SMC Students Use Dooley Grant to Promote Awareness

first_imgThe Katharine Terry Dooley Endowment Fund, established in 2000 to support projects of peace and justice initiated by Saint Mary’s students, awarded junior Brianna O’Brien and senior Jessica Richmond grants this year for taking action against social injustice.Working toward a degree in social work, O’Brien said she hopes to one day go into policy or politics. She will use the grant to address ethical consumption in a project titled “Food for Thought: A Sustainable Approach to Consumption,” she said.Raising awareness of ethical consumerism can foster a natural inclination toward sustainability, O’Brien said.“Know what you are contributing to when you buy something … by buying those out-of-season strawberries, you are contributing to the emission of fossil fuels and use of non-renewable resources,” she said. “The only way these unethical and unsustainable practices can continue is if we keep demanding their products.”Educational events throughout the school year as well as the creation of ethical consumption fact fliers will raise awareness about the issue, O’Brien said. She said she intends to bring in local community leaders such as Chicory Café, the Purple Porch Co-op and the Humane Society to highlight examples of ethical consumption.“At Saint Mary’s College and the University of Notre Dame, there is definitely a lack of ethical consumerism,” she said. “Students walk around with clothing items, accessories and foods that directly contradict the way in which our schools’ mission statements call for us to act as responsible, ethical students.”O’Brien said delving into the issue of ethical consumerism opened her eyes to the difficulty of meshing sustainable changes with modern day culture that values Nike shoes over the quality of another human’s life. However, O’Brien said she believes in the saying “knowledge is power” and hopes to use knowledge to influence other students.“I understand that it can be hard to incorporate sustainable, ethical changes into our lives, but this is the world we have to live in,” she said. “There is nowhere else for us to go, and things are going to continue worsening unless we make major changes. … It is as simple as going to the thrift store instead of the mall when in need of a pair of pants.”Senior Jessica Richmond said she plans to use the Dooley Grant to initiate conversation on the objectification of women through a poster campaign and screening of the documentary “Miss Representation” followed by a discussion panel, she said.“The need for women to be respected and valued as a whole is immense,” she said. “By showing this documentary, I see a conversation being started that will spill over into the community. … Hopefully, if nothing else, it will make people aware of the things they condone and possible ways to change that.”By sharing the film with college and local area high school students, Richmond said she hopes to work with the students to address the seeds of female objectification at a young age. Her work with young children at the Early Childhood Developmental Center instilled in her a desire to positively influence the lives of young girls, she said.After watching the documentary as a college sophomore, Richmond said she was inspired to share the message with classmates, friends and family. Through the Dooley Grant, she said she now has the opportunity to achieve this goal.“Women are 51 percent of the population and yet they are facing great adversity on a daily basis,” she said. “This documentary shows the forces which feed this national epidemic of objectification of women.”Richmond said she intends to hold a discussion panel following the documentary to enable viewers to connect the film with issues on and around campus. Such a discussion will also lead to a proactive action conversation, she said.“This project is all about awareness and the ability to be aware of the things we mindlessly condone on a daily basis,” she said. “We are doing the first injustice by staying quiet about issues like this one. We, as an all women’s college, need to be having these sorts of conversations about what society is doing to women.”Through their projects, both Richmond and O’Brien have the opportunity to explore their social justice interests and share these interests with the surrounding community, philosophy professor Adrienne Lyles-Chockley said. By examining the root causes of these social problems and applying this knowledge to create their own responses, Chockley said the two students are excellent examples of the goal behind the Dooley Grant.Tags: action against social injustice, Dooley Grant, Katharine Terry Dooley Endowment Fundlast_img read more

