Saint Mary’s kicks off World Cinema Festival

first_imgSaint Mary’s Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) partnered with the Intercultural Studies Program to host the World Cinema Festival. The week-long event, which began Monday night, will present films from around the world until Friday evening. “Our objective in organizing such an event is to bring to campus films from different areas of the world in order to not only widen students’ knowledge of the art of film-making, but also to present different international perspectives and worldviews,” Associate Director of CWIL and Director of the Intercultural Studies Program Mana Derakhshani, said. The first film, “Blind Mountain,” ran Monday in Vander Vennet Theater in Saint Mary’s Student Center. The Chinese film, directed by Li Yang in 2007, centers around a young woman who soon after graduating college, was drugged, kidnapped and sold to a villager as his bride. “No film can, of course, represent an entire culture,” Derakhshani said. “These are cinematic windows and artistic representations created by individual filmmakers in a particular cultural context.” A Saint Mary’s faculty member will introduce each film in the series and lead a discussion afterward. A new film from a different culture will be shown every day this week at 7 p.m. in Vander Vennet at Saint Mary’s. CWIL invites everyone to come out and watch these screenings, Derakhshani said. “Light refreshments — including popcorn — will be served,” she said. Many of the films are in a foreign language with English subtitles, Derakhshani said.last_img read more

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Basilica prepares to reopen

first_imgThe Basilica of the Sacred Heart will reopen for the 5:00 p.m. vigil Mass on Saturday following its most significant renovations since the 1989 and 1990 restoration projects.The Basilica closed Dec. 26, 2013, after Christmas Masses, and workers began the process of removing the carpet and replacing it with a new tile floor, according to a University press release.Fr. Peter Rocca, the rector of the Basilica, said these renovations constitute the first phase of a plan to install a new pipe organ sometime in 2015. He said all of the carpeting has been or is in the process of being removed, including inside the nave, along either side of the sanctuary area to the Lady Chapel and the side chapels. Photo courtesy of Fr. Peter Rocca “If you talk to any organ builder worth his salt, they will tell you they will never build an organ for a space that’s carpeted,” Rocca said.Rocca said the person hired by the University to build the organ stated the carpet needed to be removed because the organ’s sound would not resonate well.“When you carpet a space, oftentimes the only person you can hear singing is yourself,” Rocca said. “All of the most recent chapels we have built on campus, none of them have been carpeted because [a non-carpeted floor] lends itself to a more vibrant sound and better singing.”Rocca said the new tile floor would greatly improve the sound quality of the choirs and instruments in the Basilica.“It won’t eat up the sound; it will reflect the sound,” Rocca said. “It will help with the vibrancy and the resonance and the reverberation.”Rocca said the Basilica was not carpeted until after the Second Vatican Council, when it was common practice.“In the renovations following the Second Vatican Council, they carpeted the Basilica to give it more of a warm, cozy feel,” Rocca said. “As a result of that, it affected the acoustics.”University Sacristan John Zack said these renovations occurred in 1969 and 1970 and the Basilica did not see any significant work again until its restoration in 1989 and 1990.“Part of the reason for this restoration [in 1989 and 1990] was that the Basilica had not really undergone any restoration or any cleaning like this for decades, and it was really pretty filthy, especially in the upper parts of the Basilica,” Rocca said. “There were some murals up there we didn’t know existed because they were so covered with dirt, soot and smoke from incense.” Photo courtesy of Fr. Peter Rocca Rocca said the 1989 and 1990 restorations included new pews, restored stain glass windows and a new slate roof, among other improvements.“That’s when they decided to keep the carpeting, but they added all new lighting, redid all the frescoes in the Basilica and air-conditioned the Basilica,” Rocca said.Rocca said the most recent renovations to the Basilica occurred in 2000 when marble was installed in sanctuary and at the base of the baptismal font. He said the current renovations will leave the marble in place in these two areas of the Basilica.Rocca said the sound system in the Basilica could accommodate the new tile floor and therefore the floor would not detrimentally affect musical or spoken sound.“We have a sound system in the Basilica that can easily be adjusted to this, so that it’s not something that makes hearing more difficult,” he said.last_img read more

