Graduate students to file petition

first_imgThe Catholic Church sees access to adequate health care as a human right, and this right is not provided affordably for graduate students’ spouses and children, graduate theology student Ricky Klee said.Klee, with others, has organized a “family-friendly petition” to ask University officials to change current University policies to better reflect a family atmosphere.“The University health care plan is not provided affordably,” Klee said. “Many spouses and children are not insured.”According to the University’s graduate student Web site, 75 percent of the premium cost for health insurance for the graduate student is subsidized. For the 2010-11 school year, the premium is $1,239. The student will pay $309, which only covers the graduate student.Spousal insurance costs $3,098 per year, Klee said. In comparison, similar plans cost $1,774 at the Catholic University of America and $1,024 at the University of Dayton. Sometimes spouses and children can go on state-funded health care, Klee said, but complications can surface.Michael Driessen, a fifth-year political science graduate student and Quality of Life chair on the Graduate Student Union (GSU), said the initial graduate student policies weren’t designed for students with spouses and children in mind.“I think the petition itself is a response to the fact that the larger student body at Notre Dame and many of the faculty and administration are really unaware of some of the specific difficulties Notre Dame married students encounter,” he said.Health care isn’t the only major point of the petition, Klee said.The final point of the nine recommendations, entitled “Gender Equity In Leadership At Notre Dame,” states, “Family concerns cannot be considered apart from the poor state of balance between genders at the top administrative, professorial and governance levels of the University.”“This situation is broadly recognized among Ivy League schools,” Klee said. “Female grad students need special support to finish degrees, even with families.”The petition aims to compare Notre Dame to other schools of its caliber, Klee said. For example, Notre Dame’s faculty is predominantly male.Peter Campbell, international graduate student and Village Representative to the GSU, said the University doesn’t extend a woman’s funding by the amount she takes off for maternity leave.“Women need that time,” Campbell said. “The University doesn’t pause funding while a woman is away from work.”Klee added: “There’s no true maternity leave for female graduate students. There’s also no paternity leave. It forces the mother to be the sole care giver.”In comparison, Yale and Princeton both provide paid leave for graduate students.Jamie O’Hare, Assistant Rector for University Village, recent graduate in the Theology Ph.D. program and mother of three, said Notre Dame’s growth out of an all-male school may be why most policies are aimed at the needs for single, non-childbearing students.“Grad students are the age at which many people get married and have children, and at a Catholic institution many of those people will be bearing children, or they’re not following church teaching,” O’Hare said. “I think that it fits with Notre Dame’s Catholic mission to not make following church teaching a burden.”O’Hare said the low University stipend for Arts and Letters graduate students causes difficulties for growing families. She said when she and her family arrived at Notre Dame, theology stipends were $11,700 a year, growing to $13,500. She worked a second job at University Park Mall until their second child was born.“I am a teacher by training, and I couldn’t put two babies in daycare, teach all day, grade all night and keep my life running smoothly enough to justify spending so much time away from my family,” O’Hare said. Now with a position on the housing staff at University Village, O’Hare said living on campus is difficult for Ph.D. student families.The current stipend for Arts and Letters graduate families is around $16,000, she said. The 2009 federal poverty rate for a family of three is $18,310, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.“This forces families to make tough decisions or risk financial ruin,” she said.Campbell said the University should support the graduate students because they are the examples of what Notre Dame would want the undergraduate students to become.“[The graduate students are] married people who have families, professional careers, who have families and are devout Catholics and doing what Catholicism tells them to do: have children,” Campbell said. “So when I get off the trolley at the Village, there are a lot young men and women on the trolley. Often, when parents get off the trolley their children will be running to them, leaping into their arms. I think to myself, isn’t that a perfect symbol of the kind of values that the University wants to instill in its undergrads?”O’Hare added: “[Graduate students] have different needs from the rest of the student population, and addressing these needs more adequately will benefit the school by attracting the best grad students and lowering the stress level of current students. “The group of graduate students will have a demonstration on April 20 from 11:30 a.m. to noon in front of the Main Building to formally submit the petition, Klee said.“It’s a chance for everyone to provide their own voice,” Klee said. “We’re hoping for lots of people.”last_img read more

