Green Dot Initiative combats domestic violence

first_imgAn initiative to prevent domestic violence has helped 13 Saint Mary’s students so far this school year, director of the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) Connie Adams said. Adams presented to the Student Government Association (SGA) at its meeting Wednesday to discuss the Green Dot program, an initiative to help prevent domestic violence. BAVO began its office this year at the College, and the fact that students have used it shows the need for this kind of action on campus, Adams said. “There is such a need here and these are issues that affect all of us,” she said. The Green Dot Initiative encourages people to not ignore violence or situations that may lead to violence when they see it, Adams said. “Green dots are very simple decisions, very simple actions we can take in our everyday lives,” she said. “[Green dots are] those times when you witness something that doesn’t seem quite right [and] finding ways when you see those things happen that you can really do something about it, taking that extra step.” Adams said there are many different motives why people avoid these situations, even when they suspect violence may be an issue. “There are a lot of reasons we don’t take that extra step; we’re embarrassed, we wonder if what we see is really what we see, or we’re shy and don’t want to get noticed,” she said. According to Adams, one in four women will experience violence in their lifetime, which creates red dots, or acts of violence that she said do not need to be the case. “If we do nothing it is an acceptance of what is happening and every time we accept it, it’s a red dot,” she said. For students interested in helping with the program can attend an informational meeting in the basement of Holy Cross today at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a training session on Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for students. Adams said there are limited slots, so students should RSVP if they are interested. Students who are interested can contact her at cadams@saintmarys.edu. Rachael Chesley, student body president, also discussed two new SGA initiatives being launched next week; the Board’s new website and its Discount Program, which will provide student discounts at select vendors when they are out in the South Bend community. Chesley said the Board will be working to market the website to students and hopefully making it part of the “Quicklinks” on the main Saint Mary’s site. “We want to try to get students to utilize it now so it becomes more habitual and they use it all the time,” Chesley said. Information about the Discount Program will be included on the new website. Students will be able to use their ID cards to receive the discounts. “[Students] don’t have to register for it,” Chesley said. “It’s just a benefit for students.”last_img read more

Toys’ exhibit showcases handcrafted trinkets

first_imgSanta Claus will have an extra helper when spreading holiday cheer this year as the “Toys” exhibit comes to Saint Mary’s College. “Toys,” a presentation of handcrafted wooden toys and puzzle pieces, will be on display in the lobby of the Cushwa-Leighton Library from Dec. 6 through Jan. 12. The exhibit will feature toys created by George Efta, other crafts that were given to him as gifts and pieces that he purchased. Efta is one of the nation’s leading craftsmen of handmade wooden toys and puzzles and is married to Saint Mary’s President Carol Ann Mooney. Bob Hohl, reference librarian and curator of the exhibit, said the Saint Mary’s community is excited to host Efta’s public debut. “What is more quintessential of Christmas than a toy handmade and given with love?” he said. According to Hohl, the Cushwa-Leighton Library is decorated every year for Christmas, and “Toys” will be a nice addition to the Christmas trees, wreaths and other seasonal decorations. “We are all ‘Gettin’ merry like Christmas,’ as Maya Angelou has written,” he said. A press release from Saint Mary’s said Efta has been designing, building and selling his handiwork for more than 35 years. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1972, Efta was inspired to create his own wooden crafts after he discovered a toy store in a Minnesota mall. “I thought to myself, ‘I can do that,’” Efta said, “And I couldn’t. But about three months later, I was actually making toys.” According to the press release, all of Efta’s pieces will be made from wood and include planes, cars and other types of toys. “What really intrigues me is the whole range of toys and things that are childlike,” he said. “I have pieces from France, Egypt, Italy, England and other countries. Toys are universal.” Hohl said he expects that the exhibit, which is free to the Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame communities as well as the general public, will serve as a unique way to recognize the holiday season. “We hope that Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame students will enjoy this exhibit during the next two weeks as the academic semester draws to a close; but we also invite families of the larger community to visit during the holidays to celebrate the special joys of the season,” he said. In addition to the wooden toys crafted by Efta and the other artists, the exhibit will also include handmade puzzles, some of which are double layered. “George’s double-puzzles are a delightful surprise ⎯ two puzzles in one and when you remove the top puzzle, there is another underneath,” Hohl said. “My favorite is the fishbowl with two curious and hungry red cats underneath.” The Cushwa-Leighton Library will also host a reception with Efta open to the public Monday, Dec. 12, from 4:40 p.m. to 6 p.m.last_img read more

