Saint Mary’s welcomes international students

first_imgTags: buddy program, International, saint mary’s, sga, SMC The International Buddy Program at Saint Mary’s College, designed to connect incoming international students with Saint Mary’s students from the United States, kicked off the year Tuesday with its first major event, the International Ice Cream Social in Dalloway’s Clubhouse.The event, sponsored by International Student Services, the Global Studies Department and the Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA), is the first of many to be done by the newly-launched program, which aims to help international students integrate themselves into the Saint Mary’s community, according to Catherine Sullivan, a senior and international co-chair of SGA.“The program connects returning Saint Mary’s students with first-year international students, new English Language School students and new exchange students on a personal level,” Sullivan said. “The students spend time together, study together, help each other get involved on campus and more. The ultimate goal is much more than just having a returning Belle help a new Belle manage campus life; it is to connect two people from two different cultures on a personal level.”The program, which had an application process for returning students, received an overwhelming response. Sullivan said the wide support was both heartwarming and unsurprising.“One of the most unique and beautiful facts about Saint Mary’s is the powerful sense of community that envelopes our entire campus, faculty, staff and students included,” she said. “… All of the young women chosen as international buddies spoke of the outstanding qualities of Saint Mary’s that they are still learning to appreciate.“The reason most of them volunteered in the first place was because of their love for our school and their want to share that love with newcomers, particularly those who may be having a harder time of it.”Sullivan said the International Buddy Program can offer life-changing experiences to both the international and domestic students.“Not only does it give our domestic students the opportunity to learn about a new culture, to nurture a new friendship and to introduce ladies to the home they love so much, but it gives them the opportunity to appreciate and take advantage of the community around them,” she said. “All of the students in this program will be looking for interesting, fun and new opportunities to share with one another.”Grace Kumor, a sophomore in the program, said she wanted the opportunity to learn about fellow students from around the world.“I am really interested in cultures from all around the world, and being able to be firsthand with someone who is from a different country is really interesting to me,” Kumor said.Ruby Truong, a sophomore from Vietnam and International Co-Chair of SGA, said she hopes international students find a second home at Saint Mary’s.“When we international students decided to come to a different country, we wanted to know more about this country,” Truong said. “I feel like I would be very happy if I would have an American mentor like that so that I could know about their cultures that we don’t have in our countries. It’s very good for both international and domestic students because the American students can know about different countries as well.”Any students wanting to be involved in the International Buddy Program can contact Catherine Sullivan at [email protected] or Terra Cowham, assistant director for international student/scholar services and the English Language School, at [email protected]last_img read more

Man brought to hospital after Main Building fall Saturday

first_imgA man fell in the Main Building on Saturday evening shortly after the Trumpets Under the Dome Concert began at 6:20 p.m., University spokesman Dennis Brown said Tuesday morning.“Notre Dame emergency personnel responded at 6:28 p.m. Saturday to assist an individual who fell in a stairway in the Main Building,” Brown said. “He was transported to Memorial Hospital.”Representatives from Memorial Hospital did not immediately return The Observer’s phone calls. Ann Wassmann of Spring Lake, Mich., attended Trumpets Under the Dome and witnessed the incident. When the concert was over, she said she exited near the back and witnessed the fall in a stairwell in her peripheral vision.“Just as I reached the ground floor and was proceeding to the door, I saw something dark drop in my peripheral vision,” she said in an email to The Observer on Tuesday afternoon. “As I stepped through the door I heard a very loud bang – like something heavy hitting a metal surface.“I turned to see what had happened. The door had closed, so all I could see were people on the stairs, and the horrified looks on their faces. People were crying and calling out ‘call 911’.”Wassmann said two “fire engine-type vehicles” arrived shortly after with paramedics. Brown said he had not been provided with any additional information.“It was weird to walk around to the front of the Main Building, meeting up with joyous people who knew nothing of the tragic accident we had just experienced,” Wassmann said.Tags: observer staff reportlast_img read more

