Kroc panel analyzes situation in Middle East

first_imgThe protests in Egypt mark a moment in history that will have far-reaching effects for the entire Middle East, three experts said in a Wednesday panel discussion. The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies presented the panel, “Democratic Revolution in the Middle East? The Rise of Civil Resistance in Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon and Beyond,” in response to the unrest currently sweeping the region. The panel featured Emad Shahin, associate professor of Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding, Asher Kaufman, associate professor of history and Peace Studies and David Cortright, director of Policy Studies. Shahin said the movements in Tunisia and Egypt are grassroots in nature. “Young people began to use social media to mobilize the population,” Shahin said. “There was an unprecedented show of public interest and everything was non-violent, peaceful.” Economic issues and human values also caused the protests in Egypt, Shahin said. Only 200 individuals controlled 90 percent of the national wealth in Egypt, according to Shahin. “An alliance between state bureaucracy and business cronies created corruption, producing lots of losers and very few winners,” he said. Kaufman discussed the political landscape of Lebanon and its relationship to the rest of the Middle East. “What we’re seeing now in Lebanon is part of the larger picture,” he said. “The ability of Lebanon to really have an effect on the Middle East is miniscule and the events in Egypt will certainly have more dramatic effects.” Kaufman said the events in Egypt might change the sense of political stagnation that pervades the Middle East. “We’re witnessing an historical moment of cataclysmic powers,” he said. “We’ll have to wait and see where it takes us.” Cortright discussed the non-violent nature of the protests in Egypt. “This is perhaps the most dramatic expression of people power in history,” he said. “Never before have people in a region mobilized in such numbers.” Cortright said the protestors’ non-violent approach sends a positive message. “We can see that the means of non-violent resistance are an effective tool for social change and are creating an entirely new politics in Egypt and throughout the region,” he said.last_img read more

Professor calls killing of al-Qaeda leader ‘illegal’

first_imgThe killing of al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki by the U.S. military was illegal, international law Professor Mary Ellen O’Connell said Tuesday. Awlaki, a radical Islamist cleric, was killed in an air strike Friday after hiding in Yemen for the past four years, according to a University press release. The CIA and U.S. Joint Special Operations Command carried out the strike. O’Connell said the killing was not within the rights of the military because it occurred outside of a combat zone. “Today under international law, the U.S. is involved in armed conflict hostilities in Afghanistan and Libya,” O’Connell said. “Those are the only two places where the U.S. military is permitted to carry out the kind of killing we saw in Yemen.” Aside from armed conflict, the only permissible reason to take a human life is the immediate need to save another life, she said. O’Connell added that while a person can interpret the word “immediate” in different ways, the U.S. has a great deal of experience in exercising the use of force and should know the meaning of the word in practice. “That standard is well-known. It’s the standard that governs police forces,” she said. “A policeman doesn’t get to say, ‘Well, I’m going to kill this person because I think in another week or month they might help another person attempt to carry out the bombing of an airplane.’” O’Connell said the CIA became more active in Yemen in 2003, where previously the FBI had maintained a close relationship with the Yemeni government as part of a joint terrorism investigation. In recent years, however, the U.S. has been building a combative presence in Yemen, she said. “In the course of about 10 years, we went through a big change in Yemen from the FBI and civilian law enforcement, which is what I think is appropriate, to a CIA and military operation,” O’Connell said. O’Connell said the CIA is not the U.S. military and does not have any right to be involved in armed conflict killing, although the agency has become more directly involved in combative efforts abroad since the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001. “It was a direct result of the decision to respond to 9/11 differently than we have ever responded to terrorist attacks before,” she said. O’Connell also criticized the U.S. for the number of civilian casualties in Friday’s raid. While governments tolerate the unintentional killing of civilians in a combat zone, O’Connell said there is no such collateral damage rule for peacetime law enforcement operations. “If there is a sniper trying to get the hostage-taker, he can’t drop a bomb and kill the hostages along with the hostage-taker,” she said. An expert from the United Nations responsible for investigating extrajudicial killing, the killing of individuals by a government without legal proceedings, will review the actions of the U.S., O’Connell said. “The U.S. was already condemned for a very similar act in Yemen in 2002, and the current U.N. special rapporteur will be looking into this action,” she said. “I expect that he will also criticize the U.S., and that a number of governments will probably say something as well.” O’Connell said many international leaders will avoid speaking out against the killing because they are distracted by the economy or will not risk their relationship with the U.S. “But that does not mean we did the right thing,” she said. “In my view, the U.S. should always do the right thing — we should always promote the rule of law.” O’Connell said Awlaki should have been arrested and put on trial, after which he would have likely been sent to prison. “I’m a Catholic, and I believe the right to life is very precious and has to be taken very seriously,” she said. “I don’t think that happened here.”last_img read more

