Jeffirs said she hopes the students will serve as the primary facilitators of discussion, but that she will be available to answer any questions students may raise during the session. The goal of the two programs is to provide social support for students who may feel alone and overwhelmed during such a critical point in their lives. A benefit of the programs is that students are not obligated to commit. Jeffirs said the meetings are expected to be casual, which is a positive for students who have busy schedules. Once a month, Jeffirs and assistant director Maureen Baska will facilitate topic-oriented discussions geared toward success upon graduation. There will be separate peer groups divided by year. Baska will lead juniors on Tuesdays while Jeffirs will take on senior discussions on Wednesdays. “This is a designated organization to let them know what kinds of resources are available,” Jeffirs said. “How do you get yourself unstuck from the situation so that you can keep moving forward?” “The aim is to keep it small but open to everyone,” she said. “If students have questions they can come to these groups and get some support from their peers for whatever issue is affecting them,” she said. “The program is a nice and easy way to get to know other girls who may be overwhelmed with some of the same issues.” Stacie Jeffirs, director of the Career Crossings office, said she is excited for the two new programs, “Navigating the Journey” for juniors and “Planning for the Future” for seniors. Jeffirs’ aim is to keep the discussion groups relatively small because she said a smaller group enhances the depth of conversation and creates a sense of intimacy among peers. The Career Crossings office has developed a new program it will host once a month for Saint Mary’s juniors and seniors to help them prepare for life after graduation. “We’ve had some interests from students already and I’ve had students planning on being there [at the discussion sessions],” she said. A few weeks into the program, Jeffirs said the feedback has been mostly positive. “As the months go on we’ll be talking about different topics as well. Discussions are very topic focused, whereas the junior group and senior groups are broader,” Jeffirs said. “We’ve been seeing quite a bit of traffic in our office. What we’re hoping to do with these monthly programs is direct students with either very specific questions, or by focusing on specific topics,” Jeffirs said.
The students behind the 2011 edition of the Keenan Revue boast that this year’s variety show is “Too Big for Saint Mary’s,” as the event’s move to Stepan Center means the venue and production will be larger than ever. After the O’Laughlin Auditorium at Saint Mary’s College chose not to renew Keenan Hall’s contract last spring, Revue director Grayson Duren and producer Chase Riddle, both juniors, began their search for a new venue for the envelope-pushing production. “We and the previous director and producer looked at alternate spots, including Washington Hall and the Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend,” Duren said. “But we didn’t want to take it off campus to a place that was more professional than our show.” Riddle said keeping the production free for students was also a factor in choosing a new location for the show. “At the ticket distribution for the Revue, people always pull out their credit cards or ask how much it is, but we wanted to keep the event free for students,” Riddle said. “We needed a venue that could make the show free for nearly 4,000 people.” With convenience, capacity and cost in mind, Duren and Riddle looked into using Stepan Center for the Revue. Duren said the building was especially appealing because of its location. “Since our main focus was making the show free for students, Stepan was a great option because it’s on campus, so students wouldn’t have to pay for tickets or for transportation to get to an off-campus venue,” Duren said. Once Keenan secured Stepan Center as its venue, Duren and Riddle knew the larger arena would require expanded lighting and sound technology than the standard equipment provided in previously used venues. Riddle said that because he and Duren are amateurs at their jobs, they enlisted the help of the Student Activities Office for the production. “We don’t have any experience with shows, so we had to go out of our element in a big way to make decisions about stuff we don’t really know about,” Riddle said. “Peggy Hnatusko [director of student activities programming for Student Activities] got us in contact with the right people to help us with the show’s production.” Hnatusko helped Duren and Riddle get in touch with Shannon Stewart, an independent production manager and live sound engineer and consultant at Stewart Independent Production LLC who has worked on several productions at Notre Dame over the past 17 years. Stewart, whose previous projects at Notre Dame include a Billy Joel concert, a Vince Vaughn comedy show and the B1 Block Party, agreed to provide sound and lighting technology for the Keenan Revue at a reasonable price, Riddle said. “The lights and sound will be much better quality than they were at Saint Mary’s for about the same price,” Riddle said. “[Stewart’s] workers are practically working for free and paying for their hotels out of pocket so the public doesn’t have to pay for tickets to the Revue.” Duren and Riddle said Stewart made it a point to come to Notre Dame because of his long history of producing events at the University. “[Stewart] wants it to be good because it has his name and Notre Dame’s name on it,” Riddle said. “He’s like a saint because we’re paying for technology and service that would be four to five times as much otherwise.” Stewart said he views his job as much more than just providing basic lighting and sound. “Our goal is to create a hybrid between a concert and a theatrical event using professional sound reinforcement and lighting,” Stewart said. “We’ve created a theatrical production with a punch.” Stewart said working with Notre Dame has always been a positive experience, especially with events in Stepan Center. “We’re here to provide the client with the tools they need to bring their hard work and vision to life,” Stewart said. “It’s been a pleasure working with the Keenan guys and Fr. Dan [Nolan, Keenan Hall rector], and we always enjoy coming down here to do shows because it’s a great place.” The Keenan Revue will be performed Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in Stepan Center.
