Month: January 2021 Page 1 of 4

Students use new SAO app at Activities Night

first_imgAt Tuesday night’s annual Student Activities Night hosted by the Student Activities Office (SAO) and the Club Coordination Council (CCC), upperclassmen represented more than 300 groups in the Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center, where thousands of students pushed their way through aisles of tables to sign up for extracurricular activities.“We printed 4,000 handouts and we normally go through nearly all of them,” SAO Program Director Paul Manrique said. First-year students in particular had a chance to learn more about opportunities on campus and speak to students who share similar interests.“It’s a little overwhelming, but it’s great that there’s something for everyone,” freshman Sarah Christie said.In conjunction with the activities fair, SAO also launched its new iPhone app Tuesday. The app, available for free on iTunes, “basically allows students to find and contact clubs from their phones,” CCC Special Interest Division Chair and junior Betel Ali said.The app offers an “opportunity to browse clubs and organizations on the go at Activities Night or around campus,” according to the its official iTunes description. It invites users to “create your profile, add your favorite clubs and instantly send out emails to organizations to request more info.”Designed by a student, the SAO app gives students the ability to enter information for their own profiles, including full name, class year and intended major. Users can then search the SAO club database by name or by category to look up specific clubs, which can be added to the student’s “favorites.”Additionally, the app has a feature that uses Mail, Apple’s email program, to send a pre-written message to clubs. Using the information from the student’s profile, the app drafts an email requesting more information about the club; the student can choose to edit the email or to send it as is.“Hopefully it’s going to make Activities Night easier,” senior CCC member Joe McNally said. “If you can’t get to a table you’re looking for because it’s too crowded, you can just double tap on the club’s name in the app and find their information.”Students who used the app said it helped them navigate the hustle and bustle of the fair.“I wish I’d had the app last year,” sophomore Elle Scott said. “… It would definitely have made Activities Night less overwhelming.”David Mattingly, Assistant Director of SAO, said the app has been a work in progress for the last two years.“It wasn’t quite ready yet for last year’s Activities Night, and I wanted to make it usable for more than one night — two hours, really — per year,” he said.The finished product is a tool Mattingly wants students to use year-round.“The hope is that if Joe or Sally Student decided in November that they wanted to get involved, they could reach out to the clubs without having to leave their dorm room,” he said. “It empowers student to send notes directly to the club without having to reach out personally.”Sophomore Mallory Dreyer said the app eliminated the need to fight her way through the perennial crowds in the JACC.“It was nice to have the app because I didn’t feel that well and didn’t want to walk all the way across campus,” Dreyer said. “… I emailed all the clubs I was interested in before activities fair even started.”Some students, however, preferred the experience of Activities Night to the app.“It’s better to get to know the members and see them than to just read about, it’s a more real experience,” freshman Tianyi Tan said.Other students were disappointed that the app is currently only available for iPhone users.“I really appreciate the idea of the app,” freshman Anna Levesque said. “I just can’t use it.”Tags: Activities Night, CCC, SAOlast_img read more

Expert examines international journalism as it confronts ISIS

first_imgLawrence Sheets, the former Moscow Bureau Chief for National Public Radio and current field analyst for the International Crisis Group, discussed the positive and negative consequences of changes made to the field of international journalism in the digital age in a lecture titled “Public Humanities in the Age of ISIS” in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies auditorium.Sheets said the lack of reliable information about ISIS and other international events is indicative of a larger problem: America’s perceived view of international news and the quality of current reporting.“There’s really a dearth of reporting about ISIS,” Sheets said. “I have yet to read any cogent, in-depth explanation as to the origins of this group that seems to appear out of nowhere. With all the foreign correspondents in the world, this is shocking to me.“This speaks to a retrenchment in terms of coverage of international events. There are financial motives certainly at work. But there are also, I believe, issues related to America’s view that foreign news isn’t that important.”Sheets said reporters are being pressured into less complete coverage in order to satisfy the demands of today’s news industry.“Just yesterday, a checkpoint that I pass through frequently was hit and two soldiers were killed and one was injured, but for some reason, it’s as if the conflict doesn’t exist anymore because the dramatic value has lessened, and it’s no longer considered worthy of front page news,” Sheets said. “Editors get bored, and they send people home.”Sheets said news companies are much more enamored with their ratings and numbers of viewers and listeners than they are with their stories’ content and the informative weight news carries.“In addition to the retrenchment in the number of foreign correspondents, we also see a ‘dumbing down’ of coverage,” he said. ”I worked for Reuters for eight years and it was not unusual to write a story that was 75-80 lines. In 1998, harsh rules were instituted that news stories could not be over 65 lines.”“This is predicated on the pretense that people don’t care and that they aren’t going to read to the last line,” Sheets said. “I think this is insulting not just to the American listener, or the American reader, but to the international reader as well. I don’t think the American reader is uninterested in foreign affairs. I think it’s just a misconception caused by the 24/7 media cycle.”Tags: Digital Age, foreign reporting, international journalism, international news, ISIS, news industry, NPR, quality over quantity, quantity over qualitylast_img read more

