Summit encourages green purchases

first_imgThe consumer’s impact on the market for sustainable products was discussed at “Purchasing Power,” the fourth annual Green Summit presented by the Office of Sustainability, on Friday. The summit began with a “marketplace,” in which participants were given four different options of t-shirts, notebooks and cell phones and asked to choose which of the four options they would most likely buy in a store. Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves then welcomed attendees. “I challenge you to live up to the previous summits,” he said. He said the University is making progress and mentioned the Energy Studies program in engineering, improvements in recycling programs and tray-less days as successful ideas that have come from past summits. Affleck-Graves stressed the importance of the entire Notre Dame community in the effort to make Notre Dame greener. “It affects all of us,” he said. “Students, staff and faculty are the only way we will make progress on this front. It’s everyone doing their bit.” Rob Kelly, director of Procurement Services, also spoke at the summit, describing Notre Dame’s attempts to purchase green products. “If a change is economically feasible, that’s where we want to be,” Kelly said. He said Notre Dame is now looking to make printing and printing equipment more sustainable. “We have to find a balance between price, quality and sustainability,” he said. “At Notre Dame we aren’t ready to transition to using brown paper.” Jenny Mish, a professor at the Mendoza College of Business, spoke to participants about the difficulties of being a green consumer in the marketplace and how to make our purchases most effective as individual consumers. “Sustainability recognizes that we need to live in a way that doesn’t compromise future generations,” she said. She said individuals can make a difference by only consuming only our share of the world’s resources and no more. “If every person in the world consumed the way Americans did, we would need three worlds,” she said. Participants were then given the opportunity to discuss sustainability and the marketplace in small groups. Members were especially interested in how products received “green” labels and how many toxins were already present in their bodies. All the speakers stressed that the move toward sustainability is a long process and must be accomplished over a long period of time. “Notre Dame is dedicated to this initiative,” Affleck-Graves said.last_img read more

ND participates in alcohol awareness week

first_imgThe Office of Alcohol and Drug Education will celebrate National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (NCAAW) on campus, health counselor Bridget Hoffmann said. Hoffmann said the office will sponsor a poster campaign and a tailgate with mocktails, games and snacks on South Quad on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m.   “Really, we’re promoting the fact that you can go to tailgates and not have to drink, or that you can have other things at tailgates and still have fun,” Hoffmann said. “We’re giving students options.” Hoffmann said the week does not necessarily focus on telling students not to drink at all, but rather to make smart decisions if and when they do choose to drink. “What this week is promoting [is] making those smart choices, whether it’s drinking but not drinking to get drunk, or drinking to be social,” she said. Because Halloween falls during NCAAW, the office is encourages students to be mindful of their alcohol consumption and safety, Hoffmann said. “We’re giving students the idea that if they are going out to a costume party or a hall party, they are considering things like having just one drink, or making sure everyone gets back safely,” she said.      Hoffmann said it is important for colleges to learn how to distinguish themselves from campus drinking culture. “In regards to Notre Dame, we have a culture that’s really surrounded by sports,” she said. “So with our mock tailgate, we’re giving students the opportunity to think that, come football Saturdays, when they may go to a family’s or friend’s tailgate, maybe they can step back and not have as much or not have any at all.” Hoffmann said NCAAW is part of a national campaign by the BACCHUS Network, an organization that promotes students’ health and safety on campuses. “They want to get students to use the [hashtag] ‘#makeSMARTchoices,’ so we’re really trying to get that out around campus,” she said. “It’s just about making students aware of the fact that you can still go out to be parties, but be smart about decisions that you are making when you are going out.” According to the BACCHUS Network, the National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness week began in 2008. “NCAAW has grown to become the largest single event in alcohol prevention at colleges and universities because students take ownership in designing and implementing this observance for their campus communities,” the BACCHUS Network’s 2012 press release for the event stated. “This week gives campuses the opportunity to showcase healthy lifestyles free from the abuse or illegal use of alcohol, and to combat the negative and inaccurate stereotypes of college drinking behavior.” Contact Catherine Owers at [email protected]last_img read more

