Junior Declan Sullivan died Wednesday when a film tower fell over during football practice. He was 20. The accident happened around 4:50 p.m. at the LaBar Practice Complex, located on the southeast side of campus, according to a University press release. Sullivan was a resident of Fisher Hall. He was filming a football practice at the LaBar Practice Complex as part of his job for the Department of Athletics’ video crew. Sullivan was a writer for The Observer and frequently contributed to the Scene section. University President Fr. John Jenkins notified students in an e-mail Wednesday night. “No words can convey the shock and grief we all are experiencing. Declan was a well-liked, bright and enthusiastic film and marketing student and a valued member of the Notre Dame family. His death is a tremendous loss that will be felt very deeply and we share in your grief during this incredibly difficult time,” Jenkins said. Sullivan was filming from a hydraulic scissorlift when the incident occurred. He was transported to Memorial Hospital in South Bend, where he later died. “We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss,” Jenkins said in an earlier statement. “Our hearts go out to the student’s family and friends and our prayers and profound sympathies are with them during this incredibly difficult time. The loss of someone so young is a terrible shock and a great sadness. Our entire community shares in the family’s grief.” The cause of the accident is being investigated. The University will gather tomorrow for a Mass of Remembrance at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at 10 p.m.
The Student Senate planned for the final two months of the current officers’ tenure during its first meeting Wednesday, while looking ahead to its turnover to the new government. Student body president Brett Rocheleau said the group needs to stay focused during their remaining time in order to finish the term on a high note. “We have two months left in our term,” Rocheleau said. “We want everyone to buckle down, make sure you are making all of the meetings and paying attention to hall elections coming up.” Student body vice president Katie Rose echoed Rocheleau’s statement and praised the group’s hard work. “Regardless of outside opinion, this has been one of the most successful student senates because of all the resolutions we have passed in such a short amount of time,” Rose said. “Thank you for all your hard work, especially with all the time spent in your departments and outside of meetings.” O’Neill Hall senator Jack McKeon said his hall was concerned with medical amnesty. Rocheleau said the group plans to address this issue as soon as possible. “Perfect timing, Jack,” Rocheleau said. “This is going to be one of our first topics for the semester. We are bringing it up at CSC this Friday and will bring it to Senate soon after.” Lewis Hall senator Casey Spreen voiced a complaint from a hallmate concerning unequal hall taxing procedure. “Girls in Lewis were wondering if there is some system keeping hall taxes uniform across the board, or if that is something we need to work on,” Spreen said. Morrissey Manor senator Billy McMahon described one instance in particular of what he said was blatantly unequal punishment. “In Morrissey there were recently three students kicked off campus,” McMahon said. “I know for a fact that for two of them it was their third ResLife, but for the third guy it was just his first. We are all wondering if there is a three-strikes-you’re-out policy or if there’s some room for discussion.” Director of communications Ricky Bevington III said he hoped to get the senate on board his initiative for this semester. “What I wanted to come to Senate to talk about is kind of a two-layered topic, both specific and general,” Bevington said. “Generally talking, we are trying to find different ways that students can both recognize and remember people who have devoted a good portion of their lives to student development, particularly at Notre Dame.” Bevington said although devoted administrators are not unique to Notre Dame, our university has a special group. “Although loyal administrators are not necessarily unique to Notre Dame, we do have rectors who spend good parts of their lives at only our University. Some offices do memorialize these people, especially after they have passed, but there are sort of disjointed student responses to these ideas,” Bevington said. Bevington said his idea came from a desire to honor Farly Hall’s recently deceased rector, Sister Jean Lenz. “Sister Jean Lenz passed away last January,” Bevington said. “She was the first female rector of Farley Hall, so she goes way back.” Contact Maddie Daly at [email protected]
As of this week, students with morning classes in DeBartolo Hall no longer need to get their coffee fix in another building and then rush across campus. A brand new Au Bon Pain coffee cart opened in the middle of DeBartolo Hall on Monday. The coffee cart, located next to the 101 DeBartolo auditorium in DeBartolo Hall, delivers on a campaign promise Alex Coccia and Nancy Joyce made during their 2013 election bid. The stand, known as the “DeBart Coffee Cart,” is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and offers both hot beverages and pastries to students and staff on their way to and from DeBartolo classes. Student Government partnered with Notre Dame Food Services to make the coffee cart a reality, student body president Alex Coccia said. Coccia said he appreciates the support from Food Services and other University departments. “Food Services has done a tremendous job putting together the coffee cart to ensure that it runs smoothly,” Coccia said. “We cannot thank them and John Affleck Graves’ entire office enough for their service to the students.” The manager of Au Bon Pain, Christina Ryan, said she was impressed with the success of the coffee cart so far. “[Tuesday] is only the second day that the cart has been open for business, and we have already doubled the number of students served. We served 171 yesterday, which was pretty amazing,” Ryan said. “As expected, we have been going through a lot of coffee, six gallons after only a couple of hours today.” Ryan also said students have voiced their appreciation and she hopes to add to the menu in the future to best serve students. “I’ve heard a lot of good feedback from students,” Ryan said. “We’re here for the students. Maybe next fall we’ll be able to offer more.” Coccia said the “DeBart Cart” is the result of a simple idea but has the potential to help a lot of people. “In our 2013 campaign, we promised to get hot caffeine in DeBartolo Hall,” Coccia said. “We proposed something simple but that would serve the needs of students who have multiple classes a day in DeBartolo and are stressed for time between them.” Student body vice president Nancy Joyce said any future changes or expansion of the coffee cart would be based on the student response. “This semester’s coffee cart is a pilot, which will be adjusted at the end of the semester to better suit the needs of students,” Joyce said.
