Petition to give University students the option to take classes online circulates, gains over a thousand signatures

first_imgA petition has recently been circulating among members of the Notre Dame community online as a Google Doc. The petition, which is titled “Notre Dame Petition for an Online Semester and Student Safety,” calls on the University administration to take specific steps to ensure greater student safety and to allow students the option to, if they choose, return home and continue the remainder of the semester online. The petition, which has over 1,000 signatories, states that it is a collaborative effort of Notre Dame students, faculty, staff and alumni. “Students are being required to continue to live under the same unsafe conditions that endangered their lives and health in the first place,” the petition states. “If students are willing to take that risk, they can, but only if immediate steps are taken to make their lives safer. However, no student who does not wish to take that risk should be forced to do so.”The petition calls on the administration to mandate that all classes will remain available online, and give any student who wants permission to study online — including students who were previously denied accommodations to do so. The petition also calls on the University to, “begin systematic COVID-19 testing of the entire student population as part of a safe, staggered move-out process for students who elect to leave campus to study remotely.” The petition says that students should be able to return home once reliably testing negative for the coronavirus and that they should not be required to return for the rest of the semester. Finally, the petition calls on the University to make sure that all students are, “physically safe and financially able to withstand the dangers and burdens of this epidemic at Notre Dame.”Sierra Stinson, a sophomore who signed the petition, said she learned of it through a group chat she is a part of, and she added her name to the petition for various reasons.“I don’t want to put Notre Dame’s administration down at all, that’s not my intention,” Stinson said. “But I have seen a lot of unpreparedness from the administration with testing and how they’re handling it. I feel like the safety of the students has been compromised because of the motivations to stay open and I think the University has a moral obligation to go fully online for the South Bend community and their students.”However, Stinson said it is also important that the petition also stipulated that students should be able to choose to stay on campus and attend online instruction there if they wished.“There are a lot of students here who have bad family circumstances or they get more resources here than they do at home,” she said. “So I think it is important to allow the option for kids to remain on campus.”Stinson said she would have liked to see more testing in the first weeks of the semester, and would like to see more testing, especially surveillance testing, going forward.“First, I think everyone should have been tested when we first got here,” she said. “There definitely should have been surveillance testing like one to two times a week for every student.”Other schools around the country, such as Princeton or University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have outlined testing protocols which include required testing twice a week for on-campus undergraduates.Another student and signatory of the petition, junior Alexander Clay, said he would have liked to see the semester begin online from the start.“What I would have liked to see is them not opening at all and having the entire semester virtually and providing those kids who may not have had a very good environment the resources they needed to have a successful semester,” Clay said. “I thought that bringing us back in any capacity would be a big mistake.”One thing both Stinson and Clay mentioned was the lack of transparency and clear communication between students and the administration.“Of course I hoped it would work out, but in order for it to work out it would have needed to have transparency from the beginning between the student body and the administration and we didn’t have that when we needed it,” Stinson said. “Student government has been trying very hard to create that transparency, but I feel like it’s already too late.”Not all the signatories of the petition are Notre Dame students — signatures include those of staff, parents, community members and faculty. Sarah McKibben, an associate professor for Notre Dame’s department of Irish language and literature, is one such signatory. She said she learned of the petition early on through its authors. “I am friends with the main authors of the petition and I was invited to contribute to help edit and write it, though it was mostly done by the time I saw it,” McKibben said. “So I just heard about it because I’m part of a large group composed of faculty, staff, graduate students and undergraduates who are kind of broadly interconnected by our shared concern over the University’s decision.”McKibben said she and other faculty members shared concerns about transparency on data and decision making from the administration. “The lack of transparency has been really terribly unfortunate. If you look into public health matters, people will tell you that one of the rules for public health is it has got to be transparent,” she said. “People don’t trust you if you’re not being transparent and if they can poke holes in what you say then they’re going to be filled with skepticism and the whole thing just falls apart.”McKibben said the faculty and staff have, by and large, been under-consulted by the administration regarding the plans and protocols for reopening for an in-person semester. “The faculty were not told of that ahead of time and at no point was the entire faculty or all employees consulted or surveyed to see what we felt, what we wanted, what we thought we were capable of, what we thought was safe,” McKibben said.McKibben also expressed she felt the University has failed to approach this problem collaboratively and failed to center-science and effectively utilize experts with relevant experience and their advice in the administration’s decision making process. “We all really earnestly hope that all the students and employees will be ok even if they do get COVID-19, but the disastrous fiasco with testing and contact tracing and quarantine was preceded by real problems with communication and consultation and the lack of a collaborative decision making process,” she said. “My experience of the University’s decision making is that it has been top-down, it has not been inclusive, and it has not been collaborative. I think that the appropriate thing to do is to default to let people teach online.”Notre Dame’s spokesman said the University has been listening to critiques from the public.“The University has acknowledged some missteps in the early going and worked quickly to improve the process,” University Spokesmen Dennis Brown said on the petition. “We also have listened to the many suggestions that have been offered and implemented several, such as additions to the daily dashboard. The suggestions in this petition will likewise be considered.”Tags: COVID-19, petition, testing transparencylast_img read more

