Cardinal addesses senators

first_imgThe future of the immigration issue rests not in the hands of those in Washington D.C., but in the hands of today’s youth, a former archbishop said at Student Senate’s meeting Wednesday. Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles, asked the senators how many of them knew an undocumented student who attended their high schools. Approximately half raised their hands. “We need you, you’re the ones who are going to get this done because you know personally people affected by our current policy which is very broken,” Mahony said. Mahony is currently advocating the Dream Act, a bill that would grant legal residency to undocumented students who attend college, graduate and serve in the military for a minimum of two years. “This act looks at one segment of undocumented people and that’s young people who were brought here at the age of 16 or younger,” Mahony said. “They did not make the choice to come here. They were brought here by parents or relatives.” These young people often graduate from high school and college, Mahony said, but have no where to go from there. “Once they finish college they are at the end of a dead end street because they have no Social Security number of legal status,” he said. “They can’t get a job that is equivalent to their education and training.” Mahony has spoken with many of these “dreamers,” including some attending Saint Mary’s College and Holy Cross College, and said he feels heartbroken by it. “They say to me, ‘What do I do when graduation comes?’ And I don’t have an answer,” he said. “I don’t have any next step to utilize what they have done and gone through to help them.” The Dream Act is a simple yet highly rewarding way to reform the current immigration laws, Mahony said. However, the federal government did not pass the Dream Act when it was before Congress. Mahony said anti-immigration feelings are running high due to the economic downturn. “In 2000, no one was discussing immigration because unemployment was at 3.9 percent and we needed all those people,” he said. “But every time there’s a recession there is always a new focus on immigration as a problem. In our country we’re really bent on blaming someone for our economic downturns, and we inevitably turn to immigration.” Mahony said this constantly changing attitude is similar to the United States erecting a fence with two signs, one that says “No trespassing” and another that says “Help wanted.” For example, the United States claims it does not want or need more workers, Mahony said. However, the undocumented immigrants often perform the jobs that many Americans refuse to do themselves. “If we moved all the standards of regular U.S. employees and the benefits and wages to agriculture, then a head of lettuce would probably cost $5,” Mahony said. “On one sense, we don’t want these people here. On the other hand we like our lettuce for 70 cents a head.” The last major immigration law was the Immigration Regulation and Control Act of 1986, Mahony said. This act gave a limited amnesty to undocumented immigrants who had been living in the U.S., working and paying their bills for the past five years. Mahony said many church leaders asked the federal government to include plans for the future in the act and the government promised to address that issue later, but never did. “Now we have 11 million undocumented living in the U.S. today, almost all of them living in blended families where some members are documented and some are not,” he said. “And we can’t move them out of the shadows.” The dreamers represent a very small portion of the undocumented, Mahony said, a portion whose talents and gifts are being wasted. In the meantime, he said the only advice he can offer these students is to remain in school despite the discouragement they often feel. “It is better to be educated than not educated,” he said. “As we move down the road and there’s an opportunity for you to become legal, and we’re going to get there, your having a college education is extremely valuable.”last_img read more

Student develops application

first_imgBy BRIDGET FEENEY For senior Monica Murphy, Saturday was noteworthy not only because of another football victory, but for also reaching a major milestone in her life with the release of an app in the iTunes store she helped write and design. The app, called Beautiful You, was launched Saturday and is designed to provide girls and young woman with motivation and inspiration for their everyday lives. In the promotional video her team made, Murphy said she hopes users find the app moving. “Your purpose is bigger than big,” she said. “When you believe in yourself, you take bold steps towards the life you were meant to live. I want to help empower you so you can transform your mind and understand all the potential you have. We hope that you will find this app to inspire you throughout your daily life.” Murphy founded the app with sophomore Meghan Roder and the help of Indiana State University student Cory Rehs, whom she met through a mutual friend. Murphy said the project has taken nearly a year to develop. “My team and I spent about 11 months writing encouraging content, while Cory got to work on developing and designing the app,” Murphy said. “A developer’s fee costs $100.” The content users purchase ranges from quotes to reflections to interactive subject matter. “On this app, you will find encouragement, challenges and reflections, all to inspire you – as well as a unique interactive piece to help support you in your walk of sisterhood and personal growth,” Murphy said. Murphy said she is excited her dream of creating an app has been achieved. She said she is grateful for the opportunity this app affords her and Roder to reach women on a wider level than before. “Meghan and I are two ordinary college students who had an extraordinary dream,” she said. “Our app, Beautiful You, allows us the opportunity to impact females on a broader level. We want to build the kingdom and felt called to team up to use the genuineness of our gifts. So many girls and women are hungry for purpose in their lives and want to be encouraged and inspired.” The app costs 99 cents and is now available for sale on iTunes. Contact Bridget Feeney at bfeene01saintmarys.edulast_img read more

