Court To Enter Phase Four Of Reopening Today, Slow Movement Expected

first_imgWNYNewsNow File Image.MAYVILLE — Chautauqua County Court is entering Phase Four of the New York State Unified Court System reopening plan today. Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson tells WNYNewsNow that the Office of Court Administration (OCA) is working to begin in-person hearings.“That all being said, it’s going to be slow,” Swanson said. “There’s a lot of cases that are outstanding that need to have the defendants arraigned, including traffic tickets, misdemeanors and any felony offenses that were eligible for appearance tickets. It’s going to take some time to get through those with, I would say, truncated calendars because these local courts don’t have large facilities. They’re going to have to limit the number of people they’re calling in, and even when those people do come in, I would suspect those procedures are going to be moving more slowly because of distancing requirements, sanitation requirements.”“Everything is going to move more slowly, and that’s going to be on top of this unprecedented backlog that we have.” Swanson says his office has nearly 50 cases that his office needs to present to a Grand Jury, which he says he “ideally” hopes to start convening on July 15. The County’s top prosecutor adds that he hopes to present four cases a day, one or two days a week.In addition, Swanson says his office will also need to handle other cases that his team receives.The Unified Court System website says courts in Phase Four can begin hearing a limited number of bench trials in civil and criminal matters. Swanson says that criminal bench trials, however, only occur in New York State when a defendant requests a bench trial, which he says “rarely” happens in Chautauqua County.Swanson says he’s not aware of any scheduled bench trials in Chautauqua County.Swanson says he believes the OCA is continuing internal discussions regarding the health and safety procedures for those called to serve on a trial jury. However, he says he’d “foster a guess” that procedures won’t be fully developed in the near future.WNYNewsNow asked Swanson for the hearing statuses of Jamestown men Tavion L. Turner, 21, and Julio E. Montanez, 26, both of whom are charged with second-degree murder in separate criminal cases. (Montanez was additionally indicted on two counts of second-degree attempted murder.)Swanson says his office has Skype conferences on both of those matters later in July.Swanson adds that a sentencing for Rance Freeman, 32, hasn’t been scheduled. Freeman previously plead guilty to first-degree manslaughter in connection with the 2008 homicide of Westfield man Jeffrey Johnson.Freeman can’t appear in court for a sentencing at this time because courts can only hold a sentencing hearing for those who aren’t in custody, according to Swanson. Swanson says a virtual sentencing “won’t suffice.”WNYNewsNow will continue to follow for more details on the court reopening.  Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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  • Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows

    first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Guest lineups for the Sunday news showslast_img

  • University alumni pray for life

    first_imgAlumni, parents and friends of the University are aiming to log 744 hours of unbroken prayer for human life as part of Respect Life Month and the Month of the Rosary this October. The initiative is known as prayLIFE, executive director of the Notre Dame Alumni Association, Dolly Duffy said. “We’ve just been amazed at the outpouring from the Notre Dame family toward this goal,” she said. This is the first year prayLIFE has occurred at Notre Dame, Duffy said. It was the inaugural project promoted by Beth Bubik, the Alumni Association’s new Life Initiatives Program coordinator. Participants in prayLIFE register online to pray independently for an hour, Duffy said. “We have what’s called a prayer calendar,” she said. “They’ll log onto mynotredame.nd.edu and put in [their] first name [and] the state. It’s so impressive that we’ve had so many members of the Notre Dame family praying throughout the night. Right now it’s one person, one [time] slot.” The Alumni Association advertised prayLIFE to its approximately 270 Notre Dame Clubs worldwide, sent out news releases and spoke with other groups at Notre Dame, Duffy said. “The calendar is close to 75 percent full,” Duffy said. “So we have about 25 percent of the 744 hours still available. One of the great things has been as we get close to a day where there are some open slots, just out of nowhere the slots suddenly get filled because people don’t want to see this continuous prayer broken.” Duffy said PrayLIFE is somewhat similar to the 40 Days for Life campaign against abortion, but focuses on all issues of life from contraception to natural death. She said is unaware of any other university that has undertaken such a project. “I think our alumni are so excited to see us look at the issue of life across the entire spectrum and put together positive programs that allow them to participate as members of the Notre Dame family,” Duffy said. Duffy said that in the future, she hopes to begin working on prayLIFE earlier, create more publicity and possibly expand the online calendar to allow more than one person to register for each time slot. “I would also say that if students are interested in participating, we welcome them,” Duffy said.last_img read more

