Community commemorates anniversary of Rwandan genocide

first_imgMembers of the South Bend Rwandan community gathered in McKenna Hall on Saturday afternoon to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi people as part of the worldwide commemoration called “kwibuka 20.”The kwibuka 20 commemoration movement focuses on the themes of remembrance, unification and renewal. Kwibuka translates from Kinyarwanda, the language of Rwanda, as “remember.”The keynote speaker for the event, Dr. James Waller, the Cohen Chair of the Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College in Keene, N.H., constructed his address around these three themes, both in Rwanda and in the world.Waller said he struggles to conceive of the pain felt by children who survived the genocide, the vast majority of whom witnessed the violence firsthand, and how they have been able to build a new generation on the foundation of peace.“One of the first times I went to Rwanda just a few years after the genocide, a good friend there … told me by his best estimate … 97 percent of the children who survived the genocide in 1994 saw murder,” he said. “They didn’t hear about, they didn’t read about it, they didn’t see it on television. Ninety-seven percent of children who survived the genocide saw someone killed in front of their eyes. The person they saw killed was most likely a family member, very probably a mother or father, very probably put to death by machete.”Waller said the world must remember the events of 1994 in Rwanda as a collective failure because the international community failed to intervene in the slaughter of nearly an entire people.“In the U.S. what we have to remember is that we watched while this happened,” Waller said. “It was a collective failure on the part of the international community as we all watched this unfold.“It wasn’t like the Holocaust where we couldn’t see it on television, and it took months to get estimates or data on number of lives lost, years to tell the story after it happened. We watched Rwanda unfold on our televisions, … and we did nothing. We stood by, and we watched it happen again. Our government in the U.S. even was afraid to refer to what happened in Rwanda as genocide because to call it genocide might mean that we have some obligation, as we did, to actually do something about it.”As a global community, Waller said the aim for unification should be to make the oft-quoted phrase “never again” a reality for atrocities such as genocide.“The world, when it thinks about unification, has to think about do we unite as a world to make sure that ‘never again’ actually has some meaning to it,” he said.Waller said the path to renewal, both for Rwanda and the world, must include reconciliation as well as reconstruction. He said this is something Rwandans have done in an admirable way.“Reconciliation has begun, but I think what’s important for us to understand is that reconciliation is a journey without end,” he said.“… I think what’s most striking today in this commemoration is how much loss is in this room, but how little you’ve talked about the other as the enemy, how much you understand that the other is a human being and the importance of facing that and recognizing that in terms of reconciliation.”Waller said the road to making “never again” a reality starts now and gains excellent insight and motivation from American tennis star and AIDS victim Arthur Ashe, who said, “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.”“You start where you are,” Waller said. “You don’t have to have a certain degree. You don’t have to have certain experience. You don’t have to move somewhere else. You start where you are. You use what you have because each of you has some incredible gifts and points of leverage that can make a difference. And then finally, you do whatever you can.“When I think about remembrance, about unification and renewal, I can think of no better blace to start than to heed Arthur Ashe’s words. Start where we are, use what we have and do what we can.”Tags: Genocide, Reconciliation, Rwandalast_img read more

