Month: January 2021

Gay students discuss coming out at Notre Dame

Gay students discuss coming out at Notre Dame

first_imgEditor’s note: This is the second installment in a three-part series about the experience of LGBTQ students at Notre Dame in lightof recent requests that the University grant club status to a gay-straight alliance. Before coming to Notre Dame, senior Jason G’Sell said he anticipated the University would be a place where he could come to terms with his faith and sexuality, whereas in high school, only a few friends knew he was gay.   “I wanted to go to college and be an out person,” he said. “I wanted people to have this assumption that clearly, I had been out forever.” For gay students, college presents the opportunity to start fresh with new friends and a new environment. Yet students said deciding when to come out can be an intensely personal decision that often involves overcoming both internal and external boundaries. Sophomore Mia Lillis said she was prepared to be open about her sexual orientation before coming to Notre Dame, but waited a month into her freshman year to come out because of her experience with freshman orientation. She said after telling her roommates, word “gradually got out” to the rest of her dorm. “[My roommates] were perfectly awesome with it,” she said. “I didn’t encounter any problems with anyone in the dorm.” However, Lillis did encounter some trials in coming out that she said are unique to the campus environment found at Notre Dame. “You take on such a big responsibility when you come out here. Not that necessarily you are going to receive a lot of discrimination, but you are taking on the role of educating people,” she said. “A lot of people here have not met gay people before coming to Notre Dame. That gets really tiring after a while, to explain over and over again.” For those who do wish to come out, the environment at Notre Dame can be daunting. Senior Sam Costanzo said the campus environment initially prevented him from being open about his sexual orientation. “I wanted to be who I was publicly,” he said. “I knew I couldn’t because it was just so grating. It rubbed up against so many gendered expectations of people here.” Costanzo said he was cautious whom he came out to when he came to Notre Dame, waiting until second semester of freshman year to come out to people in his dorm. A difficult experience Costanzo said being a gay student at Notre Dame was not the only thing he struggled with freshman year. He overstretched himself academically, struggled with his faith and coming from a largely Hispanic area of Texas, experienced “culture shock” at Notre Dame. As a result, Costanzo said he attended University counseling for most of his freshman year. The year culminated when Costanzo attempted to kill himself by swallowing several different medications, but could not keep them down. After the incident, his rector took him to the hospital where Costanzo called his parents, his academic advisor and his older sister, who attended Notre Dame at the time. Costanzo said his sister chastised him for not approaching family members for help. He said he was angered by her reaction, as she hadn’t shown concern before. “I knew she was wrong,” he said. “It was infuriating, the supposed value she was placing in our family relationships because for me, they had been compromised a while ago.” Following his freshman year, Costanzo took a medical withdrawal from Notre Dame and studied at the University of Texas at El Paso. He said he decided to return to Notre Dame both for academic and personal reasons. “I knew if I was going to really develop on a philosophical or spiritual level personally, in relation to Catholicism and the tradition I was raised in, I was going to have to come back here,” he said. “There wasn’t going to be a better place for me to do that.” Deciding when to come out Lillis, who came out as bisexual in middle school and later as a lesbian in high school, said her openness with her sexuality was swiftly challenged during freshman orientation. “I was not planning on being in the closet per se, but Frosh-O kind of changed my mind … It basically set the precedent that being straight is assumed here,” she said. “I guess I didn’t really feel comfortable enough with myself to correct that assumption.”  