  • SMC senior tackles cross country ride

    first_imgSaint Mary’s senior Sarah Eisenberg, along with 24 other individuals, will embark on a cross-country bike tour this summer sponsored by the non-profit organization Illini 4000 for Cancer. The 75-day tour will kick off on May 22 in New York City and will end on July 31st in San Francisco. “The organization is run out of the University of Illinois,” Eisenberg, a native of Tinley Park, Ill., said. “It started in the fall of 2006 and the first summer bike ride was in the summer of 2007. Its basic mission is to end the fight against cancer.” No individual is immune from the effects of cancer, Eisenberg said. “Cancer takes the lives of so many far too soon, leaving family, friends and all of those that come in contact with the person heartbroken,” she said. Eisenberg said she first heard of the annual bike ride last July and instantly thought of her two grandmothers who both lost their battle with the disease. “My Grandma Eisenberg, who I was extremely close with, was diagnosed with melanoma about five years ago,” Eisenberg said. “My sophomore year of college [in 2011] she was diagnosed with leukemia as well. These two cancers were just a lethal combination and she died four weeks after her diagnosis. My other grandma, Grandma Keller, lost her five year battle with lung cancer in June of that same year. These were two very poignant women in my life and their deaths were earth-shattering to my entire family.” The organization requires each biker to raise a minimum of $3,000, Eisenberg said. Overall the Illini 4000 for Cancer would like to raise $100,000. “Both my hometown and the larger Saint Mary’s-Notre Dame communities have been very monetarily supportive,” Eisenberg said. “So far, I have raised $7,000. I even received a large donation from Stach & Lui, an information technology company in San Francisco. I’ll be wearing their logo across the country.” Before she signed up for the cross-country tour, Eisenberg said she had never really biked. With the help of Lisa and Greg Mueller, local triathlon athletes, Eisenberg said her training is running very smoothly. “The camaraderie and helpfulness I have encountered with my training here in South Bend has been absolutely incredible,” Eisenberg said. “Our cyclist instructor at Saint Mary’s introduced me to the Mueller’s and they have created weekly work out plans for me. Lisa is also a nutritionist and she has been very helpful with my training.” Eisenberg said her days will begin at 6:30 a.m. every morning and each day will consist of about 5 hours of cycling. “We’ll wake up and start cycling for about three hours,” Eisenberg said. “We will then stop for lunch. After lunch we will continue cycling for another two hours until we reach our destination for the night. Different colleges, churches and community centers will be hosting us overnight.” Along the way, the group will be stopping at different cancer wards and hospitals to gain a better understanding of cancer research, said Eisenberg. “I know we are visiting the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for sure,” Eisenberg said. “We will be documenting the entire trip and will be meeting with different hospital personnel and cancer patients. We really want to get to know what it is like to be a cancer patient here in America.” Eisenberg said she believes new research in the field looks promising. “All I really want to do with this bike ride is raise some funds and awareness,” Eisenberg said. “If I am able to give one cancer patient one more day with his or her family than that is enough for me.” Eisenberg realizes this journey will be difficult at times, but said the difficulty will be nothing compared to what cancer patients have to encounter every day. “We literally will be traveling uphill at times, but I am always going to remember cancer patients are riding uphill every day and it is not their choice,” Eisenberg said. “Remembering this will keep me pushing to reach my goal. It will get me across the country.”last_img read more

