James Walton, professor emeritus of English at the University of Notre Dame, died Saturday after a brief illness. He was 74 years old. A 1959 Notre Dame alumnus, the Blue Island, Ill.-bred Walton also earned master’s and doctoral degrees in English from Northwestern University in 1960 and 1963, respectively, according to a University press release. Walton joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1963 and taught popular courses on the English novel and 18th-century literature until he retired in 2003. Throughout his career and after his retirement, Walton was a prolific writer of fiction and literary criticism. He also earned the respect of generations of colleagues and students during his tenure at Notre Dame. “From his earliest days on the English faculty, Jay had marvelous range,” Donald Sniegowski, professor emeritus of English, said. “His major publications included an edition of eighteenth-century correspondence, a novel, ‘Margaret’s Story,’ and a critical study of J. S. Le Fanu. He edited a wonderful anthology of poetry by Notre Dame poets and published numerous scholarly articles. With characteristic wit and self-deprecation, he tried to hide his light under a bushel, but quite a few of us knew differently.” Walton’s legacy lasts to the present-day deparment. “Jay’s contributions to this department are legendary, but the chief one was, and remains, his friendship,” Valerie Sayers, professor and chair of Notre Dame’s English department, said. “Our best students, undergraduate and graduate, revered him as much for his acerbic bons mots as for his personal generosity.” More recently, Walton became involved with Notre Dame’s Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the University’s Creative Writing Program, according to the release. Walton is survived by his wife, Carole, his daughter, Ann Caroline Walton, a son, Jack, and four grandchildren. A funeral service will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Welsheimer Family Funeral Home North, 17033 Cleveland Rd., South Bend. Visitation with the family will take place at the funeral home from 3 p.m. until the service begins. A private burial will take place at Cedar Grove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County or The Center for Hospice Care.
Right before President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney debated for the first time on live television Wednesday night, economist Jared Bernstein spoke on the government’s role in the economy. Bernstein, former economics advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, addressed students and faculty at the annual McBride lecture. “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen an election that so starkly presented a choice about the role of government in our economy and in our economic lives,” Bernstein said. The two parties have different views on the government’s role in the economy, Bernstein said. “The question is: What’s the proper function of the government in advanced economies like ours?” he said. Both candidates believe markets and market forces should dominate, Bernstein said. “It’s not a matter of one side believing the government should do everything and the other side believing the government shouldn’t do everything,” he said. “It’s a matter of where you draw the line. I’m talking to younger people now. I want you to think yourself of where you would draw that line.” In an interview before the lecture, Bernstein said the jobs market is up for debate because the unemployment rate is still too high. “The budget deficit aspect is a trickier discussion in the sense that the budget deficit itself is a function of the great recession, and as the economy recovers from that, the pressure from the budget deficit will naturally come down,” Bernstein said. “But it will certainly be a part of the discussion.” Bernstein said neither candidate has offered sufficiently concrete plans to improve the job market. “It’s a little tricky for the president in the sense that he proposed a plan a year ago called the American Jobs Act in Sept. 2011 and Congress wouldn’t even look at it,” he said. “He has an extra barrier to face; even if he comes up with good ideas he has a Republican House [of Representatives] that is stonewalling him.” Pressure to overcome the barriers between the government and economic solutions will need to come from the public, Bernstein said. “I’m a denizen of Washington and its extremely frustrating to see just how dysfunctional Congress is right now, at a time when we have real economic challenges to face,” he said. “If the economy were humming along at five percent unemployment rate, I might feel less frustrated with this gridlock, but we have big problems to solve, and Congress just threatens to make them worse.” The pressure will need to come from both sides of the political aisle, Bernstein said. “The refusal to compromise is antithetical to getting anything done in politics,” he said. Bernstein’s lecture was part of the Higgins Program, which established the McBride Lecture with the United Steelworkers in 1977 “to better understand the principles of unionism and our economy.” Bernstein is a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The lecture preceded a live streaming of the presidential debate Wednesday night in the Hesburgh Library Auditorium.
