From noon to midnight Saturday, over 300 Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students will bust a move for Riley Hospital for Children at the Dance Marathon in the Angela Athletic Facility. Dance Marathon executive member Maureen Parsons said she hopes the event will teach students about the work Riley Hospital does. “I think the biggest challenge we face each year is trying to convey to students how awesome of an organization Riley Hospital truly is.” Parsons said. According to the Riley Hospital website, the Indianapolis hospital is one of the nation’s premier children’s hospitals, and Dance Marathon president Rebecca Guerin said Riley does not turn patients away for financial reasons. Parsons said between 15 and 20 families of children in the Riley Hospital will attend the event, and they will share their stories throughout the day. “Until you hear a Riley child share his or her story, you really do not know the impact of participating in Dance Marathon,” Parsons said. Parson said the theme of this year’s Dance Marathon is “Animal Kingdom”. The event will feature games, crafts, performances, food and even live animals, she said. The Dance Marathon will also cross over with Saint Mary’s Lil’ Sibs weekend, Parsons said. Lil’ Sibs participants will take part in the marathon from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and a “Silly Safari” will take place during that time. Amy Tiberi, executive member of the Dance Marathon, said the goal of this year’s event is to exceed the $63,000 raised last year by 20 percent. Guerin said she expects this year’s event to be a success. “As the year comes to an end, it has been so gratifying to see so many college-aged students want to be a part of something so selfless,” Guerin said. “I think that our Animal Kingdom-themed marathon [this] weekend is truly going to be our best marathon yet. From the exotic animals to the glow-stick rave hour, it’s going to be a blast!” Tiberi said Riley Hospital is a cause close to her heart. “I am so passionate about this cause because I know people who have personally been affected by Riley,” Tiberi said. “What keeps me so connected to Dance Marathon is the feeling that you get when you see how many people you are helping and how grateful they are for all of the hard work our college puts in for this cause.” Saint Mary’s students can register for the Dance Marathon in the Student Center Atrium, and Notre Dame students can visit www.nd.edu/~medinfo. Day-of registration will begin Saturday at 11:30 a.m. in the Angela Athletic Facility.
This semester for her project management class, senior Caroline Corbett and her group will market a partnership between St. Michael’s Laundry and the South Bend Center for the Homeless to provide clothes to the impoverished. This project will allow students to have real world experiences and also serve those who are in need. “Professor Angst presented our class different ideas that people have come to him with,” Corbett said. “This was just one that we as a group were the most interested in.” Corbett said St. Michael’s and the Center for the Homeless already had the idea for collaboration and just needed assistance with promoting the campaign. To contribute, people can bring in clothes, towels and sheets to St. Michael’s to be given to the Center for the Homeless. Corbett said St. Michael’s has agreed to wash dirty clothes and make slight alterations for donations if needed. Along with three women – one from St. Michael’s, the Center for the Homeless and the Notre Dame Development Office – Corbett and her group have made significant progress. “We’ve been working through all different kinds of marketing avenues, including Scholastic, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, dorm donation boxes, Martin’s Supermarkets, the Hammes Bookstore and the University Park Mall,” Corbett said. “We also want to get with local parishes and Siegfried Hall’s Day of Man.” The group’s goal is to market the donation campaign to students, faculty and South Bend residents. “We also want this to be a sustainable program, not just a drive,” Corbett said. “We’ve been working with Student Council to see if this can be a student-run project for years to come.” Corbett said the group would like the campaign to be seasonal – meaning a push for cold weather gear during the winter and suits for fall and spring, which are peak job interview times. “There are all kinds of donation drives year round, but I hope this will be something that will be around for a long time,” Corbett said. “Whenever you get your clothes cleaned by St. Michael’s, we want people to be reminded that they can donate and help out the homeless people at the shelter.” Though the official campaign has not begun, students can begin to donate clothes at the St. Michael’s Distribution Center.