Students encounter a heterosexual mentality immediately upon arriving on campus with freshman orientation, G’Sell said. “Immediately you get there, and you are paired up with a girl dorm, and you’re tied to a girl’s wrist and you’re walking around together and you’re supposed to find your wife,” he said. “Everything is focused on these heterosexual relationships.” Sometimes, coming out during college is not a given. Senior Rocky Stroud said he had no immediate plans to come out at Notre Dame, as he wished to keep his sexual orientation private. “I didn’t think people needed to know. I didn’t want all those pestering questions like ‘When did it start? How are you doing? How did your parents take it? Did any of your friends change?’” he said. “I didn’t want all of those questions you don’t want to answer. I didn’t want my life to change.” However, Stroud said a friend revealed Stroud’s sexual orientation at a party while he was with his older sister. He said his coming out experience was not ideal, as he did not want his older sister, a student at Saint Mary’s, to find out in such a way. “It was an emotional rollercoaster those few days, mainly because I was at a party with my sister,” he said. “When she found out, she had a meltdown. She was in the bathroom crying.” With his younger sister and mother in town that same weekend for a football game, Stroud said he came out in one fell swoop. “It all happened in one day — 24 hours, done.” Though he said the circumstances for his coming out experience were less than ideal, Stroud said he is ultimately glad it happened because he would not have been able to come out on his own. “I wish it happened differently, [but] I’m okay with the fact it happened, because I don’t think I would have had the courage or determination or necessity to come out myself,” he said. Faith and sexuality Though Costanzo said he is not a practicing Catholic anymore, it wasn’t until he set foot on the Notre Dame campus that the relationship between his faith and sexuality became a problem. “The religious thing and the gay thing were two separate things in high school, and it wasn’t until I got here that they were really convergent,” he said. “This deeply personal, meaningful but not all-encompassing aspect of who [I am] is incompatible in some aspects with [my] faith.” Like Costanzo, G’Sell said he chose to attend Notre Dame for reasons relating to his faith. He thought Notre Dame would be a school where he could come to terms with his sexual orientation as it related to being a practicing Catholic. However, G’Sell said he soon realized the process of reconciling the two was not going to be as easy as he thought. “Even though you have some incredibly intelligent Catholics here, no one has the answers,” he said. “There is no easy solution to reconciling these two things.” G’Sell said he approached his rector in Duncan Hall to help deal with the relationship between his faith and sexuality. “He didn’t give me any sort of mind-blowing answer and he didn’t have any solutions for me, but what he did do was really important,” he said. “He just welcomed me, not only to the hall, but to the Church.” G’Sell said there was another benefit to living in Duncan, a new dorm at the time. “I felt it was important because [Duncan] didn’t have an identity and there was no stereotype,” he said. “I know it is much more difficult for guys that live in dorms that have really strong heterosexual identities.” ‘I’m grateful it hasn’t been a walk in the park’ Had she attended a different school, Lillis said she believes she would have approached coming out very differently than she has at Notre Dame. “I think I definitely would have come out off the bat, because I was in the closet for a month,” she said. “I don’t think I would have stayed in the closet at any other place. I would have been out from the start.” Stroud said it is difficult for some gay students to come out at Notre Dame for several reasons. “From the guys I’ve met and been with who aren’t out of the closet … either it is personal, they are afraid for family reasons or culture reasons, or just in general the fear of coming out,” he said. There are also internal issues students need to struggle with, Stroud said. “I wouldn’t say personally it was a fear of coming out to the Notre Dame population I was afraid of. It was maybe admitting to myself I was gay,” he said. Coming out as a female at Notre Dame is also different than coming out as a male, Lillis said, because of preconceived notions in respect to masculinity and femininity. “Guys, if they are in any way gender bending, then other men are going to label them as gay no matter what, so it’s like they might as well come out,” she said. “Whereas with girls, we can gender bend as much as we want and no one assumes that they’re gay. For a girl to come out, it definitely is much more of a personal choice than it is with a guy.” Despite the challenges he has faced as a gay student, G’Sell said he appreciates how these obstacles have been beneficial to his Notre Dame experience. “It hasn’t been without its struggles. At the same time, I don’t think that’s a problem necessarily. I think it’s good to struggle,” he said. “In a way, I’m grateful it hasn’t been a walk in the park.” The third installment of this series will examine the gay community’s underground network at Notre Dame and student experiences being in relationships on campus. It will run in Wednesday’s Observer.last_img read more

