The charge against a former Notre Dame student accused of felony rape of a fellow student was dismissed Wednesday after new evidence was introduced in the case. One rape charge against Patrick Augustyn, 20, was dismissed because “it has become clear that the defendant had a reasonable belief that the complainant in this matter consented to the sexual activity which occurred,” according to court documents.The female accusor said it was “accurate” that Augustyn could have inferred that the sexual intercourse was consensual.Augustyn’s no-contact order with the female student was also terminated.The charges stemmed from an encounter between Augustyn and the female student in the early hours of Feb. 23, 2009. Both individuals attended an off-campus party before returning to campus around midnight, court documents said.According to court documents, witnesses said the female student had been drinking alcohol and vomited both at the off-campus party and in the cab on the way back to campus.Witnesses later saw the female student in Knott Hall. She was asleep and alone in Augustyn’s bed at 1 a.m. and witnesses attempted to wake her for two hours. At 3 a.m., the male witness asked the female witness to leave because it was past parietals, court documents said.At 4 a.m., Knott Hall assistant rector Charles Gough called Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) to report that “a female wearing only a T-shirt had come into his living room and lied down on the floor,” court documents said.The responding officer said the girl was in a “confused state.”“She had no recollection of where she was, how she had gotten there or how she ended up wearing the T-shirt,” according to court documents.The female student was administered a portable breathalyzer and registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.13. At the time, she did not indicate she had engaged in sexual intercourse with Augustyn.The T-shirt had the name “Patrick” written on it, which led officers to question Augustyn in his room, where they also found the female student’s clothing.Augustyn said he and the female student “hooked up” and had sex, according to the court documents.When NDSP officers informed the girl of Augustyn’s statement, she “immediately began to cry and said ‘I never would have done that with him,’” court documents said.The female student said Augustyn was an “acquaintance” and “not a romantic interest,” according to the documents.On Aug. 19, 2009, the case was officially filed with St. Joseph County District Courts. Augustyn was arrested on campus Aug. 26, 2009, and The Observer reported he was no longer enrolled at the University on Aug. 31, 2009.
Members of Campus Life Council (CLC) reviewed a resolution Monday proposing the revival of the Campus Bike Shop. The resolution specifies the bike shop would aim to provide a sustainable model for students to access free repair services using salvaged parts from abandoned and damaged bikes. John Sanders, residence life director for student government, said the resolution was a response to the Dec. 31 closure of the bike shop. He said the Design department moved into the space where the shop was previously housed. “In some way, shape or form, the idea is to keep [the bike shop] a free service, as well as sustainable,” he said. “The University loses something by losing the bike shop.” The shop, which used unclaimed bike parts collected by Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP), requires approximately $7,000 a year from its budget, Sanders said. The costs cover the price of tools, special-order bike parts and standard wages for student technicians. “It’s mostly a matter of space on campus,” Sanders said. “[But] it’s becoming a matter of budget as well now because NDSP has revised their budgeting for the year since [the bike shop closed].” Sister Carrine Etheridge, rector of Farley Hall, said a bike auction could generate money for the shop. “They used to just auction [bikes] off,” she said. “You would pay a certain amount and then you’d have a tier of bikes you could choose from. That’s one answer to any funding problems.” Student body president Pat McCormick said CLC will vote on the resolution next Monday. Members of CLC also discussed possible spaces in which to reopen the shop. Sanders said advocates are considering a space behind Stepan Center. “There’s the option of using the back restroom of Stepan,” he said. “It’s a disaster, but they’re cleaning it out right now. The problem is how long are we going to have Stepan?” McCormick said the resolution could represent student advocacy and make it easier for students to access a bike repair shop. “Our concern is many students, particularly freshmen and sophomores, have no means of going off campus except a taxi,” he said. “The resolution could serve as a way to indicate how we could continue a bike shop that has been a service to students and staff over the past few years.” Sanders said comments and questions can be sent to [email protected],Members of Campus Life Council (CLC) reviewed a resolution Monday proposing the revival of the Campus Bike Shop. The resolution specifies the bike shop would aim to provide a sustainable model for students to access free repair services using salvaged parts from abandoned and damaged bikes. John Sanders, residence life director for student government, said the resolution was a response to the Dec. 31 closure of the bike shop. He said the Design department moved into the space where the shop was previously housed. “In some way, shape or form, the idea is to keep [the bike shop] a free service, as well as sustainable,” he said. “The University loses