GRC aspires to redefine campus dating culture

first_imgThe Gender Relations Center (GRC) intends to spend the first week of December redefining the dating culture at the University of Notre Dame through constructive conversation, social media campaigns and featured speakers.“Notre Dating Week is a way to remind college kids that there’s a fun place between the ‘ring by spring’ and casual hookup mentalities,” junior Annie Kuster said.Kuster, an anthropology and international economics major, is one of the coordinators of this year’s event, as well as a peer educator at the GRC.“The GRC and FIRE Starters (GRC peer educators focused on Finding Identity, Relationships and Equality) want to debunk this myth that you have to already be boyfriend/girlfriend-dating to go on dates,” she said. “A lot of the week is just a focus on what it means to be in or start a healthy relationship of any degree.”Another FIRE starter and coordinator, senior Amanda Peña, said she is excited to see how students respond over the course of the week to the events, most of which focus on breaking the ice and moving beyond the so-called friend zone.“There seems to be a culture on campus where students feel there are only two options when it comes to relationships: super serious or some vague, undefined fling,” Peña said. “This week, I think the GRC is hoping to open up the dialogue about the different levels of building relationships — from new friendships to getting students comfortable with the language of dating to entering and maintaining healthy relationships.”To supplement the week’s events, the GRC will keep a blog all week proposing some creative and primarily off-campus date ideas for prospective couples, junior Connor Hayes said.“One of my favorite parts of the week is the date blog run by a few FIRE Starters at the GRC,” Hayes said. “… Given that most students rarely think to go on dates off-campus, I think the blog could be a really unique resource for students.”Hayes said he joined the GRC as a FIRE Starter hoping to change the dialogue after noticing a general unwillingness to talk about gender and sexuality issues on campus.“Notre Dating week, I think, helps create a dialogue on campus surrounding these issues, or at the very least encourages people to begin critically thinking about the relationship culture on campus,” Hayes said.Regina Gesicki, assistant director of Educational Initiatives at the GRC, said she is particularly excited to attend a talk on “the friendzone” tonight at 8 p.m. in 106 O’Shaughnessy.“This interactive talk presented by Emmanuel Cannady of the Gender Relations Center will provide an opportunity to think about common personal and social barriers to dating that might exist at Notre Dame,” Gesicki said. “Students who attend will have a chance to debunk well-worn myths and misconceptions about dating in general and specifically at ND.“Yes, it’s a challenge, and it can be awkward, but it’s important to have authentic conversations about this topic if we’re going to change the dating climate on our campus.”Tags: dating culture, Fire Starters, friend zone, Gender Relations Center, GRC, hookup, peer educator, relationships, Ring by Springlast_img read more