In a lecture titled “Roots and Wings: How Vatican II Changed My Spirituality,” Bishop Remi J. DeRoo addressed members of the Saint Mary’s community Monday night as part of the Center for Spirituality’s annual endowed Fall Lecture series. DeRoo, a retired bishop from the Diocese of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, spoke about his experience serving as a Council Father – and the council’s youngest Canadian bishop – in all four Vatican II sessions from 1962 to 1965. “I was 38 at the time,” he said. “I was a brand-new bishop, a new kid on the block, and the Pope looked over at me and smiled and motioned for me to come forward and I got to shake his hand.” Raised traditionally and conservatively by Belgian parents who settled in Canada, DeRoo said he spent his entire life as a farmer until his ordination. Coming from that humble background, DeRoo said his involvement in Vatican II significantly impacted his personal spirituality. “Some people who are trying to use the Vatican to their own advantage sometimes forget how it is the ultimate authority which is found in texts and not people’s interpretation,” he said. “I went through the equivalent of a very profound conversion as a result of the Vatican II.” Although the council discussed some broad reforms of Church practices, DeRoo said the microcosms of local parishes also play a role in those changes. “One of the main teachings of Vatican II is precisely the reality and the recognition of the local believing community,” DeRoo said. “It is important that local churches celebrate Vatican II and is just as important for me to attend.” In the past, DeRoo said the concept of the local Church and religion often seemed more like going through the motions of being religious. “We are in a religion of presets,” he said. “What we knew of God was primarily about God. Religion was mostly a question of obeying the commandments. We went to church because it was a sin if you didn’t go on Sundays.” But Vatican II offered DeRoo and other Catholics the opportunity to move past that superficial version of religion and understand God more fully, he said. “My image of God moved from propositional God, a God where you learn things and a God who teaches things, to a sense that I appreciate that God is a relational God and wants to share love,” DeRoo said. “Know God in the biblical sense in which Adam and Eve related to each other; it’s a biblical sense of relationship.” The Bible’s messages about God and relationships are enriched by reading several translations of the holy text, DeRoo said. “I am saddened that we have just gone through a phase in the Church where some people think that Jesus spoke Latin,” DeRoo said. “We should not equate the message of revelation, the Bible, the scriptures with one language and interpretation.” The Second Vatican Council prompted a shift toward personal conscience in theology and faith, DeRoo said. “A massive shift took place in the field of moral theology. It’s very important to recognize a way of conscience,” he said. “Scriptures should be the very soul of theology. Role of conscience becomes an extremely important thing as a result of Vatican II.” Though Vatican II’s ideas led to a new era of the Church, DeRoo said uncertainty and fear have prevented some of those ideas from being fully applied in practice in the past. “We are called to be prophets … to share wisdom and put our finger on where God is present, thus helping the Church to move forward,” he said. Contact Jillian Barwick at [email protected]
Despite being a small minority on a predominantly Catholic campus, Muslim students at Notre Dame maintain a strong faith community through the Muslim Students Association (MSA). The club now sponsors seminars, daily prayer, weekly Quran studies and trips to a local mosque, though it offered little only a year ago, according to president Aamir Ahmed Khan. “[The MSA] was in a dead zone … as good as inactive,” Khan said. Recognizing the MSA’s need for revitalization, Priscilla Wong, associate director for administration at Campus Ministry, reached out to Khan when he was a first-year graduate student, Khan said. Khan said he and a number of other students established a committee to reorganize the group. “Since we reorganized the committee, we’ve been getting a lot of positive responses from the students,” said S. Moudud Islam, the MSA treasurer. About 20 of the University’s estimated 90 Muslim students actively participate in the club. Kahn said the resource is especially helpful for international students. “We are far from our own country and we miss our family and religion and practices,” he said. “We’re trying to make an environment [that] lets students know that we can do the same thing here.” While Muslim students may feel isolated because of their separation from the familiarities of their home lives, Khan said he has not heard of negative experiences. “We have not faced any challenge[s] so far, only appreciation and encouragement,” he said. Khan said the group is an asset to the entire campus, not just its Muslim members. He said he has seen an increase in non-Muslim interests in the Muslim faith and culture, which has manifested itself at MSA events and through a student-made documentary on Muslims at Notre Dame titled “Scarves and Crosses,” which premiered at the Student Film Festival. “[Non-Muslim students] are asking questions positively,” Khan said. “And that is really an encouraging thing.”
