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ND celebrates feast of St. Francis

first_imgWhile the “green” movement may be a modern phenomenon, the University looked back into Church history for inspiration as it commenced its annual celebration of the Feast of Saint Francis, patron saint of the environment, Tuesday. The celebration began with a mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart led by Fr. Tom Doyle, University vice president for Student Affairs. Doyle said the life of Saint Francis is still relevant today, as it pertains to the role of Christians as stewards of creation. “The importance and beauty of creation is no longer just for people who live on the fringe,” Doyle said. The feast day celebration was not limited to the Basilica. Students who did not attend Mass were reminded of the day’s significance in the dining halls, where animal and environment-themed desserts included “dirt cake” and cakes shaped like dogs, ducks and pigs. The evening culminated in a lecture by Professor Matthew Ashley, chair of the Theology Department. His lecture stressed the importance of the Catholic influence on the debates of sustainability and environmentalism in the past and present. Ashley said the implications of pollution and resource depletion are especially significant in Third World countries. While engineers and scientists are well equipped to address these issues, he said the theologian could also provide insight into how these issues impact human life and dignity. “The place where concrete impact can happen is in discourse at a Catholic university,” he said. Ashley said the lessons of Saint Francis are for not meant just for Catholic ears. “Saint Francis of Assisi can [transcend] Catholicism and Christianity to reach all people,” he said.last_img read more

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Zimbra undergoes changes

first_imgSince spring break, Saint Mary’s students, faculty and staff have encountered more Zimbra outages, as the service experienced sporadic shortages and dysfunction. Similar shortages and minor outages have plagued the College since February. A major shortage occurred last month when Zimbra functioned unreliably for several days in a row. Once the email system began functioning properly again, the Department of Information Technology sent emails to students and faculty with advice on how to combat slow servers. Recommendations included emptying trash and junk folders regularly, limiting the number of attachments sent in emails and sending messages through Blackboard instead of Zimbra. Chief Information Officer [CIO] Michael Boehm said working through technical difficulties requires cooperation from everyone. “We can all do our part by lightening the load on the email server, which can only help with service,” he said. However, unresponsive servers continue to disrupt communication between students, professors and the College. Junior Annie Root said she recognizes the problems are not easy fixes, but she is frustrated with frequent technical difficulties. “I understand that Information Technology is working as diligently as possible to fix the problems, but it’s so frustrating to have Zimbra constantly out of service,” she said. “I rely on email to work on group projects and talk with my professors and for work. It’s aggravating to have Zimbra not work and slows my productivity.” Junior Meghan Feasel said Zimbra use is essential for everyday tasks, especially her job as an employee of the Alumnae Relations office. “We stay in contact with alumnae through emails. Therefore, our office runs mainly on Zimbra,” she said. “Lately, we haven’t been able to receive any emails. It’s not just frustrating, it’s detrimental.” In order to address these issues, Boehm said plans are in the works for improving Zimbra service in the immediate future. “In the short term, Information Technology has contracted with a Zimbra business partner for support, which will include an update to the software and remote monitoring and support,” he said. “This should resolve some of the issues that Zimbra continues to experience.” Some students have questioned whether Saint Mary’s should switch to another service provider. “I understand it isn’t an easy fix and the process is probably complicated, but I wish we would get rid of Zimbra and switch to [Google’s email service] Gmail,” Root said. “I think it would significantly improve things.” Although no email service change has been confirmed, Boehm said a switch could occur sometime in the future. While some students may support the implementation of Gmail, Information Technology is considering other options as part of its long-term goals to improve email services. “The College is investigating long-term solutions to improve email communication, which includes looking at a vendor other than Zimbra,” Boehm said. “As the CIO, I will lead the evaluation of the email system and the resolution efforts. Gmail is certainly an option.  We are looking at a number of products and vendors.”last_img read more