Lecture features Jesuit history

first_imgJohn T. McGreevy, dean of the College of Arts and Letters and professor of history, presented the Cushwa Center Lecture as part of a yearlong celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Fr. Edward Sorin, founder of the University.The lecture, titled “The Jesuits, Father Sorin, and the 19th-Century Catholic Revival,” focused on the Jesuit order, who McGreevy said are oddly contemporary in their focus on internationalism.McGreevy said one of the impressive aspects of the Jesuits is their development of a Catholic community more attuned to the reverberations of global Catholicism than seemed imaginable in 1816.Jesuits came from Europe to the United States for two reasons, McGreevy said. Jesuits followed the Catholic tide of emigrants who left Europe between 1820 and 1900, as more than half of the 60 million people were Catholics.Another reason McGreevy said Jesuits came to the United States was because they were kicked out of 22 European and Latin American countries between 1840 and 1900.When the Jesuits came to America, they carried the books, journals, devotional pamphlets, chalices, rosaries and holy water from a European Catholic world in crisis and translated them into an American idiom, McGreevy said.McGreevy used the example of Fr. John Bapst, a Jesuit priest in Maine, to describe the range of missionary work in the United States during the 19th century.“One way Bapst is part of the 19th century revival is [through his] devotional culture. A second way is education. A key component to the 19th century Catholic Revival is a focus on Catholic education and more broadly Catholic institutions,” McGreevy said.Bapst started his own Catholic school after he lost his case protesting the use of the King James Bible in public school, he said.“There are almost eerie similarities between Bapst’s story and that of Notre Dame’s founding president Reverend Edward Sorin,” McGreevy said. “Like Bapst, Sorin was marinated in Catholic devotional culture, [which was] just reaching full pitch.”McGreevy said Jesuit globalism has a history that peaked in the 19th century, declined and then re-emerged again in the Second Vatican Council.“Their orientation to the world, their linguistic curiosity, … now seems oddly contemporary,” McGreevy said.“While it is uncertain how this new era of Catholic globalization is going to work, the Catholic connections and communities now being forged by text messages and Skype necessarily follow the paths that were laid by Bapst and Sorin,” he said. Tags: Cushwa Center, Fr. Sorin, Jesuitlast_img read more

SMC student group hosts ‘Take Back the Night’

first_imgStudents, faculty and staff from Saint Mary’s College, University of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College will break the silence surrounding sexual assault during the annual Take Back the Night event.“The goal of Take Back the Night is to re-establish that our campuses are safe places to be and that we don’t tolerate sexual assault on our campuses,” Abigail Spica, a junior student advisory committee member for the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) events and campaigns committee, said.“We break the silence to take back the night,” she said.The name of the movement is based on people associating night on a college campus as the space where sexual assault would occur, Spica said.Connie Adams, director of BAVO, said in an email that Take Back the Night is an international movement dating back to the 1970s, and is a unique way to generate awareness, stand in solidarity with victims and promote healing associated with sexual assault.Overt and subtle victim-blaming reinforce feelings of self-guilt and shift the blame from perpetrators to victims Adams said. She said this reinforces he silence surrounding sexual assault, which is a crime of silence.“Survivors deserve a space where they can share their stories, use their voice, and be heard,” she said. “Take Back the Night provides this opportunity for survivors.”During Take Back the Night, survivors will use their voices through the during a “speak out” event. Saint Mary’s students will meet at Lake Marion at 6:30 p.m. for a Kick Off Event, and join with Notre Dame and Holy Cross student en route to O’Shaughnessy Hall on Notre Dame’s campus for the speak out — an entirely confidential space where students are invited to share their stories of sexual assault, Spica said.Students will then take posters and march from O’Shaughnessy Hall to the Grotto to raise awareness about sexual assault. The march ends during a prayer vigil at the Grotto at 9:15 p.m.“The different components [of the event] are important for healing for sexual assault survivors and making a change within our community,” Spica said. “The march aspect promotes visual awareness about what is going on in our community, the speak out is an opportunity for community members to hear what is going on, and the vigil is a restorative action piece that show people we are a community and that we are here to support them.”Adams said she has been involved with planning Take Back the Night since 2010 and in that time the most noteworthy evolution is the growth of participation from students, faculty and staff, with this year unique because it is the first year Holy Cross College has been actively involved in the planning process.“Planning takes place over the course of months with leadership and dedication from students and staff at Saint Mary’s, Holy Cross and Notre Dame,”  she said.“ … This collaboration echoes our mission of solidarity around violence, a primary purpose of the event.”Students from all three campuses are encouraged to attend, because the event is a strong way to show support towards survivors of sexual assault is to break the silence, Spica said.“Unfortunately, there is a lot of silence around sexual violence,” Spica said. “We don’t talk about it. Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross are supportive of people who have experienced violence, and this is a way to show survivors that we’re here to support them.”Adams said she encourages people to participate, because Take Back the Night is a way to hear those who are silenced and gain a greater awareness to the realities of sexual violence and its impact on survivors and communities.“By speaking out and addressing this prominent issue and need of our time, students become one with a long tradition of advocacy and compassion,” she said. “Hopefully Take Back the Night will offer more than a mere awareness, but strengthen that awareness to inspire action.”​ Tags: BAVO, sexual assault prevention, Take Back the Nightlast_img read more

