“End the ‘R’ Word Day” is returning to campus for its second year to raise public awareness about the social prejudice faced by people with intellectual disabilities, now with celebrity endorsements and a national platform. “The point of the campaign is to educate the public, not to take away the rights of free speech,” said junior Soeren Palumbo, the campaign’s co-founder. “The word ‘retarded’ has a profound effect on people with intellectual disabilities and should be eliminated by social consensus, not by a legal means.”With Notre Dame’s service-oriented mentality, Palumbo said he hopes Notre Dame will be a leader in the campaign.“Notre Dame has an unprecedented service orientation toward people with disabilities, and people here want to make the world a better place for people with intellectual disabilities,” Palumbo said, “I want Notre Dame to be the jewel in the crown of this year’s events.”The official event began last year at the Special Olympics Winter Games when Palumbo and a Yale student came up with the idea to create an event to draw media attention and educate the public on the word “retarded” and its isolating effects on those with intellectual disabilities, Palumbo said.“We expected to get about a dozen schools involved in last year’s campaign and ended up [getting] 45 universities and even schools in other countries to participate,” Palumbo said. He said he anticipates even more involvement this year as service organizations such as Best Buddies International Inc. and Push America have joined the effort.The campaign has also garnered celebrity involvement with “Scrubs” actor John C. McGinley as the main spokesperson. Other celebrities involved with the campaign include Joe Jonas, Carl Lewis, Evander Holyfield and Alonzo Mourning. These celebrities have shown their support by creating public service announcements in which they recite the pledge and post the videos on YouTube or other media outlets. This year, Palumbo said he hopes the campaign will gain national media engagements or a possible op-ed in a major publication like The New York Times to raise attention for the campaign to “Spread the Word to End the Word.” The goal is for people to sign pledges similar to Notre Dame’s pledge: “As a member of the Notre Dame community, I pledge to end my pejorative use of the word ‘retarded.’”At Notre Dame, students can participate by signing one of the banners that will be located in both dining halls during lunch and dinner, as well as in LaFortune Student Center from late morning to mid-afternoon. There will also be T-shirts available for $5.“We want to bring the event to students and to make it simple for them so it’s not something they have to work to do,” Palumbo said. “It’s something they carry with them.“Society gets a brighter, more enriched future to see what people with intellectual disabilities can bring to the table. It’s a powerful, humbling, spiritual affirmation to be a part of that.”
Saint Mary’s Junior Mom’s Weekend is aimed to bring mothers and daughters together for a weekend of fun, junior class president Meghan Helmle said. “It’s definitely just a time to relax,” Helmle said.Mothers will visit campus today, Saturday and Sunday to spend quality time with their daughters.“Its also good to bond with our moms,” junior class treasurer Katie Brown said. Though the weekend was originally intended for just mothers and daughters, the Junior Class Board decided to open the event to all female relatives, but Brown said most of the relatives that will visit are mothers. More than 250 mothers and relatives are expected to attend, she said.“Our theme for the weekend is that daughters and mothers are friends,” Helmle said. “We’re definitely pushing and encouraging moms and daughters to form a friendship and making it a lasting relationship.”The moms are scheduled to arrive on campus and register between 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. today. Registration will be held in the Gillespie Conference Center at the Hilton Garden Inn, where wine and cheese will be served from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.In addition to the wine and cheese, a silent auction will begin at 5 p.m. and continue until 7:45 p.m., when the winners will be announced. “We are doing a silent auction, and we had over 45 people donate baskets,” Helmle said.Events will continue Saturday, beginning with a Mary Kay Skin Care party in the Student Center Lounge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A jewelry sale will also be held during the weekend with a special piece of jewelry designed just for Junior Mom’s Weekend. The sale will be held in the Student Center Atrium from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.Brown said many of the events will be held on campus to show off the College.“We wanted to keep it on campus, or as close to campus as possible, so the events, our two big events, are held at the Hilton,” Helmle said. “We really wanted to showcase our campus and show how nice our school really is.”Students and moms will have the chance to participate in a tie-dye event from 10 a.m. to noon in Conference Room C in the Student Center and a scavenger hunt, which takes place around campus. Wine glass decorating will also be available from noon to 2 p.m. in Earley Conference Room E in the Student Center.Moms and daughters can also participate in the game, “How Well Do You Know Your Belle.” Afternoon tea will be held in Haggar Parlor. The day will end with a showing of “A League of Their Own” with pizza and pop in Vander Vennet at 8 p.m.On Sunday, mothers and daughters will eat brunch together from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and Saint Mary’s President Carol Ann Mooney speak at 10:15 a.m. Brunch will be held in the Ballroom at the Gillespie Conference Center at the Hilton Garden Inn.The weekend will conclude with Mass at the Church of Loretto at 11:15 a.m.
