College hosts lecture on race in the media

first_imgMedia expert Callie Crossley discussed the ways people of color have been portrayed in the media during her lecture “Race and Media: Everything Old is New Again” at Saint Mary’s on Tuesday night. Crossley shared personal experiences she has come across during her work. She spoke about racism toward her and her co-workers. “I got into this business to make a difference. My whole career has been about telling the stories right and truthfully,” Crossley said. “We need to learn to challenge and question what we see. That is why I’m doing what I’m doing,” Crossley said. “We need to speak up in the moment.” Crossley said she hopes more change will come in future generations, but she is aware action needs to be taken now. “Post-racial or not, the racial stereotypes have not gone away but have been revised for modern times. Everything old is new again,” Crossley said. Crossley is an award-winning broadcast journalist, documentary filmmaker and television and radio commentator, and she offers regular commentary on a number of television programs.center_img A current survey about the racial society in the media showed many people still believe there is not enough diversity in the newsroom, and there is still a lack of acceptable coverage of racial issues. Crossley hosts a new daily talk show on WGBH-FM Radio, “The Callie Crossley Show.” The show covers topics such as current events, local happenings, arts and culture.  “Media representations of people of color have not changed though out the years,” said Crossley, the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. “This is how to create a single story about a group of people, to show those people as one thing and then show that one thing over and over again.” “Every time we see it, it feels like a slap in the face,” Crossley said. Crossley produced “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Year,” the critically acclaimed documentary series which earned her an Oscar nomination and major film and journalism awards. For the last eight years, Crossley has served as program manager for the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.last_img read more

ND’s Ph.D. ranks improve

first_imgThe National Research Council (NRC) recently ranked doctorate programs throughout the nation and evaluated Notre Dame’s programs more positively than it had in the past. Notre Dame’s doctorate programs were ranked higher than in NRC’s last evaluation in 1995, said Gregory Sterling, dean of the Graduate School. “If you ask me, are we where we would ultimately like to be? No,” Sterling said. “But we’re better than we were. There are some great stories to be told.” The NRC ranking addressed 5,000 programs at 212 universities. The data was based on the 2005-06 academic year, Sterling said. “It is the most extensive effort to collect data on doctorate programs to date,” Sterling said. The methodology behind the rankings is complex because each program was not simply numbered in rank. Rather, two ranking systems were used — the R-system, or regression-based ranking, and the S-system, or survey-based ranking. The R-system polled faculty on their opinions of doctorate programs and measured how well the programs performed against a set of 21 variables. This ranking is closely related to the reputation of a program, Sterling said. The S-system asked faculty to rank the 21 variables based on their importance. NRC then gave a weight to each variable and compared its importance to how the program actually performed on the variable, he said. For both the S-system and the R-system, doctorate programs were ranked, not in a numeric order, but on a continuum based on the highest rank a program received and the lowest rank it received. “Since the NRC refused to give an absolute ranking, the real value is in the data they provided,” Sterling said. “It allows us for the first time to compare our programs to other programs using specific data.” Compared to the 1995 ranking, Sterling said Notre Dame did extremely well. “In 1995, we only had two programs in the upper quartile,” Sterling said. “This time, using the highest ranking we had 11 programs in the upper quartile for the R-rank and nine for the S-rank. If you use the lower ranking, we had three for the R-rank and four for the S-rank.” The humanities did especially well, Sterling said. English, history, philosophy and theology were ranked in the upper quartile for both R and S. In the science department, mathematics and biology were also both ranked in the upper quartile for R and S, said Sterling. Chemical engineering was in the upper quartile for R and the second quartile for S. Civil engineering was in the upper quartile for both R and S, Sterling said. Sterling said the study is already being used by phd.org, a website that many prospective doctorate students will use to help them determine where to attend. “I think, on the whole, the numbers will help us,” said Sterling. “Although we do have some programs where I think that the way things were set up will not reflect some of our strengths.” One such department is the social sciences. Notre Dame faculty in political science and sociology publish books much more extensively than their peers, Sterling said. But in NRC’s evaluation, only articles were counted when determining how many faculty publications a program had, and the programs’ ratings suffered as a result, he said. Another factor is that the program measured data from 2005-06 and some programs have advanced markedly over the last few years. For example, the psychology department has hired a significant number of new faculty, Sterling said. Nevertheless, he said the evaluation report is valuable. “It is the most data-driven assessment of Ph.D. programs ever completed,” Sterling said. “It will be challenged, but it will prove useful in terms of providing comparative information.” Sterling said the University should be happy with how its doctorate programs were ranked, but not satisfied. “I would say on the whole we should feel good about the results,” he said, “but understand that we still have a challenge in front of us.”last_img read more

