Seen and Heard

Author: Ed Cohen

In the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, the Gender Studies Program and the departments of English, anthropology and film, television, and theatre (FTT) joined with Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College (GALA- ND/SMC) to sponsor the first-ever Notre Dame Queer Film Festival. The four-day event included screenings of films with gay or lesbian characters and subject matter, appearances by writers and directors, panel discussions and a screen-writing workshop. Among those returning to campus for the festival were two alums: author Tom O’Neil ‘77 (Movie Awards; The Emmys; The Grammys_) and Director Don Roos ’77 (_The Opposite of Sex, Bounce). The event attracted outsized media attention because of Notre Dame’s Catholic identity and because last year’s Princeton Review ratings of “the nation’s best 351 colleges” (based on surveys of students) placed Notre Dame first under the heading “Alternative Lifestyles Not an Alternative.” . . . A total of 180 residents of Dillon Hall—more than half the dorm—grew mustaches for three weeks starting in late January to raise money for charity. Participants, including Rector Paul Doyle, CSC, ‘65, ’75M.Div., accepted pledges for each day they went without shaving between nose and lip. By the end of the three weeks some participants had little, facially, to show for their efforts. But the so-called ’Stache Bash brought in a total of about $7,500 in pledges, said Alex Pagnani ’02, the hall’s assistant rector and law student who came up with the idea. The donations are earmarked for the Ulman Fund for testicular cancer research and awareness. The campaign ended with a semi-formal dance at Beacon Bowl. The next day nearly all participants took up clippers and razors in what was described as a “Valentine’s Day present to the women of Notre Dame.” . . . The first economic impact study ever commissioned by the University found that Notre Dame infused $833 million into the local economy in 2002. That figure takes into account 673,000 visitors attracted to campus from outside Saint Joseph County, 455,000 hours of volunteer work performed by faculty, staff and students, $285,000 in property and innkeeper taxes paid to South Bend and the county, and $306 million spent by the University in Saint Joe county alone on goods and services. . . . Brother Edward Sniatecki, CSC, ’25, ’33M.A., who entered Saint Joseph’s Novitiate at Notre Dame a few months after Knute Rockne completed his third season as football coach, died in January at age 101. He was believed to be Notre Dame’s oldest living alumnus. Brother Ed appeared in the photo accompanying the “Hall Portrait” of Carroll Hall in this magazine two years ago. He lived in Carroll, then known as Dujarie Hall, from 1921- 23 and was originally given the religious name Brother Hyacinth. He went on to a long career as a teacher and administrator at Catholic schools and was the founding principal of Central Catholic High School in South Bend from 1934-41. Among those who attended his 100th birthday party at Dujarie House, the Brothers’ assisted-living facility adjacent to Holy Cross College, were members of the Class of 1938, the high school’s first graduating class, now in their 80s. . . . More than 2,000 people signed a petition to hold the ROTC programs’ annual all-services Presidential Pass in Review ceremony outside. It’s now held inside the Loftus Center, in the spring. University officials are reluctant to move it outside because of possible weather complications and because no other event takes over the South Quad as it might. Some around campus remember when the ceremony was held on the quad several years ago. It drew complaints from some who thought a military parade was unseemly on the campus of a religious university. Many of those in favor of holding the ceremony outside see it as a slight to the military or a concession to political correctness to move it indoors. The Pass in Review has been held indoors every year but one since the late 1980s, but before that it was held outdoors annually going back as far as 1943, an ROTC commander says. It appears that the best chance the pro-outdoor forces have of getting the ceremony moved is to attract so many people they overflow Loftus. That’s a longshot because audiences in recent years have been modest in size. . . . A new conservative student newspaper,_ The Irish Rover,_ debuted on campus shortly before Christmas break. The paper’s masthead contained this disclaimer: “The ideas presented herein are not necessarily those of the University, although they probably should be.” . . . Members of the Women’s Boxing Club first traded punches publically in six bouts held in conjunction with the 2003 Bengal Bouts, but those were non-scored exhibitions. Last fall the women competed for real in 19 scored matches as part of their own Charity Bouts. Proceeds from the event and other activities of the club totaled more than $5,000, a portion of which is earmarked for the Honduras Sports Camp for Girls, which encourages women’s athletics in the Central American country. . . . A few weeks before Christmas, students in the Notre Dame Accounting Association took up a collection of money and non-perishables to make care packages to send to military alumni and students’ family members serving in the Middle East. . . . English Professor Valerie Sayers donated the $2,000 she received with her 2003 College of Arts and Letters Sheedy Award for Excellence in Teaching to seed a scholarship fund for the benefit of underrepresented (minority and first-generation) undergrads. The fund is designed to grow with contributions from other faculty and staff. She says she hopes it helps create a Notre Dame student body that isn’t so homogenous. . . . One day each month Dan Lindley, assistant professor of political science, sits down at a table in the South Dining Hall and talks international relations issues with whomever wants to join him over lunch. “I have a nifty sign and I bring my inflatable globe.” . . . Vice President and Associate Provost Carol Ann Mooney ’77J.D. is about to become the 11th president of Saint Mary’s College. She takes office June 1. She’s the first lay alumna and the first former Notre Dame administrator to lead Saint Mary’s. Mooney earned a bachelor’s in English from Saint Mary’s in 1972 and will succeed Saint Mary’s first lay female president, Marilou Eldred, who is retiring. Interestingly, the first woman to become a vice president of Notre Dame, Sister M. Alma Peter, CSC, was once acting president of Saint Mary’s (1970-72). In 1971 Sister Alma was named vice president for special projects, a role created in connection with Notre Dame’s proposed merger with Saint Mary’s. That job evaporated in 1972 when the University opted to go co-ed instead. She retired in 1984 but still lives at Saint Mary’s. She’s 94. . . . Campus Ministry has begun a new program of speakers and informal discussions on religious topics. The events are set in an unlikely place—the nightclub section of the new Legends restaurant complex. The Theology on Tap program meets a couple of times a month with free food and fountain soft drinks. The first get-together looked at “Dating and Relationships at Notre Dame” and drew just under 100 people, the program’s organizer said. Nearly double that attended the second one, on “Catholic Sexual Ethics: How Far is Too Far.” . . . In an Inside Column in The Observer photographer Allison Nichols of Saint Mary’s described how she accidentally (and irretrievably) flushed her cell phone down the toilet. It fell out of her sweater. . . . In another Inside Column, freshman Kate Gales, the paper’s wire editor, said she felt “an odd sense of deja vu” when she walked into her first college party last fall, in room 313 of Zahm Hall. Why? Because it was the room where her dad, Charlie Gales ‘82, lived freshman year. . . . *It’s been many years* since sophomores were the only ones organizing, sponsoring, performing or attending readings at the famed Sophomore Literary Festival. So this year the 37-year tradition adopted a new more inclusive, if predictable, name: the Notre Dame Literary Festival. . . . Producers of the Hallmark cable channel’s broadcast of Sunday morning Mass from the Basilica try to be unobtrusive, but congregants know they’re on TV. Until a few months ago, the celebrant would preface the service with an announcement that the cameras focus primarily on the altar and choir but occasionally pan over the congregation. Congregants were therefore encouraged to sing and otherwise participate in the service but not “yawn or check their watches.” The revised announcement simply encourages full participation.