Professors say Obama must overcome divisions within government

first_imgAfter President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, Notre Dame professors said the President now faces the challenge of pushing his proposed agenda through a divided Congress. “Democrats and Republicans differ on the basic philosophical question of what government should be doing,” said David Campbell, associate professor of Political Science and director of Notre Dame’s Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy. “The President’s challenge is to somehow try to find areas of common ground.” Campbell said disagreements on the government’s spending priorities will cause the biggest clash between House Republicans and Democrats. “Both agree that the domestic economy is the No. 1 issue,” he said. “They agree on the ends they are trying to achieve, but will disagree on the means. They’re going to differ on where cuts should occur and what the extent of those cuts should be.” Obama, who focused on the domestic economy throughout the majority of the speech, was very optimistic about America’s future, Campbell said. “He was trying to strike a Reaganesque tone with the language that he used,” Campbell said. “This speech, coupled with the address he gave at the memorial in Tucson a few weeks ago, marks the beginning of a new period for the President.” Based on the optimistic tone Obama struck, Campbell said, the speech was a “political win” for Obama. “When you have Republicans painting a dark picture and talking about how bad things are, optimism is going to beat the pessimism every time,” he said. Darren Davis, professor of political science, said Obama appeared willing to cooperate with Republicans, particularly in moving forward with the health care issue. “He seemed agreeable, but again this is the State of the Union, which is a very political speech to begin with,” Davis said. “The reality is that many things will break down in the end.” Davis said it will also be difficult for Obama to find a balance between cutting spending and creating the new domestic programs that he proposed in education, science and technology. “It’s not exactly clear that all of those things can be done simultaneously,” he said. “The question now becomes how much of what the President proposed can actually happen.”last_img read more

Panel discusses connection between sports, peace

first_img Jean Kagabo, youth director for the Rwandan Midwest community, represented the Rwandese of South Bend on the panel. Sports have the powerful ability to improve the world by acting as a platform to bring people together, one Iraqi refugee said at a Playing for Peace discussion Wednesday night. “It celebrates the transcendent power of the sport at its most natural level,” he said. “War and conflict are all about a breakdown of human relationships, respect and communication. On the contrary, sport celebrates and strengthens all these things.” Despite his persistence, Jbara and his family were soon forced to leave Iraq. With help from the United States government, they came to South Bend. “I wanted to become a doctor to help my people stop their suffering and relieve some of their pain,” he said. “If our group can do something to help a few people go to college, then another group from California will want to duplicate what we’ve done,” he said. “We want to be an inspiration to other people through forming groups of our people.” Jbara, a soccer player since high school, grew up in Iraq in the midst of war between Iraq and Iran, and held dreams of becoming a doctor. Jbara graduated from medical school in the top-five of his class and was offered a position at the biggest hospital in Iraq. Following the discussion, Dugan introduced the documentary “Pelada,” produced by former Notre Dame soccer player Luke Boughen and his girlfriend Gwendolyn Oxenham, a former Duke University soccer player. The Playing for Peace initiative continues this weekend with an international soccer tournament and on-campus youth clinic on Saturday. The 7-vs.-7 tournament has teams of many nationalities participating, including South Bend residents from Iraq, Jordan, Rwanda and Egypt. The goal is for other groups across the country to see the effort Rwandans in the Midwest are putting forth, Kagabo said, and for them to do the same. Rwanda and Iraq both have strong soccer teams, Mayne-Nicholls said. He said that South Sudan, the inspiration for the Playing for Peace initiative, is currently attempting to become part of the international soccer community. Iraqi refugee Manar Jbara was part of an international panel that spoke at the “Playing for Peace: Dinner, Discussion and Documentary” event, held in honor of the upcoming Playing for Peace soccer tournament. Kagabo said he recently learned of the great number of Rwandans who live in the United States and realized they need to collaborate to help their friends and relatives overseas. That message relates directly back to the idea behind Playing for Peace, Dugan said. Now, Jbara works for the University promoting Playing for Peace, volunteers as a clinical assistant serving the uninsured and is studying to pass his medical exams in the United States. Boughen and Oxenham both held dreams of playing professionally, but neither one made it. The pair then decided to journey across the world in search of a different side of soccer. Kagabo said the group is now trying to send more young people in Rwanda to colleges, since many cannot afford an education after high school. “We invited the youth from all these places and they came and we played soccer, basketball, volleyball,” Kagabo said. “It was a very successful day.” “These three countries are completely different, but all of them are related through sports, through soccer,” he said. “I really like my job [at Notre Dame] and I really like what I am doing for people,” he said. “It will become a very big thing.” “I worked so hard to achieve my goal and the fact that the war was just starting to get fierce did not prevent me from doing what I wanted and what I knew I was able to do,” he said. The film follows Boughen and Oxenham as they travel across 25 countries, playing in pickup soccer games wherever they go, showing that someone is always playing the game. Harold Mayne-Nicholls, an executive for Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) said FIFA is comprised of over 250 million soccer players, truly from all over the world. In collaboration with Kevin Dugan, manager of youth and community programs for the athletic department, Kagabo held an event for Rwandese youth in the Midwest at Notre Dame in August.last_img read more

