Students discover ‘footprint’

first_imgIt takes a lot to outfit a Notre Dame student — clothes, electronics and other various school supplies. Ever wonder who made all of those things?   On Wednesday, ND8 hosted an event in the Dooley Room of LaFortune where students could look up their “slavery footprint,” an estimation of the number of modern-day slaves involved with the production of the items they use. This event was the second in a month-long series focusing on the problems of human trafficking and modern day slavery.   Sophomore John Gibbons, co-president of ND8, said the goal is to take a holistic look at the issues so the various aspects of these global problems are brought to the attention of a larger audience. “A fair amount of the population knows so little about these problems,” Gibbons said. “Our main goal is to raise awareness about them so that it inspires people to think about it more and what they can do to help.”   All of the groups involved were motivated by a desire to increase awareness of these issues, inspiring students to help those affected and giving those students ways to respond. Rosie McDowell, director of International Community Based Learning and Outreach at the CSC, said the Center’s focus in the series was to help student groups to collaborate in order to better address social issues through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching.   “One of the things we try to do at the Center is to encourage collaboration among student groups, and to give them support and resources to move forward with educational events about social issues for the campus and in the community,” McDowell said. The series kicked off on Nov. 3 with a showing of the Invisible Children documentary “Tony,” which documented the struggle to end the use of child soldiers by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda.   The St. Mary’s Invisible Children club and the Notre Dame club Inspire were heavily involved in bringing the film screening to campus.   Olevia Boykin, president of Inspire, said Invisible Children contacted her over the summer about doing a screening of “Tony” on Notre Dame’s campus. “We paired up with the CSC to bring this event to Notre Dame, and Rosie McDowell thought that the Invisible Children event could be a part of a larger conversation on human trafficking and modern day slavery,” Boykin said. Senior Sarah Commiskey, president of the Invisible Children club at Saint Mary’s, also focused her efforts at showing this documentary on campus.   “I wanted to spread the word, just really to advocate for Invisible Children, and in the best case scenario, turn apathy into action,” Commiskey said.  “I want to really get people so fired up that they do something about it.” Sophomore Erin Hattler, co-president of ND8, said students can get involved in the cause by donating to organizations Catholic Relief Services and by pressuring lawmakers to enact legislation protecting victims and to not cut the budget allotted for international aid.   “The bill [the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2011], originally passed in 2000, is currently making its way through the House and the Senate because it is due to expire at the end of this year,” she said. “We want to mobilize students to contact their representatives to encourage them to pass this bill.” Hattler said the bill provides crucial funding for programs aiding the victims of sexual trafficking, and is crucial in its ability to set the standard internationally for nations attempting to combat the problem. The goal of the groups involved with this series is not only to raise awareness, Gibbons said, but also to provide tangible ways for students to act.  “While we want to bring these harsh realities to life, at the same time we want to show that there are ways to work toward changing them,” he said. “We want to show people that there is hope and that there are ways to address these daunting problems.”last_img read more

ND Glee Club tours internationally over fall break

first_imgThe Glee Club took its talents on tour this fall break when they performed in two concerts in Michigan, two in western New York and one in Toronto. The all-male a capella group will also give its annual fall concert Friday at 8 p.m. in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Stuart Streit, a sophomore member of Glee Club, said the concert in Rochester, New York, was his favorite of the five performances. “A huge crowd turned out for [the Rochester concert], and I thought we had done a really good job,” Streit said. “It was one of our first times off-book, which means we weren’t reading our music while singing, which led us to engage the audience a little bit more and keep our eyes on our director, which led to us singing better.” Streit said the wide range of music in the group’s concert repertoire contributed to the tour’s success. “We had some Canadian folk songs and a lot from our regular repertoire, so a lot of spirituals, some sacred music, [and] we had some Russian and German songs on this one,” he said. In addition to the Fall Tour, the group performs during spring break and travels internationally every other year, junior and Glee Club secretary Michael Shakour said. The club gives brief concerts on football weekends at the reflecting pool in front of Hesburgh Library, and it also performs longer concerts on campus.   “We perform … main concerts [four times] a year: fall, three at Christmas, spring and then a commencement concert,” Shakour said. “We’ll perform anything from classical music to spiritual to jazz. … Anything that has the words ‘Notre Dame’ in it we’ll sing. “We perform at least once a year with generally an orchestra and another singing group around campus or at Saint Mary’s.” Senior and Glee Club vice president Tim Kenney said the fall concert program will contain much of the same music the group performed on its recent tour. “In addition [to the tour music], for our second half we’ll have a couple small groups.” Kenney said. “There’s one quartet that a couple of the guys organized, … and then the Undertones do a set. “It’s a lot of fun. We’ve all spent a lot of time working on the music, been working on it the entire semester so far, put in a lot of rehearsal hours. It’s a really strong set of music that’s going to be really well-done.” Though the Glee Club has a vigorous, four-days-a-week practice schedule, Kenney said the singers don’t mind because they’re like a family now. “The community has been really exciting and really just wonderful,” Kenney said. “It’s such a tight-knit group of guys. We really do consider ourselves a brothership. Being able to have that close of interaction … having 80 best friends on campus, it’s really just awesome.” tThe Glee Clubssells CDs,at gleeclub.nd.edu,and at the Hammes Notre Dame bookstore. CDs will also bedavailable at Friday’s concert, which costs $10 for general admission, $6 for seniors and $5 for students. Contact Emma Borne at eborne@nd.edulast_img read more