Mountain Music Festival

first_imgJam band lovers need not worry as Saturday night will feature MMFest favorites Big Something who have been on the bill every year since the festivals inception in 2014. Look for The Floozies to bring a funky electronic mix that Wonderland Mountain has never seen before. Jam early into Sunday morning as a double header late night show goes down at the campground’s Strange Stage with The Kind Thieves and Fletcher’s Grove. Rather stay dry? Sign up for one of the zip line canopy tours and fly through the trees as you zip from cliff-top to cliff-top. Navigate this course on the rim of the gorge as your traverse nine different zip lines and two sky bridges. The grand finale is a 40-foot freefall off the plunge tower. Plus there are a ton of other activities to choose from including paintball, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, rock climbing, rappelling, and more. With over 25 bands coming to the mountain there will be no shortage of great music at all hours of the day and night. There will be plenty of action on the mountaintop main stage but don’t miss out on some of the incredible up and coming bands at the festival’s two side stages. Wake up each morning and wander over to the Strange Stage for coffee and great regional acts. The Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company Lake Stage will keep music flowing on the beach and at the waterpark all day Saturday. Aside from incredible music there are over 30 visual artists, 25+ vendors, free workshops, and great people all over the mountain. The New River Gorge in West Virginia is known around the world as a top-notch adventure sports destination featuring some of America’s best whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and mountain biking. Mountain Music Festival attendees are smack in the middle of all this action and ACE has the best guides to get your adrenaline flowing in the outdoors. Take a half-day rafting trip down the river and experience over 20 rapids, scenic views, and finish your trip underneath the famous New River Gorge Bridge. This is the most popular activity and ACE’s guides have been leading trips for almost 40 years on this wild and wonderful river. This year’s lineup features rising Americana star Tyler Childers who is returning to the mountain after playing MMFest in 2017.  We really wanted to bring the festival back to its Americana roots so we setup a Friday night show that will compliment Childers nicely. Fellow Kentucky boys The Wooks and Justin Wells alongside Arlo McKinley & The Lonesome Sound will all be supporting. Although not from Kentucky Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band will be bringing their fiery energy to mountaintop stage. Mountain Music Festival is truly a summertime music event like none other you have experienced. From the beautiful mountaintop camping, to the friendly welcoming vibes, and the amazing music all weekend this is the place to be May 30th  – June 2nd. Advance tickets are on sale now and you can save $20 OFF your festival pass with promo code BROLOVE. Make your plans, call off work, and tell your friends to join you on the mountain! This summer ACE Adventure Resort in the New River Gorge, West Virginia is gearing up for the 6th installment of Mountain Music Festival. This year’s weekend May 30th – June 2nd features four days full of great music, visual art, epic adventures, tasty food and craft brews. Advance tickets are on sale now and this is looking like the biggest MMFest yet. Find out why everyone who visits this festival falls in love. last_img read more

Carter-Williams propels Syracuse past Marquette, into Final Four with all-around performance

