LOS ANGELES (AP) — A fed up federal judge in California says last week’s rainstorm created extraordinarily harsh conditions for homeless residents of Los Angeles. He ordered city officials to meet with him at a Skid Row shelter to discuss how to address the worsening crisis of people living on the streets. The action involves a lawsuit accusing officials in greater Los Angeles of failing to comprehensively address the homelessness problem. The judge said during a visit downtown last week that he witnessed the impact of the wet, cold weather on homeless residents, including a woman who was naked and suffering from hypothermia.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway’s domestic security agency says a Syrian teenager has been arrested in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, on suspicion of planning an act of terror. The agency said the youth, who was arrested Thursday, was aged 16. Norwegian broadcaster The agency head who declined to tell broadcaster NRK whether the attack was planned to take place in Norway. The suspect reportedly has sympathies with the Islamic State extremist group. On Twitter, PST said the boy was to appear before a court in Oslo Friday for a custody hearing, adding the agency would request it to be held behind closed doors.
Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO), Stand Up to Cancer and Campus Ministry co-sponsored the dedication of two trees Tuesday evening in the Student Center Atrium to provide support for those affected by sexual violence, stalking, relationship violence and cancer.Connie Adams, director of BAVO, said the idea for the tree dedication originally came from a student. She said the two goals of the service aligned with core tenants of BAVO’s mission of awareness and healing.“[One goal is] to raise awareness of the issues of violence and abuse and their prevalence in our communities,” Adams said. “[The second] is to provide a space for healing for those who have been impacted to know that they aren’t alone and to break the silence which often surrounds these issues.”Adams said the dedication of the two trees held important symbolism, as each tree represents different struggles. One is for victims of sexual violence, stalking and relationship violence, and the other is for victims of cancer, she said.“Trees are a symbol of life and hope, both important aspects to an individual’s healing journey as well as our community’s commitment to prevent violence from happening,” Adams said.Director of Campus Ministry Judy Fean said the trees would provide a visual sign of support for students.“In the Student Center Atrium, they are in front of Mary, with the sign of living water to show there is hope and prayer in community,” Fean said.Adams said the tree dedication combined different areas of campus life, BAVO, Stand Up to Cancer and Campus Ministry but united them in faith.“While there are significant differences when understanding cancer and violence, hope and healing are common themes,” Adams said. “It is also common for individuals directly and indirectly impacted by cancer and violence to use their faith as a means of strength.”The Student Center Atrium is an important location for the placement of the trees, Adams said.“The placement of the trees in a prominent area on campus will increase visibility and allow more community members and visitors to participate,” Adams said.Fean said the dedication service Tuesday night included three readings that highlighted the importance of peace and support.“We gather in prayer to recognize God’s unconditional love and His healing power for all people,” Fean said. “The service [provided] a sense of peace and openness to be changed by God’s love.”During the service, students were invited to tie ribbons onto the branches in remembrance of loved ones affected by sexual violence, stalking, relationship violence and cancer, Fean said.Anyone who was unable to attend the service is still able to participate by tying a ribbon on either tree at his or her convenience, Adams said.“I encourage students, faculty, staff and alumnae unable to attend the dedication [Tuesday] evening to visit this space and tie a ribbon on the respective tree for someone impacted by violence and/or cancer,” Adams said.Tags: BAVO, Campus Ministry, cancer, saint mary’s, sexual violence, Stand Up to Cancer
