About those wooly mittens that Sen. Bernie Sanders wore to the presidential inauguration that sparked quirky memes across social media? Sanders says they’ve helped to raise $1.8 million in the last five days for charitable organizations in his home state of Vermont through the sale of T-shirts, sweatshirts and stickers with the iconic image of him sitting with his arms and legs crossed in his brown parka and recycled wool mittens. The independent senator says multiple groups will benefit from the proceeds, including Meals on Wheels and Vermont community action agencies. He also says Getty Images will donate proceeds as part of a licensing agreement.
Event organizers and other unconventional logistics experts are using their skills to help the nation vaccinate as many people against COVID-19 as possible. A year into the coronavirus pandemic, cities and states are enlisting nontraditional people in the effort. It’s been done before: During World War II, American toymakers manufactured parts for military aircraft. A prime example is Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray, who’s now running mass vaccination operations at Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park. The marathon is on hold until fall, so Massachusetts officials hired McGillivray’s company because it’s skilled at moving people. The push for creative workarounds comes as virus cases surge nationwide and the clamor for tests and vaccinations grows.
Two acts of racial harassment were committed against black student groups in “recent days,” according to a statement sent to the student body in an email Friday. According to the statement, fried chicken parts were placed in the mailboxes of the Black Students Association and African Students Association. The Office of Student Affairs is now working with the two student organizations to present the incidents to the Notre Dame Security police for an investigation. Vice president for Student Affairs Fr. Thomas Doyle, vice president and associate provost Don Pope-Davis and chair of the Black Students Association Brittany Suggs signed the joint statement. “These acts of harassment are a clear violation of University policy, unacceptable in every way, and will not be tolerated on our campus,” the statement said. In addition to the investigation, student leaders, staff and faculty are developing a “comprehensive response” to the specific incidents that occurred as well as unreported occasions of intolerance, the statement said. This response will take “various forms.” “We seek to use it as a means to educate our community and create awareness of the fact that, even at this point in our national history, hatred and bigotry continue to exist and must be combated,” the statement said. Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to contact NDSP at 574-631-5555.
DormDrinks, a company founded and staffed by Notre Dame students, has officially expanded their services to Saint Mary’s College. DormDrinks sells food and beverages and delivers to students on campus, according to its website. Co-owner and senior Chase Kelly said DormDrinks has been a popular choice for Notre Dame students for the past five years because of its convenience and low prices. Co-owner and senior Norbert McMahon said DormDrinks helps students who do not have cars by delivering products straight to their doors. “One of the primary reasons that DormDrinks was founded is because a lot of students don’t have of cars and can’t pick up food or drinks at their own convenience,” he said. Unlike on-campus convenience stores, DormDrinks provides items in bulk at discounted prices, McMahon said. “Although you can buy food and drinks from Notre Dame’s Huddle or Saint Mary’s Cyber Café, the prices there are dramatically inflated and expensive,” he said. “We make things convenient and keep you from spending a lot of money.” DormDrink’s primary distributor is Sam’s Club, Kelly said. “We have a good relationship with them because we’ve been working them from the start five years ago,” he said. Not only does DormDrinks help quench students’ thirst and hunger, it also gives students job opportunities. DormDrinks services should be well-received by Saint Mary’s students because about 70 percent of their current customers are female, McMahon said. McMahon said students can set up a personal account with DormDrinks. “Either your parents can make an order directly for you or they can put money on your dorm drink account and use those dollars to buy whatever you chose,” he said. As a special promotion, DormDrinks is offering Saint Mary’s students a 25 percent discount off all Nestle Pure Life Water, Kelly said. DormDrinks has also added new items to their list of provided items including workout supplements, cups, pitchers, batteries, cleaning and laundry supplies, McMahon said. “This semester we have expanded our services to try and include everything you might need in the dorms,” he said.
