United Nations authority addresses refugee crises

first_imgIn his Monday address, “The Responsibility to Solve,” United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) T. Alexander Aleinikoff said the international community must go beyond basic protection and assume responsibility for finding long-term solutions to major refugee crises.  “The way we think about international protection [of refugees] is that it should be a bridge to a solution, not the ending of the effort made by the international community,” Aleinikoff said. The UNHCR is most concerned with protracted refugee situations, in which 25,000 or more people of one nationality have been exiled from their home country for at least five years, Aleinikoff said. Aleinikoff said there are 29 of these situations around the world today. “In east Sudan that borders Ethiopia and Eritrea, there are between 50,000 and 100,000 refugees, some of whom have been there for 40 years,” he said. “Sixty percent of the population there has been born [to refugee parents].”  Aleinikoff said the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, the largest of its kind, also has an unfortunate amount of long-term residents. “The saddest fact that I have learned in the time I’ve been at UNHCR comes out of Dadaab,” he said. “There are now 10,000 children in Dadaab who were born to refugees, who were born in Dadaab. That cannot be the way the world ought to face and think about refugee situations.”  Although refugee camps are meant to be temporary remedies, Aleinikoff said the UNHCR seeks three types of “durable solutions” for refugees: returning them to their countries of origin, resettlement in a third country or local integration into the country in which they have been granted asylum.  “The cause of protracted refugee situations … is because the usual solutions don’t work,” he said.  Aleinikoff said the international community must focus more on getting refugees out of camps and giving them roots. “There is a bias in the way American refugee scholars … have thought about refugee protection, that if we just get people safe and don’t return them to persecution, that’s enough,” he said. “[But] the end of the refugee problem is people being re-attached to a community. That’s the initial harm they suffered in being refugees.” Without this re-attachment, Aleinikoff said the effects on refugees are “calamitous.” Refugees lack adequate health care and proper education, face physical safety risks and suffer grave psychological effects, he said. But Aleinikoff said even though countries should be concerned about upholding refugees’ human rights, talk of individual rights does not motivate nations to step in and fix the problem. “What I would suggest here is to find a rhetoric, or a moral fulcrum that moves the international community into action,” he said. Aleinikoff said this “moral fulcrum” would be a responsibility among all countries to share the burden of refugee crises. “A principle implicit in the refugee regime is one of international burden-sharing,” he said. “I’m suggesting a principle that members of the international community owe the other members of the international community.” Aleinikoff said currently developed countries have an upper hand over undeveloped nations when it comes to handling refugee crises. “Most refugees end up in developing countries paid for by developed countries,” he said. “In some ways, that’s the bargain, and it’s not always a happy bargain because sometimes developed countries use those kinds of funds as a way to keep refugees out of developed countries.” More progress can be made in combating refugee crises if countries work together to provide long-term solutions for refugees based on a shared responsibility, Aleinikoff said. “If we go into thinking now that there is a responsibility to solve these situations, lots of things become possible and lots of things get on the table,” he said. “We discover that people remain refugees not because they have to but because there isn’t the political will to not let them be refugees anymore.”last_img read more

