Robinson, Blais unveil plans for student government

first_imgCorey Robinson said in some ways, his two roles on campus — student body president and a student assistant to the football team — can be similar. Both allow him to help others reach their goals.“Here at Notre Dame, we have world changers,” Robinson said. “And we’re just trying to put them in the best position to be successful.”Photo courtesy of Becca Blais After a summer of brainstorming and organizing, student government is ready for the new school year, Robinson said. He and student body vice president Becca Blais have plans to roll out a number of new initiatives this semester. And they’ve got big ideas for big events.For the upcoming presidential election, for example, student government will host a campus-wide debate over policy points, with representatives from the College Republicans and College Democrats, followed by a mock election.“We hope to have a big turnout because it’s going to be what everyone’s talking about,” Blais said.The group plans to continue to build upon and improve some of the main points from their campaign platform last winter. That’s why they’re here, Robinson said.“It’s the reason we ran and the reason all of our cabinet’s here — to serve the student body,” he said.InnovationThe administration hopes to help student entrepreneurs build and execute their ideas, Robinson said, with the help of two main initiatives: the Student Venture Incubation Program and a Shark Tank-style innovation competition scheduled for Oct. 10.“At Notre Dame, we’re so centrally focused on service and this idea of making a difference in your community, creating social good wherever you are,” Robinson said. “And entrepreneurship has often been pitched as making money.”But student government hopes to pitch it as a way for students to use their ideas to make a difference in others’ lives.“I think we will have a huge take up,” Robinson said. “Because that’s what Notre Dame students are all about.”The incubation program, led by senior Cornelius McGrath, aims to give student entrepreneurs access to financial resources, material resources and mentors. The project will start this semester, with a group of 18 to 22 students identified by McGrath and his staff who will work to develop their student-run businesses over the course of the term.Similarly, student government plans to promote innovation by asking students with ideas to promote social good in their communities — local or far away — to enter them in the upcoming competition.Robinson, a San Antonio native, said a student could propose a financial literacy course — an example he thinks would create a tangible improvement in his hometown. The student with the winning idea will work with the University to create an online course of sorts to be accessed by people from the target area.“MIT, USC, Northwestern, Chicago — they all push innovation,” Robinson said. “We’re going to do the same, but the Notre Dame way.”SafetyThe administration launched SafeBouND, a version of the free campus transportation service, in an email to students Tuesday. Robinson said they decided to rebrand the program, formerly known as O’SNAP, to reinforce the mission of the service: safety.“A lot of people didn’t understand what O’SNAP was for,” he said. “We’re trying to help students understand the whole point — that this is a safety shuttle service for students trying to walk back to their dorms on campus.”Students can call or use the SafeBouND app to request assistance during the service’s new hours, adjusted around parietals. According to the email sent to the student body, golf carts will only be used Sunday-Wednesday, and walking escorts will be available Thursday-Saturday.Robinson said Student Government is also working to bring a trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) to campus for the spring semester, though they had initially tried to have something ready for the fall.“There’s been some unexpected push back, for multiple reasons,” he said. “The problem with the rape kits is you need to have a lot of experience before you administer it.”“You get one shot,” Blais added.Student government will implement two new measures aimed at improving safety and community on campus: a sexual assault survivor support group and a faculty ambassador program, which will allow professors to volunteer as sexual assault reporting resources.The survivor group is the first of it’s kind, Blais said, and was organized by senior Grace Watkins, University policy liaison.Robinson said faculty members participating in the ambassador program will be non-confidential reporting resources, who likely undergo some sort of training.“A lot of people don’t feel comfortable talking to administrators about sexual assault,” he said. “We want to continue to be able to break down those doors and barriers, and I think this is a great first step.”InclusionFor the first time, student government is planning Race Relations Week, a four-day series aimed to create conversation about race and its role on campus.The week — which will run Oct. 24 through Oct. 27 — will examine race in relation to psychology, the presidential election, sexual assault and opportunity. Events will feature a number of speakers and discussions with the ultimate goal of garnering interest and reflection on issues surrounding race.“Race relations and the campus climate surrounding them haven’t ever been examined like this,” Robinson said.Student government also planned a tailgate for the Nevada game targeting freshmen who may not have a number of tailgates to jump back and forth between.“We wanted to provide a safe, no pressure, fun tailgate that the entire student body would have access to,” Blais said. “So we came up with this.”The event will take place on the quad between DeBartolo Hall and Eck Hall of Law on Sept. 10.In the spirit of involving students, Robinson said he and Blais have an “open door policy.”“Come in any time you want,” he said.Student government has also launched an Instagram account and Snapchat for people to follow along with their plans and events. They plan to release a monthly newsletter, highlighting different departments and initiatives.“We’re excited that everyone’s back — because over the summer, campus was kind of lonely,” Robinson said. “And I’m excited to wake up every morning to do this.”Tags: Becca Blais, Corey Robinson, Student governmentlast_img read more