This Saturday, Saint Mary’s will celebrate the Chinese New Year in O’Laughlin Auditorium from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.China Night, is hosted by the Chinese Cultural Club and the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL). Yaqi Song, the president of the Chinese Cultural Club, is the director of the event.The event is open to all students at Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame as well as the general public, said Alice Siqin Yang, CWIL’s assistant director for global education.“It is important to provide this opportunity of learning and understanding of Chinese culture throughout the South Bend community,” Yang said.At the event, members of the community, including students from Notre Dame and Indiana University South Bend and Chinese exchange students at Saint Mary’s College will perform traditional Chinese music and dancing, Yang said. Students and faculty who have studied abroad in China, as well as Chinese Fulbright students, will talk about the festival and their experiences with Chinese culture.Yang said the Chinese New Year, a time for families to reunite and share in their cultural traditions, is one of the most important festivals in the Chinese-speaking world.“The Chinese celebrate the transition to spring over the span of 15 days, which was based on the importance of the agricultural society … and now is an opportunity to look forward to a new year,” she said.Yang said each year is assigned a zodiac animal, which characterizes the year and those born within it. This year is the year of the sheep or the goat.The event will be reflective of a Chinese celebration that will not only expose the South Bend community to Chinese culture, but also allow Chinese guests to feel closer to home, Yang said. She said the gala-like event is similar to Chinese events that share stories of culture and tradition.Yang said Saint Mary’s has hosted a Chinese New Year event each year since 2008. The events provide an opportunity for Chinese members of the community to connect with their traditions and allow Americans to learn about Chinese culture, she said.“Even if people have different values, recognize that all people have their own way of living, and it is important to be able to respect these traditions of other cultures,” Yang said. “… It is nice to celebrate these joyous moments and add warmth to our lives during this cold winter.”Tags: Alice Siqin Yang, center for women’s intercultural leadership, China Night, Chinese cultural club, Chinese New Year, Yaqi Song
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”These words, from Paul’s letter to the Romans, echoed throughout the Alumni Hall chapel Wednesday night as Notre Dame hosted a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the 1915 Armenian genocide.One hundred years ago, the Ottoman Turks “orchestrated mass pogroms, persecutions and death marches resulting in the annihilation of 1.5 million ethnic Armenians,” according to the Nanovic Institute website.Armenian priest Der Hovhan led the service commemorating the genocide’s centennial.“I have always been amazed at how fast life can change,” Hovhan said as he began his homily. “Things are one way one day, and the next day they are totally different. One day you think you are well, the next day you discover that you are extremely ill. One day your life is going well, the next day everything has fallen apart. One day it appears that there is no hope in your situation, the next day your problem has been solved. It is true that many changes can occur over one day. What a difference a day makes.“What a difference a day makes. April 24, 1915,” he said. “It was the fourth Sunday of Easter, known in the Armenian Church calendar as Red Sunday. It was the day of the beginning of the Armenian genocide. On that night, 300 Armenian leaders, writers, thinkers and professionals in Constantinople, present day Istanbul, were collected, deported and killed. Five thousand of the poorest Armenians were also slaughtered in their homes and the streets.“It was the beginning,” he said. “Over the course of the next years, out of the 2 million total Armenians, one and a half million were killed. Thousands were deported, hundreds of churches, monasteries and schools were closed, 4,000 clergymen were killed. Yes — Ottoman Turks committed the genocide in order to overpower us, the Armenians — to destroy us, if possible.”And yet, despite these efforts, the genocide failed, Hovhan said. Armenians have rebuilt their lives and rebuilt their identity as a people.“The Armenian spirit showed that it could not be overpowered,” Hovhan said. “It would be more accurate to say that God showed, through the example of the Armenian people, that the spirit borne, nourished and livened with centuries of existence as distinctly Christian people could not be subjugated.”Rosie LoVoi This strength was deep within every Armenian that had endured the genocide, Hovhan said.“From my childhood, I remember my great-grandfather … he had a large family, and all of his children and his wife were slaughtered in 1915 in front of his eyes,” he said. “I cannot imagine anything worse in my life to happen to me.”But despite this tragedy, Hovhan said his great-grandfather was “a living monument” to the Armenian people’s victory over death and suffering.“When I think about [my grandfather], when I think about him now, what happened to him, I realized he lived the Gospel,” Hovhan said. “He was a living gospel. He was dead in 1915, I’m sure he was dead. He was breathing, he was moving but he was dead after all he saw. But he was reborn. He had overcome the world. His new life was a victory over his death.”And just as his great-grandfather was reborn, Hovhan said the Armenian people are being reborn, as well. Today, the Armenian Apostolic Church will canonize the victims of the genocide as saints. The “greater reality” of the genocide will no longer be one of death and suffering, Hovhan said, but one of victims’ “defiance of death in the name of taking up the cross of death in Jesus Christ.”