first_imgSaint Mary’s College Student Government Association (SGA) discussed which colors should be used to decorate the Le Mans Hall basement Wednesday. The basement is being redecorated as SGA’s Capital Fund project. “Our goal today at the end of this meeting is that we are going to have one color pallet, color scheme, picked out,” student body president Rachael Chesley said. SGA discussed three different color pallets. The first was a light green with coral and teal accents. The second pallet consisted of a warm yellow with aqua marine blue and light pink accents. The final color pallet was pale orange with coral and navy accent colors. “When we were talking accent colors we didn’t mean whole walls,” Kelly Lyons, senior class president, said. “We are talking [about] the accessories of the room.” SGA voted to eliminate the orange, coral and navy color pallet and continued to discuss the other two options. “This is our room we’re creating,” Chesley said. According to Chesley, the color scheme should be unique and should not be the same colors that are seen throughout campus. Lyons said she wanted the color scheme to be “homey.” Chesley said the Board should focus on “choosing a color that you feel could be versatile no matter what we choose or what they choose in the future.” According to Chesley, it was important for SGA to consider the color pallet for future years so as to choose colors that were timeless. SGA members voted to pursue the light green color pallet with coral and teal accents. The Board also discussed the different zones that should be included in the basement. SGA discussed having eight different zones within the basement. “One of them would be a TV, Wii video game area,” Lyons said. Additional zones included a kitchen and vending zone, a movie space and game area. SGA also discussed posting bulletin boards in the basement, as well as a world map. All of SGA’s ideas will be presented to a designer who will assist in the remodeling of the basement. There will be no SGA meeting next week due to Thanksgiving.last_img read more

Candlelight vigil honors 9/11 victims

first_imgIn remembrance of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Saint Mary’s students and faculty gathered together for an evening candlelight memorial service in the Atrium of the Student Center on Wednesday. Director of Campus Ministry Judy Fean said the College has offered a similar prayer service since the events 12 years ago.   “The Saint Mary’s community always remembers Suzanne Kondratenka (Class of 1996), Amy Jarret, niece of Fr. Peter Jarret, Fr. Francis E. Grogan, a Holy Cross priest, and all others who died in the attacks,” Fean said. “We gather to pray for their loved ones and all who have suffered since that day.” Last year, Fean said members of Kondratenka’s family and friends were able to attend the service. “They are a sign to us of what it means to continue to find life in the face of death,” Fean said.  “We light candles to remind us that God alone is light in the darkness, and God alone will guide us in bringing the light of hope to a war-torn world.” First-year Yaritza Vidaurre said the candles made the event particularly spiritual. “It reminded me of being at the Grotto in ways,” Vidaurre said.  “It was so serene and all of the prayers said for the victims of the attacks seemed even more special.”   Sophomore ministry assistant Kelly Gutrich led the event, guiding students in prayer, intentions and a sign of peace. “I think the event really captured the spirit of remembrance for all of our fallen heroes,” Gutrich said,  “especially with the SMC choir group, Bellacapella, performing from the upper level of the Atrium like angels.” Senior Galicia Guerrero, a peer minister, read Scripture and offered her reflection at the vigil.  The reflection summarized the well-known story of doubting Thomas and the importance of believing in God despite the evils of the world. Junior Grace McSorley said Guerrero’s reflection was inspirational and imparted a great message to students. “It was nice to be able to reflect on such a well-known Scripture passage with a different angle,” McSorley said.  “So many of us have been directly or indirectly impacted by 9/11, and the service brought about a very calming end to the day.” This past weekend in Ann Arbor, McSorley said she met a man who made her reflect on the struggles of the victims’ loved ones. “He has been involved in organizing an annual retreat for children, though now adults, who lost one or both of their parents in the tragedy,” McSorley said. “Talking to him made me think about the people who are still affected every day by the events, and it really made me appreciate the prayer service all the more.” Fean said the prayer service was not only for 9/11 victims, but also for the current members of the armed forces. “I know that several people who gathered have family members and friends who have died in the War on Terror since this day,” Fean said.  “Prayer in community is powerful and a great witness to hope and healing regardless of what is going in our lives and in our world.”last_img read more

