Mendoza takes top spot in rankings

first_imgThe Mendoza College of Business was named the top undergraduate business school in the nation for the first time in Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s fifth annual rankings, which were released March 4.Notre Dame, which was ranked second in 2009, finished ahead of the business schools of University of Virginia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Pennsylvania. The criteria include students’ response to teachers, SAT scores, recruiters’ responses to students and student-faculty ratio.“Students boasting about the school’s commitment to ethics, Catholic beliefs and passionate professors helped land Mendoza in first place,” the BusinessWeek article said. “During an economic crisis that has left many young people unemployed, Mendoza also managed a strong showing in career placement, with 95 percent of grads landing a job offer within three months of graduation.”Carolyn Woo, dean of the Mendoza College of Business, said the University’s top spot was “not a sudden event,” noting that the school had been ranked high in the past. “We never set out to excel in the rankings,” she said. “We were doing what we were doing before the rankings. The goal was not to win according to the criteria of the rankings.”Woo said commitment to undergraduate education was the motivating factor for the College’s rise.“What got us there is we are very serious about the education of our students,” she said. “If our students do their part we will do our part.”Woo offered the example of the new Junior Research Challenge: Foresight in Business & Society course, which became a part of the required curriculum last year.“As painful as the Foresight course is … it is really to give our students the skills to look at future issues and trends,” she said. “Our eye is always on the preparation of our students.”Woo said the College’s effective and hardworking faculty, challenging curriculum and devotion to Notre Dame’s core principles helped the school receive high marks from students and recruiters.“When recruiters rank us highly, they probably look at a couple of different things such as how well our students are prepared academically, people skills and ethical judgment,” she said.In addition, Woo credited the entire Notre Dame experience, ranging from First Year of Studies to dorm life, as factors.“We’re not trying to be different,” she said. “We did this because we want to be faithful to the Notre Dame mission.”Woo said the commitment of director Lee Svete and his entire Career Center team were also vital in helping the College claim the top spot, as were the alumni who helped students find jobs.“The alumni really stepped up,” she said.However, Notre Dame is still behind its peers in a few of the items, including a high student to faculty ratio of 19 to 1, lower SATs and lower salaries for faculty members.Woo said many of these statistical issues stem from Mendoza’s policy of admitting anyone who was originally admitted to Notre Dame.“We found that students flourish as business majors,” she said. “Their skills and education background are highly valued.”Woo has resisted the temptation to cap the number of students admitted to Mendoza, largely because freshman year GPA and SAT scores are not adequate measures of long term success.“We are not going to change our policy of how we accept students just so we can be higher in the rankings,” she said. “Our mission is to serve people.”Woo said she had more faith in the BusinessWeek rankings then similar systems largely because they exclude peer evaluations and are more objective.“No rankings are perfect, but I have to say that the BusinessWeek rankings have more legitimate items than other rankings,” she said.Nonetheless, Woo said she would never tailor Mendoza’s curriculum to the rankings.“We were not trying to be number one,” she said. “We’re glad to be recognized as number one, but we have certain principles and commitments that we’re going to always keep.”Woo said she doesn’t believe Notre Dame’s top ranking will lead to a glut of students applying to Mendoza.“This is nothing new because we were number three and then we were number two, so it’s not like all of a sudden we became excellent,” she said. “I hope that people don’t come into the business school unless they are interested in business, but it could generate more interest.”Woo said Mendoza’s top spot was representative of the University’s overall constant striving for excellence.“This is a school to honor the Blessed Mother, and [University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh] once said, mediocrity is not the way we honor the Blessed Mother,” she said. “Everything we do, we should do it as well as we can. We did what we did because it is our mission.”last_img read more

