ND closes for first time since 2000

first_imgNotre Dame closed Wednesday due to winter weather for the first time in 10 years. Students, faculty and staff were notified of the decision through the University’s emergency alert system around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. “Because of dangerous weather conditions, classes have been cancelled and the campus will be closed for business today,” the alert said. ” Snow Essential Personnel are asked to report to work, but to use caution.” Notre Dame last closed due to winter weather on Dec. 12, 2000, according to University spokesman Dennis Brown. Final exams were postponed for one day. Before the 2000 snow day, Notre Dame closed due to a snowstorm in January, 1997. University offices were closed Wednesday, but North and South Dining Halls, LaFortune Student Center and Reckers remained open for students. RecSports recreation facilities, including Rolfs Sports Recreation Center, Rockne Memorial and Rolfs Aquatic Center also held regular hours. Classes were also cancelled Wednesday at Saint Mary’s, where the Noble Family Dining Hall and C-Store remained open. South Bend Mayor Luecke declared a “snow emergency” at 6 a.m. Wednesday, prohibiting non-emergency traffic on all streets throughout the city. He advised residents to stay home and restrict travel. The City of South Bend lifted the “snow emergency” at 4 p.m., but parking was prohibited on snow routes until Thursday morning. “City crews have been working 24/7 to clear the snow and will continue to do so until all streets are complete,” a Wednesday afternoon media advisory from the City stated. The Associated Press reported tens of millions of people stayed home Wednesday due to the winter storm, which spread from Oklahoma to New England. Chicago, where 20.2 inches fell, experienced the most snow in the storm, which was a result of the rare clashing of two air masses, according to the Associated Press.last_img read more

