Waste-Free Wednesdays promote sustainability

first_imgIn September, Notre Dame students wasted an average of 4.63 ounces of food after each meal in the dining hall, said William Yarbrough, associate director in the Food Services Administration. “If 4,000 students eat a meal, that’s 1,157 pounds of food and beverage wasted for that meal,” Yarbrough said. In an effort to combat food and liquid waste at the University, GreeND, Food Services and the Office of Sustainability partnered together this year to sponsor Waste-Free Wednesdays, a weekly event in the month of November that asks students to think about the food they throw out. Senior Elizabeth Davis, chair of the sustainability project, said Waste-Free Wednesdays will take place in the dining halls from 6 to 7 p.m. every week in November. “The goal of Waste-Free Wednesdays is twofold,” Davis said. “One: to reduce the amount of fluid and food waste. Two: To raise awareness and have people feel empowered for not wasting.” The project began last year when Davis was on the Student Energy Advisory Board. She worked with ND Food Services, the eND Hunger Campaign, student government, GreeND, the Holy Cross Food Drive and the Office of Sustainability to create the project. “By the end, the results showed that we cut food waste in half and raised enough money to provide 6,300 meals in the South Bend community,” Davis said. “It really emphasized the season of giving.” Yarbrough said this year GreeND, Food Services and the Office of Sustainability have been key supporters of the project. “Food Services provides necessary funding for marketing materials, the Office of Sustainability provides T-shirts and support through a student intern — Elizabeth Davis — on their staff and GreeND provides volunteers to work with diners and measure the food and beverage,” he said. Davis said two volunteers stationed at the dish line will give students raffle tickets if they do not have food or liquid waste on their trays. These students, members of the “Clean Plate Club,” can then enter the tickets into a box at the front of the dining hall for the chance to win 100 flex points, courtesy of Food Services. Weigh-ins will measure the decrease in waste over the course of Waste-Free Wednesdays, Davis said. Yarbrough said food waste usually started off high in the fall and decreased as more education on waste was provided to students. “This year it started lower than last year at 4.63 ounces per diner, and I think this can be attributed to the work done by our volunteer students last year,” he said. “We started last year at 6.27 ounces per diner and by the end of the year we were down to 3.11 ounces.” Davis said the team working on Waste-Free Wednesdays planned to hold a Waste-Free Week in spring as well. She said she hoped the program would expand. “Future events could include a competition between different schools, or even just North and South to see who could waste less,” she said. “I think South would have to work hard because they’ve tended to waste more in the past.” Davis said she encouraged students to volunteer or suggest new ideas. “Volunteers get a shirt that says ‘wasted’ on the front. It’s a hilarious reward for only an hour’s volunteer work,” she said. “On the back it says ‘Waste-Free Wednesdays.’” Waste-Free Wednesdays worked in a positive way to change habits, she said. “You don’t want to guilt trip people,” Davis said. “You want to empower them not to waste. Whether you waste or not, you can work not to the next time.” Yarbrough said Waste-Free Wednesdays answered a social responsibility. “There are too many people in the U.S. and other parts of the world that are hungry. We support the Hope Rescue Mission and the Center for the Homeless with leftover food from the meals we serve,” he said. “However, the foods that diners return on their trays is lost.”last_img read more