Read More →

ROTC seniors prepare for service

first_imgThe men and women in Notre Dame’s ROTC battalions will serve more than clients and bosses in their future work. They will be serving their country. Notre Dame has three ROTC battalions: Army, Navy and Air Force. Each senior is commissioned upon graduation and enters their branch of the military as an officer.   Mary Coyne, one of the 32 seniors graduating from the Naval ROTC battalion, said she are excited to begin training for a specialized career path in the U.S. Navy. Coyne said she is one of the first girls ever chosen to enter the submarine branch and will begin training in October. “I think this is one of the first years that they have ever looked at ROTC girls [for submarines],” Coyne said. “I know it’s going to be really hard, and I know that there are going to be people who don’t think I should even be there because I’m a girl … but the only thing that I can do is to prove that I can do my job, respectfully.” Senior Kevin Brainard, a graduate of the Naval ROTC program, said he is preparing for a future as a pilot in the Marine Corps. “I’m a specialized case, because I’m going in with a flight contract,” Brainard said. “I know I’m going to fly something, but I don’t know exactly what yet.” Brainard, a psychology major, will move to Quantico, Va., immediately after graduation to enter The Basic School. The Basic School provides newly commissioned officers with the professional knowledge and leadership education to prepare them for duty as a company grade officer, according to the school’s website. “In my case, I’m going to be a pilot in the Marine Corps, but should I for whatever reason find myself commanding a ground unit, I’m going to be able to do that as well, thanks to training at [The Basic School],” Brainard said. Seniors Jane McNaughton and Trevor Waliszewski are two of the 17 cadets in Notre Dame’s Army ROTC battalion who will be commissioned as officers after graduation.   McNaughton, who will graduate from Saint Mary’s with a degree in social work, said she eventually will enter the military intelligence branch of the Navy, but will first serve a three-year stint with the Navy’s Chemical Corps. “Military intelligence loans me out, you could say, to the Chemical Corps,” she said. “There, I will be responsible for chemical weapons, nuclear and biological weapons … For the first three years, I will be working in that branch, and then I will go back to being a military intelligence officer.”  The chance to have variety in her assigned duties makes her chosen branch all the more attractive, McNaughton said. “With the Chemical Corps, there is so much variety in what officers can be assigned to do,” she said. “I can do a whole variety of things: a battalion staff position, which means working with planning and training operations for a few companies, or a chemical company position, which would mean that I would be assigned to my own platoon.” Waliszewski said he is pursuing a career as a Judge Advocacy General (JAG) lawyer.    “I’m on a pretty unique track,” Waliszewski said. “I’m getting an educational delay and then heading off to law school, where I will commission as a JAG lawyer.” Waliszewski said he will confront a broad range of legal issues with the military. “It’s a legal firm, plus all of the military benefits,” Wasliszewski said. “It’s a really exciting and challenging career, because you are not being pigeonholed to one specialty within the law, and every year you’re probably going to have a new assignment and be challenged in a new way.” Seniors Scott Lyle and Shayler Piersen will graduate with 18 Air Force ROTC cadets who will be commissioned after graduation. Lyle, who will graduate with a degree in aerospace engineering, said he is headed to Loughlin Air Force Base in Texas at the beginning of 2013 but will work a temporary job until then. “On Jan. 11 [2013], I will activate, pack up everything, go to Loughlin Air Force Base in Texas for several months and then eventually go to training in Pueblo, Colo. for a few weeks of training,” Lyle said. “Then I’ll go back to Loughlin to start undergraduate pilot training.” Piersen, a political science and history major, said he will enter the military intelligence branch of the Air Force upon graduation. He said he will begin seven months of training challenges, culminating in a series of examinations spanning three days. “A lot of intelligence training is learning to handle all of these different varieties of information ⎯ learning how to analyze types of pictures, intercept communications and work with satellites,” he said. Piersen said Notre Dame prepares its ROTC cadets particularly well for careers in the military, because the University inspires a deeper understanding of the same sense of service that inspired the cadets to enlist. “Notre Dame’s focus is on its mission in service, and that’s why we enter the military ⎯ we want to serve our country,” Piersen said. “Notre Dame instills that higher understanding of service and by facilitating that understanding of why we are serving our country, we are allowed to do that in a much better way.”last_img read more