Movement prompts discussion of diversity

first_imgThe meeting, titled, “Call to Action II: Will You Answer?” continued conversations begun at last year’s initial town hall meeting, Emerald Woodberry, president of the Black Student Association (BSA) said.   Woodberry and Chinelo Onyeador, president of the African Students Association (ASA) serve as co-chairs of the policy committee for the Call to Action movement.  Onyeador and Woodberry said they have created a platform aimed at increasing diversity on campus, with goals ranging from instituting mandatory hall staff diversity training with a national discrimination expert to requiring a spirit of inclusion clause to be articulated on all syllabi for courses throughout the University.   The Call to Action movement grew in response to the town hall meeting held March 4th, 2012 where the Notre Dame community shared stories of discrimination experienced on campus.   This town hall meeting was organized in response to discriminatory incidents of which the campus community was informed in a Feb. 24, 2012 email. Pieces of fried chicken were put in the BSA and ASA mailboxes, which motivated the leaders of both clubs to spearhead the creation of the incipient movement. Student body vice president Katie Rose said student government has worked closely with the Call to Action movement. “We need to recognize each student as an individual,” Rose said.  “We have all been on the fringe and we have all felt marginalized. We seek reform because we genuinely care about the students next to us in class, the people in our dorms.” Hugh Page, dean of the First Year of Studies, said his office has developed efforts attempting to develop a spirit of inclusion for freshmen from the moment they first arrive on campus.  These initiatives include the implementation of a new one-credit course aimed at increasing awareness of diversity, Page said.   “We have formulated a strategic plan of diversity in the First Year of Studies,” Page said. “Indeed, one of the twelve items on the ‘Dean’s A-list’ is ‘Take advantage of opportunities to encourage cultural competency.” Keri Kei Shibata, assistant chief of safety services of the Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) said her department has taken measures to increase awareness of discrimination and cultural differences among its staff.   “Since last year’s Call to Action, we have had a number of meetings with various student leaders, participated in an [inter-race] forum, what police are allowed to do in a situation and what your rights are when you interact with the police,” Shibata said. Onyeador and Woodberry collaborated with student government to share a video of speakers from last year’s town hall meeting.  Students at Wednesday’s meeting were asked to share experiences of discrimination on campus during the town hall meeting. Alex Coccia, student body president-elect, said he would support the Call to Action movement during his term in office. “We believe that any discriminatory actions or policies are intolerable and our duty is to make sure the dignity of each individual is respected,” Coccia.,Members of the Notre Dame community gathered Wednesday night in a town hall meeting to review the initiatives developed by the Call to Action movement on campus and to discuss the need for continuing reform. The meeting, titled, “Call to Action II: Will You Answer?” continued conversations begun at last year’s initial town hall meeting, Emerald Woodberry, president of the Black Student Association (BSA) said.   Woodberry and Chinelo Onyeador, president of the African Students Association (ASA) serve as co-chairs of the policy committee for the Call to Action movement.  Onyeador and Woodberry said they have created a platform aimed at increasing diversity on campus, with goals ranging from instituting mandatory hall staff diversity training with a national discrimination expert to requiring a spirit of inclusion clause to be articulated on all syllabi for courses throughout the University.   The Call to Action movement grew in response to the town hall meeting held March 4th, 2012 where the Notre Dame community shared stories of discrimination experienced on campus.  This town hall meeting was organized in response to discriminatory incidents of which the campus community was informed in a Feb. 24, 2012 email. Pieces of fried chicken were put in the BSA and ASA mailboxes, which motivated the leaders of both clubs to spearhead the creation of the incipient movement. Student body vice president Katie Rose said student government has worked closely with the Call to Action movement. “We need to recognize each student as an individual,” Rose said.  “We have all been on the fringe and we have all felt marginalized. We seek reform because we genuinely care about the students next to us in class, the people in our dorms.” Hugh Page, dean of the First Year of Studies, said his office has developed efforts attempting to develop a spirit of inclusion for freshmen from the moment they first arrive on campus.  These initiatives include the implementation of a new one-credit course aimed at increasing awareness of diversity, Page said.   “We have formulated a strategic plan of diversity in the First Year of Studies,” Page said. “Indeed, one of the twelve items on the ‘Dean’s A-list’ is ‘Take advantage of opportunities to encourage cultural competency.” Keri Kei Shibata, assistant chief of safety services of the Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) said her department has taken measures to increase awareness of discrimination and cultural differences among its staff.   “Since last year’s Call to Action, we have had a number of meetings with various student leaders, participated in an [inter-race] forum, what police are allowed to do in a situation and what your rights are when you interact with the police,” Shibata said. Onyeador and Woodberry collaborated with student government to share a video of speakers from last year’s town hall meeting.  Students at Wednesday’s meeting were asked to share experiences of discrimination on campus during the town hall meeting. Alex Coccia, student body president-elect, said he would support the Call to Action movement during his term in office. “We believe that any discriminatory actions or policies are intolerable and our duty is to make sure the dignity of each individual is respected,” Coccia.last_img read more