Let’s Help America Find A New Enemy!

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York With all our attention focused on the national debt and our fear of people having health insurance, there’s one serious problem we’ve all been ignoring: America is now facing a shortage of meaningful enemies.Think about it: The war in Iraq is essentially over, the conflict in Afghanistan is winding down, and Syria is now being inspected for chemical and biological weapons.Not only that, but Russia doesn’t want to bury us anymore; they just want to sell us their oil and gas. And even Cuba has stopped hating us and is now taking baby steps toward private enterprise.But without a menacing, new enemy, there’s just no way the Pentagon can justify spending nearly $700 billion each year—20 percent of every tax dollar we send to Washington. (By comparison, the entire budget for the Environmental Protection Agency is $10.5 billion.)Note: This means our military budget is now six times more than China’s, 11 times more than Russia’s and 27 times more than Iran’s.It’s clear that America needs somebody to be afraid of—a reliable new boogeyman to help our threatened military economy.And we need to act fast—before bands of know-nothing congressmen slash military spending down to the size where they can “drown it in the bathtub,” as some people have threatened.To help us get started in the arduous search for a new enemy, here are some thoughts and directions that immediately come to mind:1. “Satan” does not qualify, despite enormous numbers of leaflets from fundamentalist churches left on my doorstep. Unfortunately, he (or she) cannot be engaged in combat by anything our Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex is able to produce.2. Sorry, the “United Nations” doesn’t work as an enemy, either. Let’s get real—they can’t even make their own diplomats pay the $17,000,000 they owe New York City for parking tickets. The idea that the 192 member states of the UN will actually agree to invade somebody is far-fetched, to say the least.3. “Muslims.” The bad news is that more and more Muslims have been exposed by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security as ordinary people who just want to be left alone to worship as they choose. The wacko little groups of jihadists are in decline, and it is clear that Muslims pose no more danger to America than Boston Red Sox fans.4. “Nation States.” Two come to mind: North Korea and China. North Korea is a truly bizarre country that, in the 65 years of its existence, has never even figured out how to feed its own people. Occasionally, they pound their chests and fire a short-range missile into the Sea of Japan. China, of course, could become a problem but we owe them so much money, and buy so many of their products, that both our economies would self-destruct if it became our enemy.5. “Environmentalists” are considered by some Military/Industrial folks to be the enemy, but so few Americans seem to really pay attention to what’s going on in our environment (look up “Fracking” and “Does Sonar Cause Deafness In Dolphins and Whales?” on Google) that they do not seem to pose a serious threat.5. “Telemarketers.” They are ranked No. 1 on everyone’s list, and are universally despised. The problem is, we don’t know what they look like or where to find them. Before they become our official enemy, the Pentagon will have to do a nationwide survey which will almost certainly include annoying telemarketing calls at dinnertime to find out your opinion.As you can see, picking a new enemy isn’t easy.So…if you have any thoughts about who America’s next enemy should be, send us an email*. We’ll pass all your ideas along to the proper authorities in Washington.It’s the patriotic thing to do.last_img read more