Visiting professor discusses nuclear arms

first_imgIn a lecture Monday titled “The Atomic Monstrosity from ‘Gojira’ (1954) to ‘Godzilla’ (2014)”, Professor Yuki Miyamoto of DePaul University said the issue of nuclear weapons is largely misrepresented and trivialized in the media.“The popular media also contributes … to our deviation, or our not looking … into this issue,” she said.Miyamoto said the media misrepresents nuclear warfare through two channels — the feminization and trivialization of the atomic bombs.Miyamoto said the media has focused largely on images of women in photographs, songs or television shows, in relation to the atomic bombs. She said the popular image of the smiling Hiroshima maidens brought to the U.S. for plastic surgery “contributes to feminization of the bomb itself.”“It’s horrible, it’s dangerous, but it’s fixable,” Miyamoto said.Miyamoto specifically focused on the ‘Gojira’ films, or the 28 Japanese adaptations of ‘Godzilla.’ She said the films embody the media’s misrepresentation of nuclear weapons.Miyamoto said the films attach an image of fantastical monstrosity to the popular understanding of nuclear weapons, which reveals a deep-rooted fear of nuclear weapons.“What fascinates about Godzilla seems to be this ambiguity: Godzilla is … Hibakusha, the victim, but also victimizer, destroying Tokyo,” Miyamoto said. “It’s the metaphor of Japan, but at the same time it’s the metaphor of the United States.”Miyamoto said the public must be responsible for challenging the national narratives that portray the aftermath of use of nuclear weapons as primarily a “Japanese experience” or atomic bombs as saviors which provided a swift end to the war.Miyamoto said general knowledge of nuclear weapons would help disband misconceptions construed by the media. She said the U.S. possesses 7,300 of the 16,300 nuclear bombs in existence today and the country has conducted far more nuclear tests than any of the other seven countries who have done nuclear weapon testing.“This should be relevant to our daily lives, but somehow we don’t know for sure,” Miyamoto said.Tags: Godzilla, lecture, nuclear weaponslast_img read more

Mendoza drops to No. 2 in rankings

first_imgBloomberg Businessweek ranked the University’s Mendoza College of Business No. 2 out of 114 schools nationwide in their annual ranking of undergraduate business programs in a report released Monday. “A tradition of excellence and a commitment to ethical business is the deepest part of our identity. We continually look for ways to advance our curriculum to stay current with developing trends so that our students leave here prepared to meet the challenges of the global economy,” Roger Huang, the Martin J. Gillen Dean of the Mendoza College of Business said in an email. “All this we do irrespective of the rankings and therefore fact that the ranking is discontinued will not divert us from that course.”Mendoza held the No. 1 spot for five consecutive years starting in 2010 and lasting until 2014. “The ranking is based on four components — recruiter feedback, student surveys, starting salary data and internships. So first and foremost, Mendoza was ranked No. 1 by the students, which is very meaningful to me. Again, I think their response signals how much they value what we do here at Mendoza,” Huang said.Huang said he was pleased with the No. 2 ranking overall. “Since this is the last year that Bloomberg is ranking undergraduate programs, it would have been nice to continue our five-year streak of being No. 1. But I certainly am pleased with being ranked No. 2, especially since I realize all the hard work and dedication from students, faculty, staff and alumni that goes into making our program as excellent as it is,” Huang said. Mendoza will continue its tradition of excellence in the coming years, Huang said.  “I also want to emphasize that regardless of any ranking, we remain faithful to our mission of service and vision that business is a force for good in society,” Huang said. “That never changes for us, and our students reflect its importance in all of the amazing things they do.”Huang said he also appreciates the hard work of the career center at the University. “Recruiters also ranked us highly, which definitely helped our overall score. This, too, is meaningful to me, because it reflects the hard work of the Notre Dame Career Center to place our students,” Huang said.According to a University press release, Bloomberg updated their ranking methodology this year. “Bloomberg updated the rankings to put a heavy emphasis on career paths. It no longer includes any academic quality metrics, such as intellectual capital or faculty research, which previously accounted for 30 percent of the ranking. While I agree that careers are important, I don’t agree with eliminating academic quality altogether,” Huang said. Additionally, Huang said they eliminated the alumni feedback component. “Bloomberg also excluded alumni ratings of their own alma maters in a portion of the recruiter feedback. To us, the Notre Dame network is an amazing resource for our students. We value their help and wisdom,” Huang said. Tags: business, mendoza college of business, rankingslast_img read more

Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies to hold conference examining peace studies, psychology

first_imgIn an effort to explore the relationship between psychology and conflict, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, together with the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 48, will host the first Psychology and Peace Conference this weekend. The conference will include workshops, speeches and panels given by leading experts in the interdisciplinary field of peace psychology.“The conference topics are pretty broad-ranging, and the idea is to create an inclusive picture of what the future of peace psychology could look like and to really emphasize the role of rigorous empirical work as a contribution to social justice,” Laura Miller-Graff, assistant professor of psychology and peace studies, said.As a member of the conference planning committee, Miller-Graff has played a role in choosing and inviting speakers to campus who will encompass many areas of expertise in psychology and violence, reaching from small-scale interactions to conflicts that play out on the world stage.“We have a speaker who’s addressing genocide and a psychologist who’s addressing climate change, to more interpersonal forms of violence, so we have a speaker who will be talking about bullying,” Miller-Graff said. “We have something that would attract a lot of different audiences and give them a forum for thinking about how all these things relate to one another in terms of creating the big picture of addressing violence and conflict in global and local contexts.”The idea for the conference, Miller-Graff said, came from a suggestion by former APA Division 48 president, Scott Moeschberger, who attended a conference on global psycho-social care held by Miller-Graff and E. Mark Cummings, another psychology professor at Notre Dame. APA Division 48 focuses on the study of peace and conflict.“[Moeschberger] has been wanting to reinvigorate the division in terms of bringing in young scholars, enhancing the focus on rigorous empirical work,” Miller-Graff said. “He pitched the idea when we held that conference of exploring the possibility of us holding it at Notre Dame, and so when we returned from that conference we started the process rolling.” The conference has been in the works for about a year and a half, with Miller-Grant contributing to the general conference planning, as well as handling the logistics of hosting scholars and guests on campus. Notre Dame students and faculty may attend speeches and panels free of charge.“Since I’m here at Notre Dame, I’m also spearheading all the nitty gritty details of working with the conference office and making sure everybody can get where they’re going, sorting things out from this end of campus,” Miller-Graff said.”It’s been really fun — I’ve gotten to work with a lot of different people and it’s been great. It’s been crazy, but it’s been great.”The interdisciplinary nature of the conference, she said, allows for unusual engagement that can open the doors to new research.“We have about a hundred people who are registered to attend, and doing work in diverse areas related to violence and conflict and a lot of those people … don’t often attend the same professional conferences, so this is a pretty unique opportunity to bring together people’s work in a really interesting way,” Miller-Graff said. “I think I’m most excited for some of the informal conversations and collaborations that will emerge from this.”Tags: American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association Division 48, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, peace psychology, Psychology and Peace Conferencelast_img read more