Tibetan Buddhist monks create mandala

first_imgA group of Tibetan Buddhist monks will spend the week in Jordan Hall of Science constructing a peace sand mandala, a sacred part of ancient Buddhist tradition. Arjia Rinpoche, director of the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington, Ind., will spend time in communion with and seven monks from Labrang Tashi Kyil Monastery in Dehra Dun, India while they complete the mandala. They will be in the Reading Room of Jordan constructing the mandala from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Dominic Vachon, director of the Hillebrand Center, said he hopes the monks and their faith will help people to maintain compassion while encountering suffering and difficulty. “While Arjia Rinpoche and the monks will not be talking directly about medicine, I believe that their intense practice and study of compassion will spark each of us to consider our own personal practices of cultivating compassion in all our helping work,” he said. “Even though the focus of the Hillebrand Center is on the science of compassionate care in medicine, we also study and reflect on the ways our religious traditions, spiritualities and philosophies of caring help sustain anyone involved in helping work.” The event at Notre Dame marks the end of the monks’ seven-month tour around the United States, a trip aimed at raising awareness of their culture and money for their monastery. Vachon said the goal of this week’s event is not conversion but rather to catalyze people’s thought processes on compassion. “We want all people to think about ‘how am I compassionate’ and ‘how can I be more compassionate, how is my religion making me more compassionate?’” he said. “Notre Dame is very committed to the mission of connecting with other faiths internationally, and I think it enriches all of our religious lives when we interact with other religions. My own Catholicism is deepened by learning from [Buddhism].” Tenpa Phuntsok, one of the monks in the group, said the main goals from their point of view are to preserve their culture, to raise funds for the monastery and to share what they’ve learned from the mandala-building process. “The word ‘mandala’ means ‘circle’ in the Sanskrit language, which means harmony,” he said. “We are making a mandala for the people here so they can understand what it is and what it means.” The Notre Dame iteration is a peace sand mandala, which is a specific type with its own design and colors, Phuntsok said. His faith holds that all phenomena are interdependent, and he said he believes medicine and healing depend very much on the ideas within this particular mandala. In a closing ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, the art will be dismantled and a portion of the sand will be given to guests. Phuntsok said some of the sand will also be released into a river, according to their faith tradition. “It takes a lot of time and effort to create that beautiful mandala, so when we’re done we’ll dismantle it and put it into a river with many things in it, like fish,” he said. “The mandala has been blessed and so we bless the river by putting the sand into it so the fish can be blessed and be reborn like human beings.” More broadly, deconstructing the mandala helps convey a message about the impermanence of the material world, he said. “We dismantle the mandala because of the impermanence of nature, but not to scare people about life being impermanent,” Phuntsok said. “We do it to understand the natural law and to appreciate that law and our own impermanence, not to ignore it but to understand that all life is born and aging and ending. “This sand mandala is very beautiful art, but you have to dismantle and destroy it because everything is impermanent.” Phuntsok said his family is Tibetan in origin but he is one of about 120 monks in the monastery in India. “Some of the older monks are from Tibet and many of the young ones are from India,” he said. “Some are orphans, some are poor. We come here to raise funds.” Notre Dame’s Ruth M. Hillebrand Center for Compassionate Care in Medicine, the College of Science and Harper Cancer Research Institute have partnered to sponsor the group, with collaboration also from the Department of Art, Art History and Design; the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies; the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Stories; the Office of Information Technologies and the Snite Museum of Art. Vachon said the different sponsors of the event each have different reasons for becoming involved, but the enthusiasm at Notre Dame has been “amazing and wonderfully supportive.” “Arjia Rinpoche is not at the monastery, but he is a very respected Buddhist teacher in Bloomington,” Vachon said. “The Harper Cancer Research Institute was interested because he’s raising money in Bloomington for a children’s cancer hospital in Mongolia, and they want to develop a relationship with that hospital.” The Department of Art, Art History and Design became involved based on their interest in the 1,000-year-old art, as did the Snite Museum of Art, he said. The Kroc and Notre Dame Institutes participated because of the event’s cultural exchange value, and the College of Science because of their interest in promoting appreciation for worldwide diversity. The monks will speak Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in 102 DeBartolo Hall on “The Power and Practice of Compassion: Taking in Harshness and Giving Out Kindness.” The construction of the mandala is being filmed and streamed live by OIT via the College of Science website. Contact Ann Marie Jakubowski at [email protected]last_img read more

