Research portal open to students, faculty

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first_imgThe Gartner Research portal, an information technology research tool, is now accessible to all students, faculty and staff on Notre Dame’s campus, said Peggy Rowland, senior director of Customer Support Services for the Office of Information Technologies (OIT). The main function of the portal is to provide information on the pervasiveness of the latest trends in technology, Rowland said. “When we look at a new technology [for the University], we want to see who else is using it,” she said. Gartner uses worldwide trends to place existing and emerging technological tools in one of five phases on a “hype cycle,” which graphically measures expected popularity and utility of technologies over time. The “hype cycle” predicts which technologies will be important in the future and which technologies will soon be obsolete, Rowland said. “We don’t want to invest in a technology just because it’s being hyped or marketed … we want to use it because it meets a business need,” Rowland said. “We also don’t want to ignore [new technology] just because it doesn’t meet our early expectations. So [Gartner] helps us be selectively aggressive, but not invest in something that may not pan out.” The information provided by Gartner Research is particularly useful for faculty trying to identify trends in student engagement and learning, Rowland said.  “We look at trends. Are students bringing desktops to campus? Not so much. Are students bringing laptops to campus? Yeah kind of, but almost every student has a smart phone,” she said. “Students are into instant communication … email is even too slow for them.” Because of this trend, Gartner is researching educational technologies that focus on using smartphones and media tablets for mobile learning, Rowland said.  “A flexible environment is the [current] trend,” she said. “The traditional rows of desks and seats don’t interest [students] anymore.” The newly acquired University-wide license also allows students to directly access data from the Gartner Research portal.  Rowland said students could access the portal through InsideND for independent research in technology and business trends. “The University libraries are going to be in partnership with OIT in supporting Gartner,” she said. “The research librarians will be helping faculty and students do the actual research on the Gartner website.” Rowland said a few administrative departments at Notre Dame have already used research from Gartner to select useful and cost-effective analytical investment tools. “This [portal] is a great opportunity for faculty, staff and students to have access to this much data and information right at their fingertips without having to do the individual research themselves,” she said.last_img read more

Notre Dame bicycle shop remains closed

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first_imgCampus bike enthusiasts will have to pedal on without the Notre Dame Bike Shop, which closed last semester for the foreseeable future. However, student bike technicians said they are working hard to reopen in a new location. Phillip Johnson, director of Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP), said the shop’s garage in the Old Security Building was reallocated in December to support a growing need for academic space on campus. NDSP cannot run the program without the garage, he said. Johnson said the bike shop’s services started small and expanded gradually. “A number of years ago, NDSP was involved in making minor repairs to abandoned bikes that were auctioned at the beginning of the school year,” he said. “Over time, students came to ask for minor repairs.” Sophomore Chris Glueck, a student employee, said the shop provided free bicycle repair services for students, faculty and staff. The shop supplied labor and used parts from abandoned bikes, which are now recycled rather than auctioned. “It’s repairs that would cost people a hundred dollars that we do for free. We also [gave] advice on bikes to buy and register them,” he said. “We [had] a high success rate.” Glueck said student bike technicians have worked with the Office of Sustainability to promote the use of bikes for commuting and the reopening of a bike repair garage on campus. Rachel Novick, education and outreach program manager with the Office of Sustainability, said the University supports biking for its carbon-free mode of transportation and reduction of local air pollution. She said the Bike Shop provided an important service to the campus community. “Every biker needs an occasional tune-up for both performance and safety, and the bike shop has enabled countless students, faculty and staff members to keep their bikes in top form,” she said. “We hope that a new home can be found for it in the near future.” Johnson said he is not certain the Bike Shop will reopen as it is not part of NDSP’s core campus safety services, but he said he realizes how important it is to the Notre Dame campus. “This will depend on what space is available and who might be in the best position to operate the shop,” Johnson said. “We see the value in biking … It’s healthy and supports sustainability.” Glueck said ideally the shop would reopen in a new garage or move into an existing unused space on campus. He said he hopes the shop will open in the near future to further provide services for students and their bikes. “All we want is a place to put our tools and somewhere to check into. We’re looking for a new home and we do good work,” Glueck said.last_img read more