Student leadership give report on representation to Board of Trustees

first_imgFour percent of the president’s leadership council at Notre Dame are people of color, compared to 30 percent of the student body while just 28 percent of the University’s Board of Trustees are women, compared to 49 percent of the student body.These statistics were among several others presented to the student affairs committee of the Board of Trustees last week.These statistics were presented by members of the 2017-18 student body leadership as part of their spring semester report to the Board on Thursday.In the fall, the Board chooses the student body leadership’s report topic. Last fall, the Board selected the topic of campus alcohol culture. In the spring, the students get to choose the topic, this year they chose to focus on people of color and people of low socioeconomic status in University and student leadership.“They’re always really fascinated by what is going on and what we pinpoint as student issues,” student body president emeritus and senior Becca Blais said.Chief of staff emeritus and junior Prathm Juneja said the students drew upon their own experiences at Notre Dame to pick the topic.“You have two women in the room, two people of color in the room [and] people of low socioeconomic status in the room,” Juneja said. “We’re just like, these are some of the barriers that we had to face, and we were lucky enough to overcome some of them, but not everyone else gets that opportunity.”The day before giving the report, student body vice president emeritus and senior Sibonay Shewit said she had high expectations for the report’s reception.“I think the conversation will be really positive,” Shewit said. “Once it’s in front of you, you acknowledge it and you work towards progress. I can’t imagine a situation where they would deny that this is something that needs to be worked on.”The report looks at the representation of women and minorities in leadership roles among students — for example, in hall staff — and among University leadership, in groups such as the Board of Trustees and the Board of Fellows.Juneja said there were no RA‘s of color in his dorm his freshman year, which impacted his ability to feel completely welcome.“The experiences I had in O’Neill, at least early on, were ones of microaggressions. Even my sophomore year, I had a decently serious hate crime happen against me,” Juneja said.  “Those are things that made feel really apart from Notre Dame, and had I had representation in my dorm, I think I would have had mentors.”The report offers several solutions for lack of representation. Aside from making a greater effort to place minorities in leadership roles, the University could offer monetary gifts to allow students of low socioeconomic status to participate in student government and be RAs, Juneja said.“Students of low socioeconomic status have no incentive to be RAs because their financial aid often already covers room and board,” Juneja said. “As a result, there aren’t representative leaders in the dorm for students who come in with issues like that.”The report also asks for student union talentship grants, which will allow students of low socioeconomic status to work in student government without sacrificing the income that an on-campus job would provide.Blais and Shewit said they found that a lack of female representation in University leadership inhibited their ability to find mentors.“I did intentionally seek out women mentorship at the University, specifically in administration, and found it very challenging,” Blais said. “It means a lot when you can see a leading woman and identify with her and have someone to look up to.”Because of stipulations for the Board of Fellows, six of the 12 members of the Board must be Holy Cross priests, according to the website. The University president must also be a Holy Cross priest, restricting the role to men.“I would love to see a woman in charge of this university one day, more than anything,” Blais said. “But, if that cannot be possible, then I would at least like to see women in the second-hand position … and in more positions on the Board of Fellows.”Shewit, as a woman and a person of color, said both of these identities have impacted her experience at Notre Dame.“You see time and time again, when they do these inclusion surveys, there’s almost a correlation between minority students and not feeling as welcome in the community,” Shewit said.Because of the few poor experiences Juneja had in his dorm community, he does not always know what to advise prospective students of color, he said.“I’m not sure that Notre Dame is the perfect place for me, but I’m happy with the person it’s making me,” Juneja said. “It’s not an easy task for people of color to come to this University … but by no means is it a bad decision. It’s just a challenging one.”The results from the Board report might not be visible for several years, Juneja said. However, increased diversity in hiring over the next few years could show the impact of the report.Shewit said the University must be proactive in taking steps to make sure all students feel welcome.“Even if it doesn’t really seem like so many tangible things … I can’t stress enough how important it is that students, faculty members, alums, Board members, administrators, continue to talk about representation and the minority experience,” Shewit said.Tags: blais-shewit, Board of Trustees, board report, Diversity, representation, Student governmentlast_img read more