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Group discusses Dollars

first_imgThe Council of Representatives (COR) discussed the proposition of a new program that would allow Domer Dollars to be spent at certain locations off-campus at their meeting Tuesday night. “If we pursued this initiative, it would be a lot of work and a lot of money,” student body president Catherine Soler said. “What we need to ask is if this is necessary and would students really use a program like this.”She referenced a similar program at Villanova University that had proved beneficial to the students and the University because 5 percent of the sales went back to Villanova. Soler said that if Domer Dollars were to expand, it would hopefully be constructed in the same manner so that money would be coming back to Notre Dame.“Another reason to look into this now is that a lot of the places already have the technology it would take to make this happen,” Soler said.After saying the initiative was in the proposal stages and “by no means a sure thing,” Soler requested feedback from COR members. Soler listed the concerns already  expressed by administrators and University officials regarding the usage of Domer Dollars off-campus.One of the major issues was if the initiative was to become a reality, there are anxieties over whether the program would take business away from services on campus.Soler said if the proposal were to become a reality, it would be tested for a few months in a contained area of businesses, most likely Eddy Street Commons. If it proved to be successful, the service could be expanded to other businesses in the community but then there would be a question over where specifically it would expand.COR members voiced their own questions, including whether or not the program would even change anything for students since Domer Dollars is from students’ personal funds and not the University, and over who would get to decide which businesses in the community would be selected to accept Domer Dollars.In response to the concerns voiced by members, student body vice president Andrew Bell suggested looking into a discount program at selected businesses either in conjunction or as a substitute for the expansion of Domer Dollars.“If all the time that is going to be spent on the Domer Dollar program could be spent on developing a discount program, that might be more effective,” he said.The majority of COR members expressed more enthusiasm for an effective discount program as opposed to the expansion of Domer Dollars. However, Soler said she thought it was “harder to sell” a discount program.“The main question we have to ask ourselves about both of these initiatives is whether or not they provide an advantage to the students,” she said.last_img read more

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Food Security Council creates plan of action

first_imgThe West Side Food Security Council — a coalition of 16 community leaders and six Notre Dame students — met Jan. 28 to create a plan of action in addressing the problem of food insecurity in South Bend. Student government’s eND Hunger campaign, an initiative of the student body president Catherine Soler and student body vice president Andrew Bell’s administration, led the council’s formation. Beth Simpson, chair of the campaign, said residents are not having trouble with the amount of food so much as the type of food they have access to. “There’s a high percentage of South Bend residents who experience food insecurity. Food security is the more proper way to describe hunger in America today,” she said. “Americans today aren’t struggling with a lack of food in general but rather a lack of healthy food options.” Simpson said a crucial initial step in addressing the issue was soliciting community feedback. “We sought first of all to gauge what it is the community articulates as its needs,” she said. This feedback was fielded during three meetings with the council, the third of which resulted in two solutions for food insecurity, the first of which is in the form of direct aid for families eligible for food stamps. “The fund will double the value of purchases made by food stamps and WIC [Women Infants Children] on local, healthy produce,” she said. “Our council, right now, is seeking to articulate the exact structure of this fund as well as beginning to look into funding opportunities.” The second facet of the plan is a community center focused on nutrition-related issues. The Student International Business Council will be heading up the business planning of the center, which will be constructed in the LaSalle Square area — an area of high poverty. “It’s one of the regions of highest poverty, around LaSalle Square. It’s an identified food desert, so there is no access to a grocery store,” she said. “Within the two mile radius of LaSalle square, 28 percent of the residents have a [household] income of less than $15,000, and 50 percent have an income of less than $28,000 a year, meaning 50 percent of them are food-stamp eligible.” The community center would house the Urban Garden Market, one of the non-profits whose leaders serve on the council. The center could also hold a small-scale grocer and possibly house the Purple Porch Co-op, another member of the council, which could potentially vend produce to residents. Simpson said the center would also serve as a place for residents to engage the problem of food insecurity personally. “Our center will have a kitchen in it. That kitchen will be used for cooking demonstrations and nutritional education,” she said. “We’re also looking into how to incorporate micro-venturing within the center. We recognize sustainability is key but most important is that the community has ownership and is invested.” The council’s work, Simpson said, is a unique opportunity for the Notre Dame community to work with the South Bend community in a multitude of ways. “It’s exciting for Notre Dame students because this is an entirely organic initiative. The council arose because of the vision of Notre Dame student government and the Center for Social Concerns coming together,” she said. After the council meets on the Feb. 18 to break into subcommittees, Simpson plans to hold an informational meeting for students looking to get involved, tentatively scheduled for Feb. 21. “I encourage interested students to attend the meeting on the 21st and also just to contact me at [email protected]” Simpson said the council’s work is a natural extension of the University’s mission as a Catholic institution. “It’s Catholic identity is one thing that distinguishes this University, in particular that our academics are driven by a core set of values, among them service to the community,” she said. “This initiative represents a means by which students can engage through service, academics and direct involvement in the community to live out the University’s Catholic mission.”last_img read more

