Saint Mary’s students shared in the native languages of six women from five different countries Monday through “Writing Across the World,” an event sponsored by the Saint Mary’s English Language School. At the event, which also marked the beginning of International Week, the women translated and transcribed students’ names into their native languages. She designed the event to promote dialogue – in English or otherwise – between students, Terra Cowham, assistant director for International Student Scholar Services at the English Language School, said. “During International Week, we want to highlight all the diversity in the international students on our campus,” Cowham said. “We thought it’d be really awesome if they wrote some themes or sayings while sharing their native language with us.” “This event begins a cultural festival,” Ethiopian student Neima Mohammed said. Mohammed’s ability to speak English fluently is a result of five months of language classes from Saint Mary’s, she said. The Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership offers a rigorous program in the English Language School to non-native speakers, and Cowham said the four-week program is open to anyone. “We have a program for anyone, [from] adult women [to] students just out of high school, if they want to come and learn English they come here, live on campus and they take classes that are non-degree but focused on learning the English language,” she said. Cowham said many women come for additional practice or instruction before they enter another college. “I am extremely passionate about making students global citizens and connecting the world every day,” Cowham said. “I want to help all of campus see what wonderful resources we have, all the wonderful students that come here from across the world.” Noemy Siles-Alvarado, a Costa Rican student, said she feels the strong sense of community that Cowham has tried to foster for international students at Saint Mary’s. “The professors are really, really good. All the girls are friendly,” she said. “I have enjoyed it, it feels like family.” Siles-Alvarado said she found her role at the writing event amusing. “It’s interesting for me because I’m from Costa Rica. It’s not that amazing and for most people it’s the same name in English as it is in Spanish,” she said. “For the other girls, I think it’s really cool because they can write in their own language.” Siles-Alvarado said she chose to attend the English Language School to improve her grammar before she begins pursuing a pre-medicine degree at Goshen College. Maha Alshahrani, a student from Saudi Arabia, said she chose Saint Mary’s to study among pupils of her own gender and aspires to receive a Master’s degree from Notre Dame. Mayumi Oda and Misa Inaba are both studying abroad from the same college in Japan, which Inaba said was “kind of a sister school to Saint Mary’s.” This semester they live with two American roommates in Le Mans Hall. Oda said as much as they miss home now, when they leave they will miss Saint Mary’s as well. “It’s beautiful to communicate with another country’s people,” Oda said. Contact Rebecca O’Neil at email@example.com
A panel of Saint Mary’s students shared their experiences with mental illness Monday as part of the College’s Support a Belle, Love a Belle (SABLAB) week.Sophomore Alicia Twisselmann started off the panel talking about about her struggle with anxiety and depression. She said the combination of her anxiety and depression with attention deficit disorder (ADD) makes it difficult for her to stay motivated.Chris Collins | The Observer “I have such high goals and aspirations, and I’m a perfectionist,” she said.“Yet at the same time, I still can’t quite bring myself to do what I know I need to.” She said she has been affected by her mental illnesses for as long as she can remember, and was first put on medication in second grade. “I’m thankful that at this point it’s just sort of at the background, but it still definitely continues to have an impact,” she said.Twisselmann said small acts of kindness matter the most to her and will help encourage her to open up to others about how she’s feeling. Chris Collins | The Observer Sophomore Meredith Mackowicz spoke about her experience living with generalized anxiety disorder and clinical depression. She said while she was able to self-diagnose her mental disorders, she finally opened up to a doctor two summers ago.“I feel like there’s such a stigma, especially on college campuses, about mental illnesses. And while it is a part of me, it’s not the biggest part of me and it’s not the most important part of me,” Mackowicz said. “There’s so many other things that I take pride in like music and theatre and art and there’s so many aspects to a person.”Mackowicz said once she was able to open up about her mental illness, she found other students on campus who had the same issues and background as her.