SMC blends tradition and new experiences at orientation

first_imgSaint Mary’s traditional three-day orientation for first year students kicked off Thursday with a few new activities, along with old traditions, aimed at welcoming a new class of Belles to campus.Students began moving into the residence halls at 8 a.m. and formal orientation began at 4:30 p.m.Keri O’Mara | The Observer Student body president senior McKenna Schuster said orientation is important for new students to get acquainted with their new home, new classmates and student leaders.“Orientation is where girls make their first friends, and start to discover what it is like to be away from home,” Schuster said.New this year, the Student Government Association (SGA) invited Playfair, a professional team-building group, to come Friday and help first-years get to know one another through ice-breakers and other activities, Schuster saidThe Closing of the Circle ceremony will take place Saturday evening. Schuster said the event is a highly symbolic and meaningful tradition, during which the first-year students gather on the green in front of Le Mans Hall and listen to testimony from upperclassmen. “The ceremony culminates with a candle lighting and distribution of special Saint Mary’s charms that girls can take with them,” Schuster said. “After each student’s four years at Saint Mary’s they participate in an Opening of the Circle ceremony where we are sent off into life after Saint Mary’s.”Junior Madeline Harris, a resident assistant in Holy Cross Hall, said RA’s play an integral role in orientation because they are some of the first faces the new students and their families encounter in their new home.“Since RA’s work so closely with the students throughout the year, it is important to make a positive impression in the first few days, whether it be a smile, a hello or a short conversation,” she said.Schuster said her best advice for first-years is to engage and listen, but not get overwhelmed. “Sometimes, orientation can feel like a lot of information thrown at you at once, but it is important for the first years to take it just one step at a time and hopefully learn that there are resources all over campus for them to utilize,” Schuster said.She said she hopes the class of 2018 will feel a part of the Saint Mary’s sisterhood and get involved with new activities on campus.“One of our SGA goals is to increase attendance at events throughout the year and I really want to encourage the first years to not be afraid to try something new,” Schuster said. “There’s an event, club or initiative for everyone.”Tags: class of 2018, Closing of the Circle, Freshman Orientation, saint mary’slast_img read more

Field house portion of athletic facility open for use after two years

first_imgAfter roughly two years of renovations on the Angela Health and Wellness Center, the field house portion of the building is open for use.Director of athletics Julie Schroeder-Biek said in an email that the new athletic facility will be a hub for campus community.“I think [students] will really love the versatility that the building offers,” she said. “They can come to Angela to work out, participate in intramurals, club sports, PE classes, attend a sporting event and support the varsity teams, visit the Health and Counseling or BAVO offices or they can just meet a friend or professor for coffee or lunch.”The field house is currently open to students who enter from the north side by the athletic fields, she said. The rest of the building is still blocked off for finishing touches before fully opening in January next semester.“We have some limited hours available for open gyms in the field house portion of the building that includes the track,” Schroeder-Biek said. “We have been using the field house for our volleyball team’s practices and games, and our basketball team has started their practices in there as well.”Schroeder-Biek said the improvements that come with the renovated portion of the building include a better design for more functional space. The new addition onto Angela has more than doubled the building in size, she said.“It adds on our Health and Counseling Department and BAVO to the south side of the building, while our new athletic staff suite with expanded athletic training room are added onto the north side of the original building,” she said. “There will be larger restrooms and locker rooms for students, faculty and staff as well. The field house addition with the elevated one-tenth mile track will be used by so many for fitness, open gyms, varsity practices and club sports.”Richard Baxter, director of campus and community events, said the facility was designed with the vision of catering to students’ minds, bodies and spirituality.“Our primary focus is providing an education for the whole being,” Baxter said. “That’s what Holy Cross education has been about since Fr. Moreau founded the order and set about to establish education as a goal and educating the whole person. That’s the intent of the facility — that’s been the intent of the institution and our outward buildings reflect that.”Baxter said the most striking thing about the facility for him is the view of campus from inside the building.“You can actually participate in campus beauty while you’re standing in there,” Baxter said. “There will be two primary entrances — one on the north which faces the athletic fields and one on the south end that you will be able to look out and see the tower of Le Mans. Then, it will open out onto the quad they’ve created, that President Cervelli actually designed herself.”Baxter said additional perks of the renovation are the new lights and the new configuration of the lacrosse field, the soccer field and the softball field. He said these renovations allow sports teams to now practice past sundown.“They can actually have games at night if they choose, which helps them prioritize their time in a more efficient way,” he said. “They had to squeeze in all their training before the sun went down because they would be out there in the dark; now they are able to practice well into the evening if they choose.”Senior Perla Ocádiz said the renovation has been happening since her sophomore year, and she looks forward to seeing the final product.“I haven’t looked at the new building, but I am happy that it is finally opening up and excited for the brand-new equipment,” Ocádiz said.Tags: Angela Athletic Facility, renovations, saint mary’slast_img read more