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Speaking up

first_imgEditor’s Note: This story is the second installment in a two-part series on Jenkins’ voice in these ongoing conversations in the Notre Dame community. This series is also the first of three similar “From the Office of the President” series on the Notre Dame presidency to appear in coming weeks. The dorms were deserted. The sun shone on an empty quad. But this summer, University President Fr. John Jenkins and his administration still showed up for work. They restructured the University budget and worked toward the school’s next 10-year strategic plan, which will be proposed in 2013. They planned events for this year’s Forum, dedicated in the midst of an election year to an open discussion of American democracy and political life. They filed a lawsuit against the federal government. For Notre Dame’s president, this work is about more than the day-to-day operations of a top university. It’s about being part of a conversation. “I think my deepest conviction is that we have to find a way to talk to one another in ways that are respectful and reasoned. … If I care about anything, if I have a voice for anything, it’s to find a way to give the past disrespectful, dishonest, acrimonious discussion [direction] toward constructive debate that is absolutely essential in a democracy,” Jenkins said. As the nation debates election issues and healthcare requirements, Jenkins has spoken up on behalf of Notre Dame. “We have a distinctive and a unique role in American life, and not only Catholic life but American life,” Jenkins said. After a summer of planning, Jenkins announced the topic for this year’s Forum – “A More Perfect Union,” a discussion of American democracy and the political system. The Forum discussions can be a tool to avoid cynicism during an election season, Jenkins said. He encouraged students to avoid “temptations to check out” and instead add their voices to reasoned debate. “I think Notre Dame students tend to be a thoughtful group and people of conviction, maybe not firebrands on one or another issue, but I think they can provide a thoughtful voice,” Jenkins said. The first Forum event of the year will be held Tuesday. Prominent leaders in the Christian and Jewish faiths will discuss the role of faith in political life in a panel discussion titled, “Conviction and Compromise: Being a Person of Faith in a Liberal Democracy.” Jenkins, a member of the Commission on Presidential Debate, said he hopes to see “reasoned and respectful” debate develop both at Notre Dame and nationwide. “It’s been a wonderful experience because it’s a committee composed of members, people from different political views,” he said. “It’s been tremendously inspiring to see them deliberate and to try to put on a reasoned debate, a fruitful debate, in this country. “Students, get involved. Get involved in a way that makes our political dialogue in this country more constructive, reasoned, [one that] better serves the common good of the nation.” This summer, Jenkins also added Notre Dame’s voice to the ongoing conversation about the Affordable Care Act when the University filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The lawsuit, filed in May, challenged the constitutionality of the mandate that requires religious organizations to provide contraceptives as part of their minimum health insurance policies. “The fundamental issue for us is not the provision of contraceptives coverage,” Jenkins said. “The fundamental issue is the limit of the power of government against religious organizations in this country.” Jenkins said the University sent a public comment to the HHS in June to describe two or three alternatives to the current mandate. “Because there are alternatives, I don’t think the government has a compelling interest to force religious organizations,” Jenkins said. “That’s why we’re doing this lawsuit, to retain this fundamental commitment to take all reasonable steps to allow all religious organizations, religious institutions, the freedom to practice their religion in ways they see fit.” The federal government has moved to dismiss the lawsuit, but Jenkins said he feels the University’s case will be successful as it moves slowly through the legal system. “I saw a few headlines after we filed, ‘Catholic bishops, Notre Dame and 62 other institutions file lawsuit,’” Jenkins said. “That Notre Dame is picked out, and I don’t say this with arrogance, but it just shows I think people look to us for leadership on these issues. If I didn’t feel it was a fundamental issue, an issue of the limits of government as against religious organizations, I wouldn’t have done this.” As the administration worked this summer, a new face joined the members of the Main Building. Matt Storin, former editor of The Boston Globe and former associate vice president for news and information at the University, returned to Notre Dame in July to occupy a new position – chief communications executive. “I’ve heard this again and again, Notre Dame is a hidden jewel,” Jenkins said. “[New faculty are] so impressed and surprised by the quality of our education and the quality of our research. That’s good news on one hand, but it’s bad news. It shouldn’t be a surprise. … People just don’t know how good we are, and that’s our failure to tell the story of Notre Dame.” Jenkins said Storin will be responsible for helping the University’s communications reach a wider audience to attract new faculty to the school and promote Notre Dame research. “So how do we get that message out, how do we engage with the media, how do we tell our story?” Jenkins said. “Matt’s job is to kind of coordinate this and give us a compound strategy so we can be effective.” Storin will also help guide the communications office during controversial moments for Notre Dame in the media, Jenkins said. “I’m not trying to make us controversy-free,” Jenkins said. “But we do want to communicate effectively in the midst of controversies what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, so that is a very important part of Matt Storin’s job and our job here at Notre Dame.” In the year ahead, Jenkins’ office will continue to be busy. In 2013, the president will proposea new strategic plan for all colleges and departments at the University. The plan is rewritten every 10 years. Jenkins said the University is stronger “in just about every measure” than when the last strategic plan took effect 10 years ago. “I believe Notre Dame is poised at this time in its history to make some major advances in important areas. … We can’t be complacent, but we’re in a solid position.”last_img read more

