The 60-day period for public comment regarding a proposed compromise to the Affordable Care Act’s mandated contraceptive coverage expired Monday without any public response from Notre Dame. The White House proposed the compromise Feb. 1, crafting a deal that would potentially allow Notre Dame to issue a health insurance plan to its employees without directly providing birth control coverage or claiming it was indirectly paying for birth control coverage. University Spokesman Dennis Brown declined to comment at this time on why the University did not submit a public comment during this response period. When the White House released the proposed compromise in February, Brown said Notre Dame administrators needed to fully analyze and discuss its contents. The proposal suggested a separate, individual private insurance policy that could provide contraceptive coverage at no cost for the employees of faith-based organizations. “These proposed rules aim to provide women with contraceptive coverage without cost sharing and to protect eligible organizations from having to contract, arrange, pay or refer for contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds,” the proposal stated. The proposal is an amendment to rules regarding minimum insurance packages set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of its regulatory authority under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If the administration finalizes this draft of the rule, objecting organizations could provide employees with a plan that does not offer contraceptive coverage. The health insurer providing the plan would then enroll those employees in a separate, stand-alone policy that only covers contraceptives at no extra cost. The University, however, is self-insured. The proposed policy outlined several options for self-insured organizations, all of which allow the objecting employer to work with the company that administers its health benefits to avoid coverage of contraceptives. A third-party administrator would “automatically arrange separate individual health insurance policies for contraceptive coverage from an issuer providing such policies,” the proposal stated. Last May, the University filed one of more than 40 religious liberty lawsuits from faith-based organizations to contest the constitutionality of the contraception mandate. The lawsuit stated the mandate would go against Church teachings and therefore violates the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and other federal laws. A federal judge dismissed Notre Dame’s lawsuit in early January, when U.S. District Court Judge Robert Miller Jr. ruled the University’s claim was not yet “ripe,” meaning it was not ready to be litigated. This was the case because the rule regarding contraceptive coverage had not been finalized. Despite the proposed changes, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) continued to voice its own concerns about the mandate in a statement Feb. 7. USCCB president Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who will visit Notre Dame in May as the 2013 Commencement speaker, claimed the compromise fell short but said the bishops looked forward to finding “acceptable solutions” to the mandate. “[The proposed rule] appears to offer second-class status to our first-class institutions in Catholic health care, Catholic education and Catholic charities,” Dolan said Feb. 7. “HHS offers what it calls an ‘accommodation’ rather than accepting the fact that these ministries are integral to our church and worthy of the same exemption as our Catholic churches.” HHS will now review public comments and decide whether this draft of the rule will become final.
University architect Doug Marsh spoke about campus growth and development at Wednesday’s student senate meeting, according to the meeting minutes.Marsh explained the overarching organization plan of Notre Dame’s campus, which he said parallels the original master plan of University founder Fr. Edward Sorin.Campus growth expanded under the leadership of University President Emeritus Fr. Ted Hesburgh, and currently continues at a rate of approximately 2.5 percent each year, Marsh said.While physical growth is important to a university’s success, Marsh said the planners must anticipate the growth and be smart about it so it does not devolve into a sprawling system with shuttles and remote parking structures. Overall, preserving the walkability of campus and its pedestrian focus is important, he said.According to the minutes, Marsh highlighted the northeast and south districts of campus as sites for potential development plans, including two new residence halls and a molecular engineering research building. He said the architecture department would like to increase the number of beds on campus and still alleviate some of the cramped space problems. Any new buildings would preserve the collegiate gothic character, he said.Other development plans include the area of campus adjacent to Eddy Street, he said, where they envision additional buildings. According to the meeting minutes, Marsh cited a potential new art museum building to house the Snite Museum’s current collection.Earlier this year, the University announced plans for a new architecture building in that area, as well as a Jenkins Hall and a Nanovic Hall to hold the growing global affairs programs.Marsh said the recently announced Campus Crossroads project began with questions about where to put a new student center, recreational facilities and the psychology and anthropology departments.He explained the five-minute walking radius measure used to determine where the ideal site would be, marking the center at the point where South Quad and God Quad meet. Because the department didn’t want to expand in McGlinn fields or near the Grotto, they looked to the potential space around the stadium.More information about campus plans and architectural projects can be found at architect.nd.eduTags: Architect, Campus Crossroads, Doug Marsh, Senate
