Students line up at UHS clinic to receive booster shots

Students snaked out the Stepan Center Thursday morning to receive their bivalent booster shots.

The line for the clinic, which was hosted by University Health Services (UHS), went all the way to the snow-covered sidewalks. In fact, when the clinic opened at 10 a.m., students were already lined up to get their COVID-19 booster shots.

Inside the building, a sign was set up with instructions for people with and without their vaccine card on how to check in. A mask was required to proceed into the building for the shot. 

Bethel Aninyei, a graduate engineering student, was one of the people waiting in the line outside for their booster shot.

When asked why she came to the clinic, Aninyei said it was because the shot will be mandatory for the upcoming school year, as announced by the University last November. She said she probably wouldn’t have come to the clinic if it wasn’t, since she had already received the first booster.  

Going to the University-run clinic had two main advantages for sophomore Anna McCartan. One was the clinic’s convenient location, and the other was that she would not need to worry about submitting information through her UHS portal.

“Mostly, it’s really nice just walking a couple minutes from my dorm and not really having to worry about submitting it separately on the portal, like automatic uploads,” McCartan said. 

McCartan said she caught COVID for the first time this fall.

“I think since I had gotten the disease so recently, I probably would have waited longer, because I think I still have some antibodies from having it. So, it probably would be more effective later, but since they’re requiring it, I think I would sign up now,” McCartan said.

The convenience of going to the University-run clinic was also expressed by junior Chris Barile.

“It’s the closest thing, and also they upload your information right to your portal,” he said.

Barile said he probably would not have gotten the bivalent booster if it was not required because he is already boosted.

Diana Taylor, a nurse at the clinic, said that the bivalent booster is different from the earlier monovalent booster because it protects against more strains of Covid-19.

“This one has the Delta, the Omicron and the BA.5. So, it’s a totally different strain of what those first boosters came out,” she said. “The bivalent means more than one, so there’s two new things they’ve added onto there, so the booster you had is not the same as this.”

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Irish for Inclusion calls for University to amend non-discrimination clause

Two Notre Dame students, under the banner of Irish for Inclusion, are leading an initiative to change the University’s non-discrimination clause. Pablo Oropeza, a sophomore and vice president of Stanford Hall, and Dane Sherman, a junior in Siegfried Hall, have been working together to add categories to the University’s notice of non-discrimination. 

{Editor’s note: Dane Sherman is a Viewpoint columnist for The Observer.}

“Our movement is centered around the changing of the University’s non-discriminatory clause to add sexual orientation, gender identity and religious affiliation,” Oropeza said.

The current notice in ‘du Lac: A Guide to Student Life’ says that Notre Dame does not “discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or age in the administration of any of its educational programs, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other school-administered programs, or in employment.”

Sherman says the pair felt as though the exclusion of religion, sexual orientation and gender identity from the non-discrimination clause needed to be changed, so they developed a strategy to change the existing clause.

“It’s a fundamental question of who is considered a Notre Dame student and who is welcomed here. I think it’s not only who is welcomed, but who feels like this is their home,” Sherman said.

The pair have been visiting hall councils and club meetings, collecting signatures for their petition. Oropeza says the aim is to have a referendum on their proposed amendment.

“We are trying to initiate what’s called a student body initiative. Once you gain 15 percent of the student body’s signatures, then that goes to a student body vote. And so our goal is to basically get that to vote, get it ratified and have it sent to the administration for the decisions,” he said.

In an email, University spokesman Dennis Brown said that the current clause is sufficient.

“Our non-discrimination clause complies with the law, and our policies make clear that the University does not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind on any basis,” he wrote.

Sherman said that the proposed change in the clause would help show institutional support for the groups added to the clause.

“I think the biggest thing is institutional backing. I think currently we do a lot of lip service to communities, but we don’t fundamentally support them in policy apparatuses, in representation, in fundamentally making people part of the student body,” Sherman said.

Oropeza explained why he believes this change is important for all Notre Dame students.

“Everyone has a stake in this change. And so I try to drive home that even if you’re not affected by it, people you love, people you care about, people who you want to be welcome here are affected by it. And I think that is what makes people sign a petition. It ultimately means that they’re there for the support for the initiative,” Oropeza said.

He said that their efforts have been received largely positively.

“The response by the student body has been widely supportive,” Oropeza said.

The pair is currently working on social media posts on the project’s Instagram account, expanding their team and collecting more signatures, according to Oropeza.

