Four years ago, the Class of 2010 arrived on Notre Dame’s campus, ready to make new friends and start a new life beneath the shadow of the Golden Dome.Now, as Commencement approaches, seniors say they are ready to move on but will miss the community they have found here on campus.“My favorite part of Notre Dame is the people I’ve met here,” said Jenny Heil, a senior from Pasquerilla West Hall. “I’ve made phenomenal friends, and I’ll miss them all. I’ve gotten the chance to meet all kinds of people, and I’ll miss those faces you pass every day as well.”Pasquerilla West senior Lauren Demeter also said she will miss the community she has found at Notre Dame.“I don’t think the Golden Dome epitomizes Notre Dame. I think the group of people does,” she said.Senior Scott Andrews, a resident assistant (RA) in Siegfried Hall, said his senior experience was unique because of his ability to help build dorm community as an RA.“Being an RA was awesome because my last everything was my freshmen’s first everything,” Andrews said. “I got to be a senior but also relive everything that was exciting freshman year.”Andrews said dorm life is one of the things he’ll remember most about Notre Dame.“Siegfried is only a cinderblock building, but it’s home. I never thought I’d become attached to one place so much,” he said. Although students had mixed feelings about the end results of many football games, they said the sense of spirit Notre Dame students share is exceptional, and cannot be found at other schools.“My favorite football memory over the last four years was at the UCLA game in 2006. I’ll always remember that touchdown pass to Jeff Samardzija with seconds left in the game,” said Kevin Hurley, a senior from Dillon Hall. “I’ll definitely come back for games in the future. I plan on going to four games next year — two at Notre Dame and two in New York.”Andrews said Notre Dame football contributes to the overall college experience.“We have that class unity and camaraderie,” he said. “My single favorite football memory was the Michigan State away game either my sophomore or junior year. We won, and there was a roar [of cheering] you could hear all the way across campus. Now I could understand that for a home game, but for an away game that’s really something special.” Breen Phillips senior Nicole Overton said she will miss spending time studying what she loves and meeting others interested in the same subject.“I’m an anthropology major and I just love it,” Overton said. “Professor McKenna’s Intro to Anthropology Class really got me interested. In Human Osteology, I got to work with actual human bones. I love coming back and telling my friends about what I did in class.”Most students said they will not be sad to leave behind the gray South Bend sky, whipping wind across South Quad and endless months of snow and cold.Andrew Baroody, a senior in Siegfried Hall, said what he won’t miss about Notre Dame is “the weather.”He will, however, miss being so close to everything all at once — food, friends and entertainment. With friends next door and LaFortune Student Center a short walk away, Baroody said he thinks a Notre Dame student truly has everything he or she needs.At Notre Dame, dorm life plays a central role in a student’s social experience. But some seniors said they have made some of their deepest friendships through activities outside of the dorm.Demeter said she enjoyed trying out all kinds of clubs and organizations during her four years, and she said she did not dedicate all of her time to one particular extracurricular.“There wasn’t one thing that I was involved in specifically,” she said. “That’s pretty typical of a Notre Dame student.”But Pasquerilla West senior Katie Matic said she devoted at least 20 hours a week to Mock Trial.“The best memory was our 12-hour bus ride to Memphis for Nationals this year,” Matic said. “Just all the laughing and fooling around. I’ll always remember that.”Leaving college, Matic said she knows she will also be leaving a tight-knit community that runs on its own schedule, a schedule she has gotten used to over the years.“It’s awesome living with your friends in college and enjoying the experiences that happen late at night, like going to get ravioli from the Huddle at two in the morning.” she said. “I’ll miss that.”Seniors said they agree that while they will miss friends, the Notre Dame campus and power-walks to DeBartolo Hall, they are ready to move on to the next phase in their lives.“I’ll miss Notre Dame a lot, but I’m going to law school next year, ” Matic said. “I’m ready for the next step.”