Sledding benefits fund

first_imgStudents found a way to put South Bend snow to good use Saturday, racing down South Quad on improvised “dog sleds” for the third annual I-Domer-Rod to benefit the Declan Drumm Sullivan Memorial Fund. Fisher, Lyons and Pangborn Halls co-sponsored the event, but competition was open to participants from all across campus. Sophomore Maggie Rohlk, an organizer of the I-Domer-Rod, said the event was an opportunity to benefit a good cause while having fun. “What better way to support charity than dogsled racing?” Rohlk said. Senior Allie Rauh, a resident assistant in Walsh Hall, used the event as a bonding activity for her section. “I-Domer-Rod was a really fun thing to do with the girls in my section and my sister,” Rauh said. Sophomore Emma Terhaar said Lyons made the event into a competition between sections by giving the girls the opportunity to earn points for their section by participating in the event. While that incentive was valid regardless of the race’s outcome, Terhaar said her team came to win. “The concept of pulling people on sleds like dogs was very attractive for me,” Terhaar said. “I’m planning to use precision and power to achieve maximum aerodynamics and win the race.” Pangborn freshman Gracie Gallagher said she participated because the event offered a fun way to exercise. “It’s a good way to get some exercise and some laughter,” Gallagher said. While students came for a number of reasons, Rohlk said it’s fundamentally about benefitting the Fund, which was the impetus for its establishment three years ago. “Fisher is one of the founding sponsors, and the first year [of I-Domer-Rod] took place as soon as the creation of the Declan Sullivan Memorial Fund,” Rohlk said. Contact Meg Handelman at [email protected]last_img read more

Saint Mary’s welcomes Alumnae Association Board

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s College Alumnae Association Board of Directors met last Wednesday through Saturday for their annual fall conference.   Senior Student Alumnae Associate Board Representative Mollie Valencia said the group, comprised of 19 alumnae and two current students, joins together twice a year to discuss new changes and ways in which the Board can better connect with their worldwide alumnae network.   The group met on Wednesday afternoon for the first of two general sessions, Valencia said.  Saint Mary’s President Carol Mooney addressed the group, discussing the College’s initiative to cultivate a community of diversity and acceptance. Each of the Board’s committees and task forces agreed to encompass these changes in their goals for involvement within the community, Valencia said. “The task forces are designed to work to accomplish a specific event or movement, and the committee meetings have a larger goal of working with the College to develop certain areas like alumnae engagement, student-alumnae relations and alumnae clubs throughout the U.S.,” Valencia said.  “The meetings revolve around figuring out ways to accomplish these goals, and all were very successful.” On Thursday evening, the members participated in the annual Success After Saint Mary’s event, which was open to all students, Valencia said. The event began with keynote speaker Charmaine Torma ’99, who spoke to students about the importance of networking. “Let me assure you, your Saint Mary’s degree is well worth the time and investment,” Torma said. “Professional networking will give you the edge you need. Remember that networking happens every day and anywhere. It’s much more than meeting new people. It’s about being purposeful. Make sure you take the time to remember a person’s name, because networking is all about relationship-building.” The speech was followed by a presentation by Carla Leal ’13 and Peggy Rodgers Taylor ’78 that taught students the top 10 ways to impress when networking. Junior Sarah Hossfeld said she learned a great amount from the various alumnae, including the members of the Board whom she was able to mingle with after the speeches concluded. “I thought Success After Saint Mary’s was such a good opportunity for students to practice how to properly introduce themselves and network with the alumnae. All of those women are so accomplished, and I felt honored to be able to talk to them about my own goals for the future,” Hossfeld said. “It always amazes me to meet alumnae and connect immediately over our love for Saint Mary’s; they want to talk to us students just as much as we want to learn from them.” Valencia said the weekend also included orientation for new group members, a Chemistry Show put on by the SMC Chemistry Department, Mass for All Saint’s Day and a luncheon for the members and the Alumnae Relations Committee in Stapleton Lounge.   Junior Julia Dunford said the luncheon was a great success. “The alumnae were very willing to connect us with their networks and help us in any way they could,” Dunford said. “After all, alumnae are some of the biggest supporters of Saint Mary’s students and it was awesome to speak with them on a personal level. Most of them were still wearing their class rings, and it connected us immediately.” Valencia said the weekend concluded with the “Welcome Home” tailgate event at Dalloway’s Clubhouse, where alumnae and their families could mingle with students and faculty before the home football game on Saturday.last_img read more