Saint Mary’s hosts series on motherhood

first_imgSaint Mary’s prides itself on providing a well-rounded liberal education. For many, this does not merely mean acquiring knowledge in a variety of subject matter, but also in providing the skills to succeed in any pursuit they may have in life. For many young women, this means motherhood.Saint Mary’s is hosting a three-part event series focusing on mothering and being an activist, change maker or politician. Following the canceling of the “Activism and Motherhood” event due to the polar vortex, the next event will be “Woman, Mother, Changemaking,” which will be happening next Wednesday, Feb. 13.Rebekah DeLine, director of the Office for Civic and Social Engagement and the event’s organizer said the idea for the event was born from simple small talk and inquisitions from students.“I have been mulling this idea for the last year or two,” Deline said. “Students were interested in my own life as a working mom, asking me about my kids and seeing my kids in the office if they are sick or school got canceled. They seemed really interested in that.”Those moments led DeLine to organize the event in order to connect students to qualified sources in academic sources.“I do not necessarily see myself as the best example, but I do think that we have great examples in the community for students to learn from,” DeLine said.DeLine recognized that this event caters to a school like Saint Mary’s, where motherhood more directly affects students due to the all-female student body.“I think that it is a unique niche we have here at Saint Mary’s that all the students here are female, so the possibility of motherhood is probably on a lot of students’ minds, and that’s different than something that you might have at a co-ed institution,” DeLine said.The event opens up the conversation about both the beauties and the challenges of balancing a life in the community and in the home.“I think that women have a unique opportunity and gift to be able to have children, but it comes with unique challenges too, because — especially currently the way that society is constructed — a lot is expected of women that’s not equal and distributed,” DeLine said.The event will provide the College’s student body with the answers to the questions they have been proposing to DeLine throughout her career, along with information about the panelist’s lives.“For each of the panels, we invited three women who are in the community. Most of them are mothers who are working full time, and who are doing these things in addition to their work.We are going to bring them up and they will talk a little bit about their lives, we’ll give their bios and then we will have some questions for them, [such as] how do they manage? How do they make these decisions about how and where to get involved? Have there been times when it wasn’t possible?”DeLine saw that a part of the conversation about student’s futures was missing, and she hopes to help them learn how to balance their careers and motherhood through this series of events.“To me, it was an interesting conversation that I think is important … [I think] that students, especially our students here at Saint Mary’s, will find it interesting, so I wanted to facilitate that discussion,” DeLine said.The event will happen in a two parts: a panel discussion and a facilitated conversation over a provided dinner. Students who wish to attend must register for the event through the OSCE email, but admission is free.Tags: activism, motherhood, Office for Civic and Social Engagementlast_img read more

