Prof. travels to Iraq to teach

first_imgA Notre Dame political science professor had the unique opportunity last month to teach students about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in a place where such terms are foreign and difficult to grasp.Professor Vincent Muñoz traveled to the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani (AUI-S) to teach students about the principles behind the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence.“The ideas were new and not familiar. They really wanted to know what it means to have the right to life, the right to liberty,” Muñoz said. AUI-S, a private university, opened in 2007 and offers an American-style liberal arts education. All classes are taught in English.Muñoz met AUI-S Provost John Agresto last November after the Notre Dame professor gave a lecture about the Constitution in Philadelphia. Agresto later invited Muñoz to teach students about American democracy in a workshop setting at AUI-S.Muñoz left for Iraq on March 25 and returned on April 5, traveling 30 hours each way. Notre Dame’s Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA) funded the trip.“I definitely want to thank Agustin Fuentes, director of the ISLA,” Muñoz said.On a typical day, Muñoz did some of his own work in the morning, ate lunch with faculty in the afternoon, met with his class and held informal conversations with students after class.“I taught for five days, but the total trip was 10 days,” Muñoz said. “I taught a 75 minute class which tended to go to 90 minutes. Anyone could come, and more students came every day.”Muñoz said the students arrived at each seminar class well prepared and with many questions.“The first day we did the Declaration of Independence and [discussed] what the purpose of government is. The second day we did the Federalist Number 10. [We then] spent two days on religious freedom and one day on constitutional design,” Muñoz said. “Students were so engaged because Iraq just wrote a constitution.”Muñoz said most students looked to America as the ideal democratic society.“[We discussed that] liberal democracy has its advantages and disadvantages,” he said. “They are so enamored with the idea of democracy, to have someone talk about the disadvantages of democracy was new to them.”Muñoz said some female students worried about the abuses of freedom. These students were concerned too much freedom could lead to an increased prevalence of abortions and pornography.Toward the end of his stay in Iraq, Muñoz gave a lecture open to the entire university titled “Constitutional Democracy and Religious Freedom.”“In the lecture I did a comparison between the Iraqi and American constitutions,” Muñoz said. “Islam is the established religion in the Iraqi constitution. I compared that to how we don’t have an official religion in America. Students thought it would be impossible not to have an established religion [In Iraq].”Muñoz said students were surprised a separation of church and state is not considered anti-religious. They also struggled to comprehend the idea of a limited government.“They had not seen the arguments for these ideas before,” Muñoz said.Muñoz said his class felt “in many ways, just like a seminar at Notre Dame.”But he said teaching students who are so unfamiliar with concepts like freedom of speech and freedom of religion — concepts most Americans do not think twice about — was refreshing.“[The trip] reminded me why I love to teach these things, because the students were so hungry to learn and the ideas were so new to them,” Muñoz said. “The eagerness of the students was infectious — they desire so much to live as a stable democracy like America.”last_img read more