Rave for the Brave to benefit injured soldiers

first_imgGlowsticks. Three DJs. Free pizza. T-shirts. While students will be able to find all of these things at the Rave for the Brave tonight in Stepan Center, senior Chris Luboja said the event has a deeper meaning. All the proceeds from the Rave will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that supports severely injured members of the military as they transition back to civilian life. “Rave for the Brave is …. a great way to celebrate the lives of those men and women who sacrifice so much for us everyday,” Luboja said. The Rave is co-sponsored by Stanford Hall, Lewis Hall and the Trident Naval Society. “This event is really the first major dance on campus that is open to all students, not just those from a particular dorm,” Luboja said. “Stepan is ready for Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students to have a night filled with music, lights and smoke.” Standford assistant rector Andrew Balhoff said advertising for the event has already been met with success. “It will be amazing,” Balhoff said. “This is an inaugural event, but even so, we have over 1,100 people attending.” The Rave will begin at 10 p.m. tonight in Stepan Center. Balhoff said the venue would be transformed for the event. “We purchased 30,000 glow sticks, and 1,200 lasers will also be in use tonight at Stepan,” Balhoff said. “In addition, a smoke machine will emit 13,500 cubic feet of smoke per minute … We’ll have as much free pizza as you can eat.” Luboja said the organizers booked three DJs for the event. “Two of our DJs, Stanford’s own DJ Thayer and DJ ROC, come from the Notre Dame community, and the third, Vico Ono, is a Los Angeles native who has performed at locations like the Roxy Theater, Delicious Vinyl and Geisha House,” Luboja said. “He has had multiple tracks atop the Hypem [Hype Machine] Top 20 list.” Luboja said tickets would cost $5 and include the cost of pizza and glow sticks. “Further donations may be made for t-shirts and additional glow sticks,” he said.last_img read more

Politican discusses Ireland’s global economy

first_imgThose who picture Ireland in terms of sheep and rolling green landscapes may be shocked to learn the nation is far more than just a leader in agricultural exports: it is a business hub drawing major financial, technology and pharmaceutical corporations from around the globe. In her lecture Thursday titled, “An Irish Perspective: Doing Business in a Global Economy,” Irish politician and legislator Mary Hanafin detailed Ireland’s successful integration into today’s highly interconnected global economy. Hanafin attributed Ireland’s increased global economic integration in large part to the recent decline in sectarian violence and conflict between the Northern and Southern regions of the country. She said Ireland’s transformation into a “nation at peace,” a nation emphasizing friendship and cooperation rather than strife, has helped redefine negative perceptions of the country, improving not only the lives of citizens but the health of the economy. “During those early 70s years, when you said to people, particularly people who didn’t speak English, that you were from Ireland, they would say ‘boom boom,’ and they didn’t mean an economic boom,” Hanafin said. “They meant fighting and bombs and killing.” Hanafin said taking a stroll through Dublin, the capital city, will reveal to any visitor the nation’s leading role in international business. She said Dublin has become a major center for the communications industry, attracting corporate giants such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google. Hanafin said Ireland’s educational system has played a large part in attracting foreign business and investment by fostering a highly creative, technically skilled young worker population. “It is the quality and the availability of skilled people that make Ireland attractive and special,” Hanafin said. Ireland’s membership in the European Union, as well its low corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent, also boosts its appeal among corporations seeking high rates of return on their investments, Hanafin said. She said evidence of this can been seen in the large sums of money invested in Ireland internationally. “The USA invests more dollars in Ireland than it does in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa combined, and we’re only a little country of 4.5 million people,” Hanafin said. “But we’re also a country that takes our business, and our business with the world, very seriously.” Hanafin said Irish companies continue to think globally, providing everything from airport biometric screening in Japan to a communications system that currently directs roughly 50 percent of mobile phone traffic in the United States. Hanafin was most struck by the extent of this global economic integration upon visiting a children’s school in the United Arab Emirates. She said watching students use Irish software to learn the Quran was “globalization at its best.” Looking forward, Hanafin said Ireland will continue to foster cooperative economic ties with nations around the world, sharing its distinct culture and heritage while learning to appreciate the cultures of other peoples. “It is about respecting not only own our culture, but the culture of the countries with who we do business,” Hanafin said. “It’s about appreciating the importance of dialogue, and friendship, and peace as a small, neutral nation in a very troubled world.” Contact Dan Brombach at [email protected]last_img read more

