WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has put a temporary hold on several major foreign arms sales initiated by former President Donald Trump. Officials say that among the deals being paused is a massive $23 billion transfer of stealth F-35 fighters to the United Arab Emirates. That sale and several other massive purchases of U.S. weaponry by Gulf Arab countries had been harshly criticized by Democrats in Congress. The new administration is reviewing the sales but has not made any determination about whether they will actually go through. The State Department says the pause is a routine administrative action that most incoming administrations take with large-scale arms sales.
The Campus Life Council wrapped up discussions for the year Monday with closing comments on the academic environment on campus and the Council’s effectiveness as a part of student government.Former student body president Grant Schmidt presented an executive summary of the previous weeks’ talks on intellectual engagement. “The point of this document is really a transition piece so the ideas that we have worked on do not get lost in conversation between this year and next year,” former chief of staff Ryan Brellenthin said. The summary included setting up an online debate forum for students to share their ideas in a blog format, keeping lecture topics general and more appealing, encouraging more dorm events and connections between the academic commissioners and televising lecture and events through NDtv. “One of the great blessings of this University that I have experienced over a period of time is that people are not cutthroat with each other,” Sorin College rector Fr. Jim King said.The suggestions that the Council members will pass on to the incoming student government focus on extracurricular competition that is fun for students and unique toNotre Dame, said former senator Chase Riddle. The Council also reflected on other discussions from the span of the year and provided feedback for future Council members. “The great part of this Council is that it is not just students,” Schmidt said. Rectors and administrators on the council are able to check some student opinions, but also provide affirmation for others, he said. King said he hoped to see the Council hold future discussions on the role, importance and quality of hall government. “What attraction do I have to join hall government if I am made to feel like a gopher?” he said.The government inside residence halls needs to be more autonomous and less directed by outside groups, King said.Over-programming on campus has led to hall government taking the role of liaison for different agencies, and dorm events fall from the precedent, former director of external affairs Gus Gari said. “Hall government should be student-based and student-run rather than agency-based,” he said.Former Hall Presidents Council co-chair Brendan McQueeney emphasized the need for tangible goals to bring action to student government rather than turning meetings into lists of announcements. “By having these simple conversations we are really making a difference and improving the University,” Schmidt said.
For sophomore Greg Allare, the challenges of playing on the Notre Dame men’s rugby club team are outweighed by the friendships between its team members. “The guys I play with and the fun of the sport make every hour of work worth it,” Allare said. The team consists of approximately 50 students who practice year round and play non-divisional games in the fall and the College Division IA in the spring. Allare said the practices and games are often demanding. “Rugby is not a small commitment,” he said. “The physical toll alone is huge, not to mention the countless hours on the field and in the weight room that [the sport] requires to play at a high level.” Junior Ryan Mitchell agreed that one of the biggest challenges of the sport is recovering from a game. “Everyone on the field just takes a beating, so it’s really hard to get up the next morning when you can’t walk,” he said. The team has a busy practice schedule during the week and plays games on Fridays or Saturdays. “We practice three times a week with a workout on Tuesday and then a yoga session on Thursday,” Mitchell said. “Although we have something going on every day, people miss practice due to class work occasionally, and the coaches understand.” Because the team’s intercollegiate season occurs in the spring, junior David Penberthy said the commitment will increase next semester. “Last year, we came back a week early from Winter Break and stayed on campus for Spring Break to make sure we were sharp,” he said. Penberthy said the team has been performing well in recent years. “Since our coach, Sean O’Leary, got here four years ago, we’ve been on quite a rise,” he said. “We started out in Division II and have made our way up to Division IA, the highest level of college rugby.” Last year the team had a 3-3 record, beating LSU, Ohio State and Tennessee. The team is 0-2 this season, with losses to Davenport and Air Force. “This year may be more of a challenge because we lost 16 seniors and are breaking in a multitude of freshmen and new players,” Penberthy said. Allare, who joined the team in August, said the unfamiliar rules are the greatest struggle of learning the sport. “Rugby is great because it is an easy sport to pick up, but there’s still a lot of rules that I’m sure I break every time I play,” he said. “I’m not too worried though because I’ve only been playing the sport for six weeks.” Despite the challenges, Allare said joining the team was the best decision he has made since he has been at Notre Dame. “I can’t tell you how happy I am that I decided to join the team,” he said. “I just started playing, and I already am great friends with the entire team.” Mitchell agreed that the most rewarding aspect of rugby is meeting new people. “You meet kids that aren’t in your dorm or your classes,” he said. “It’s a different group of guys.” Allare said the team has already improved an incredible amount over the past few weeks. “We play with a lot of heart and passion and we know that’s what is going to get us some huge wins in the end,” he said.