“I think the best way to beat the stigma is to just not worry about it and to realize some people are going to have issues that you won’t understand and that they can’t explain to you,” she said. “I think we just have to be patient, we have to be open to people and realize that if you just do one small thing you can make a complete difference in someone else’s life.”Sophomore Ashley Coates opened up about her struggle with anxiety and clinical depression. She said she knew there was a problem when she would wake up anxious and unable to get out of bed.“Although it is 100 percent mental — as in it’s [your head] that’s making you feel that way — it does affect your body physically,” Coates said. “For example, if I become anxious, I can’t eat.” Coates said while there are difficult patches, she was able to get a better grasp on her mental illnesses with the help of the Saint Mary’s psychiatrist.“There’s an end,” she said. “There’s a point where it stops where you’re okay again, and you’ll be okay. I just want everyone to know that there is that point — whether you’re dealing with anxiety or dealing with depression or whatever you’re dealing with — there is a point where you will be okay again and that’s where I’m trying to be.”Junior Taylor Thomas shared her struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Thomas said she is a perfectionist and had difficulty opening up about the side effects of her mental illnesses with others.“I did really well in school freshman year and then things started going downhill, especially my sophomore year,” she said. “I didn’t care about tests, I didn’t care about anything, I didn’t even want to get out of bed most days. It was really rough.”Thomas said Saint Mary’s staff and faculty have been supportive and helpful on her journey towards learning to cope with PTSD and depression.“It has been rough, it has not been easy at all,” Thomas said. “So if you’re going into therapy thinking one session is it — no. It’s going to be a long haul, and I’m still dealing with it today.”Junior Alyssa Richards spoke about her struggles with depression. She said her depression comes and goes, but is manageable now.“It got to the point where I felt like a zombie just watching myself go through my day-to-day tasks,” she said. “I lost interest in things that were really important to me.”Richards said she has been able to find peace and solace in nature. “I am a very strong-minded person, even though I do have depression, so I was determined to find out the things that make me happy,” she said. “I’m doing a lot better, and I’ve figured out how to deal with it on my own.”Mackowicz said seeking help is important even if someone is unsure if they have a diagnosable disorder.“Disorders manifest themselves in many different ways and in many different forms, and I think it’s important to know that because if you think you might have one aspect of a disorder that’s okay,” Mackowicz said. “It’s still good to get help, it’s still good to talk to somebody about that one aspect.”Tags: Mental health, SABLAB, support a belle love a belle
Saint Mary’s seniors Madison Marshall and Clare Theisen, along with junior Maura Newell, made waves when they participated in the Semester at Sea program, which is not directly offered through Saint Mary’s, but which the students managed to incorporate into their experiences at the College.Semester at Sea is a 100-day program that allows students to experience the cultures of ten or more countries in only one semester of school. Students travel on a boat that is slightly smaller than a cruise ship to get from international destination to destination — the destinations change slightly each semester. Newell, who studied abroad last semester, said she attended classes with fellow students from around the world while on the boat. “We would have class every day we were at sea, so we didn’t really didn’t have weekends,” she said. “The longest we were sailing was 12 days when we went from Hawaii to Japan, and the shortest was two days when we went from Japan to China.”Newell said as long as students discuss their plans to study abroad with the Registrar Office, their classes can count toward Saint Mary’s credits. Classes cover a range of topics, such as economics, art history, world diplomacy, photography, literature, anthropology, oceanography and religion, she said.“When we’re on the ship, we study what country we’re going to,” she said. “So in my business economics class, we would talk about the economy of whichever country we were traveling to.”Students have the option to either pay extra to take classes once the boat docks in a country or to travel independently. However, even if the students opt to travel independently, they must attend at least one field lab while they’re visiting a country. Newell said her art history class met with an artist in Vietnam. Professors, like students, must also apply to teach for a semester on the ship. Marshall, a marketing major who studied abroad in the fall of 2015, said most of the professors were from the U.S., but some were from other countries. “All of the professors were from prestigious schools,” she said. “I had professors from Yale and Harvard, which is something I wouldn’t be able to experience anywhere else.”Newell said the community feeling on the ship was unique because of how close the students live to the faculty.