I owe Dell an extra seven minutes of time on the work clock.That’s because while I was working on this blog post I found myself watching a video of an old friend and his daughter playing each other in “Street Fighter” on YouTube. That now makes me one of 500 million viewers who watch online gaming content, according to research firm Newzoo.“The games sector continues to be bigger than consumer spending on cinema box office, DVD and Blu-ray disc sales and rentals, online video services, physical music and streaming music services combined,” said industry analyst Piers Harding-Rolls of HIS Markit.Yes, gaming has gone far beyond the basement, and Dell is ready to support the industry’s growth in many ways. From delivering the hardware needed to create the games, to the PCs on which you play them, to sponsorship of eSports leagues and professional gamers that bring the gameplay to even larger audiences.Most gamers already know about our Alienware line. Twenty years of gaming experience pioneering specialty high-performance gaming PCs unrivaled in their engineering and innovation, has made Alienware a leading gaming brand that caters to gamers wanting a high-performance, premium PC gaming rig.We’ve also just refreshed our entire Alienware notebook lineup and continue to push the limits when it comes to performance. </p><p>But, there are many out there who want a box that can hit 1080p, 30-60 frames per second, at a lower price point. Dell leveraged our deep understanding of PC gaming to create a system that retains all the great features of a Dell laptop backed by premium service and support while still being able to easily handle the latest gaming titles all at an affordable price. That’s why we were so excited to launch our new Inspiron 15 Gaming laptop that gives gamers a $799 system ready to play the latest games straight out of the box.“We’ve selected the components [of the new Inspiron 15], so you have a 1050 or a 1050TI, i5 and i7 quad cores. We’ve built the thermal solution so it’s built around the max capacity of those components. It’s what you would expect from a real gaming box,” Bryan de Zayas, director of game strategy at Dell told VentureBeat at #ces2017. “It takes in air from the bottom and expels it out the back. It’s all built around the thermal solution, versus just putting parts into a box with the cheapest thermals and being done with it.”As Trusted Reviews noted, rather than striving to be thin – like many of the laptops recently on display at CES— we’ve chosen to stuff this system with dual fans, oversized pipes and heat exchangers, as well as two speakers and a subwoofer.Since I’m not the target audience for it, I reached out to a couple of gamers I know well — my nephews — to see what their reaction was to the new Insprion 15 Gaming laptop. As a college student and a recent college graduate, their budgets are understandably limited, so they definitely liked the price tag. I sent them the product details via Facebook Messenger and heard back almost immediately.“I’m really impressed with this system. For $800 I think it’s fairly and competitively priced, too,” said Josh Pevehouse, who isn’t a fan of bulky or weirdly shaped systems. “The Inspiron 15 looks like a normal laptop, and since it weighs only 5.5 pounds it’s actually portable.”“My laptop I’m using now weighs 8 – 10 pounds and it couldn’t even compare to the specs on this,” Jake Pevehouse noted. He also likes that it can game without necessarily looking like it. “Esthetically it is nice and plain which will appeal to consumers that don’t necessarily want to broadcast that they carry a gaming laptop for everyday use.”I promise I didn’t coach them on those comments, but they were both quick to volunteer to test drive and review the system. Unfortunately for them, my role here at Dell doesn’t mean I have access to a couple of extra systems I could loan them. But, the one still in college is eligible for our student discount, making this laptop an even better deal![UPDATE 3/2/17: In case you’re interested in hearing more about the Inspiron 15 Gaming laptop’s performance, here’s a review that just came out from Linus Tech Tips.] </p><p>
Few would argue that organizations are becoming increasingly dependent on data to fuel innovation, drive new revenue streams and provide deep insight into the needs of their customers, partners and stakeholders. Yet despite the increased investments to safeguard data and keep mission-critical application services highly available across multi-cloud environments, we are witnessing a steady uptick in application downtime and data loss across organizations of all sizes. This is resulting in lost revenue, lost employee productivity and lost opportunities.According to the 2020 Global Data Protection Index (GDPI) snapshot survey, 82 percent of the respondents reported experiencing a disruptive event in the past 12 months – meaning they experienced downtime, data loss or both – up from 76 percent in the 2019 GDPI survey. The average annual costs of data loss in this 12-month period exceeded $1M, slightly higher from the year prior, while the costs of downtime surged by 54 percent, $810k in 2019 vs $520k in 2018.What’s behind this trend of persistent digital disruption? Certainly, the ongoing proliferation of data and application services across edge locations, core data center and multi-cloud environments is making it very challenging for IT organizations to ensure data is continuously protected, compliant and secure.Compounding IT complexity is the continued evolution of application services themselves. Organizations