Each passport features a description of the location, hours of operation and some destinations even offer special discounts for Notre Dame students. The goal of the passport format, according to Crawford, is to get students to visit as many of the destinations as possible. At every location a student shows the passport, they will receive a stamp on the passport for that organization. “I would have never thought to explore South Bend until I got my passport,” freshman Gina Rogari said. “I didn’t know we had some of those things around here.” “Our students should be able to leave this community that they’ve lived in for four years and tell people all about it,” he said. “Besides, I think that when they visit some of these places, they will be blown away by what they see.” First created last spring, the Cultural Passport program was developed through a partnership with the College of Science and Mayor Stephen Luecke of South Bend. The program gives every student a cultural passport featuring 14 destinations in the South Bend area where students are encouraged to visit. Each College has the passports and students are encouraged to go to their dean’s office and pick one up. The Class of 2014 received their passports during Freshmen Orientation. Many of the freshmen said the passports have made them see there is a lot more to South Bend than just Notre Dame. While many Notre Dame students may decide to study abroad and travel to far-off places, a new program on campus is encouraging students to seek out the marvels in the local community. Crawford and Mayor Luecke worked with each of the fourteen destinations to be included in the program. The Mayor’s Office agreed to print up a special certificate for any student who receives a stamp from every location in the passport. But Crawford hopes that students participate in the program for different reasons. “This is a nice and easy way to engage the community, and a very important one,” he said. “I would hate to think that they would participate in this simply to receive a certificate.” “Before starting this program, I visited most of the places that are in the passports and I was fascinated by all these various organizations,” he said. “I started working with the Mayor’s office and together we compiled this list of fourteen locations that we encourage students to visit during their time here at Notre Dame.” When the program was conceived last year, it was initially only offered to a select group of students from the College of Science and was more of a “prototype” according to Crawford. However, the program has been expanded to include every undergraduate and graduate student at Notre Dame. Crawford said the program will be reviewed at the end of the year and feedback will be solicited from the students who participated in the program to see if any changes should be made. Crawford said he has little doubt that the program will help bring new outlook to the students who take advantage of the program and the city of South Bend. “I believe that all of our students need to graduate with not only a great education but actually knowing something about the community that they’ve lived in for four years,” Dean Gregory Crawford of the College of Science said. Freshman Molly Shank said while she found the passport “helpful,” initially she wasn’t sure of its purpose. “There wasn’t a whole lot of explanation about the program,” she said. “They need to explain it better because I would definitely use it now.” Crawford said he came up with the idea when he realized how few Notre Dame students ever venture into the South Bend community.
