Activist highlights climate change

first_imgFormer Iowa Lawmaker and climate activist Ed Fallon visited Saint Mary’s on Friday to discuss his journey from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. and how it impacted him and Americans he met along the way.Fallon spent March 1 to Nov. 1, 2014, on a 3,000 mile walk from California to Washington, leading 35 climate activists. In his presentation, Fallon introduced the audience to a fellow marcher, described the climate crisis and offered suggestions for more sustainable lifestyles in the “New Climate Era.”During the march, the group not only walked and talked about climate change, but they also personally experienced changes throughout their trip, Fallon said.Fallon said on the very first night of the trip, the group was unable to camp in a church’s parking lot because there had been a large amount of rain. The church then allowed the travelers to stay inside.Fallon said the unexpected kindness shown by the church and the amount of rain California had produced that day were two inspiring reasons that led the group to keep walking.“What we’re dealing with is unprecedented,” Fallon said.Fallon also described the devastation and impact of wild fires and how they harm the environment, telling the audience to “take action now” and begin to “change our lives.”Sometimes, the group thought of themselves as the “Paul Reveres of Climate Crisis” after making this journey and sharing their knowledge, Fallon said.The walkers journeyed through California, Colorado, Nebraska and eventually, they made it to the White House, he said. While some of the marchers only joined for bits and pieces of the trek, Fallon walked the entire route with the help of a walking stick made at a monastery.“It was an amazing experience, and I don’t know how we did it,” Fallon said.Fallon said he was able to break through the political orientation of those he met throughout the country, as most could see the importance of climate change and our need to take action now.When asked by a student how she could get involved on campus to take climate action, Fallon said leadership opportunities can help, but it is best to start with everyday things.This event was part of the Saint Mary’s Justice Fridays series, sponsored by Justice Education, the department of political science, environmental studies and the Office of Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE).Tags: climate activism, climate activist, Climate change, ed fallon, iowa lawkmaker, Justice Education, Justice Friday, new climate eralast_img read more

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Notre Dame launches GreeNDot program to combat violence on campus

first_imgThe GreeNDot program, a violence prevention strategy following the national Green Dot campaign, officially launched at Notre Dame on Friday with informational booths on campus and an introduction at Friday night’s hockey game, where the Irish played Minnesota. Kate Morgan, co-chair of the GreeNDot communications committee and associate director of communications for Campus Ministry, said in an email that although the program has only been officially active for a few days, the student response has been impressive.“Overall, the response from students has been amazing,” she said. “On Friday alone we collected over 450 green dots, which means 450 students took the time to listen to a five minute overview speech about the program, registered their email addresses or told us what they were personally doing online using the hashtag #NDGreeNDot. Our goal is to collect 5,000 green dots in the next two weeks.”Events and promotions similar to those at the hockey game will occur at the men’s and women’s basketball games Nov. 17 and Nov. 18, respectively, Morgan said. “Student fans receive free giveaways, including pens and T-shirts, and have the opportunity to sign up for an upcoming bystander training,” she said. “The Green Dot video is also shown at the sporting events and, at the hockey game, the players even wore green jerseys in honor of the program.” Morgan said GreeNDot is not intended to replace older programs at the University, such as the ‘One is Too Many’ campaign but is intended as an extension.“GreeNDot is being utilized in conjunction with existing programs at Notre Dame also used to prevent and report power-based violence, such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking,” Morgan said. “It should be viewed as an important continuation of the efforts of many, including the programs facilitated by the University-wide Committee on Sexual Assault Prevention (CSAP) and student government.”GreeNDot is distinct from the other programs in that it emphasizes small actions contributing to a change in culture, Morgan said. “What’s different is that GreeNDot invites the Notre Dame community to reconsider their roles in prevention by doing their part, no matter how small,” she said. “A ‘Green Dot’ could be striking up a conversation with a friend or family member about how much violence prevention matters or putting an awareness post on Facebook.”The first step of reaching people through GreeNDot is the overview speech, which serves as an introduction and invites participants to attend a bystander training session. According to Morgan, 55 groups from the University have had or have signed up for overview speeches, reaching over 2,500 students and 250 faculty and staff members. Morgan said the next bystander training sessions are Nov. 23 and 30, for three hours each, and Dec. 5 for the six-hour session at once. “The bystander training is a six-hour training that helps students learn about the different types of power-based violence and equips them with the motivation, knowledge and skills they need to take action,” Morgan said. “It is composed of individual reflection, large group activities and small group interaction.”GreeNDot has been so successful so far because it takes a daunting task, sexual assault prevention, and makes it more manageable to address as an individual, Morgan said. “I think students welcome this approach to sexual assault prevention as it doesn’t force one person to do everything, but rather, encourages everyone to do something,” she said. “The Notre Dame community is committed to ending violence on our campus, and GreeNDot provides us all with a way to help.” Tags: greeNDot, One is too many, sexual assault prevention, Student governmentlast_img read more

