Month: January 2021

  • College’s jazz concert to benefit non-profit

    first_imgSaint Mary’s students and faculty looking to jazz up their fall schedules are in luck tonight. A jazz benefit concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the O’Laughlin Auditorium.  Proceeds from the performance will benefit Children of Abraham, a nonprofit organization that sends medical supplies to impoverished countries around the world.   Children of Abraham has provided more than $60 million in aid to medical clinics and hospitals serving the “poorest of the poor,” said David Schrader, vice president of the Board of Directors for Children of Abraham. The organization aids 29 nations, and its most recent efforts have primarily focused on assisting Haiti. In addition to providing aid to countries in need, Children of Abraham aims to unite different religious groups in communities. “Muslims have paid for shipments to Christian hospitals, and vice versa. Jews and Muslims have worked together to provide for relief in Haiti through a Christian organization,” said Schrader. Christopher Sallak, patron services and marketing manager for Saint Mary’s, said the concert will be another opportunity for Saint Mary’s students to continue their history of serving the community and those in need. “Partnering with Children of Abraham for this benefit concert is a great opportunity for our student body to support another faith-based organization and their recent work in Haiti,” Sallak said. Tonight’s concert will feature music by popular jazz artists Bryan Lubeck, David Wells and the Jim Pickley Trio. Lubeck, a Latin guitarist, is featured on WNUA 95.5 radio in Chicago. His album “Acoustic Vineyard,” released in 2004, blends his Latin guitar with an urban-sounding band, creating a more modern sound. On the flugelhorn and trumpet, Wells released eight CDs and has been featured in Christian music magazines.  He has also appeared on the BET Station’s show “Studio Jams”. The Jim Pickley Trio, which plays every Sunday at a Michiana church, has been performing for more than 20 years. “Children of Abraham should be supported because we save lives.  Simple as that,” said Schrader. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for faculty members.last_img read more

  • Officials appoint new University librarian

    first_imgUniversity officials appointed Diane Parr Walker to the position of University librarian, according to a Thursday press release. Walker is currently deputy university librarian at the University of Virginia. She will begin her position at Notre Dame on June 25. “Diane Walker is a superb administrator who has the experience, vision and leadership skills to transform the Hesburgh Libraries into a model research library of the 21st century,” provost Tom Burish said in the release. “She is a proven innovator who understands how to manage the complex challenges imposed by rapidly changing technology and the demands of traditional scholarship.” Walker has worked at the University of Virginia library for 26 years and has been in her current position since 2003, the release said. “It is an honor to be invited to lead the libraries at this time of high expectations and of great opportunity,” Walker said in the release. “I look forward to joining the community and together with them building the Notre Dame library for the future.” The University librarian is responsible for the administration, well-being and development of the University Libraries, its faculty and staff, collections of books, manuscripts, research materials, services and other activities, according to Section 11 of the Academic Articles governing the University. Walker will take over for assistant provost Susan Ohmer, who was named interim University librarian on May 18. Former University librarian Jennifer Younger left at the end of the 2009-10 school year for a position with the Catholic Research Resources Alliance, according to a March 22 University press release. “I am grateful to assistant provost Susan Ohmer for her skillful and dedicated service as interim director of libraries, as well as for the hard work of the search committee that identified, recruited and evaluated candidates for the position,” Burish said. Ohmer said she likes Walker for the position. “I can say that the libraries of the University of Virginia are models for us and that we are very excited to have someone who was important to their success coming to the Hesburgh Libraries,” she said. “I am enthusiastic about the choice.” David Morris, a graduate student and one of the principal organizers of the student petition for library improvements, said Walker would be a positive addition for the library. “This appointment appears very promising,” he said. “Diane Parr Walker’s record at the University of Virginia — involving renovation projects and the building of a new special collections library — indicates an ability and willingness to advocate for the library that has been lacking in previous Notre Dame library directors.” Morris said her liberal arts background is also helpful for her new position at a research university. “It is important for library administrators to know first-hand the research needs of the professors and students who use their facilities,” he said. “This is another important difference from her predecessors.” Walker will need to work out the logistics for possible library renovation, he said. “I believe that the most pressing need remains an on-campus depository because the main library is running out of space for books, and we will need a place to keep the collections if and when we do renovate the building,” Morris said. Morris said the library needs more money in order to expand. According to Morris, the library currently receives between $20 million to $25 million a year. He said it needs closer to $40 million a year to improve. “To put that in context, Notre Dame spends $75 million a year on athletics and over $150 million a year on administration and business operations. We dropped $50 million on a new hockey arena,” Morris said. “So $40 million a year for the library, the heart of our academic life, shouldn’t be too much to ask.” Walker has played a role in several initiatives at the University of Virginia, according to the press release. She has helped with the planning and construction of a new special collections library, a major renovation of the school’s science and engineering library, opening a café in the lobby of the main library and planning the renovation for the 70-year-old main library, among other projects. According to the press release, Walker earned a master’s degrees in musicology from the University of Iowa and library and information science from the University of Illinois. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music literature from MacMurray College. She served for five years as music cataloguer and reference librarian at the State University of New York at Buffalo before coming to the University of Virginia as their music librarian, coordinator for humanities and social sciences branch libraries and associate university librarian for user services, the press release said.last_img read more