Author examines social mobility, higher education in US

first_imgAmerican author, essayist and social critic Peter Sacks examined the relationship between class and its influence on the American college experience, as well as colleges’ current relationship with social mobility, in a lecture Thursday night.“The American Dream is on life support,” Sacks said in the lecture, titled “Climbing the Class Ladder: Do college and universities help — or do they stand in the way?”Though “we often talk about American higher education as being this meritocracy … [and] we like to think of our schools, colleges and universities as great equalizers,” Sacks said, this is not the case in a modern America where “advantages and disadvantages of class undergird so much of what transpires in higher education.”Sacks said despite the U.S. commonly being thought of as a land with equality of opportunity for all, this status is undermined by the country’s system of capitalism, run by the rule of the survival of the fittest. There is a class divide in education, he said, and colleges and universities are doing a poor job of bridging it.“We live in a democratic society, but it has become one where outcomes are too heavily influenced by money and power, and equal educational opportunity is not immune to the influences of money and power,” Sacks said. “When we talk about the class divide in education, those who benefit from the existing rules of the game might feel threatened. Out in the open, the vastly unequal educational opportunity is exposed.”Sacks said colleges are not doing a good enough job reaching and aiding economically disadvantaged students, as only 21 percent of “college-qualified” students from low-income families eventually complete a bachelor’s degree, and roughly six million college-qualified students do not attend college due to financial restraints alone. Furthermore, Sacks said, while recruited athletes, legacies and under-represented minorities receive a substantial boost in the admissions process, low-income students are given little to no advantage.“Our exclusionary way of running our educational system contradicts our founding ideologies, and so we can’t come out and admit that exclusion on class lines is the primary way we do things,” he said. “ … America is not the land of equal opportunity. So we see that many academic institutions aren’t welcoming places for students from families of low and modest incomes.”“That begs the obvious question: Are colleges and universities the right place to climb the social and economic ladder, or are there other ways to do this?” Sacks said.In fact, he said, there might be better ways, or ways that serve some people better than others. The middle class has declined precipitously since 1979, Sacks said, and that decline is linked with the successful assault on unions by large corporate interests.“A recent paper [was] released by the National Bureau of Economic Research in which the researchers estimated the effects on intergenerational economic mobility from the decline of unionism in the United States. The research found that parents’ unionism has had a significant effect on their child’s well-being,” Sacks said.“The adult children of unionized parents earn higher labor income compared to the offspring of non-union parents, and the children of unionized parents often obtain higher education and better health outcomes compared to those whose parents were not unionized.”These intergenerational benefits from unionization are more powerful for poorer and lesser-educated parents and tend to spill over into the broader community, Sacks said. The result is that although collective action among workers has come under attack across the U.S., there is a proven way through unionization to promote economic mobility beyond college.Sacks also said there are those who claim too many people are going to college. He said critics of higher education deny a link between higher education subsidies and economic growth, as well as that public support of higher education in the U.S. increases economic equality.“These critics of higher education have essentially argued that colleges and universities are useless as a social or economic investment,” Sacks said. “Higher education is both a public good, and investment into it is essential.”Sacks said those born at an economic disadvantage and who drop out of high school have only a one-percent chance of reaching the top income quartile by the time they are 40. Additionally educational attainment is highly correlated with reduced unemployment, public assistance, smoking rates and poverty rates, as well as increased voting rates and volunteerism.Sacks closed by saying the reduction of subsidies for public institutions has caused some to turn private and has created a situation where one’s ability to pay determines whether one deserves a college education. He said students from families who have the ability to pay for admissions slots at universities could become a new, self-perpetuating aristocracy.“At the dinner table, in the real-world, equal opportunity means that parents want their kids to have opportunities they never had. … We have what we have of because of sacrifices and investments in human capital past generations made for us,” Sacks said.Sacks’ lecture was the keynote address for the 2015 AnBryce Forum, which according to its website is “meant to encourage a campus-wide dialogue on the means by which a range of actors attain access to opportunity in the complex landscape of the American 21st century.”Tags: American dream, economic mobility, higher educationlast_img read more