“We are currently working on getting dozens of co-signatory clubs and faculty and so it’s a wide sweeping coalition that spans [all sorts of clubs]. We’re trying to bring together a whole bunch of different groups on this because this is an issue that affects the entire student body and how we exist as a student body,” Sherman said.

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Mendoza deans discuss college’s history, mission

Three past and current deans of the Mendoza College of Business spoke at a panel Tuesday about the history of the college and its future. Current dean Martijn Cremers and former deans Roger Huang and Carolyn Woo spoke on the panel moderated by Brett Beasley. Beasley and Notre Dame Magazine editor Kerry Temple co-authored the book “O’Hara’s Heirs: Business Education at Notre Dame, 1921-2021,” which was distributed to audience members.

After thanking the attendees for coming, Beasley discussed Mendoza’s past.

“I came across that particular quote from the ‘BusinessWeek Guide To The Best Business Schools’ from the early 1990s. That actually suggested instead of sending white-collar criminals to prison, maybe we should send them to Notre Dame to get an MBA, so that they can go out and be reformed and be better business people. So that’s the tradition that I think we’re all heirs to,” Beasley said. 

Beasley asked the panelists about what it was like to “cultivate … reputation and ethical leadership,” continuing Mendoza’s legacy.

“I think it’s just part of the Mendoza brand, and it comes with all the rest of the mission and therefore the students are familiar with it when they are here. The faculty are passionate about it. And we have increased our vision. We have a University that helps us with developing his mission statement,” Huang, who served as dean from 2013 to 2018, said. 

Woo, dean from 1997 to 2011, said she believes it was an effort of more than a few at the top.

“When I think about leadership, I think of all the people who are in these chairs. We didn’t do what we did because of one person. It was a whole school which understood what we stood for,” she said.

Woo thanked her colleagues and mentioned the bond she had with her female colleagues.

“There is an incredible sisterhood here,” Woo said.

Beasley asked the panelists what success meant to them through good and bad times and how the college should continue to be successful.

Woo recalled hearing another dean from a different school say that success for a business school was to change the earning curve of the students. She disagreed with that. She emphasized the importance of succeeding on our own terms.

“I am going to show that we will succeed, but on our own terms. We will play with the big boys, and we will lose sometimes, win sometimes, but when we win, it will be on our own terms,” Woo said.

When asked about the metrics involved in success and how students’ success is measured, Cremers said he focuses on how much alumni contribute to the world and back to the school.

“My answer would be we want to try to think about how, as students go out, how much do they actually contribute, how well do they operate and how well do they compete. In my mind, in that order. I think we have good indicators for those three,” Cremers said.

Beasley mentioned that the business school has come a long way in 100 years, asking the deans if they have a goal they would like to aim for in the next 100 years. 

“I think my moonshot direction would be to become much more global, especially be more focused on the global south,” Cremers said. 

“I think for me, the moonshot would be sort of like how do you optimize the welfare of people?” Woo said.

The panel ended after the deans discussed the fond memories they have from their time at Notre Dame.

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Grant to help provide pre-college programming for underserved high school students

The Notre Dame office of pre-college programming has received a grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc, a private charitable organization based in Indianapolis. The funding provided by this grant will go towards providing pre-college programming for teens from underserved high schools in Indiana. 

The Lilly Endowment has offered other grants in the tri-campus community, including one to promote mental health in Notre Dame residence halls called the ‘People With Hope to Bring Initiative.’

To be eligible for the grant, Paul Mueller explained that high schoolers must come from an underserved high school in Indiana.

Mueller, who is the director of the office of pre-college programming, said his department determines which schools are considered underserved using a variety of factors. 

 “We use professional judgment from our admissions counselors that visit these high schools to flag schools that they thought might fit an underserved criteria. In other cases, we use federal rules to determine whether a school was underserved or under-resourced,” he said.

The grant will be used to reach out to high school students who otherwise might not have been thinking about college, Mueller said.

“Our traditional ‘Summer Scholars’ student has already been thinking about college. So, this population that Lilly is funding is a little bit of an outreach population to get their college search activated,” he explained.

Because of the additional funding from the endowment, Mueller said the pre-college office has grown its ‘Summer Scholars’ program to accommodate more students.

 “We’re growing summer programs, probably by about 25 percent next year and another 25 percent the subsequent years as a result of this,” Mueller said.

The ‘Summer Scholars’ program brings students onto Notre Dame’s campus where they take a course taught by Notre Dame faculty. Last year, there were 450 students in one session of the program, however, Mueller said that by next year it is expanding to two sessions with the total number of students between 555 and 575.

