Lecture educates about trauma

first_img“We are trying to identify what works in association with humanitarian organizations, and critique what doesn’t in order to improve those systems,” Bass said. “Mental health of citizens fundamentally impacts all aspects of society, such as economic stability and peace-building, but is often ignored in high-conflict environments,” she said.Bass said the key to understanding trauma is recognizing that it is “not a single event, but rather a constellation of symptoms that individuals have been exposed to.” Bass told The Observer after the event that she hopes her investigations will ultimately prove two things: “that it is possible to do good research in high-conflict areas, and that not every method works for every problem.” Her presentation highlighted an array of modern methods to evaluate mental health, and she also discussed considering the socialization of violence, where children soldiers are both experiencing and perpetuating systems of abuse. Bass has investigated trauma in Uganda, Cambodia, Iraq and Brazil. She examined the complexities involved in identifying trauma and in implementing the proper solutions to assist its victims. “Four hundred fifty million people worldwide are affected by mental, neurological and behavioral problems, [yet] over 90 percent of countries do not have the proper systems to handle them,” Bass said.center_img Many countries embroiled in conflict are not equipped to deal with victims of trauma, a mental health specialist said Wednesday in a lecture at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.Judith Bass, assistant professor at the Department of Mental Health at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health educated students, faculty and researchers on modern methods of responding to trauma in conflict societies. Junior Caitlin Aguiar, who has participated on mission trips to the Dominican Republic and Kenya, was one of several student attendees at the event. “I was really interested in how she stressed the need to do research in areas before applying social and therapeutic systems,” she said. “It seemed that her efforts really understood the importance of this in order to use resources in the most effective manner.” In the question and answer session following the event, Bass responded to an inquiry on how her team’s research is being implemented to help victims. She said theoretical investigations can be applied toward peace-building, and a more effective promotion of healing can occur for victims of trauma.last_img read more