Instead of spending winter vacation relaxing or earning money, several Notre Dame students donated their time to the underprivileged in their own backyards through the Center for Social Concerns’ Urban Plunge program. Bill Purcell, the Center’s associate director for Catholic social tradition and practice, said this year’s theme was “Raising Voices in the City.” Urban Plunge is a one-credit learning course that focuses on urban poverty in the United States, Purcell said. Students participate in a 40-hour immersive volunteer experience, usually in cities close to their homes. Purcell said 210 students were chosen out of 280 applicants to this year’s program. These participants attended three preparatory class sessions about Catholic social tradition late in the fall semester. Various professors taught the class sessions, including Mary Jo Bane, a political science professor from Harvard University who specializes in poverty studies, Purcell said. Chris Weber, a sophomore from Chicago, Ill., said he decided to participate in the program after hearing positive feedback about Urban Plunge from his roommate. “From him, I learned that it would be a service trip over winter break,” Weber said. “When I saw that there were a couple of sites located in Chicago, I thought, ‘Why not?’” Weber said he did not know what to expect from the experience but was confident it would be worthwhile. “Even after the three Urban Plunge classes before break, I had no greater understanding about the nature of the service I would be doing in Chicago at the Amate House site,” Weber said. “However, I was pleasantly surprised by the welcoming atmosphere there. The house staff was kind, funny, entertaining and generous.” Weber said he felt at home after getting to know everyone through conversation, games and prayer. “Over the course of the next two days, my fellow Notre Dame volunteers and I visited four different locations to lend our help,” Weber said. “We were able to get a sampling of various services: decorating Rice Krispies treats with the elderly, packing donated food goods at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, helping out a creative writing workshop for eighth graders and helping teach addition and subtraction to first graders.” Weber said Urban Plunge changed his view of Chicago and opened his eyes to an entirely different way of life. “Through these experiences, I was able to experience a whole different side of Chicago,” Weber said. “Additionally, I was privileged to meet amazing people from different walks of life, and I met some great fellow volunteers. For these reasons, I am glad that I participated in such a great service trip.” Purcell said the Urban Plunge program predates the Center for Social Concerns, where it is currently housed. “The program started in 1967 at Notre Dame and started to expand outside of Notre Dame in the 70s,” Purcell said. As the Urban Plunge projects continue, Weber recommended the service opportunity to others. “I would highly suggest that everyone tries an Urban Plunge at least once,” he said.,Instead of spending winter vacation relaxing or earning money, several Notre Dame students donated their time to the underprivileged in their own backyards through the Center for Social Concerns’ Urban Plunge program. Bill Purcell, the Center’s associate director for Catholic social tradition and practice, said this year’s theme was “Raising Voices in the City.” Urban Plunge is a one-credit learning course that focuses on urban poverty in the United States, Purcell said. Students participate in a 40-hour immersive volunteer experience, usually in cities close to their homes. Purcell said 210 students were chosen out of 280 applicants to this year’s program. These participants attended three preparatory class sessions about Catholic social tradition late in the fall semester. Various professors taught the class sessions, including Mary Jo Bane, a political science professor from Harvard University who specializes in poverty studies, Purcell said. Chris Weber, a sophomore from Chicago, Ill., said he decided to participate in the program after hearing positive feedback about Urban Plunge from his roommate. “From him, I learned that it would be a service trip over winter break,” Weber said. “When I saw that there were a couple of sites located in Chicago, I thought, ‘Why not?’” Weber said he did not know what to expect from the experience but was confident it would be worthwhile. “Even after the three Urban Plunge classes before break, I had no greater understanding about the nature of the service I would be doing in Chicago at the Amate House site,” Weber said. “However, I was pleasantly surprised by the welcoming atmosphere there. The house staff was kind, funny, entertaining and generous.” Weber said he felt at home after getting to know everyone through conversation, games and prayer. “Over the course of the next two days, my fellow Notre Dame volunteers and I visited four different locations to lend our help,” Weber said. “We were able to get a sampling of various services: decorating Rice Krispies treats with the elderly, packing donated food goods at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, helping out a creative writing workshop for eighth graders and helping teach addition and subtraction to first graders.” Weber said Urban Plunge changed his view of Chicago and opened his eyes to an entirely different way of life. “Through these experiences, I was able to experience a whole different side of Chicago,” Weber said. “Additionally, I was privileged to meet amazing people from different walks of life, and I met some great fellow volunteers. For these reasons, I am glad that I participated in such a great service trip.” Purcell said the Urban Plunge program predates the Center for Social Concerns, where it is currently housed. “The program started in 1967 at Notre Dame and started to expand outside of Notre Dame in the 70s,” Purcell said. As the Urban Plunge projects continue, Weber recommended the service opportunity to others. “I would highly suggest that everyone tries an Urban Plunge at least once,” he said.