Speaker examines ethical decisions

first_imgAnn Tenbrunsel, director of the Institute for Ethical Business Worldwide, discussed the discrepancy between promises and actions in her talk titled “Ethical Blind Spots,” which took place in the Mendoza College of Business on Wednesday as part of Notre Dame’s Ethics Week.Tenbrunsel said ethical knowledge does not always translate to actions.“People that think a lot and know a lot about ethics are not necessarily immune to unethical behavior,” she said.She asked the audience to rate themselves on a scale of zero to 100 of how ethical they consider themselves to be, with zero being not ethical, 50 being average and 100 being the most ethical.“People rate themselves higher than they should,” she said. “Not only do we inflate how good we are relative to other people, we hyper inflate our own ethicality.”Tenbrunsel said the three steps of ethical decision-making are prediction, action and reflection.“Studies show a large discrepancy between prediction and action, and this is known as forecasting errors,” she said.Tenbrunsel said people often make forecasting errors when they think about charitable giving. Most people predict that when the time comes, they will donate a dollar or so to a charity, but less than half of them actually end up doing so, she said.This phenomenon has to do with the difference between desirability and feasibility, Tenbrunsel said. Visceral forces, such as hunger, tiredness and fear, even influence our ethical decisions.“The more sleep-deprived you are, the more likely that you will behave unethically,” she said.Another reason for the discrepancy between prediction and action is “ethical fading,” Tenbrunsel said.“[Ethical fading is] a process by which the moral colors of an ethical decision fade into bleached hues that are void of moral implications,” she said.Tenbrunsel said she aims to help people to recognize their ethical illusions and thus avoid ethical fading and correctly compartmentalize ethical questions.“[Then] we can work to become the people that we want to be,” she said.Tags: business, Ethics weeklast_img read more

University prepares to build research facility

first_imgSaturday, the University broke ground on McCourtney Hall, a “world-class research facility” to be located east of the Hesburgh Library, according to a Notre Dame press release.“McCourtney Hall creates a great opportunity for the research programs in science and engineering at Notre Dame,” Robert Bernhard, vice president for research at Notre Dame, said in a statement. “The building is designed as a collaborative and adaptive space to encourage cross-disciplinary research interaction along the entire continuum of basic and applied research. … We expect the building to be a game-changer for science and engineering research at Notre Dame.”Set for completion in June 2016, the building will house the department of chemical and biomolecular engineering from the College of Engineering as well as the department of chemistry and biochemistry from the College of Science. It will also feature about 100,000 square feet of laboratory and team spaces, 40,000 square feet of which will remain “unassigned to facilitate new hires,” the release stated.“McCourtney Hall is the first dedicated research building to be constructed in a planned larger East Campus Research Complex,” the release stated. “The research quad will create, for the first time at Notre Dame, a space for highly collaborative, state-of-the-art research that crosses the Colleges of Science and Engineering. The building will support research space needs that are currently unmet on campus and facilitate current Strategic Research Initiatives and the Advancing Our Vision hiring plans within the molecular sciences.”A $35 million gift from alumnus Ted H. McCourtney and his wife, Tracy, underwrote the construction of the building. Alumnus and Notre Dame trustee Thomas J. Crotty, Jr. and his wife, Shari, donated $10 million for the facility.Tags: alumnus, College of Engineering, College of Science, donation, engineering, gift, McCourtney Hall, research, sciencelast_img read more

