Spry Hesburgh makes tracks with torch

By Ed Cohen

It was 18 degrees and felt like 3 with the wind chill. The torch weighed 3 ½ pounds. Its bearer was 84½.

Those numbers made it all the more impressive that when Father Hesburgh carried the Olympic torch past campus in January, he covered his fifth of a mile at a jog.

Notre Dame’s president emeritus was one of more than 11,500 people selected to participate in the Olympic Torch Relay, a 65-day, 13,500-mile odyssey that started in Atlanta and finished at the opening ceremonies for the games in Salt Lake City. Each honoree went a fifth of a mile or a lap around a track.…

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New homes by the Dome

By Ed Cohen

For the first time in memory, new houses are going up along Notre Dame Avenue.

Three faculty and one staff member are building homes on vacant lots along the gateway road south of campus. The spaces were sold to them by the University.

For more than a decade, Notre Dame has been buying up properties on the road between Angela Boulevard and South Bend Avenue as they’ve come on the market. Some of the houses have been refurbished and rented to faculty and staff. Others, beyond repair, were razed. That’s where the new houses are being built.…

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Seniors Face Tough Job Market

By Ed Cohen

As they walked together between rows of tables of recruiters at the Winter Career and Internship Fair in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse, Lucie Turcotte and fellow senior Courtney Gleason couldn’t help but think back a year. They were at another career fair on campus, this one geared to jobs for science majors like themselves. More than 50 companies and organizations were there recruiting.…

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Letter from Campus: Rude, Crude and as Popular as Ever

By Ed Cohen

Standing in the wings, Kevin Carney looked pleased as he watched the Keenan Revue Band and Keenan Revue Dancers rehearse the opening number for this year’s show.

The band pounded out its cover of “Basketcase,” and a dozen residents of the men’s dorm jogged on stage wearing T-shirts and warm-up pants. As part of the customary show-opener, off came the T-shirts, which were then rubbed front to back between their legs like floss between teeth. Several gyrations later, the routine led into pelvic thrusts.…

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John Riedl: The Power of Suggestion

By Ed Cohen

Your favorite movies are, in order, Freddy Got Fingered, Citizen Kane and The Little Mermaid.

Your favorite TV shows: Washington Week in Review and Championship Bull Riding.

If you could buy just one car, money being no object, it would be either a 2002 Lamborghini Diablo or an ’86 Dodge Caravan.

You probably are one of a kind. But there are others out there who share at least some of your tastes, and if you’re willing to reveal a few of them to John T. Riedl ‘83, he’ll find your soulmates. More importantly from a business standpoint, he’ll help introduce you to products and services your soulmates are buying.…

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Checkback: Cedar Grove response

By Ed Cohen

What was the response by alumni to the offer of body vaults and niches for cremated remains in Cedar Grove Cemetery?

More than 1,500 people have already completed the proposal’s survey form at cominghome.nd.edu. The administrator in charge says many of the comments have revolved around the thought that in many families the children have scattered to different parts of the country and the parents have retired away from their original hometown. The place they reunite, often, is at Notre Dame, so it’s the ideal place for memorials to family members. If demand appears strong enough, organizers expect to present plans to University Trustees at their meeting in October 2005. If approved, sales could begin immediately with the first entombments possible in late 2006.…

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Eucharistic procession revived

By Ed Cohen

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An estimated 250 students and other members of the campus and local communities revived a tradition on the Notre Dame campus with a Eucharistic Procession April 16,2005. Once a yearly event, Eucharistic processions through campus fell out of practice in the years following the Second Vatican Council. The tradition’s revival reflects a renewed interest in classical devotions to the Sacrament of the Eucharist among Notre Dame students. A half-dozen student groups helped organize the event, which also recognized cultural diversity through benedictions and altar decorations reflecting Filipino, European and Latino customs.…

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Popular hymns born in Basilica of the Sacred Heart

By Ed Cohen

It’s not unusual for the director of the Notre Dame Folk Choir, Steven Warner ’80M.A., to walk into the Basilica or somewhere else where a wedding is taking place and hear “Set Your Heart on the Higher Gifts.”

If the bride and groom are knowledgeable Christians, they’re likely to recognize the source of the lyrics, especially the last line of the refrain: “These three gifts are all that remain: faith, hope and love, and the greatest is love.” They’re from Saint Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.…

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Notre Dame landmarks disappearing

By Ed Cohen

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The abundant construction happening on campus is being accompanied by a fair amount of destruction.

The most controversial transition involves the future of the University Club. The private dining club has long been a popular gathering place for faculty, especially retirees, but plans call for an engineering college building to take its place on the east side of Notre Dame Avenue between McKenna Hall (the Center for Continuing Education) and the Hesburgh Center. Many of the club’s members don’t want to see it go and have gathered hundreds of signatures on a petition along with letters of opposition.…

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Now that's some graduation gift

By Ed Cohen

Senior Johnny Walsh was so pleased with his four years at Notre Dame that as he neared graduation he decided to give something to the University.