Annmarie Soller | The Observer Officers of Notre Dame’s College Republican club host Newt Gingrich for dinner in South Dining Hall on Wednesday.Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich spoke at the Notre Dame College Republicans’ annual Lincoln Day speech Wednesday evening, focusing on the 2016 election and the future of American government as a whole.Gingrich spoke to an audience of both adults and college students, but said he hoped to specifically address the undergraduates in the crowd throughout his speech.“I’m going to talk some about where [American government is] and what we’re doing,” Gingrich said. “And I do so with particular focus on the younger audience here, because I think that this generation has the potential for being the most creative generation since the founding fathers. The reason this is happening is because the world is changing so dramatically, and the U.S. needs to profoundly rethink what our policies are, what our institutions are, and how we work.”As the world changes, some move forward while others continue to hold to the past, Gingrich said.“There are people out there who, for a variety of reasons, are pioneers,” he said. “They’re pioneers in science, they’re pioneers in the arts, they’re pioneers in business. They just have this instinct. And then there are people who are prison guards of the past. And they think their job is to stop the pioneers.”Gingrich said the U.S. government has been acting in a “prison guard” role — using outdated methods and ascribing to outdated ways of thinking. As an example, Gingrich discussed the different ethnic groups in Afghanistan — one of which is the Pashtun. This group is important to U.S. foreign policy but is never considered on its own by the State Department since it cannot be defined by clear state borders, Gingrich said.“We don’t think about what’s our Pashtun policy because that would cross across the nation state boundary and the State Department thinks about states,” he said. “But if you think about states, that can be profoundly misleading. So it turns out that the recent killings of Christian students in northern Kenya by Al-Shabaab was not done by the Somali branch of Al-Shabaab, it was done by the Kenyan branch of Al-Shabaab.”As society moves forward and technology advances, the U.S. government needs to reform itself to be more efficient, Gingrich said. As an example of U.S. governmental incompetence, Gingrich compared the speed of an overseas ATM to the inefficiencies of simple government tasks.“It takes 177 days to move a record from the Defense Department to Veterans Affairs. … We’re getting to a point where you can’t defend systems that are this incompetent,” he said.Gingrich also defended recent Republican struggles to capture minority voters. He said the party is beginning to have more success in capturing Latinos and Asian Americans. Gingrich said he hopes the Republican Party will put diverse candidates like Marco Rubio in the spotlight in 2016.“In Colorado this year in the U.S. Senate [race], the Republican candidate tied with the incumbent,” Gingrich said. “In Texas, the incumbent carried the Latino vote; the Republican candidate, though, carried male Latinos and barely lost female Latinas. The fact is, for the first time since 1992, we carried Asian Americans this year, and there’s a practical reason if the economy’s bad … and you don’t trust where we’re going, you make [decisions] that you’re not going to fit into any of the demographic models that political science studies say you’re supposed to fit.”Gingrich said Republican candidates have begun to win these groups because they care enough to “show up” — to be involved in their communities.“A Republican party that has the guts to show up is going to carry groups, and we’re going to win groups,” he said.Ultimately, to win the 2016 election the Republican Party will have to focus its own platform of change and reform rather than simply criticizing its opponent’s, Gingrich said.“The Republican party needs to spend two-thirds of its time being positive, and one-third of its time describing its opponent,” he said. “But if we become a party that spends all its time describing its opponent, we put this election at a real risk because people do not want a completely negative party that has no ideas.”Tags: 2016 Election, college republicans club, Lincoln Day Address, Newt Gingrinch