Video highlights diverse community

Video highlights diverse community

first_imgThe newest viral video on the Notre Dame campus is a product of the University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Joyce Lantz, director of communications for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, said the “Any Given Day” video, which has been viewed nearly 27,000 times, features students with diverse academic tracks and extracurricular activities to show prospective students the range of opportunities available to them at Notre Dame. “Students at Notre Dame go above and beyond the ordinary college student, making our students and our days extraordinary,” Lantz said. “Students enjoy the challenge of academic rigor, and there is always something happening on campus to attract their intellectual curiosity.” The video also emphasizes Notre Dame’s sense of community and Catholic identity, she said, making students “truly a part of something larger than themselves.” “Notre Dame offers a distinctive Catholic experience within an environment of universal moral values,” Lantz said. “This open and accepting community of faith urges one to examine issues from all angles; it also fills one with a sense of purpose, passion and meaning. Regardless of one’s individual faith tradition, he or she will feel affirmed at Notre Dame.” Senior Martha Dee, who appears in the video, said it highlights parts of the Notre Dame experience that most prospective students don’t get the chance to see. “I think it shows a lot of different facets of Notre Dame life, which is a good thing,” Dee said. “We tend to get a one-sided view of Notre Dame, the tradition and the Catholicism and the straight-edged student population, but I think this video gives a really cool and dynamic perspective.” Dee said the video not only depicts how students spend their time while attending Notre Dame but also the different paths they will take after graduation. “Not only is it giving a rock-star view of Notre Dame … but showing how these experiences here will ultimately lead to the rest of your life,” she said. “This is a jumpstart from where you then go into your career or into your future social life.”   Lantz said the Office of Undergraduate Admissions held a casting call to recruit students to appear in the video. “We were seeking students that could tell their Notre Dame story with authenticity,” she said. “We did not want to work from a script, nor present a ‘talking heads’ format.  Instead, we thought of the process in terms of conversations, conversations one could have with any Notre Dame student on ‘any given day.’” Dee said she was unsure of how the video would turn out while filming but is thrilled with the final product. “When we were shooting the footage, it was just a bunch of walking down the hall and doing the same things over again, and you’re like, ‘How are they going to put this together? What is putting on makeup in a room going to show a prospective student?’” she said. “But when all those little clips were put together, you got every single different view of Notre Dame you possibly could get. I loved the way it turned out.” The student reaction to the video over social media was impressive as well, she said. “It was on everybody’s Facebook page within 45 minutes of it being posted,” Dee said. “Everybody was like, ‘This is awesome! This is why I go to this school! I love Notre Dame.’” Dee said she got goosebumps and started crying the first time she watched the video, and she hopes prospective students get the same feeling. “I think for perspective students who are on the edge – they probably were accepted to a bunch of top-tier schools – looking at his video could give them a really cool look into Notre Dame that you may not otherwise see,” she said. Junior Caroline Ramsey said the video encapsulates the Notre Dame “work hard, play hard” mentality. “It shows that [Notre Dame students are] really involved in studies and involved in engaging in a lot of different activities and exercising their curiosity in so many ways, more than just academic,” Ramsey said. “It tried to show a picture of a whole life, a whole person. That’s what college is all about, educating the whole person. That’s what Notre Dame is about.”last_img read more

Students reflect during Lenten season

Students reflect during Lenten season

first_imgWhether giving up their favorite food, kicking a bad habit, or working to incorporate something positive into their daily routine, Notre Dame students are coming up with new and unique ways to recognize Lent. Sophomore Pat Haggerty said that for Lent, he intends to quit using Tinder, the newly popular iPhone dating application. “It’s a total time killer and distraction,” Haggerty said. “Plus, it makes for awkward sightings on campus. Also, I don’t want to get ‘Lennay Kekua’ed.’” Sophomore Jack Souter, a resident of Fisher Hall, said he plans to give up going into other male dorms for the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter. “I feel that this will help strengthen my Fisher identity,” Souter said. “The community in Fisher is the only place I can truly be myself.” Sophomore Thomas Kleiber is prepared to refuse discussion over the controversial change in dining hall menus on Fridays during Lent. “I’m giving up arguing with people over whether the dining hall should serve meat or not,” Kleiber said. “It’s pointless and annoying.” Some of the most popular ways to observe Lent this year are plans to give up drinking soda, cutting swear words out, working out daily and making a point to attend church more often. “This isn’t very original but I’m giving up sweets and soda,” sophomore Claire Cosgrove said, echoing many of her classmates. “I have a sweet tooth and like to drink soda, so it’s always really hard and challenges me through all of Lent.” Junior Susan Nichols said she was planning to quit swearing for 40 days for the second year in a row. Nichols said cutting curse words out of her vocabulary is a good thing to remember in daily life and Lent provides a perfect opportunity to motivate her to stick to her goal. Sophomore Allie Gerspach decided to use Lent as motivation to be more practical in daily life. “I’m going to give up up buying coffee,” Gerspach said. “My flex points will benefit, [and] it’s a luxury that I don’t need when I can just make coffee in my room.” During Lent, many activities will take place to help students observe the period of reflection, including meat-free dining halls on Fridays, daily rosary prayers at the Grotto and a weekly “Stations of the Cross” event. Notre Dame Campus Ministry encourages students to use Lent as a time for self-reflection and improvement. “Whenever we talk about Lenten sacrifices, then, or even about the environmental and liturgical changes that mark the season, we can put all of those in the context of preparing ourselves – as individuals and as a Church – for the new life we all put on at Easter,” Campus Ministry’s website stated.   Sophomore Susanna Floyd, who is involved with Campus Ministry, said Lent is a good time for students to think about the meaning of Easter in the days leading up to the holiday. “The best thing about Lent is being given an opportunity not only to make daily sacrifices, but to reflect on why I’m sacrificing,” she said.last_img read more

