January 2021

ND club begins quesadilla sales

first_imgWhile many students looking for an inexpensive, late-night snack head to The Huddle for Midnight Dogs, they can now find another option in a rather unlikely place — the Knights of Columbus building on South Quad. Sophomores Patrick Adams and Bobby Thompson, both officers in Notre Dame’s Knights of Columbus Council 1477, originally had the idea to sell quesadillas out of the building last year. After a lengthy approval process through the Student Activities Office (SAO), “Dollar Dillaz” will officially open for business Thursday night. “We submitted an SAO request and it took a while to get the food permit,” Adams said. “But everything worked out.” Adams said they have done trial runs just within the Council during the last two weeks and have received an overall positive response. “Once we expand it to everyone else, we want it to catch on,” he said. Thompson said he hopes the quesadilla sales will increase the visibility of the Knights of Columbus on campus. “We want to make more use of the building for the community and for charity,” he said. “I think we come across as being relatively aloof or secluded, and we’re trying to break that exclusive image.” While “Dollar Dillaz” currently features only cheese quesadillas, Thompson said he hopes to eventually expand to have a full Mexican menu. “The only thing really lacking on campus is Mexican food,” he said. “Most people don’t want to drive to Taco Bell, so that was our motivation behind it.” Adams said SAO only gave the Knights of Columbus approval to sell quesadillas one night during the week. After spring break, SAO will review the operation and consider expanding it, he said. “Dollar Dillaz” will be open every Thursday night from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Proceeds from the Knights of Columbus quesadilla sales will be donated to charity.last_img read more

LED lights shine on “Word of Life” mural

first_imgLast Spring, the popular “Word of Life” mural on the south side of Hesburgh Library was updated with new energy-efficient LED lights, said Paul Kempf, director of Utilities at Notre Dame. new lighting is part of the $10 million Energy Conservation Measures (ECM) project, begun in 2008 to support conservation initiatives, Kempf said. “[The ECM project] has had two phases … The second phase has been very focused on lighting,” Kempf said. “We’ve basically gone through all of campus with an eye towards replacing incandescent light bulbs … and large-diameter fluorescent light bulbs. We’ve upgraded almost 80 buildings on campus with new lighting technology.” The mural, originally illuminated with outdated mercury vapor lighting, also visually benefits from the new lighting provided by LED technology, Kempf said. “The LEDs give better uniformity than [the mural] had before, as far as how it illuminates the whole mural, and you get a better color rendering,” Kempf said, “The LED lighting is more akin to natural lighting and you see truer colors.” Kempf said another ongoing sustainability project involves updating the “sight lights” that illuminate the sidewalks and roads on campus, which also benefit from LED technology. “The LED also has a great advantage — that it’s a light that you can shape and direct much more than you can the older sources … We’re lighting the ground instead of lighting the sky and there’s less glare … less light pollution,” Kempf said. Energy savings from the use of LED lights also benefits the University financially, Kempf said. “It has a cost benefit to the University,” he said. “It has allowed the University to take the savings we’ve generated and actually roll it right back into the program and let us keep doing more and more by reinvesting in [the ECM project]. And that’s a logical approach to conservation or sustainability, to do the things that have an economic payback first.” Heather Christophersen, director of Sustainability at Notre Dame, said she also supports these new energy-efficient transitions. “The new lights save energy, which causes us to produce less carbon, which is one of our major goals — to reduce the carbon footprint of campus,” Christophersen said. Christophersen said she would like to see other campus icons receive sustainable lighting updates in the near future. “It would be really cool to change the lighting on the Dome to LED lights to make it, at night, have less of a green color and more true,” Christophersen said. The LED lights for the mural were a donation from Musco Lighting, with whom the University has had a long-time partnership in lighting campus locations, Christophersen said. Christophersen said she also hopes the new mural lighting will have an impact that reaches farther than the boundaries of campus. “I think changing to these more efficient types of lights on such a visible campus landmark that so many people know about and look at, it will help hopefully remind people how they can save energy in their own lives,” Christophersen said.last_img read more