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Group votes on new resolution

first_imgThe Student Senate met Wednesday evening to vote on Resolution SS1415-06. The resolution, which was passed unanimously, is an amendment to the Constitution of the Undergraduate Student Body requiring that Student Union organizations have a framework for a smooth transition process between the administrations.The amendment also requires the organizations to submit a report to the Senate describing the written procedures, methods and policies by Feb. 1 each year.“There is a slew of things to be learned between now and April 1, which is when most groups transition to the next leaders,” student body president Lauren Vidal said.The goal of the amendment is to allow student organizations to make more accurate recommendations to the student body and provide a smooth transition for the next administration.The Senate also briefly touched on the issue of safety on campus, which has been an ongoing conversation for several months.“We are working with NDSP to provide an information session about safety for off-campus students,” Vidal said.However, the group is still working to determine the best way to implement better safety standards.Scott Moore, representative from Alumni Hall, gave an update from the committee of Academic Affairs. Moore brought attention to the difficulties that students face in transferring credits from summer programs at other schools.One of the issues faced by students is that the process is lengthy and is not standardized by Notre Dame.“We are working on creating a comprehensive database that will show which courses have been accepted for credit in the past,” Moore said.The new changes should help students by shortening and streamlining the process of transferring credits.Tags: senate notre dame, student senate, student senate at notre damelast_img read more

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Writer shares struggle as gay Christian

first_imgIn a lecture at Saint Mary’s College entitled “Godly but Gay,” South Bend writer and speaker Joel Barrett shared his experiences as a Baptist pastor, getting married to a woman and attending three years of ex-gay therapy before deciding to accept himself as gay.Barrett said he grew up in a Christian fundamentalist church whose members were hostile to homosexuality.“I grew up in a church where the preachers would mock feminine men as a way to bond with the congregation,” Barrett said. “They would talk about how all gays should be put on an island so that they could die from disease and burn in the hellfires of damnation.”“When you spend your whole life knowing that God hates you for something you have no control over, you start to believe it,” Barrett said. “I remember there were days where I would look at myself in the mirror and think every bad thought about myself in hopes that if I hated that person enough, I could separate that person from myself.”Barrett said he considered his homosexuality a spirituality problem, which he tried to solve by going to a Baptist college, becoming a pastor, getting married and having children.“The goal was to be this good godly person, and that’s what I wanted to be,” he said. “I’ll just keep trying to do that because I didn’t know what else to do, and if no one knew I was gay, I could keep being godly, but if the moment ever came where someone found out I was gay, then I could no longer be godly because that had been made very clear to me.”Still, Barrett said keeping his secret was “a long slow spiral.”“When you’re holding in this secret it doesn’t just stay there; it has to explode at some time,” he said.Barrett said he eventually called a straight conversion therapist.“There is no science behind any of it … I was so in need of therapy that it actually helped me,” he said. “There was no lack of love in my childhood home or in my current life. It made me realize that I couldn’t accept this love because it was conditional; I knew that the only way to see if their love was real was to tell people around me.”Barrett said he began to develop more authentic relationships with others, but he felt no change in identity, after three years of biweekly group meetings, weekly counseling sessions, retreats and conferences, Barrett said he decided to “admit who I was.”“I remember feeling really scared about coming out and what God would do,” he said. “I had a talk with Him and said, ‘I’m going to start living as a gay man. If you have a problem with it, will you please let me know?’ None of the terrible things my Baptist church told me would happen have happened.“I have never retreated, never regretted. I don’t believe in ex-gay therapy. While it didn’t hurt me, a lot of people have recanted it or come out with books that it did a lot of damage. If it had come at a different point in my life, it could have been really destructive for me.”Barrett said while he does not hold the same faith he had as a child, he is not bitter about religion.“I look at it in the light that faith is important,” he said. “The God I was taught about, I don’t believe in that God. I’m very open to God showing me what He is; I find church in unexpected places with different people.“Today I am married to my husband, together we raised my three children. My kids love us, they’re proud of us, we’re proud of them … life is good and I love it.”Tags: Christian, gay, Godly but Gay, Joel Barrettlast_img read more