A Mass of Remembrance for the two Notre Dame students who died in a swimming team bus accident 20 years ago will take place today at 8 p.m. in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. University President Fr. John Jenkins will preside over the Mass and University President Emeritus Fr. Edward “Monk” Malloy will deliver the homily. Twenty years ago today, a bus was bringing the Irish women’s swimming team back to campus from a meet at Northwestern University in the middle of a heavy snowstorm when it slid off the Indiana Toll Road and rolled over. Freshmen Meghan Beeler of Granger, Ind., and Colleen Hipp from St. Louis, died in the accident. Many of the other swimmers, coaches and staff were injured, according to a University press release. The press release stated that today’s Mass will be held in memory of Beeler and Hipp, in thanksgiving for healing and in appreciation to members of the University and local communities who responded to the accident.
South African Ambassador to the United States and anti-apartheid leader Ebrahim Rasool presented the 20th annual Hesburgh Lecture in Ethics and Public Policy on Tuesday, in which he detailed Nelson Mandela’s legacy on South African and global state building and peacemaking.The lecture, titled “Relic of the Past or Template for the Future: Nelson Mandela’s Impact on Peacemaking and Statecraft in the 21st Century,” featured both Rasool’s personal reflections on his friend and colleague Nelson Mandela and a broader explanation of his significance to peace movements around the world.Rasool said Mandela captivated the world with his strong yet peaceful leadership, an attribute rarely seen in the world today.“[Mandela] captured the global imagination for his unyielding sacrifice, indomitable spirit, consistent dignity and remarkable generosity,” he said. “Most of all, the world saw in him leadership that was principled yet pragmatic, firm yet flexible, decisive yet popular.”It would be easy to forget the impassioned and strenuous service Mandela performed, Rasool said, but those who wish to continue building peace and progress will look to Mandela and his legacy as a model.“The people who yearn for something better are the ones who see Nelson Mandela as a template for the future,” Rasool said. “They look at his words, spoken when facing a death sentence when having no prospect of emerging from prison, when leading a risky negotiating process, when assuming the presidency of a fundamentally flawed country, when launching a constitution that directed a nation to its highest ideals which it had not yet discovered … From his words, they extract a template for peacemaking and statecraft for this very troubled world in the 21st century.”Rasool said Mandela’s legacy can serve as a basis for future movements because of the way in which he learned to develop peaceful and dignified relations.“What makes Nelson Mandela a template for the future is precisely that his leadership is … hard-won,” he said. “In his self-deprecating ways, he tells stories of learning to overcome prejudice, controlling his anger, disciplining his soul and embracing the counter-instinctive. Certainly what he teaches us is that courage is learned.”The simple dictum of “firmness of principle and flexibility of tactics,” which Rasool said Mandela lived by, allowed the South African people to recognize the system in which they lived caused the evil they experienced.“It’s because we recognized our enemy as a system that we could then embrace white people even as integral in the anti-apartheid struggle,” Rasool said. “There was no predisposition against the capacity of white people to be good and the possibility of black people to betray a vision of freedom.“The struggle against apartheid was therefore both a struggle against an evil system as well as a struggle for the redemption of people.”Rasool said people today must not lose sight of the struggle Mandela led or grow complacent because of the progress he made. It is up to present and future generations, he said, to carry on Mandela’s legacy.“We must fear so much today the lynchings of the south or the bullets of Sharpeville, but we must fear the deadening of our consciousness and its intended complacency that tells us that our struggle is over and a post-racial dawn has arrived because Nelson Mandela once strode the Union Buildings and Barack Obama occupies the White House,” he said.“The long walk to freedom is not over. In words of Nelson Mandela, more hills are waiting to be climbed. He is not here to light the path with his courage, but we are here. We must continue the long walk until we have won a world that is more equal, where women are respected, where the stranger is not ‘otherized’ and where our young can dream again.”Tags: anti-apartheid leader, ebrahim rasool, hesburgh lecture in ethics and public policy, nelson mandela, south africa, south african ambassador
This weekend, the midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy will travel to Notre Dame for the 89th meeting of the Notre Dame and Navy football programs, and the game will begin with a rare flyover.The theme for this football weekend is military appreciation, director of operations and assistant professor of Naval Science Major Regan Jones said. He said the theme is especially significant given the storied relationship between the Naval Academy and Notre Dame.“In the ’40s … World War II kicked off and all the fighting-age men — at the time Notre Dame was an all-male institution — went to war,” Jones said. “Notre Dame was really in a financial crisis and one of the things that saved the University was the fact that the U.S. Navy … set up an officer training program at Notre Dame, … where thousands of young men were trained and commissioned as officers in the Navy.