Lyphout plans June retirement

first_imgJames Lyphout, Notre Dame’s vice president for Business Operations, will retire in June, according to a University press release. Lyphout is the University’s longest-serving current officer. Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees elected him vice president in 1999. He also served as assistant vice president for Business Affairs from 1984 to 1996 and as associate vice president for business operations from 1996 to 1999. In his current position, Lyphout oversees campus infrastructure and construction projects, the Office of Sustainability, campus operations and most auxiliary campus operations such as food services, the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore and the Morris Inn. He also manages Notre Dame’s London Centre, the Keough-Notre Dame study Centre in Dublin and the Hank Environmental Research Center at Land O’Lakes, Wis. “Jim Lyphout has provided outstanding leadership to the essential services that comprise the University’s core infrastructure,” Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves said in the press release. “During his tenure, our student dining services have consistently been rated among the finest in the country, our campus planning and construction programs are held up as best examples of the application of gothic architecture in an academic environment, and we have continued to enhance the natural beauty of our campus through our tree planting and campus landscaping projects.” As vice president for Business Operations, Lyphout has overseen around 20 construction projects, the ongoing renewal of Notre Dame Stadium, several renovation projects and the closure of Juniper Road through campus. “It has been my privilege and honor to serve for the last 27 years as a member of the University administration,” Lyphout said in the press release. “During my tenure, I have enjoyed being an integral part of the remarkable growth in campus building space of more than 20 percent. This growth was guided by the campus master plan, crafted by a wonderful team of colleagues and designed to direct all future development of campus.” Lyphout is a native of East Moline, Ill. He earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Illinois University, served in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1972 and worked at Northwestern University before coming to Notre Dame. He and his wife, Rose have two sons who are Notre Dame graduates.last_img read more

Observer appoints top editor

first_imgThe Observer General Board elected Sports Editor Allan Joseph as the 2012-13 Editor-in-Chief on Sunday. Joseph, a junior Economics and Arts and Letters Preprofessional double major, is a native of Dublin, Ohio. A resident of Saint Edward’s Hall, Joseph has led several sports beats, including football, hockey, women’s soccer and men’s lacrosse. “I’m thrilled, honored and humbled by this opportunity to lead The Observer,” Joseph said. “I know the experience will have as many challenges as opportunities, but I’m excited to tackle those challenges with the dedicated, talented staff we have.” Joseph became Sports Editor in the spring of 2011 and led coverage of Irish hockey’s trip to the 2011 Frozen Four and, as a beat writer, the 2010 women’s soccer National Championship. “Allan has raised the bar this past year as Sports Editor, specifically in staff development and increasing the Sports Department’s focus on in-depth stories,” outgoing Editor-in-Chief Douglas Farmer said. “Working with Allan has been a pleasure over the last three years, and I know he will continue to set high goals for himself and others at The Observer.” Joseph said he expects to continue learning from The Observer even as he rises in its ranks. “I’m looking forward to making The Observer even better than it already is, and I know I’ll have a lot of great experiences along the way.” Joseph will take over as Editor-in-Chief on March 5.last_img read more