Campaign debates surround economics and social issues

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first_imgAs the new school year begins and the weather cools, the presidential race is just beginning to heat up. Months of contentious debate have highlighted the economy as the issue of greatest concern to the electorate. Americans are considering whether President Barack Obama’s progress on reviving the U.S. economy warrants reelection, or if it’s time for Republican challenger Mitt Romney to try his hand. Political science professor Peri Arnold said most of the national polls indicate the race is extremely close, with Obama ahead by narrow margins. “A compilation of national polls show that Obama’s running about a percent ahead … That’s tight,” Arnold said. “When you look at the key swing states, Obama is leading in most of those by a very small percent.” However, American Studies professor Jack Colwell said these projections leave plenty of opportunity for Romney to gain favor before Election Day on November 6. “The economy is still the biggest problem for the president, and if some figures come out before the election that show the economy worsening, that could swing some voters,” Colwell said. “The president has to convince people that yes, he can turn around the economy.” Arnold said the lack of marked improvement in the economy is an obvious target issue for the Republican Party. Romney’s campaign, however, has failed to fully exploit this weakness. “Presidents with that kind of economy don’t generally get reelected,” Arnold said. “The Romney campaign keeps getting bogged down in other matters, and when that happens, the economy as an issue seems to fade into the background.” Colwell said these other matters revolve around the Republican’s struggle to retain appeal in light of the actions and words of some of the Party’s members. “Mitt Romney’s big problem is the Republican brand,” Colwell said. “Some of the things happening this week like, [Rep.] Todd Akin’s [R-Miss.] speech in Missouri have made it clear that people are really down on both parties, they’re more down on the Republican party.” After picking Ryan as his running mate, Romney’s connection to more conservative Republicans has been strengthened and the gender gap has widened, Colwell said. “People keep talking about the fact that Ryan and Akin sponsored a bill that defined categories of rape and what ‘legitimate’ rape is,” he said. “There was a huge gender gap already, but this accentuates that gap.” Arnold said Ryan’s politics remain on the periphery of what many Americans believe. “I think that initially, the Ryan pick was a good pick,” Arnold said. “Romney has not proven to be a good campaign performer, but now he seems energized. The problem is that Ryan is extremely conservative and that the details of the Ryan budget include lots of things the Americans don’t like.” Colwell said Romney’s overseas trip earlier this month hurt his image in the eyes of the voters. “He had a number of stumbles there,” Colwell said. “That won’t decide the election, but that was just another one of those things that caused people to say ‘Oh, wait a minute, do we want this guy as president?’” Arnold said this trip reflected Romney’s unease at being in the spotlight. “One of Romney’s greatest problems is that he’s not an easy public speaker,” Arnold said. “He’s afraid to reveal himself, and gets caught up in these malapropisms and saying the wrong things.” Competing with Obama’s likeability and oratorical skill are two of the hurdles in Romney’s road to the presidency, Colwell said. “People seem still to like Obama personally,” Colwell said. “They think he’s a decent person and a good family man trying to do the best that he can. “[Voters might] trust him more.” Colwell said the Republican political action committees (PACs) are able to outspend the Democrat backers, giving the GOP greater resources to reach voters with. “The Super-PACs with their negative attack ads, they’ll be able to spend more and dent Obama’s likeability,” Colwell said. “They will bring up things, especially on the economy that will portray him as being too far to the left.” Political science professor Vincent Munoz said another potential roadblock for Obama is a perceived assault on religious liberty by the Obama administration. “He’s not been very accommodating to the concerns that Catholics and other religious groups have [expressed] about religious liberty.” Munoz said though many Catholics have voted for Democrats because of their perceived support of social justice initiatives, this might not remain the case on Election Day. “The question is, do people who voted for Obama in 2008 feel so burdened by the administration that they might switch their vote?” Munoz said. Munoz said he is interested to see how young voters act on Election Day. “I think the growing question in our politics is whether the huge debt that we’ve been accumulating is unjust to younger generations,” Munoz said. “I asked my classes this afternoon, ‘Are any of you going to get Social Security?’ and not a single hand went up. This is morally problematic.”last_img read more