“That injection of money basically saved Notre Dame and kept them from going bankrupt.”Observer File Photo Though the U.S. Navy only authorizes 40 flyovers per year due to budget constraints, Notre Dame will have its second flyover of the season for the game on Saturday, Jones said. He said he thinks the reason Notre Dame was authorized a second flyover is because of the historic relationship between Notre Dame and Navy.The pilots who will complete the flyover are from two different squadrons out of Norfolk, Virginia, and will be flying four twin-engine fighter jets known as Super Hornets in a diamond shape over the stadium. Jones said the pilots will receive recognition at halftime and Notre Dame ROTC students will have the chance to meet them on Sunday.The University is also bringing in Wounded Warriors and several alumni to campus for recognition, Jones said. He said the military appreciation theme will extend into Friday’s pep rally as well.“The idea was Notre Dame has always been very supportive of the ROTC, especially the military, and if we created [a] military appreciation event for the football game, it would serve as an opportunity not only for the University to recognize all the accomplishments of Notre Dame alumni that have served [and] Wounded Warriors, but just service people in general,” Jones said. “[It would] serve as an opportunity to also leverage national assets like the military flyover to get other military-type things onto campus for one particular day of the year.”Jones said the planning of the weekend has been a team effort. The band, the Athletic Department, Game Day Operations and the ushers have all been supportive of and excited about the weekend and what it stands for, he said.Nate Stone, senior and Navy ROTC student, said this weekend is very exciting for ROTC students too.“I’m always excited by this game because it gives us an opportunity to interact with Academy midshipmen who will one day be our colleagues,” Stone said. “We’re really honored to have them here and also excited.”Tags: flyover, Football Friday Feature, Navy
The University fired the employee at the center of a recently filed lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and racial discrimination, according to a letter released Monday by the law firm representing the student who filed the suit.The names of the student and the now-former employee, an academic coach, were redacted in the letter originally sent to the student by the University’s Office of Institutional Equity and dated Oct. 16.The suit, filed Friday in St. Joseph County Circuit Court, alleges a white University employee — “Jane Roe” — coerced the plaintiff — “John Doe,” an African-American student at the University — into a sexual relationship with her daughter, who attends a “nearby school” and is also an employee of the University. The suit also alleges University administrators knew about the misconduct and, under Title VI and Title IX, had a responsibility to intervene for the student’s wellbeing, which was compromised by a racially and sexually hostile environment.The letter from Karrah Miller, director of the Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX Coordinator, stated that the University determined the academic coach’s behavior “violated the University’s values and the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy. As a result [Academic Coach] was terminated from employment with the University. [Daughter] was not found to be in violation of any University policy.”According to the letter, the investigation used the “preponderance of evidence” standard to determine the University’s course of action against the employee.“A ‘preponderance of evidence’ standard means that it is more likely than not that the event occurred (i.e., that there is a 51 percent chance the event occurred.) This is the standard of proof required by the Office of Civil Rights (a division of the Department of Education) in Title IX (i.e., sexual harassment) investigations,” the letter stated.Notre Dame’s vice president for public affairs and communications Paul Browne said Friday the University is aware of the suit but denies all allegations of misconduct on the part of the University.“The allegations against the University of Notre Dame in the complaint are unfounded, as are gratuitous and unfounded references to ‘student athletes’ — an allegation that is nothing more than a cynical attempt to attract publicity,” Browne said in a statement.Tags: racial discrimination, Sexual harassment, University Lawsuit
La Fuerza, the Latina cultural club at Saint Mary’s, began its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month with a kick-off event Thursday. It will continue to observe the month over the next several weeks with a series of events, closing Hispanic Heritage month with a celebration of Hispanic culture, the organization’s president Roxana Martinez said. “This month we are hoping to have our first celebration dinner, just kind of celebrating Hispanic Heritage month,” Martinez said. Although they are still in the process of finalizing plans, Martinez hopes to have Sam Centellas, executive director of La Casa De Amistad, speak at the dinner. “We think that would be a great connection and bridge towards the community and vice versa,” Martinez said.Centellas advocates on behalf of the Hispanic community in South Bend, Martinez said. Courtesy of Genesis Vasquez Students participate in the guacamole making contest at an event, hosted by Saint Mary’s Latina culture club, La Fuerza, marking the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. Tyler Davis, standing to the far-right, won the contest.