Notre Dame psychology professor Anre Venter broached the issue of gender inequality in investment careers during a talk Tuesday in the Mendoza College of Business. The talk was sponsored by the Smart Women Securities ND chapter, a new club modeled after an organization at Harvard that aims to develop skills in financing and investing.Venter began his talk with an overview of his experience in the business world, which he said included nine years in human resources and management without much focus on investment banking.“I have to begin with an intellectually honest statement. I know almost nothing about behavioral economics and even less about the psychology of investing,” Venter said. “However, growing up as a white South African in an extremely conservative and sexist society, I know a lot about sexism.”Acknowledging the degrees of institutionalized sexism in the workplace, Venter analyzed career prospects for women in business.“As a social psychologist, I find that environments influence behavior even more than our own personalities do,” Venter said. “Women have to be aware that the work environment is a male-dominated, patriarchal world where men are used to making the decisions.”In the field of investment banking, only 25 percent of positions are held by women, with about 11 percent in management and a mere 3 percent in the role of CEO. Discrepancies in pay are also prevalent, and Venter said women earn less directly after finishing MBA programs than equally-qualified men — as little as 79 cents to every dollar.To make sense of this inequality, Venter cited 15 studies in which participants were given money to invest in testing peoples’ aversions to risky and ambiguous investments.“In the most extreme case, men invested 80 percent of what they were given while women invested 48 percent,” he said. “The tendency holds up across the board: men took greater risks and women were more risk-averse. Women dealt with ambiguity better than men and invested more in uncertain stocks.”Despite the differences in risk-taking, Venter said women investors outperform their male counterparts by 2 to 3 percent, and the reason involves biology.“Testosterone levels are linked to irrational levels of exuberance in trading,” he said. “When men lose, they lose big.“With only 10 percent of the testosterone of men, women are less emotionally attached to their trades and less likely to hold onto bad stocks. They tend to make less on the way up but lose less on the way down.”Venter said this data could suggest a need for more women in the field of investing, even though fewer women are entering the sectors of finance and investment banking.The male-domination of the field, Venter said, may have to do with men being favored in the performance review process that determines raises and promotions.“The tendency of male reviewers to provide other men with more help, guidance and mentoring creates an ‘old boy’s club’ in which woman have a more difficult time advancing,” he said. “Women in advising roles just tend to be in less powerful positions than men.”Venter said women entering into careers in investment banking may be able to create change, but not without difficulties.“When you’re a junior-analyst, [you’re] thinking you’re going to change the system when you enter. But, five years down the road, once you’ve been socialized into it, affecting change will be that much harder,” he said.Tags: anre venter, gender inequality, human resources and management, institutionalized sexism, investment, investment banking, investment careers, mendoza college of business, psychology of investing, smart women securities ND chapter
Photo courtesy of Saint Mary’s Parents from around the country gathered at to Saint Mary’s College this weekend to visit their daughters and learn more about their academic lives during the annual Sophomore Parents’ Weekend (SPW).Sophomore class vice president Maggie Carswell said the class boards organized SPW in the past, but this year Student Affairs and Student Involvement and Multi-cultural services (SIMS) coordinated the weekend events.“It was mostly [vice president for student affairs] Karen Johnson and Student Affairs,” she said. “They helped a lot deciding to get all the faculty together to come up with all the info sessions and helped decide what would be most helpful for the parents.“They told us the game plan, and we agreed because we thought everything was important. It was more helpful because they gave us a different perspective. As students it is hard to know what your parents want to see.”Although SPW is usually held in February, Carswell said the event was moved to the fall semester to allow parents the opportunity to gain a better perspective on the process of choosing and declaring majors.“Normally our sophomore parents weekend is in the early spring, but we changed it to the fall because after I met with faculty and Academic Affairs ,we felt the information that sophomore parents needed, they needed in the fall to help their daughters prepare for the spring,” Johnson said. “Also the sophomore class is a forgotten class. Freshmen you spend a lot of time with, juniors and seniors are getting ready to graduate so we wanted to give [sophomores] a little bit more attention and help and assistance.”Friday events involved a check-in process followed by a small reception later in the evening, Johnson said. According to the Saint Mary’s SPW schedule, Saturday events included information sessions on navigating majors, succeeding during sophomore year and understanding post-graduate options. Sunday morning activities included zumba, Mass and a tour of the Heritage Room.“They’ve been in academic sessions all day and had a lunch-in, and there’s receptions [Saturday] afternoon,” she said. “A lot of our faculty is coming in for the reception so parents can meet them. Then there will be a photo booth later and a game watch party.”Sophomore class president Ellen Raymond said she was thankful to Johnson, the faculty and the SIMS office for their involvement in coordinating the weekend.“We want to thank Karen Johnson and the SIMS office,” she said. “We want to thank the faculty for coming out on a Saturday too to come talk to us. It really provided a wholesome experience to see faculty with them.”Tags: Sophomore Parents Weekend, SPW, Student Affairs