  • SMC selling team competes at Indiana University

    first_imgFor the third straight year, Saint Mary’s participated in the National Team Selling Competition (NTSC) at Indiana University on Oct. 10. In a press release, Rosann Spiro, executive director for the Center for Global Sales Leadership, said the competition simulates real-world business scenarios.  “Our goal … is to give sales students the opportunity to take classroom knowledge and experience and apply those skills in a selling situation that is realistic and relevant in today’s market,” Spiro said. Coach of NTSC and marketing professor Robert Williams said the College’s eight-person team consisted of returning students from last year’s group and students in various marketing classes. The team was given a case study two weeks before the competition and had to identify the problem and create an innovative solution, returning member and junior Aneth Batamuliza said.  Junior Maddie Maidment, another team member, said the case study presented the team with a puzzlm. “We also had to identify where the missing information within the case is so we could ask appropriate questions in [the]tfirst session,” Maidment said.  The case study for this year’s competition was to solve a fictional convenience store chain’s struggling economic situation. The 20-store chain was trying to decide whether to take on a new product line of specialty beers, Williams said. “The ‘pitch’ was to convince the convenience store owners of the mutual benefits of taking on this new supplier,” Williams said. “Of course, there was more drama and details involved!” The Saint Mary’s team’s solution was not only to sell the premium craft brewhat the convenience store, but to also sell the store’s fresh-baked pizza at the brewery, Williams said.  “Both partners differentiated themselves and gained a distinct competitive advantage in the marketplace: a win-win,” Williams said. The competition is broken up into two sessions. The first is a morning meeting to uncover new facts. The second takes place during the afternoon and is the official presentation with the team’s sales pitch to the judges, Maidment said.  Williams said mosy of the judges were employees of the competition’s sponsors, Altria Group, Inc. and The 3M Compand. “One dramatic aspect is the fact that the first stage of the competition involves a 15-minute ‘meeting’ with the client, which enables the team to confirm analysis, uncover any new fact, and gain agreement,” Williams said. “Then the team has only four hours to update their powerpoint, practice their updated presentation, then present for 20 minutes.”  lWilliams said he is proud of the team’s accomplishments at this year’s competition.  “While we were honored to have [senior Kirsten Bonnesen]rselected as “Rookie of the Year” [out of 84 participants] for her sales presentation part, it was a full team effort,” Williams said. Batamuliza said she enjoyed working with the College’s team. “The girls on the team were all intelligent and wonderful Saint Mary’s women who share different passions and interests,” Batamuliza said. “And being surrounded by all that positive, creative, and innovative minds in such a setting was such an honor.” Contact Alex Winegar at awineg01@saintmarys.edulast_img read more

  • Latino poets end series on campus

    first_img“Latino/a Poetry Now,” a poetry tour that has visited five universities over a span of two years, will conclude at Notre Dame with readings from four acclaimed Latino poets. The poetry reading will take place today at 7:30 p.m. in the Eck Visitors Center auditorium and will feature visiting poets Blas Falconer, Raina J. León, Maria Melendez and John Murillo. Jose Limón, director of the Institute of Latino Studies, said the poets’ visit would showcase a different facet of Latino culture. “At a time when Latinos are much in the news for largely sociological and political reasons, we should also remember them as makers of poetry, as will be wonderfully exemplified by this gathering of prime poetic talent,” Limón said. Francisco Aragón, director of Letras Latinas and curator of the series, said a goal of the series is not just to raise awareness of Latino poetry, but also to show the variety of approaches and styles among Latino poets. “One of the things I hoped to accomplish with this initiative was to demonstrate the aesthetic diversity of contemporary Latino poetry,” Aragón said. Aragón said he edited “The Wind Shifts,” an anthology of modern Latino Poetry in 2009 and planned the tour “Latino/a Poetry Now” to complement the anthology. He said he chose the 15 poets who participated in the series to demonstrate the diversity and experimentalism of new Latino poetry. The four poets who will be featured in today’s event exemplify this diversity, which is a reflection of the diversity within the overall Latino community, Aragón said. “I hope that what people will come away with is that the four poets that we’ll be presenting are very different,” Aragón said. “I think one of the things they’ll notice as well [is that] each poet is very different in their own way, and yet they’re all under this banner of Latino poetry.  “One of the messages that we try to convey is that the Latino community, the Latino population is not a homogenous population, it’s a very diverse population including its art making and its poetry.” Aragón said students often experience poetry in a completely different way when they listen to a poet read rather than read the words silently to themselves. “Oftentimes when I teach a class and I ask, ‘Who here has been to a poetry reading?’, very few hands go up,” he said. “We think of theatre as sort of a form of literature in performance but we don’t often think of poetry as being literature in performance, and oftentimes students have come up to me and said that hearing the poet read his or her work out loud gives them insights that they didn’t have when they were encountering the work just on the page.” Aragón said the four poets visited two courses in Romance Languages and Latino Studies yesterday and would visit his own “Latino/a Poetry Now” class this morning. He said the poets would likely appreciate the chance to talk with students who have read their work. “My hope is that [the poets] will have an enriching time dialoguing with students who have been reading their work,” he said. “They’re going to be encountering people who have been reading and studying and writing about their work.” Aragón said today’s poetry readings would be the culmination of more than four years of planning and executing “Latino/a Poetry Now.” “This particular initiative grew out of an event we did with the poetry society of America in Los Angeles in 2009,” he said. “We did what we called a ‘Latino Poets Online’ roundtable discussion which we published on the website of the Poetry Society of America, and because that collaboration went really well … my counterpart at the Poetry Society of America pitched the idea of doing some programs at universities.” The series kicked off at Harvard University in 2012 and toured to Georgetown University, Macalester College and the University of Arizona. Poets visiting those schools visited classes and met with Latino student groups, Aragón said. Before each stop, the poets also read each other’s works and participated in an online discussion. Aragón said he posts the transcripts online and hopes to compile them into a book. “Our long term goal for those roundtable discussions is for them to actually become a book with poetry samplings from each poet,” he said. Letras Latinas, the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies, partnered with the Poetry Society of America to bring the event to campus, according to a University press release.last_img read more