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Families share Notre Dame stories

first_imgThree families in the Notre Dame community gathered Saturday morning to tell their stories of love, family and Our Lady’s University. “We stayed close to campus for Matt’s first semester here because we were concerned about him,” Matt’s mother DeAnn Swinton said. “But after those first months, Mike and I let go and let Matt take charge. For us, Matt being at Notre Dame was a gift from God.” “I went to a pep rally and saw [Irish football coach Frank] Leahy speak,” he said. “He told us to treasure our time at Notre Dame, because we would never experience anything like it again. I believe that being here is the closest experience you will ever have to being in heaven.” “In fact, the Belatti’s found a way to share their love for Notre Dame in an absolutely incredible way … by making it possible for an entire family to benefit from a Notre Dame education,” Philbin said. During his four years at Notre Dame, Swinton lived in a room built to be handicap-accessible so he would be physically able to live without his parents. “We moved to Michigan and had to rough it for a while,” de Araujo said. “It was really hard for my dad, who spoke no English at first. When it came time to apply to college, I started applying for scholarships for low-income families. I applied to every school that allowed this opportunity.” Philbin introduced Frank Belatti, a 1969 graduate, and his wife Cathy, as a prime example of a family that loves Notre Dame. “As you will hear today, planned gifts made by men and women who love and believe in Notre Dame have made a remarkable difference, not only in the life of the University, but also in the lives of countless students,” he said. Regis Philbin, a 1953 alum, then took the stage for the core of the event. He began by explaining the purpose of the gift-planning initiative. Philbin then asked Swinton what memory he treasured most from his time at Notre Dame. Philbin recalled one job interview he was rejected from before his career took off. After receiving the news, Philbin found himself driving down the Indiana Toll Road instead of the airport to return home. After de Araujo left the stage, Philbin played a video that introduced the third and final guest of the day. Philbin then invited Laura, Selina and Precious Okonokhua to offer their thanks to the Belatti’s. The Belatti’s decided to make a gift to the University that would provide scholarship assistance to an entire family. The Okonokhuas, who have had three children graduate from Notre Dame and two children currently enrolled, are currently utilizing the gift. Philbin then told the story of his first visit to the Notre Dame campus. According to the website for the Office of Gift Planning, the initiative was launched this year by the University to focus on “encouraging greater numbers of the Notre Dame family to plant seeds for the future.” Thrilled by the University’s effort to assist their son during his time at Notre Dame, the Swinton’s made a planned gift through their wills to the school. “You are about to see a truly remarkable story. It’s a story about the love of a mother and a father for their son. It’s a story about the courage of student who, far more than most, faced the challenges of attending Notre Dame ⎯ what though the odds be great or small,” he said. “It’s a story about how the entire Notre Dame Family responded to make sure that one very special young man shared the Notre Dame experience to the fullest.” “Cathy and I have been involved with Habitat for Humanity for a long time,” Belatti said. “After meeting the Okonokhuas and building a friendship with them, we have really seen the difference that this opportunity has made in their lives. This scholarship assistance program reminded us of all the ways we love Notre Dame.” “Words cannot express how we feel about them,” Laura Okonokhua, a 2010 graduate, said. “This is a great thing for not only our family, but the other families that will benefit from the Belatti’s generosity.” Originally from Nigeria, the Okonokhua’s moved to Atlanta and moved into the 100th house that Frank and Cathy Belatti built. “The substantial impact of this remarkable gift on Notre Dame students will last forever,” Philbin said. “Over the past 40 years, Dailey’s original gift has grown into a truly transformative amount, providing financial assistance to thousands of Notre Dame’s students. This school year alone, 223 students will receive $4.5 million in financial assistance.” Once the Belatti’s exited the stage, Philbin told the story of Florence Dailey, a woman from upstate New York who had no known association with Notre Dame. Yet in 1966, Dailey bequeathed half of her stock shares to the University. Philbin then introduced Emily de Araujo, a junior at Notre Dame and one of the beneficiaries of Dailey’s gift. De Araujo moved to the United States when she was a year old with her family from Brazil so her brother, who is autistic, could lead a better life. The program began with the performance of an original song by John Scully, a Notre Dame All-American and a 1980 graduate of the University, sung by Cathy Richardson, a singer recognized for “Here Come the Irish.” “I saw the sun was shining on Our Lady who rests on top of the Dome as I drove past the building,” Philbin said. “I drove past the stadium and remembered Coach Leahy’s words. I was going to go back and make my life happen. I was hired for a job in New York, and the rest is history.” “Love Thee Notre Dame,” Philbin said. “The final four words of our Alma Mater sum up the powerful emotions and love we all share for Our Lady’s University. One goal of the Love Thee Notre Dame initiative is to create opportunities for alumni, parents and friends to create a stronger future for Notre Dame and a lasting legacy for themselves and their families.” Notre Dame was the first school to accept de Araujo and offer her the financial aid she needed to attend college. “Through our giving experience, other students with mobile disabilities will see what Notre Dame has to offer them,” Mike said. “We hope other students will have the opportunity to have the experiences Matt had here.” “Being on campus this weekend and seeing students with their backpacks has made me want to jump in and get some learning done,” Swinton said. “Some of my friends are here for the game. These are some of the guys I will never lose touch with.” “I’ll always remember [singing] the Alma Mater with my friends for the last time at our graduation,” Matt said. “When Matt had applied to Notre Dame, we made several visits to the campus and everyone here was very accommodating,” Matt’s father Mike Swinton said. “The spirit and community at Notre Dame was unlike any other school we had visited.” Approximately 500 people attended the “Love Thee Notre Dame” celebration, a gift-planning initiative in Leighton Concert Hall in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Matt Swinton, a 2012 graduate, suffers from spinal muscular atrophy, a group of inherited diseases that cause muscle damage and weakness. Confined to a wheelchair, Matt was able to make the most out of his four years at Notre Dame with the help of his parents, friends and the University. Philbin said all gifts, no matter the size, have had lasting effects on Notre Dame. A video relayed the Belatti’s story of building houses for Habitat for Humanity that transformed into a relationship with a single mother and her five children. “The acceptance letter said ‘Welcome Home,’ and Notre Dame was the school that gave me the first chance,” de Araujo said. “I was offered more scholarships to other schools as well, but that didn’t matter. I knew Notre Dame was it.”last_img read more

