Corky Lee, a photojournalist who spent five decades spotlighting the often ignored Asian and Pacific Islander American communities, has died. He was 73. His family said in a statement that Lee died Wednesday in Queens, New York, of complications from COVID-19. The self-described “undisputed unofficial Asian American Photographer Laureate,” Lee used his eye to pursue what he saw as “photographic justice.” He was present at many seminal moments impacting Asian America over a 50-year career. He was also a founding member of the New York chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. A private funeral service will be held in New York.
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Bosnian filmmaker Jasmila Zbanic says she is used to improvising. And she says that came in handy this year while finishing a film during the pandemic. Zbanic’s latest film — “Quo Vadis, Aida?” — has no promotional budget but does have Oscar buzz as a possible nominee for best international film. Zbanic will know next week whether the movie made the shortlist of 15 international films. “Quo Vadis, Aida?” is based on true events from Bosnia’s 1992-95 inter-ethnic war. It took the writer-director more than a decade to put together and create. Post-production had to be done remotely across Europe. Zbanic thinks the movie’s focus on human rights resonates even more because of the pandemic.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A military coup in Myanmar and a mass crackdown on dissidents in Russia are presenting early tests for the Biden administration as it tries to reestablish American primacy as a worldwide pro-democracy leader. President Joe Biden and his nascent foreign policy team have been confronted with two serious challenges in two parts of the world. The U.S. has invested decades of time, energy and money into promoting democracy in both Myanmar and Russia but now faces challenges in each that could affect the global balance of power. Yet, the tools at its disposal — sanctions — have proved unreliable in prompting change in the past.
PHOENIX (AP) — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has terminated an unusual agreement that Arizona’s top prosecutor signed with the agency in the waning days of the Trump administration that would restrict President Joe Biden’s ability to overhaul his predecessor’s immigration policies. The action was revealed Wednesday as Arizona’s Republican attorney general sued to stop the newly confirmed Homeland Security secretary from carrying out the Democratic president’s 100-day moratorium on deportations. A federal judge in Texas has already put it on hold. The action comes the same week a whistleblower compliant revealed a top DHS official under Trump reached last-minute agreements with a union for immigration employees.
If Notre Dame has its way, the road to the White House may take a pass through South Bend. Notre Dame announced Monday that University president Fr. John Jenkins and student body president Brett Rocheleau have extended invitations to President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to speak on campus during the fall election campaign, according to a University press release. Continuing a 60-year University tradition, Jenkins and Rocheleau addressed letters to each candidate offering the University as a “forum for serious political discussion,” the press release stated. The invitations are also open to both of the candidates’ running mates, Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), according to the press release. The invitations are intended “to provide the campus community a firsthand impression of the contenders and their messages,” the release stated. University spokesman Dennis Brown said any appearances on campus would help continue the tradition of political discourse on campus. “Universities provide for the free exchange of ideas, and that’s especially important when it comes to electing our president,” he said. “We have a 60-year tradition of inviting candidates to Notre Dame every four years, and we’re hopeful that one or both campaigns will send either their presidential or vice presidential candidates to our campus.” Rocheleau, who also reached out to both campaigns earlier in the year via email, said he does not anticipate any timeline for a response. However, should any of the candidates accept, he said they will find a politically-balanced student body and an exceptional venue for political dialogue. “I think it would be interesting to have the candidates speak at Notre Dame because we are a place of intellectual curiosity,” he said. “We’re pretty evenly mixed [between political parties]. I think it would be an interesting opportunity to spark intellectual conversation and I’d love for them to come visit and speak.” Rocheleau said colleges and universities, especially a school like Notre Dame, offer a unique and important political avenue for the candidates to explore. “I think they can hear what students and younger voters are interested in, and the issues that we truly care about,” he said. “I think it would be beneficial for them to visit colleges, especially Notre Dame, where we can talk about some of the issues we really care about.” Notre Dame would benefit from a visit from any of the four candidates as well, Rocheleau said, as such an event would offer a means to spark important conversation. “I think it would, overall, go to fostering intellectual curiosity and intellectual conversation on campus,” he said. “I think having one or both of the candidates speak at Notre Dame would be a great opportunity for students, undergrads as well as graduates, to hear and to think about things that are social and political.” Notre Dame in particular has always been an academic institution heavily involved in the American political sphere, Rocheleau said. “[Look] back to [University President Emeritus] Fr. [Theodore] Hesburgh working for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr., involvement with all the different presidents we have had in the past,” he said. “I think we have always had a tie to politics and the President of the United States.” Hesburgh started the tradition of inviting presidential and vice-presidential candidates to speak at Notre Dame during election years, according to the press release. He invited Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson in his first year as University president, and both accepted. According to the press release, other candidates who have accepted the invitation to speak at Notre Dame include Richard Nixon, Henry Cabot Lodge, Warren Miller (a graduate of the University), Edmund Muskie, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Joe Lieberman. Notre Dame already has one significant election season event on the calendar. On Oct. 17, the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center will host one of the three Indiana gubernatorial debates. Libertarian Rupert Boneham, Democrat John Gregg and Republican Mark Pence are expected to participate in the event.
