The second annual Breaking Barriers Fashion Show was held at the Morris Inn on Wednesday night. The show featured members of Best Buddies, the Special Olympics, Special Friends and Super Sibs to simultaneously exemplify the work of each group and encourage others to join, as well as “break down the barriers for the full inclusion of people with developmental disabilities and help to spread awareness in the South Bend community,” according to the Notre Dame events calendar.“The goal of this fashion show is first and foremost to display the beauty of friendship and convey the dignity and worth of people with developmental or intellectual disabilities,” the description read.“It is different from other fashion shows because of the mission of the models,” freshman Meghan Freeman, a volunteer for the show, said. “This fashion show strives to embrace our differences and celebrate the bonds and friendships that have formed because of them. Not only that, but it also aims to raise money for future activities so that the benefits of the fashion show will last even after the last walk.”Freeman said the money raised from the fashion show will be used to benefit LOGAN, which funds student initiatives for the Best Buddies, Special Olympics, and Special Friends and Special Sibs clubs in the area.Senior Alexis Pala has been a Buddy and student researcher within Best Buddies since her freshman year and served as the main coordinator for the show.“Although significant progress has been made in recent years, people with intellectual disabilities continue to be segregated globally,” Pala said. “All the clubs in the show work with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in various capacities to highlight the things that they love and reveal their true potentials. With this show we want to celebrate those we work with and show everyone the relationships that we have formed and the value we bring to each others lives.”She said that the show “isn’t only about the clothes we are wearing, but the beauty of those wearing them.”According to Pala, the idea for the show was conceived after her experiences working on a similar fashion show with Best Buddies in Madrid, Spain.“We borrowed the name ‘Breaking Barriers’ from the United Nations’ campaign “breaking down barriers to full inclusion” that they used for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities,” she said.The show was brought to Notre Dame for the first time last year, when it was held in Legends Nightclub as part of Spread the Word to End the Word Day. Pala noted that this year is unique in its focus on the collaboration between the South Bend community and Notre Dame clubs.This year’s show involved an immense amount of preparation, including reaching out to potential donors, Freeman said. Clothing had to be secured for all ages and sexes through donations from Ali Boutique, Little Princess Treasures, and Macy’s.Sorella, a local boutique, was “extremely helpful and enthusiastic, and the owner worked to make sure that every buddy pair had an outfit that was perfect for them,” Freeman said.Organizers also had to secure help from Notre Dame’s University Hair Stylists to help, as well as, Chipotle and other local establishments for gift bags. The organizers also recruited volunteers to emcee, write short bios to be read during participants’ walks and help to complete various tasks.The show was emceed by one of Notre Dame’s leprechauns, Mitch Meersman, and featured a slideshow displaying each group participating in various activities from the past year. Before the show began, the night opened with a performance by the Humor Artists, a video combatting “Ableism” that addressed stigmas surrounding mental disabilities and a performance by the Pom Squad.Models walked out alongside their respective Buddies, each of whom was a Notre Dame student, as Meersman read models’ brief bios and described the outfits worn. Speeches from organizers and performances from Notre Dame a cappella groups Halftime and the Undertones were interspersed throughout the show. The night ended with all of the models and their buddies joining in to sing Notre Dame’s alma mater.“We are looking to gain more popularity and become an event that people want to come back to every year,” Freeman said. “At the end of the day, we hope to raise money to sponsor future events, and we just want everyone to have fun.”Tags: best buddies, Breaking Barriers, fashion show, LOGAN, Special Olympics, Super Sibs
Tags: faculty, research, Thomas Reuters, Thomas Reuters’ Highly Cited Researchers list University faculty members from the Mendoza College of Business, the College of Science and the College of Engineering were included in the 2015 Thomson Reuters’ Highly Cited Researchers list, a Jan. 21 release stated on Notre Dame’s news website.“The list identifies the top 1 percent of the almost 9 million scholars and scientists who publish their academic findings every year, accounting for more than 2 million journal papers,” the release stated. “Each year the list includes more than 3,000 scientists around the world who have published the highest number of articles that are cited the most frequently by other researchers. It is compiled from two separate Thomson Reuters studies that have been analyzed for publication and citation data from 22 subject fields of study, ranging from chemistry to social sciences.”In the College of Engineering, Bertrand Hochwald is the Frank M. Freimann Professor of Electrical Engineering, and J. Nicholas Laneman is an associate professor of electrical engineering, the founding director of the Wireless Institute and a fellow of the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Value.In the College of Science, professor Timothy Beers is the Notre Dame Chair in Astrophysics, and Prashant Kamat is the Rev. John A. Zahm Professor of Science in the department of chemistry and biochemistry and the Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory, as well as concurrent professor in the department of chemical and biomolecular engineering.In the Mendoza College of Business, Luis Gómez-Mejia serves as the Ray and Milann Siegfried Professor of Management.