OIS releases study abroad decisions

first_imgAntsy students are dreaming of Big Ben, the Colosseum and the Parthenon this week in the wake of Friday’s release of study abroad decisions from the Office of International Studies (OIS) for the 2012-2013 academic year. Kathleen Opel, director of OIS, said her department is “as excited as ever” for next year’s class of international scholars. “We’ve given our decision, and now [students] need to either confirm that they’re going to accept or decline the offer,” Opel said. “If that’s the case, then we’re able to offer that spot to somebody else. “ Opel said OIS received a total of 1,535 applications from 1,005 students. Out of the 1,005 students who applied, 754 were accepted into a study abroad program for next year, she said. Out of these 754 accepted students, Opel said 721 were admitted to their first choice program. Additionally, 245 students were waitlisted for study abroad programs. Opel said she has seen an increase in the popularity of English language programs such as London, Dublin and Perth, making them more competitive for students to get into. “Specifically the programs that we have in English tend to be those that can suit the needs of business, science, engineering and Arts and Letters students,” Opel said. “There is a growing number of business students, and because of that growth in the College of Business, where they do not have a language requirement, more of those students are gravitating toward programs where language is not a requirement.” Opel also said spring programs are more popular overall than those in the fall “by a very small margin.” The number of applicants remained relatively stagnant from last year’s numbers. Last year, 1,011 students applied for study abroad programs during the academic year and 780 students were initially accepted. Waitlisted students should not lose hope, Opel said, because some students do choose not to attend the program in which they have been accepted. Opel’s advice to waitlisted students is “be patient and be optimistic.” “We will stay in touch with [waitlisted] students and let them know at what point we’ve pretty much filled capacity and don’t see any more changes coming,” Opel said. Opel added accepted students should begin to think about what is required of them before they travel abroad. OIS will offer pre-departure programs in the coming months for students studying abroad during the fall 2012 semester, but she said they should work on obtaining a passport and familiarizing themselves with safety and security measures as soon as possible. “By the time [students studying abroad] leave campus, they should have a pretty good grounding of what to expect when they get there,” she said. Sophomore Matt Hayes said he is already gearing up to spend the spring 2013 semester in Bologna, Italy. A Program of Liberal Studies and Italian major, Hayes said he hopes to become fluent in Italian during his time abroad. “I chose Bologna for the opportunity to become fluent and study at an actual Italian university,” he said. Hayes also plans to spend Easter at the Vatican. However, he said he is most looking forward to the food. “Bologna is called ‘La Grassa,’ meaning ‘the Fat One.’ It is the food capital of Italy,” Hayes said. “I’m excited to eat my way through Italy.” Sophomore Margeaux Prinster will spend the spring 2013 semester in Rome. As an anthropology major with a peace studies minor, Prinster said she is fascinated by the archeological value of Rome. “I’m really interested in archeology, and Rome is an awesome place to be for that because you’re basically living in ancient Rome with a modern twist,” she said. Prinster added she also wants to travel beyond Rome. “I’m most excited about travelling and seeing everything,” Prinster said. “I really, really want to go skiing in the Alps.”last_img read more

Ex-worker pleads guilty

first_imgA former University employee in Notre Dame’s Office of the Registrar pled guilty to four counts of voyeurism last week in the St. Joseph County Superior Court. Don G. Steinke was originally charged with one count of voyeurism, but the State of Indiana added three more counts on Feb. 28, according to court documents. The state agreed not to file any further charges arising from investigation of the case, according to court documents. As part of the plea agreement, a six-year cap was placed on any total executed sentence Steinke receives. On March 7, 2011, a woman found a pen camera aimed at the toilet on the floor of a women’s bathroom in Grace Hall. The pen camera was turned over to Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP), according to court documents. Steinke allegedly admitted to placing the camera in the women’s restroom with the intent to retrieve the camera and download the recorded video content. Notre Dame declined to comment further on the additional charges. “We were made aware of the camera, we investigated it and made the arrest,” University Spokesman Dennis Brown said. “We disabled the operation and worked closely with the prosecutor and law enforcement. We’re confident that the criminal justice system would play itself out appropriately and that certainly is what has taken place.” St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Jerome Frese took the plea under advisement and set sentencing for April 26 at 9 a.m.last_img read more