Read More →

Jenkins blesses particle accelerator

first_imgUniversity President Fr. John Jenkins dedicated and blessed the new SU Pelletron nuclear particle accelerator Thursday, calling the occasion “a great step for Notre Dame.” The dedication ceremony was held on the first level of the new 4-level space within Nieuwland Science Hall that houses the accelerator. In attendance was physics professor Michael Wiescher, who played a key role in bringing the accelerator to Notre Dame and has worked in the department for 27 years. There are two other accelerators within the facility, but the new one has a “much more intense beam,” Wiescher said. “The accelerator is designed to test conditions at the center of sun, stars and supernova explosions,” he said. The tank that houses the accelerator was installed in Oct. 2011, and the actual accelerator was installed in March. The four-story tall instrument had to be lowered into its new home on the top of Nieuwland Science Hall by helicopter. In total, the accelerator cost about $8 million, $4 million from a National Science Foundation grant. The University paid the remainder for the necessary modifications for Nieuwland to house the new accelerator. The first beam from the accelerator was produced in April 2012, and since then, research has been under way. When asked about the South Bend community’s reaction on the project, Wiescher said concerns should be tempered by the fact the accelerator has a “number of applications.” “This accelerator is widely used for research on cancer treatments, smoke detectors, fire alarms, climate monitoring and is used extensively in archaeology and history,” he said. In addition, the machine can also be used to research nuclear waste. “The particles from the accelerator can help scientists tell how slowly nuclear waste will degrade in a shorter amount of time than traditional methods,” research faculty member Daniel Robertson said. This accelerator is one of five of its kind in the world, and the project is sustainable. When describing the accelerator, Robertson said it is “lower energy but more versatile” than the other accelerators in the laboratory. Furthermore, 20 to 30 universities around the world are involved in the project, sending user groups to campus from countries such as Brazil, Mexico and China. “International groups do experiments here, and we try to encourage international participation,” he said. The instrument has complex machinery that starts with an ion source, which accelerates charged particles and shoots them through a gas. Then there is a nuclear reaction in the gas, which forms new elements and mimics how energy is made within the sun, stars and supernovas. The instrument runs a test that models the change in elemental components of the center of the stars, and then compares the data to observations of the actual center of stars’ make-up.last_img read more

Read More →

Event raises funds for St. Baldrick’s

first_imgIn its fifth year, The Bald and The Beautiful event will attempt to shave more heads and collect more donations for cancer research than ever before, senior Betsy McGovern said. McGovern, who is one of five head organizers for the event, said the charity fundraiser set for April will raise awareness and funds for cancer patients. “The event began four years ago, when a student named Sam Marks came to campus,” McGovern said. “He came as a freshman knowing he had cancer. He left after a semester, and then later passed away. The Bald and Beautiful was started in Duncan Hall, Sam’s residence, in memory of him.” A group of freshmen in Marks’ class served on the Freshman Class Council and brainstormed the event, McGovern said, and the event has grown substantially from its start. “There are three different organizations that we donate to, and depending on how you participate in the event, your money will go to a different organization,” McGovern said. The first way an individual can participate in the fundraiser by shaving his or her head, McGovern said. Traditionally, this option is more popular among males but in years past, the number of women participating has grown. Last year, 10 girls shaved their heads, McGovern said. “The people that shave their heads raise money in whatever way they want, “McGovern said. “Many contact family and friends; some even go around campus with a jar and ask students for donations.” All the money from the head shavings goes to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a childhood cancer charity dedicated to finding cures for children with cancer. Last year, the event raised nearly $50,000 for the charity. Students can also participate in The Bald and The Beautiful by buying hair extensions. Students can buy a strand or more of hair extensions, and the proceeds are donated to Memorial Hospital in South Bend, McGovern said. “Memorial has a close connection with Notre Dame, and a lot of students volunteer there,” McGovern said. “The funds we donate from the event help Memorial to build an outpatient pediatric cancer treatment center.” The third option to participate in the event is through hair donation. The program requires eight inches of non-dyed hair that will be cut and donated to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a charity that constructs wigs for cancer patients who have lost their hair during treatment. “This year, we are trying to expand the event,” McGovern said. “For example, we are trying to have an event with Memorial for the pediatric cancer patients around St. Patrick’s Day.” However, the main event – head shaving and hair extensions – will happen on April 16, 17 and 19. “We will have the front two rooms of LaFortune set up for the event, ” McGovern said. “A lot of groups come in throughout the day to participate, like sports teams. People can take initiative with regards to how they want to participate in the event. McGovern said the event organizers are always looking for volunteers to accommodate the donators and donations. “The end product is so amazing,” McGovern said. “We have raised nearly $150,000 for these organizations in the past four years, and this year we want to make the event even more amazing.”last_img read more