Kelly unveils ‘The Shirt’

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first_imgThe 2013 Notre Dame football season won’t officially begin until Aug. 31 when the Irish take on Temple University, but fans got a preview of the team’s excitement and tradition this weekend at the annual The Shirt unveiling ceremony and Blue-Gold Game. On Friday, Irish coach Brian Kelly unveiled The Shirt outside the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore despite gray skies and snow. Students, alumni and fans gathered to see Kelly display the forest green design. “I really, really like it,” freshman Allie Klein, social media commissioner for the Leprechaun Legion, said about the green color. “That’s something everyone was clamoring for, at least Twitter and social media-wise. … They wanted to kind of get [the color] back to the roots.” After navy, bright blue and gold Shirts, green seemed like a natural choice for the 2013 Shirt, senior Dan Ogg, president of The Shirt Committee, said. “We just felt like it was time for green,” Ogg said. “And after coming off such a strong season, it’s kind of hard not to go with something like this.” Junior Betsy FitzGerald, assistant drum major in the Band of the Fighting Irish, praised The Shirt’s color and its potential for the student section. “I think it’ll look really good in the student section,” she said. “Especially being in the band, you get to see how it looks as a whole, which is really cool to see. … I think it really embodies the spirit of coming back from the national championship.” The 2013 Shirt features a paint splatter theme with gold and navy splatters under pictures of former Notre Dame players. The text reads “On the heels of legends we rise to victory.” Sophomore John Wetzel coined the phrase, which freshmen design committee members Molly Howell and Abbey Dankoff then used to create the finished product, Howell said. “We wanted something that was unique and special,” Wetzel said of the phrase. “So I started thinking about what would relate to the legendary feel but also be current, talking about what’s now.” Howell said The Shirt Committee considered making The Shirt blue or a different shade of green. Ogg said more modern players were also considered in place of Ned Bolcar, John Lujack, Raghib Ismail, Tim Brown and John Lattner. “We’re thinking legends, and [modern players] are not necessarily legends, so we went with throwback players,” Ogg said. FitzGerald said this weekend’s events gave the marching band an opportunity to go through the motions of a football weekend without much pressure. Saturday’s Blue-Gold game also gave the seniors a final send-off while offering the new band leaders a chance to practice their new roles. “It’s a lot of fun,” FitzGerald said. “We get to play around, and since it’s not too serious we get to play all the songs we want to play and not just the Celtic Chant eight times.” For many in the student section, the Blue-Gold Game revolved more around friends and less around football, sophomore Christian Knight said. “I’m going to miss it because I’m going to be abroad next year, but one of the main reasons I wanted to go was that it’ll be the only time I get to be in Notre Dame Stadium in 2013,” Knight said. “I have a bunch of friends who are going abroad who went for the same reason.” Knight said the atmosphere on South Quad, including tailgates, cookouts and people playing football, enhanced the game-day environment even though the game itself was not the same as a typical home football matchup. “To be honest with you, we kind of knew that it wasn’t for the football,” Knight said. “It was different. I didn’t really know the scoring system, but it was still a good time. It was also interesting to see freshmen, juniors and seniors all in the same section with us, and we didn’t have to sneak anyone in or anything.” The game effectively generated excitement for the coming seasons, Knight said. “I’m ready for senior-year football already,” Knight said. “Go Irish, beat Irish.”last_img read more