Student senate discusses Dorm Week, Design for America

first_imgStudent senate met Wednesday night to talk about Dorm Week and to learn about human-centered design projects on campus currently being carried out by Notre Dame’s chapter of Design for America (DFA). The meeting opened with a discussion about the first-ever Dorm Week, which took place last week. Several senators criticized the timing of the event, both in the year and the day. McGlinn Hall senator Christina Murphy and Howard Hall senator Amy Smikle both said Dorm Week could be improved by hosting it at a different point in the year. “I think fall, especially football season, is a really busy time for a lot of people and they have to prioritize what they want to do,” Murphy said. “I know we did it because of the weather and all the outdoor activities the dorms wanted to include, but I think we could look at doing it another time when people have more opportunity and desire to look for things to keep them busy.”  “During the day it was a little early,” Smikle said. “For people who have late classes and for people who get out of class and want some down time and don’t really want to go straight from class straight to go dunk someone or go to a cookout, I think it could be beneficial to move it later in the day when people are trying to procrastinate homework or are coming back from dinner and see something on the quad.”Several senators also lodged complaints about communication on all fronts. Badin Hall senator Alexandra Fincher said some hall presidents felt they were not given enough time to come up with events, while Pangborn Hall senator Taylor Still said issues communicating with the Student Activities Office led to the cancellation of Pangborn’s karaoke event because the speakers were never delivered. Several senators also said many students were not sure of what Dorm Week was for, or what they were supposed to be doing. Carroll Hall senator Ryan Heard said a possible miscommunication prevented Carroll from fully participating.  “Technically, Carroll is on South Quad, but I don’t think we were included on South Quad festival day,” Heard said. “Carroll just didn’t really do anything at all for the entire dorm week. So next year if we could get included on South Quad, that’d be great.” After the Dorm Week discussion, John Wetzel, a leader of the DFA chapter, led the student senators in a workshop on human-centered design. The workshop took senators through DFA’s project at Notre Dame to reduce food waste in the dining halls. Wetzel said the DFA model was a good example for the senators to adopt when solving problems in student government. “The human system, such as a government or a university, requires a little bit of a different process than a mechanical, biological or financial system, when you’re addressing the problems that are faced by those communities,” he said. “They’re very contextual, so you need to know what’s going on in your dorm and in the specific population you’re looking at and targeting, or within the university as a whole.”  Wetzel also said the model would help to provide solutions in addition to identifying problems.“Your goal, in general, is to move beyond our discussions and complaints,” he said. “We heard a lot today about feedback on Dorm Week as one example. But you should try to move beyond those into solutions, proposals and constructive dialogue.”Tags: design for america, dorm week, Student government, student senatelast_img read more

Liturgical Choir travels to Austria, Czech Republic for annual tour

first_imgROME — On March 6, the Notre Dame Liturgical Choir found itself in the loft of the Salzburg Cathedral, the 17th-century Austrian church where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was baptized.Joining the parish choir, the Liturgical Choir sang at the German-language Mass. Junior Lara Dulin said the Cathedral, with its large interior and high choir loft, was her favorite church of the trip to come. “I found this one to be the prettiest for its simplicity and many windows with natural light shining in,” she said.The performance at the monastery was the first stop of the choir’s spring  break tour through Central Europe, a trip which took them from the picturesque town of Salzburg to a nearby abbey to the country’s capital, Vienna, to the Czech capital of Prague. The choir has toured internationally since 1995, and this year 53 of the choir’s 70 members made the trip, tour director Ned Vogel said. Vogel said he worked with a travel agency that specializes in trips for religious choirs, which organized performances at the abbey, Salzburg Cathedral and two churches each in Vienna and Prague. The performances ranged in type and length: at the Benedictine Melk Abbey in Austria, the choir performed a 20-minute concert for a small community of monks, while at the historic Church of Our Lady before Tyn in Prague, it gave an hour-long public concert, Vogel said. The choir’s normal repertoire — the songs it sings at Sunday morning Basilica masses — ranges from Renaissance to contemporary songs, and choir president Eric Thompson said the tour performances consisted mainly of those pieces. But the change of venues helped bring some of the pieces to life. “Many of the composers that are important to our choir’s repertoire lived in these cities for much of their lives,” he said.In between the performances was time for sightseeing. Thompson said some choir members went to the Vienna State Opera and the city’s Easter markets, while Vogel said members visited the Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg, which famously housed Maria von Trapp of “The Sound of Music” fame.“Our director, Dr. Andrew McShane, makes a good effort to balance performances and practices with free time to explore,” Thompson, who has been on four choir tours, said. “One of the best things about this trip is that we had more time for sightseeing than on some of our previous tours.”Dulin, who traveled to Europe for the first time with the choir, said she enjoyed the guided tours of each city, which were “overloaded with so much incredible history,” but that the places where they performed were a form of sightseeing themselves.“Traveling to Salzburg and Vienna as a choir is kind of  like traveling to the cradle of civilization,” Dulin said. “We sang at so many beautiful churches, many of which were historic cathedrals in the centers of these old cities. We got to see some beautiful examples of Baroque and Gothic architecture, some of which dated back to as early as the eighth century.”Vogel said choir members got to know each other as well as the cities they visited.“My favorite part of the trip was getting to know people in the choir that I didn’t know very well beforehand,” Vogel said. “I made some really great new friends thanks to this tour.” Tags: choir, choir tours, Liturgical Choir, Salzburg, spring break tour, Viennalast_img read more