Read More →

Athletic director addresses alma mater policy

first_imgAt Wednesday night’s Student Senate meeting, Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick addressed the group about the alma mater policy and the Campus Crossroads stadium expansion.Swarbrick explained the origin of the alma mater policy, by which the football team does not sing the song after home losses.“The decision actually occurred more than a full year before it manifested itself,” Swarbrick said. “We were fortunate to not have a home loss for quite a while, and we had a bunch of guys who hadn’t been around for the decision who didn’t know what to do.“The discussion was prompted after an away game. It was really an unhappy experience. … It was everything you’d expect — a lot of unfriendly gestures, a lot of stuff being thrown, a lot of foul language. It seemed totally inconsistent with singing the words of the alma mater. After that, we said to ourselves, ‘What is our rule?’”Swarbrick said the football team’s “student leaders” were behind the decision two years ago, not the University administration.“I was proud of the process, proud that students made the decision,” he said. “I was proud to support almost any conclusion they would have reached.”The policy will continue to be debated in the future, Swarbrick said.“Just as we posed the question two years ago, we will pose it again in the spring,” he said.Swarbrick also defended the new Campus Crossroads expansion project after O’Neill Hall senator Kyle McCaffery said students are concerned about the project possibly interfering with events, such as commencement.“The principle dynamic is the encroachment on parking,” Swarbrick said. “The construction fence will move out into the parking lot. However, parking will be made available during commencement and football games.”Swarbrick said he was excited about increased space for RecSports’s use and hospitality space.“For all the great things about this campus, there just aren’t a lot of spaces where you can have functions,” he said. “Whether it’s a small concert or a dance, we’re creating space for these things.”Other decisions about Notre Dame Stadium, such as whether turf or a video board will be installed, are still undetermined, Swarbrick said.Student body president Alex Coccia welcomed incoming president and vice president Lauren Vidal and Matt Devine, who will sit in on Senate meetings until their term officially begins April 1.last_img read more

Read More →

Chinese civil rights advocate interprets contemporary injustice in home country

first_imgCourtesy of the Institute for Church Life Prominent civil rights advocate Chen Guangcheng discusses the current state of human rights in China. Chen reflected on his work as a lawyer and his persecution by the Chinese government.“As long as you remain true to your cause as an activist, the communist party will continue to persecute you,” Chen said through his translator. “There is really no moral limit.”Chen said although many Americans now visit China, they typically only stay in the modernized cities and avoid rural areas. This limited perspective, Chen said, can contribute to misconceptions about how the Chinese people actually live. He said that over 70 percent of the population lives in rural areas.“If you look at some of the official published statistics, you will get the impression that many of the farmers or poor peasants enjoy a relatively good life, but what I can tell you is that those data are not true,” Chen said.After conducting his own studies, Chen said the actual standard of living for the vast majority of the agrarian Chinese population is much lower than the figures the government issues publicly. Further compounding this poverty, Chen said, is the fact that local peasants receive virtually no monetary support from the government.“Right now it is undeniable that China’s new exercises are autocratic,” Chen said. “It is truly a one-party state.”Chen said he began his career as an activist by representing the disabled in rural areas who are entitled to benefits by Chinese law, but instead receive nothing and are even taxed. Their plight is compounded by a dearth of access to legal counsel caused by their lack of money and the general reluctance of lawyers to pursue cases that could be considered anti-government, Chen said.However, Chen said the issue of coercive family planning practice also drew his attention and deserved more scrutiny. According to Chen, government agents use physical violence to enforce reproductive policy and the one-child rule in particular.“Oftentimes, the way they do it is to not only punish the woman who is pregnant with her second child, but also to go beyond herself such as her immediate family, relatives, siblings, uncles and aunts,” Chen said.The abuses of the government in this regard include threats of violence, torture, and physically forcing women to undergo abortions, Chen said, as well as forging consent forms to use as legal cover. According to Chen’s estimates, there have been over 30,000 cases of forced abortions and overall 360 million Chinese women have gotten abortions. Chen said this has resulted in massive social problems in China, including a substantial gender gap in the population and unusually small families being unable to support older relatives.Chen said seeing these injustices made him dedicate his life to activism, and he has suffered repercussions, ranging from torture and physical abuse to financial bribery, because of it. However, he said he will persevere in this cause and continue to to help his fellow countrymen.“On the other side, for foreigners or people who have an interest in China, I hope you all will hold more of a long-term view and do not compromise, do not give in to the communist party,” Chen said. “I think the future is bright.”Editor’s Note: The original version of this article referred to Chen Guangcheng by his given name, Guangcheng, instead of his family name, Chen. The Observer regrets this error.Tags: activism, activist, Chen Guangcheng, China, Human Dignity Lecture, Law Prominent Chinese civil rights advocate and political dissident Chen Guangcheng delivered the University of Notre Dame 2015 Human Dignity Lecture, entitled “Interpreting Reform: Human Dignity and Human Rights in Contemporary China,” Tuesday evening in McKenna Hall. With the aid of a translator, the “barefoot lawyer” discussed his personal experiences as a legal counsel for poor rural Chinese citizens, the persecution he faced from the government and the state of civil rights in modern China.last_img read more