Student government looks to combat discrimination

first_imgOver the summer, student government worked as hard as its administrative counterpart to continue improving Notre Dame for its students. Student body president Brett Rocheleau said the office accomplished its goal of installing a hydration station in every dorm on campus. “Previously only four dorms had [a hydration station],” he said. “Now every one has at least one. We’re continuing to work on academic buildings, DeBartolo [Hall] mainly, but we’re trying to expand into others like [O’Shaughnessy Hall] and Jordan [Hall of Science].” Rocheleau said he hopes these buildings, as well as the campus fitness centers, will have hydration stations by the end of the school year. Student government also made several reforms to the sexual assault section of Resident Assistant training over the past few months, student body vice president Katie Rose said. “We shifted it so it focuses a lot more on immediate response,” Rose said. “The RAs are supposed to be the first point of contact, so now it’s a little less policy-focused and more immediate skills and things they need to know.” Rose said the new training program also requires at least one RA from each dorm to attend a more intensive training, teaching them technical aspects of the medical and legal procedures of a sexual assault. With classes back in session, Rocheleau said student government has met with area police chiefs to discuss the interactions between students and area law enforcement. “The relationship has been going great,” Rocheleau said. “We’re in constant communication, and everything we’ve heard from the South Bend Police [Department] and St. Joseph’s County has been good news.” For the first time this year, Rocheleau said the Indiana Excise Police are including Notre Dame in their Intensified College Enforcement (ICE) program. In the past Excise had only targeted other schools in Indiana with this initiative to end underage purchase and consumption of alcohol. “A few parties have been called up on, but they just got warnings,” Rocheleau said. “They’re doing more if you’re underage in a liquor store or underage at a tavern. If you’re underage you can’t even be in a car with alcohol … Basically, if you’re underage, don’t be around any alcohol at all.” Rocheleau said he plans to send students a safety reminder e-mail, similar to the one sent prior to last weekend, before the first home football game. “The police are focusing on disruptive behavior [at tailgates],” he said. “They’re not going around checking everyone’s ID, but disruptive behavior is the main thing they’re looking out for.” Rocheleau and Rose will also continue to work on two initiatives that became very popular issues at the end of last semester: the debate over a gay-straight alliance (GSA) and the call to action against racial discrimination. Student advocates of a GSA kept last year’s momentum going over the summer, Rocheleau said. The group researched the backgrounds of alliances of several other universities to help in their mission to install a GSA at Notre Dame. “Now that students are back they’re doing more focus groups and testing to talk to different students about it,” he said. “We’ll be involved in that process with Student Affairs, trying to work toward something that makes all LGBTQ students feel included.” Rocheleau said his administration also plans to continue last semester’s Call to Action against racial discrimination. The Call to Action began after fried chicken parts were placed in the mailboxes of the Black Students Association and African Student Association last February. “Student Affairs did some review over the summer and started working on new policies to make sure that event doesn’t occur again,” he said. Student government held a town hall meeting last semester to address instances of racial discrimination on campus, and Rocheleau said he plans to hold another. In addition to its inclusion efforts, the office will also be working on the ongoing initiative to allow the usage of Domer Dollars in off-campus establishments. Rose said the administration is in the midst of dealing with contracts with potential vendors. “We’re going to start with about five vendors and do a test, then we’ll evaluate in a few months,” she said. Rose and Rocheleau hope the proposal will finally be approved after years of effort toward it, Rose said. Contact Mel Flanagan at [email protected]last_img read more