Thirty-two pages. That was the length of the campaign platform that Pat McCormick and Brett Rocheleau outlined during the spring student body elections. The document, titled “Hope in Action,” detailed major promises for the team to fulfill when they stepped into their positions in April, but they insisted their platform was feasible. Since April, McCormick and Rocheleau have accomplished only some of their goals, while others remain abstract. Playing 4 Peace The first and most ambitious goal in the duo’s platform was to “make Notre Dame the premier forum for nationally-recognized events uniting athletes, entertainers and policy-makers of behalf of social justice.” This semester, McCormick’s administration has continued and developed its Playing 4 Peace movement that combines Notre Dame athletics with peace efforts in Sudan. “The athletics department as a result of Playing 4 Peace has also invested … professional staff support into Playing 4 Peace, which was originally just a project between two athletic teams, student government and social concerns through [the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies],” McCormick said. The fledgling project now hosts regular events, like a soccer tournament earlier this fall, that are well attended by both students and local community members. However, McCormick’s campaign touted his plans for a large charity concert in Notre Dame Stadium, which has been relatively unspoken of this semester. McCormick still promised the concert is in the works in student government. “While there is still work to be done, I am very excited about what is going to happen in January and February of this year,” McCormick said. Fighting for quarter dogs Another major item on the McCormick-Rocheleau platform was their plan to expand student government’s capacity to work with constituent services. “It must also be the case that we not only deliver on issues of a more routine nature, but that we do so even more passionately,” McCormick said. “I think substantively what that looks like is that on midnight of transition, quarter dogs were restored.” McCormick and Rocheleau did this by the newly created Department of Constituent Services, chaired by sophomore Heather Eaton. The new department extended the previous administration’s tradition of “Whine Week” into “Whine Wednesdays,” and Eaton collected student opinion via surveys and an online suggestion box. McCormick and Rocheleau visit Hall Councils in different dorms each week as well. “We’ve been trying to update dorm by dorm on the progress we’re trying to make in building a new student government this year,” McCormick said. Rocheleau said he feels these conversations with students and the work in Constituent Services connects to the complaints students have each day. “It becomes rewarding when I feel like it actually makes a difference, and I enjoy seeing the difference it can make,” Rocheleau said. Concrete progress — quarter dogs and Puppy Days, for example — have come out of this administration and its constituent services projects so far. Taxi reform Student safety both on and off campus was another priority for this administration, and McCormick said he has tried to develop the strong relationships the previous administration built with local officials and law enforcement. “The relationship has been continued to be developed and deepened,” McCormick said. “For the first time, the Safety Summit took place right here on campus on Irish Green.” The Safety Summit in August was hosted at the Robinson Community Learning Center in South Bend in the past. Student met with local police and leaders to talk about how to live safely in South Bend. Outside of engaging with local law enforcement, McCormick said his administration contributed to city taxi reforms that will protect students in the future. “These were cases where sometimes student safety was being jeopardized, cases where students were being gauged in terms of their prices,” McCormick said. “What we ended up being able to come up with is something that ultimately emphasizes now a predictable cost structure and accountability on the part of the taxi companies that students know their rights.” However, the city of South Bend compiled these reforms long before McCormick’s administration began and McCormick’s role was primarily to support the project. Additionally, students have little input in the reforms themselves. Unaddressed issues Highlighted in the 32-page platform is also the promise to “enable students to customize our curriculum.” The University’s curriculum has been a non-issue in the administration’s major projects thus far, and it lies dormant with several other details in the “Hope in Action” blueprint. The administration’s final promise in its campaign was its most vague — to “amplify student voices in charting a course for the Notre Dame project.” The promise to “amplify student voices” has seen some concrete results as the administration tries to include the student body in larger conversations. McCormick and many sustainability clubs on campus participated in conversations surrounding the University’s recent comprehensive sustainability strategy. However, these conversations began in the Office of Sustainability in 2008, and McCormick’s involvement only began this summer when the plan was in its final stages. Overall, it is commendable that McCormick and Rocheleau set a high bar for their administration and have made strides toward achieving even the most ambitious goals. However, the student body has yet to see the monumental vision that the duo campaigned on come to fruition. Next, the administration should target its energy into a few actionable projects to leave its legacy on the student body.