are moving toward faster, more agile ways of deploying applications to market – containers, SaaS and cloud-native applications are altering the dynamics of how data is protected.Likewise, distributed edge technologies like IoT are driving unprecedented data volumes as smart cities, autonomous vehicles, medical devices and sensors of virtually every kind imaginable are capturing troves of information across the digital landscape. In the not-so-distant future, there will be more data residing in edge locations than in all of the public clouds combined – placing inordinate strains on data protection infrastructure and IT teams to efficiently manage, protect and secure this information.To illustrate how data protection complexity can have an outsized impact on downtime, data loss and their associated costs, consider the following data points from the GDPI research:Eighty percent of the survey respondents reported they were using solutions from multiple data protection vendors. The irony is that these organizations are likely investing more in time, money and staffing resources to protect their data and applications, yet their annual data loss and downtime costs are significantly higher than organizations working with a single data protection vendor.Moreover, the majority of respondents indicated a lack of confidence in their solutions to help them recover data following a cyber-attack, adhere to compliance regulations, meet application service levels and prepare them for future data protection business requirements. It’s no surprise, then, that two-thirds of organizations are concerned that they will continue to experience disruption over the next 12 months.To combat data protection complexity, minimize disruption and mitigate the risk of data loss and downtime, organizations need simple, reliable, efficient, scalable and more automated solutions for protecting applications and data regardless of the platform (physical, virtual, containers, cloud-native, SaaS) or of the environments that workloads are deployed into (edge, core, multi-cloud).These solutions also need to help organizations ensure compliance and enhance data security across hybrid, multi-cloud . And they need to provide the global scale that organizations need as their application workloads and data volumes exponentially increase in the coming years.By delivering a deep portfolio of data protection solutions that address the need for traditional and modern workloads across edge, core and multi-cloud environments, Dell Technologies provides proven and modern data protection that delivers simplified, efficient, and reliable protection and recovery of applications and data, while ensuring compliance and mitigating the risks of data loss through our integrated cyber resiliency capabilities.Our industry-leading data protection software and integrated data protection appliances are leveraged by our customers to protect critical data assets on-premises and in the cloud. Today, for example, we are protecting over 2.7 exabytes of data for over 1,000 customers in the public cloud.¹And we continue to double down on our investments in data protection to deliver the most innovative data protection solutions available in the market. Recently we announced the support for protecting Kubernetes containers on PowerProtect Data Manager, enabling our customers to accelerate innovation by seamlessly protecting critical data deployed in containers.And this is just the beginning. Our agile development engine is primed to release a steady stream of new data protection capabilities every quarter to enable our customers to protect and safeguard their critical data assets however and wherever they are deployed across edge, core and multi-cloud environments.As the industry leader in data protection software and integrated data protection appliances, Dell Technologies is committed to delivering the end-to-end, innovative data protection solutions our customers need to eliminate data protection complexity and break the cycle of digital disruption to help them transform now and well into the future.¹ Based on Dell analysis, February 2020
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s competition watchdog says a lack of competition for Google and a lack of transparency in the digital advertising supply chain need to be addressed because they are impacting publishers, advertisers and consumers. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission released an interim report on its inquiry into the Google-dominated digital advertising services industry in Australia. Commission Chair Rod Sims says there’s a real lack of choice in the industry and Google often is acting on behalf of both publishers and advertisers for the same ad sale while selling its own ad inventory. A lawsuit in several U.S. states alleges Google engaged in anti-competitive conduct in online advertising and used its monopolistic power to control the prices and eliminate competition.
NEW YORK (AP) — A changing of the guard is afoot for journalism’s leaders. The announced retirement of editor Marty Baron at The Washington Post and ABC News President James Goldston’s exit add to the vacancy list for top newsroom jobs. The Los Angeles Times and Reuters are also looking for new leaders, CNN’s chief is considering his future and The New York Times is likely to have a new editor within the next two years. The changeover will test the industry’s commitment to diversity in management. The new jobs will also require executives be nimble enough to react to an industry that continues to rapidly change.