Panel explores body image, eating disorders

first_imgStudents gathered in the Student Center on Wednesday night to hear panelists discuss struggles with body image as part of Love Your Body Week at Saint Mary’s.Junior Sam Moorhead, Social Concerns Committee chair for the Student Government Association, said the idea of having a panel present at Love Your Body Week was inspired by the positive results of a panel at Support a Belle, Love a Belle week in the fall.“Essentially it is to promote dialogue on issues that are so seldom talked about,” Moorhead said. “Throughout the school year we have one week where we focus on body related issues … [and it] is such an important issue that so many people struggle with but not many people talk about.”Junior Mackenzie Woods started the night by sharing her experience with anorexia. She named her eating disorder “Ed” and said that Ed chose her.“Ed is the voice that lives inside me, pushing me to embody perfection in its most extreme form,” Woods said. “You could say I was destined to develop an eating disorder from early on. The eating disorder was never something that I chose. Quite the contrary, in fact, Ed chose me as one of his victims.”Woods said she was determined to be the best anorexic. But eventually she made the choice of life over death and a healthy life over Ed. Woods recovered five years ago and has stayed healthy with the help of family, friends and her faith. Ed was a gift, Woods said.“It may seem strange that anyone would want to toy with death and experience such loss and pain,” she said. “However, in my mind Ed was a gift.“He was much less about food and the desire to be thin and much more about my emotional, spiritual, mental and creative hunger. He was a disguised opportunity for me to learn more about myself and the inner strength I never knew I had.”Woods is in the process of creating a chapter of Project HEAL at Saint Mary’s. HEAL stands for Help to Eat, Accept and Live. Project HEAL sponsors a scholarship program for people who cannot afford treatment.“I’m hoping to raise awareness of eating disorders on campus,” Woods said. “I’m hoping to really get people talking about them because it’s often taboo and under the rug.”Junior Abby Roggemann shared her emotional and ongoing battle with anorexia. Roggemann said her best friend ¾ her eating disorder ¾ became her worst enemy.“Once I realized how good I was at starving myself, it got out of control quickly,” she said. “I never thought an eating disorder could happen to me, but it can happen to anyone.“I was counting every single calorie that entered my body. It felt so good that I just couldn’t stop. It was a rude awakening when I had to admit to myself that I had a problem. I couldn’t go any longer and was scared for my future.”Roggemann said the road to recovery is a continuous journey. There is no fast fix or cure-all for an eating disorder.“I want to give you an ending with rainbows and unicorns and glitter but it’s my story, its not over yet and it wont be for a really long a time,” Roggemann said. “I’m still not really sure what the term recovery means.“Honestly I’m not recovered, but I hope my constant work will help my disordered thoughts and behaviors grow farther and fewer. There is no fast fix or cure-all for an eating disorder.”Sophomore Bridget Dedelow, who has cerebral palsy, discussed her body image issues as well. Dedelow said she noticed something was “off” with her when she was six years old.“People everyday compare themselves to models and actresses and in high school I did the same,” Dedelow said. “But when I looked in the mirror I didn’t see anything. I didn’t see confidence, I didn’t see a good body image, I basically saw nothing.“And I was basically angrier at that time. Angry for having something this thing that I couldn’t really control, angry for being awkward around other people, angry for other people that were being constantly reminded that they were normal and I wasn’t and angry at the scars that were on my body. “Dedelow said it was not until she came to Saint Mary’s that she began working on her own body image. She said her story is still ongoing with the help of supportive friends and family.“I learned to talk about my feelings instead of hiding them,” Dedelow said. “My favorite Beatles quote is ‘Tomorrow may rain but follow the sun.’”Moorhead said the event was great because she was able to hear personal Saint Mary’s stories.“It was obviously such a great experience for the people here and them because it takes so much courage and I’m so proud of them for doing it,” Moorhead said.A mass in Le Mans followed the panel. The chosen passages related to God’s image and body image in some way.“We have not had a mass in the past, but being a Catholic women’s college we thought we should add faith to it and the week,” Moorhead said. “We decided to have that faith component because a lot of people rely on faith in order to get them through their struggles so we thought this was a great opportunity to do that.”Tags: anorexia, Love Your Body, Love Your Body Week, Project HEAL, saint mary’s, SMClast_img read more