Puppies sniff out student stress

first_imgWet noses warmed student hearts at the first “Puppy Days” event, held at Notre Dame’s Knights of Columbus building Friday. The event, sponsored by student government’s Constituent Services Committee and Circle K, brought five dogs and a rabbit from the Humane Society of St. Joseph County to campus to relieve student stress, event coordinator Lizzie Helpling, a sophomore, said. “Because we live on a college campus, we’re isolated from ‘petable’ animals,” she said. “Talking to my friends, pets are what they miss most at college.” More than 500 students attended the event, five times the number organizers planned for, Helpling said. “From having a dog at home, I know how relaxing it is to pet an animal,” she said. “This gives students a taste of home and shows them the responsibilities of owning a pet just out of college.” The Humane Society welcomed the chance to come to campus, outreach coordinator Genny Carlson said. “I’m glad there are so many students who love animals,” she said. “We always look for events like this.” Carlson brought dogs she knew could handle a crowd, such as Jack, a chow mix known affectionately as “Happy Jack.” Another dog, a yellow lab and Shar Pei mix named Alex, spent the morning at a grade school before visiting Notre Dame. “I saw him coming in from the school and brought him right here,” Carlson said. “It gets them out of the shelter for an afternoon. They get lots of love and dog treats.” Many students said they attended the event because they miss their pets from home. Freshman Katie Bascom said she attended because she misses her golden retriever, who lives 600 miles away from campus. “I actually didn’t come because of stress,” she said. “I miss my dog.” Bascom said she would love to attend another Puppy Days event featuring another popular pet. “I would love to see kittens here,” she said. “Everyone loves to play with kittens.” The Humane Society saw the event as a chance to promotevolunteering opportunities to students, she said. “For volunteers, we want people who have the time to dedicate to [the animals,]” Carlson said. Sophomore Lindsay Rojas said the event helped her cope with being away from her pet Shih Tzu, Gizmo. “I couldn’t pick a favorite [dog],” she said. “It really helped with stress.” On-campus service organization Circle K volunteers support at the Humane Society, senior Jessica Choi, leader of that volunteering effort, said. “It means a lot to me that we got the Humane Society out to campus,” she said Friday. “The project died down, and I’ve been trying to revive it for the last three years. Bringing it back as a project and event, especially with all these people here, is amazing.” Choi said Circle K is always looking for more volunteers to add to the group, which trains the animals for adoption by walking them and spending time with them. “In terms of volunteers, we want dedicated people with lots of love for service and animals,” she said. “They have to have a lot of time.” For more information on the Humane Society and volunteering with Circle K, visit http://www.humanesocietystjc.orglast_img read more

Event promotes dialogue of inclusion

first_imgHoward Hall sponsored the Tunnel of Love event Wednesday to promote discussion about diversity and inclusion in light of the alleged hate crimes against two black student organizations that occurred before spring break. Assistant rector Bridget Nugent said Howard Hall wanted to create a way to promote a different dialogue about diversity on campus. “Notre Dame is more diverse than some appreciate and we wanted to see all the different forms of diversity we have on campus,” she said, “We wanted to show not just the obvious differences but also the different worldviews and perspectives.” To show these different perspectives, students covered the Howard Hall tunnel in pictures and images representing diversity on campus. Nugent asked campus groups such as the Asian American Association, the Black Student Association and CORE council to submit artwork and photos as a way to showcase the differences the campus holds. “People have different ideas of what diversity is,” she said. “Some people think that Notre Dame is not a very diverse campus. The pictures can help show how diverse and vibrant campus really is.” Nugent said some of the photos came from the Real Me Project, a photo project celebrating diversity on campus. “We asked groups to send pictures they thought would symbolize the different types of diversity on campus,” she said. Nugent said 750 students signed a banner that read, “We are fighting for inclusion” and 600 participants received a bandana to commemorate the event. Nugent said signing the banner showed solidarity with diverse groups on campus and promoted a spirit of inclusion. “We have minorities on campus that have beautiful things they contribute and we want there to be a sense of inclusion,” she said. Nugent said after the event the banner will be used as a backdrop for the opening night of Race Monologues and then will be donated to a multicultural campus group. “We really want the banner to be a way to give back to the community,” she said. Nugent said the event was a success and hopes the creativity of the event can help promote discourse. “We need the recognition that we can rely on discourse to engage that tension and work towards finding a solution,” she said. “The more we rely on discourse, then we can move toward resolution and ultimately inclusion.” Contact Anna Boarini at [email protected]last_img read more