  • Dining halls add Korean food

    first_imgNotre Dame students looking to expand their culinary horizons can now try a taste of Korean cuisine in the dining hall. Following the successful introduction of specialty days like Mediterranean night and the Pho soup bar, Notre Dame Food Services (NDFS) launched a new line of specialty foods that features authentic Korean dishes. North Dining Hall kicked off the new concept in January and South Dining Hall followed suit last week. The dishes are served on a 12-day rotating schedule in both dining halls. Marc Poklinkowski, general manager of South Dining Hall, said the concept for the new line came from positive student reception to other specialty meals. “The basis of this came from students originally suggesting that we have things like Indian day and Mediterranean day,” he said. NDFS considers input from two yearly surveys in launching new food lines, Poklinkowski said. “They’re usually right after each of the breaks,” he said. “When we looked back at what students had suggested we saw a lot of students asking why we didn’t have more ethnic foods, which is what led to the Mediterranean and Indian cuisine days.” Poklinkowski said rather than schedule these specialty meals more often, NDFS decided to explore options for a new type of cuisine to serve to students. “With both of those days being such big hits, we realized that we didn’t want to repeat them, otherwise they’d get boring,” he said. “We decided to try and do something else.” Poklinkowski said the idea for Korean cuisine came from NDFS executive chef Don Miller. “After I asked him for ideas, he asked if I’d ever thought about Korean food,” he said. “He said it’s really picking up and getting popular.” Poklinkowski said Miller met with various Korean students on campus to discuss what dishes should be offered and how to authentically prepare them. Miller then prepared a presentation of traditional cuisine. “He put together a show for us [with] about eight different recipes. He had the kimchi there, these two cold salads that we now use, and he also did the crepes for us,” Poklinkowski said. “From there we got a kind of good idea of how we could adapt it to our dining halls.” Tina Aalfs Baker, operations manager of North Dining Hall, said the new offerings may not appeal to all palates. “It’s a matter of personal taste and preference. For some guests, it may not be their cup of tea,” she said. “For others, it is a change of scenery, something new to try.” Poklinkowski said the new dishes have been received well at South Dining Hall. “The first day went really well,” he said. “We did I believe close to 500 crepes at lunch and over 1,200 crepes at dinner. We’re always glad whenever something’s that popular when we start off.” Poklinkowski said the introduction of Korean day is not the only change coming to the dining halls. During Lent, South Dining Hall is will prepare new menu items including a new Seafood Newburg dish and a make-your-own baked potato bar in the Pan-American section, he said. “We never want to see students making rounds around the food options a few times without finding anything to eat,” he said. “We’re looking to give them more options.”last_img read more