The Notre Dame community has the opportunity to support the South Bend community by participating in the Breen-Phillips Hall 32nd annual Meal Auction on Thursday. During the event, students will have the chance to bid on dining with various “campus celebrities,” as well as gift baskets, gift cards and several other prize items. All profits from the auction will go to Meals on Wheels of St. Joseph County.Janice Chung | The Observer Co-chair and sophomore Jennifer Flanagan said the event is centered around the theme of community.“Meals on Wheels is a local charity, so we’re giving back to the South Bend community, and it’s also branching out to the Notre Dame community with all of these professors and coaches that are taking students into their homes or out in South Bend and treating them to dinner,” she said.Flanagan said other prizes being raffled or auctioned off include gift certificates to local restaurants such as CJ’s Pub, Le Peep and Rocky River Tap & Table. Other items available at the auction include Bose wireless speaker, a $100 Lululemon gift card, tickets to this summer’s PGA Tour, tickets to multiple Chicago Blackhawks games and tickets to a Chicago Cubs game.According to the Breen-Phillips Meal Auction Facebook event, several celebrity meals being auctioned off are with various Irish head coaches, including football coach Brian Kelly, women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw and men’s basketball coach Mike Brey.Other prizes being auctioned off include a private tour of the two new residence halls led by vice president of student affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding, a home cooked meal or Irish tea at the Fiddler’s Hearth with Assistant Director of Social Concerns Seminars Kyle Lantz, a class with True Balance Yoga founder Steve Krojniewski and a home-cooked, traditional South African dinner at professor Anré Venter’s home.Students can pay for auction items with Domer Dollars, Venmo, cash or checks.Procuring donations from local restaurants “has been a lot of work, but it’s definitely been worth it,” Flanagan said. The auction has evolved since its early years, and up until last year, only celebrity meals were auctioned off, and the event was a live two-hour auction.“That was hard because it’s hard to get students on a school night to commit two hours,” Flanagan said.This year, the auction will last from 4 to 9 p.m., during which students can stop in to the Dooley Room at any time and fill out bid sheets and raffle tickets. At the end of night, if any events are still being bid competitively, the auction will go live.“Typically it raises a couple thousand dollars, so we’re hoping it’ll raise that for Meals on Wheels again,” Flanagan said.Flanagan said there will be special events throughout the night to entertain those who come to the auction. From 4 to 5 p.m., campus representatives from Rockstar Energy Drinks will be at the auction distributing free drinks and merchandise. From 5 to 6 p.m., campus representatives from KIND Snacks will be giving out granola bars; from 6 to 7 p. m., students who buy raffle tickets will get free berries donated from Meijer’s grocery stores; and from 7 to 8 p.m., campus representatives from Vineyard Vines will be giving out free merchandise.“The most important part is that it’s for a really great charity; I think that’s why we’ve gotten so many awesome donations, and I’ve been surprised at how generous South Bend has been,” Flanagan said. “It’s brought BP together, it’s brought some really cool professors together, so ultimately we hope it raises a ton of money for Meals on Wheels.”Tags: Breen-Phillips, meal auction
Student body vice president Becca Blais’s goals for this semester included some major reform of the Notre Dame student senate, including eliminating some aspects of parliamentary procedure and generally promoting greater efficiency of the body.“[Parliamentary Procedure] being removed from Senate has facilitated discussion,” Blais said. “We did retain the basic outline of meeting structure that [Parliamentary Procedure] provides and we do use it when it comes to voting, but other than that, it is totally out. We no longer have to deal with tedious motions of moving in and out of discussion, and Senators don’t have to be self-conscious about using the wrong motion or speaking out of turn in a debate. The removal of [Parliamentary Procedure] has definitely had a beneficial impact on Senate, especially in regard to flow of and access to discussion.”The first change Blais made was organizing senate into a number of smaller committees, each of which has a chairperson and meets weekly, beyond the senate meetings.“The committee structure has provided a critical lens for senators to view their topics, a small group for break-out discussion, and a bond between the senators,” Blais said in an email. “The four committee focuses have been applied to the topics that we discuss in senate, and they have been used to spur additional policy research by the senators outside of the larger senate meeting time.”Every senator sits on two committees, according to Blais, unless they are on the Campus Life Council.