall perspective than a sophomore senator would be able to, McCormick said. Despite these arguments, senators voted to amend the resolution to add an HPC co-chair as a non-voting member of Senate. The resolution also reallocates the previous responsibilities of COR. Oversight Committee chair Ben Noe said the COR Collaboration Fund, which allocates funds to organizations that are working together on an event, will now be managed by the Financial Management Board (FMB). “We felt this fund would best be moved to FMB and chaired by the Student Union treasurer with representatives from every organization,” he said. “Now the fund will be managed by an actual financial body rather than representatives.” A special committee of former COR members will now be chosen to approve the Student Union budget, also previously managed by COR. Further, the resolution changes the names of several groups in order to better reflect their functions: the Executive Policy Board to the Executive Cabinet, committees and committee chairs to departments and directors and Oversight to Internal Affairs. The resolution was the result of months of effort by Noe, his committee and the subcommittee on constitutional reform. “I really think this resolution will help us build a student government that is truly indicative of a student union in that the leaders of all the organizations will come together in one meeting,” Noe said. “And they will all have some say and some vote on what is being said and done in terms of policy.”last_img read more

Design students showcase work on personal websites

first_imgIn a competitive job market, students strive to distinguish themselves from other job applicants. At Notre Dame, taking a web design courses can help undergraduate designers stand apart from the rest by creating personal websites to showcase their work, according to senior Marykate Green.Green said she used her web design class last semester as an opportunity to develop and show off a new set of skills.“At this time, I was drowning in digital design agency job applications, searching for a way to diversify myself amongst all of the other competitive applicants,” she said. “As a marketing and graphic design double major, I was especially having a difficult time illustrating to potential employers how I could use my diverse background and skills to help create immense value for their brand. I saw this class as the perfect opportunity and platform to design a meaningful experience for my hopeful employers.”Green said she wanted her website, nomiddlename.me, to show her personality as well as her marketable skills.“Every aspect of nomiddlename.me is carefully constructed to exhibit all my design and marketing skills as well as to give insight into my personality,” she said. “My biggest strength lies in finding a harmonious balance between responsive web design, storytelling, sensory marketing and marketing analytics.“The goal is that the interaction of all of these disparate elements is so seamless that it is invisible, creating a wildly entertaining and positive experience for my audience.”The website generated a positive response during her career search, Green said.“A few hiring managers and other business people have told me that it’s refreshing — that I have separated myself from the pack by doing something creative with passion,” she said.She said she received encouraging feedback about the site’s integration of multiple design elements, from the overall style to the specific computer code.“[It] is helpful to employers because they can tell how I can help their company,” she said. “I have also gotten feedback that the code is clean and precise, which is crucial for web design. I am constantly updated and editing my code so that it stays up to date with the most efficient techniques.”Design professor Andre Murnieks said students in web design have a great advantage in cultivating an online portfolio to show potential employers.“Design students who interview with employers can bring portfolios that show their work, but a personal website can be viewed at any time,” he said. “Now it’s become that if you don’t have an online presence, why would I [an employer] call you?”Murnieks said the introductory web design course is open to non-design majors as well.“We have people from all corners of the University,” he said. “For non-design students, their websites can include other information. For example, an English major could display writing samples.”Although the course is open to non-majors, Murnieks said the course is in-depth.“We try to do serious design,” he said. “We meet twice a week for two hours and 45 minutes in the design studio. It can be intimidating.”In addition to creating personal websites, Murnieks said students also learn how to build mobile versions of their websites for touch-screen interfaces, such as those on iPads and iPhones.“It’s been somewhat of a revolution,” he said. “And part of my mission is to boost what we do in the interactive realm.”Tags: career, design, Notre Dame, web designlast_img read more