something by losing the bike shop.” The shop, which used unclaimed bike parts collected by Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP), requires approximately $7,000 a year from its budget, Sanders said. The costs cover the price of tools, special-order bike parts and standard wages for student technicians. “It’s mostly a matter of space on campus,” Sanders said. “[But] it’s becoming a matter of budget as well now because NDSP has revised their budgeting for the year since [the bike shop closed].” Sister Carrine Etheridge, rector of Farley Hall, said a bike auction could generate money for the shop. “They used to just auction [bikes] off,” she said. “You would pay a certain amount and then you’d have a tier of bikes you could choose from. That’s one answer to any funding problems.” Student body president Pat McCormick said CLC will vote on the resolution next Monday. Members of CLC also discussed possible spaces in which to reopen the shop. Sanders said advocates are considering a space behind Stepan Center. “There’s the option of using the back restroom of Stepan,” he said. “It’s a disaster, but they’re cleaning it out right now. The problem is how long are we going to have Stepan?” McCormick said the resolution could represent student advocacy and make it easier for students to access a bike repair shop. “Our concern is many students, particularly freshmen and sophomores, have no means of going off campus except a taxi,” he said. “The resolution could serve as a way to indicate how we could continue a bike shop that has been a service to students and staff over the past few years.” Sanders said comments and questions can be sent to [email protected],Members of Campus Life Council (CLC) reviewed a resolution Monday proposing the revival of the Campus Bike Shop. The resolution specifies the bike shop would aim to provide a sustainable model for students to access free repair services using salvaged parts from abandoned and damaged bikes. John Sanders, residence life director for student government, said the resolution was a response to the Dec. 31 closure of the bike shop. He said the Design department moved into the space where the shop was previously housed. “In some way, shape or form, the idea is to keep [the bike shop] a free service, as well as sustainable,” he said. “The University loses something by losing the bike shop.” The shop, which used unclaimed bike parts collected by Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP), requires approximately $7,000 a year from its budget, Sanders said. The costs cover the price of tools, special-order bike parts and standard wages for student technicians. “It’s mostly a matter of space on campus,” Sanders said. “[But] it’s becoming a matter of budget as well now because NDSP has revised their budgeting for the year since [the bike shop closed].” Sister Carrine Etheridge, rector of Farley Hall, said a bike auction could generate money for the shop. “They used to just auction [bikes] off,” she said. “You would pay a certain amount and then you’d have a tier of bikes you could choose from. That’s one answer to any funding problems.” Student body president Pat McCormick said CLC will vote on the resolution next Monday. Members of CLC also discussed possible spaces in which to reopen the shop. Sanders said advocates are considering a space behind Stepan Center. “There’s the option of using the back restroom of Stepan,” he said. “It’s a disaster, but they’re cleaning it out right now. The problem is how long are we going to have Stepan?” McCormick said the resolution could represent student advocacy and make it easier for students to access a bike repair shop. “Our concern is many students, particularly freshmen and sophomores, have no means of going off campus except a taxi,” he said. “The resolution could serve as a way to indicate how we could continue a bike shop that has been a service to students and staff over the past few years.” Sanders said comments and questions can be sent to [email protected]
Tags: Jeopardy, jeopardy tournament, SCC, sophomore class council The Sophomore Class Council (SCC) is hosting a three-day Jeopardy tournament this week, and so far sophomore class president Jake Grefenstette said the competition has been tough.“We were really impressed by the competitors’ knowledge of ridiculous facts during the first round,” Grefenstette said.Sophomore Brittany Sanok, a member of the SCC education committee, said the SCC decided the host the event because of the committee’s dedication to fostering academic involvement on campus.“Two of SCC’s most important goals are to engage students in Notre Dame’s academic and artistic culture and to foster conversation between students and professors,” Sanok said. “As a team, SCC and the education committee decided to host a Jeopardy tournament because it is a fun event that stimulates the mind and showcases some of the amazing intellectual talent of Notre Dame students.” Michael Yu | The Observer Students compete in the three-day Jeopardy! event, hosted by the Sophomore Class Council. Three of the participants have advanced to the finals, to be held Wednesday.Sanok said the semi-finals took place Tuesday, and the final rounds would take place Wednesday.“We had a preliminary exam on March 5 and over 100 students showed up to take the exam,” Sanok said. “Our plan was to take one person from each dorm [however, three dorms did not send representatives] and we had three wild card spots.