Seventh Generation founder discusses responsible business

first_imgJeffrey Hollender, co-founder and former CEO of Seventh Generation, brought his ideas about socially responsible business practices to the Mendoza College of Business Friday. Hollender’s lecture, “The Future of American Business,” was part of Ten Years Hence Speaker Series, which explores ideas likely to affect society and business for the next decade. Hollender, a career entrepreneur, started two businesses prior to co-founding Seventh Generation, a company that produces organic cleaning products. He started Seventh Generation with the vision of creating a new kind of company — one focused on being both ethical and sustainable. According to Hollender, these ethical and sustainable practices included employee ownership, radical transparency, organic inputs and products and pay equality. Hollender believes in the merits of employee ownership. He said there are many studies and statistics supporting the concept that employees are more productive and engaged when they have some level of ownership in the company they work for. Radical transparency is another concept Hollender enacted at Seventh Generation. According to Hollender, radical transparency is a business sharing both its successes and its mistakes with investors and the public. “[Radical transparency] is difficult to maintain,” he said. “Most companies only talk about what they are doing well … We in the business world usually don’t like to dwell on our mistakes.” Organic inputs and products was the center of Seventh Generation’s sustainability commitment. They produce toilet paper made from recycled materials, non-chlorine bleach, phosphate free cleaning products and more. Hollender’s concept of pay equality is that CEO’s and other business executives are being paid too much. As CEO of Seventh Generation he limited his pay to 17 times the pay of the lowest wage employee in the company. “Let me tell you, you pay a lot more attention to the lowest paid workers when their wage determines your own salary,” Hollender said. In 2008, Hollender stepped down after eight years as CEO of Seventh Generation but continued to work for the company. Then, about sixth months ago he was fired from Seventh Generation, which he attributes to disagreements about the direction of the company between himself and the board of directors. “[Being fired] is an experience I plan to learn from … At Seventh Generation I worked to make the company an exception to the rule,” he said. “Now, I want to dedicate the rest of my life to changing the rules.” Hollender now works as an author, speaker, consultant and activist. He has consulted with corporations such as Microsoft and Wal-Mart. He is a board member of Greenpeace U.S., the Environmental Health Fund and Verité, a workers’ rights organization. Hollender is also co-founder of the American Sustainable Business Council, a coalition of business leaders committed to sustainability and changing business practices. In regards to the current economic situation, Hollender brought up the high unemployment rate and the growing income gap as major concerns. “The income gap here in America is greater than in either Egypt or Tunisia,” he said. “In fact, today one in seven Americans is using food stamps.” However, the “rules” were the main focus of Hollender’s assessment of the current economic situation. “We have a system that provides incentives for businesses to do the wrong thing,” Hollender said. Hollender pointed to the example of America’s third largest producer of solar panels moving to China because the Chinese government invests very heavily in renewable energy technologies. He also said that the American government subsidies are hurting producers of organic products. He explained that Seventh Generation toilet paper costs more than non-organic brands because the government subsidizes new timber to the point where it is cheaper than recycled materials. This problem is mirrored in the retail industry, according to Hollender. Hollender said some retailers tend to mark-up organic products to a greater extent than other products. Hollender said he believes that, until there is parity in pricing, organic products will not be able to compete. However, he believes there is a trend away from this practice. “Target, for instance, has done a great job pricing green products in parity with other products,” Hollender said. Government subsidies of petroleum products are also a big problem, Hollender said. He said he thinks these subsidies should be gradually removed so that there is incentive for more environmentally friendly alternatives and for a change in consumer behavior. “I think that gas should cost six or seven dollars,” he said. “There are many benefits and the only negative is that low-income individuals are most affected; that would have to somehow be offset.” Another problem, according to Hollender, is that society pays for air and water pollution rather than the corporations causing the pollution. One concept Hollender advanced is full-cost accounting. According to Hollender, full-cost accounting is the notion that product prices should reflect all costs of production, including environmental, energy and traditional cost factors. “If we had full-cost accounting, bad products would cost more and good products would cost less,” he said. “Right now it is the other way around.” He pointed to the Mondragon Corporation in Spain, which has had great success with worker-owned cooperative businesses. According to Hollender, this successful business model is currently being used to revitalize business in Cleveland, Ohio, through the Evergreen Cooperative Development Project. According to Hollender, the cooperative businesses in the Evergreen Project are guaranteed revenue from other member businesses. For example, a hospital pledged to use a local laundry service for all of their laundry needs and to get all of their food from a local greenhouse. Hollender said the project has been successful so far because the biggest risk facing small business is the uncertainty of revenue. The guaranteed revenue within the Evergreen Project has allowed many new small businesses to start up. As many as 50 other U.S. cities are looking at the Cleveland model, according to Hollender. Most of Hollender’s current work is focused on transitioning businesses as they exist now to sustainable business models. He said he sees this as a critical part of solving America’s business problems. Hollender finished by calling upon the business students in the audience to work on addressing the types of issues he discussed. “The world needs you. It will be up to all of you to help these companies transition to the sustainable business models of the future,” he said. “How much of your life are you willing to dedicate to solving these problems.”last_img read more