Saint Mary’s students attend leadership conference

first_imgAs many students packed their bags for a long week of relaxation, home-cooked dinners and Netflix, some spent the hours before fall break preparing for a weekend focused on social change and leadership.  The Saint Mary’s Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) sponsored the sixth annual Cincinnati Catalyst Trip, bringing together 14 women on an inspiring intercultural experience, while exploring women’s leadership, race, power and privilege, Mana Derakhshani, CWIL associate director, said. CWIL’s main mission is to “empower women to realize their call to leadership and to develop their intercultural knowledge and competence, critical in today’s increasingly interdependent world,” Derakhshani said.   Being immersed in the diversity and history of the Catalyst Trip is an influential experience for women, both students and community leaders alike, Derakhshani said.   The trip entailed a three-day retreat and a weekend trip to Cincinnati through which seven Saint Mary’s students and seven women from the community came together to discover how they could impact the world around them, Derakhshani said. On the weekend trip, the women visited the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati where the group visited the homes of John Rankin and John Parker, significant figures involved in the Underground Railroad, Derakhshani said. There, the Saint Mary’s women learned about the harrowing effects of slavery in our nation and the role women played in bringing about freedom and equality in our country, she said. Junior Loretto Evans, who attended the trip, said she reacted emotionally to visiting these sites. “The most memorable moment was walking in the woods in Ripley, Ohio where so many slaves escaped freedom,” Evans said. “It gave me chills to be walking through a place where so many risked their lives in the dark night.” After the visit, the women shared their insights, experiences and views about their role as leaders in our society, Derakhshani said. “Learning about the history of slavery, the Underground Railroad and the role of women in the struggle of freedom and equality is essential in understanding today’s intersection of race, gender and class,” Derakhshani said.  “This, in turn, is a stepping stone to discerning how one’s leadership can bring about positive social change.” Evans said the trip empowered her to advocate for social change. “I decided to be involved in the Catalyst Trip because I wanted to be more knowledgeable of other people’s backgrounds and stories from a first hand experience,” she said.  “… I realized that each and every one of us has the potential to make a change in this country, and you cannot let the fear of standing up ever defeat you and leave you sitting down.”last_img read more