“When you’re living in close quarters with everyone, you get to know everyone really well,” Newell said. “You don’t just see your teachers in a professional setting. You see them all over the ship, even walking down the hall in their PJs.”The ship was equipped with a gym, pool, a theater where students could attend talks or performances and multiple dining halls. Marshall said the ship was similar to the one in the movie Titanic.“We were lucky that our boat was a new boat,” Marshall said. “It had a Titanic vibe. Everything was elegant and decorative and kind of old-fashioned.”The ship also had no phone service and no internet for the students. Theisen, who studied abroad with Marshall, said this aspect of the ship made the experience more authentic.“Because you couldn’t rely on your phone, you were forced to listen and learn.” Theisen said. “When we went abroad, it was around the time of the Paris attacks, so it was interesting to see people’s perspectives from around the world. I grew and learned so much from the people around me.”Marshall said she made some of her best friends on the ship. “The relationships I made with other students on the ship aren’t even comparable with any of my other relationships,” Marshall said. “You build this inseparable bond with the people you travel with, even though they start out to be complete strangers.”Newell was the only Saint Mary’s student on her voyage, but she said it was worth pushing herself outside of her comfort zone for the experience. One of the greatest experiences she had was on her trip to Myanmar, she said. “We took a hot air balloon and flew over a bunch of pagodas and temples at sunrise,” Newell said. “I went to a little town that most tourists don’t go to. We met a family while we were there, and we stayed with them over night. It was such a different experience.”Students are able to travel to places such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Spain, Morocco, Senegal, Brazil, Panama, Costa Rica, Japan, Hawaii, Vietnam, Burma, India, Malaysia and Myanmar, Marshall said.Marshall said one of the highlights from her trip was riding on camels in the Sahara Desert and sleeping in hammocks on the Amazon River. “Semester at Sea offers you the option to explore so many different places,” Marshall said. “I would have never chosen to go to Senegal, but that was probably one of my favorite places to go to. Every country was so amazing.” Theisen said one of the biggest advantages of studying abroad on the ship was the personal growth it offered.“It was a huge learning experience,” Theisen said. “In some places, you were surrounded by poverty, and a lot of people chose not to get off the ship. “There were times when people would swarm you begging for money, and I had never experienced anything like that. Those situations can be uncomfortable, but that’s when you grow.”Marshall said she would recommend Semester at Sea to anyone. “It pushes you to go outside of your comfort zone by spending time on a boat with a bunch of strangers and traveling to different parts of the world I could have never imagined going to,” Marshall said. “It has definitely helped to shape me into the better person I am today.”Tags: center for women’s intercultural leadership, semester at sea, study abroad
Participants at Saint Mary’s Hunger Banquet on Tuesday quickly discovered they were not eating a typical dinner. The event separated students, faculty and staff into one of three different groups representing social classes: upper, middle and lower. The lower economic classes had the largest number of participants, while the upper class was small. Participants sat and ate with their assigned class, and their class determined how much and what they ate.The upper class participants received a full, three-course meal served to them by staff while sitting at elaborately decorated tables. Meanwhile, middle class participants ate rice and lentils, and lower class participants only ate rice. This dinner simulated the differences between how and what different classes eat.Senior Olivia Burnett said the experience was eye-opening.“Most people eat to survive, whereas in our culture, we eat for pleasure,” she said.The Student Diversity Board (SDB) hosted the dinner with help from the Office of Civic and Social Engagement.SDB’s goal was to show how diverse America is in terms of economic status and that not everyone has the same resources students are accustomed to, senior and SDB President Victoria Ernsberger said.