  • Residence halls welcome nine new rectors

    first_imgAs Notre Dame freshmen move in Friday, a record nine new rectors will welcome students back to their residence halls.Heather Rakoczy Russell, associate vice president for residential life, said this is the single largest rector turnover on record, with new rectors in Cavanaugh, Duncan, Fisher, Howard, Knott, Lyons, Pasquerilla East, Walsh and Welsh Family Halls. Lauren Donahue, the new rector of Cavanaugh Hall, holds a Master of Arts in student affairs in higher education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Donahue said her experience living in dorms as a student makes her excited to lead a residence hall community. “I am thrilled to begin this new adventure with the women of Cavanaugh Hall, and it is an honor and blessing to be a part of this community rooted in history and tradition,” she said. “I am looking forward to growing in faith and fellowship with the women of Cavanaugh as they discern who and what God has called them to be.”Duncan Hall’s new rector, Nhat Nguyen, served as the rector of Fischer and O’Hara-Grace Graduate Residences last year. He said he wants to continue Duncan’s outstanding community after winning Men’s Hall of the Year last year, with a focus on developing personal relationships with residents. “I’m humbled and blessed for the opportunity to share life with the men of Duncan in the coming years: to celebrate with them, to walk through bitter valleys with them and to journey everywhere in between,” he said. “It will be an honor and a privilege to form deep meaningful relationships with my students.  I’m looking forward to meeting each and every one of them to hear their stories, to learn from them and to know each of them by name.”Richard Mazzei, class of 1978, lived in Flanner Hall during his undergraduate years but will take the reigns at Fisher Hall this year. Mazzei was a goalie for the Notre Dame club lacrosse team and worked for 30 years as a high school administrator, teacher and coach at Malden Catholic High School in Massachusetts. “Fisher has a great spirit that I hope to continue,” he said. “This is a dream job for me; it is like coming home again.  I have a great love for Notre Dame and I am so grateful to be able to serve in this position.”The new rector of Howard Hall, Amanda Springstead, graduated from Notre Dame in 2011 and said the uniqueness of residential life at Notre Dame prompted her to become a rector.“I wanted to be a rector because at Notre Dame there is an infusion of spirituality and faith within the hall,” she said. “[It is] a community that is filled with tradition and talented young women who value the relationships they build within the hall. The Notre Dame residential life experience is so distinct.”Sarah Heiman had virtually no connection to Notre Dame aside from visits to campus before she took over as rector of Lyons Hall. She said she wants to help the women of Lyons and all students share their talents with the world. “I’m most excited about accompanying young women during a time in their lives when many questions about faith, careers, relationships and their personal hopes and dreams are being raised,” she said. “The students of Notre Dame are incredibly gifted and have so much hope that they can bring to the world; helping someone identify the unique way they are called to serve others is one of the best parts about being a rector.”  Walsh Hall, one of the oldest dorms on campus, will welcome Elizabeth Detwiler, who said she hopes to grow into the close-knit community of the dorm.“Walsh is a small, intimate community,” she said. “From what I’ve gathered from former students, current rectors and former rectors, Walsh Hall is great place to sink roots and become the best version of yourself.” “I cannot take any credit for this generous inheritance; I have no plans to change it. My plans are to learn from the Wild Women of Walsh on what makes their community unique and work hard to keep cultivating a space for these women to feel at home.”Carol Latronica, class of 1977, will bring her labradoodle Lucca with her to Welsh Family Hall, where she will take over as rector. She said looks forward to working with the women in the community and making it a true home.“It is very exciting to be back ‘home’ and being able to work with young women as they begin a wonderful journey,” she said. “Being able to empower women to be the best they can be and become more than they ever dreamed, is a wonderful gift I have been given.”  Margaret “Mamie” Smith comes to Pasquerilla East Hall from Howard Hall, where she served as an Assistant Rector.Patrick Kincaid will serve as the new rector of Knott Hall.Tags: rectors, residence halls, Residence Lifelast_img read more