Caitlyn Jordan On Tuesday evening, La Fuerza built an “ofrenda” in the Student Center Atrium to honor friends and family who have died as part of “Dia de los Muertos” [Day of the Dead] celebrations. La Fuerza is a student club at Saint Mary’s whose mission is to educate the community on Hispanic cultures and issues.Sophomore Maria Hernandez said the purpose of the “ofrenda,” or altar, is to honor departed souls with items they enjoyed during their earthly lives. Items like favorite foods, flowers and candles adorn the “ofrenda” to commemorate the lives of loved ones.Students gathered Wednesday afternoon to decorate sugar skulls in the Student Center Atrium as a way to represent the departed souls and add them to the “ofrenda.”“Sugar is produced in the masses in Mexico, and the indigenous people learned from the friars how to make art with the sugar they produced,” Hernandez said. “As a result of economic struggles, they created sugar skulls to adorn the ‘ofrendas’ or gravestones of their loved ones.”The Dia de los Muertos activities continued Wednesday evening in the Student Center Atrium with the creation of “papel picado” [paper designs] and “pan de muerto” [bread of the dead] to adorn and finalize the “ofrenda.”These events are part of bringing the Mexican tradition to the Saint Mary’s campus and educating those who are unfamiliar with the traditions, Hernandez said.“Mexican families celebrate Dia de los Muertos because they believe the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on Oct. 31, and the spirits of deceased children are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours,” Hernandez said.It is also believed that on Nov. 2, the spirits of the deceased adults come down to enjoy the festivities prepared for them, Hernandez said.“These two dates are used to celebrate the lives of the loved ones who have passed away because rather than mourning the deaths of these persons, Mexicans choose to celebrate the lives that these individuals lived,” Hernandez said.Dia de los Muertos is an important part of Mexican tradition, and Hernandez said it’s important for diverse populations to participate in these events to learn about another culture. It is also a way for Mexican students to remember their roots and heritage.Hernandez said learning about other cultures often makes people reflect more deeply upon their own cultures. La Fuerza’s goal is to reach out to and advocate for the Latino population, as well as educate the Saint Mary’s community about the traditions and issues that impact the Latino community.“La Fuerza puts on these events to showcase the Latino culture to persons of other backgrounds, as well as remind us of our own culture,” Hernandez said. “[Dia de Los Muertos] is particularly an important holiday because this is a time to remember our loved ones who have passed away.”La Fuerza is a club guided by the philosophy that “a house divided cannot stand,” Hernandez said. What divides people is lack of cultural knowledge, so the club seeks to counter ignorance with Latin-American cultural education, she added.The “ofrenda” will remain in the Student Center Atrium for students to view and remember the lives of their loved ones during the remainder of the week. Tags: day of the dead, dios de los muertos, La Fuerza, ofrenda, saint mary’s
Photo courtesy of Dogs Saving Dogs When sophomore Declan Feeley and senior Keith Wertsching joined the Society for Entrepreneurship, they had no idea they would later launch Dogs Saving Dogs, a jewelry business that donates 50 percent of its profits to save rescue dogs from being euthanized.The two founders now work with volunteer-based animal rescue organizations across the country to provide necessities such as food, bedding and medical care to dogs, according to Wertsching. Customers receive one stainless steel charm, shaped like a paw print, for themselves and one for their dog, Wertsching said.“A lot of people wear jewelry because it says something about them, and I think this portrays a very positive message,” Wertsching said. “This definitely shows people that you are informed, that you care about the rescue mission, and that you like looking good.”The charm sets, which are sold online and in several local boutiques, suit everybody because their purchase directly benefits animals in need, Feeley said.“People who buy this jewelry specifically know they are going to help a rescue dog,” Feeley said. “I just want to keep doing what we’re doing with more dogs and more people.”Their goal is to raise awareness about the unnecessary euthanasia of through jewelry that appeals to a wide audience, Wertsching said.“We want it to look good, but at the same time, we don’t want it to be tailored to one specific type of person,” Wertsching said. “We want to give everyone the chance to wear something to show support for rescue pets.”Feeley said his love of animals and passion for entrepreneurship motivated him to launch the company with Wertsching.