Twenty-three students were arrested for minor consumption of alcohol at an off-campus party Friday night. South Bend police received a call of a noise complaint at the 1300 Block of North St. Joseph St., the police report said. When police arrived, those attending the party began to flee the premises. “As officers were pulling up, a bunch of people went tearing out of the house, out the back door,” Sgt. Anne Schellinger said. Police entered the house and allowed those who could prove they were at least 21 years old to leave the party. Those who were underage were asked to take a portable breathalyzer test. The Indiana State Excise Police were not involved. The suspects were 18 to 20 years old and were taken to St. Joseph County Jail. A list of blood alcohol contents was not available. This incident raises the number of students arrested for minor consuming since returning to school to 26. Three students were arrested for minor consuming last weekend. Police also busted a party in July at 1017 East Washington St. and took 43 people to jail for various alcohol charges. Those arrested included eight football players, one basketball player and nine hockey players.
The unemployment rate in the United States is 7.8 percent. The country is more than $16 trillion in debt. The banks received a bailout from the federal government. So did the auto industry. At the end of the year, Bush-era tax cuts are scheduled to expire. Last year’s temporary payroll tax cuts are also scheduled to expire, resulting in at least a two percent tax increase for workers, when the Budget Control Act of 2011 takes effect. When the nation reaches this so-called “fiscal cliff,” the United States would also see the end of certain tax cuts for businesses, the beginning of health care taxes related to the Affordable Care Act and spending cuts to a number of government programs, including Medicare and the Department of Defense. No wonder polls by Rasmussen Reports, Gallup, Bloomberg National Poll and numerous news organizations rank the economy as the top issue for many voters on Nov. 6. Notre Dame economics professor Timothy Fuerst said all agree the country’s budgetary policy cannot last as it is, but the presidential candidates differ on their strategies to bring about change. “I think the broader issue is how to deal with the enormous federal budget deficits, on the order of $1 trillion a year,” Fuerst said. “This is simply not sustainable. Even after the economy recovers, there will be substantial deficits because of the rapid growth in spending, primarily entitlement spending such as Medicare and Social Security.” Democrat President Barack Obama and Republican former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney have both failed to explain what cuts they would make or how they would change entitlement spending, Fuerst said. “President Obama claims that his health care law will lower spending on health care and thus reduce Medicare costs,” Fuerst said. “Gov. Romney disagrees, but instead suggests other reforms such as higher retirement ages and insurance vouchers that would allow retirees to shop the private marketplace for insurance.” The candidates are opposed on tax policy as well, he said. Obama has proposed gaining revenue by taxing those with incomes about $1 million, while Romney wants to expand the tax base by eliminating deductions and loopholes that he has not identified in full. Notre Dame economics professor Robert Flood said the candidates, no matter their different philosophies, would both have to take the same basic steps toward a stronger economy. “Both need to move the budget toward balance,” he said. “Both will have to raise more revenue and spend less.” Economist Austan Goolsbee is a professor at The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and the former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under Obama. Obama has focused on cutting taxes for the middle class and letting high income rates rise, Goolsbee said, whereas Romney has called for “across-the-board” tax cuts that tend to benefit those with higher incomes, abolishing the estate tax and cutting capital income taxes. “I think it’s a pretty fundamental issue of the election,” Goolsbee said. “Do you think economic growth comes from a small group of people at the top or from broad-based relief with investments in training, infrastructure and innovation?” Goolsbee called Romney “factually incorrect” in his statement that the unemployment rate has been dropping because people have stopped looking for work and left the job force. “Suggesting that nothing has improved since January 2009 is absurd,” he said. “”We were in the middle of an epic downturn that almost careered into a depression. … The route problem is that growth has been modest – around 2 percent – and that’s not enough to really juice the hiring side.” Fuerst agreed with Romney’s claim, saying the economic rebound after the recession has been tough on job hunters. “The labor market recovery has been very, very, very weak,” Fuerst said. “In my view, the best measure of [the job situation] is the percent of the population employed. This was just about 63 percent before the recession. During the recession, it fell to about 58.5 percent and has remained remarkably flat since then.” Shortly after Election Day, the nation could hit the approaching fiscal cliff, which Fuerst said will take consideration from more than just the president. “My guess is that no matter who wins the election, that the Congress will push most of these issues down the road about six months so that the administration will have time to come up with a complete policy proposal,” he said. A mid-October poll from Rasmussen Reports found 50 percent of voters trusted Romney over Obama on the economy, while 43 percent favored the incumbent president. The race has only tightened as Election Day approaches, but one fact remains clear for the winner – after Nov. 6, one of these two men will have to put the money where his mouth is.