SMC Tostal welcomes Ron Pope

first_imgA concert by Ron Pope will headline the Saint Mary’s College Tostal this year, the highlight of the annual event hosted by the Student Activities Board (SAB) on April 25.All activities will take place on the College’s library green from 12 to 4 p.m., and the Pope concert will take place in Angela Athletic Facility at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.Pope’s songs have been featured on “The Voice,” “MTV’s TRL” (Total Request Live), “Vampire Diaries” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” Some of his most popular songs include “A Drop in the Ocean,” “You’re the Reason I come Home” and “Our Song.” Currently, he is recording a new album set to release in 2016.“As soon as Ron Pope’s name was mentioned, SAB board members were excited,” SAB’s Marketing Committee Chair Maddie Ehlerding said.In the past, students have voted on which artist will perform at Tostal. Past artists include Bonnnie McKee, Timeflies, Sammy Adams, Sean Kingston, Sarah Bareilles and Colbie Caillat.Ehlerding said SAB took on the responsibility of choosing the artist this year because the board cannot always ensure that they can get the artist who has received the most votes from the student body.“The process for choosing an artist is difficult, timely, and we can’t always guarantee the student body that the person who they voted for will be available to perform for us,” Ehlerding said. “To avoid disappointment, we found it best if we just narrow down our options and decide as a board.”SAB vice president Colleen Michael said the change of this year’s Tostal priorities affected the process of choosing an artist.“Tostal has been reinvented this year,” said Michael. “It is different from what it has been in the past. Although the artist is an important aspect of the event, it is not the main focus of the event. The important part of Tostal is to celebrate the year and foster community.”Michael said Tostal is meant to bring the community together.“The purpose of Tostal is to celebrate the end of the academic year and to foster community,” Michael said.Ehlerding said the group wanted to emphasize this sense of community in this year’s Tostal, not only among Saint Mary’s students, but with Holy Cross and Notre Dame students as well.“This is an event that allows students to kick back and relax before finals,” Ehlerding said. “We hope to have a great turn ut of attendance from Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and Holy Cross. It’s an awesome chance to bring the three campuses together.”Michael said Tostal will be hosted on a Saturday this year, differing from years past when the event took place on Thursday or Friday. Michael said she hoped this change of day would be ultimately beneficial to students.“Tostal is different this year,” Michael said. “It is not just a concert, but a full day of activities. In order to allow all students to participate in the day’s events, we moved Tostal to a Saturday.”The activities leading up to the concert include inflatables, novelty food, a DJ, caricatures, airbrush tattoos, crafts and giveaways, Michael said. Sodexo will also be serving an outdoor picnic, and following the concert, there will be a fireworks show. All activities are free to students.Historically, students paid for Tostal concert tickets, but Ehlerding said the event would be free this year. Students still need tickets to enter the concert, and they can get them by bringing their student ID to the Student Center Atrium.“We want to ensure that all students are able to come and are not prevented by the price of a ticket,” Michael said.Ehlerding said students seem to be looking forward to the event.“Students have already been very supportive and excited for Tostal this year,” she said. “We’re hoping this will be a fun event for the students of Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and Holy Cross, and [we] feel that this will be a great opportunity to bring the communities together.”Michael said Tostal will be a fun and beneficial event for the entire community, improved by its accessibility in cost.“All of these events allow students to spend time together; to enjoy a day full of fun and exciting activities,” Michael said. “It is not every day that students get to go to a free concert. SAB has worked hard to provide the community a day to celebrate and have fun.”Tags: Ron Pope, Tostallast_img read more

Coroner releases Meckling toxicology report

first_imgWilliam “Billy” Meckling, a senior who died during commencement weekend after falling from the roof of the Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center (JACC), had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.12 percent at the time his death, according to a report in the South Bend Tribune.St. Joseph County deputy coroner Chuck Hurley, who released the results of Meckling’s toxicology report Thursday, said no other drugs were present in Meckling’s system, according to the Tribune report.Meckling, 21, was a native of Centennial, Colorado, a chemical engineering major and a member of the fencing team. In May, the coroner’s office ruled Meckling’s death an accident.At 3:45 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, two students requesting assistance approached a Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) officer. On the east side of the JACC, the officer found Meckling unresponsive. Despite attempts at CPR and emergency medical care, he never regained consciousness.Friends and fencing teammates said Meckling was soft-spoken and caring. The day after his death, classmates spelled out “BILLY” using candles at the Grotto.Tags: Meckling, Student death, toxicologylast_img read more

