Month: January 2021

Muslim student group teaches the art of Quranic recitation

first_imgNotre Dame’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) invites students to engage in prayer around the world Tuesday with the Art of Qur’an Recitation. Priscilla Wong, associate director of cross-cultural ministry for Campus Ministry, said the event is part of the Prayer Around the World series — a program started approximately eight years ago to promote interfaith understanding and dialogue. “We thought that we need to bring people together, and sharing how we pray is welcoming people into our faith and culture,” Wong said. “We work with people from that faith community and it’s a way that they can hold discussions and also have questions and answers.” Wong said in the past, Campus Ministry’s Muslim prayer services featured PowerPoint presentations that explained prayer posture and the basic pillars of the faith. This year, Wong said the MSA chose to focus on the art of recitation. First-year graduate student Aamir Ahmed Khan, coordinator of the event, said recitation of the Qur’an is a fundamental part of prayer. Muslims believe the Qur’an is the word of God to the prophet Muhammad. “Muslim prayer is five times a day and they recite some part of the Qur’an in each of the prayers, and they want to do so in the most beautiful voices,” Khan said. “If somebody wants to become successful or skillful in this art, he has to train also, and there are many very famous reciters in the world that are excelling in this field … It basically requires the mastery of the up and down of the voice, also using several of your muscles in the mouth or throat to correctly pronounce Arabic.” Khan said Rasoul Rasoulipour, a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Theology, will discuss the significance of the prayer form and recite part of the Qur’an. Rasoulipour will also share examples of other people’s recitations. Khan said the Art of Qur’an Recitation will feature another speaker, Abdul Rashied Omar, and a review of the book “The Art of Reciting the Qur’an” by Kristina Nelson. There will also be a question and answer session. “The book review we are doing [is] just to highlight the scholarship that is going into researching and learning about reciting Qur’an,” Khan said. “There are books about it and we chose this book especially because it is by an American professor, so the general audience can connect to it.” Wong said interfaith understanding and dialogue helps to connect cultures. “The more we can invite other people into our prayer, into our faith, not converting people, but just [inviting] them into it, it really helps us understand each other or embrace each other,” she said. “And I personally believe that is how we, as humanity, are tied together.” Learning about other faiths makes a person think and feel about his or her own religion, Wong said. “They’re entering this way of communicating with God and they make their faith life better,” she said. “So the intention is not to try to convert people, but to help learning by [comparing] and [contrasting] so that we embrace our own [faith] more dearly.” Khan said MSA consists of 20 to 30 graduate students and slightly more undergraduates. He said most of the graduate students are from other countries, whereas most of the undergraduates are American citizens. MSA celebrates Muslim festivals and helps new Muslim students adjust to attending a Catholic university, Khan said. “Because Muslims have to pray five times a day, we also gather occasionally for afternoon prayer at [the Coleman-Morse Center],” he said. “So these services are basically for Muslim students on campus, but the event like this … is [a] kind of outreach.” Khan said Campus Ministry and MSA are hosting the Art of Qur’an Recitation to expose students to other forms of prayer. “I think this will be very helpful for people of the Catholic community and also other religions that don’t have an idea about how Muslims go about their prayers,” he said. The prayer service will take place Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Coleman-Morse Center.last_img read more