Saint Mary’s will host a service fair in the Student Center Friday between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., which will feature different organizations offering a variety of volunteer opportunities for students.The director of the Office for Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE) Erika Buhring said she started the Service Fair in the fall of 2014 to provide “an environment for students and community agencies to connect with one another.”“The primary reason a service fair was started was to draw volunteer-minded students, staff, and faculty together in order to connect them with organizations that were in need of their assistance,” she said.Janice Chung | The Observer According to Buhring, organizations that will be present at the fair include Hannah and Friends, St. Margaret’s House, She’s the First, Students Supporting Autism, the South Bend Center for the Homeless, Food Bank of Northern Indiana, Take Ten, the American Red Cross and the Jesuit Volunteer Corps among others.“Integrated within the mission of the OCSE is the notion of developing a bridge for the Saint Mary’s community to connect with the Michiana area while also fostering a sense of social responsibility towards others as they participate in civic engagement,” she said. “The Service Fair certainly promotes these ideals.” Buhring said the Service Fair differs substantially from the Involvement Fair, which was held earlier this year by the Office of Student Involvement. For one thing, she said the Service Fair is held the second week of school as opposed to the first week so that students have a chance to become familiar with their schedules before signing up for volunteer opportunities. Additionally, Buhring said the Service Fair focuses on bringing outside agencies to campus instead of exclusively promoting on-campus groups.However, she said together the Service and Involvement Fairs serve to help students become involved on campus.“The OCSE sees that the Service Fair and the Involvement Fair are complementary towards one another. By having both, individuals have the opportunity to learn about so many different types of activities and volunteer work available to them.”Buhring said the Service Fair also encourages faculty and staff as well as students to participate and find opportunities to volunteer.“This fair constructs the space for fostering conversations that in turn allow each participant to learn more about opportunities that might be a solid fit for them,” she said. “Volunteer placement success rates are increased due to interactions at the Service Fair.”Saint Mary’s stresses the importance of service and provides students with opportunities to get involved, Buhring said. She said through the Service Fair, students can conveniently learn and follow through on making connections with the community and with post-graduate organizations.“The design of the fair is to assist students in making a strong match to an opportunity that they might otherwise not be aware of,” Buhring said. “The size of the fair allows for students to be able to talk individually to the representatives from the organization, but also allows them to see the breadth of choices available to them.”Tags: saint mary’s, service, service fair
Saint Mary’s joined the United Religious Community to host an Interreligious Conference, which marks the beginning of Saint Mary’s involvement in the Interreligious Student Community.The United Religious Community (URC) is “a collaboration of a wide range of local congregations and religious communities,” religious studies professor Anita Houck said in an email.Within the URC exists a smaller group of high school and college students called the Interreligious Student Community, Robert Stockman, professor of philosophy at Indiana University–South Bend (IUSB), said in an email“[The URC] created the Interreligious Student Community to bring together local young adults interested in conversation across religious difference,” Houck said.Other efforts to promote religious discourse have taken place, such as those of Michael Birkel, professor in the Earlham School of Religion, who spoke on his book called “Quran in Conversation” last year, said Houck. Because of this event’s success, Houck applied for a grant from the Interfaith Youth Core, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to make interreligious dialogue a norm in American society, in order to host the upcoming conference.