Designed to immerse students into dialogue related to peacebuilding, social justice and global issues, the 27th annual Student Peace Conference will take place in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies beginning Friday afternoon.The two-day event was organized by a committee of students led by seniors Leah Landry and Victoria Lew. It will consist of documentaries, workshops, a keynote address, an interactive play, a poster session and many panels and individual talks related to its theme: “Pathways to Peace.”“The conference is a way to share ideas and make connections among people of various backgrounds and belief systems, making it the perfect venue to find peaceful solutions to any social problem you’re concerned about,” Landry said.According to Lew, the theme was selected to “address realities of peacebuilding in terms of concrete steps and goals,” and the conference will differ from previous years by featuring documentaries and workshops to demonstrate nonviolent communication and peace agreements.“Peace becomes a lot more realistic when you are able to highlight the various pathways people took to get there,” Lew said. “We want our conference to challenge the idea of peace as idealistic, and invite attendees to learn how real pathways to peace can be formed.”According to the conference website, topics to be addressed include “Refugees: From Displacement to Integration,” “Exploring Statelessness and Migration,” “Peace and the Military: Student Voices on the Future of U.S. Foreign Policy,” “Bridging Cross-Cultural Divides,” “Islam and Peace” and more.The keynote address will be conducted by Nell Bolton, the senior technical advisor for justice and peacebuilding at Catholic Relief Services and an alumna of the Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies, the conference sponsor. Bolton will be presenting on “Binding, Bonding and Bridging: Building Blocks of Peace.”“There are so many topics that our conference will address, and that’s what makes it so engaging,” Lew said. “Our presenters bridge peacebuilding with religion, science, sociology, history, film and much more.”Over 250 people are registered to attend the conference, excluding scholars, students and activists from across the campus, country and world who are scheduled to present. Though registration is closed, students are free to attend any session.“We have a huge mix of students and activists from Notre Dame and from schools across the world that will be presenting their work and research,” Lew said. “The conference always brings such a wealth of experience to campus, and I am excited for everyone to network among each other and build connections in the peace studies community.”Landry said discussing topics related to peacebuilding in the conference’s “usually hopeful atmosphere” is especially important in today’s context.“Regardless of your political affiliation, I think we all agree that we have serious problems that need solving, and if we can find a way to fix these peacefully, everyone benefits,” she said. “My hope is that every person that attends the conference leaves with a concrete idea of how they can contribute to building sustainable peace in their own community or area of interest.”Tags: Peace Studies, peacebuilding, Social justice, Student Peace Conference
This week, the College Democrats Club of Saint Mary’s College proved that baked goods can be delicious as well as socially advantageous. The club, alongside various others such as Feminists United and Belles for Life, orchestrated a bake sale to raise funds for the charity Support the Girls, an organization which donates pads, tampons, bras and other sanitary objects to homeless women and girls.Stephanie Stapleton, a senior at Saint Mary’s, heard about the sale and took action.“The president of College Democrats, Hallie Nolan, found the organization Support the Girls and planned the event. I thought it was a timely and appropriate charity for the women of Saint Mary’s to assist,” she said over email, “Especially with the increase in the numbers of women and girls in homeless shelters due to the recent hurricanes. Support the Girls addresses a problem often forgotten in times of great need, even though these items are essential [to] women’s survival and comfort.”While Stapleton was not personally affected by the hurricanes, she said she is well versed in the aftermath of storms such as these.“I am focusing my senior comprehensive project around disaster relief, specifically focusing on displacement and natural disasters, so this cause is very timely for me,” she said.When asked about her interest in the cause, Stapleton emphasized the need for personal hygiene products especially during times of destruction when acquiring these products could be more difficult.“Knowing the struggles of personal hygiene and need for cleanliness, especially during that time of the month, I feel very passionately that these items should be available to every woman in need, not just those that can afford it. This seemed like a good way to make a difference and help alleviate this problem from all the way up here in South Bend,” she said.At the bake sale the clubs will be selling chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin bread, muffins, brownies and other assorted baked goods. Along with these, the Saint Mary’s dining service generously donated twenty dozen cupcakes to be sold.