Coccia, Joyce share vision for next year

Coccia, Joyce share vision for next year

first_imgOne day after finding out they would be Notre Dame’s 2013-14 student body president and vice president, juniors Alex Coccia and Nancy Joyce said they are ready to hit the ground running. “[We’re] still very excited and humbled to have won but also very aware of the fact that day one is tomorrow for me,” Joyce, who will begin sitting in on Student Senate meetings tomorrow, said. “I think that’s really where the work starts.” In the weeks leading up to the April 1 student government turnover, Coccia said he will focus on obtaining as much input from students as possible. “It’s going to be a lot of talking with as many people as possible,” he said. “We got a really good sense of what students are interested in just by going door to door, but I think having more in-depth conversations with people should be [helpful].”‘ A primary method for facilitating this continuing dialogue will be instituting the town forum outlined in the Coccia-Joyce platform, Coccia said. “One of the biggest things in our platform is the town hall idea, which is something – if we want to get done – we need to get going on now,” he said. “So we’ll be in talks with Student Affairs about that to see logistically what can be done.” Coccia said the impressive voter turnout in this year’s elections added to his confidence in the student body’s willingness to contribute ideas. “In both the primary and the runoff [elections], you had over 4,000 students vote,” he said. “That within itself is impressive, the level of student engagement. … Last night [student body presidential candidate Dominic Romeo] and I talked about how special that was, for students to be engaged like that.” He said he will look to Romeo and other candidates for feedback moving forward. “We’ll be reaching out to the other candidates shortly to talk with them and see what kind of ideas they definitely want to have incorporated in student government next year,” Coccia said. In the weeks remaining before turnover, Coccia said he and Joyce will use a thorough application process to assemble a qualified support team. “One thing we had in our platform is opening up [appointed positions] as an application process for whoever wants to be involved in student government,” he said. “I think it will be a comprehensive and intensive process for positions because we definitely want to make sure … that we’re getting people based not only on their interests and passion but on their ability to get stuff done that students care about.” Part of the pair’s promotion of a rigorous application progress is a result of their experience running for office against five other tickets. “We’ve learned from this election that competition is a really good thing,” Coccia said. “It brings out the best in any system.” While they will be looking to add some fresh faces to student government, Joyce said the pair will seek to retain some of the talent and ideas from the previous administration. “We are going to open that application process up, and yes, we want it to be competitive,” she said. “But at the same time we do want to have some sense of continuity in certain aspects, and that’s something we’ll hope to do as we make the transition.” Leading up to and continuing through the summer months, Coccia said he will keep close tabs on diversity-related efforts on campus. “We definitely want to begin conversations with people involved in the Call to Action rollout, just making sure we can back that as much as possible,” he said. “I’m currently looking with [outgoing student body president Brett Rocheleau] to find a home for [the GLBTQ organization] in the Student Union Constitution and also funding, which I think is going to be the biggest creative challenge.” Regardless of the challenges the new administration will face in the coming year, Joyce said she is eager to tackle them right away. “We’re ready to work,” she said. Contact John Cameron at [email protected]last_img read more