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Professor analyzes liberalism

first_imgCharles Kesler, political philosopher, author and professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, discussed President Barack Obama’s place in the history of liberalism during his lecture in the Eck Hall of Law on Thursday. Kesler recently published a book on the same subject. Vincent Muñoz, director of the Tocqueville Program and one of the event’s organizers, said Kesler’s book went on sale Tuesday and is titled, “I am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism.” The Law School’s Federalist Society, the Tocqueville Program and the Constitutional Studies Minor all sponsored the event, Muñozsaid. To begin his talk, Kesler said his book does not advance any theories about Obama suggesting he is a socialist, a Kenyan anti-colonialist or a Muslim. “The thesis of my book runs counter to a lot of conservative views of Obama,” Kesler said. “I think he’s very bright and very intelligent. … I think conservatives make a mistake in underestimating Obama.” Kesler said he bases his assessment of Obama’s self-conception as a political progressive. “The way to understand Obama is as he understands himself: as a liberal, or rather a progressive, as he likes to be called,” he said. Kesler said the crisis of liberalism, to which the subtitle of his book refers, is a two-fold crisis Obama, and all political liberals, must face. “The crisis of liberalism is also the crisis of Barack Obama,” he said. “There are two reasons liberalism has reached a crisis point: one fiscal and one philosophical.” Kesler said the fiscal reason hinges on the government’s inability to pay for social programs and entitlements. “It has become so easy for political interest groups to manufacture rights, in the political sense, and it is impossible or nearly impossible to pay for them all,” Kesler said. “We see this problem in Europe as well as here. These are promises that have been made to people, so what do we do when they justly ask for the benefits they are entitled to? It is a crisis of public credit that leads to the moral question: can you trust the government to keep its promises?” Kesler said this fiscal problem relates to President Obama’s health care policies. “He sold Obamacare as a way of cutting down costs while expanding coverage, and that’s the problem Obama cannot solve,” he said. The philosophical aspect of the crisis is one of moral relativism as a part of liberal political philosophy, and Obama accepts this line of thought, Kesler said. “The philosophical part of the crisis has to do with the influence of post-modernism in liberal thought – liberalism doesn’t rest on moral truth,” he said. “The President is stuck believing there is no absolute truth, and that this is absolutely true.” Kesler said liberalism, as an American political movement, is 100 years old and began with the election of Woodrow Wilson in 1912. Over the course of the 100 years there have been four “waves” of liberalism, with President Obama’s efforts representing the fourth wave, he said. The first three waves were the New Freedom concept advanced by Wilson, the New Deal legislation under Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society legislation under Lyndon B. Johnson. “You can call these three waves political liberalism under Wilson, economic liberalism with the New Deal and cultural liberalism in the 60s,” he said. The first wave was the source of the idea of a living constitution. Wilson was the first president to criticize the constitution and called it obsolete, Kesler said. “The founders, according to Wilson, didn’t understand that human politics are governed by Darwinian laws of change,” he said. “They didn’t realize that human nature was changeable.” The liberal position was that the constitution had to be made up-to-date with a changing society and had to be positioned on the right side of history, Kesler said. He said the liberals did not recognize the founding fathers’ conception of a constitution resistant to change as a viable alternative to a living constitution. “The founders, because they had a static natural law theory, created a constitution that would be very hard to change, hard to amend,” he said. “For liberals, the only alternative to their living constitution is a dead constitution.” Kesler noted the second wave, under President Roosevelt, advanced the idea of a social contract between the government and the people, in which the people exchange their power for rights. The idea of exchanging of rights for power leads to an argument in favor of a more powerful government, he said. “This leads to what I like to call the first law of big government,” Kesler said. “There’s no reason to fear government growing, because more government means more rights.” The third wave brought about a change from quantitative to qualitative liberalism, Kesler said. This was brought about in part by President Johnson’s efforts to further Roosevelt’s policies from keeping citizens above a certain level economically to providing for everyone to have a spiritually fulfilling life, he said. “The New Deal was about meeting the needs of the body, but the Great Society wanted to address the soul,” Kesler said. He added the problem was the government programs of the Great Society were too costly and unsuccessful. A second aspect of the move toward qualitative liberalism was the cultural liberalism that led those who were very liberal to chastise the majority culture. “When liberalism turned on the majority, the majority turned on liberalism,” he said. The 2012 election cycle will have a great deal to say about the duration and the legacy of the fourth wave of liberalism that Obama represents, Kesler said. “He took us in a very brief time where the first two years of his term were the breakthrough, sharply to the left,” Kesler said. “The elections of 2010 brought us sharply to the right. Where we go from here will be determined by this year’s election.last_img read more

