Community addresses discrimination

first_imgMembers of the Notre Dame community met in a town hall meeting to discuss recent incidents of racial harassment and to collaboratively address the need to foster a more inclusive University community Monday night. “A Call to Action in Regards to the Discriminatory Incident” came about after the racial harassment of two minority student groups on campus, the Black Student Association (BSA) and the African Students Association (ASA).  The student body was informed in a Feb. 24 email that within the span of a week, both organizations had fried chicken parts placed in their mailboxes in the LaFortune Student Center.   Student body president Pat McCormick said the goal of this meeting was to respond to the incidents and improve the spirit of inclusion and community on campus.    “This is an opportunity for the community to stand in solidarity, [an opportunity] to look forward and not just to heal, but to effectively expand inclusion in the Notre Dame family more fully,” McCormick said.   ASA vice president Christian Moore and BSA chair Brittany Suggs both confirmed the acts of racial harassment against their respective groups. Because she was previously informed about the fried chicken found in the ASA’s mailbox, Suggs said she took immediate action after finding the same in her organization’s mailbox. “The BSA had items in its mailbox before, which we saw as [events] that could be disregarded,” Suggs said.  “With this particular incident, I was going to treat it the same way, but it was the moment in which I found that the same thing happened to ASA a week ago that it resonated with me that this isn’t right.” Suggs said this incident constitutes just one part of the bigger picture of the racial dynamic on campus, as many similar cases go unreported.   Students were given the opportunity to share personal testimonies of experiences involving harassment and discrimination at Notre Dame. “[We wanted] to really give people to opportunity to talk,” Suggs said.  “We usually only talk about these things in our own groups and in our own communities, but to talk about it in a public place is very different and raises awareness.” The event called for dialogue about discrimination in classrooms, dorms, student life and campus systems and resources. Junior Victor Cruz said he was initially thrilled to start anew at his new “home under the dome,” but he has never felt at home at Notre Dame. “I have been targeted because of my accent, because I speak Spanish and because of my dress,” Cruz said.  “My voice will not go silenced … our God did not make us so that we should live subpar lives and suffer at the hand of ignorance.” Other students expressed similar discontent with the degree of acceptance in Notre Dame’s academic community.  Junior Nick Ochoa said he is frustrated by professors who expect minority students to represent the opinions of their respective ethnicities. “That’s the attempt of the professor to understand a different perspective, but it really puts you on the spot,” Ochoa said.  “Was it my fault for assuming that professors would be a little more considerate when talking about students and their perspectives?” Sophomore Linsday Rojas and junior Gabi Hernandez said they have experienced discrimination in Notre Dame residence halls.   During her sophomore year, Hernandez said she approached her rectress about planning the dorm’s multicultural events, but she was outraged by the rectress’s idea that Hernandez could be a “learning mechanism” for other international students. “[I thought] What? I’m here as an educational tool on your behalf?” Hernandez said.  “No, I’m not, I’m a student here.  If I want to share my experiences with you, share my culture with you, that’s a different thing.” Rojas said her freshman year roommate articulated racist remarks and assumptions to her. When Rojas approached her rectress about the situation, she said she was told to “just get over it.” “She said, ‘The University wants their freshmen to work out their problems, so if she says anything to you, you say something racist right back,’” Rojas said.  “I basically didn’t live in my dorm the second semester of my freshman year.” Students also discussed instances of discrimination involving NDSP, peers, hall staff, professors and other members of the Notre Dame community. Following the student testimonials, McCormick shifted the discussion to practical solutions for moving forward in discourse on racism and discrimination.   Hernandez said she thought a three-pronged approach would work best to combat these issues, with a focus on getting respect, giving respect and creating a respectful atmosphere. “We need to open up to everyone and to be more inclusive,” Hernandez said.  “Everyone has something to teach you, and you have something to teach everyone.” Senior Nneka Ekechukwu said some of the most frequent perpetrators of racial stereotyping and discrimination at Notre Dame are in positions of authority, so she believes concrete training methods should be implemented to dispel these stereotypes and encourage constructive dialogue. “In particular, the role that NDSP has played in these stories has been terrible.  NDSP is supposed to be this force that helps us to feel safe on campus … they should have to undergo diversity training, sensitivity training and screening before being employed,” Ekechukwu said. Though proposals differed in some ways, all agreed the Notre Dame community must be extended to include all of its members, not just the racial or ethnic majority. Suggs said student leaders will sift through the meeting’s presentations to find overarching goals and repetitive trends and use these findings to approach the University administration. “We will come up with a concrete list of our plans to make sure that we have that accountability there,” Suggs said. “We will make sure that we as students are aware of those plans, and hold the administration publicly accountable.” Iris Outlaw, director of Multicultural Student Programs and Services, said the event was a step in the right direction towards providing the Notre Dame community with a sense of students’ experiences with discrimination on campus. “It was useful for students and faculty to hear some of others’ experiences, but it was even more crucial that some solutions were offered tonight,” Outlaw said.  “This should give the administration here some foundation, some different ways of looking at how we can address some of the issues brought to light.” Suggs and McCormick both said eliminating discrimination is not an overnight process. “This will take patience and time, but this town hall meeting was a step in the right direction,” Suggs said.  “I like to say that we have to begin and finish everything with God at the forefront of our minds, keeping in mind the overall mission of the campus: fostering the ideals of spirit and community.”last_img read more