“So, [Monday] for our first round of matches we had 30 contestants, [Tuesday in the semi-finals] we [had] nine contestants and on Wednesday [the finals] we will have three contestants.”The finalists are senior Brendan Moran of Duncan Hall, junior Rose Doerfler of Cavanaugh Hall and junior Michael Temple of Sorin College.Sanok said she expects a greater turnout in the audience for the finals than the other two rounds. She said she is excited to witness the climax of the competition and see all of the SCC’s hard work come to fruition.Doerfler said there were many hard questions in the semi-finals Tuesday, and there is an element of luck in getting every question correct.“I didn’t know the names of old rock and roll band members, but I knew the facts about the Hoover Dam,” Doerfler said. “It’s a challenge because you never know what’s going to come up.“In the first round, we had a lot of geography questions, and in the semifinals, there wasn’t any geography, but a whole category about James Bond actors.”Moran said he thinks the finals will be a highly contested match-up against one another.“I’m hoping for really obscure categories, because I think it would be fun,” Moran said. “I also want to do a true Daily Double. We’ll see if I get the chance. All in all, I’m looking forward to it.”Banok said sophomore Kyle Witzigman played a crucial role in the event’s success. (Editor’s note: Witzigman writes for the News section of The Observer).“The real mastermind behind the whole event is Kyle Witzigman. He has dedicated an enormous amount of time and effort to this event and it would not be even close to possible without his expert guidance and meticulous agendas,” Sanok said.Grefenstette said the SCC has overall been impressed with the number of people that have attended the tournament and already considers the tournament a success.“An enormous amount of people signed up online for prelims, and we had some crowds during last night’s round,” Grefenstette said. “Some supporters even showed up with decorated signs.”Temple said he originally signed up for the event because he had been a daily Jeopardy watcher since he was a little kid, making it all the more fun to be a contestantGrefenstette, who will moderate the finals , said he looks forward to fulfilling his duties.“[The tournament] has been really fun to watch. I’ve been asking around for an Alex Trebek costume, but with no luck,” Grefenstette said.
Tags: impact investing, Inter-American Development Bank, mendoza college of business, Ten Years Hence In the sixth installment of the Ten Years Hence speaker series, Jozef Henriquez, Notre Dame alumnus and head of syndications at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), gave a lecture on impact investing Friday in the Jordan Auditorium of the Mendoza College of Business.“More people are talking about impact investing, and there is one thing they agree on, which is the role of development institutions in development banking,” Henriquez said.Impact investing is an approach unrestricted by investor or asset class that aims to create both financial returns and positive environmental and social impact, Henriquez said.“You do need [the right] intention to make it impact investing,” Henriquez said. “In the traditional case, it’s profit driven. In our case, the intention is to make an impact.”In contrast with philanthropic giving, impact investing also requires a financial return on the money being invested, he said.“It’s in this area where impact investments differs from philanthropy. Here we need the money back,” Henriquez said. “What I like about impact investing is that it starts creating a market-based model to solve some of these global issues.”Since impact investing is highly-results based, it is important to develop analytic methods to predict the success of the social benefits, he said.“With the emergence of impact investing, anyone who puts money in these kinds of projects want to see results,” Henriquez said. “We’ve had to show our results to shareholders for a long time.”“When we look at a transaction, being able to show the social or environmental results of that project is just as important as showing that it is a strong project.”Henriquez said the IDB has developed its own “Development Effectiveness Model” to predict the success of potential projects.“We look at development indicators, and we run these through a matrix to come up with the objectives of the project … and the outcomes that we’re looking to get.”The increasing popularity of impact investing reflects several societal trends, such as a new focus on promoting social good in corporations, Henriquez said.“Companies have woken up to what their role is in society … It’s not just about profits; it’s about your role in society and what your contribution to that is,” he said.The rise of a middle class with greater disposable income also provides opportunities for growth in the impact investing sector, Henriquez said.“Companies need to find a way how to channel the resources to the bottom the pyramid,” he said.The IDB, a multilateral development organization consisting of 48 member countries, works with 26 recipient states in Latin America, Henriquez said.“In the structured corporate finance department, we look for companies that are looking to contribute to the socioeconomic development of the Latin American-Caribbean region and companies that look for ways to mitigate the effects of climate change,” Henriquez said.In particular, the IDB focuses its efforts on supporting environmental investments and developing small businesses in the region, he said.“By 2015, we want to have enough projects that will improve the lives of 20 million people,” he said. “We want to support 12 billion dollars in climate friendly investments. And we want to support 700,000 Micro Small and Medium Enterprises.”