Over a hundred students gathered at the Grotto on Sunday night to reflect on the recent sexual assaults reported on campus. During the service, student body president Alex Coccia and vice president Nancy Joyce stressed the centrality of human dignity. Recognizing the proximity of the recent sexual assault, Coccia said it is important to remember that the incident was neither anonymous nor distant. “We’re not hearing about faceless individuals. We’re hearing about our dear friends,” Coccia said. Coccia focused on the importance of nurturing strong student relationships in the face of such events. “The question becomes: how are we viewing each other? If we approach each other with the utmost of dignity, then we will take greater care of our relationships and the dignity inherent in them,” he said. As a group of people directly affected by personal violations, Notre Dame’s students are left with a responsibility to act, Coccia said. “We have allowed ourselves to reduce this painful incident to an email that can be erased with the click of delete button,” he said. “We offer these prayers for healing in our Notre Dame family, and as a family we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.” Vice president Nancy Joyce echoed this point of responsibility in her address. “Only we have the power to change the current conversation and culture around sexual assault,” Joyce said. “As a student body, we are renewing our commitment to hold ourselves to a higher standard.” Students can do a number of specific things to maintain a higher standard of behavior on campus, Joyce said. “Continue to pray for healing of all those affected by sexual assaults. Think twice about email alerts. Challenge ourselves not to become desensitized by these issues,” she said. Joyce said that the response to tragic incidents such as sexual assault should not end with the prayer service last night. She said students should take part in a conversation about how we handle our interactions with each other. “In dorm common rooms, in the dining halls, on the quad – we must challenge ourselves to make this a conversation that can lead to a change in how we think and act regarding sexual assault,” Joyce said. Ultimately, Joyce promoted taking personal initiative in order to cultivate change. “I think that this is a change that has to come from us – not from OCS or student government alone,” she said. “We have to figure out how we hold ourselves to a higher standard while still enjoying life as college students.” Father Pete McCormick, who presided over the prayer service, said he saw this as a time to pray to God for healing instead of pointing fingers or casting judgment. Father McCormick said he recognizes three tangible ways in which students can revitalize our community’s approach to our interactions in all areas and recognize the utmost importance of human dignity. “First, when we look at people, [we should] see the dignity in each other as individuals, not as a means to personal edification, look upon each other in reverence in awe,” McCormick said. After asserting the eminence of human dignity, Father McCormick asked Notre Dame students to consider their priorities. “Do we make time for prayer? Do we seek after some of the more worldly things? Do we speak out when we know that we should?” he said. Father McCormick said that as members of the Notre Dame family, we are all here for the same basic reason. “All of us have come to this place because we have a desire to be known and to be inspired to be something more,” McCormick said. Father McCormick said that the solution to this problem lies in our hands, with prayer as a vital element. “Here we are presented with an opportunity to take ownership,” he said. “Use this prayer as a driving force that leads and brings about change.” McCormick said.