After months of speeches, fundraisers, handshakes and kissed babies, voters in Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District will decide whether Democrat Brendan Mullen or Republican Jackie Walorski will represent them on Capitol Hill. Notre Dame professor and former political reporter Jack Colwell said the race is still close with only four days remaining until Election Day. “At the start of the race, it was generally regarded as Jackie’s district,” Colwell said. “She unsuccessfully ran against [Sen.] Joe Donnelly in 2010, but came close. She also has a lot of name recognition, where Mullen is virtually unknown.” Colwell said the Republican-controlled state legislature redrew voting district lines in a way likely to incorporate more right-leaning voters in the district, favoring Walorski’s odds. “She began as a very heavy favorite, but Mullen came on in an impressive way,” Colwell said. “Whether he can actually catch up and win is far from certain, but he’s made a race of it that’s shown by some of the national groups spending heavily in this district now. Neither side would spend if they figured the race was over.” With voters looking for more bipartisanship, both candidates stress their willingness to reach across the aisle in Washington, Colwell said. “Jackie is saying she would be an independent voice and Mullen says he’d be a moderate, along the lines of Joe Donnelly, the Democrat who represents the district now,” he said. The spending includes funds from political consultant Karl Rove’s Super PAC, American Crossroads, which is backing Walorski. Mullen is getting support from Democratic PACs and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Name recognition has been difficult for Mullen in these new areas. To draw enough votes, Colwell said Mullen must win big in St. Joseph County, the most populous county of the 10 in the district, because his chances in the other nine are not good. Part of the headwinds Mullen will face throughout the district, Colwell said, comes from his opponent’s associating him with controversial figures and policies in Washington. “Walorski is trying to portray him as a Washington insider who was recruited by [House of Representatives minority leader] Nancy Pelosi to try and run in the district, and links him to President Obama and Obamacare,” Colwell said. “Mullen tries to link her to the Tea Party, which indeed did support her; Richard Mourdock, the Indiana Republican senatorial candidate who recently made controversial comments about abortion; and calls her a career politician.” The two candidates’ first and only television debate together occurred Tuesday at WSBT studios in Mishawaka. Mullen and Walorski also held a radio debate in Wabash, Ind., on Oct. 25. Colwell said Mullen came across as more assertive than Walorski in the debates because of the “prevent defense” Walorski has adopted to preserver her favorable poll numbers. “Mullen tried to get in all of his points and was critical of Walorski on the privatization of social security,” Colwell said. “Walorski seemed more intent on not making a mistake to preserve what’s assumed to be her lead.” Colwell attributed some of the contention in the race to the district’s residents’ moderate political leanings. “Both parties in seeking control of the House will zero in on this district as one that could be won,” Colwell said. “There are a lot of congressional districts across the country where it’s obvious that one party will win, but if it’s close, both sides will come in spending millions of dollars to make television stations happy.”
