Notre Dame Food Services decked the dining halls Tuesday night for the annual Student Christmas Dinner, a tradition senior Susan Garabedian anticipates each year. “I’ve been looking forward to this,” she said at Tuesday’s meal. “I told all my roommates that we had to go together.” Staff did their part to make the meal special. Christmas music played, red and green Hershey’s Kisses adorned the tables and a Christmas tree and Santa Claus ice sculpture were displayed. The Handbell Choir performed carols at 6 p.m. North Dining Hall’s Christmas Dinner featured red and green candles, garland and poinsettias. Garabedian said she enjoyed the festivity of her meal at South Dining Hall. “I enjoy sharing a Christmas meal with my best friends,” she said. “It’s my favorite dining hall day of the year.” Garabedian and her roommates brought some holiday cheer of their own, donning Santa Claus hats. “We thought about dressing up but decided to go festive instead,” said senior Adriana Taylor, Garabedian’s roommate. John Ritschard, a University employee, said he has swiped students’ ID cards at South Dining Hall at four Christmas Dinners. “It’s the best dinner of the year, especially the decorations and prime rib and all the trimmings,” he said. “They do all the good stuff, and everybody on campus looks forward to the evening because it’s really special.” Christmas Dinners are much busier than other dinners in the dining halls, Ritschard said. He said the menu, featuring prime rib and swordfish, is the same every year. “Like I say, it’s always good food for good people,” Ritschard said. John Ritschard’s wife, Lila Ritschard, also swiped students’ ID cards at Christmas Dinner. She said the meal was “fabulous.” “You just can’t beat it, especially for the price,” Lila Ritschard said. “It’s more elaborate [than other dinners],” she added. “It’s more in line with the candlelight dinners after football.” Sophomore Lance Mulcahey said he attended last year’s Christmas Dinner as well. “I think the food is spectacular, considering the standard of the dining hall food,” Mulcahey said. “Although [the food is usually] good, this kicks it up a notch.” Sophomore Kim Halstead said she really enjoyed the meal. “Overall, I really, heartily enjoy the decorations, especially the glistening Santa Clause [ice sculpture],” she said. “The atmosphere in general is warm and inviting, and I want to steal that Santa Claus and keep it in my fridge.”
Saint Mary›s College Dance Marathon, a yearlong fundraising project for Riley Hospital for Children, is hosting a 5-kilometer (5K) race tonight at 6:30 p.m. to raise money for the hospital and to promote the final dance marathon in March. While preregistration took place last week, people can still sign up anytime between 6 and 6:30 p.m. at the race start, which is located by the Saint Mary’s softball fields. Race-day registration costs $5. Any students, faculty or staff from Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and Holy Cross may participate. The event is also open to the public. Senior Amy Tiberi, Dance Marathon president, said the event was part of a growing tradition. “This will be our sixth year doing the 5K,” Tiberi said. The Dance Marathon fundraiser at Saint Mary’s College began eight years ago and the 5K has been a part of the fundraising efforts for a majority of the program’s existence. “[The 5K] used to be called Trots for Tots but we decided to call it FT5K because it is for the kids,” Kate Kellogg, Dance Marathon co-vice president, said. “[The name] really embodies our mission statement and what we stand for.” Tiberi said about 90 people participated in last year’s race. There are currently 85 runners registered, but she said she hopes that number will increase with race-day registration. “Seeing people wearing the 5K T-shirt throughout campus really raises awareness. It’s just really cool to see campus get involved with Dance Marathon,” Kellogg said. As an added incentive to participate, a gift card to a local business will be given to the top three female and male finishers of the race. “I planned this event last year and this year and now I am one of the vice presidents and it’s really cool to see directing and seeing the dynamics [of the 5K],” Kellogg said. Tiberi said Dance Marathon will host other events this fall to raise funds and awareness for Riley. “On Nov. 1, we are having a benefit concert on campus [and] in October we are having dancer registration,” Tiberi said. “I think it’s a great event to come out to because people are exercising and enjoying the great weather …. People would be doing that anyways, so why not do both by supporting a good cause?”