Association finalizes constitution

This year’s members of the Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) met for the last time Wednesday before the new officers assume their roles April 1. For their last order of business, members of SGA finalized the new constitution. The student body must vote on the revisions, and 25 percent of students who vote must approve for the constitution to go into effect. There will also be a banquet after Easter break to celebrate the new structure of SGA and the leaders from this year who made it possible. Current members of SGA also shared their favorite memories of the year. Student body president Nicole Gans said she is especially proud of the changes made in the SGA structure. “My favorite moment was when we all agreed upon the restructuring of SGA,” Gans said. Amanda Lester, public relations commissioner in charge of social media, said her favorite memory from the year was a particular event. “My favorite activity was the bowling night,” she said. Karen Johnson, vice president of student affairs, who advises SGA, said she was impressed with the work SGA did this year. “This is the most exciting year I’ve had,” Johnson said. “Thank you for a great year, and I’m very proud to be your advisor.” As turnover draws near, Gans reminded the board they all need to pass on a binder of the materials they used to those assuming their positions next week.  Reflecting on the year as a whole, Gans said she was really grateful to work with such a talented group of students this year. “Everyone in this room has affected the student body this year … and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls,” she said. read more

Student hits ‘GameDay’ shot

first_imgSenior Casey Murdock had the luck of the Irish on his side Saturday morning when he made a half-court shot at College GameDay to win $18,000. “When I saw the ball bank into the hoop on the second shot, I honestly did not know how to feel,” Murdock said. “I was completely at a loss for words.” Murdock hit the shot on his second attempt during the ESPN program’s broadcast from Purcell Pavilion. The avid basketball fan said he plans to act responsibly with his winnings. “I’m definitely going to save the majority of it; I’ll invest it somehow so that I can prepare for life after college,” Murdock said. “At the same time, when something like that happens, you need to celebrate somehow, so I’ll figure out a way to have fun with a little bit of it.” Murdock’s favorite part of the experience was the crowd rushing the court to pile on him after he made the winning shot. Being surrounded by a horde of people, including the Notre Dame men’s basketball team, was completely overwhelming, he said. “It felt like the entire Notre Dame community was celebrating this amazing moment not only for me, but with me,” he said. “It truly made me feel like part of a family, and at that point there was no more I could ask for.” After the shot, Murdock said he found his friends and captured the moment through taking pictures and then continued celebrating at his home. “I returned to my off-campus house, and as soon as I walked in the door all of my friend piled on me and started screaming with excitement,” he said. Murdock said he practices shooting the ball around almost every day and has made half-court shots before, but he did not actually practice in preparation for “College GameDay.” He has received many comments about the unorthodox form he used to get the winning shot, he said. “I seem to have a better chance from half-court when I float the ball,” Murdock said. “In the end, though, I made it, and that’s about all that matters.” Murdock said he continued celebrating by attending the men’s basketball game Saturday night, in which the Irish defeated Louisville 104-101 in a five-overtime game. “It was all completely surreal, and definitely made one of the best days of my life,” Murdock said.last_img read more

Junior expands dining options for allergic students

first_imgAs a student nutritional adviser through Sodexo at Saint Mary’s College, junior Megan Steron works with Barry Bowles, director of dining services, to ensure students with allergies can access healthy options in the dining hall.Her role as a bridge between Sodexo, a food and facilities management services company, and students began her freshman year, she said.“I have celiac disease, so I have a really strict diet, and beginning my freshman year there were very few options,” Steron said, “So on a volunteer basis I worked with Barry every other week to give feedback about new things. I was heavily involved in advising the gluten free section in the C-Store and I also coordinated with students with other allergies … I had a feeling it was bigger than just me, and I was right.”This year, Steron has a table set up in Nobel Family Dining Hall in order to communicate with students who are trying to balance allergies with dining hall options.“Ideally, I would like all students with an allergy to talk to me … because that way [Barry and I] can know we have this many girls with this allergy, this many with that allergy … I want to get all the girls with allergy sensitivities to come to talk to me so I know what we’re working with,” she said.When a student approaches her table, Steron first encourages the student to set up an appointment with Barry to get a special sticker for their student ID card. The sticker allows the student to get special frozen items specifically for students with allergies, Steron said.“Then I would walk with you through the dining hall and point out areas that are easiest [to work with]. The international stir fry area is awesome,” she said, “I would … introduce key staff that are really strong with working with allergies, and then I would finish by bringing you by the corner where we have the pre-packaged items.”In conversation with the student, Steron said she would be sure to ask about their opinions on available options and ask what items the student would like to see.Steron said her mission is to talk to students and encourage them to open up about their allergies, and their input is taken seriously.“I would love as many girls as possible to talk to me so we can get a better feel of what people like, what can we change, what can we improve and what’s going to serve our community the best,” Sternon said.A significant improvement she has noticed since her freshman year is an increase in staff awareness of cross-contamination.“The biggest problem with celiac disease and some other allergies is cross contamination,” she said. “I have gotten sick from people using the wrong spoon on my food. When you have to be that concerned about cross contamination, that cuts out a lot of your options that might otherwise be safe … [but] it has gotten so much better.”As the primary link between students and Barry, she said she hopes students will feel comfortable sharing any questions or concerns with her.“If I was the only person on this campus [with an allergy] I would deal with it, but I’m not,” Steron said. “The first priority is getting everybody fed; the second priority is getting everybody fed well.” Tags: Barry Bowles, dining halllast_img read more