University bolsters local economy

first_imgNotre Dame’s recently released 2013 Economic Impact Report indicates that the partnership between the University and local communities is evolving and thriving. In a statement, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said maintaining this relationship is crucial for both parties. “The relationship between our city and Notre Dame is at an all-time high, and these numbers help tell the story,” Buttigieg said. “The local economy benefits hugely from the role of the university. “That said, I look forward to partnering to find even more and bigger ways to grow our economy around the constant activity and important research that takes place at Notre Dame.” The Economic Impact Report, released Sept. 25 and based on data from 2012, puts the University’s total economic impact per year in St. Joseph County at $1.167 billion. Student, visitor and University spending contributed to that amount, associate vice president for public affairs Tim Sexton said. “When you put out a number of over $1.1 billion of economic impact, I mean that’s huge,” he said. “But it’s also huge because in order for us to have this kind of an impact, we need … the support of the community. “This is a two-way street. We can’t do a lot of what we do here at the University without the local community.” Jessica Brookshire, associate director for public affairs, led a University team that worked with New York-based consulting group Appleseed to collect and analyze data from more than 80 individuals on campus, as well as sources off campus such as Visit South Bend Mishawaka. The University publishes a report every five years through a process that takes more than seven months, Brookshire said. “One thing that was really cool was to go back and look at the one from five years ago and see what was in it,” Brookshire said. “Back then Eddy Street Commons was an idea, basically. An artist rendering was the picture. It was not in existence, neither was Compton Family Ice Arena.” Sexton said the University added 700 jobs, and construction costs averaged $95 million per year for the last five years. Money spent for research increased by 92 percent since the previous report, he said. “Being the fact that the University has its five goals and one of those goals is a preeminent research institution, it will not surprise me to see the research dollar continue to climb and continue to grow going forward in the next five years,” Sexton said. “I think that that construction component again will be extremely significant.” Appleseed president Hugh O’Neill, who worked on the Economic Impact Report this year and in 2007, said the findings about research set Notre Dame apart from other universities that have teamed up with the company. “We’ve worked with a number of different universities that have larger research programs and higher total research spending than Notre Dame does but there aren’t many that have been as successful as Notre Dame has in expanding its research activities in the past 10 years,” he said. Sexton said the report incorporated data from the Center for Social Concerns and Engage ND to measure volunteer work and offered another insight into the town and gown dynamic. “When it comes to the amount of service hours, we put that at 511,000 hours that was contributed by our students, by our faculty, by our staff,” he said. “I will not be surprised to see those service hours continue to grow, because that’s just who we are as a university. I have no doubt that that will occur.” Brookshire said the report includes football weekend statistics that reflect the high amount of visitors to South Bend and Mishawaka and the economic boon those visitors offer. “It’s about $18 million per home game, and that’s very significant to businesses locally and people that are thinking about opening business here in town,” she said. The economic impact of visitors to campus in general was markedly different from that of most other universities, O’Neill said. “Notre Dame is not alone but is at the high end of the range in terms of the extent to which the University is bringing money and resources into the South Bend area from all over the country and the extent to which that money has been spent locally,” he said. “That really enhances and strengthens the University’s contribution to the local economy.” Visit South Bend Mishawaka communications and public relations coordinator Lindsey Talboom said the increased economic activity of the University and its visitors as well as collaborations between the University, South Bend and Mishawaka have created an environment full-time residents and visitors alike can enjoy. “I can only see it growing really,” she said. “There’s clearly an investment that’s bridging the divide.” Sexton emphasized the importance of maintaining that connection from the University perspective. “The University of Notre Dame and our relationship with our local community is paramount and I think that this report does a great job of showing how we are intertwined for the positive,” he said. “The success of the University is directly correlated to the success of the local community.”last_img read more