Students return to America

first_imgDespite their excitement upon returning to their ‘home under the Dome,’ many Notre Dame students find they struggle to adjust to life stateside after a semester immersed in another culture abroad. Junior Kathleen Ryan said she was surprised at the challenge readjusting to her daily routine presented upon her return from a fall semester in Toledo, Spain. “My mom would fix a big family dinner at 6 p.m. but I wouldn’t get hungry until 9 p.m. [because that was dinnertime in Spain],” Ryan said. The biggest difference in her daily schedule abroad, at home and at Notre Dame was that her days abroad were more variable, Ryan said. “I miss the exploration aspect and that there was really no daily routine,” Ryan said. “It was different every day.” Ryan said she was relieved to return to the strong faith present at Notre Dame. “The Notre Dame kids in our program were great and they stuck together, but just little things like not being able to go to English Mass were difficult,” Ryan said. After living as a foreigner in Spain for several months, Ryan said it was a relief to assimilate easily into the community around her. “I was walking around campus and thought, ‘Wow, no one’s looking at me,’” Ryan said. “I don’t stand out here, which is kind of nice.” Ryan said her fall semester in Toledo, Spain, challenged her to expand her grasp of the Spanish language. “The language barrier was the most difficult aspect of study abroad, because everyone tells you that you’re going to have a little bit of culture shock, because literally everything is in Spanish,” Ryan said. “You can’t really comprehend that until you get there.” Ryan said she embraced the opportunity to make a new home abroad. “Some people complain that the [new] culture and families are so different, but I always felt that I could have encountered my host family in any city in the United States,” Ryan said. Junior John O’Brien, who studied in Ireland at University College Dublin, said he noticed an increase in his workload upon returning to campus. “It’s definitely been difficult acclimating back to life on campus,” O’Brien said. “The workload is a lot different from study abroad, and it’s been tough trying to get myself motivated to do homework that I might not have done while abroad. I am slowly getting back in the routine and back to work … Being around other people has been helpful because you see how hard they’re working and it motivates you to work harder.” After returning stateside, O’Brien said he missed the mobility of his abroad experience, which let him travel to other countries on a whim. “I miss the freedom of it– while you’re here you’re a bit more confined to campus,” O’Brien said. “Every weekend I was going to different cities, it was really awesome.” While abroad, O’Brien said he missed the most distinctive camaraderie of campus life at Notre Dame. In particular, he said living in a singlenin Dublin differed sharply from residence life in a 200-person dormitory. “I missed being with all the guys around the dorm,” O’Brien said. “I missed going to football games and going out on the weekends.” Contact Peter Durbin at [email protected]last_img read more

