Student body president Catherine Soler and vice president Andrew Bell asked the Student Senate for ideas on how to better relations between Notre Dame and the South Bend community and for feedback on the beND campaign. The beND campaign is designed to “unify all our University relations and off-campus efforts,” Soler said. The campaign will focus on campus safety, good neighbor relations and community engagement, Soler said. “At the forefront of our community relations and our efforts with law enforcement, we are up front about the fact that this is in no way an attempt to make underage drinking legal,” Soler said. “As student leaders, we try to improve things that are going to be productive in the long run.” “People want specifics about what their rights are when they are dealing with police,” Breen-Phillips senator Erin Burke said. “They want to know what the truth is.” Siegfried senator Kevin McDermott suggested voter registration efforts on campus through the Center for Social Concerns should branch out to off campus students to promote responsible citizenship. “I did read the Good Neighbor Guide recently and thought it was really well put together,” Carroll Hall senator John Sanders said. “But the alcohol section that seems to be so important right now was just a few paragraphs so maybe it needs an addendum.” More prominent information about Transpo will also educate students about their options off campus and how to safely travel through South Bend, Off Campus Concerns Committee chair Emily LeStrange said. The offcampus.nd.edu website also presents students living both on and off campus with resources about the South Bend community, LeStrange said. Committee chairs in the Senate meeting also reported brief plans for their projects outside of beND during the upcoming year. “Our goal for social concerns this year is to clarify service opportunities on campus for students,” Social Concerns chair Patrick McCormick said. Service opportunities abound for students at Notre Dame but many students have complained they do not know where to find clear information about these needs, he said. McCormick said the Social Concerns Committee will collaborate with web design students to create serve.nd.edu, a “clearing house” for all possible service opportunities on campus. Multicultural commissioner Brigitte Githinji said her plans for the year include the creation of a diversity certificate to prompt students to choose courses intended to broaden their worldview. “We are also working on a possible lecture series to show the importance of diversity for years after Notre Dame and especially in the workplace,” Githinji said. Pangborn senator Tierney Roche said members of her dorm thought security in student parking lots needed more attention after several girls experienced car break-ins. The University Affairs Committee would investigate this problem further, committee chair Chase Riddle said. Soler and Bell encouraged the senate to represent the concerns of students as “the elected voice” of their dorms and continue to bring forward campus concerns as the meetings progressed.
Immaculata Law Firm and Julius Capital founder Michael Schierl, a leader in the Catholic financial community, presented his vision for an ambitious Catholic financial system and community on Friday at the Mendoza College of Business.As part of Mendoza’s Ten Years Hence lecture series, Schierl’s lecture focused on his plans and vision to create a self-funded Catholic community capable of implementation on a national level. Schierl said this system is based off the Marytown community model first implemented by Saint Maximilian Kolbe.“In 10 years, we hope to do something enormous for the Catholic Church in the area of impact investing,” he said. “The simple goal we’ve taken upon ourselves is to build a new Catholic financial ecosystem.”With the intent to integrate more than 186 dioceses across the nation, Schierl said he hopes to establish a community that integrates senior citizens and parishes in the process.He said he hopes the project, which requires over $1 billion in Catholic impact bonds and $10 million in campus investment for parishes and dioceses, will create a financial model that can generate funding for high-impact projects in the Catholic Church.In order for the project to become a scalable and replicable model, Schierl said the project needs to overturn the “scarcity paradigm” that prevented dioceses and Catholic nonprofits from generating usable capital for high-impact projects. Schierl said he looks to Mary, as well as biblical stories such as that of the five loaves and the fish, as models for a new paradigm grounded in Catholic principle.“In order to adopt this goal, we’re going to have to develop a ‘mission possible’ mentality,” he said.The key to this funding paradigm is issuing bonds and bond structures, which Schierl said include Catholic taxable bonds and conduit mortgage bonds through parishes and dioceses.“Catholic taxable bonds are bonds that can provide funding to religious projects and follow Catholic principles, as opposed to tax-exempt bonds, which present limitations for funding parishes and other religious institutions,” he said.Schierl said issuing these kinds of bonds requires taking advantage of the “Catholic municipality opportunity,” which involves taking advantage of the taxing power of Catholic dioceses and nonprofits to issue taxable bonds.