Corpora speaks on Year of Mercy

first_imgWith Pope Francis’ declaration of 2016 as the Jubilee Year of Mercy, one of Pope Francis’ Missionaries of Mercy spoke at Coleman-Morse Center on Wednesday night. This Missionary of Mercy, Fr. Joe Corpora, a Holy Cross Priest, director of university-school partnerships in ACE, and priest in residence at Dillon Hall, spoke on the power of mercy and his personal experiences as a Missionary of Mercy.“I believe that God gave Pope Francis an extraordinary grace to look at the signs of the times and to read them, and looking at the signs of the times the Holy Father sensed this dire need for mercy, that it might have been the one thing the world needed more than anything else,” Corpora said.Corpora said Francis has made great strides in the understanding of mercy.“Pope Francis goes as far as to say mercy is God’s name,” Corpora said, “He’s moved the understanding of [mercy] from something that God does … to something that He is. He is mercy.”With this declaration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Francis set about spreading this message of mercy by calling out for missionaries of mercy. Corpora was nominated and chosen to be one of these missionaries, an act which he said was incredibly emotional for him.“Well, I just wept,” Corpora said, “I was overcome with joy and gratitude.”This position as a Missionary of Mercy allowed Corpora the opportunity to travel to the Vatican where he met with other missionaries and Pope Francis himself. Corpora said the Pope was “entirely the person you see on TV.”“There is nothing I wouldn’t tell him about my life. He just exudes grace and mercy,” Corpora said.After leaving the Vatican, Corpora said he set about spreading this message of mercy.“I received a lifetime of mercy, so what else could I do but give it away?” Corpora said.One of the most important aspects of this mercy, Corpora said, was the act of confession. Corpora talked on his own approach to confession through mercy.“I try in each instance to help the person see that the mercy of God is bigger than any possible sin than any person could possibly commit. That our sins are like little blips on the screen of God’s mercy, that God’s mercy trumps and overcomes any sin that anyone could have committed,” Corpora said.Corpora also spoke on how anyone could go about fulfilling this message of mercy. Corpora said that all must go about, “practicing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.”“Whatever work of mercy we practice must bring us into contact with people, whether it’s a corporal work of mercy, giving food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, visiting the prisoners. It brings us into contact with people,” he said.One must undertake this mission of mercy in a way that focuses on human to human interaction, Corpora said.“Imagine how much our lives would be different if we engaged with each other from that perspective, which is basically human to human. Instead of, as we often do, we engage with others as Mexican to Anglo, African American to Asian, gay to straight, documented to undocumented, rich to poor, but rather as human to human … which is basically I have something good to give, and something good to receive from another person,” Corpora said.Corpora said he has faith this message of mercy will endure.“We’ve had a lot of these thematic years in the last ten years — the year of family, the year of faith, the year of consecrated life, but they began with a big flourish and you didn’t hear about them until they were over, but the Year of Mercy just keeps growing,” Corpora said.Tags: Joe Corpora, Missionary of Mercy, Pope Francis, Year of Mercylast_img read more