Students weigh in on all-school formal

first_imgAlaina Anderson Left to right, Molly Pax, Gabriella Coronado, Catherine Miller, Madeline Rafferty, Caitlin McGarry and Hannah Britton pose barefoot.First-year student Ali Mahoney was excited about the prom theme and was pleased with her first college formal at Saint Mary’s.“I think it’s really fun to dress up and get ready for a dance again like we did in high school but to do it in college with all our friends,” she said.Before the formal, the organizers of Dance Marathon, a charity event meant to raise money for the Riley Hospital for Children, provided hair and nail services in the Reignbeaux lounge in Le Mans from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.. Salon Rouge was painting nails for $5, curling and braiding hair for $2, doing makeup for $2 and applying hair extensions for $7. All the money went to support Dance Marathon.First-year student Catherine Miller had her nails painted in Le Mans before the formal. Miller said she thought it was such a fun idea for Dance Marathon to offer these services for girls.“My nails looked so great for formal and you couldn’t beat those prices,” Miller said. “I’m so happy Dance Marathon did this because doing my own nails is always a struggle and it feels great being pampered once in a while.” First-year student Madeline Rafferty said although she had a great time at the formal, she was upset the dance was held on Friday instead of Saturday. “My boyfriend goes to University of Wisconsin Madison so he would have had to skip his classes on Friday to make it in time to formal.” Rafferty said. “A lot of other girls have significant others that don’t go to Notre Dame or Holy Cross so it would have been nice if formal was on Saturday.”Sophomore Annie McGlone said she had a great time dancing with her friends and really enjoyed the prom aspect of formal.“Formal has been a lot of fun. We just came with our friends and no dates, which can be even better,” McGlone said. “We’re just having a lot of fun on the dance floor.”First-year student Yosline Camacho said she never attended prom in high school and was happy to share this experience with her best friends.“Saint Mary’s did such a good job with formal this year and I was so excited it was prom themed. There are always so many dances at Notre Dame and we never have dances here, so when we do it’s a great way for the community to come together, get dressed up, and have a blast,” Camacho said. “I can’t wait for next year’s formal.” Tags: Formal, Saint Mary’s College Saint Mary’s students and their guests relived their high school dances when Saint Mary’s Residence Hall Association (RHA) hosted the all-school, prom-themed formal on Friday at the Hilton Garden Inn. RHA president Kaitlyn Baker said the event was a huge success and received positive feedback from students in attendance all night. Eight hundred tickets went up for sale to support RHA. Baker said she was pleased with the number of students that bought tickets.“We sold at least 780 tickets, so we are pretty happy about that,” Baker said.The theme for the formal this year was “prom” and included the crowning of a prom queen for the upperclassmen and a prom princess for the lowerclassmen. “This year we have a very large freshman class,” Baker said. “We thought it was pretty practical so most of the girls could wear their prom dresses again. That’s what drew us towards the prom theme.” last_img read more