The American Psychological Association (APA) recently selected psychology professor Kristin Valentino to receive the 2014 early career award for outstanding contributions to research in child maltreatment.“When I was an undergraduate, I knew I wanted to pursue clinical psychology,” Valentino said. “But it wasn’t until I took a course in developmental psychopathology, where I had the opportunity to work one-on-one with a child in a psychiatric residential facility who had a severe history of child abuse, that I became really interested in the topic.”Valentino said the class inspired her to develop a similar course on campus, Practicum in Child Maltreatment, which involves pairing local children in foster care with undergraduates to serve as their mentors.“After developing a relationship with a child who had been the victim of severe child maltreatment, I started learning more about the prevalence of child maltreatment in our country, and was shocked to realize how many children are affected by child abuse and neglect, and how little attention this issue generally received,” she said.Compared to other challenges to child development such as autism and ADHD, Valentino said far less attention and resources are devoted to addressing child abuse and neglect, despite the staggering rates at which they affect children.“I feel passionate about bringing greater awareness to this issue, and beyond that, to using psychological research to inform policy and treatment efforts geared towards improving outcomes among children who have been affected by or are at risk for child maltreatment,” she said.Valentino is currently working on a randomized clinical trial (RCT) called “Fostering healthy development among maltreated preschool-aged children” through funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).“We are one and a half years into a five year project and ultimately will be enrolling 240 families into the project overall,” she said. “Each family participates in the study for one year.”Valentino said the project involves an intervention aimed at teaching maltreating mothers the necessary skills to enhance emotionally supportive communication with their children.“I’m mainly interested in understanding if this brief intervention can improve maltreated children’s functioning in cognitive, emotional and physiological domains, if we can improve parenting and if we may identify the mechanisms that support positive intervention outcomes,” she said.Valentino said she will continue to conduct the longitudinal RCT design in order to fully evaluate whether her intervention — aimed at improving certain processes deficient among maltreating families — is effective and able to expand nationally.“We think that teaching mothers to sensitively discuss children’s feelings and to talk more frequently with their children will enhance the mother-child relationship,” she said.Tags: American Psychological Association, child maltreatment, Early Career Award, Kristen Valentino, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, psychology
Michael Subialka, Research Fellow in European Literature at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, gave a lecture titled, “Modernism at War: Pirandello and the Crisis of Cultural Identity,” in the Hesburgh Library on Monday.Subialka said performing artists understand the depth and breadth of 20th century Italian playwright and dramatist Luigi Pirandello’s work.“We have a vision of Pirandello … as an innovator who changed the way in which the stage was perceived, and the way in which the actor and director could use the stage to reflect on the process of making art itself,” Subialka said.Subialka said this understanding of Pirandello was formed in part by Adriano Tilgher, a critic who presented Pirandello’s thought as a dichotomy of life and form.Although he agreed with Tilgher’s analysis, Subialka said that it obscured certain aspects of Pirandello’s views.“We think of Pirandello especially in terms of this idea of identity crisis, a crisis that in modernism becomes a crisis of representation,” Subialka said. “But I want to suggest that this crisis of the individual subject is also connected to a crisis of … cultural identity and that this comes to head in some of the writings he wrote during the Great War.”Subialka said one of Pirandello’s most prominent works, Six Characters in Search of an Author, is the ideal starting point for understanding the author’s view on identity crisis.