$25,000.

The gift is earmarked for the University’s Office for Students with Disabilities.

Walsh has had a hearing deficiency since birth and started to lose his sight at age 15 as a result of a progressive genetic disease, Usher syndrome. At Notre Dame he was able to take tests at the Office for Students with Disabilities and was given extra time to complete them, he says. The office also provided note-takers for lectures and students to read text books aloud, among other assistance. Walsh says he wants other students with disabilities to be able to come to the University and be provided the help they need.…

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Commencement 2005

By Ed Cohen

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Monk’s farewell

Speaking at his final commencement as president of Notre Dame, Father Edward A. Malloy, CSC, gave graduates three pieces of advice:

1. Cherish your friends.

2. Remain open to change and surprise.

3. Make room for God in your life’s routine.

“I have nothing but gratitude and thankfulness to all of you, this class and all the classes that preceded it,” said Monk, who stepped down June 30, 2005.…

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ND fencers national champions again

By Ed Cohen

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For the second time in three years and seventh time in the program’s history, the Irish are champions of collegiate fencing.

The combined men’s and women’s team edged defending-champion Ohio State 173-171 to win in the four-day NCAA tournament held in Houston in March.

With the Notre Dame’s women’s soccer team winning the NCAA

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Checkback: Ace suit appeal decided

By Ed Cohen

What became of the appeal of the federal court decision that said the Corporation for National and Community Service couldn’t help fund Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education program because the relationship violated the principal of separation of church and state?

In March 2005 a federal appeals court overturned the original ruling. One of the judges in the 3-0 appeals decision wrote that the government is neither promoting religion nor creating incentives for AmeriCorps volunteers to teach religion in the Catholic schools in which ACE

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Checkback: Australian harassers

By Ed Cohen

Were the off-duty police officers in Australia who harassed Notre Dame students studying abroad last year ever punished?

According to a newspaper report, an internal investigation by police led to the firing of one policeman and demotion of a second. Five others were ordered to pay fines ranging from $200 to $1,000.…

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Checkback: Taco Bell and migrant workers' wages

By Ed Cohen

Did the national movement against Taco Bell that included Notre Dame students convincing the University administration to end a sponsorship agreement with local Taco Bells succeed in increasing wages for migrant tomato pickers?

Yes. According to a press release issued in March 2005, Taco Bell has agreed to work with the Florida-based farmworker organization the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to address the wages and working conditions of farmworkers in the Florida tomato industry. That includes funding a penny-per-pound “pass-through” wage increase for workers employed by the suppliers of Florida tomatoes. In return, the worker group announced an end to its three-year boycott of Taco Bell.…

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The Voice That's Launched 1,000 Skits

By Ed Cohen

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Commenting on the pending collision between the planet Earth and a giant comet, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan had this to say in January:

“While it remains to be seen what the ultimate impact of the comet will be, I would recommend that people pay only the minimum on your credit card balance.”…

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Nuclear weapons course receiving renewed interest

By Ed Cohen

A course that has been taught here for years, Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Warfare, is enjoying renewed interest in the wake of fears about weapons of mass destruction.

The class teaches not only about the physics and technological aspects of nuclear weapons but covers ethical, legal and social dimensions.…

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Swimming test still sinks some

By Ed Cohen

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Every year about 200 students fail the University’s mandatory swimming test and have to take eight weeks of swimming lessons.

The test requires students to complete four 25-meter lengths of the Rolfs Aquatic Center pool demonstrating both front and backstrokes.

The swimming requirement is believed to date to World War II, when drowning was a more frequent cause of death and the Navy encouraged colleges to institute swimming requirements and training.…

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Checkback: Design Laboratory results

By Ed Cohen

How did Notre Dame's art students do representing the United States at the Global Design Laboratory 2004?

Notre Dame was the only North American university chosen to compete at what is known as the Olympics of product design. For the contest, which culminated in New York City in November, 2004, students were challenged to develop concepts for new kitchen and laundry appliances for three distinct client groups: baby boomers, urban dwellers and people living in developing nations.…

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The student media frenzy

By Ed Cohen

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The stage manager signals everyone to be quiet, and onto the set of The Mike Peterson Show walks the star himself.

