Two CBS execs shelved pending diversity investigation

first_imgNEW YORK (AP) — CBS has placed two of its executives on administrative leave as it investigates charges of a hostile work environment for women and minorities at news operations in some of its larger stations. Peter Dunn, president of CBS Television Station, and David Friend, chief of news operations at the station, are on leave pending the results of an outside probe. The Los Angeles Times and the National Association of Black Journalists have reported on incidents involving minority journalists and said the stations have done a poor job hiring diverse staffs. The National Association of Black Journalists praised CBS’ move as an important first step.last_img read more

Amid backlash, Harvard cancels class on policing strategy

first_imgCAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Harvard University’s engineering school has canceled a class that intended to evaluate a policing strategy based on U.S. military tactics after students raised concerns about the strategy’s impact on people of color. In a message to students on Monday, the school’s dean said the class had been withdrawn and officials plan to review the vetting process for proposed classes. A course description said it would ask students to analyze data on a policing strategy based on counterinsurgency tactics used by the U.S. military. A petition from students said it failed to consider the disproportionate impact of such policing on Black and brown communities.last_img read more

Creator of RI’s beloved Big Blue Bug landmark dies at 88

first_imgPROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The creator of the Rhode Island landmark, the Big Blue Bug, which advertises a local pest control business on Interstate 95 in Providence, has died. The Providence Journal reports that George Cardono died Tuesday at the age of 88. The idea for the beloved termite came from Big Blue Bug founder Leonard Goldman, his son Stephan and “their outside advertising man” Cardono. That is according to a 2012 Providence Journal column by Mark Patinkin. Cardono, an artist with a Rhode Island School of Design background, studied termites under a microscope to create the advertisement. He went on to found advertising agencies in Providence and New York and had a long career in different fields.last_img read more

‘Simple is beautiful’: One-shot vaccine proves effective

first_imgJohnson & Johnson says its vaccine appears to protect against COVID-19 with just one shot. It’s not as strong as some two-shot rivals but still potentially helpful for a world in dire need of more doses. Results released Friday show the single-shot vaccine was 66% effective overall at preventing moderate to severe illness, and much more protective against the most serious symptoms. The vaccine worked better in the U.S. compared to South Africa, where it was up against a tougher, mutated virus.. The company says it will file an application for emergency use soon in the U.S., and then abroad.last_img read more

Members pledge for peace

first_imgStudent Senate pledged official support for peace efforts in the face of possible civil war between the northern and southern parts of Sudan at its meeting Wednesday. The northern and southern parts of Sudan have been in conflict for more than 50 years. In 2005, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement formally ended civil war and scheduled a referendum for Jan. 9, 2011. The citizens of Southern Sudan will then vote for or against secession from the country. Social concerns chair Patrick McCormick presented a resolution to Senate to officially support all sustainable efforts for Sudanese peace. The resolution passed unanimously. “We are trying to encourage students to act on this,” McCormick said. “We hope that we can put pressure on those who have the opportunity to shape policy in the United States so they pay attention to the Sudan.” The purpose of the resolution was to officially engage the support of the Notre Dame student body to work with this issue, he said. “We need to continue spotlighting the issue,” McCormick said. “We need to recognize that this is not just another conflict, but one that could define our generation.” The resolution comes after a delegation from the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference visited the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies Tuesday. They presented on the urgency of the crisis in their home country. After their visit to Notre Dame, the delegation will proceed to Washington, D.C., and New York City to meet with government officials and the United Nations. McCormick said University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh envisioned Notre Dame as both a crossroads and a lighthouse. “The fact that a conference of Catholic bishops from Sudan would come to Notre Dame is indicative of that crossroads,” McCormick said. “And right now we have an opportunity to be the lighthouse.” More information is available at http://peaceinsudan.crs.org or through the Center for Social Concerns.last_img read more