Students ready for Mad event

first_imgThough the weather remains cold, Saint Mary’s students can look forward to heating up the competition between classes as the annual Midnight Madness approaches. Midnight Madness, to be held Feb. 28, pits each class against each other in a night of minute-to-win-it games and a student and faculty dodgeball game that earn points for each class. At the end of the night, the class with the most points wins a pizza party and bragging rights. The Student Activities Board (SAB) Traditional Events Committee is coordinating this year’s Midnight Madness. “We really hope that students will gain a sense of bonding with their classmates and engage in some friendly competition,” senior committee member Megan Kloc said. “Most of all, we hope they continue to show pride in our school.” Kloc is the only member of the Traditional Events Committee that has previous experience planning Midnight Madness. In the past, the athletics department sponsored Midnight Madness, but Student Activities took over in 2011 in an attempt to revive the annual event. “I have been lending my expertise on how to run the event and how to improve it from previous years,” Kloc said. “Midnight Madness is an event that was popular many years ago and was revived so that a new generation of students could enjoy it as much as alumnae have in the past.” Liz Robbins, co-chair of the SAB Traditional Events Committee, said the night will feature a DJ, guest student emcee and a performance by Saint Mary’s cheerleaders. Representatives from each class will be picked to compete in the different games throughout the night to win points and prizes for their class. “At the end of the night, students will learn who the top-secret artist is for this year’s Tostal,” Robbins said. Robbins hopes students will find themselves united amongst classes as well as one student body, she said. Students should each wear their class colors to the event – purple for freshman, pink for sophomores, green for juniors and blue for seniors. “There will also be face paint provided for girls to enhance their class spirit during the event,” Kloc said. “Come decked out in your class colors and show support for your year.” During the week of Midnight Madness, Robbins said students should look out for pre-event games in the dining halls, which will provide an opportunity to earn points in advance. Midnight Madness will be held Feb. 28 at 9:30 p.m. in the Angela Athletic Facility.last_img read more

Campus Ministry creates new retreat for freshmen

first_imgNotre Dame Campus Ministry will hold the first-ever freshman mini-retreat, called the Tender, Strong and True Retreat, on Oct. 30, according to Alex White, senior campus ministry intern for retreats, pilgrimages and spirituality.“This year, we are holding a freshman mini-retreat that will only be seven or eight hours long,” White said. “The hope of that was to have a more intensified retreat experience, giving the participants the ability to feel like they can give time to the experience, while still allowing time for their studies.”White said the switch to a mini-retreat came after the spirituality study conducted by Campus Ministry last semester revealed that students wanted to attend retreats, but often struggled with lengths of the events.“[The spirituality study] found that a lot of students expressed difficulty in personal prayer,” White said. “Notre Dame prays well as a community, as seen during Father Hesburgh’s funeral and whenever students rally around sexual violence on campus. However, many people expressed trouble with personal prayer. This retreat is to help freshman foster a sense of individual prayer and an individual relationship with God.”White said there will be a more individualistic feeling to the retreat, which is designed to engage participants in personal reflections.“It is going to be different than other retreats students may have experienced in the past, simply because it is a mini-retreat. There will be a small group, there will be student witnesses, there will be time specifically set aside for personal prayer,” White said. “However, this whole retreat is geared towards incorporating God into your life, so freshman can expect to reflect on their life and what is important to them and how they feel they can incorporate God into any part of their life that they feel He belongs in.”White said the retreat will focus on three aspects of freshman life: academics, faith and social life.“This particular mini-retreat is called the Tender, Strong and True Retreat. Each of those three parts — which are taken from our Alma Mater — correspond with the three movements of the retreat. Therefore, we want them to at least start to think about how they can incorporate their faith into their social sphere, their academic sphere and the place where god is supposed to take precedence, like in the church or during a retreat. We have the academic part which is tender, the retreat part, which is strong, and the social part, which corresponds to true.”White said the retreat will emphasize the “movement” between the three segments by making the freshman physically move around campus to different areas that correspond with the retreat.The retreat will be held in DeBartolo Hall, Jordan Hall of Science and Coleman-Morse Center, with a concluding prayer service in the Basilica. There will also be a social afterwards, designed to create community among students after a more individually focused retreat, White said.“We wanted to put students in the environment that they are actually going to be in during classes,” he said. “So for the academic portion of the retreat, we wanted to have the place reiterate what we were hoping the students to reflect upon, which is God incorporated into their studies — how can they be a good Christian and a good student at the same time.“It’s a big transitional time in their lives and there is a lot being thrown at them at college. We want to help them incorporate faith into their lives.”Tags: Campus Ministry, freshmen, freshmen retreat, retreat, Strong and True Retreat, Tenderlast_img read more