Junior to travel with New York Times journalist

first_imgThree thousand miles away in Europe, as Nicole Sganga waited to board a plane to Turkey, she found out she had been chosen by the New York Times to travel to a developing country with Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof.Sganga, a Notre Dame junior majoring in film, television and theater and political science with a minor in journalism, ethics and democracy, received the opportunity through the annual “Win a Trip With Nick” contest sponsored by the New York Times.Sganga will travel with Kristof this summer to a developing country to raise awareness about global poverty, according to a Notre Dame press release. She will also contribute to a blog and create videos for the New York Times website.Sganga, who is currently studying abroad in Notre Dame’s London program, said she is trying to keep an open mind about the trip and looks forward to using her multimedia skills outside of the classroom.“In terms of expectations for the actual trip itself, I am certain that I will learn more than I have in all of my journalism classes combined,” she said. “It’s going to be something completely different.”The location of the trip has not been officially announced, but will most likely be to either Myanmar or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sganga said. She wants to report on the stories of places and people in those countries that are often neglected in the news, particularly women and children, she said.“Oftentimes it’s the women and the children whose stories go unheard, so it should be interesting to get to talk to some of them,” she said. “I think being a woman myself puts me in a unique position … where I am able to have those more candid conversations with other females.”The video journalism aspect of the program is what interests Sganga the most, she said, and she hopes to incorporate multimedia in a new way. However, she is also anticipating the obstacles that can confront video journalists in the field.“I always have a camera in my hand. It’s going to be a challenge to use the camera the right way in sensitive areas of the world,” she said. “I don’t want to create an uncomfortable situation for anyone else we’re covering.”As a longtime reader of Kristof’s column, Sganga said she was thrilled when she found out she would be able to travel and produce journalistic content with him.“He’s an incredible journalist in his own right,” she said. “The work he’s done is so inspiring. He’s very pro-woman, so I think that’s something that has attracted me to him as a journalist.”Bob Schmuhl, the director of the John W. Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy, said Sganga’s distinction is a big deal for the program.“She was successful on her own, but certainly her selection will help to recognize journalism education at Notre Dame,” he said.Tags: New York Times, Prizelast_img read more