Badin, Carroll welcome new rectors

first_imgAs Notre Dame welcomes the start of another school year, two residence halls welcome new rectors. Sr. Susan Sisko of Badin Hall and Fr. Matt Kuczora of Carroll Hall will take on new roles in the community as leaders and mentors of students in the dorms.Margaret Morgan, director of Residential Life Recruiting, said that when hiring new rectors, she looks for people who will provide care and support to students throughout all of life’s situations.“We search for people who will see their work as a ministry,” Morgan said. “I think that new rectors impact the Notre Dame community with a fresh energy and zeal for their work in the halls.”According to a press release from the Office of Student Affairs, Sr. Sisko is a Connecticut native who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Duquesne and a master’s degree in theology from Notre Dame in 1991. She has worked as a teacher and administrator in various Catholic schools and institutions for over 25 years.Sisko said she worked with young adults for number of years in previous jobs and is excited for the chance to return to the University and work with its students.“I’m most looking forward to meeting the young women of Badin Hall and walking with them day by day,” Sisko said. “I hope to share life with these young women and help them be the people God is intending them to be, whether they are beginning or completing their journeys at Notre Dame. To see these students grow and mature, and to be even a small part of that experience, will be so rewarding to me.”She said hopes to continue to foster the healthy community in Badin built up by her predecessors.“I know that Badin has traditionally been a hall that takes pride in its warm, loving community,” Sisko said. “My goal is simply to build upon the foundation that was placed here before me. I hope use my energy, my enthusiasm and all of my gifts to continue and add to Badin’s great history and traditions.”Fr. Matt Kuczora graduated from Notre Dame in 2005 with a degree in accounting and again in 2011 with a Master of Divinity, according to a press release from the Office of Student Affairs. He was ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2011.Kuczora said that Holy Cross priests and brothers have been serving as rectors at the University since its beginnings.“As a Holy Cross priest, I can live out my religious order’s mission to be an ‘educator in the faith’ in a 24/7 role that impacts the lives of the future leaders of our society,” Kuczora said. “When I had a chance to apply for a position like that, I didn’t think twice about it.”Kuczora said he remembered feeling incredibly welcomed since his first day as a freshman at the University and served as a resident assistant during his senior year.“The dorm experience created a powerful network of brothers that remain some of my best friends to this day,” Kuczora said. “As the new rector of Carroll Hall, I’m most looking forward to passing on that great experience to future generations of Notre Dame students.”He said he hopes to continue to promote the environment of welcome and respect he experienced during his time as an undergraduate student.“My favorite part of the Notre Dame dorm system is the way we welcome all people and invite them to create lasting bonds of friendship and even of family,” Kuczora said. “I hope that residents find their dorm to be a place where they don’t have to perform or be perfect, where they can be themselves and be accepted just as they are.”Morgan said she believes the new rectors will have a positive impact on the Unviersity community.“Fr. Matt and Sr. Susan bring a wealth of rich ministry experience with them,” Morgan said. “I think their time in both Badin and Carroll will be filled with laughter as they work towards our Holy Cross Mission of cultivating hearts and minds.”Tags: badin hall, Carroll Hall, new rectorslast_img read more

Ricketts-Ruelas administration seeks to improve sexual assault response on campus