‘Lend an Ear’ promotes community service

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first_imgSaint Mary’s students launched the Lend An Ear initiative to establish a way for Belles to provide companionship to the local homeless population, Lend An Ear club president and senior Fernanda Amado said.The initiative specifically connects Saint Mary’s students with the residents of Center for the Homeless, Amado said.Amado said fellow senior Christina Porter sparked the idea for the club and the initiative.“In our junior year we both took Professor [Terri] Russ’s public communication course,” Amado said. “Every Thursday, we would go to the Center and teach our residents about communication.  While there, we found that most of the residents wanted to share their experiences with us.  That is when Christina came up with the idea.”Porter said she first became interested in Russ’s course when she learned she could teach communication concepts to residents of the Center for the Homeless, building on her experiences working with impoverished individuals during high school. She said her time in the class inspired her to create a student group.“We noticed that the guests would sometimes use a lot of class time describing their experiences and the paths they have taken to end up at the Center.  It was apparent to us that they enjoyed us visiting and wanted to talk more,” Porter said. “We also realized that sometimes it can be hard for the guests to share their personal challenges and hardships with other guests because … others may not want to listen, because they too are burdened with problems.”Porter said she and her classmates developed this volunteering initiative out of a desire to continue the companionship among Saint Mary’s students and Center residents fostered by her public communications course.Russ said she is proud of her students and their work.“This program provides a wonderful opportunity for students to provide meaningful service to the Center for the Homeless, while also learning that those who are homeless are more similar to us than dissimilar,” Russ said.Amado said she feels an important take-away from her time volunteering at the Center is the realization that anyone can find themselves in a situation of poverty.“It doesn’t just happen to those with addictions, most of them led ordinary lives,” Amado said. “But the really important thing to take way is that these are good people.  As a society we tend to stigmatize the homeless.  We don’t like to go near them or we think poorly of them because we have been conditioned to be weary of them.”The structure of the initiative is centered on communication between the volunteers and the guests, Porter said.“[The initiative] … is a way for us to be a secure outlet to talk about their lives and their daily struggles.  Our job is to ‘lend our ears’ and to be a friend to them.  It’s important to acknowledge that homelessness does not discriminate and people of all backgrounds can end up in a facility like the Center for the Homeless,” Porter said.Amado said Lend An Ear volunteers must volunteer for at least one hour per week at South Bend’s Center for the Homeless, though more substantial time commitments are encouraged.Students may sign up to participate on the Lend An Ear OrgSync page, Amado said.Tags: Center for the Homeless, Christina Porter, Fernanda Amado, Lend An Earlast_img read more