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Medical app caters to senior citizens

first_imgThe development of a new app at Notre Dame is catching the attention of a specific group: senior citizens.Researchers at the University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications (iCeNSA) developed eSeniorCare, a comprehensive app that helps senior citizens manage, organize and provide feedback on their health care.Lauren Weldon Nitesh Chawla, director of iCeNSA, said the opportunity for personalized health care and a focus on the mental, physical and the social well-being of senior citizens were sources of inspiration for eSeniorCare.“Our goal was to build a network for seniors to be more empowered … to set their own goals and track them and truly achieve a personalized journey on health and wellness,” Chawla said.Chawla said researchers wanted to create an app that made a difference in society by catering to a vulnerable group. He said senior citizens were especially vulnerable, as many are unaccustomed to technology, but the developmental process was not always easy.“When we first launched the pilot … the seniors did not like it,” Chawla said. “When we first launched it they were actually quite frustrated. We were persistent … and we had multiple focus and feedback sessions with the seniors.”Chawla said collaboration with senior citizens was key to developing eSeniorCare’s appeal to its specific audience.“We learned with them on what that entire user experience should be like for them,” Chawla said. “Now they basically are champions of this application.”eSeniorCare contains features such as setting and tracking personal goals, monitoring sleep, brain games and more, Chawla said. However, its main purpose is to help cultivate an enhanced communication system between senior citizens and their caretakers by providing interactive medical features such as medication scheduling, reminders and history.“The seniors have a sense of empowerment as a result,” he said. “They feel empowered when they go to a physician and they take their tablets with them.”Chawla said the development of the app was a two-year process, and what was once a study only requiring 16 participants is now a study with 38 participants. He said eSeniorCare has not only helped the South Bend senior citizen population, but the development has also had scholarly benefits.“It gives students a translational experience,” he said. “It is an immediate feedback on outcomes [that] actually makes a difference to a person.”eSeniorCare has created a new support system for senior citizens that allows them to create their own personal social network, he said.“The individual is able to have more knowledge, more awareness and be able to communicate that with the health providers and give feedback to the health providers as well,” he said.Chawla said that as the population ages, demands for technological advances like eSeniorCare are necessary to provide mental, medical and social support for senior citizens.“In 10 years … there will be an expectation of this kind of technology,” he said. “I believe that we are ahead and constructive in that space.”Tags: app, iCeNSA, senior citizenslast_img read more

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Former President George W. Bush participates in building dedication at Notre Dame

first_imgFormer President of the United States George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush participated in the dedication of O’Neill Hall on Friday night, the University announced in a press release Saturday.According to the release, Bush’s participation in the event marked his sixth visit to Notre Dame’s campus, including when he served as the 2001 Commencement speaker and received an honorary degree.The press release said Bush participated in the dedication due to his friendship with Joseph I. O’Neill III — after whom the building is named — and his wife, Jan. A graduate of the class of 1967, O’Neill has been a member of the University Board of Trustees since 2001, according to the release.The 100,000-squre-foot, seven-story O’Neill Hall is the building on the South side of Notre Dame Stadium and will be the new home of music and sacred music at the University. To accomplish this mission, the building houses the LaBar Family Recital Hall, LaBar Family Performance Hall, a music library, a production lab, a lecture hall, classrooms, rehearsal spaces, practice rooms and faculty offices for both the department of music and for department of sacred music at Notre Dame.Tags: Board of Trustees, George W. Bush, O’Neill Hall, Sacred Musiclast_img read more