Writer blends poetry, activism in book

first_imgSaint Mary’s welcomed Ekere Tallie, a poet whose work focuses on the values of an activist, to Carroll Auditorium on Thursday for a reading. She said her book, “Karma’s Footsteps,” is filled with the songs of a black, poor and resilient woman.Tallie said that she lives by writer and civil rights activist Audre Lorde’s quote, “your silence will not protect you.” In one of her poems, Tallie said she wrote, “wounded eyes will tell it, even though we don’t.”Tallie said her poetry revealed her personal experience of being sexually abused. She said she learned as hard as it was for her to reveal herself as a victim, sharing her story helps other people.“Poetry for me is not art for art’s sake; it’s art for our sake,” Tallie said. “I will share my poetry with anybody who is open.”Tallie said she draws inspiration from sources all around her, including race, love and the blues. Her book “Continuum,” which will be published this September, features a series of 12 letters to Tallie’s imaginary friend, Continuum.“I am interested in young writers interested in liberation,” Tallie said. “Continuum is interested in using art for liberation.”Tallie said she “[has] so many poems on love gone wrong.” She read a poem titled “Medusa,” inspired by a former boyfriend who told her that her hair made her look like Medusa as she stepped out of the shower.“As a woman I am unafraid to turn men to stone,” she said, concluding the poem.Tallie revealed an unfinished poem she was in the process of editing called “Lady.”“It’s a piece I am currently working on,” Tallie said. “It’s about a crazy woman, not accepting her crazy, but acknowledging it.”Tallie also read pieces centered on the immigration of entire black communities.“There are two types that I cover,” Tallie said. “One is voluntary migration, like the Great Migration, and the other is forced, where people were literally forced out of the South in the early nineteenth century.”The poetess also spoke about women accepting and loving their bodies, a topic considered in her poem dedicated to the beauty of gap-toothed women. Tallie said she encountered a cab driver in New York who spent their entire drive trying to convince her that her smile was beautiful.Tallie said she began to fully appreciate her culture after reading “The Autobiography of Malcom X” when she was 16 years old.“Now people think Malcolm X and make so many assumptions,” Tallie said. “He made many changes, but in the end he understood the brotherhood of men.”Tallie said her family has a rich history in the South, involving themselves in the rights movement.“I also like hidden stories, getting beneath the surface,” Tallie said. “I have many stories of my own that I just sit in my room and write, but you need to separate wheat from chaff to find out what is meaningful to other people.”Junior Dara Marquez looked up Tallie’s poetry after noticing the fliers around the College’s campus.“I found her spoken word to be empowering and wanted to be a part of her words in person,” Marquez said.Marquez was invited to dinner with Tallie by Student Involvement and Multicultural Services (SIMS).“[Tallie] is really easy going, relatable,” Marquez said. “A lot of the things she says, you relate as a woman. If you’re a creative person curious as to how other people express their values, she’s good at that.”Tags: activism, Civil Rights, Poetry, Saint Mary’s Collegelast_img read more