Three students who want the University’s health care plans to cover birth control are intervening in Notre Dame’s lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled Jan. 14 that the female students, who remain anonymous, can participate in the lawsuit, according to a report by the Associated Press.The lawsuit challenges an HHS mandate that required nonprofit religious organizations to start to cover contraceptive services Jan. 1. Paul Browne, the University’s vice president for public affairs and communications, said Jan. 2 that Notre Dame is providing this coverage through its third-party insurance administrator.Americans United for Separation of Church and State is representing the students, according to the organization’s director of communications, Rob Boston.“We felt that, in this case, the voices of the parties who would be most affected by a loss of contraceptive access, largely women, were not being heard, and it was a possibility that their perspective might not be represented,” Boston said. “We filed this motion to intervene on behalf of these students, specifically so that their perspective would be heard by the court.“We believe that if Notre Dame is allowed to deny contraceptives, it could negatively affect students, faculty and staff at the institution, so we feel that the courts should hear from them.”STEPH WULZ | The Observer Americans United’s legal director, Ayesha Khan, who is representing the women, said the result of the lawsuit will have important implications for the students.“They will get funded contraception, or they will continue to have to pay for it out of pocket, and that’s of great importance to them because all three of them would like access to contraception, which they can’t afford right now,” Khan said.Boston said Americans United’s intervention in the lawsuit is about people “losing important medical services.”“The students are really looking at this more as an issue of their access to needed medication, more than they’re looking at it as a religious liberty question. And I think that’s what this is going to come down to in the courts.“Is it a religious liberty matter, or is it a matter of people getting access to medication that they need? … Once those questions are settled, we’ll have some sort of a clearer understanding of how this is going to shake out.”Browne said the lawsuit “is fundamentally about religious liberty, and only incidentally about contraceptive services.”Khan said the students chose to be anonymous because they did not want to release information about intimate aspects of their lives.“They were concerned about retaliation, both from the University and from the larger community,” she said.Tags: Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Contraception, HHS Lawsuit, HHS Mandate, Paul Browne, religious liberty
Based on feedback from students and other members of the campus community, the University’s new Duncan Student Center will offer three dining options, according to a University press release.Star Ginger Asian Grill and Noodle Bar, Modern Market and a coffee house featuring Intelligentsia brand coffee will all be featured in the Duncan Student Center, according to the release.Star Ginger Asian Grill and Noodle Bar will offer dishes inspired by cuisine from Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. Modern Market, created by two Notre Dame graduates, will feature dishes made from scratch and will offer gluten-free and vegan options. The coffee house will serve Intelligentsia coffees, teas, smoothies, crepes, pastries and gelato.Duncan Student Center is set to open in January 2018 and will be on the west side of campus, the release said. Tags: dining, duncan student center
After forming last semester, the Saint Mary’s Black Student Association (BSA) continues to look ahead to further success and growth.Senior and president of BSA MaKayla Roberts said she hopes students feel welcome and embraced at Saint Mary’s.“Our goals for this year involves making the students — specifically the new students — feel more comfortable around campus,” Roberts said.Members of the new club find the bi-weekly meetings create a space of belonging on campus and offer the opportunity for their presence to be recognized, first year and BSA member Ashanti Leach said.“The fact that we have this club for minority students brings us all together [and] helps build community,” Leach said.The BSA hopes to continue to foster this community to support one another and to raise awareness about the issues people of color can face, Roberts said.“We want to help students get more acclimated to being on campus and host multicultural activities,” she said.She said February, given it is Black History Month, is a time the BSA has looked forward to observing with the campus community.“We have a couple of events coming up that we hope have the attendance to heighten awareness for the minority community,” Roberts said.Among the planned events for this month is a Feb. 23 showing of “Detroit” with a panel about the film’s topic of police brutality to follow. Roberts said she hopes to orchestrate other panels and discussions for later this semester.“In our mission statement, we talk about developing a liaison to help African-American students fit in,” Roberts said.Also mentioned in the BSA’s mission statement is the desire to foster “community for African-American students during all of their years at Saint Mary’s.” The continuation of this community is an important part of its organization, Roberts said. Having underclassmen involved in the organization gives Roberts hope the efforts to start the club will pay off, since so many of the members will be returning next year to continue the group’s mission.“A majority of our club is [first years], and we have a few sophomores,” Roberts said. “We’d love to see what we’ve talked about get carried on to the following years while they’re here.”The attendance at BSA meetings has been steady for most of the year, Leach said, but she hopes it will continue to grow.“We want to reach out to larger groups,” Leach said. “The goal is to educate the whole campus.”Tags: Black History Month, Black Student Association, BSA, mission statement