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Panel commemorates fall of Berlin Wall

first_imgIn celebration of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies sponsored a faculty panel Tuesday in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies to discuss the significance of the events in 1989 in Eastern Europe and their importance to international affairs today.The panel featured A. James McAdams, professor of international affairs and Director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies; David Cortright, associate director of programs and policy studies of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies; Sebastian Rosato, associate professor of political science and director of the Notre Dame International Security Program and Alicja Kusiak-Brownstein, adjunct professor of history.McAdams began the panel, chronicling the history of the fall of the Wall and the suddenness with which it occurred.“We can say that it [the wall] fell but in a way, what it did was open,” he said. “The border that had meant certain death if you tried to run across it in the past, that had meant certain imprisonment if you tried to smuggle your way through it in the past … that border ceased to exist.”The fall of the Wall was met with joy but also confusion, McAdams said.“What is so important to understand at this time is the way in which everyone was surprised, everyone was shocked,” he said. “No one had any idea what this meant.”The political implications of the fall of the Wall also opened up a lot of questions as to what the next step was, McAdams said.“The big question was what happens when the division between East and West, that was defined by the Berlin Wall, more than any other entity, what happens when that division is gone?” he said. “What happens when you suddenly have to deal with a reunified Germany?”The fall of the Wall, Cortright said, cannot be traced to one single individual, institution or state.“Whenever there’s a great success, it is said, success has many parents, while failure is orphaned,” Cortright said. “In this case, there are many claims to success. Margaret Thatcher says it was Ronald Reagan who won the Cold War; Reagan says it was Thatcher who won the Cold War.“Even some East German communists thought it was their idea. Pope John Paul II played a big role, and Gorbachev definitely.”However, the most important force in this kind of success is civil society, Cortright said.“It’s inconceivable to think of the fall of the Wall or the dramatic transformations that took place in the late ’80s without understanding the role of civil society and the tremendous push that was created by the people in the street, protesting against the Communist regime,” he said.Cortright said disarmament played a large role in ending the Cold War but not in the way that many would think. Rather, disarmament talks led to a more benign relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States.“It was the transformation of the politic climate and the opening of the new political leadership in the Soviet Union, represented by Gorbachev, that really led to the end,” he said. “… It was not about the weapons, but the development of a political understanding between the United States and the Soviet Union.”Kusiak-Brownstein, who hails from Poland, shared personal accounts from both herself and her friends on the fall of the Wall.“One friend said she was preparing for her finals in high school when her mother came in her room and said, ‘You’ll never believe it. The Berlin Wall has fallen.’ My friend answered, ‘It’s about time, isn’t it?’” she said.Many of the people in Poland reacted in this way because Poland had already gone through a political transformation in the spring of 1989, Kusiak-Brownstein said.“The fall of the Wall followed the first semi-free election in Poland, which resulted in overwhelming support for the opposition,” she said. “In spite of it, among young people, the spirit of euphoria was often mixed with anxiety.”The consequences of the fall of the Wall were felt far beyond just Eastern Europe and still continue to reverberate today, Rosato said.“The fall of the Wall led to a U.S. strategy of what can be called liberal primacy,” he said. “Primacy, because the United States was determined to remain the most powerful state in the world for as long as possible, which meant, at the time, basically preventing the return of Russia and Western Europe, especially Germany, becoming powerful.“Liberal, because the United States wanted to spread liberal values all across the globe: democracy, free markets, etc. The reason for that is because one, it would make America safe and two, it was the right thing to do.”The results of this strategy, however, have been a huge disappointment, Rosato said.“This strategy of the US has three failures,” he said. “It guaranteed that the [European Union] would be a geopolitical nonentity; it threatened Russia by encircling it and seeking to destabilize it.“Third, we not only threatened Russia, but antagonized Russia by extending NATO all the way up to its border and making it pretty clear that Russia is next.”This strategy and its failures, stemming from the fall of the Wall, play a huge part in international politics today, demonstrating the far-reaching consequences and importance of the fall of the Wall, Rosato said.Tags: Berlin, Berlin Wall, Cold War, Eastern Europe, germany, Nanovic Institute, Russialast_img read more