Event explores impact of faith on the elderly

first_imgThis week’s exploratory spirituality session, Spirituality Monday, took place Thursday and examined faith in the context of aging populations.Senior biology major Haley Koth shared her senior composition project research findings at the Saint Mary’s Center for Spirituality-sponsored meeting.  Caroline Genco | The Observer While religion is, “the active expressing of spiritual beliefs through traditions in an organized faith community,” spirituality is comprised of the “personal attitudes that come from belief in a higher power,” Koth said. They are considered separate from but can include religion, she said.Koth sought to relate the two distinct terms with the help of 23 sisters from Saint Mary’s Convent and 17 residents of Holy Cross Village, a senior living community. All participants but one identified as Catholic; one individual was Protestant, Koth said.“I set up meetings with people who demonstrated interest,” Koth said. “We discussed the benefits and the risks and the confidentiality and objectives of the study.”With the information from residents aged 60 through 100, Koth began to research the possible correlation between spirituality and health through a survey. The survey consisted of three parts, health and well-being, religion and spirituality, and basic information questions.When she concluded and began to analyze her research, Koth said she discovered  “people who reported significantly higher levels of religiousness and spirituality also tended to report significantly higher levels of health and well-being.”Koth said it is important to note that “this [correlation] is their perception of their own health and it is not an actual measure of how healthy they are.”According to Koth, there have been more than 2,000 studies on religion and spirituality in the last four years.“In many studies the two are combined into the term religious spirituality,” she said.Koth said she conducted her research in a short time period and she wondered how the results would change if her study continued through a time span of multiple years.“It would be interesting to see whether a person’s spirituality fluctuates along with changing health over a period of time,” Koth said.Koth, a biology major with minors in chemistry and religious, has studied both fields and brought them together in her research.“I kind of look at religion and spirituality from a scientific type of standpoint,” she said.The next event in the Spirituality Mondays series will take place Monday in the Student Center. Jill Vihtelic, professor of business and economics, will discuss spirituality and global business.Tags: age, Center for Spirituality, Faith, saint mary’s, SMC, spiritualitylast_img read more

SMC club inspires Catholic dialogue

first_imgFour Saint Mary’s students introduced a new club last semester, called Christ Lights. Junior club president Sofia Piecuch said she started the club with fellow juniors Clare Lambert, vice president, Olivia Beck, treasurer, and Brianna Noll, secretary, with hopes to strengthen her Catholic faith during her time as an undergraduate.“The idea for the club originated when I found myself wanting to go much deeper into my faith and strengthen my Catholic identity,” Piecuch said, “Quite often, I would turn to Notre Dame to find spaces to cultivate my faith, as they have a plethora of extremely wonderful clubs and worship groups to choose from. I quickly found my niche, [but] wished that Saint Mary’s could offer similar student groups.”Piecuch said she found that other students shared her desire to learn more about Catholicism and share their personal faith struggles with one another.“I think college is a critical time in a person’s life; your parents aren’t there to make you go to mass so it is easy to let that slide and neglect things,” Lambert said. “It is also a good opportunity to grow in your faith, and I think that’s really important.”Noll said starting Christ Lights was a good opportunity to meet with other Catholics on campus to share in their faiths and help each other better understand the teachings and beliefs within Catholicism.Piecuch defined Christ Lights as a student-run Catholic initiative, which seeks to bring students together in community and fellowship as well as help students grow in their understanding of faith. Piecuch said the patron saint of Christ Lights is Blessed Chiara Luce Badano.“Christ Lights is a place to ask questions, to pray, as well as seek emotional and spiritual support over a cup of coffee,” Piecuch said.  “We also wish to respond to Pope Francis’ call to all Catholics to evangelize by providing resources to train Catholics to be loving explainers and defenders of the faith.”Christ Lights hopes to both host faith-building events at Saint Mary’s as well as go on trips to Catholic conferences, Piecuch said.“Our two long-term goals are to host a retreat in the fall with the theme of ‘Catholic Apologetics,’ as well as to apply for a grant to fund travel and registration for the Catholic Answers National Apologetics Conference in San Diego in September,” Piecuch said.Piecuch said Christ Lights is open to students from Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and Holy Cross.“I wanted to start something that could also be attractive to Notre Dame and Holy Cross student, encouraging them to visit our campus and thus foster greater tri-campus friendship,” Piecuch said. “We seek to take this knowledge [of our faith] and put it into action in order to unify our tri-university community with respect and love.”Piecuch said Christ Lights plans to hold weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in Dalloways Clubhouse at Saint Mary’s. Between discussion weeks, Piecuch said the club hopes to host speakers who will talk about subjects pertaining to being Catholic in a modern world.“Every other week, the meeting will serve as a faith sharing group in which people can raise questions they have about the Catholic faith, share situations where their beliefs were challenged, ask for prayer intentions, and so on,” Piecuch said. “Turning to resources, such as the catechism of the Catholic Church, we will seek to collectively find answers and support one another.”Christ Lights will be hosting a snowman building contest on Wednesday, February 4th, open to all members of the tri-campus community.Tags: Brianna Noll, Catholic faith club, Christ Lights, Clare Lambert, new club at Saint Mary’s to focus on Catholicism, Olivia Beck, Sofia Piecuchlast_img read more