“Even if you’re not necessarily adopting a rescue, you definitely have a strong connection with your dog,” Feeley said. “If we went bankrupt tomorrow, we still helped save dogs from being euthanized. We’ve actually done something to help.”As for donating half the company’s profits to shelters in diverse locations, Feeley said it seemed like the right thing to do.“We thought, ‘As much as we can possibly give, let’s just give,’” Feeley said. “We have a lot of fun.”Wertsching said his partnership with Feeley works well because they both remain devoted to expanding the company while prioritizing their charity efforts.“It’s a very surreal feeling when you’re able to represent something greater than yourself,” Wertsching said. “Every day, we get to wake up and say, ‘What am I going to do to save rescue dogs today?’”Feeley and Wertsching said they encourage other young entrepreneurs to pursue their passions while remaining realistic.“There’s always a way for you to start,” Wertsching said. “Entrepreneurship is 10 percent good ideas, 90 percent dealing with when those ideas fall through and 100 percent worth it.”Tags: dogs saving dogs, rescue dogs, society for entrepreneurship
Sarah Olson | The Observer Each floor in the hall hosts a kitchen, the result of a year-long remodeling process of the dorm, during which residents lived in Pangborn Hall, the current “swing dorm” for halls undergoing renovations.“We see it in the original mosaic tile and arches in the hallways, as well as having woodwork play a prominent role in the design and keeping original wood where they could,” Detwiler said.Detwiler said one of the most important changes to Walsh is its accessibility.“The biggest positive change is that Walsh is now accessible to all abilities which really fits into our priority of inclusion,” Detwiler said. “It feels wonderful to be able to offer hospitality and welcome to all residents and guests.”Other new changes to Walsh have included updated bathrooms and plumbing, a new elevator, expanded mailroom, air-conditioned lounges with full kitchens on every floor, a first-floor lobby and coordinated furniture throughout the building.Brigid Walsh, senior and resident assistant in Walsh Hall, said the hallways in Walsh are straight with no turns, but that the third and fourth floors boast beautiful views at the end of their halls of God Quad and South Quad, thanks to new windows.“The windows go from the floor to the ceiling on the two ends of the building,” Walsh said.Walsh said other than the windows, she is also excited about the exposed brick in the two lounges on the fourth floor as well as the new patio porch with tables for outdoor studying when the weather allows for it.In many ways, Walsh said the dorm still feels the same in character, but that it was only the visibly old aspects that were gone, such as the outdated bathrooms and problems with plumbing. However, she said, this was a good thing.“It definitely brings back memories of freshman and sophomore year for me because it is the same building with just some nicer touches,” Walsh said.Walsh said the move to the new building has made her job easier.“It’s been a really positive transition,” she said. “It made being an RA or being on hall staff a lot easier because everyone had so much positivity coming in.”Walsh said what was interesting was that some of the underclassmen never lived in the old Walsh Hall and for them this would be their first and only impression of the hall.“It’s just funny because the freshman never knew old Walsh and neither did the sophomores,” she said. “It’s interesting that those two grades are getting used to the new building.”Detwiler said during the initial move into Pangborn, she became aware of the resiliency of Walsh’s residents.“I believe that the Walsh women handled the transition well,” she said. “They volunteered in droves to help me organize and pack up the hall and unpack it twice, for which I’m eternally grateful.”While the Walsh community has moved out of Pangborn, Badin’s community has moved into it while their dorm undergoes renovations. Detwiler said Pangborn will forever be a part of Walsh’s history.“At the last Mass in Pangborn last year, we spoke about how ‘the Pang’ — as we called it — is now an important part of the Walsh story, and how she has served us well in our time of need. She was the space where our first years came to love the Walsh community and many important memories happened there. “Though we are elated to be back in our renovated home, we have a deep respect for Pangborn. When some upper-class students saw the new Walsh building as they moved in this year, I finally heard the chorus of seven words I had been hoping to hear: ‘Wow— the move was totally worth it.’”Tags: dorm renovations, Pangborn Hall, Walsh Hall The start of the 2017–2018 school year marked the beginning of a new move to a familiar place for the residents of Walsh Hall.Last year, Walsh residents were temporarily moved to Pangborn Hall while Walsh Hall underwent renovations such as repairs and upgrades for some of the communal spaces. Walsh’s rector Liz Detwiler said the renovations were “gorgeous” and that the most important part about the changes that she was particularly pleased with was that the character of Walsh remained intact.