Lecture relates gap of scholars and policymakers

first_imgAnnmarie Soller | The Observer Abraham Lowenthal, professor emeritus at the University of Southern California and adjunct professor at Brown University, discusses the ideological differences between policymakers and scholars Tuesday evening in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.In the field of international relations, a large gap exists between scholars and policymakers, and it is widening as policymakers demand black-and-white solutions and scholars become increasingly theoretical in their solutions, Lowenthal said.Policymakers see scholars as “absorbed and abstract” and “primarily interested in crafting theories … rather than in illuminating much less recommending solutions to pressing problems,” Lowenthal said. Scholars, on the other hand, “disdain the simplifications and lack of analytic rigor” of policymakers “interested in outcomes but not in understanding causality.”“It is fitting that I am here at this early stage because the purpose of the Keough School initiative and of this modest new book is exactly aligned,” Lowenthal said. “That is, to help develop stronger, more effective relations between scholars and policy makers with the aims both in improving policy and strengthening academic research and teaching.”Lowenthal referenced the creation of the first new college or school at the University in almost 100 years: the Donald R. Keough School of Global Affairs.“Developing more fruitful relations among scholars and policymakers is such an important and indeed such an obvious goal,” Lowenthal said. “But frankly, it has not been high on the agenda, either for most scholars or for most policymakers.”Michael Desch, chair of the department of political science, illustrated the evidence behind the “gaping chasm” between academics and politicians.“We did a one-of-a-kind survey of major national security decision makers … and asked them what of contemporary academic social science do you find useful in the process of actually making policy. And the answers were not encouraging. Not zero, but very little,” Desch said.Desch said he attributes the main causes of the widening gap between scholars and policymakers to two main factors: first, changes in government where research and advice on foreign policy is now done internally within the government bureaucracy and, second, the change in public opinion where the citizens view academics and scholars negatively.Professor Bartkus, associate professor of management, focused on the core aspect of rebuilding the bridge between scholars and policymakers. She said finding the common ground between scholars and policymakers does not entail a search for a place that already exists but rather envisioning and creating a shared space while having “the courage to take the first step.”“Of course, [creating that common ground is] not going to be easy because we’re going to keep talking past each other,” Bartkus said. “I have an entire class where my students talk past each other. The beginning of Business on the Front Lines, we had MBA students and Kroc students; they talk past each other every single class. Why? Because there’s a whole set of MBAs who are looking at the Kroc students going, ‘How are you even relevant?’ And the Kroc students are looking at the MBA students, ‘How are you not evil?’”“You have to put both of them against a really tough, substantive, important problem like rebuilding war-torn societies … for us to be forced to start having that kind of common language, common dialogue,” she said.Lowenthal praised Notre Dame for taking “a very big and welcome step to address this combination of problem and opportunity” with the creation of the Keough School of Global Affairs, and he said he hopes that his book can also contribute to the same goal by “helping to illuminate what needs to be done and how to achieve success in building better bridges between the scholarly and policy communities.” Tags: academia, Foreign Policy, Kellogg Institute, policymakers, political science, politicians In a panel hosted by the Kellogg Institute, Abraham F. Lowenthal, professor emeritus at the University of Southern California and adjunct professor at Brown University, discussed the launch of his new book on the waning relationship between scholars and policymakers today. Michael Desch, chair of the department of political science, and Viva Bartkus, associate professor of management, joined Lowenthal for discussion of policy and academia.last_img read more

