Leadership the FBI way’

first_imgWith a resumé boasting high-profile casework at the FBI, service at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and risk assessment at Disney, Dr. Kathleen McChesney’s career has been anything but boring. McChesney, the third woman recruited into the FBI and former third-ranking executive, offered experiential advice on leadership in the second lecture of the Provost’s Distinguished Women’s Lecture series entitled “The Privilege to Serve: Leadership the FBI Way” on Tuesday. McChesney said it takes a certain type of person to develop into an exceptional leader. “Two of the most important qualities of leadership deal with people and challenges,” McChesney said. “A leader has to like people, I mean really like people, to work with them, serve them, do things for them and genuinely enjoy their company.” However, McChesney said leaders cannot always expect the respect and friendliness to be returned. “As a leader you’re going to make decisions that people don’t like,” McChesney said. “You want people to respect you, and if they like you that’s a bonus.” Despite the hierarchical nature of the FBI, every member is required to be both a leader and a team player, she said. “Everyone in the FBI is expected to be a leader at one time or another, even if you don’t have the formal title,” McChesney said. “The people we hire are mission-oriented, so it is very easy to get them to step up and volunteer for cases that might not be all that attractive.” McChesney used two very well-known cases to highlight examples of exceptional leaders. McChesney first referenced Special Investigator Bob Walsh’s handling of the infamous Unabomber case, when Harvard graduate Ted Kaczynski mailed bombs across the country in an increasingly sophisticated plot. “[Walsh] was a very innovative leader. He always believed the case was going to be solved even when others didn’t,” she said. “He continued to search outside the box and look for new resources and additional sources.” McChesney recalls being contacted by Walsh while living in Los Angeles, when he requested her assistance on the case. While she was too busy with her own cases to dedicate resources away, what Walsh did next solidified his superior sense of initiative and captured McChesney’s attention. “Bob brought everyone to San Francisco and had a specialist come to brief us on the latest news from the case,” McChesney said. “Because he took the time to inform us and get us involved, the next time he called me for resources he got them right away.” “In 1995, [Kaczynski] wrote a 35,000-word manifesto and sent it to the New York Times, threatening to continue mailing bombs if they failed to publish it,” McChesney said. “It was the FBI’s decision to ask the New York Times to publish it because we felt that, from a law enforcement standpoint, it was the best and smartest thing to do. It was a big risk for the Times but eventually ended the case. It was a long-term case so it was hard to maintain focus, but that’s the job of leader and that’s exactly what Bob did.” While Walsh displayed leadership over a long period of time with his Unabomber case, the next case’s leader, Special Agent Sheila Horan, exhibited composure under pressure following the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya and Tanzania. Horan immediately deployed over 900 agents to Africa, the largest deployment of agency personnel up to that point. McChesney said Horan’s team was quickly able to identify the bomb conspirators as four Al Qaida members. She attributed Horan’s success to her preparedness and established relationship network. “It is very important to establish your liaison with people you think you’ll have to work with in crisis situations early on so you’ll know each other and trust each other,” McChesney said. “Sheila immediately began those relationships and was very respectful to people like the ambassador and president of Kenya.” McChesney said Horan faced substantial challenges as not only an American, but a woman, operating on mission in the African nation. “Sheila had to designate jobs having to do with health and safety, welfare, culture,” McChesney said. “She had to learn what things you could and could not do as a woman or foreigner in Africa, make sure everyone knew certain hand signals that would be insulting – there was a lot of training on the fly.” Despite the stress and challenges of leadership, McChesney told the audience it was a gift she hoped many of its members would experience. “When you find things you’re passionate about and somebody pays you to do that, that’s a great privilege, and I wish that for all of you,” she said.last_img read more

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Mayor connects politics, ethics to experience