“Home feels a little less like home today,” junior Tess Siver said Tuesday after the report of voyeuristic privacy violation on the Saint Mary’s campus.A maintenance employee of the College was terminated from his position Tuesday after a co-worker reported suspicious behavior in a bathroom on the fourth floor of Le Mans Hall Monday afternoon, according to an email from College President Carol Ann Mooney.A report from WNDU identified 73-year-old David Summerfield as the employee.Courtesy of SBPD Director of media relations Gwen O’Brien said the initial report noted that the employee may have observed students in the bathroom. After the report, he was immediately confronted by superiors and admitted to the allegation, she said.Within two hours of the initial report, he was suspended without pay and escorted off campus. Since then, his employment has been terminated, O’Brien said.On Monday evening, College officials notified the St. Joseph County Special Victims Unit, who began an immediate police investigation, O’Brien said. The investigation led to Summerfield’s arrest Tuesday morning for voyeurism.Mooney notified students, parents, faculty and staff of the situation in an email sent Tuesday afternoon. In the email, Mooney apologized for the incident and praised the employee who came forward with the initial report.“The safety, privacy and security of our students are our primary concerns,” Mooney said. “This type of behavior is repugnant, and Saint Mary’s College will not tolerate it.“As soon as this was reported to us, we acted swiftly to remove the person from campus. We have taken measures that prevent anyone else from being able to spy into restrooms. In addition, we are evaluating all space on campus to ensure privacy.”Mooney invited students, faculty and staff to an assembly in O’Laughlin Auditorium on Tuesday afternoon to address concerns. The assembly was not open to the public.O’Brien said students who need services or support in dealing with this incident can access counseling through Women’s Health and Campus Ministry. In addition, the Residence Life staff is on hand to provide assistance, she said.Siver, a resident of the fourth floor of Le Mans Hall, said she felt simultaneously shocked and violated.“It breaks my heart that mine and my neighbors’ memories of our time in Le Mans will be tainted, but as always, the SMC community will pull together and move past this,” she said.Siver said she feels that Saint Mary’s has been as forthcoming and open with students about the incident as possible.“I hope they continue to be open with students throughout the investigation, particularly those students who live in areas of Le Mans that have been most affected,” she said.Junior Kelley Wright, another fourth floor resident, agreed with Siver, extending her personal thanks to Mooney for her open and honest response to the situation during the college-wide forum.“I think the immediate forum that was held today was very important for everyone, not just the residents of 4th floor Le Mans,” Wright said.Wright said she hopes the College responds to the situation in a way that makes students feel safer and restores a sense of privacy.“I am anxiously awaiting what the College is going to do to ensure that this doesn’t happen again,” she said.Tags: Arrest, SMC employee, spying
Indian-born French writer Shumona Sinh discussed her novels and their relationship to the political and social environments of the countries in which she has lived and worked during a lecture Tuesday titled “Literature and Activism: The Challenges of Representing the Impoverished Immigrant Other” hosted by French and Francophone Studies and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.“Any writing, poems or novels, when we are touched by a sentence or an image or a metaphor, the writer is putting something that was right under our eyes into a new light,” Sinha said.Sinha said she cares deeply about the topics on which her novels focus, so much so that she feels she must write about them.“For me, even if I wanted to write a very romantic novel, I am unable to,” Sinha said. “If I do not write about what I think, then I am being dishonest.“Think of a literary work as a big train. There are people getting off and going up and down; this is the human story. However, the thing that interests me is the engine, that is, the socio-political codes.”Sinha said she uses her writing instead of physical activism to affect people and initiate change.“I was in a political party that was a very restrictive organization,” she said. “I knew that if I joined something like that again, that it would crush me. Barriers would be placed around my work and I would be labeled as a certain kind of writer.“My work is with words. If there are two people that are touched by something that I have written, and they are able to think differently, then that’s not bad.”Sinha said she believes the private morals of individuals and the public morals of politics should be closely connected.