  • SMC panel examines Title IX implications

    first_imgSaint Mary’s Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) held a panel regarding Title IX and the process of reporting sexual assault for both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame campuses on Wednesday. Panelists included Saint Mary’s Title IX coordinator and college counsel Rich Nugent, Vice President for Student Affairs Karen Johnson and Notre Dame’s interim Title IX deputy coordinator for student respondent cases Annie Eaton.Susan Zhu Nugent said the Title IX process at Saint Mary’s has been improved this year. “This year, we are doing things differently,” Nugent said. “We are not doing investigations in house. We have engaged two local attorneys who have real excellent expertise in this area.” Nugent said Saint Mary’s students can report cases against Notre Dame students directly to the University, but he suggests they also notify the College to receive the full support and benefit of the resources offered. Johnson said this year the College has increased campus-wide training on the Title IX process and is in the processes of adding more training that includes LGBTQ-specific information.Eaton said the process at Notre Dame starts when she receives word of a case. She said she then reaches out to the complainant, and they discuss the situation. The complainant is then presented with all of the options and decides to proceed either with a legal case or with the University’s conduct process. She said the process then moves into investigations. Eaton said the University uses the same outside attorneys to investigate.“The investigators are not there to form an opinion about that case,” Eaton said. “They simply ask the facts. They collect evidence. … After that process is complete, they transcribe the interviews and they send it back to the deputy Title IX coordinator.”She said once the University receives the report, the complainant again has the power to choose how to proceed. If the complainant chooses not to move forward, the case moves to associate vice presidents for review. If the perpetrator is a repeat offender or is found to be a threat to the larger community, Eaton said, the school may take action against the offender without the complainant playing a role. The complainant has up to six months to decide whether or not to move forward with a conduct case. “Going through any kind of sexual trauma is difficult,” Eaton said. “Sometimes students are ready, sometimes [they] aren’t. So we give that time limit for a student to still be able to change their mind to move forward. “Even if the student experienced something a year ago but never [reported], and a year later decided they are ready, they can still do that. They can still do it four years later. As long as the respondent is still a student, we can move forward with the conduct process,” she said.Johnson said Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s work closely with these issues and are in communication with one another. She said her job is handling the appeals processes, helping with support and clarification of information and ensuring that students are treated respectfully and professionally throughout the process. Nugent said the College will not involve law enforcement or contact the parents of the student unless she specifically requests it. “One of the most important things for someone who has been sexually assaulted is to give them back the ability to make decisions,” Nugent said. “The only exception to that is possibly in that case where we hear the same name multiple times.”Johnson said the College has reached the compliant level of the Title IX process and is working on exceeding that level.“We’ve been growing and growing, and we’re not done growing,” she said. “We have a long way to go, and we have a lot of things to do. … We’ve been doing this for 10 years, but we can do it for 50 years, and we’ll still miss some things.”Nugent said the College is not content with where they are on the process, and it will continue to improve. He said the students’ well-being and access to resources is his top priority.Tags: BAVO, Belles Against Violence Office, sexual assault, Title IXlast_img read more