Professor researches origin of Star of Bethlehem

first_imgThe story of the birth of Jesus is among the most well-known stories in the Bible, and details, such as the star over Bethlehem that led the Magi to Christ’s manger, are familiar to nearly everyone with some knowledge of Christianity. However, these details, such as whether the star of Bethlehem was even a star at all, may not be fully understood.Grant Mathews, professor of physics, believes the sign that the Magi followed was actually and extremely rare planetary alignment and that the “star” was, in fact, Jupiter. Since 2005, Mathews has been interested in finding a possible scientific explanation for the legendary biblical occurrence.“We looked at a bunch of things — whether there was a comet or an asteroid or a supernova or a nova,” Mathews said. “Historically, it’s possible, but you have to look at what the Magi would have actually been thinking, since they’re the ones that show up and say, ‘Well, we saw this thing. Where’s the newborn king of the Jews?’ And nobody else in Judea apparently had noticed it, so it had to be something fairly subtle, not something bright in the sky.”Mathews said he believes the Magi were likely Zoroastrian astronomers from Babylonia or Mesopotamia and would likely have primarily been interested in the planets, which were believed to determine destinies as they moved. Mathews said first-century astronomer Claudius Ptolemy wrote a book about how the constellation Aries corresponded with Judea. Astronomical occurrences with Aries, then, would have been interpreted as relating to Judea, Jesus’ homeland in modern-day Palestine.“There were several things that happened in this rare alignment: Jupiter, Saturn, the moon, the sun are all there at once and the other planets — Venus, Mercury — are nearby,” Mathews said. “What was significant is that Jupiter is in what’s called retrograde motion, and it actually comes to stop [relative to Earth]. Translating from the Greek in the old testament ‘and the star came to rest over where the child was’ [from Matthew 2:9]. “Jupiter literally comes to a stop in its retrograde motion in the place where the child is born, in Bethlehem, it comes to a rest in Aries, so it’s kind of consistent with that whole description. Jupiter was the symbol of the ruler, Saturn was about bringing life, and Aries was on the vernal equinox, so Aries meant the bringing of spring and the bringing of life, that sort of thing. It had all the significance of a life-giving ruler appearing in Judea at this time.”This theory of a planetary alignment was initially proposed by Michael Molnar, former professor of astronomy at Rutgers University, and described in his 2000 book, “The Star of Bethlehem: The Legacy of the Magi,” which Mathews cites as one of his inspirations for beginning his own inquiries into the Star of Bethlehem and writing a book on the subject, which has not yet been published. After considering other possible astronomical explanations, Mathews believes Molnar’s theory to be the most plausible.“I worked on some other ideas, the comets, the supernova thing, because we had a lot of new NASA archives to scan, but in the end, I think [Molnar] hit on the right conclusion,” he said.Mathews ran his own calculations to determine when this alignment might occur again.“The planets are like cars going around a racetrack, and they’re all going different speeds,” he said. “How often is it that they all line up within this little 30 degree patch of the sky along with the sun and the moon at the same time. It’s not that complicated of a calculation. Assuming I did it right, the next alignment was 16 thousand years or so, but it wasn’t in Aries, and it wasn’t in the vernal equinox, so it wouldn’t have the same significance. I ran it forward, and I didn’t see anything for 500,000 years, so it looked really rare.”Tags: aries, astronomy, christmas, Star of Bethlehemlast_img read more