After a decades-long push by members of the Notre Dame community for official recognition of a gay-straight alliance (GSA), the University has announced plans for a student organization tasked with providing services and support to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQ) students and their allies. Though this is a historic decision in Notre Dame’s efforts to better serve a diverse student body, University President Fr. John Jenkins said the plan for the unnamed student organization is a natural progression of previous initiatives. “In the 1990s, as I said, we created the Standing Committee [on Gay and Lesbian Student Needs]. In 2006, that was changed to the Core Council [for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Questioning Students], and various initiatives were undertaken in conjunction with those efforts,” he said. “I see this as the next step to be more effective.” The decision comes at the conclusion of a five-month review process commissioned by Jenkins and conducted by the office of Erin Hoffmann Harding, vice president for Student Affairs. “[Harding] and her staff have had countless hours [working] extremely hard and have submitted this plan, which I enthusiastically support and accept,” Jenkins said. “It grows out of our mission as a Catholic university, it’s directed by that fundamental mission in a profound way, I think, so I’m enthusiastic about it.” The plan, titled “Beloved Friends and Allies: A Pastoral Plan for the Support and Holistic Development of GLBTQ and Heterosexual Students at the University of Notre Dame,” details the establishment of a “new support and service student organization for GLBTQ students and their allies,” as well as a new advisory committee and the establishment of a full-time student development staff position focused on GLBTQ issues, according to a Dec. 5 University press release. Harding said members of the Notre Dame community should consider more than the establishment of the student organization when evaluating the plan. “The comprehensiveness of this not only being about the organization is a very important element to the entire thing because of the education, because of the awareness, because of the support and interaction with other University offices, we think this is a plan that we believe and hope will be much more than about one organization,” she said. Harding explained the significance of the planned group’s intended status as a student organization rather than a club, a distinction she said is meant to ensure the continuity of the organization over time. “Here at Notre Dame, a club is actually in a sense a temporary structure,” Harding said. “It continues and does programming at the interest of the club itself. So our organizations have more permanence and more stature.” Harding said the status of the planned group as a student organization positions it closer in structure to student government and similar groups than typical student clubs. “The first [distinction] is that it’s part of someone’s full-time job to advise that group, and that provides some of the sustainability and the consistency over time,” she said. This new position will fulfill a number of responsibilities ranging from administrative to advisory. “Underneath all of [these goals], is the support of an individual who we will hire to have this full-time responsibility to work with these structures and with our students on our climate and the Spirit of Inclusion that we all hope to [live by],” Harding said. “That person will play several roles associated with a student organization: to serve as advisor; that person will participate on a new advisory committee that will work with and give input to my office; and lastly, will be responsible for the consistency of the training and the awareness that we build over time.” While the University has greater oversight of organizations than clubs, Harding said organizations have a high level of autonomy. “An organization, like a club, still develops its own constitution and puts in place its own practices, it elects its own leaders,” she said. “But it does have additional input in terms of the approval of that constitution by the University.” Members of the student organization will be free to meet independently, but official matters must be dealt with in the presence of the advisor. “Students will and do meet and discuss organization issues beyond official meetings. Because of the constitutional distinction I mentioned, official business is conducted with the advisor present, who we describe in the [Dec. 5 press] release,” Harding said. “This is consistent with the practices and procedures of our other student organizations on campus.” The timeline for the establishment of this organization will hinge upon the filling of the new position, which Harding estimates will occur early next summer. “Our anticipation is that it is likely the person will not be here full time at the University until July 1, and the reason for that is the cycle of recruiting in the student affairs profession tends to occur in the spring,” she said. As these plans take shape, the new advisory committee will replace the Core Council and take up many of its functions, while incorporating a structure more conducive to performing its intended advisory role. “What’s interesting is the Core Council was started as an advisory committee, and its size reflected that, rather than letting it grow to a programming body,” Harding said. “So its size and composition … I think has limited its ability to grow with the growing needs of campus.” Citing the limits of the Core Council, a group of eight undergraduate students and a number of representatives from her office, Harding said the new advisory council will likely include graduate student representation, as well as staff, faculty and additional