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Students’ house destroyed in fire

first_imgA house inhabited by nine members of Notre Dame’s women’s lacrosse team was destroyed in a fire Friday afternoon, according to a WSBT report. No one was injured in the blaze on the 200 block of East Marion St., just east of Memorial Hospital. The fire was out by late afternoon, the report said. Notre Dame’s Office of Student Affairs is in the process of finding on-campus housing for the students because the house is heavily damaged. Few belongings were salvaged from the blaze. The report said the fire’s cause is still unknown, though a friend of the tenants said a hot barbeque grill was near the house when the fire started. The outside temperature was in the 90s, sunny and humid.last_img read more

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Group explores photo exhibit

first_imgPhoto Futures at the Snite, a new five-week co-curricular initiative that began Sept. 11, allows students from diverse majors and interests to become acquainted with the “Heartland” exhibition. The exhibition is a collection of photographs by Terry Evans spanning a 30-year period, currently on display at the Snite Museum of Art. Bridget Hoyt, curator of academic programs, said she wants students to connect with art through Photo Futures at the Snite. “The goal of the program was to take the exhibitions of Heartland … and use it to have different types of conversations with students,” Hoyt said. “… We wanted to invite more students to become stakeholders at the Snite and become a collecting group.” Hoyt said the group consisted of eight students who spent the five weeks engaging in discussions on photography and appreciation of Evans’ body of work and its influences. “Her photographs raise a lot of issues about not only photography but also about the environment, sustainability [and] the Midwestern landscape,” Hoyt said. These discussions were led by Professor Anne Coleman of the department of American Studies, Professor John Nagle, an expert in environmental legal studies, Professor Celia Deane Drummond from the department of theology, Dr. Jessica Hellman, a climate change scientist and David Actin, curator of photography at the Snite. At the conclusion of the program, the students drafted a letter of recommendation to the museum director suggesting one of the photographs for acquisition, Hoyt said, and the selection process was completely student-based. “They had to build their own criteria. They learned from our curator of photography what his collecting philosophy is and what museums often consider in terms of condition, rarity, quality, types of printing,” she said. “They had to look at what we already have that represents her work and what a new photograph will do to the stories that we can talk about and the ideas that we can pull from her body of work.” The photograph the students chose is now on exhibit at the Snite Museum, and Hoyt said the museum’s director was very pleased with the photograph the students selected. “We now have a new photograph in the museum thanks to the interest and passion of these students,” Hoyt said.last_img read more