Task forces on church sexual abuse crisis to gather campus feedback, assess research initiatives

first_imgIn response to the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis, Notre Dame is taking a two-pronged approach.University President Fr. John Jenkins announced in October the creation of two tasks forces focused on the crisis: a Campus Engagement Task Force and a Research and Scholarship Task Force. Listening sessions headed by the first task force begin Monday, with a total of seven sessions aimed at faculty, staff and students throughout the next two weeks.“The University of Notre Dame has both an opportunity and an obligation to direct its thought, prayer and scholarly resources to helping the Church at this challenging moment,” Jenkins said in a statement to The Observer. “We are responding to this through the creation of two task forces that will address the issues at hand in different ways. In the end, we will assess the findings and provide tangible and productive suggestions for a way forward.“I am indebted to the leadership and members of both of the task forces as they take on this difficult work.”Law professor Jennifer Mason McAward heads the Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights and is serving as one of the co-chairs of the Campus Engagement Task Force. The committee will aim to bring the community together to gather ideas on how to address the current crisis, Mason McAward said.“Notre Dame is a home to its students and an employer to its staff and faculty and so it’s also important to gather the community in a meaningful way and help people process their pain and also listen to their suggestions for how to move forward,” she said.Fr. Gerry Olinger, vice president for mission engagement and church affairs, is serving as the other co-chair of the Campus Engagement Task Force. Following the campus listening sessions, the committee will use the comments to formulate recommendations for the University’s next steps forward, Olinger said.“We really want to encourage people to participate,” he said. “I think it’s really going to strengthen the work of our task force to have a broad representation of our campus community involved. It’s really going to strengthen the final product we’re able to produce.”While part of the engagement task force’s mission is to help the community discuss and heal from the crisis, its purpose is not only pastoral, Mason McAward said.“Pastoral care is one aspect of what we’re doing but thinking about other ways in which the University can seek prevention are certainly within our purview and things that we’d really like to hear about,” she said.Ann Tenbrunsel, the David E. Gallo Professor of Business Ethics, said she sees a strong connection between the Campus Engagement Task Force and the Research and Scholarship Task Force, which she is co-chairing.“I think the first step is listening, understanding,” she said. “There’s a lot of information out there now but I think we need to listen to as many people as we can. It’s part of the healing process; but really more than that, I think [it] can contain additional insight into … ‘What should we be doing?’”Tenbrunsel said the committee will assess what expertise Notre Dame has to offer as well as initiatives and research spearheaded by outside institutions. It will then use this information to help formulate Notre Dame’s next steps in responding to the abuse crisis. Grounding the community’s suggestions with “evidence-based responses” is an important part of effective reform, Tenbrunsel said.“You can reform and it can be ineffective and you can reform and it’s worse or you can reform and improve,” she said. “Clearly I don’t have any disagreement in what direction it should go, but I think basing it on expertise, as this task force is doing, allows it more likelihood that that path will be followed.”Professor Kathleen Sprows Cummings, director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, will also be co-chairing the Research and Scholarship Task Force. Ultimately, she said, she hopes the task force will be able to propose three or four research projects the University could undertake to address the crisis.“It’s some chance to respond [to the crisis] as I am Catholic and a member of the laity, and to use the resources we have at Notre Dame too,” she said. “This is not the only thing happening in the Church right now, but it is the most important thing happening in the Church and I think to not do something like this would be being complicit in the crisis in a way, by not trying to use your own expertise or gifts to move forward from this.”Tags: Campus Engagement Task Force, Notre Dame Statement, Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, Research and Scholarship Task Force, sexual abuse, Sexual abuse scandallast_img read more

