After the presentation and a brief series of committee reports, the Student Senators discussed CommUniversity Day. Breen-Phillips senator Erin Burke said she “had a really good experience” and found the event to be well organized. One detail that is changing is the involvement of new Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly. Kelly will be present at The Shirt’s unveiling, which is set to take place April 23. “I think it’s going to be something the student body really likes,” Gigante said.In addition, Gigante also elaborated on a few minor details of the project, including the unchanged price and retailer. The Student Senate also held elections for representatives on the Financial Management Board, Campus Life Council, Council of Representatives and the Judicial Council. Badin senator Ellen Carroll agreed, though she said the transportation situation could be improved. In addition to transportation, advertising was also expressed as a concern. Mick Mulhall, chairman of the Committee on Academic Affairs, discussed the limited advertising campaign. “I agree that it was discussed in small groups but being a new member in the student government club, I didn’t really hear about it until I joined,” Mulhall said. “[Kelly] took on the shirt as one of his pet projects,” Gigante said. “Exclusively the deal is with the [Hammes Notre Dame] Bookstore,” Gigante said. “It’s $15. It won’t ever change.” Pangborn senator Tierney Roche and Keough senator Mark Paolano were elected to the Financial Management Board. Despite these minor criticisms, Paige Becker, chairman of the Oversight Committee, said CommUniversity Day was a success. Student Senate discussed CommUniversity Day and held elections for representatives to the Financial Management Board, Campus Life Council, Council of Representatives and the Judicial Council during its meeting Wednesday night.Before discussions, however, the Senate listened to a presentation by junior Chris Gigante, president of The Shirt Project. Gigante expressed his enthusiasm for The Shirt 2010. Carroll senator John Sanders, Knott senator Alex Kasparie and O’Neill senator Mike Ryan were elected to the Campus Life Council. Fischer senator Dan McShea, Morrissey senator Michael Ferguson, Duncan senator Jack Healy, Walsh senator Hallie Brewster and Burke were elected to the Council of Representatives.
The city of South Bend is suffering an identity crisis. On Jan. 21, Newsweek named South Bend as eighth on its list of “Dying Cities.” However, the National Civic League also recently recognized South Bend as an “All-American City.” University spokesman Dennis Brown said Newsweek’s ranking system, based on negative population shifts, is misleading. “We think South Bend and other cities that were singled out by Newsweek have been mischaracterized with a negative label that is based on a narrow, random, flawed methodology,” he said. “We think it’s wrong.” Don Bishop, associate vice president of Undergraduate Enrollment, said he felt the magazine’s ranking failed to grasp the true characteristics of what makes a city great. “I think it was overly simplistic,” he said. “They didn’t even reflect on the deeper understanding of what it means to be a great city.” He said such attributes garnered recognition for South Bend in 2009 when it was chosen as a finalist for the National Civic League’s All-America City competition. South Bend Mayor Steve Luecke said in an interview with The Observer that Newsweek’s article does not reflect on the vibrant culture of the city. “If people come to know the heart of the people of South Bend, and come to see great opportunities we have with recreation, cultural, entertainment opportunities, and now even more so with job opportunities coming based on research parks, they can form a different picture of South Bend,” he said. Brown said people often do not realize the positive influence higher education has in regions such as South Bend. “The University believes there is a lot going for [South Bend],” he said. “What I think is lost sometimes is South Bend has an anchor — one of the preeminent universities in the country, and we are not going anywhere.” Brown said this effect is created not only by Notre Dame but also by the five other colleges in the region. He said even though South Bend faces challenges, students continue to apply to the school in record numbers. “The fact of the matter is, the problems cities like South Bend face aren’t new. This past fall, we attracted 16,000 applicants for the incoming class,” Brown said. “That broke the application record by 2,000 [applicants]. It wasn’t just barely beating the record.” Brown said the article also does not seem to have impacted the interest of faculty the University is currently recruiting. Bishop said while prospective students and their parents are more drawn to Notre Dame than the surrounding area, these potential faculty are interested in the relationship between the city and the school. “Notre Dame itself is a destination that people come to,” he said. “One of the thing they like is the increased relationship between Notre Dame and the city.” Bishop said most applicants are more interested in what they can do for the surrounding community rather than