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Community gathers to honor 9/11

first_imgMany Notre Dame students were between the ages of 1 and 5 when the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, occurred. For some, it was one of their first concrete memories. Others were too young to remember the event.To commemorate this day, students and community members gathered at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes on Tuesday night at 8:46 p.m., exactly 12 hours after the time of day the first plane hit the World Trade Center in New York City. Anna Mason | The Observer Students gather in recognition of the Sept. 11 attacks at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes Tuesday night. University President Emeritus Fr. Edward Malloy spoke at the memorial service. University President Emeritus Fr. Edward Malloy, who led the University during the time of the 9/11 attacks, presided over the memorial service. He recalled doing the same 17 years ago to the day in front of the Golden Dome.“As [Sept. 11, 2001,] went on, there was a great sense of fear about what was coming next,” Malloy said. “Like Notre Dame always does in a moment of crisis, we organized a Mass on the Main Quad. Around 10,000 people were present.”Malloy also spoke of his struggle to find any words to say during his homily on that day.“We needed comfort and consolation,” he said. “We needed to believe that God was with us. I thought of the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the one in front of the Main Building. ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden light.’”Though there were not 10,000 people at the Grotto on Tuesday night, the gathered crowd filled the surrounding area, illuminating the twilight with candles that were left in prayer when the service ended. Sophomore Aaron Benavides, student government’s director of faith and service, said the tradition is of high importance for the Notre Dame community.“We make sure that we continue this tradition because it’s so important for us to remember the tragic events of that day, such a defining part of American history,” Benavides said. “This was my first time going, and I was honestly floored with how many people came. It really speaks about the great sense of community and family we have here at Notre Dame.”The service ended with a quiet sign of peace filled with emotional embraces. “Having this event year after year, as it begins to fade from our memory a little bit — I think this event really has the power to remind us of what happened on that day and to come together as a community,” Benavides said. Tags: 9/11, 9/11 Memorial, Memorial Servicelast_img read more

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SIBC provides professional experiences to undergraduates

first_imgCelebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Notre Dame’s Student International Business Council (SIBC), has maintained their mission of “Peace through Commerce” over the years through a variety of professional experience projects available to undergraduates.Founded in 1989, SIBC was endorsed by University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh and endowed by Frank Potenziani in an effort to create an organization with an emphasis on ethical leadership with a global perspective. Since its conception, SIBC has grown to become the University’s largest student-run organization, with over 1,700 students participating in a variety of projects last year.Senior and SIBC president, Miles Wood, said SIBC primarily functions as a resource for students to get practical professional experience through partnerships with alumni at a number of companies.“At the end of the day we’re trying to get people exposed to different career paths and help them learn not only what those jobs are like but also how they might be successful in those fields,” Wood said.While Wood came to Notre Dame without an idea for his future career, he credits SIBC in helping shape his focus in consulting.“SIBC did a great job of demystifying consulting for me and giving me an idea of what that career path would look like,” Wood said. “After spending the summer at Boston Consulting Group I was actually shocked to see how realistic the SIBC projects in consulting portray everyday work.”Within the first few weeks of each semester, SIBC holds an all-council meeting to present students with the opportunities available to members for the upcoming semester. In order to accommodate for every major and area of interest, SIBC provides projects in different divisions, including accounting, consulting, finance, marketing and STEM. SIBC also offers international projects which connects students to companies around the world.Bruce Morris, senior and social impact co-director, first became involved in SIBC as a freshman working with Montana de Luz, a nonprofit in Honduras which works to provide orphans living with HIV/AIDS health, spiritual and educational resources to have a life into adulthood.“The project I worked on was to help rebrand and recreate their fundraising strategy so switching over to a single monthly donation to a subscription style fundraising program,” Morris said. “It was really cool to see, because unlike other project where you work in the hypothetical realm, we actually got to see the new fundraising strategy on their website a week after we presented it to them.”While social impact projects like the one Morris worked on were previously housed in a social entrepreneurship division, SIBC recently dissolved that division and incorporated social impact projects within each of the other six existing divisions.“We saw an issue where people weren’t really paying attention to the social entrepreneurship division because they were looking for the networking aspect of it all, which we do have, for example, we partner with McKinsey and Company consulting with the Montana de Luz project,” Morris said. “We thought if we put it in the main divisions we’d attract more attention, and so far it’s been working pretty well.”Although SIBC may appear to be more directed toward Mendoza College of Business students, faculty advisor Monica Laidig said the organization is open to undergraduates of all majors.“A lot of people worry about the word ‘business’ if they’re not in Mendoza, but try to look beyond that, they’re definitely welcome and employers are always looking for students with critical thinking, leadership and creativity, and that’s not only happening in the business school,” Laidig said.Morris also encouraged students across colleges to consider the opportunities SIBC provides.“Especially with the social impact projects we really want to pull from a wide variety of majors and experiences, what makes a project successful is having people from different perspectives coming in and contributing to the project,” Morris said.SIBC has already had their All-Council meeting to introduce students to different projects this year, but Laidig said if students are interested there still may be some projects they can join if they reach out to SIBC as soon as possible by going to their website.Tags: ethical business, professional development, Student International Business Councillast_img read more