University to debut new ID cards

first_imgThis summer, when Notre Dame students, faculty and staff begin to use new ID cards, they will find a notable component of the old ID cards missing — the barcode. Though the new cards will still feature magnetic strip technology — which uses the black line found on the back of current ID cards — they will also feature chip technology, according to Irish1Card program director, Daniel Tormey.The ultimate goal of the project is to transition out of magnetic strip technology and move into chip technology, which is more secure, Tormey said.“Mag[netic] strip technology has been in place for many many decades and it’s fairly inexpensive and fairly reliable,” he said. “But also, it’s not very secure.”Tormey said current magnetic strip technology makes it easy to produce duplicates of ID cards.“It’s very easy to duplicate or clone cards and so lots of schools and now many are ahead of us where they’re transitioning or have transitioned to more secure contactless chips,” he said.Tormey said the new ID card chips will feature a “touch, hold and go” system, rather than the credit card style chips that must be inserted into a chip reader.“One of the things I usually point out too, when we talk about chips and cards, this is not the credit card, EMV chip, so it’s not that kind of customer experience where you slide it into a reader and you’re not really sure what to do at that point,” he said.In order to choose a design for the new ID cards, the Irish1Card program narrowed potential designs down to three options, then allowed students to vote for their favorite. Tormey said students “overwhelmingly” voted in favor of the winning design.“Voting was not close … which was good,” he said. “We were hoping it wouldn’t be too close of a finish where people would be disappointed.”The new ID card also competed in a contest for best new card design at the National Association for Campus Card Users national conference according to Tormey.“I think there were over 50 schools in the running and then we were narrowed down to the top five [designs]” he said. “Then all conference participants were encouraged to vote and we won best new card design, which in the card world, is a big deal for us.”Tormey said one of the biggest logistical challenges of the project was ensuring that all of the systems which utilize the ID cards would be included in the transition.“There’s just a lot of connections on the back end that people and even card users wouldn’t necessarily see or ever notice,” he said. “That’s been really the bulk of our phase one work — to make sure that when we make all these changes in the system, we’re not breaking all of these integrations.”The transition to a new type of ID card technology has been a notable change for the university, Tormey said.“This is a pretty significant and aggressive change for a card program,” he said. “Schools do it but they don’t do this kind of change very often because the level of work and just the amount of time it takes to research what the impact is going to be, it’s been significant.”Tags: Chip technology, Irish1Card, National Association for Campus Card Userslast_img read more