Alum starts sustainable clothing company

first_imgChris Yura, a 2003 Notre Dame graduate, is revolutionizing clothing production through his company SustainU, which is dedicated to changing the way clothing is made to improve the environment, reinvigorating America’s manufacturing sector and educating the world about how clothing can positively impact people’s lives.   A native of Morganstown, West Virginia, Yura said he came to Notre Dame to play football as a fullback, and that experience changed the way he looked at clothing. “The thing that struck me most at Notre Dame was The Shirt,” he said. “When I ran out of the tunnel and the whole student body was wearing the same shirt, it was such a powerful symbol of unity.” After graduation, Yura said he went to Miami for his first job and was soon scouted by Ford Models to be a fashion model in New York City. “I listened to people talk about where they were getting the clothes and how they were made,” he said. “The clothes were coming from third world countries where they did not have enough water to properly make a product, for example. It did not help anything economically or socially … This got me thinking about making a product that really was better, as opposed to just seeming better.” To learn more about how to make clothing, Yura said he began to write down terms relating to clothing that he heard and then went to the library and did research on those terms. As a sociology major at Notre Dame, Yura said he learned about the devastating job losses that occurred in North Carolina after the North American Free Trade Agreement outsourced manufacturing jobs outside of the United States. “When I was in NYC, I wanted to find factories in this area that were still manufacturing,” Yura said. “What I found was that not only were there factories that had the infrastructure and trained workforce to produce products but they had also pioneered recycled fiber technology.” Yura asked if he could intern with such factories and learned how to sew, cut and manufacture clothing, which led him to forming SustainU three-and-a-half years ago. “My parents took out a third mortgage on their house to get collateral to help me start the business,” Yura said. “We have factories centered in Tennessee, South Carolina and West Virginia.” The company’s mission is to promote social, economic and environmental sustainability, Yura said. The company makes clothing solely made in the United States and from 100 percent recycled materials. For example, the company recently made T-shirts in Bristol, Tenn. for Bonaroo, an outdoor music festival in Tenn., all from recycled materials. Yura has spoken about SustainU three times at the White House, and even earned a meeting with President Barack Obama, he said. “I’m going to talk with the president about different issues that are facing us about green technology,” he said. “We will talk about trying to stimulate different parts of the countries that used to make clothing by investing in these areas. It makes so much sense for our country.” Yura said the most rewarding part of his job is the opportunity to advance progressive goals. “We invest in young ideas that are progressive and that can help turn our country around,” he said. “We present a different way of doing business.” Contact Katie McCarty at kmccar16@nd.edulast_img read more

Notre Dame falls to Michigan

first_imgThe Irish traveled to Michigan Stadium this weekend to face off against one of their historic rivals: the Michigan Wolverines. In a nighttime battle under the lights, the Wolverines defeated the Irish 41-30 and left ND fans disappointed. Saturday’s game marked the second time that Notre Dame has played a night game in the Michigan Stadium “We just came up short on a couple of key plays … we weren’t able to come up with [them] offensively,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said after the game. John O’Brien, a senior studying mechanical engineering, said that Michigan Stadium was an extremely exciting environment.   “It’s a great rivalry,” O’Brien said, “There were 115,109 people there, but there was a lot of yellow.” Junior defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt’s fourth-quarter end-zone interception, which cut the Wolverine lead to 34-27 raised hope for many Notre Dame fans.   Sophomore Luke Kiefer said that the small section of Notre Dame fans around him at the game got very excited.   “People just went crazy during the interception in the end zone,” Kiefer said, “The small patch of green that was around me went nuts.”   Kiefer said that although there were an overwhelming amount of Michigan fans, plenty of support could be seen from Irish fans as well. Thy Notre Dame Marching Band returned to Ann Arbor for Saturday’s game despite an aggressive run-in between band members and Michigan fans in 2011.  Freshman band member James Ryan said he experienced verbal insults but little physical hostility this year from Michigan fans.        “Yells of ‘Go home,’ and ‘Play a song,) could be heard from their fans,” Ryan said. “One woman behind me insisted on hitting me with her pom-pom whenever she could since I was in the back row.” Despite a few unpleasant encounters, Ryan said the Michigan band was respectable and cordial. “It was a really cool place to be, even though we lost,” he said While fans are upset over the loss, others are more upset that Michigan is being dropped from Notre Dame’s schedule.  The teams are not scheduled to play again after 2014. Last week, Michigan head coach Brady Hoke said Notre Dame was “chickening out” of the rivalry.last_img read more