“We hope to raise at least a few hundred dollars for Support the Girls, so that women who are victims of disaster can maintain their health and dignity a little bit easier,” Stapleton said.After selling nearly $150 on the first day of their sale, they hope to exceed their goal of $300 by the second.“We really weren’t sure how much we would be able to raise. We hoped a couple hundred, and it seems like we’re going to pass that goal,” Stapleton said.Along with the cash from the sale, Support the Girls has an online donation on their website, which the club will donate through directly. The bake sale will run through Sept. 26in Reignbeaux lounge in Le Mans Hall.Tags: College Democrats Club of Saint Mary’s, feminine hygiene, pads, SMC, tampons
A Campus Ministry and Gender Relations retreat geared towards LGBTQ students will take place Saturday afternoon at the Sacred Heart Parish Center.Open to the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross community, the six-hour retreat aims to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) students recognize that God is calling them to love others through the unique grace of being LGBTQ, Fr. Joe Corpora, the Campus Ministry chaplain to LGBTQ students, said.“[My goal is] that students will leave the retreat being more convinced of God’s merciful love no matter what,” Corpora said in an email. “There will be presentations, discussions, time for quiet prayer and, of course, celebration of the Mass and dinner. There will also be an opportunity to go to confession.”Corpora said the retreat, which costs $10, is specifically focused on LGBTQ students and he expects its atmosphere to be a “prayerful quiet day” with time for presentations and discussion.As the main speaker of the retreat, alumnus Matt Devine (‘15) said he will be discussing the idea that the Catholic and LGBTQ communities are not mutually exclusive despite some perceptions of it.“There is a difference between being a Catholic for me and being a Catholic within the institution of Catholicism and that’s something that I do find hard to reconcile and I understand how other people do as well,” Devine said. “But I have found such great peace; being Catholic is how I see the world as well as being a member of the LGBT community.”Devine said he feels lucky to be in a position in which he feels comfortable enough to come back on campus, share his experiences and “rewrite history.”“I‘m excited to see where Notre Dame has come over the even three years since I’ve been there,” he said. “Three years ago I could not have thought that 20 people would be on this retreat. As of Monday there was 17 people who had signed up and registered to come which is kind of baffling to me.”The idea of an LGBTQ retreat was started over 20 years ago out of Campus Ministry, Tami Schmitz, Campus Ministry’s associate director of pastoral care, said.“We wanted to give students from the LGBTQ community an opportunity to gather, pray and share stories of their lives within a faith context,” she said in an email. “The retreat has taken different forms over the years. Sometimes it’s over a whole weekend and sometimes it’s an afternoon of reflection.”Senior Liam Maher said he decided to register for this year’s retreat because as a gay Catholic, he appreciates opportunities to engage his faith in a holistic manner.“I think retreats like this are so important for LGBTQ Catholics because it gives us the opportunity to affirm our identity at a time when many exterior pressures can make it difficult to see the good in who we are as people,” he said.Maher said he doesn’t often get to speak about his life, spirituality and theology as someone different from “the heteronormative mainstream.”“I am so grateful to Campus Ministry for planning and executing such an inclusive and thoughtful event,” Maher said. “It gives me hope for the future of our church and the Notre Dame community.”Tags: Campus Ministry, Fr. Joe Corpora, Gender Relations Center, LGBTQ, LGBTQ retreat
Just over three weeks ago, South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg announced his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election. Buttigieg, who grew up in South Bend and whose parents were both professors at Notre Dame, would break several barriers if he were to win the presidency, as he would become the youngest elected president, as well as the nation’s first openly gay president.While Buttigieg looks to succeed on the national stage, he is most familiar to students at Notre Dame as the charismatic “Mayor Pete.” Senior Jack Grogan, president of the Notre Dame College Democrats, said he was excited when he first learned that Buttigieg had announced his bid.