Shakespeare festival to launch into its 18th year in the summer

first_imgFor its 18th consecutive year, the Shakespeare at Notre Dame initiative will present the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival this summer, drawing upon student and professional talent to bring new life to the Bard’s works. A production of “Twelfth Night,” performed entirely by undergraduate and graduate student apprentices from colleges across the country will tour the Michiana area. Additionally, “Much Ado About Nothing” will be performed on campus by a cast of both student apprentices and professional actors. The festival also features a touring theater company, Actors from the London Stage, one of two major programs managed by Shakespeare at Notre Dame. The initiative’s mission, according to its website, is “to establish Notre Dame nationally and internationally as a center for the study of Shakespeare in performance.” Grant Mudge, former founding artistic director for the Richmond Shakespeare Festival, has served as the artistic director for the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival for the past five years. Although this will be the 18th year of the festival, Shakespeare has been performed at Notre Dame nearly since its founding, Mudge said.“Shakespeare goes back to the absolute earliest years of the University,” he said. “Just a few years ago, in 2014, we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the first ever Shakespeare performance on campus — the first full production. They did scenes of ‘Henry IV’ as early as 1847.”Mudge said the festival has four programs — a professional company, a touring company and both an adult and youth performance of “ShakeScenes,” in which members of the community rehearse and perform 10-minute scenes from Shakespeare, assisted by professional direction, staging and lighting.The cast of “Twelfth Night” will be entirely comprised of graduate and undergraduate students, primarily from Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, but also from other colleges across the country, Mudge said. They will rehearse for three weeks before touring to deliver 10 to 11 shows.“In the morning the apprentices have voice text and movement classes, in the afternoon they have shop assignments — whether that be scene, costume, marketing, lighting or sound, depending on the needs of the week,” Mudge said. “And then in the evenings, they rehearse outdoors. They rehearse their show for three weeks, and then run it on the road.”This year’s professional performance of “Much Ado about Nothing,” Mudge said, will take a very different direction from last year’s performance of “The Tempest.”“Last summer we had the Cirque [du Soleil]-inspired [performance] with aerial acrobatics and one of the world’s greatest jugglers playing Trinculo,” he said. “It sold out the entire run, so this year, one of the big challenges was how we were going to top that. The answer of course, is that you don’t try to top it — you try to do something in a different vein. ‘Much Ado’ will be set in the Second World War era, and we’ll have a live, big band on stage … we began to realize that that generation is leaving us, and we won’t have many more chances to do a sort of love letter like this.“Much Ado seems to speak to a whole lot in our experience, but certainly the experience of coming back from armed conflict, the experience of being ‘right’ in what you know, but then having reason to reevaluate that, and it’s simultaneously a great love story between two of the greatest wordsmith characters of all time, Beatrice and Benedick.”Mudge said it remains important to perform Shakespeare’s plays because of the insights about the human experience in Shakespeare’s writing.“[Shakespeare’s] gift is in finding just that right thread that explores what it means to be a human being on this planet,” he said. “Students come alive when they realize that there’s way more than meets the eye with these plays — way more in the innuendo, way more in the discoveries of insights about human interaction and, as they discover that, the lights really come on and that’s why we keep doing Shakespeare.”Tags: Play, Shakespeare at Notre Damelast_img read more

New Keenan Hall rector embraces dorm community

first_imgThis year, Keenan Hall is welcoming a new rector, James Tull, who is taking over the position held by Noel Terranova for the last five years.Originally hailing from Cincinnati, Tull grew up visiting Notre Dame and South Bend frequently, he said. His father, Robert “Bob” Tull, played for Notre Dame’s national championship football team in 1977, his mother attended Saint Mary’s and two of his siblings graduated from Notre Dame. Tull said the University gained extra significance for him after he acquired his master’s degree from Notre Dame last year.“I did my undergrad at Brown University,” Tull said. “ … I finished my MA in theology here at Notre Dame in July 2016, after taking classes during the previous three summers.”While at Brown, Tull was a member of the Brown football team — he played every line position during his career — and he sang in an a capella group and was involved in campus ministry.After graduating from Brown, Tull accepted a job teaching and coaching at Woodberry Forest School, a boarding school in Virginia. For the past five years, Tull has been teaching religion and coaching football and wrestling at St. Sebastian’s School, an all-boys Catholic high school outside of Boston, he said. Before beginning the rector position this summer Tull said he took a four-week road trip to several national parks.“I was incredibly excited to get the job [as rector of Keenan Hall], and more specifically, I was thrilled to become a greater part of the Notre Dame community,” Tull said.Though he has never been a rector, Tull lived in the dorms with his students at Woodberry Forest School and knows how uniquely rewarding a position of this nature can be, he said. Before applying for the job, he had heard of some of the events Keenan Hall organizes — such as the Keenan Revue and Muddy Sunday — and is excited to be a part of them.“My biggest hope for the year is to really get to know the men of Keenan,” Tull said. “It’s the relationships that make the hall communities so special, and I’m looking forward to getting to know the men of this community.”For the past week and a half, Tull has already been working with the Keenan Hall staff, as they complete training and prepare for the upcoming year. Senior Wilson Barrett, a Keenan Resident Assistant (RA), expects this year to be just as good as — if not better than — last year, he said.“As an RA, a change in rector is a test of the community we’ve built,” Barrett said. “Noel did an incredible job and we hope to expand on the existing culture even more. This year, we’re looking to hit the ground running — the previous hall staff has done a great job mentoring us, and we think that all 11 of us are up to the task of facilitating community.”Senior Keenan RA Cooper Munhall agreed with Barrett and said he is looking forward to continuing the “culture of excellence” Keenan Hall has strived for in the past with Tull’s leadership.“He is quite compassionate and has made it abundantly clear that the well-being of the residents is at the forefront of his concerns,” Munhall said.Junior Lukas Cepkauskas, Keenan Hall president, is anticipating a great year as Tull becomes part of the Keenan community.“The entire Keenan community looks forward to welcoming [Tull] to our brotherhood, as well as learning from him and growing together,” Cepkauskas said. “[We] are very excited for the upcoming year and cannot wait to begin working with [Tull] and the Keenan Hall staff.”Tags: Keenan Hall, new rectors, rector, Welcome Weekend 2017last_img read more