An interdisciplinary team of Notre Dame faculty members came together in order to discuss the detrimental effects of lead in South Bend homes with the local community. The lecture, titled “Getting the Lead Out: Reducing South Bend’s Exposure to Lead,” was part of the Our Universe Revealed series and took place in Jordan Hall.Notre Dame faculty members Graham Peaslee, from the Department of Physics, Marya Lieberman, from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Heidi Beidinger, from the Department of Biological Sciences and Eck Institute for Global Health, spoke about the research they have conducted regarding this issue. Kat Robinson | The Observer Graham Peaslee from the Department of Physics discusses the detrimental impacts of lead in the South Bend community. The lecture was led by an interdisciplinary team of five Notre Dame faculty members.Peaslee said lead exposure is still a problem in the United States, and especially in South Bend, which has six times the amount of Flint levels compared to the rest of the country. Less than ten percent of children are tested for lead levels, he said, which makes it difficult to assess the threat South Bend children could face.He stated that elevated Blood Lead Levels are the most prominent in children, as a result of more open exposure to lead in older homes.“Legacies from leaded paint and gasoline in home built prior to the 1970’s still possess harmful toxins,” Peaslee said.“Lead passes from the paint in these homes’ walls to the dust in the air, to human bodies, to bones.” When lead was discovered as an extremely dangerous toxin, bans were placed against its usage in homes and cars. Peaslee said the Lead Contamination Control Act in 1988 banned lead in virtually all gasoline, and by 1995 lead in gas was completely banned. Likewise, in 1978 lead paint was prohibited in residential houses. “Lead blood levels in the United States decreased dramatically as more bans against lead were set in place,” Peaslee said. However, he added, homes built prior to these prohibitions still pose a threat to residents’ safety — especially for children.“In the production of cars and paint, lead was desirable because of its anti-knock power in cars, and anti-aging supporter in paint,” Peaslee said. Despite its practical usage in utilities, lead has recently been linked to several neurocognitive disabilities, attention deficits, behavioral problems, lower IQ scores and even lower socioeconomic statuses, Peaslee explained. “This is a toxin that is not safe for the body in any amount,” Peaslee said. Marya Lieberman from the department of chemistry and biochemistry went on to describe how exactly lead interacts with the body. “Humans usually come into contact with lead through ingestion and inhalation,” she said. From this initial exposure, Lieberman said, the toxin travels through the bloodstream, to soft tissue, and even reaches bone.“Lead spreads everywhere throughout the body,” she said. The human body finds it difficult to remove and filter out lead’s poisonous effects, Lieberman said. “Its half life in blood is 25 days, in soft tissue 40 days, but once it reaches the bone, lead remains for years,” she said. Lieberman explained that babies from the ages of 6-8 months old are at the highest risk of being poisoned.“Babies crawl on the floor and touch the walls around them, exposing themselves more so than adults to paint in households,” she said. Furthermore, Lieberman explained, children absorb 50 percent of lead into their bodies, compared to only 20 percent for adults.“Children’s high metabolism soaks up the toxins at a much faster rate than their parents,” she said.Lieberman said the body’s tolerable daily intake of lead is equivalent to less than 1 grain of salt, and most people are exposed to much more than this on a daily basis.