Professor discusses education

first_imgThe United States needs to create stronger public and private education systems, and can do so through decreasing the reliance on standardized testing, according to Diane Ravitch, professor of education at New York University. Her lecture, “Is There a Crisis in Public Education?” was the latest event in Notre Dame’s year-long Forum, “Reimagining School: to Nurture the Soul of a Nation.” Ravitch spoke Tuesday night in the Eck Hall of Law, saying our nation must foster a system capable of caring for the needs of all its students. “Our schools are a reflection of our society,” she said. “They are indeed beset by problems and they need to improve – but they are not declining, and they are not failing.” Ravitch employed a historical perspective, exploring the causes of current challenges to the system’s efficacy and the basis of measures enacted to combat them. She said the No Child Left Behind Act, passed in 2001, is one such key factor. “In the decade before the passage of No Child Left Behind, most states had already adopted testing and accountability systems,” she said. “However, federal and state policy makers just can’t seem to get enough data, they want more.” The focus on collecting data prompts policymakers to look at standardized testing to ascertain the worth of a school, Ravitch said. However, she said tests should have a different purpose. “Tests should be used to diagnose learning problems, except now they are used inappropriately, to judge the worth of teachers, schools and students,” Ravitch said. Because these tests are being used for more than they were designed to evaluate, Ravitch said policymakers and analysts are drawing incorrect conclusions ignoring the real problem. “Poverty is the elephant in the room. Reduce poverty and test scores would be increased,” she said. “The odds are on the side of children who live in affluent and secure communities.” Ravitch said the emphasis on testing impedes the distribution of quality education. “We don’t know how to test the things that matter most,” she said. “The more our nation relies on high-stakes testing, the more our educational sense of priorities are warped.” Ravitch said the use of students’ test scores to indicate the relative worth of each teacher is a case of scapegoating. She said blame is placed on teachers, while ignoring other factors. “Tests are indication of many different qualities [at play in the life of the student], and the teacher has little or no control over many of these factors,” Ravitch said. “Tests are also subject to statistical error, random error and human error. They should be used for information, but not to reward or punish.” Ravitch said the nation’s first priority should be to halt these policies. “We have to stop doing wrong things before we start doing right things,” she said. “The role of the government should be to level the playing field and to make sure that adequate resources are provided for children in poverty. The federal government should not be telling schools how to reform.” Ravitch said the process would be a long one, requiring people to think creatively about possible ways to enhance American education. “It will not happen overnight, good things never do,” she said. “We will need the work of people who have a vision of how to change the lives of children and families … there is a lot of work ahead of us all.” Following Ravitch’s talk, former teacher Susan van Fleet, recently retired from Penn High School in Mishawaka, Ind., said she felt Ravitch’s opinions analyzed the issue of testing accurately. “Speaking as someone who’s been in the system, she has her fingers right on the problem,” Van Fleet said. “Our leaders need to stop not listening … to the people who really understand the facts, not just basing decisions on politics.” Kate Kennedy, administrative assistant at the Center for Research of Educational Opportunity, said she appreciated Ravitch’s analysis of the current state of education in America. “Ravitch put the brakes on, and took a look and what is actually happening. The bottom line is the same between what each Catholic school and public school wants to do: support schools, support teachers, but what is questionable is whether the current methods are serving that goal,” Kennedy said. “Ravitch brought a more historical view, saying this is how school started, this is what we have tried, now let’s look at what worked.” Contact Nicole Michels at [email protected]last_img read more

Film festival focuses on non-violent resistance

first_imgPeace studies course material and film study will converge at the fifth annual ScreenPeace Film Festival, where attendees will share in the experiences of five nonviolent resistors from around the world. The festival, which begins Thursday and runs through Saturday, is co-sponsored by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Hal Culbertson, executive director of the Kroc Institute, said this year’s festival theme of nonviolent resistance developed in response to the Arab Spring, a series of civil resistance movements in the Arab world that began in late 2010. “We thought there would be significant interest in the Arab Spring and its impact around the world,” Culbertson said. “We decided to make the theme of nonviolent resistance the centerpiece because we knew of several films that related to this.” The five films that will be shown over the course of the festival portray the stories of a varied cast of people: a Palestinian farmer, a Chinese artist and activist, a scholar of nonviolent resistance, an interracial American couple and an aspiring Algerian filmmaker. Alison Rice, associate professor of French and Francophone literatures, will introduce the last film of the weekend, “Normal!,” about a young Algerian filmmaker living and working when the Arab Spring protests begin in his country in the last days of 2010. “With these protests taking place, it’s like a documentary, but it’s not labeled a documentary,” Rice said. “It’s like a film within a film.” The film follows the struggles of the filmmaker as he tries to discern how to act appropriately in the midst of the protests, Rice said. “[It is] really about the dilemma of how to act when you’re in a societal system in a country where you do not agree with the way things are going,” she said. “How do you react, how do you respond effectively?” The film sends a message of solidarity, Rice said, and the feeling of “everyone participating in something together.” Rice was chosen to introduce “Normal!” for the ScreenPeace Festival because of her close connections with Algerian culture as a professor of French and Francophone literature, she said. “I also love the work the Kroc Institute does, and I am firmly behind the idea of peace studies, and I love film as well,” Rice said. “It was a perfect opportunity for me to respond to.” Culbertson said the Kroc Institute chooses films for the festival that will relate to the material the Peace Studies department is teaching in the classroom. “We designate films with our chief educational goals in mind and we try to complement our class discussions of peace with films that are particularly situated where conflict and peace issues are prominent,” he said. “It can address issues on a more local level and more in context than we often can in the classroom.” The festival also provides food for thought for others who may not know a great deal about peace issues around the world. “The real goal is to stimulate thought and reflection of peace issues around the world,” he said. “I think film as a medium is a wonderful way for people to learn about other cultures and contexts. It’s a different way of seeing peace issues played out.” The festival is free to attend, but tickets are required. For a full schedule of films and to obtain tickets, visit performingarts.nd.edu.last_img read more