The Shirt Project celebrates 25th anniversary

first_imgFounded in 1990, The Shirt Project is the largest student-run fundraiser at the University of Notre Dame. The project’s president and vice presidents estimate that it is also the number-one-selling single piece of collegiate apparel, selling over 150,000 units each year in the last few years.Currently, the project is celebrating its 25th anniversary by auctioning off 24 of the 26 Shirts, signed by coaches and players who were at the University during each of those respective years. The auction will run until Dec. 10.The Shirt Committee’s current vice president Molly Howell, who will be replaced next semester when she goes abroad, described the circumstances surrounding the creation of The Shirt.“It started in 1990, it was the idea of a student [Brennan Harvath] who ran An Tostal,” Howell said. “He worked on it over the summer between his junior and senior year. It was his idea to use the shirt to raise funds for An Tostal.“He had a design in mind, and then he worked with hall presidents and different people on campus — through letters really, over the summer — to sell the shirt and have it ready for the first game. So that sort of started the mission of the Shirt in the sense that its funds were meant to be used to support the student body and student activities.”President of The Shirt Committee junior Abbey Dankoff said Harvath also hoped to use the shirt as a way to unite the student body.“He told us this recently … that he was a member of the band so one of the major reasons that he wanted to start The Shirt was that they all had to wear uniforms in the band,” Dankoff said. “He thought there should be a unifying front for the students as well. He really liked that idea, a unified student section.”Howell said the first Shirt sold out in its first weekend. After its initial success, another Shirt was created for the University’s Miami game later in the 1990 season, she said.“Later in the season, a graduate student had been injured in a car accident and so they decided to create [the] second Shirt,” Howell said. “This didn’t come from Harvath, but others on campus saw the success of the first shirt and decided that they would like to do another t-shirt sale to raise funds for the student because he was suffering from extraordinary medical costs. It did very well as well.“That established the second part of the Shirt as it is today — part of the profits go to a certain fund that helps students that are suffering from extraordinary medical conditions and have these costs that they just can’t afford to pay.”Dankoff said about 2 million Shirts have been sold in the last 25 years and around $8 million raised. Dankoff said that the committee does not have concrete numbers because good records were not kept during the first few years of The Shirt Project. Until several years ago there were only six members of The Shirt Committee, and presently there are ten, Dankoff said.“So the Shirt has definitely grown and evolved in the last 25 years. And today, it’s a little different, it still has the basic mission to support and unite the student body, but the funds go a few different places now,” Howell said. “Once we have the profits from the shirt, which go directly to us, they are divided into two separate accounts. One is the Student Union, and one is the Shirt Charity Endowment.”Half of the profit money goes to the Student Union, and it is then split into two parts; some goes to help to help fund the more than 400 clubs on campus, and to alleviate the student activity fee that, because of the money from The Shirt, has not gone up since 2010 according to Howell. The other money that goes to the Student Union goes into the Student Union endowment, which allows for The Shirt Project to grow, Howell said.The other half goes towards charities funded by The Shirt Project, Howell said.“It goes to two different things; one is the Rector Fund, which people might be familiar with,” Howell said. “It’s the fund that students can apply to get funds from, for football tickets, for dance tickets, for senior photos; things that most Notre Dame students do and participate in but that do have a financial component. If they can’t afford it, they apply for the Rector Fund. It’s called the Rector Fund because you go through you rector to apply for it.”Dankoff said another important aspect of the rector fund is academic instead of social.“We do currently also cover textbooks while supplies last, but traditionally the rector fund is completely used up before winter break, within the fall semester it is usually used up,” Dankoff said. “We are actually working currently on a reallocation of the rector fund and a redistribution towards it that would allow more money to go there.”Howell said the second part of the money from The Shirt charities goes to helping students with large medical costs.“The second portion of funds goes to The Shirt charity medical account,” Howell said.  “Students may also apply to that one if they are for whatever reason unfortunately suffering from extraordinary illness or an accident and they have these medical costs. That’s confidential, and we don’t deal directly with those individuals, it goes through the financial management board which is run by students.”With the proposed reallocation of funds, Howell said there would be $100,000 in the medical account at all times, while the remainder of the charity money would go to the Rector Fund, which is funded solely by The Shirt Project. Ideally, this would make more funds available to students.“Our main message is that all the funds in different ways are returned back to the student body, or are available for the student body to use,” Howell said.Dankoff and Howell both stressed that the purpose of The Shirt Project is to aid students at the University.“Just by purchasing a shirt, students are really supporting themselves and supporting everybody else at this university,” Dankoff said. “It really kind of adds to the inclusiveness of the mission of Notre Dame as a whole.”Tags: Shirt Charity Endowment, Student Union, The Shirt, The Shirt Projectlast_img read more

