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.
When she emerged, the bus had left without her. So, she began to run. For two blocks she chased down the bus until it stopped.“Half the people that saw me just stood there and laughed,” Lee said. “But some people were banging and trying to help me stop the bus.”Lee caught her bus but in her rush she’d left her bags with all her belongings in the car that took her from the airport to the bus park. She started her trip with just one thing. Luckily, it happened to be the only thing that really mattered — her camera.“Of course this would happen to me,” Lee said. “There’s no way I could start my time in Uganda any other way because this stuff just happens all the time.”Lee’s foray into the world of photojournalism started because of the band Switchfoot and a photographer named Jeremy Cowart. When Lee was in middle school, Cowart shot promotional photos for Switchfoot, photos that inspired Lee to further investigate the photographer. She later discovered that Cowart had traveled to Africa and done a series of photo essays focusing particularly on East Africa.“I was really drawn to those images and I think that’s what sparked my initial interest in photography — the combination of that and [Cowart’s] music photography,” Lee said.Lee hopes to use her international relations major to do development work, possibly enabling her to have a more direct impact on improving the lives of people like those she profiled.Though photography is not in her long-term career goals, Lee said it will always have a special place in her heart.“I always tell people I think I have the best job because I get to just hang out with people and be their friends,” Lee said. “You can’t take honest, good pictures without establishing these relationships.”Lee first traveled to Uganda last summer and worked as a photographer for 31 Bits — a social entrepreneurship organization that employs large numbers of women making paper bead jewelry in northern Uganda. This spring Lee studied abroad in Botswana, and rather than return home for the summer, she chose to continue her travels in Africa.Lee wanted to document what she called “stories of change” about people she’d met during her travels. Initially she planned to travel to Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and profile one person from each country but she quickly realized that was overly ambitious.“Within the first week I realized that I had these relationships with these people that I could communicate with — I knew a little bit of their local language, and I was familiar with the town,” Lee said. “The women that I worked with last year were all begging me to take their picture. I would have to overcome this barrier of being a stranger anywhere else.”For her project Lee chose to profile four individuals who had been part of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a guerilla group that formed in violent opposition to the Ugandan government and operated in Uganda from 1986 to 2006. In 2006, a UNICEF-funded study estimated that at least 66,000 children and youth had been abducted by the LRA between 1986 and 2005. While some were able to escape, others were forced to be child soldiers or sex slaves. The group’s former leader, Joseph Kony, achieved notoriety in March 2012 when a documentary titled Kony 2012 detailing the group’s use of child soldiers was released.When Lee first began the project, she was adamant that she didn’t want to discuss the topic of the LRA.“I thought that [the LRA] was over-covered and especially people our age have heard about it a lot,” Lee said. “But through a couple connections to some local Ugandans who were trying to help me find people to interview [I found] really fascinating stories.”Lee wanted the stories she told to be different. Instead of focusing on the LRA and the atrocities committed by its members, she decided to spotlight life after the LRA.One man was abducted at age 10 and served as a child soldier for three years. He has been struggling for the past 10 years to get to university. Now at age 22 he is completing high school and hopes to earn a scholarship.Lee’s second profile subject, Achama Jackson, served as a major and political official in the LRA. He joined in 1987. He was injured and in 1994 had his leg amputated. He later went on to serve 10 more years with the LRA. Though most former LRA officials are ostracized by their communities, Jackson built his own plantation of matoke, a staple plantain, and is now the community authority on matoke. He leads a village savings and loans association, through which he is able to support his two wives and 14 children. He now lives and farms on the same piece of land where his brother was murdered.