Festival highlights culture

first_imgPerformers showcased weeks of preparation Friday during the Chinese program’s fourth Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration, which featured song performances, dance performances and story-telling in the student lounge in the Coleman-Morse Center. Students taking Chinese, international students from China and students interested in the Chinese culture attended the celebration. The Chinese program, part of Notre Dame’s Department of East Asian Languages and Culture, has hosted the Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration in 2008, 2009 and 2010 but was not able to plan for it during the years 2011 and 2012. Chinese associate teaching professor Chengxu Yin said the event was a “great success” with “overwhelmingly positive” student feedback in the past. “There are two primary goals in organizing this event. First, we take advantage of this opportunity to introduce an important Chinese cultural tradition to our language students [as] we present the history of the Mid-Autumn Festival to our students,” Yin said. “As part of the celebration, we give our students the opportunity to taste moon cakes. Students give some performances in Chinese, thereby combining learning with entertainment.” “Our second goal is to provide students with an opportunity to get to know each other and all the Chinese faculty and to build a larger learning community early on in the academic year.” In an interview conducted in Chinese, assistant professional specialist Congcong Ma said the event succeeded in its goal of fostering student-teacher relationships.   “The event encouraged student to voluntarily showcase their acts and it allowed teachers to discover their students’ talents,” Ma said. “[The event also] publicized the Chinese program, offered the students a learning platform for Chinese culture and increased students’ focus, therefore inspiring eagerness to learn.” The celebration included dance performances, including a Tibetan Dance of “Love Song of Kangding” performed by visiting guest lecturers Xiaosha Wei and Yuan Xiao and visiting assistant professional specialist Wei Wang. Chinese literature associate professor Liangyan Ge told the audience the legend of the Mid-Autumn Festival, and every participant drew a numbered slip to enter the raffle for a chance to win a prize. Food was served at the end of the celebration, including moon cakes which are traditionally part of the Festival. “The most successful part of the celebration was the ‘edutainment’ (educational entertainment), allowing the students to understand Chinese culture and learn facts in a fun environment,” Ma said. “Next year’s celebration will most likely have a change in venue [since] the lounge in the Coleman-Morse [Center] was a little too small and students in the very back could not hear clearly. At the same time, we look to increase the variety of performances.” Sophomore Christopher Rhyne, a psychology and Chinese major, said he would attend the event again if they held it next year. “The shows and the games were all nice to watch and fun,” Rhyne said. “However, I wish the host spoke a little louder [because] it was hard to hear. I also wished they had more seating.” Senior Chinese and political science major and poverty studies minor Dominic Romeo said he was impressed by the commitment of those involved with the event.  “The willingness of everybody involved to give up their Friday evenings to celebrate this event speaks volumes about the uniqueness of the Notre Dame Chinese [program] and the enthusiasm of its students,” Romeo said. Chinese Program coordinator and associate professor, Yongping Zhu said he appreciates the support from the Office for Undergraduate Studies, the College of Arts and Letters.sthe Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Center for thf Study of Languages and Culture. “I also appreciate my colleagues, other Chinese instructors and some students for their great efforts for this event,” Zhu said. “They have done a lot for the event.” Contact Wei Lin at [email protected]last_img read more

SAB aims to foster community through comedy

first_imgComedian Aisha Alfa will fill the room with laughter Wednesday in Saint Mary’s Carroll Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. as she cracks jokes during her comedy performance sponsored by the Saint Mary’s Student Activities Board (SAB).SAB president, senior Colleen Michael, said SAB’s focus this year is to provide students with the opportunity to attend new and unique events.“Bringing performers and outside vendors allows students to experience something exciting and out of the ordinary,” Michael said. “Classes are starting to kick into high gear, if they have not already. This is the perfect opportunity to relax and have a good laugh, to take a break from the homework, the papers, the tests and do something fun.”Michael said she wanted to get students’ input on who to bring to campus. She and other members of SAB attended the National Association of Campus Activities Conference where a number of performers were showcased. After the conference, the SAB Entertainment Committee researched the various performers. After three performers were chosen as finalists, a survey was sent to students and hundreds of students selected Alfa, Michael said.“Students have and should have a voice on campus,” Michael said. “I really enjoyed receiving the input from the student body. It was great to see their enthusiasm by voting. It is important that we are providing the students with what they want to participate in; voting is a great way to ensure we are meeting their expectations.”Michael said the Board’s second goal for the year is to focus on the College’s core value of fostering community.“Bringing a comedian gives the student body, as well as the tri-campus community, the opportunity to come together,” Michael said. “When you ask a Saint Mary’s student what her favorite part about Saint Mary’s is, there is a high chance she will say community. Events such as [a comedy show] will foster this community.”Michael said by focusing on the community aspect of the event, students will have the chance to meet and spend time with other students who they regularly would not encounter.“It will bring students together for something fun and light,” Michael said. “It brings people together who normally do not see each other because of different majors or different class years. … What better way to bring people together than through laughter?”Tags: Aisha Alfa, Saint Mary’s College, SMC, Student Activities Boardlast_img read more

US Ambassador to Holy See examines Vatican reforms

first_imgRosie LoVoi | The Observer United States Ambassador to the Holy See Ken Hackett speaks at the Eck Visitors Center on Friday afternoon.“Pope Francis has kept the Church’s vision sacred, but uses it to influence policies and actions more dramatically than has been done in a long time,” Hackett said.Considering he is more radical than his predecessors, Hackett said it was inevitable that some people would disagree with his vision.“When a new boss arrives and implements new ways of doing things … there’s going to be resistance,” Hackett said.Hackett said one controversial action was Pope Francis’ appointment of a financial overseer for many Vatican sub organizations.“When an institution has evolved over so many years, and its sub organizations have grown accustomed to a certain degree of operational and financial autonomy, you’re bound to have some tensions,” Hackett said.Hackett said this initiative is part of Pope Francis’s plan to rid the Church of its excesses and refocus attention on the poor and suffering.“He counsels [bishops] to move amongst their people, and to shed the trappings and the luxuries of higher office,” Hackett said.Pope Francis does this himself, Hackett said, by interacting frequently with the deprived and lowly.“His preference is generally to meet and have encounters with the simple, the meek, the troubled, the sick, the prisoners, and the homeless,” Hackett said.According to Hackett, Pope Francis ensures his actions and reforms are just by consulting a group of nine cardinals from around the world.“He uses these cardinals as a sounding board, and as a kitchen cabinet,” Hackett said.Hackett said the best example of Pope Francis’s collaborative reform is seen in “Laudato Si’,” his encyclical on climate change.Pope Francis realized the importance of meticulous research when formulating this encyclical, Hackett said.“He was prepared and aware that if he was going to issue an encyclical on climate change, he would have to apply tough, scientific rigor, since it would be picked apart,” Hackett said.Hackett said Pope Francis assembled a diverse team of experts to help write the environmental encyclical.“He came with a group of international legislators from around the world who were interested in environmental climate change, and they met in the Vatican and shared their research,” he said.The resulting encyclical, Hackett said, has had a profound impact because of how it framed climate change as a moral issue.“The encyclical gave moral cover to those politicians who had to make very difficult decisions and commitments on climate change,” he said.Hackett said the impact can be seen in particular in Mission Innovation, an initiative signed by the United States, China and several other countries focusing on expanding clean energy research, and the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, which aims to make large corporations more sustainable.According to Hackett, Pope Francis helped to catalyze these reforms.“He was influencing the global agenda,” Hackett said. “It was an agenda that resonated for many in the United States and worldwide.”Hackett said these reforms and the widespread influence they have had are helping to rebrand the Catholic Church.“These changes are gaining credibility for how the Church and the pope are perceived on a world stage,” Hackett said.Tags: Climate change, laudato si’, Pope Francis Ken Hackett, the United States Ambassador to the Holy See, spoke about Pope Francis and his vision for the Catholic Church at Eck Visitors Center on Friday afternoon. Hackett, who works closely with the Vatican, said Pope Francis is the most reform-minded pope in recent history.last_img read more

Actors from the London Stage teach in classrooms, perform ‘Measure for Measure’

first_imgIt is not often that an accounting class might find an actor from London hosting a workshop, but Shakespeare at Notre Dame’s Actors from the London Stage (AFTLS) program allows for that. This week, the five actors in the fall 2017 company are at Notre Dame for the residency portion of the program. They will be teaching Monday to Thursday this week and performing “Measure for Measure” Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night at Notre Dame and Saturday at the Westville Correctional Facility.As part of the program, the actors will be visiting 15 classrooms ranging from Irish history to theater to accounting. Photo courtesy of Marlon Deleon Five actors from London showcase their costumes. The group toured at universities across the country to share its insight with classes of all academic disciplines and perform ‘Measure for Measure.’“It’s a pretty amazing thing to see them engage disciplines across the academic spectrum, and then they all come together for the performance of ‘Measure for Measure,’” Scott Jackson, the program director of Shakespeare at Notre Dame, said.Jackson said that for many of the actors, the teaching component of the program can help further their career.“It takes them away from the stage and puts them in the classroom, often for the first time,” he said. “… A lot of our actors go on in their careers to become lecturers. For a lot of these guys it constitutes not a career shift, but definitely a career complement.”Professors enjoy having the actors run the workshops for a variety of reasons, Jackson said and the workshops typically fill about 45 minutes after he emails professors to tell them about the opportunity. John Duffy, associate professor of English who teaches a college seminar titled “Great Speeches,” said he has brought the actors into his classroom four times.“They are really exceptional at helping students realize the performative nature of speech,” he said. “I’m good at the academic stuff, the rhetorical theory and so forth, but the actors are brilliant at getting the students to try new things and break down their inhibitions.”Ram Ramanan, who teaches graduate classes in Mendoza, has also been hosting workshops in his classroom with an actor for several years and said he sees it as an opportunity to develop the professionalism and presentation skills of his students.“Our students have to go make presentations in their careers, some of which are fairly complicated financial and economic transactions, and I thought if they could read some Shakespeare, which is fairly complicated language, and learn to deconstruct it from the professionals, that would help them in their presentation skills,” he said.In addition to teaching classes, the five-person cast will perform “Measure for Measure,” which includes 20 characters. The cast members said they have enjoyed the experience of bringing the play to life.“The more we tear it apart, the more we perform it and explore it as a company, and the more we work on it with students at universities … [the more we realize] it’s a fascinating play with so many powerful themes,” cast member Ben Eagle said.With AFTLS, the cast must also cover roles outside of traditional acting.“We don’t have a director, we get to create from scratch, and we have responsibilities that I think we as actors tend to overlook, like costumes we’re responsible for, getting there on time, travel, media, etc., lighting,” cast member Wela Mbusi said. “We get to sort of understand the holistic thing of creating a piece of work.”The cast members said they are happy with the play.“We’re really proud of it,” Eagle said. “To put five actors in a room with a suitcase and then come out to America with a play, I’m really happy with what we’ve got.”The program includes performances at different universities including the University of Texas and DePauw University. Jackson said this travel experience is unique because it takes them to cities the actors might not visit otherwise.To select the cast, Jackson said AFTLS uses a traditional casting process but that special attention is paid to the personalities of the actors.“We call it the alchemy of the five,” he said. “You’ve got to make sure these five people will not only work really well together on stage but are they going to travel well together? Are they going to teach well?”Dominic Gerrard, a member of the cast, said the audition process was part of the reason he joined AFTLS.“The audition process was so enjoyable and so fun, so that was a good measure of what the actual job would be like,” he said.After the cast was finalized in mid-June, the company met once in July to get to know each other and do a read through. They began full rehearsals in August, Jackson said.“I think right up until the point we finish, it will be a really interesting journey,” Gerrard said.Tags: Actors from the London Stage, Measure for Measure, Shakespearelast_img read more

Dreams Do Come True! Disney Confirms Broadway Plans for Hit Movie Frozen

first_img “We’re not demanding speed,” Iger told Fortune. “We’re demanding excellence.” Frozen, which has already grossed $669 million at the box office, is loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, and features the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad and Santino Fontana. The film tells the story of a spunky princess who sets off on an epic journey alongside a rugged, thrill-seeking mountain man, his loyal pet reindeer, and a magical talking snowman to find her estranged sister, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter. Disney’s Frozen In the meantime, watch the clip of “Let It Go” for the 800 gazillionth time and remember that all is right with the world. Enjoy!  No time frame has been set for the Broadway adaptation of the sure-to-be Oscar-nominated flick, but that doesn’t mean we can’t already begin dream casting the musical and fantasizing over how the theater maestros will bring Elsa’s snow magic, the Valley of the Living Rock, the North Mountain and, most importantly, Olaf and Marshmallow to life. Let your imaginations run wild! File this under best news ever: Walt Disney CEO and Chairman Bob Iger knows the entire world has (rightfully!) fallen in love with the studio’s Golden Globe-winning feature Frozen, so what does he want to do next? Take it to Broadway, of course! According to Fortune magazine, the hit animated film will follow in the huge footprints of The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, and head on over to the Great White Way. Disney Theatrical Productions also confirmed that Frozen is in early development for the stage. View Comments The score for Frozen, which is co-written by Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon Tony winner Robert Lopez and his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez, features a slew of wonderful and unforgettable songs, including “Let It Go,” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?,” “Love is an Open Door” and “Fixer Upper.” Frozen is only the fourth animated film soundtrack to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Even Beyoncé was no match for the unflappable Frozen.last_img read more

Can-Can, Hunchback & Ever After on Tap for New Paper Mill Season

first_img View Comments A revival of 2010’s Broadway musical Elf will be mounted for the festive season. Adapted from the 2003 film starring Will Farrell, the show tells the tale of Buddy, an orphan who is mistakenly transported to the North Pole and raised by Santa’s elves. Now, as a grownup, he embarks on a journey to discover his true identity. With a book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin, music by Matthew Sklar and lyrics by Chad Beguelin, the production will play November 26 through January 4, 2015. Star Files Sierra Boggess The American premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame will run March 4 through April 5, 2015. Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, a book by Peter Parnell and directed by Scott Schwartz, the show is an intimate retelling of the famous love story.  Paper Mill’s 76th season will close with the world-premiere of Ever After, a new musical adapted from the 1998 film starring Drew Barrymore. The production will be directed and choreographed by Tony winner Kathleen Marshall. Casting has not yet been announced for any of the shows but Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winners Sierra Boggess and Jeremy Jordan headlined the most recent industry-only workshop of the piece.center_img Jeremy Jordan Paper Mill Playhouse has announced a packed 2014-15 season. The lineup includes the Broadway-bound Can-Can, revivals of Elf and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, the U.S. premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the world premiere of Ever After. Next up will be the Tony-winning Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which will run January 21 through February 15, 2015. Christopher Durang’s play mixes four distinct characters and dishes up a hilarious stew. First up is the Broadway-bound revival of Cole Porter’s Can-Can. Directed by David Lee, the show will feature a book by Abe Burrows revised by Lee and Joel Fields. Pistache, a Parisian café owner, decides to feature the scandalous dance, the Can-Can, but will her defiance of the law end her business and her love life? With choreography by Patti Colombo, the production will play October 1 through October 26.last_img read more

Sara Bareilles Braves Bullets with Zach Braff

first_img View Comments Star Files Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 24, 2014 Bullets Over Broadway Sara Bareilles Related Shows Sara Bareilles, who is prepping her own Broadway-aimed show, is certainly making the rounds on the Great White Way lately. On March 27, she entered a world of gangsters, showgirls and divas at Bullets Over Broadway on March 27. After catching the show, the Grammy-nommed singer/songwriter headed backstage at the St. James Theatre to congratulate Zach Braff and the cast. See her beaming between Braff and his gun-toting, tap-dancing co-star Nick Cordero in this Hot Shot by Bruce Glikas, then go see the flappers, molls and mobsters of the Woody Allen musical comedy for yourself.last_img read more

Watch Why Alice J. Lee Left Off-Broadway Hit Heathers

first_img Heathers: The Musical View Comments Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 4, 2014 This Heather’s got a new candy store! Alice Lee, who recently departed the hit off-Broadway production of Heathers at New World Stages, has just competed on the new ABC series Rising Star. The singing competition show takes place live as viewers vote in real time during performances. In this clip, Lee chats with host Josh Groban about her musical theater journey, and then knocks Lady Gaga’s “You and I” out of the park. And even though judge Ludacris voted yes, he admitted some skepticism that obviously rubbed us the wrong way: “You brought a little too much of the Broadway and the musical theatre aspect here.” Come on, Ludacris. Theatricality (and a healthy vibrato) is what makes great singing. We wonder what Betty Buckley would have to say about that. Tune in to Rising Star to keep hearing Lee sing, and check out her awesome vocals on the Heathers cast recording!last_img read more