The Saint Mary’s cheerleading squad gained a new member during Wednesday’s basketball game against Adrian College when 14-year-old Keondia Woodley joined their ranks. Woodley, a cancer survivor who received treatment at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, relished the opportunity to be a part of the Saint Mary’s cheering squad. “[Cheering] was so fun,” Woodley said. “I felt close to all the cheerleaders when I met them.” The Dance Marathon-sponsored “Cheer Your Heart Out” event at Wednesday’s game raised funds for Riley and provided Woodley with the opportunity to cheer with the Belles and share her story with the crowd at halftime. “I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in August of 2008,” Woodley said. “But Riley Hospital for Children, along with the love and support of my family, is why I’m here today.” Students, faculty and fans in attendance were invited to contribute spare change to red Miracle Minute donation buckets at halftime, and all proceeds from the buckets benefitted Riley as well. Juniors and fundraising executive co-chairs Kate Kellogg and Liz Kraig planned the event with two goals in mind. “Cheer Your Heart Out was a unique opportunity,” Kraig said. “It was a time to show school spirit by supporting our fellow Belles as well as a great reminder of the importance and impact Dance Marathon is able to make to the families at Riley.” Senior and Dance Marathon president Becca Guerin said she enjoyed collaborating with other Saint Mary’s clubs and activities in support of Riley. “The game was especially cool because we were not only showing support for Riley, but cheering on our team as well,” Guerin said. “It was great school spirit, but we also had the special connection with Dance Marathon through having Keondia cheer at the game.” Although final collections were not tallied at press time, Kellogg said she was pleased with the returns from the Miracle Minutes. “Every bit counts,” Kellogg said. “We really want to raise awareness because a lot of people have heard of Dance Marathon, but don’t see where the money goes. Having Keondia cheering here on campus just goes to show why Dance Marathon is so special.” Junior Lauren Berry said the event, especially Woodley’s presence, forged a strong connection between Saint Mary’s, Dance Marathon and Riley. “I think it’s great to hold personal events like this to let [Woodley] shine,” Berry said. “It’s one single event, but it makes such a difference. It shows the impact that Dance Marathon has on Riley patients firsthand.” Woodley, now three years in remission from cancer, said she is healthy, happy and settling into her freshman year at Elkhart Memorial High School. “This really meant a lot to me,” Woodley said. “I loved cheering with them and I love all the support everyone has for Riley.” This year’s Dance Marathon will be held March 31 in Angela Athletic Facility.
The National Council for Research on Women (NCRW) recently named Saint Mary’s Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) the recipient of the 2012 Diversity and Inclusion Award. According to the organization’s website, the NCRW is composed of a team of researchers dedicated to creating informed policies and debates to explore issues prevalent to young girls and women. The Diversity and Inclusion Award is presented to organizations that expand upon its leadership, programs, policies and research activities in order to include minorities, the website said. This year, CWIL was one of two centers chosen for the award. Elaine Meyer-Lee, director of CWIL, said the recognition is a great honor for Saint Mary’s. “NCRW involves many highly accomplished women leaders and institutions, and this award affirms Saint Mary’s national leadership role in improving the lives of women and girls,” she said. “It highlights our success and commitment to the challenging issues of diversity.” Meyer-Lee said the group’s mission to promote diversity has only become more prominent at Saint Mary’s since the center was founded in 2000. “Inclusive excellence is infused through all that CWIL has done over the past decade, attracting, engaging and mentoring diverse staff, students and participants on and off-campus to foster intercultural competence in the next generation of women leaders,” she said. Meyer-Lee said this award is especially important, because it comes from a national level. “It is a great honor to have the creative, passionate, and sustained work towards inclusive excellence that CWIL staff has dedicated themselves to … rewarded by not only successful achievement and local impact, but also recognition from such an esteemed national organization as the [NCRW],” she said. Meyer-Lee said some of the noteworthy programs CWIL offers include a national “Women as Intercultural Leaders” conference, unique study abroad opportunities in Africa and Asia and the creation of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative. All of these programs achieve the goals outlined by the NCRW, she said. “We have been quite successful in the criteria the award addresses, such as incorporating diverse leaders, attracting and engaging diverse participants, building in mentorship, having an impact on our broader community and establishing sustainable and replicable diversity and inclusion strategies,” she said. Despite the award and recognition that comes with it, there are still some challenges with promoting diversity on campus. Meyer-Lee said. “At Saint Mary’s, as in other higher education institutions, any kind of institution-wide change process moves slowly, given the complexity of all the different aspects it will have an impact on, on top of the normal human comfort with familiarity,” she said. “Keeping a persistent, creative and multi-faceted approach is necessary to move the whole institution forward.” Saint Mary’s and CWIL will formally receive the award at the opening night of NCRW’s annual conference, “Agenda Setting 2012 Nationally and Globally: Leveraging Women’s Voices,” in Washington on June 20, Meyer-Lee said. “Winning this award is important to us because Saint Mary’s has invested so much effort into our commitment to diversity and inclusion, including through CWIL, and our results do deserve national recognition,” she said. “I hope this award might bring additional support to Saint Mary’s for the College’s great commitment to this area.”