Play explores story of Jackie Robinson

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first_imgThe Mad River Theater Works (MRTW), an Ohio-based touring theater company, presented the play “Everybody’s Hero: The Story of Jackie Robinson” on Monday night in O’Laughlin Auditorium at Saint Mary’s.Written and directed by Jeff Hooper, co-founder of MRTW, the musical told the beginning of Robinson’s baseball career for the Brooklyn Dodgers. A cast of six performed, including Bob Lucas, co-founder of MRTW and the show’s composer.Richard Baxter, director of special events, said MRTW came to Saint Mary’s last year, and performed the play “Freedom Bound.”“[MRTW] has been around since the late 1970s, and their primary mission is to get original works out into areas that don’t have access to the arts,” Baxter said. “Their purpose is to take their program with the original music and take it to school auditoriums and places that don’t have access to touring shows. They’re coming to Saint Mary’s because they have a great show and they have a history of doing great shows.” ZACH LLORENS | The Observer An actor portrays baseball great Jackie Robinson in the play “Everybody’s Hero” in the Saint Mary’s O’Laughlin Auditorium on Monday.MRTW came to Saint Mary’s as part of the Shaheen/Duggan Performing Arts Series, sponsored by the Office of Special Events. This series which will feature a yet-unannounced spring theater performance from April 3 to 6 and a performance of “The Snail and The Whale,” a children’s show that will premiere April 26, Baxter said.“‘Everybody’s Hero’ was written in 2004 with permission from the Robinson family and will conclude its run with MRTW tomorrow in Ohio,” Lucas said.The show was chosen by the Office of Student Activities because February is Black History Month and because Robinson broke many racial barriers, Baxter said.“Baseball means grass and summer and that’s what we need right now — warm weather,” Baxter said. “More importantly this celebrates the breaking of a racial barrier in professional sports, and [Robinson] made it possible for athletes in all fields and all arenas to integrate the professional world of sports.”Baxter said the cast of “Everybody’s Hero” hopes to instill the feelings of joy, pride and courage to go out on one’s own in its audience. The play examines the ways individuals can help make the world a more inclusive environment, Baxter said.“We need to be socially conscious,” he said. “We need to be inclusive. We need to take this sense of community we have here and take it past the confines of the campus as we go out.“I would hope a student coming to see the show would go out and ask, ‘How can I help integrate the world in which I’m going in whatever way? … How can I make this a more accepting environment?’”Kalyn Whitaker, assistant director of arts for the Office of Special Events, said the performance allows the audience to see what Robinson experienced.“[The play helps the audience learn] the story of Jackie Robinson and … the things he experienced during his time and how much he influenced baseball at the time, and not just baseball itself, but anything toward the African-American culture and how far he pushed it into the future,” Whitaker said.Tags: Jackie Robinson, Playlast_img read more

SMC engages foreign speakers

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first_imgThe English Language School at Saint Mary’s demonstrates the College’s mission for student diversity by working to help students reach their educational goals for to English language learning or proficiency.Kelly Konya | The Observer [/Courtesy of Terra Cowham]Terra Cowham, assistant director of the English Language School, said the program provides intensive English Language-instruction to non-native speakers, ranging from beginner to advanced levels.She said while the program mainly focuses on preparing students for higher education and life in the U.S., it also supports students who come for more personal goals.“Some students want to work on gaining confidence in their speaking, reading and writing skills,” Cowham said. “We have had many students whose spouses come for work, and they need a program that will help them gain social language so that they can engage with the community around them.”Cowham said in spring 2013, the School’s calendar changed from semester-long courses to four-week sessions, which are offered in the fall, spring and summer. This allows the program to have start dates every month as opposed to only in the fall or spring.“Having four-week sessions also allows students to come for as many sessions as they would like,” she said. “They could stay for a few months if they did not want to study the whole semester.”Cowham said the program now offers a more specialized summer program, with three sessions beginning May 12.“We have continued to grow and help students along their educational journey,” she said. “We have grown in our extracurricular activities and have added new elective classes.”Cowham said the current classes offered are Speaking and Listening, Reading, Grammar, Cultural Exploration and Service Learning, along with other intensive academic preparatory courses.“Full-time students typically take five classes a day. The classes are approximately one-hour long, which equates to five instructional hours per class per week,” Cowham said. “Classes are offered from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to12 p.m. on Friday,” Cowham said.She said the program attracts students of all ages from all over the world.“We have students who are studying here for their college program, some study here before their entrance into higher education, some are wives and mothers, and we have students who come for just a few classes,” she said. “Our teachers care about each student as an individual.“We welcome anyone who wants language support on their educational journey.”Cowham said because the program is small, the teachers are able to offer a great deal of individualized attention.“We can work directly with student needs as well as offer a close-knit community of learning,” she said.In addition to benefitting students, Cowham said there are many ways the students’ families in the School find fulfillment in the programs as well. With little to no English-speaking experience, the individuals who participate in the program gain a confidence in their English environments.Cowham said the program organizes cultural and extracurricular activities for the participants, which is vital to learning a language and to building relationships with other students.Director of the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership Elaine Meyer-Lee said the program is working to develop an opportunity for community members to host students coming from other countries.“We now have a partnership with a women’s college in Japan that was started by a Saint Marys’ alumna called St. Agnes University,” Meyer-Lee said.Meyer-Lee said living with a family for the summer could be a beneficial opportunity for intercultural learning for both the international students and host families.For more information about the English Language School or to volunteer to host a student, visit: cwil.saintmarys.edu/els or call 574-284-4212. Tags: Diversity, english language school, smc english language schoollast_img read more