Exhibition on South Quad raises suicide awareness

first_imgEleven hundred backpacks scattered across South Quad Wednesday held a heavier message than the book weight they usually carry.The backpacks were a suicide awareness exhibition called “Send Silence Packing,” and each one represented one of the 1,100 college students who commit suicide each year. The exhibition was a collaborative effort between Active Minds, a non-profit organization, and the Notre Dame’s National Alliance on Mental Illness Club (NAMI-ND).Each backpack acted as a small token of remembrance for one of the lives claimed by suicide. Sophomore Courtney Koch, a member of NAMI-ND said she hoped this display would act as a conversation-starter on campus and convince students to ask more questions about mental health.“Mental illness is a legitimate health issue and should be treated with the same amount of seriousness as we treat physical illnesses,” Koch said. “It’s not just something that should be pushed off to the side.”NAMI-ND president junior Katie Paige said the planning process for the exhibition started at the end of last spring when the club received approval from Active Minds. Paige said the event received overwhelming support and in many ways, it was a collaborative effort from many different groups on and off campus.“It’s been a long process, but an extremely rewarding one as we fight to end the stigma of mental illness and suicide,” Paige said. “I believe that this powerful display will force people to stop, think and start talking.”Koch said the stigmatization of depression and mental illnesses was the driving force behind event, and the group aims to help reduce some of those misconceptions.“What a lot of people don’t understand is depression is not just sadness,” Koch said. “Everyone feels sad, but depression is a legitimate disorder that could be chemical or an event in your life that triggers it.”Senior and former NAMI-ND president Maggie Skoch said her personal journey and stories of other Notre Dame students’ journeys kindled her passion to spread awareness for mental illnesses.“I think it’s easy to provide people with a statistic, to say that suicide and mental health issues are things that need to be addressed,” Skoch said. “What this display does really well is take what is a mere statistic and brings it into the real world, into a display, and it fosters conversation as a result.”NAMI-ND representatives volunteered to set up the exhibit, and many of them distributed informational fliers throughout the day. Koch said she hopes this event prompts people to strike up a conversation with the NAMI-ND representatives.“I’d like for people to be shocked by this event and to feel like this is too much and there shouldn’t be this many victims,” Koch said.Skoch said “Send Silence Packing” last came to campus in the spring of 2014, and she said she hopes to repeat the event’s success in battling the stigma of mental illnesses.“In my four years here, this conversation has gained a lot of momentum and I think I’ve witnessed myself in various interactions, and on a broad level, a breaking down of that stigma,” Skoch said. “This awareness is the goal of this event and other events that NAMI sponsors … and what the Notre Dame community is working towards through the various efforts on campus.“’Send Silence Packing’ makes tangible a very difficult topic and issue through a visual display The hope is that this event itself will bring about the continuation of a conversation that’s already happening … a conversation about mental health at Notre Dame, America and across the world.” Tags: mental health awareness, NAMI-ND, send silence packinglast_img read more