first_imgIn a time when politics is more often a punch line in a comedy sketch than the act of governing constituents, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s lecture about ethics and politics sent a timely, relevant message to the Notre Dame community. A South Bend native, Harvard alumnus and Rhodes Scholar, Buttigieg talked to students Tuesday afternoon as a part of the Mendoza College of Business’s 2013 Ethics Week Lecture Series and provided perspective on the intersection of politics and ethics. “I fear that sometimes the word ‘politics’ is spoken and the last thing on people’s mind is ethics,” Buttigieg said. The mayor spoke candidly about the nation’s low public opinion of politicians, citing a poll released Jan. 8 by Public Policy Polling that revealed people preferred colonoscopies, NFL replacement referees and Nickelback to Congress, though the U.S. legislative branch ranked ahead of the Ebola virus, Fidel Castro and Lindsay Lohan. “There seems to be a disconnect between the ethical and the political,” Buttigieg said. In order to bridge that fundamental gap, Buttigieg said, politicians must frame their public life and action within two questions: “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” “Now, I don’t mean, ‘Who am I’ in the philosophical sense,” he said. “You need to understand who you are in the sense of what role you play, in what capacity you are making a decision.” The mayor said he personally answered that first question while visiting the site of a child homicide in South Bend to “get a feel for the place” that had been the site of a tragedy. However, his public role as mayor coincided with his personal feelings on the situation as he noticed the mother of the victim. “I almost didn’t go speak with her because I was so anxious,” Buttigieg said. “But it meant so much that I talked to her, and it wasn’t because of anything I said. It was because I was the mayor, and it meant something that the city cared.” The mayor also addressed the tension politicians experience between representing the wishes of their constituents and leading their constituents based on what they believe to be in the people’s best interests. “You want to be faithful to your voters, but at the same time you can’t lead by standing still,” said Buttigieg. In this vein, Buttigieg mentioned President Lyndon B. Johnson as a leader who was “very politically devious” but who ultimately made great strides for voting rights. “When something as meaningful as voting rights for America is on the line, is it worth it to play the game?” Buttigieg said. When the conversation shifted to address the second question of, the mayor emphasized the importance of job as a means to achieve one’s goals instead of viewing a job as the ultimate goal. “If the job is your goal, then as soon as you get the job, you have finished your purposeful journey,” Buttigieg said. Although his academic pursuits took him all over the globe, Buttigieg said he returned to his hometown to make a difference where he knew he could and where it would matter most. “Life brings into confrontation the conflicts and tensions between our roles and our purpose, but in the end, the way in which we resolve those tensions is what we are made of.” Contact Vicky Moreno at [email protected]last_img read more

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Events celebrate Advent on campus

first_imgCampus Ministry will celebrate Advent by hosting a variety of events meant to encourage students to take time off during the pre-finals rush to prepare for Christmas. Kate Barrett, assistant director of undergraduate ministry, said she helps coordinate Advent events and prayer opportunities around campus that balance the Advent and the Christmas seasons. “Unfortunately, we’re never here for the Christmas season, except at the very end of it, when students return to campus after break,” Barrett said. “I try to help figure out ways to celebrate Christmas in the halls that allows students to enjoy all the warmth of Christmas while still respecting the beauty and enormity of the Advent season itself.” Barrett said a highlight of the scheduled events is Lessons and Carols next Sunday at 7:15 p.m. in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The Folk Choir, Liturgical Choir and Basilica Schola will perform Advent music, which will be supplemented by Scripture readings. “Lessons and Carols is a must-do event,” Barrett said. “[It] has a long tradition in the Church and at Notre Dame, so it’s long been an Advent tradition.” Other Advent events on campus include an RCIA Rite of Welcome at the 11:45 a.m. Basilica Mass on Sunday, a celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Basilica on Dec. 12 at 5:15 p.m. and Advent Vespers in the Basilica’s Lady Chapel on Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. One-time events that celebrate the season are most effective on a busy college campus, Barrett said. “It’s meant to be a peaceful, reflective season, anyway, so there’s no need to add a lot of action and events,” Barrett said. “One great way to celebrate Advent is just to spend some quiet time each day with the daily Gospel readings. We have a little resource called the Little Blue Book that has daily reflections for Advent in it.” The Little Blue Book is available in the Campus Ministry office in Coleman-Morse Center, and Barrett said more prayer and reflection resources are available on the Campus Ministry website. Barrett said taking time to celebrate Advent is important, especially in the midst of final exams.  “When you think you’re too stressed to stop and pray, you should stop and pray,” Barrett said. “So many forces encourage us to jump right to Christmas, but Advent offers us the opportunity to slow down, to reflect on how we prepare our hearts for anything, but in this case, specifically for the coming of Christ into our world. “Advent also helps us keep Christmas in perspective by reminding us that – as Jesus did – what we really have to offer each other is ourselves, not all the stuff that the stores and websites want us to buy.” Information about events occurring during Advent is available on the Campus Ministry website, as well as its Twitter feed, Facebook page and app.   Contact Nicole McAlee at [email protected]last_img read more