Saint Mary’s professor of economics dies

first_imgProfessor of business and economics Jerome “Jerry” L. McElroy, who taught at Saint Mary’s for 32 years, died Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. He was 77 years old.McElroy was deeply invested in the life of the community at Saint Mary’s, vice president for college relations Shari Rodriguez said. When asked what he wanted to tell his colleagues and students, McElroy said, “Tell them I love them.”Rodriguez said students, alumnae and faculty loved McElroy right back, as expressed by College President Carol Ann Mooney.“Jerry was the consummate Saint Mary’s faculty member. A man of deep faith, this was not a job for Jerry, but a true vocation,” Mooney said. “He loved his students and colleagues and often demonstrated that love by sharing his beautiful poems with us. None of us will ever forget his warm smile and the countless contributions he made to generations of Saint Mary’s women.”McElroy began teaching at Saint Mary’s in the fall of 1982, and continued to teach through the fall 2014 semester. Jerry was honored with two faculty awards recognizing his excellence in teaching, the Maria Pieta Award in 1989 and the Spes Unica Award in 1997, Rodriguez said.McElroy was also a poet. He hosted annual readings at the College on themes of nature, the supernatural world, childhood on his grandfather’s farm and meditations on themes of grace. Most recently, McElroy offered a reading in October 2014 from his latest published chapbook, “Hidden Graces,” which was published by Finishing Line Press.At the reading, professor emeritus of religious studies Keith Egan introduced McElroy, stating that in McElroy’s lifetime, he has published more than 140 poems, published or co-published 17 books and monographs and produced nearly 142 scholarly papers, which resulted from McElroy’s research into the economies of the islands of the Caribbean.Beyond his admirable accomplishments, McElroy influenced many in the College’s community on a personal level, as shown by the hundreds of letters, notes and e-mails received by his wife of 43 years, Birdie Maria Rossow McElroy.“Each of those who wrote or called felt he [McElroy] knew them well, and they him,” Birdie McElroy said. “He was a spirit that transcended mere cursory knowledge: as one former student said, ‘He saw us.’ That is a rare gift and one that flowed naturally from Jerry, from a large heart, sharp mind, all encased in a soft demeanor and humor that delighted.”Birdie McElroy said although her husband’s five books of published poetry that contain some of her own artwork may not have eclipsed his economic research, his poetry helps distinguish McElroy as a true “Renaissance Man.”“His gift to me as my husband was an abiding love, a kindness that enveloped me, a support for my every endeavor and surely the greatest gift from one human being to another; the gift of knowing me deeply and accepting everything I am,” Birdie McElroy said.Close friend and colleague Richard Measell, who is the chair of the department of business and economics, said that besides being a true family man, McElroy was also a professional and reliable professor, who always sought excellence but not perfection, and handled others with grace and understanding.“Saint Mary’s has many truly outstanding people who have dedicated their lives to working here, but Jerry is part of the very few who definitely are the ‘best of the best,’” Measell said. “Throughout his years here, he demonstrated excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.“He loved his students dearly and always wanted them to learn as much as they could. … Jerry knew how to relate well to others and his rapport with his students was remarkable — leading many to stay in touch with him after graduation.”One of these former students, Courtney Parry, class of 2009, said she grew especially fond of McElroy, as the two worked together researching, conducting data analyses and writing reviews of several publications.“We worked well as a pair — he would identify a hypothesis (often in an area of island research, his specialty) and I would run the data to prove or disprove the hypothesis,” Parry said. “I would identify the needed datasets, clean the data and run the models.”The research Parry conducted for her senior thesis was used in an article Parry and McElroy co-published her senior year. Parry said she also helped McElroy with a second article after she had graduated.Parry said she will remember McElroy as a wonderful teacher and mentor along with his family who she grew close with over the years.“In many ways, they [the McElroy family] ‘are Saint Mary’s’ — kind, generous in spirit, faithful and supportive.”Tags: jerome mcelroy, jerry mcelroy, professor of economics, saint mary’s professor dieslast_img read more