“Especially right now in such difficult times, he is doing a lot of promotion for the Latina community and advocating for the DACA students,” Martinez said. “He is a member of our community that I think really embodies celebrating Hispanic culture and celebrating who you are as a Hispanic person in the United States.” In previous years, La Fuerza has put on several Hispanic Heritage Month events. However, Martinez said this year they put all of their energy into the Kick-Off and celebration dinner.“Last year we tried to do a lot, and our quality was not as great,” Martinez said. “So then this year, we are definitely focusing on quality over quantity. In the past we have done a few more events for Hispanic Heritage month, but this year we are focusing on doing a quality or better event.”Martinez said this dinner is important to the club because it allows them to recognize their individual cultures and diversity. “It’s just important to celebrate every culture that the United States embodies,” Martinez said. “Because, the United States was at one point a melting pot … And I feel like now a lot of the cultures are not as identifiable. And I feel like it’s time that we start celebrating our histories, our ancestors, our cultures because that’s what makes us who we are.” Martinez said that she believes that the political climate — and specifically the debate surrounding DACA — makes Hispanic Heritage month even more important. “In a way for me, it just makes me even more proud of who I am and where I come from and who my parents are,” Martinez said. “You see the DACA students, they are struggling firsthand what my parents did, what other people’s grandparents did … I think Hispanic Heritage Month for them is a unifying feeling.”Hispanic Heritage Month also allows students to come together and see there are many others that share their cultural background, Martinez said.“You definitely appreciate Hispanic Heritage month because you realize it’s not ‘you’ anymore, it’s a lot of ‘you’s,’” Martinez said.Martinez hopes that bringing Hispanic Heritage Month will allow students to gain a better appreciation of the Hispanic community. “There’s so much more, even as a Latina person that I can learn, and I feel that definitely showcasing that to the students here and the community at Saint Mary’s is a way for them to appreciate it,” Martinez said. “Appreciating it and learning what makes us unique and what makes us different is a way of loving each other, and I feel like that’s something that our school definitely embodies.”Tags: Hispanic Heritage Month, La Casa de Amistad, La Fuerza
Community CommitteeCommunity Committee chair and sophomore Maria Bruno works to promote what it means to be a Belle by encouraging students to participate as much as possible in a variety of events — not just those on the Saint Mary’s campus, but in the greater tri-campus community. In the future, the committee plans to improve event publicity within the community by encouraging more advertising across the three campuses. Additionally, it plans to foster a sense of community at Saint Mary’s by hosting a letter-writing event where students can write thank-you notes to faculty and staff, as well as welcome letters to newly accepted students. While the group has made efforts to bring students at Saint Mary’s closer together, it could take more initiative in its event planning.Grade: B Food Services CommitteeFood services committee chair and sophomore Giavanna Paradiso said the committee has had multiple meetings this year with Saint Mary’s dining general manager Ken Acosta. Working with Acosta, the committee has implemented small changes to the dining hall’s menu, such as adding marinated chicken on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a refrigerator featuring gluten-free options. The committee also arranged Food Week, which brought a cake decorating contest, a trail mix bar and an ice cream sundae bar to campus. Paradiso said the committee has plans to make Food Week an annual tradition. The committee also aspires to add more off-campus options for Munch Money and incorporate more student recipes from home in the dining hall, she added. Though the committee has made a few changes to improve dining at Saint Mary’s, it has yet to make any sweeping improvements.Grade: B+ SOPHIA Oversight CommitteeThe SOPHIA Oversight Committee — which changed its name this semester from the SOPHIA Curriculum Committee — allows students to provide suggestions about how the SOPHIA program is implemented. The program has and will still be the core of Saint Mary’s Liberal Arts education — it works toward improving the Saint Mary’s educational experience. The SOPHIA program is not perfect, and the committee has not done many tangible things to improve the program this semester. However, the group is in regular communication with the Saint Mary’s administration and looks forward to identifying issues with the program and rising to reform them. The committee honors the SOPHIA program’s focus on a complete and liberal education and believes that this innately benefits every Saint Mary’s student, neglecting to address the program’s faults.Grade: C+ Mission CommitteeJuniors Terra Nelson and Anna Zappa co-chair the mission committee. They act as liaisons between Campus Ministry, vice president of mission Judy Fean and SGA, while working to increase student connection with the Sisters of the Holy Cross to promote Saint Mary’s core values. Their biggest accomplishment of the semester was establishing a weekly “Lemonade and Le Mans” Mass, which helped increase weekly Mass attendance, drawing an average of 25 attendees each Wednesday. The committee is also in the process of confirming details for a class ring blessing Mass. In addition, it is working to plan a heritage tea at Reidinger House in the spring. While the group has been active this semester, it has yet to execute any substantial plans to further the College’s mission.Grade: B- Big