A&L grads compete in business

first_imgWhen senior Mitch Gainer began interviewing for a position with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), he expected most of his peers to have studied business during their undergraduate careers. But as he progressed through the interview process, Gainer, an economics major, said he noticed a majority of the interviewees had educational backgrounds grounded in the liberal arts. “The majority of the top-20 schools in the country don’t have undergraduate business programs, so I found myself competing against history and medieval studies majors,” he said. Like most graduating seniors entering the job market, Gainer said he was worried about employment prospects. But after securing a job in the business world with a liberal arts degree, he said he investigated the statistics on post-graduate plans of students in the College of Arts and Letters. “A lot of Arts and Letters students worry about getting a job after graduation, but that worry wasn’t reflective of what I saw [during interviews] at all,” Gainer said. “So I went to [assistant dean] Joe Stanfiel and the Career Center, and looked closer at the statistics.” When Gainer was offered a position at BCG, Stanfiel said he and Gainer began analyzing 2010 data from the Office of Institutional Research for a different perspective on the post-graduation employment climate for Notre Dame students. “[The interviews] got Mitch thinking about the generalized claims about who gets jobs after graduation and that the sorts of jobs people get would be something to look into as well,” Stanfiel said. “After looking at the data, we found that Arts and Letters students were getting competitive jobs in the business world in roughly equal number with business students.” According to the data, 48 percent of 2010 Notre Dame graduates working in the business world hailed from the College of Arts and Letters, versus 46 percent from programs in the Mendoza College of Business, Gainer said. 17 percent of graduates working in business had degrees from both colleges. Of the graduates working in the top-six consulting firms in the country, Gainer said 43 percent had Arts and Letters degrees, compared to the 40 percent who were business majors. Additionally, every Notre Dame student offered a position at BCG was from either Arts and Letters or the College of Engineering, Gainer said. Since some of the country’s most elite institutions do not offer undergraduate business programs, Stanfiel said the notion that a business degree is necessary for success in the business world does not carry much weight. “It would be very odd to tell someone at Harvard, Princeton, Yale or Stanford that you have to have a business degree to get a good job,” he said. “Notre Dame is an elite university in the company of those places, and the sort of person that comes here is coming from the top one percent of students.” Stanfiel said Notre Dame students have a unique advantage in the pool of newly-graduated job applicants due to the resources available through the Career Center and Arts and Letters. This contributes to the low unemployment rate of Arts and Letters graduates: two percent. “Practical experience would be favorable to have going into a job, so we promote internships and provide funding for students who take unpaid internships,” he said. “Between the outstanding education of Arts and Letters and other opportunities, graduates are going to find themselves very well prepared.” According to the data, Arts and Letters graduates have also been successful in securing jobs in the public sector. 66 percent of 2010 graduates working for the Central Intelligence Agency came from Arts and Letters backgrounds, and 55 percent of students working in other federal government positions were Arts and Letters majors. Just under half of those Arts and Letters graduates working for the federal government were political science majors. Additionally, 95 percent of Notre Dame students who obtain prestigious fellowships, such as the Fulbright and Rhodes scholarships, hail from Arts and Letters. Gainer and other students said a liberal arts education at Notre Dame provides students with critical thinking and communication skills valued in almost every work environment. “Arts and Letters was huge in the interview process, because I was able to take non-business experiences and show their value in business situations,” Gainer said. “My experience working to help establish farming cooperatives in rural India was probably the biggest reason I got a job.” Senior Graham Thomas said his experience as a Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) major prepared him well for past internships, and helped him secure a job with BCG following graduation. “The practice in oral communication provided by discussion-based seminars and oral final exams, a staple of the PLS Great Books seminars, sharpens a student’s ability to think quickly on the spot and to eloquently articulate ideas,” he said. “This skill has made me more effective in my internships when working on teams and attending business meetings, and it was crucial to my success when interviewing for jobs this past fall.” Senior Christine Fagan, a double major in English and Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) who will be working as a project manager for the healthcare software company Epic Systems after graduation, said her undergraduate experience provided her with the skills necessary for success in any job. “My role as a student worker in two FTT jobs helped me work with other people to achieve goals and manage projects and my time,” she said. “My English major has helped me organize my thoughts before beginning a project, so I think having a liberal arts double major has led me to be more well-rounded and learn a lot of business-related skills in an environment I enjoyed more ⎯ in theater and in writing.” The success of liberal arts students in the business world speaks to the type of student Notre Dame attracts and the core identity of the University, Stanfiel said. “If you take a group of incredibly talented people and give them a Notre Dame liberal arts education, we in the College of Arts and Letters feel like that’s the best type of education to have,” he said. “Specific technological knowledge can be learned on the job, but learning how to think and write takes an investment of years and can’t be learned on the job.”last_img read more