The smell of burgers, lyrics of “Call Me Maybe” and cries of “You Gotta Regatta” filled the air around St. Mary’s Lake on Saturday during the 26th annual Fisher Regatta. A team of 15 Fisher Hall residents, led by juniors Patrick Bowlds, Matt Hart and Jeff Wang, organized this year’s Regatta, which promotes camaraderie among Fisher residents and raises money for charity. Bowlds said the event raised more than $1,500 from entrance fees and sale of regatta tanks, all of which will be given to the AndrÃ© House of Hospitality in Phoenix, Arizona. The competition featured 45 boats, including six from Fisher, Hart said. Two Fisher boats finished among the final four boats in the men’s bracket. For the second year in a row, Knott Hall’s “Knacht Yott” took first place in the men’s bracket. Juniors Rob Ray, James Kaull and Jeff Ulrich and seniors Hans Helland and Andrew Bell comprised the five-man crew during the final round. Another team member, freshman Alex Miram, filled in for Ray in the first round. Ray designed the boat, which consisted of a fiberglass canoe with an attached outrigger that was added after the canoe capsized in its first year of use. He said this year’s victory validated the team’s success last year. “The victory feels pretty good. Last year was an iffy win, so it’s good to win two years in a row,” Ray said. “The Green Pearl” from Pangborn Hall won the women’s bracket, crewed by freshmen Kate Christian and Ingrid Adams and juniors Katie Buczek and Linda Scheiber. Adams said the team owed their victory to their hydrodynamically-designed boat. Buczek said speed was a major part of their design plan. “We knew we wanted a canoe, because we wanted to go fast, and canoes tend to be faster than rafts,” Buczek said. Several boats proved less than lakeworthy during the course of the Regatta. Dillon Hall’s aptly-named “Big Red Box” began to rock side-to-side early in its journey across the lake. When it became clear the boat was going to capsize, safety personnel brought their boat alongside the “Big Red Box” and junior Trevor Dorn handed over his younger sister, Autumn Cavalieri, who was on board. Cavalieri said her brother suggested she join the crew of the “Big Red Box,” so her mother signed a waiver allowing her to participate. She said she was not scared by the rocking of the boat and enjoyed participating in the Regatta. “I liked the idea and I had a lot of fun doing it,” she said. The boat continued to sway after Cavalieri disembarked, and spectators cheered when it eventually capsized and the rowers were forced to swim ashore. Junior Kyle Buckley said the group overestimated the number of people their boat could support. “I want to say it was solidly built. It was the best dumpster we’ve ever built, but it just wasn’t built for 15 people,” Buckley said. “Next year when we’re seniors, we’ll build a box that will get across in style.” Another notable wreck was the largest boat in the competition: Fisher Hall’s “El Flota Part Deux,” a 16-by-8-foot raft, featuring two miniature basketball hoops that broke almost immediately after entering the water. Hart said three crewmembers salvaged a section of the boat from the debris and beat their competing boat, which had also broken down, in what became a swimming race to shore. Sophomore Stephen Elser said the experience was a memorable one. “As soon as we got in the water there were cracks in the boat. Ten feet from the shore it broke into pieces, and I found myself on a piece with a hoop. Then [junior] Pete [Bratton] and [senior] Stevie [Biddle] helped me swim it to shore and finish the race,” Elser said. “We beat the other boat, and it was the most fun I’ve had since the original ‘El Flota’ broke last year.” In addition to the boat races, spectators also enjoyed free food and music, which Hart said created a party-like atmosphere. “The area by the food and speakers was described by one ‘Fisherman’ as an outdoor dorm party,” Hart said. “It was a good way to celebrate the end of the year.” Hart said he was happy to see students from other dorms enjoying the boat races as well. “The Regatta is a celebration of Fisher, but it was also fun to see everyone else having a blast out there on the lake,” he said. Despite the chilly weather, Wang said it did not prevent participants and spectators from enjoying the event. “I thought it was great that despite the weather not being warm and sunny people still showed up. The Regatta was still awesome,” he said.