Dining halls seek to decrease waste

first_imgThe semi-annual Waste-Free Wednesdays campaign, which took place during April, aimed to decrease the food and liquid waste produced at Notre Dame. Campaign co-chair Anna Gorman said the project seeks to educate students about the number of Americans who struggles to put food on the table. “One in six Americans struggle with hunger, and the statistic is even higher for children,” she said. “We waste roughly enough food in our country to provide food for all those who are hungry.” Each Wednesday in April from 6 to 7 p.m., volunteers handed out raffle tickets to students who cleared their trays at the dining halls. The winner of the raffle is awarded 100 Flex Points. Gorman said the campaign, which is co-sponsored by the Office of Sustainability, Notre Dame Food Services, GreeND and the Hunger Coalition, had a total of about 1,200 participants in the past four weeks. Prior to the start of the Waste- Free Wednesdays campaign in 2008, the average student wasted about five ounces of food per meal, adding up to nearly two tons of food wasted each day. By the end of the fall 2012 semester, the waste dropped to 3.26 ounces per meal, Gorman said. This semester, Gorman said the waste is slightly higher, with an average of 3.5 ounces per student, but it has still drastically decreased compared to the 2008 statistics. The Office of Sustainability has also contributed to reducing waste by posting educational posters in the dining halls to encourage students and faculty to only take what they can finish. According to the office’ website, “Food scraps from the main Food Service facility are used for cattle feed, totaling about 37,000 pounds per year. Leftover cooked food is donated to two local homeless shelters.” Gorman is similarly concerned about the impact of food waste to the environment. “We are forcing our farms to produce more than we need, hurting our land. In addition, food waste produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas,” Gorman said. With the combined efforts of the co-sponsors of Waste-Free Wednesdays, Gorman said the University can provide more food to the needy, answer a social responsibility and avoid putting unnecessary strains on the environment. The challenge is letting people know they can easily have a large impact on hunger, Gorman said. “Waste-Free Wednesdays could be more effective if we were better able to educate students,” she said.last_img read more

‘The Revolution of Human Dignity’

first_imgIn light of the recent violence and turmoil in Ukraine, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies hosted a discussion Monday evening in the LaFortune Student Center.The panel, titled “Euromaidan: Revolution in Ukraine?,” was led by Yury Avvakumov, Nanovic faculty fellow and assistant professor of theology.The slideshow prepared by Avvakumov began with a slide that changed the title of the discussion to say “Euromaidan: Revolution in Ukraine!,” which he said reflected the emerging conviction that the situation in Ukraine is indeed one of revolution.“I thought that I would start with this title because when we discussed this event and its title, three days ago, a question mark after the title was still appropriate. Now you have to replace the questions mark with an exclamation mark,” Avvakumov said. “The revolution in Ukraine has happened. This is absolutely clear.”Avvakumov said the term “Euromaidan” originated from a hash tag used on Twitter in reference to the protests. The “Euro” refers to the Ukrainian people’s demands for an alliance with the European Union and “maidan” refers to the name of the Independence Square in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, where the protests have taken place.Since November of last year, Ukrainians have been protesting the corruption of their government, Avvakumov said. Mass protests began after former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who recently fled Ukraine, abruptly rejected a landmark association agreement with the European Union in November 2013, just one week before the anticipated signing of the agreement.GRANT TOBIN | The Observer Avvakumov said the rejection came as a direct result of Russian pressure exerted on Ukraine in order to prevent the nation from starting the process of integration into the European Union.Although this issue has greatly angered the Ukrainian people, Avvakumov said, they are demonstrating against the corruption of their current government as much as they are protesting their former president’s reluctance to sign an agreement with the European Union.Avvakumov said such corruption includes everything from nepotism and bribery to disrespect of human dignity and the authoritarian style of the former president and the ruling party.“In the eyes of millions of Ukrainians, Russia, in its present condition, embodies these vices of the political system. By contrast, potential membership in the European Union can help fight the new authoritarianism and promote transparency, the rule of law, independent media and respect of human dignity,” he said.Avvakumov said the protest began with young Ukrainians, though it includes a broad spectrum of middle-class citizens who are students, intellectuals, artists and representatives of small and mid-sized businesses.“These are people who perceive that the political system forcibly takes away their freedom and their professional and personal future. These are people for whom Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are indispensible everyday tools,” he said. “These are intelligent people with a clear sense of human dignity and civil courage. They call the revolution ‘The Revolution of Human Dignity.’”The Euromaidan protest has swelled in number from 700,000 people in November to one million people more recently, Avvakumov said. The demonstrations began peacefully, but have since turned violent.On Feb. 17 the Ukrainian government called for the use of military weapons, in an attempt to put an end to the rioting. Avvakumov said over 70 people have been killed and hundreds have been injured, but the protests have nevertheless continued.“Euromaidan will not go away until they are convinced that the whole thing really functions and really works, and they get real transparency with their government,” Avvakumov said.Michael Gekhtman, chair of the mathematics department and a Ukrainian citizen, also spoke briefly about the crisis in Kiev. Gekhtman said he is worried the protests will have the same result as similar protests in 2004, which occurred in response to perceived corruption in a presidential election, and is concerned for the safety of his parents.“What I am worried about is that it’s going to revert to what happened shortly after the Orange Revolution because the main players are the same — same politicians,” he said. “These are very dangerous times. My parents still live in Kiev. I was there in October — no one expected this to turn out this violent this fast.”Tags: Euromaidan, Nanovic Institute, Ukrainelast_img read more