Read More →

Speaker examines ability and disability

first_imgAmong the tailgates, pep rallies and Glee Club performances stands another Notre Dame game day tradition, The Dooley Society Lecture. Matt Hubbard, founder of the Dooley Society, opened Saturday’s lecture and said “our goals are the same as we started with: mentorship, education, global service to humanity and reinforcing Catholic values.”The Dooley Society Lecture Series, held every football Saturday, is one of the programs created to carry out those goals. The speaker for Nov. 14 was Oluwaferanmi Okanlami, M.D., from the Memorial Hospital of South Bend, and he gave a lecture titled, “Disabusing Disability.”Okanlami is a decorated scholar and holds an undergraduate degree from Stanford University, a medical degree from the University of Michigan and a surgical residency from Yale University. He most recently graduated from the Engineering, Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Excellence Master’s (ESTEEM) program at Notre Dame. Okanlami was president of his class at Stanford, captain of the Stanford track team, leader of the Christian-Athlete organization and director of a production at Michigan. On July 4, 2013, Okanlami hosted a gathering for his colleagues from the Yale residency program. He jumped into a pool, which resulted in a C-6 incomplete spinal cord injury. As a result, Okanlami had no motor control from the chest down; minimal use of his right and left hands, wrists, and forearms; and no sensation below his chest. “This wasn’t something that happened to me that was out of my control. I took an action. I jumped,” Okanlami said.Okanlami’s colleagues rushed him to the hospital, and Okanlami received the treatment necessary to recover. However, many people still speak to Okanlami about the potential he had before his injury. “From day one, I never thought that my potential had been diminished in any way … Not a day went by where I felt sorry for myself or felt like I can’t do something. And that’s why the title of this talk is ‘Disabusing Disability,’” Okanlami said.“I can do lots of things that someone with has never had a spinal cord injury can’t do,” Okanlami said. “So therefore, where do you draw the line?” He then spoke of the fine line between the unable and disabled, and its applicability to the lives of others. Although someone might not be physically struggling, Okanlami said everyone has something that they are struggling with.“You should treat everyone in that way,” Okanlami said, “ … If you treat everyone like you treat the person who has the disability, and you give them the benefit of the doubt, and you give them that assistance, and you offer them your love and support, then that’s the best way to live your life.” Okanlami then continued his personal story and spoke of his path toward healing. Since his injury, he has had a miraculous recovery, regaining the feeling of sensation and better control of his core. He also entered the ESTEEM program at Notre Dame and began a family medicine residency at Memorial Hospital.  In this work, Okanlami said, “I want to empower people to know that they can do more for themselves … I see in my practice every day people that didn’t even know that they could want to do more for themselves because of the culture that was created around them. [Society] made them feel as though they were disabled.”Okanlami said this kind of helplessness traps patients.“Things happen in life that none of us would ever ask to happen … But it’s not that things happen, it’s how you react to those things that happen that truly write the story of what your life will be,” he said.Okanlami takes an active role in the community, leading organizations that head both wheelchair basketball and sled hockey. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has appointed Okanlami to the St. Joseph County Board of Health. Tags: Disabusing Disability, Dooley Society Lecture, Okanlamilast_img read more