Arts and Letters majors worrying about getting a job after graduation can can calm their nerves at the Letters Career Opportunities Week, a series of events co-sponsored by the Career Center and the College of Arts and Letters. Rose Kopec, the associate director of the Career Center, said this is the fourth year of the event, formerly titled “What’s Next Week.” “The name was changed this year … to the Arts and Letters Career Opportunities Week to hopefully more accurately reflect the week’s activities,” she said. “Arts and Letters students have many career paths available to them and we wanted to dedicate an entire week to exploring some of these options.” This year, the tagline for the event is, “Start now to plan your future,” Kopec said. Monday night’s panel was titled “Thinking about Graduate and Professional School?” The panel discussed how to make graduate school applications great, as well as what to expect from graduate school, Kopec said. There will be a workshop on how to find and fund a student internship Tuesday night in the Geddes Auditorium. “[Students can] learn about exploring careers through Notre Dame’s job shadow, externship and Arts and Letters Business Boot Camp programs,” she said. “[They can] gain the tools to find the perfect internship [and] educate [themselves] about the various funding programs on campus.” Wednesday night will be the Employer Networking Fair in the Monogram Club at the Joyce Center with Notre Dame alumna Nancy Ruscheinski, chief innovation officer and global vice chair for Edelman as the keynote speaker. This event will have representatives from many companies including Abercrombie and Fitch, Red Frog, Morningstar and Capital One, Kopec said. Throughout all the events, students need to keep in mind when the industry they want to enter into hires, she said. “Our keynote speaker for Wednesday night, Nancy Ruscheinski … will address this,” she said. “Edelman, a public relations firm, won’t begin the full-time hiring process until the spring semester.” This type of hiring is called “just-in-time hiring” and is very common, Kopec said. “This does not mean that students should wait until then to begin making connections with alumni and learning more about the industry,” she said. “That should happen immediately following the time when a specific direction is discerned.” No matter what industry students want to go into, the Career Center can help, especially in the current economic climate, Kopec said. “Our job is to provide the best services possible to students coupled with an aggressive employer recruiting strategy,” she said. “There have been other tough economic times since I have been at the Career Center and these goals have not changed. We continually strive to offer both relevant and creative programming and services to help make Notre Dame students successful upon graduation.” Kopec said Arts and Letters students do not need to worry about not finding a job post-graduation. “It is not more difficult for Arts and Letters students to get a job post-graduation,” she said. “For example if you look at our ‘future plans’ data in 2011, only two percent of Arts and Letters students are still seeking full-time employment within six months [of graduation] which is in line with all of the other colleges.” Contact Anna Boarini at [email protected]
Local youths have a new opportunity to engage in the outdoors through Triple C, an initiative founded by Victoria Lam, a Notre Dame Ph.D. student in biology. Triple C – which stands for camping, climbing and cameras – is a “501(c)3 backed program that takes a three-pronged approach to connecting youth to the outdoors,” according to the organization’s Facebook page. The initiative brings together the Notre Dame Climbing Club, the Robinson Community Learning Center and La Casa de Amistad to provide local youths with photography lessons and outings, a stream ecology trip to Juday Creek and a rock climbing trip to Grand Ledge, Mich. Lam said she was inspired to start the initiative by Lisa Coleman-Puhvel, co-director and chief instructor of Yo! Basecamp, an organization that teaches rock climbing to youths in California. “I learned that [Coleman-Puhvel] has a wonderful program … serving children from the Tenderloin, an inner-city neighborhood in my hometown of San Francisco,” Lam said. “I found the work of her organization to be incredibly inspiring and felt that engagement in the outdoors would be a wonderful way too reach out to our community here in South Bend.” Lam said that 15 children from sixth grade to high school are enrolled in Triple C. She works alongside 12 Notre Dame undergraduates who serve as mentors to the kids throughout the program, five graduate students who volunteer on select days of the program, 56 graduate participants in rock climbing training and four graduate and Ph.D. students who serve as instructors in photography and ecology. “I