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Journalist calls for alternative to forced migration

first_imgPhotographer and journalist David Bacon explored the relationship between employment rates and migration in a lecture Monday titled “The Right to Stay Home: Justice for Migrants and Sending Communities.”Bacon said many cases of migration from Mexico to the United States can be attributed to joblessness and limited educational opportunities south of the border.“One of the most important movements in Mexico today is for the right to stay home, which means the right to an alternative to forced migration,” Bacon said. “It’s not that people think there’s something wrong with migration … but they think it should be a choice, not something forced on you.”The recent economic downturn drove an influx of Mexican workers north in search of a better quality of life, Bacon said.“Mexico suffered when the U.S. economy took a dive,” he said. “When the current recession started in the United States … hundreds of thousands of people [in Mexico] lost their jobs. So where do they go?”Bacon said workers must consider migrating to the United States when they lack other viable options.“[Workers in Mexico] are fighting for their right to stay in Mexico,” Bacon said. “The consequence of losing those fights is that people have to do whatever it takes to survive — increasingly, what that means is to leave [their home country].”Bacon said the disproportionally high cost of living in certain areas in Mexico is another incentive of Mexican migration to the United States.“The cost of a gallon of milk in a supermarket in Tijuana is more than it is in San Diego,” Bacon said. “Workers live in homes that are made from pallets and other materials that are cast off by the factories … with no sewers or running water … or electricity.”Bacon said without documentation, migrants face numerous obstacles once they decide to work in the United States.“Here in the United States, people without papers pay taxes and social security, but there’s no unemployment, there’s no disability, there’s no retirement,” he said. “If you don’t have any papers, it’s like the New Deal never happened.”Bacon said Congress should take a more accommodating stance towards undocumented migrants instead of passing harsher laws.“When people have rights, people will organize and try and get something better,” he said. “First of all, we need legalization for the people that don’t have it … a kind of a status so that people can live like normal people. We have to get rid of those detention centers … and I guess no more guest-worker programs.”Bacon said given the proximity of the U.S. and Mexico, collaboration is necessary to improve worker conditions in both countries.“The reality is, whether we live in Mexico or the U.S., we’re facing the same economic and trade policies and even the same employers,” he said. “So our ability to reach across the border and understand each other, and … act together — this is the only way will be able to survive.”Despite the hardships that many undocumented migrants face, Bacon said he is hopeful that cross-national reform will improve the situation.“We can have a world, I believe, that respects human rights, and we can stop deportations,” he said. “We can have a system of security for working families on both sides of the border.”Tags: David Bacon, Immigration, Mexicolast_img read more

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SMC Madeleva Lecture promotes religious dialogue