“In Six Characters in Search of an Author, you have a crisis of identity that is played out in six different instances,” Subialka said. “You have these six characters … who interrupt a rehearsal for one of Pirandello’s other works … and they try to tell their story.”Subialka said these characters, unable to identify with the actors onstage who attempt to portray them, are driven to an identity crisis.“At the same time they don’t recognize themselves as actors, and the actors’ attempts to replicate each aspect of the story that they each see as their own … so there is … this driving internal need to communicate,” Subialka said.Using this illustration of meta-theater, Subialka said that one of Pirandello’s central concerns was the question of what it meant to be a person, and how others’ perception of one’s person differed.“Pirandello seems to think that who you see yourself as is never the same thing as what other people see you as … that others fix you in certain perspectives in a way of being that’s relevant to your life,” Subialka said.Due to the constantly changing nature of life these external perceptions ultimately influence individuals, Subialka said.“When we create identities — say an accountant or … businessman — that identity takes certain aspects of that mutable thing and then fixes them,” Subialka said.Theater is a particularly conducive medium to portray the conflict between impermanence and identity, Subialka said.“The theater, in certain respects, is able to overcome that conflict, because it’s both fixed — there is a script and there is a story — but at the same time every time it’s performed, it’s new,” Subialka said. “It doesn’t just exist, it has to be embodied by actors and each time they do it, they’re going to be different … There’s something transformative about it.”Tags: Adriano Tilgher, Cultural Identity, Luigi Pirandello, Modernism at War, Pirandello and the Crisis of Cultural Identity, Theater
The Saint Mary’s Department of Justice Education organized a day-long symposium Thursday about different aspects of health care. The keynote speaker for the event, St. Joseph Health System President and CEO Albert Gutierrez, gave a presentation titled “How Catholic faith informs the practice of health care.”Director of the Justice Education Program Adrienne Lyles introduced the day’s events.“Today’s Health Care Justice Symposium is designed to foster intellectual curiosity, rational inquiry, respectful dialogue, civic responsibility and the practice of justice and compassion,” Lyles said. “Health care is a commodity that concerns and affects all human beings.”Gutierrez said Saint Mary’s and Saint Joseph Health System, which is part of Trinity Health, are sister institutions because the Sisters of the Holy Cross founded both of them. He also said the Health System is an extension of the Catholic Church through its relationship with the Sisters. The biggest issue when it comes to health care in America is difference between equality and equity, Gutierrez said. “Equality is sameness, giving everyone the same thing,” Gutierrez said. “It only works from our view if everyone started from the same place. … However, we believe in health care that equity is something that we’re looking to strive to achieve.”Gutierrez showed a graphic that depicted equality versus equity and showed three people of different heights trying to look over a fence. Under equality, they all had the same size box to stand on, and the shorter people could not see. Under equity, the people had a different number of boxes to ensure each person could see over the fence. “If you follow the theory of equality, you could still have people that are left out,” Gutierrez said. “ … We must first ensure equity before we can enjoy equality.”Gutierrez said Trinity Health looks at all factors needed to ensure the best health care when it develops business and management plans to improve the hospitals. He said the quality of care is only 10 percent of community health, and in previous decades it was the only factor hospitals prioritized. “Having a bright, shiny hospital does not improve the overall health status of individuals in a community,” Gutierrez said. “If you only believe that we’re going to save you in the hospital and then we’re going to send you back on the street, that is a very, very limited view of … health care.“We are now in our strategic plan operating under the model that health does not begin in a doctor’s office. We have chosen, as a health system, to inject ourselves in the entire argument.”Gutierrez said he cares for patients because people are made in the image of God. He said because all people have dignity, they all deserve reverence, and he creates plans to ensure the hospital follows through on that.“All of this goes back to biblical concept,” he said. “Whether you have earned it or not, we will care for you.”Tags: Health care, health care justice, Social justice