Mod Quad hosts third annual ‘Drip n’ Dodge’

first_imgMod Quad’s third annual “Drip n’ Dodge” will bring a splash of color to White Field Sunday as part of a fundraising effort for Camp Kesem, which provides support to children whose parents have cancer.The event, which is co-sponsored by Knott, Pasquerilla East, Pasquerilla West and Siegfried Halls, features altered games of dodgeball with teams of four to six people hurling paint-covered balls at one another.Water guns filled with paint are also provided so that people waiting to play can spray them to the teams playing, Pasquerilla East president sophomore Mary White said.Event organizers will use soft dodge balls and require participants to wear protective goggles, White said.Pasquerilla West president sophomore Margaret Costello said teams should be able to play in at least two games.“We have around 15 teams as it is, right now, but registration closes on Friday, and we are hoping to get more,” Costello said.Teams must pay a registration fee of $10 and proceeds will go to Camp Kesem, a nationwide camp Notre Dame has sponsored and hosted for the past 13 years, White said.“[Camp Kesem is] a summer camp for kids who just need to sort of get away for a little bit,” Costello said, “[Camp Kesem] greatly appreciates any donation they can get because they are not a huge organization, so anything helps for them.”The first 50 people to sign up will receive free Drip N’ Dodge t-shirts, and the event will include food, drinks and music.“This year, Drip N’ Dodge will be the best yet,” White said.Siegfried president sophomore Anthony LaGuardia said the prizes for the winners of the tournament add excitement to the event.The third place team will win a Papa John’s pizza party up to $100. The second place prize is six all-inclusive tickets to the Niles Haunted House and Scream Park in Niles, Miciganh. The first place prize is worth $300 dollars but is still a mystery.“We got a lot of money left over from the money that we got from Hall Presidents Council,” LaGuardia said.LaGuardia said they had hoped to donate the extra money to Camp Kesem, but due to some SAO and Hall Presidents Council procedural regulations, the money can only be used on the event.“I think the main reason behind this is because SAO not only wants to … put on events that raise a lot of money for charity, but they also wanted to get students involved,” LaGuardia said. “So I think that they think that the best way to do is to not just donate the money you receive but spend the money to make a cool event that … [is] part of the charity.”White said last year’s weather restricted participation, but she hopes for more students Sunday.“Last year, it was a rainy day, so less than 20 teams ended up playing on the day,” White said, “This year … our goal is at least 30 teams to play and … we expect a fun day out on White Fields.”Costello said they started planning in August and it has been an effort of the whole hall council.“[Drip n’ Dodge is] like Mod Quad’s big chance to let people know that we exist,” Costello said, “We’re sort of on the edge of campus. It’ll be nice to see some teams come from the other sides of campus to come.”Students can sign up for Drip N’ Dodge on Student Shop until 5 p.m. Friday. After that, they can email Mary White at [email protected] with their information until midnight Friday and pay their fees at the event.Tags: Drip n’ Dodge, Knott, Mod Quad, Pasqueriila East, Pasquerilla West, Siegfriedlast_img read more