“There are two ways to measure Blood Lead Levels, which consist of the ‘fingerstick test’ and the venous test,” she said.The “fingerstick test” provides results within minutes, but is much less accurate than the venous test, which takes weeks to give results, Lieberman added.Beidinger said Notre Dame intervened on this issue last January with a Notre Dame Lead Innovation Team. “Our mission is to reach the South Bend community and create a community effort to halt lead poisoning in this area,” she said. Five faculty members collaborated with ten graduate and undergraduate researchers this summer to develop a community based approach to South Bend lead exposure. First, the team analyzed current lead screening tests, Beidinger said. “Less than ten percent of children in the St. Joseph Community have been tested for lead poisoning between 2005 and 2015, and we cannot case manage between the ages of five to ten years old, because of budget cuts from the St. Joseph County Health Department,” Lieberman said. Because of these fundamental screening issues, Lieberman said, there is no comprehensive understanding of what lead poisoning looks like in St. Joseph County. “In addition to this finding, communities of color are disproportionately burdened by this lead exposure in South Bend,” she said. Together, the research team concluded a number of findings based on their investigation of six South Bend homes with lead paint. “Most hazards are hiding in plain sight, such as on coffee table with ceramic tile, on ceramic teapots and kitchen tables,” Lieberman said. The faculty team has a number of grant proposals ready to initiate and is planning to build more collaborations to foster a stronger push toward improvement. “We need city, county and state wide lead efforts, and would like to offer a new course at Notre Dame called ‘Chemistry in Service to Community,’ to study this problem,” Peaslee said. Their overarching efforts are now focused on connecting Notre Dame efforts with the South Bend community in order to eliminate lead poisoning. “We would like to create citizen scientists within South Bend, and advance the technologies we use to study lead poisoning,” Peaslee said. “We hope that these efforts will lead to more Blood Lead Level screening in St. Joseph County.” Tags: lead, Our Universe Revealed, research, South Bend
As Hall President Council (HPC) co-chairs, seniors Alyssa Lyon and Brandon Ryan have brought changes to HPC focused on efficiency and collaboration.“We wanted to create an environment that was a lot more collaborative as opposed to competitive,” Lyon said. “We felt that presidents didn’t want to share what was going on in their dorm so that one could get a leg up, be a better hall, get hall of the year, whatnot. We did a couple changes this year so people are encouraged to share and tell what’s great about your dorm.”As part of the weekly HPC meetings, Lyon and Ryan said they have shortened the time focused on administrative tasks and instead used more time to focus on hall signature events and troubleshooting problems in the dorms.“If you compared a 45-minute [meeting] last year and a 45-minute meeting this year, the ones this year feel so much more productive because what we’ve tried to do is cut out or make really efficient all the administrative and formality stuff,” Ryan said.This year, HPC uses HPChats as a way to get feedback on problems hall presidents are facing. Lyon and Ryan also have started Standouts in the meetings in place of Hey Halls, which allow dorm leadership to present on what’s unique about their dorm instead of giving a dorm history.“It’s shifted from information for information’s sake and no one really caring to actually having a productive source for people to hear new ideas that other dorms are doing,” Ryan said.Lyon and Ryan have also been focusing on aspects of dorm life such as the dorm relationship with the rector, Ryan said.“Some rectors seem to be the heart and soul of the dorm and others seem to be ‘us-against-them,’” he said. “One thing we’ve really been trying to do is see how we can bridge that gap and see how each dorm has an opportunity to make dorm culture better.”The HPC co-chairs have also given their input to a committee working to standardize certain elements of the residential experience, such as dances.“You might go to one dorm and the dance rules are very relaxed, and you might go to another one and the list of rules is two pages long,” Lyon said. “Residents are having a discrepancy of experiences with something that should be pretty standard in the way that they’re run.”An important aspect of the HPC co-chairs’ job is their role in determining Hall of the Year. Lyon and Ryan made changes to the formats of Rocknes at the start of this year. Lyon said the reflections are more concise and hall presidents must list three items that could be improved.They made these changes, Ryan said, to focus less on the presentation and more on the content of the Rocknes.