College students welcome Hobson as commencement speaker

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s Class of 2012 will welcome Mellody Hobson as their commencement speaker Saturday.  Hobson, a 1991 graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy, will receive an honorary doctor of humanities degree from the College. She currently serves as president of the Chicago-based money management firm Ariel Investments and as chair of the board of trustees for the firm’s mutual funds. Hobson is an expert on financial literacy and investor education and is a regular contributor to ABC’s “Good Morning America.” She is also on the board of directors of Estée Lauder Companies, Inc., DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., Groupon and Starbucks Corp. Senior Kate Park said she thinks Hobson’s wealth of experience will provide for a meaningful address.  “Based on her history and career, I think she can be a very informative speaker for the Class of 2012,” she said. “She seems to have many worldly experiences, as well as [success] in the business world. Therefore, she can give many of us Belles helpful tips on how to become successful after Saint Mary’s.”  Senior Allie Courtney said she is looking forward to Hobson’s commencement address. “I am very excited about this year’s commencement speaker,” she said. “Mellody Hobson is an incredibly accomplished woman and an exemplary role model to all of us. Her work and accomplishments are very impressive, and I can’t wait to hear her speak.” Senior Catherine Swanson said she expects Hobson’s speech to be engaging and memorable due to her many interesting life experiences. “I’m really looking forward to hearing about her experiences and how she got to where she is today,” she said. “She will have a lot of interesting things to say and I am grateful for the chance to listen to her.” Park said Hobson’s success as a woman in business will inspire the Class of 2012. “I am looking forward to being with my fellow Saint Mary’s sisters and enjoying our last moments together as we listen to a woman who embodies all that we embody: a Saint Mary’s education,” she said. “I am hoping we will be inspired from the address.” Courtney said Hobson’s broad expertise will be a valuable contribution to her final moments as a Saint Mary’s student. “I think she is very relevant to our class,” she said. “Our class truly appreciates the community at Saint Mary’s and how we have grown as strong, confident and empowered women because of it. Her example as a truly successful woman is inspiring to us.” Commencement will be held Saturday at 12 p.m. on LeMans Green.last_img read more

Group explores students’ off-campus movement

first_imgAt its Friday meeting, Campus Life Council (CLC) focused on residence life and factors contributing to an increasing number of students moving off campus. Student government chief of staff Katie Baker said some reasons students move off campus are to obtain freedom, privacy and more space for less money. Currently, 17 percent of undergraduate students do not live on campus, and this is a linear trend over the past five years according to student body president Brett Rocheleau. He said the current senior class is an outlier with fewer students living off-campus than in past years. Even though the majority of students off-campus are male, a sizable percentage of female students live off-campus. Baker said the lower percentage for the latter category is in part due to safety concerns with some housing locations in the South Bend area. CLC addressed the issue of increasing numbers of juniors and even sophomores leaving the residence halls.  One strong driving factor is cost. According to its online admissions website, the University charges $11, 934 for room and board. This does include a meal plan.  In recent years, real estate agents have targeted sophomores to sign housing contracts for their senior year. This can be difficult since relationships between students change over time, and they may not want the same living arrangements two years down the road, Howard Hall rector Margaret Morgan said. Cindy Broderick, rector of Pasquerilla East, said students do not believe they can find adequate housing if they wait until their senior year. She said she tries to tell the girls to wait, but oftentimes they feel the pressure to sign contracts early on. CLC also discussed dorm rules and a lack of a feeling of community as additional causes of the off-campus movement of an increasing number of students. Even with the number of students leaving the dorms, the University is still dealing with the issue of overcrowding. In a number of residence halls, the study rooms have been converted into living spaces, Walsh Hall senator Veronica Guerrero said. Furthermore, when students return from studying abroad, they often cannot return to their original residence hall. “There should be a downgrading of the number of students,” Guerrero said. She said it is easier to bond in the dorms when there are a smaller number of girls in an incoming class. This way, everyone gets to know each other better, she said. A point stressed at the meeting was the strength of the residence halls and their spirit of community. Oftentimes, when seniors move off campus they return to their original dorms in order to partake in the activities from dorm dances to movie nights. The halls do not want to lose that connection with their students. “[Dorm life] is a part of the intangible Notre Dame experience,” Walsh Hall rector Annie  Selak said. Contact Carolyn Hutyra at [email protected]last_img read more