administrators. Harding praised the achievements of the Core Council, and said the new advisory committee will maintain and build upon these programs. “There’s been a lot of programs started and launched by the Core Council that have added great value to the University, particularly, I think, when we welcome students to campus for the first time – our first-year students – and training of our hall staff,” she said. “These are programs that can, and should and must be continued.” The road to a decision Harding said the process to develop her office’s proposal to the Office of the President included months of consultation with the various constituencies involved. “The parameter for this solution needed to serve our students well and be grounded fundamentally in our Catholic mission as a University,” she said. “So we’ve spent time with theologians and members, in particular, of our own faculty, who have given us advice on this matter and on Church teaching.” Jenkins said the organization’s roots in Church teaching had a broad practical impact, but these roots are not meant to serve as a basis for limitations the University could theoretically impose on the group. “It’s a rich teaching about the role of sexuality, about intimacy, about human relations, about responsibilities to the community, about relationships to the Church,” Jenkins said. “To put this in a ‘Well you can do this, you can’t do that,’ is to distort the issue.” Once the theological guidelines were defined, Harding said her office tapped the opinion of the constituency most heavily tied to the issue, the student body. “[There were] several groups of students we consulted along the way: first and foremost, students on the Core Council, since it is our structure in place; students who applied for club status; we also spoke with students who were uninvolved particularly with either effort,” she said. “We did two focus groups, one with undergraduate students, one with graduate students, to get their perspective and input on this issue. We consulted with student government, we consulted with a few students who just wrote me along the way.” Harding said her calendar held more than 40 such meetings by the end of the review. Looking outside the community, Harding’s team compared Notre Dame’s existing structures with those of other institutions. “[We] just refreshed some external benchmarking, particularly looking at other Catholic institutions to see the breadths of structures they had in place to serve students who identify as gay or lesbian,” she said. Throughout her office’s review, Harding came to see a commonality amongst many of these sources. “I’ve been struck throughout this process, how whether I’ve been talking to a student, an administrator, a faculty member or leaders in our Church, that we all share a common goal that really speaks back to the Spirit of Inclusion the University adopted many years ago, which is to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment,” she said. With the vast amount of consultation and research conducted by Harding’s office, the final decision came down to Jenkins. “We inform all parties who kind of have a stake in this, of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. Just as Erin did with the students and graduate students, so I did with members of the Board [of Trustees], but ultimately it was a decision by the President to do this review,” Jenkins said. “[Harding] made a proposal that I accepted on my authority.” Sending a message Despite the challenges of tackling the controversial topic at Notre Dame, Jenkins said he is confident in the plan, which he expects will garner both positive and negative responses. “This is a contested area in society-at-large … whenever an issue like that is present at Notre Dame, it will get attention. I expect some criticism from both people who say – who are on the left and the right – that we’re too far or not far enough,” he said. “Controversy is not necessarily a bad thing. If you avoid controversy, you don’t do anything.” Jenkins said he believes the soundness of the plan will withstand the scrutiny it is bound to receive from concerned parties. “I think if people look carefully at what we’re doing and really, in a thoughtful way, evaluate it, I think thoughtful people will see that this makes sense,” he said. “It makes sense for a Catholic university like Notre Dame to provide such structures to serve their students effectively.” Regardless of potential controversy, Harding said she stands by the plan’s compliance with the University’s mission as well as its ability to better meet students’ needs. “For me to sleep at night, I think about two things. I think first and foremost about the unique mission of this place, and my obligation and my role to serve students,” she said. “I sleep well thinking this is the next step in our evolution as a community. Jenkins said prospective students who truly believe in the University’s mission will likely find value in the plan. “If you look at how graduates of Notre Dame reflect on their experience, one of the things that comes out very strongly is that there is a deep sense of community at Notre Dame, and I think when you read this document, people will see what’s really front and center,” he said. “If people want to be part of that, then this is the place for them.” While Jenkins said expanding the diversity at Notre Dame is part of the administration’s duties, he said the responsibility does not end at the steps of the Main Building. “Diversity isn’t just about having a bunch of different people all in the same place. It really is about building a community,” he said. “As Erin said, we’re not there, we should never feel like we’ve got this down. … It’s my responsibility and Erin’s responsibility to work on this, but it’s everyone’s responsibility.”