Seminar explores border issues

first_imgTags: Arizona, Border Issues, CSC While snow virtually buried the Midwest during winter break, 11 Notre Dame students traveled down to the desert of southern Arizona for the Center for Social Concerns (CSC) Border Issues Seminar.According to the CSC website, the seminar, which took place Jan. 3 to 11, was meant to “expose students to diverse perspectives about [the] Mexico-U.S. border and immigration issues.”Seminar director and sociology professor Kraig Beyerlein said the experience is formative for students.“I just think it’s one thing to read and intellectually talk about things, and it’s a whole different experience to actually see what’s going on on the ground,” Beyerlein said. “I think it can potentially change people in a way that you can’t just do in a classroom setting.”The goals of the border class and seminar are three-fold. Beyerlein said the first is to provide “an intellectual, educational framework to understand broader debates about immigration, mostly from a sociological perspective.”Beyerlein said the second goal of the class is to provide a unique, distinctive lens for understanding immigration in light of Catholic Social Teaching. The third goal is then to take students to the border for firsthand experience.Although the class is not allowed to cross the border due to security issues, Beyerlein said students are able to approach the wall and, in some areas, see through it.“From the students’ perspective [it’s] frustrating, but I also understand the constraints given the security issues,” he said.As part of the seminar, Beyerlein said students participated in legal proceedings, humanitarian service with a group called the Samaritans, border ministry work, work with Catholic Charities and travel, all within the context of religion and immigration.Prior to the trip, students attended class, wrote a preeimmersion pape, and watched the documentary ‘Crossing Arizona,’ which recorded personal accounts of crossing the border. Beyerlein said as much as students anticipate the experience and imagine what may occur, post-immersion papers always indicate the students’ experiences are not what they expected.Beyerlein said students saw migrants being sent back across the border to Mexico.“About 60 migrants are processed in an hour and a half, which is pretty fast,” he said. “I think just seeing the migrants in the shackle  – I think that’s a pretty hard experience for students.”Beyerlein said normally, migrants who are caught crossing illegally are returned to the Mexican side of the border. Those who are processed through Operation Streamline, a government program that files criminal charges against illegal migrants, receive jail time for a period of 30 days.“If you’re caught again, the jail time keeps increasing up to the point where it can actually be a felony,” he said.Students who have participated in Beyerlein’s seminar have gone on to work in the Peace Corps, humanitarian organization, and internships in Washington, D.C.“Part of the seminar is for students to figure out their position on immigration, what they should do,” he said. “I do think it’s great to see continual engagement about the issues.”Senior Maggie Duffy said she initially participated in the seminar her sophomore yea, but also served as the seminar’s student leader this past year.Since her sophomore-year experience, Duffy has worked with a local immigration lawyer, added a supplementary major in Latino Studies, and spent several weeks in Arizona last summer, working with the humanitarian organization, No More Deaths.“One of the most important aspects of the seminar is … [meeting with] people who deal with the issues of immigration on a daily basis,” she said. “Seeing the passion and commitment that all these people have for protecting the rights of migrants and working towards change in our country is truly inspiring.”last_img read more