Professor studies border dispute

first_imgIn his new book titled “Contested Frontiers in the Syria-Lebanon-Israel Region: Cartography, Sovereignty and Conflict,” history and peace studies professor Asher Kaufman uses maps to illustrate the complexity of the border dispute among Israel, Syria and Lebanon, using this border area as a microcosm of Middle Eastern history for the past 100 years.Kaufman said his case study reveals a flaw in the way we view international borders.“There is always a gap between how we perceive political borders as impregnable, impenetrable lines that are controlled by the states and the reality that consistently defeats that,” he said. “This is even more so in areas of conflict zones, where we think of borders as lines of defense where the military stands behind one side, the other military behind the other side, and the border line is simply a war zone.“This has been the image of the Israeli borders with its Arab neighbors. When you zoom in, you see that the situation is far more complex.”To better understand the complexity of these borders, Kaufman said he pored through French diplomatic archives that were disorganized but held the key to unlocking the border dispute.“I knew that if I would find anything about the Lebanese and Syrian borders it would be there, because the French demarcated these borders, in theory, during the days of the French mandate,” he said.Kaufman said this border dispute is especially relevant to the current Syrian political climate and its resulting refugee crisis.“In light of the unrest that has engulfed the Middle East since 2011, if you look at the Syrian civil war, and you look at the situation at Syria’s borders, you get a sense … that the conflicts in the region, even the Syrian civil war, cannot be circumscribed within the boundaries of Syria,” he said. “There is actually great leakage.“The civil war in Syria has become a regional issue. Lebanon is affected by it. Israel is affected by it. And the tri-border region has become another arena where the civil war is being manifested.”This conflict and those involved in it has made the region he writes about dangerous, Kaufman said.“Because of the topography of this region, it has become an area for arms smuggling, for combatants to go back and forth from Lebanon to Syria and vice versa,” he said.“Because of the sensitivity of this region, Israel has now fortified its military presence and has also began treating Syrian citizens arriving now at the Israeli borders asking for medical assistance. It all takes place there in this very small piece of land that, despite its small size, can tell us the big stories of the Middle East.”Kaufman said using cartography to examine the conflict in this region – the first third of his book is all about maps – is “innovative.”“Something that has not been done by I don’t think anybody is the connection I make between cartography and the social and political reality, colonial cartography of the 19th century, its impact on boundary demarcation in the 20th century and the way this colonial cartography eventually plays a decisive role in how border populations behave on a day- to-day basis,” he said.Tags: Asher Kaufman, book, cartography, civil war, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Syrialast_img read more