SMC presidential candidates discuss platforms

first_imgSaint Mary’s students gathered Wednesday night to listen to the platforms of the three potential student body president and vice presidential candidates.Junior Shannon Golden said her and fellow junior Margaret Faller’s Saint Mary’s pride led them to run for president and vice president, respectively.“I realized that I wanted to make every second here count,” Golden said. “I want every girl to feel the inclusion of the Saint Mary’s sisterhood and to be able to love the school as much as I do.”One of Golden and Faller’s main goals is to change the selection dates for Opus Hall, Saint Mary’s newest residence hall, from the spring to the fall of junior year, which they believe will make deciding senior housing an easier process.Golden and Faller also hope to increase the alumni relations network and show the Student Government Association’s support for every student-run organization. They hope to extend Angela Athletic Facility’s hours, promote healthy options in the dining hall and ensure everyone feels safe on campus.“We plan to address any and every concern that students have and bring it to security right away,” Golden said. “We want to be extremely proactive when it comes to this topic.”Juniors Kaitlyn Baker and Maddie Kohler, running for president and vice president respectively, also discussed safety on campus. They said they hope to fund a second Blinky driver, who will remain at Saint Mary’s after transportation has ended for the night.According to Baker, her position as Resident Hall Association president has taught her how to communicate effectively with students and how to set up activities.“I truly understand the demands of the position of student body president and what it means to be a leader,” Baker said. “I know I speak for Maddie and myself when I say we absolutely love all of you and all of Saint Mary’s. That really is why we’re up here today.”The pair said it hopes to reduce email clutter through the creation of a weekly newsletter that will keep students informed. Additionally, one of their goals is to establish personal bonds with everyone and remain open to suggestions while implementing their own changes.“We want to work with the student body to make sure that we can all call Saint Mary’s our home, a place where the food might not be as good as mom’s home-cooked meals, but with new healthy options — such as a veggie bar and a smoothie station — it isn’t far off,” Kohler said.Kohler and Baker said they will support bonding by initiating bowling events, trips to Chicago and ice-skating nights, as well as hosting the Navy Ball. The candidates said they will also limit paper use and fundraise for water-filtering stations in all academic buildings.“It is our goal to make next year the finest year of your college experience,” Baker said. “Your vote is the first step to having your voice heard.”Juniors Kristen Whalen and Breanna Elger said they also want to create a more environmentally friendly campus. Both transfer students, Waelin and Elger said they came to Saint Mary’s already knowing what it takes to promote sustainability across a college campus.Whalen and Elger said that their devotion to Saint Mary’s inspired them to seek the leadership positions of president and vice president, respectively.“While it’s arguable that our facilities might not be the latest and the greatest, the heart of each student at Saint Mary’s is what makes this school special,” Whalen said. “This passion for Saint Mary’s has compelled us to fully dive into the community.”The duo said it hopes to collaborate with Sodexo, the company that runs Saint Mary’s dining services, and expand the variety of food in the dining hall, as well as make the coffee machine in the library permanent.“We are excited to provide this no-cost luxury to our students, using our financial backgrounds to explore options for subsidization and alternative budgeting,” Elger said. “Additionally, we hope to partner with the document center to make color printing available for your personal use.”Whalen said economic transparency with tuition and extended hours at the Angela Athletic facility are among her and Elger’s priorities, but responding to the needs of students and more clearly defining what it means to be a Belle will always come first.“We hope to use our business experience to ally with admissions and to partner with the recent marketing firm they’ve hired to make a tangible description of the often unclear notion of what a Belle is,” Whalen said. “As Belles, you exude charisma, you have spunk, you have heart, and you have an iron will.”Voting took place Thursday on OrgSync and the results will be announced Friday.Tags: Breanna Elger, Kaitlyn Baker, Kristen Whalen, Maddie Kohler, Margaret Faller, Saint Mary’s College student body elections, Shannon Golden, SMC Electionslast_img read more