Students experience long wait times at on-campus restaurants via Grubhub app

first_imgWith limited hours at the dining hall and less on-campus dining options during the campus shutdown and due to the pandemic, Notre Dame students are pivoting to ordering takeout from on-campus retail locations. However, this shift has created long lines and wait times at these locations via the Grubhub app, with some students experiencing wait times of over two hours.Senior director of Campus Dining Chris Abayasinghe said adjustments had to be made in order to pivot to a takeout-only model at the beginning of this school year, and that with students exclusively ordering through Grubhub, there was a learning curve for both Campus Dining staff and the Grubhub app’s algorithm. “So if you’ll imagine as more and more people utilize the app, the app will then run its own algorithm to be able to understand what we find should and could look like,” Abayasinghe said. “However, as to determining what change needed to be made and when, I can tell you that my team continued to pivot and make adjustments as the days went on to really figure out how to manage the amount of orders that were coming in.”Some of the changes, Abayasinghe said, were made to the actual process of making orders at retail locations such as Starbucks and Subway to make the process more efficient.“So like in Starbucks for example, if you recall in the past, you would come in and just order right there and then pick up there or fulfill as you go,” Abayasinghe said. “And now what we’re positioned is, I would work out how to layout … specifically, the orders alphabetically, so on, so those are the sort of tweaks and adjustments we work really, really hard on to improve our speed of service.”When University President Fr. John Jenkins announced that Notre Dame would shut down for two weeks to curb the spread of COVID-19 on campus, Abayasinghe said that while some retail locations closed and others shifted hours, this change affected the pattern of ordering that had developed over the eight days of in-person classes.“So now we have LaFortune open, for example, right and Duncan is no longer open and now you have Rohr’s and Legends which are also open,” he said. “So now you imagine the students have a smaller number of options to be able to find that and then the system would go through its own adjustments again as we continue to tweak and improve.” Senior Erin Glendon said she tried to order Starbucks — which opened at noon — on a Sunday afternoon and experienced difficulties even as the restaurant had just opened. “I think it was 12:11 [p.m.] when I logged onto Grubhub and the wait was 92 minutes long, so I did not order Starbucks because I don’t know if I [would] want coffee in 92 minutes,” she said. These lines are characteristic of Starbucks most days, Glendon said. “Almost every day when I think about ordering Starbucks, I don’t because the line is pretty long, but that was by far the longest I’ve seen it,” Glendon said.Megan Butler, a senior, had a similar experience when she placed an order at Legends for pickup one evening. She said the app told her incorrect information about when her order would be ready. When she arrived, she said, her order had not begun to be prepared, despite conflicting information displayed on Grubhub. “They were just calling all the numbers in order and there [were] about 70 people in front of me,” she said. “And I waited there for about an hour and a half … they actually closed, I was there for an hour after they closed. And they stopped about, I think, 25 orders ahead of me and said they had run out of food. And then I had to go off campus to find food, because no other places on campus were open.”Butler said she had a similar experience when she ordered Subway, and the time it took for her order to be ready did not correspond with the updates she received from the Grubhub app.“The same thing happened, where it said 20 minutes and then it just kept adding minutes [until it was ready],” she said. These delays are difficult, Butler said, because the delays affect other plans students could make during the day and evening. “You can’t really plan anything, like homework, or make plans with people because you don’t really know when your food is going to be ready,” Butler said.Butler said she believes the lack of variety of food in the dining halls is part of the reason for the influx of Grubhub orders.“I think less people would be ordering through Grubhub if the dining hall food was better, so then they wouldn’t have as many backups, and they wouldn’t be overloading all the Grubhub locations if they had more options in the dining hall and healthier food that students wanted to eat instead of a different form of mashed potatoes every day,” Butler said. Abayasinghe said that he believes that with in-person classes starting up again, the Grubhub experience will continue to evolve and change. “Now we’re going to come back … and as we think about that, a new pattern will emerge from this and I think from [what] my staff has done and continues to do — they’re incredibly flexible folks — and they have pivoted so much. So I see this continuing trend where we will learn what that pattern looks like and and go from there.”Tags: Chris Abayasinghe, grubhub, notre dame campus dining, Starbuckslast_img read more

The Lost Patti LuPone Musical! Watch the Tony Winner as a Lovelorn Laundromat Ghost in Love Cycle: A Soap Operetta

first_img View Comments Ah, those great Patti LuPone roles of theatrical legend: Eva Peron, Reno Sweeney, Mama Rose… Rachel Burston?! Behold Love Cycle: A Soap Operetta, a lost mini-musical from 1984 featuring the greatest star of all as a ghost haunting a laundromat after being trapped in the dryer for 18 months. Enjoy LuPone in head-to-toe blow-out white levitating over the washing machines, throwing a towel in the face of love rival Priscilla Lopez (one of many recognizable theater stars onhand) and getting shunned by her lost love Steve (played by Martin Vidnovic, father of Laura Benanti, LuPone’s daughter in Gypsy!) We’re officially obsessed with this lost gem and fully expect LuPone to open her next 54 Below gig with the, well, haunting “I’m Haunting You.” Enjoy! And you’re welcome.last_img read more