‘Legally Blonde’ takes the stage

first_imgAfter months of preparation, an entirely student-run production of “Legally Blonde: The Musical” opens this weekend as PEMCo’s main-stage winter show.PEMCo, the primary student musical-theater group on campus, chose the pop musical for its upbeat nature and vocally demanding female parts, director and sophomore Jacob Schrimpf said.  Lesley Stevenson | The Observer “This seems like a traditional fit for the actors and resources of PEMCo,” he said. “The overall vibe of our group right now is very fitted to the show. We definitely have the right performers. We have a lot of energetic people in the group, which is great because the show is very high energy.”After former producers and directors chose the winter show’s production team in May 2013, Schrimpf said he and the producers chose “Legally Blonde” from a list of four musicals.“The rights for the show just came out a few years ago, so there hasn’t been a lot of time for amateur groups to perform it yet, which is exciting,” he said.Schrimpf said cast selection was particularly difficult because more than 100 people auditioned for only 25 parts.“It was amazing because we could have cast the show two or three times over with the amazing talent we had come in,” he said.Senior Emily Nash, who plays the lead role of Elle Woods, said she joined PEMCo her freshman year when she auditioned for the company’s main-stage winter production. She said she is excited to see the growth in the quality of the group’s productions over the years. “The fact that it’s students having put together this entire show without any professional assistance is a big deal,” she said. “It’s cool to see the costumes, props, staging and set come together, knowing it’s all put together by young adults, makes it really unique.”Nash said she appreciates the unique opportunity she has had to participate in musical theater even though she has no formal vocal or theatrical training.“Audition, and keep auditioning, because you never know what they’re looking for, who they might need, and what spot they need filled. … It’s a really low-key, accepting, relaxed environment,” Nash said. “There’s nothing to be afraid of.”  Lesley Stevenson | The Observer Schrimpf said the cast has been rehearsing for four hours a day, five days a week, since Thanksgiving, making participation a serious commitment for students.“People are really passionate about it, so people make it a priority, but it requires a lot of time management to balance the production and schoolwork,” Schrimpf said. “It’s a demanding process.”As a Film, Television and Theatre major, Schrimpf said working on the show offered the opportunity to apply what he learned in his theater courses to a real production. Although he receives no academic credit, he said he enjoys the chance to explore future career possibilities.“I find that things in my classes inform my decisions as a director, and my experience as a director is informing my learning,” he said. “This is helping me figure out if this is something I’m looking at pursuing professionally or not.”Not everyone in the production studies theater academically, Schrimpf said.Choreographer Maggie Miller majors in chemical engineering. Miller, a junior, has been active in Dance Company and recently discovered musical theater, although she began dancing when she was five.“I didn’t do theater at all until last year,” she said.Although audiences may be familiar with the film version of “Legally Blonde” and have expectations for the main characters, Nash said the musical features a more developed, quirky role for Elle.“Knowing that there are certain expectations from the people who originated the role and taking those expectations and trying to live up to the role at the same time has been really challenging but fun,” Nash said.Nash said she loves the musical version of “Legally Blonde” even more than she likes the movie.“The premise of the movie is so ridiculous and fun-spirited that putting it in a musical setting, … adding over-the-top theater elements, takes it to another level that makes it even more fun,” Nash said.Beyond unique elements like two live dogs as on-stage characters, Nash said the pop genre of the musical offers a relatable style of music and dance that is familiar and accessible for students, both on stage and in the audience.“It’s a show where the music encourages you to let loose,” she said. “It’s really fun that way and makes the dancing more modern. … It’s fun that we can relate really well and bring that to the stage.”Schrimpf said PEMCo’s hard work for the past three months makes the production exciting to watch.“It’s a special group of people, and the show is a joy to watch,” he said. “If people are looking for a few hours to escape their stresses, this is a great opportunity.”Miller said she looks forward to sharing the production with students.“It’s a hilarious show, you can’t watch it without smiling,” she said. “It’s really upbeat. It’s so much fun. If you want to be put in a good mood, you should come. I still am laughing at rehearsals.”Performances of “Legally Blonde” will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Washington Hall. Tickets are available in advance at the LaFortune Box Office.Tags: Legally Blondelast_img read more