“I am quite stubborn in that I have my value system,” she said. “For me, stealing is bad. Lying is bad. But in the same way, I understand the nature of today’s politics. However, if you start thinking as a citizen that everything is fake, that all politicians are liars, then there is nothing to hope for, nothing to depend on.”Graduate student Lauren LaMore said Sinha’s lecture prompted her to think about the correlations between literature and society and the possibility for words to generate actions.“It was very cool for me to hear a writer talk about how she engages in society and different issues through literature,” LaMore said. “I took away that even if you manage to reach one person, even for an hour, it could change their relationships and how they view the world, which means everything.”“This lecture is very much what Notre Dame tries to do,” she said. “They take a field of study and apply it and see how it can make a real difference.” Tags: French and Francophone Studies, lecture, literature, Nanovic Institute for European Studies, Romance Languages and Literatures
The academic dishonesty allegations announced Aug. 15 involving four (later five) Notre Dame football players sparked interest in University’s Honor Code investigation process.Notre Dame’s Undergraduate Student Academic Code of Honor Handbook is available on the University website. The policies outlined in the Code partially overlap with those in place at several of Notre Dame’s peer universities, but side-by-side comparisons reveal some significant differences.University Code of Honor Committee co-chair Hugh Page declined to comment on any aspect of the matter. Page is also the vice president and associate provost for undergraduate affairs and dean of the First Year of Studies.The range of acceptable penalties vary from school to school, and Notre Dame’s Honor Code appears more lenient than the Honor Code at the University of Virginia.For example, the Virginia Honor Committee has the power to “exclude permanently from student status University students found to have committed honor violations.” This seems to suggest that students could be dismissed in response to a first-time offense.Notre Dame’s Honor Code offers several alternatives – it differentiates between major, minor and flagrant offenses, and only under the flagrant offense category does it mention the prospect of dismissal. Lesser violations are typically penalized with zero credit given for the dishonest work or an “F” grade for the entire course, according to the Code. However, “a second violation of the Academic Code of Honor will normally result in dismissal from the University.”At Virginia, the Honor System is entirely student-run, according to its website. Student representatives are elected to sit on the Honor Committee, while student support officers investigate cases, provide advice to accused students and serve as advocates during the trial. Additionally, students serve as randomly selected jurors for Honor Code hearings when requested, which “ensures that a decision reflects the views of the current student body.”Notre Dame has multiple Honesty Committees at different levels—the University-wide group co-chaired by Page that has six faculty members and six students, and additional standing committees within each College or department. The Code stipulates that “In all Honesty Committees, students must constitute the majority of members.”The Code states that “In order for the Academic Code of Honor to function, both students and faculty must know the membership of the Honesty Committee to whom they can report instances of alleged academic dishonesty.” The University Committee roster currently posted on the Code of Honor website lists students who have graduated, and Committee co-chair Hugh Page declined to comment on whether it has been updated. The Code states that the Office of the Provost maintains the current committee membership roster.Notre Dame’s football team takes on Stanford University this weekend – still without the five players – and a head-to-head comparison of the two Universities’ Honor Codes suggests that Stanford’s code comes with more stringent sanctions for the first offense, but more lenient penalties for multiple violations.For example, Stanford’s code states that “The standard penalty for a first offense includes a one-quarter suspension from the University and 40 hours of community service.” Additionally, most faculty members issue a “no pass” or “no credit” for the course in question. For additional violations, such as cheating more than once in the same course, the standard penalty is a three-quarter suspension and 40 or more hours of community service, according to the Code available online.Like Notre Dame’s Honor Committees, Stanford’s Board on Judicial Affairs and individual Judicial Panels are comprised of both students and faculty members.The University Code of Honor Committee is responsible for proposing periodic revisions to the Code to Notre Dame’s Academic Council, chaired by University President Fr. John Jenkins. The Code document available on the University website was most recently updated in 2011.At Stanford, additions or modification to the bylaws of the Code can be overruled by the Undergraduate Senate, the Graduate Student Council, the Senate of the Academic Council, the Chair of the Senate of the Academic Council or the University President.None of the Codes offer a precise timeline for the investigation and hearing process.The 2014 U.S. News and World Report Best Universities ranking lists Stanford in a tie for No. 4 with Columbia University and the University of Chicago. Notre Dame is tied with Brown University and Vanderbilt University at No. 16, and Virginia is tied with the University of California-Los Angeles for No. 23.Tags: Honesty Committee, Notre Dame Academic Council, Stanford University, Undergraduate Student Academic Code of Honor Handbook, University of Virginia