  • Mennonite lawyer discusses peace in Colombia

    first_imgOn Thursday, prominent Colombian Mennonite, human rights lawyer and peace worker Ricardo Esquivia gave a lecture titled “Building Just Peace in Colombia,” in which he said the progress of peace is slow but is making strides.  The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies sponsored the lecture as the 15th annual Dialogues on Nonviolence, Religion and Peace. Esquivia gave the lecture entirely in Spanish while a Ph.D student provided an English translation.  Esquivia said the Mennonite Church provided him with the foundation for his work in Colombia.  “I’ve never regretted arriving to the Mennonite Church,” Esquivia said. “Sometimes I’ve been closer, sometimes I’ve been more distant to the Mennonite Church, but I’ve always been a part of it since I was nine years old – that is to say, for more than half a century.” Esquivia said he became a Mennonite when his father was diagnosed with leprosy and sent to a government leper colony. Esquivia and his siblings became orphans until a Mennonite community for children in similar situations took them in.  “At this time, leprosy was seen as a curse, and this concept was very much influenced by the biblical notion,” Esquivia said. “And it was also seen as a public crisis, and so the state believed it was its own obligation to protect the society from the lepers.”  With his Mennonite foundation, Esquivia saw the ongoing conflict in Colombia through a different lens and said the scale of the violence troubled him deeply.  “This [conflict] has left more than 300,000 people dead, thousands of people ‘disappeared,’ thousands of people kidnapped, close to five million people internally displaced violently and the social fabric has been ripped apart,” Esquivia said. “The state is delegitimized.”  Esquivia said the government lost its credibility because it succumbed to the corruption of guerrilla groups. “The government was delegitimized because it was used as a platform for the armed groups to protect and maintain their privileges,” Esquivia said. Esquivia said the drug crisis in Colombia only adds to the conflict. “To complete this sketch, because of the internal disorder and the social injustice and war, the internal drug mafias have taken over the country, making the armed conflict particularly cruel and difficult to end,” Esquivia said.  When asked about how to address the issue of drug violence in Colombia, Esquivia said the United States knows what ought to be done. “I believe that the [United States] has the answer to that question,” he said. “Here, alcohol was prohibited and that prohibition created great mafias. In order to get rid of the mafias, they got rid of prohibition. This applies to the [United States] as well as any other part of the world.” Esquivia said society should consider addicts as people with illness, rather than as criminals.  “And so in this way, we are changing lenses and allowing us to see the person as someone who needs help and not as someone who needs to be incarcerated or go through the legal process,” Esquivia said.  After graduating from law school in 1973, Esquivia said he set out to find solutions to the violence in Colombia and found them in the nonviolence demonstrated by people like Gandhi and American civil rights activists.  “So also during this time, I was following the civil rights movement of the blacks in the United States and I became very interested in nonviolence,” he said. “Studying nonviolence, I arrived at Gandhi, and then studying Gandhi,  I returned to Jesus. And it was in this way that I discovered the rich vision of the Mennonite Church as an historic peace church.” Throughout the years, Esquivia said progress in Colombia has come slowly, but it has come nonetheless.  “Right now, the Columbian civil society is awaiting the outcome of dialogues between the national government and the largest guerrilla group in Colombia known as the FARC,” he said.  “These dialogues are not easy. More than 60 years of war does not end quickly.” Esquivia said organizations like the Mennonite Church are necessary to help Colombian peace become reality.  “We know that those who make war cannot, by themselves, pact and end to the war,  and that is why the role of the Mennonite Church in Colombia is particularly important,” Esquivia said.  Contact Jack Rooney at [email protected]last_img read more