The Saint Mary’s departments of education and art will host a Sustainable Arts Cafe and Market in Dalloway’s Clubhouse on Friday.Bri O’Brien, co-chair of the Justice Education Student Advisory Committee (JSAC), said the cafe highlights the justice-oriented work of students and faculty on campus and benefits Northern Indiana by raising funds to combat hunger. “Students can show their support for the awesome work of other students and faculty members through participating in the event,” O’Brien said. “Students can eat, shop, hang out and learn about sustainability while supporting the Saint Mary’s and Northern Indiana communities.”Director of Justice Education Adrienne Lyles-Chockley said the event will help bring together the campus community, local organizations and individuals who are committed to food justice. She said students from across disciplines will come together to address poverty in the wider community by raising funds for the local food bank.“Poverty and food insecurity are issues that affect everyone,” Lyles-Chockley said. “Here, people can address it while doing something they likely would do anyway: shop for holiday gifts.”Lyles-Chockley said the event will feature spoken word by Poetic Melody and a poetry reading by English professor Aaron Moe. O’Brien said students in the Sustainable Textiles course will display and sell the sustainable artwork they have created over this past semester. She said this would include eco-dyed scarves, journals and notebooks made from recycled cotton and denim, upcycled fabric handbags and essential oils.O’Brien said there will also be coffee made from Fair Trade coffee beans, as well as a variety of local, organic foods available from vendors from the South Bend Farmers’ Market, which students can try free of charge. Students will have the opportunity to speak with Krista Bailey from the South Bend Office for Sustainability during this event, she said. Lyles-Chockley said this event shows students that justice can be encountered in works of art and in consumption choices.“Justice isn’t just encountered in lectures,” Lyles-Chockley said. “[The event] fulfills the Justice Education mission by getting students to think about the ways in which they can make small changes to create a more sustainable lifestyle, by introducing students to products that are justly made and to individuals who have committed themselves to making peaceful and just decisions in their consumer and production choices, and by introducing students to thinking about justice in an interdisciplinary way.”JSAC member Morgan Matthews said she encourages students to attend the cafe because the products being sold are ones that people use daily.“It’s not just using organic, sustainable products,” Matthews said. “You’re also helping the South Bend area because these people are trying to sell their products on the daily, and this would help business for them as well. Tags: JSAC, Justice Education, sustainability
Students who participated in the International Summer Service Learning Program (ISSLP) this summer went beyond completing service and earning credits, they sought a global awareness of social issues in areas around the world, in locations including South America, Africa and Asia.Rachel Tomas Morgan, director of the ISSLP at the Center for Social Concerns (CSC) said the ISSLP is a four-credit course in Catholic Social Tradition and social analysis where students are invited to interpret an array of global issues. The program includes an eight-to-10 week service-learning immersion over the summer in one of 15 developing countries.“Essentially, the ISSLP provides opportunities for students to examine causes of global poverty and create links of solidarity while meeting local needs of communities around the world,” Tomas Morgan said.“Our hope is that the ISSLP helps to expand students’ global perspective and provides students the opportunity to work closely with communities to help address their needs,” she said. “The program is immersive, and students work hand-in-hand with communities to address a community’s most pressing issues, which can span a number of fields.”For students interested in the program, Tomas Morgan recommends attending one of the weekly information sessions, which will provide site-specific details. Because there are so many ISSLPs offered, Tomas Morgan said “what makes a strong application are students who make a case for why they are a good candidate for a particular site — who show that their academic interest, prior service experience, passion and even career objectives align with the work occurring at the site.”Applications for ISSLPs are open until midnight Nov. 3 and interviews will be conducted for the applicants who qualify Nov. 17. Admissions decisions are released Dec. 20 and accepted candidates must confirm attendance by Dec. 27 in order to enroll in the mandatory one-credit ISSLP Orientation course.Senior Laura Labb decided to apply for an ISSLP after being moved by the issues she encountered while doing a Summer Service Learning Program immersion in Boston, she said. She went to Antigua, Guatemala this summer year, where she worked for Common Hope, which provides education and access to medical care and social workers to people living in poverty.“Education is one of the strongest determinants of health in my opinion, so the opportunity to tutor through the youth program similarly attracted me to my site,” Labb said in an email. Throughout her time in Guatemala, she worked in healthcare clinics, supported youth programs, taught ESL classes and translated for visiting dental teams.Labb said her ISSLP experience aligned with her career aspirations.