first_imgWhen students received two emails from Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) reporting three incidents of sexual violence on campus in the first two weeks of the fall semester, the issue of sexual assault in the Notre Dame community was once again highlighted.With the continuation of the “It’s On Us” campaign and participation in the launch of the GreeNDot violence prevention program, student government has prioritized raising awareness and sparking dialogue about sexual violence on campus. On Oct. 15, student body president Bryan Ricketts and vice president Nidia Ruelas presented a report to the Board of Trustees on the current state of sexual violence at Notre Dame and how the University can further work to solve the issue.Grace Tourville | The Observer Ricketts said he identifies student government’s response to sexual assault as one of the strengths of his and Ruelas’ administration.“‘It’s On Us’ and the sexual violence Board report, I would definitely put up there at the top as something that we’ve worked very hard on, as something that we care a lot about as something that the students care a lot about,” he said.The Board of Trustees report focused on four major topics: campus conversation surrounding sexual violence, the trajectory of change on the issue at Notre Dame, alcohol culture’s role in sexual violence and a process overview, supplemented by students’ experiences.  It concluded with a series of recommendations to Trustees on how to curb sexual violence on campus, as well as how to improve the process of reporting and navigating the Title IX process.Ruelas said continuing conversations on sexual assault are critical, even when students are not receiving email notifications of sexual violence on campus.“That’s something we’ve thought about, and I think a whole lot of it has been being intentional about talking about it, not being scared of having these conversations, as student leaders,” she said.“It goes back to utilizing our networks and influence as student leaders, working with other student leaders too, to make sure they feel comfortable talking about difficult topics like sexual assault, sexual violence on campus.”Small efforts can have a significant impact on creating a campus culture more open to conversations about sexual violence, Ruelas said.“I know I’m very intentional about mentioning it at hall council. Something as simple as having an announcement at Mass, now it’s a permanent petition in Mass — it’s a constant reminder that this plagues our community. And it’s something we should all be conscious about, as a community, in the sense that as active bystanders, whether you got an email a week ago or two years ago, [you should be concerned],” she said.Ricketts said student government’s goal is to put as many structures in place as possible to foster natural student engagement on this salient issue.“Whether it’s Men Against Sexual Violence, or FIRE Starters or Notre Dame student groups who have a space to come forward when we’re doing “It’s On Us,” when it comes to GreeNDot and we’re saying we’re going to make these videos … ,” he said, “We try to look at it from a structural perspective, and say, ‘What do we have? What are the resources to change these structures that will allow people to come forward?’“The prayer services, for example — we evaluated our communications policy on that, which have improved attendance for the past year. We definitely take a structural look at how we can foster that natural feeling that’s out there, that this is an issue, and how we can help people come forward.”Student government has tried to played a large role in creating student body engagement on the issue, the director of the department of gender issues, junior Danny Funaro, said in an interview last month.Funaro said the department of gender issues has participated in the GreeNDot launch and worked on promoting the “It’s On Us” campaign, the University’s iteration of the national movement commissioned by the White House to end sexual violence on college campuses.“‘It’s On Us’ tries to get people to take ownership of the issue, so the main thing that goes with that is the ‘It’s On Us’ pledge,” he said. “Pledge cards were last year’s version of this pledge — this year we’ve put more of a focus on the itsonus.nd.edu pledge.”More than 200 students have signed the pledge this year, Funaro said. The department hopes to have more than 400 students sign by the end of the semester.“The main way we’ve done that is by going door-to-door in different dorms,” he said. “You can actually get good conversations with people … [and] get people that really want to get involved.”Funaro said he has noticed there is sometimes more difficulty getting men involved in programming and campaigns to end sexual violence.“To get the general male population involved is a little bit harder, but I think we’ve made inroads in that, versus last year, when the ‘It’s On Us’ pledge was signed mostly by women,” he said. “This year there’s a much better balance.”Ruelas said that student government has made it a priority to demonstrate they are serious about ending sexual assault on Notre Dame’s campus, primarily through the presentation to the Board of Trustees and participating in the launch of GreeNDot. Ricketts said the letters written by University president Fr. John Jenkins and vice president for student affairs Erin Hoffmann-Harding last spring regarding the University’s intolerance for sexual assault have contributed to a positive culture of change.“Their public commitments are a contrast to other universities, where you just don’t see that, it’s just the students. I think we have a good working relationship with a lot of individuals, and there are culture change issues that need to be addressed here, there are policy issues that need to be addressed here. The fact that we’re able to have that conversation and not find ourselves shut down, I think, says a lot,” Ricketts said.Tags: sexual assault, Student government, student government in focuslast_img read more