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Series of events celebrates Dia de los Muertos

first_imgThe Crossroads Gallery for Contemporary Art and Partners is hosting a series of events in celebration of Día de los Muertos at the Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture (NDCAC) and the Snite Museum of Art.The exhibition “Remembering the Undocumented Across the Rio Grande” and a Día de los Muertos event took place Thursday at the NDCAC, according to art coordinator of the Crossroads Gallery, Alex Schaufele. The events included an opening reception and altar dedication, with musical performances by Mariachi ND and Ballet Folklorico Azul y Oro.“[Día de los Muertos] is a time to remember those we have lost and perhaps those we do not know,” Schaufele said. “It is a communal celebration of life.”In continuation of the celebration,  a talk with featured artist Sandra Fernandez is scheduled today at 4 p.m. at the Snite Museum, Schaufele said. A reading of “Ofrenda of Voices: Celebrating the Dead” is scheduled to take place Saturday through Notre Dame’s creative writing program.“I will talk about my trajectory as an artist,” Fernandez said. “Where I started and where I am now. My experiences. Who I am as an artist and what my interests are.”Schaufele said the gallery chose to host Fernandez as the featured guest artist based on suggestions supplied by planning committee members hoping to showcase a unique approach to Día de los Muertos.“Last year was an Africana approach dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr. by [artist] Diógenes Ballester,” she said. “This year, we are featuring Sandra, an Ecuadorian artist who works with undocumented individuals.”Fernandez said the exhibition and ofrenda are dedicated to those who have died while crossing the border from Mexico to the U.S., particularly along the Rio Grande.“I have been working with undocumented peoples and wanted to bring attention to those who have died crossing the border,” she said. “Many of them are never identified, and I wanted to honor them.”The dedication was a way to pray for the souls of the dead, who passed away far from friends, families and their homes, Fernandez said.“I’m bringing a different awareness and information about a population to the area,” she said. “I want to celebrate and pay homage to that population.”As part of this year’s celebration, Schaufele said those involved offer both a traditional altar for everyone to participate in and a nontraditional one as a part of the exhibition, which includes an interactive component.“All four events were generated based on Día de los Muertos and those who Sandra chose to honor in her exhibition,” she said.Although this event took place at the Snite Museum in previous years, Schaufele said the NDCAC began hosting it last year.“[We are hosting the] exhibition in the Crossroads Gallery for Contemporary Art as way to bring the community and Notre Dame students together,” she said.Tags: Dia de los Muertos, Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture, Sandra Fernandez, Snite Museum of Artlast_img read more

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Duncan Hall emphasizes community, wins Men’s Hall of the Year