Saint Mary’s student named senior football manager

first_imgThis fall, Saint Mary’s senior Colleen Naumovich will tackle her job as the College’s first senior football manager in the program’s 95-year history.Naumovich said she worked hard to stay on staff throughout the yearly cuts that stop most students from advancing to higher positions. She said many managers join as freshmen, but only 14 are selected to continue as sophomores. By junior year, that number dwindles to seven. And by senior year, it’s three.“After you make it, you’re under scrutiny the whole time,” Naumovich said. “It was a little intimidating because I always knew there was no guarantee I would make it to the next year, but it also kind of made me savor every moment.”Naumovich said she never took her position for granted because the future was always uncertain.“You don’t know if there’ll be a next game or a next year,” Naumovich said. “I always wanted to make the most of it and be on my best behavior.”Naumovich’s role as personnel manager will allow her to aid in the selection process of younger managers, in addition to coordinating everyone’s schedules, helping quarterbacks with their drills at practice and making sure the referees have balls on game day.“There’s a lot that goes into it,” Naumovich said. “You have to be prepared to do a lot of things with little time’s notice. I’ve learned a lot about remaining calm and getting things done and thinking on my feet.”Naumovich said some of her favorite memories involve traveling to away games because she can fly on private planes and explore new cities.“I like going into enemy territory,” Naumovich said. “It kind of puts a chip on your shoulder, not that I’m playing or anything, but it’s still really fun to be part of the environment.”Naumovich said she felt overjoyed to learn she had been promoted to a senior manager.“I was happy to see that someone other than a Notre Dame student could be a leader for the organization even though I don’t go there,” Naumovich said. “I was honored to take on that role and be a role model regardless of what school I go to.”Naumovich said her extensive involvement with the student manager program shows that Saint Mary’s students can serve as valuable assets to the football team.“There has always been a Notre Dame student in this position before, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But now I can show that Saint Mary’s people can be involved at Notre Dame and succeed as well,” Naumovich said. “Don’t ever think it’s a disadvantage to be from Saint Mary’s.”Naumovich said she hopes to serve as an example for the five other Saint Mary’s sophomore and junior student managers who are looking to advance to the senior level.“I think it’s good to have someone who has done it before because you can show others that they can do it too,” she said. “I would be able to offer advice to other girls who might have this position. Being from Saint Mary’s is a little unique.”Naumovich said she looks forward to the future of the student football manager program, for she envisions that even more Saint Mary’s women will secure senior positions.“I think you just have to get one person in there,” Naumovich said. “And then once that happens, many more will come.”Serving as a senior manager is the ideal way to enter her last year at Saint Mary’s, she said.“Being so close to all the action is something I never thought I would have the opportunity to do,” Naumovich said. “It’s a pretty unique way to take part in my last football season as a student.”Tags: football manager, senior manager, SMC football manager, student managerlast_img read more

Officials Scheduled To Hold COVID-19 Press Conference Update Thursday

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) Watch us LIVE at WNYNewsNow.com/liveMAYVILLE – Officials in Chautauqua County are scheduled to provide an update on the novel Coronavirus outbreak Thursday afternoon during a press conference.Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel will be joined by the Chautauqua County Director of Health and Human Services Christine Schuyler during the 3 p.m. update at the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.Viewers can watch the press conference LIVE at WNYNewsNow’s Facebook page. We will also provide full coverage on WNYNewsNow.com and our mobile app.last_img read more

UPMC Chautauqua Hospital To Receive Over 10 Million Dollars In Federal Aid

first_imgWNY News Now File ImageJAMESTOWN – One of Chautauqua County’s largest medical providers will be receiving more than ten million dollars in federal aid to help with costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.Congressman Tom Reed announced in total three area hospitals will receive funding from the Health and Human Services’ Provider Relief Fund.These payments total over $20 million in relief with $10,076,498 going to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital, $5,000,000 to the Brooks-TLC Hospital System, and $5,000,000 for the Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital.“We care about supporting our hospitals and health providers because their work has never been more essential to the health and safety of our communities,” said Reed. “We will continue to work with local providers and HHS to ensure much-needed relief flows to our region and access to critical health care services is maintained.” The funds, which target safety-net hospitals which treat patients regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay, were allocated in the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. 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

Tractor Trailer Driver Cited Following Rollover Crash On I-86

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) WNY News Now Stock Image.ELLERY – A tractor trailer driver was cited following a rollover crash on I-86 early Wednesday morning.The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office reports 36-year-old Sandeep Singh, of Monroe Ohio, is charged with speed unreasonable after losing control of their rig, crashing into a guide rail and overturning in the median just after 4:30 a.m.Deputies say the driver suffered minor injuries but declined medical treatment.The Chautauqua County HAZMAT team responded to clean up a diesel fuel spill along with the Bemus Fire Department and New York State Police. As of 8 a.m. the westbound lane of I-86 remains closed as crews work to remove the wreckage.last_img read more