“Actors from the London Stage” to perform this week

first_imgDue to its status as the American base for Actors From the London Stage (AFTLS), Notre Dame is supplementing its Shakespeare’s First Folio exhibit, in honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, with workshops and performances throughout the week from this spring’s AFTLS Company.Scott Jackson, Executive director of Shakespeare at Notre Dame, said the company’s typical schedule was readjusted this year to coincide with the University hosting the First Folio.“This tour is exceptional because we’ve had one cast and one show tour for both the fall and the spring,” Jackson said. “Usually it’s a different company, five actors and a different show for the fall and the spring. This year, we shifted that because of everything that’s going on this month, all the Shakespeare-related activities.”Jackson said in addition to the First Folio exhibit at Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame will host two Shakespeare conferences, with which AFTLS will be involved.“We’ve got the First Folio exhibit at the Hesburgh Library and we have two big conferences coming up,” he said. “The Shakespeare in Prisons: in Practice Conference from the 25th to the 27th of January, followed directly by the 26th annual Shakespeare in Theatre Conference from the 27th to the 30th of January. AFTLS hangs around next week and they’re attending these two conferences.”Jackson said this AFTLS cast is particularly equipped to participate in the Shakespeare in Prisons conference, which will “focus on practical approaches for working with non-traditional and incarcerated populations,” according to the College of Arts and Letters events office, due to their time volunteering with him at the Westville Correctional Center last September.“I actually teach an Acting Shakespeare course at the Westville Correctional Center, and every year I’ve tried to take AFTLS in for a week-long residency there at Westville,” Jackson said. “These guys did that back in September, and so they’re going to bring that experience to the Shakespeare in Prisons: in Practice Conference from the 25th through the 27th.”In addition to community service work at Westville, AFTLS is also using the First Folio exhibit as an opportunity to carry out “the largest outreach effort on behalf of Shakespeare at Notre Dame in [its] history,” Jackson said.“This week, as opposed to teaching in University classrooms as they normally would do, [AFTLS] are leading 90-minute … active encounters with the First Folio with over 1,000 area middle and high school students,” he said. “Their part of it is a 45-minute workshop. We have about eight different classes a day, going from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Hesburgh Library, and then in the meantime, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is opening at Washington Hall.”Jackson said the South Bend community has also found ways to incorporate the AFTLS visit into its regularly scheduled events.“The South Bend County Library system does a program called One Book, One Michiana each year, and this year they’ve chosen ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ since we’re in the middle of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, his legacy, as well as the fact that we have these performances coming up,” he said.In addition to the shows at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week, Jackson said AFTLS will give one more performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on January 29th, which will also be open to the public.“From the 27th through the 30th, they’ll actually be performing for the delegates at the Shakespeare in Theatre Association Conference, which is going to be about 170 artistic managing and education directors from Shakespeare Companies all around the globe,” he said. “That show is open to the public as well, because Washington Hall has a lot more seats than 170.”Jackson said Notre Dame is blessed to be able to experience so many different tributes to Shakespeare during an infrequent and globally celebrated event.“Notre Dame is in this very privileged position to be one of the most internationally visible launches of this global celebration of Shakespeare, 1616 to 2016, his 400th legacy,” Jackson said. “As such, we have a whole host of complementary events going on right now.“Shakespeare’s kind of at the center of campus conversation right now, and that’s because the Folio’s here, we’ve got all of these student workshops going on, the conference is happening, we have collaborations with the opera and the symphony, all this stuff that folks should take advantage of because these celebrations only come around once every 50 years,” Jackson said.Tags: Actors from the London Stage, Shakespeare at Notre Damelast_img read more

University faculty receive $3 million grant to work with Shaw Center

first_imgThe University announced Wednesday that three University professors had been awarded a $3 million grant for the National Institutes of Health to study infants and their relationship with parents.According to the press release, Julie Braungart-Rieker, Flaherty College professor of psychology and director of the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families; E. Mark Cummings, Notre Dame endowed chair and professor of psychology; and Lijuan Wang, associate professor of psychology, will work with the Shaw Center in South Bend to conduct their research.The study will focus on how the stability of parental relationships affects the well-being of their infants, the press release said.Tags: funding, psychology, Shaw Center for Children and Familieslast_img