“Seeing his investment in his children was really cool for me,” Lee said. “Also seeing how open he was to sharing his experience because he was a major and he did do bad things but, because of how open he is and honest, he’s been accepted back into his community and people respect him — he’s a community leader.”Another of Lee’s subjects, Abio Vicky, was abducted by the LRA at age nine. At age 14, she gave birth shortly before the fighters she was with launched a major offensive. Because she was not able to assist the men, Vicky and her baby were left behind and able to escape the LRA.Today, Vicky is working at 31 Bits and is able to send both her daughters — one of whom was born after she returned from the LRA — to school.“The reality is that there are really cool people doing really cool things, and I really believe that these are the people who can change this continent,” Lee said.Lee said the project has given her unique insight into how northern Uganda, particularly the town of Gulu, has developed in the nearly nine years since the LRA has left the region.“Everyone knows that the LRA was there but you could easily live there and not realize the impact or the effects of it,” she said.Lee plans to create a book with photo essays about each of her subjects but remains unsure if she actually wants to publish the book. She does know, however, that she will not publish her photos on the internet.“I’m still trying to figure out if a book would even be the best way or if I should just write these stories and send them back to the people they’re about,” Lee said. The first thing senior international relations major Alice Lee found herself doing when she arrived in Uganda for her summer photojournalism project was outrun a bus. After flying to Uganda, Lee went to a bus park, paid for her bus and left to use the bathroom — something she soon regretted.Say cheese · Alice Lee, center, poses with 31 Bits employees outside their office in Gulu, Uganda. Left to right: Grace, Florence, Betty, Jackie. – Photo courtesy of Alice Lee
It might have been tempting, especially with LeBron James at Staples Center, and it won’t be the last time.But (self-imposed) rules are rules and the Lakers kept Kobe Bryant on his diet of so many minutes Thursday, and the Lakers’ hot start was wiped away in the second half of a 109-102 loss to Cleveland.Bryant recorded a career-high 17 assists and finished with 19 points and five rebounds in the prescribed 32 minutes.With Coach Byron Scott sticking to the 32-minute limit for Bryant, he had only six minutes to spend in the fourth quarter, when the Lakers were struggling to keep pace with the Cavaliers. With 8:40 left in the game, the crowd began imploring “We want Kobe.” Bryant stayed on the bench as James took control.“Yeah, I heard the fans,” Scott said. “I wanted to say, ‘I want him in there, too.’ ”After being excoriated for the way he handled Bryant’s early-season minutes, Scott held firm. Not even a visit from upstairs, say from Jim Buss or Jeanie Buss, would move him. But he at least considered the implications.“I just have to worry about Kobe and the team unless Jim comes down and Jeanie comes down and say we want him to play, then obviously we have to sit down with Kobe as well and have another discussion,” Scott said before the game. “But right now, everybody’s on board.”Jordan Hill scored 20 points to lead the Lakers and Nick Young had 14 off the bench. The Lakers shot 51.3 percent for the game, and if not for a 14-point third quarter, things might have been different.James finished with 36 points, five rebounds and five assists and Kyrie Irving had 22 points for Cleveland (20-20).Kevin Love, who battled back spasms during the game, had 17 points and seven rebounds and J.R. Smith added 14 points for the Cavs, who had only 16 bench points.For many, just having Bryant and James on the court together seemed to be a treat. At one point, James stopped by the Lakers bench during free throws to share some wisdom.During a later timeout, the two leaned up against the scorer’s table and shared some laughs. On the court, James took a couple of stabs at guarding Bryant in the low post.In the fourth quarter, they took turns guarding each other in an entertaining duel.“Now I am (more appreciative of those moments),” Bryant said. “It would be a little different if we were contending for a championship. I would be my more moody self.“Now I have a little more perspective knowing I won’t have a chance to play against him on the court for much longer. You want to enjoy it.”But then it was back to business, not only for the struggling Lakers but also the reeling Cavs, who entered the game with a sub-.500 record, a six-game losing streak and doubts about the staying power of rookie coach David Blatt.James came out in the second half determined to reverse his team’s fortunes. He scored 12 of his points in the third period and the Lakers went 6 for 19 in the quarter after shooting 58.1 percent in the first half. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error