Researchers detect invasive species efficiently

Researchers detect invasive species efficiently

first_imgA team of Notre Dame researchers has developed a transportable, two-part system for detecting the presence of invasive species in aquatic environments. The paper, published in the journal ‘Conservation Letters’ and titled ‘Rapid invasive species detection by combining environmental DNA with Light Transmission Spectroscopy,’ details the team’s recent efforts to test its new invasive species detection process. Scott Egan, a biology research assistant professor, said the team’s recent efforts have been bringing the processes of testing for environmental DNA (eDNA) and Light Transmission Spectroscopy (LTS) together as a way to detect the presence of invasive species in an aquatic environment. “eDNA and LTS are separate processes that each work on their own,” Egan said. “The paper is about bringing the two processes together in the field. There are many problems of species detection where we can apply this environmental field diagnostic system.” According to the paper, this new, rapid, inexpensive and accurate on-site method of detecting harmful aquatic species will help ongoing efforts to prevent their introduction and spread. Egan said although the paper only focuses on the tests the team performed to ensure the process works, the end goal is for the system to address the growing problem of invasive species. “In the end, this is intended to solve real problems,” Egan said. “Invasive species threaten biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems and economies worldwide.”  A specific example of where the new system could be used is testing ballast water of ships used for buoyancy in the Great Lakes region, Egan said. “We hope to get this [equipment] on ships coming into our country, into the Great Lakes, and stop the invasions before they start or while the invasive species are in small enough numbers to eliminate,” he said. “This approach lowers the cost to society of protecting our great lakes ecosystems.  It’s much harder to remove species after they’ve begun to spread, and some species are so prevalent now that we can’t get rid of them.” Egan said the system can be applied to any situation that requires identifying particular organisms in an environment. Egan said the team has talked about using the system to detect disease-causing organisms and other pests, and the process could even be used for terrestrial environments by testing streams or other bodies of water that contain the runoff from the target area. The testing involved two steps, Egan said. First, the team took water samples from the lakes on campus and seeded them with tissue samples from five high-risk invasive species, and then successfully used their system to detect the invasive species. Second, they took samples from Eagle Lake, which is just across the border in Michigan, and successfully tested for an invasive species of zebra mussels, known to be in Eagle Lake.  Egan said the process involves filtering all biomaterial from the water sample, extracting any DNA, exposing the DNA to nanoparticles that only attach to particular DNA sequences unique to a certain species, and then using LTS to observe whether or not the nanoparticles have attached to any DNA from the sample. Egan said the team had to design the nanoparticles, called oligonucleotides, so they would only attach to particular sequences unique to several common invasive species. “Our procedure was to look for diagnostic species specific DNA variation, which is basically just finding a unique sequence of the A’s, C’s, G’s and T’s of DNA for each species we wanted to detect and then functionalize the nanoparticles that only bond to that particular sequence,” he said. Egan said so far the team has only performed the DNA extraction and LTS in the lab, but they hope to perform the whole process in the field this spring. “Each one of the components works and can work in the field, but we haven’t yet done everything in the field. We hope to do that at Eagle Lake this spring,” he said. The research system was comprised of Egan, Matthew Barnes, Ching-Ting Hwang, Andrew Mahon, Jeffery Feder, Steven Ruggiero, Carol Tanner and David Lodge. Egan said he is from the biology department and works with the Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics Initiative (AD&T), but there were other team members affiliated with the physics department faculty and the Environmental Change Initiative (ECI).  Egan said the interdisciplinary nature of the project and the collaboration of researchers from different disciplines were the best aspects of working on the detection system. “One of the coolest parts of this project is that it exemplifies the purpose of these initiatives to promote interdisciplinary work,” Egan said. “We have a great mix of scientists coming together to have a real impact on a significant real world problem.”last_img read more

Students prepare for March for Life in D.C.

Students prepare for March for Life in D.C.

first_imgThe Notre Dame Right to Life club, as well as other members of the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross community, will be participating in the March for Life  this year in Washington D.C. on Thursday, Jan. 22nd.This year, a record total of 692 students from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross will be participating in the annual march.“We hope that this record only lasts one year though, as we are always looking to bring more people with us,” Kristina Flathers, senior and vice president of communications for the ND Right to Life club, said.On its website, the ND Right to Life club states that its mission involves promoting the sanctity of all life from conception until natural death in the spirit of the Catholic Church.“I want to emphasize the part that says ‘all human life,’ because though many think that we care only about abortion, our pro-life beliefs and events actually cover much more than that,” Flathers said.Flathers said service is central to the club’s mission, and commissioners for the club have organized a variety of service events. The club helped provide resources for adoption, organized karaoke events for special needs children and hosted dances at elderly centers.“Witnessing … the ability of thousands of marchers, including 692 Notre Dame students, to operate as one cohesive body for the preservation of human dignity of life … is why I am most excited for this march,” first year Tierney Vrdolyak said.Flathers, who has attended every March for Life since her first year, said she is especially excited for this year due to the huge interest and participation displayed by the community.“My favorite memories revolve around the friends that I make on that trip, some of whom are my best friends here,” Flathers said. “There is a very special community that forms around attending the march.”According to Flathers, one of the most touching facts about the march is that people travel nearly ten hours both ways by bus and sleep on the floors of churches for the singular cause that brings them together.“I think attending the march is important because it awakens people’s interest and passion for life issues and reminds them that they are not alone in caring,” Flathers said. “Over 600,000 people showing up for a demonstration has a way of doing just that.”This year, the Diocesan Mass for Life will be held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. on Friday morning, which the ND Right to Life club members will attend.“It’s a great way to come together after such a big event and give thanksgiving as a collective group,” Vrdolyak said. “I am moved by the fact that there are going to be so many people gathered in one setting all united by one similar cause.”“When people go through such experiences together they form special bonds, and I am very excited for more students to witness that,” Flathers said.Tags: Kristen Flathers, ND Right to Life, ND Right to Life club, Notre Dame Right to Life, Right to Life, right to life marchlast_img read more