submitted two grant proposals: one [to the Merrell Pack Project] through Outdoor Nation, a non-profit dedicated to reconnecting millennials with the outdoors … and the other to [Notre Dame] Grad Life [grants program],” Lam said. “Ultimately, we were generously granted funding by ND Grad Life and Merrell Pack Project and were able to provide all the equipment and gear, transportation and digital cameras for the kids to use for the program.” Triple C was chosen for funding from among 200 grant proposals submitted to Outdoor Nation for being part of the “top five that were most innovative, impactful and sustainable projects focusing on increasing outdoor recreation while also creating significant relationships with the environment,” Lam said. Lam, who is studying blood stem cell development and maintenance, said Triple C doesn’t tie in directly with her academic interests, but having served as the Philanthropy Chair for the Biology Graduate Student Organization, she has experience with community involvement programs. Lam said students should be inventive when pursuing their own community involvement initiatives. “In general, I would encourage everyone inspired to start their own initiative to just go out and do it,” Lam said. “There are many grant opportunities available and all you need is an idea you are passionate about and some good friends to help make it happen.” For more information on Triple C, check out https://www.facebook.com/CampingClimbingCameras. Contact Nicole McAlee at [email protected]
Known for connecting Saint Mary’s students and local Title I schools, the College Academy of Tutoring (CAT) program is changing lives and expanding locations this semester.“This semester, we are starting our tutoring program at a new school, Harrison Primary, for fourth graders,” CAT student director Christin Kloski said. “… We have tutoring programs at Harrison and Navarre and teacher’s assistants at Harrison, Coquillard and Edison.”She said the College will continue its pen pal program with Coquillard and added Harrison Primary students to the list of letter recipients.Cat was formed in 2006 to provide support for “students in under-resourced schools in the South Bend area,” Kloski said. The program provides academic support, including teacher’s assistants, pen pals and after-school resources.Kloski said she spearheaded the relationship between CAT and Harrison Primary this year by visiting the school.“My first experience with the school was their back-to-school carnival-themed night,” she said. “I volunteered at the school to experience the new school’s environment.”Kloski said her exploration yielded positive findings about the school’s environment.“As the students and parents poured into the cafeteria, I was pleased to see how well the students, parents, staff and teachers communicated with one another,” Kloski said. “There was such a great feeling of community at the school.”Kloski said student participants in CAT were able to experience that sense of inclusiveness first hand.“Later on in the semester, we ended our pen pal program with a literacy night at the school,” she said. “The pen pals from Saint Mary’s and Harrison met one another and were able to get to know one another during the event. The literacy night was a great way for Saint Mary’s students to experience a local community setting.“Harrison Primary was a place where Saint Mary’s students could see how well the South Bend community and the school community were able to work together.”Sophomore and CAT scholar Jade Johnson said meeting her pen pal for the first time at the end of the semester dinner was her favorite part of the program.“You get to know all about [your pen pal] throughout the semester,” Johnson said. “Without ever seeing their face, they become a part of your life. Putting a face to their name was an amazing experience I’ll never forget.”The pen pal program is important because it helps enhance the reading and writing skills of the third and fourth grade students while giving them a consistent and positive role model, Johnson said.“I encourage people to give it a try,” Johnson said. “Volunteering through the CAT program is a rewarding and exciting experience.”Kloski said all students are welcome to join the CAT program — regardless of major.Tags: CAT program, Coquillard, Harrison Primary, Pen Pal Program