what the community can offer them. “Today’s students want to be more public service oriented,” he said. “They’re not looking so much at the services of the city as much as can they be of service to the city.” Students applying to the University focus on Notre Dame as a college rather than South Bend as a city, Bishop said. “Most families considering Notre Dame are more concerned with whether they can get admitted, whether financial aid will be sufficient and whether our programs are better than their other choices,” he said. While applicants and their parents may be interested in dining, housing and shopping options in South Bend, Bishop said they recognize what the Notre Dame campus itself can offer. “They understand at Notre Dame there is more entertainment on campus then at most colleges,” he said. Bishop said students looking for an urban campus probably should consider options other than Notre Dame. However, he said what the campus does offer is special even though it is not in a metropolitan area. “With the defined campus today, [students] want it to have a relationship with the nearby city,” Bishop said. “They like the best of both worlds. They like having their own defined space and the ability to get out of that space.” Brown said there is a tendency among students to not recognize all that is offered in South Bend. Brown is originally from San Diego and has lived in South Bend for 20 years. “This kind of community is not for everyone. If you want a big city or warm weather all the time, this is not the place for you,” Brown said. “But if you want a place that has great values and is centrally located, close to big cities, has a great cost of living index, then South Bend is the place to live.” Brown said one of the most exciting things about South Bend is the growing relationship between the city and Notre Dame. “The community and Notre Dame are working together to reinvent the city. Everyone knows it was a blue-collar based city for decades,” he said. “Now there is a new move towards technology and service.” Luecke said the city certainly is well situated despite some struggles. “The South Bend that I see is a vibrant community,” he said. “It certainly has challenges, but I believe they are in our capacity to deal with, and continue to grow and improve.” Working together, Brown said Notre Dame and South Bend have the capability to make the city a better place. “There are a lot of things happening. It is not a place that is sitting back and throwing its hands up in the air asking, ‘What are we going to do?’” Madeline Buckley contributed to this report.
“‘Welcome home.’ You all remember that on your acceptance letter. We push the home-mindset hard: ‘Home Under the Dome,’ ‘Domesick.’ But when we receive emails like the one we received on Tuesday, I struggle to call Notre Dame my home,” senior Michael Nolan said to about 50 students, faculty and staff gathered at the Grotto on Friday afternoon.Last Tuesday, the University community received its fourth sexual assault-related crime report email from Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) this academic year. The assault took place in the early hours of March 20 in a North Quad men’s residence hall, according to the NDSP crime alert.In response to the alert and in accordance with its policy, Student Government hosted a prayer service Friday afternoon to pray for survivors of sexual violence on campus.Incoming student body president and vice president juniors Bryan Ricketts and Nidia Ruelas delivered the reflection, in which they contemplated beginnings and endings.“Why, then, are we gathered here today? What has ended?” Ruelas said. “I suggest to you that we all have recognized that in a single sexual assault, we saw the end of someone’s trust and a fracture in our community.“We marked the end of almost seven months to the day since the last time we received an alert. We felt an end to our belief that Notre Dame is not a place where sexual assault happens. Emma Farnan | The Observer Students gather at the Grotto Friday to pray for victims of sexual violence and for an end to sexual assault on campus.“This feeling is not a pleasant one. But it’s important that we are all here, together, to feel it collectively. Here, we can be honest about the pain. We can admit to one another that a breach of our trust has occurred. A breach of our family, of our Catholic ideal of the dignity and respect of every human being, has taken place, and we cannot ignore this,” Ruelas said.Calling to mind the national “One is Too Many” campaign launched by the White House last year, Ricketts asked aloud how the ending Ruelas described could also be viewed as a beginning for the community as it moves forward.“I suggest to you that we all recognize that in coming together to respond to a single sexual assault, we see the renewal of our work to build a culture on campus that says ‘one is too many,’” he said. “We mark the renewal of a time period in which we will do our part to be our brothers’ and our sisters’ keeper.