Pending final negotiations with John Cabot University (JCU) in Rome, the Saint Mary’s study abroad program will have a “new home in Rome,” the Rome program director Portia Preybs said.According to a press release, Prebys, who has worked with the College’s Rome Program since it began in 1970, personally recommended the JCU program as the best fit for Saint Mary’s students after much research on her part.Mana Derakhshani, Associate Director of the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL), said the new program will offer students a different kind of experience, immersing them more in Roman culture.The current program began 45 years ago, according to a press release, and the new collaborative program will offer students the opportunity to study abroad even as a junior or senior.“[The new program] will offer Saint Mary’s students a richer intercultural experience, because they will be in classes with Italian students as well as students from 70 other countries,” Derakhshani said.“Saint Mary’s students will have the experience of creating community because they will be living together in one apartment building,” Derakshani said. “They will also experience more of an immersion experience because they will need to interact with their neighbors and other classmates.”Junior Kate FitzMaurice said she spent her entire sophomore year abroad in Rome and is excited about the new program.“The new program also offers an extensive amount of classes from all different majors including accounting, and it also offers upper level courses and internships, which means juniors and seniors have the opportunity to study abroad,” FitzMaurice said.FitzMaurice said the program will allow more students to enjoy the sights, culture and events in Rome.“This program makes all of the wonders of Rome available to so many more girls,” she said. “It makes me so happy to think that so many more girls can now have the opportunity to call Rome their home.”One major change to the Rome Program is that there will be no surcharge for students, Derakhshani said. They will still be required to buy their own flights, but there will no longer be a $2,500 additional fee to participate in the program.Another change is in the Rome semester calendar, Derkhshani said. In the current Rome program, students’ program officially ends before Easter, whereas in the new arrangement the program ends in early May just like at the College.Derakhshani said JCU offers an expanded curriculum both in general education and some major level courses, which provides students with the opportunity to study abroad during their junior or senior year instead of taking only general education classes in Rome during their sophomore term.Additionally, Derakhshani said, an affiliation with JCU will provide students with the option of studying in Rome during the summer, an option that was not available before.Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame students interested in the new Rome program with John Cabot University may contact Jill Vihtelic in the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership at [email protected]: John Cabot University, New Rome Program 2016-2017, Rome Program, saint mary’s
Notre Dame is launching a pilot program that will allow selected factories in China to manufacture University-licensed products, with the goal of determining if they can meet and maintain worker treatment standards, University President Fr. John Jenkins said in an email to students late Wednesday night.Annmarie Soller | The Observer In 2013, University Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves appointed a Worker Participation Committee (WPC) to review Notre Dame’s Licensing Code of Conduct due to an increasing frequency of interactions between the University and China, according to the website of the Office of the Executive Vice President. After two years of research and deliberation, the WPC issued a set of recommended changes to the University’s existing licensing policy. Jenkins approved these recommendations and directed the pilot program to begin, according to the email.According to Jenkin’s email, the University implemented a policy in 2001 that prohibited 11 countries, including China, from producing Notre Dame-licensed products. “The University’s decision at that time was bold, principled and widely applauded,” Jenkins said in the email. “It was hoped that Notre Dame’s action would encourage other institutions to follow, and that collectively pressure could be put on countries to reform their labor laws.”Jenkins said that since no other universities have adopted similar policies, and Notre Dame’s action had no discernable influence on the practices of nations that deny freedom of association, the WPC was created to reevaluate the University’s policy.“While still holding to the principle that freedom of association ought to be allowed and independent unions permitted, and recognizing that in the People’s Republic of China such rights are denied at the level of national laws and practices, the WPC considered whether there might be other criteria we should employ focused on the policies and practices of particular factories,” the email said.The committee worked with Verite, an internationally-recognized non-profit organization, to assess six selected Chinese factories using a list of 71 criteria. They proposed four specific recommendations, shared with the Notre Dame community at a public forum in September.