Students consider accessibility of campus buildings

first_imgBenjamin Bowman, director of facilities, said all buildings on Saint Mary’s campus are handicap and wheelchair accessible.The College, which was founded in 1844, by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, has several historic buildings, including Le Mans Hall and Holy Cross Hall. “With buildings dating back to 1903, meeting today’s ADA standards are an ongoing challenge,” Bowman said. “Current ADA standards are designed into all new construction and major building renovations.”Senior Bridget Dedelow has cerebral palsy and an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that provides her with academic accommodations, but in terms of housing, she said she has done room selection with all the rest of the student body. Her first year at Saint Mary’s, Dedelow said she was in a room in McCandless Hall with a full bathroom. She now lives in LeMans Hall and said the Office of Residence Life and Community Standards has been helpful, but she doesn’t get special privileges.“I chose Saint Mary’s because of the campus size, but it was one of the schools I didn’t visit.”When Dedelow went on visits at state schools, she said those campus were difficult to navigate. Despite Saint Mary’s small campus, Dedelow said there are ways Saint Mary’s could improve the experience of a student with a physical disability. While handicapped parking spots are available near the Cushwa-Leighton Library, these spots are not for student use. Dedelow said she received a ticket when she parked outside of the library.South Bend’s winter weather also creates challenges for students with disabilities on Saint Mary’s campus, Dedelow said. “I can pretty much maneuver on my own, it’s more like getting around campus, especially in the winter,” she said. “Even though I have adequate balance, the slippery sidewalks can be difficult.”Dedelow said she thinks it’s important for there to be more open dialogue about disability on the College campus.“I wish I would have advocated more for disability services and support, physically and mentally,” she said. “Sometime you just need to talk to someone because you’re tired of being of disabled. It’s odd to say, but … it takes a mental and physical toll on your body.”Angela Athletic Facility and Wellness Center, scheduled to open fall 2017, will be more accessible for students and visitors in wheelchairs, Bowman said.“The new Angela building will meet all current ADA codes,” Bowman said. “There will be ramps at both the north and south entrances. Within the building, there will be an elevator and proper restroom facilities to accommodate ADA needs.”Bowman said the College continues to budget capital dollars toward site improvements for accommodating ADA requirements related to sidewalks and roadways.Tags: accessibility, disability, SMClast_img read more

Notre Dame crafts new scholarship for socioeconomically disadvantaged students

first_imgTags: fighting irish initiative, Hank Aaron, Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Scholarship Under-represented, socioeconomically disadvantaged students at Notre Dame will have the chance to be awarded a new scholarship, the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Scholarship, the University announced Friday.As part of the Fighting Irish Initiative for student aid, members of the Notre Dame family made the generous gift in honor of Aaron, a baseball icon who overcame racism in his career, according to a statement from the University. “The Fighting Irish Initiative reflects our steadfast commitment to ensure that the talented students admitted to Notre Dame can attend and find a supportive home here,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the statement. “Hank Aaron embodies the determination of all those who seek to fulfill their dreams, and we are grateful for the work he and his wife, Billye, have done — and are doing — to help so many young people pursue fulfilling lives.”According to the statement, the Fighting Irish Initiative goes toward the total cost of attendance for low-income students at the University, covering tuition and fees, room and board, books, transportation and personal expenses, such as warm winter clothing, laptops and tickets to cultural and athletic events on campus.“The Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Scholarship will make it possible for us to enhance the support and services that we offer to our undergraduates through the Fighting Irish Initiative,” vice president for student affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding said in the statement. “I am extremely grateful for Hank and Billye Aaron’s leadership in helping our students achieve their dreams of a Notre Dame education.”last_img read more