“The first year I went [to the banquet], it was truly an eye-opening experience to me, and the statistics provided during the event were heart-wrenching,” she said. “I think that it is important to understand that we are so privileged at Saint Mary’s. It is important to help those who are less fortunate.”Throughout the meal, participants heard testimonies about poverty and watched a video about food security in the United States. Ernsberger said 805 million people worldwide suffer from chronic hunger and about half of the world’s population, or 3 billion people, live in poverty.Burnett said the event highlighted the privilege of food security.“We don’t always recognize or appreciate that there are others out there who do not get the same privilege,” she said.The event is largely shaped by the participants and their personal experiences with food security, Ernsberger said.“Each year is different due to the individuals that partake in the event and their own individual stories and feelings that they are willing to share,” she said before the banquet. “We encourage participants to share their feelings regarding their placement during the banquet.” This year’s Hunger Banquet is part of a series of events geared towards food justice. Other events include a canned food drive, a campus ministry cooking class and a panel discussing food access. Ernsberger said she believes all of these events can help College community members be better informed about poverty and access.“I hope that students, faculty, and staff are able to walk away from the event feeling called to act and help with this injustice,” Ernsberger said. Tags: food insecurity, food justice week, hunger banquet, saint mary’s, Student Diversity Board
Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) arrested two men in possession of “two loaded handguns” near campus Wednesday evening, the University announced in a press release Friday. Troyon Scott, 18, and his brother Troyae, 20, both South Bend residents, were arrested while driving a silver Pontiac G6 that matched the description of an automobile involved in a previous incident, the release said. The two were charged with possession of weapons and possession of marijuana. Troyon Scott was also charged for driving a vehicle without a license. The handguns, which were Glock 19 and Glock 45 semi-automatic pistols, were found under the car seats and had “fully-loaded magazines of 17 rounds and 10 rounds, respectively,” the release said.Officer Jim Buchmann of NDSP led the arrest in response to a report he heard while monitoring the South Bend Police Department’s radio traffic, the release said. A woman had called the police to report a vehicle stopped on a bridge on Angela Boulevard.“The passer-by tapped on the driver’s side window, prompting the driver to speed away, eastbound toward the Notre Dame campus,” the release said. “The vehicle passed Buchmann at Angela Boulevard and Notre Dame Avenue, changing lanes near Eddy Street without a turn signal being employed.”Buchmann apprehended the Scotts near Edison Road and Harrington Drive with the help of Officer Tim Reiter and Lt. Andre Bridges. The brothers were taken to NDSP headquarters in Hammes Mowbray Hall “without incident” and were subsequently taken into custody by the South Bend Police Strategic Focus Unit, the release said.An investigation by local and federal police is ongoing.Tags: Arrest, guns, NDSP, Notre Dame Security Police
If you ask senior Clare Strickland, PEMCo’s executive producer, how she balances majoring in Neuroscience with overseeing the spring show “Guys and Dolls”, she would respond:“That’s a funny joke! We simply don’t sleep.”If you ask sophomore Alison Croucher, the director of the upcoming spring show, “Guys and Dolls,” how she manages to stay motivated between her Film, Television, and Theater course load and 24 hours per week of PEMCo rehearsals, she would respond:“Pure adrenaline and exhaustion at this point is what keeps me going. I don’t even have time to get a coffee.”Being a full-time student and also part of PEMCo, an entirely student-run and self-sustaining musical theatre group, is no small feat.“Balancing is hard. There’s no way you can have 24 hours of practice a week, have the amazing, glorious social life you want, and do well in academics and extracurriculars,” sophomore Roni Mansour, the music director of the spring show, said.Mansour, majoring in Music and English with a minor in Musical Theater, has had to learn to wear many different hats, along with the rest of the PEMCo team of around 50 members, including four producers, 21 cast members, 16 pit members and countless other people who have contributed to the show. Directors, producers and cast members alike, might find themselves running from a physics lab or an art critique to rehearsal. With that in mind, it can be a challenge to put together a show with so many different schedules and the routine distractions and stressors of everyday college life.“You leave everything at the door when you walk in and give everything you have to the production and rehearsal,” Croucher said. “It’s a journey, and it’s a process. As a director, I have to constantly be reading the room.”The size of the cast and crew could potentially cause conflict, but Mansour said the group’s mutual respect ensures that they work productively.