Over the past few years, the Division of Student Affairs has sought to draw students and faculty members closer together through their Faculty-in-Residence Program. The program got going in 2013, when accounting professor Ed Hums and his wife, Shirley, moved into Lyons Hall. In 2016, Drs. John and Karen Deak moved into Dunne Hall and became the second married couple currently living in residence.“I really felt like I would appreciate an opportunity to get to know you guys,” Karen Deak said. “You’re so smart, you’re so driven and I felt like I didn’t know what I think is the best part of the student body here. The undergrads are the heart and soul of this place, and I hadn’t had a great exposure to them until I lived here.”Karen Deak, formerly a professor of patent law, now works at the Idea Center and teaches part-time. Her husband, John Deak, is a full-time history professor. While he sees plenty of undergrads throughout his day, he said living in residence is a completely new way of interacting with them.“College was the point when my horizons expanded to as far as I could see,” he said. “It was the first point in my life where I felt like I could go someplace, like my world wasn’t bounded. And living in a dorm, I get to see that replicated hundreds and hundreds of times over. … It can be really beautiful. I wanted to be a part of that.”Ed Hums and his wife, whom he calls “Saint Shirley,” have been at Notre Dame since the 1970s, where they met at work in the ticket office. In the past 45 years, Ed Hums said, they’ve watched Notre Dame evolve from a small, all-male college into a much larger university.“What’s happened as it has gotten bigger and the professors have moved out, you pass each other all the time but you don’t really get the relationships with the professors that you did in the old days,” he said.“And being here, there’s much more opportunity to visit and socialize with everyone rather than working and going home at the end of the day,” Shirley Hums said.Shirley Hums, who works in the Office of Information Technologies in the Athletics Department, graces the Lyons residents with cookies every week, while both she and Ed Hums attend the Hall Masses every Sunday and Wednesday night. Both the Hums and the Deaks have made it their goal to simply be there for the residents of their halls — not as an intrusive or dominating presence, but as a part of their community. The Hums host a barbecue for Lyons each year, bring friends’ dogs on campus around exam time and organize a speaker series on everything from financial planning to auto mechanics. The Deaks, still relatively new to campus, have organized an etiquette dinner, attend Dunne mass and game watches and open their apartment to the residents of Dunne to stop by and check in.“This Friday we’re watching ‘Knute Rockne All-American’ and I’m going to bake cookies — small things like that kind of make it feel like home,” Karen Deak said.For the Deaks, one of the best parts of living in Dunne has been seeing that community develop over the past year.“The best part, for me, was all of move-in weekend this year — watching people come back and have others saying ‘hey, how are you, good to see you, how was your summer,’ and actually realizing there’s a community here this year in a way that didn’t happen last year,” Karen Deak said.The Faculty-in-Residence program has the benefit of making faculty members more approachable, John Deak said, as well as the opportunity for professors to gain an understanding of their students’ lives.“A lot of our first year was explaining to our colleagues how the dorms are actually pretty safe spaces and community is built there, studying happens, the chapel is full on Sundays for Mass,” John Deak said. “My colleagues couldn’t believe it. I brought one colleague in and walked him by the study rooms at 4 in the afternoon and people are studying and he said, ‘I’ll be, I didn’t know our students were this good.’”The Hums also expressed their wonder at students’ full schedules, and mentioned that they have a somewhat unique perspective in an environment where it is rare to find a permanent resident much older than 30 years old.“Sometimes you have to talk to somebody with a little grey hair,” Ed Hums said. “We always try to make sure the students are studying healthily and not burning themselves out, just visiting students to gently remind them to take care of themselves.”Both the Hums and Deaks have found their place in their halls’ communities, and look forward to continuing to build the relationships that make living beside undergrads so rewarding.“The community know who they are now, and we have a place where we fit,” Karen Deak said.“Number one mission?” said Ed Hums. “Have fun.”Tags: dunne hall, Faculty-in-Residence Program, Hall community, Lyons Hall