Freshmen participate in sociology study

first_imgFitbits, the activity tracking wristbands, have become a popular identifying feature of Notre Dame freshmen this year. Five hundred Fitbit-wearing freshmen are participating in a study called NetHealth, which aims to explore the relationship between social networks and health.Notre Dame sociologists David Hachen and Omar Lizardo, in conjunction with University computer scientists Aaron Striegel and Christian Poellabauer, are conducting the study. Hachen said the National Institute of Health is funding the study through a $3 million grant.“The National Institute of Health is very interested in the social conditions that influence peoples’ behaviors, like sleep, diet and activity,” Hachen said.According to the NetHealth website, the Fitbit devices will be used to track each student’s sleep and fitness, while a monitoring app on their smartphones will record social activity. The study therefore attempts to find a connection between social activity and health, one already seen by freshman Brian Quigley, who is participating in the study.“I can see my friends on Fitbit and how many steps they have, and so I always want to have more steps than them,” Quigley said. “It’s a way to compete in a friendly manner.”Hachen said he believes “our patterns and health related behaviors are amplified by the people we hang out with.” The challenge, though, he said, will be determining the direction of the causality between friendship and health.“The biggest puzzle is we believe we are affected in our behaviors, attitudes, and taste by who we hang out with,” Hachen said. “… It’s also the case that we tend to choose as our friends people that are similar to us, so we’re trying to disentangle whether your networks are influencing you, or you select the networks to be like you.”In looking to solve that puzzle, Striegel said one of the major questions in this study is, “Do you conform to the group, or do you change the group?”Hachen said the researchers plan to note changes in each student’s social groups over time, which is made possible by the continuous data collection from the Fitbits and smartphones.“People’s networks are much more fluid than most social scientists have ever thought,” Hachen said. “So we want to look at how people’s networks change, because if I’m not healthy and I hang out with someone who is healthy, I could become more healthy, or I could stop hanging out with them. I could change my network.”Hachen also said the study’s use of Fitbits and smartphones will make it more accurate than similar past studies, which usually rely only on surveys for information.“On surveys, you may not tell the truth, you may not remember or recall your social networks. … By this method, we get continuous, reliable data that’s probably better than the self-reports that come from surveys.”In addition, Striegel said the study can be used to “improve the health of the network,” since the researchers receive data on how many times people try and fail to connect to the network in different locations on campus, thus allowing them to identify the network’s weaker points.Hachen said in the next few months the study will be expanded to include about 400 more students — without Fitbits — who, through smartphones and surveys, will further contribute to the data collection. Further, Hachen said in the future he hopes to perform the same study at different universities and with different age groups.Tags: Fitbit, NetHealth, sociologylast_img read more

Professor reflects on personal faith journey

first_imgProfessor Daniel Lapsley, professor and chair of the department of psychology, reflected on his faith journey for the second event in the Fr. Ted Talk series held in honor of University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh.In the talk in Reckers on Thursday night, Lapsley said the journey of faith forces people to confront two fundamental questions.“The journey of faith, as I understand it, is an attempt to answer two really important questions. The first is: Who am I? This is the great identity question. This is the question that becomes especially compelling to adolescents and adults,” he said. “The second question was actually asked by Jesus: Who is the son of man?”Lapsley said these questions can’t be fully answered until one’s journey of faith is fully developed into a narrative.“I want to elevate the category of narrative and story to equal footing with the metaphor of journey,” he said. “Coming to grips with faith is not just a journey, it’s being able to tell a narrative. It’s being able to tell a story. It’s an attempt to find interweaving of the two great questions I posed. … Our journey does not make sense until we develop it into a narrative that makes sense.”A person’s narrative is constantly evolving and tries to make sense of the past, present and future, Lapsley said.“You’re trying to make sense of what your life has been prior to coming to Notre Dame, trying to wrestle with what life is like now and what you promise to be in the future,” he said. “In the decades ahead of you, you’re going to try to keep the narrative going. The story you’ve constructed for yourself from childhood through adolescence is not going to be the same story when you’re 30, and 40, and 50 and beyond.”Lapsley said his narrative changed drastically when he reached middle school and faltered in his religious beliefs.“I was a religious boy, very pious. I took ritual and pietism seriously,” he said. “But [in middle school] I’m sort of trying to figure out who I am. I’m trying to answer the identity question. … I was pushing back against borrowed ideas. I’m trying to carve out a sense of self, I’m trying to write my own narrative.”This sudden decrease in faith, Lapsley said, is very common among adolescents.“From early adolescence to late adolescence, ritual observance, religiosity among adolescents, declines into the university years — religiosity declines, but spirituality increases,” he said. “Answering the question who am I and who do you say I am are going to be interwoven … but sometimes this bumps up against developmental challenges, which kind of breaks the story apart, as you try to write a better narrative.”Part of his journey of faith was reconciling the different storylines of his narrative, Lapsley said.“As I struggle to keep the narrative going, a couple of other storylines come into my story,” he said. “One storyline is that as a scientist — I’m committed to naturalism in ethics and in science. So that means that transcendental or metaphysical or supernatural things kind of bump in. It’s hard to make that fit into a narrative. … I take solace in the fact that empiricism has it’s home in Catholicism.”Lapsley said being a member of the Notre Dame community helped him to reconnect with his faith.“I felt like it was the hand of God. I felt like this was not an accident, that somehow it was providential that I was here,” he said. “I began to reflect on this. I began to go to daily mass at the Basilica, I began to get in touch with my faith life again. … I just felt a deeper connection to the faith community here.”Tags: Faith, faith narrative, Fr. Ted Talks, journeylast_img read more