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Observer names new department editors

first_imgSeven new departmental editors will round out The Observer’s 2015-2016 Editorial Board, incoming Editor-in-Chief Greg Hadley announced Wednesday night.Juniors Erin Rice, Tabitha Ricketts and Haleigh Ehmsen and sophomores Zach Klonsinski, Erin McAuliffe, Margaret Hynds and Zach Llorens will assume control of their departments March 15.Ehmsen, originally from Mt. Vernon, Iowa, will take over as Saint Mary’s Editor. Ehmsen is a junior English and communication studies double major. She has been a news writer for The Observer since her freshman year and served as Associate Saint Mary’s Editor in the fall of 2014.Hynds, a native of McLean, Virginia living in Pangborn Hall, will take over as News Editor for the upcoming year. A member of the Observer staff since the fall of 2013, she has covered 2014 Mental Health Awareness Week, 2015 student government elections and student Senate, and she currently serves as an Associate News Editor. Hynds majors in political science with a minor in business economics.Klonsinski, the new Sports Editor, resides in Knott Hall and is a native of Belgrade, Montana. A sophomore, he is a beat writer for the men’s basketball team and has also covered Irish men’s soccer, women’s tennis, rowing, fencing and women’s swimming. He is majoring in history and minoring in business economics, and he plans to add a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy in the fall of 2015.Llorens, born and raised in Los Angeles and a current resident of Zahm House, will assume the role of Photo Editor. A sophomore pursuing a double-major in finance and mathematics, next year will mark his third year on staff at The Observer. In the past, Llorens has covered lectures, sporting events and other campus events.McAuliffe, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, will be the new Scene Editor. A resident of Pasquerilla East Hall, she has been a staff member at The Observer for two years. She is a marketing major with a Journalism, Ethics and Democracy minor.Rice, who is originally from Lake Forest, Illinois, will assume the role of Graphics Editor. A junior majoring in visual communications, Rice joined The Observer in the spring semester of 2014 as a graphic designer. Rice resides in Howard Hall and has also worked for The Dome and the Snite Museum of Art.Ricketts will join the board as Viewpoint Editor. She began her work with The Observer as a news writer for Saint Mary’s four years ago and then became a member of the Viewpoint staff. A resident of Clarkston, Michigan, she is a member of the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s dual degree in engineering program. She will complete her transfer to Notre Dame in the fall of 2015 to finish her B.S. in Computer Science. This spring, she will graduate from Saint Mary’s with a B.A. in English writing.Tags: Erin McAuliffe, Erin Rice, Haleigh Ehmsen, Margaret Hynds, New editors, Tabitha Ricketts, Zach Klonsinski, Zach Llorenslast_img read more