“First, that Notre Dame undertake a pilot program with factories that met our standards to see if they sustain a standard of performance acceptable to Notre Dame, and we can confidently verify such performance,” the email said. In addition, the University will work with factories in the area that fell short of their standards to see “if they can improve to an acceptable level.”Notre Dame will also begin evaluating similar factories in other countries that currently manufacture Notre Dame-licensed products. “Even with the formal, legal right to form and join an independent union, worker participation may be below what is acceptable, and the University can use its leverage to encourage improvement. Moreover, the review of factories in different countries could establish a useful benchmark as we deliberate about acceptable standards.”The committee also recommended the University review and, as necessary, revise the current Licensing Code of Conduct to include a “a richer understanding of worker participation and, in general, that it reflects the best practices and the principles of Catholic social teaching.”Finally, the committee suggested the formation of a student subcommittee, in addition to continuing campus participation in the conversation.In response to calls to reject the recommendations, Jenkins analyzed the morality of the policy, concluding that Notre Dame’s actions would not support or sustain any form of injustice.“Participation allows us to affirm those factories that have high standards of worker participation, and to encourage other companies to meet these standards,” the email said. “Whether this in fact occurs is something about which a pilot program will give us valuable information.”According to the email, the pilot program ultimately seeks to promote the full set of workers’ rights recognized by Catholic social teaching at a global level.“I emphasize that this change in policy in no way signals a lessening of Notre Dame’s commitment to the full set of workers’ rights recognized by Catholic social teaching,” Jenkins said. “On the contrary, with the WPC, we are trying to develop a policy that is as effective as it can be in furthering the recognition of those rights around the world.”Tags: China, Father John Jenkins, Licensing, Worker Participation, Worker Participation Committee
CAITLYN JORDAN | The Observer U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is fully aware that one of her nicknames is “Notorious R.B.G.”“I do know where Notorious R.B.G. comes from,” Ginsburg said in a talk Monday night at Notre Dame. “It is from a now-deceased rapper, Notorious B.I.G., and when I heard about it, I said, ‘Oh, that’s wonderful, we have something terrific in common. We were both born and bred in Brooklyn, New York.’”Later in the evening, moderator Ann Williams, a U.S. circuit judge for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and class of 1975 law school alumna, asked if Ginsburg was “Queen Ruth.”“I’d rather be notorious,” Ginsburg said. The conversation with the 23-year veteran of the Court, sponsored by the Office of the President, Notre Dame Law School and Notre Dame Student Government, explored a number of topics throughout the evening. When Williams asked about some of her hobbies growing up, Ginsburg said she was a fan of the Nancy Drew books. “Most of the books I read in school were Dick and Jane,” Ginsburg said. “Dick was active and Jane was in a pretty party dress, but Nancy Drew was a doer and an actor. Her then-boyfriend mostly did what she told him to do. And I liked that part.”Ginsburg said her mother was always a major influence in her life. “My mom repeated two things many times: be independent, and the other, be a lady,” Ginsburg said. Being a lady meant Ginsburg should not waste time on unproductive emotions. “A lady does not snap back in anger; she isn’t envious; she is a lady,” Ginsburg said. “That is, if an unkind word is spoken, it is as though she didn’t hear it.”Ginsburg said some of her fondest childhood memories were those of reading with her mother. “My mother was a voracious reader, and she communicated to me her love of reading,” she said. “She took me on weekly trips to the library. … She would leave me in the children’s section, get her hair done and come back, and I would have my five books to bring home.”Ginsburg also admired her mother-in-law, who gave her a set of earplugs as a wedding gift. “Just before the [wedding] ceremony, [my mother-in-law] took me aside and said, ‘I’d like to tell you the secret of a happy marriage,’” Ginsburg said. “What was the secret? It helps every now and then to be a little deaf.”That was such good advice, Ginsburg said, that she uses it to this day with her colleagues in the Supreme Court.