“We feel a renewal of our belief that Notre Dame can be a place where sexual assault no longer happens. This feeling is a hopeful one. And it is crucial that we are all here, together, to feel it collectively. A sense of healing may take days, weeks or months to build, but we believe that it can be done and that it is meaningful to do it.”Drawing from his own personal experience, Nolan said healing required not only a change in perspective, but reclaiming the University as a home for those who suffered there.“I’m not happy with us. I’m not proud that this is only the fourth email we have gotten this year,” Nolan said. “Over 20 cases of sexual assault at Notre Dame have been documented each year while I have been here. I know. My sophomore year, I was one of 24. I thought exactly what this person is probably thinking now.“If I didn’t drink that much, it wouldn’t have happened. If I kicked, screamed or bit him, it wouldn’t have happened. If I didn’t go to that party, it wouldn’t have happened. If I didn’t go to Notre Dame, it wouldn’t have happened.“What happened to this home? Our home? For a place that strives to be so intellectual and about high achievement and so much better than the rest of the world, we should know better. Notre Dame should be better. This home was extinguished for me and for everyone who has suffered a trauma here. But we’re going to make it a new home.“ … Notre Dame will be home. It will be a place where you are welcome, where you are looked out for and where you are loved. So please, join me in my call. Welcome home.”Tags: It’s On Us, One is too many, Prayer service, Ricketts-Ruelas, sexual assault, sexual assault prayer service, The Grotto
Tags: sexual assault Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) alerted students via email Tuesday to a report of sexual assault that took place in the early morning hours Friday in a men’s residence hall on North Quad.The report was made to a University official, the email said.Quoting from “du Lac: A Guide to Student Life,” the email defined consent as a clearly communicated agreement, which cannot be inferred from “silence, passivity or lack of active resistance” or given if a person is intoxicated.“Anyone initiating any kind of sexual contact with another person must seek consent and not engage in sexual contact unless consent is given,” the email said.Further quoting du Lac, the email said sexual misconduct is inconsistent with the University’s values, and everyone in the community is responsible for maintaining a safe environment.“On college campuses, perpetrators are more likely to assault an acquaintance than a stranger,” the email read. “Being aware of your own safety and watching out for your friends are important steps you can take to reduce the risk of sexual assault.“The perpetrator, not the survivor, is responsible for any instance of sexual assault. Nothing a survivor does or does not do is an excuse for sexual assault.”Information about sexual assault and resources for survivors can be found at ndsp.nd.edu and csap.nd.edu
One of the most powerful and influential bodies in student government, the Financial Management Board is starting its new term under the leadership of 2015-2016 Student Union treasurer and chairwoman Janie Goodson.New Financial Management Board member and Junior Class Council treasurer Mason Zurovchak said the board has a wide range of responsibilities that many students are unaware of, even though the board’s activities have a large impact on campus life.Under the Student Union Constitution, members of the Financial Management Board Student are the Student Union treasurer, the Student Union Policy Branch controller, the Student Union Board controller, the Hall Presidents’ Council treasurer, the Club Coordination Council controller, the Judicial Council president, the Student Business board manager, every Class Council treasurer, the Off-Campus Council president and two members of Student Senate.Zurovchak said many board members are pursuing studies related to their roles on the board, including majors in finance, accounting and economics. However, he said this not a requirement for membership on the board.Zurovchak said the primary job of the Financial Management Board is to review and approve the budgets of every club, which they do in the winter and in the spring. The board can approve the full amount requested, allocate less than that amount or, in rare cases, deny funding altogether.In addition to scrutinizing the annual club budgets, the Financial Management Board reviews large individual expenditures.“Anytime any club on campus wants to spend more than $5,000, whether it’s their money or anyone else’s, we look over the proposal and what the event is to make sure they’re spending the money responsibly,” Zurovchak said. “We don’t want anyone to waste too much money on an event that doesn’t have any value.”Zurovchak cited the Notre Dame Dance-A-Thon, put on by the Sophomore Class Council on April 10, as an example of a large, expensive event that requires the approval of the Financial Management Board.While these audits comprise the board’s most well-known functions, Zurovchak said the board also has the critical job of managing proceeds from “The Shirt.” Money made from sales of The Shirt goes to a healthcare fund for students who cannot cover their own medical expenses. After the administration filters through and narrows down the pool of claims, the Financial Management Board must approve requests from students who seek help from this fund and examine them based on two criteria: the rarity of the condition, essentially whether or not it would normally be covered by University health care or other common insurance plans, and the financial status of the student and family.In order to preserve the integrity of the process and the confidentiality of students, Zurovchak said full anonymity is maintained, and the boards does not have access to any unnecessarily revealing information.Tags: Financial Management Board, Student Union