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Alumni Association names award recipients

first_imgDuring the winter meeting of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, two musicians and the founder of an after-school program for children in Kansas City’s urban core were honored with Notre Dame Alumni Association awards, according to a press release. Chuck Perrin, class of 1969, was awarded with the 2016 Rev. Anthony J. Lauck, C.S.C., Award. The award recognizes alumni achievements in fine arts and visual arts.On campus, Perrin performed and acted as well as operated a performance space that became an off-campus arts hub for interaction between teachers and students. He started a similar space in his hometown of San Diego called Dizzy’s Jazz. Dizzy’s Jazz, an all-ages performance collective, has become an acclaimed San Diego institution known among jazz fans internationally.Gene Bertoncini, jazz musician and class of 1959, received the 2016 Rev. Arthur S. Harvey, C.S.C, Award. This award honors alumni with outstanding achievement in performing arts.Bertoncini, originally from New York, graduated Notre Dame with a degree in architecture. He is one of the world’s preeminent jazz guitarists and was a member of The Tonight Show Band during Johnny Carson’s tenure. Aside from performing and recording, Bertoncini also teaches at the Eastman School of Music and William Paterson University.Bradley Grabs, class of 1992, was awarded the William D. Reynolds Award for his work with the youth and his dedication to serving children in need.Grabs graduated Notre Dame with a degree in accounting and discovered his passion for working with children during his year with the Vincentian Service Corps West. Afterward, he began teaching at Rockhurst Jesuit High School in Kansas City, Missouri. He started the Learning Club of KCK in 2002, an after-school and summer program for children in the urban core. The Learning Club and its over 100 volunteers currently serve more than 120 children per week at five sites. Tags: Alumni Association, Alumni association awardlast_img read more

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Saint Mary’s files response to Cervelli lawsuit

first_imgInterim College President Nancy Nekvasil informed the community that Saint Mary’s has filed a response to former College President Janice Cervelli’s lawsuit in an email Monday afternoon.The response will remain sealed.“Our Board of Trustees decided to keep the response under seal as the College continues to honor the confidentiality of employment agreements and stands by our employment contract with Ms. Cervelli,” Nekvasil said in the email.Later in the statement, Nekvasil said that the school is remaining focused on its mission of educating women and is hopeful for the future of the College and its incoming class, particularly after this past weekend when they hosted their annual event for admitted students — Meet Me at the Avenue.“After meeting and speaking with many of those women, I can tell you our future is bright, and we can expect to enroll an exceptional class of future Belles,” Nekvasil said.Tags: cervelli lawsuit, Nancy Nekvasil, President Cervelli, Saint Mary’s Admissionslast_img read more

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Senate resolution aims to increase transparency with Club Coordination Council

first_imgIn its weekly meeting, Notre Dame’s student senate approved a resolution requiring the Club Coordination Council (CCC) to address the Senate once a semester. This resolution detailing an increase in communication between the two branches of student government comes after a resolution earlier this year which increased funding to clubs from 37 percent to 40 percent.Sophomore Patrick Harris, vice president of the CCC, gave a presentation to the Senate detailing a basic outline of the CCC’s role in financial allocation for clubs.“The Club Coordination Council often spends its time working with other clubs as opposed to student government, so in the past we’ve kind of been a distant branch of student government,” Harris said.The CCC handles outreach to clubs and allocation and distribution of the money that Student Government gives them. They divide over 400 student clubs into six divisions based on type of club, such as academic, athletic and social service clubs.“The divisions ensure that clubs of different kinds are able to get the support that they need, not all that support will be the same depending on what division you are in,” Harris said.There are two club funding allocation dates, one in the fall and one in the spring. During those days, the CCC tracks the projected expenses of the club. Combined, all the clubs total just shy of $2.2 million dollars for the entire year, Harris said.However, the funding clubs receive is now around $360,000 per year to allocate to all the clubs, which is only 15 percent of the projected expenses, Harris said.“Over the past couple of years, the number of clubs has greatly expanded and the funding has not expanded as much, so that’s why the resolution increased the funding from 37 percent to 40 percent,” Harris said.The CCC then ranks the funds through a tier system by division, where some expenses are higher tiered, meaning they will be more heavily funded, and some are lower tiered, or less funded. The highest-tiered groups receive 80 percent of the requested funding from the CCC, and the lowest-tiered groups receive 20 percent. The determination process is based on a number of factors, including club members, revenue, fundraising and dues, Harris said.“For academic clubs, conference fees and airfare are typically more expensive than food, so food is tiered lower and gets cut more strictly,” Harris said.“For athletic clubs, the equipment and field rentals are tiered higher than food or travel,” he added.The resolution aims to uphold transparency between the CCC and the senatorial branch of student government to better ensure the needs of the student body population are being upheld fairly in terms of the financial distribution of resources between club divisions.The senate also voted on a resolution to clarify the executive responsibilities of chief of staff to the student body president and vice president.“The chief of shall assist student body president in daily meetings and tasks as president,” freshman parliamentarian Thomas Davis said.“The chief of staff shall assist the student body vice president in coordination and efforts ad hoc of any departments as needed,” Davis added.The responsibilities also include convening and chairing departmental meetings in the absence of that department’s director, attending cabinet meetings and working with the press secretary for press releases, among other tasks.The meeting wrapped up with the group approving the nominations of the SUB 2019-2020 executive board as well as the Student Union treasurer’s two assistants.Tags: 2019-2020 senate, Chief of Staff, Club Coordination Council, Senate, SUBlast_img read more