The seniors commissioning from the Army ROTC are:Joseph Berry (ND) – Army Reserve OfficerElise Brady (ND) – Army Reserve OfficerPatrick Crane (ND) – Army Reserve OfficerEmilie Vanneste (SMC) — Active Duty Officer The seniors commissioning from the Naval ROTC are:Kehinde Asojo (ND) – Surface Warfare OfficerTyler Dale (ND) – SubmarinesJohn Dunigan (ND) – PilotWalker Embrey (ND) – SubmarinesPayton Erlemeier (ND) – Surface Warfare OfficerBrendan Galloway (ND) – SubmarinesEllen Halverson (ND) – SubmarinesBenjamin Hoffner (ND) – Surface Warfare OfficerMeadow Jackson (ND) – Surface Warfare Officer/Intelligence OfficerYongjin Jeon (ND) – Naval Flight OfficerMichael Kappaz (ND) – SubmarinesJared Lee (ND) – Naval Flight OfficerBrian McGee (ND) – PilotKristen Ringwall (ND) – Surface Warfare OfficerPeter Rodgers (ND) – Surface Warfare OfficerRebecca Ryan (ND) – PilotKatherine Smart (ND) – Surface Warfare OfficerDylan Staats (ND) – PilotEileen Sullivan (ND) – Surface Warfare OfficerIan Tembe (ND) – PilotJohn Walker IV (ND) – SubmarinesAbigail Waller (SMC) – NurseNicholas Yusko (ND) – PilotZachary Zubic (ND)– MarineTags: Air Force, Army, Commencement 2017, Navy, ROTC The seniors commissioning from the Air Force ROTC are:Henry Walker Carlson (ND) – Aircraft Maintenance OfficerJohn Dean (ND) – Pilot trainingMichael Hillmer (ND) – Cyber Operations trainingKathryn Koch (ND) – Operations Research AnalystMegan O’Bryan (SMC) – Personnel OfficerBenjamin Richmond (ND) – Electrical EngineerJames Ryan (ND) – Combat Systems Operator training After four years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication, this year’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) seniors will receive their commissions at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on Saturday, May 20, marking their transition into active or reserve duty. The commanders of all three units of Notre Dame’s ROTC praised their seniors for their abilities to implement and manage programs within their units.“The beauty of watching them [execute programs] is watching them develop as leaders on their own … they self-organize, they figure out how to do this and through that struggle, that process of learning from failure is super important for their development,” Capt. John Carter, commanding officer of Naval ROTC, said.Lauren Weldon | The Observer Working with high caliber students, each commander said, is a privilege. ROTC students — who come from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, Bethel College, Indiana University South Bend and Valparaiso University — do community service, engage in intense physical training and complete technical education with military equipment on top of rigorous course loads. Lt. Col. Christopher Pratt from Army ROTC said the students’ dedication astounds him.“It just speaks volumes of the quality and the intellect and the flexibility and the type of individuals they are,” he said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them and what they’ve accomplished.”ROTC seniors take on major responsibilities throughout the year by leading their battalions and heading the disparate organizations that fall under each branch of ROTC, from service projects to physical fitness competitions, according to Col. James Bowen of Air Force ROTC.“They offered our freshmen and sophomores, for the first time, the opportunity to be an invested part of the wing and have a job and be directly responsible for whether we succeed or fail,” he said. “It gave those young people a sense of ownership that I don’t think they had before.”Carter said students remind him of the necessity of ROTC to the survival and progress of the armed forces.“When you interact with students, they tend to question things that you just assume is that way and no other way and can’t change, but they question things, and that questioning is a very good thing because it forces us to challenge things that we don’t think we can change but maybe we can,” he said. “That has been a very rewarding piece of working here.”Despite the small size of the Army senior class — just six are commissioning this year — Pratt said he continually emphasized the importance of quality over quantity, not just for this class but in the military in general. The seniors’ chief accomplishment, he said, was winning the President’s Cup, a year-long competition comprised of football, basketball and soccer.“It was truly a team event,” Pratt said. “Even if you weren’t an active participant in one of the events, everybody was there supporting it, everybody was there as part of it. It really brought the whole group together.“It’s about coming together as an organization and accomplishing something bigger that you couldn’t do as an individual … I think that was a great moment for them.”All three commanders said they appreciate and value the sacrifices their students make and the virtues they display on a daily basis.“The air force runs three core values we teach our kids every day,” Bowen said. “The first one is integrity, the second one is service before self and the third is excellence in everything we do. If you think about what those words really mean, it talks about holding yourself to a higher standard, it’s sacrificing to be that servant leader we want these young men and women to grow up to be.”The Army ROTC will commission six officers, the Navy will commission 25 and the Air Force will commission eight in a ticketed ceremony Saturday morning.