“When an unkind word is unspoken, I tune it out,” she said. Asked about her career path in life, Ginsburg said she considered being a teacher for a while but had an increasingly strong desire to become a lawyer. She enrolled in Harvard Law School in 1956, when her baby Jane was 14 months old. “We had a wonderful nanny to take care of her,” Ginsburg said. “I came home at 4 p.m. when the nanny left, and from 4 p.m. to when Jane went to sleep, that was children’s time. We would sing silly songs and go to the park. … Then when she was asleep, I could go back to the books with a new energy.”During her time in law school, Ginsburg’s husband — himself a Harvard law student of the class above her — was diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemotherapy. “I had a good note-taker in every class [for him],” Ginsburg said. “His classmates and our classmates rallied around us to help us get through that trying time.” When asked about how she goes about writing court opinions, she said she appreciates clarity and word economy. “We labored over our opinions so that people reading them, first of all, would not have to read a sentence twice to understand what it meant; we tried to write as clearly and concisely as we could,” Ginsburg said. “It’s a lesson I’ve tried to teach my law clerks. I’ve put a 20-page limit on notes.”Ginsburg said progress has been made in diversifying the Court since Jimmy Carter became president. “I’ve been asked the question, when will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court]? … My answer is, when there are nine,” Ginsburg said. “It didn’t seem like there was anything wrong in all the years when the Supreme Court had only men.” Former fellow Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was like a big sister to Ginsburg, Williams said. Ginsburg said O’Connor, who is a breast cancer survivor, was particularly supportive when Ginsburg went through her own bout of cancer. “Sandra had — in the 1980s, she had breast cancer,” Ginsburg said. “She had massive surgery; she was on the bench, hearing arguments nine days after her surgery. Sandra had set the model for me so I had to get back on the bench.”O’Connor’s advice for Ginsburg was to undergo chemotherapy on Friday, recover over the weekend and be back at work on Monday. “She didn’t waste any time feeling sorry for herself; she just did it,” Ginsburg said. “That positive attitude is what she communicated to me.”Junior Sarah Tomas Morgan asked Ginsburg how the Court may be better served by a diversity of opinions. “At the end of the day, a wise old man and a wise old woman will have the same judgement,” Ginsburg said. “But we bring to the table knowledge that others lack.” When asked by sophomore Prathm Juneja how she prevents herself from pre-determining particularly polarizing cases before arguments are presented, Ginsburg said she looks around at her eight fellow justices. “I think about how I would like it if they projected their preconceived notions onto their decisions,” Ginsburg said. “Being part of a multi-person bench prohibits you from trying to be queen, because you’re not.”As for retirement, Ginsburg said she is out of her usual answers. “I plan on staying as long as Justice [Louis] Brandeis stayed,” Ginsburg said. “Justice Brandeis, he was appointed when he was 60 and I always said I would serve as long as Justice Brandeis, but he retired at 83 so I can’t use that one anymore.“My current answer is as long as I can do it full steam, and that means I have to take it year by year.”Tags: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, University President
Every month, the McGrath Institute for Church Life holds vespers, an evening prayer service in the chapel in Geddes Hall. John Cavadini, a professor of theology and the director of the institute, explained that Vespers is part of the church’s ongoing Liturgy of the Hours.“Liturgy of the Hours refers to the daily prayers of the Church,” Cavadini said. “The two hinges of Liturgy of the Hours is morning prayers, which is called Lauds, and evening prayers, which is called Vespers.”Cavadini discussed the other Liturgy of the Hours as well. There is mid-morning, noon and mid-afternoon prayers in addition to lauds and vespers. The idea behind Liturgy of the Hours, Cavadini said, is to “sanctify the day.” Since Mass can be held at any time of the day, it is independent of the Liturgy of the Hours. Vespers, in particular, centers around the Book of Psalms.“There are three psalms every day on a four-week cycle. You’ll go through the whole book of Psalms in four weeks,” Cavaldini said. “There are special psalms for feast days.”According to a program for a normal service from the McGrath Institute, vespers opens with a prayer, is followed by a hymn, which in turn is followed by a psalm, then a canticle. Next, there is a short Bible reading and a homily. In the final part of the service, the congregation sings a canticle and the “Magnificat,” or song of Mary. The congregation offers intercessions, recites the Lord’s Prayer, then says an additional prayer before the service is brought to a close.Cavadini explained that vespers is different than a usual Mass in that laypeople can preach the homily.