2016 Election Observer: Abigail Wozniak

first_imgEditor’s Note: Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, The Observer will sit down with Notre Dame experts to break down the election and its importance to students. In this tenth installment, Associate News Editor Rachel O’Grady asks associate professor of economics and former Senior Economist to the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Abigail Wozniak, about the economic implications of the 2016 election. Rachel O’Grady:​ As an economics professor, particularly in relation to your focus on labor economics, how will the results of this election effect the economy?Abigail Wozniak: The candidates — even within parties — have fairly different visions for the major changes they would advocate, both in terms of how the government raises funds (fiscal policy) and how it spends them. Given these differences, the ultimate outcome of this election will matter for the economy, but it is difficult to say how it will matter without knowing the winner. Because their plans are so different, it will matter for the economy who the ultimate winner is, but as of right now there is no single answer to the question of how the results will affect the economy.That said, I see at least three areas where the next president will face critical tests. These are: [first], income inequality and shared economic opportunity; [second] trade; and [third] guidance through the next phase of the business cycle. In all three areas, long-run trends will continue to play out but will require leadership to deal with their consequences over the next four to eight years. Income inequality and, more broadly, equality of opportunity, are key issues of concern to primary voters across the political spectrum. This is a four-decade long trend that has reached a point where large numbers of voters are asking for policy to directly address this. Any winner will need to take steps in this area. Rising trade is another multi-decade trend that is unlikely to reverse in a major way. The next president will need to work with Congress to keep the U.S. competitive and involved in the global marketplace while also putting in place protections for U.S. workers affected by trade. And finally, we have reached a record business cycle expansion. Were the business cycle to turn, executive branch leadership would be key to minimizing the negative effects of this. What we learned from the Great Recession is that appropriately timing relief — in adequate amounts — for workers and states affected by downturns can prevent longer, deeper slumps and is key to making sure families have the safety net they need when the business cycle turns negative.​ROG: You served as Senior Economist ​to the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) last year. What did you learn in the White House, and more importantly, what areas did you see for the improvement in the coming years? Are these candidates forgetting to address anything?AW: I had a great experience on the CEA staff, and I take every chance to say that people in Washington are working incredibly hard, with the best of intentions, on very difficult problems. This actually became more clear from working with them for fourteen months. On issues that are being forgotten: Immigration has been addressed, but useful specifics are missing. The economic case for immigration — which is a complicated one — also often gets inadequate attention. The reality is that many natives benefit from admitting immigrants, but some do not benefit, and we rarely have a conversation about how those two groups need to be brought together to reach a solution that helps both. It’s also not as simple as saying that we should imitate other national systems that prioritize skilled migrants. That’s a policy that should be on the table, but the U.S. has a long and I think admirable history of admitting individuals who are seeking a better life, and we should not ignore either that history or the fact that it has brought us certain benefits that other countries lack, like a diverse workforce and a population of entry-level workers with a strong work ethic.ROG: ​The minimum wage debate is gaining traction nationwide, but has seen little play in the recent presidential debates. Do you think this will be a key issue in the election and beyond?​AW: Yes, this absolutely will be a key issue in the national election and beyond, and for space I’d say see my response to the first question.ROG: ​Both parties propose pretty radical economic ideas. Do any of them hold water, i.e. could Sanders or Cruz’s plans actually work?AW: Economists are often cautious of plans that say they are going to fix complicated problems in a simple way. Many economists agree that the tax code could be simplified. Many also agree that college financial aid could be simplified. But radically simplifying such policies is often difficult. This is because things that sound simple, like “income,” have to be defined and monitored, and that is harder than it sounds. Such policies also create incentives for individuals and businesses to try to avoid being in the category that has to pay for a program, not because they are bad people necessarily but because this is a fairly natural response to a situation where you’re asked to share a lot with strangers. So what seemed simple then requires monitoring and exceptions, and these make the reality likely to be more complicated than expected.ROG: Taking it back to college campuses, particularly here at Notre Dame, what is something we, as college students, should be paying particular attention to?AW: I think college students have a responsibility to pay attention to the election and get out and vote. The issues are many, but the worst outcome would be a divisive election in which the turnout was low. And, as I already noted, I think the outcome of this election matters a great deal. Don’t believe those who say all the candidates are the same — just a quick look at their websites will tell you otherwise.Tags: 2016 Election, 2016 Election Observer, Abigail Wozniak, White House Council of Economic Adviserslast_img read more

Rape reported

first_imgA rape was reported Thursday to a University administrator, according to the Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) crime log for Friday.The alleged rape occurred April 2 in a Mod Quad men’s residence hall, according to the entry.Students did not receive an email crime alert from NDSP alerting them that the report had been filed.“There are a number of factors that come into play when deciding whether to send [an email] or not,” University spokesperson Dennis Brown said in an email. “The timeliness, or lack thereof, is one, but other components in the fact pattern also are taken into account.”Information about sexual assault prevention and resources for survivors of sexual assault are available online from NDSP and from the Committee for Sexual Assault Prevention (CSAP).Tags: Clery Act, rape, sexual assaultlast_img read more