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College updates students on campus response to coronavirus

first_imgSaint Mary’s announced several updates to campus coronavirus response in an email to College students Thursday, including new restrictions to residence hall activity and campus amenities.“This is a situation that is fluid and changing almost by the hour,” interim vice president for student affairs Linda Timm said in the email. She said while the College will allow students to return to campus while classes are remote, they are strongly encouraged to stay at home if possible. Students who elect to reside on campus must fill out a form detailing recent travels. The form must be submitted at least 48 hours prior to students’ return, or as soon as possible for those still on campus.Most activity in Saint Mary’s residence halls and Opus apartments will be restricted until at least April 13, Timm said in the email. All students in Opus and residence halls are not permitted to have guests. “General activities” are not allowed, and students are expected to follow the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines for social distancing. Off-campus students are advised to follow the same recommendations.“Your return to your residence hall room is not an open invitation for social gatherings on or off campus,” Timm said in the email. “As members of the South Bend community, we have a responsibility to do what we can to limit further exposure to this virus.”Those who suspect they have flu or coronavirus must notify the Health and Counseling Center immediately, she said.According to the email, the dining hall will be open for students under modified hours yet to be determined. No other dining options on campus will be open. All College services and administrative departments will stay open.Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, the email said. Additional weekend hours may be added.Timm said students who return to campus to retrieve items are to check-in at their residence hall front desk upon arrival. Students may also give hall staff permission to let a friend access to their rooms to pack belongings.All who have traveled to countries classified by the CDC as Level 3 travel advisory zones must first self-quarantine for 14 days, she said in the email.“We are all encountering many changes in our daily lives,” Timm said. “We need to accept the reality that things may change for a short time; however, if there is one thing I know, members of the Saint Mary’s community will rise to the occasion and navigate this with compassion and grit. Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other by following the recommended actions provided by the CDC.”Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, vice president for student affairslast_img read more

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Chautauqua County DA Says Caseload An Ongoing Issue For His Office

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) MAYVILLE – The ratio of cases per attorney continues to be an issue for Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson and his staff, according to the official. In fact, Swanson says his office is handling 3,500 cases a year with 12.5 attorneys on staff. The prosecutor recently sat down with WNYNewsNow for a virtual one-on-one interview to discuss the tall task that he says his office faces due to the ratio.“That’s the highest caseload of any of the 62 prosecutors offices in the state,” Swanson said. “At some point, that needs to be addressed. I’m going to fight for that again this year with the budget session just to keep what we have. My concern at this point is that they’ll ask me to reduce my staff numbers at a time where we have a backlog that is unprecedented and that its just high.”The District Attorney confirmed that he had his 2021 tentative budget meeting with Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel. Swanson says that Wendel did not ask him to cut his proposal, which he says did not include a staff increase. (A check of the official tentative budget shows that Swanson’s staff size would decrease by .01.) However, the County Legislature could chose to cut Swanson’s budgets when it revises the proposal for a final budget and vote. Swanson says he requested an overall budget increase of $4,000-$5,000 for mandated wage increases and increases in health insurance.“Quite frankly, we need that (staff increase). But understanding the big picture, that’s not something I can do this year,” Swanson said. “I could be asking for two attorneys every year, and for the next four years, if we were able to get eight, and have 20 attorneys to handle the caseload we have, that would probably be appropriate.”The Chief Prosecutor says a staff of 18 attorneys would allow his office to start sectioning off into areas of expertise.Swanson says he also goes into the budget negotiations knowing that his status as District Attorney is uncertain beyond 2020. The Fredonia Democrat is being challenged for a second time by fellow Fredonia native, and Republican, Jason Schmidt.“The reality is, they (a potential successor) are going to need those people (staff) too,” Swanson said. “I’m going to fight for what I think is right. I’ve been fighting for staff members for four years. I’m going to continue to do that because that is, by far, the most pressing concern.”Swanson explains that his concerns come from his experience as Chautauqua County District Attorney as well as his discussions with fellow DA’s around New York State. He says, however, that he will continue to direct his staff to prosecute traffic violations and other low-level offenses despite suggestions from colleagues.“That wasn’t an option. We want to continue to provide those services to our local towns and villages that are acceptable,” Swanson said. “I’m fortunate that I have a staff that is willing to take that high task on every day because I’ll tell you, it’s difficult to come in here every day and handle the number of cases that our prosecutors are handling.”Swanson also detailed a huge difference between his office budget and the Public Defender’s budget. He says that the Public Defender budget is more than $2 million greater than the DA’s budget, with the difference due in large part to money that the office is receiving from New York State.He says the disparity needs to be addressed, but adds that he’s proud of the work his staff has done given the disadvantages they’ve faced.“It’s a testament to my staff how well they’ve done that job given the circumstances that they’ve had to work under and the case numbers that they work with every day,” Swanson states.Overall, Swanson says that he has balanced the needs of his office with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic that the Chautauqua County Government will face during negotiations this fall.last_img read more