“We all know the events that precede the Sunday of Resurrection,” Hovhan said.“A couple weeks ago, during the Holy Week, we, as a Church, remember[ed] every step Jesus took during his last hours on this earth. We remember[ed] his betrayal on Holy Thursday, his crucifixion on Holy Friday. And on Sunday, we announce[d] that Christ is risen from the dead.“Our nation too, went through all these steps,” he said. “We were betrayed, we were crucified and buried, and for the last 99 years, joining the oil-bearing women, we were coming to the empty tomb, trying to see dead bodies.“And finally, today, 100 years later, we realize that the tomb is empty. The victims are not in that tomb. My brothers and sisters, I’m here today to announce that today is the Easter eve of the Armenian nation. Because tomorrow, in a few hours, our martyrs will be canonized, and the victims will become victors. It is indeed the Easter of the Armenian nation.“What a difference a day makes.”News writer Rachel O’Grady contributed to this report.Tags: 100th anniversary, 1915, Armenian Genocide, candlelight vigil, father der hovhan
Amidst the seemingly countless activities and programs of a home football weekend, the Alumni Association and the Center for Social Concerns (CSC) have teamed up to create a safe meeting space for recovering alcoholics on football weekends.“We all know that there are many among us who suffer from alcoholism or problems with alcohol,” Bill Norberg, Notre Dame class of 1987, said. “These Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings are an extension of the groups around South Bend and those members who happened to be alumni. Alcoholics Anonymous deals with the life-threatening disease. For those who are truly addicted, it provides a way out of a merciless enslavement.”Norberg said he helps lead the AA meetings on campus, and has done so off-campus in the past.“You can safely say that the meetings have been on campus for over 20 years,” he said.He has personally led the on-campus gatherings for five years now, and said he enjoys the service aspect of his position.The CSC, located in Geddes Hall, provides the space for the meetings, while the requests for the meetings formally go through the Alumni Association.“For many years, the Alumni Association has sought to support our alumni and friends who value the opportunity to attend AA meetings during home football weekends,” Dolly Duffy, Notre Dame class of 1984 and executive director of the Alumni Association, said.Duffy, who is also the associate vice president for University Relations, said the meetings are aimed at fostering fellowship amongst alumni struggling with addiction. She said by sponsoring the meetings, the Alumni Association seeks to provide a comfortable territory for these individuals.“We hope the fellowship of these meetings provides a welcome respite during these busy weekends,” Duffy said.Norberg said that alcoholism is an issue millions face nationwide, and therefore it is important to focus on recovery everywhere.“With the national scope of Notre Dame and the number of visitors we have on game day weekends we like to provide this service,” he said. “It provides a chance for people to come back annually and catch up just like people do at tailgates. It is just a safer environment.“In its simplest terms there are some of us who can’t drink … and AA provides not only a way out but a safe haven. Notre Dame recognizes this need in its alumni and students and provides these meetings to give them a safe place to go.”The meetings will be held in Geddes Hall in room 304B. For 3:30 p.m. kickoffs, the meetings will be held at 12 p.m., and for night games, meetings will be held at 4 p.m.Tags: AA, Alumni Association, Center for Social Concerns, gameday
As election season progresses, NDVotes ’16 will be hosting a training session aimed at improving public dialogue titled “Voter Mobilization: Training in Civic Reflection” this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., as part of its broader goal of initiating conversations on campus about political and civic actions.Rosie McDowell, faculty advisor for NDVotes ’16, said this student-driven training session aims to give students more opportunities for involvement and to inform them about the voter registration process.“[The training opportunities] are on issues that were selected by students and what they said was important,” McDowell said. “The idea is to give students opportunities to become involved in civic and political issues and to stay active in the causes and issues important to them beyond the election.”The free training will be facilitated by student leaders and is sponsored by Indiana Campus Compact. The student-to-student leadership training is part of the Civic Reflection Initiative at Valparaiso University.According to the Center for Civic Reflection, the Civic Reflection Initiative aims to have students “facilitate reflection dialogue about civic action and train other students to facilitate as well.”“I think dialogue has been important for a long time,” McDowell said. “We’ve been working since 2012 to promote this idea called the virtues of discourse, recognizing that people do have passions but to be an educated person and be an active member of society.”McDowell said part of having constructive dialogue is to recognize there will always be a multitude of perspectives and experiences brought to the table and to be able to handle those viewpoints in a non-reactionary way.