“I think Pete would be a fantastic candidate, fantastic president,” Grogan said. “It’s very exciting. I mean he got a lot of good press coverage and a lot of good traction early on, so I was excited to see that happen and see those interviews go as well as they did.”Alternatively, Grant Strobl, a law student and committeeman of the 14th District Republicans, said that Buttigieg’s announcement exemplifies the Democratic Party’s chaotic identity crisis as they approach the 2020 election season.“My first reaction is, evidently, the Democratic Party is very un-united and in search of literally anybody who might even have the slightest of chance to win in the general election,” Strobl said. “It seems like they seem to be struggling in finding anybody to take that position, and it seems kind of interesting that they’re looking at a mayor of a struggling Midwest city to lead their party. … It’s definitely evidence that the Democrats are having a hard time choosing someone who will fair well against President Trump.”Grogan, who has previously interned for Buttigieg’s campaign and administration, said the mayor’s track record in South Bend is proven in the residents’ affection for him.“I started my freshman fall semester working on his reelection campaign, and what was immediately clear from that campaign onward has just been the overwhelming love for him among South Bend residents,” he said. “I don’t think I made a single call on my campaign where I heard something negative about the mayor.”Because Buttigieg comes from a small, Midwestern city with minimal national exposure, Grogan said that the debates will be vital to his ability to garner supporters, especially among younger voters.“It’s a crowded field, no doubt about it,” Grogan said. “I think that debates are going to be important for a guy like Pete to be able to make a national audience aware of who he is. … I think there’s definitely a window of opportunity for him to make a voice for himself. I think another thing is he’s definitely pitching himself as the millennial candidate, and I think that direct appeal to young people that he particularly is apt to succeed in because he is a young person himself.”Strobl said Buttigieg has yet to distinguish himself among a crowded field of Democratic hopefuls, so what Buttigieg includes in his platform will be important to his success.“I’m actually interested in seeing his original ideas because it seems like right now all of the democratic candidates are following suit on this terrible idea of Medicare for all,” Strobl said. “I’d be curious to see if he has any real, original ideas instead of falling in line with everybody else and what they’re now saying.”Though the College Democrats are excited to see a candidate they are familiar with, Grogan emphasized that the club does not endorse a presidential candidate during the primaries.The Notre Dame College Republicans did not respond to a request for comment.Tags: Election 2020, Mayor Pete, Pete Buttigieg, Politics, Presidential election, Students React
The Office of Information Technologies (OIT) sent out an email Wednesday afternoon to the Notre Dame student body alerting it to phishing emails sent in the last few days.The phishing scam involves “an offer for employment or opportunity to participate in a work-study program, and requests contact and personal information,” the OIT email said.Students should not respond and delete the email, OIT suggested. OIT’s security team is currently investigating.To report additional information, contact the OIT Help Desk at (574) 631-8111 or [email protected]: emails, OIT, phishing, scam
As Halloween approaches and the end of domestic violence month nears, the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) hosted Don’t Call Me Pumpkin, an event co-sponsored by Feminist United that encapsulates the two. The event encouraged students to initiate discussions about catcalling while they painted pumpkins.“Don’t Call Me Pumpkin is an event where everyone can come in and have a conversation about catcalling,” senior Anne Nowalk, treasurer for Feminist United, said. “That is something that is so important, especially around Halloween when people are wearing costumes. We’re able to open up a dialogue about [catcalling] before Halloween begins while doing something fun that everyone enjoys, which is painting pumpkins.” Courtney Driscoll BAVO and Feminist United hosted ‘Don’t Call Me Pumpkin’ in the student center, inviting students to carve pumpkins and discuss catcalling culture.Senior and student advisory committee (SAC) member Courtney Driscoll said Don’t Call Me Pumpkin is “an event to give awareness for catcalling, which is also known as street harassment.”“It’s basically a place where we can come celebrate Halloween [and] paint pumpkins, but also give awareness on catcalling, what it is and ways to react to it appropriately and safely,” Driscoll said.The event started by defining the act of catcalling. It then featured students who felt comfortable sharing their own experiences and how they personally reacted to the harassment. The discussion was followed by tips on how to react to future catcalling.