“Laypeople can give the homily at the Liturgy of the Hours. We have lots of different people whose voices you hear,” Cavadini said. “It’s nice to get a wide range of voices from students, faculty, staff, etc. It’s sort of fun to hear and to be asked to deliver one.”Carolyn Pirtle, the director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, said vespers services have been happening on campus for a long time.“We’ve been doing monthly vespers services for a number of years now. We’ve made a real effort to bring this form of prayer to the campus community,” Pirtle said. “It’s a beautiful form of prayer that incorporates the psalms and scriptures. We wanted to try and bring this to a wider audience.”From a logistical perspective, Pirtle said the readings and the psalms are laid out for the entire church, much in the same way Mass readings are. It’s simply a matter of figuring out what day it is and what psalms and readings correspond to that day. Pirtle said that this uniformity is a “beautiful symbol of the unity of the church,” since everyone throughout the world is saying the same prayers. She also noted that evening prayer services date back to the very beginning of the Christian church. She emphasized the importance of the psalms to the service.“The psalms are beautiful because they speak to the breadth of the human experience,” Pirtle said. “They speak to the joy of joys and the worst of sorrows. Whatever you’re going through, there’s a psalm for that.”Since laypeople can preach, Pirtle also said that it’s a great opportunity for masters of divinity students to practice preaching.“Traditionally, we’ve had a lot of masters of divinity students preaching,” she said. “I’ve drawn from that community so that they can learn how to preside and practice that as a lay person. It’s a great chance to exercise ministerial leadership.”Pirtle emphasized the beauty of vespers and its benefits in a stressful environment.“If you’ve never experienced vespers, it’s a really beautiful form of prayer that’s very reflective and very contemplative,” she said. “It’s a wonderful way to take half an hour away from the stress and busyness of student life to come and spend some time with God and let God speak to you through the scripture and the psalms, as well as enter into a community of people who you might not know through prayer and the grace of spirit.”Tags: Liturgy of the Hours, McGrath Institute for Church Life, prayer, Vespers
Meeting for the first time after fall break, Notre Dame’s student senate meeting centered around the confirmation of a new director of social concerns to student government’s executive cabinet.Sophomore Kevin Gallagher was nominated for the position, in light of the former director’s resignation for personal health reasons the week before fall break, senior and student body vice president Corey Gayheart said. “His experience in multiple departments has given him a clear understanding of how to set and accomplish goals within the framework of our organization,” senior and student body president Gates McGavick said, reading a letter that he, Gayheart and senior chief of staff Briana Tucker wrote announcing Gallagher’s nomination. “His service on the Social Concerns Department leaves him prepared for this role and gives him existing knowledge to minimize the negative side-effects of a new transition.”The letter detailed some of Gallagher’s current and previous involvements on campus, including student government’s Department of Social Concerns and the Department of University Affairs. In addition, Gallagher currently serves as vice president of BridgeND and is a member of the debate team. Last year, Gallagher also spearheaded the review of recycling in the main class buildings, which reached the University’s Office of Sustainability. During the questioning portion of Gallagher’s nomination, sophomore D.C. Morris, senator from Fisher Hall, asked what the Department of Social Concerns stands for and what Gallagher’s responsibilities as director would entail.“The way the Department of Social concerns is, the people that want to be part of that department are driven by at least one key issue,” Gallagher said. “Mine was sustainability, and when I interviewed for FUEL last year, that’s what I focused on.”Gallagher went on to explain how he would apply the passion for these key issues to leading the department in an effective manner. “The leadership style that I would use would be figuring out what the existing members of the department are most mobilized by, what they’re really passionate about, and see how we can turn those passions into events that would be marketable to the entire student body, so that way we can advertise what the department is about — international stuff, but also at an on-campus level too.”After the questioning, Gallagher was approved by the senate as the new director of social concerns for the executive cabinet. The senators and sponsoring groups of the resolution regarding the inclusion mental health resources on class syllabi brought forth a letter on behalf of the entire group to the Campus Life Council (CLC). The letter reiterated the content of the resolution and affirmed the Senate’s support of the mental health resources availability on Notre Dame’s campus.An excerpt from the letter read, “Student