Vatican official explores Catholic higher education

first_imgAs part of the 11th year of the Keeley Vatican Lecture series hosted by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, Fr. Friedrich Bechina spoke Wednesday night about the role of Catholicism in higher education.University President Fr. John Jenkins introduced Bechina, who was named the undersecretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education in 2013 by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and has represented the Holy See internationally in areas of higher education.Bechina began his lecture by saying that problems and academic credits should not be the sole focus of an academic institution.“One of the most significant changes in higher education today is a shift towards what we call student-centered learning,” Bechina said. “We should not emphasize too much on higher education on the input … but that we should more look on the processes of learning.”Bechina spoke about his 15 years of service to the Holy See, which he described as a sovereign entity and a subject of international law that can maintain diplomatic relations. He said it was important to recognize the Holy See as an international entity.“The Church is both universal and local at the same time,” Bechina said. “We represent 1,500 Catholic universities worldwide with, roughly speaking, 6 million students. This is kind of an educational empire that we have. We should be proud of what’s going on.”Bechina said the type of education the students were receiving was what mattered, not just numbers.“I think the important thing is that these 6 million students are educated differently,” Bechina said. “We believe that because of our Catholic identity we have more to offer.”Bechina said the Church and the university are similar because of how they each retain their identity with the “pulse of time.”“People say the two oldest institutions in the world are the Church and the university,” Bechina said. “Why have they been able to survive for thousands of years? Because they were able to change when it was time to change, without losing their identity.“We are not bound to political programs … and the university has its own rules and is bound to truth and not to the opinion of the day.”He said globalization was yet another factor that united the Church with higher education.“The Church is the same one, universal Church in different languages and different cultures,” Bechina said. “And there is the same with higher education. Higher education is becoming more and more globalized.”He talked about current academic issues such as the “brain drain,” which he described as the occurrence of talented individuals leaving a country to study and work abroad because of limited resources in their home country. Bechina went on to say the Holy See’s role is to navigate these issues and make sure the Church remains involved.“The idea up to the year of 2000 was we have to defend our Catholic identity. That came with an image of a big wall around us that protects us from all negative influence outside of us,” Bechina said. “We are discovering that we are defending something that we lose. That the identity is vanishing within the strong walls built around it.“We will not survive if we just defend our faith, but the faith will survive if we are missionaries and convince people who are able to take out the faith and engage in dialogue.”He spoke about how the Church once viewed academic freedom as a threat to its institution, but says times have changed.“Universities and Catholic higher education are protected on academic freedom and good argumentation,” Bechina said. “We have to understand what academic freedom is. Nobody can be obliged to believe something. Faith is an act for the free person. And so is the same for truth.”Bechina said it was impossible to fully possess the truth, but countered that by saying that this impossibility does not mean society as a whole should give up on seeking it. He said humility as a virtue is indispensable, because pride can obstruct one’s vision of the truth.“In truth a university has always been … called to be a house where one seeks the truth,” he said.He used Pope Francis as an example of a world learner by talking about how Francis’ degree was in chemistry, which meant he had hands-on experience learning about “earthly reality.” He said Francis is an example of someone who used education to move forward.“We should always have the courage in our universities to go forward anchored in our values, but at the same time always moving forward,” Bechina said. “Engage, mingle, be missionaries again.”He said one of the biggest problems of today is a lack of hope and said Catholic universities should always make sure they are institutions that foster hope in their students.“Catholic universities are the places that should provide more. It is the place where we open beyond these earthly realities,” Bechina said. “No one would do research without the hope to find something. So these attitudes are in a certain sense a preparation of hope. But it’s not enough.“We should teach subjects that [go] beyond a good career, but prepare people to be people who make good decisions, who will be able to change the world for the better because they have encountered hope.”Tags: Catholicism, higher education, Keeley Vatican lecturelast_img read more

Financial aid director, committee make recommendations for higher ed success

first_imgNotre Dame director of financial aid Mary Nucciarone worked as part of the Higher Education Committee of 50, which Wednesday released a report of 36 recommendations for student success in college, according to a Wednesday press release from the University.“The [Higher Education Committee of 50] report is a roadmap to fair access to universities, which is opposite to scandal we have witnessed in recent days,” Nucciarone said in the release. “This group of educational leaders is committed to providing all qualified students, regardless of socio-economic status, the information they need about the many opportunities for postsecondary education.”Nucciarone said the goal of the report is to inform the public on how higher education can be made more accessible.“We believe our report provides practical recommendations on how access barriers can be broken down, particularly for low-income or first-generation students,” she said in the release. “The public policy recommendations are focused on strategies to improve federal aid delivery and holding institutions accountable for educational outcomes.”According to its website, the Higher Education Committee of 50 (HEC50) was formed in late 2017 by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, a nonprofit group of financial aid specialists. The committee featured college presidents, governing board members, enrollment managers, admissions and financial aid staff as well as students. According to the release, the group analyzed policy relating to “access, affordability, accountability and transparency” in higher education to make their recommendations. The project was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.The 36 recommendations provided by the committee are designed to improve the affordability of college for students and families while keeping in mind the concerns of taxpayers and college employees, the release said. Recommendations from the committee include calling for the Department of Education to provide more transparency in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process, permitting students to file a one-time FAFSA and eliminating higher education tax credits in favor of rolling the funds into the Federal Pell Grant program.As director of financial aid, Nucciarone advises the University on financial aid policy and oversees all Office of Financial Aid operations, including those relating to scholarships, student employment and public relations.According to the release, Nucciarone is a College Board trustee, chair of the College Board Higher Ed Colloquium Planning Committee, serves on the College Board Task Force on Reauthorization and holds a seat on the Scholarship Foundation of St. Joseph County.Nucciarone and other group members will present the full report to Congress on March 14.Tags: FAFSA, financial aid, HEC50, Office of Financial Aidlast_img read more