Ban the Box de-stigmatizes ex-convict employment

first_imgOn Friday afternoon in the Coffee House of Geddes Hall, Carolina Arroyo, associate director of undergraduate studies and a member of the political science department, joined Cheryl Ashe, founder of Ex-Offenders Information and Referral Services for a lecture as part of the Higgins Lunchtime Labor raps. The lecture, titled “Ban the Box: One Step Towards Re-Entry for Ex-Offenders,” centered on a recent campaign in South Bend to encourage employers to leave questions about criminal records off job applications.“People that are released from prison and are trying to get back into society, if they can have jobs … won’t return to prison.” Arroyo said. Seeking to dispel the stereotype of “once a criminal always a criminal,” Arroyo referred to former criminals as “returning citizens.”The Ban the Box initiative seeks to remove the criminal record box from applications of all kinds so returning citizens are judged on skill and possibly given the chance to interview.Foreseeing common concerns, Arroyo quickly assured that the campaign, “does not require any employer to hire a returning citizen. … [It] does not prohibit an employers from asking the question. It simply asks employers to wait to give the person the chance to have the interview and then we can proceed.”Arroyo said an interview gives returning citizens the opportunity to explain their criminal record and their current rehabilitation.“This way people are not seen as criminal not criminal,” she said.Ashe encouraged employers to perform background checks because it will show not only convictions but arrests.“If you notice [the returning citizen] hasn’t been arrested after that last crime four years ago, then you’re pretty safe hiring that person,” Ashe said. “Why? Because trust me, any self-respecting drug dealer is going to have been arrested in four years if they’re still using.”Ashe said the passage of the legislation for the Ban the Box initiative came surprisingly easily.“Very much to my surprise, … it sailed through without even a formal vote. … All of the council members agreed … and we got Ban the Box,” she said.While the problem of hyperincarceration is a complicated issue that needs a lot more, Arroyo said Ban the Box is a step towards reducing the amount of repeat offenders.“We know for a fact that approximately 600 people are released from prison every year and return to St. Joseph County,” she said. “So we need to help them. They need jobs, they want jobs, and it’s an economic bonus for the county and for all of us as tax payers to have them be employed.“It benefits all of us because if they don’t have jobs they have to find a way to make a living, so they’re going to return to what they were doing before.”Tags: Ban the Box, Carolina Arroyo, Cheryl Ashe, returning citizen, St. Joseph Countylast_img read more

Parents visit SMC campus

first_imgSaint Mary’s kicked off its premiere First Year Parents’ Weekend, hosted by the Student Government Association (SGA) and Student Affairs, Friday evening.Freshman class president Caroline Koenig said the weekend was arranged for freshmen and their parents in order to bring families together sooner in the school year.“A lot of people felt as though it was too long to wait until Sophomore Parents’ Weekend to see students’ parents,” she said.Saint Mary’s president Carol Ann Mooney addressed attendees at dinner, which Koenig said was exciting for the student body. Mooney called the transition between first year and sophomore year a critical one, filled with a lot of important decisions, Koenig said.“This is the first time Saint Mary’s has hosted a weekend like this for first year parents,” Mooney said. “We were talking about the fact that we had events for parents every year, and we thought the first year parents’ event was orientation.“But then we realized that a lot happens between the date of orientation and the time we host Sophomore Parents’ [Weekend]. … It was a long time between seeing you and welcoming you to campus, so we decided to make a change.”The events scheduled for the weekend included different programs for parents and students to attend, Koenig said.“We decided to keep the events simple because it is the first First Year Parents’ Weekend,” she said. “We started off with check-in on Friday, and then on Saturday there were a number of information sessions as well as Riedinger House tours.”Programming included presentations on study abroad and the various programs offered at Saint Mary’s, Koenig said. Panel sessions featured professors and alumnae speaking about their experiences at the College and after graduation.“The main event of the weekend was a big dinner at the Hilton on Saturday night,” she said. “This included a DJ, a photo booth for students and parents to take pictures and the president of the College.”Koenig said the ultimate purpose of the event was to give parents the opportunity to get involved with the students after the completion of their first semester.“I hope that everyone had fun with their parents, and [their parents] got to see campus a little differently,” she said. “We’ve been here six months, and a lot has changed.”Tags: First Year Parents’ Weekend, freshman year, Student Government Associationlast_img read more

2016 panel asks ‘Are we ready for President Trump?’