ND amends harassment protocol

first_imgIn an attempt to streamline treatment of sexual and discriminatory harassment, the Office of Institutional Equity published revisions to the University’s “Policy on Sexual and Discriminatory Harassment” in late December.“This is an overarching policy that applies to everyone at the University that says we have no tolerance for instances of sexual or discriminatory harassment,” Sarah Wake, director of the Office of Institutional Equity, said. “It is also a general policy statement about what the University expects of every member of this community.”The policy applies to students, faculty and staff members, but the “du Lac” student handbook, and not the “Policy on Sexual and Discriminatory Harassment,” governs student-on-student sexual harassment.Steph Wulz | The Observer The revised policy combines two previous policies: one on sexual harassment and one on discriminatory harassment, Wake said. She said the sexual harassment policy largely mirrored the student-on-student sexual harassment policy in “du Lac,” whereas the discriminatory harassment policy contained some different procedures.“There wasn’t as specific of a time frame, it wasn’t as clear I think who to contact and what the process was,” Wake said. “By condensing the two policies … we have the same policy and procedure governing both sets of conduct.“It also shows that we take discriminatory harassment just as seriously as we take sexual harassment. They’re treated the same way, they’re investigated in the same way, they have the same time frames involved. It shows to me that they’re treated on equal footing here and that we’re committed to having a zero tolerance policy for both types of harassment.”The revised sexual and discriminatory harassment policy eliminates the option of proceeding informally to attempt to resolve a case. Wake said under the previous policies, a department of the University could conduct its own investigation about an instance of alleged harassment. She said this informal procedure was troublesome because different departments used distinct processes and sometimes reached different outcomes.“We want these to be treated consistently … across campus, so we want to know that all of our students, all of our faculty and all of our staff who are ever making a complaint, that they know that they can trust in the process and that they’ll get a consistent result any time that they come forward,” Wake said.The revised policy provides students with two options to make complaints: communicating directly with the alleged defender or undergoing the University resolution process. Wake said this new set of options provides consistency among cases of alleged harassment.“It allows us to track what’s going on on campus,” she said. “Before, if things were handled informally, we might not ever know, someone at the University might not ever know, that in a given department there was whatever complaint. … Now, with this process, … we’re going to have an accurate picture of where potential problems might be and where we might need to do more, to conduct additional training or make people more aware of a policy and of what the University expects.”The “Policy on Sexual and Discriminatory Harassment” also states that the University aims to complete investigations of complaints within 60 calendar days of the initial report, as opposed to the 60 business days mentioned in the previous, separate policies.A provision of the revised policy ensures the confidentiality of people who report instances of harassment. A separate provision protects them against retaliation.“When [University President Fr. John Jenkins] speaks about these issues, he says that it never serves Notre Dame to keep issues like this quiet,” Wake said. “We want people to come forward, and we want people to feel comfortable, not only with the process, but with people here at the University who are designed simply to help deal with situations like this.”Wake said her office recently redesigned its website, equity.nd.edu, to make clearer the avenues through which people can report harassment. She said policies regarding sexual and discriminatory harassment also have become more integrated into faculty and staff orientation programs.Additionally, Wake said so far in the 2013-14 academic year, her office has received four times as many complaints of sexual or discriminatory harassment involving a staff member as it did in the entire 2012 calendar year.“I just think there’s been a huge renewed commitment to making sure people are aware of and understand these issues,” Wake said.Although the student-on-student sexual harassment policy outlined in “du Lac” is not currently up for revision, Wake said the University is conducting focus groups with students and is open to considering improvements that could be made to the “du Lac” policy in the future.Wake said she hopes the revisions to the “Policy on Sexual and Discriminatory Harassment” help people to understand the avenues through which students, faculty and staff can report issues or receive guidance.“I hope that people also gain confidence in the process, that if I come forward, I’m always going to be treated with respect,” Wake said. “I’m going to have a fair process, it’s going to be a prompt process, it’s going to be a thorough process, and at the end of the day, that they feel the resolution is fair.”Tags: Discriminatory Harassment, Office of Institutional Equity, Policy change, Sarah Wake, Sexual harassmentlast_img read more