New core curriculum set in place for incoming class of 2022

first_imgThe most significant changes to Notre Dame’s core curriculum in over 40 years are officially in place for the class of 2022 and all future classes. These changes alter the number of courses required, grant students more academic flexibility and introduce integrative courses.According to the 2016 core curriculum report, the University reviews its curriculum every 10 years. Following more than 50 meetings, open forums, information sessions and surveys, the Core Curriculum Review Committee came up with a proposal of changes that received unanimous approval from the Academic Council in 2016. Michael Hildreth, co-chair of the Core Curriculum Review Committee, said the new core is centered on three themes: a ‘focus’ on broadening everyone’s perspective, increased ‘flexibility’ in student control over core courses and ‘innovation’ with the introduction of new courses.“I think we can all agree that the world has moved on since the 1970’s so I think it was time for an update,” Hildreth said. “[Students] wanted integration in what we call a general education requirement and we also think that the new wrinkles that we added really do deepen the engagement of the core curriculum with the Catholic mission of the University.”The new curriculum was constructed to emphasize the Catholic liberal arts education of Notre Dame, the 2016 core curriculum report said. The new requirements now correspond to one of nine “ways of knowing” — quantitative reasoning, science and technology, art, literature, advanced language and culture, history, social science, theology and philosophy.”At any university, the things that students are required to take are an indication of that university’s values — what sorts of things do we expect students to know, what areas of inquiry do we expect them to investigate to be citizens of democracy and the United States?” John McGreevy, co-chair of the Core Curriculum Review Committee, said.By minimizing the amount of University requirements, students have more room to experiment in their first year, McGreevy said. In addition, fewer courses will be taught by graduate students to allow departments more ownership over courses and limits were placed on the number of courses required within a major.“[The changes] clear up more space in the first year curriculum so students can dabble a little bit and try to figure out what major they want to choose as opposed to being locked into something quite early,” McGreevy said.Hildreth said all old courses were grandfathered into the new core without revision to ensure a smooth transition. However, courses may fall under new categories — for example, math is now considered ‘quantitative reasoning.’“Most of the categories are pretty similar to the old core and so it was easy to move them over,” Hildreth said. “But we still want to go back and look at them to make sure that it should be a core course or maybe we should rethink why this is being taught in the core as opposed to just a regular discipline-specific course.”New courses include integrative courses, which will be team-taught by scholars in various academic disciplines, and a Catholicism and the Disciplines course, which is offered to students as an alternative for their second philosophy requirement.Since the previous core curriculum was “owned by departments and not faculty,” Hildreth said a major goal was to break down the walls of the core requirements to allow faculty to teach subjects or courses that may not be in their given department but can still satisfy a core requirement.“I’m hoping that as we work with more and more faculty we can get them to appreciate that focus as opposed to ‘this is the introduction to my discipline, I’m teaching you a bunch of facts, and whatever,’” Hildreth said. “I really think that it’s up to the faculty to show the importance of the discipline and how it can engage.”The desired impact of the changes, Hildreth said, is that students will come out of the University with a “greater sense of maturity, independence and fulfillment.”“I am hoping that [students] will value this newer sense of independence that they have in terms of their self-determination of their trajectory through the University,” he said. “People are not telling them when to take stuff anymore so they have to figure out what classes they would like to take, when makes the most sense for them to take them and so they’re more self-determined in some sense.”Though the response to the changes has been “genuinely positive” so far, the committee will be observing the faculty and student response throughout the academic year. One of the committee’s main concerns, Hildreth said, involves class enrollment. “[For example,] we don’t know how many freshmen are going to sign up for math and science courses if they don’t have to take them as freshmen,” Hildreth said. “So there’s a whole question of how many seats should we reserve next year for the people who didn’t take the courses this year, and then how does that work two or three years out?”To avoid mass confusion and allow a smoother transition, the core will be fully-implemented throughout a “four-year roll-out” and first-year advisors are “well-versed” in the new requirements to assist students, Hildreth said.“There may be some strange dialogue when [freshmen] start talking to the upperclassmen because the upperclassmen don’t have any idea what’s going on with the new core,” he said. “I’m hoping that the new people coming in will just see this is as ‘Well, this is the core and this is how I need to thread my path through the University.’”Tags: Core Curriculum, core curriculum review committee, course requirements, John McGreevy, Michael Hildreth, ways of knowinglast_img read more