‘Dome-ish’ to explore on-campus diversity

first_imgIn spite of its fame, Notre Dame’s Golden Dome has yet to be featured in the name of a television program. That changes Wednesday with the premiere of “Dome-ish”, a four-part sketch comedy series reflecting issues of diversity at Notre Dame.The show’s producers — seniors Coty Miller, Chandler Turner and Geralyn Smith — said they hope “Dome-ish” will tell stories about minority groups on campus.“We really want students to kind of understand the positions that minority students have been placed in and hopefully see that and want to either change their views, change how they approach situations,” Miller said. “[We want students] to sympathize more.”The miniseries, which will consist of four 15-minute episodes, was created in collaboration with Multicultural Student Program and Services (MSPS) and NDtv, Miller said. The program aims to counter stereotypes and educate the campus community about diversity in a “comedic way.”“Think of it as the funny ‘Show Some Skin,’” Turner said.Each episode will feature roughly three skits highlighting specific issues, Miller explained. Examples of issues include the experiences of students who come from families with low socioeconomic status, stereotypes surrounding athletes and the daily struggles students of color and the LGBTQ community.“In our promo video, we talked about how a lot of times professors can’t tell the difference between different black students, or even students of color in general,” Miller said.The production process aimed to involve as many students who were interested in getting film production experience as possible, the producers said. Anyone can submit a skit for the producers’ consideration. The show will also include skits written by the producers.Once the producers have decided to use a skit, they reach out to people to help out with production. Both Miller and Turner expressed hope that “Dome-ish” will continue to be produced in future semesters.“In the beginning, before we started writing content and all of that, we reached out to see who was interested in general,” Miller said. “A lot of people got back to us and they just wanted to get involved with production and acting in general, and so based on that interest those are the people we reach out to automatically. More and more people start reaching out the more they hear about it, so we try to include as many people as possible.”The title “Dome-ish” is derived from the ABC sitcom “Black-ish” and its spin-off, “Grown-ish.” The producers said that it is meant to signify the fact that many minority students do not get the full “Notre Dame experience” while they are students at the University.“We kind of played off the whole ‘Black-ish’ and ‘Grown-ish’ ideas where they’re saying they’re ‘black-ish,’ so what people typically expect black people to be like, they’re kind of like that in terms of … cause they’re black and they do have some similarities with the stereotypes and black experiences, but it’s an ‘ish’ kind of thing,” Miller said. “We’re saying these students kind of get that Notre Dame experience being here, they get a lot of the same experiences other students do but there’s a lot of experiences that they’re not able to get and their experiences are different.“So, the typical Notre Dame experience people get and walk with and tell people about, which is a good experience, they’re kind of getting that. They’re unfortunately not able to get that typical Notre Dame experience and that’s where the ‘ish’ comes from.”Turner said one of the key goals of the “Dome-ish” project is to tell the stories of students who are often forgotten or overlooked.“One goal of mine is to add to the Notre Dame narrative,” Turner said. “A lot of times Notre Dame just pushes one type of Notre Dame student or one type of narrative and with this visual representation of a lot of the students that go here that don’t feel represented quite so right. So, we’re giving students the chance to write their own narratives and that’s really important to us.”Tags: Diversity, Dome-ish, MSPS, NDTvlast_img read more

Classics Club to host Sound of Classics event

first_imgThe Notre Dame Classics Club will present a blast from the distant past with the Sound of Classics event Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Hesburgh Library’s Carey Auditorium. Since its inception in 2007, the Sound of Classics event has been an opportunity to experience firsthand the poetry, stories and songs from the classical cultures of antiquity.“Think of it as a classics variety show,” senior Olivia May, the club’s vice president, said. “We have one student singing Italian songs with his accordion. We also have people reciting pieces of Latin, as well as skits.”May herself has a role in a skit from Homer’s “Odyssey.”The event includes performances not only from the students in the Classics club, but others as well, junior Caitlin Riley said. “Other student groups will also be performing — Humor Artists are doing some improv and the Not So Royal Shakespeare group is doing a scene from ‘Julius Caesar,’” Riley said. “I think we’ve got the Liturgical Choir coming too. So we’ve got a bunch of different groups all doing things that are Latin or Greek-related.”  Senior Mary McNulty said there will be a variety of performances on display at the event. “Some professors give extra credit for kids to recite poetry or anything that they’re reading in class, and we also have people who do creative skits from Greek and Roman,” McNulty said. “We even have someone doing a ‘classics rap’ this year.”The event is not only focused on remembering the old, but also on adding a new twist. The Sound of Classics event highlights the continued relevance of Greek and Roman culture and language in modern times, Riley said. “I think a lot of the time people just think of things like Latin as a dead language but when you think about it the culture is still all around you. Like in the Great Hall [of O’Shaughnessy Hall], the windows have all these Greek philosophers on them,” Riley said. “A lot of the skits are about making things modern and seeing how the themes are still relevant today as well as bringing out the beauty of the language and culture.”McNulty said that the Sound of Classic events demonstrates the continuing relevance of the classics.“Classics majors get asked a lot, ‘Why are you studying a dead language?’’ McNulty said. “And through this, we can show everyone that it’s not actually dead and that you can make it very relevant and funny for a modern audience.”Tags: Classics Club, Julius Caesar, Odyssey, Sound of Classicslast_img read more