By EMMA BORNE News Writer On Thursday, Clemens Sedmak, professor of moral and social theology at King’s College in London, spoke on dignity and justice at the annual Center for Social Concerns Fr. Bernie Clark lecture. The lecture, titled “The Deep Practice of Human Dignity,” focused on three key ideas: the concept of human dignity, the concept of integrity and the concept of deep practice. Sedmak said human dignity is not only a concept, but also a way of life. “[Human dignity] is a way of experiencing, a way of thinking and a way of acting,” Sedmak said. “Dignity is not only something that can be used as a concept; you need to do it. It needs to have this kind of cash value.” Human dignity is closely related to human integrity, Sedmak said. “The concept of dignity and integrity are linked because of the focus on vulnerability in both. … Human dignity needs an understanding of vulnerability,” she said. “Vulnerability is important because it violates integrity.” In order to understand others’ vulnerability as a concept, Sedmak said, “we have to understand our own vulnerability.” Sedmak said understanding our own vulnerability in turn allows us to practice human dignity, clarifying the third point of his lecture. Humans need to practice human dignity for the simple reason of being human, Sedmak said. “The concept of human dignity is command and the command consists in saying: value the human person because she is human,” Sedmak said. “And that is where the justification stops.” Even in a difficult circumstance, Sedmak said the practice of human dignity comes with the concept of being whole-hearted. “Deep practice has these two properties: there are adverse circumstances… and secondly a moment of whole heartedness,” Sedmak said. “If you want to appropriate a skill under adverse circumstances, you must be fully motivated.” Though deep practices are not easy, Sedmak said deep practices are essential to human dignity. “If we want the concept of dignity to have friction we need to appropriate it by way of deep practices,” Sedmak said. Contact EmmaBorne at [email protected]
Notre Dame Food Services is set to host coffee tastings next week, at which students can sample free coffee and vote on which type will be served in the dining halls and at events catered by Food Services.The coffee tasting, which will feature six vendors, will take place from 7 a.m. to 2 p. m. on Jan. 27 in the South Dining Hall Hospitality Room and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 28 in the North Dining Hall Gold Room.Chris Abayasinghe, director of Food Services, said that the change in coffee vendors comes in response to student feedback.“This change has been in the works for quite a while, but you wouldn’t believe all there is to consider in brewing a cup of coffee,” Abayasinghe said. “We have heard feedback from our students; however, the main reason [for the change] is we want to serve a great cup of coffee.”According to the Food Services website, the vendors at the coffee tasting will include Paramount Coffee, Intelligentsia Coffee, Hubbard & Cravens, Douwe Egberts, Javo and Nestle Professional. Representatives from each vendor will be at the tasting events to answer questions about their products and efforts to produce coffee sustainably.“We chose three local vendors [Paramount Coffee, Intelligentsia Coffee and Hubbard & Cravens] who source and roast their own beans for our brewed options,” Abayasinghe said. “Some people believe that on-demand coffee is the best option out there, so we chose three vendors [Douwe Egberts, Javo and Nestle Professional] to represent this segment as well.”Abayasinghe said student feedback would be critical in the selection of a new coffee vendor.“We are looking for what flavor profiles the students prefer, as well as which stewardship and sustainability issues mean to our students,” he said. “This will guide NDFS in obtaining a product that our guests enjoy.“This [coffee] will replace the coffee in the dining halls, so we wanted the input of the people who will be drinking it regularly.”Students can use their ID cards to access the coffee tasting, Abayasinghe said. Each taster will receive a card on which to note their preferences and will fill out a brief survey at the end of the tasting.“This is [the students’] chance to voice their opinion on what some deem the most important dink of the day and to let us know what issues in sustainability we should consider,” Abayasinghe said.Abayasinghe said there would be more coffee tasting events in the future.“After a vendor is chosen, we intend to conduct education sessions with our students about different brewing methods or styles of coffee.”Tags: coffee, dining hall, Food Services