Alumnus becomes acting CSC director

first_imgIn May, Fr. Kevin Sandberg was appointed the acting executive director of the Center for Social Concerns (CSC) for the 2017–2018 academic year, while Fr. Paul Kollman, the executive director of the center is on leave to conduct research.Sandberg, a Notre Dame alumnus, said he has been involved in the CSC since its founding. During his undergraduate years at Notre Dame, he participated in the Community of the International Lay Apostolate (CILA) which Sandberg said helped form the basis for the CSC. Members of CILA volunteered in South Bend, went to Appalachia during fall break and spent summers in Mexico, he said.“All of those things precede the existence of the Center for Social Concerns because the center came to be in 1983, out of three things: that student group, the Office of Volunteer Services and the Center for Experiential Learning,” Sandberg said.Sandberg said his new role at the Center for Social Concerns will give him the opportunity to “form hearts and minds,” — one  of the main focuses of the Congregation of the Holy Cross.“The trick of it is, the heart is the point of integration, right?” he said. “It’s not a separate entity from the mind. The heart is where the mind is put into action and where the mind can settle on both a community as well as be called into a commitment.”One of the most challenging aspects of his new role will be to continue to cultivate the Holy Cross pillar of family at the CSC as it expands, Sandberg said.“I mean I think one of the other things is ‘Now when you’re in charge, how do you approach that?’ and the goal is to help the center as it keeps getting bigger to remain a family,” he said. “That’s the real challenge I think for us. I think the challenge for me is to provide leadership — that is, what we call servant leadership.”Sandberg said he has looked to Fr. Don McNeill, the late founder of the CSC, as a mentor.“I think the principle thing I learned from Fr. Don is to listen because he always turned it back around to you and he wanted not to talk about himself but to talk about you and he wanted you to be able to listen to yourself,” Sandberg said. “So he became a sounding board for your inner thoughts.”Annie Cahill Kelly, director of Community Partnerships and Service Learning at the CSC, said the center was founded on the principles of the Bible verse, Micah 6:8 — a verse which she said both McNeill and Sandberg embodied.“It [says] ‘This is what the Lord asks of you, to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God,’” she said. “So those are very much the foundational values of the center — to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with God.”Cahill Kelly described Sandberg as a “pastoral presence” who has taken to heart the values of the Center for Social Concerns.“He’s continuing in the good tradition — the great tradition of not only Fr. Don [McNeill], but then Fr. Bill [Lies] and Fr. Paul [Kollman] and kind of guiding us this year as the acting director,” she said. “I’m certain many good things will be born this year of our collaborative work.”Tags: Center for Social Concerns, CILA, congregation of holy crosslast_img read more