Contraception advocacy groups sue University, cabinet agencies on behalf of Notre Dame health care plan beneficiaries

first_imgUpdated Wednesday at 10 p.m.A lawsuit challenging recent changes in University policy regarding birth control was filed in the U.S. District Court for Northern Indiana, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) announced in a press release Tuesday.The suit — filed by NWLC, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Center for Reproductive Rights — centers on the constitutionality of the University’s recent decision to make community members covered by its health plan pay for birth control, the press release said. It was filed on behalf of Irish 4 Reproductive Health (I4RH), an independent student group that advocates for contraception access on campus, and others insured by Notre Dame health plans.The release said the lawsuit claims the University reached an “unlawful settlement agreement” with President Donald Trump’s administration, allowing it to “deny students, employees and their dependents insurance coverage of birth control guaranteed to them by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).”In a statement to The Observer on Wednesday, I4RH said in a statement that it was filing the lawsuit because its members felt the University’s contraceptive coverage policies undermined their reproductive health care rights.“I4RH believes no boss, CEO, or University president should be able to control the personal decisions that we make about our bodies and lives,” I4RH said in a statement. “The Affordable Care Act protects people’s right to make these decisions about their reproductive health through the birth control benefit, which ensures that all eighteen methods of FDA-approved birth control are covered by insurance and accessible without any out-of-pocket costs.“Notre Dame’s recent settlement with the Trump-Pence Administration undermines this law, restricting student and employee birth control access. In collaboration with the National Women’s Law Center, Americans United, and the Center for Reproductive Rights, I4RH intends to defend the right of the Notre Dame student body, faculty, and staff to make their own decisions about reproductive healthcare, without the intrusion of their educator or employer.”Paul Browne, vice president for public affairs and communications, said the “assertions on the face of [the lawsuit] are maliciously and preposterously false” in a statement sent to The Observer on Tuesday. A full list of contraceptive methods covered by the University can be found on its website.According to the suit, University faculty and staff will have to start paying a birth control copay this Sunday, whereas students will need to do so beginning in August. The purpose of the lawsuit is to prevent that outcome, according to a post on the NWLC website.Aside from I4RH, the plaintiffs listed are Natasha Reifenberg — who graduated May 20 but is still on a University health plan because her parents are Notre Dame faculty members — and three women listed as “Jane Does 1-3.”According to the lawsuit, the “Jane Doe 1” is a graduate student, “Jane Doe 2” is an undergraduate student and “Jane Doe 3” is a woman dependent on the University’s faculty and staff health plan despite not being a student, faculty member or staff member.The Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor and the Department of the Treasury are listed along with the University as defendants in the suit. Alex Azar, Alexander Acosta and Steven Mnuchin, the three respective secretaries of the agencies, round out the list of seven defendants.Because the ACA required organizations to provide contraception as part of insurance plans, Notre Dame employees have had access to free birth control and related services through the University’s federally-funded third-party administrator Meritain Health and OptumRx, the University’s prescription-benefit manager, for the past several years. This arrangement allowed Notre Dame health plans to provide contraception despite the University’s religious objections to the mandate.Last fall, the University administration joined a lawsuit challenging the contraception requirement, a decision University President Fr. John Jenkins said arose from the fact that the federal plan covered “abortifacients,” or drugs that induce abortions. Notre Dame settled that case last October when the Trump administration agreed to eliminate the mandate.“As I have said from the start, the University’s interest has never been in preventing access to those who make conscientious decisions to use contraceptives,” Jenkins said in his address to the faculty senate Nov. 7. “Our interest, rather, has been to avoid being compelled by the federal government to be the agent in their provision.”Although this development granted the University an exemption from providing contraception and contraceptive services as part of its health plans, Jenkins announced during the faculty senate address that it would continue to allow employees to receive free birth control directly from third-party providers without Notre Dame’s involvement. Those providers — Meritain and OptumRX — decided to stop charging plan members for contraception.This is the second lawsuit regarding the contraception issue that NWLC and Americans United for Separation of Church and State have filed against the Trump administration on behalf of Notre Dame community members. Graduate student Mary Shiraef and two other anonymous Notre Dame students  were listed as plaintiffs in a complaint against Acosta, Mnuchin and former acting secretary of Health and Human Services Eric Hargan — as well as their respective departments — filed Oct. 31, prior to Jenkins’s announcement in his address to the faculty senate.Tags: Affordable Care Act, birth control, Contraception, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, Department of the Treasury, Donald Trump, lawsuit, University President Fr. John Jenkinslast_img read more