Chris Collins | The Observer Three seniors involved with a local tax assistance program contribute to a panel discussion during a lecture about the ethics of helping the community through business professions. Throughout his talk, Burke said he sees value in taking chances and forgoing the safest or most comfortable option. The pay cut, he said, is worth it. “You will learn far more doing service than any for-profit job you can find in America,” Burke said. “Why? Because a nonprofit has limited resources, which means they have to stretch you. They have to have you do 12 different jobs, not one job. My point is, take a chance. Do something different. There is no risk at your age. There is no risk. The only risk is not taking that chance, doing something different and really doing it.”Burke said he started the tax-assistance program that would become Ladder Up as a young employee at Arthur Andersen in Chicago following his 1994 graduation from Notre Dame. He said he pitched the program as a way to develop young employees’ skills in finding client needs. His business model, Burke said, was based on three corporations: Walmart, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.“Walmart in the sense of a superstore: You go into Walmart. You can get Goldfish. You can get clothes. You can get groceries,” he said. “You walk into one of our Ladder Up organizations, and no matter what your situation is, we can help you — supercenter of service.”The program was immediately successful, Burke said, so he convinced Arthur Andersen’s biggest clients and other accounting firms to get involved. Since then, Ladder Up has expanded into 12 cities across the United States, he said. Through the difficult task of growing a nonprofit, Burke said he learned three skills applicable to any entrepreneurial endeavor.“One, how to motivate people without material incentive,” Burke said. “No. 2, how to be a good steward of people’s money, not only in terms of foundations and contributions, but the clients you’re helping. The poorest of the poor need your help more than any client you’ll serve at any Big Four firm. I repeat, the clients you serve need your money and your advice moreso than any client you’ll serve in the for-profit world.”Another valuable skill, he said, involves properly formatting an organization to allow everyone to contribute.“The third thing is how to build scale through standardized operating procedures,” Burke said. ”At Ladder Up, we have defined roles and responsibilities for every single person in the organization.”Those responsibilities include making clients feel welcome and comfortable during the intimate process of relaying financial information, marital status, social security numbers and other highly personal information, he said. To do the job well, Burke said, building relationships and trust is necessary.“The ability to serve somebody is a gift,” Burke said. “You get more out of it than what you’re helping with a family. There’s dignity in service.”Burke said working in nonprofit has been far more rewarding than his work in the for-profit company he also founded. For some of the families Ladder Up serves, Burke said, their tax return is their single largest paycheck of the year.Following Burke’s talk, three seniors involved in Notre Dame’s local tax-assistance program in the South Bend community expressed similar feelings toward their interactions with clients.“When you’re applying specialized knowledge, in this case tax knowledge, to help people … that can be really empowering and exciting, because you know that if you were not there, if you hadn’t learned those things in your classes, if you hadn’t put the time in to learn how to do that stuff, then these people would not be able to accomplish what they’re trying to accomplish,” senior Asher Enciso said. “It’s really gratifying to talk to these people and know you’re making an impact.”Burke said he advises people to do what they love rather than to do what others perceive to be the smart decision.“To me, if you’re doing something you’re passionate about, you don’t look at it as a job,” Burke said. “If you’re punching the clock and you have one of these traditional jobs, I think there’s only so much satisfaction you can get.”Tags: Arthur Andersen, Ethics week, Ladder Up, mendoza college of business, Tax Assistance Program, Walmart Mendoza College of Business kicked off its Ethics Week — which offers lectures from experts in a range of professional fields — Monday afternoon with a talk and panel featuring Bob Burke, founder of Ladder Up, which is a nonprofit tax-assistance program for low-income families and individuals.