Prayer service remembers victims of New Zealand shooting

first_imgClaire Rafford The Notre Dame community gathered in the main building Thursday to remember the victims of the New Zealand shooting.Though tragedies can sometimes make people feel helpless, Companez said a way to try to take action is to reach out to those who might come from different backgrounds and to form friendships of tolerance and unity.“As we stand here this morning, still in a state of shock and disbelief, we wonder what else we can do in the face of such an act,” Companez said. “Something that each one of us can do is to forge, develop and continue personal relationships with people who are in some way different from us. For only by discovering that there is way more that unites us than that divides us will we ever be able to disrupt this seemingly endless cycle of violence. So here’s my suggestion — reach out to someone who’s different from you. Say hello. Start a relationship, and then nurture it, grow it and treasure it.”University President Fr. John Jenkins also offered words of support to the communities affected by the shootings. “The killings give rise to so many thoughts and emotions in us — profound sadness, anger, questions of why, perhaps even feelings of helplessness and despair in a world with so much hatred and violence,” Jenkins said. “We each must acknowledge and work through these various emotions. I hope that this prayer service today can help us heal. As Rabbi Companez said, perhaps it can encourage us to reach out and develop a friendship with someone who is different than us.”Jenkins also apologized for his statement earlier in the week that he said caused controversy among certain members of the community. “I myself must ask forgiveness, for I issued a statement earlier this week that, though certainly unintentionally, was seen by some as not respectful to our Muslim brothers and sisters,” he said. “It was a reminder to me and perhaps to the rest of us that we must never tire in our efforts to reach out, to listen to one another, to understand one another, to overcome misunderstandings and to find that what we have in common is so much deeper than what divides us.”Jenkins closed his speech with a challenge to everyone to counter the acts of violence with love and acceptance instead of more violence and destruction.“Let us not be tempted ever to respond to anger and violence with more anger and violence,” he said. “Let us allow this terrible tragedy to inspire us to find a different path, let us ask God, who, as our Muslim brothers and sisters remind us, [is] merciful and kind, to help us to find the connections, build the bridges and put on love — the perfect bond of unity.”Ebrahim Moosa, professor of Islamic studies at Notre Dame, reflected on the shooting and violence against religious communities in today’s world. Moosa said in the face of such horrific acts, it is necessary for people to recover their humanity.  “The list of such tragedies grows longer, and becomes more depressing if we monitor this type of wild violence, which is becoming all too frequent and unchecked,” he said. “To recover our humanity, we must ask communities of faith [to] stand up to this mindless violence and actively campaign not only against those who perpetuate such heinous acts, but also to expose those who aid and abet such hate and inhumanity.”Moosa added that in this time of sadness and trial, it is necessary to turn to the comfort that faith in God can provide.“May we in our time of sadness and vulnerability rely on the bountiful mercy and compassion of God and trust in ourselves and in others in order to stand firm against all forms of dehumanization, brutality and evil,” Moosa said. “Recognizing the amazing grace and compassion of God, we shall overcome and we will respond with that which is beautiful and better.” Tags: christchurch shooting, New Zealand, Prayer service Members of the Notre Dame community gathered in Main Building on Thursday to pray in remembrance of the 50 victims killed at two mosques last Friday in Christchurch, New Zealand. Rabbi Karen Companez of Temple Beth-El in South Bend offered a message of solidarity and expressed sadness in light of the massacre. “We mourn the deaths of the [50] people who were murdered in this outrageous and heinous act by a gunman who was fueled by a perverted ideology, and we pray for the swift return to health of those who lie injured still in hospital,” Companez said. “We ask ourselves yet again, how long with this needless sacrifice of human life go on? How many more innocent people will become victims of this time of senseless violence, and how many more mornings will we awaken to reports of such mind-numbing horror?”last_img read more