2016 Election Observer: Vincent Phillip Muñoz

first_imgEditor’s Note: Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, The Observer will sit down with Notre Dame experts to break down the election and its importance to students. In this second installment, News Writer Rachel O’Grady asks Tocqueville Associate Professor of Political Science Vincent Phillip Muñoz about the upcoming primaries and the biggest issues of the campaign.Rachel O’Grady: With the Iowa caucuses just a few days away and New Hampshire not long after, what should we be looking for as the results come in?Professor Muñoz: I suppose the number one question for the Republican primary is: Do Trump supporters actually turn out to vote? If they don’t, the Donald might be in for a quick fall. Or perhaps that’s just my wishful thinking. For the Democrats: Can Bernie Sanders actually win one of the early states and, if he does, can he transform that victory into a perception that he could actually defeat Clinton? And if Trump and Sanders win in Iowa and New Hampshire, expect lots of talk about a third party challenger mounting a run — Bloomberg?ROG: The average age of Supreme Court justices right now is 75, so it is likely our next president will have at least one Supreme Court nominee. How does that play into the primary and, more importantly, the general election?VPM: Given the blockbuster cases that have been or will be decided before November, I expect we will hear quite a bit about the Supreme Court and the type of justice each candidate would appoint. Perhaps it’s because it’s still relatively early, but I’m surprised we have not heard more about how a Cruz presidency coupled with a Republican Senate might actually lead to a reversal of the Court’s decision to protect same-sex marriage. That’s a long shot for any number of reasons, but given that Justice Ginsburg is 82 and Justice Breyer is 77, it’s not out of the question. And if Hillary Clinton were to win and Justice Scalia were to leave the Court (he is 79), the Court would surely move to the left, likely ensuring another generation of constitutional protection for abortion.ROG: There are a number of important Supreme Court decisions that have happened under the Obama administration, many of which Republicans have called unconstitutional, and we’re hearing a lot about it during the debates. Does this end up being a long-term issue?VPM: Supreme Court decisions are almost always a long-term issue, which is one of the reasons why they are so important.ROG: In your research and opinion, what do you think will be the most important issue in the general election?VPM: President Obama’s reelection in 2012 was the first time in my political lifetime (thankfully, I’m too young to remember Jimmy Carter) that the country elected a progressive president. In 2008, Obama presented himself as “post-partisan,” but that wasn’t possible or plausible in 2012. In November, we will find out if the country wants to continue down a progressive path.ROG: Taking it back to college campuses, particularly here at Notre Dame, what issues do you think students need to be paying attention to in the coming months?VPM: Since gay rights and religious freedom (not to mention free speech, affirmative action and campaign finance reform) are significantly impacted by the judiciary, understanding the type of judges and Supreme Court justices a candidate would appoint is critically important if one wants to vote intelligently on these issues. This, of course, is one of the reasons we started the Constitutional Studies Minor.Tags: 2016 Election Observer, 2016 presidential campaign, primary elections, Supreme Courtlast_img read more

SMC expands academic and athletic facilities

first_imgNew fields and traditions are taking root at Saint Mary’s this spring as construction progresses on the Patricia Wiedner Purcell Athletic Fields and yet-unnamed Science Hall.Austin Stahley, manager of energy and facilities projects, said in an email that the concession building of the field complex has been finished, and permanent power for the athletic complex had been completed at the end of the December. This enabled all the equipment and lighting to be energized, he said.The last five to 10 percent of field construction, including softball field fine-turning and drainage and seeding, will resume in the spring, Stahley said.“At this time, there are numerous variables that will affect our decision on how soon the fields will be available for practices, games, events, etc.,” Stahley said. “We will be monitoring the maturity of the turf to determine when appropriate conditions have been met to avoid adverse effects to the complex as a whole.”The fields include a soccer, lacrosse and softball field, Athletic Director Julie Schroeder-Biek said.“To have a field dedicated to each of those sports is huge because most colleges will share a soccer field and lacrosse field,” Schroeder-Biek said. “We have independent fields for each of those sports, and that’s incredibly exciting.”A new lighting system will also benefit the student athletes of the College, she said.“I am thrilled about the lights,” Schroeder-Biek said. “We’ll have night games, and that will allow [the students] to stay in class a little bit longer, and that will be less class time missed.”Schroeder-Biek said the complex also includes a scoreboard and press boxes. The most recent large-scale athletic department renovation was the construction of the current Angela Athletic Facility in 1977, she said.“[The new complex] is finally what this campus deserves in terms of varsity athletic fields,” she said. “Now they have that NCAA DIII varsity athletics feel. … I can’t wait for the visiting teams to see the fields. The soccer fields were the best fields in the league, and now I’m really excited about the look and the quality.”The presence of a large, French cross-shaped gate and the likely addition of a bell to ring before games and after victories adds to the collegiate curb appeal and new traditions brought by the project, she said.Senior lacrosse captain Kristen Whalen said she is excited about developing and sharing new traditions with the lacrosse team this season.“The iron gates featuring the French cross at the entrance are absolutely marvelous,” Whalen said. “I can’t wait to watch them become another charming and distinguishable feature at Saint Mary’s, like the iconic Le Mans façade.”The use of the fields this spring season depends on the stability of the newly-grown root base and subsoil, Schroeder-Biek said.“They’re beautiful, and we’re all so anxious to get out on those fields,” Schroeder-Biek said. “And it’s so much easier on the student-athlete experience. It was really tough on soccer this fall to have to go off-site all the time for practices. “We’re really hopeful we can be out there in the spring,” she said. “We’re at that wait-and-see moment right now.”Whalen said she is also anxious to play on the fields and believes pride in the new complex will feed into the team’s competitive edge.“In the past, our home facilities have been fairly rugged in comparison to larger, co-ed schools in our conference,” Whalen said. “On and off the field, a Belle exudes class, is fiercely competitive and relentlessly puts her best foot forward until the end — now we are blessed to have a facility that embodies these characteristics, too.”“I am so humbled by the Purcells’ generosity,” Whalen said. “The attention to detail surpasses everything I could have hoped for. The thought of playing on the field for Senior Day [on April 16] is honestly more exciting than graduation.”Plans for a future renovation and addition onto Angela Athletic Facility are in discussion, Schroeder-Biek said.Construction of the Science Hall is also making progress and is on track to meet the fall 2016 completion date, Stahley said in an email. The mild winter has been beneficial in keeping on track, he said.“We’ve been able to keep a constant workforce on site to enable the project’s success and fall completion,” Stahley said. “For example, with the minimal amount of snow, less attention and labor hours are being delegated toward usually important items such as snow removal on the roof.“This benefits everyone’s progress because of the connection and coordination between the different trades.”Currently, attention is being focused on the existing south side, he said.“Due to the phasing aspect of this project, certain classrooms and lab spaces need to be completed before we can begin demolition and renovation of existing areas to maintain associated learning environments,” Stahley said. “The majority of the remaining work will not be completed earlier than this summer or fall of 2016.” Tags: construction update, new athletic fields, new science hall, SMClast_img read more