Annie Smierciak Students meet with employers at the 2019 Fall Career Fair. The annual fair is hosted by the Meruelo Center for Career Development and provides students with the chance to explore job and internship opportunities.Willerton said the Meruelo Center for Career Development has been helping students prepare for the career fair since the start of the school year by hosting workshops and presentations on resume writing, improving interview skills and building literacy with LinkedIn and Handshake, among other opportunities.“Our staff of 10 career counselors have been meeting with students individually to tailor their approaches to the career fair, and a number of campus departments have scheduled events in conjunction with the career fair to offer students opportunities to meet with alums and recruiters,” Willterton said in the email.Michelle Feely, a master’s student pursuing an M.S. in engineering, science, technology and entrepreneurship, said she came to the career fair to speak with healthcare companies. Notre Dame’s fair offered a more diverse selection of companies than those she had attended in the past, she said.“There was a whole row that was filled with healthcare, biotech pharmaceuticals — also life science consulting — so it was really nice,” she said.Though some students land jobs or internships at the fair, many are there to acquaint themselves with job opportunities and to strengthen relationships with employers.Sophomore Philip Hough said he was on the hunt for summer opportunities. He appreciated how personable the representatives were, he said.“There were a lot of people in there that were really great, especially a lot of alumni who seemed like they’re trying to help out,” Hough said. “ … Some conversations lasted two minutes, some lasted 10 [to] 15. Most of them were actually longer conversations”While the fair saw a high number of companies represented, a disproportionate number were there to plug careers in consulting, senior computer science major Abigail Lane said.“There’s not a ton of just pure tech,” she said. “So we definitely have room to grow there.”Senior Emma Shimek, who is majoring in mechanical engineering, said that lack of representation makes it hard for students interested in pursuing careers in technology to network.“I know there’s people who work for Google and Apple from our school, but they have to work hard outside of what our career center provides to get those opportunities,” she said.Additionally, some of the lines for employers ran long, Shimek said. Waiting in line could at times take upwards of 40 minutes, she said.“I talked to four different companies, and two of them were industry and two of them were consulting,” Shimek said. “And that took me two and a half hours, because [there were] so many people.”This year Notre Dame also piloted a new career search platform, Handshake. Shimek said she finds the platform more useful than the University’s former platform, IrishCompass.“I think it gives a little bit more access that might be room for us to get more like employers from different areas,” she said.Students who weren’t able to make this year’s fair need not worry, Willerton said — more opportunities for career engagement abound.“The Fall Career Fair is just one of the many pieces of the puzzle with the career development process,” he said.Tags: career development, career fair, Ryan Willerton Students swarmed the Joyce Center Fieldhouse for career and internship networking opportunities Tuesday afternoon at Notre Dame’s annual Fall Career Fair.This year’s fair offered students the opportunity to meet one-on-one with representatives from 200 businesses and organizations from a wide array of disciplines. Traditionally, the fair was held in Notre Dame Stadium, but was relocated based on employer feedback, Ryan Willerton, associate vice president for career and professional development, said in an email.