A new, one-credit course at Saint Mary’s, Adulting 101, aims to help students generate and practice important life skills in order to be productive and confident adults — both in the workplace and in society. Terri Russ, associate professor of communications, dance and theater, said she decided to start the course after a group of students helped her come up with the idea and some of the curriculum last year in response to a question regarding how to negotiate a salary raise.“We started talking about that and why it’s important to always negotiate your salary and why it’s not a skill we learn because it’s so pivotal,” she said. “And then the conversation kind of developed into other really important life skills that we don’t know a lot about. And then from that we saw a need.”Recently, Russ said, she noticed a lack of training for women in terms of life skills they will need after graduating from college, and her students saw it as well. As a group project, she said, they came up with ideas for a training and preparation course for the College to offer. “The class put together a proposal that Saint Mary’s College should offer a class on ‘adulting,’” Russ said. “At first it was a joke — that was our shorthand way of referring to it — and then we decided that we should go with that title because it really does communicate [what] we’re trying to get out.”The class decided the specifics of the course and its objectives, Russ said. A group of five students in the class then volunteered to present the ideas they had collaborated on to College President Jan Cervelli so the course might become a reality, she said.“So we invited President Cervelli to class, and they pitched the idea to the president and she committed to it on the spot, and so here we are,” Russ said.Although she is not sure what to expect from the new course, senior Grace O’Connor said she is excited to step out of her comfort zone and learn something meaningful. “The course description seemed really interesting, and I felt like the content would help with my life development after graduation,” O’Connor said. “Hopefully, after finishing this course, I’ll be able to deal with real-world adult issues that I haven’t had to deal with while in college.”Russ said the class will deal with issues such as finding a job, finding an apartment or a doctor and networking. She said each week there will be a different real-life topic at hand, and she hopes the group discussions will end up helping her students prepare to leave college. Adulting 101, Russ said, will allow students to make mistakes in the classroom instead of out in the real world.“As a college we do a really great job of helping students transition into Saint Mary’s, so this is a way to help students transition out,” she said. “So I think it’s just about walking out of the class and having a solid foundation of basic survival skills.”Tags: Adulting 101, new course, productivity
Actress, global youth advocate and Girl Up Champion Monique Coleman spoke Wednesday in the LaFortune Ballroom about standing up against sexual assault.Best known for her role as Taylor McKessie in “High School Musical,” Coleman has used her platform to make a difference, working with Unicef, the U.S. Agency for International Development and Girl Up, a United Nations foundation that raises awareness and engages girls to empower each other and take a stand. Discussing several issues involving sexual assault with the audience, Coleman repeatedly reminded them of their responsibility to create change and her belief in their ability to do it. “There are so many issues plaguing our world, and you are capable of solving those issues,” Coleman said. “I know what’s possible when young people are awakened to their potential.”Coleman presented “Distortion,” a film she starred in and co-produced, which explored the ways sexual assault can distort the perceptions individuals have of themselves. She acknowledged that media is very influential, although “not always in the right ways.” One student asked what future content-creators can do to take action against rape culture in media.“Know that having integrity and standing for what you believe is a longer road, and it’s far more challenging,” Coleman said. “Speak your truth, always, and let your truth evolve. Figure out what your non-negotiables are, and what your bottom line is, and always measure things up against that.”Several students asked questions addressing issues on Notre Dame’s campus specifically. One student expressed concerns with parietals making students hesitate leaving dangerous situations for fear of repercussions.