first_imgFounded in 2008, Duncan Hall occupies West Quad near McGlinn, Keough and Ryan Halls. Home to 232 Highlanders, Duncan is one of the newest dorms on campus and is known to some for its large rooms and pleasant accommodations. The hall recently distinguished itself by winning 2019 Men’s Hall of the Year, something many Highlanders amount to its strong sense of community.This year is not the first time Duncan has been recognized with an award.“In 2016, [the Hall Presidents Council] recognized Duncan Hall as the ‘Men’s Hall 7% Award for Inclusion,’” rector Nhat Nguyen said. “It was not the Men’s Hall of the Year … but for me, the most inclusive dorm award is one of the greatest accomplishments we could receive.”Junior and outgoing hall vice president Chris Florimonte agreed that inclusivity has always been important in the dorm.“We made it our priority to build programming that would promote inclusivity and organically build a community,” Florimonte said.Duncan residents can be spotted around campus by their bright green blazers, a custom begun in 2013 to combat the misconception that Duncan — as a brand-new dorm — lacked traditions or community, Nguyen said. The men of Duncan often wear the blazers Fridays or for hall events, as well as during the Duncan Classic, a campus-wide golf competition taking place every April. All proceeds from the Classic go to St. Baldrick’s, the same cancer research charity which sponsors The Bald and the Beautiful head-shaving events.“The infamous Duncan Hall green blazer is obviously something that Duncan has and the other halls do not,” Nguyen said. “Nonetheless, we are not exclusive; University Ushers wear green blazers on home football weekend. As for who wears it better, I’ll let the readers decide.”Duncan Hall is also known for its signature formal dance, the Highlander Highrise. The men of Duncan share the annual experience of a formal dance in Chicago’s elegant Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower), something many residents cite as a special event which distinguishes the dorm from other halls. Duncan rents out the 103rd floor SkyDeck for the night, allowing guests to dance above the Chicago skyline. To top off the night, the formal includes the Dunkies, a series of humorous awards in the style of the Dundies from TV series “The Office” which are given to outstanding hall residents.Overall, Nguyen cited the hall motto of “Community, Brotherhood and Respect” as a driving force behind his work with Duncan Hall residents.“It is the people in the hall that makes it a great place to live and serve,” Nguyen said. “Sharing life with the men of Duncan is the reason and purpose of my ministry here at Notre Dame. The guys are kind, generous, energetic, creative, service-oriented [and] smart.”The Men’s Hall of the Year 2019 award came as a surprise, Florimonte said.“We realized we were definitely in the running, but it was never expected,” Florimonte said. “Our hall government didn’t go out of its way to make events to increase our chances of Hall of the Year.”Instead, Florimonte said they focused on making the dorm a pleasant and welcoming place for all its residents.“Duncan wouldn’t be Duncan without all 232 residents,” he said. “This award is something our entire dorm can take pride in.”Nguyen said he recognizes the value of the awards and the role the the hall staff and council played in earning them.“To be recognized for our efforts in the way we build community in Duncan Hall is a great honor and privilege,” Nguyen said. “The staff and hall council deserve all the credit.”Tags: dorm features, Duncan Hall, Highlander Highrise, Men’s Dorm of the year, Nhat Nguyenlast_img read more

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Saint Mary’s course aims to introduce students to shared experiences of pilgrimages