This week, campus organizations will come together with members of the Notre Dame community for StaND Against Hate Week to discuss hatred on and off campus, and how to oppose it.Hosted by the Gender Relations Center (GRC), and co-sponsored by Student Government, Campus Ministry, PrismND and other campus groups, the week aims to promote discussion and foster a spirit of inclusion on campus, Sara Agostinelli, assistant director of LGBTQ initiatives and administration, said.“StaND Against Hate Week is a week that we host within the Gender Relations Center annually that really focuses on human dignity, as well as the intersectionality of identities and how are we fully, authentically ourselves and looking at these different intersections, whether it’s race, faith, gender identity or sexual identity,” she said. “It’s really founded in the spirit of inclusion as well as founded in Catholic social teaching on human dignity.”The various groups and individuals contributing to StaND Against Hate Week have planned events for every day this week, including a workshop on restorative justice on Tuesday, a pledge signing on Wednesday and a lecture by a Navajo code-talker on Thursday.While the mission of the week has remained the same as in past years, Agostinelli said that this year’s organizers have tried to expand the range of topics covered by the week’s programming.“While it’s always looked at human dignity, as we bring in more work around the intersections with race and bring in some more work in those other areas, I think it’s allowed us to not be stagnant in the same thing every year, but really take on different opportunities,” she said. “This year we’re doing an event around restorative justice, and that’s not something we’ve ever done before as part of this week, but it’s a great way for students of all identities to really think about their own communities and how they can learn practical skills such as restorative justice and bring that into their groups, and really think about restorative justice as an opportunity to discuss and dialogue.”Agostinelli said that, although the event is hosted by the GRC, students play a critical role in designing, planning and running the week’s programming.“I think a lot of these ideas are things that came about from students, and what students are wanting to see and are passionate about and ‘How do we as an office help support the vision they have for their Notre Dame?’” she said. “Even [regarding] the design, we have student graphic designers, so the logo, the ‘Spread love not hate,’ was developed by students. I think what’s really special is that the GRC provides a home and a base go start this but by no means is our sole conversation. It’s rather us cultivating relationships with students and expanding on how do we talk about human dignity as a group and how are we supporting our students in the conversations they’re wanting to see on this campus.”Senior Kenzie Isaac is the Student Government director of diversity and inclusion, and is co-leading the ‘Let’s Talk About Race’ event planned for Thursday. The event, part of a four-part dialogue, will explore the intersection between race and gender, Isaac said.“Compatible with the greater StaND Against Hate Week mission in the GRC, we’re going to be looking at race and gender and sexuality and how race informs gender and sexual expression, and then conversely, how your gender and your sexual orientation and identity can inform your experiences with race or if it can compound with some of the experiences with race that other people have,” she said. “So that’s kind of my main undertaking for StaND Against Hate Week.”Isaac said this year’s StaND Against Hate Week is timely, given the recent announcement that Notre Dame will host the 2020 United States Presidential Debates.“I think it’s especially important that we move towards a radical hope and radical healing and reconciliation, because we’re going to need it,” she said. “When the presidential debate happens on our campus next year, we need to have a fundamental comfort with ourselves before we try to engage in the high-level dialogue that those debates are going to thrust us into. I think that this is a really timely week, and I’m just grateful to be a small part of the operation.”Isaac said she encourages students to attend the events planned for StaND Against Hate Week, and hopes that the week can inspire students to become active allies for marginalized students on campus.“I think that that the operative term in [‘StaND Against Hate Week’] is ‘stand.’ I think that it could be widely agreed upon that hatred in all of its manifestations is unacceptable,” she said. “We kind of navigate a campus, especially such a campus rooted in values as this, with that being an unspoken rule of interacting and engaging with one another, but there’s not a lot of active advocacy and allyship that’s directed towards our marginalized students.”Tags: Diversity and Inclusion, GRC, PrismND, StaND Against Hate Week