Fr. Joseph Corpora to be appointed a Missionary of Mercy

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first_imgFr. Joseph Corpora will be one of 800 priests selected by Pope Francis to be a Missionary of Mercy, the University announced in a press release Thursday morning.“The Missionaries are some 800 priests worldwide selected by the pope to be special confessors and ‘living signs’ of God’s forgiveness during the Holy Year of Mercy officially proclaimed in his letter, Misericordiae Vultus (The Face of Mercy), last year,” the release stated. “Father Corpora will be among those traveling to Rome to meet with Pope Francis and to be commissioned on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 10) in a celebration at St. Peter’s Basilica.”Corpora serves as the director of university-school partnerships for Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) and a priest-in residence in Dillon Hall as well as the a Campus Ministry chaplain to Latino students on campus. He said in the release that he is “very excited, grateful and humbled by the Holy Father’s invitation.“And I hope everyone at Notre Dame will pray for me that I might do some good in spreading the mercy of God by being a person of mercy and compassion. I know something of God’s mercy because my deepest self-definition is that I am a sinner whose sins are forgiven. God has been so merciful to me.” Tags: ACE, Pope Francis, Year of Mercylast_img read more

‘Pizza, Pop and Politics’ addresses health care policy

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first_imgMark Fox and Waldo Mikels-Carrasco spoke about the issue of health care in the context of American politics and policy at the second installment of “Pizza, Pop and Politics,” a platform for political engagement sponsored by NDVotes’16, on Tuesday in Geddes Hall.Fox, dean of Indiana University-South Bend School of Medicine, said the rhetoric surrounding health care throughout the presidential race raises two key points about health care in America.“It poses some fundamental questions that I think all of us really ought to engage about,” Fox said. “How do we view health care in the context of the community, and what are our obligations to ourselves and our fellow community members? And then, at a different level, what’s the role of government in helping us meet those goals?”Fox said one problem facing Americans are the risks that come with not having health insurance.“Basically, you have between one and a half times and two and a half times the risk of being diagnosed late with … various types of cancers if you’re uninsured,” he said. “Uninsurance rates matter. They affect health access, they affect outcomes, they affect longevity.”Fox said the main reason for lack of insurance and problems with health care is many people can’t afford health care rates.“Politics aside, I think there are some things that we need to be honest about [concerning] American health and health care,” he said. “First is, it’s expensive. We have the most expensive health care without the results to justify it. The poor in the United States have very poor outcomes.”The results of the health care system do not justify the amount of money spent on it, because only about 10 percent of premature deaths in the United States are caused by a lack of health care, Fox said.“If our fundamental question as a society is how do we improve health … health care plays a very small role in that. And yet, we spend all this money on health care and perhaps much less on all these other problems,” he said. “We’re the most disproportionate with respect to what we spend on health care versus social services, compared to other industrial countries.”Mikels-Carrasco, director of community and population health development for the Michiana Health Information Network, said because the level of frustration with health care is so high, candidates should be focusing on the “triple aim” of health care.“The market-driven health care system that we have in the United States doesn’t work really well,” Mikels-Carrasco said. “The triple aim is improve quality of care, reduce the cost of care and improve patient satisfaction. That third one has never really been part of the equation, but as voters go to the polls, they should be supporting things that are improving what we think we should be getting out of our health care experience.”Some of the responsibility for improving the health care system lies with voters, Mikels-Carrasco said.“If you’re going to vote for a candidate, make sure that their party has some kind of platform that accounts for health,” he said. “There [are] problems with [the Affordable Care Act]. It could use a lot of reworking, but saying we’re just going to get rid of it and we’re not going to replace it with anything, that’s problematic.”Mikels-Carrasco said because poor health in childhood leads to an increased possibility of problems later in life, he believes the focus should turn toward ensuring childhood health improves.“I think the point is that we have to look at … head-start programs that provide education for parents and children and teaches them how to be well-resourced individuals, because if they’re better, they’ll be healthier,” he said. “Research has shown that they’ll have better educational outcomes, healthy children, and they’ll be better citizens in life. They’ll have better outcomes at lower cost to society in general, in a health care system that we can all manage, that we can all participate in and that we can all afford.”Tags: Election, Health care, NDVotes ’16, Pizza Pop and Politicslast_img read more