Entrepreneur alumna shares start-up experience

first_imgSaint Mary’s College alumna Vanessa Cooreman Smith shared her entrepreneurial experience as the owner of Flourish Boutique, a woman’s clothing store located in Granger, Ind., with students Wednesday during a lecture co-sponsored by the business and economics department as well as the Career Crossings office. “The mission of the store is to help women flourish — hence the name — in fashion, so looking good providing women with clothes that have a special flourish or flair, but also on a deeper level, ” Smith said. “It’s part of my goal to help women beyond their appearance.”Smith said her story is one of determination and persistence in a time of economic turmoil. The 2004 graduate majored in art and minored in education during her time at Saint Mary’s.  “I had a love for everything artistic and creative, but I also had an entrepreneurial background,” Smith said. Smith said nearly every one of her family members owns their own business. “I knew what it required to be a small business owner,” Smith said. “I knew it was a large part of my life, and yet I had this passion for fine art.”Smith said she struggled to satisfy her interest in varied career paths that seemed to occupy opposite ends of the working spectrum. Finding a way to combine these two parts of her life posed an interesting challenge, Smith said.“I felt like I didn’t fit wholly into either world at times,” she said.It was not until her junior year, when Smith began working at Inspire, another boutique in the South Bend area, that she realized she wanted to pursue a career in the fashion industry, she said.“I enjoyed the marketing aspect of the boutique, organizing the merchandise and coordinating outfits,” Smith said. “I could see the potential. “You’re dealing with profit margins and all those things and it was a nice combination. I had an awakening where I realized that fashion was a way for me to satisfy my love for art and still be in the business world too.”Smith, who now receives a consistent profit margin of 10 percent, said she had an awakening that paid off.“Ten years later I am a wife and a mom and also the proud owner of Flourish Boutique,” she said.The journey to success was hardly fluid, Smith said. She said experiencing the difficulties of starting her own business posed challenges on multiple levels.“As with any new business, I was headed for some trials,” Smith said. “The success rate of start-ups is very, very bleak. Most go out within five years, regardless of the industry. Retail is notoriously worse.” Prior to launching her own business, Smith needed money, she said, so she worked for her father’s real estate company and saved the necessary funds.“In some ways it felt stagnant,” Smith said. “I was working in real-estate and regularly thought to myself, ‘Okay, this is not fashion.’ “Even though I felt frustrated, I was planning and I was researching and I was learning. It wasn’t the same industry it’s all the same kinds of things I deal with now.”After three years of saving, “It was just a burning fire inside of me and I really had to get going,” Smith said. “My dad, who was my mentor, was telling me ‘Do what you love and the money will follow.’ If you pursue your passion it will give you the energy to do what it takes to be successful.”After writing a business plan and researching small business loans, Smith opened the store in 2008, just two months before the recession hit the stock market. She said she received a small business loan, which she augmented with consignment.When the impact took its toll on her personal business and her family’s realty business, Smith and her husband had to sell their home, she said. Flourish really took off when Smith launched their online store in 2011, three years after the store’s grand opening, she said. “Last year at this time we had five thousand Facebook fans, now we have 60 thousand Facebook fans,” Smith said. “We’re up year over year [in sales] 60 percent in store and 200 percent online.”Smith said Flourish has been featured on CNN and appears regularly on noteworthy Pinterest contributors and other fashion bloggers’ websites. Flourish also received the South Bend Tribune’s readers’ choice award for clothing boutique, she said.“We hope one day to turn Flourish into a mega-boutique,” Smith said.Tags: business, economics, Flourish, start-uplast_img read more

Project HEAL promotes healthy living

first_imgSaint Mary’s senior Mackenzie Woods has seen Project HEAL make a difference on campus since it was recognized as a campus organization last spring. HEAL stands for Help to Eat, Accept and Live, and the Saint Mary’s chapter is one of several in a larger national non-profit organization that aims to contribute to education about eating disorders and support for those who struggle with such diseases.Photo courtesy of SMC Project HEAL Woods said eating disorders affect roughly 30 million Americans, yet the diseases are often overlooked, especially on Saint Mary’s campus. Project HEAL is a resource for those who are faced with unhealthy body images and eating disorders, providing women with a positive outlet and support system, she said.“Project HEAL’s national goal is to provide scholarship funding for people with eating disorders who cannot afford treatment, to promote healthy body image and self-esteem and to serve as a testament that full recovery from an eating disorder is possible,” Woods said.Woods said it is estimated that 25 percent of college students suffer from eating disorders.“Those statistics are staggering, and I believe these are issues we must bring to the limelight, especially on an all-women’s campus,” Woods said.Woods fully understands the struggles brought on by eating disorders, as she herself has faced the challenge of overcoming anorexia.“As a recovered anorexic, I know all too well the feelings of loneliness and unworthiness that accompany an eating disorder,” Woods said.  “Saint Mary’s is a tight-knit sisterhood, and we need to be empowering and building each other up. You never know what your fellow sister may be going through.”As the founder and chapter leader of Project HEAL at Saint Mary’s, Woods has big plans for the semester, including fundraising and awareness events. On Wednesday, the Five Guys franchise located on Eddy Street will host a Dine and Donate night for the chapter.“Mention Project HEAL SMC [at Five Guys on Wednesday] and a portion of the day’s sales will be donated to our organization,” Woods said.The Saint Mary’s chapter of Project HEAL also plans to contribute to the national scholarship fund for treatment, which is made possible through donations of more than thirty Project HEAL chapters.“Each quarter, [the national chapter of] Project HEAL reviews applications for the scholarship and grants money for treatment to a qualifying individual,” Woods said. “Since its founding in 2008, Project HEAL national has raised over $400,000 and has sent eleven applicants to residential and intensive outpatient treatment.”Woods said Project HEAL hopes to host guest speakers, screen documentaries and open-forum discussions to educate and promote healthy body image and self-esteem.The chapter also plans to sell merchandise on campus and offer a canvas-painting event to create awareness of Project HEAL’S mission.As interest grows from Activities Night and by word of mouth, Woods said she hopes to expand the mission into an awareness certification program to reach the larger community.“… Members of Project HEAL learn how to lead by example in being positive in their comments toward others and refraining from body bashing,” Woods said.Woods said more information on Project HEAL is available on the club’s Facebook page — Project HEAL Saint Mary’s — or on Instagram @projectheal_smc. Students can also get in contact with the chapter at saintmarys@theprojectheal.org.Tags: club, eating disorders, HEAL, saint mary’s, SMClast_img read more