Read More →

Saint Mary’s names three valedictorians

first_imgEditor’s note: A version of the story appeared online March 18.Saint Mary’s announced the names of three students who will represent the Class of 2016 as valedictorians during the College’s 169th Commencement.The three honorees are Paige Aldrich, Annie Cavalier and Alex Vizard. Aldrich is a chemistry and mathematics double major, Cavalier is a chemistry major with a concentration in biochemistry and a minor in biology and Vizard is an accounting major with a concentration in finance and a minor in mathematics.Susan Zhu After graduation, Aldrich said she plans to study nuclear chemistry at Michigan State University’s graduate program. Vizard said she will be working at Ernst & Young in Chicago, while Cavalier will attend medical school at Loyola University in Chicago.Vizard said she was surprised when she found out she was one of three valedictorians.“I never thought there would be three,” she said. “I thought there would be some sort of tie-breaker. I never really thought about getting it. It wasn’t an explicit goal, but I was very excited and proud to be able to represent my class.”Cavalier said during her college search, she initially did not have Saint Mary’s on her radar because her mother graduated from the College in 1988. She said she wanted to go somewhere that felt more like a place of her own, but then she came to the College to visit.“When I came to visit, I was walking through the buildings and talking to professors and students,” Cavalier said. “It just felt like the right fit.”Aldrich said Saint Mary’s has helped make her accountable for her own life.“I’ve learned a lot about the world around me and realized that I need to match what I believe with my actions,” she said. “When I was a freshman, I learned about factory farms and realized that I needed to become vegan in order to support what I believed to be right. I’ve also struggled with my faith throughout my life, so I took a critical look at my beliefs and have deeply improved my spiritual life.”Cavalier said the close relationships between students and professors make Saint Mary’s special.“It makes the classroom experience so much better,” she said. “You don’t feel like you’re being talked at. That gave me a lot of confidence to speak up in class and share my opinions. … I think that confidence is what I’ve gained in general, but also the ability to be independent and leave here with no doubts of the success that I will see in the future. I don’t doubt my ability to do things that I want to do.”Vizard said the College and the Sophia Program, Saint Mary’s liberal arts curriculum requirements, helped her gain confidence in all areas of her life.“It’s caused me to try a lot of new things,” she said. “I took a lot of classes that I probably would have never tried taking, and I ended up really enjoying them. I think it’s caused me to expand my mindset and grow as a person in general.”Cavalier said she is proud to a Saint Mary’s student because of the College’s larger community.“You can graduate from a state school or another larger private school, and you don’t ever really go back or associate yourself with the school after that,” she said. “I know I will have ties to this school and this area for the rest of my life. I know it is a place I will always come back to, a place that I’m always going to miss.”Aldrich said she is proud to be graduating from a college that produces strong, kind, driven women.“I could have learned information from textbooks,” she said, “but it wouldn’t have compared to the rounded education that I’ve gotten from the caring, intelligent professors at Saint Mary’s.”Tags: Commencement 2016, graduation 2016, SMC valedictorians, valedictorianslast_img read more