“Everything comes down to respect. The cast has respect for us, we have respect for them. You have to check your egos at the door,” Mansour said.While rehearsals and the production process can be taxing, there is a reason that students come back year after year to be part of PEMCo productions — shows are rewarding and fun.“We have a really good balance between having fun and being professional,” Strickland said. “While at times, [the show] can be another source of stress, being at rehearsal is stress relief for me. It’s a really safe place where we can kind of let go and escape any troubles that we are going through.”Croucher echoed Strickland’s sentiments as she credited a love of theater as her motivation.While “Guys and Dolls” has been done time and time again, PEMCo is trying to put their own twist on the production.“This is a classic golden-age show, meaning it’s old. It’s been redone and re-vibed countless times. How are we going to make it our own? How is our version going to be different than what you saw on Broadway five years ago?” Croucher said when asked about how she has adapted the show at the University.Mansour said the most exciting part of the show has been “messing around with the music and making it our own.”“It’s a unique show with our own taste of creativity,” she said.Performances of “Guys and Dolls” will be take place Thursday through Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in Washington Hall. Tickets are now on sale at the LaFortune Box Office. Student tickets are $7 and non-student tickets are $10.Tags: Guys and Dolls, PEMCo, Washington Hall
Gabrielle Penna | The Observer Speaker Kenya Young, class of 1994, and executive producer of the Morning Edition at NPR, along with Notre Dame professors Christiana Wolbrecht and Dianne Pinderhughes led a discussion regarding the history of women’s voting rights in America.The moderator Kenya Young, Notre Dame 1994 graduate and executive producer of “Morning Edition” at National Public Radio (NPR), opened the discussion by addressing the session’s aim. “Now more than ever, it is time for us to wrestle with these difficult topics and difficult issues, but to do so respectfully and with an open mind,” Young said. Young introduced the two speakers for the series’ fourth session: Christina Wolbrecht, professor of political science and director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy, and Dianne Pinderhughes, presidential Faculty Fellow and professor of political science and Africana studies.Before diving into modern-day implications for women’s votes, Wolbrecht gave a brief history of how the 19th Amendment has increasingly impacted political turnouts over the years. “When women first got the right to vote in the 1920s, they were almost immediately described as a failure, and what that meant was that women did not seem to be taking up their right to vote,” Wolbrecht said. The turnout gap was not in favor of women as it is today, Wolbrecht said. “Black women have never stopped fighting for voting rights,” she said.For Black women, the 19th Amendment is a minuscule part of their fight for voting rights, Wolbrecht said.Pinderhughes elaborated on resistance Black women have faced in pursuit of a role in politics. “The 19th Amendment was passed, but when various state legislatures approved the amendment, the agreement was that there wouldn’t be an effort to permit Black women to vote,” Pinderhughes said. The point of legislation from the late 1890s, when southern states began to alter their constitutions, was to silence Black women’s voices, Pinderhughes said. Pinderhughes then turned the discussion to modern politics. “Now, with the decision by the Supreme Court in Holder v. Shelby County, the protection of the Voting Rights Act is no longer in place,” Pinderhughes said. Pinderhughes said she sees issues with such actions. “There is no intervention on the part of the department of justice to monitor changes in voting laws,” Pinderhughes said. “[Southern states] have moved very quickly to put restrictions on, and change the law, again to make it more difficult and discourage Blacks from voting.”The discussion then pivoted towards the stereotypes around women voters. Pinderhughes noted there is a whole range of policy issues that affect how women function — they do not just care about one sector of politics. She noted everyday concerns such as nutrition, transportation and air quality, all of which impact a woman’s life. “We tend to narrow the orientation in terms of what it is that people think is important for women,” Pinderhughes said.Wolbrecht spoke about misconceptions and assumptions made regarding what actually concerns women. “We care about the economy, we care about healthcare, we care about the same issues that affect daily life that men do,” Wolbrecht said. “The reality is that women are placed differently in the economy. … Their evaluations of the economy, of what’s best for their