first_imgMonica Villagomez Mendez SMC President Carol Ann Mooney speaks at the annual Madeleva Lecture in Carroll Auditorium, examining the importance of interfaith conversations.Sr. Eva Mary Hooker, professor of English at Saint Mary’s, began the night reading two original poems. The first was based on an image she saw in an illustrated bible, where lines of scripture were being pictorially hoisted into place with a bumblebee and pulley, and the other poem was inspired by the line of sycamores lining the Avenue, she said.“I want tonight to celebrate in poetic image the mission of this college and the sisters who have worked here and the land upon which it stands,” she said. “We have all built together a place in which we seek wisdom.”Following the poetry reading, Marianne Farina, a professor of philosophy and theology at Graduate Theological Union in Berkley, California, spoke on “Sacred Conversations and the Evolution of Dialogue.”Mutual understanding and enrichment comes from sacred conversations, as such dialogue helps one appreciate the holiness of religions and cultures, she said.“Sacred conversations contribute to a deep theology, which like deep ecology contemplates the interconnectedness of all the cosmos,” Farina said. “This deep theology evinces an evolutionary consciousness skilled at holding it in esteem, the unenthused complex and enthused connection that exist between all living beings and the goodness God has ordained for each.”These conversations are opportunities for communication with self, God and others, Farina said. This idea is shared between Christian and Islamic traditions.“For as the sacred texts of Christians and Muslims proclaim, ‘God spoke and creation came to existence.’ These texts also tell of God’s continuing communication with nature in ways that foster a deep interiority in our encounters with cultures and religions,” she said.Farina said she had a religious experience of her own when providing cyclone relief efforts for an island off Bangladesh. The island population heard another storm was coming, and Farina spent the night of the scheduled storm in the second story of a building with numerous other women and children, many of whom were Muslim.Farina said the eye of the storm spared the island and very few were harmed. She noticed the Muslim women never stopped praying that night, and asked why the following morning.“Over a simple breakfast we had the chance to share our experiences of that fearful night,” she said. “They remained in the prayer circle because if that night was to be their last, they wanted to meet God together as a community uttering God’s own words on their lips. At that moment and in their telling, I gained insight.”Farina said dialogue and communication are important and evolutionary when they enter into the depth of shared existence in God. This movement is not linear, but rather a discovery of God’s presence in everything, she said.“Sacred conversation assists our entry into this depth, where we experience spiritual power,” she said.The values of humility and hospitality are essential to inter-religious dialogue because humility affirms a status as situated beings, and hospitality makes people come to terms with traditional differences in a way that opens up to self-knowledge and new insights, she said.“Whether we are engaged in dialogue or academic study, conversations focused on deep listening and the movements of the spirit are critical to developing scholarship and pastoral leadership responsive to today’s reality,” she said. “One example of such efforts in the story of Holy Cross. … Thus, the Holy Cross apostolic charism based on a spirit of union, and a gift of hope embodies the spirituality of dialogue.”The response by Sisters of the Holy Cross in Bangladesh is an example of the way mission and dialogue crosses numerous boundaries, she said.“Through [sacred conversations], we stand in solidarity with all others filled with hope, especially at the foot of the cross, bearing witness to … a future larger than ourselves,” she said.Asma Afsaruddin, a professor in the department of near Eastern languages and cultures at Indiana University, said she has met Farina multiple times at various symposiums. Afsaruddin responded to Farina’s talk and said she appreciated Farina’s passion for open interfaith dialogue.“Change is to be affected first internally in the individual before any meaningful external change can take root,” Afsaruddin said. “The most important site for bringing out genuine individual change, followed by social change, is clearly the human heart. Transformation of the human heart occurs by making it receptive to God’s will and becoming filled with God consciousness,” she said.Both Christian and Muslim traditions emphasize internal transformation and reconciliation with the creator and created beings to live an open life which can develop profound self-knowledge, she said.“It is fitting that Marianne should end her inspirational talk by emphasizing hope, to which God calls us to bear witness,” she said. “Both Christianity and Islam are founded on hope. The Quran and the Bible assure us that we must never despair of God’s love and solicitude for us and never lose faith in the ultimate goodness of human beings.”Afsaruddin said she agreed with Farina that humility and hospitality are necessary for sacred conversations and inter-religious dialogue, because these conversations allow people from different traditions to celebrate interconnectedness and common responsibilities to promote what is good.“Sacred conversations help to keep this compact among ourselves alive and relevant,” she said. “And most importantly of all, these sacred conversations help us to push back against other profane conversations that seek to divide and form hatred, of which unfortunately, as we know, there has been way too much lately.”Tags: Madeleva Lecture, religion, Sisters of Holy Cross, Theology Saint Mary’s Center for Spirituality hosted the 31st annual Madeleva Lecture on Thursday, honoring the 175th anniversary of the foundation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross. The event featured three keynote speakers, all women scholars, to discuss religious dialogue.last_img read more

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Campus Ministry expands Need to Talk program

first_imgDuring Lent last year, Campus Ministry expanded its Need to Talk program to give students the opportunity to simply come chat with someone or seek advice during a wider range of hours. After the program’s success last year, Campus Ministry decided to permanently expand its hours to 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Monday through Thursday. Sessions take place in 113 Coleman-Morse Center.Mike Urbaniak, the assistant director of pastoral care for Campus Ministry, said in an email that the mission of the program is simple.“[W]e’re just here to listen and to help folks on their journey, and at times refer them to other trusted resources on campus,” he said.Though the program is housed under Campus Ministry, Urbaniak said the program is meant to offer students a chance to talk about more than just faith.“The Need to Talk ministry makes a member of our Campus Ministry staff available for anyone in need of spiritual guidance, a listening ear or conversation partner about any topic on a student’s mind or heart,” he said. “ … Obviously being a Campus Ministry offering, we are very comfortable talking about faith, but we really find this is a ministry that is accessible and has been taken advantage of by people regardless of their experience of faith or what their faith background is.”Urbaniak said the program was originally started during Lent last year to help students develop a deeper relationship with God during the liturgical season or to discuss issues they may not have been talking about. After seeing over one person every night, Urbaniak said Campus Ministry decided to expand the program.“[M]any of the folks we encountered were people who had no connection to Campus Ministry programming, but just needed some help or wanted some guidance,” he said. “We wanted to continue to be present to our campus in this way.”One of the best aspects of the program, Urbaniak said, is what one student called its “radical availability.”“While it’s somewhat unfortunate that this is not always the norm in our all-too-busy culture, I think it’s important for our students to know that there are places they can turn when they just need someone and can slow down and really talk about anything,” he said. “From how the day is going, to questions about prayer or doubts in faith, to challenging personal and family situations. This is a safe space for students where our presence with them can remind them that they are loved and valued.”Urbaniak said students also have given the program positive feedback. Every night he has served, Urbaniak said someone visited just to say that it is comforting that such a program is being offered, even if they do not need it at the moment.“People seem to appreciate the offer of simply being present for them and creating a safe space to be themselves,” he said.Tags: Campus Ministry, need to talklast_img read more