ND College Republicans prepare for 2018 midterm elections with focus on South Bend

first_imgEditor’s note: Throughout the 2018 midterm election season, The Observer will sit down with various student organizations and professors to discuss political engagement and issues particularly pertinent to students. In this fifth installment, the Notre Dame College Republicans discusses its plans to shed light on local elections.As the road to the 2018 midterm elections heats up across the country, the Notre Dame College Republicans is taking steps to assure victory in both local and national races.Junior Jessica D’Souza, the president of College Republicans, said despite the importance of the midterm elections, a controversy-plagued political system seems to have numbed students to their right to vote.“I think people have become apathetic, I think that we have just kind of gotten disinterested,” D’Souza said. “I know that my freshman year it was a big election year, so obviously everyone was drummed up, but I’ve noticed that even people that are strongly Democrat or strongly Republican just don’t care as much. It seems to be much more of an effort to get people back. [The disinterest] might probably have to do something with the fact that literally every time you open Twitter there’s a giant list of both sides angrily tweeting. It gets exhausting.”Although interest may be lacking, D’Souza said College Republicans are pushing onwards with their efforts and trying to make the best use of each volunteer.“Our first step was to try to educate our members about the different roles that they can play in midterm elections and the different ways they can help,” D’Souza said. “If you’re interested in finance, and that’s the background you bring, there are opportunities to help out with fundraising and stuff like that. If you are more of a people person, door-to-door canvassing is an option. So just educating people on what they can do to connect their passion to help out and get them interested.”D’Souza said that with election day so close, the focus has shifted towards interaction with voters in the South Bend community.“Every single Saturday the local parties get together and go on a targeted canvassing event where there will be people working phone lines, there will be people out in South Bend actually going door-to-door asking survey questions, and then at the end we all meet back together at Jackie Walorski’s office to regroup and get excited for people voting and go from there,” D’Souza said.Even with races such as Democratic Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly’s re-election campaign and and Republican Representative Jackie Walorski’s incumbent bid for Indiana’s second district, D’Souza said the College Republicans are trying to shine light on local elections that have a more direct impact on the South Bend community.“I think that people really focus on the big contested races — who’s going to be governor, who’s going to be senator, who’s going to be representative — but they don’t understand necessarily the importance of how the people we elect at the city, town, village level impacts our day-to-day lives,” D’Souza said. “We’re really trying to raise awareness for that this year. We’re all living in South Bend for the majority of the year and ultimately the things that impact us the most intimately might not necessarily be tax reform or what we’re doing to help veterans — even though those are really, really important issues. The things that I think will get students drummed up is what’s going to affect our day-to-day lives.”Though political campaigns are ultimately measured only by wins and losses, D’Souza said a cast vote for any candidate is a victory for everyone.“The election turnout would be a big indicator of success,” D’Souza said. “Other than that, [success is] just engagement. The big thing would just be getting people registered to vote. … I don’t care if someone that we end up engaging is as liberal as Bernie Sanders — if we can get them involved in the conversation, that’s the most important thing.”Tags: 2018 midterm elections, College Republicans, Election Observer, Notre Dame College Republicans, Politicslast_img read more

Saint Mary’s students reflect on the impact of having family legacy in tri-campus community