“The thing my rector would say last year is any time you would spend filling out a Rockne, spend that time actually on the dorm — and that’s so true,” he said. “We shouldn’t be awarding people who are basically putting the best ornaments on their Rocknes, it should be about the content.”Lyon said the HPC co-chairs both recognize the problems that exist with the Hall of the Year process and they are working now to make changes that will be implemented for the 2018-2019 school year. They want the process to be more about recognition and less about a competition.“We feel that it should really be more of an afterthought in that at the end of the year whoever really stood out as building a really strong community or transitioning their dorm,” Lyon said. “ … It should be an honor that they receive as opposed to something they’re competing for all year long.”Lyon said she and Ryan will be presenting their recommended changes to student senate by the end of their term. HPC is working to create a more supportive atmosphere among dorms, standardize policies from dorm to dorm and improve the Hall of the Year process, but the changes to the Rocknes appear to be its only concrete solution thus far. Still, each of these goals are promising, and it remains to be seen if HPC’s presentation to senate will make an impact.Grade: B+Tags: 2017 Student Government Insider, Hall of the year, Hall President Council, HPC, Rocknes
Tags: gently used dresses, homecoming, prom, SheCan Boutique Junior Bryn Allen has started an organization that will help young local girls; all that contributors have to do is sift through their closet.Allen came up with the idea of “SheCan Boutique” over this past winter break. The purpose of the organization is to collect gently used prom and homecoming dresses and distribute them to girls in the St. Joseph County school system. The idea, she said, is that financial burdens will not get in the way of letting these girls enjoy a milestone event in high school.“We don’t want cloth to stand in the way from preventing girls to having a great night,” Allen said. “Kind of our motto … is that it’s not just about having a dress for the night, it’s about fostering self-confidence among girls who would not be able to attend their prom due to financial burdens.”Allen said she originally got the idea for SheCan Boutique from her roommate, who was sifting through old clothes in her closet. Her roommate was getting rid all the clothes she did not wear anymore and then asked Allen if she wanted an old dress of hers. The event got her thinking about all the dresses she never wears.“Of all the college students here, probably most of them won’t wear their prom and homecoming dresses anymore,” she said. “The goal is we’re going to be collecting the dresses from girls at Notre Dame and then hopefully the community as well … and then we’ll be partnering with different schools in the area.”The first collection of dresses will take place Friday in LaFortune Student Center, and the second will take place some time after spring break. In April, Allen plans on holding the organization’s first dress drive.“We’re hoping that by doing these collections after significant breaks people have a chance to bring their dresses from home,” she said.Allen said a lot of women at Notre Dame have already shown interest in donating some of their old homecoming and prom dresses. Allen herself has already set aside three of her old dresses. She said both the donor and the receiver benefit, as the donor gets rid of clothes that would otherwise just be taking up space and the receiver gets to attend their school’s dance.“It’s so much more than being stylish for a night,” she said. “It’s really about empowering young girls and showing them that they should be confident and proud of who they are.”The donated dresses will be available completely free of charge to in-need girls in the St. Joseph County area. Allen said they might establish an application system where girls can state their need and reasons for wanting a dress, or she might contact with faculty at local schools to see if they know any students who may not be able to attend homecoming or prom due to financial reasons.Allen said for now, the organization is just working on collecting homecoming and prom dresses, but that she hopes to expand in the future to collect tuxedos as well.“I do know in general there’s a disparity between girls at Notre Dame and girls in the St. Joseph’s County,” she said. “We want to show every girl that whatever they want to do in this world they can do it whether that’s going to college, pursuing their dream jobs, getting married — that’s something that she can do.”