Belle, Little Belle CommitteeThe Big Belle, Little Belle Committee helps freshmen form relationships with juniors. “The relationship between the pairs is to have a mentorship, sister, friendship,” said Moira LeMay, chair of Big Belle, Little Belle. “The committee hopes to encourage belles across classes to interact and build a strong community at Saint Mary’s.” LeMay said Big Belle, Little Belle is currently working to allow transfer students to participate in the program. Big Belle, Little Belle organizes several events each year for big and little Belles alike. Although most of the events are intended for junior and first-year pairs, LeMay said former Big and Little Belles are welcome at activities and events. Overall, Big Belle, Little Belle has done its best to continue programs from previous years. One of its biggest goals has been finding ways to incorporate transfer students, and although they haven’t figured out a set overall plan, they’re working on it.Grade: B Dominique DeMoe | The Observer Tags: 2018 Student Government Insider, Corcoran-Ogden, Saint Mary’s Student Government Association Market and Media CommitteeThe market and media committee did not respond to multiple requests for comment. However, the aim of the committee is to keep students aware of events happening around campus in clubs, departments and other organizations. Additionally, the group aspires to strengthen the connection between the SGA, its executives and the student body. It typically uses social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to engage with students and publicize SGA events. However, while the committee does important work, it has failed to make any major strides this year.Grade: C Sustainability CommitteeThe sustainability committee is led by juniors Courtney Kroschel and Kassidy Jungles. The pair has worked to represent student sustainability interests at faculty meetings throughout the semester. Establishing more opportunities for recycling on campus was one of the committee’s main goals this year. To do so, they have installed recycling bins in the Cushwa-Leighton Library and other places on campus. Next semester, the committee plans to spearhead a campaign to educate students on responsible recycling. The group has also expressed interest in providing more composting bins at Saint Mary’s, including bringing composting to the dining hall. Overall, the sustainability committee is completing the goals that they set forth for themselves in a timely fashion — however, the committee could take much broader steps to make Saint Mary’s environmentally friendly.Grade: B
Tags: Center for Social Concerns, Dahnke Ballroom, service The Center for Social Concerns (CSC) hosted its annual Social Concerns Fair at the Dahnke Ballroom from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. At the fair, many non-for-profit organizations and student-run clubs had the chance to present their activities to students and other visitors.The fair consisted of clubs with different social service aims such as tutoring, health care and service and student government, among others. The representatives of these clubs were mainly students and officials who expressed excitement to share the opportunities available for the students.One such group was the Friends of St. Joseph County Parks. This group is a not-for-profit organization which helps preservation of parks’ biodiversity and the organization of outdoor activities in its facilities. There are four main parks preserved by this organization, but the closest park to Notre Dame is St. Patrick County Park.According to the group’s representative, students can participate in a range of winter activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and winter tubing at the park. At Bendix Woods Park, which is approximately 15 miles away from Notre Dame, the Tapping Day is celebrated on Feb. 15. At this event, visitors tap the Bendix Woods Sugar Bush and make fresh maple syrup.The Boys and Girls Club of St. Joseph Country is another not-for-profit organization which helps young children to reach their full potential and productivity, said Andrea McCollester, who represented the group at the fair.“We try to expose children to a lot of different things which they might be interested in,” she said. “We try to lift up kids by trying to realize their potential and be the best version of themselves.”According to her, it is very easy to go from Notre Dame to the organization, which is located on Sample Street. There is a South Bend city bus stop on Eddy Street which stops very close to the organization.This fair is an opportunity for students who want to engage with the community and help others in need. Michael Hawley, a freshman at Notre Dame, said students should volunteer into these organization as it is a great way to help the local community.“There is an abundance of opportunities in South Bend area and they all look very interesting,” Hawley said.Another student, freshman Tanner Condon who studies at the Mendoza College of Business, said the education he has received at Notre Dame has encouraged him to help others.“Here they teach you to strive for goodness through business, and I wanted to come up here to see how can I serve to the community,” Condon said.Shannon Gibson, a freshman, said she is looking forward to this opportunity to meet with local community groups and learn more about them and their work. Gibson and her friends were very excited about the CSC fair, which offers the students a lot of different opportunities to help them develop. They are looking forward to future events as they seek to strengthen their bond to the community.“I want to get more involved in the local community,” Gibson said. “In that way I can offer my help in improving the community, which is very important to me.”