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Theater group brings ‘Cymbeline’ to the stage

first_imgFaked deaths. Real deaths. An evil stepmother. Conspiracies. Betrayal. Love. Ghosts. A god. You can catch all of these elements at the Not-So-Royal (NSR) Shakespeare Company’s production of “Cymbeline,” which is running from Thursday to Saturday.“I think it’s one of the most intense plots Shakespeare ever wrote … I like to think of it as Shakespeare’s fairytale,” junior Mary Elsa Henrichs, who is directing the play, said. “It’s got a lot of those elements. There’s a wicked stepmother, a princess who runs away in disguise and kidnapped princes. There’s also decapitation and a war between Britain and Rome … so there’s a lot of elements going on.” Henrichs described the play as “genre-breaking,” and said it takes elements from tragedies, comedies and romances. NSR is a unique Shakespeare troupe as it is entirely student run — from the production design to directing to marketing, the students are at the reigns of the project. “I think it’s really special and amazing that we have this club on campus, because I think it’s one thing to encounter a text of Shakespeare in a class, and that can be really wonderful and beneficial, but I really believe they were written to be performed and written to be seen,” Henrichs said. “To be able to bring plays, one a semester, to the Notre Dame campus community so that we can experience Shakespeare in the fashion that he wrote for, rather than just reading it on a page or even SparkNoting it, is really great.”Henrichs is a veteran of acting in Shakespeare plays and said “Cymbeline” is one of the reasons she fell in love with Shakespeare’s works. “I’ve been in 15 of Shakespeare’s plays, and this was the one where I think I fell in love with acting,” she said. “ … It’s just such a wild plot for actors to be spinning together. So I think it offers a lot to its actors and its creators. It’s a show that everyone has to work together to bring together.”Henrichs said there is also value in producing a lesser-known play.“I think there’s a lot of pressure to be haughty for some prestigious play, but we are the Not-So-Royal Shakespeare Company, so we’re able to take on these pieces and bring a cool life to them,” she said.Junior Ellis Sargeant is acting in a production of “Cymbeline” for a second time after first acting in it in high school. This time he is taking on the role of Posthumus Leonatus, a character whom Sargeant said he can relate to, although the character does go through some things that most people will not, such as ordering the murder of his wife. “One of the reasons I was really drawn to the role is that, although murder is a bit much and it’s about royal figures in life and death, the actual things that he’s going through is stuff that I can actually relate to, like heartbreak and betrayal,” Sargeant said. Sargeant said “Cymbeline” is an interesting play to perform, because Shakespeare incorporates many of the typical fairytale archetypes that we know of today, even before most of those typical fairytales were written. “You have these fairytale elements,” he said. “ … There’s the evil potion given by an evil stepmother. It’s following all of these tropes and predates all the Disney movies that we’re familiar with. Despite being a very little known play, it actually shows up a lot in our cultural consciousness. We understand the archetypes of the characters that are in it. We know what it’s like to have the virtuous heroine. We know what it’s like to have the fallen hero. We know what it’s like to have the trickster, the evil stepmother or the blind king.”This particular production of “Cymbeline” uses key props to both set the stage of the play and as plot devices. A couple of these, according to Henrichs and Sargeant, are a trunk and a vial of something that may or may not be poison. “We consistently throughout the play are pulling things out of the trunk and building the world around us. We even build the theater around the audience in order to start the show and expose just a little bit of the artifice in order to bring people into the story,” Sargeant said.Sophomore Isobel Grogan, who is playing Cymbeline’s daughter Innogen, said “Cymbeline” has many of  the qualities that Shakespeare is known for including in his works.“If you had to pick one play of Shakespeare’s that perfectly encapsulates all of his tropes and his weirdness and his issues and his strengths, I think ‘Cymbeline’ is the best one. It’s got a lot of moving parts,” Grogan said. Grogan said each character has a specific prop throughout the play, which works towards their goal in stripping the play of many of it’s more complicated frills in order to simplify it for the audience. “We’re playing with the idea of everybody having one emblematic prop that defines their character. [We are] taking away as many frills as possible to get down to the base of the story and let that speak for itself,” Grogan said. Sargeant said the beauty of performing this fairytale-esque play instead of something more realistic or relatable is grounded in our ever-present storytelling as a society and as people. “We constantly tell stories about ourselves,” he said. “There is not an aspect of our lives that we don’t tell in the form of a story. No one can actually condense themselves down to something that’s able to be given to another person without a story, without a narrative. You always pick and choose which details you’re telling … and bring[ing] the audience into them rather than hiding them I think is a good way to have people look at it in a way that’s different from how it’s normally done.”Tags: cymbeline, Not-So-Royal Shakespeare Company, NSRlast_img read more