Patti LuPone to Show Her Diva Side for L.A. Opera’s The Ghosts of Versailles

first_img Star Files The Ghosts of Versailles centers on the restless ghost of Marie Antoinette (opera star Patricia Racette) and other now-dead members of the court of Louis XVI of France who are entertained by a new opera by also-dead playwright Beaumarchais and, apparently, an outrageous Turkish entertainer. The Ghost of Versailles is part of LA Opera’s Figaro Trilogy which will also feature Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. LuPone has been booking TV roles left and right from American Horror Story: Coven to HBO’s Girls to the previously announced Sarah Silverman-HBO pilot People in New Jersey. Onstage, she has won Tony Awards for Gypsy and Evita and has also appeared on Broadway in Sweeney Todd, Anything Goes, An Evening With Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, Noises Off and more.  Ready for a night at the opera with Patti LuPone? Our favorite Broadway diva has signed on for The Ghosts of Versailles at the Los Angeles Opera in 2015, according to the company’s official website. The American Horror Story star will make a cameo as the outrageous Turkish entertainer Samira in the John Corigliano opera. The Ghosts of Versailles will play a limited engagement from February 7 to March 1. View Comments Patti LuPonelast_img read more

Too Much Sun Extends Off-Broadway

first_img Directed by Mark Brokaw, Too Much Sun tells the story of Audrey Langham, a celebrated actress who unravels completely while preparing for a new production of Medea. With nowhere else to go, she descends upon her married daughter for a summer by the sea. She is not, however, greeted with confetti and champagne. Her arrival sets off a chain of events alternately hilarious and harrowing. The world premiere of Nicky Silver’s Too Much Sun will extend its run at the Vineyard Theatre. The play, which stars Tony winner Linda Lavin and begins performances on May 1, will now run through June 22, as opposed to its originally scheduled final performance on June 8. Opening night is set for May 18. In addition to Lavin, the cast of Too Much Sun includes Tony nominee Jennifer Westfeldt, Richard Bekins, Matt Dellapina, Ken Barnett and Matt Dickson. Linda Lavin Too Much Sun Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on June 22, 2014 View Comments Star Fileslast_img read more

Idina Menzel to Perform National Anthem at the Super Bowl

first_imgSuper Bowl Sunday just got a whole lot beltier. If/Then supernova Idina Menzel will sing the national anthem before the big game, set for February 1. She’ll be joined by John Legend, who will sing “America the Beautiful.”The Tony winner took to Instagram to say, “It was 1991 and I remember it well: Whitney sings the national anthem at the Super Bowl. Almost as glorious as her voice was her huge radiant smile. I am so humbled and honored to be asked this year. #SB49.” She joins a group of Broadway alums to be chosen for the honor that includes Harry Connick Jr., Vanessa Williams and Kathie Lee Gifford, as well as incoming Broadway stars Renée Fleming and Jennifer Hudson.It seems strange to even bother with giving you Menzel’s rundown, but here goes. The superstar made her Broadway debut in Rent and has since appeared in Aida, and some show called Wicked, for which she won a Tony Award. Her screen credits include Rent, Enchanted, Glee and, of course, Frozen. Her latest album Holiday Wishes debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Holiday Albums chart last year, and she is set to embark on a world tour this summer.If/Then will have no performances January 27 through February 1 to accommodate Menzel’s rehearsal and travel schedule for the event. Performances of the Broadway tuner will resume on February 3.Menzel is no stranger to belting for sports fans. Last July, the Audience Choice Award winner sang the national anthem and Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” at the MLB All-Star Game in Minneapolis. Check out her out-of-the-park vocals below! View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on March 22, 2015 If/Then Idina Menzel Star Files Related Showslast_img read more