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20 States, Including New York, To Raise Minimum Wage In New Year

first_imgPexels Stock Image.ALBANY – Twenty states including New York are raising their minimum wage rates by January first.It’s part of previously-scheduled efforts to adjust for cost-of-living gains, or to ratchet up toward goals like $15 an hour minimum pay.The minimum hourly wage in New York State will increase 70 cents, to $12.50 an hour.In New Mexico, the minimum wage will increase from the current nine-dollar an hour wage, to $10.50. In California, the rate for employers with 26 workers or more will rise from $13, to $14 an hour.In Minnesota, the gain is just pennies, to a $10.80 hourly rate for large employers.Nevertheless, the wage boosts come at a much-needed time for many Americans, especially for lower wage workers that have been hit particularly hard by the economic fallout of the pandemic.However, some lawmakers and business organizations have called for a pause on the scheduled minimum wage hikes, citing the burden on small businesses that are already struggling.The federal minimum wage of $7.25 cents per hour hasn’t changed since 2009.Twenty states will still have a minimum wage either equal to or below the federal level. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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YouTube Star Chester See Will Make His B’way Debut in Rock of Ages

first_img View Comments Rock of Ages See’s self-titled YouTube channel features comedy sketches, dramatic shorts, vlog entries and both original and cover songs. It has garnered more than 160 million views and 1.5 million subscribers. Featuring a score of such classic rock hits as “Here I Go Again,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Rock of Ages tells the story of Drew, an aspiring rock star who moves to Los Angeles to make his dreams come true. Related Showscenter_img Rock of Ages also currently stars Constantine Maroulis as Drew, Carrie St. Louis as Sherrie, Genson Blimline as Lonny, Adam Dannheisser as Dennis, Cody Scott Lancaster as Franz, Josephine Rose Roberts as Regina, Paul Schoeffler as Hertz and Teresa Stanley as Justice. Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 18, 2015 YouTube star Chester See will make his Broadway debut as Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages from October 27 at the Helen Hayes Theater. He will play a limited engagement through January 4, 2015, taking over from Mitchell Jarvis, who will play his final performance on October 26.last_img read more

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Rosie O’Donnell on Her Nine Auditions for Miss Hannigan & Pippin Dream Role

first_imgRosie O’Donnell and Broadway go together like peanut butter and jelly, whether she’s taking center stage or cheering from the audience. It’s been nearly a decade since she played Golde in the Great White Way revival of Fiddler on the Roof, so when Broadway.com spotted The View co-host on the red carpet on the opening night of The Real Thing, we couldn’t resist asking if she has any plans to return. Great news—she does! We’ve got our fingers crossed we’ll be seeing O’Donnell on the trapeze soon! When asked if she has any dream roles she’d love to play, O’Donnell opted for a more realistic plan: “Usually whenever Andrea Martin leaves a role, in about three years they ask me to take over,” she joked, referring to her stint in Fiddler. “I’m hoping I’ll get a Pippin offer sometime in 2016.” “I was practically begging to be Miss Hannigan in Annie,” O’Donnell told us exclusively. “I auditioned like, nine times for [director] James Lapine. But they have this really weird thing, they want you to be able to sing on key. I think it’s an unrealistic request of leading actresses, but I’m an enthusiastic singer and a lover of Broadway, so I’d love to be back anytime.” O’Donnell, who appeared in Grease and Seussical on the Great White Way in addition to Fiddler on the Roof, also produced the short-lived cult musical Taboo. Although she initially tweeted she had auditioned but not gotten the role of Miss Hannigan in the 2012 production, we had no idea O’Donnell had auditioned so many times! View Commentslast_img read more

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Sutton Foster Gets 50 Shades of…Something in Younger

first_imgWait…WHAT is going on in this show?! In this new look at the first episode of the upcoming TV Land series Younger, Liza, played by Tony-winning Broadway fave Sutton Foster, gets all hot and bothered with a rather attractive tattoo artist (played by Nico Tortorella). The hot encounter inspires her to revisit the working world—passing as a 26-year-old. Take a look below, and tune in on March 31 to hear Foster say our new favorite quip, “Doesn’t his penis ever need a break?” This never happened in Tootsie! View Comments Star Filescenter_img Sutton Fosterlast_img

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