Scotland to vote on independence

first_imgOn Thursday, the citizens of Scotland will decide by referendum if they want to be independent from the United Kingdom. According to the BBC, 4.2 million people have registered to vote, which is 97 percent of eligible Scottish voters.Professor Tanisha Fazal, associate professor of political science and peace studies, said Scotland has several reasons to desire independence from the United Kingdom [UK].“For the Scots, there are I think a few reasons to consider independence,” she said. “There’s national pride and self-determination. There’s also a political reason — my understanding is that the Scots in general tend to skew more left than the British. And also, there’s a potential economic reason because the Scots view an independent Scotland as economically viable, in part because they believe they would be able to exploit the oil fields in the North Sea.”Those who oppose Scottish independence are also influenced by economics, Fazal said.“Well, there are strong economic reasons against independence, as well,” Fazal said. “We see this particularly in the way the British response has played out, where the British are saying the Scots won’t be able to use the pound. The most recent reports I’ve seen suggest that the British are saying, ‘If you secede, if you vote for independence, there’s no coming back.’”Fazal said Scottish independence could have some deleterious effects on the British economy.“The British are very much opposed to Scottish independence,” she said. “They really don’t want this to happen. And so they are doing everything they can, within the bounds of law, to prevent this from happening.”The projected outcome of the vote is uncertain, Fazal said.“I think it’s really up in the air what’s going to happen,” she said. “And one of the ways we know it’s up in the air is because both sides are fighting this so hard right now.”If the referendum passes, the next steps for a formal process of separation are unclear, Fazal said.“The British constitution is sort of an odd beast, and it’s not clear to me that there are provisions in there for secession, even though some constitutions have that,” she said.If Scotland does become an independent nation, Fazal said, there is no guarantee of membership in the European Union [EU] or United Nations [UN].“The EU has sent mixed signals about whether it would admit Scotland, and if Scotland were not part of the EU then that would certainly diminish the economic benefits of independence,” she said. “If Scotland really wanted to become a member of the club of states, then they would have to apply to the United Nations for membership. And it is actually the United Nations Security Council that has to approve membership. But of course the UK has a veto on the Security Council, so unless the Scots were able to persuade the British that they should become an independent state, it’s hard for me to see how Scotland could actually become a full member of the United Nations.“Taiwan also can’t become a member of the United Nations because of a Chinese veto. In the case of Kosovo, we would anticipate Russian and Chinese vetos. And Palestine, which also recently applied unsuccessfully for membership in the United Nations, would be vetoed by the U.S.”Membership in the United Nations carries symbolic and diplomatic value, Fazal said.“It can also offer some economic benefits, in that it gives them access to some affiliated agencies,” Fazal said. “And it’s the stamp of approval, that you’re a member of the club of states. And it gives access to all kinds of benefits I would imagine the Scots would want.”If the referendum passes, Fazal said, groups in Wales and Northern Ireland could also be looking to become independent from the United Kingdom.“What some of the literature on secessionism tells us is that when you have a country that has multiple possible secessionist groups within it, or even multiple active secessionist groups within it, those are the countries that are going to push back the hardest against secessionism, precisely because they fear the risk of a precedent being set, and the whole country falling apart at the seams,” she said.Fazal said the issue of Scottish independence has significance for many other international groups.“One interesting feature of this particular case is that there are all these secessionist groups around the world, including in Europe, that are waiting with bated breath to see what the Scots are going to do,” she said. “For example, the Catalonians in Spain and the Flemish in Belgium are watching this very closely because they have their own independence movements. They’re actually very much hoping that the Scots are going to set a precedent in becoming independent.”Scottish independence could have both positive and negative consequences for Europe, Fazal said.“There are arguments, particularly in the European context, that one could make either way,” she said. “The EU has eroded national sovereignty for a lot of European states, such that having these smaller, sub-national groups split off and become their own independent states, if they could plug into institutions like the European Union, then that helps them a great deal economically.“And it actually might improve governance for individual citizens. One of the complaints people make about the EU is that it’s very undemocratic; it has what’s called a democratic deficit. And having more power devolved to these smaller states might or might not remedy that, I’m not sure. A lot of these benefits really would hinge on EU membership for the secessionist regions, that lie within the European Union.”Fazal said an independent Scotland would be unlikely to create a foreign policy different from the United Kingdom’s.“One change might be that the Scots might support other secessionist regions, so maybe they would be more sympathetic to the Kurds than the current British administration is,” she said. “But in general, I don’t see them developing foreign policy interests that are diametrically opposed to the British.”Adam Haydel, a junior studying abroad in London, said the vote on Scottish independence is receiving widespread media coverage.“If something about Iraq or Syria isn’t on the front page of the papers, the referendum is,” he said.Public opinion on the issue is broad, with economics a primary concern, Haydel said.“I think people don’t really believe that Scotland could thrive being independent since they would not be allowed to keep the pound and only have oil reserves for 10 years or so,” Haydel said. “Also they would have to figure out a way to raise money, taxes, since their budget is given to them by Parliament in London.”Haydel said he thinks the separation will not be contentious if the referendum passes.Jack LeClair, a junior also studying abroad in London, also said public opinion on the referendum varies.“I think that some Scottish people want independence because there is a widespread lack of trust in Westminster,” LeClair said. “And Scottish people feel that a Conservative party whom they didn’t vote for should not determine how to rule over them.“In Scotland, the majority of seats in Westminster are Labour and then Liberal Democrat. Thus, they feel that the Conservative party, who holds most of the power in the Conservative/ Liberal Democrat coalition do not represent their interests properly. . . In Scotland in particular, there is zero apathy about the referendum, and voter turnout is expected to be extraordinarily high and people generally have extremely strong convictions towards one side or the other.”LeClair said many English citizens do not seem to have as strong opinions on the issue.“One potential reason for people caring about the vote is that the political landscape will be swung towards the Conservative party since most of the constituencies in Scotland are Labour,” he said. “Despite this, Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has come out in support on maintaining Scotland as a member of the United Kingdom and the leaders of the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have also supported ‘No.’”“In fact, this week, in the wake of the polls favorable to the ‘Yes’ vote, all three of these men left London for Prime Minister Questions, which is a big deal, to go campaign in Scotland in favor of ‘No.’ Also, a previous Labour Prime Minister, Gordon Brown has come out to support the ‘No’ vote.”Tags: European Union, Independence Referendum, Scotland, secession, United Kingdom, United Nationslast_img read more