Student Union Board looks to diversify events, increase branding

first_imgThis past semester, SUB has made it its goal to increase their offerings to a wider range of the student body, and its efforts to diversify the big names they bring to campus have showed, such as in the Karamo Brown talk. SUB’s presence can be felt throughout campus, and the consistent range of events available does not hurt, but its signature event — the fall SUB concert — fell flat, with many students not even realizing it took place this semester and no recognizable artist headlining. Grade: BTags: 2018 Student Government Insider, Karamo Brown, Student Union Board, SUB, SUB concert Bringing high-profile guests, student concerts and movies to the student body, the Student Union Board (SUB) has made its goal diversifying its events and branding itself more distinctly this semester. “We saw a lot of people that knew events that SUB did and have been to some events that SUB has done, but did not know they were SUB events or didn’t even know what SUB was,” senior Allison Dopazo, director of operations for SUB, said. “So we tried to brand ourselves more and increase awareness of who we are as a group.”Bethany Boggess, executive director of SUB, said SUB sponsors campus events on a weekly basis. In the last week alone, SUB hosted a talk with Karamo Brown from the Netflix show “Queer Eye” and held its annual fall concert. Although professional artists typically perform at the SUB fall concert, this year the group chose to showcase student talent.“We mostly just wanted to recognize how much student talent there is on this campus and how few opportunities there are to preform,” Boggess said. “Obviously we have AcoustiCafe, but the fall concert really allowed for other types of performers to engage.” Other notable events from this semester include $3 movies — the most recent being “Polar Express” — and AcoustiCafe, which showcases student performers in a low-key setting Thursday nights in Duncan Student Center.Boggess said the movie showings have been successful for SUB this semester.“We’ve been really strategic with the movies that we’ve chosen to try to consider different groups of students on campus and what they might like to see and not just what we want to see,” she said.Boggess acknowledged that SUB is typically known for its concerts and its ability to bring big names to campus, but she wishes other SUB events would be recognized more. “I think that people mostly know the concerts, which is fun, but I still feel like that’s all anyone is waiting for … but I’m just like, ‘No, look at all these cool things we do, like movies every week for only $3 and we have AcoustiCafe every week,’” Boggess said. “We just did an event where we had a bunch of free pastries and coffee from Einstein’s Bagels and really cool professors came and you could just hang out with them and ask them about their lives. … So I wish that it was easier to get people roped in.”Boggess said she also believes many people on campus do not know their favorite events may be SUB-sponsored and noted an increase in branding as one of their semester goals. “Again, going back to people not attributing events to SUB or people don’t attribute the events that they love to SUB … maybe they know what AnTostal is, but they didn’t realize it was a SUB event,” she said. “ … Maybe that is a branding issue on our part.”Dopazo said nine committees work together to put on the many events SUB hosts, including the Concerts Committee.“I think on a leadership perspective, it’s important that all the lead programmers of the nine committees we have — concerts being one of them — feel equally as important and feel like they’re equally contributing to what SUB is and to the student body in general,” Dopazo said. “Because I don’t think it’s fair for the concerts lead programmer to have all those pressures and then for all the other lead programmers to feel like their stuff isn’t as important, which it obviously is.”Dopazo and Boggess both said they are proud of their work this semester in diversifying SUB’s events, and noted that the AnTostal theme for the coming semester will also be a nod to this effort, though the theme has not been released yet. “This year, I think we’ve diversified our events, and I think that’s because we have had more of an eye for that,” Dopazo said. “One example is the Karamo Brown event. He’s a very proud, gay, black man, and it’s so important to have this kind of voice expressed, especially on our campus.”Dopazo said the organization is trying to promote diversity in its other events as well.“We’ve diversified our movies to incorporate different kinds of interests, and things of that nature,” she said SUB also welcomed a new advisor this year, Alicia Bates, who has helped the group keep a mindful approach to their planning. “[Bates is] really pushing us, and what’s really nice is that since she’s brand new, she’s able to see SUB from a totally external point of view,” Boggess said. “So we will say ‘OK, here’s our movies lineup.’ And she’s like, ‘Why?’ And then you’re forced to think about, ‘OK, why are we doing this?’”With the many different student programming groups on campus, Boggess and Dopazo recognize there are many options for students and have made an effort to work with other groups to create events instead of competing with them. “We try to do so much,” Boggess said. “But I guess overall, we just want to provide programming to the student body that’s something that they want and that they desire for their college experience to make use of Notre Dame as a destination that cool people will want to come and engage in and to just bolster the community as much as possible.”last_img read more