Notre Dame students to host Title IX teach-in

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first_imgWe Stand For, a student group dedicated to drawing attention to social justice issues, is sponsoring a student-led teach-in focused on Title IX policy, sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence Friday.Senior Grace Watkins said she and the other event organizers were inspired by a “Day of Action” rally in support of Title IX and sexual assault survivors at Columbia at the end of March.“Originally, we just wanted to, as a group, be involved in some way with combating violence against women — especially with the new administration and all the threatened cuts to domestic violence funding and rollback on Title IX protections,” Watkins said. “So we got connected with No Red Tape at Columbia, and they had this Day of Action planned. … So we decided to pool our resources, reach out to more people and plan the teach-in.”The teach-in is an event intended to “provide a forum for candid discussion on current Title IX procedures, complainant rights and rape culture,” according to a We Stand For press release. Fifth-year student Bryan Ricketts said he hopes the event provides clarity on current and potential Title IX policies.“There’s lots of confusion out there,” he said. “And so the point of that event at Columbia and the event here is to really drill down what Title IX is about, what that means here at Notre Dame, how that impacts various communities here at Notre Dame and what people can sort of expect moving forward — both at a national level, but also how they can get involved here on campus at a community advocacy level.”The group decided to host a teach-in rather than a rally — as Columbia did — in order to educate the Notre Dame community about why this kind of activism is necessary, Watkins said.“Our university doesn’t have the same kind of culture of activism around Title IX that the other involved campuses did,” she said. “So I view this, personally, as almost an attempt to catch up the student body to the point where there can be active rallies and protests around Title IX.”The discussion will focus mainly on national issues, Watkins said, but will tie them into policies at the University.“We will be talking about national policy level decisions through the lens of how they’ll affect our campus,” she said. “So specifically, what will Title IX look like if the preponderance-of-evidence standard isn’t used anymore — if we moved back up to [the] clear-and-convincing standard. It would be a disaster.”While students are welcome to share stories of their own experiences with the Title IX process at Notre Dame during the teach-in, Ricketts said there is no pressure for anyone to do so, as the event will be primarily policy-based.“We’re not asking that of people, and I wouldn’t even necessarily say that that needs to be a part of someone’s journey as someone who is a survivor of sexual violence,” he said. “If they want to, that’s wonderful, and we’ll absolutely support that, but I think we want to change the conversation beyond just sort of lamenting about how frustrating the process can be here, and move toward a conversation on how can we change that and ensure there are fewer of these stories.”Watkins said she hopes students who attend the teach-in leave with a greater understanding of Title IX and the potential results of proposed policy changes.“I want them to walk away knowing their rights,” she said. “I think that’s one of the most powerful ways to remain engaged and navigate the system and be empowered. And also [I want them to] have a mind to what may come in the next four years and how to prepare for that. Because I don’t claim to have all or even many of those answers, but I do know quite a bit about what may take place.”Tags: gender-based violence, sexual assault, teach-in, Title IX, We Stand Forlast_img read more