This Fat Tuesday, some Notre Dame students will be celebrating with authentic Mardi Gras spirit straight from the Big Easy. “It’s definitely an experience coming down, even with a budget,” senior Justin Asuncion said about his trip to New Orleans this past weekend. “It’s a great experience that every Notre Dame student should take if you can.” Asuncion and fellow seniors Andrew Charnesky and Joe Caparros drove through the night Thursday to arrive in New Orleans by Friday morning, where they experienced traditions ranging from parades to Southern cookouts, they said. “We had the opportunity to go to an authentic crawfish boil,” Charnesky said. “We’re not from the South; we’d never heard of a crawfish boil before, but it was some of the best food I’ve ever had.” Senior Allison Tompkins also traveled to New Orleans for the first time and agreed that the cuisine stood out as a highlight of her trip. “I had grits for the first time, cheese grits with shrimp on it,” Tompkins said. “The rice and beans was to die for… I didn’t taste anything that wasn’t good.” Tompkins described touring the French Quarter and learning about the history of various parades and the groups, called krewes, which plan them. “I had heard about the pretty buildings, you know, in the French Quarter and everything, but honestly I didn’t know what to expect,” Tompkins said. “It really shocked me how beautiful it was with all the different areas and the Mississippi River and everything.” Notre Dame Food Services general manager Marc Poklinkowski said students staying at Notre Dame for the festivities will be able to experience themed dÃ©cor and menu items at both dining halls on Tuesday. “South will have our Cajun-themed dishes on both homestyle and Pan-Am,” Poklinkowski said. “The popularity of this meal has increased tremendously over the years, so we found the need to take the regular Pan-Am items off for this day to offer students another area to get the themed menu items they are looking for.” Poklinkowski added North Dining Hall will be offering jambalaya and Mississippi fried catfish as well as chocolate rum cake and mini Ã©clairs and that South Dining Hall will feature jambalaya as well with blackened catfish. “Our dessert bar [at South] will be a make-your-own-dessert featuring pound cakes, fresh strawberries, apples and caramel sauce, hot chocolate fudge and whipped topping,” Poklinkowski said. Although Mardi Gras known for its celebration of excess, Asuncion and Charnesky said traveling to New Orleans can be done even on a tight budget. Charnesky noted that driving and staying with a friend in New Orleans helped cut expenses. “You can definitely do it for under $500,” Charnesky said. “It’s not cheap, but if you’re just conscious about stuff you can do it on a budget. “It’s a great time and it’s going to be something you’ll always remember.” Contact Lesley Stevenson at email@example.com
Tags: dual-degree program, Physics, Saint Mary’s College, STEM The Saint Mary’s department of chemistry and physics will offer majors in the field of physics in addition to the existing chemistry major.Ian Bentley, associate professor of chemistry and physics, said there was a fair amount of student interest in having physics as a major.“Everyone that I would talk to about it knew of a student that was interested,” he said. “You add those all up and see that it’s quite a few students who have been interested in physics, not just one.”According to Bentley, the department discussed the potential of creating a physics major, especially to support the students in the engineering dual degree program with Notre Dame. The program allows Saint Mary’s students to graduate with a degree from Saint Mary’s before transferring to Notre Dame for a fifth year to earn their engineering degree.Chris Dunlap, chair of chemistry and physics at the College, said when Bentley was hired in the fall of 2014, there was no physics major or minor. However, in order to best address the needs of students — particularly those in the dual degree program — the department chose to create a major program instead of just a minor.“A minor was not going to match the needs,” Dunlap said. “Between engineers who wanted a more applied approach to the mathematics and a group of students who were really interested in physics, we at the department decided we would move forward with the major.”Bentley said the department will offer two different degrees with three possible majors as well as a minor. There will be a physics Bachelor of Arts degree, a physics Bachelor of Science degree and a physics and applied mathematics (PAM) Bachelor of Arts degree, Bentley said. The two PAM degrees are offered through the math department while the BS and BA in physics will be through the department of chemistry and physics.Bentley said the Bachelor of Arts degree requires between 34 and 38 credit hours, the Bachelor of Science requires 60 credit hours, and the PAM degree required between 49 and 53 hours. The minor requires between 17 and 18 credit hours.Dunlap said the construction on the science hall was intended to renovate some labs and also to accommodate the new major.“The basement [of the science hall] is all physics space,” Dunlap said. “We have the same amount of space dedicated for physics as before, but now it’s its own floor.”Bentley said there are currently two students declared as PAM majors and one student as a physics major, all three of which are in the dual-degree program. He said there are also about three to four first years who have physics as an intended major.Adding this major may increase enrollment, Dunlap said, specifically in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.“What we’ve done is we’ve filled in a hole in the STEM fields that Saint Mary’s has had forever,” Dunlap said. “We’ve never had a physics major at Saint Mary’s … This is a very exciting time for the STEM departments because it gives us another option for our students to pursue.“We never really knew how many students might have come to Saint Mary’s if this were available because we’ve never had it,” Dunlap said. “We’re really interested to find out now how many students are out there who might be now attracted to physics at a women’s college.”Bentley said this will help students in the duel degree program because it will offer a wider range of applicable majors and will open doors for students to enter the mechanical and electrical engineering fields.“I think it makes it feasible for students who are interested in applying mathematics,” Bentley said. “I think we’re hitting that niche that, to some extent, we missed before. If you’re thinking about mechanical engineering or electrical engineering, the most feasible route was to major in math. Now we have [physics] which is more applied.”Sophomore physics and mechanical engineering major Erin Patterson said she was deciding between majoring in chemistry or in mathematics when she first heard about the physics major and realized that it worked better for the dual-degree program.“I wanted to apply math not just write proofs and definitions,” Patterson said. “I considered the different types of engineering that paired best with these majors. After talking with Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s professors and Saint Mary’s students, I found I shared some of the same interests and disinterests with mechanical engineers, and I knew physics paired well with mechanical engineering.”Rachel Bonek, a sophomore PAM and electrical engineering major, said she originally planned to be a math and engineering major, but with the new PAM major, it made more sense for her degree.“I am excited that another science major is offered at Saint Mary’s,” Bonek said. “I think it’s important to continue to increase the number of women in math and science, and having the physics major here will definitely help.”