As the school year begins, new rectors are getting acclimated to their roles as community leaders and mentors in Cavanaugh Hall, Farley Hall, Keough Hall, Lewis Hall, O’Neill Hall and Ryan Hall. All of the new rectors have studied at Notre Dame or Saint Mary’s College in the past and have returned to give back to a residential system that allowed them to grow. O’Neill Hall rector Chris Tarnacki, who lived in the dorm as an undergraduate, said he felt called to be a rector because of the unique nature of Notre Dame’s residence life. “I wanted to become a rector because I believe deeply in Notre Dame’s residential mission. It really is as simple as that,” Tarnacki said. “There isn’t another career choice I could make that would give me the fulfillment of working with the young men and women that come here.” Keough Hall rector Pat Reidy, a seminarian who lived in Sorin College as an undergraduate, said Notre Dame’s Holy Cross heritage is his inspiration for becoming a rector. “The University’s founder, Fr. Edward Sorin, had a dream that Notre Dame would become a powerful means for good, that its graduates would be good people who cared deeply about the world and one another,” Reidy said. “That lofty dream is shaped in the day-to-day, in classrooms and dorm rooms. Rectors strive to build community in the dorms through the work of family, an ideal strongly resonant with my own upbringing and my discernment of religious life in Holy Cross.” Reidy, who will be ordained a priest next year, said his only long-term plan is to preside over Mass in the dorm. “I’m most looking forward to] celebrating Mass in Keough’s Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe as a newly-ordained priest next Easter, surrounded by the men with whom I’ve been privilege to journey this year,” Reidy said. Farley Hall rector Elaine DeBassige said she will model her actions as rector on those of her former rector in Lewis Hall. “One of my rectors (both are still on campus!) was in Lewis when my dad died. It was during finals of my junior year. I was devastated and she was amazing, along with my AR,” De Bassige said. “They made things happen and got me home so that I could be with my family. That kind of support is unheard of. Friends who went to other schools are always shocked when I tell this story.” DeBassige said she has big plans to open a cafÃ© within Farley Hall. “My first big project is to create CafÃ© Far Far in the basement in a part of Farley that is rarely used,” she said. “I want to maximize the use of the space that we have for study groups and be a place where everyone wants to be.” Cavanaugh Hall rector Jeannine DiCarlantonio said she intends to emphasize a sense of community in her hall. “Community truly can have an incredible impact on our life and experiences, and the residence hall system at Notre Dame reflects the importance of community in helping us lead lives full of faith, hope, and love,” DiCarlantonio said. Ryan Hall rector Allison Greene said she was overjoyed at how welcoming the residents of her dorm have been toward her. “They impressed me from the beginning by introducing themselves to me and offering sincere welcomes; they were also quick to show me what bright, fun, spiritual, and fully engaged students they are,” Greene said. “I am looking forward to supporting them, being present for their athletic and club events, celebrating liturgy together in our beautiful chapel, and living a year of campus life at Notre Dame together.” Lewis Hall rector Katy Patterson said she is looking forward to building relationships with her residents as they continue on their life’s journey. “I am excited to journey with the women of Lewis Hall through their years of undergraduate education and formation,” Patterson said in a press release. “I feel honored and blessed to be the rector of this community as these women discern who they are called to be and what they are called to offer for the good of the world.”