first_imgIn light of Saint Mary’s 175th anniversary, legacy students are bringing forward the stories of the women who have inspired them and led to the start of their own Saint Mary’s career. In many cases, students have not just a Saint Mary’s legacy, but a Notre Dame legacy as well. These legacies can stretch back as far as four or five generations. Photo courtesy of Kerry Rose McDonald Lindsay McDonald, ’13, Ellen McDonald, ’00, and Kerry Rose McDonald, ’19, respectively, spent time together during Kerry Rose’s semester abroad at Maynooth University in Ireland.First-year Gabby Acampora’s legacy is Notre Dame-based. Acampora’s mom, Debbie, graduated from the University in 1986 and her dad, Paul, graduated in 1985. Acampora’s brother, Nicholas, was a member of the Notre Dame class of 2016, and both he and Gabby grew up in a Notre Dame household.Acampora said growing up the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s communities played a large role in her life. “The overall Holy Cross community has made a huge impact on my life. Both my godfather and godmother are also Notre Dame graduates.” Acampora said in an email. “All these people have helped me to grow spiritually, taught me to serve others and created a community with the people around me.”The traditions from Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame have also been passed through generations of legacy students, Acampora said.“I definitely just felt right at home when I got here. I always imagined as a child that this would be my college town and place, because of my parents and the numerous visits,” Acampora said. “I wanted to join the best band in the land and I’ve always rooted for the Fighting Irish. I think I might just bleed blue and gold, so I’ve been so happy getting to experience all the things that I’ve heard about in my parent’s stories.”For some students, their siblings are what drew them to Saint Mary‘s.Senior Kerry Rose McDonald is the third in her family to attend Saint Mary‘s. Her sister, Ellen, graduated from the College in 2000, while another sister, Lindsay, graduated from the College in 2013. She said that while her sisters did not pressure her to apply to attend Saint Mary‘s, her campus visit demonstrated the aspects of the school that they valued most.“My sisters always made it clear how much they love Saint Mary’s and the incredible impact their experience there has had on them,” McDonald said. “But when it was time for me to start applying at colleges, they did not put pressure on me to apply to Saint Mary’s just because they went there. In fact, I didn’t want to copy them, so I purposely didn’t rank Saint Mary’s at the top of my list. I applied anyway though, and my mom insisted that I take a campus tour. … On the tour, all the things my sisters talked about with such enthusiasm and pride became apparent to me: the tight-knit community, the professors who challenge you to reach your full potential, the resources there to help you succeed during and after your time at Saint Mary’s and the lifelong sisterhood.”McDonald said her tour was filled with signs that the College was right, including her tour guide and admissions counselors having the same name as each of her sisters.“I love being able to bond with my sisters over Saint Mary’s, especially now that all three of us have our class rings,” McDonald said. “A very special time was when they visited me during my semester abroad in Ireland. Right now, they’re currently trying to persuade me to get matching french cross tattoos after I graduate in May — we’ll see.”Saint Mary’s continues to have a legacy presence due to the education and empowerment that the school provides students, McDonald said.“Saint Mary’s has such a strong legacy because of the unwavering high-quality education that each woman receives,” she said. “They leave here fully prepared to thrive in the real world with a confident mentality that was ingrained in them for four years. Grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts want her to go here because they know that Saint Mary’s will help shape her into a determined, strong, intelligent woman.”Tags: 175 years of SMC, 175th anniversary, legacy, saint mary’slast_img read more