Welcome Weekend events orient new students to campus

first_imgSunday marked the end of this year’s Welcome Weekend, a three-day slew of hall programming and events designed to welcome all first-year and transfer students to Notre Dame, orient them to life on campus and acquaint them with their fellow Domers. From the roar of countless spirited interhall serenades to Domerfest to the silent candlelit procession to the Grotto, campus bustled as incoming students met and mingled with their peers and settled into their new home.Groups of Welcome Weekend ambassadors from each residence hall helped incoming students move into their residence halls and led them through the many events of the weekend.After receiving their ID cards and moving into their halls, incoming students were officially welcomed by University President Fr. John Jenkins in the Purcell Pavilion on Friday. Saturday’s events included the class photo, a kick-off session for the Moreau first-year experience, residence hall programming and Domerfest — a carnival full of games, food and music. Students were invited to the Purcell Pavilion on Sunday for the new student Mass. The day concluded with a candlelit procession to the Grotto, where students joined in prayer.Junior Mary Lynn Dekold, one of two captains for Howard Hall, said Welcome Weekend serves two purposes.“I think the first goal of Welcome Weekend is to welcome the first years and to give them an introduction to Notre Dame and the kind of community we have here,” Dekold said. “I think our second purpose is to help them transition into life at Notre Dame, life in their halls and life in college.”Giana Fallara, a first-year student in Howard Hall, said the weekend was a success regarding these goals.“I feel like I’m less nervous now, and I know where I am and where I’m going and how campus life works,” Fallara said. “I feel like I can see [myself] having a future here and having a home here.”Another first-year student in Howard Hall, Abby Brita, said the packed nature of the weekend’s programming helped her transition to campus life.“I really liked how there was always something to do so you were never just sitting alone,” she said. “You don’t know anyone yet, so when there aren’t any organized events and you don’t know what to do, it makes you feel lost or more alone, but I didn’t feel that at all. I always felt like I was with a group of people and always meeting new people.”Senior Anya Lindholm, a Welcome Weekend captain for Cavanaugh Hall, also complimented the busy nature of Welcome Weekend.“I think that keeping them doing activities, while it might feel a bit campy at times, helps them get their mind off of being nervous about coming to school and being sad that their families are leaving,” Lindholm said.While many of Welcome Weekend’s events — such as residence hall serenades and Domerfest — remained from past years, some residence halls instituted some changes this year.The Howard Hall Welcome Weekend staff, for example, introduced “flocks” this year — small groups of incoming students led by ambassadors who get to know the students in their group more closely, Dekold said.Lindholm said the events in general felt more well-planned and relaxed this year than during her own Welcome Weekend experience as a first year. Fisher Hall rector Richard Mazzei said Notre Dame has been working over the past few years to be more welcoming and inclusive of everyone during Welcome Weekend and progress was visible this year.“I think it really just started to show that we are, as a University and as a hall community, just welcoming,” he said. “I just felt a more welcoming spirit, and I think that comes from all the training that our Welcome Weekend ambassadors and captains get.”Mazzei also spoke to the role of the rectors in Welcome Weekend events.“I think rectors work extremely hard to make sure that Welcome Weekend is welcoming, and I credit all my colleagues,” he said. “You can see it in our faces — we’re tired, it’s been a long weekend, but that’s because we care so much.”While Welcome Weekend was full of fast-paced activities, Mazzei said for him, the reflective gathering at the Grotto was the most memorable. “You walk with them with the lighted candles to the Grotto, and you look at all these young faces just starting their career at Notre Dame, and you’re looking at the Blessed Mother, and you just think, ‘Wow, this is so special,’” he said. “It just makes Notre Dame the special place it is.”Tags: Domerfest, First Year Orientation, Welcome Weekendlast_img read more

Dugan-Pozas Garza ticket to forfeit 26 votes following second sanction

first_imgThe Dugan-Pozas Garza ticket has received a second sanction after violating election regulations outlined in the sanction for Allegation 1920-03, according to a late Tuesday press release from the Judicial Council.The ticket must forfeit 26 votes as a consequence for another violation. This is its third violation determined by Judicial Council in 24 hours.The first sanction was announced Tuesday morning, in response to multiple violations relating to unethical behavior. The sanction required the Dugan-Pozas Garza ticket to “cease all campaigning activity indefinitely” for the rest of its time in the election cycle. The Judicial Council found the ticket violated this requirement.Tags: dugan-garza ticket, Judicial Council, sanctionlast_img read more