Senate acknowledges that discussing mental health can be difficult and believes providing professors with a template statement is an important way to aid in this discussion.”The letter went on to list a sample statement for the syllabi, which listed the mental health resources available on campus, including the University Counseling Center, University Health Services and the McDonald Center for Student Well-Being (McWell). In response to a question from Morris, Gayheart clarified that the Senate does not have the authority to mandate that professors include this information on their syllabi. “That being said, if the Campus Life Council were to pass [the resolution], Erin Hoffman-Harding has to respond within 72 hours of Campus Life Council passing this and in her response she must be substantively responding to the contents of the letter, dictating what she’ll do to move forward regarding this topic,” Gayheart said.After a suggestion by Tucker to standardize the formatting of “well-being” throughout the letter, the proposal was approved unanimously and will be on the agenda for the next CLC meeting.Tags: department of social concerns, Mental health, ND student senate, Senate, Student government
As the sun went down on Monday, the Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir was just arriving back on campus. After touring throughout spring break and performing in four states including Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, the choir arrived back to campus and will perform their last show at the Church of Loretto this Friday. Though the trip culminated in a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Sunday, the choir’s stops along the way were also influential and beneficial, choir conductor Nancy Menk said. “I loved singing in some of the great acoustic spaces along the way,” Menk said. “I loved how receptive and excited the students were when we sang at Beaumont School [in Cleveland].” To some students, the tour had a lot to do with legacy — not only the legacies of the alumni they performed with, but also the places that they visited and performed at along the way. “Going to Cleveland and seeing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was just so exciting,” sophomore Grace Grueninger said. “All of the musical legends that contributed to the world of music and seeing all the artifacts from the different eras was really a lot of fun. … Singing at Carnegie Hall is such an experience when you think of everyone who was there. All of those names, you cannot even fathom who stood and sang on that stage.”As the tour drew to a close in New York City, members of the choir were able to experience and enjoy the surroundings, including the opportunity to perform at the renowned Carnegie Hall. The concert honored women simultaneously through the 175 years of Saint Mary’s celebration and through Carnegie’s Hall’s concert series Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International. The SMC choir performed at the ‘Magnificat: A Musical Celebration of International Women’s Day.’ According to an email sent by the College, the concert featured around 250 individual female voices from around the world. Menk conducted the large scale concert and enjoyed connecting the current choir members with their predecessors. “I was thrilled with the success of our Carnegie Hall concert,” Menk said. “One of the highlights for me was seeing the 64 Women’s Choir alums who came back to sing in the Alumni Choir or brought their own women’s choir to be a part of it.” The experience of singing with alumni was also beneficial for the students.“It was a lot of fun to hear all of these musicians come together, … all of these female musicians,” Grueninger said.The choir traveled to and from performances by bus, allowing them time to connect with one another as well. “My favorite part was growing closer with everyone and making new friends,” first-year Mollie Gniadek said. The concert not only connected students with each other and Saint Mary’s alumni, but also with female singers from across North America.“Creating this global sisterhood of people who worked with Saint Mary’s, … The sisterhood is worldwide, even Canada,” Grueninger said.The appeal of participating in such an event extends beyond connecting with people to performing in the venue itself. The students also benefited from “singing in such a prestigious venue,” which first-year Liv Gren cited was her favorite part of the trip. “For me, the best part was New York,” junior Mary Trainor said. “I loved exploring and going on adventures in New York, and singing at Carnegie Hall was an incredible experience.”The choir’s tour and musical performance at Carnegie Hall allowed the students to be inspired by alumni, venues, professors and each other. “It is really inspiring to work with these really talented people around me,” Grueninger said. “Aspiring to be more than I was, I was watching Dr. Menk conduct a choir of 200 women and also an orchestra and working with the sweetest people at Saint Mary’s, stepping up to their level and making friends.”Tags: carnegie hall, Choir Tour, Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir