Hall raises funds for homeless center

first_imgMcCandless Hall is using some Christmas cheer and a little competition to help raise funds for Hope Ministries, a homeless center in South Bend. For members of McCandless to participate, they can go to the hall’s front desk and place their donations into boxes. “At the front desk there is another table decorated for Christmas and it contains four wrapped Christmas presents,” said junior Caitlin Ascherl, a resident advisor in the dorm. “The presents are numbered for each floor in McCandless.” According to Ascherl, the floor in McCandless that manages to collect the most funds gets a special treat. “The floor that raises the most money for Hope Ministries gets to ‘pie’ their resident advisor [in the face] at the Hall Christmas Party this week,” she said. Ascherl said she came up with the idea because she wanted residents to work together and support Hope Ministries. “I came up with the idea while trying to think of ways to get the first-years involved and excited about the Hall,” Ascherl said. Each dormitory at Saint Mary’s is assigned a service organization, and Hope Ministries was given to McCandless. Ascherl said each semester the dorm needs to hold an event for the place it represents, and she said this seemed like a good way to bring the hall together. “[The Hall is] required to do one event for or with our service organization per semester,” Ascherl said. “What better way to create section unity then to come together against the RAs.” They do not know how much money they have raised so far, but Ascherl said it will be counted Wednesday. If the entire dorm raises over $100, there is extra incentive for the residents. “We find out Wednesday when a neutral party counts the money,” she said. “If it is over $100, the Hall Director gets [a pie in the face] as well.” According to Ascherl, the fundraiser has gotten competitive between the RAs on different floors. Currently, she said it “has become a war between the RAs.” Ascherl did say it seems like her floor is not doing as well. “Right now it doesn’t look good for the 2nd and 4th floors,” she said.  “Sadly, I am on the 2nd floor.”last_img read more

Saint Mary’s offers finals study breaks

first_imgAs stress and busy schedules take over as finals approach, students can take an “insanity break,” sponsored by the Center for Spirituality Dec. 10. The Center is sponsoring the event in Reinbeaux Lounge in Le Mans Hall from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. It will offer hot beverages including hot cocoa, cider and snacks. Coloring pages and word puzzles are also available. “It was so successful last year, there was no question that we wouldn’t do it again,” Associate Director for the Center Michelle Egan said. The event is held twice a year, during the two weeks prior to finals in order to not interfere with the finals themselves. This will be the second “insanity break” offered this semester. Last week’s was held on the first floor of Spes Unica in the morning, catching students and faculty on their way to class. Stumbling across the table lined with hot cocoa and coffee on her way to work in Spes Unica made junior Ashley Marks’ day last week. “It was a wonderful surprise to see snacks, drinks and coloring supplies to ease the tension of the end of semester assignments,” Marks said. “The hot chocolate and donut hole were a scrumptious way to start my morning.” The positive feedback from students fuels this event. “The response to the event is great,” Egan said. “Students are so appreciative and grateful to hear the Christmas carols playing and to grab something to drink and maybe a donut before class. A lot of people remember the event from last year.” The location and time was changed for the second “insanity break” to give the opportunity to students who may not have been able to attend the first one. “We’re trying to offer the break to a different group of students and staff this week,” Egan said. “Le Mans was chosen as a central location on campus through which students travel between classes and it’s one of the largest dorms on campus.” Sophomore Paige Edmonds is looking forward to the second opportunity at a break from insanity after enjoying last week’s. “During this hectic time of year, it’s nice to see how Saint Mary’s cares about its students,” Edmonds said. “It was a good on-the-go thing and I am looking forward to getting apple cider this time.” Egan said she is glad to see that this event is well received. “Everybody is feeling the stress of this time of year,” Egan said. “I think having that unexpected time away — from real life, tests, classes, grades coming in, papers due — is a breath of kindness that everyone can appreciate.”last_img read more

SMC to host class contest

first_imgThis afternoon, Saint Mary’s students will be suiting up in their respective class colors to duke it out in the first annual Student Activities Board (SAB) Turkey Bowl. First years must wear purple shirts, sophomores will wear pink, juniors will don green shirts and seniors will be decked out in blue at the event, which will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on the intramural field between Opus Apartments and the Angela Athletic Facility parking lot. Junior Lauren Sweeney, co-chair of the SAB entertainment committee, said she is excited to institute a festive athletic tradition at the College. “The Turkey Bowl is a touch football game between the classes at the College,” Sweeney said. “It is a small tournament with eight to 12 on each team. The winners will receive Midnight Madness points for their class and Turkey Bowl jerseys with their graduation year on the back.” Midnight Madness, a SAB event held in February, is another competition between the classes at the College when students receive free food, prizes and play “minute-to-win-it” games. The Saint Mary’s Tostal performer is also announced at the event. There will be four games held during the tournament, with each team playing two games. While it is an interclass competition, Sweeney said it is meant to bring the classes together. “SAB is having the event to promote school spirit and Midnight Madness next semester,” Sweeney said. “Also, it is a different type of event, which will hopefully encourage more girls to come to our events.” Students are encouraged to play in the games and also come cheer on their fellow classmates by also wearing their class colors. The class with the most supporters will win bonus Midnight Madness points. Upon arrival, students participating in the Turkey Bowl must sign a waiver. Students are still able to sign up before the event if the teams are not filled yet.last_img read more

University restructures on-campus discipline

first_imgAfter a thorough review of its disciplinary processes and procedures, the former Office of Residence Life has reinvented itself as the Office of Community Standards to better address disciplinary incidents with the goals of student development and formation.  Ryan Willerton, director of the Office of Community Standards, said the review process began in 2011 and included focus groups of students, hall staff and members of the Office of Student Affairs who analyzed the way the University implemented its disciplinary policies.  “The Office of Residence Life has looked at policies and procedures before, but doing a comprehensive review hadn’t happened in quite a while,” Willerton said. “We looked at it from the approach of a peer benchmark. … [We asked] what are they doing in conduct processes? [We looked at] everything from meeting settings to the process they use, who meets with students, what are the types of questions they ask [and] what are their policies related to meetings.” The review revealed some inconsistencies around campus in addressing disciplinary offenses, especially alcohol-related ones, Willerton said. “Under the Office of Residence Life model, if a student was leaving Reckers and they happened to get stopped by NDSP because they were stumbling and they were intoxicated out on the green right behind Reckers, an NDSP report would’ve been submitted and that report would’ve gone to our office,” he said. “If a student would’ve made it into their residence hall, and the hall staff would’ve noticed the student was intoxicated or had been drinking, the rector would’ve had the opportunity to determine whether or not that student would meet with the rector or whether or not that student would be sent to our office.” Under the Office of Community Standards’ system, a student’s first drinking offense, regardless of where it occurs, will be handled by his or her rector, Willerton said.  “The biggest change students will see is regardless of where the incident happens, whether it’s on campus, off campus, whether police were involved, hall staff were involved, building managers were involved, we’re referring those students to the same place,” he said.  Willerton said having a student’s rector handle such offenses complies with Catholic Social Teaching. “The reason it would go to their rector is it’s based on the concept of subsidiarity,” he said. “Catholic social teaching believes in handling things at the lowest level possible. In other words, who best knows our students? And we hope that [for] our students who live on campus, their rectors can have the most productive conversations with them.” The Office of Community Standards will continue to handle more serious offenses, such as drug abuse and sexual misconduct, Willerton said.  “Sexual misconduct, drugs – those are all going to be referred to our office,” he said.  “But for incidents that can be addressed by rectors, so parietals, alcohol-related incidents, community incidents within the residence halls that wouldn’t rise to the level that students may lose their on-campus housing opportunity or their status at the University, then we’d want our rectors to have that first conversation with students.” Interactions with the Office of Community Standards will involve three types of meeting settings: a meeting, a conference or a hearing, Willerton said.  To reflect the policy implementation changes, the Office of Community Standards updated its conduct reporting policy to exclude minor offenses from a student’s future record, Willerton said.  “The change is the University will only report three types of outcomes, and they’re known as disciplinary status outcomes because they’re the most serious outcomes: disciplinary probation, temporary dismissal and permanent dismissal,” he said. The Office of Community Standards will only release records of minor offenses if the student gives his or her consent, Willerton said.  Walsh Hall rector Annie Selak, who served on the committee of rectors in the review process, said the new system fits better with Notre Dame’s focus on community. “I think the changes really emphasize the community of Notre Dame,” Selak said. “They move away from a punitive approach and really focus on the development of a student. As this system rolls out, I think we will all see that this approach fits the Notre Dame community and is an improvement over the previous system.” Selak said the review process was quite thorough and students should be pleased with the results. “The Office of Community Standards went through a review process that has been commended throughout the country,” she said. “I am truly impressed at the time, energy and effort that the staff put into this process. They were thoughtful, insightful and in a word, impressive. Not only have they addressed the findings, but they have gone beyond to create a system that fits the unique community life of Notre Dame.” Willerton said the changes are in place for the benefit of the students and he hopes the new implementation policies will educate them. “It’s about developing [students] as individuals to be productive citizens when they graduate, understanding how their values are tied into their decisions and their behavior, and realizing that their values should hopefully align with our University’s values,” he said. “And that’s one of the reasons why hopefully they came to Notre Dame. So it’s part of the educational process outside the classroom.” Contact Tori Roeck at [email protected]last_img read more

Coccia, Joyce reflect on their time in office, bid farewell

first_imgKelly Konya | The Observer [/Courtesy of Brian Lach] As their term in office comes to an end Tuesday, student body president Alex Coccia and vice president Nancy Joyce said they only wish they had more time.Although his term as president is over, Coccia said he believes incoming student body president and vice president Lauren Vidal and Matt Devine will pick up right where his administration left off.“We just really wish he had more time to continue working on things, but Lauren and Matt have been very gracious in looking at some of the projects that we have still been developing and that they’ll want to continue,” Coccia said.Joyce said she felt her and Coccia’s administration started important initiatives that will continue after they leave office.“I think the only regret would be that we really can’t see some of [our projects] all the way through,” she said. “I think we’ve laid the groundwork and have set it up for next year.”Coccia said one such issue he wanted to progress more is medical amnesty for students, particularly with regard to alcohol consumption.“I think issue-wise … I wish we could have pushed [the discussion on medical amnesty] a little bit further, but we are happy to see where the conversation has progressed,” he said.“Where we’re coming from as representatives of the student body is that our first priority …   is student safety and students getting the medical attention that they need if they so need it.Joyce said in a more general sense, she felt her and Coccia’s administration made student government more accessible and pertinent to student life.This past year student government achieved smaller, more concrete goals, Coccia said, but they also confronted problems more directly concerning all students, most notably the issue of sexual violence.“There’s obviously the tangible successes like the coffee cart in DeBartolo,” he said. “I think we also realize that student government could address larger student life issues than just something like the coffee cart.Coccia said he is proud to have spearheaded the One is Too Many campaign, a student government initiative aimed at sexual assault prevention and healing,  which mobilized the student body and brought the issue to the forefront of student discussion.“I think the One is Too Many Campaign was important because … it touched, very directly, at least over 3,000 people,” he said. “We recognize that the pledge itself is not enough, but our hope was that it would raise the level of awareness and dialogue about the issue of sexual violence and about what our role in prevention is.”Both Coccia and Joyce said they will live and work in Washington, D.C. following graduation, Coccia working with either a non-profit organization or government agency through the Truman Scholarship, and Joyce with defense consulting firm Avascent Group.Joyce said she wanted to extend her personal thanks to the student body for their engagement over the past year.“It’s really been a pleasure,” she said. “I have enjoyed this experience and the opportunity to represent some of the best and the brightest in the country.”Tags: Alex Coccia, coccia, joyce, Nancy Joyce, one is too many campaignlast_img read more

Career Expo to feature service options

first_imgWhen the Fall Career Expo kicks off Wednesday, there will be a new twist to the event: the opportunity for students to explore postgraduate service opportunities.Hilary Flanagan, director of the Career Center, said the new development arose from a collaboration between the Center for Social Concerns (CSC) and the Career Center.“Service options have been a part of the career fairs for as long as anyone can remember. This year, we have collaborated in a new way with CSC to make it even easier for our students and the service organizations to connect,” Flanagan said. “CSC had previously coordinated another event focused on service organizations about a month after the Fall Career Expo.“Some organizations would attend both events, and others would need to choose only one due to their travel budgets. Although in the past we collaborated to cross-promote the events, this year we have fully engaged the service organizations into the Fall Career Expo at the beginning of the semester.”Michael Hebbeler, director of student leadership and senior transitions within the CSC, said he and his colleagues want seniors to realize the career fair has opportunities for each of them.“It is really important for postgrad service organizations to be really visible on campus and for students to know there are viable opportunities in almost all fields,” he said. “If you look at the list, there is quite a number of organizations coming. There are social service agencies across the globe that offer full-time service volunteer positions to our graduating seniors.”According to Hebbeler, approximately 10 percent of the graduating classes over the past several years have pursued service work after graduation.“These students come from all majors and are discerning graduate school or corporate employment and are responding to a call to live out the mission of the University,” Hebbeler said.Hebbeler said some commonly-held beliefs about pursuing postgraduate service are false.“Volunteer refers to pay grade and not the work level,” Hebbeler said. “These are professional positions at professional organizations. Many of these organizations will offer opportunities to live in community with fellow volunteers, and these communities offer opportunities for reflection, for prayer, for deeper exploration of the interior life and maturity in relationships with friends, neighbors, coworkers and people on the margins.”Flanagan said seniors should give service options as much consideration as they give career paths that are considered more traditional.“A service experience is a fabulous first-destination opportunity, providing a depth of experiences in various industries and settings,” she said. “Service experiences, no matter the duration, are a strong springboard to whatever career transitions come next.”Flanagan said Notre Dame seniors’ perennially strong pursuit of postgraduate service reflects the University’s mission.“To me, it says that our unique student body has such an exciting range of interests, and whether they pursue a commitment to service after graduation or incorporate service into their lives a different way, each graduate will continue to make an impact in service to others,” she said. “I’m thrilled to work in collaboration with my team, CSC and so many of our Discernment Coalition partners on and off campus, to connect our students to those opportunities.”Hebbeler said it is essential for students to think not of careers, but of vocation.“It’s the hope of the CSC and career center and really the University that each of our graduates will take seriously his or her vocation, explore his or her call and respond with courage to answer that call,” he said. Tags: Career Center, Career Expo, Center for Social Concerns, CSC, service, volunteerlast_img read more

SCC throws Gatsby Dance

first_imgFriday night, the Sophomore Class Council (SCC) will allow students to step out of 2014 and into the world of F. Scott Fitzgerald, at the second annual Great Gatsby Dance.The dance, co-sponsored by Senior Class Council, Junior Class Council and the Swing Club, is open to all students. Organizers said the dance will embrace some of the themes made famous by fictional ‘roaring twenties’ host Jay Gatsby, including live music, swing dancing, and decor.The Gatsby Dance is the only dance this fall that will be held on Bond Hall Quad, organizers said. SCC Social Committee chair Chris Gauch said the dance will also feature several unique attractions.“We’ve got an ice sculpture, a chocolate fountain, a live swing band and a dance floor. I think it’s going to be a great time,” Gauch said. “We also have swing club coming in. It’ll be nice to have students learn how to dance from them, and to see some demonstrations of what was popular during the 1920’s.”Swing Club president, Saint Mary’s senior Alyssa Lanting, said in an email that the club will be available for instruction throughout the night. In preparation for the dance, the club also hosted a swing instructional session Thursday night in Stepan Center.“For the event, we only plan to teach East Coast Swing,” Lanting said. “Throughout the night, one may be able to see our more experienced dancers doing other dances, such as triple step East Coast, Lindy, Charleston, and even Blues. Also, we plan to play the Shim Sham, which is a line dance that is easy to jump into, and we encourage others to try.”As a co-sponsor, the Swing Club also assumed responsibility for finding the band for the dance, The Michiana Jazz Assemblage.Sophomore class president Noemi Ventilla said the band will play an instrumental role in setting the tone for the night.“It’s a 19-piece swing band, and they only play music that was actually popular at the time, so it will be very authentic,” Ventilla said.Ventilla inherited the Gatsby Dance from last year’s Sophomore Class Council, which hosted the inaugural event. NDSP estimated last year’s dance drew more than 2,000 students.Junior class president Zach Waterson served on SCC last year, and helped this year’s SCC plan the event.“The Junior Class Council [served] as advisers and mentors to the sophomores as they planned an event of this scale,” Waterson said. “The Sophomore Class Council wanted to take a primary role in the planning of the event, and we were happy to provide auxiliary support to them. We drew on our experience from last year to help the sophomores outline a timeline of deliverables to accomplish and helped connect them with the numerous parties involved in the planning of the Dance. We also helped fund and market the event to the Class of 2016.”“Last year it turned out to be a great success, so the university administration really pushed us to make it a signature event,” Ventilla said. “There really is nothing else like it; it’s the only dance open across the classes — the entire university gets to go if they want to.”Gauch said this year’s SCC hoped to put it’s own twist on the evening.“They did a great job with it last year, so we took the main ideas from what they did and changed some minor things,” Gauch said. “Instead of chocolate-covered strawberries, we’re having a chocolate fountain that will be running the entire evening, we’ll also be having a larger dance floor because last year it did get a little crowded.”“We’ve got two chandeliers for our tents, sparkling cider in champagne glasses, and rice krispie treats for dipping in chocolate. We’re [also] bringing back the ice sculpture from last year; it really is an extremely unique event,” Gauch said.SCC Social Committee member Celanire Flagg recommended students come early if they wanted to ensure they can have a chocolate-dipped snack.“Come early and on time, because the dance opens at 10 and hopefully we won’t run out but if we do, it’s really a first-come-first-serve basis,” Flagg said.Current forecasts don’t predict troublesome weather, but SCC secured South Dining Hall as its rain location.“We’re prepared, but it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful night. And the event will be a nice change from the typical night out on campus,” Gauch said.Ventilla said the dance is so special because it allows students to dress for a different era .“Boys, if you have a bow-tie, bring it out; girls, put on your dancing shoes, headbands, and fake pearls. It’s going to be ‘the bee’s knees,’” she said.Tags: Gatsby Dance, Great Gatsby, junior class council, senior class council, sophomore class council, swing clublast_img read more

Basilica of the Sacred Heart celebrates Holy Week

first_imgEaster Sunday at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart is notable not only for its status as the most holy day of the year in Catholicism, but also for its ability to draw crowds rivaling a sporting event.“On Easter Sunday, we do a couple of things — we add a Mass and we allow more times for the Masses because the crowds are so big,” Fr. Peter Rocca, rector of the Basilica, said. “We have an 8 [a.m.] Mass; the only other time we have an 8 [a.m.] Mass is on football weekends — that’s the kind of crowd we get.”Rocca estimates that over 1,000 people come to each of the three main Masses offered on Easter Sunday. The crowds are so large that each Mass must be dismissed in a specific way, Rocca said.“What is interesting is that at the end of that Mass, I make an announcement on how to exit the Church because people are asked to exit through only certain doors,” Rocca said.“At the other doors, there are hundreds of people waiting in line to come in [for the next Mass].”However, while the Easter Sunday Masses draw the largest crowds, the Basilica has many events planned for Holy Week, Rocca said. The Basilica begins the Paschal Triduum, the period of three days between sunset on Holy Thursday and sunset on Easter Sunday, with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Rocca said.“That Mass is most noted for two things,” Rocca said. “First, the washing of the feet, which is symbolic of our call to service. Then, we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist and how that should touch our lives.“As we eat Christ’s body and drink his blood, we do not only do it for ourselves, but we take that strength, that grace [from communion] to serve others, and that is beautifully portrayed in the Mass.”Following this Mass, the Basilica holds Tenebrae, Latin for “shadows,” at 11 p.m. Holy Thursday.“This is a prayer service that originated in the Middle Ages in the Church, and it took place in the early, early hours of the morning of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday,” Rocca said.“The monks would gather in their monasteries in darkness with candles and would sing psalms and listen to lessons from the Old Testament, during which they would extinguish these candles.”One candle would remain ignited but would be hidden, plunging the whole monastery into darkness, Rocca said.“The monks would take their books and bang them on their choir stalls to create this loud sound, called strepitus,” Rocca said. “It was supposed to be symbolize the chaos that ensues when darkness reigns supreme.“Then the candle would come back in, and the banging would stop. It would then be placed in the candlebra and would symbolize the light of Christ that would shine ever so bright at the Easter Vigil.”Students pack this service, Rocca said, because it is so unlike anything else they have experienced in Church before.“The music is very classical — a lot of chanting from the Book of Lamentations, a lot of polyphony, a lot of Latin,” Rocca said. “It is just a different kind of music than we would normally hear at Mass.”Last year, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the South Bend-Fort Wayne diocese presided over the Tenebrae service. He loved it so much that he asked to preside over it every other year, Rocca said.“It is just great for all of the students to be able to see our chief pastor, our diocese Bishop, there, and he does such a wonderful job,” Rocca said.This service concludes around midnight, Rocca said, leading into Good Friday. The chief celebration on Good Friday is the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 3 p.m.For those who cannot make the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion, the Basilica also offers Stations of the Cross at 7:15 p.m., Rocca said. No events are planned for Holy Saturday, since it is meant to be a day to commemorate the Lord’s death and burial, he said. At 9 p.m., the community gathers in the Basilica for the Easter Vigil.“What we celebrate, in addition to the resurrection of Christ, is the elect, also known as catechumens, and their reception into the Church by receiving the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Holy Communion,” Rocca said.Following the homily, the elect receive the rites of baptism and confirmation, Rocca said. When communion begins, the elect come forward to receive their first Holy Communion, Rocca said.“This is just a glorious celebration; the Liturgical Choir sings and there is just so much energy,” Rocca said.There will also be a 9 p.m. liturgy specifically for students, Rocca said.“This was started years ago by a former director of Campus Ministry, Fr. Richard Warner, who is currently our Superior General and lives in Rome.“He just thought it was a great idea to bring the whole community together, especially since it is geared for the students.”It is important, however, to remember the celebrations for Holy Week represent one liturgy, Rocca said.“The Mass on Holy Thursday night does not really have a dismissal,” Rocca said. “The liturgy just pauses and people come back to continue the liturgy with Good Friday.“It is basically three separate liturgies — the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion and the Easter Vigil — but the Church considers it one continuous liturgy over those three days.”To conclude the celebrations of the holiday, the Congregation of Holy Cross ordains some of their deacons on the Saturday following Easter, Rocca said. There are six deacons becoming ordained priests this year, he said.“It is just a great time — beginning with Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday and ending with Easter Saturday — it just is a wonderful time for the Holy Cross community.”Tags: Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Campus Ministry, congregation of holy cross, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday, Easter Vigil, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Holy Thursday, Paschal Triduumlast_img read more

Baraka Bouts raises money for school in Uganda

first_imgWith the championship round to take place Thursday night, the women of Baraka Bouts are preparing for the end of the 2018 season.Notre Dame Women’s Boxing Club, more commonly known as Baraka Bouts, is a group that serves as an athletic team, social club and charity organization. In many ways, it is “uniquely Notre Dame,” senior Jessica Zlaket, one of the team’s 10 captains, said.“Overall, it touches fitness, community and charity all in one,” Zlaket said. “As a Notre Dame student, I think a lot of us have those three parts of our personality very ingrained because of sports, faith and school. And all of that comes in to boxing in so many ways.” Anna Mason | The Observer Senior Nicole Waddick fights senior Molly LaFave in a Baraka Bouts match. Baraka Bouts raises money for the Holy Cross Missions in Uganda.Zlaket, who played soccer in high school, was hoping to find a similar environment when she came to Notre Dame. Not only did she want to stay in shape, she said, but she wanted to find a community of empowering women.“It’s just like a soccer team, only on a bigger scale,” she said. “It’s almost more powerful in the sense that it’s not 12 girls and two captains, but 200 girls and 10 captains. It’s really empowering because it’s cool to be tough, and it’s cool to be strong, which isn’t really normal for us as girls. So going to a place where that’s cool and lifted up, to be able to be powerful and be proud of yourself, that’s really empowering.”Even though Zlaket joined the team her sophomore year and was abroad for the season during her junior year, she always wanted to be a leader in the program.“I came in wanting to be a leader first and a boxer second,” she said. “Watching girls come in not even knowing how to position their body to stand in their stance, and then watching them on Tuesday get in the ring for the first time and being in their corner … watching someone grow that much over 10 weeks and knowing that I had even a slight impact is the best.”The fact that the girls spend much of their practice time sparring each other in no way lessens the overwhelming sense of community on the team.“Within the community, all of us know — and the captains really make sure to emphasize — that we’re here to help each other, and win or lose, be proud of yourself for getting in the ring in the first place,” Zlaket said.This year, 99 girls entered the tournament, while about 200 more are part of the team but choose not to box. Senior Emily DeRubertis, who is also a captain, has been on the team since her freshman year and is looking forward to getting in the ring one last time for her final tournament.“It’s definitely a very unique experience,” she said. “Even in practice, we’ll spar and we’ll do ring work down in the pit in our gym, but it’s quiet and it’s contained and there are coaches watching. But when you get in the ring up in Dahnke, all your friends are cheering you on. You have so much support from all those people, from all the other boxers. It’s just a very unique feeling. It’s very hard to describe.”DeRubertis doesn’t only know what it’s like to be in the pit, however. As a captain this year, she’s become heavily involved in every aspect of the multi-faceted club.“We [the captains] are at almost all the practices every week, working with girls who want extra practice before or after our practices,” she said. “It’s also really cool to see what’s going on behind the scenes. We’ll meet with people and handle all the actual fundraising stuff and handle all the tournament details. It’s definitely not just the boxing anymore. There’s a lot more that goes into it.”Baraka Bouts’ greater mission is to support the Holy Cross Missions in Uganda, particularly Holy Cross Lake View Secondary School in Jinja, Uganda, and Saint Joseph’s Hill Secondary School in Kyarusozi, Uganda. This year, its goal is to send $75,000 to Saint Joseph’s to build a cafeteria.Junior Marisa Perino is another captain who actually spent her summer doing an ISSLP at Saint Joseph’s. She believes in building a stronger connection between the club at Notre Dame and the schools they support in Uganda.“Our girls didn’t really know where our money was going,” she said. “[Saint Joseph’s] had no idea that we send money there, which is why, when I went there, I realized we need to make this connection, because I think it would empower the students more to know that there are women who are strong and who are fighting for them.”Over the summer, Perino taught high schoolers English and literature, in addition to teaching them how to box, which fittingly became the strongest way she and her students bonded.“I think once I started boxing with them, it all went uphill from there,” she said. “It was interesting how boxing was such a gateway into learning about them and connecting with them.”Perino has worked with the SSLP organization to ensure the connection she began this past summer doesn’t end with her.“While I was applying for it and trying to get it and go myself, I was working to reserve one of the spots on it for just boxers,” she said. “And that actually takes effect this year. So now each year we’ll have one boxer going to one of our schools.”For Perino, the work Baraka Bouts does for Holy Cross is less about charity and more about community, which is why she’s worked so hard to strengthen that connection.“I think it’s so often misconstrued that we’re just helping the children in Africa, or even that we’re helping people who are so needy,” she said. “I think it’s hard to say they’re needy. We are helping them because we are part of the Holy Cross family. We are helping them because we see them as women, and we want to empower them as we’ve been empowered as boxers. I think it’s more of those two connections rather than we need to help them because they’re in desperate need of help.”Tags: Baraka Bouts, Boxing, Holy Cross Missions, ISSLPlast_img read more