Saint Mary’s files counterclaim, Cervelli responds

first_imgThe College filed a counterclaim response March 22 to former College President Jan Cervelli’s March 12 lawsuit. Cervelli filed a response to their counterclaims April 4.The College’s response to the initial complaint addresses each of the points made by Cervelli and her legal team. In a statement provided by assistant director of integrated communications Haleigh Ehmsen, the College discussed its filing and philosophy going forward with the case. (Editor’s note: Ehmsen is a former Saint Mary’s Editor of The Observer.)“We strongly believe that our legal filing speaks for itself,” Ehmsen said. “This case is about tenure, and as is Saint Mary’s policy and practice, we are working with Ms. Cervelli to get her classes approved so that she can teach. We will abide by our commitment to maintaining the confidentiality surrounding the contract and her employment with the College, as is required by her contract.”In the March 12 complaint filed in the St. Joseph Superior Court, Cervelli sued the College on counts of breach of contract, declaration of rights and injunction, violation of Indiana’s Wage Payment Statute and breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing. The Observer reported the initial complaint in a staff report March 14.The following summarizes the major points of the College’s counterclaim and Cervelli’s response to the counterclaim. In legal proceedings, counterclaims and responses often present some clarification to the matter at hand but contain a large number of denials. In an effort to maintain clarity, each individual denial is not included below. However, the documents can be accessed in full online. Cervelli claims Saint Mary’s did not honor the Employment Agreement the pair entered into Feb. 17, 2016. While Saint Mary’s admits to the factual information included regarding entering the Employment Agreement, Saint Mary’s denies that it breached any provision of the agreement.Cervelli asserts she received positive performance evaluations, leaving no indication of dissatisfaction with her performance. In its counterclaim, Saint Mary’s admits to giving performance reviews that showed “degradation over a two year period of time and that these reviews speak for themselves” as well as “denies that the performance of Ms. Cervelli was satisfactory.” Cervelli alleges she was pressured into resigning by members of the Board of Trustees. The College argues that Cervelli “agreed to resign in lieu of termination,” and therefore was not pressured into resigning. They also claim that by attempting to enforce the terms of the Settlement Agreement, Cervelli is admitting to its validity. The Saint Mary’s counterclaim also denies the assertion that the chair of the Board of Trustees, Mary Burke, encouraged Cervelli to lie about the reason behind the resignation. Cervelli asserts Saint Mary’s used the confidentiality agreement in her Settlement Agreement to silence her, subsequently confusing the College community.Saint Mary’s denies this, claiming that the confidentiality aspect of the Settlement Agreement was created with the purpose of “protect[ing] Ms. Cervelli from public reputational harm.” The College also argues its statements to the media were made in an effort to prevent reputational harm to Cervelli.Cervelli claims Saint Mary’s has failed to pay her the salary owed for her work as a tenured member of the College faculty. In response to this claim, Saint Mary’s defends its payment of her severance and other benefits. In the counterclaim, Saint Mary’s argues that “Cervelli seeks payment of a salary she has not earned. Saint Mary’s denies that Ms. Cervelli is due salary in addition to severance benefits … [because she] has failed to secure approval to teach the requisite number of classes in order for her to be entitled to a salary as a tenured professor.”Saint Mary’s also said the institution is not treating Cervelli in a way that is inconsistent with their Settlement Agreement. Cervelli responded to this claim by arguing the College failed to inform her of this requirement in their drafting of the Settlement Agreement, saying in her response that she would not have signed the Settlement Agreement if she was aware of the need for a teaching contract and a certain number of approved courses.In her answer to the counterclaim, Cervelli affirms she was fraudulently induced to enter into the Settlement Agreement, whereas the College failed to disclose that a “teaching contract” was required for Cervelli to receive the salary of a tenured professor as of Jan. 1, 2019.Cervelli also asserts in her answer to the counterclaim that failure to pay her the salary of a tenured, full professor violates Indiana’s Wage Payment Statute, which entitles her to “enhanced damages.”Cervelli alleges she is not being treated in the manner that other tenured faculty members are treated, including the lack of an office and being banned from campus events, among other complaints. Saint Mary’s said they do not offer office space to professors who are not currently teaching classes, which is their reasoning for not providing an office to Cervelli. Saint Mary’s also denies that Cervelli is banned from all campus events, arguing that she was only not allowed to attend faculty training day due to its purpose of informing only faculty teaching in the spring semester. Cervelli was not teaching in the spring semester. Cervelli claims teaching positions for which she was qualified were hired, while she was left without courses to teach. While the College admits it has hired faculty, it “denies that Ms. Cervelli had the academic credentials to teach any of the classes for which those positions were filled.” The College also argues that it believes it has been treating Cervelli the same way that it does other “similarly situated” professors.In her answer to the counterclaim, Cervelli admits she filed the lawsuit after first attempting to resolve her claims with the College.On April 4, Cervelli filed a Notice of Exclusion of Confidential Information, which sought to limit the public’s access to confidential information. On April 17, an order was issued denying Cervelli’s request.The lawsuit is currently ongoing. The two parties have a hearing scheduled for May 31 at 2 p.m. in the St. Joseph Superior Court. Tags: Board of Trustees, cervelli lawsuit, Jan Cervelli, lawsuit, lawsuits, Mary Burke, President Jan Cervelli, Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees, Saint Mary’s Collegelast_img read more