Notre Dame’s Men Against Violence (MAV) launches its annual Pledge Drive today between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. in Notre Dame’s dining halls.The Pledge Drive will collect the signatures of men willing to take an active stance against sexual assault and raises general awareness about violence of this nature on campus. The signatures will be published in a later issue of The Observer.According to MAV’s website, the public must stop pigeonholing rape and sexual assault because every woman out there is a sister, daughter or mother to another person and therefore violence against women victimizes not only a gender, but also the wider community.“I see the Pledge Drive as a way to bring together the entire student body in a really simple way,” MAV President Thomas Deranek said. “It reminds each student that sexual violence is an important issue that they are willing to stand against.”Susan Zhu | The Observer Deranek said the Drive is vital to MAV’s ultimate goal: to witness an end to sexual assault and domestic violence.“I want us to be widely seen as a group that is unafraid to start and to participate in the conversation of why sexual violence is still a problem at Notre Dame and what we can do [to] solve this problem,” Deranek said.According to MAV’s website, the club’s creation was rooted in the belief that men should act as positive role models for other men and take responsibility to help end sexual violence against women.“We believe that, as men, we should take pride in our masculinity and responsibility for our actions,” MAV Treasurer Derek Kuns said. “MAV was founded a number of years ago in the hope of freeing our campus of all sexual violence, and that is still the goal we are striving for today.”Derenek said the Pledge Drive promotes awareness of and opposition to all sexual violence against women and is available for all men to sign.“I remember that the only takeaway most of my friends got from Frosh-O in regards to sexual violence was that every male is a potential rapist,” Kuns said. “We shouldn’t think this way; rather, we should think that as men we can do a lot to prevent sexual violence just by taking pride in our actions and policing ourselves and our friends.”Kuns said men must take a position of responsibility because they are too often the perpetrators of sexually violent crimes. The pledge states that “real men care.”“We appreciate that everyone is busy, but in less than a minute, the Pledge can remind Notre Dame’s sons what it really means to be a man,” Kuns said.Aside from giving names to men’s faces that stand against sexual violence, Deranek believes the Pledge Drive comes with even more benefits.“Most importantly, the Pledge Drive reminds everyone that it is something that all of us students stand against together, providing us with a sense of unity for a great cause,” Derenek said.Tags: domestic violence, MAV, Men Against Violence, Pledge Drive, sexual assault
The Saint Mary’s Academic Continuation Task Force is reviewing several options for the fall semester, Interim President Nancy Nekvasil announced in an email Tuesday. The College still intends to bring students back to campus for the academic semester, she said, but has yet to issue a formal plan.This statement follows plans announced by Notre Dame and Holy Cross for an early start and conclusion to the upcoming fall semester.“You may have seen that the University of Notre Dame recently announced its plan to begin on-campus classes on August 10,” Nekvasil said in the email. “Please know that this is one of the scenarios we are considering.”President-elect Katie Conboy will collaborate with the College’s leadership team and the Academic Continuation Task Force to finalize plans to safely bring students back to campus.Tags: 2020 fall semester, Academic Continuation Task Force, COVID-19, Interim President Nancy Nekvasil, Katie Conboy
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) Photo: Red CrossWASHGINTON – In response to an urgent need for blood donors, the Food and Drug Administration is changing donation guidelines effective immediately.The changes should make it possible for many more people to give blood than before.The FDA is loosening guidelines put in place during the h-i-v epidemic that prevented many gay men from donating blood.Until now, male donors would have been deferred to wait for a year after having sex with another man. Now there is only a three-month waiting period. The same shorter period applies to donors who have had tattoos or piercings.It also applies for people who have traveled to countries where there is exposure to malaria, the waiting period has also been reduced.Until now people who spent time in European countries or military bases where there was a risk mad cow disease had to wait.Now, the waiting period for those potential blood donors has been eliminated.The American Red Cross says they have imposed safety practices to protect donors when they give blood.The FDA says Coronavirus is a respiratory illness and it is not believed to be transmitted by blood.
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) MGN ImageWASHINGTON – The FDA is authorizing three new Coronavirus antibody tests, which can indicate if someone is immune to re-infection.That brings the current total number of FDA authorized COVID-19 antibody tests to seven.This kind of FDA authorization carries a lower regulatory standard because it is under ’emergency use’ standards. That means while the benefits outweigh any risks, the tests do carry the risk of false positives and negatives.Patients who get results from one of these antibody tests should still follow social distancing guidelines. It also remains unclear whether antibodies indicate that someone is immune to re-infection.