Panel discusses gender and politics in the Andes

first_imgSubject of the documentaries “Soy Andina” and “Soy Andina II: The Return,” Nelida Silva spoke alongside associate producer of both films, Doris Loayza, and associate political science professor Guillermo Trejo in a panel discussion that examined local politics and gender in rural Peru.Silva said she was born and raised in the rural Andean town of Llamellin, Peru but moved to New York when she was young and lived there for 20 years. In New York, Silva said she worked as an accountant before eventually returning to her hometown.“I decided to back to my village to teach women, so they could earn some money,” she said.Silva said she was proposed as a candidate for mayor of Llamellin, though she initially struggled to decide whether or not to run for office.“I wasn’t sure,” she said. “Candidates are seen as corrupt people.”The documentary “Soy Andina II: The Return” details Silva’s campaign to be mayor. Silva said she ran on a platform of economic development and ultimately lost the election.Traditional gender roles often deter women from becoming involved in politics, but her candidacy demonstrates women’s capabilities, Silva said.“Despite the macho system, which is dominated by males, there is more space for women,” she said. “However, there were more receptive young people — some men, too, but not those who had a [stake] in politics.”Loayza said producing a movie featuring Silva’s political campaign was an arduous task that presented constant challenges, especially in terms of objectivity.“My role was not easy,” Loayza said. “We had to be objective.”Loayza said making two films about the same place brought about some challenges, especially concerning the locals’ perceptions of the documentaries.“The townspeople were developing the idea that the footage from the town was going to be big and disseminated internationally, which made it hard,” she said.Trejo said the film almost never discusses the country of Peru at large because Peruvian politics has a “more local dimension.”“There’s this idea that you leave but you never leave,” he said, “We are living in a reality with the question of universal citizenship. We are not trees. You don’t belong to one place.”According to Trejo, Silva’s gender played an integral role in the success of her campaign.“[Silva] was facing two enemies: political machines and the question of gender,” Trejo said. “It was interesting and infuriating. It is hard for a woman to be heard — not to speak up, because she was, but the audience wasn’t listening. It doesn’t matter if you have the [microphone].”Tags: Documentary, Peru, soy andinalast_img read more

SMC Sophomore Parents Weekend welcomes families to campus

first_imgSaint Mary’s welcomed families to campus Friday for the annual Sophomore Parents Weekend. Despite rainy weather and Friday’s breaking news of College President Jan Cervelli’s resignation, students and parents gathered for a variety of activities organized by Saint Mary’s Class Council.Family members participated in activities spanning from a Saturday brunch to pumpkin painting and carriage rides at Saint Mary’s annual Oktoberfest. These events were followed by a closing mass Sunday morning.  “Our main goal is to have events promoting unity for the school,” sophomore class representative Meg Hemmert said. “This year we have a brunch followed by Oktoberfest, [which was] sponsored by Student Activities Board. On Sunday morning, we have a sophomore class Mass at the Church of Loretto.” Tom Pantelleria, who attended the events with his daughter, sophomore Emily Pantelleria, said the Saturday brunch was an especially exciting event.“We got to meet [new interim College President Nancy Nekvasilt on Saturday], which was a relief to us parents,” he said. “We got to talk about the school’s mission of developing confidence and critical thinking amongst the women here. We’re all confident that these young women will grow up to be the next great leaders of our country.” Many families, including sophomore Alison Schibi’s, arrived on-campus from across the country for this weekend. “We flew from Kansas, which is always an adventure itself, but it’s always worth it to see Alison,” Kelly Schibi said about her daughter. “Every opportunity to come up and visit campus is exciting because we just love it here.” Eric Schibi, Alison’s father, said it was an interesting weekend to visit campus after the shocking news of Cervelli’s resignation.“We are so shocked to hear the news,” he said. “It’s very surprising and interesting that all this just happened.”Alison said she was “so happy” that she got to spend time with her family. “I loved having my parents and sister come visit me this weekend,” Alison said. “I know that a lot of sophomore students did not have parents come, so I am very thankful I was able to see mine and spend time with them.” For many families, the weekend was a special time to relax with their daughters.“I’m most happy about seeing my daughter,” Geri Pantelleria, Emily Pantelleria’s mother, said. “That’s most exciting because I have missed her so much.” Emily expressed a similar sentiment, voicing the joy she felt combining her two homes for the weekend.“I love every opportunity to blend my Saint Mary’s family with my real one,” Emily said. “Saint Mary’s is my second home.”Tags: families, parents, Saint Mary’s Class Council, Sophomore Parents Weekendlast_img read more