  • Saint Mary’s announces master of speech pathology program

    first_imgSaint Mary’s celebrated the blessing and dedication of the Judd Leighton Speech and Language Clinic on Wednesday in Carroll Auditorium. At the event, the College announced that it will soon offer a master of science in speech pathology. Photo courtesy of Gwen O’Brien The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an accreditation institution, approved the graduation program earlier this month, director of media relations Gwen O’Brien said. The program will begin in the fall of 2015, pending accreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.College president Carol Ann Mooney said Wednesday was a day of great celebration for the College. “In the spirit of the Sisters of the Holy Cross and their mission to reflect on the signs of the times, discern needs and respond to those needs, the master of science in speech pathology and the Judd Leighton Speech and Language Clinic are our response to a regionally unmet demand,” Mooney said. “We are very grateful to the foundation for this generous gift.” The clinic, which will serve local area clients, and the implementation of the new master’s program are both possible due to a $1 million grant from the Judd Leighton Foundation, O’Brien said. Clinic clients will include those whose speech is affected by stroke, dementia, autism and Down syndrome, among other factors.Jim Keenan, the president of the Judd Leighton Foundation, said the organization is pleased to be able to continue this long-standing partnership with the College. “We are also excited by the learning opportunities that this new graduate program brings to the College and its students, and we are delighted that our community will have access to these important services,” Keenan said.The master’s program will be the only such graduate program offered in northern Indiana and the second proposed graduate program that Saint Mary’s has announced in recent months, O’Brien said. The College has not offered master’s programs since the 1960s. Michael Flahive, chair of the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders and director of the master of science in speech pathology program said the profession of speech pathology resonates with the College’s core values of learning, community, faith and justice. “With this graduate program and majors like communicative sciences and disorders, nursing, education and social work, we are a community of helpers inclined to work with those facing life’s challenges,” Flahive said. “In northern Indiana, we face a shortage of qualified speech and language personnel in schools and healthcare facilities. It’s my hope that Saint Mary’s graduates will help meet that critical need.”The clinic will be enlarged and moved to Madeleva Hall, thereby ensuring adequate space for the communicative sciences and disorders undergraduate program and future master’s program, senior Grace Connolly said.Connolly, a communicative sciences and disorders major, said the completion of the master’s program will continue to allow direct access to services for individuals and families in the community whose lives are impacted by communicative challenges and differences.“I am especially grateful to witness first-hand what a strong impact the clinic has made on both students and the local community,” Connolly said. “The clinic lets students respond to the complex needs and challenges of the world while developing their own talents.” The clinic and future master’s program will also enable the College to meet a regional need for professional training opportunities in speech pathology, Connolly said. “In other words, it will help expand the profession by allowing more students to pursue or complete their degrees,” she said. Senior and communicative sciences and disorders major Kristine McInerney said her graduating class is the first class to do clinical practicum in the clinic. The clinic itself began hosting clients last summer, with students utilizing the clinic beginning in fall 2013.“Student clinicians hold one-hour speech language therapy services for clients in both group and individual settings. Students have real-life experiences in assessing and treating clients,” McInerney said. For McInerney, the clinic has acted as her second home this year, solidifying her desire to become a speech-language pathologist.“The clients I work with have taught me more than I will ever be able teach them,” McInerney said. “When I graduate in a few weeks, I know that my some hardest goodbyes when I graduate will be to my clients and my clinical supervisor because of the profound impact they have had on they have had on me. “I am very excited that future students will have access to same opportunities that I have been given.”McInerney said she is grateful for the current program because it gives students the opportunity to start making a difference even before they graduate.“The program will continue to grow because it excels at preparing students for graduate school and future professions, especially with the new clinic and the masters of science,” McInerney said. “The celebration [on Wednesday] was a way to honor all of the people who have dedicated so much time and effort into making all of this possible.” Tags: Judd Leighton Foundation, master of science, saint mary’s, speech pathologylast_img read more