Council reviews discipline

first_imgThe Campus Life Council convened Friday afternoon to conduct a process review of residential life and rector-student relationships, incorporating student feedback with input from University officials, according to the minutes from the meeting. The Council discussed the possibility of different settings for disciplinary meetings, the need for communication with students and the role of hall staff, the minutes stated. The guiding themes for the revised Office of Community Standards will be transparency, education and a foundation in the Congregation of Holy Cross. The group planned a comprehensive approach to these relationships between hall staff members and students, emphasizing an approach based on individual conversations with students. Members of the group also discussed the procedural changes that apply to rectors dealing with first-time policy violations, additional meeting settings and more educational processes, the minutes stated. Another major topic discussed at the meeting was technology and the possible methods of relaying information to students in a timelier manner. Towards the meeting’s end, the Council discussed the role of other students in the disciplinary process, both as peer advocates and members of an advisory board comprised of students, faculty and staff. The minutes stated the group talked about education and transparency in Medical Amnesty, as well as the communication gap between students and rectors and the appropriateness of service as a punishment.last_img read more

Saint Mary’s choir prepares for five-state tour

first_imgWhile many students are packing up their bags for trips home or to tropical locations, the Saint Mary’s College Women’s Choir is gearing up for a five-state performance tour. Sophomore Claire Stewart, a member of the choir, said she’s looking forward to sharing some of the group’s latest pieces with audiences. “I’m really excited for the tour, I think it’s going to be one of the highlights of the semester for me,” Stewart said. “We’re singing a lot of interesting music, and in a lot of interesting cities that I’ve never been to.” The choir’s director, Dr. Nancy Menk, said the tour is an opportunity to improve the quality of the group’s performance. “It’s great for the choir,” Menk said. “We always sound a million times better when we come back. Mainly it’s the refinement of the music that takes place from constantly performing it. That’s why our homecoming concert is always a really good one.” The choir will leave Friday and will stop in cities in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. “We are singing with another choir in every city,” Menk said. “It’s goodwill, it’s exchange – they get to sing with us. They’re all high school choirs, so they get to hear the more mature voices. The teachers usually like to bring us in to sing for the kids because they think we’re a good model; something they can aspire to.” Sophomore Nia Parillo said pairing with high school choirs is an opportunity to put the group’s performance skills to the test. “I think it’s going to be really cool to work with each other,” Parillo said. “It’s kind of a test to see how professional we are. If they’re doing the same things we are, or if they are like, ‘Oh my gosh, they’re so good, I can’t wait to go to a collegiate level choir,’ that’s going to make us feel good and [let’s us] know that our hard work is paying off.” Menk said she is looking forward to hearing the choir perform in the various venues. “I’m looking forward to singing some of our a cappella pieces in some of the spaces we are going to be singing,” Menk said. “I’ve heard they have very good acoustics, especially in Atlanta, Florida and Louisville. I know some of our music will sound really great there.” Menk said the frequent performances won’t consume all of the choir’s time. “We get to do some fun sightseeing stuff too; it’s not just work,” Menk said. “In every city we try to get to the main attraction in that city. There’s plenty of fun built in. And we are going to end up in Florida, so they are going to have a beach day.” Stewart said the enjoyable performances and recreational aspects of the trip make the hard work worthwhile. “We’re definitely giving up a lot of time for it, and it’s going to be really intense in terms of the amount of work we have to put into singing, but I think I’m going to have way more fun on this trip than I would at home, because none of my friends have the same break,” she said. First-year Carrie Dubeau said she is excited to both represent Saint Mary’s to unfamiliar audiences and to experience some locations for the first time. “We get to go places that I would never actually go,” said Dubeau. “I would never get to visit these cities otherwise, in one week.” Stewart said she is also excited to visit a few of the destinations for the first time. “The only place I’ve been is Indianapolis, out of all the places we’re going, so I’m really excited to get to see different places,” said Stewart. “It’s kind of a cool dynamic. We get to sing a lot, but on the other hand we get to have some fun.” Soon after they return to campus, the choir will perform a homecoming concert on March 22 at 7:30 p.m. “It’s the result of the tour and [students will] hear a really polished performance,” Dr. Menk said.last_img read more