Katelyn Valley | The Observer Popular author Roxane Gay delivers a lecture at Saint Mary’s Wednesday night. She discussed the need for inclusive campuses.This incorrect interpretation of feminism, Gay said, survives because fearing change comes more easily than seeking reform.“The people who create those caricatures are afraid of women’s equality, and they have a lot to lose,” she said. “I think that we are each living examples of what feminism is, and it’s important to recognize that there is no one definition or one person [who] looks like a feminist.”Gay said surviving sexual assault and encountering other issues especially pertinent to women have shaped her perspective as an author.“Writing has also been a way of reasserting control and re-ascribing the narrative that a lot of people have put on me over the years, making assumptions about me,” Gay said. “Writing has always saved me and has given me the kind of control that I have not necessarily felt in other aspects of my life. On the page, I’m in charge.”Relaying her experiences — even the traumatic ones — with vulnerability and candor has bolstered a sense of self-appreciation, Gay said.“Learning to accept myself and embrace myself as a I am and recognize that there is always room for improvement, but that I’m also okay where I’m at today has been a really useful tool for me,” she said. “I don’t write to heal, but that is a pleasant side effect.”Women and men should never feel obligated to openly profess their personal stories, however, especially because adequate resources for survivors do not always exist, she said.“It’s really easy to say ‘Why wouldn’t she come forward? Why didn’t she leave?’” she said. “Okay, let’s say it’s February. You have three children. It’s freezing outside. You have no money. Leave what? Go where?”Gay said sexual assault has long-lasting repercussions that warrant recognition. “It’s not just what happens in the moment,” she said. “Recovery can take a lifetime. I don’t think enough people realize that. I think a lot of times people think that the sanitized versions of assault that we see in popular culture are representative of what recovery actually looks like.” Gay said she feels her memoir “Hunger,” is necessary and timely, especially due to the recent Me Too movement. “I feel like I really did the right thing in writing “Hunger,” as difficult as it was, to show that, you know, sometimes you’re 12 years old and a good girl and you go to church every Sunday, and then one day, some guys gang rape you and your whole life changes,” she said. “It’s literally your whole life, and I don’t think we see enough of that story. People want to believe that we survive the trauma, and that’s that. They don’t want to know about after, and I wrote about after.” The Me Too movement is opening doors for women to share their trauma and what it is like to deal with the aftermath of an assault, Gay said. “With Me Too, we are seeing more of [the aftermath], with Mira Sorvino, Annabella Sciorra and Uma Thurman and all of these powerful women who are coming forward,” she said. “I think that is going to open the doors for women who are not in Hollywood, who are working at hotels and restaurants and to be able to come forward and say, ‘this happened to me 20 years ago and I am still living with it.’”Gay said one unfortunate side effect of the Me Too movement involves the pressure some individuals feel to share their incidences of trauma.“You may never be ready, and that’s okay,” she said. “Whatever decision you make about coming forward, about your history of violence, is the right decision.”Gay said she does not recommend publishing information writers do not feel entirely comfortable sharing, though she recognizes the link between producing compelling content and sparking consumer interest.“I think it’s important to decide early on in your writing career what your boundaries are, what you will and will not write about, because there’s something about this current moment and historical moments where women are asked to cannibalize themselves and to share their deepest, darkest secrets, and that’s how they matter,” she said. “I refuse to believe that, and I reject that. We never ask men to pour themselves out yet it happens to all kinds of women.”Writing about how her rape influenced her conception of her body in “Hunger” was an arduous task, she said.“The thing I wanted to write about least was fatness, and that’s when I knew … I know what I’m going to write next,” she said. “I decided to write a memoir about my body.”Accepting all body types, rather than continuing to propagate a narrow margin of standards, serves as an integral step in eliminating policing against women’s bodies, Gay said.