Former Saint Mary’s student body president, vice president say farewell

first_imgAs the academic year came to a close, seniors Madeleine Corcoran and Kathy Ogden reminisced on their time as undergraduates and Student Government Association president and vice president, respectively.Corcoran thought about her final experiences — particularly her time in the Cushwa-Leighton Library.“It’s weird because I feel like all the lasts are coming,” she said. “Today I was studying in the library like, ‘This is probably it, I probably won’t study here again.’ How many hours have I sat in that library?”In a May 5 interview with The Observer, Ogden said she didn’t want to think about her lasts as an undergraduate.“I don’t know why, but I haven’t sat down and looked at the calendar, so I keep telling myself I have a good two and a half weeks left,” she said. “I don’t. But I’m like, ‘Oh, I still have two and a half weeks left,’ but it’s like graduation is almost a week away, which I can’t think about. Going to get the trembling lip.”One thing the pair can agree on is the value of their time in student government.Ogden said her time as vice president enhanced her level of involvement at the College and enabled her to truly fulfill the title of “student leader.”“So many times people say, ‘You’re a student leader on campus,’ but it was being that, which I thought was really cool,” Ogden said. “All of the experiences student government has given us — like sitting in on interview panels and being the student voice there, being able to go to the Board of Trustees meetings and meeting all of these really successful alumnae or people outside of the College. It’s been a really cool part. Just being more involved in Saint Mary’s naturally makes you love Saint Mary’s even more because you see that love is so contagious.”Former student body president Corcoran said the care the administration has for students is reflected in the amount of participation the pair had in their decision-making processes.“That speaks volumes to the type of school we go to. That approach really has a waterfall effect throughout the whole college,” Corcoran said. “We always see it in our professors and those people we have daily experiences with, but I think it really stems from an administration that cares a lot about us and wants the student voices to be heard. So many times in meetings they’ll point to Kathy and I and say, ‘Well, what do you think as students?’ I don’t know for a fact, but I think a lot of colleges wouldn’t even have students be a part of a lot of the meetings and interviews and really high-level parts that we’ve gotten to participate in.”The ability to directly discuss their thoughts and ideas with the administration allowed Corcoran and Ogden to actively pursue their goals as well as tend to issues concerning students. Corcoran said this permitted the two to make student government an attainable resource to the student body.“Overall, people have come to us more often for different needs or questions on campus, and I think that’s something new that hopefully a lot of students feel is true — that we are a resource because that’s ultimately the main goal of student government, being that resource and actually following through on the questions and the concerns of students and working towards their needs,” she said.Corcoran said increasing the SGA presence on campus is a highlight of her time as president.“People see what student government can actually do on campus — whether it’s with Blinkie on Sundays, or the wireless printing, or events on campus, things like that,” she said. “I think across the board, students are seeing that student government reflects all components of our lives on campus, whether it’s Residence Life, academics or extracurriculars, it really does have a hand in everything. Hopefully, [student government] continues to be the go-to resource like we were the go-to resource.”Ogden said her administration’s most significant accomplishment was making wireless printing accessible to students, a change she said benefitted the entire student body.“I saw a girl in Trumper the other day wirelessly printing something,” she said. ”It was just cool to see. I remember our first meeting as juniors right after we figured out we were going to be student body president and vice president, meeting with Todd Norris and I was able to see the end where she was wirelessly printing from her device, so it was cool.”Though Corcoran and Ogden’s time as SGA leaders is over, the pair said they believe Terra Nelson and Olivia Allen will find success in their time as president and vice president. Corcoran said she hopes the new student leaders maintain the “strong voice on campus” Corcoran and Ogden leave behind.It is this strong voice Ogden said she wishes for students to appreciate and discover in their times at Saint Mary’s.“Appreciate the little things just because your time here is so precious,” she said. “As a senior, you realize that even more because you’re about to say goodbye. Trust that Saint Mary’s is shaping you into a very successful woman to go out and be a confident, empowering woman.”While giving thanks to all of those who helped the class of 2019 succeed, Corcoran also expressed her gratitude for her formative Saint Mary’s experience.“Being able to leave this College being confident, strong individuals who are going to change the world really is so empowering and so admirable,” she said. “Not everyone can necessarily say that about their college class, and I think that’s something so special about Saint Mary’s. Very much enjoy every minute and second at this place, because it flies by. It goes very quickly … Take in every moment you have here. Just like they say, you’re discovering yourself here and this is your chance to do that. They are preparing you to discover your place in the world — that’s what we’re all about to go do.”Tags: Commencement 2019, Saint Mary’s SGA, Saint Mary’s student government, Student Government Associationlast_img read more