College environmental studies program to encourage care through tubing

first_imgSaint Mary’s students are sliding into St. Patrick’s County Park to celebrate community on Sunday.The day will consist of snow tubing, community engagement, fun and warming up by the fire, environmental studies professor Aaron Moe said in an email. The event was co-sponsored by the environmental studies (ENVS) program and the Office for Civic and Social Engagement. Moe commented on how the event contributes to both of the program and offices goals.“[The OCSE director Rebekah DeLine and I] started talking about a tubing trip to Saint Patrick’s Park,” Moe said. “She liked the idea that such an event would help students connect with the rich history of the early [Holy Cross] sisters who farmed on what is now St. Pat’s park. It could be one of many events that celebrates the 175 years of Saint Mary’s. And from an ENVS perspective, it is a great way to get outside.”Both Moe and DeLine played pivotal roles in the planning of the event, Moe said.“I helped get the vision of it established and then helped where I could to bring the vision to fruition,” he said. “Rebekah DeLine covered all the logistics with St. Patrick’s Park. I helped by making the flyer, the Google form, and things like that.”Moe said he hopes to raise awareness for available programs at the College and for the rich history that connects the College and the sisters to farming and St. Patrick’s Park. He sees the event connecting students with the sisters’s early farming practices, which will also help to support the building of a sustainable farm on the Saint Mary’s campus.“One of my hopes is that such events will increase awareness of our environmental studies program at Saint Mary’s. It is now a major,” Moe said. “Along with the ENVS major, a group of people have been working to start an organic, sustainable farm at Saint Mary’s. … I hope that students who go tubing recognize that the vision of the early sisters growing their own food for Saint Mary’s students to eat is carrying forward in the efforts to have a farm on Saint Mary’s campus.”Moe invited the entire Saint Mary’s community to the event via email, and three and a half hours later, the 99 available slots were filled. Moe said he had some ideas of why the event appealed to so many people.“Even though there is a constant, low grumbling about the snow, many people out there — myself included — love it,” Moe said. “The fact that this filled up so fast shows that many students, too, love the snow. Some people may be surprised that it filled up so fast, but then, why should anyone be surprised? If someone is surprised, they probably need to reexamine their assumptions as to who the students are at SMC.”Many people were placed on a waitlist for the event after the 99 slots were claimed. Moe said he is planning similar events for the upcoming seasons that he hopes will connect students with the environment in the future.“I plan to make sure the Fall Float happens each autumn, the spring hike, and, I imagine, that this won’t be the last time we go tubing,” Moe said.Moe said he is excited to help establish a relationship between students and the outdoors. He feels as if connecting students to nature in this seemingly trivial way will translate into love for the earth and a passion for environmental justice, while also helping to fulfill the Saint Mary’s mission.“I love that Saint Mary’s has a mission that involves both social and environmental justice,” Moe said. “Getting outside develops our love for the Earth. We fight for the things we love.”Tags: Aaron Moe, environmental studies, Office of Civic and Social Engagement, Saint Patrick’s County Parklast_img read more