Around campus

Around campus

first_imgPurple WeekThis week, Notre Dame’s Relay for Life will host “Purple Week,” a series of events to raise awareness about the annual American Cancer Society fundraiser.“Purple Week gives the campus community an opportunity to join in the fight against cancer,” Relay for Life student co-chair Amanda Romeros said.The week includes $5 boot camp classes at Rolfs, a “Why Do You Relay?” event on South Quad on Wednesday and a blood drive Friday. On Thursday, the dining halls will serve purple desserts, and students can register for the Relay for Life, which takes place in the Compton Family Ice Arena on April 17.For more information, visit relay.nd.eduCavanaugh Coin Wars Cavanaugh Hall’s new signature event, Cavanaugh Coin Wars, will take place this week. The fundraiser will benefit St. Margaret’s House, a South Bend day center for women and children.Through Friday, each dorm will have a jar in the dining halls and LaFortune Student Center. Coins put in the jar count for positive points, whereas dollar bills are negative. The dorm with the most points at the end receives a doughnut party.“All you have to do is go to the dining hall or go to [LaFortune Student Center], and most people are already there, so it’s a great way to make an impact without really having to do anything,” Cavanaugh signature event commissioner Gracie Linus said.Black Cultural Arts Council Fashion ShowThe Black Cultural Arts Council at Notre Dame will host its annual fashion show Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Century Center in South Bend. The show, “Risque,” will feature 30 students modeling in name-brand clothes as well as clothes from a variety of South Bend boutiques.“It is far from what people would deem a ‘normal’ fashion show,” fashion show coordinator Olivia Mitchell said. “Included in our show are choreographed scenes where our models portray characters, perform routines and generally just have a lot of fun while on stage.”Tickets are available for $10 at the LaFortune Box Office, and buses to the Century Center will be provided.WWI and Graphic NovelsThe Nanovic Institute of European Studies will sponsor a performance and live-drawing of several texts related to World War I on Wednesday.The event, titled “WWI in the Graphic Novels: A Drawing Cabaret,” will feature graphic novel artists Chloe Cruchaudet Ivan Petrus and Kris & Maël. Nanovic fellow and event moderator Olivier Morel said artists play an important role in understanding the Great War.“As creators, their art involves a lot of writing and storytelling, a strong relationship to the artistic and literary traditions, but also to photography, sociology and, of course, cinema,” Morel said.Morel said each of the artists chose a WWI-related text that inspired their work, which Film, Television and Theatre students Dylan Parent, Austin Hagwood, Anthony Murphy and Guillermo Alonso will act out. During their performances, the artists will draw the scene, and cameras will project the drawings for the audience to see. There will then be a discussion between the artists and the audience.“Everyone should be aware that this first world war of the 20th century has profoundly changed our world in so many ways: its geography, its society and of course, its culture, its art history,” Morel said.The event is free but ticketed. Tickets are available by contacting [email protected]last_img read more