“You know what you want; what would make you feel safe; what would make you feel protected,” Coleman responded. “It isn’t my place to impose what I think should happen … but I will say it’s important for you to find your voices … it’s terrifying to talk about these things … but you have the right to feel safe and the right to be protected.”Another student asked Coleman for suggestions on how to navigate addressing concerns with an administration that is conservative and male-dominant.“We cannot expect that things don’t come at a price, or that things won’t be a struggle,” she said. “It isn’t simple, but you can’t look at the oppositions or the obstacles and not see them as part of the problem. They’re there so that we can see what’s wrong. None of this is easy. If it was easy, this wouldn’t be happening.”From an audience that was almost entirely female, one male student voiced his disappointment in the number of men attending the lecture, prompting Coleman to encourage him to spread awareness about these issues among men. “It’s important to add your voice and create what we want to see,” Coleman responded. “ … Instead of being disappointed, the next time you see something pop up, invite the guys, and-or go home and tell them.”Junior George Timmins said he was grateful for the discussion and the audience’s response to it. “I’m really happy people liked it. I’m happy that she called that [sexual assault] is an issue that affects everyone — all races, all genders,” he said. “This is not a female college problem; it’s an everyone problem.”Senior Samantha Ricciuti said she believes discussions such as this one are vital.“It’s important to be more open about these situations and call the perpetrators exactly what they are — sexual assaulters and rapists,” she said. “We can take the power back by speaking the truth.”This power can only be attained if those on campus act on Coleman’s advice, sophomore Haley Mitchell said.“You have to practice what you preach,” she said. “It’s important to get involved and participate in what we do have.”Coleman said she has faith that people working together at Notre Dame can make a true difference at the University.“I believe that you can be, not only heard, but that you can impact radical change on this campus,” Coleman said. “But you have to be brave enough to do it, and you can’t do it alone. Each of us has a purpose. Be active — an activist for the long haul.”Tags: Girl Up, Monique Coleman, sexual assault, sexual assault prevention
Janice Cervelli resigned from her position as Saint Mary’s College president effective Friday, Oct. 5.Chair of the Board of Trustees Mary Burke announced Cervelli’s resignation in a letter to the Saint Mary’s community Friday. “Earlier this week, Janice Cervelli informed the Board of Trustees of her intent to resign,” Burke said in the letter. “We appreciate all that Jan has contributed to Saint Mary’s during her tenure as President and we wish her the best.”Cervelli took over the role of president in the fall of 2016 after College President Emerita Carol Ann Mooney left. She was officially inaugurated as the 12th Saint Mary’s president Nov. 12, 2016. In an article published May 19, 2017, Cervelli told The Observer she was “doing the most important work of [her] life” as her first year in office ended.Provost Nancy Nekvasil will serve as interim president of the College during the search for a new president.“We are blessed that Dr. Nekvasil will serve as Interim President for as long as needed,” Burke said. “Her rich and esteemed history with Saint Mary’s College as an educator, experienced campus leader, administrator and student advocate speaks volumes. Her accomplishments qualify her for this interim position and empower her to support and uphold our mission and values.” Chair of the department of business Jill Vihtelic will serve as interim provost of the College, and vice president of student affairs Karen Johnson will postpone her retirement to assist with the transition.Burke said the College is appreciative of the support from the campus community during the turnover period. “We are immensely thankful for you, our committed educators and leaders,” Burke said. “Our focus remains positive and centers on our collective spirit to develop strong thinkers through our rigorous academics and supportive community.”Tags: College President, Interim President, Jan Cervelli, Jill Vihtelic, Karen Johnson, Nancy Nekvasil, provost, saint mary’s