President Trump In Erie Tonight

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Image by Rory Pollaro/WNYNewsNow.ERIE — With Election Day just around the corner, President Donald Trump will make a campaign stop at the Erie Airport at 7 p.m. today.This will be Trump’s third campaign rally in Erie. He visited in 2016 as a candidate and again two years later as President. His opponent, Joe Biden, was in Erie earlier this month to campaign as well.Viewers can watch the President’s remarks live on WNYNewsNow’s 24/7 Streaming Network.Both men have focused some attention on Pennsylvania as poll watchers say the Keystone State is up for grabs. Those driving past the airport may have notice preparations being made, including the landing of a C-17 full of security vehicles, bleachers and all the paraphernalia that accompanies a president on the move.First Lady Melania Trump was scheduled to join the President in Erie, but late breaking news is that she will stay in Washington because of a “lingering cough.”last_img read more

NYS Plastic Bag Ban Now In Effect

first_imgImage by Jonelle Kimbrough / US Army.JAMESTOWN – New York State is now enforcing its a ban on plastic bags.The ban was originally due to start at the beginning of March, but a legal challenge from the state’s plastic bag industry caused a delay.The lawsuit was eventually rejected by New York State’s Supreme Court.The law prohibits stores and food outlets from giving plastic bags to customers. Stores can provide paper bags, or, customers can bring their own reusable bags.State environmental leaders say the ban improves health by cutting down on plastic pollution. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Victoria Clark & Dee Hoty Join Broadway-Bound Revival of Gigi

first_img Gigi Tony winner Victoria Clark and three-time Tony nominee Dee Hoty have joined the cast of the Broadway-bound revival of Gigi. Clark will play Mamita Alvarez and Hoty will take on the role of Aunt Alicia as they join a cast that includes Vanessa Hudgens, Corey Cott, Howard McGillin and Steffanie Leigh. The tuner will play a pre-Broadway engagement at the Kennedy Center from January 16 through February 12, 2015. The Eric Schaeffer-helmed production, adapted by Heidi Thomas, will open officially there on January 29. View Comments Clark, who most recently appeared on Broadway in Cinderella, took home a Tony Award for her performance in The Light in the Piazza. Her additional credits include Sister Act, The Snow Geese, Titanic How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Urinetown. Hoty was nominated for Tonys for Footloose, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public and The Will Rogers Follies. She has also appeared in Mamma Mia!, Bye Bye Birdie, City of Angels, Me and My Girl and Big River. Also joining the cast are Max Clayton, Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, Brian Ogilvie and Amos Wolff. Related Shows Based on the 1944 novel by Colette, Gigi was first adapted for the Broadway stage in 1951 by Anita Loos, with an unknown Audrey Hepburn in the title role. Subsequently Alan Jay Lerner (screenplay and lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music) adapted the material for the 1958 movie musical, winner of nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture. In 1973, the tuner played 103 performances on Broadway with Karin Wolfe as Gigi and Daniel Massey as Gaston, earning a Tony Award for Best Original Score. Gigi features the memorable tunes “Thank Heaven For Little Girls,” “I Remember It Well,” “The Night They Invented Champagne,” “It’s a Bore,” “Say a Prayer for Me Tonight” and more. Show Closed This production ended its run on June 21, 2015last_img read more