“Committees meet once a week to work on policy, and I meet once a week with the committee chairpeople to discuss those ideas and plans,” Blais said. “The break-out discussions have facilitated better large-group discussion within Senate, and they provide a forum for everyone to bounce ideas and have their voice heard. The bond has formed due to them having another level of interaction — the sustained interaction among the senators has facilitated some awesome friendships in senate.”Each committee has a clear, articulated vision and the reform has been effective in setting meaningful policy agendas in a smaller group setting, Blais said.“Structurally, I think that senate’s greatest accomplishment has been the reconfigure of what is means to be a senator and student leader at Notre Dame,” she said. “Senators have taken on huge leadership roles, and they have brilliantly risen to occasion.”In the 16 meetings since the Robinson-Blais administration took office, the student senate has passed 16 resolutions on a variety of topics, ranging from the elimination of some elements of parliamentary procedure to a resolution calling on University President Fr. John Jenkins to make Notre Dame a sanctuary campus.The student senate has also heard several presentations throughout the year and were one of the first student groups to hear about the upcoming renovations to North Dining Hall. Additionally, they heard from representatives from the Title IX office, the Career Center, the Office of Community Standards and the Office of Student Enrichment, among others.Outside of the weekly senate meetings, a number of student senators have begun getting dinners together in order to discuss a their different ideas, Blais said.All senators have undergone GreeNDot bystander training this year, which has yielded a positive reaction from the senators on the whole, according to a midterm survey Blais issued to the senators.Student body president Corey Robinson said senate had been undervalued, but he said he appreciates the reforms that were made.“When you see what [Blais] did with it — giving senators autonomy, giving them responsibility and telling senators they can address any issues they want to — they’re excited to draft resolutions.” Tags: 2016 Student Government Insider, Notre Dame Student Senate, Senate, student senate
Members of the South Bend community, many dressed in pink, will be marching this Saturday in solidarity with one cause: women’s rights.The Feminist Federation of South Bend and Pro-Choice South Bend are hosting a short march through downtown South Bend in an effort to emphasize the importance of women’s rights, safety, health and families. The Notre Dame Gender Studies department is also a sponsor.Media coordinator of Pro-Choice South Bend Karen Nemes said although the main march is being held in Washington, D.C., there are many local organizations working towards raising awareness as well.“It’s always really uplifting,” Nemes said about the march. “I always get an immense recharge of my own batteries when I see people of all ages and different socioeconomic backgrounds and ethnic groups in solidarity.”Jamie Morgan, director of the board for Pro-Choice South Bend, said the local march started when members of the community came forward and said they wanted to do something like the Women’s March on Washington but closer to home.“We have invited everyone, the march is for all,” Morgan said. “From this march, we hope that we are more aware and united so that people can continue to take action in supporting equal rights for all.”According to the Facebook event, participants are encouraged to wear pink and hold signs as they march. The march will conclude at Vegetable Buddies with food, drink and dance for all those who participated.Junior Joey Wikelski said not only is the march important because it champions for women’s rights, but also because it is an act of solidarity with the hundreds of sister marches taking place across the country on the same day. Taking place the day after Inauguration Day, Wikelski said she hopes this march holds extra importance.“I hope the march sends a message to our new administration on their first day in office and to everyone who felt threatened or insulted by campaign rhetoric that we believe women’s rights are human rights and that when we defend the marginalized among us, we defend all of us,” Wikelski said.Wikelski said when she heard about the March on Washington, she was so excited that she started to look at flights. However, when she found out there was also a march in South Bend, she knew she could not turn down the opportunity to be able to support the same cause locally.