first_imgVantage Point Radio, an NPR production based at Notre Dame, recorded “Are We Ready for President Trump: A Panel About the 2016 Elections” at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on Tuesday night. The panel discussed current developments in the primary elections and consisted of three Notre Dame professors: Luis Fraga, the Arthur Foundation Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership, Dianne Pinderhughes, professor of Africana studies, David Campbell, the Packey J. Dee Professor of American Democracy and chair of the political science department, alongside moderator Agustín Fuentes, professor of anthropology at Notre Dame.The panel first discussed the Republican primary field, one of the largest in recent memory and with an unusually wide variety of backgrounds possessed by its candidates.The current primary field is historically unusual for reasons beyond its large size and mixture of different backgrounds, Campbell said. Historically, the Democrat field tended to be the more fractious one, while the Republicans exhibited greater order and cohesion, Campbell said.“In the past, Republicans have had a tendency to coalesce around a front-runner and to nominate someone who has run before. … In this cycle, it’s exactly the opposite,” Campbell said.The strategy of the Republicans in terms of appealing to minorities has shifted this cycle, as they have begun to accommodate some variation in the population, demonstrated by the relatively high diversity of the Republican field this primary, Pinderhughes said.Touching on recent incendiary comments made about Muslims by Republican candidates, Pinderhughes said the attitude of many minorities towards the Republican party has grown more negative over the past few electoral cycles, and this may have a negative impact on the electoral prospects of the GOP.“In general, Republicans are seen as so far to the right they’re kind of out of the realm of consideration. … The Republicans are positioning themselves way out beyond the possibility of being able to sustain their hold on the presidency for some time to come,” he said.The notion that, at least for the next five or so years, the Republicans could win general elections by relying only on white voters may also be obviated by increasing turnout from minority, and particularly Latino, voters, Campbell said.The Democratic field attracted less attention, with its much smaller and Trump-less slate providing less fodder for discussion.“The Democrats … theirs are actually all elected officials, and with experience, so they’re a very different field,” Pinderhughes said.The panel discussed the members of the Democratic primary, with the majority of the attention split between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, all members seemingly agreeing when Fraga said it was basically a two-person race.Hillary Clinton is likely to remain a significant contender thanks to her tremendous resources and high rates of name recognition, even though Sanders has tapped into Democratic constituents Clinton did not, Fraga said.“Bernie Sanders … has generated attention the way that Obama did in 2008,” Pinderhughes said.Late entrants to the Democrat field were unlikely though not impossible, Campbell said.“In the case of Joe Biden, he would face a huge set of obstacles entering the race as late as he would be,” Campbell said.The panel’s comments on Trump were similarly skeptical.While Fuentes said Trump has been in control of the race, Campbell said while his large lead in the polls may seem imposing, at this stage of the race, we shouldn’t put too much stock in polls but rather in endorsements.“He is his own man, and inimitable. … In a sense, he’s sort of a perfect storm,” Campbell said, rejecting the notion of a comparison to Trump.Pinderhughes said Trump is good at hitting the sensitive spots of American public life, though she doubts Trump believes everything he says. Concurring, Campbell said Trump doesn’t seem to have a coherent ideology, and his supporters appear not to care.“Except for the position of immigration, where his position has been very clear,” Fraga said.Though the panel expressed skepticism on the odds of a Trump electoral victory, Fraga made one final point that drew no objections.“Nighttime television will blossom if we have a Trump presidency,” Fraga said. Tags: election 2016, vantage pointlast_img read more

Morris Inn receives Historic Hotels of America designation

first_imgThe National Trust for Historic Preservation announced Wednesday that the Morris Inn had been selected as a member of the Historic Hotels of America program. According to a University press release, the Morris Inn was selected for “preserving and maintaining its historic integrity, architecture and ambiance.”A hotel must be more than 50 years old and be designated by the Secretary of the Interior to achieve the status of a historic hotel, the press release stated. “It is a privilege to deliver our signature higher degree of hospitality on this storied campus in support of the University of Notre Dame, and our entire team is thrilled to join the Historic Hotels of America family in our shared mission to celebrate each property’s unique sense of place,” hotel manager Joe Kurth said in a statement to the University.The Hotel was dedicated in 1952 as a gift from alumnus Ernest M. Morris.Tags: Historic Hotels of America, Morris Inn, National Trust for Historic Preservationlast_img read more