At Wednesday night’s student Senate meeting, junior Deirdre Harrington, chair of the Student Campus Orientation Committee (SCOC), led a discussion on upcoming changes to the first-year orientation program, or “Frosh-O.” Harrington said Frosh-O weekend begins the Friday that freshmen move into their dorms and continues through Sunday evening. SCOC and dorm Frosh-O committees and commissioners, as well as the University administration, plan activities and information sessions within allocated times throughout the weekend, “In SCOC, we train all the staff for Frosh-O and go over programming and work on inclusion and having a fair and welcoming Frosh-O experience for everyone,” Harrington said.Harrington said this year, SCOC hopes to “change the culture that surrounds Frosh-O to make it a more welcoming and inclusive experience. … A lot of people don’t have positive experiences with Frosh-O weekend, and that’s not a good welcome to Notre Dame.”Part of making Frosh-O a positive experience involves training dorm commissioners, Harrington said. “We’re training them to identify micro and macro aggressions,” she said. “The idea is that these commissioners become active bystanders within their Frosh-O committees and … make sure every person feels welcome.”Harrington said several changes to the Class of 2018’s Frosh-O weekend are not actually new developments, but rather technicalities that have been largely ignored in recent years. For example, serenading dorms with songs and dances will not be allowed before Sunday. “We’re also looking into changing the name of ‘serenades’ to something that doesn’t have such a romantic connotation,” Harrinton said. “We want to change it so it isn’t heteronormative and doesn’t make people feel uncomfortable. The point of serenades is not to seduce people; it’s dorm spirit.”Additionally, dorms will walk to Domerfest on their own instead of being paired with another dorm. “We want to ensure there’s no [forced] dates … it’s not conducive to forming friendships, and it’s awkward,” Harrington said.“It’s also a logistical problem,” student government chief of staff and sophomore Shannon Montague said. “There’s going to be a lot of construction by Stepan [Center], and we’re really not sure what it’s going to look like and how easy it will be to get people through.”Another initiative SCOC will put forth this August is to encourage more programming between same-sex halls “because it’s important to have friends of your gender from outside your dorm,” Harrington said.Several senators expressed concern that this change would alter the dynamic of Frosh-O. Alumni Hall senator and freshman Scott Moore said opposite-gender dorm programming encourages freshmen to make friends with people of the opposite gender — an important experience within the University’s single-sex residence hall system. Montague said the ultimate goal for Frosh-O is to promote a balance of events.“I know it’s a huge part of Frosh-O, but we’ve heard a lot of comments on the other side, where people feel like they only have same-sex friends that live in their dorm,” Montague said. “This year, we’re trying to split the time. We just want to make sure all those complaints are addressed.”Tags: First Year Orientation, Frosh-O, SCOC, Senate
Last updated Saturday at 7:08 p.m.The Election Committee of Judicial Council announced Thursday in a press release that it is issuing sanctions in response to campaign misconduct by the Kruszewski-Dunbar ticket.According to the release, the committee determined that juniors Alex Kruszewski and Julia Dunbar were “in violation of Section 17.1(f)(6)” of the Student Union Constitution, which states, “Candidates may not communicate an endorsement such that it can be construed to represent that of a Residence Hall, Student Union Organization, University department, office or official.”The release said the Kruszewski-Dunbar ticket is required to rewrite the part of its platform and campaign website that promises a decrease in tuition “to clarify any statements construed as endorsements from University departments, offices or officials.”“As Alex has been working with administrators on drafting a plan to reduce tuition, we wanted to indicate on our website that decreasing tuition is actually not impossible, but rather it is something that administrators have supported during his work this past year,” the Kruszewski-Dunbar ticket said in a statement emailed to The Observer on Thursday night. “ … We never meant to portray that we were endorsed by the administration of Notre Dame, just that a unique benefit of our team is that we have experience working with administrators and therefore can achieve bold goals. We will change the wording of the platform in order to make this clearer, and tuition reduction will remain a staple item as it is something that we know we can make progress on in the coming year if elected.”According to the press release, the Judicial Council needs to review and approve the revised platform of the Kruszewski-Dunbar ticket before its publication.The student senate called an emergency meeting Friday to hear an appeal of the Election Committee’s decision, but it did not reach a quorum and could not hear the appeal. As a result, per section 3.6(f) of the student union constitution, “the decision of the Election Committee shall stand.”The Kruszewski-Dunbar campaign changed its platform to reflect that “administrators listed … throughout the [campaign’s] website are not to be construed as endorsing Alex [and] Julia as per student union constitution 17.1(f)(6).”Tags: Election Committee, Judicial Council, sanctions