Mozart festival marks end of Year of Faith

first_imgAll three Basilica choirs joined for the first time with an orchestra to commemorate the end of Campus Ministry’s Year of Faith in Friday’s Mozart Festival at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The Year of Faith began in December 2012 in response to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s request for a Catholic Year of Faith, assistant choral program director and organist Mary Catherine Levri said. The Women’s Liturgical Choir, the Liturgical Choir and the Folk Choir performed pieces of sacred music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, including one of his more well-known religious works, the Coronation Masd. The concert also coincided with the feast of Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians, and preceded the Solemnity of Christ the Kind. “[Mozart] wrote the Coronation Mass for Easter Sunday in 1779,” Levri said. “No one knows exactly why he wrote it. We are just given the date and the fact that it was performed in Salzburg Cathedral. It’s a famous piece, and it’s really fitting at the setting of the basilica.” Andrew McShane, director of the Liturgical Choir, said the choirs rehearsed independently starting in August and came together to practice with the orchestra Tuesday. McShane said due to scheduling conflicts with the Notre Dame Symphony, a group of 21 South Bend musicians with experience playing for weddings and large masses at the basilicapcomprised the orchestra for the festival. McShane said 150 singers performed in the concert. “In my 22 years here, I have never seen a choir as big as this one,” he said. Levri said many people of faith, such as Pope Francis and Benedict, love Mozart’s music. “Benedict talked a lot of the faith of Mozart and about the impression that his music made on him when he was growing up in his church,” Levri said. “Many theologians wrote about how his music is divinely beautiful and how heaven touches earth when you hear this music. Mozart wrote a great bit for the church.” Benedict called for the Year of Faith so Catholics would not take their faith for granted, Levri said. “[Faith] used to be something that everyone shared, and everyone in the same community went to the same church,” she said. “It was just a part of life, not something you sought out or chose to do. [Through Year of Faith, we] make a deliberate celebration of the gift that is faith and evangelization.” Contact Meghan Thomassen at [email protected]last_img read more

Students celebrate Chinese New Year with performances, traditional food

first_imgProfessors and students showcased their talents during the Chinese program’s annual Chinese New Year Celebration on Friday in the LaFortune Student Center, including story telling, performances and games.Visiting assistant professional specialist in the East Asian Languages and Culture Department Wei Wang, who helped to plan the event, said the goal of the celebration was to commemorate the most important Chinese festival and cultivate students’ cultural awareness of the holiday, the tradition and the history behind it.“[The event was] an opportunity for our students to show their talent in Chinese, ignite their peers’ interest, meet and make friends with other Chinese students and communicate with instructors outside the classroom,” she said.Another purpose for the celebration was to allow students from higher-level Chinese courses to be role models for the beginners, Wang said.“The overarching theme was to unify the students and instructors, which will further improve cooperation and team spirit for the instructors,” she said.The opening video was a compilation of professors and students giving their best wishes for the Lunar New Year, followed by duets, dances and comedic skits. Seniors Eric Brumleve and Diana Xu told the story of the Lunar New Year and the origins of the traditions. Freshman Kelia Li and sophomore Nathan Troscinski sang the Mandarin Chinese adaptation of the song “Let It Go” from the Disney movie “Frozen.”Three level-based choruses performed throughout the celebration, consisting of Chinese language students of various levels.Wang said almost all of the students learning Chinese actively participated in the event, whether singing in the choruses or participating in the games such as Chinese Charades and Ping-Pong Relay. Ho Ping House provided catering services for the entrees and Oriental Market provided the Chinese snacks, Wang said.Sophomore Lucy Du does not take Chinese but she said she has a Chinese background.“I’m really happy they planned this,” Du said. “It’s hard being away from home during Lunar New Year’s. This celebration reminded me somewhat of home and it’s comforting.”last_img read more