first_img Related Stories UN-FOUR-GETTABLE: Syracuse returns to Final Four for first time in 10 years with 55-39 victory over Marquette Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 30, 2013 at 11:09 pm Contact Ryne: rjgery@syr.educenter_img WASHINGTON — Michael Carter-Williams leaned forward, wearing his black East Region champions hat backward, as he sat in front of his locker and tried to put Syracuse’s Elite Eight victory over Marquette into words.He spoke about toughness and heart, two qualities once seemingly lacking from this Orange team that carried it past a Golden Eagles squad that defines itself as tough. The 6-foot-6 point guard said Syracuse is a tough team that does all the “little things” now.Carter-Williams embodied those qualities better than anyone on Saturday.“I try to do all the little things, get some rebounds and push the ball out and get some easy shots,” Carter-Williams said, “and do anything to get us to win.”Carter-Williams played with unmatched intensity on every possession to lift Syracuse to the Final Four with a 55-39 victory over Marquette at the Verizon Center. He skied above the other nine players on the court to collect a team-high eight rebounds, knifed through the MU defense for 12 points and found his teammates for six assists. The brilliant performance, paired with his 24-point outburst to lead SU past Indiana on Thursday, earned Carter-Williams Most Outstanding Player honors in the East Region.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think Michael Carter‑Williams, over the last couple of weeks, may be playing the best he’s ever played,” Marquette head coach Buzz Williams said. “And that says a lot because he’s always been really good.”He was the difference-maker at both ends of the floor from the start.His first highlight came 45 seconds into the game, when he pinned Marquette forward Juan Anderson’s breakaway layup on the glass. His next came nearly three minutes later as he soared above his Marquette counterparts to snatch a defensive rebound with his outstretched right arm before flying up the floor and banking a shot in off of the glass.Then, he showed off his court vision, attacking a gap in the MU zone and threading the defense with a pass that resulted in a vicious two-handed slam by forward C.J. Fair. His long reach tipped away a Jamil Wilson pass and led to a transition 3-pointer for Brandon Triche.Following Carter-Williams’ lead, Syracuse jumped out to a nine-point lead in the opening 10 minutes.“Michael’s been unbelievable, not only this tournament, but the whole year,” SU forward James Southerland said. “For a guy who hasn’t been playing at all his freshman year, to come in this year and be one of the best players and be one of the best leaders in the country, it means a lot.”Carter-Williams stayed locked in all half and handled everything Marquette threw his way. When MU guards Junior Cadougan and Derrick Wilson picked him up full-court, he beat them time and again.And when Syracuse was in dire need of another jolt when its 12-point lead melted to three with just minutes remaining before the break, the point guard made a play.Carter-Williams darted to his right, directly toward Southerland, who was parked beyond the arc. He dropped a pass off behind him to the forward and continued his momentum to set a screen for the sharpshooter.Southerland nailed it. The lead was back to six. Carter-Williams sprinted down the court, giving a fist-pump and glaring ahead as he set up on defense. His next pass, with nine seconds before halftime, went through Trevor Cooney’s hands and set Carter-Williams off in a temper tantrum that head coach Jim Boeheim tried to defuse heading to the locker room.On a team whose passion was questioned during its late-season funk, Carter-Williams was setting the tone in the biggest game of the season.“People said, ‘Oh, we don’t have any heart and this and that,’” Carter-Williams said. “We took that real personal, especially me because I’m so competitive.”Every rebound and hard drive to the basket mirrored that trait. With a Final Four trip on the line, Carter-Williams was living and dying with every possession.“Mike is the most competitive guy that I know,” Triche said. “He competes every play, literally – even when he’s tired.”Carter-Williams didn’t let loose until he danced his way down the court after his 3-pointer with 34 seconds left, punctuating the victory and his brilliant two-game run in Washington, D.C.Two nights earlier, where Carter-Williams now sat with his championship gear, he leaned back with two large bags of ice taped around his knees and put the Orange’s upset of top-ranked Indiana into perspective.He called Syracuse a different team, one flying high with confidence. On Saturday, with Carter-Williams leading the way, he and his teammates played the part and earned a trip to Atlanta.Any questions about the Orange’s toughness and heart had been answered.Said Carter-Williams: “We ante’d up and we’re just amazing right now.” Commentslast_img read more

Report: Tyson Fury to return on June 15 against Tom Schwarz

first_imgFury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) was expected to have a rematch with WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder after their thrilling draw in December. The prevailing thought was Fury won the fight by outboxing Wilder for the majority of the contest, although Wilder got himself back in the match, knocking Fury down in the ninth round and then adding another vicious knockdown in the 12th that the English boxer somehow rose up from.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearBoth fighters said after the fight they wanted a rematch, but in a surprise move, the 30-year-old Fury signed a deal with Top Rank whose fight cards air on ESPN. Once that occurred, a second bout with Wilder, who competes on Showtime, fell into instant jeopardy.Top Rank wanted to work on growing Fury into a household name in America before a rematch against Wilder. They offered Wilder a multi-fight deal, with an interim bout in the summer and the second bout with Fury later in 2019, but he turned it down. Wilder will be fighting Dominic Breazeale on May 18 on Showtime, before Fury takes on Schwarz on June 15. Sandwiched between is unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua fighting Jarrell Miller on June 1 on DAZN. Tyson Fury will return to the ring for the first time in 2019 when he takes on relatively-unknown German fighter Tom Schwarz on June 15 at a yet to be determined venue in Las Vegas, ESPN is reporting. The bout is the first under a co-promotional deal that the lineal heavyweight champion signed with Top Rank in February.The Fury-Schwarz fight is expected to be formally announced on Saturday night during the Top Rank telecast featuring a main event between heavyweight contenders Kubrat Pulev and Bogdan Dinu (10 p.m. ET, ESPN). Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs) makes the trek across the Atlantic for the first time, having fought 22 of his 24 fights in his native Germany. The 24-year-old, who has never even come close to facing a ranked opponent, has won his last six fights via stoppage (five knockouts, one disqualification).last_img read more