first_imgThe collaboration of a student and professor at Saint Mary’s has resulted in a new spring semester course. Senior Annie Maguire, with the help of professor of philosophy Patty Sayre, has developed a philosophy course called “The Camino.” The course material for The Camino will focus on the subject of pilgrimage.The course is worth one academic credit and is in anticipation of students completing a pilgrimage at some point in the future.“[The course was developed with] a syllabus that would allow students to enroll in a class one for one credit to really explore the ideas and themes around pilgrimage and prepare students for that experience,” Maguire said.The idea for this preparatory course for pilgrimages came about from Maguire’s personal experience when she walked the Camino de Santiago — “The Way of St. James” — in southern France and northern Spain at the end of her semester abroad in Seville. Maguire embarked on a three-week journey beginning in Leon, France, to Santiago, Spain.“Originally, the pilgrimage route was created as a way for people to kind of show their love for St. James,” she said. “‘Santiago’ means St. James, and ending in the city of Santiago is where it is said the remains of St. James are.”The Camino de Santiago involves intense backpacking along a path that would take around 35 days to walk in full. Along the path pilgrims would stay at hostels all through the countryside in Spain which facilitates the community experience throughout the journey, as Maguire described.“That’s something that I can take with me forever — the relationships,” she said. “Having this experience helped me learn about other people’s stories, the importance of sharing your stories, and kind of just widening my worldview. … I wanted to create something where other students could engage in.”Though Maguire will incorporate her experience walking The Camino, she will teach the course with the expectation that students will complete their own pilgrimages over their own time.“The preparation we will do throughout the course of the semester for students will be more similar to what I experienced just because I want to help and give as many ways as I can to contribute to this class,” she said. “But students are obviously invited to take any note that they’d like to explore the different options and whatever works for them and their schedules. They could do so at the end of the semester, or maybe like a year down the road, or maybe, you know, far out in advance. But I think that freedom is really important because I along the way, I met a lot of students who were doing this through a school group or with a group of people, and that is a very different experience. … I think that’s the benefit of the structure of our course that we’re creating.”With Sayre’s experience in her previous course, Philosophy of Walking, she had the ability to work with Maguire to create this new course focused on pilgrimage. Pilgrimages, Sayre explained, unfold over the course of several stages.“The idea is that the various phases of getting ready for the pilgrimage, going on the pilgrimage, coming back from the pilgrimage,” she said. “We’ll look at pilgrimage narratives from major pilgrimages routes.”In addition to the course readings about pilgrimage as mental preparation, students will also take a walk every Monday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to physically prepare for the pilgrimage experience.“I think it honestly gave me so many other life lessons that I carry with me now, like the physical act of walking, you feel all of the items to your name on your back as you carry them along the way,” Maguire said. “That’s also a great metaphor for what we carry with us in our life. … That I learned through this physical experience, but also spiritual and emotional experience as well.”The Camino course not only prepares students discerning a pilgrimage in their lives but allows for the freedom to travel when they choose to.“It’s going to prepare one for a major pilgrimage,” Sayre said. “One of the things that might happen is that … if it is your time, you might think meet someone else in the class whose time it is. And then if you wanted to travel together, you’d have that automatic connection.”Maguire encourages students to take this course as it can help all students achieve their purpose for taking a pilgrimage.“Maybe they want to do a little soul searching, maybe they just want to break in their schedule in their busy lives, maybe they’re really interested in backpacking, so it draws a whole diverse group of people together on this experience that is very much communal and shared and life changing,” Maguire said.Sayre said she is excited to share her love of walking and to encourage students to use walking and pilgrimage as a transformative experience for their daily lives. She also said she wants to learn more about the pilgrimage experience.“I’m looking forward to just learning more about pilgrimages,” she said. “I really desperately do want to do the Camino someday. … When my time comes, I’d like to be ready.”Maguire said she is looking forward to continuing the exploration of her previous experience on the Camino and to share the fruits of that experience with her peers.“I’m very excited to … hear from other students,” Maguire said. “I feel like that is really valuable perspective because taking the Camino is all about changing perspective in your life. I think reading and learning about the experiences of others will help me even as I still process my own experience, understand things.”Tags: El Camino, Pilgrimage, saint mary’slast_img read more

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Candidates clash during first presidential debate, exchanging insults

