After 11 years of dedication to the Saint Mary’s community, DJ Pam Blair is looking forward to a future of music, poetry, warm weather and relaxation as she announced her departure from Saint Mary‘s. She will be taking a new job at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame.Blair began her career at Saint Mary’s in March 2007 and brought her insight to various departments on campus including Career Crossings, the psychology department, gender and women’s studies and English — she has also been a DJ during Midnight Breakfast.Blair first began working at Saint Mary’s in the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership. “When I first was hired here, I was hired into CWIL,” Blair said. “I had a great passion for CWIL. It is the intercultural office. It was the first time ever that I worked in a multicultural office where I was not the only black person. There were people of other races and they all had a passion for unity and racial reconciliation and I fell in love with that.”Blair’s experience at Saint Mary’s has been filled with everlasting connections between staff, faculty and students.“When I first started working at Saint Mary’s about 10 years ago, I always heard people talking about Pam Blair,” associate professor of psychology Bettina Spencer said in an email. “Based on what they said about her, I assumed she had been here for decades. It wasn’t until I met her years later that I realized we had started working at Saint Mary’s at the same time. She had made such a big impression on so many people so quickly that it had sounded as if she had been here forever. Once we began working together I got to see firsthand how Pam makes this impression on those around her. She is a wonderful colleague, mentor and friend to so many people in the Saint Mary’s community. She personally connects to students, staff and faculty, and always has words of support and encouragement for anyone who needs them. Pam is an important part of our community, and she has changed it for the better.” Senior Teresa Brickey describes Blair as “a staple to the [Saint Mary’s] community.” Brickey said she admires Blair for her willingness to make the world better and always being open to difficult discussions. “I can’t believe Pam is leaving, but I know that she will do well outside of SMC,” Brickey said. “She is talented, driven and compassionate. I wish her the best. I hope we are able to meet again. Her talent in the work of poetry is phenomenal and if anything I hope she gets more time to focus on it now.”When asked what she learned from Blair, Stacy Davis, professor of religious studies and gender and women’s studies, said she admired Blair’s positivity.“I will carry with me from my time working with Pam the importance of positivity,” Davis said in an email. “Even when things are difficult, Pam has believed in the importance of kindness and creativity to get through challenging circumstances. I am grateful for that.”Associate professor and department chair of psychology Karen Chambers said Blair contributed to a warm community at Saint Mary’s.“I was always grateful for her creativity and always bringing another way of looking at things,” Chambers said. “Also, students were always hanging around in her office. She made the psych suite feel a little more like home.”Blair has been an involved member of the Saint Mary’s community but also an active participant in the South Bend community. She created The Poetry Den, an open microphone event known for poetry and inclusivity. Blair said she learned a lot from students and enjoyed building a relationship with faculty. She enjoys sitting in the Diversity Dialogues Saint Mary’s holds. “Sitting in those circles for the last seven years, I’ve learned a lot by hearing people’s experience from students and non-traditional students,” she said. Blair said she has gained a lot from her experience in academia and that Saint Mary’s had changed for the better since she began working at the College in 2007. Blaire said there are more first-generation students and that the College feels more like a home but she still encourages Saint Mary’s to still strive for more change.Blair’s final advice to students was to be themselves and remain humble.Students and faculty gathered in the psychology suit in Spes Unica on Wednesday to wish Blair a “bon voyage.”Editor‘s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Pam Blair is retiring. Blair is departing Saint Mary‘s and will be taking a new job at Notre Dame. Additionally, a sentence was misattributed as a quote. The Observer regrets these errors.Tags: Career crossings, CWIL, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, DJ, Pam Blair, Poetry Den, Religious Studies, Saint Mary’s English department
Press Association Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey believes any attempt to screen live Premier League matches on Saturday afternoons could be “catastrophic” for the English game. Virgin Media has asked Ofcom to open an investigation under the Competition Act 1998 claiming that “significant consumer harm resulting from escalating rights costs” can be addressed by making changes to the way in which live rights are sold. The Premier League’s current domestic live TV rights increased by 70 per cent to £3billion after Sky and BT Sport shared seven packages in the last auction for the 2013-16 rights. The next Premier League tender is expected to go out in the new year with the next set of three-year deals announced before the end of the season. Ofcom is expected make a decision on a review before the end of November, but even if it does announce an investigation it is likely to be a matter of years before an outcome, meaning the next TV deal would not be affected. Virgin Media’s complaint is understood to suggest that fans in the UK have to pay £51 monthly for access to all top-flight matches on TV, while it is £25 in Italy, £21 in Germany, £18 in Spain and £10 in France. Virgin Media is not planning to bid for the Premier League rights but carries Sky Sports and BT Sport on its cable networks, so it passes on the costs of live Premier League football to its own customers. Mike Fries, chief executive of Liberty Global which owns Virgin Media, said earlier this year the company had no intention to bid for live Premier League TV rights. Brigitte Trafford, Virgin Media’s chief corporate affairs officer, said in a statement: “The rapidly rising cost of Premier League live broadcast rights means UK fans pay the highest prices in Europe to watch football on TV. Virgin Media has asked Ofcom to investigate how the rights are sold ahead of the next auction.” The Premier League said its sales process had always satisfied regulators in the past. It said in a statement: “Live Premier League audio-visual rights have always been sold in a transparent and open process. Regulators have examined our rights packaging and sales process in considerable detail in the past and found both of them to be compliant with UK and European competition law. “If Ofcom chooses to investigate this complaint, we will of course be happy to demonstrate to Ofcom that this is the case.” The complaint claims fans are forced to pay over the odds to watch games on television, that consumers do not benefit from competition between channel providers in terms of the cost, and that the restriction on the number of matches being shown live limits consumer choice. Harvey, whose comments have been echoed by the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF), said: “Football’s long-standing blocked hours on Saturday afternoons are there to protect attendances at all levels of the domestic game and their continued existence has to be in football’s wider interests. “Ticket revenue remains the biggest single source of income for Football League clubs and is worth around £200m per season to our clubs. Therefore, any move to allow televised matches to compete with games played at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon could potentially be catastrophic for the game in this country.” Virgin Media predicts that there will be a further 60 per cent rise in the cost of the rights in the next auction. FSF chairman Malcolm Clarke backed lower costs for watching matches on TV – but not at the expense of losing the closed window between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on Saturday afternoons. Clarke said: “We have always supported the closed window. If you have all Saturday afternoon games on TV you would have the destruction of the traditional English game. “It would clash with Football League games and amateur games and we would not support that. “Anything that keeps the cost down for fans is good, and we would prefer Premier League clubs have ticket prices to encourage people to go to the games and not watch it on TV, but for those who can’t they shouldn’t be paying through the nose.” Harvey was speaking after it was revealed cable giant Virgin Media has lodged a formal complaint with the broadcast regulator Ofcom about TV rights sales. Virgin Media wants Ofcom to open a formal investigation into the way the Premier League sells its broadcast rights.