Student, professor to launch book on cyber threats

first_imgAnthropology professor Carolyn Nordstrom and senior Lisa Carlson launch their book “Cyber Shadows: Power, Crime, and Hacking Everyone” on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore.Nordstrom said the book focuses on emergent threats in the digital world, especially hacking. She said she first started to learn about hacking from her personal experience of being hacked four years ago.“People knew so little about [hacking],” Nordstrom said. “The head of the Office of Information Technology said, ‘Start going to hacking conferences and learn about it,’ and this was essentially to find out what was going on with me, but I didn’t intend to write a book on it.”Then, a twelve-year-old boy sparked the desire to write a book, Nordstrom said.She talked to the boy in the Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and she said his extensive knowledge and nonchalant attitude about hacking inspired her.Nordstrom said she proceeded to pull out her phone and text Carlson, who was the last student who came to her office asking to work with her on research.“I had not ever seen a piece of her writing nor had ever had her in class,” Nordstrom said. “[I asked myself], ‘What if I take an average Notre Dame student and said we’re going write a book together?’”Nordstrom said Carlson told her she knew nothing about cyber crime, but Nordstrom was enthusiastic about the idea, regardless.Carlson said “Cyber Shadows” discusses the subject of digital threats in accessible terms.“Cyber Shadows is about what it means to be human in the age of technology,” Carlson said. “Too often, discussions of cyber crime leave out the human element. This is, in some ways, an ethnography of the digital age.”Nordstrom said the book is meant to inform people about cyber crime, a topic too infrequently addressed.“It’s so far beyond identity theft, and a lot of this is not known about, so it’s not illegal,” Nordstrom said. “Literally people are collecting massive profiles on everybody that’s connected to anyone that has to make a decision about you … and buying and selling these all over the world … and you don’t know about it, and you can’t control it.”Carlson said she has high hopes for the future of “Cyber Shadows.”“I would love if this book made it into the mainstream and out of the niche group that identifies with cyber issues,” Carlson said. “Technology is a part of the mainstream now, but conversations about that technology are not. I’d love for this book to introduce people to the cyber world, just as it did for me.”Tags: anthropology, cyber hackinglast_img read more

