Tags: building, Campus Crossroads, Construction, weather, WInter Construction crews for the Campus Crossroads project made progress on initial construction steps and excavations around the stadium after the least snowy December in South Bend’s recorded history.“The construction team took advantage of this great fortune and worked six to seven days a week in anticipation of the onset of more typical winter weather, which, of course, began last week,” Associate vice president and University architect Doug Marsh said. “Formal construction work has proceeded well in the 50 calendar days since the end of the home football season.”Marsh said the winter work involves several “major earthwork activities.” Crews are relocating many underground utilities such as sewers, water service, electrical feeders, chilled water and drainage, and they are constructing new utilities tunnels along both the west and east sides, he said.Excavation of the student center basement began, and they installed “an extensive span of permanent earth retention system” on the west and east edges of the existing stadium system to secure the existing foundations, Marsh said. They have also installed temporary earth retention walls that will provide a platform for the mobile cranes which will be built later in the winter to erect the structural steel frames for the student center and academic buildings on the west and east sides.As the crew works on initial construction of the buildings’ foundation walls and footings, Marsh said the design team is still working out the details for the interior portions of the project.So far, construction is right on schedule and in line with the budget, University spokesman Dennis Brown said.“The ebbs and flows of weather are built into construction timelines,” he said. “This year’s pattern has made no significant difference on the time frame or budget for the project, one way or the other.”The website construction.nd.edu provides updates on parking and pedestrian/vehicle traffic. According to the site, the University’s two free campus shuttles have expanded their hours as of Jan. 5 to run continuously from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays to help people “navigate several major construction projects across campus and related parking adjustments.”The limited pedestrian walkways on the east and west sides of the stadium remain the same as those set before break. On the east, a temporary walkway allows access to Gates 1 and 2 of the Joyce Center, and on the west, pedestrians can use the DeBartolo Quad walkways or walk through the Mendoza College of Business and DeBartolo Hall.
Washington 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 assault
On 3 March, Bolivian President Evo Morales threatened legal proceedings against those involved with drug trafficking, with no exceptions, after his former head of the fight against drugs was extradited to the United States following his arrest in Panama, allegedly trafficking cocaine. “Whoever gets mixed up with drug trafficking, whether civilian, military, police, member of the MAS (the ruling party), union leader, or a vice minister, minister, he has to be judged in the Bolivian courts,” Morales indicated at a public military event. Along the same lines, he revealed that thirty-eight active-duty police officers are in jail due to ties to drug shipments. “Up to now, we have thirty-eight police officers who were on active duty in jail for drug trafficking,” he said. After condemning the alleged involvement with drug trafficking by his former director of the fight against drugs from 2007 to 2009, Gen. René Sanabria, Morales said that “here (in his administration) nothing is forgiven.” Even if Sanabria, until now head of an Interior Ministry intelligence unit, was involved with drugs, “this doesn’t mean that the entire institution of the Bolivian police is implicated in drug trafficking, or the entire Bolivian state,” he noted. Sanabria entered a not-guilty plea in a Miami court on charges of trafficking 144 kilograms of drugs to the United States from a Chilean port. “My client was not arrested in possession of cocaine,” his lawyer, Angel Mercado, said in La Paz. “Not a single gram of drugs was found on him, neither in Panama nor in Bolivia,” he affirmed, speaking to reporters. Sanabria was detained in Panama the last week in February and subsequently extradited by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to the United States, where a judge in Miami had issued an international arrest warrant for the Bolivian police officer in December, without La Paz being informed. Right before his arrest, General Sanabria led an “intelligence and counterintelligence” unit in the fight against drug trafficking: the Intelligence and Information Generation Center (CIGEIN), dismantled following the police chief’s detention. Bolivia expelled the DEA in late 2008 for political reasons, and Morales reiterated on Thursday that the U.S. agency will not operate in the country again while he remains president. By Dialogo March 07, 2011