  • Scholar analyzes Latin American constitutions

    first_imgDebates regarding the Constitution are commonplace in America, and not just in the United States. In a lecture Thursday titled “The Politics of Constitutional Change in Latin America,” Gabriel L. Negretto, associate professor of political studies at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económica (CIDE) in Mexico City, said constitutional discussions occupy a central place in Latin American politics.Whereas constitutional disputes in the United States typically concern interpretation, debates in Latin America have largely focused on substantive reform and in some cases, on complete replacement of the constitution in question. Negretto said he developed a two-level theory that attributes constitutional reforms both to ‘efficiency considerations,’ which legitimize the call for reform, and ‘partisan considerations,’ which influence the shape of a specific reform.“I argue … that the relative impact of partisan interests and power resources varies across cases, across individual cases, according to two factors,” Negretto said. “One is the triggering event, and the other is the level of electoral uncertainty.”Negretto said any explanation of reform necessitates an understanding of both problems inciting reform and short-term interests of actors in a setting of limited power resources.Negretto drew original inspiration to explore constitutional changes in Latin America from the rate at which these changes occurred, he said.“I realized that constitutional change [in Latin America] was much more frequent than you would expect based on the idea of the constitutional moment being an extraordinary political event,” he said. “Since Independence up to 2009, there have been 194 constitutions in Latin America.”Negretto said these observations led him to question the common assertion that constitutions are made infrequently and only in very particular circumstances.  He said he was “increasingly skeptical” of this idea, and his dissatisfaction prompted him to write his recent book, Making Constitutions: Presidents, Parties, and Institutional Choice in Latin America.Negretto said he tested the theory behind his book through the use of statistical analysis to examine 67 instances of constitutional reform.  He said he also conducted four case studies — two of reforms in Argentina, and reforms in Columbia and Ecuador.He said he found a significant difference in conditions of reform in which the reform coalition comprised only those of the president’s party, as opposed to coalitions that represented cross-party interests.  An analysis of party interests and power resources insufficiently explains reform during moments of high levels of electoral uncertainty as well as in instances of institutional crisis.Negretto concluded the lecture with a reflection on the advantages and disadvantages of Latin American government and addressed a question regarding the noteworthy differences between constitutional politics in the United States, where lawmakers have made relatively few changes to the Constitution, and in Latin America, where changes come every few years.“When you have a mature constitutional system, formal rules do not matter much,” he said. “Ironically, formal institutions become more important in unstable constitutional countries.”Tags: Constitutions, latin america, political sciencelast_img read more

  • Students react to narrow win over Stanford

    first_imgIn a hard-fought game that required battling both the weather and the nation’s number one-ranked scoring defense, Notre Dame defeated the Stanford Cardinals 17-14.The game had major college playoff implications, with the Irish strengthening their resume to earn the No. 5 USA Today Poll and No. 6 AP Top 25 football rankings. Several ESPN commentators also included Notre Dame in their predictions for one of the final four teams included in College Football Playoff at the end of the season.Kevin Song Although the weather played a significant role in the game, as both teams’ offenses struggled to consistently move the ball, junior Matt Castellini said it did not damper the enthusiastic mood following the game.“Yes, the weather was bad, and yes, it negatively affected my experience,” he said. “But it’s like I always say, rule No. 76: no excuses, play like a champion. We did that in the stands, and they did that on the field.”Senior Casey Macdonald said the game reminded her of the 2011 Notre Dame game against the South Florida Bulls, which was postponed multiple times due to inclement weather.“Seniors started their football careers at Notre Dame with thunderstorms, two delays of game, evacuating the stadium and hours of wait time,” Macdonald said. “Notre Dame fans are not strangers to adverse weather.”Although some fans made for the exits as early as halftime, a vast majority of the student section stayed to cheer on the team.“I was so glad I stayed until the end,” senior Claire Lupo said. “It was maybe the best game I have ever seen our D-boys play.”The fans were raucous and aided Notre Dame’s defense, as a combination of strong secondary play by the Irish and an inability to move the ball on Stanford’s part allowed senior quarterback Everett Golson and the offense one last opportunity to win the game.Junior Chuckie Connors said he celebrated excessively, at his own expense.“We dog piled in the stands,” he said. “I sprained my ankle, but it was well worth it.”The game was a back-and-forth affair that saw neither team establish its dominance, until Everett Golson’s game-winning 23-yard pass to tight end Ben Koyack gave the Irish the lead for good.Senior Shannon Hogan said she felt the Irish were always going to win the game.“It was just proof that the Irish will always pull through in the end,” she said. “I think all of us could feel that we were going to win that game, we could feel the need to win that the players were feeling.”Notre Dame fans can now turn their attention to upcoming opponents, including an away matchup in two weeks against the Florida State Seminoles.Senior Kevin McMannis said he is confident the Irish can continue to win on their home turf.“This was the last home game I thought we could lose, and I’m glad we survived it,” he said.Regardless of the weather, the Irish continue to find ways to win tight games.Tags: cardinals, football, game wrap, Stanfordlast_img read more