Club Fever owner reflects on club’s legacy as it closes

first_imgIn the narrow alley off South Michigan Street in downtown South Bend, Dee Davis watched as hundreds of students jostled their ways to the front of the line, funneling into the fortified wooden fence he put up himself.He made the fence out of farm gates. They were built to hold back 3,000-pound bulls, Davis said, but they occasionally failed to contain a mob of college students.It was a scene he’d witnessed countless times before. Girls in wedges and skirts huddled together for warmth. Guys held their cash in one hand and IDs in the other, ready to present them to the bouncer when the moment finally arrived. Cabs and Ubers dumped loads and loads of passengers, and the crowd grew larger and larger.But this Thursday was different than all the other ones. Davis had announced the pending sale of his building on social media. Club Fever was closing down.For Davis, the night — the “final Feve” — was bittersweet.“We’ve been through a lot,” he said. “It’s kind of the end of an era. We just all said we’re going to try really hard not to cry.”Davis put the building up for sale in December 2014, with an asking price of $1.79 million, according to the South Bend Tribune — partially because his other business, which makes products for the RV industry, is requiring more of his time.And also partly because the club has never been very profitable, Davis said. Especially in the last year or two.“Three years ago, we averaged about 1,300 people on a Thursday,” he said before the club’s final night. “We haven’t broken 100 yet this year. They’ve lost interest.”A club with historyThe third floor of Club Fever, closed to patrons, is a graveyard of old equipment, furniture and decorations.“It’s where barstools and pool tables go to die,” Davis said.The third floor is wide open, with light from three massive semi-circle windows — windows that came out of the Hancock building in Chicago — illuminating the spoils of years of business in the entertainment industry. It’s the largest single space in the building — which has three levels, each about 16,800 square feet. Katie Galioto | The Observer On the third floor of Club Fever, which is closed to customers, large semi-circle windows eclipse the entire front wall. Club owner Dee Davis said the windows are made of glass from the Hancock building in Chicago and have been used in photo shoots by many local bands designing their album art.Davis asked students to bring photos of their own memories of Club Fever on Thursday night. By the early hours of Friday morning, a large white banner hanging by the entrance was covered in snapshots and scribbled notes from patrons.“It’s hard,” he said. “My staff, we’ve gone through a lot of good times and a lot of hard times together — almost like a family.”Davis’s next step is to host a sale — which he’s calling the “Bizarre Bar Bazaar” — to get rid of all of Club Fever’s furniture, decorations and other collectibles this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.Then he’ll close the sale of the building in the coming weeks. It’s being sold to a local group, he said, that is going to completely gut and repurpose it.But first, for one last time, Club Fever opened its door to students. Davis was joined by his mother and aunt, who’d been there the night the club opened 13 years ago.Over the course of Thursday night, the club let in 1,120 attendees.“It was a good night,” Davis said. “It was about like what it used to be last year and the year before.”They swarmed the bars and flooded the dance floor. They took photos to commemorate the club — photos by the logo, photos in the bathroom mirrors, photos by the picture of Kurt Cobain hanging at the top of a staircase that one of Davis’s bartenders painted long ago.And the crowds stayed until the music turned off and the lights came on in the wee hours of the morning, some still reluctant to leave even then.“It was nice to see the place full,” Davis said. “For one last time.”Tags: Club Fever, Downtown South Bend, Feve, Nightclub Katie Galioto | The Observer Club Fever, a three-story nightclub in downtown South Bend, announced its pending sale two weeks ago. The club opened for the last time Thursday night.There are signs of Club Fever’s predecessors everywhere. Western cowboy decorations from when the club was Heartland, a country-music dance hall, before Davis bought the place in 2005. A fresher-looking slab of concrete, marking the spot a three-story escalator used to be when the building was a JCPenney.“In 1937, the day it opened, 26,000 people came through this door,” Davis said. “And James Cash Penney was actually here for the grand opening.”When a mall came to South Bend in the ‘70s, the department stores left downtown. JCPenney became Vogue Beauty College. Vogue Beauty College turned into a nightclub called Doc Weeds that didn’t last too long. Doc Weeds was converted to Meanwhile at the Disco, a club open for several years before it was transformed into Heartland.The landscape of downtown South Bend has changed simultaneously, Davis said.“When I started out 20 years ago, there were at least six — maybe seven — large clubs in South Bend,” he said. “But evidently it wasn’t lucrative enough because they all went away, one at a time. This is the last one.”‘Blood, sweat and tears’Davis purchased Club Fever at age 42 because he wanted to be a landlord.He took care of almost all the building’s remodeling and maintenance. With the help of friends and family, he laid 17,000 tiles on the dance floor to cover up the massive Texas flag on it, a relic from the club’s Heartland days. He came in on weekends with his daughter and son-in-law to paint the walls. Each of the six bars, he built by hand.Now, at age 55, not much had changed. Davis trekked out to the club from his Elkhart home Tuesday evening to fix the drain in the women’s restroom before closing night.“There’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears that have gone into this place,” he said.Davis used the skills he’d learned from years working in factories, he said.Take the dance box in the middle of the dance floor. He welded together pieces of farm equipment he’d purchased at the same time he bought the gates for the entrance.“All these years, girls have been dancing in a cattle feeder,” he said with a chuckle.center_img Katie Galioto | The Observer Club Fever’s dance floor hosted 1,120 students Thursday, the establishment’s final night in business. Club owner Dee Davis built and remodeled most of the building himself — including the dance stage, which he fashioned out of a cattle feeder.Davis named the venue after the Little Willie John song, “Fever,” which has been covered by hundreds of artists over the years. He’s always liked music.“My biggest interest, as far as running this place, was always the concerts,” he said. “I have no musical talent whatsoever — but I promoted 196 concerts.”Club Fever has hosted the whole gamut of musical acts over the years. Grammy winners and local bands. Something from pretty much every genre — rock, country, pop, rap, jazz. A famous 99-year-old blues piano player took the stage once, Davis recalled.“That’s one of the things I’ll miss the most,” he added. “Promoting the shows. And seeing a thousand students in here.”The ‘final Feve’Since he helped turn the State Theater into a nightclub in 1998, Davis has helped host “Thirsty Thursday’s” for students. The tradition moved with him to Club Fever.The club picked up a moniker: “Michiana’s hottest nightclub.” Somewhere along the road, “Fever” got shortened to “Feve.” Sometime later, “Feve” became a verb in the vernacular of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s — “feveing” refers to the act of going to the club on a Thursday night.“We never could, no matter what we did, get the students to come down on a Friday or a Saturday,” he said. “We just couldn’t do it.”Over the years, Davis and his staff have come to know the student populations well.“I’ve got on my phone the numbers of probably 10 NFL players and at least half a dozen NBA players — guys who used to text me before they came out,” he said. “A couple got engaged right on stage — we’ve had many do that. And then we’ve had many people who have engaged in other things here.”Yes, running a nightclub certainly gives you a stockpile of stories, Davis said.“I’ve seen things that you would never believe,” he said.last_img read more