Mike Peterson is lanky sophomore with a youthful, eager face. Wearing a dark suit, white dress shirt and a blue-and-gold Notre Dame tie, he looks more like the bride’s kid brother than the host of a late-night talk show. But this isn’t the NBC

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Notre Dame Student Media

By Ed Cohen

Scholastic

News magazine

Begun: 1867

Frequency: every other week while classes are in session

Size: 28 to 52 pages

Circulation: 7,100 distributed free on campus, 400 mailed subscriptions ($35/year)

Staff: 30-35

Salaries: $300 to $400 per semester for editors

Funding: Student Activities allocation plus some advertising and subscriptions…

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Seen and Heard Around Campus

By Ed Cohen

February brought the second Notre Dame Queer Film Festival and the fourth performance of the _Vagina Monologues_ and plenty of talk about whether either event should take place at a Catholic university. Bishop John D'Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend wrote letters criticizing both. Among those writing to _The Observer,_ some complained that the events promoted behaviors in conflict with Church teaching. Others defended free expression and free academic inquiry. The atmosphere was especially heated when the _Monologues'_ author, Eve Ensler, who was attending the performances at Notre Dame for the first time, went to the South Dining Hall for a luncheon and was reportedly met by about 15 protesters. The _Monologues_ is an episodic play based on the experiences of women interviewed by Ensler. Some of their often- explicit recollections are harrowing, many are intended to be humorous. Benefit performances take place internationally around Valentine's Day as part of efforts to raise awareness of issues like genital mutilation and other forms of violence against women. The film festival screened films by gay and lesbian artists and included two panel discussions with writers and directors. . . . The producers…

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Seen and Heard web extra

By Ed Cohen

Ticket demand was expected to be so great for a February concert in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center by the New York Philharmonic that a hall administrator organized a ticket lottery. Make that lotteries. One lottery was for tickets set aside for faculty and staff, one for students, and one for members of the South Bend community. Tom Barkes, the center's director of audience advancement, said he sent out an e-mail on December 23 announcing the procedures and by Christmas Day had 610 responses. There were ultimately requests for more than 2,000 tickets. The concert hall holds 961. . . . According to a student…

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Barred scholar resigns post

By Ed Cohen

Tariq Ramadan, the renowned Muslum scholar who was expected to begin teaching about peace at Notre Dame this past fall but couldn’t because the government wouldn’t let him into the country, officially resigned his appointment in December.

In a letter informing the University of his decision he cited stress on him and his family because of the uncertainty of their position. Ramadan, who lives in Switzerland, was hired to teach in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the classics department. But last August, after his furniture had already been shipped to South Bend, his visa was revoked by the State Department acting on a recommendation from the Homeland Security Administration. No specific information was provided to Ramadan or Notre Dame on the reasons for the revocation, except that it involved matters of “national security.”

Ramadan is considered highly influential among Muslims in Europe. He often writes and lectures about how Muslims can remain true to their religion and culture in the modern world.…

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Grit could be a roadside attraction

By Ed Cohen

When the catalytic converter debuted on automobiles in 1975, people everywhere breathed a sigh of relief.

Here was a device that transformed exhaust pollutants like carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons into something similar to what people exhale — plant-nourishing carbon dioxide and water vapor.

Now comes word that as the converters age, they expel tiny amounts of the very materials that make them work. In high enough concentrations, these elements could pose a health risk. But they’re also so precious that an industry could well develop to sweep up the dirt and grit along roadways to recover trace amounts.…

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Engineering for beginners

By Ed Cohen

t’s a pleasant sunny October afternoon and the freshmen in Ed Maginn’s Engineering 111 class are out on the South Quad firing softballs at him. In a calculated way.

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The campus in the wake of 9-11

By Ed Cohen

A giant hook and ladder truck from the South Bend Fire Department stood on the Main Quad in front of Walsh Hall and Sorin College. Parked nearby were an engine from the campus fire department and various other rescue vehicles. No sirens whooped in the twilight of an overcast fall day, though. The dominant sound was the pealing of bells from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. There was no fire, either. And no firefighters to be seen.…

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This Is What Families Do

By Ed Cohen

I could tell the hug came as a surprise. Dad had just given one to my wife, Sue, as usual, and I was next through the door. He extended a hand to shake in our usual in-from-out-of-town greeting. But I put my arms around him instead, and squeezed, and held him for just a second. I didn’t say why, and he didn’t ask. But he had to know.…

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Courses incorporating Sept. 11

By Ed Cohen

Notre Dame offered several new courses and restructured others spring semester to examine issues related to September 11. Here are some of them:

— Homefronts During War (American Studies) looked at the ways Americans responded at home to war and threats of war during the 20th century. The final two weeks were left open to focus on developments in the war on terrorism. Taught by Heidi Ardizzone, assistant professor of American studies.…

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Spotlights

By Ed Cohen

Down the hall from the Spirit of St. Louis

Notre Dame is now represented in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

A cosmic ray particle detector invented and built by Randy Ruchti, ND professor of physics, and Barry Baumbaugh, research engineer, was installed last fall in a new permanent exhibit in the Smithsonian museum.…

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