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) Photo: Lorie Shaull / CC BY-SA 2.0SWANTON, Vt. — The number of people apprehended for illegally crossing from Canada into the United States along its northern border has nearly tripled over the past three years, and a growing portion are Mexican citizens, according to federal data.One Mexican man who crossed illegally to work on a Vermont dairy farm said it was easier than trying the southern border.U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics obtained by The Associated Press after a public records request provide new detail on what was apparent anecdotally: Along the border from Maine to Washington, 446 of the 1,586 illegal crossers apprehended in the 2019 fiscal year were Mexican, or 28%. That’s up from 20 of 558, or just 3.6%, in 2016.The numbers also increased for Romanians — many identified as ethnic Roma — and other nationalities, such as Haitians and Indians. Those tallies don’t include apprehensions for reasons other than illegal crossings, such as overstaying visas. This year’s data will likely look different because of travel impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael McCarthy said there’s been “a decline in illegal entries” since the arrival of the virus and the border closure, though he didn’t have specific numbers. But they’re expected to pick up again as travel resumes.A former U.S. Department of Homeland Security attache in Ottawa said she wasn’t surprised by more illegal crossings from Canada, though that total remains less than 1% of southern border apprehensions.“Like water at the lowest point, migrants will find their best way in,” said Theresa Brown, now director of immigration and cross border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.The Vermont farm worker, Diego, said he illegally crossed from Canada in 2017 because it was safer and cheaper than crossing the southern border.“The person who was going to get us across was recommended by a trusted friend and there was no risk that we were going to be cheated,” said Diego, 26, who’s from the Mexican state of Tabasco and spoke in Spanish. He spoke on condition that his full name not be used because he’s in the U.S. without authorization.Diego arrived via the northern border’s busiest sector for apprehensions: a 295-mile (475 kilometer) stretch across northern New York, Vermont and New Hampshire that had more than half the northern border arrests last year, up from 38% in 2016. An informal review of criminal cases filed against people apprehended in Vermont and upstate New York over the last two years indicates most were trying to reach areas away from the border, such as New York City.The sector’s chief border agent, Robert Garcia, attributes its increase in illegal crossers to its proximity to Toronto and Montreal and the U.S. East Coast; increased focus on security along the U.S. southern border; and changes in Canadian entry requirements.In 2016, Canada lifted its requirement that Mexican citizens apply for visas to enter the country, as part of efforts to strengthen ties with Mexico. A similar change for Romanian citizens took effect in 2017.The Canadian government “monitors its immigration system closely” and takes seriously the responsibility for the shared border with the U.S., a statement from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said.“Visa-free travel does not guarantee entry into Canada,” it said, noting such travel could be suspended if necessary to preserve the system’s integrity.Diego said he and four adults he didn’t know flew to Toronto from Mexico, waited days in a motel before traveling overland to Montreal, then took a taxi to a town near the Quebec-Vermont border. A guide took them to the border and told them that once they crossed, they should run across a plowed field to someone who’d be waiting.“They were there and they took us,” he said. “We had the luck.”Diego said the trip cost about $2,500, and he heard the person who arranged his passage was later arrested and deported to Mexico.In another recent smuggling case, a Canadian citizen born in El Salvador was extradited to the United States and charged with running a yearslong operation that crossed people from Canada into Vermont and New York.The Border Patrol says smugglers are willing to move around. In Maine — statistically one of the quietest areas on the border — a defendant apprehended in December admitted making six trips to northern Maine in a month to transport about 12 people to New York City.“If that made the hair on the back of your neck stand up a little bit, I would say it did on mine as well,” said Jason Schneider, the Border Patrol’s acting chief patrol agent for the sector that includes all of Maine.
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) MGN ImageJAMESTOWN – A heat advisory has been issued for Chautauqua County due to excessive heat index values that are forecasted for Thursday afternoon.The National Weather Service in Buffalo is calling for heat index values in the mid-90s from noon to 7 p.m. Thursday in Chautauqua, Wyoming and Southern Erie counties.Officials say hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur.They recommend drinking plenty of fluids, staying in an air-conditioned room, staying out of the sun, and checking up on relatives and neighbors. Additionally, young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles. It is also recommended to wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible. To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments.Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location.