Saint Mary’s students react to new president’s election

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s community was introduced to President-elect Dr. Katie Conboy on Wednesday. Students were invited to the Spes Unica Atrium for the announcement of Conboy’s new position. After a speech to the community, Conboy held a meet-and-greet for students at the Cushwa-Leighton Library.  Student reaction to the new president was positive across all grade levels.“I’m not sure if I’ve been here long enough to notice a difference with a new president, but I’m still excited to see what she will do,” first year student Grace Anspach said.Junior Jackie Rojas is one of the students who met Conboy in the library following her speech. “We were in line to try and shake hands with her,” Rojas said. “At first I shook hands with her and introduced myself. I really wanted to give her a hug because I love hugs, but I wasn’t brave enough to ask her. Then the second time she came around, I asked if I could give her a hug and she said yes.”Students are particularly happy about Conboy’s background with women’s colleges.“She seems absolutely fantastic. I think what I like most is that she comes from an all women’s college, so she already has that background” senior Sarah Hautzinger said.Both Conboy’s Holy Cross background and her time as a student at Notre Dame serve as an important consideration for students as well.“I think it’s special that she comes from an all women’s college and has a background in Holy Cross education” junior Giavanna Paradiso said.Paradiso is on the Presidential Transition Committee and is a part of a group of students who interviewed the final candidates.“My first impression of her is just that she is going to get things done,” she said. “She wants as much information as she can, and then she’s going to absorb that and then do what she thinks is the best plan for the College.”Other students were equally impressed with Conboy at their first meeting with her.“Going into it, I was kind of skeptical, especially because of what happened with [former College President] Jan Cervelli,” senior Elisabeth Barrett said. “I was a freshman when she started her first year, so I was kind of under the assumption I’d have four years with her. Then she left so abruptly.” Though Barrett has some concerns about meeting a new president, she said she was particularly impressed by Conboy’s speech.“After the speech she gave introducing herself to everyone, I can see how so far it seems like she’s a really great fit for Saint Mary’s,” Barrett said. “She seems very focused on unity which I think the school needs, especially after the Jan Cervelli debacle.” Rojas also referenced Cervelli’s resignation as an initial cause of nerves.“When I first heard about Jan stepping down, I was devastated because I love her so much, and I felt like I had a connection with her. It just really saddened me that that was happening,” Rojas said. “And then Nancy came around, and I got close to her.” Though Rojas had such close connections to previous College leaders, she said she is looking forward to what Conboy will achieve during her time at Saint Mary’s. Other students expressed optimism that Conboy would reinvigorate the Saint Mary’s community.“I think that’s what excites me about her the most — her new ideas” Paradiso said. “She’s just full of ideas.” Rojas particularly enjoyed Conboy’s emphasis on unity in her intial remarks.“I just really love the indications she gave of the direction that she wants to take the College,” Rojas said. “Making sure we are all able to live together under one roof even though we are so very different but keeping that identity alive and together.”Some students, however, are concerned Conboy would not stay at Saint Mary’s for the long-haul.“I’m optimistic that she will bring a sense of consistency to this position that we haven’t had since I’ve been a student here,” sophomore Grace Dennis said. “I’m hopeful she will work with the students to ensure a great sense of community at Saint Mary’s. My only current concern is that she doesn’t keep any consistency, and we are back to square one in a presidential search again shortly.” Sophomore Campbell Washer agrees with that sentiment.“I think she’s nice and will be helpful, but as far as anything else, I’m not sure. I hope she likes it here and fits in, but I’m just a little wary,” she said.However, Paradiso is confident Conboy will be around for a long time.“It is kind of cool that she got her PhD from Notre Dame. She’s got family here, she’s got roots and she has longevity here” she said.Rojas said she feels that she has already connected with Conboy.“It was just so wonderful to be able to look into her eyes and shake her hand and have that personal connection,” she said. “My hope is that she’ll continue to have that connection with all of us and guide us forward.” Tags: Jan Cervelli, Katie Conboy, Presidential Search, saint mary’s, SMC presidential search commiteelast_img read more

All The Way, Fun Home & The Night Alive Honored by New York Drama Critics

first_img The award for Best Play carries a cash prize of $2,500, which is made possible by a grant from the Lucille Lortel Foundation. The New York Drama Critics’ Circle named Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron’s Fun Home Best Musical, Robert Schenkkan’s All The Way Best American Play and Conor McPherson’s The Night Alive Best Play. The 79th annual NYDCC awards will be presented at a private ceremony on May 16 at 54 Below. The New York Drama Critics’ Circle is comprised of 22 drama critics from daily newspapers, magazines, wire services and websites based in the New York metropolitan area. The award for Best Play, which has been presented since 1936, is the nation’s second oldest theater award, after the Pulitzer Prize for drama.center_img Special citations were awarded to the Shakespeare’s Globe productions of Richard III and Twelfth Night, playwright/director Richard Nelson and the company of The Apple Plays, which appeared at the Public Theater. View Commentslast_img read more

My Big Gay Italian Wedding and My Big Gay Italian Funeral to Extend

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 22, 2015 Starring and written by Anthony Wilkinson, My Big Gay Italian Wedding and My Big Gay Italian Funeral are both loosely based on his own wacky Italian family. Wedding tells the story of Anthony Pinnunziato (Wilkinson), a gay Italian-American who wants to marry his boyfriend Andrew in a traditional wedding ceremony. Funeral tells the story of Anthony and his large family mourning the death of his father. Related Shows View Comments My Big Gay Italian Wedding My Big Gay Italian Wedding and My Big Gay Italian Funeral have extended their run through the end of the year. Both plays, which had previously announced an extension through September 28, will now run through January 4, 2015. The shows play in rep at St Luke’s Theatre under the direction of Sonia Blangiardo. In addition to Wilkinson, the current cast of Wedding and Funeral also include Hugh Hysell, Donna Castellano, Marissa Rosen, Debra Toscano, Liz Gerecitano, Meagan Robar, Erik Ransom, Chad Kessler and Brandon Goins. Wedding also features Joe Scanio, BJ Gruber, Josh Drake and Gabe Bowling. The cast of Funeral also features Christopher Abbott, Mustafa Gatollari and Beth Dzuricky. Ensemble members include Marie Fontaine and Fred Ross.last_img read more