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first_imgWashington Hall rang with laughter Monday evening from first-year Moreau First Year Experience students who had gathered to watch and participate in Sex Signals, an annual improvisational comedy show sponsored by the Gender Relations Center (GRC) that aims to educate and inspire student discussion about sex, relationships and consent.The show was introduced to Notre Dame five years ago, but it is the first year the GRC is partnering with the Moreau program to allow students to receive ten extra credit points for their attendance, GRC director Christine Gebhardt said in an email. Poncho Ortega | The Observer Jessamyn Fitzpatrick, left, and Vincent Banks of Catharsis Production perform during ‘Sex Signals’ Monday night. The Gender Relations Center program aims to create a culture of consent.“This year we revised the design of the first two weeks to be more conversation based and included the opportunity for Sex Signals, which uses humor, case studies and audience participation,” Gebhardt said. “It is our hope that the extra credit will give students an incentive to make the event a priority,  as it is our institution’s way of acknowledging how the conversation should not merely happen in class but throughout our campus.”Vincent Banks and Jessamyn Fitzpatrick of Catharsis Productions — the Chicago-based performance group running Sex Signals, launched into a discussion about sexual relationships in a campus setting —“How many of you had sex ed classes in high school?” Banks asked the audience.A majority of students raised their hands.“What did you learn in those classes?” he asked.Students shouted out their answers.“Did anyone learn how to have sex. — other than from porn” Banks said half-jokingly in response.Throughout their hour and 15 minute performance, Banks and Fitzpatrick interacted with their audience as they acted out three hypothetical scenarios representative of real-life situations — flirting at a party, sexual harassment at a gym and dealing with people who make excuses for sexual assault in the name of friendship. The acts were used as teaching tools to break stereotypes, explain gender spectrums, clearly define consent, fight against victim-blaming and encourage bystander intervention.Towards the end of the program, the performers called for students to “raise the bar” on campus by making a culture of consent so normal that it would force those who do not ask for it to stand out.First year Danielle Slevin attended the performance with her friend and — fellow first year — Helton Rodriguez.“I felt that it was really empowering and really moving, especially to be in a room full of kids who might have experiences similar to mine or who feel the way I do. … I have friends who have been affected, whether it’s being uncomfortable at parties, or things that have escalated to more serious situations that were usually induced by alcohol,” Slevin said. “It’s a serious thing that is present on this campus, and it’s something that should be spoken about.”Rodriguez, who participated during the show, said he reflected on how the issues presented in the show were present in his life.“Whenever I have girls over at my dorm to study, I always have to ask if they’re comfortable walking home alone,” he said. “And it’s just kind of a sucky part of life.”He feels that Notre Dame’s strong Catholic identity can reinforce values preventing sexual assault, but also can make the topic a taboo to talk about.“I think, regardless, it’s problem on campus,” he said. “You can argue whether or not it’s harder or easier to talk about, but you have to talk about it.”Editor‘s note: A previous version of this article used the incorrect gender pronouns when referring to a student on first mention. The Observer regrets this error.Tags: Gender Relations Center, Moreau First Year Experience, Sex Signals, sexual assaultlast_img read more

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first_imgKevin HagstromMascots represent team and school pride. Their actions and on-field performances can be humorous, but at sometimes they’re just plain annoying. Steely McBeam and Sluggerrr are terrible names for the Pittsburgh Steelers and punchless Kansas City Royals, and The Stanford Tree doesn’t make any sense. However, Dartmouth’s Keggy the Keg tops them all as the most annoying.I mean, seriously, an Ivy League school has a keg as its mascot? Those people rarely ever party, let alone worship kegs. The school’s mascot would be better off having a name like Smarty Pants, where a pair of pants with some Smarties (the candy) randomly assorted on them ran around. That’s how lame the name and how obnoxious the connection to the school is. Speaking of annoying, students were so displeased with Keggy that they kidnapped the mascot right after its creation and gave it a black eye. A member of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption,” Michael Wilbon, once called Keggy “some stupid beer thing.”And in what was charged as “anti-keg racism” by Keggy’s creators, Dartmouth’s mascot was denied entrance to several sporting events. Worse than the actual negative reactions themselves is that if I’m wrong in my conjecture that Dartmouth students spend more time studying than partying, being taunted and tempted by a keg from which you cannot drink is torture. While a tree for the Stanford Cardinal makes no sense, at least nobody in his right mind yearns for its frothy, cool ale inside. So raise your glasses and toast to the most annoying mascot in sports, Keggy the Keg. Ben VoelkelMascots come in all shapes and sizes. Some are cuddly, some menacing and some don’t make much sense at all. But is rare to find a mascot who can break it down to some serious hip-hop jams. Enter Sebastian, the mascot of the University of Miami Hurricanes. The old saying is you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but apparently that doesn’t apply to all members of the animal kingdom. Sebastian, an oversized polyester Ibis, has been around “The U” since the late ’50s, but only lately has he added a new trick to his resume: the dance to the Soulja Boy’s “Crank That,” which has launched him into YouTube cult status. Now, this is not the space to debate the relative merits of crankin’ dat Soulja Boy, and I’m not the proper person to judge how best to Superman a ho, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that while it may be cool in some circumstances, having a giant bird do so is a little overkill. This is not to say that Sebastian is not nimble on his feet. He is a tremendous dancer and has better rhythm and moves than almost everyone I know (except for your humble columnist, of course). Mascots should just stick to fighting with each other and posing for pictures with little kids.How is a keg not an awesome mascot? If anything best represents collegiate life, it is, in fact, Keggy. Sebastian. Crank dat!last_img read more

first_imgGhana U-20 winger Frank Acheampong has won his second trophy since joining Anderlecht after winning the Belgian Super Cup with the club on Sunday.The 19-year-old Black Satellites playmaker however was not involved in action for but he managed to break into the 18-man squad for the game and sat on the bench throughout the regulation minutes as a Massimo Bruno first-half stoppage-time goal claimed a 1-0 victory for them against Genk at the Stade Constant Vanden Stock.Acheampong’s superimposing performance for Ghana at the U20 World Cup won him a place in John van den Brom’s squad for the crucial season opener.The former King Faisal player joined Anderlecht from Thai side Buriram United last season on a short term basis but his show at the recently ended FIFA U20 World Cup has proven crucial for him.Ghana midfielder Bennard Kumordzi was started from the Genk bench but came on after 73 minutes to play for his side but he failed to help them win the ultimate.Acheampong did not participate in last season’s league for Anderlecht he was among the players who were decorated after end of the season as they won the Championship play-offs.last_img read more