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Morris Inn to enhance dining options in November

first_imgThe Morris Inn will undergo five months of dining renovations beginning in November, the University announced in a press release Thursday.Rohr’s restaurant will receive a number of expansions, including a new bar, “increased intimate seating for small groups” and an “elevated focus on food and beverage offerings,” the release said.“Building off the enthusiasm and high demand of Rohr’s, the University will create one restaurant that celebrates the tradition and spirit of Notre Dame in an approachable, upscale, casual and social environment, with a focus on service and fresh and modern food,” Joe Kurth, senior director of the Morris Inn, said in the release.According to the release, the updated restaurant will combine the dining space of both Rohr’s and Sorin’s and is set to open next spring. During the renovations, temporary dining options will be made available — including expansions to room service — and will pilot new foods and beverages. The Smith Family Ballroom and other dining rooms will stay in operation.The Notre Dame community will be polled for input on other potential improvements for the inn, including open hours, prices and menu offerings, the release said.Tags: dining options, Morris Inn, renovationlast_img read more

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Commencement ceremonies to begin earlier than previously scheduled

first_imgCommencement ceremonies for the Notre Dame class of 2019 took place in the Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center at 8 a.m. — two hours earlier than scheduled — due to a “high probability of heavy rain and lightning,” according to a Sunday morning email from vice president for Campus Safety and Operations Mike Seamon and University registrar Chuck Hurley. The gates to the venue opened at 7 a.m., and there was no procession by the graduates or the faculty.Due to limited seating, ceremony attendance was limited to guests with a “red severe weather ticket.” According to the email, other guests were able to view a “closed-circuit broadcast” of the ceremony at several locations around campus: the north dome of the Joyce Center, auditoriums in the DeBartolo Hall, Jordan Hall of Science and Compton Family Ice Arena. The ceremony was also streamed on commencement.nd.edu and WNIT2.Individual diploma ceremonies will take place Sunday at noon instead of the previously scheduled 2 p.m., according to the email.Editor’s Note: Story updated May 19 at 8:37 a.m.Tags: Commencement 2019, Inclement Weather, Joyce Center, Notre Dame Stadiumlast_img read more

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Saint Mary’s Residence Hall Association introduces Navy Ball waiver outlining code of conduct