Attempted sexual assault reported

first_imgNotre Dame Security Police (NDSP) emailed students Sunday night alerting them to a report of attempted sexual assault that occurred early Saturday morning.The reported attempt took place near the lakes as the suspect and victim were walking back to the victim’s residence hall from off campus, and the report was made to a campus administrator, the email stated.The email quoted “du Lac: A Guide to Student Life,” Notre Dame’s official policy book, and warned students of the risks of sexual assault as well as the standards of consent.“Sexual assault can happen to anyone,” the email stated. “Anyone initiating any kind of sexual contact with another person must seek consent and not engage in sexual contact unless consent is given.“According to du Lac, ‘Consent means informed, freely given agreement, communicated by clearly understandable words or actions, to participate in each form of sexual activity. Consent cannot be inferred from silence, passivity or lack of active resistance.’ Importantly, intoxication is not an excuse for failure to obtain consent, and a person who is incapacitated — whether by alcohol, drugs or otherwise — is incapable of giving consent.”Students should maintain caution and awareness of their surroundings to avoid risks, the email stated.“On college campuses, perpetrators are more likely to assault an acquaintance than a stranger. Being aware of your own safety and watching out for your friends are important steps you can take to reduce the risk of sexual assault.“The perpetrator, not the survivor, is responsible for any instance of sexual assault. Nothing a survivor does or does not do is an excuse for sexual assault.”Tags: NDSP, sexual assaultlast_img read more

Third annual Notre Dame Day raises records funds

first_imgFor 29 hours and 18 minutes, Notre Dame fans tuned in Sunday and Monday to watch a live broadcast of student performances and show their support for student groups by flooding the website with their donations.Chris Collins | The Observer Aaron Wall, the director of Notre Dame Day, said this year’s number of monetary gifts from donors far surpassed that of last year’s. A total of 21,478 gifts were given this year compared to last year’s 16,550 gifts. In 2014, Notre Dame Day’s inaugural year, 4,400 gifts were received.“It’s a year-long process, that’s my full time job. Next year starts now,” Wall said. “The whole idea of Notre Dame Day stems from the incredible student presence that we have on campus … and the reality when we started this a couple years ago was that all groups on campus are required to do fundraising and the reality is that it’s hard to do that.”This year, Glee Club, Saint Edward’s Hall, the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Fund, Men’s Rowing and Financial Aid occupied the top five spots on the leaderboard. Glee Club held the No. 1 spot with over $33,000.Wall, a Notre Dame alum, said he remembers how hard it was as a student to fundraise for dorms or other student groups. He said Notre Dame Day is a day that helps to make this process easier and helps students alleviate some of the financial burden that comes with running various organizations. He said Notre Dame Day helps donors get more “bang for their buck” by redistributing funds back into student groups.“We’re not raising money for Notre Dame, we’re raising it for the students,” Wall said. “I’m always just surprised at some of the groups I did not know about before. Like the Military Veterans club that raises a scholarship for veterans to get MBA at Notre Dame.“Ask yourself what you love the most and you can support it and use the million dollars that my team has raised ahead of time to multiply it.”Wall said his decision to attend Notre Dame 16 years ago was a transformative experience that has motivated him to continue working for the University.“What I believe the case is, is that … Notre Dame is not a perfect place, it never will be, it’s made up of flawed people and a flawed institution but that’s okay,” Wall said. “But there [are] so many good things about this place that people care so deeply about and that’s why people are generous. We do a good job as a family because there are so many good things for you to support.”He said as an alum his main goal is to support the students here in any way possible.“I know that transformative power of the University and I think as a community we have a great collective sense of that,” Wall said. “We can always do better and invest in our community so that it can continue to thrive and continue to be excellent.”This year, Notre Dame Day raised money for 900 campus groups. These groups included all residence halls, athletic teams, student activities, Notre Dame alumni associations that give scholarships, academic departments and more. Last year over half of the $1 million went to student residence halls and organizations and Wall said he expects the same thing will happen this year after finalizing the numbers.Wall said his favorite part of his job is meeting students. He addressed some of the confusion students have with Notre Dame Day, saying he can understand some of the confusion because when he was a student at Notre Dame, he never understood the fiscal reality of the University.“The point being is that the number one thing I hear from students … is that we’re just raising more money for Notre Dame and the answer is simply that it isn’t true,” Wall said. “It is all about helping students and having the opportunity to raise money for what they care the most about.“I support the College Republicans just as much as the College Democrats. I know you as a group of students are really passionate about your groups and we as the University have to do more and more to support you and this is the fiscal way to do it. This isn’t about raising money for anything but our students.”Tags: fundraising, Notre Dame Day, residence hallslast_img read more