“As a Notre Dame student, the Women’s March on South Bend will be another opportunity to break out of the Notre Dame bubble and stand in solidarity with people from the South Bend community as we collectively bring attention to important issues facing women in the United States today,” Wikelski said. “It’s also been exciting to see other students from the Notre Dame family want to get involved; on Saturday, I’ll be leading a carpool of friends downtown so we can all march together.”Nemes said anyone who is in support of the platform and wants to work both locally and nationally is welcome to get involved. She said the focus on the march is really about unity and equality.“It’s bigger than any one person or politician,” Nemes said. “Certainly, the election took up a lot of national attention this past year and I think for a lot of folks that really inspired them to be more politically active whether it’s locally or on a larger scale.”Wikelski said she is excited to meet the other marchers and have their voices be heard as well.“For me, I’m hoping the positive energy of the march and the feeling of being involved in what is greater than myself will be a boost in energy and morale as I figure out my role in the movement,” Wikelski said.Tags: Donald Trump, Presidential Inauguration, Women’s March on South Bend
Sarah Olson | The Observer Professor Michael Desch and University students Mackenzie Nolan and Kathleen Kollman discuss their recent trip to the Vatican. The group met the pope and attended a conference focused on nuclear disarmament.In a panel hosted Tuesday night, the group discussed their experiences at the Vatican, as well as Pope Francis’s condemnation of nuclear weapons.For the group that traveled to the Vatican, the highlight of the visit was meeting personally with the pope, Powers said. The pope met with over 300 strangers, yet greeted each one with so much energy it seemed as though he was greeting the first, Powers added.Chris Haw, a doctoral student in theology at the Kroc Institute, echoed Pope Francis’s message in support of nuclear disarmament and said the conference helped him solidify his stance.“Even with what we have … one of the overarching themes is that they are sapping our world of resources and that they are now increasingly destabilizing us,” Haw said. “We need to come to grips that they are increasingly destabilizing international diplomacy.”The use of nuclear weapons was utopian, shortsighted and irrational, Haw said. “Deterrence is building on sand, increasingly building on sand,” he said. “Lasting peace is built by vigilant diplomatic efforts and human development.”Haw said in one sense “the multi-national chorus of peace-builders was even more thrilling than meeting the pope.” “We’re all connected in that whether we destroy or safeguard nature, our fear or our courage, all of these things affect our brothers and sisters,” he said. “We’re living amidst a moral emergency for which we are all co-responsible. We in the nuclear countries live in a haze of moral deprivation and logic distortion. If we don’t change, things won’t change.” Political science professor Michael Desch challenged Haw’s stance.“In general, it was a terrific couple of days. And the high point of the audience with the Holy Father is something I know I’ll never forget,” Desch said. “In terms of the concrete message of the conference, I came away not convinced.” Twelve Notre Dame students and recent alumni and five faculty members travelled to the Vatican to meet the pope and attend a conference on a topic that continues to dominate headlines: nuclear weapons.“This was probably the most public and high-level event on this issue since the end of the Cold War,” Gerard Powers, director of Catholic peacebuilding studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, said. “After the Cold War, the Holy See was increasingly outspoken about the immorality of the use of nuclear weapons. This is the first time that a pope condemned not only the use, but the possession of nuclear weapons.” Photo courtesy of Notre Dame Junior Monica Montgomery shakes the pope’s hand while on a trip to the Vatican. Montgomery joined 11 other University students, alumni and five faculty members in attending a conference hosted by the pope.Desch said nuclear deterrence is not a theory of nuclear use. Rather, it is a theory of purposive non-use of nuclear weapons.“Deterrence is not nuclear use, and we shouldn’t forget that,” he said. “The position of the Church … wrongly assumes that counter-value or population targeting has been a part of U.S. nuclear strategy for most of the Cold War. On that score they’re fundamentally wrong.”There has been significant nuclear drawdown since the Cold War, Desch said.“There’s still plenty of nuclear power out there, but the idea that nothing has changed is very hard to sustain,” he said. “We now have nine nuclear powers. This is a bad thing in one sense, but in another sense we could have a world, and we expected a world of 50 nuclear powers back in the days of proliferation studies. At least five states have walked back from pretty serious nuclear programs.”Desch said he is a realist and thinks it is idealistic to believe a world without nuclear weapons could become reality.