Deputy Title IX coordinator Heather Ryan presented updates about the University’s Title IX policy to the student senate on Wednesday.The updated process expands the options students have when reporting sexual assault or harassment to the University. Both the victim, or “complainant,” and the perpetrator, or “respondent,” have more autonomy in the new process.Ryan showed the senate the resources available on the Notre Dame Title IX website, including information on how to confidentially and non-confidentially report sexual violence, documents explaining the student reporting process and past Student Climate Surveys showing the prevalence of sexual violence at Notre Dame.“[Title IX] is about making sure that students, faculty and staff have space on campus and can pursue academic inquiry, can pursue co-curricular activities and have a full experience at the institution,” Ryan said.The updated process, implemented in August of this year, gives complainants the choice to pursue administrative or alternative resolutions to cases. Administrative resolutions will move more quickly than under the previous process. Ryan said she hopes that resolutions will be given within 60 days of when the investigation begins in order to handle the issue efficiently and compassionately.“Even if someone might be dismissed from the University, we have a responsibility to care for them through this process,” Ryan said. “But we also have a commitment to the safety and security of our campus, too.”Ryan also announced that she will be changing positions after fall break. Starting then, she will be the director of the Office of Community Standards.Following Ryan’s presentation, student body president Rebecca Blais, student body vice president Sibonay Shewit and student government chief of staff Prathm Juneja discussed the report they will present to the Board of Trustees regarding on-campus alcohol culture.Although the report is unfinished, Blais, Shewit and Juneja talked through the research, findings and recommendations. The research is largely based on a 400-page report by the McDonald Center for Student Well-Being (McWell) detailing student drug and alcohol use.The report from McWell is partially based on student surveys and indicates that students at Notre Dame, on average, engage in more alcohol use than students at comparable universities. The national reference statistics are according to information from AlcoholEdu.“At Notre Dame, only 19.8 percent of students said that they hadn’t consumed alcohol in the past 30 days,” Blais said. “That’s compared to the national reference group of 36.4 [percent]. By extrapolation, that would say that we have a non-drinking population of about 20 percent.”Blais said that much of the alcohol consumption culture surrounds residential life on-campus.“Notre Dame actually has higher percentages of alcohol consumption both in binge-drinking and alcoholism than any of our peers, both academically and athletically,” Blais said. “It is part of our culture … and it is something we should address.”The students’ report will also contain information on drug use and sexual assault related to alcohol and drug use. Their recommendations to the Board include eliminating parietals and enhancing consistency of policy enforcement between residence halls, among other suggestions.Blais, Shewit and Juneja also support the Callisto program, currently in use at 15 other institutions, which will facilitate anonymous recording and reporting of sexual violence on campus.“Callisto is a system created by survivors, for survivors,” Blais said. “It gains a lot of autonomy.”The Committee on Sexual Assault Prevention is testing Callisto’s viability on campus. Pending a vote to move forward with Callisto on Oct. 27, Blais hopes to gain support for the program from the Board of Trustees.Tags: Senate, Title IX