Students, kids play at Hannah and Friends carnival

first_imgHannah and Friends’ Carnival brought student volunteers and handicapped children together to play sports, eat festival food and to go on hayrides Saturday.Meagan Hartman, president-elect and community service chair for the Saint Mary’s College Alumnae Club of South Bend, created the carnival event.“I wanted to give back to the South Bend community in ways that connected to current students and local alum,” Hartman said.Hartman said that she had several ideas for fundraisers but had to narrow it down to a few. She wanted the Community Carnival to be one of the club’s big events of the year. Hannah and Friends is a national organization that works to improve the lives of children and adults with special needs. Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame students visit the residential estate, owned by Hannah and Friends to volunteer with the special needs residents regularly.The second annual Hannah and Friend’s carnival was held at its 30-acre farm in South Bend Saturday and many Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students attended.Student coordinator Emily Hazen, a Saint Mary’s junior, wanted to get others involved in the carnival and to spread the word about the fun involved in participating in this carnival event.“We’re just working to help spread [Hannah and Friends] message of awareness and compassion on SMC and ND’s campuses,” Hazen said. “It is a fun opportunity to get involved, get outside and to lose yourself in the atmosphere at Hannah and Friends’ Carnival, before exams drain us.”“The best part is the atmosphere,” Kelsey Hutchinson, a junior at Notre Dame and ROTC volunteer, said.Hutchinson said the Notre Dame’s ROTC program is committed to their community service involvement and this carnival was a great opportunity for them to reach out.“I was excited to simply, come and help the needs of this special community,” Hutchinson said.Hannah Olsen, a senior at Saint Mary’s College, first got involved with Hannah and Friends last summer while working at the camp. “I worked with Hannah and Friends, when I was a student at Saint Mary’s College” said Maureen Parsons, a 2013 graduate of Saint Mary’s. “I now coordinate day activities at Hannah and Friends in tandem with evens like these. … So, after graduation, I decided to come back to The Bend to work with the best program that I have ever been a part of.”The Hannah and Friends’ Carnival also recognized Special Olympics of Saint Joseph County, Notre Dame’s club for the Special Olympics, the Logan foundation and the Mosaic Foundation.Tags: carnival, charity, Hannah and Friendslast_img read more

Professor critiques China’s Classic of History

first_imgDr. Edward L. Shaughnessy, professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, recounted the compilation process of the Classic of History in a lecture Monday titled, “Unearthing China’s Classic of History.” Shaughnessy recapped the history of China’s Classic of History over the past couple of centuries, from its compiling by Confucius in sixth century BC to a recent discovery of bamboo strips from approximately 300 BC that challenge the authenticity of the current version of the Classic.“The Classic of Poetry and The Classic of Documents — they have the same status in the Chinese tradition as the Bible,” Shaughnessy said. Shaughnessy said he uses the Classic of Documents to refer to the Classic of History because the translation is more accurate.The Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies sponsored the lecture as part of their Distinguished Speaker Series because the Classic of Documents is one of China’s “Five Classics” that have a “a role in Chinese tradition analogous to the Bible in the Western tradition.”Shaughnessy said the documents in the Classic of Documents are divided up by type.“There are consultations,” Shaughnessy said. “These are supposed to be conversations between ministers and the King. There are instructions, which are sort of teachings that the ministers give to the King. There are announcements which are royal announcements to the people at large. There are declarations which are battlefield speeches and then there are commands, or appointment documents, where the king is appointing someone to be an official.”Shaughnessy said the Classic of Documents was thought to be lost following a mass book burning in 213 and 212 BC. Scholar Fu Sheng recounted and recorded 28 chapters in the third or second century BC. This account is known as the “New Text,” Shaughnessy said. Shaughnessy said the other 17 chapters of the text were discovered in the wall of Confucius’ mansion in second century BC and are known as the “Old Text.”Shaughnessy said the parceled past of the Classic of Documents caused various Chinese scholars to question the validity of the version of the Classic of Documents rediscovered by the scholar Mei Ze, adopted by the Chinese emperor in the fourth century and the version referred to today.“This one text that was found that corresponds to a text in the ancient script Classic of Documents, there’s only one phrase in the two texts that is the same … we can see how the forger made this text,” Shaughnessy said, referring to the Old Text rediscovered by Mei Ze. “He found a phrase quoted in another text, put that in the middle of his text and then built up a text all around it. That seems to prove yet again that the ancient text Classic of Documents chapters, at least this one, is a fake. If this one is a fake, since all of them seem to have the same flavor, then presumably all of them are fakes.”Shaughnessy said Tsinghua University in Beijing received around 2,300 bamboo strips that were donated anonymously after being excavated during a tomb robbery in 2008.“The strips date to around 300 BC,” Shaughnessy said. “They had four different texts in this first volume of the Tsinghua manuscripts that are related to the Classic of Documents.”Shaughnessy said Tsinghua University plans to release one volume of the bamboo strip manuscripts a year for 18 years, providing for much more research and debate about the Classic of Documents.Tags: Classic of Documents, Classic of History, Confucius, Tsinghua Universitylast_img read more