“The goal of it is to have students have the conversations about issues that are important to them without breaking down and getting all partisan and disparaging,” McDowell said.According to McDowell, NDVotes ’16 has been meeting since last spring to design this political series. Some of the upcoming events in the spring include a discussion of income inequality as a campaign issue and a faculty panel on immigration.“The whole goal of NDVotes is to create this non-partisan campaign,” McDowell said. “The point is to understand that people are coming from different points of views and values. I want students to feel like they have the skills and the conversation to have a respectful dialogue and conversation.”Since the club has been created, McDowell said it has witnessed a huge uptake in the number of students who have registered to vote, especially in the past week when around 500 students registered.“Attend the events, find out who your NDVotes dorm liaison is, get signed up with TurboVote and don’t shy away from engaging,” McDowell said.Tags: civics, NDVotes, political series, Training, voter registration
This week marks the student government health and wellness department’s annual Love Your Body Week, an event aimed at promoting body positivity and raising awareness about the impact of eating disorders on Notre Dame’s campus.One in five college students will struggle with an eating disorder while at school, and recognizing this problem is particularly important, sophomore Julia Dunbar, health and wellness department director, said.“On our campus, I think there is a lot of stigma around eating disorders,” Dunbar said. “We have made a lot of progress with general mental health stigma, but eating disorders really need our attention. We need to first break down stigma regarding eating disorders.“Secondly, I hope to educate and empower our campus. If a friend or roommate starts struggling, I want people to be able to identify the situation and feel like they are able to help them.”Love Your Body Week’s organizers hope to shed light on the often unnoticed mental health problem of self-image. According to Dunbar, the issue of eating disorders impacts many students on campus, whether they are personally suffering or know someone who is dealing with this problem.“Eating disorders affect so many lives,” she said. “It is important that these brave people feel like their struggle is recognized. I have heard so many personal stories from peers that just made me believe so strongly in the work that we are doing.”The week’s events — which align with National Eating Disorder Awareness Week — started Sunday with a performance from actress Marybeth Saunders, who relayed how eating disorders impact individuals and their families.“We researched what activities had been planned in previous years and what had been successful on not just Notre Dame’s campus, but on Saint Mary’s as well,” Dunbar said. “We met with many different student government department directors and with representatives from other campus organizations such as the University Counseling Center, McDonald Center for Student Well-Being and Campus Dining to design the best week possible.”Dunbar said that although it is important to be open about eating disorders and eliminate the stigma surrounding this problem, the activism should not end after this week.“Though we are focusing on body positivity and eating disorders for one week, we can use these events as a springboard to make a change in our daily lives by watching how we use language and social media to promote certain ideals,” Dunbar said.The week’s events continue Wednesday when University Counseling Center intern Jamie Lacey will give a presentation titled “Supporting Someone With An Eating Disorder”; there will also be a trail mix bar during lunch in North Dining Hall. The week will conclude with yoga at noon in the third floor conference room of St. Liam Hall.Tags: body positivity, health and wellness, Love Your Body Week, UCC
Linda Timm will serve as Saint Mary’s interim vice president of student affairs following current vice president of student affairs Karen Johnson’s retirement at the end of the fall semester, Interim President Nancy Nekvasil announced in a campus-wide email Wednesday. Timm previously filled this office from 1995 to 2006, and has also held positions at Illinois State University and Mount Mary College.“Timm’s wealth [of] experience in student affairs and extensive knowledge of Saint Mary’s will provide a smooth transition upon [Johnson’s] retirement in early January,” Nekvasil said in the email. “Her decades of work in student affairs inspired her collaboration with other professionals to form the Association for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities where she later served as president.”Nekvasil thanked Johnson for her 13 years of service at Saint Mary’s.“[Johnson] was instrumental in securing a $300,000 grant from the Department of Justice to establish the Belles Against Violence Office in 2012,” she said in the email. “She was a tireless advocate for the expansion and construction of the Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex and the Patricia Wiedner Purcell ’69 Athletic Fields.”Johnson also served as the administration’s point person on the College’s parent Facebook pages, Nekvasil said.“Regardless of where I am in the country, I’ve had parents express gratitude for [Johnson’s] commitment to keeping them informed on campus events and happenings,” Nekvasil said.The farewell reception for Johnson is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 17, from 3:30 – 5 p.m. in the Reignbeaux Lounge.Tags: Interim President Nancy Nekvasil, Karen Johnson, vice president for student affairs