Kelli Smith | The Observer From left to right: Representatives from Dillon Hall, Walsh Hall and Dunne Hall accepted their awards at a banquet Tuesday night.Though there was “tight competition” for all of the awards, Ryan said Dillon Hall did an incredible job at being a good candidate throughout the entire year.“A big thing that we like to make sure is that ‘Hall of the Year’ leadership is really catering to everyone in the hall instead of just the easiest people who kind of get involved,” Ryan said. “And [Dillon] just did such a good and natural job of having so many events that were well attended and that hit so many different types of people.”Alongside building strong community through “a diverse and impressive regimen” with events such as monthly multi-cultural discussions, Lyon said Dillon’s commitment to the greater South Bend community was its most noteworthy accomplishment — particularly with its “Red Bag Day,” in which residents send bags of utilities to the homeless, and its partnership with Dismas House of South Bend, which provides support services for individuals returning from incarceration.“In addition to catering to a variety of resident’s needs, [Dillon] also sought to reinvigorate the spirit of its hall’s government by encouraging open forum meetings and empowering all of its residents to be leaders within the community,” she said. “This dorm truly carries out the Notre Dame mission of building selfless, well-rounded residents.”Dillon Hall president junior Danny Crooks said what makes Dillon special is that residents feel welcome in any room and with “any guy of any grade.”“Every guy in Dillon loves Dillon,” Crooks said. “And we had great participation at all of our events and people really get into our dorm events so I think just the spirit throughout the dorm is why we won it.”Sophomore Chris Lehman, Dillon Hall’s vice president, said the great inter-class relationships in Dillon contributed to building that spirit.“We just really went into this year wanting to bring the entire dorm together so our goal was just to plan a bunch of events that catered to everyone in the dorm and we’re really happy that they recognized [that],” Crooks said.As a dorm established in 2016 taking home its first ever ‘Hall of the Year’ award, Dunne Hall president junior Peter Seidner said HPC’s recognition highlights Dunne’s theme — “everything seems impossible until it’s ‘Dunne’” — and end goal of creating a culture.“We had the awesome opportunity of being able to start events that had never been done before compared to other dorms,” Seidner said. “But talking to [other dorms], getting what worked for them and creating, as our dorm, our own ideas and create a platform is really what our administration did.”By inaugurating Dunne’s signature events — the 3k relay race “Dunne Funne Run” and the “Dunne Dance Film Festival” — as well as hosting what Seidner said was the largest retreat on campus in 10 years, Dunne Hall vice presidents juniors Brendan Watts and Wynn Root said Dunne had a goal of establishing itself on the campus map. “I think it was really important for us being a new dorm that we cement ourselves on the campus and I thought this was a great way to do it,” Root said. “We had a lot of signature events that won us the award so I’m really happy about it.”Walsh Hall president senior Katie Santanello and vice president junior Erin Embrey said winning Women’s Hall of the Year wasn’t as much of a priority for Walsh going into the year. “It’s all about making sure that everyone feels included and making sure everyone really feels that they’re involved and I think that that’s goal of Hall President’s Council programming is that we get everyone involved,” Embrey said.As a dorm that moved into a newly-renovated building this year, Santanello said Walsh focused on inclusion as well as improving mental, physical and emotional well-being.“Another one of our goals was re-establishing those old traditions from the old building and then making some new ones because it’s not exactly the same,” Embrey said. “I think we had a unique opportunity to get the sophomores and freshmen who never really lived in the building involved but I think that was just part of our overall thoughts.”As a whole, Lyon said HPC was impressed by all dorms this year but the three dorms that won were especially creative with their events.“These three dorms really listened to what their residents wanted, thought outside the box [and] were consistent throughout the year,” she said. “There were no times of not a lot of events or not really developed events, they were just in total really consistent throughout the whole year in making sure their community is strong and that people weren’t feeling left out of it.”Tags: Dillon Hall, dunne hall, Hall of the year, Men’s Hall of the Year, Walsh Hall, Women’s Hall of the Year The Hall Presidents Council (HPC) designated Dillon Hall the winner of HPC’s overall “Hall of the Year” award Tuesday during the Notre Dame Student Leadership Awards Banquet at Legends. Dunne Hall and Walsh Hall took home the Men’s and Women’s “Hall of the Year” awards, respectively.Co-chairs of HPC seniors Brandon Ryan and Alyssa Lyon emphasized the strong cooperation between dorms that differentiated the competition this year.“Halls are better when they all try to cooperate and do things together,” Ryan said. “We really think it’s not so much about the competition but more about how halls treated each other this year through their dorm presidents — it was a much better year than it has been in the past of inter-dorm cooperation.”