SMC event raises social consciousness

first_imgSaint Mary’s community members congregated for a peaceful protest Wednesday to honor Michael Brown, the 18-year-old shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri on Aug. 9. The demonstration, themed #DontShoot, aimed to raise awareness on the racial injustice that many believe are responsible for Brown’s death.Junior Elizabeth Renner said Brown, a black man, was walking in the middle of the street when Wilson, a white officer, ordered him to move to the sidewalk. Renner said the exchange escalated and ended with Wilson firing multiple — ultimately fatal — shots at Brown, who was unarmed.“It was said that he physically assaulted the officer, but witnesses say that he had his hands in the air, which is the universal symbol for ‘don’t shoot,’” junior Taylr Davis said.A Saint Mary’s-hosted forum on the racial tensions surrounding Brown’s death inspired Renner and Davis to team up with Assistant Director of Student Involvement and Multicultural Services Bianca Tirado and fellow students to take a stand.“After attending a forum here at Saint Mary’s last month on the topic, I wanted to enable the students, faculty and staff of our community to be a part of raising awareness of the injustices that occurred in Ferguson, Missouri,” Renner said.Protestors wore black t-shirts with “#DONTSHOOT” printed across the front in bold white letters, Renner said. The peaceful and silent demonstration ended with a group photo.“We are standing together as a community to take a picture with our hands up to show our desire for peace,” Renner said. “This picture will be taken not only in remembrance of Brown, but also the many other victims that have died at the sake of injustice.”Participants who did not purchase the shirt were asked to wear a black t-shirt “to not only allow our #DONTSHOOT message to stand out during the picture, but to also symbolize mourning for the victims that we are representing in our picture,” Renner said.“We picked the color black because it signifies mourning,” Davis said. “We are mourning the loss of Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and all the other individuals that have lost their lives because of this horrible epidemic.”Renner said she hoped the demonstration would draw more media attention to Brown’s death and social injustice.“We want our message to stand out in the photo,” Renner said. “If we all are expressing the message, it will show our unity as a community.”When Renner proposed the idea of a protest, she received a remarkable amount of immediate support from not only students but also faculty and staff, Renner said.“Saint Mary’s College is strongly rooted in unity among its community members,” Renner said. “I wanted to be able to bring attention to a very important matter to a very important place to many students ­— this is our home. We are proud to host the event on Saint Mary’s campus because we are members of a community that speaks out against injustice and stands up for the rights of others.”Davis said hosting the demonstration on Saint Mary’s campus was significant because such reactions to current and controversial topics are rare on campus.“Things such as this do not happen at Saint Mary’s,” Davis said. “We have talks, and we may debate in class, but we wanted to show the entire community our concern. We wanted to make everyone know that this is a serious matter.”Davis said she hopes this event will inspire aspiring student activists in the area.“What I personally hope comes of this demonstration is understanding … but also I hope this is the catalyst to other events such as this one,” Davis said. “I hope we spark a flame which allows other girls to speak up against what they feel is wrong.”Tags: Darren Wilson, Don’t Shoot, dontshoot, Ferguson, Michael Brown, racelast_img read more