Courtesy of Alexandra Sejdinaj The South Bend Coding School was co-founded by 2015 Notre Dame alumna Alexandra Sejdinaj, who sought a unique career path with the goal of helping people. The School has adapted to accommodate COVID-19 precautions.During her junior year of college, Sejdinaj, who had been studying in the pre-professional track with plans of becoming a doctor, had a rather impactful meeting with her advisor. When she confessed that she had not been enjoying her classes, Sejdinaj’s advisor told her that her undergrad education should be spent studying something she enjoyed. “I felt like that is what everyone did — you kind of buckle down, study the things that are required of you and then you get this dream career,” Sejdinaj said. “To me, medicine was a dream career because I wanted to help people.”It was not long before Sejdinaj found another way to help people. That year, she changed her major to English and began tutoring in South Bend high schools. Sejdinaj said it was through tutoring that she saw an issue that needed to be addressed — many high school seniors were deciding not to attend college. Some found that college was not the right fit for them, and others were feeling discouraged from applying, whether they faced financial constraints or the challenges of navigating the process as a first-generation student. “I did a quick Google search of what careers are available without a college degree, and coding was the first thing that came up,” she said. “I didn’t want the 17 and 18-year-olds I was meeting to feel like their opportunities were suddenly cut off post graduation, and so I started teaching myself how to code.” Soon thereafter, Sejdinaj and her two co-founders started SBCS, offering weekly coding classes for students ages seven through 18 years old. With about 15 students, none of whom had any prior coding experience, the first class began in the summer of 2015 and concluded with a presentation of the students’ work. “Four of the web pages that they built were actually civic apps,” Sejdinaj said. “So they were dedicated towards supporting non-violence in the city of South Bend.” The 23 web applications presented showed that the students shared Sejdinaj’s desire to help people, she said. Typically, the classes consist of small groups of students all learning one coding language, and in a normal year, the South Bend Code School would be partnering with Indiana and Michigan schools to enhance educational offerings in computer science. Students can register online for weekly classes, and there are scholarships available to make the programs accessible to more students. Like any school, the South Bend Code School has had to make adjustments to keep its students and teachers safe and healthy during the pandemic. Classes have become virtual, yet collaborative. The students work with their instructors and peers to develop several projects, maintaining the mission of the school. “We like letting kids be able to express themselves through technology,” Sejdinaj said. “We want them to build progress that they’re passionate about when coding languages that they’re interested in, and our instructors help them to figure out which coding languages best match their interests.”Women and minorities are underrepresented in the field of computer science, but by helping students to find their passions through coding, Sejdinaj said she hopes to create a more inclusive and encouraging environment. “For so many of our students, before the program, they never saw themselves as coders because they didn’t think they fit what the stereotypical image of a coder is — they aren’t white and they aren’t a male,” Sejdinaj said. Sejdinaj said she has seen many students fall in love with coding, while the classes have helped others to build the courage to pursue other dreams of theirs. One of her students had kept secret her dream of being an architect, but then took action to make her dream come true. “She didn’t think that it was possible for her to do that, and so she went through our program and all of a sudden she was emailing Notre Dame professors in the architecture department trying to see if they can tell her what she needs to learn to be able to get there,” Sejdinaj said. Moments like these show Sejdinaj that she has accomplished exactly what she set out to do: help people. The ingenuity and drive she exhibited in teaching herself how to code and co-founding the South Bend Code School has translated into success for her students. “We will have students who suddenly realize that this is a passion of theirs, and that then unlocks new doors for them,” Sejdinaj said. “It has definitely been a full circle moment of getting to see that this has been my way of being able to help people.” Tags: coding, Notre Dame alumna, south bend code school Having followed a unique path of study during her time at Notre Dame, Alexandra Sejdinaj, a graduate of the class of 2015 and co-founder of South Bend Code School (SBCS), has set out to help local students forge their own paths through code.
BUFFALO – A Jamestown man was indicted Wednesday on a charge of narcotics conspiracy, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment, between December 2018, and April 2020, Rocco A. Beardsley allegedly conspired with others to possess and distribute methamphetamine; acetyl fentanyl; crack cocaine; and fentanyl.Beardsley was previously convicted in Federal Court in 2007 of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and sentenced to serve 57 months in prison. The defendant is currently on New York State parole following a 2017 conviction for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Narcotic Drug Intent To Sell.Beardsley was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer and is being detained. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10,000,000 fine. The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan; the Jamestown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Harry Snellings; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito. 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)