Local Schools, Restaurants, Organizations Take Coronavirus Precautions

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) Photo Credit: PxhereJAMESTOWN – Many area schools, restaurants and organizations are taking precautions amid the growing Coronavirus outbreak in New York State.The Frewsburg Central School District is foregoing field trips, large school events and school-wide assemblies.In a letter to parents Saturday, Superintendent Shelly O’Boyle said upon the recommendation of the Chautauqua County Health Department, effective Monday several events have been canceled.The High School Musical, Kindergarten Grandparent Lunch, Structural Integrity Trip and School Softball Games in Myrtle Beach are among the activities. “As always, the health and safety of our students, staff and our community is our highest priority, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to help prevent the spread of illness,” said Superintendent O’Boyle. “You will notice that the events listed occur through April break. This is because the data and recommendations are constantly changing. We will continue to monitor recommendations from the Health Department, and adjust/uplift cancelations/postponements accordingly.”O’Boyle says additionally the District will be suspending all community use of school facilities, with the exception of the TRZ child care program, in order to maintain control of cleaning and disinfecting. The suspension also includes community use of the fitness center; pool parties, Town of Carroll Swim Lessons, Youth Wrestling, Little League and other various non-school groups.Officials are also suspending all guest speakers/presenters, student assemblies, and non-essential public persons.Phil N’ Cindy’s Lunch in Jamestown are now limiting their seating capacity to help combat the virus.In a post on social media, the restaurant says they are following new state mandates. “Starting (Saturday) we will only be seating the front half of the restaurant,” the post read. “We apologize for this inconvenience, please plan accordingly as the weekend will be very trying.” Some restaurants however are not taking the same measures.“As of now we are running at full capacity,” read a post by Vern’s Place, a restaurant in Randolph. “Some restaurants have received letters instructing them to run at half capacity. We have not. We have always and will continue to clean all food prep areas and tables with bleach on a daily basis.”last_img read more

XOXO! Of Mice and Men Star Leighton Meester Weds in Clandestine Ceremony

first_img View Comments Of Mice and Men Meester will begin performances March 19 in Of Mice and Men as Curley’s Wife, taking the stage alongside James Franco and Chris O’Dowd, who are both also making their Broadway debuts. The new mounting of Steinbeck’s masterpiece will officially open April 16 at the Longacre Theatre and play a limited engagement through July 27. Show Closed This production ended its run on July 27, 2014 He knows he loves her. XOXO! Gossip Girl and soon-to-be Broadway star Leighton Meester has wed The O.C. alum Adam Brody in a clandestine ceremony. According to Us Weekly, the nuptials have been confirmed by multiple sources. Related Shows The lovebirds worked together on the movie The Oranges back in 2011. The pair has been determined to keep their relationship on the DL, but are rumored to have been dating for a year, becoming engaged this past November.last_img read more

Red Carpet Maven Joan Rivers Meets the Cast of Mothers and Sons

first_img Mothers and Sons Tyne Daly Star Files Fashionista and funny lady Joan Rivers put on her finest blue fur on March 28—what was the special occasion? A performance of Mothers and Sons, starring Tyne Daly, of course! After taking in the new drama by Terrence McNally, Rivers headed backstage to greet Daly and Mothers and Sons stars Bobby Steggert, Frederick Weller and Grayson Taylor. The new play tells the story of Katharine (Daly), who, 20 years after her son’s death, shows up at the New York City apartment of his former lover (Weller). Check out these photos of Rivers meeting the cast, then see Mothers and Sons at the Golden Theatre! Related Shows Bobby Steggert View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on June 22, 2014 Frederick Wellerlast_img read more