Group undertakes campus-wide programming

first_imgStudent Government Association’s (SGA) Council of Committee Chairs (CCC) sought to continue last year’s goal of transparency as well as increase student attendance in events this semester, CCC director and vice president of external affairs Katie Stare said.Stare, a senior, said the 18 committee chairs and co-chairs work to address student interests and needs in the most effective way possible. The 12 committees include alumnae, athletic, community, first-years’ concerns, food services, international, market research and media, mission, social concerns, Sophia Program, sustainability and technology.“Of the 12 committees, the media chair has been the one that has seen the most changes this year,” Stare said. “Katie Calhoun, who is the chair of the committee, has worked extremely hard to make sure all of the SGA events are advertised on all social media outlets. She also personally designs the t-shirts for many of the events.“Katie[Calhoun] has been a huge help this year in furthering our overarching goal in SGA to improve student participation and attendance.”Stare said the committee chairs and co-chairs meet on a weekly basis to update one another on issues that come up, student feedback on events or their upcoming plans and goals.“We are a very collaborative group, and as one of our main goals this year is to have every committee planning more events in order to best utilize our budgets, it’s great to have these weekly meetings so we can all join forces and inspire each other to be successful,” she said. “Our CCC budget is larger than it has been in the past, so we are all trying our best to reap the most benefits from this upgrade.”Five of the committees put on “big weeks” on campus to highlight different issues among the campus community and raise awareness of different social concerns. These “big weeks” take extensive planning — the committees work months in advance to design the weeks — and thus, the committees’ duties are mostly narrowed to one specific focus.“I think that’s something that could definitely be improved,” international co-chair and senior Catherine Sullivan said. “Right now, it’s like the committee chairs have their ‘big weeks’ to focus on, and then they are pretty much done for the year after the week takes place.“My chair is one of the few positions that actually has to think of one or two events for every month, since I don’t have a ‘big week’ to plan for. It helps me involve my issue of the international community at Saint Mary’s in events throughout the year.”Stare said the “big weeks” that have taken place already this fall semester have been Support a Belle, Love a Belle (SABLAB) and Food Week. SABLAB was organized by social concerns co-chairs and seniors Kaitlyn Tarullo and Chloe Deranek, and Food Week was planned by food services chair and sophomore Mary Kate Luft and sustainability co-chairs Chelsey Fattal and Eleanor Jones, both juniors. (Editor’s note: Luft is a Viewpoint copyeditor at The Observer. Fattal is a News writer.)“I was really impressed with both of the ‘big weeks’ that have happened so far,” Stare said. “I think what made the weeks so successful were their emphases on diversity.”“SABLAB had the student panel with a lot of different mental illnesses being represented and talked about, and then the week concluded with Mr. [Tom] Seeberg coming to talk and be an inspiration for all of us,” she said. “Similarly, Food Week incorporated different sorts of food but also a yoga event, so healthy eating and living were shown working hand-in-hand. Diversity is something we always try to accommodate in all SGA events, so these weeks did a great job integrating that goal.”The CCC will be especially busy helping the alumnae and mission committees and social concerns committee plan Heritage Week and Love Your Body Week, respectively, in the spring semester, Stare said.“Since student attendance at the events that have already happened this year has been greatly improved, we hope that in the ‘big weeks’ to come, the same sort of turn out will occur,” she said. “It’s amazing what the small but mighty Saint Mary’s community can do when we collaborate and come together to unite behind certain causes and events.”The Council of Committee Chairs has been successful in facilitating the 12 committees’ events and ambitions, aimed to promote student participation in SGA events to build a strong community and utilize the allocated budgets in fruitful ways. (A)Tags: CCC, Council of Committee Chairs, Food Week, saint mary’s, sga, SMC, support a belle love a bellelast_img read more

Department renames Isis Gallery as AAHD Gallery

first_imgSince the rise of the Islamic State terrorist group, commonly known as “ISIS,” many businesses and organizations with the same acronym have modified their names to avoid any negative connotations. Notre Dame’s department of art, art history and design department recently followed suit, renaming the Isis Gallery in O’Shaughnessy Hall as the AAHD Gallery.Originally created by students, intended for exhibitions of student work and named after the mythological goddess, the existence of the Isis Gallery dates back to the 1970s, Richard Gray, chair of the department, said, when the art department was housed in the old fieldhouse.“I came to the department in the 1980s, and it was already a gallery, an operating space. And it was started by students, probably in the old fieldhouse,” he said. “The department occupied the old fieldhouse for about 10 years, prior to moving to Riley Hall. They never had a permanent home, and the old fieldhouse was kind of this ad hoc space they took over, and it has since become the [Clarke Memorial Fountain].”After the demolition of the fieldhouse, the gallery moved to O’Shaughnessy Hall, where students and graduate students continue to install and take down work, which is a range of art media across all disciplines, including design work. “We don’t have a particular staff person that [is] doing that,” he said.The AAHD gallery currently shows undergraduate and graduate student and professional work, Gray said. “The gallery is there for us to showcase professional work from the outside for the benefit of the student community. It’s there to feature our own student work, to students and faculty, to the Notre Dame community and to showcase what we do as artists and designers,” he said.The AAHD gallery exhibits professional work for two-thirds of the academic year and shows student work the rest of the time, Gray said. The work of a second-year graduate student is currently being installed, and senior undergraduate work will be displayed at the end of the semester. “Most of the shows during the semester are from artists beyond the department. We have a small lecture series here, where we invite people to come and speak, and one of the options is for them to have an exhibition in the gallery to go along with their talk.”The location of the gallery in O’Shaughnessy Hall is partially practical, Gray said, because of a lack of space in Riley Hall. “The more beneficial way to look at is that the gallery is a way for us to have outreach on the campus, to make what we do available to people beyond our building,” he said. “Having art in a public place creates a great conversation with just the public at large — in this case, with a lot of students — rather than locating galleries in art spaces, locating galleries in non-art spaces is beneficial, as a conversation starter, as outreach, in sharing our intellectual curiosity and intellectual production with other people.”By displaying student work, the gallery “completes the circle” for an artist or designer, not unlike publication completes the circle for a writer, he said. “This a way of you completing that circle, from producer to consumer, and having that conversation at large with people beyond your own interest and constituencies,” he said. “Our students have the experience of exhibiting work, of putting themselves out there in the public for commentary and feedback.”Tags: AAHD. O’Shaughnessy Hall, Art Gallerylast_img read more