  • Notre Dame Right to Life celebrates family during You Are Loved Week

    first_imgNotre Dame Right to Life Club will seek to affirm the value of family and encourage students and faculty from different backgrounds to engage in the conversation surrounding the issue of human worth in their fourth-annual You Are Loved Week.Through this year’s theme, “Pro-Life is Pro-Family,” the event week seeks to affirm the value of family and encourage students and faculty from different backgrounds to engage in conversation about the issue of human worth.“There was a need on campus to not only focus on controversial issues like abortion but also the parts that make it holistic, which is what our club really values,” senior Sadie Facile, president of Right to Life, said. “We’re dignifying not only those in the womb but also those who are marginalized.”The week began Sunday with a prayer service for life and family at the Grotto. Monday’s events featured a tent on South Quad to distribute stickers and apparel as well as a Respect Life Mass in the Basilica and reception that followed.A panel Tuesday at 7 p.m. in 138 DeBartolo Hall called “Witness to Love and Life: Insights from Notre Dame Families” will host Notre Dame community members to share their families’ stories.“We wanted to encourage interactions with students who are isolated from family life,” senior Matt Connell, vice president of communications for Right to Life, said. “The individuals at the panel will talk about different aspects of family life like disability in the family, fatherhood and pregnancy and parenting at Notre Dame.”To continue the events, the club will host backpack making 6 p.m. Wednesday in LaFortune Student Center, where volunteers can make blankets and fill backpacks for children in foster care. Thursday’s keynote speaker, Alexandra DeSanctis, is a staff writer at the National Review and will address the developing abortion debate in America in her lecture, “Surrender is Not an Option: Reclaiming the Abortion Debate.” The talk is scheduled for 7 p.m. in 155 DeBartolo Hall. On Friday, Angelus will take place outside the Main Building on God Quad at 12 p.m.To create the week’s events, Right to Life focused on their three key pillars: education, spirituality and service. Through this combination, the club hopes to reach a broader audience to get involved in the issues at hand. Student organizers reached out to University organizations and centers, such as the Gender Relations Center, the Center for Ethics and Culture and the McGrath Institute for Church Life to support the week’s endeavors. “We always want to be cognizant of common ground,” Right to Life vice president of programming junior Michaela Reyes said. “There’s so many clubs that support the dignity of life in so many ways and we wanted to draw those people together.”Reyes said You Are Loved Week is intended to be a continuation of the conversation that occurred in last semester’s Respect Life week, which focused on the theme of “Pro-Life is Pro-Woman.”“We wanted to go off of those ideas, because it’s actually about the whole family,” Reyes said. “You Are Loved Week says that every person has inherent human dignity and worth. The family is where we grow up and experience that and learn it or not. We want to focus on the family and affirm those values.”Facile noted a primary goal of You Are Loved Week is for Notre Dame students to share in self-love and respect.“You Are Loved Week came about from viewing a lack of dignity in other people and in ourselves,” Facile said. “Our worth and value is not dependent upon performance, grades, how many friends you have or what you’re doing this weekend. There’s a lack of love in ourselves that we wanted to inspire.”Right to Life’s ultimate goal behind You Are Loved Week is to bring together different groups on campus that focus on service and affirming the dignity of the self in a broader and more unified manner than in previous years.“We didn’t want to approach this week as something political or partisan,” Facile said. “This is just a time to encourage interaction with families and students. We wanted to engage in service activities that supports families in the community. This week is an open dialogue about real ways that we can support life. That’s really it.”Tags: Notre Dame Right to Life, Pro-life, Pro-Life is Pro-Family, You are Loved Weeklast_img read more

  • Notre Dame, Navy students to contest universal basic income in inaugural debate