  • Speaker discusses examining policing through portals

    first_imgIn an effort to create conversations about policing, Yale University professor Vesla Weaver and her colleagues created spaces called portals where people can speak with others from different cities about their experiences with law enforcement in their communities.In a talk hosted Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy and the Center for Civil and Human Rights on Tuesday, Weaver spoke about her involvement in the project.“What are portals?” she said. “They’re a bridge. A wormhole, a conversation across states. Maybe even time. They’re gold repurposed shipping containers. They’re equipped with immersive audio [and] video technology. You can place them anywhere.”Weaver said traditional methods of gathering information about police brutality, such as surveys, did not sufficiently describe the experiences of members of marginalized communities.“We wanted to actually listen to what members of these impacted communities said in their own terms — in interactions not with researchers, not with us, but in conversation with others distant physically, but from similar neighborhoods,” Weaver said.Weaver said she wanted to enable vulnerable groups to become powerful forces in their communities.“We wanted to see if we could empower communities so often marginalized by contemporary discourse to have a say and to amplify the voices of those who are already often unheard,” she said. “Could we create a connected political space from connection? Can we make ordinary people the lifeblood of grassroots politics?”For many minority youth, Weaver said their first encounter with the police is a regular coming of age event. Participants in the portals often recalled their first encounters with law enforcement during conversations.“One says the police come into his house, and all of the sudden he has a gun to his head and he’s 12 years old,” Weaver said. “Another says he was truant from school and he ends up being thrown on the ground and given a ticket for resisting.“And this next one, she says she’s a full-figured girl and the police would stop her and basically ask her if she was a prostitute. And she was 13.”Weaver also discussed the idea of “linked fate” in black communities, and how it helps marginalized communities organize.“When evaluating a political decision, so the logic goes, blacks make a utility calculation: what’s good for the group is what’s good for me,” Weaver said. “Linked fate is a political resource for subjugated groups. It helps them mount collective action problems and intra-racial differences by seeing a common foe and a common purpose.”According to Weaver, participants’ conversations in portals revealed that linked fate was on the decline because of recent police brutality.“Crucially, people described how divided the community was,” she said. “… A linked fate that might have emerged was interrupted by the incentives to remain alone. It was only as a loner that one could remain under the police radar to have some quiet from police intrusion in their neighborhoods.”Weaver said many participants felt the law enforcement system was profiting off of their communities, and discussed the financial challenges participants — especially those incarcerated — faced.“41 states have something called ‘inmate user fees,’” Weaver said. “In other words, you are charged for your own room and board and for the services attached to being jailed — things like healthcare, things like dental care, things like your uniform. In Riverside, California, this amounts to $142 a day. These are families that are making probably less than $30,000 or $20,000 a year.”Many participants said they wanted to reshape the mainstream narrative about their communities, Weaver said.“It was interesting to me how often people said something like ‘We need to control our narratives. See, what people see about us on the news isn’t right. We’re kings and queens. We’re creative. We’re entrepreneurs. We just don’t have the resources,’” she said.Tags: marginalized communities, police, portalslast_img read more