“The conference is designed to gather students and educators from multiple campuses for training and networking. These regional gatherings are an opportunity to create a core of young leaders in your region and inspire ongoing interfaith initiatives on multiple campuses,” Houck said.Houck also expressed her wish that this conference will create a conversation about different religions on campus.“The goal of the conference is to create conversation across multiple campuses, to bring people from diverse backgrounds together,” Houck said. “I hope many participants and leaders will be from Saint Mary’s; I know our students have a great deal to offer and many are really interested in learning about interfaith work.”In addition to Saint Mary’s and IUSB students, the conference is open to others interested in the Interreligious Student Community, as it is to be a regional conference, said Stockman.Ultimately, the real goal of the conference, according to Houck, is to foster a dialogue in this community.“I also think the conversation, learning and results will be richest if we emphasize collaboration across the region and bring people from multiple campuses, including some high school students and [alumni], together,” Houck said.The Interfaith Youth Core will send facilitators to run part of the conference, Stockman said.Because of the grant Houck received from the Interfaith Youth Core, the Interreligious Conference will be offered to students interested in participating at the cost of $15. Scholarships for those who cannot afford that cost will be available, Houck said.The Interreligious Conference will be held in the Saint Mary’s Student Center beginning on the afternoon of Feb. 2 and continuing to the afternoon of Feb. 3.Tags: conference, interreligious, religion
Annie Smierciak | The Observer Fans watch the Notre Dame football game against the University of Michigan in the stadium on Sept. 1. The University employs a number of strategies to enhance the game day experience for visitors.Though on a technical level the office is in charge of running the logistics of game weekends, Seamon explained that its larger role is to help present the many faces of the University to visitors.“We know people are coming for the football game. We understand that. But what Fr. John and the trustees and the leadership want to do is let Notre Dame be the best it can be and open up the University so people can experience everything from the athletic tradition, to the academic elements of it, to the faith elements and then also the social elements,” he said. “We know people come here to see a game, but we want them to experience everything good about the University.”Game Day Operations is designed to coordinate all of the necessary logistics to make sure fans walk away having had a positive experience during their visit, Seamon said.“Game Day is this office that tries to help organize that in a way to make it easier for everybody,” he said. “I would say it’s this organizing element that works with all these different divisions. Game day is such a massive operation for the University. No one office can do it by itself. It’s all these entities: it’s the athletic department, it’s student affairs, it’s the alumni association, it’s food services, it’s campus safety, it’s landscaping, it’s parking. All these elements come underneath it. We just ensure we’re all rowing in the same direction.”Planning for the season begins long before opening kickoff of the first game, Seamon said. Game Day Operations will start developing plans for year in the preceding winter.“The planning for game weeks and the home season … actually starts in January and February,” he said. “The cycle is basically that we use December and January to get all the feedback from the previous season. We all think about different initiatives and how we would change it. We do a little bit with the Blue-Gold Game in April, but by the time we get to summer, we’re really finalizing details of our offerings and how do things.”For home game weeks, staffers from various campus offices and departments gather early in the week before the game to start implementing the plans for the weekend, Seamon said.“On a home game week, on Tuesday morning, there’s probably 125 people, all leaders across the University, everything from football operations to food services to landscaping to safety to police, medical fire, we all meet to talk about the week and what we want to do and how we want to do it. Our teams work throughout the week to get it ready and to implement it,” he said.Though there is a “backbone” of plans used throughout the season, Seamon explained that plans vary from game to game. For instance, kickoff time can affect planning, as can the opponent and where that team is traveling from. Seamon cited weather as “a consistent challenge because it is so inconsistent.” About 4,000 personnel works each game day.Alison Thigpen, director of game day operations noted the importance of guest services teams in ensuring a positive experience for fans.