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Lecturer discusses benefits of filtering pornography on Wi-Fi

first_imgDonna Rice Hughes, founder of non-profit organization Enough is Enough, identified pornography as a public health crisis during a lecture to members of the Notre Dame community Wednesday night as part of White Ribbon Against Pornography Week. Hughes’ presentation, hosted by Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP), also covered child pornography and her organization’s efforts to convince Starbucks and McDonald’s to implement pornography filters on company Wi-Fi networks.Hughes focused on both the individual and societal implications of porn use. She said, individually, porn is an addictive product that could create symptoms such as erectile dysfunction and an unhealthy perception of sex. Societally, Hughes said pornography promoted violence toward and the objectification of women. She also said an increase in demand for fetish pornography was driving an increase in human trafficking to meet that demand.Part of the presentation included a video depicting testimonials from teens negatively affected by porn.Hughes described how Enough is Enough worked both publicly and behind-the-scenes with McDonald’s and Starbucks to help the companies implement filters against pornography on franchise Wi-Fi networks. She also said installing these filters helped the companies to filter out other kinds of web traffic such as hate speech and terrorism.SCOP co-president, junior Ellie Gardey said filtering pornography makes sense for businesses.“‘The Business Case for Filtering Pornography’ highlights the broad coalition of business and social institutions mobilizing to address the harms of pornography,” Gardey said in an email. “Filtering pornography is not only an ethical move, it is a smart move for major organizations. We, as the future leaders of businesses and organizations, should be dialed into these developments.”Hughes also said the proliferation of child pornography was a pandemic, referencing statistics that indicated law enforcement was overwhelmed with the volume of child pornography on the internet. She outlined a plan for businesses to participate in addressing the crisis by eliminating sites where predators could access the internet and view or distribute child pornography.Hughes also emphasized the importance of working with business leaders to affect these policies. She characterized the problem as a matter of aligning businesses’ policies and practices with pre-existing business ethos.Before her involvement with Enough is Enough, Hughes was known for her involvement in presidential candidate Senator Gary Hart’s (D-CO) “Monkey Business” scandal in which the senator and then-presidential candidate was caught in an alleged extramarital affair. She said that experience, as well as her sexual assault as a young woman, had shaped her advocacy and she felt the issue was personal to her.“I know what it’s like to be sexually exploited,” Hughes said. “I know what it’s like to be sold down the river. A lot of the things we’re dealing with, I know firsthand what it’s like.”Hughes expressed support for Notre Dame students who are pushing for Notre Dame to install a pornography filter on school Wi-Fi.“Young people are struggling, even young people whose faith is important to them,” Hughes said. “Why make it harder for them to live out their beliefs and maintain sexual integrity? Why not do what you can to help them and not allow stuff that you know is going to put them at potential risk.”Tags: #SCOP, pornography, White Ribbon Against Pornography Weeklast_img read more