This Week’s Picks! Helen Mirren, John & Jen, See Elisabeth Moss & More

first_img Get Exposed to Brooklynite Begins February 25 at the Vineyard Theatre In this inventive new musical, Brooklyn hardware store clerk Trey Swieskowski (Matt Doyle, The Book of Mormon) is looking to get into the superhero game. Adored superhero Astrolass (Nicolette Robinson) wants out. These mutually beneficial needs set the stage for change galore, especially when Brooklyn faces peril. Is a derby shop in danger of closing? Did the borough council ban the stoop sale? Lucky for us, we’ll have to find out. Click for tickets! Revisit The Heidi Chronicles Begins February 23 at the Music Box Theatre Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles is a timeless, Pulitzer Prize-winning drama that provided spiritual counsel to countless women. Elisabeth Moss is a terrific actress who sometimes gets overlooked due to the ensemble cast—and maddeningly leisurely schedule—of Mad Men. Again, Broadway solves the seemingly unsolvable! You can now watch Moss in the title role of the revival, which also stars Bryce Pinkham and Jason Biggs. Click for tickets! See B’ways Queen Visit Late Night’s King February 23 on CBS The fabulous Helen Mirren is currently starring as Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience, a role that must be demanding—even if she’s done it expertly before. Remember The Queen? Wowza. We hope her visit to The Late Show with David Letterman is therapeutic. She can exchange barbs with a flirtatious Dave, dish about the play, and maybe assist with a few stupid pet tricks. Whatever happens, prepare to be entertained. Span the Decades with John & Jen Begins February 26 at Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row It’s easy to dismiss the mid-’90s cultural contributions. Singled Out, anyone? That is not the case with John & Jen, the powerful 1995 musical from Andrew Lippa and Tom Greenwald that examines the decades-long story of one woman named Jen’s relationship with the two Johns in her life: her younger brother and son. Even better, this off-Broadway revival stars two tremendous talents: Tony nominee Kate Baldwin and newcomer Conor Ryan. Click for tickets! Behold a Broadway Legend February 28 at the Appel Room Being in New York means you are a subway ride away from observing greatness—or getting harassed in any number of ways. Let’s focus on the good. Tonight, the one and only Barbara Cook—who has been wowing the masses since The Music Man originally opened—performs as part of Lincoln Center’s American Songbook. This is a Dear Diary moment. Dress up nice, brave the cold, and watch a legend in action. Click for tickets! Hey, you, sitting on your heater wearing every article of clothing you own. We know it’s cold, but that is massively uncomfortable—and time-consuming. You don’t want to miss out on the fun stuff happening, do you? There’s a starry revival of The Heidi Chronicles, two new off-Broadway musicals, and Barbara Cook playing Lincoln Center. Bundle up for this week’s picks! View Commentslast_img read more

Odds & Ends: Frozen Co-Creator Talks Adapting the Film for B’way & More

first_img View Comments Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today and over the weekend.Frozen Co-Creator Talks Adapting the Film for B’wayA little more information has come to light about the Broadway adaptation of the Disney megahit Frozen. Oscar winner Jennifer Lee, co-director and screenwriter of the film, is working on the book of the stage version and told Buzzfeed: “there are so many great things that in the scope of a 90-minute [film] you can’t do, emotional parts of the story you can’t draw out. And a musical is perfect for that. Everyone’s very excited for the potential for what we could do.” So are we! And what about Frozen 2? “Until we find our way into what’s next, emotionally, it will feel too big,” she said. Good things come to those who wait!Patti LuPone & Bobby Cannavale Team-UpBroadway faves Patti LuPone and Bobby Cannavale will lead the cast of a benefit performance of Tennessee Williams’ Tony-winning play The Rose Tattoo. Directed by Doug Hughes, the one-night-only event will take place on April 27 at Broadway’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Why this project for LuPone? “This is a play of power, humanity and soaring emotion,” the two-time Tony winner said in a statement.All the Way Finds Its DirectorThe upcoming HBO screen adaptation of the Bryan Cranston-led All the Way will be helmed by Jay Roach (Game Change), writes The Hollywood Reporter. Cranston won a Tony for his Broadway debut in the Tony-winning All The Way; the production’s Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan will pen the screenplay. No word yet on timing.First Look at Jonathan Groff’s Return to GleeBroadway and Hamilton fave Jonathan Groff is returning to Glee for the Fox show’s final series and we finally have our first glimpse of his star turn. Check out the teaser trailer for the 11th episode below, where Rachel (Lea Michele) must choose between returning to NYADA and doing another Broadway show with her past love, Jesse St. James (Groff). “We Built This Glee Club” will air on March 13, so time to set your DVR! Star Filescenter_img Jonathan Grofflast_img read more