Jewish Club of Notre Dame, Campus Ministry to host discussions about anti-Semitism

first_imgIn response to the Tree of Life synagogue terror attack in Pittsburgh, the Jewish Club of Notre Dame, the Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley and Campus Ministry will unite to host an event against anti-Semitism and oppression called “A World Without Hate” on Friday afternoon.Professor Sarah Snider, who developed the initial idea for this event, said the discussion will consist of three main sessions. She said the first session will provide a background on the issues surrounding anti-Semitism in America today. “There hasn’t been a nationwide conversation about anti-Semitism as there has been about certain oppressions against other minorities for a lot of reasons … but that doesn’t mean that anti-Semitism isn’t there,” Snider said.According to a report released by the Anti-Defamation League, the number of anti-Semitic incidents in America rose 57 percent in 2017, which translates to a total of 1,986 incidents. While the intensity of the violence in the Pittsburgh shooting was troubling, Snider said she was not particularly shocked when she heard the news.“I used to work in the Jewish nonprofit realm, and all Jewish nonprofits have intense security systems. I also went to a Jewish undergraduate [institution], and I went to Jewish day school my whole life,” Snider said. “The reality is that it is not as unusual as you would think for people to come and try to hurt Jewish people in their places of worship or their schools or their workplaces.”Senior Alicia Twisselmann, the president of the Jewish Club of Notre Dame, said she too lacked feelings of surprise when she heard about the shootings.“I wasn’t shocked in the slightest. I sort of just reacted by becoming very numb to it. I’ve seen this signs coming since 2015,” Twisselmann said. “There has been a rise in anti-Semitism over the course of the [past few years] … and all of this has just been building to this point.”Snider said she feels many Jewish people would agree with this sentiment. To help people understand how and why Jewish people feel they way they do, she looks to the second session of the event, which consists of a roundtable discussion featuring a number of Jewish members of the campus community, including students, professors and staff.“What I think is cool about this panel is that it not only represents Jewish campus community members from the undergraduate level to the professor level, it also includes Jewish people from a wide swath of denominations and geographical origins,” Snider said.The third session serves to further broaden the discussion regarding oppression, as it includes both non-Jewish and Jewish speakers.The event will close with a shabbat service at Temple Beth El, followed by a dinner. Snider said the event also happens to fall on the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, a Nazi pogrom against Jews living in German and Austrian cities. Kristallnacht became known as the “Night of Broken Glass,” in reference to the broken glass littering the streets after these attacks.Twisselmann, who served a large role in organizing the event, said the organizers welcome people from all different religions and backgrounds to attend the discussions.“If you want to learn more about Judaism, if you’re interested in intersectionality … if you’re Jewish and wanted to connect with other Jewish people on campus — anybody and everybody and anybody who was interested in is more than welcome to come to this event,” she said.Karin Wasserman, the Israeli emissary to the Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley, said she hopes the event will help bring people together to listen and to create a productive discussion.“Jewish tradition teaches us all the time to really look forward, to emphasize our life and power and not the sadness,” she said. Tags: anti-Semitism, Campus Ministry, Jewish Club of Notre Dame, Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley, Tree of Life Synagoguelast_img read more