One of the main changes brought on by the grant is that the program will now include a college fair as a way of connecting students to other Indiana schools, Mueller said.

“The biggest difference for the students will be that we’re adding a college fair, where we’re asking our other Indiana colleges to come up and talk about what they have to offer. It’s a recognition that especially from the Lilly-funded students, not all of them will be able to get into Notre Dame, so let’s give them the opportunity to explore what other options they might have in the state,” he said.

Muller explained that the goal is to help underserved high school students put themselves in college students’ shoes and begin to think about the possibility of attending college. 

“The biggest benefit is to get them onto campus and get them projecting themselves at a four-year college, thinking about ‘this is possible. I can do this,’” he said.

Notre Dame students can get involved with pre-college programming as resident counselors, Mueller said. The students are hired as staff in the dorms. 

“[The summer staff] provide leadership. They show students the ropes, they get them to the dining halls on time and into their classes on time. So, it’s a terrific summer employment opportunity for people that are really interested in working with high school students,” Mueller said.

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‘It’s not over’: Ukrainians, professors shed light on ongoing conflict in Ukraine

Co-president of the Ukrainian Society at Notre Dame and senior Maryna Chuma stated in simple terms what she feels Notre Dame students should know about the war in Ukraine.

“It’s not over,” she said.

The Ukrainian Society was initially founded in order to celebrate Ukrainian culture on campus, but since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, it has shifted its focus toward advocacy and spreading awareness about the war. About a week after the six-month anniversary of the invasion, Chuma said the war continues to have a major impact.

“It’s still very real for the Ukrainian people and for the allies around the world,” she said. 

On Wednesday, the Nanovic Institute hosted a flash panel focusing on the current state of affairs in Ukraine as told by eyewitnesses. Multiple panelists stressed that the war is still ongoing and continues to upend the lives of the Ukrainian people. 

Panelist Dmytro Sherengovsky, a vice-rector at the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU), spoke about how life in Ukraine has become increasingly uncertain as a result of the war. Sherengovsky said he has stopped planning more than a year in advance for UCU because he does not know what the country will look like in a year.

Despite the uncertainty, he said Ukrainians continue to hold out hope that they can win the war and rebuild a more fair and successful state.

“Nevertheless, Ukrainians are dreaming about the future,” he said.

As the war has raged on, countries including the U.S. have imposed economic sanctions on Russia. Notre Dame international affairs professor A. James McAdams said the Russian economy has managed to withstand the sanctions thus far.

“Russians have been very shrewd at how they’ve managed them to an extent they managed before this particular invasion of Ukraine. They clearly took into account the possibility of some sanctions and protected themselves ahead of time,” McAdams said. 

Certain American cultural staples, such as McDonald’s, have left Russia in response to the invasion. McAdams is doubtful this gesture will do anything to change Russian sentiments. 

“Russia is a very different place without McDonald’s and other companies, but I think to focus on something like that has to miss the fact that most Russians are squarely behind this conflict,” he said.

Although the sanctions have thus far failed to make a major impact on Russia, McAdams said the military aid sent to Ukraine by the U.S. and other nations has proven to be effective. He said the support the U.S. and other allies have provided has allowed Ukrainians to keep fighting and, in some cases, even regain territory.

Ukrainian Society officer and sophomore Marko Gural explained the role military aid, especially rocket systems and missiles, have played in slowing the Russian offensive and allowing Ukrainian forces to regain territory. 

“Ukraine started to gain lots of rocket systems and military weapons from the United States for the most part, but also from other European allies. What this has done is first of all, obviously, it’s hurt the Russians in frontline position, but it’s also allowed the Ukrainians to launch some rockets into Russian territory or Russian controlled territory,” Gural said. 

Gural noted that Russian forces were stalled, but he finds it unlikely there will be a swift end to the war. 

“It does seem like the Ukrainians might be trying to push forward again,” he said. “It doesn’t really seem like peace talks are anywhere close to even starting.”

The media devoting less coverage to the war in Ukraine is a cause for concern, Gural said. 

“I think probably personally, for me, the most troubling thing over the past couple of months has been seeing that internet mentions or internet searches, in particular, have gone down concerning the war,” he said. 

Chuma also expressed frustration with the change in media coverage. 

“It is very frustrating, as someone [who is] part of the Ukrainian diaspora, to see the headline kind of getting lost among other headlines,” she said.