Students reflect on Notre Dame’s political climate one year after 2016 election

first_imgErin McCauliffe Students protest outside of DeBartolo Hall last November in response to the 2016 presidential election, in which President Donald Trump emerged victorious. Since then, student groups have continued to unite in an effort to defend rights and liberties they consider the current presidential administration to be threatening.“It’s amazing, to some extent, how engaged angry people still seem to be,” professor of political science Geoffrey Layman said. “Typically what happens is in the years in between presidential elections, especially in the year right after one, is people disengage, and they pay attention to sports, family and church — stuff besides politics. But I think the level of anger and political engagement that’s around the country right now is remarkable.”While the country works toward healing its ideological divide, Notre Dame’s campus is doing the same.Junior Christian McGrew, president of BridgeND, said there is still an underlying tension on Notre Dame’s campus a year later due to a lack of communication between both sides of the ideological divide.“People are walking on eggshells,” he said. “People are tense and don’t know how to talk about stuff because a lot of people still are in shock. So we need a forum and a way to be able to talk about these very difficult issues while not ignoring an opinion of a large section of America.”Despite this tension, the feelings of panic some students felt after the election have largely dissipated. Junior Jeffrey Murphy, treasurer of the College Republicans, said while he doesn’t think students’ opinions of Trump have changed, he does sense less fear from those who disapprove of Trump and his policies.“I think most people that hate him still hate him; I think most people that love him still love him,” Murphy said. “I think something that at least I feel like is different is … I think there’s less of an apocalyptic feeling in terms of campus energy. Obviously I would say lives have changed a ton in this presidency, but the way students are talking about it, I don’t think [it’s] as much of a doomsday event.”Senior Emily Garrett, who wrote an open letter in response to the University administration’s initial decision to roll back contraception coverage through its health insurance providers, said she believes students have channeled any initial fear into action.“I feel like the mood on campus back then was definitely a little bit of panic mixed with uncertainty, at least for the more liberal students,” she said. “ … We’ve kind of grown out of panic. We’re starting to respond more effectively. We’re kind of organizing more effectively than we were in the beginning. So it’s more of just an organized front against all these political attacks than the original kind of despair and fear that we felt right at the turn of the election.”Junior Gargi Purohit, a beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and president of the Student Coalition for Immigration Advocacy (SCIA), said she has personally seen anger on campus become “fuel” for action.“Right now, there’s just a lot of anger, and I think anger is good because anger fuels people,” she said. “Anger fuels people to really demand what they need. So right now, I just see a lot of justified anger from communities, and they’re using their anger to fuel them for these massive movements.”For some students, such as junior Sabrina Barthelmes, being a student at Notre Dame has changed their political alignment. Barthelmes said she grew up in a very conservative family, but after becoming more engaged with social issues at Notre Dame, she began to rethink her priorities.“Coming here, I realized I care a lot about the social issues, and I lean much more liberal for social issues,” she said. “I feel like now I’m actually getting the reverse, where I don’t really talk about the fiscal issues. To be honest, I know what Republicans think, I know what Democrats think, but I don’t know where I lean on that because I don’t feel knowledgeable enough to actually give an opinion.”Whether due to a fundamental lack of communication or fear of rebuke, however, Garrett said students remain “uncomfortable” speaking openly about politics, particularly in a classroom setting.“I think since the election, we’ve kind of marked out in our own social circles who we know would be in support of our own views and who we know is opposed to them,” she said. “ … I’m not necessarily afraid I’m going to incite a huge argument, but I’m also not comfortable touting my liberal views on the quad or anything — not that I think anyone would want to shout their political stance in the middle of a group.”Sophomore Jessica D’Souza said she believes the “exhaustion” among students that comes as a result of such a politically charged climate has caused people to want to step back from politics altogether.“I think that there is an exhaustion, but not in this active ‘I can’t do this anymore’ — but in the ‘I don’t care, I’m apathetic now’ [way],” she said. “And I think that’s easy for a lot of Notre Dame students because we go to Notre Dame. We do exist in this bubble. And the overwhelming majority of people do come from good backgrounds, and their day-to-day lives are not drastically changed by a lot of Trump’s policies.”Murphy said he wishes more students would challenge each other’s beliefs and debate openly about politics. While some students felt nervous speaking about their conservative stances immediately following the election, he said, the time others have taken to listen to their arguments has contributed to some initial reconciliation between students on opposite ends of the political spectrum.“I wish there wasn’t so much intellectual unanimity,” he said. “And I think a lot of conservative students feel very, very afraid of being openly conservative in the classroom. … [But] I think there’s less ill-placed [bad] feelings between conservatives and liberals on campus. I think people have realized that it wasn’t hate-fueled, it was a genuine difference in intellectuality or policy positions.”On the other end of the political spectrum, Purohit said she has gained a sense of empowerment from being open about her political views and her status as an undocumented immigrant.“I think one of the benefits of being so outspoken about it is that even if people on this campus that see you day-to-day or recognize your face don’t agree with this movement, they’re not going to come up to you and share it,” Purohit said. “It’s really hard to go up and criticize and say you don’t believe that undocumented immigrants should be in a country when you’re speaking to one.”On the other hand, due to misconceptions surrounding the Republican party as a whole, D’Souza said she felt pressure to distance herself from those of President Trump’s views that she feels conflict with her identity as a Republican in order to be accepted on campus following the election.“My fear was, how much harder am I going to have to fight to defend my beliefs now that someone that I think doesn’t embody them or fight for them is the person that is the representative of this party?” D’Souza said. “Because I don’t think that misogyny is a platform of the Republican party. I don’t think that bigotry has any place in it. … I don’t think that his rhetoric reflects what I believe.”While Purohit said she is “debating on whether [she needs] to listen to the other side,” other liberal-leaning students such as Garrett are more willing to listen to and debate with students with different political beliefs. Garrett said she feels being able to do so is a vital aspect of a college campus.“I don’t think it should be a taboo subject, because how are we ever going to learn from each other or create a common ground for other initiatives?” she said. “None of my classes have ever really been shy about addressing politics, so I’ve never developed that fear of academic discussion.”This intelligent debate, McGrew said, is the first step toward bridging the remaining ideological divides on Notre Dame’s campus and beyond.“There’s a wide and cognitive dissonance in American politics,” he said. “And if we’re ever going to begin to make progress, we need to first understand the other side. I think that starts with talking to people and asking questions and being curious.”Tags: 2016 Election, BridgeND, DACA, Democratic Party, Donald Trump, political climate, Politics, Republican Party Editor’s note: This is the first story in a three-part series addressing various political issues and their impact at Notre Dame one year after the 2016 election. Today’s story focuses on the current political climate and ideological divides on campus.In the weeks following the 2016 election, in which President Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton, many Americans took to the streets to express their anger or jubilation. Some marched with signs urging others to fight against the newly-elected administration, while others proudly displayed “Make America Great Again” paraphernalia.Just over a year after Trump’s election, the country appears to be as politically charged as ever.last_img read more