After the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross announced seven confirmed coronavirus cases within the convent, the Saint Mary’s Office of Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE) and alumnae wanted to give students a way to show the sisters their support. In an email to the student body, the office invited students to “show some love to the Convent“ and create handmade cards or posters with words of encouragement for the sisters.Kris Choinacky, assistant director of the OCSE, said this goal was central to the office‘s initiative of writing cards to the sisters.“When we heard that the Sisters of the Holy Cross have several confirmed cases of COVID-19, we wanted to find a way for students to be able to share their encouragement,” she said.Choinacky noted that Belles should use their imagination in writing their messages.“Students can be creative in their messaging to Sisters from homemade cards to electronic messages,” she said. “These cards will be compiled into a video that will be shared with the Sisters.”Several students and alumnae have already sent in cards. Choinacky said she hopes the OCSE can collect messages from as much of the Saint Mary’s community as possible.In order to make the video, cards should be emailed to [email protected] by Thursday at midnight.Saint Mary‘s alumnae Tori Veen and Siobhan Gilligan have also started a movement to send words of hope to the sisters.Veen posted her original request for cards to members in the Saint Mary‘s Buying and Selling Facebook page Friday, reminding students that the sisters are going through a difficult time without any support from visitors.“There are no family or other visitors allowed inside the convent at this time in an effort to help stop the potential spread of the virus and mitigate damages the virus may cause,” she said on the page. “I imagine this situation is extremely stressful, and maybe even a little scary, for the sisters, novices, and the convent staff. We want the sisters to know that we are there for them during this time of uncertainty. Therefore, I am inviting you to take a few moments of your day to write a letter or note to one of the sisters at the Holy Cross convent.”Veen said she and Gilligan wanted to start the letter-writing project because of their bond with the sisters during their time at the College.“We heard about the virus hitting the convent, and we wanted to do something to help because we both have been impacted by the sisters during our time at Saint Mary‘s,” she said. “We started bouncing ideas off of one another, and she came up with the idea of the letters, which we loved instantly.”Students can fill out a Google Form before April 24 to let Veen and Gilligan know that they want to write a letter. They will be provided with the name of the sister they are assigned at that point.Veen has asked that students send their letters to Gilligan by April 30.“We will then ship all the letters to the convent in one box, so they have the ability to let the box and the letters sit for 24 hours before passing them out to the sisters,” she said.Veen emphasized the importance of the sisters to the Saint Mary’s community and encouraged students to share messages of love with them.“The sisters have been and will always continue to be there for all past and present Saint Mary‘s students and it would be amazing to show the sisters that the love is not only received but also shared,” she said.Tags: Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, COVID-19, encouragement, Hope, letters, OCSE, SMC alumnae
Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Photo: PxhereJAMESTOWN – While the COVID-19 pandemic has everyone on edge, expecting mothers represent one group that may have more concerns than others.Those pregnant, no doubt are questioning if the new virus poses a risk to the baby.In response, a COVID-19 maternity task force has been created in New York State to urgently protect mothers and ensure women have much needed safe birthing options.The task at hand will be to authorize and certify additional birth centers to expecting mothers during the pandemic and in hopes to ease the already stressed hospitals. It is spearheaded by the Secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa and the New York State Council on Women and Girls. The task force will also review the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy in the state.“This pandemic strained our hospital system in a way no one could have ever imagined, and while New York leads in ensuring laboring mothers were able to have a healthy partner, friend or family member with them during childbirth we can and should explore additional ways to make the experience less stressful,” said DeRosa.“Birth centers can serve as a safe alternative for low risk pregnancies, reliving the strain on hospitals and providing a supportive environment for mothers during an already stressful time.”The task force is expected to make recommendations to Gov. Andrew Cuomo by the end of the week. The location of these birth centers is yet to be announced. The task force will maintain an ad hoc status throughout the COVID-19 state of emergency to address any additional issues related to COVID-19 during pregnancy through the postpartum period.