first_imgTickets for this year’s Navy Ball, scheduled for Nov. 15, went on sale in the Saint Mary’s Student Center on Tuesday. In an Oct. 11 email, the Residence Hall Student Association (RHA) announced it would not be hosting the annual fall formal, and will instead be collaborating with Student Government Association (SGA) to host the Navy Ball.The Navy Ball, a long-standing tradition born out of the rivalry between the Notre Dame and Navy football teams, brings Saint Mary’s students and Midshipmen together for a night of dancing after each game and is historically hosted by SGA, senior Grace Kelly, president of RHA, said.“It was a little bit of a new project for RHA to take on, but we’re really excited about it,” Kelly said.As the Navy Ball is normally hosted by SGA, Kelly said RHA had to adjust to juggling the schedules of two executive student boards in planning the function.“We had to start meeting with [SGA], in addition to meeting with our own RHA executives, and [have] our formal committee meet as well,” Kelly said. “So a lot more meetings started happening. A lot of text messages like ‘OK, can you meet this day? Can you meet that day? Something’s come up that we need to discuss to make sure that we’re on top of everything.’ So just a lot of meetings and collaboration.”Kelly said the groups worked closely with director of residence life Ariel Leary, dean of students Gloria Jenkins and representatives from the Office of Student Involvement.Jenkins was not available for comment.This year’s Navy Ball features several new changes, Kelly said, including an increased number of tickets available to both Saint Mary’s students, their guests and Navy Midshipmen.“We have 150 [tickets] set aside for the Midshipmen,” Kelly said. “I’m not entirely sure how many are coming. We have a contact with the Naval Academy, and we’re trying to figure out exactly how many of them are going to be coming. Obviously, they’re not going to be the football team that’s coming because they’re not going to be allowed to go out the night before the game.”After reevaluating the fire capacity for the event venue, RHA found it could host a greater crowd than in previous years, and moved to offer an increased number of tickets to the student body, Kelly said.“For Saint Mary’s students – I don’t have the exact number – but in the past, we’ve been able to have about 750 people for formal and it’s going to be at the Hilton Garden Inn,” Kelly said. “We reevaluated … and we have about at least 800 or 900 tickets for Saint Mary’s students.”Freshman Emily Bennett, who bought her Navy Ball ticket Tuesday, said she is glad the College is opening up the Navy Ball to more students.“I think it’s a good thing,” Bennett said. “So everyone can go instead of just like a certain group of people. It’s more open. And now I don’t really have to worry about not being able to go with my friends.”Kelly also said RHA is increasing security presence at this year’s Navy Ball, as well as adding more chaperones.“We are beefing it up a bit,” she said. “This year, we’re hiring more security. We’ve had students work in the past, and if another student is doing something that’s against the rules of formal, it’s not exactly fair to [the student workers] to be like, ‘Hey, you need to go talk to your peer and be like you can’t do that.’ So in addition to having chaperones, we’ve hired more security guards to just try and make it a safe event for everybody. And that way, everybody gets to have a really fun time.”The other big change being made to the Navy Ball is the waiver students are required to sign before registering for and attending the event, Kelly said. This waiver outlines the behavioral expectations of students who attend the dance, and will inform future formal decisions made by RHA and the Saint Mary’s administration, she said.“In the past, students haven’t been exactly clear on how the College wants to portray the rules or anything like that,” Kelly said. “So the waiver this year for us was a way to really get our point across to students that this is what the college expects of us. … We’re reevaluating formal, seeing how it should be changed to make it a better event for students.”Saint Mary’s students will be held accountable for the actions of any guests they bring to the Navy Ball, Kelly said, and all in attendance will be expected to act responsibly and maturely.“We’ve had guests in the past who have been acting immaturely,” Kelly said. “And so part of the thing with the waiver is that we are telling students you can’t control your date’s actions, but you are going to be held responsible if they do somehow cause damage to the venue or if they cause a big ruckus or something like that. So because you are bringing them and they are your guests, you are responsible for how they act.”The conduct of students attending this year’s Navy Ball will influence how Saint Mary’s will host formals in the future, Kelly said.“If students are very receptive to the waiver, and they just behave very well, they’re mature, then that is great evidence for the school that ‘you know what, this was a positive change and we can move forward,’” Kelly said. “But depending on how this Navy Ball does happen, it definitely plays a role into how the administration wants to continue forward with formal and how they want it to happen in the future.”Sophomore Sydney Hruskoci said she understands the need for a waiver outlining the rules of conduct, as more should be expected from college-aged students.“I mean, it’s a formal,” Hruskoci said. “So I feel like you know, it’s kind of understandable. Yes, of course people need to have fun; but at the same time, they can’t be stupid. So I understand. I get it.”Junior Elizabeth Day said she was a little surprised to learn that the usual fall formal would be replaced with this year’s Navy Ball.“I’m a little upset,” Day said. “But I’m excited to be able to go to Navy formal.”Day said she was never part of any misbehavior that may have prompted Saint Mary’s to reevaluate how it hosts its formals.“I do think that it’s a little extreme that we have to sign a waiver just to go to a dance,” Day said. “But I get it.”Tags: code of conduct, Formal, Midshipmen, navy ball, waiverlast_img read more

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