Borrello Battles Fiber Optics Tax He Says Hurts Rural Broadband Access

first_imgPixabay Stock Image.ALBANY — Saying a tax on portions of fiber optic projects is harmful to increasing rural broadband access, State Sen. George Borrello has proposed a measure to eliminate the tax.Following the July passage of legislation aimed at identifying areas of the state that still lack broadband service, Senators Borrello has introduced a bill that would augment the effort to broaden access by repealing a recently enacted fee that has made broadband expansion projects cost-prohibitive for most carriers.Senate Bill 8858 would repeal the tax on fiber optic cable in state road rights of way that was enacted in the 2019-20 state budget.“One of the inequities highlighted by the pandemic has been the continuing lack of broadband service in many rural regions of New York. The COVID crisis and the shift to remote work and schooling upgraded this problem from ‘important’ to ‘urgent,’” said Borrello. “Parents in my district have been driven to desperate measures to assure their kids can get online to do their schoolwork, including parking for hours in fast-food parking lots for the wi-fi access. This is utterly unacceptable. The digital divide has become a digital chasm and one that threatens to leave our kids and rural families with a permanent educational and economic disadvantage.” Borrello noted that while the state claims that the $500 million Broadband for All program has expanded connectivity to 98 percent of the population, that figure is widely acknowledged to be extremely inaccurate. He highlighted the fact that a recent independent report found that 726,000 K-12 students in the state lacked access during the pandemic – 27 percent of all students.“Legislation which I cosponsored, and which passed the Senate recently, represents an important step towards addressing the problem by requiring the Public Service Commission to research and identify areas in the state still lacking access,” said Borrello.“However, the even larger obstacle to connecting our rural areas is the counterproductive fee on fiber optic internet cables that was quietly slipped into the FY20 state budget. It is disingenuous of the Governor to tout the state’s investment in expanding broadband access even as he attempts to recapture some of those funds with a new fee. Those who stand to be hurt the most by this move are rural residents, who will see hoped-for broadband projects abandoned by companies who can’t afford to absorb this new expense,” he said.Borrello noted that while the Governor has stated that broadband access is no longer a luxury, but a necessity akin to running water and electricity, other utilities – including electric, gas and water – are given free access to the rights of way for which fiber optic installers are now being charged.“In the 21st century, lack of broadband access equates to a lack of information, civic and social engagement and economic and educational opportunities that millions take for granted. It is incomprehensible that hundreds of thousands of rural New Yorkers are still without this essential service. Our legislation would seek to help them by rolling back the fee that has set back our ‘broadband for all’ effort and demonstrate through actions, not just words, that broadband access is a necessity that no New Yorker should have to go without.” 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

A Couple Rain Showers Sunday; Brief Warmup Early Next Week

first_imgJAMESTOWN – The chilly air will continue into the second half of the weekend with the return of a few scattered showers before a very short-lived warmup returns for early in the week.We have stayed mainly dry on Saturday thanks to a weak area of high pressure that has slid in to our south. That high will move out and allow a surface boundary with an attached low to move in on Sunday and produce a few showers from place to place. We will see a very brief surge of milder air pulling early in the week before the chilly air returns for the reminder of the forecast week.Mostly cloudy and quiet tonight. Still rather chilly. Lows 34 in the valleys, 46 at the Lake Erie shoreline. Light winds. Sunday will start with mostly cloudy skies in the morning with scattered showers developing in the afternoon. Rather cool. Highs 52 hills, 57 lakeshore.There could be an isolated shower to start Monday morning then gradual clearing in the afternoon. Highs 55 to 63.A good supply of sunshine will take us through Tuesday while becoming milder as well. Highs in the mid 60’s.A storm system will scoot by to north on Wednesday which will bring some scattered to widespread showers and maybe a couple rumbles throughout the region. Highs in the lower 60’s.As the system pulls away, there could be a couple leftover showers on Thursday otherwise partial sunshine. Cooler. Highs in the mid 50’s.The sunshine will be back in good supply on Friday with highs in the upper 50’s.WNYNewsNow is a proud Ambassador for the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation program. 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