    first_imgNotre Dame and Navy will meet for the 93rd annual year on the football field Saturday. Friday afternoon, an entirely new rivalry between the two schools will begin in Hesburgh Library.Sponsored by the department of Film, Television and Theatre, the inaugural Notre Dame-Navy debate will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Carey Auditorium, and will be free and open to the public.Susan Ohmer, Notre Dame director of debate and the William T. and Helen Kuhn Carey Associate Professor of Modern Communication, said she was approached by Navy students in August to set up the debate. Ohmer said the debate will serve as a way to extend the relationship between Notre Dame and the Naval Academy. “We see this as another way for our schools to engage with each other off the field and really show the different talents of our schools,” Ohmer said. “The Midshipmen are smart and well educated as well, and they’re really preparing for this … and we really like the idea of extending the tradition of engaging with Navy in a new way.”Junior Conrad Palor and sophomore Patrick Aimone will represent Notre Dame in the debate, while junior Will Lewis and senior Nick Gutierrez will debate on behalf of the Naval Academy. The debate topic — chosen as a joint effort between the four participants — will be: “The United States should implement a universal basic income.”Lewis, a junior midshipman, said he views the universal basic income question as a useful topic in today’s society. “It’s not only a hot topic when it comes to the presidential election cycle, but also it’s a topic that a lot of economists are debating,” Lewis said. “Both [Gutierrez] and I are economics majors here at Navy, so it’s something that we’re interested in, and we’re glad that it’s something [the] Notre Dame debaters were also interested in.”To allow both debate teams to prepare adequate research for the debate, a coin flip determined the positions of the debaters, Aimone said. Notre Dame will represent the affirmative argument for the implementation of universal basic income, and Navy will rebut with the negative argument. To determine the winner, the audience will be polled before and after the debate. Whichever team sways more votes from the audience for their side, wins. Aimone said the structure of the debate allows the audience to leave the debate with a different mindset regarding public policies.  “I think it’s a really good practice for members of the American body to be listening to and participating in active debates over public policy because debate allows you to be exposed to a variety of different arguments, and also to start to refine your own,” Aimone said. “It’s the opposite of being an echo chamber. It’s a structured environment where you can guarantee that you will be exposed to both sides of an argument in a scenario that is hopefully going to lend itself toward the truth of the argument, as opposed to a shouting match.”Palor, a junior and president of the Notre Dame debate team, said the debate complements the historic football game by also demonstrating the rigor of Notre Dame and Navy students in the academic world.“I mean, it’s being held in the Hesburgh Library, and I think metaphorically that Hesburgh Library is known for ‘Touchdown Jesus,’ which is emblematic of football here on campus, but it’s also a home for a litany of academic resources,” Palor said. “Having conversations on the basis of public policy … really highlights some of the academic questions that both the Naval Academy and Notre Dame wrestle with on a daily basis.”Lewis shared his hopes of Notre Dame traveling to Navy next year and for the debate to continue in the following years.“I think it’s going to be a really great tradition between our two schools and something that I think everybody can really enjoy regardless of the outcome on Friday afternoon,” Lewis said.Tags: Debate, Navy, Universal Basic Incomelast_img read more

  • Senate meeting discusses new changes with Campus Dining leadership, tackles internal tensions over social justice, considers replacing Executive Programming Board