  • Saint Mary’s alumna begins role as hall director

    first_imgWhen Ally Strasen graduated from Saint Mary’s in 2016, she planned on being a teacher. However, Strasen’s life took a different turn as she has returned to the College this year to serve as the hall director for Holy Cross and Opus Halls.After graduating with a degree in elementary education with a minor in mild intervention, Strasen attended the University of Vermont and completed a master’s degree in special education in December 2017. In the months following, however, she took some time to consider other professional possibilities.“I wasn’t quite sure that teaching was for me at that point in my life,” she said. “Then this [job] posting popped up on the Saint Mary’s webpage, and I knew in my heart that I wanted to be back at Saint Mary’s, so I applied and here I am.”While her position also includes serving as hall director for Opus Hall, Strasen moved into Holy Cross in mid-July. As a student, Strasen didn’t live in either of these halls.“I was excited to get to be in a building that I hadn’t spent a lot of time in,” she said.Strasen said she worried the idea of coming back to the College in this capacity might take away from “the magic that is Saint Mary’s” that she experienced as a student.“It’s amazing to be able to see things from a different perspective and be able to reflect on what life was like as a student here and now what life is like as a professional here,” she said.Strasen said she believes her background in elementary education will be helpful to her in her duties as hall director because it emphasized the diversity that can be found in a group of people, such as residents and hall staff. Additionally, she said having been a student at Saint Mary’s is beneficial to her in this position.“You come out of here — a small, women’s liberal arts college — with such a well-rounded education that you haven’t just learned history facts or how to write an English paper,” she said. “You learn so many life skills and interpersonal skills.”These products of her Saint Mary’s education are being put to use in her new role with Residence Life, Strasen said.“Honestly, I never thought I’d be back as a hall director, but it just seemed right,” she said.Strasen said she knew it would be an adjustment for returning resident assistants who worked with her predecessor but she has found the hall staff to be welcoming.“Working with [hall staff] is very exciting,” she said. “They’re all awesome girls, and I’ve gotten to know some of them pretty well already.”Strasen said she is most excited about being able to form relationships with students.“Saint Mary’s did so much for me,” she said. “I’m excited to hopefully be able to give back to Saint Mary’s what it gave to me.”Tags: Hall Director, Holy Cross Hall, opus halllast_img read more

  • Experts discuss United States-North Korea Vietnam summit

    first_imgOn the same day President Donald Trump met with North Korean leadership and Kim Jong-Un at a summit in Vietnam, Sean King, an East Asia expert, and George Lopez, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., professor emeritus of peace studies, held an open discussion on the subject of U.S. and North Korea relations at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. Patrick Deegan, director of undergraduate studies for the Liu Institute for Asia & Asian Studies, facilitated the talk, which was also available via live stream. The talk began with opening remarks from King and Lopez on their thoughts about the Hanoi summit, the second public meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-Un after the two world leaders met for a summit in Singapore in June of 2018. “I think he wants to be the president who can say he ended the Korean War,” King said. King and Lopez fielded questions from those in attendance revolving around the history of the Korean War, North Korea’s efforts with nuclear weapons, fact-checking the president and their outlook on both summits. “By leaving [the Trans-Pacific Partnership], Trump weakened U.S. influence in Asia at the expense of strengthening mainland China,” Lopez said. King echoed Lopez’s sentiments, noting that leaving the partnership might make U.S. allies nervous and embolden North Korea.“Suspending military exercises in South Korea for eight months, it makes people question the U.S. and its alliances in Asia,” he said. “Kim Jong-Un can taste that.”When asked about the potential consequences of President Trump pulling American Troops from South Korea, King said “it would open the door for China to expand.”  Talking points on the U.S. and North Korean relations revolved around President Trump and his dealings with North Korean leadership. King said he categorizes his outlook as “openly pessimistic,” after telling Bloomberg in April that he was “cautiously pessimistic.” Lopez said Trump’s shortcomings in appointing strong ambassadors may have played a role in the current administration’s struggles in international relations. “[It’s a] lax attitude with appointing ambassadors to major allies,” he said. “[We’re] weak in that regard.” While most of the discussion revolved around relations between the U.S. and North Korea, the event also touched upon the geopolitical context of East Asia. King said he had little confidence in Trump’s ability to hold out against mounting economic pressure from China.“Trump will choke on the trade battle with mainland China,” he said.King and Lopez attempted to clarify the goal of this most recent meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-Un. Lopez said the summit ultimately has shallow aims.“It’s been made aware a number of issues were not on the table for discussion,” Lopez said. “This is not a negotiation, not a summit in the traditional sense. It’s a photo opportunity. There was simply not enough done by advance teams to anticipate nuclear or military resolutions.” King said the Trump administration may broach the topics of a peace declaration and relief from targeted sanctions against North Korea, but he does not believe it is currently possible to achieve true peace on the Korean Peninsula.“The conditions for peace do not exist,” King said. Instead, King said an agreement of mutual non-aggression is more likely. Still, King said efforts for any sort of peace-related treaty may end up being “a slippery slope” and a “North Korean trap.” Tags: Donald Trump, Global politics, Kim Jong Un, North Korea, Peace Studies, Peace Summit, Vietnamlast_img read more