“Be kind to yourself because we just live in a world where a woman’s appearance is a currency, and some of us play that game better than others in terms of wielding that currency, and that’s okay, as long as you don’t oppress other people,” she said.The lack of representation of minority groups on campus, Gay said, indicates the need for Saint Mary’s to engage in active retention.“One of the things that that looks like is where do the black people here get their hair done?” she said. “You should be bringing in a beautician from Chicago once a week or twice a month to do their hair. It’s a small thing, but it’s also a big thing.”Orienting financial aid packages around comprehensive needs — such as travel expenses and winter clothing — rather than just tuition, can foster an increasingly inclusive atmosphere, Gay said.“I have yet to go to a school that has truly solved this problem,” she said. Gay said she wants students of color who feel as though they are not good enough to see themselves as equals. “You are equal and you have to believe that because no one else is going to believe that for you, except maybe your parents,” she said. “If you’re always told from Day One, in general, that you have to be twice as good to get half the consideration, it’s exhausting. … You have to understand that it’s not you, it’s the world that’s the problem and you are exactly as good as your peers, and you work just as hard, if not harder, than your peers.” Katelyn Valley | The Observer Popular author Roxane Gay delivers a lecture at Saint Mary’s Wednesday night. She discussed the need for inclusive campuses.Tags: Bad Feminist, Communication Studies, Feminism, hunger, roxane gay Though her bestselling books deal with tropes such as outrage against gender conventions and opposition to institutionalized sexism, Roxane Gay did not always identify as a feminist, she said in a lecture in the O’Laughlin Auditorium at Saint Mary’s on Wednesday.“That was the problem for me growing up is that when I thought of feminist, I just thought of ‘oh, angry, man-hating, nobody likes that,’” Gay said. “It’s easy to say ‘I’m not a feminist’ because you want to be liked, you want to be part of the world and you want to be accepted. It’s challenging.”
Robert Sam Anson, Notre Dame class of ’67, a magazine writer who co-founded The Observer as an undergraduate, died Nov. 2, the New York Times reported. He was 75.He died at a home he had been staying in Rexford, New York, from complications due to dementia.As a student at Notre Dame, Anson delivered editorials on the evening news through the campus radio station. He was critical of the Vietnam War and Lyndon B. Johnson, which the administration disapproved of at the time, the National Catholic Reporter said in a 2015 article.Although Anson was chosen to be news editor of Scholastic by the magazine’s previous editor, the vice president of student affairs at the time Fr. Charles McCarragher, who had a say in who was a member of the editorial board, rejected the proposal and chose someone else.Instead, Anson helped found The Observer with another student, Stephen Feldhaus. The Observer printed its first issue November 3, 1966. Over the rest of his time at Notre Dame, Anson frequently clashed with University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh over the content of The Observer. Hesburgh told one of his biographers, “People were always asking me, ‘Why don’t you expel Anson?’ I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction.”At the same time, both Anson and Hesburgh had great respect for each other. Anson later referred to Hesburgh as “the only father I ever had.”After graduating from Notre Dame, Anson went on to work for TIME magazine. He traveled to Cambodia and was taken as a prisoner of war in 1970. He was held for weeks by the North Vietnamese and the Khmer Rouge.Hesburgh reportedly called Pope Paul VI at the time, who was able to help arrange Anson’s release.Anson went on to write for Esquire, Life, Mademoiselle, The Atlantic and New Times. He also wrote six books including “War News: A Young Reporter in Indochina,” which discussed his experiences covering the war.At The Observer’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2017, Anson urged the paper’s student journalists to appreciate their time as reporters.“[I hope] everyone has a great time, doesn’t get pushed around by the administration, resists authority — including that of the president of the United States — and just feels so lucky they are working as journalists,” he said. “I just think it was a million to one shot that The Observer would work, and it did work.”He was born March 12, 1945, in Cleveland. Anson was raised by his mother, Virginia Rose Anson, who was a schoolteacher.Anson is survived by two daughters, Christian Anson Kasperkovitz and Georgia Grace Anson, and his son, Sam Anson.Tags: Father Hesburgh, Robert Sam Anson, The Observer