Notre Dame meme page informs campus through comedy

first_imgCurrently sitting at 6,503 members, the Notre Lame Memes for Straight Edge Teens Facebook group is the spot for students to find “original content only, fire memes and true friends,” according to the group’s description.Anyone with a valid email address may join the group and, once accepted, can post in the group.Sophomore Ethan Sunshine, who has been a member of the group since his freshman year and has posted a few times, said the ability for all members to contribute gives the group an edge from sites such as Barstool and the Black Sheep.“It’s good having anyone be able to contribute and then everyone can vote on ‘yes people see this’ or ‘no people don’t see this.’ If there is something people don’t want to see it gets put to the bottom pretty quickly versus on something like Barstool, it’s just a post in your feed,” Sunshine said. “Also, the Facebook page is not filtered by editors. For Barstool and Black Sheep and places like that, the editors have a certain image that they’re trying to maintain. The Facebook page really doesn’t filter, so if your content is marginally related like that’s still fine … I think it’s good that there are hundreds of people in the group who all have very different interests.”Sophomore Elizabeth Zahorick said she enjoys the specificity to campus issues that the meme page has.Many of the memes on the page center around the subjects of administrative decisions, campus events, sports results and other satirical takes on Notre Dame’s campus culture.Sophomore Susan Peters said a good Notre Dame meme contains a universal theme or concept.“Everyone kind of relates to it,” Peters said. “For example, the video in which Father Jenkins flies off the stage and into outer space. I think there is something there for everyone.”Another quality that makes a meme great, Sunshine said, is if it gave you the ability to look at something on campus in a new light.An example that Sunshine gave was a meme about mathematics graduate students smoking cigarettes outside of Hayes-Healy Hall.”It was something that I never thought about before I saw that,“ Sunshine said.The meme group allows students to keep informed on campus news through a comedic lens, Zahorick said.“It’s a good way of spreading things that happen on campus,” Zahorick said. “People find out about things. A few people can know about something as it actually happened and then they sort of disseminate their experience through making a joke about it.”Many of the memes on the page contain content related to administrative decisions, some of which criticize those decisions.“Any satire is powerful … It’s creative expression,“ Peters said. ”The parts of it that are critical, I think that people should listen to.”The Notre Lame Meme Page was created on Dec. 7, 2016. The page has had several names over the past few years including “Notre Lame Memes for Joseph Levano,” named after a student whose email to the entire student body became a popular meme in the fall of 2017.Zahorick has posted in the Notre Lame Meme occasionally in the past.  One of her memes received around 1,200 likes and was included in the yearbook last year, Zahorick said.Zahorick made a meme about residents of Carroll Hall having to walk to the dining hall during the polar vortex, and included information regarding the amount of time it would take. Zahorick said the information included in her meme was later mentioned to her.“I was talking to someone later and she said, ‘Yeah, I heard it takes eight minutes to walk from Carroll to the dining hall’ … and then I realized she was citing my meme to me,” Zahorick said.Zahoric said that most of her meme ideas just come to her.“I’ll think, ‘Oh, this is funny.’ … And then I just start thinking about what’s the most concise way to convey that joke. Then I start trying to find the right image for it … I usually send it to a friend to see if it would be funny for the page,” Zahorick said. “To be honest, it’s always the ones that I don’t think are that funny that get the most likes.”Tags: Facebook, memes, Notre Lame Meme Page, Polar Vortexlast_img read more

Ronald Christopher

first_img He is preceded in death by his parents; Harold Christopher Sr. and Dorothy Christopher.Ronald leaves to treasure his memories, his two brothers, Harold Christopher Jr. and Ricky Johnson; sister Bonnie Francois; along with the sweet memories of his uncle’s, aunts, nieces and nephews; and a host of cousins and close friends.Service will be held on Saturday, July 16, 2016 11:00 a.m. at Hannah Funeral Home Chapel in Port Arthur, Texas.  Visitation beginning at 9 a.m. Service is entrusted to Hannah Funeral Home, Inc. Ronald Christopher peacefully was called by his heavenly father where he was lifted and gently crossed from mortal life to eternal life on July 4, 2016. He accepted Christ at an early age and was a member of East Mount Olive Baptist Church.  He was a proud graduate on Abraham Lincoln Class of 1976.  Ronald was a native and lifelong resident of Port Arthur.   last_img read more

DPS ID’s victims in multi-vehicle collision on I-10

first_imgStaff reportThe Texas Department of Public Safety has identified three Louisiana motorcyclists who were injured Saturday in a multiple-vehicle wreck on Interstate 10 in Orange County. Sgt. Stephanie Davis identified the injured as Eddie Williams, Shawn Bourgeois and Robert Young. Young was airlifted to a hospital in Lafayette, Louisiana. Young’s condition was unknown.The others, whose injuries were described as not life threatening, were taken to a hospital in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The three were injured around 1:45 p.m. Saturday near Mile Marker 876. Involved in the collision were the three westbound motorcycles and a passenger vehicle.center_img In an issued statement, Davis said two motorcycles struck a minivan, which was stopped, from behind. The third motorcycle could not “control its speed” and “became involved in the crash.”No injuries were reported in the van.last_img read more