family, of where they want to see government protection, is on average, slightly different from men’s.” After explaining the role gender differences have on political objectives, Wolbrecht turned towards speculations regarding the 2020 election. Policy changes, to Pinderhughes, negatively impact the Black voter community. “Access to voting rights is a concern in the sense that with Holder v. Shelby County, protection, under section four of the right voting act, is no longer offered,” Pinderhughes said. Young then turned towards Wolbrecht, asking what then needed to be done. “We are nowhere close to being done,” Wolbrecht said. She explained that the constitution does not include the affirmative right to vote, which does not require states, counties or municipalities to ensure the right to vote — accountability she wishes existed. Pinderhughes said that in addition to this legal framework, “what needs to happen at present is for the tensions that remain between and among women of color to be addressed.”Tags: bridging the divide, voting 2020, voting myths Two Notre Dame political scientists discussed the 19th Amendment and women’s role in elections over the past 100 years during a Monday evening lecture called “The 19th Amendment and the Myth that All Women Vote the Same.” The discussion was part of the Bridging the Divide lecture series sponsored by the Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy.
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) Cropped Photo: Rebecca Siegel / CC BY 2.0MAYVILLE – Farms remain open as an essential business during the global COVID-19 pandemic, but the farming industry is still struggling, according to Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel. Wendel discussed the struggles that the 1,200-plus farms in Chautauqua County have faced during his daily COVID-19 Facebook update. He says there’s too much milk on the market due to the closure of schools and decline in restaurant sales, causing farms nationwide to dump their excess milk.The County Executive says there’s more than 150 dairy farms in the County, and he asks that people buy extra dairy products to help support them.“Please consider buying an extra judge of milk, a block of American-made cheese, or a tub of ice cream,” Wendel said. “According to the Institute for Food Safety at Cornell University, our food system is secure and there are no legitimate threats of food shortages.” Wendel asks anyone who sees stores limiting dairy products or purchases to call Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Business Management Specialist at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County, at 716-640-0522.“We want to remind everybody to stay home, stay healthy and stay safe, and in the end, we will be CHQ strong.”
Stock Image.BUFFALO — A Sinclairville man plead guilty to a drug conspiracy charge Friday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.Tracy Griffin, 38, made the plea before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, acetyl fentanyl, fentanyl, and crack cocaine. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $1,000,000 fine.Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who is handling the case, stated that in January 2019, the defendant, and co-defendant Brandon Blackshear, conspired to sell acetyl fentanyl, fentanyl, and crack cocaine. On January 2 and January 22, 2019, members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force conducted controlled purchases of crack cocaine from Griffin and Blackshear.Charges remain pending against Brandon Blackshear. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The plea is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, under the direction of Jason Thompson, Associate Director of the Office of Justice Services; the Southern Regional Drug Task Force, under the direction of the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb; and the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division.Sentencing is scheduled for October 29, 2020, at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara. 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)
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) U.S. House of Representative Stock Image.CORNING — Congressman Tom Reed is raising concerns about a threat made at his family home in Corning after a dead animal with a family member’s name on it was found with a brick on his property.“Today, my family and I were threatened at our home in Corning,” Reed said in a statement. “The cowards used a dead animal and a brick with a family member’s name on it to try to intimidate us. We assure everyone such threats only energize us to stand stronger.”Reed said local police and federal authorities are investigating “this disgusting attack against my family.”This comes on the heals of an attack that smashed a storefront window at Reed’s Corning campaign headquarters. The Corning Police Department declined to comment on the incident or whether they are involved in the investigation.