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Students discuss cancelled field placements, internships, research

first_imgIn the wake of campus closure due to the coronavirus, many Saint Mary’s students have lost access to both research opportunities, and the ability to finish field work placements required to complete their majors.Senior social work major Marie Burke was placed at South Bend’s Riley High School, assisting the school’s social worker twice a week before the College closed. At first, she was told she could return to Riley when Saint Mary’s planned to resume face-to-face classes on April 13.Burke said in an email, “Once Saint Mary’s and other surrounding schools had closed, I had a hunch Riley would close as well… As time went on, Riley closed, so I could not have returned to my internship anyway. Soon enough, on March 19th, I along with the rest of the Saint Mary’s community received the email that classes would remain online through the end of the semester. This is when I knew that I unfortunately would not be going back to Riley for my internship.”Burke is disappointed that she cannot keep working with her students at Riley but is making up her field hours in other ways to graduate on time.“While I am disheartened knowing that I will not be able to have closure with the students I worked with, luckily the cancellation will not affect my graduation,” said Burke. “My field instructor, professors and classmates have been really great about assisting each of us in finding webinars, readings, films and other resources to help us to accomplish our field work and reach our required amount of hours.”Junior Mackenzie Kersten, her professor and three other Speech Language Pathology students planned to present at the Indiana Speech and Hearing Association Conference the findings of their research on April 3. The group’s research project focused on comparing assistive listening devices — Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Assistant — how these devices measured different vocal frequencies and whether these devices could recognize the frequencies of those with speech disorders.The Indiana Speech and Hearing Association Conference created a virtual conference. However, Kersten and her research group could not finish their research because of lack of access to necessary technology.“The conference planned to do an online presentation. Sadly, we were unable to complete our research because we could not be together to test the devices as well as use the necessary software to measure the frequencies,” Kersten said.As a senior herself, Burke is concerned about finding a job after graduation. However, she knows that her time in the field has reinforced her passion about her career.“Like others, I know that I will have difficulty searching for jobs at this time, but I am trying to remain positive knowing that after a time of much adjustment social workers will be needed more than ever,” she said. “I am grateful that I was able to work at Riley High School for the time that I did, and I feel that my experience at Riley have strengthened my desire to continue in the field of Social Work.”Tags: academic research, Campus Closure, coronaviruslast_img read more

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Netflix To Start Cancelling Inactive Members

first_imgJAMESTOWN – Have you ghosted your Netflix account? Soon, the subscription service might be the one giving you the old, “it’s not you, it’s me” line.Netflix says it will start asking its inactive users if they want to keep their membership.If they don’t want it, or if they don’t respond, the company will automatically cancel their service.Netflix officials say it’s an effort to prevent people from paying for something they’re not using. Netflix will start sending out emails or in app notifications this week.The inactive accounts represent less than half of one percent of their overall member base.Netflix is coming off one of its strongest quarters ever, which saw its subscriber base surge as the coronavirus pandemic forced people to stay at home, and “chill.” 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)last_img read more

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Jamestown Man Charged Following Tuesday Afternoon Stabbing

first_imgJAMESTOWN – A City of Jamestown man was arrested and charged in connection with an afternoon stabbing Tuesday on East 8th Street.Jamestown Police say they responded to a reported stabbing just after 3 p.m. at an 8th Street residence.When officers arrived, they located a victim with multiple stab wounds. Police say the victim was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.Through investigation officers allege that William Buckley, 44, unlawfully entered the residence, started an altercation with the victim and then stabbed them. Buckley was later located, arrested and charged with second-degree assault and first-degree burglary.Police say he was taken to Jamestown City Jail pending arraignment in the case. 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) MGN Imagelast_img read more

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