New York’s Cuomo Wants $40 Million To Respond To New Virus

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) MGN ImageALBANY — New York’s governor is asking state lawmakers to approve spending $40 million to respond to the threat of the Coronavirus, while New York City has set plans that include making as many as 1,200 hospital beds available.The state hasn’t had any confirmed cases of the new virus, but officials are waiting for test results regarding one person in Long Island’s Nassau County, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters Wednesday.In separate news conferences, he and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio stressed efforts to get ready for a potential outbreak of the fast-spreading virus.“Yes, we’re preparing, but this situation is not a situation that should cause undue fear among people,” Cuomo said. Since emerging in China in December, it has sickened more than 81,000 people and killed 2,700 around the world. U.S. cases total more than 50 so far, and the White House has requested $2.5 billion for vaccine development, treatment and protective equipment.In New York, Cuomo’s proposed $40 million would go toward hiring additional state health staffers and buying supplies including protective masks and gloves.The Democratic governor said he also plans to propose legislation to help the state make sure hospitals and health departments are prepared for a possible outbreak.He said he also plans soon to convene state and local health officials to develop uniform steps for handling quarantines and other methods of stopping the virus from spreading.New York City has already coordinated a plan to devote 1,200 public and private hospital beds, if needed, to COVID-19 patients or people undergoing testing, de Blasio said.“There is not a single reason for panic,” the Democrat said. “There’s a reason for people to focus and follow through on the basics. If we do that, we will all be safe.”The city had previously quarantined three people for observation in hospitals and a hotel, but all have since gone home, said the city’s deputy mayor for health, Dr. Raul Perea-Henze.The city also is seeking at least 300,000 more protective masks to add to the 1.5 million masks it has already given to health care workers and first responders, officials said. Police Chief of Department Terence Monahan said the force has distributed “thousands upon thousands” of gloves, masks and wipes to patrol, transit and housing officers.With masks in high demand, de Blasio called on the federal government to step in to get more produced and to “help us and all other localities to get masks we need.”New York City and state have been asking federal health officials for permission to do their own testing for the virus. Tests are now performed only at federal labs, and getting results can take a day or more.In a conference call with media conference Tuesday, Dr. Nancy Messonier of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said officials hoped to be able to send test kits to more state and local government labs soon, after resolving some hitches.“We are rapidly moving towards getting those kits more available in the U.S.,” she said.last_img read more

Three Test Positive For COVID-19 In Cattaraugus County, Brings Total To Five

first_imgPhoto: CDCLITTLE VALLEY – Three additional cases of COVID-19 were reported Sunday in Cattaraugus County, bringing the county total to five.The Cattaraugus County Health Department says the first cases is a male resident who lives in the northwest part of the county with a travel history to NYC and Buffalo who has been asymptomatic (no fever, no cough or shortness of breath) but has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.Officials say he was tested on Friday and the positive test result returned Saturday.The next case is a female resident who lives in the northwest part of the county with travel history to Buffalo who has been asymptomatic but was in close contact with a known positive case. She was also tested on Friday and the test result came back Saturday indicating that she was positive for the virus.“Both patients are resting at home, and now under quarantine,” said officials. “They will be assessed for any medical support that we can provide and we will monitor their symptoms closely.”Additionally, a male who lives in the southeast part of the county with no known travel history who visited the emergency room at Olean General Hospital with complaints of fever, cough and diarrhea, has also tested positive. Officials say he was admitted with pneumonia and tested on Friday and on Saturday the test result indicated that he was positive.“Upon discharge today, he and his family will be quarantined and assessed daily for any medical support that we can provide and we will monitor their symptoms closely,” said officials. The Cattaraugus County Health Department has begun contact tracing and will notify any close contacts and facilities visited by any of the confirmed positives.Officials say residents should assume that there is community wide spread of COVID-19 in the area.“We continue to ask our residents to bunker down, and avoid any non-essential travel, especially to areas where there is community spread of COVID-19, otherwise, you place your family and other Cattaraugus County residents at risk,” said officials. “We would like to reiterate that if any residents experience fever, cough, shortness of breath or whole body aches should contact their health care provider first (avoid going directly to the Urgent Care facility or Emergency Room before calling).” Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more