Byzantine Catholic liturgy celebrated on campus

Byzantine Catholic liturgy celebrated on campus

first_imgAs Notre Dame strives to expand its international profile and strengthen its Catholic identity, the University has recently found a way to do both simultaneously by hosting a different type of liturgy on campusBeginning this fall, Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy is offered the first Sunday of every month at 10 a.m. at the chapel of Mary, Seat of Wisdom in Malloy Hall. The first liturgy was a great success, with a packed chapel filled with a congregation of roughly 50 Notre Dame students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the larger South Bend community, Fr. Khaled Anatolios said.While “Roman Catholic” and “Catholic” are often treated as interchangeable terms, there are millions of Catholics worldwide who do not practice the Roman Rite, and are therefore technically not Roman Catholic. While traditionally found in the Middle-East, these “Eastern Catholic” churches have spread westwards, with the Byzantine Eastern Catholic Church now present on Notre Dame’s campus.“Having this liturgy gives people a chance to come together and form a community and practice according to the way that they’re used to … there are people on campus who have this Byzantine background and they’ve never had a place before where they could worship in the tradition they grew up in,” Anatolios said.Interest in offering a Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy was first sparked when Anatolios, a priest of the Greek Catholic Melkite Church, came to Notre Dame.“There used to be a small Melkite community in town, but then they didn’t have a priest. When my bishop knew that I was coming here … he [wanted] to have a Byzantine Catholic presence on the campus of the most prominent Catholic university in America,” Anatolios said.This enthusiasm was quickly matched by figures on the campus, Anatolios said, as both he and the Byzantine Catholic liturgy were welcomed to campus with a profound hospitality.“I met [University President Fr. John Jenkins], at a new faculty orientation and when he found out that I was a Byzantine Catholic priest he was very enthusiastic. … He got me in touch with Fr. William Lies, who’s the vice president for church affairs and then he put me in touch with Fr. Pete McCormick, who is the [director] of campus ministry … and arranged for me to have this [liturgy]. I’ve had nothing but the greatest support from everybody on campus,” Anatolios said.He said the Greek Catholic churches have their roots in the oldest Christian history when various different regions celebrated Christian ceremonies in their own fashions. Anatolios said these different rites had crystallized by the fourth century, establishing different “liturgical families” around major urban centers. While the prayers, the languages and the styles of the services may have been different, this didn’t cause any problems or disruptions of Communion within the Church for many years, Anatolios said.This unity in the Church was finally disrupted by the doctrinal disputes of the Council of Chalcedon in 454 and the growing distance between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, Anatolios said, which climaxed in the Great Schism of 1054. While the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches remain distinct, several bodies within the Eastern Orthodox Church reestablished communion with Rome over the centuries, Anatolios said.“The Byzantine Catholic churches … follow the Byzantine Rite that originated in Constantinople and reunited with Rome and reestablished communion with Rome,” Anatolios said, “It’s easy to break communion, but its very hard to reestablish it once its broken. The Eastern Catholic churches came about because there was the recognition that there really aren’t serious doctrinal differences that should divide us.”Anatolios said some differences between the Byzantine and Roman rites include differently worded prayers, a greater emphasis on icons, singing and bodily movement, and perhaps most surprising to those raised in the Roman Rite, married priests such as Anatolios himself. Because of the ritual similarities between the Byzantine Rite churches and the Orthodox churches, many feel the Eastern Catholic Churches can serve as a connection between Rome and other parts of the Christian world.Anatolios said he grew up in Egypt and has connections with various members of the Coptic and Orthodox Christian communities.“As a community that follows orthodox traditions, liturgical traditions, spiritual traditions … we feel like a bridge between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches,” Anatolios said. He will also be on a panel at the American Academy of Religion regarding Eastern Orthodox theology.Anatolios emphasized his gratitude toward the warm welcome he has received on campus and hoped this new service on campus would help Notre Dame further connect with the tremendous vitality and variety of the international Church.“I think that’s why Fr. Jenkins and Fr. Lies were so enthusiastic, because I think that they want [Notre Dame] to express the full diversity and all the richness of the Catholic tradition,” Anatolios said.Tags: Byzantine catholic liturgy, Byzantine Eastern Catholic Churchlast_img read more