One last smoke

first_imgAfter a full day spent celebrating the life of University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, students gathered one last time Wednesday to remember him in the most fitting of ways: smoking a cigar.Outside of Hesburgh Library, roughly 600 people gathered following the memorial service in Purcell Pavilion and lit up stogies the same way Hesburgh did almost every day of his adult life.The event was conceived by senior Andrew Weiler when he and a group of friends were discussing their memories of Hesburgh.“The most recent [memory] for me is, he blessed my cousin’s two little babies, and as he blessed them, he had a glass of scotch there and a cigar smoking as well,” Weiler said. “It’s just a fun way to honor a truly great man.”Several of Weiler’s friends, including fellow senior Alex Caton, had similar experiences with Hesburgh and were immediately on board with the idea.“For me, the first time I ever met Fr. Hesburgh, the thing that stuck out to me was just this eight-inch, fat, burning stogie that he had in an ashtray on his desk,” Caton said.The friends initially thought about keeping the event restricted to with a smaller group but quickly changed their minds, Caton said.“It was a question of who do we restrict this to? Do we just do friends, do we just do seniors?” Caton said. “Eventually we just said … let’s get everybody.”Caton and Weiler created an open Facebook event and invited 2,700 people. Caton said they were hoping for 300 to 400 attendees, but over 980 people responded saying they would attend.“We created the event, and I did not think it would hit almost 1,000 people,” Weiler said. “I have no idea how many people [showed] up, but this is already beyond our wildest expectations. This is pretty cool.”In order to meet the demand for so many cigars, Caton and Weiler reached out to several local businesses, such as Belmont Beverage, the Tinder Box and Low Bob’s Discount Tobacco, which agreed to donate a total of 400 stogies.With temperatures dipping into the teens, groups came from both the memorial service and around campus, lighting up to end two days’ worth of remembrances.“To me, he’s an incredible example of someone living out their Catholic faith to the fullest sense of it,” Weiler said ” … I just hope these cigars are a little bit like incense they have at Mass, going up like prayers, memories of him.”Caton said the smoke was also special because it was not organized or orchestrated by the University administration.“What makes this different and does serve to Fr. Hesburgh’s legacy is the idea that this is a student-organized event,” Caton said. “We just wanted to have something by and for students.”Both Weiler and Caton said they never had the chance to smoke with Fr. Hesburgh while he was alive, but they each said they saw the event as their next best chance to do so.“I feel that’s a lot of people’s dream here: to have smoked a cigar with Fr. Ted,” Weiler said.Tags: cigars, Fr. Hesburgh, Fr. Ted, Fr. Ted Hesburgh, Fr. Theodore Hesburghlast_img read more

SGA to host closed community dialogue event

first_imgThe Student Government Association (SGA) and Student Diversity Board (SDB) will co-sponsor an opportunity for students to come together and talk about controversial issues at a Catholic institution tonight in Rice Commons, according to OrgSync, the Saint Mary’s student activities portal.The event will last one hour, beginning at 7:30 p.m., and will be closed to faculty, staff and media.The opportunity to come together follows campus controversy about Planned Parenthood but also in light of the harassment junior Maranda Pennington faced when a homophobic slur was was written on her whiteboard.“We have broadened the event to be an opportunity to discuss all of the types of controversy that have been occurring and how we can move forward, make changes and be better as a community,” student body president Kaitlyn Baker said.“Students will have an opportunity to voice their opinions and why they believe what they believe,” she said. “We are all still Belles, and it’s important for students to listen to other students’ opinions and say, ‘I respect your opinion, but I believe this.’”Student body vice president Maddie Kohler said SGA hopes the event will be a learning opportunity for students who attend.“We will close the event knowing that we are still one community [and] it’s okay that we are at a Catholic institution and have different beliefs,” she said.Tags: Planned Parenthood, SMC, Student Government Associationlast_img read more