“I was very unpersuaded by the integral nuclear disarmament view that everything is connected,” he said. “It seems to me hard to sustain the argument that if there weren’t nuclear weapons that huge amounts of money … that if we cut this out we would be spending a lot of money on other worthy causes, particularly the elimination of poverty. The bottom line for me is we ought to be careful what we wish for.”Junior political science and Arabic major Mackenzie Nolan said the discussion with nuclear weapons does not just stop at deterrence. What is necessary now, she said, is education.“We were lucky enough to go to this conference, and I think it’s our responsibility now to bring it back to campus,” Nolan said. “We all have different backgrounds, so I think understanding those backgrounds will help improve discourse.”Graduate student at the Keough School of Global Affairs Kathleen Kollman said students should be educated on the gravity of the threat of nuclear weapons. Until then, she said, students cannot selectively focus on sole issues such as mass migration or climate change.“Unfortunately we don’t have the luxury of focusing only on those issues. The issue of nuclear weapons stands in our way,” Kollman said. “What it took for me to care was a wake-up call from reality that the threat from nuclear weapons is far from over.”Tags: nuclear disarmament, nuclear weapons, Pope Francis, Vatican
Rosie LoVoi | The Observer Morrissey Manor stands next to Howard and Lyons halls on South Quad.Morrissey houses around 180 “Manorites” from each year. The dorm hosts signature events such as the Medallion Hunt, essentially a giant scavenger hunt to find a medallion hidden somewhere on Notre Dame’s campus. “The RAs and ARs that create the clues are usually very creative, and lots of people enjoy deciphering the clues and the hunt,” Quigley said. Morrissey also hosted the very first outdoor game watch on South Quad for the Michigan State football game this year. Sophomore and hall president Ryan Doyle said that the game watch was a huge success and that Morrissey plans to continue this tradition in the future. Another treasured tradition among the men of Morrissey is their basement food sales, Doyle said. The restaurant is called “Yaz’s” after Carl Yastrzemski, Hall of Fame baseball player for the Boston Red Sox and one of Morrissey’s more notable former residents. The profits from Yaz’s go to supporting Morrissey’s charity, the Hill School in Uganda. “The food sales in the basement of Morrissey are super effective and raise a lot of money,” Doyle said. “All the profits go to charity.” Morrissey is one of only three dorms on campus to not carry the title “hall,” along with Zahm House and Sorin College. In an email, rector Zack Imfeld shared a story he heard about how the Manor possibly came to be.“An older Holy Cross priest stopped by one day and said he lived in Morrissey during the 1950s and when they decided to call themselves the Manor,” Imfeld said. “He said that the men were getting into a little bit of trouble, so they thought by naming their building a Manor, the men would hold themselves to a higher standard. From my experience, it worked — we have some of the best guys on campus!”Morrissey is known for having the smallest rooms on campus, but Doyle said this is actually a positive quality because it increases fellowship among the residents. To make up for the small room sizes, there are large common rooms in each section that the residents can furnish as they choose.“There’s a great community because very few people are spending the majority of their time in their room because it’s so small,” Doyle said. “People are forced out, and you get to meet pretty much everyone. I don’t know if there’s many people in Morrissey that I don’t know.”Morrissey is the next dorm to be renovated, so its residents will be residing in Pangborn Hall next year. When asked how he felt the Morrissey community would respond to this change, Quigley expressed faith in the camaraderie of the Morrissey men to make it through the year.“While we do love our building and we think it is beautiful and will miss it, we don’t really think that the building identifies us,” Quigley said. “The people in the dorm are what are important, and we will all still be together whether it is in the Manor or Pangborn. Our traditions will continue, and we will adapt in any way that we have to in order to grow our community and events.” Tags: dorm features, Morrissey Manor, yaz’s Established in 1925, Morrissey Manor has been home to Notre Dame men for nearly a century. Part of the “Golden Coast” along with Lyons and Howard Halls on South Quad, the Manor’s elaborate architecture is among the most distinctive at Notre Dame. Junior and incoming RA Brian Quigley explained some of the symbolism behind Morrissey’s iconic exterior in an email. “[Morrissey] was intentionally built slightly asymmetric if you look at it closely, representing the fact that only God is truly perfect,” Quigley said. “It was named after Andrew Morrissey, the school’s seventh president. There is an X-shaped cross on the building that represents the crucifixion of St. Andrew, the patron saint of Fr. Morrissey.”