The Observer appoints new department heads

first_imgSeven new department heads will complete The Observer’s 2019-2020 Editorial Board, incoming Editor-in-Chief Kelli Smith announced Tuesday night.The new department editors will accompany Smith as well as incoming Managing Editor Charlotte Edmonds and Assistant Managing Editors Maria Leontaras, Mary Steurer and Natalie Weber in directing the editorial responsibilities of the paper.Juniors Mike Donovan, Tom Naatz, Anna Mason and Evelyn Stein and sophomores Maeve Filbin, Ellen Geyer and Diane Park will take over their respective departments March 18.Now in his third year at The Observer, Donovan — a Detroit native and resident of Alumni Hall — will take over as Scene Editor. An arts and culture enthusiast, Donovan enjoys writing about emerging movements in music, film, television and literature. Donovan is studying English and Business Analytics.Naatz, a native of Rockville, Maryland, will serve as News Editor. A political science and Spanish major and theology minor, Naatz has written for the News department since his freshman year. As a News writer, has covered a variety of events, including former President Jimmy Carter’s visit to campus, University President Fr. John Jenkins’ annual address to the faculty and College GameDay’s Michigan game broadcast. He is currently studying abroad in Toledo, Spain, and resides in Keough Hall on campus.Mason will take over as Photo Editor. A business administration major with concentrations in finance and management, Mason is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan and lives in Le Mans Hall at Saint Mary’s. Mason has photographed numerous events on campus, including this year’s opening football game against Michigan and the student body government elections.Evelyn Stein, a Madison, Wisconsin native, will take on the role of Viewpoint Editor. Stein is majoring in English and Psychology with a minor in education, schooling and society and has worked for The Observer since second semester her freshman year. Stein currently serves as vice president of Welsh Family Hall.Filbin, originally from LaGrange Park, Illinois, started writing for The Observer as a freshman and will serve as Saint Mary’s Editor. Filbin is a political science and economics major, and is currently studying abroad in Maynooth, Ireland. She has covered a variety of topics during her time with the paper, including the recent changes made to the Blinkie schedule, the re-evaluation of the Saint Mary’s mission statement and a Saint Mary’s student start-up.Geyer will take over as Sports Editor. A sophomore from Columbus, Ohio, Geyer is majoring in international economics and Spanish and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. Geyer has covered women’s basketball, men’s lacrosse, women’s soccer and men’s tennis during her time in the department and currently lives in Ryan Hall.Park, a native of Irvine, California, has been designing graphics for The Observer since her freshman year and will be joining the board as the new Graphics Editor. As an industrial design and sociology major with a computing and digital technologies minor, she is excited to contribute to the creative environment of The Observer. She hopes to bring improved design ideas and new features together with the members of the graphics team.Tags: 2019-2020 editorial board, department editors, Editorial Boardlast_img read more

Local Government Offices Close Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

first_imgJamestown City Court and City Chambers. 01/28/19CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY – The governor of New York announced stricter guidelines this week which has forced the shutdown of local government offices and buildings. The new guidelines ordered all non-essential businesses to send 100 percent of their workforce home as well as cancelling all non-essential gatherings, effective Sunday, March 22.In a statement by Jamestown’s Mayor’s office, all city offices will close, effective on Monday. The statement states, “almost all employees will be sent home, apart from police and fire, who will be fully staffed and responding to emergency needs.”The Jamestown Police Department will be implementing new protocol. According to the statement, “non-emergency calls by residents will go to dispatch, where they will be asked a series of health-related questions. Officers will be observing social distance rules when they are out in the City.” Chautauqua County has also made changes to keep up with the rules. The county clerks office will be closed to the public starting on Monday. Any services can be done by mail.All county DMV offices will also be close to the public until further notice. There will be drop off boxes at all locations.The shutdowns will be in place until further notice. 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)last_img read more