“What we have is a secured bond immunizing bond holders from diocese bankruptcy risk. We have a flexible instrument that can be invested in anything,” Schierl said. “[Catholic taxable bonds] are secure; they’re flexible; they’re faithful. By doing a master indenture over the diocese and having the blessing of the bishop or the organization that’s sponsoring it, we can ensure that every loan is faithful to the Catholic tradition and doesn’t have anything contrary to canon law.”Another fundamental component of this Catholic financial ecosystem is the incorporation of the “flex endowment campaign,” which Schierl said allows donors to purchase certain types of donor-friendly bonds in order to buy up a lot of death benefit on life policies.Schierl said the flex endowment campaign model improves on traditional models by ensuring donors can see the results of their donations, such as parish donations, during their lifetimes and create and insure more usable capital for high-impact projects.The dioceses of Lexington and Phoenix are types of structures that have expanded lending capacity and created more funding opportunities for these dioceses, Schierl said.“We’re going to need a whole new breed of Catholic institutions and foundations who are audaciously brave enough to invest in our Catholic impact bonds,” he said. “Rather than a watered down socially acceptable investment screening, why not have a peer play investment opportunity directly in the building of the church?”Tags: Immaculata Law Firm, Julius Capital, mendoza college of business, Michael Schierl, Ten Years Hence
Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees re-elected University President Fr. John Jenkins to a fourth five-year term as the University’s president, the University announced in a Friday news release. The Board made its decision at its fall meeting, which took place on campus. Jenkins was originally elected to the post in 2005.In the release, board chair John Brennan praised Jenkins’ leadership of the University.“Like the 16 Holy Cross priests before him, Fr. Jenkins has led the University of Notre Dame with ultimate distinction,” Brennan said. “His insight, wisdom and steady hand have allowed Notre Dame to expand its research portfolio, grow globally and continue to provide an undergraduate education of the first rank, all in concert with our Catholic mission.” Emily McConville | The Observer University President Fr. John Jenkins addresses the media at a press conference in 2015 in the Morris Inn.Jenkins expressed gratitude to have received the Board’s support and saluted the Notre Dame community for its efforts to be a positive force in the world.“I am honored by the confidence the Trustees have shown to me, and I am appreciative of the many ways in which they, my colleagues in administration, the faculty, our staff, our students, my Holy Cross brothers and all who make up the Notre Dame family work in tandem to make this University a force for good,” Jenkins said in the release. “It has been a singular honor to serve as president for the past 15 years. I look forward to our accomplishing still more in the future.”Some highlights of Jenkins’ tenure include improving the University’s faculty, student and research capabilities. Last year, the school attracted $180 million of outside research money, the release said. Notre Dame has also deepened its ties to South Bend through efforts such as the construction of the Eddy Street Commons, the expansion of the IDEA Center and support for the Robinson Community Learning Center, among others.Jenkins’s time as president has seen the construction of many new campus buildings, notably the 770,000-square-foot Campus Crossroads Project. The school has also worked to increase its diversity and financial aid resources, the release said.Jenkins said none of these accomplishments would have been possible without the continued support of the Notre Dame community.“[It] would not be possible without outstanding students and faculty, the skill and dedication of our executive team, the guidance of our Trustees, along with their generosity and that of alumni and other friends, as well as the careful stewardship of our resources,” he said in the release.Trained as a philosopher, Jenkins has been a member of Notre Dame’s Department of Philosophy since 1990. Before serving as president, he held roles as the University’s vice president and associate provost. He has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2010 and has served on the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates since 2011. He served on the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities’ board of directors from 2006-2012.He has received several awards, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the American Irish Historical Society’s Gold Medal and the Spirit of Francis National Award. He has honorary degrees from Benedictine College, the University of San Francisco and Aquinas College.Tags: Board of Trustees, re-election, University President Fr. John Jenkins