Students serve communities through Urban Plunge program

first_imgOver winter break, many Notre Dame students participated in the Urban Plunge through the Center for Social Concerns (CSC). The Urban Plunge is a three-day program in which students immerse themselves in the challenges facing marginalized people in cities across the country. Most students participate in programs either in or near their hometowns. Photo courtesy of Cecilia Hall Students who traveled to St. Louis as part of the Urban Plunge connected with local community members.Melissa Marley Bonnichsen, the CSC’s social concerns seminars director, described the Urban Plunge as a “101” for students.“We usually have students that have either a good amount of service in high school or have had the opposite, maybe nothing,” Marley Bonnichsen said. “And they are looking to do something very positive over break or try out this program.”The goals of the Urban Plunge are twofold, Marley Bonnichsen said. The first, she said, is to encourage students to engage with the challenges facing their local communities.“The assumption is that either they are very familiar with services offered to people on the margins there, or this might be the first time they have considered what poverty looks like in their backyard,” Marley Bonnichsen said.Marley Bonnichsen explained that the second objective aims to educate participants on the role the Church plays in combating poverty.“How do faith based organizations, and-or non-faith based organizations that have that intentionality, how is that working? How are they responding? What does that look like on the ground?” she said.The plunges are organized around cities, and Marley Bonnichsen said because engaging locally is a large emphasis, many programs are centered around places where there is a large population of Notre Dame students. Several of the plunges are closely associated with Notre Dame alumni clubs, while others are more centered on independent groups, she said. This winter, there were around 30 Urban Plunge programs offered. Cities with active Notre Dame Clubs tend to have the largest programs, Marley Bonnichsen said, including Chicago, Los Angeles and Cincinnati.Many of the issues students examine relate to economic conditions, such as housing and homelessness. However, Marley Bonnichsen said, sometimes sites look at other issues that can affect economic conditions.“The variance is wide. Last year in Atlanta, they looked at incarceration,” she said. “They not only talked about poverty, but in their immersion, they also ended up seeing what was going on at the local jail. We will also have food justice issues. One of the Boston sites looks at … access to food, what it means to have food deserts, etc.”Urban Plunge also involves academic credit for the spring semester. Marley Bonnichsen said students participate in a seminar before they leave for break to prepare for their immersion and participate in several follow-up sessions when they return.“Because students are coming from all over the place, but for many of them this might be a new thing, it’s really important that students don’t go into a situation thinking they know the answers or bring in a lot of criticism or judgement,” she said. “So we do some educating around the experience of immersion … and understanding what it means to have a connection to people.”Ultimately, participants will spend approximately three days living in the community they are serving, sharing in its experiences and hardships.Sophomore Cecilia Hall participated in a program in St. Louis over break. She and four other students spent time touring and working in The Ville, a historically African-American neighborhood in St. Louis, she said.“Looking back, this Urban Plunge experience was very impactful for me,” Hall said in an email. “Growing up in a small town, I was sheltered from many of the problems that those who live in inner city neighborhoods like The Ville in St. Louis face on a daily basis.”Hall particularly emphasized the importance of trying to understand the community’s problems while also stressing the connection to Catholic teaching.“Rather than trying to come into an impoverished neighborhood like this one and fix all of its problems, it was important and very impactful for us to go and meet people to hear their stories and simply to be with them,” she said. “One of the themes of Catholic Social Teaching is ‘Option for the Poor and Vulnerable,’ and I believe that we were able to carry this out by simply being with the community for the short time that we were there in St. Louis.”On the whole, Marley Bonnichsen said there are four major aims of the program: giving students a sense of the “reality” of the situation in their hometown, helping students reach a better understanding of the struggles of people suffering on the margins, introducing students to the people responding to such challenges and helping students develop into “active citizens.”“The program reflects the essence of Notre Dame students. Notre Dame students deeply want to do great things for others. They want to serve,” Marley Bonnichsen said. “That’s the spirit we get the students into the program with. … We’ve seen a lot of great change in students launching from that one moment. It’s a great gift we are really privileged to offer.”Tags: Catholic Social Teaching, Center for Social Concerns, poverty, service, Urban Plungelast_img read more