At the weekly student senate meeting, senators made various announcements and welcomed Duncan Hall’s newly-elected senator, junior Steven Frick.After the official meeting adjourned, Senate members stayed to attend an event hosted by the Office of Development entitled “Where Does the Money Go: An Insider’s Look into Finances at Notre Dame.” Ellen Roof, ND Loyal and Young Alumni program director, led an information session followed by a question and answer session. She began by saying that last year, it cost $1.17 billion to operate the University, with the largest portion of spending, 42 percent, being used on instruction. In addition, Roof reported that the University receives $320 million in tuition dollars each year, displaying a graph that illustrates the increase in Notre Dame’s tuition plotted against the increase in Notre Dame’s financial aid contributions since 2000. Over the past 18 years, the cost of a Notre Dame education has increased by 140 percent, but the amount that Notre Dame spends on financial aid has consequently increased by 430 percent. “We are really striving to increase the financial aid available for students, at a significantly higher rate than any tuition raises,” Roof said.Roof also discussed Notre Dame’s endowment spending and how the University uses this resource. Endowments, or the collection of financial assets made up of charitable gifts to the university, make up 37 percent of Notre Dame’s revenue. But the endowment is not a singular entity. Rather, Notre Dame’s endowment is actually a group of over 5,500 endowed funds that are grouped and invested together. As of the end of the 2018 Fiscal Year, the endowment was worth $13.1 billion. Roof said about 60 percent of the endowed funds go towards financial aid for students. Overall, Notre Dame spends about 4.5-5 percent of endowed funds every year, or about $393 million from the 2018 FYE. Roof said having a robust endowment fund is extremely beneficial to the university in the long run.“We want Notre Dame to be around forever, so we really have to have a careful fiscal responsibility in terms of smoothing out that spend curve over time,” Roof said. Vice president of University relations Lou Nanni led a question and answer portion of the presentation, discussing questions from students about Notre Dame’s spending and finances. In response to a question about whether Notre Dame takes notice of average student loan debt among members of the campus community, Nanni explained a policy orchestrated just a few years ago that no undergraduate student will graduate with more than 10 percent of debt from a four-year education at Notre Dame. “If you figure that a four-year education at Notre Dame is roughly $250,000, $280,000 totaled over years, that means no one should be graduating with a debt of more than $25,000,” Nanni said. Nanni said 46 percent of students at Notre Dame receive financial aid from the University, and the average package for a student is around $31,000. However, in response to a question from senior and Pasquerilla East senator Catie Gabanic, Nanni clarified that the debt limit policy does not apply to private loans, but only loans taken out from the federal government.Another student inquired about the mentality about pricing on-campus housing, when certain newer dorms are significantly nicer than older dorms, but pricing for living on campus remains a flat fee. Nanni responded by discussing the University’s plans for remodeling its residence halls and the funding for new dorms. “We’re making some triples doubles. some doubles are becoming, in these old dorms, singles and we are increasing the social and study space in these dorms,” Nanni said. “The problem is, as we do this, we are losing beds. That’s required us to build new dorms, to replace the housing stock we are losing in the old dorms, and now more students will be living on campus.”Tags: Endowment, financial aid, student senate, University finances