Several campus organizations have joined forces this week to promote tolerance and student well-being with Stand Against Hate Week, an annual awareness week that seeks to both educate about hate and empower individuals to challenge it.The week is hosted by the Gender Relations Center (GRC) and is co-sponsored by several other campus organizations, including Notre Dame Right to Life and PrismND.Senior Matthew Connell, vice president of communications for Notre Dame Right to Life, said the groups are partnering for the event with the intent “to stand alongside marginalized populations and just to advocate for their dignity.”The week will host a series of events aimed to create a dialogue about hate on campus, said senior Devon Harford, president of PrismND.Each event seeks to help “face hate and to not only work to move past it and to teach people how to move past it,” she said.The week kicked off Monday with a panel discussion titled “Is Black Lives Matter a Pro-Life Issue?” hosted by Campus Ministry and Right to Life.Volunteers from the Icarus Project, an organization that aims to promote mental health, visited Tuesday to teach individuals about self-care “through the lens of dealing with traumas,” Harford said.On Thursday evening, a prayer service will be held at the Grotto in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance, which memorializes those who were murdered for their transgender identities. Harford said the names of transgender individuals who have been killed this year will be read aloud during the service.“We’re each going to state their names so that they can not only be remembered but still have an individual voice, even after it’s been taken from them,” she said.Sara Agostinelli, assistant director of LGBTQ student initiatives at the GRC, said the week will come to a close Friday with a banner signing at Fieldhouse Mall.The intent of the pledge is to allow students to unify under the week’s intention and to show their support for victims of hate, Agostinelli said.“[The] banner will hang in LaFortune Student Center after Thanksgiving,” she said.Agostinelli said a central goal of the week is to give individuals strength in the face of intolerance.“I hope that students gain an opportunity to engage both in self-reflection of their identity but also in conversations with their peers and understanding of how [we are] encouraging people to be their full authentic selves,” she said.Harford said she hopes Stand Against Hate week will help others become more aware of systematic hate and the means by which it can be resisted.“Standing up against hate is more than just standing up to people who hate, it’s standing up to hate around you, in your life and in the lives of the people around you,” she said.Tags: Gender Relations Center, Notre Dame Right to Life, PrismND, StaND Against Hate Week
Editor’s Note: Sister Spotlight is an effort by the Saint Mary’s News Department to shed light on the shared experience of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross and Saint Mary’s students. We will be sharing the mission and stories of the sisters in an on-going series.It was Labor Day of 1961 when Sister Joanne Becker boarded a train to Notre Dame to enter the convent of the Sisters of the Holy Cross. A native of Maryland who attended the Academy of the Holy Cross where the Sisters taught, Becker always enjoyed being active.“I was involved in basketball,” she said. “We had a sodality that honored the Blessed Mother and I was the prefect my senior year. The prefect was automatically May Queen. I used to go to the Smithsonian Institute to the old buildings. We’d take a bus and I would just like to spend time there. I don’t know when they started doing those huge fireworks in D.C. but I remember one summer my boyfriend and I had a picnic and saw the fireworks in downtown D.C.”Despite her love for the activities that a large city affords, Becker had no qualms about living in South Bend. “I was part of CSMC — Catholic Student Mission Crusade — and several of us came from the Academy one year to Notre Dame for conference meetings,” she said. “My big attraction was to come over here to Saint Mary’s and see what the convent looked like.”While her parents and boyfriend were less than pleased at her decision to become a Sister of the Holy Cross, Becker was convinced that this was her vocation.“I applied to enter the convent in August of my senior year and I heard nothing until March 17, and then I got my acceptance letter,” Becker said. ”I remember we were doing a musical production at the Academy at the time and I was happy that I could tell all of my friends that I had been accepted.”Becker, along with 10 of her classmates, journeyed to South Bend that fall to enter the convent.“It was just exciting,” she said. ”I was young and there was a group of us that came from my high school. I was getting on a train to come somewhere I had been before. I was excited. We all were excited.”Friendships continued to be an important part of Becker’s life throughout her time as a Sister of the Holy Cross. “The best part of my life was Sister Arlene,” Becker said. ”We met while we were both teaching at Holy Cross grade school. Neither of us had a sister so we adopted each other as sisters. We shared our families.”Their travels during their summer holidays took the two sisters across the United States.