The third senate meeting of the academic year convened via Zoom Thursday evening to discuss the current state of Notre Dame affairs.The session began with a reminder from senior student body vice president Sarah Galbenski. “I know that folks might be experiencing a little bit of extra mental health stress right now,” Galbenski said. “Given the state of the pandemic, given the state of racial injustice in our country. I just really want to be cognizant of that. I know y’all might be coming into this meeting carrying that and that we are here to be listening ears and here for each other.”The first announcement was spearheaded by senior student body president Rachel Ingal, talking about the executives meeting with local law enforcement. Earlier this week Ingal, Galbenski and senior chief of staff Aaron Benavides met with local law enforcement as part of a constitutionally mandated gathering. In large part they talked with the law enforcement officers about racial justice issues pertaining to the police. Discussing the advisory board with Black student leaders, and student leaders of color to create a committee that provides some oversight to NDPD. They also talked with local law enforcement about their efforts to curb racial bias in their practices. Some of the efforts by the local law enforcement include: racial bias training they put their officers through this summer, national consulting agencies to do audits, deescalation techniques and new use of force policies. Benavides updated the senate on the COVID-19 dashboard which was a large topic of the last meeting. Benavides explained the dashboard would be updated to include more data and a further breakdown of the data, as well as the addition of active versus recovered cases to the dashboard in the coming days. Next, senior Club Coordination Council (CCC) president, Ricardo Ponas Garza asked whether there would be a possibility of quarantine room availability being allowed in the dashboard counts. Ingal said the quarantine units are not a set cap, but rather a flexible situation, so there isn’t a set limit on how many beds there are. The next item brought up to discussion was Elections Committee nominations. The Elections Committee are the judges of Notre Dame student government — they are there to review all allegations of potential election misconduct. After an application and interview process junior Judicial Council president Matthew Bisner and sophomore vice president of elections, David Haungs presented a group of 11 students to the senate. There was a slight push back on the nomination for Elizabeth Heldt by senior Dillion Hall senator Michael Dugan, because one of the clubs listed on her nomination sheet was no longer a club. Dugan wondered if there was further proof of her being active on campus beyond that organization which was no longer listed. However, these concerns were swept aside as there was a decisive vote to approve all 11 nominations. A main topic of discussion was Resolution SS 2021-14 brought forward by Walsh Hall senator Grace Franco, McGlinn Hall senator Elaine Teeters, and Zahm House senator Henry Bates, and director of Health and Well-Being, Grace Dean, to emphasize and expand mental health resources on campus. The resolution specifically focused on mitigating the effects COVID-19 is having mental health wise in the community. When speaking about communication with the administration when regarding the issues of mental health on campus Dean said, “this resolution is really important from a student perspective to make sure that as student leaders we are formally declaring our concerns in writing.” The resolution passed through the senate. Resolution SS 2021-15 was presented by Dugan and sophomore Keough Hall senator, Benjamin Erhardt. This resolution touched on the COVID-19 pandemic — its main attempt was to push students to act more mindfully and for administration to be more transparent, and safe in actions it took going forward. The resolution passed through the senate. Tags: elections committe, health and well being, Senate
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) Stock Image.ALBANY — New York state will wait until April 1 to penalize stores that violate a new ban on single-use plastic bags that is embroiled in litigation, the state’s top environmental official said Friday.New York will officially prohibit stores from handing out most thin plastic bags starting Sunday. But state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said Friday that the state has agreed to delay enforcement as it fights a lawsuit in Albany County court, lodged by a manufacturer of plastic bags and by convenience store owners who call the ban unconstitutional.An association of 6,000 convenience store owners statewide opposes the state’s efforts to allow stores to hand out only thick, reusable plastic bags that the industry says it can’t yet produce.“We have consistently said since the beginning of our outreach campaign that we will focus on education rather than enforcement and today does not change that,” Seggos said. The state has planned to enforce the ban by issuing a warning to retailers who violate the law for the first time. Retailers could eventually face a $250 fine for a subsequent violation, and a $500 fine for violations in the same calendar year.New York’s ban has also drawn criticism from environmental groups who don’t want New York to allow any plastic bags at all.The law passed last April bars many types of businesses from using the thin plastic bags that have been clogging up landfills, getting tangled in trees and accumulating in lakes and seas. Single-use paper bags will still be allowed, but counties have the option of imposing a 5-cent fee.New York’s ban exempts bags used for restaurant takeout food, plastic bags used to wrap meat, and bags used for prepared food.State environmental officials are encouraging New Yorkers to start using reusable bags often made out of canvas or polyester. The state said it has purchased over a quarter-million reusable bags to give out to food pantries and shelters.