Student government looks to improve campus safety at Notre Dame

first_imgCampus safety and the well-being of students are always a major concern for a university and its governing bodies. Now with new developments in federally suggested sexual assault procedures, considerations regarding the efficacy of the blue light emergency system and greater GreeNDot awareness, student government has worked with the Notre Dame administration Security Police to increase student safety.Student body vice president and senior Corey Gayheart said student government was concerned about the Department of Education’s push to change Title IX procedures regarding sexual assault. He said student government hopes Notre Dame makes the right policy decision regarding student safety.“We’re planning on obviously meeting with administrators if Notre Dame will be changing any of its policies based on the changes,” Gayheart said. “I think our biggest issue is we want to make sure that Notre Dame holds itself to the highest standard possible and make sure that we are very in-tune with what is the best practice for dealing with a situation.”Student body president and senior Gates McGavick said while student government may not be able to make any final decisions regarding Notre Dame’s policy, it will do all it can to advocate for the student body.“Whatever Notre Dame ends up doing, of course, is one of those places where student government can’t really just stop the course of what [University President] Fr. [John] Jenkins decides,” McGavick said. “But any decision he makes that we don’t think matches the standard that Notre Dame needs to have towards its students, we will loudly and aggressively advocate for the student body’s feelings on it.”McGavick and Gayheart campaigned last spring with the goal of reviewing, improving and possibly adding to Notre Dame’s blue lights, a system of emergency call boxes placed around the perimeter of campus and in other strategic locations. However, McGavick said their aspirations have been curbed since learning about the cost and effectiveness of the system.“[The administration] indicated to us that the approach of other institutions and the blue light in general as a system is being scaled back,” McGavick said. “ … We were under the impression that blue lights were, in the view of campus safety departments, the most effective way to fight issues like sexual assault … but the way we have them right now, [blue lights] aren’t being used.”Notre Dame Security Police chief Keri Kei Shibata said the common use of cell phones has led to a significant decline in the use of the blue light system.“[Blue lights] started long ago, before people had cell phones, and now that almost everyone has a cell phone it’s not seen as being as important of a safety feature,” Shibata said. “We may get one call a semester that’s an actual call of someone needing something, at the most.”McGavick said while a large expansion of blue lights does not seem possible right now, student government is still hoping to add a call box near the recently completed Walsh Family Hall.Aside from this strategic addition, other options are also being looked at, McGavick said.“For [the administration], it’s trying to justify the logistical and financial cost for what they see as not a big return because they’re not used that much,” McGavick said. “We’re interested in going in the direction of more creative solutions like a campus safety app.”Shibata also said Notre Dame Security Police will continue adding blue lights to the campus perimeter and in isolated areas as the campus expands.Having inherited a GreeNDot system that seemed to reach a “critical point of name recognition” during the 2017-18 academic year, McGavick said student government is looking for more ways to get students GreeNDot trained. These new initiatives will possibly include GreeNDot training sessions taking place directly in dorms and encouraging students who live in “party rooms” to receive training.McGavick and Gayheart also said they have received interest from local bars and restaurants about the possibility of creating a program similar to GreeNDot for their employees, but financial obstacles regarding the payment of employees during non-business hours have made the process difficult.What is clear about the future of GreeNDot at Notre Dame is it needs to be integrated into the common curriculum and culture, Gayheart said.“[GreeNDot] needs to be a part of the institutionalized culture here,” he said. “GreeNDot shouldn’t have to be its own separate campaign; it should be part of the conversation and culture from day one.”One of student government’s early campus safety initiatives this year was the Campus Safety Summit. While the event is held by campus’ various safety organizations each year, student government made a concerted effort to get students to attend what became one of the best-attended summits in recent years.Now, Gayheart said, student government is planning to hold a second Campus Safety Summit in the spring, where he hopes students will be more able to speak directly with campus safety organizations.“We might shift [the Summit] to more of a club fair type event — a little bit more conversational and more interactive, less people talking to the students and more people talking with [them],” he said.While student government is looking to tackle a variety of issues related to campus safety, Shibata said Notre Dame maintains a relatively safe campus overall.“We don’t really have a lot of crime at all, and certainly not a lot of violent crime,” Shibata said. “Our most common crime is theft, and it’s usually of unattended properties. … Our most common violent crime on campus is sexual assault, and those in more recent years have been reported more to Title IX than to the police.”Shibata also said student government has formed a strong relationship with campus security.“They’ve been very engaged,” Shibata said. “It’s helpful when students help communicate with students. Students tend to listen to them more than they might listen to me or our officers. So, helping to put out safety messages has been really helpful. … It’s been a really good relationship.”Tags: 2018 Student Government Insider, blue lights, Campus Safety, Campus Safety Summit, greeNDot, sexual assault, Student government, Title IXlast_img read more