first_imgAlysa Guffey | The Observer Hundreds of students gathered on South Quad to watch the first presidential debate live.Moderator and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace opened the debate with a hot topic at Notre Dame — the recent nomination of law school professor Amy Coney Barrett to fill the empty seat on the Supreme Court.Trump defended his swift nomination of Barrett as a responsibility to the American people.“We won the election, and elections have consequences. We have the Senate and the White House,” Trump said.He also cited liberal support for Barrett.“Some of her biggest supporters are liberals including from Notre Dame,” Trump said.Biden argued the seat should not be filled until Americans vote this November.“The American people have a right to say who the Supreme Court nominee is when they vote for the president. They are not going to get that chance because we’re in the middle of an election,” Biden said.As the debate shifted to focus on the ongoing pandemic, Trump and Biden clashed on both personal views on safety measures — including mask-wearing — and plans for economic prosperity. Biden condemned Trump for the number of deaths from the virus, saying the president “panicked” and did not listen to experts on the seriousness of the virus.Biden also took hits at the president’s refusal to accept the grim reality of coronavirus deaths, saying that when Trump was shown the numbers, the president simply said, “It is what it is.”“Well, it is what it is because you are who you are. That’s why it is. The president has no plan. He hasn’t laid out anything,” Biden said.Trump responded that Biden “could have never done the job [the Trump administration] did.”“If it was up to you, millions of people would have died, not thousands,” Trump said.An extended segment on race in America led to Biden calling Trump out for his protection of white supremacists in a 2017 riot in Charlottesville in addition to calling Trump a racist.While Trump did not condemn the white supremacists he called “fine people” in 2017, he attacked Biden for his treatment of Black Americans.“You have treated the Black community about as bad as anyone has,” Trump said to Biden. “You call them super-predators, and you’ve called them a lot worse than that.”The debate took a personal turn toward the Biden family as Biden brought up his son, Beau, who received a bronze star in the military. Trump proceeded to attack Joe Biden’s other son, Hunter, claiming he was dishonorably discharged from the military with a cocaine addiction and later received illegitimate funds from Ukraine. Biden responded that the Ukraine scandal was not true, and he acknowledged Hunter’s past struggles with drugs.“My son had a drug problem, but he’s overcome it, and I’m proud of him,” Biden said.Sophomore Anna Guzman described Trump’s attacks as “incredibly personal.”“Trump’s attacks were incredibly out of line, honestly, he is an embarrassment to our nation, especially after his performance tonight,” Guzman said.A common tactic the candidates seemed to share was an appeal to voters in Midwestern swing states such as Ohio and Michigan. At one point, Trump bragged about his contribution to the return of Big Ten College Football while Biden pointed out his contributions to autoworkers.In regard to the outcome of the 2020 election, Trump deflected to a skeptical stance on the legitimacy of mail-in voting.“If it’s a fair election, I’m 100% on board. But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that,” Trump said.Biden said he would wait to declare victory until the election results are verified.After the debate, junior and co-president of College Democrats Emma Dudrick said she felt Trump derailed the night with his interruptions and personal attacks on Biden.“I think that Biden held his ground well, and I really appreciated his comments about the importance of voting,” Dudrick said in an email. “It felt like a direct appeal to the American public, not a childish attack.”Meanwhile, sophomore and president of College Republicans Adam Morys said he was not impressed with either candidate.“Biden didn’t present any good arguments, and Trump was interrupting too much. Trump will have more success if he stays more disciplined and attacks Biden’s policies,” Morys said in an email.The second presidential debate is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 15.Tags: Donald Trump, Joe Biden, presidential debate The highly-anticipated first 2020 presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden took place Tuesday with no opening handshake due to COVID-19 and several reminders to both candidates to respect the allotted time of each candidate.Throughout the night, tension rose as Trump continued to talk over Biden, who eventually told Trump to “shut up.” At one point, Biden called Trump the worst president in American history to which Trump responded that he had done more for the country in 47 months than Biden had done in 47 years.Trump, the Republican incumbent, stood by his campaign slogan of “Keep America Great” with his defense of a booming economy during his first term that he claimed overshadows the work of the Barack Obama-Biden administration. Democratic nominee Biden said he and Obama overcame a historic recession and handed Trump an uplifted economy.In addition to an economic focus, the candidates argued a range of topics from appropriate response to the coronavirus pandemic to the integrity of mail-in ballots to race relations in America.Originally, Tuesday’s debate was scheduled to be held on Notre Dame’s campus after the University announced it had won the bid to host the debate in a press conference Oct. 11, 2019. The University officially withdrew from the debate July 27, as University President Fr. John Jenkins cited health concerns and a diminished experience for students to engage in the political process as the leading reasons for the cancellation.Junior Francine Shaft said she was disappointed the University ultimately did not hold the debate as she was looking forward to it.“I think if they have football, they probably could have made it work, and I think they could have just limited the number of outside people that came in,” Shaft said. “And with the testing that we have, it probably would have been safe.”Instead, the debate took place at Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio. Attendance was reportedly capped at 70, and all attendants had to undergo COVID-19 testing.Despite students’ disappointments on the change of location, hundreds gathered on South Quad for a watch party hosted by student government.last_img read more

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