CEO confronts gender in global consumer economy

first_imgThe Mendoza College of Business and the University’s gender studies program hosted Bridget Brennan, CEO of Female Factor and author of “Why She Buys,” on Thursday to discuss women’s role in business.Brennan’s lecture, “Top Trends in Marketing and Selling to Women,” began by explaining the growth trends in the marketplace. She addressed the fact that nations like Brazil, China and India tend to be labeled as the greatest growth markets, but she emphasized that the commonly unmentioned female market is especially large.“Women are now considered to be one of the world’s largest emerging growth markets because of women’s increased economic participation, educational levels and political participation,” Brennan said.This increased female presence in the market has resulted in the creation of programs targeting women by major companies, she said. Brennan said companies like Under Armour, Levi’s and Harley-Davidson are developing these types of programs with the hope of increasing their brand by including women.“Women are the engine of the consumer economy, driving between 70 and 80 percent of all consumer purchases,” she said.The domination of women in the marketplace can attributed to two factors: buying power and influence, Brennan said. An increased percentage of women with a higher education has increased their earning power and contributes to their buying power, she said.“Influence means that even when a woman isn’t paying for something with her own money … she is typically the influencer or veto vote behind somebody else’s purchase,” Brennan said.Additionally, Brennan aimed to counter the stereotypes surrounding women and shopping. As opposed to the misconceptions that women only care about shopping for shoes or handbags, she explained that women’s spending habits serve a greater purpose.“The reason women are so responsible for consumer spending is because, in virtually every society in the world, women have primary caregiving responsibilities for both children and the elderly — and just about everyone in between,” Brennan said.Such a culture has led to a “multiplier effect,” Brennan said. Because women tend to be responsible for purchasing things for the important people in their lives, they influence the market for even items like men’s athletic apparel, she said.As a result, Brennan’s work at Female Factor has focused on identifying and monitoring women’s trends in the market. The first major trend Brennan said she saw was the large percentage of women in today’s labor force.Because 70 percent of women with children under the age of 18 are a part of the labor force, today’s business must accommodate for time limitations on women’s shopping, Brennan said. Operational hour changes and convenience-focused business models are ways in which companies can address time needs.“With less time, there’s a demand for services, not just products,” Brennan said.Similarly, Brennan has also observed trends relating to the delayed marriages of today’s women. Because women tend to wait until the age of 27 to get married and because they are more active in the labor force, they are more likely to have the desire and means to purchase things before marriage.Brennan said the delayed marriages also have an effect on family formation that influences the market. For example, women married later in life tend to have kids at a later time, and because they are older, they are more entrenched in their personal brand and impose this brand on their kids.“Many brands are finding that they have an opportunity to either age up or age down the spectrum because there is a broader embracing of brands across the age spectrum,” Brennan said.A variety of additional trends led by the female market, such as social media and fitness trends, have highlighted the increased role of female empowerment in advertising, Brennan said.“It is positive to see that strength and femininity is being positioned as something powerful in the marketplace,” she said.Tags: business, gender, market, women, women in the labor forcelast_img read more