Saint Mary’s library transitions to new book-sharing program

first_imgThe Cushwa-Leighton Library will switch its collaborative system to the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) program, Catherine Pellegrino, a Saint Mary‘s librarian, said.“Saint Mary’s students will benefit by having access to the combined collections of all 24 PALNI libraries. … The service will be faster than our current interlibrary loan service, and the loan periods will generally be longer,” she said.Saint Mary’s and Bethel College were previously part of a group of four colleges which shared books but are now leaving to join PALNI, Pellegrino said. “[We‘ve] been aware of PALNI for a long time,” Pellegrino said. “They’re a very important and innovative group among Indiana’s academic libraries.” The current system of sharing between the colleges will end on April 2, and PALINI will replace it at the beginning of next year. Although Saint Mary’s is leaving its current book-sharing group, it will continue to loan to other schools in the community, Pellegrino said.“[Saint Mary‘s] will still lend books to the other schools in the South Bend area, and they will still lend books to our community,” she said.The new system will not take any additional resources out of the library. Pellegrino said the College’s librarians are “going to be working very hard through the rest of the spring, with the goal of launching the new system shortly after the end of the spring semester.” “This is a really, really big job for our librarians and staff,” she said.After the transition, Pellegrino said, the library system will be easier to use. “The behind-the-scenes things that library staff do with the system, like ordering and cataloging books, will be much easier,” she said.Pellegrino decided to make the switch as Notre Dame’s libraries began to consider implementing a different system.“As Notre Dame begins the process of considering a new library system, this was a logical time for us to think carefully about what our students, faculty and staff need from a library system, and whether staying with Notre Dame was the best choice for our community,” she said. “We considered the options carefully, and ultimately decided that PALNI’s innovative, collaborative model where we would be partnering with other schools like us — schools that understand the constraints but also the flexibility that go along with being a smaller library — along with the additional benefits of PALNI’s model of deep collaboration would result in better service and support for our community.” The many benefits that PALNI offers comes with one minor downfall in that Saint Mary’s “will be losing the flexibility of searching the catalog at Note Dame at the same time that we search our own catalog,” Pellegrino said. However, library staff is working to decrease the effects of this change, she added. The PALINI program will not affect the physical collection of the library in any way. “When [students] return next fall, the online catalog will be very different, and a lot better and easier to use,” she said. “We also think that you’ll find that requesting books from other PALNI libraries will be much more seamless than our current system.  We’re very excited about this change, and we’re looking forward to sharing it with students as soon as we can.” Tags: Bethel College, Cushwa-Leighton Library, PALNI, Private Academic Library Network of Indianalast_img read more