Saint Mary’s bans ‘hoverboards’ and drones

Saint Mary’s bans ‘hoverboards’ and drones

first_imgFollowing many college and universities across America, the Saint Mary’s administration made the decision to add drones and electronic self-balancing skateboards known as “hoverboards” to the list of prohibited items on campus. A drone is a remote-controlled, pilotless aircraft that has become commercialized in recent years which can be used for many purposes ranging from photography to Amazon deliveries. Karen Johnson, the vice president of student affairs, said she led a group of people on campus who made the decision in order to protect student safety. “The drone issue is that we are right on the take-off and landing pattern of the [South Bend] airport,” Johnson said. “The fire issue [with ‘hoverboards’] is a big concern. We did not want an item in the residence hall or in a building that could catch on fire when nobody was around to see it happen.”Assistant vice president for student affairs Janielle Tchakerian said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandates the rules regarding the drones. “FAA prohibits drone operators to stay out of airport flight paths and restricted airspace areas, and obey any FAA Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs),” Tchakerian said. “Since Saint Mary’s College is in the flight path to the South Bend airport, we wanted to inform our students that for the safety of the manned aircrafts flying above our campus that drones are prohibited.”Though the fire concerns with “hoverboards” and the airport regulations regarding drones have not been an issue on campus, Johnson said the administration is acting proactively on the matter. Saint Mary’s students received an email outlining the new prohibitions before leaving campus for winter break.“When ‘hoverboards’ become more safe or they solve the problems with the batteries, we may permit them,” Johnson said. “We have skateboards all over campus now, bicycles, skates, all that.”Johnson said there is no set procedure for cases in which students are found with these items, but she would ask the student to take the item home as soon as possible or the College would confiscate the item and put it in a safe place until the student can take it home. Tchakerian said the decision to prohibit the items ultimately ensures the safety of everyone on campus.“[The rules] benefit the entire Saint Mary’s community because, by implementing these two policies, we are putting the safety of our community members — both on campus and those who fly above us — safer.”A comprehensive list of items prohibited on campus can be found on the College’s website. Tags: drones, electronic skateboards, hoverboardslast_img read more

Notre Dame ranked among top Fulbright producers

Notre Dame ranked among top Fulbright producers

first_imgFor the second consecutive year, Notre Dame has been on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Fulbright U.S. Student Program Top Producing List. Fourteen students have received Fulbright grants for the 2015-2016 program and have been given chances to pursue their academic passions and inquiries in countries such as Brazil, Senegal, Italy and more.Mae Kilker, a Medieval Institute graduate student and native of South Bend, is a Fulbright recipient currently studying and conducting research in Sweden.“My research explores how people from the Medieval Ages understood the physical environment — and not only the way that they experience that, but also how they told stories about it,” Kilker said. “The reason I’m in Sweden is my particular field is looking at Anglo-Saxon England, but the current scholarship is to understand the North Atlantic cultural sphere as a whole because England was settled by Scandinavian-Germanic tribes.”Kilker said she has always had a passion for the Middle Ages because of its language and poetry, and it was this passion that inspired her to apply for the Fulbright program. She said she hopes that completion of the program will bring her closer to a career in academia.“In addition to just being able to have a year in Sweden and do my research and connect with scholars in my field, it has actually brought me to other opportunities such as postdocs and publication,” Kilker said.Mike Westrate, associate program director for the Office of Grants and Fellowships, works in the graduate school to help graduate and undergraduate students distill their research into written form in order to apply for grants and fellowships.“I have always said that there are two sort of gateway fellowships and that you can use your application materials to apply,” he said. “The first of those is the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the second is the Fulbright Program.”Westrate, a Fulbright recipient himself, went to Ukraine in 2010 and 2011 for the program. He was the only graduate student to go on the Fulbright that year.“Having been a Fulbrighter myself, I can tell you that a year of research or study abroad is a life changing experience,” Westrate said. “Furthermore, doing that year abroad as a Fulbrighter is even more rewarding. You get to tap into the world’s largest international network of scholars.”Westrate said this year Notre Dame has an award rate exactly equal to Harvard, which is the top-producing Fulbright award university in the country.“Notre Dame students are some of the best students in the world, and when properly assisted they’re also some of the most successful students in the world,” Westrate said. “Other schools have much higher student populations and not only does it say that our students are successful, but that our students apply at a much higher rate.”He said aside from the academic opportunities that the Fulbright program offers its scholars, the professional and scholarly alumni network is yet another benefit. Westrate said since the mid-1940s, the Fulbright program has brought between 10,000 and 12,000 students to the United States from all over the world.The instant students decide they might want to apply for a Fulbright, they should meet with the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE), Westrate said.Kilker said the application process was writing intensive and having ties to the community worked in the applicant’s favor.“The more you can do ahead of time to create those relationships and create that project idea, the sooner you can hit the ground running,” Kilker said. “Getting help from other people to read your materials and give you feedback makes your applications so much better. Be prepared to write and rewrite, five, six and seven times — it will be better each time.”Tags: Fulbright, fulbright program, The Chronicle of Higher Educationlast_img read more