    first_imgThe Notre Dame student senate convened Thursday evening to hear from Campus Dining leadership about sustainability initiatives, menu enhancements and service format in Campus Dining operations this semester. Senior Rachel Ingal, student body president, also addressed internal tensions that came to a head with a Letter to the Editor, which criticized Student Government’s response to social justice issues.Senators also voted to pass an order regarding allocation of funds from the COVID-19 Response Financial Account and tabled an order to replace the Executive Programming Board with an Executive Committee.The meeting began with a presentation by Chris Abayasinghe, senior director of Campus Dining, Cheryl Bauer, director of Sourcing and Sustainability and Luigi Alberganti, director of student dining. Abayasinghe said Campus Dining has had to make many changes to adapt to public health regulations as well as students’ concerns.“This truly has been probably the most flexible and most pivoting of times,” he said. Some adjustments they have had to make focus on the disposable nature of containers, plastic bags and cutlery — all essential, nonetheless, to the take out format necessitated by the pandemic.Bauer announced a switch from compostable take out containers to mineral-filled polypropylene, which retain heat better, are sturdier and are manufactured in Minnesota.Campus Dining will also stop offering plastic bags Sept. 22 and single-use cutlery later on. They will sell BeeGreen reusable bags at Huddle Mart and the dining halls, and will give each student two stainless steel cutlery kits beginning Sept. 28. Student Government held a reusable cutlery giveaway Sept. 9  during which they distributed around 500 kits to students, junior Jackson Oxler, a member of the Department of Student Life and the Department of Sustainability, told The Observer.“It’s much easier to cut stainless versus the plastic and in these new containers, you are going to be able to cut inside of them … So it seems like a win-win all the way around,” Bauer said.Since COVID-19 regulations do not allow for drink refills, the single-use cups will still be used, according to Abayasinghe. “Over time, what we’re seeking is an actual replacement for the vessel itself,” he said.Other changes to dining operations include hiring more staff to serve students over 29,000 meals a day, according to Alberganti. Staff is also now serving food directly into the containers as students file past in line. Abayasinghe noted that new desserts have been introduced to the menu, such as red velvet cake, apple pie and Boston cream pie.After Campus Dining leadership’s presentation, senior Sarah Galbenski, student body vice president and chair of the student senate, opened with an executive announcement. She updated her peers on the first meeting of the University Committee on Women Faculty and Students (UCWFS) Thursday, which dealt with the new Title IX policies. The next meeting, she said, will take place Oct. 21 and focus on campus climate ahead of the November general election.After Galbenski’s announcement, Ingal referred to the aforementioned Letter to the Editor published in The Observer Thursday. Dillon Hall student leaders submitted the letter ahead of the meeting, asking for a more forceful, actionable response from Student Government in addressing private prison labor.After a student-led virtual strike for racial justice Aug. 31, the Student Senate passed order SS 2021-16, asking the University administration to continue engaging in dialogue with student organizations committed to racial justice and anti-racism. Senior Dillon Hall senator and one of the letter’s authors, Mike Dugan criticized the resolution.(Editor’s Note: Dugan is a former Observer news writer and Systems Administrator.)“Rather than taking a firm stance on specific issues of racial injustice that pertain to our campus community, however, the Senate simply voted to encourage administrators to continue to talk with students,” Dugan and other Dillon student leaders said in the letter. “We believe that the Senate could have and should have taken a stronger stance.”Specifically, the Dillon residents criticized Galbenski’s decision, as chair of the student senate, to not include a Senate Order in the agenda for the senate meeting.Dugan and senior Ricardo Pozas Garza, Club Coordination Council president, had drafted said order “to ensure that Student Union Organizations, and groups that receive funding from the Student Union, divest from companies that use prison labor and/or forced labor in order to obtain profit.”The letter’s authors also found fault with the rejection of their order, as they compared its contents with the other items in Thursday’s agenda.“None of these priorities carry the moral weight or urgency associated with ensuring that money collected from students in a mandatory fee is not spent in a socially irresponsible manner nor invested into companies that directly profit from human rights abuses,” they wrote.In her executive announcement at the senate meeting, Ingal vouched for Galbenski. She listed reasons why she had asked her to be student body vice president and the ways in which she said Galbenski has shown a commitment to racial justice and the student senate.The senate had received five resolutions this week, three of which carried over from the previous week. The two new resolutions could therefore not be included in Thursday’s agenda, Ingal said, and Galbenski reached out to the authors to explain why.While there is not a deadline requirement included in the senate bylaws, Galbenski has prepared a document with frequently asked questions for senators, in which she writes that, in order to be considered as “new business” in the week’s agenda, a piece of legislation must be submitted by Sunday. But Dugan and Pozas Garza’s order was not submitted until Monday, Galbenski told The Observer.“By no means did she deny debate time to a bill she didn’t support or refuse to hear this piece of legislation,” Ingal added.Chief of staff Aaron Benavides also spoke, characterizing the letter as “unbecoming of any member of the Student Union.” He cautioned against personal attacks, which he said might “distract us from the essential work that we must undertake.”(Editor’s Note: Benavides is a former Observer news writer.)Ten senators wrote a Letter to the Editor published Friday in response to the Dillon students’ letter, expressing their support for Galbenski and explaining the situation from their perspective.After the executive announcements, Benavides read an order presented by senior Grace Stephenson, Student Union treasurer and chairwoman of the Financial Management Board (FMB). Order SO 2021-07 would make $10,000 available from the Student Union COVID-19 Response Financial Account for allocation to Student Union organizations and special interest groups who apply. The order passed.The second order in the agenda was read over Zoom by senior Tiffany Pages-Sanchez, Judicial Council vice president of peer advocacy, on behalf of junior Matthew Bisner, Judicial Council president. Bisner authored the document but was not present for most of the meeting. The order, which passed, effectively made Audrey Feldman and Thomas Krapfl the First-Year Class Council Representatives for their respective dorms, Cavanaugh and Dunne Hall, since only one candidate had been received by the Judicial Council for both residence halls.Benavides then read SO 2021-09. The order proposed an amendment to the Constitution of the Undergraduate Student Body replacing the Executive Programming Board (EPB) with the Executive Committee. Per the order, the committee would “serve as a forum for the executive officers of the Student Union branches to communicate and collaborate on policy, programming, and other issues relevant to the Student Body and Student Union.”“Over the past several years, EPB has really lacked a focus or a purpose or any signs of duty,” Benavides said. “Nothing was really ever accomplished. We see that this group accomplishes more of what EPB was supposed to do, but it never really got off the ground.”During debate time, junior Thomas Davis II, Student Union parliamentarian, asked that the senate send the order to the Committee on the Constitution first, so they could approve the amendment. The order was ultimately tabled and referred to said committee.Tags: Campus DIning, Letter to the Editor, private prisons, student senatelast_img read more