“That’s roughly 70 individuals and they’re the ones you see across campus in the green polos or green blazers. They’re stationed strategically across campus at various posts and they’re helping guests with everything from handing out maps, to directions, to game day shades for the kids, to answering general questions about Notre Dame and welcoming,” she said. “They also drive the courtesy carts around campus, helping guests get from one spot to the other. That’s Friday and Saturday. During the game, they’re also stationed throughout both levels of the concourse and guest services booth.”Other schools have taken notice at the success of Notre Dame’s Game Day Operations. For example, the University of Georgia recently launched a game day ambassador program, SilverDawgs modelled after what Georgia fans and officials encountered at Notre Dame during the Bulldogs’ visit to South Bend a year ago.Seamon said Notre Dame is unique in the college football world, and that fact imbues a lot of meaning into the office’s work.“We hear over and over again that coming to Notre Dame for a football game is a bucket list experience. If you’re a baseball fan, you want to go to a game at Wrigley or Fenway. If you’re a race car fan you want to go to Daytona. If you’re a golf fan you want to go to Augusta or Pebble Beach,” he said. “There’s these things that if you have something in your mind that there’s something unique about there. What we’re finding out more and more is it’s a bucket list. People, regardless of if they’re cheering for Notre Dame, if it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience or they come here every game, every week, or anything in between, we want them to understand that it’s different. We’re no better or worse than any other university game day experience in the country, but we think we are distinctly unique. And that’s what we are trying to work with all our colleagues on, across campus.”Tags: Campus Safety and Event Management, Game Day Operations, gameday In a given semester, Notre Dame’s campus consists of about 8,600 undergraduate students. Nevertheless, on six Saturdays throughout the fall semester, many thousands more fans descend on campus for Notre Dame home football games. Mike Seamon, the University’s vice president or campus safety and event management, estimated that about 100,000-120,000 come to Notre Dame on a given weekend. For last weekend’s game against the University of Michigan, that number was probably closer to 150,000, he said.Coordinating the logistics for these large events is Game Day Operations, the office responsible for ensuring home game weekends proceed as smoothly as possible. University President Fr. John Jenkins established the office, which began work ahead of the 2009 football season, Seamon said.“In 2008, [Jenkins] commissioned a task force … to look at the game day experience on campus,” Seamon said. “[It was] a 17-person task force. Student body, alumni association, athletics, student affairs — they used the 2008 season to look at the Notre Dame game day experience. Then, they provided a report to Fr. Jenkins on how the University could better manage the game day experience. So that’s when Game Day Operations was born.”
Photo courtesy of Molly Giglia Notre Dame’s all-women boxing club, Baraka Bouts, begins its 2018 training with instruction on sparring. This year’s tournament will begin Wednesday.“A lot of people come in and just say that they want to kind of learn boxing and they mostly just want the workout aspect of it because we do have really great workouts,” Giglia said. “We have like two-hour practices … and the first hour is usually some sort of high-intensity bodyweight workout, and then the second half of it is all instruction.”Although participation in the annual competition is not required, Giglia said leadership of the club encourages all members to try out boxing techniques.“We really encourage people to buy into the boxing instruction part as much as possible, even if they’re not planning on competing just because that’s a really important skill to learn,” Giglia said. “I think we introduce it in an easy enough and slow enough way that a lot of people who maybe never thought that they would actually box end up wanting to do that.” Senior captain Delany Bolton has been a member of Baraka Bouts for four years and is competing in her final tournament. Bolton did not compete in boxing until she came to Notre Dame.