University determines construction of new parking garage not currently feasible

first_imgAfter “completing an extensive study,” the University Parking Committee decided the construction of a new parking garage is not viable at this time, executive vice president John Affleck-Graves said in an email to the Notre Dame community Wednesday afternoon.Notre Dame began assessing the possibility of a parking garage — most likely at the current site of Legends — in February and sent a survey to the community asking for feedback.Affleck-Graves said the results of this survey were used to determine whether a parking garage would be financially viable.“When I introduced the study to campus in February, I shared that since parking garages are much more expensive to build and maintain than surface parking, the University would seek to break even on the construction and operating costs of a parking garage, if it were to be constructed,” Affleck-Graves said in the email. “Many of you took the time to share your thoughts on how and when you would use the services of a parking garage if one were to be constructed, and your feedback informed the overall financial estimates.”The survey results determined the demand for a new parking garage would not meet the costs of construction and operation, Affleck-Graves said.“After completing an extensive study, we have determined that there is not sufficient demand to offset the associated costs of building a parking garage at the University at this time,” he said in the email. “If we believe that there may be sufficient interest in a parking garage in future years, we would be open to re-visiting the feasibility of constructing a parking garage at that time.”Affleck-Graves said the University will continue to take feedback regarding the parking garage possibility into consideration.“Finally, I would like to thank the Parking Committee, all of the students, faculty and staff who completed the survey and submitted comments, and all those who dedicated their time and expertise to studying the feasibility of a parking garage at the University,” he said in the email. “The thoughtful, detailed comments and survey responses will continue to guide the University as we continue to explore parking options.”Tags: John Affleck-Graves, Legends, parking garage, university parking committeelast_img read more

Jenkins offers condolences following death of Catholic humanitarian

first_imgFollowing the death of Catholic philosopher, theologian and humanitarian Jean Vanier, University President Fr. John Jenkins offered his condolences in a statement Wednesday.Vanier was the founder of L’Arche, a federation of communities for people with developmental disabilities and their caretakers. He received the Notre Dame Award in 1994 for his charity work.“When the University presented our Notre Dame Award to Jean Vanier in 1994, we paid tribute to a man who ‘animates the worldwide network of L’Arche communities,’ and who taught us that people with intellectual disabilities teach us ‘about the ways of God,’” Jenkins said in the release. “Those words and more resonated throughout his long and inspiring life.”Jenkins invited the Notre Dame community to remember those involved with the L’Arche organization in the wake of Vanier’s passing.“In mourning his passing and remembering a life of incredible service to humanity, our prayers are with the members, residents and all from the L’Arche community worldwide,” Jenkins said.Tags: Jean Vanier, John Jenkins, L’Arche, Notre Dame Awardlast_img read more

Notre Dame to require weekly surveillance testing for spring semester, introduces new coronavirus code of conduct