Dougherty: Jim Boeheim deserves bulk of blame for NCAA’s findings

first_img Published on March 16, 2015 at 1:00 am Facebook Twitter Google+ It’s been 10 days since the NCAA crammed 11 years of Syracuse’s athletic violations into a 94-page report and threw the future of the basketball program into limbo.And still, some of the apt questions remain unanswered.Will SU appeal any of the punishments? Reports say yes, but there’s been nothing concrete from the university’s end. Will any quality high school players still commit to a basketball program that will lose 12 scholarships over a four-year period? Time will tell. Will there be a shake-up in the athletic administration? Tick, tock.But of all that has left the Syracuse community weighing adoration against accountability, the question of who’s to blame for this mess has a clear-cut answer.Jim Boeheim.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThat’s not to say that Boeheim, the head coach of the SU men’s basketball team, directly participated in the academic violations, forged internships or distribution of impermissible benefits, among all else that Syracuse was found doing. It’s also not to say that he knew about every detail of the NCAA report because that would assume he has 10 extra pairs of eyes and ears.Yet Boeheim has been the face of Syracuse basketball for 39 years and violations occurred for more than a fourth of his storied career. So if any coach should shoulder the drawn-out, systemic failure of an entire program, it’s him.He deserves every bit of the nine-game suspension he’s set to serve at the start of conference play next season, and was otherwise unscathed by a situation that will forever stain his career.“During the 10-year period of violations, the head basketball coach did not promote an atmosphere of compliance within his program,” the NCAA wrote in its press release for the 94-page report, “and did not monitor the activities of those who reported to him as they related to academics and booster involvement.”Section K of the report’s Analysis section, which details Boeheim’s shortcomings, lists past cases establishing the responsibilities of collegiate head coaches.University of Michigan (2010) — “monitoring rules compliance in his/her athletics program is first and foremost the responsibility of the program’s head coach.”University of Connecticut (2011) — “NCAA Bylaw 11.1.2.1 requires coaches to recognize potential problems, address them and report them to athletics administration.”University of Miami (2013) — “NCAA Bylaw 11.1.2.1 holds head coaches responsible for conduct of staff and requires coaches to seek information related to potential violations.”No one, most importantly the NCAA, is suggesting that Boeheim committed the violations himself. But he is expected to create a compliant environment and, in that regard, he failed.Boeheim consciously disregarded the university’s self-written drug policy. He hired a director of basketball operations in Stan Kissel who stripped student-athlete academic services of all its integrity. And he admitted to knowing the program provided Jeff Cornish — who had connections with a local YMCA and AAU team and had a hand in various violations, according to the report — with impermissible benefits.When the university was hastily — and shadily — trying to restore Fab Melo’s academic eligibility during the 2011–12 season, Boeheim “expressed a desire for the ‘best defensive player in the country to play’ but acknowledged that he hoped it would be done within the rules,” according to the NCAA report.“… They chose to focus on the rogue and secretive actions of a former employee of the local YMCA and my former Director of Basketball Operations in order to impose an unprecedented series of penalties upon the University and the Men’s Basketball Program,” Boeheim said in a statement released the same day as the NCAA report.The NCAA “chose to focus” on these facets of Syracuse basketball’s recent past because they’re the ones that broke rules and encouraged a handful of student-athletes to neglect their academics. And still, the reactions from Boeheim and the university have disagreed with the head coach being singled out by the NCAA.The report cited violations from 2001–12 and Syracuse had two chancellors, two athletic directors and droves of other staffers, administrators and student-athletes cycle in and out of the school and athletic department, in that time.But it only had one head basketball coach, making Boeheim and the prioritization of victory two clear constants of SU’s wide-ranging infractions.In college athletics, the successes and legacies of adults are rooted in the play of teenagers and 20-something-year olds — a relationship that the adults have, time and again, turned into a one-way street.That goes for parents, administrators, AAU coaches, boosters and so on. And the hope is that a head coach — especially one with decades of experience and such strong ties to both the local and basketball communities — would be above that.For at least 11 years, Jim Boeheim was not.Jesse Dougherty is a staff writer for The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at jcdoug01@syr.edu or on Twitter at @dougherty_jesse. Commentslast_img read more