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) Photo: PixabayALBANY — Nursing homes in New York must immediately report how they’ve complied with regulations for resident care during the coronavirus, and non-compliant facilities could face hefty fines or lose their licenses, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.Cuomo said the state Department of Health and state Attorney General Letitia James’ office would be investigating to see how nursing homes are meeting regulations including alerting all residents and their family members of coronavirus cases and fatalities.The state’s tally of deaths of nursing home residents rose to 2,902 and adult care facilities reported 638 deaths. That was 22 percent of the state death toll.Nursing homes also must separate, isolate or transfer certain residents with COVID-19 and provide personal protective equipment to staff. Cuomo said state health officials will inspect non-compliant facilities, which could have to submit an action plan and potentially face $10,000 fines per violation or lose their license.A dozen nursing homes have reported at least 30 deaths. But such numbers are an undercount, with some nursing homes only reporting presumed or confirmed deaths.
Image by Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.ALBANY – New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that summer school throughout the state will be conducted through distance learning this year. Cuomo says meal programs and child care services for essential employees will continue. In addition, Cuomo says it’s too early to make a determination for schools for the fall semester.The Governor, however, says New York State will issue guidelines in June for schools and colleges to plan ahead. Plans are to be submitted for approval to the state in July. 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)
WNY News Now Image.MAYVILLE – The Chautauqua County DMV has launched an online system for booking appointments.County Clerk Larry Barmore says appointment blocks are set at 15 minute and 30 minute intervals depending upon the transaction type.He says customers should arrive 15 minutes before their appointment and will need to wear a mask and practice social distancing.“Any transactions not listed, such as registration renewals, are to be done by drop box or U.S. Mail as these transactions are not time sensitive,” explained Barmore. “Automobile dealer transactions should be placed in the drop box.” The Clerk says dropbox transactions will be processed in a timely fashion.To register for an appointment click here.Barmore says DMV offices will be open from 8:30 am thru 4:30 pm until further notice. Locations are currently closed as staff work to catch-up on backlogged work. The three county locations are expected to reopen next Monday.Additionally, at this time, only Chautauqua County residents will be processed at county DMV offices. 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)
Pixabay Stock Image.ALBANY – The American Heart Association is asking state leaders to increase taxes on cigarettes across New York.Advocates want a tax hike on cigarettes and other tobacco products to be included in the 2021 executive budget. Those in favor say it’s been 10 years since the last tax increase, and with the increase in e-cigarette use it’s time to raise that price tag again.They’re calling for an increase of $1 per pack of cigarettes. They say this would hopefully result in 61,800 New York state adults quitting smoking and prevent 29,500 youths in the state from becoming smokers.Aside from this, the $1 tax hike would bring $30.4 million in new annual revenue. According to the American Health Association smoking remains the leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke. 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)
Directed and co-written by Jack Plotnick and starring co-creator and co-writer Seth Rudetsky, Disaster! is set on a summer night in Manhattan in 1979 and follows a group of NYC A-listers who party at the grand opening of a floating casino/disco—until disaster strikes. Earthquakes, tidal waves, infernos, killer bees, rats, sharks and piranhas all threaten the guests, who sing some of the biggest hits of the ‘70s, including “Hot Stuff,” “I Am Woman,” “Knock on Wood” and more. View Comments Along with Rudetsky, the cast of Disaster! currently includes Max Crumm, Charity Dawson, Matt Farcher, Tom Riis Farrell, Judy Gold, David Hibbard, Sarah Litzsinger, Maggie McDowell, Jennifer Simard, Jonah Verdon, Sherz Aletaha, Kristy Cavenaugh and Saum Eskandani. Disaster! Related Shows This news is a…well, you know. Disaster!, the musical comedy based on cult favorite disaster movies from the 1970s, will pack up and take to the storm shelters on April 11. The show, which began performances on October 14 of last year, will have played 11 previews and 86 performances at off-Broadway’s St. Luke’s Theatre at time of closing. Show Closed This production ended its run on April 11, 2014