Collegiate Jazz Festival to celebrate university bands

first_imgCollegiate jazz bands from across the nation will come together this weekend to perform in a non-competitive setting for Notre Dame’s 61st-annual Collegiate Jazz Festival (CJF). The festival is the oldest and most prestigious collegiate jazz festival in the nation and will feature a panel of world-class, professional jazz musicians to judge the competitors.This year, the festival will host bands from Roosevelt University, Drake University, Western Michigan University, University of Michigan, Columbia College and Notre Dame. Each band brings its own “individual characteristic style” to the festival, Larry Dwyer, director of jazz studies at Notre Dame, said.“Some of the bands play more contemporary jazz, some play jazz mixed with R&B. It’s all stuff that students would love hearing even if they don’t think they know anything about jazz,” Dwyer said.Beyond the collegiate jazz groups, Dwyer said he tried to bring in judges “who are not only world-class musicians, but who have worked with colleges before and are able to lead clinics and communicate verbally to our students.”This year, Dwyer said he worked on trying to include judges “who specialize in Latin jazz, as well as mainstream jazz.”The panel of judges includes Steve Turre on trombone, Ralph Moore on saxophone, Otmaro Ruiz on piano, Robert Hurst on bass and Ignacio Berroa on drums. The judges boast impressive resumes, with experience working on shows such as “The Tonight Show” and “Saturday Night Live” and with artists as acclaimed as Paul McCartney, Tito Puente and Barbara Streisand, among others, according to the festival press release.The Judge’s Jam on Friday gives the judges an opportunity to play a set on stage after an evening of collegiate performances.“Each year the judges bring something different to the table,” senior Patrick Falvey, marching band president and CJF committee member, said. “It’s inspiring to hear all these different experiences and perspectives on jazz music. I’ve picked up new drumming ideas and new techniques just from watching the Judge’s Jam alone.”Dwyer echoed Falvey and added that “They just do things on their instruments that you cannot believe.”Dwyer said “a big part” of what makes Notre Dame’s jazz festival unique is the fact that “CJF is student-run.”“At Notre Dame, it’s really about the music and the communication between these professionals and the college students who come to play,” he said. “It’s like music in a [purer] form than some of the professional festivals. It’s music without agents and corporate sponsors and all those other tie-ins that come with professional festivals. … It’s a great combination of a little bit of adult supervision and assistance combined with a lot of student input and energy and ideas.”This student involvement is another aspect of the festival that keeps bands and judges coming back year after year. This year marks a transitional year for CJF — in past years, the Student Union Board has taken on the weight of the planning and funding for the festival. However, the Notre Dame Band took up the planning for this year’s event.“[Notre Dame] has a lot of band students who are very interested in jazz, so it just seemed like the logical thing to incorporate them into the operation of it,” Dwyer said.Falvey said that both groups are “very organized,” making it a smooth planning process.“When you put those two together, it is a very easy process to get the festival up and running,” he said.The event gives students and the South Bend community the opportunity to learn more abut the band program at Notre Dame.“It’s not often that you can get a free ticket to see some of the best musicians in the world,” Falvey said. “Even if you don’t know a lot about jazz music, it’s amazing music and it’s fun to listen to.”The performances will be held Friday and Saturday at Washington Hall at 7 p.m. Tickets are selling at the door and at the LaFortune Student Center Box Office for $5 for one night and $8 for both. Tickets are free for Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students.Tags: Collegiate Jazz Festival, jazz music, Notre Dame Bandlast_img read more