“I heard that it was the largest women’s boxing club … and that it had a really good program,” Bolton said. “I also heard about Bengal Bouts, and so I just decided to try [Baraka Bouts] and then I absolutely fell in love with it.” With 13 brackets set for the tournament, nearly 100 women will be competing. Brackets are determined by size and weight to ensure even matchups. In order to compete in the tournament, members are expected to attend four practices a week and complete three rounds of sparring, a controlled practice environment that simulates a boxing match. Bolton said the communal nature of Baraka Bouts contributes to the success and participation in the club. “I think Baraka Bouts is really special because boxing is inherently an individual sport, and you’re focused on yourself and bettering yourself,” Bolton said. “What Baraka Bouts teaches is a way to step outside yourself and focus on the club first and the mission as well.”Each week, members of Baraka Bouts go on “fun runs,” a workout where members dress up in a theme and collect donations. Fundraising from the club benefits underprivileged schools in Uganda, such as St. Joseph’s Hill and Lake View Secondary School. Giglia spoke on the club’s current goal of raising money to build an assembly hall for Lake View. The club also hopes to continue providing scholarships to Ugandan students. As the largest all-female club on campus, Giglia said the fundraising goals resound with the female empowerment aspect of the club.“It’s that kind of idea that we’re keeping girls in school who would have been expected to start a family by now if they weren’t in school,” Giglia said. “And our role at Notre Dame as women who are given this opportunity for education is to kind of support them and we’re doing it through boxing, which is an activity that a lot of women don’t get to do.”Tags: Baraka Bouts, Holy Cross Missions, Women’s Boxing The Notre Dame Women’s Boxing Club, also known as Baraka Bouts, is making final preparations for its annual three-day tournament after two months of training and fundraising. Quarterfinal matchups take place Wednesday night in Dahnke Ballroom with the semifinals and finals taking place on Nov. 11 and Nov. 17. Tickets for all three nights are $20.Senior Molly Giglia, co-president of the club, is in her fourth year of participation in Baraka Bouts. Giglia’s responsibilities include planning the weekly workouts, an aspect of the club that is attractive to new members.
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.JAMESTOWN – The Chautauqua County’s Marine Toys For Tots launched its 2020 campaign with a virtual kick off Friday morning.Several participants, including coordinator Heather Brown, appeared on the Zoom call. Officials say this year’s event will be rather different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Brown tells WNYNewsNow that, because of the pandemic, the 2020 campaign will be key to providing some stability for children during the Christmas season.“This year, more than ever, children have been out of their routine since March 15,” Brown said. “How scary to not understand what’s going on in the world, or to have so many confusing messages or uncertainty. Hopefully the Christmas and Holiday season can anchor that back. Whatever their family dynamics may be, at least if they can have a toy under the tree on Christmas morning, give them a semblance of this isn’t going to be something their going to miss out on.” “We want Christmas to be as close to normal as it can. If we can do just a small part of that, we are honored to.”Applications for families in need start online now and will close on Dec 13th. Applications for agencies, community groups, schools start online now and will close Dec. 4. All Volunteers will sign up through “Sign up Genius.”Collection boxes will be limited at sites throughout the county.Other events include the “Non- Event”. Officials ask the public not to come to the annual Kick-Off Charity Ball. – see flyer for detailsDrive Thru Toy drop off events Saturdays in November: November 7th @ Foote Avenue Plaza November 21st @ Kirks Jewelers Fredonia November 28th @ Chautauqua MallTim Hortons Donuts & Coffee sale: Buy certificates for $10 each and redeem at Tim Hortonso COVID Survival Raffle – details to be announced soono Wholesale Bundles shipped direct – flyers availableo Amazon Wish List “Chautauqua County Toys for Tots 2020”o “Buy Local” project – details to be announces soon.o Paper Trains – businesses can accept donations and post paper trains on their wallso Donations can be made online, jamestown-ny.toysfortots.org being sure to indicate Chautauqua County. Or checks, must be made out to “Toys for Tots” and mailed to 200 Dunham Ave., JamestownCOVID Details:All NYS and CDC COVID guidelines will be strictly followed while running our local campaign. Applications will be accepted on-line only, distribution / toy pick up will be contactless drive thru ONLY.All Volunteers will be screened as per current guidelines and numbers of people in the warehouses will be limited.Officials anticipate local toy collections will be negativity impacted during the holiday season due to the pandemic.Officials expect a significant increase in families seeking assistance from Marine Toys for Tots.