Trojans capture five-peat

first_imgIt’s that time of year again: ring-fitting season for the USC men’s water polo squad.  The No. 1 USC squad (29-0) danced on the edge of defeat the entire match, but scored when it mattered most, using a last-minute strike to defeat No. 2 UCLA (28-5) 11-10 for a record fifth-consecutive NCAA title.Champions · The USC men’s water polo team won its fifth-straight national championship by defeating UCLA 11-10 on Sunday afternoon. The Trojans finished the season 29-0, the second undefeated season in school history. – Sean Roth | Daily TrojanAfter being tied or trailing the entire second half, sophomore driver Kostas Genidounias scored a play called “Candy,” wriggling himself free from his defender and rocketing the title-clinching goal past UCLA goalie Matt Rapacz with 40 seconds remaining. The Trojans forced a UCLA turnover on the Bruins’ final possession, played keep-away for approximately 15 seconds with the ball and then celebrated.“Kostas is the man,” said senior two-meter Matt Burton. “That kid doesn’t feel pressure, he lives for that moment.”The play was actually called by senior driver Tobias Preuss, and not coach Jovan Vavic.“What a game … what a game,” Vavic said. “They [UCLA] executed really well, but our guys have been there before. They [USC] know how to win, and they have a great heart. When we needed to stop [UCLA] at the end of the game, we did.”Due to  his play in the final two games, senior driver Michael Rosenthal was named NCAA Tournament Most Valuable Player, especially after scoring two clutch goals in the final period.“I can’t believe it, honestly,” said Rosenthal on going five-for-five on national titles during his time as a Trojan. “I wanted to come to ‘SC to see how I could get at water polo, and the decision to stay for this fifth year  — and oh boy, best decision I ever made.”Junior driver Nikola Vavic and Genidounias were also named first Team All-Tournament, while Preuss, junior utility Mace Rapsey, and junior goalie James Clark were named to the second Team. The Trojans tied their season worst with ten goals allowed, but only two of those came in the second half, where Clark shined the most.A sold-out crowd at McDonald’s Swim Stadium made for an atmosphere worthy of a title match, and the squads did not disappoint.Junior two-meter Connor Virjee whipped a hard shot past UCLA goalie Matt Rapacz on the Trojans’ first possession to start the Trojans off right, but UCLA’s Bret Lathrope answered a minute and a half later to even the score early.After UCLA swatted away a Rex Butler shot on the Trojans’ 6-on-5, the Bruins’ Danny McClintick rocked a long-distance shot past USC goalie James Clark to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.A defensive lapse left UCLA’s Chris Fahlsing open three possessions later, and a lob shot by Paul Reynolds soon after put the Trojans in unfamiliar territory, trailing 4-1. UCLA set the tone with their physical playing style, and things almost got ugly when Preuss had his nose bloodied, then got in a scrum with Rapacz after a missed USC shot. The Trojans allowed just under six goals per game in the regular season, but let in five in just the first period and trailed 5-3 at the end of the first frame.USC capitalized on a 6-on-4 advantage at the 6:17 mark of the second period with a Michael Rosenthal strike, then Nikola Vavic found the goal with one of his signature upper-corner strikes on the next possession to tie the match at 5 apiece. Blood wiped from his face, Preuss rocketed another shot in to give the Trojans three goals in three possessions and a 6-5 lead, and UCLA’s early three-goal lead was gone.Their confidence however, was not. The Bruins found their offensive rhythm back and railed off three goals in a row of their own. A testy second period that saw both squad’s head coaches receive yellow cards ended with USC trailing 8-6.Once again, USC scored on its first possession of the half, on a corner shot from Rosenthal to cut the deficit to one. A third period full of fouls but much-improved defense ended at 9-8 after USC responded to a UCLA goal by finding Mace Rapsey for a close-range strike thanks to some pinpoint passing.The championship atmosphere was palpable in the final period, as both sides’ defenses stepped up to the occasion. Rosenthal found Burton with a lob pass early in the period, and Burton slammed it home to even the match at nine until UCLA’s Josh Samuels found the back of USC’s net with 3:09 left.What happened next was a controversial call that nearly had UCLA screaming foul. A USC pass went out toward the out-of-bounds rope, but stopped moving before it hit the rope and thus stayed in-bounds. USC recovered the ball, and Rosenthal completed his hat trick to tie the match at 10.A shot by Rosenthal narrowly hit the bar and skipped out on USC’s next possession but James Clark slapped away a UCLA shot on the counter.The Bruins’ Josh Samuels and Daniel Lenhart both missed open, but long-range shots, with Lenhart’s strike skipping over the ball with 46 seconds remaining, setting up Genidounias’s title-winning shot.“This one is really going to hurt,” UCLA coach Adam Wright said. “We were in a great situation, up one with three minutes left. Give credit to [USC]: they won, [and] five times is something tough to do.This is the second undefeated season in program history for the Trojans and is Jovan Vavic’s eleventh NCAA title, his eighth for a men’s team.last_img read more