Courtesy of PBS Former Fighting Irish football coach Lou Holtz gave a five minute speech at the Republican National Convention, Wednesday evening. Holtz spoke to the importance of values and Catholicism.University President Fr. John Jenkins issued a statement Thursday, distancing Notre Dame from any and all political views Holtz expressed in his speech.“While Coach Lou Holtz is a former coach at Notre Dame, his use of the University’s name at the Republican National Convention must not be taken to imply that the University endorses his views, any candidate or any political party,” the statement said.Sophomore Emily Kane said she felt ashamed when she read excerpts from the speech, and junior Avery Garrity said she was disappointed to see Holtz speak at the RNC.“While he wasn’t speaking on behalf of Notre Dame officially, when people see Lou Holtz, they think of Notre Dame. And he talked about the statue that he has on our campus and so I was hoping that no one took from that speech that that was the same view that Notre Dame has,” Garrity said.Junior Sarah Scharf said she did not think that speech was unusual.“I didn’t think that there was anything particularly controversial in it,” junior Sarah Scharf said of the speech. “Sounds to me like he was mostly just saying that he loves this country and he supports Trump, both of which are pretty fair opinions.”Junior Sean Hughes said it was unexpected, but he did not have an issue with what Holtz said.“I was kind of surprised, to be honest, that he was doing it. It wasn’t something I was expecting,” junior Sean Hughes said. “But I’d say overall, I was happy that he was expressing his opinion.”Hughes also referenced Wednesday night’s boycotts led by players from the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Women’s NBA, Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball in the wake of Jacob Blake’s police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin.“I thought that was super powerful, that now — in the sports world — it’s become more important to not hide away from issues occurring around the world, but really express how you feel,” Hughes said. “You’re more than an athlete, you’re more than a coach.”Holtz began his five-minute speech by talking about growing up poor in a one-bedroom house in West Virginia. In spite of this, he said, his parents taught him priceless lessons. One of these was that life is about making choices, according to Holtz. This theme of decision-making was the basis of Holtz’s speech.“Wherever you are, good or bad, don’t blame anyone else. Go get an education, get to work. You can overcome any obstacle,” Holtz said. “And always remember that in this great country of ours, anyone can amount to something special.”“But there are people today, like politicians, professors, protesters and, of course, President Trump’s naysayers in the media, who like to blame others for problems. They don’t have pride in our country,” he added.Holtz then mentioned his ties to the University. Specifically, the sculpture of him that has stood by the stadium for 12 years.“There’s a statue of me at Notre Dame. I guess they needed a place for the pigeons to land. But if you look closely, you’ll see these three words there: trust, commitment and love.”After Wednesday’s RNC, an alum wrote a Letter to the Editor Thursday, calling on the University to remove the statue and cut ties with the one-time football coach.In his speech, Holtz said he makes decisions based upon the three words inscribed on his statue — regarding anyone, from his wife, to the athletes he has coached, to politicians.He asks himself three things, he said. “One, can I trust them?”“One of the important reasons he has my trust is because nobody has been a stronger advocate for the unborn than President Trump,” Holtz said, answering his question.Garrity disagreed with Holtz.“We can’t trust Donald Trump — he’s a known liar,” Garrity said. “It’s been reported that, as of this past July, he’s uttered over 20,000 false claims since being president. And it’s especially dangerous right now during the pandemic that we’re facing.”