Notre Dame’s annual film festival to feature works exploring personal stories

first_imgCourtesy of Ted Mandell In “Regular Poor Asian,” student filmmaker Kenny Xu, who contributed to two films that will be featured in the festival, explores Asian representation in the entertainment industry.All of the films created by students in film, television and theatre (FTT) production classes over the previous spring and fall semesters were considered for the film festival. Out of an estimated 75 projects, 12 films were chosen to be featured.Ted Mandell, film professor and faculty organizer of the annual festival, chooses the films to be included in the festival with input from the other faculty members who teach production classes.Mandell said he looks to include films representing a variety of genres, but time constraints also affect the films chosen. The films range from four to 14 minutes, and include works across varying levels of experiences — from introductory to to advanced production classes.This year, Mandell said, some students have taken a more personal take on the topics they are covering.“There’s some soul searching going on in some of these films,” Mandell said. “I would hope the student body sees a bit of themselves in many of the films.”Hopkirk’s film in particular aims to spark a conversation to normalize the idea that perfection is unattainable — which is OK, she said.The title of her film, “Don’t Be Afraid to F*** Up,” is a nod to one of the main rules of improv comedy by which Hopkirk and her friends in the Humor Artists improv comedy group abide. Although Hopkirk initially began interviewing her friends in the Humor Artists to feature their personal experiences at the University, she decided she needed to take a different approach to her film.“I realized it wasn’t going to be a great story if I just showed I was capable of turning on a camera and interrogating people,” Hopkirk said.Filming herself in front of the Dome, Hopkirk decided to discuss her own insecurities and worries openly and honestly, and that footage is woven throughout her film.“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done at this school,” Hopkirk said. “It’s hard enough to admit something to yourself. It’s even harder to say it out loud and in public, and then in public in front of a camera, and then show that to your professor and to your classmates.”Senior Kenny Xu, who worked on two films which will be featured in the festival, also took on a more personal topic with his documentary, “Regular Poor Asian.” The film features comedian Michael Nguyen, known for his podcast “Asian not Asian” and explores Asian representation in the entertainment industry.“I hope it makes people focus on Asian people, so people are more aware of a whole race of people in America that you don’t see that often in media or see in unconventional roles, but I also know you can’t tackle those issues in 10 minutes,” Xu said.While Xu flew to New York to meet Nguyen for the documentary, senior Kilian Vidourek traveled to Portland, Oregon, to interview a musician who turns old cassettes and tape recorders into music. Vidourek said he has been following the musician — who goes by the stage name Amulets — for the past few years, and was interested in getting a glimpse into his daily life and creative process.“I want people to see how something so beautiful can come from the recycled and reimagined,” Vidourek said. “I want people to feel how inspired and awestruck I always was when listening to his music.”As a number of the featured films in the past go on to be selected for national and international film festivals, Mandell said the festival serves as a launching pad for students to pursue careers in the entertainment industry, and many filmmakers go on to careers at Netflix, Dreamworks, Universal and more.“We’re trying to promote creativity in our students and I think you’ll see that in all these films,” Mandell said. “To be creative and have a creative vision is really important no matter what career you go into.”The annual student film festival begins Friday at 7 p.m, and continues on Saturday and Sunday with showings at 3 and 7 p.m. on both days. Tickets are $7 for the public, $5 for faculty, staff and seniors and $4 for students.Tags: Department of Film Television and Theatre, Documentary, Film, Notre Dame Student Film Festival After years of trying to remain behind the camera, senior Gretchen Hopkirk forced herself into the spotlight quite literally, setting up a tripod in front of the Golden Dome.Looking inward for her subject matter, Hopkirk decided to produce a film discussing her relationship with her friends, the University and herself, which was chosen to be featured in Notre Dame’s annual student film festival this weekend (Editor’s Note: Hopkirk is a video producer for The Observer).last_img read more

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