The daily music selection at Notre Dame’s North Dining Hall is one of its unique features.Varying from early-2000s hits to ’80s throwbacks, the diverse song selection contributes to the dining hall’s overall ambiance and has led to speculation as to whether the choices are deliberate.Every day, students eat, socialize and study at North Dining Hall. Chris Abayasinghe, director of Campus Dining, said that over 2.2 million meals are served each year between the two halls and the majority of those meals are served at North Dining Hall.During the holiday season, students can listen to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” while in line for Southwest Salad, and during football season, members of the community sing along to University classics such as the Notre Dame Fight Song at tailgate dinners, leading students to wonder about the identity of the creator of these mysterious playlists.The playlist is also not actually a playlist, but a rotation of carefully-selected stations on the satellite radio service, Sirius XM. The curator or creator of these stations is not a single person, but rather a combination of input from the Dining Hall staff and suggestions from students. William Krusniak, a manager at North Dining Hall, helps select the SiriusXM stations played each day. Krusniak revealed the stations on this normal rotation.“’90s on 9, ‘80s on 8, Pop2K, The Blend, The Pulse,” he said. “There’s usually about five to six channels.“Krusniak explained that the selection is also influenced by what time of day it is.“In the morning, the managers like to have more of an older, set-back style like Classic Rewind,” he said.Krusniak also said the changing seasons factor into the selection decisions.“It’s the feel,“ Krusniak said. ”On game day, I’m going to crank it up. Make sure there’s more hype, faster music. We consider who’s the visiting team, what area of the country. On Thanksgiving, it’s more of a jazzy Sinatra style. On Fat Tuesday, we’re going to have more of a New Orleans blues [style].”Student employees sometimes offer suggestions for stations played, Krusniak said, but there is no official job position for a dining hall DJ. While students have made Spotify playlists for North Dining Hall, including ”Kind of a Big Dill” and ”Don’t Go Bacon My Heart,“ they are not actually played within the dining halls. However, Abayasinghe and Luigi Alberganti, director of Notre Dame Student Dining, said they were not opposed to the idea. ”We’ve never considered it before,“ Abayasinghe said. ”I would be open to that conversation … We would have to write up a job description for that [position].“Music is not the only way the dining hall adjusts its ambiance with changing seasons. Food is also intentionally tailored to visiting groups. For example, signature Chinese dishes were featured on Lunar New Year. In addition, over 36% of all campus dining food venues are vegetarian or vegan to accommodate many dietary restrictions, Abayasinghe said.The culinary staff at Notre Dame are chosen through a ”super selective“ process, Abayasinghe said. “We train them right,“ he said. ”We make the investment to bring in celebrity chefs to help.”Abayasinghe said celebrity chefs that have aided in training the Notre Dame culinary staff include Rohan Marley, son of reggae music artist Bob Marley; Jet Tila, who has appeared on the Food Network programs like Chopped and Iron Chef America; Jehangir Mehta, an expert on plant based proteins; and Suvir Saran, an author of various Indian cookbooks.The University has also worked to reduce the amount of dining hall food waste, Abayasinghe said. In 2019, Campus Dining initiated a Grind 2 Energy process in collaboration with the Office of Sustainability. This effort was also inspired by the statistic that “over 40% of food that is grown harvested is not consumed and thrown away,” Abayasinghe said.The large cylindrical units outside both dining halls grind food waste into a slurry — part of a composting procedure. This slurry is sent off to farms and goes through anaerobic digestion, resulting in electricity, heat, renewable natural gas and transportation fuels. In 2019, according to a sustainability report from Abayasinghe, the slurry waste from North Dining Hall was used to power 15 homes for one month.New traditions and improvements continue to shape both dining halls and make them increasingly more distinct from each other. For instance, a defining feature of South in the early 1920s was the sale of cigarettes and a song called “The Buns of Notre Dame.” Today, traditions include clapping when a cup is dropped on the floor of South.Additionally, renovations that cannot take place at South have been recently implemented in North, including the new stir fry system.Abayasinghe encourages anyone with suggestions on how to improve Campus Dining to submit them using the QR codes found on dining hall napkin holders or on their website.Tags: Chris Abayasinghe, North Dining Hall, notre dame campus dining, siriusXM