Walk the Walk Week celebrates MLK Day, brings civil rights leader to campus

first_imgNotre Dame’s annual Walk the Walk Week, an event week honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day and aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion on campus, will commence Monday. Civil rights leader Diane Nash will deliver the keynote address of Walk the Walk Week’s flagship event, the MLK Celebration Luncheon. The week will also include lectures, discussions and religious services, among other events. Ann Firth, vice president and chief of staff, held a leading role programming the events.“The week commences with a late-night candlelight prayer service in the Main Building Rotunda on the eve of MLK Day, which has become a cherished tradition on our campus,” Firth said in an email. Student body president Elizabeth Boyle emphasized the inaugural event’s intention to unify the campus. “The candlelight prayer service will take place at 11 p.m., beginning in the Main Building where the Notre Dame community will come together, led by campus leaders and Voices of Faith, to join in song and prayer to commemorate the life of Dr. King,” she said in an email. Students can find more information about the prayer service on its Facebook event page.“There are a wide array of events planned for rest of Walk the Walk Week, designed to offer each of us the opportunity to consider how we — both individually and collectively — might take a more active role in making Notre Dame even more welcoming and inclusive,” Firth said in the email.Students and faculty are invited to attend all of the events taking place. “Let’s Talk About Race,” an open conversation about identity, will take place Monday in 7 p.m. Geddes Hall. The Social Concerns Fair, which begins 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Dahnke Ballroom, will allow students to explore a variety of local volunteer opportunities. A panel discussion Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Carey Auditorium will invite speakers from Notre Dame and South Bend to discuss reparation and reconciliation.A comprehensive list of events can be found on Walk the Walk Week’s website.The MLK Celebration Luncheon will take place Monday at 11:30 a.m. in the Joyce Center. Nash, a renowned civil rights leader, will be the event’s keynote speaker.“This year’s luncheon conversation will be very special, as Nash is a historic figure who took great risks and worked tirelessly to advance the cause of justice and equality in our nation,” Firth said in the email.Nash has long been a leading figure in the civil rights movement, Firth said.“[Nash] became active in the civil rights movement while she was a student at Fisk University in Nashville,” Firth said. “By the time she was 22, she was part of the Freedom Riders and had co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Nash worked closely with Dr. King and played a pivotal role in the Selma Voting Rights Movement.”Campus leaders anticipate attendance at these events will help foster a spirit of inclusivity in each individual, Boyle said.“If we are to truly consider ourselves an inclusive, diverse and Catholic community then it is imperative that we show up for the events during Walk the Walk week — and especially beyond this week,” Boyle said in the email. “I hope that each community member engages with at least two of the events during the week, whether that be the prayer service, luncheon, ‘Let’s Talk About Race’ series, a Mass or a lecture or even in a more informal way by having a deep conversation about inclusivity and what it means to be a member of the Notre Dame community with a friend, professor or roommate.”Firth said Notre Dame’s commitment to building a more diverse campus community is at the root of Walk the Walk Week.“Fr. Jenkins has articulated core principles for the University with regard to diversity and inclusion: respecting the dignity of every person, building a Notre Dame community where all flourish and living in solidarity with all — particularly the most vulnerable, both here on campus and beyond,” Firth said. “Attending events during Walk the Walk Week is, of course, just one way to do this.”Tags: #WalktheWalkWeek, campus diversity, Civil Rights Movement, inclusivity, MLKDaylast_img read more