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Student Activities Board hosts virtual trivia night in hopes of connecting community

first_imgCommunity often played out on the Saint Mary’s campus through cheering stadiums, packed auditoriums and large group game nights. This year, the sense of community through mass gatherings has been threatened by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing requirements students must follow.The Student Activities Board (SAB), a student-led organization that has always strived to emphasize the common principle of community that is so fervent among Belles, rose up to the challenge of promoting community while staying safe. While events led by SAB normally consist of Fun Fridays, Winter Wonderlands and game nights, many of these traditions have been challenged by the pandemic and the shortened fall semester.To connect the student body, SAB is hosting a series of trivia nights in a hybrid format, taking place physically in the O’Laughlin Auditorium and virtually via a Zoom link sent out in a Sunday email. The series of events kicks off Wednesday.Senior and SAB president Sarah Catherine Caldwell said her team of officers landed on trivia nights after seeing them gain popularity last year.“We usually do these events called ‘Fun Fridays,’ and they were getting kind of stale, so last year we decided, before we even went home in March, to change it up,” Caldwell said. “Here on campus we saw a growing trend in trivia nights and saw people really enjoying that. It’s an event that can grow and that we are able to build a following with. We decided to do that so that even after COVID, we could still do this online to have a hybrid event to kind of limit the amount of people. It also works because if you’re an off-campus student, then you don’t need to drive to campus to join it, so it reaches more of a broad spectrum of students.”How clubs reach students isn’t the only thing that affects students, though. Club leadership has also been a challenge, junior and SAB vice president Ashley Maul said.“It has definitely been different,” Maul said. “We pretty much did a 180, but we bounced back from that and are continuing our efforts to maintain this sense of community.”Caldwell said SAB usually has lots of signature events set in stone, but this year, planning events has been day-to-day.“For example, [normally] one of our committees focuses on spirit for the athletics department. Obviously we can’t do that, so we’re switching to more of a wellness mindset for this semester,” Caldwell said. “For Belles’ Bash — the event on the Spes Unica/Madeleva green where mask tie-dying and club sign-ups took place over Welcome Weekend — we usually have about 750 people there over the course of two hours, but this year we only had maybe about 300 people over the course of four hours, so a lot of our events have been lengthened, and the amount of people that we can serve has been lessened.”Caldwell said the trivia nights are designed for “anybody and everybody who wanted to come, Saint Mary’s student wise.” She said she would especially encourage first years to participate.“One thing that’s really important right now is to build community, especially for first-year students who haven’t been on campus, it’s important for us to be able to connect, and right now it has been hard enough with all of the barriers,” Caldwell said. “Our hope is to alleviate some stress and to allow people to get their minds off of everything, and maybe you can get a nice little giveaway in the case that you win. Giveaways will be awarded to the first and second place winners of each round.”The event will be general trivia, but SAB aims to have a wide breadth of questions. In September, SAB will be partnering with the Student Diversity Board to create questions for a collaborative trivia night.Tags: Belles Bash, Student Activities Board, virtual trivia nightlast_img read more

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