“Sometimes we would take stops on the way. We stopped in Hershey, Pennsylvania one time on our way back East,” she said. “One time we flew to California. We have a retirement home in Ventura and so we spent 10 days with our sisters there and just did some great things. We visited some of the missions.”Despite being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 25, Becker maintained an active teaching life, teaching in grade schools throughout Virginia, Texas and Indiana. As her condition required her to work part time, Becker began doing library work in Illinois and then became the librarian at Holy Cross before accepting her current position as congregational archivist at Saint Mary’s. During her time as a math and science teacher in Texas, Becker remembers the moon landing of 1969. “That was a big thing,” she said. “We all watched that on TV. The students were all really excited. I don’t think they could have really appreciated it. I don’t even know that I really appreciated it. It was marvelous. It was exciting.”However, this wasn’t the only historical event that made an impression on Becker.“I think the thing that I remember most is when Kennedy was assassinated,” Becker said. ”I was in a stairway in Le Mans Hall when somebody said what had happened. That was on a Friday. I was still in formation and we hardly ever watched TV but we watched the whole thing.”Becker’s many stories of friendship and teaching testify to the beauty of wholeheartedly living out one’s vocation.“There have been hard times, but then there are wonderful times,” she said. “I loved what I did and it’s been truly wonderful.”Tags: Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, sister joanne becker, sister spotlight, Sisters of the Holy Cross
After the tri-campus community’s first week of classes, many students have seen discrepancies between the protocols in place and practices of the student bodies. The University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College and Holy Cross College have all created a set of guidelines and outlined rules to ensure the safety of everyone on each campus.While the administrations have enacted these policies to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their students and staff, many of the measures rely on the actions of the student body, as outlined by the administrations several times over the past few weeks, including a recent request from SMC interim vice president for student affairs Gloria Roldán Jenkins. The numerous health policies have required students to adjust daily habits. Saint Mary’s senior Jackie Rojas said she has seen students not following the policies. “People just usually forget,” she said. “If they are going quickly to the restroom or quickly out of their room they forget…or sometimes they probably just think, like, no one will see them.” Notre Dame sophomore Nick Crookston also noted seeing students not adhering to health guidelines. “You would think that in the midst of this major pandemic grown adult students could show a level of common sense and concern for our community’s most vulnerable and adhere to the very simple guidelines of handwashing, social distancing and the most simple of them all — wearing a mask,” he said in an interview conducted over text. Crookston also expressed concern whether or not the protocols are enough. “As for the current policies,” he said. “I think the University has done enough to prepare us for the semester, but they are simply not doing enough to keep us here.”Crookston said he thought the University should do more in terms of disciplinary actions against non-compliant members of the community. “If the University wants to keep us here, and most importantly protect the lives of our immunocompromised brothers and sisters, they’re going to have to draw some lines,” he said. “Otherwise, the consequences are going to be much more grave than an OCS strike, and simply put, that’s going to be on the conscience of these irresponsible individuals who can’t seem to see past the tip of their nose and get the big picture of the reality that we are living through together.”Aranza Sierra, a sophomore at SMC and a student at ND through the dual engineering program, expressed similar concern in a text interview. “I believe ND is not doing enough,” she said. “I feel like they should be honest with themselves and should have been honest with themselves before returning everyone on campus.”Sierra questioned the University’s priorities. ”I think Notre Dame should have reevaluated their priorities, because the way it seems and the way it has always seen is that they only want the students’ money, and that’s what it’s always been about.”With the possibility of contracting the virus, Rojas expressed her discomfort at times on campus when students choose to not follow the rules and put everyone at risk. “We obviously have a shared restroom on this hallway and we have seen many girls go out to parties and then they live in this hallway and if they happen to get the virus and they are using the same restrooms as we are it is very concerning because they are putting the whole floor in danger because we are sharing that space,” she said.As of Monday, Aug. 17, Notre Dame has reported 58 confirmed COVID-19 cases and SMC has reported two. Tags: COVID-19, COVID-19 dashboard, covid-19 protocols, Here, Holy Cross College, ND, SMC, Students React