Read More →

Senior Week co-chairs discuss end-of-year events

first_imgSenior Week 2018 will feature a few new events while maintaining its focus on giving seniors a final week to have fun and say goodbye to Notre Dame.Seniors Anna Schierl and Molly Robinson, this year’s co-chairs of Senior Week, are the first chairs the Senior Class Council has chosen outside of student government, Robinson said. However, she does not think the process of planning Senior Week has changed very much. The two still included familiar events like the Chicago Cubs game and the class trip to the Grotto during Senior Week this year.The chairs also decided to add a graduation cap decorating event Saturday and a class bonfire Thursday, Schierl said.“The vision [was], finish the [Grotto trip] and then walk up the road and the fire will be started,” she said. “You can go and spend a little bit more time with your friends.”Other events included bowling, trivia, a class picnic and Domerfest 2.0.Of the events, Robinson said the Commencement Ball required the most planning.“There’s a lot of working gears in terms of tickets and guest tickets, what colors of linen and all that kind of thing,” she said.Schierl recalled attending the Commencement Ball last year as a junior volunteer and said the dance was one of her favorite events.“It’s so well-timed in the week,” Schierl said of the Wednesday evening event. “It feels so important, but it’s still lighthearted. Everyone gets to dress up … but also still be whimsical and collegiate.”Schierl and Robinson said they also both looked forward to the Grotto trip, which they anticipated being a very emotional event.Though the co-chairs helped plan Senior Week throughout the year, once the week started, they had the chance to participate in all the events alongside their classmates, Schierl said.“[The co-chairs] hand off all of the duties to a group of junior volunteers, and they do all the manual labor for the week,” she said. “We are just free to have everything the way we want it and then just attend.”Senior Week is an important end to students’ time at Notre Dame, Schierl said. However, she added, it is not necessarily supposed to rekindle trivial friendships.“The vision is not [to] run around and reconnect with everyone you’ve ever met at Notre Dame,” Schierl said. “That random person in your sophomore class that you’ve never talked to again, that’s not the point of Senior Week.”Instead, Senior Week should be about celebrating seniors’ close friendships, Schierl said.“The point of Senior Week is to spend some time with the people that you love,” she said. “Before you’re scattered to the ends of the Earth, have a little bit of time to just be together and be in this space that we all love so much.”Robinson also said Senior Week focuses on the people who have impacted your time at the University.“A lot of the Notre Dame experience is heavily dependent on who you know and your friends and the people that got you through it,” Robinson said. “Senior Week is about celebrating that and being able to reflect and go into graduation with a little spirit of celebration.”Tags: 2018 Commencement, Commencement 2018, friendship, senior class council, Senior Weeklast_img read more

Read More →

New minor emphasizes interdisciplinary aspect of real estate

first_imgThe Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate recently launched an interdisciplinary minor in real estate, which is open to all undergraduate students.“The minor is 15 credits, with an introductory course, three electives of three credits each in a variety of different areas … and the last three credits of the minor are these industry engaging colloquia,” Eugenio Acosta, program director of the Institute for Real Estate, said.The colloquia are one-credit seminars that bring in people from the industry to talk about their work. The first being offered is Real Estate Finance and Investment this fall.“It brings in experts on the business and law side to talk to students about real cases, real issues and connect students with what they would be doing out in the real world, with the kind of jobs that are out there and the experiences they will have,” Acosta said.Students and alumni from Notre Dame have long been interested in real estate, but until now there was no way to quantify the courses they had been taking.“For years, we’ve had faculty and courses in real estate but no real way to capture a student’s interest,” Acosta said. “But now students who take those courses can get a minor, so this is a way to help them better prepare for industry, with jobs and internships, by giving them credit for what they do — but also enhance the opportunities and create new courses.”Since the minor applications were opened this semester, 53 students have applied for the minor. However, due to the course requirements only current freshman and sophomores will be able to complete it in time for graduation.“There has been almost double the demand at what we thought there would be for the minor so far,” Jason Arnold, managing director of the Institute for Real Estate, said.The nature of the minor is interdisciplinary, Acosta said. He said this reflects the multifaceted nature of the real estate industry, offering classes in three different colleges —  the School of Architecture, the College of Engineering and Mendoza College of Business.“I’m excited that it’s going to be a very diverse group, and truly interdisciplinary. If you look at the numbers, a quarter of our students are going to be Arts and Letters, and 8 percent are STEM,” Acosta said. “Mixing engineers with some science folks and some arts and letters and putting them together with the business students is going to be a great learning experience.”Acosta said it is important to have an background stemming from multiple areas when going into real estate.“Real estate is a very applied field and very interdisciplinary,” he said. “You can come in on it from the finance side, the architecture side or the engineering side. So it’s great to have a base academic discipline and to enhance it with a minor on the applied side.”Through the requirement to take at least one elective course outside the student’s academic home, the minor’s interdisciplinary nature is shown.“I’m excited that students are going to take more real estate classes and that there is an outlet for that,” Arnold said. “They’re going to be pushed to take things outside of their own discipline to learn about what makes up real estate at large.”Tags: College of Engineering, Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate, mendoza college of business, Real Estate minor, School of Architecturelast_img read more

Read More →