first_imgThis report was updated Jan. 22 at 9:05 p.m.The University will alter its COVID-19 response to include weekly surveillance testing and has adopted a supplemental code of conduct to discipline students who fail to abide by the health and safety guidelines, leadership in the Division of Student Affairs announced Thursday.Weekly surveillance testing will begin Feb. 3 to curb the transmission of the virus and all undergraduate and professional students will be required to participate. In addition, as administrators identify potential clusters or hot spots, some students will be asked to complete additional testing.All students will also complete a pre-matriculation test on campus at the University Testing Center. The primary surveillance testing method will be through saliva samples, and nasal swab testing will be employed as needed.A COVID-19 addendum has been added to du Lac to establish consequences to those who do not abide by health and safety guidelines. Students who do not show up for surveillance testing will be placed on probation after the first offense and be issued a formal warning.“It is important to note that missed testing appointments will be tracked throughout the semester,” the Testing Overview site states. “In other words, If you miss your testing appointment on Week 1, show up for your tests on Weeks 2, 3 and 4, but miss on Week 5, you are subject to the consequences for a second missed test.”A student who misses a test for the second time will be placed on COVID Probation and will be required to meet with an OCS representative, according to the addendum. If a student on COVID Probation fails to report for surveillance testing, they will face COVID Dismissal, the addendum said.If students violate other portions of the Campus Compact, such as not wearing masks or failing to follow other safety guidelines, students will receive a message detailing the offense and a recommended disciplinary outcome.Students can submit relevant information within 24 hours of receiving notice of their violation. Failure to respond will result in the immediate implementation of the recommended outcome.“There is no right to a formal hearing at any stage of the Administrative Process,” the addendum states. “All outcomes under this Administrative Process, with the exception of COVID Dismissal, will not be disclosed as student conduct records under the University’s Conduct Record Reporting Policy.”Students may only file appeals if assigned COVID Dismissal.COVID Dismissal can also be applied for violating quarantine or isolation guidelines, hosting large gatherings and for “serious, repeated or flagrant violations of Compact commitments.” Relevant information may be submitted in response to the dismissal notice within 48 hours of receiving the note. Failure to respond will result in the immediate implementation of the dismissal.Students may apply for readmission for the upcoming fall semester only if they follow OCS requirements listed in their notice of dismissal.Tags: COVID-19, division of student affairs, surveillance testinglast_img read more

President Trump’s Son To Visit Erie Bayfront Convention Center Monday

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),I am matching, Bloooburg $1000,000.00 Call all the networkks and I will have aPress conferance whem OUR great President wants. Fly me on one of you jets to Florida or a swing state.. Michael Tucker. tucker6453@gmail. 479-650-6453… Arkansas.. Image by the Republican National Convention.ERIE — With Election Day drawing closer, Eric Trump, son of President Donald Trump, will be on the stump in Erie today.He will hold a Make America Great Again campaign rally at 6 p.m. at the Bayfront Convention Center. Doors will open at 5 p.m.Image by Rory Pollaro/WNYNewsNow.To attend, people must register for free tickets. No more than two tickets will be issued per mobile number and registration must be confirmed. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.President Trump has held two rallies in Erie, one in 2016 and one Oct. 10, 2018, which was covered in person by WNY News Now. last_img read more

Tickets Now On Sale for the World Premiere of Will Eno’s Off-Broadway Play The Open House

first_img Star Files Ever enigmatic Pulitzer Prize finalist Eno’s new play is described as follows: “Playwrights have been trying to write Family Plays for a long time. And typically these plays try to answer endlessly complicated questions of blood and duty and inheritance and responsibility. They try to answer the question, ‘Can things really change?’ People have been trying nobly for years and years to have plays solve in two hours what hasn’t been solved in many lifetimes. This has to stop.” Eno is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Helen Merrill Playwriting Fellow, and a Fellow of the Edward F. Albee Foundation. His play The Flu Season premiered at The Gate Theatre in London and then opened in New York where it won the Oppenheimer Award for best debut by an American playwright. His play Thom Pain (based on nothing) was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. His other works include Title and Deed, Gnit, Oh, The Humanity and other good intentions, Tragedy: a tragedy and an upcoming Broadway production of his new play The Realistic Joneses starring Michael C. Hall, Toni Collette, Marisa Tomei and Tracy Letts. It’s time to put on your thinking caps. Tickets are now available for the world premiere of Will Eno’s new off-Broadway play The Open House at The Pershing Square Signature Center. Directed by Oliver Butler, the show will run from February 11 through March 23, with opening night set for March 3 at The Romulus Linney Courtyard. View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on March 30, 2014 Related Shows Casting and the remainder of the creative team for The Open House have yet to be announced. The Open House Tracy Lettslast_img read more