Women’s basketball team hosts Spin-A-Thon

first_imgThe Notre Dame women’s basketball team’s Pink Zone fundraiser kicks off Friday at noon the 12-hour Spin-A-Thon at the Rockne Memorial to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research.North Carolina State head coach Kay Yow, who died in 2009 from breast cancer, started the Pink Zone in 2007 as a competition to see which women’s basketball team could raise the most money for breast cancer research, and Notre Dame’s women’s basketball team has continued to make the event its signature cause.“It originally started as a competition for all of women’s basketball, and we just kept going with it,” Sharla Lewis, special events coordinator for the women’s basketball team, said. “They’ve renamed it to Play 4Kay, but we keep it at Pink Zone because all of our fund doesn’t go to the Kay Yow [Cancer Fund.] Seventy-five percent goes to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, then we have five percent that goes to Riverbank Cancer Services and then the other 20 percent goes to Kay Yow.”Tabbitha Ashford, fitness and instructional program coordinator for RecSports, said the Spin-A-Thon is a more recent addition to the Pink Zone, which originally started with the Pink Game played every year by the women’s basketball team.“This is our fifth [Spin-A-Thon], but I believe women’s basketball has been involved six or seven years now,” she said. “Originally it was 24 hours, noon to noon, Friday through Saturday. … We keep it very basic, so this year it’s $12, but if you want to ride one hour or 12, you can do whatever you prefer.”Ashford said there is always something to occupy the bikers’ time.“Some of those hours are, ‘Hey, we’ve got an instructor coming to teach a class, come get a workout in.’ And then other hours are simply, ‘Hey, come sit on the bike, we’ve got a movie going on,’” Ashford said. “I find the community here is really great about just wanting to be a part of it.”Lewis said in addition to the players who stop in at the Spin-A-Thon, women’s basketball head coach Muffet McGraw is active in the event.“[Coach McGraw] is going to be there at noon on Friday. She looks at this as a way for her to give back, and a lot of times it’s hard for her to get out there, especially during the season, but this is a way for her to be able to give back,” Lewis said. “It’s amazing, I’ve never seen anything like it, and people love Coach McGraw, and Coach McGraw loves and appreciates her fans.”Senior guard Hannah Huffman said she appreciates the Spin-A-Thon as an opportunity to support the team’s fans and thank them for their support throughout the season.“I just think it’s a really great way to give back, because usually the people who are on the bikes either know someone who’s had breast cancer or had breast cancer themselves,” she said. “It’s just really awesome that we get to go encourage them. A lot of them are fans too, and they come and support us, and we’re just playing basketball, and they’re really doing something for a great cause, so it’s really nice that we’re able to go out there and encourage them as well.”In addition to money raised through donations and participation in the Spin-A-Thon, the team is raising money through a fundraiser with Blaze Pizza on Eddy Street this year, selling merchandise at games and auctioning items donated by various members of the Notre Dame community, Lewis said.“I’m just amazed about how we support each other,” she said. “We have a Bible that’s personalized by [University president Fr. John] Jenkins. It’s amazing how people see the cause and want to be able to help and participate.”Ashford said the highlight of the Pink Zone, though, is the Pink Game against Miami at 1 p.m. Sunday.“A lot of [students] may come to the Spin-A-Thon, but I think they miss out not going to the game,” she said. “It’s not the same as every other game, and it really brings everything together.”Huffman echoed that sentiment and said the Pink Game is now one of the games she looks forward to on the schedule every year.“It’s definitely one of the coolest games,” she said. “I think it’s really cool to see so many fans come and support such a great cause. The gym looks awesome as well. It’s just really cool to see the kind of support that they’re not only giving us but [also] giving a great cause.”Lewis said the community’s support of the team and people battling breast cancer is clear at the Pink Game.“We ask that the cancer survivors come down, and we wrap around the baseline of the court and we either have our boxers or our rugby team come out, and they give the survivors roses while we have our halftime performance,” she said.Huffman said the Pink Zone fundraiser makes her understand her position as a student-athlete, the support of the fans and the cause.“I think sometimes we take for granted the platform that we’re able to be on as student-athletes, and I think that realizing that you can make a difference and do something so great is definitely satisfying, and it makes you realize it’s just bigger than basketball,” she said.Tags: Breast Cancer Research, fundraiser, Pink Zone, Spin-A-Thonlast_img read more