“I think an event like this promotes a safe environment to come and interact with other students while we’re promoting awareness for catcalling, sexual assault, stalking and sexual violence as a whole,” Driscoll said. “We’re doing that but also creating fun events where you can interact with other students.” Catcalling is easy to shrug off because it’s often regarded as “something funny” or a joke, Nowalk said, when in reality it’s sexual harassment.“Both women, men, and non-binary people do not deserve to be catcalled or objectified by what they wear, how they walk, or their appearance,” Nowalk said. “And unfortunately that’s still something that is so normalized in our society, so having this event where we’re able to have a dialogue about this is extremely important for our community.”Nowalk said the importance of events like this for the Saint Mary’s community is not lost on her.“I think [it] is extremely important that individuals can come here whether or not they’re involved with BAVO or involved with Feminist United because the subject is something that everyone can resonate with, whether you believe you’re a feminist or involved with BAVO,” Nowalk said. “It’s really good that the whole Saint Mary’s community can be involved and be ready to talk about these subjects.”The issue is particularly pertinent to Saint Mary’s, Driscoll said.“I think an event like this is important because it gives awareness to issues that we as women in an all women’s college experience and will sadly experience, if not already, in the future,” she said.Nowalk said events such as Don’t Call Me Pumpkin start important discussions on campus.“Events like these mean for the community that students are able to speak about things that they may have been uncomfortable talking about with others, creating a friendly atmosphere where people can feel the need to speak up when they want to, with the comfort that they have and the bravery they have,” Nowalk said.Tags: BAVO, catcalling, Don’t Call Me Pumpkin, Feminist United, pumpkin carving
The Folk Choir will perform “Fratelli Tutti” in concert at 1 p.m. Saturday on Bond Quad. Students who plan on attending are encouraged to bring non-perishable foods with them, as it is a benefit concert for the South Bend Center for the Homeless. The concert is a collaboration with two other musical groups on campus, Voices of Faith Gospel Choir and Coro Primavera De Nuestra Señora, the Spanish liturgical choir.The idea for this concert originated due to the unique circumstances of the pandemic. Normally during the fall, the Folk Choir chooses a Holy Cross Mission from around the world and hosts benefit concert for them. However, this year they opted to do something to benefit people in their own community, senior Folk Choir secretary Claire Whalen said.“Instead of an admission fee, we’re asking students to donate non-perishable foods from the Huddle,” she said.Senior Christina Minetos, social commissioner for the Folk Choir spoke to the eclectic set list for the upcoming concert.“Being at Notre Dame, you get such a diversity of folks from all over the world, so this concert is an exploration of sacred music from different cultures,” Minetos said. “We’re presenting three gospel pieces with Voices of Faith, traditional Mexican and Mariachi style music with Coro Primavera and pieces from the Folk Choir library including German Romantic, Traditional Latin and Modern Contemporary music.”The name of their concert, “Fratelli Tutti,” is derived from the Italian meaning “Brothers All” and speaks to the mission of the choir, which seeks to celebrate the diversity of the Catholic Church, Whalen said.“We’re trying to honor the universality of the Church, but also the particularity of the different traditions within it, because each different culture offers something really beautiful to the liturgy,” she said.The name is also a nod to the collaboration with Voices of Faith and Coro Primavera. Junior member of the Folk Choir Samuel De La Paz said one of the choir’s missions is to bridge the divide between the campus choirs — as they all sing religious music, but still have their differences.Due to this year’s COVID-19 restrictions, the Folk Choir has been recording virtual choir videos for their social media. The members go into a recording booth set up in the Coleman Morse Center each week and record individual parts separately. The Folk Choir has a team of students that stitch together the audio recordings and another that conceptualizes and shoots the visuals to go along with the song.“The ability for students to take ownership of their voices and go into the booth every week and record themselves in quite an intimidating setting has been amazing,” Dr. J.J. Wright, director of the Folk Choir said. “It has been great to see students come together in safe ways to continue our ministry even though we can’t sing in the Basilica.”Initially, the Folk Choir did not think they would be able to put on any live concerts, however outdoor performances are a safe way to continue sharing their music.“We’re very glad that we get to perform for the campus community live,” De La Paz said. “Students should come to hang out with friends and listen to some great music before it gets too cold.”Tags: benefit concert, Center for the Homeless, Coro Primavera, Folk Choir, voices of faith