“The Biden-Harris ticket is the most radically pro-abortion campaing in history,” Holtz continued. “They and other politicians are Catholic in name only.”While Democratic candidate Joe Biden identifies as Catholic, his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, was raised on Hinduism and Christianity and she considers herself a Baptist, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.Jenkins seemingly addressed this contentious part of Holtz’s speech in his statement as well. “We Catholics should remind ourselves that while we may judge the objective moral quality of another’s actions, we must never question the sincerity of another’s faith, which is due to the mysterious working of grace in that person’s heart,” the University president said.Garrity pointed out that in 2016, the University awarded Biden with the Laetare Medal, “the oldest and most prestigious honor accorded to American Catholics,” according to the University.Referring to Biden and Harris, Scharf said: “If they’re not pro-life then that’s a big issue for me, at least, in saying that they do live by Catholic ideals, because being pro-life is very important for the majority of Catholics.”As of 2019, 56% of Catholics believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, whereas 42% believe it should be illegal in all or most cases, according to the Pew Research Center.As he continued his speech, Holtz said he then asks himself a second question — whether they are committed to doing their very best. According to the former Figthing Irish coach, the president is. “President Trump finds solutions. President Trump is committed,” he said.Third, Holtz said he asks himself whether that person loves other people. “To me, this is very clear. President Trump has demonstrated, through his prison reform, advocating for school choice and welfare reform, that he wants Americans from all walks of life to have the opportunity to succeed and live the American dream,” he said. “If I apply this test to Joe Biden, I can’t say yes to any of these three questions.”Kane disagreed with Holtz’s assessment of the president. “I do not believe Donald Trump is worthy of trust. I don’t think he has shown commitment to respecting all human beings. I don’t think he has shown love to all human beings,” she said.Both her and Garrity referred to the ways in which President Trump has referred to and acted toward women, for instance.In closing, Holtz referenced Notre Dame one last time: “I used to ask our athletes at Notre Dame: ‘If you did not show up, who would miss you and why?’ Can you imagine what would happen to us if President Trump had not shown up in 2016 to run for President?”Kane sad she thinks the country would have been better if President Trump had not shown up.“I’m going to imagine a world where Donald Trump did not show up. And I will focus on the recent history of this year. Our president downplayed the severity of the coronavirus,” Kane said. “I think our country could have faced this crisis a lot better.”Reflecting on the overall message in Holtz’s speech, Hughes said he thinks a diversity of backgrounds and opinions makes Notre Dame unique, and that the only way the community can understand each other is by listening.He said he considered himself more of a conservative before coming to Notre Dame, but the conversations he has had with one of his former roommates, who has a different family and political background, have been “really eye-opening.”“I know not everyone’s gonna agree with what [Holtz] says, and that’s completely fine. But, like I was saying, it starts the conversation,” Hughes added.Students had different expectations about how the political environment will feel on campus as the November general election draws near.“I’m very nervous about the discourse,” Scharf said. “When talking about political ideas, especially during election time, I think it’s really important to remember that the people that you disagree with are still people.”Hughes said he thinks some good might come out of any tension. “Opinions will polarize, definitely, and tensions will rise. But at the same time, the good that might come out of it is that more people will vote,” he said.The University was set to hold the first 2020 presidential debate, but withdrew late July due to the health precautions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.“I think it will get more polarized as the election approaches,” Kane said. “I think it would have been worse if we actually held the debate on campus.”Garrity agreed with Kane’s speculation.“I think maybe having the debate on campus would have elicited some more fighting between students or unrest,” Garrity said. Overall, Garrity expressed feeling positive about the civil discourse she has evidenced among students thus far.“I believe that we all do care about each other and we’re united by the fact that we all go to Notre Dame and we are the Fighting Irish and I hope that the election doesn’t cause any tension in the student body,” she said.Tags: Lou Holtz, president trump, republican national convention Former Fighting Irish head coach Lou Holtz gave a virtual speech in support of President Donald Trump during Wednesday’s Republican National Convention (RNC). A longtime Republican, Holtz endorsed President Trump’s administration and his reelection campaign ahead of the November general election, using coach-like language to describe the incumbent as a winner.
Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Cutout Photo: Elvert Barnes / CC BY-SA 2.0ALBANY – A decades-old law that kept law enforcement officers’ disciplinary records secret in New York appeared to be headed for an overhaul this week as state lawmakers moved to act on a number of police accountability measures prompted by street demonstrations over the death of George Floyd.The state law, known by its section title, 50-a, was passed in the 1970s to prevent criminal defense attorneys from subjecting officers to cross-examinations about irrelevant information in their personnel file. The law applies to jail guards and firefighters, as well.But over the years, the law also draped a veil over most records of alleged police misconduct. Formal complaints about excessive force by officers are not public in New York. In recent years, police departments have cited the law in refusing to say even whether officers have been punished.The Democrat-led Legislature planned to pass a repeal this week and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he intends to sign it, noting that such records are already available for other government employees, such as teachers and toll takers. “Their records will be available,” Cuomo said. “It is just parity and equality with every other public employee.”The leaders of a coalition of police unions argued in a statement Monday that releasing such records, including complaints, could leave officers facing “unavoidable and irreparable harm to reputation and livelihood.”The legislation would provide officers with some privacy protections, including redaction of home addresses, personal phone numbers and email addresses.The legislation was among a package of police accountability bills that began to move through the legislature Monday, and some of which were passed. The state Senate and Assembly passed legislation that bans police chokeholds, guarantees the right to record police activity and collects more data on deaths in custody.Another bill that makes it easier to file civil lawsuits against people who call 911 and falsely accuse someone of criminal activity based only on their race or background also passed.A vote on opening police disciplinary records could come as soon as Tuesday.Meanwhile, the protests that sparked the reform push continued around New York City on Monday, and organizers urged people to stay in the streets.Protest organizer Carlos Polanco was cheered by hundreds at Washington Square Park as he asked for further change, including diverting funding from the city’s police department to the school system, social workers and programs that prioritize rehabilitation over punishment.“This is the closest we’ve ever been” to lasting reforms, he said, but added “we don’t want crumbs. We want all of it.”Later in the day, Polanco urged a crowd gathered at Gracie Mansion to call their senators and demand that the state’s police records law be repealed Tuesday.Civil liberty and criminal justice reform groups have long pushed for a repeal of the law, but that effort got new momentum amid huge protests over Floyd’s death and images of violent confrontations between officers and demonstrators.Only New York and Delaware have state laws that provide law enforcement “with special carve outs from records disclosure,” according to a statement from advocacy groups including Common Cause New York and the New York Public Interest Research Group.“What’s become increasingly clear over the past few days is how much a lack of transparent accountability measures leads to police acting with impunity in our communities,” said Michael Sisitzky, lead policy counsel for the New York Civil Liberties Union.“We’ve seen police officers drive cars into crowds of protesters and pull down a person’s face mask in order to pepper spray them,” Sisitzky said. “We’ve seen lawmakers arrested and pepper-sprayed while attempting to mediate.”Critics of the repeal include Republican Sen. Patrick Gallivan — a former sheriff in Erie County, home to the state’s second largest city, Buffalo — who noted the overwhelming number of complaints against officers are deemed unfounded.“I think people are calling for a reform that doesn’t get at any of the problems that we face as a society,” Gallivan said in an interview.The law gained widespread attention in 2016, when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio argued it prevented the release of disciplinary records of the police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.Garner’s death — after he refused to be handcuffed for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes — came at a time of a growing public outcry over police killings of unarmed black men that gave impetus to the national Black Lives Matter movement.Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, last year urged Cuomo and New York state lawmakers to repeal a law that she has said “is harming me and my family.”
Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Image by Justin Gould / WNY News Now.JAMESTOWN – A longtime downtown Jamestown restaurant is once again closing temporarily due to COVID-19 concerns, but plans to reopen for takeout in the near future.Taco Hut owners Jim and Kim Mason tell WNY News Now online rumors that their restaurant has permanently closed is false.The Masons say the establishment closed temporally on Tuesday to make renovations before reopening for pickup and delivery.“It is different to be in the food business at this time in our lives because people who look well may be very sick,” said Jim Mason who turned 80 this spring. “If you are not careful, somebody could catch this virus and die; we are very careful on what we do and what we say.” Kim Mason says they have a lot invested in the community, and the community has a lot invested in them, something they are not ready to give up yet.“We’ve owned this business for 48 years, he (Jim) put the man on the moon before this, he came back here in 1972 to start this business, that is a great accomplishment here in Jamestown,” said Kim Mason. “We want to see it continue, we want to have our employees, have customers come in, but COVID has had a big impact on that.”Taco Hut previously closed this year due to the pandemic, but reopened for takeout and later indoor dining in June.The Mason’s don’t have a specific timeline for reopening takeout services, but say they plan to announce more soon. Once the pandemic is over, the family owned business hopes to reopen indoor dining and welcome the community back for the full Taco Hut experience.