Despite recent efforts to create an inclusive environment for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) students, Notre Dame is still the ninth most LGBTQ-unfriendly campus in America, according to the Princeton Review. A new grassroots movement, OUTatND, is aimed at changing this title and developing Notre Dame as a true safe space for LGBTQ students, senior and founder Jake Bebar said.“Currently, there is a lot of ambiguity around the term ‘ally’ on this campus,” Bebar said. “To some people, you can be an ally even if you don’t support marriage equality. To others, you can be an ally even if you don’t support LGBTQ relationships. …“OUTatND believes that being an ally means supporting equality in every sense … relationships, marriage, gender identity and everything else mentioned our website. We don’t want there to be any ambiguity around the term,” he said.The organization is independent of the University and is focused on promoting equality, visibility and solidarity for the LGBTQ community at Notre Dame, Bebar said. The organization is composed of undergraduate, graduate, faculty and alumni, according to the OUTatND website.“We believe in equal rights, privileges and resources for the entire LGBTQ community,” the website said. “We believe that members of the LGBTQ community deserve access to rights including but not limited to marriage rights and spousal privileges, relationship equality (i.e. the right and safety to engage in an open, honest, and public non-heteronormative relationship), [and] sexual orientation and gender identity inclusive non-discrimination clause in Notre Dame policies.”The group also wishes to ensure equal access to Notre Dame resources, such as housing and restrooms, and to promote visibility of the LGBTQ community on campus, the website said.“We believe that all members of LGBTQ communities should feel free to openly demonstrate pride toward their respective gender, sexuality and gender identity, and to engage in activist practices that celebrate the embodiment of non-normative sexual and gender identities and/or gender,” the website states.OUTatND also aims to promote solidarity among the LGBTQ community, according to the website.“We also believe that through our organization, we can establish an open and secular network of support for individuals who may be questioning their sexuality or gender identity,” it said.The group is launching its first initiative today in recognition of the marriage equality case that is also being heard by the Supreme Court today, Bebar said.“We’ll be launching a video featuring a number of out students and faculty,” Bebar said. “At the end of the video, we will be encouraging out ND members and alumni to upload videos of themselves sharing their ND experience. We really want to get everyone involved.“Both LGBTQ individuals and allies are encouraged to participate in our photo campaign by uploading a photo of themselves holding a sign showing their support for the LGBTQ community.”OUTatND recognizes the activism that has led to the creation of PrismND, which provides a space for respectful dialogue about LGBTQ issues, but PrismND has its limitations, Bebar said.“We are conscious of the limitations of PrismND because of LGBTQ rights that remain unrecognized and needs that remain unmet, such as the support of gay relationships,” Bebar said.“Knowing that PrismND provides a necessary resource for many students and that its existence could be put at risk if it were involved in this initiative, OUTatND operates 100 percent independently of both PrismND and the University of Notre Dame.”Ultimately, Bebar said, the goal of OUTatND is to advocate for the needs of LGBTQ students at Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and in the South Bend community as a whole.“We want every openly LGBTQ, closeted, or questioning student to know that we are here,” he said.To learn more about OUTatND, visit outatnd.org Tags: ally, Equality, inclusive environment, LGBTQ rights, OUTatND, solidarity, visibility
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) UPDATE: Police Say Argument Likely Led To Thursday ShootingJAMESTOWN – One male was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital Thursday following a late morning shooting at 707 Jefferson St.A heavy police presence remains on scene as of 1 p.m. Police are currently speaking with residents, while also canvassing the area for evidence.In addition, there are multiple bullet hole punctures in the house.There is currently no word on if anyone is in custody. Jefferson Street between West Seventh and Eighth Streets remains closed to traffic.We will continue to follow the story.