Bookstore Basketball referee dismissed due to racially-charged comment

first_imgThe annual Bookstore Basketball tournament is intended to encourage friendly competition for a common, positive cause. This environment came into question Thursday evening, as a referee was dismissed mid-game following what Holy Cross junior Kasey Schaffer called a “racial comment” directed at a player.During a quarterfinal Bookstore Basketball game, Holy Cross junior Ja’Mare Washington, a member of the “Big Bodies” team, argued a foul called against him by the referee officiating his game. Soon after, Schaffer, a fan in attendance, witnessed an “inappropriate” interaction between Washington and the referee in question, as the referee made a comment that seemed to call Washington’s intelligence into question.“The [referee] called a foul on [Washington], and he was frustrated by it and made a comment about how she should read the rule book or something, and then she responded to him — literally in the exact words, she said: ‘Do you even know what a book is,’” Schaffer said.After hearing the comment from the sidelines, Schaffer said she and other fans in attendance were taken aback by the racially-charged statement toward Washington, who is black.“ … All of our jaws just dropped, and the player was like, ‘Did you really just say that?’” she said. “The game just kept going.”The Bookstore Basketball Commission said the statement made by the referee was inexcusable and that the referee was dismissed mid-game.“The Bookstore Basketball and Student Activities staff take appropriateness during the tournament very seriously,” the Commission said in a statement via email. “When made aware of the incident, Bookstore volunteers immediately told Student Activities staff on duty. SAO staff spoke with the lead referee, and the referee involved was asked to leave in the middle of the game — as we would ask any player, spectator or individual present should they act or speak inappropriately.”Holy Cross senior and “Big Bodies” captain Thomas Rowe said he made the Bookstore Basketball staff members who were present aware of the incident, although he was unable to hear the comment first-hand.“I was the one who talked to the people that were running bookstore, just letting them know what was going on,” Rowe said. “ … Obviously [I was] defending my teammate … I went into the bookstore to get a drink, and when I came back a couple of my buddies said, ‘Yeah, [the referee is] gone now.’”The Commission said it plans to pursue further action to reiterate its stance on appropriate conduct with its referees. “Additionally, we plan to speak again with the lead referee regarding our expectations in an effort to ensure inappropriate behavior does not occur in the future,” it said.Tags: Bookstore Basketball 2017, Referees, Student Activities Officelast_img read more