“As a pre-med student at ND this experience was extremely valuable in understanding how lack of healthcare education and limited primary care affect the delivery of healthcare in underserved communities,” Labb said.Senior Shelene Baiyee spent last summer in both Tamale and Kumasi, Ghana, partnering with the U.S.-based organization Unite for Sight. Her mission was to support local eye doctors in Ghana and help them reach as many patients as possible. Baiyee said she assisted a local surgeon, Seth Wanye, in completing up to 50 surgeries a day, but that she did more than just volunteer work.“There was one day I spent eight hours with [Dr. Wanye]’s nephew and children,” she said. “That was one of my favorite days out of the whole summer, because I really felt like I was a part of the family.”Encounters with locals during ISSLPs often prove to be the most touching and rewarding. In one post-op, Baiyee had the chance to remove one man’s bandages after surgery, enabling him to see for the first time in 10 years.“That was a beautiful day,” she said. “When we took his bandages off, he started pointing at everything he could see, excitedly shouting descriptions of ‘green’ and ‘striped’ and ‘brown.’”Baiyee said her experiences helped her decide what career field she wants to pursue.“I am really interested in global health, public health and policy, and after participating in the ISSLP, I know now more than ever that that’s where my interest is,” she said.“This summer was the most beautiful and most frustrating summer I’ve ever experienced. I loved it, and I would love to go back,” Baiyee said. Tags: Center for Social Concerns, international summer service learning program, ISSLP Shelene Baiyee Three women shade their eyes after post-surgery examination by ISSLP students in Tamale, Ghana.
Fr. Robert S. Pelton, who was a faculty fellow in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, died Monday, the University announced in a press release Tuesday. He was 98 years old.Pelton studied liberation theology with an emphasis in Latin American countries. He served as the founder and director of the Kellogg Institute’s Latin American/North American Church Concerns (LANACC).Peter Casarella, associate professor of theology at Notre Dame and former director of LANACC, said in the release that Pelton possessed a strong sense of dedication to Notre Dame.“His record of service sheds a lot of light on the genesis of almost all the ecclesial institutes we have around us today,” Casarella said. “From its inception, Fr. Bob dedicated LANACC to ‘reverse mission.’ He believed that gringos such as himself had more to learn from Latin America than Latin Americans were going to learn from him.”Pelton studied the Salvadorian archbishop Oscar Romero extensively, and his research was used in a number of publications including Zenit, the New York Times and The Guardian. In 2018, Pelton took a trip to Rome to witness the bishop’s canonization ceremony in St. Peter’s Square, the report said.Pelton was ordained as a Holy Cross priest in 1949 and received his licentiate and doctorate in sacred theology from St. Thomas University in Rome, the report said.Recognized as a filmmaker, scholar, author, theology professor and globetrotter, Pelton received an honorary doctorate from the University of Portland in 2016. He was also honored for serving as a theological advisor to Cardinal Leo Sunenens during the Second Vatican Council in 1965, and for his coverage of St. Pope John Paul II visits to Latin America as a journalist.Having an interest in the house churches in Cuba, Pelton took five trips to Cuba.“The related Notre Dame course, “Between God and the Party,” was taught by Fr. Pelton and Casarella and provided students the opportunity to talk with Cuban youth and learn about U.S. – Cuban relationships and the global expanse of the Catholic Church,” the press release said.In 2016, University President Emeritus Fr. “Monk” Malloy praised Pelton’s service in Chile in the 1960s and 1970s.“The role Bob played in the Catholic Church in Chile during a very important period of that country’s history was equivalent to that of an acting bishop,” Malloy said. “He has been a global citizen, a manifestation of the Church international and a true advocate of the vision of Vatican II.”At an earlier time, Pelton said he believed the Holy Spirit at the Council impacted his view of the Church, the release said.“It began to seem to me much more important to understand and experience what was going on at the grassroots of the church, and I felt myself more and more drawn in that direction,” Pelton said.In 2018, Pelton spoke out regarding the clerical sex abuse crisis, recognizing the damage it has caused and praying for Pope Francis to promote Romero as a pastoral model for the Church.“This moment provides a unique opportunity for the Church’s official leaders to accept a clear call from the Gospels, together with the affirmation of a committed lay leadership,” Pelton said.A vigil service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Moreau Seminary Chapel. A funeral Mass for Fr. Pelton will be held at 3:30 p.m. Friday in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.Tags: Latin American, Moreau Seminary, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart
For many students, a semester abroad is characterized by months of growth and adventure, but those who studied abroad this semester had their experiences cut short as COVID-19 spread internationally.Due to the fast-paced nature of the virus, many students’ semester abroad came to a halt seemingly overnight.“There had been speculation that we would be leaving Rome the entire week of Feb. 23,” Emma Berges, a Saint Mary’s sophomore who studied in Rome, Italy, said. “This is when most schools in Florence started pulling their students studying abroad. We got the news around 4 a.m. our time, Saturday the 29. Saint Mary’s had sent out an email saying they were reviewing the decision on whether or not we would be staying in Rome, and we were told we would have an answer by Friday night.”Students were in Rome for six weeks before receiving the dreadful phone call to return home, Rebecca Cesario, a junior, said. “For many of us, it was a 48-hour turnover,” she said. “Let’s just say many things were donated to the homeless.”In the fast-paced evacuation, Berges said she believes communication was incredibly vague when they were told to depart Rome. She said Saint Mary’s failed to provide a specific date by which the students needed to return home until most of the students had already left.“I was actually on a trip in Zurich, Switzerland when I found out the news that we would be returning home,” Berges said. ”I tried to change my flight back to Rome for Saturday, but everything cost over $400. I returned back to Rome Sunday morning and then left for home the following Monday, not even 24 hours later.” Because Berges was away for the weekend, she did not even get to say goodbye to most of her friends.”Getting flights booked back home was incredibly chaotic and made it extremely hard to fit in all of my ‘lasts‘ and goodbyes,” Berges said.The Rome program set a precedent for the rest of Saint Mary’s students abroad, Hannah Finely, a sophomore who studied in Seville, Spain said.”[Our departure] was all sort of an unraveling event that really started when the Rome program students got sent home,” Finely said. Finely, who already had plans to travel to Amsterdam two days after they were asked to return home decided to keep her flight arrangements. ”I left early Friday morning and arrived in Amsterdam only to find that it was being shut down as well,” she said. “All museums, bars, public centers closed… Because there really was not anything for me to do, I switched my flight to Saturday and was able to get home with few issues.” As students returned to their homes, they were asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. Berges said she thought the lack of explicit instruction from Saint Mary’s on this was frustrating.“On one end, you had people, like myself, who spent a full 14 days in complete isolation, and then on the other end, people did not quarantine themselves at all,” she said. “We were given very little instruction by the school, which I think caused a great deal of confusion. … Knowing the severity of the situation is only spiking, I wish Saint Mary’s had provided more information on the protocol and did a better job with communicating with their students who had been instantly taken away from their study abroad environment and sent home for two weeks of self-isolation.”With the transition back to their homes came the question of continuing classes online. Students who studied in Rome resumed their courses through John Cabot University online March 16. Additionally, students were given the option to take their courses as pass/fail. “It is unfortunate that none of our classes can be live because of the time difference and having students spread out globally since it is an international school,” Berges said. Meanwhile, Finely awaits information for her continuation courses from her host institution. The program assured students they can guarantee most, if not all, of their credits for the semester, she said. ”I’m hoping I will still be able to graduate on time, but the truth is that there are still so many things up in the air and so many questions left unanswered,” she said.As Berges adjusts to her new normal and reflects on her time in Rome, she’s happy the students were sent home when they were, she said. “If it had been any later, we could have been stuck there for months, seeing as the nationwide lockdown occurred only days after I departed,” Berges said. “This is not what I had expected my study abroad experience to turn out like, but there’s nothing I can do about it besides reflect on and appreciate the time I got to spend there.”Tags: coronavirus, Rome, Saint Mary’s study abroad, Seville
The University outlined plans for end of semester COVID-19 testing in an email sent to students Wednesday. Priority for testing appointments will go to students whose home address is in a state or country that requires a test for reentry based on the guidelines at the time.“Priority will be based on early November state and country requirements and a student’s home address in Banner,” the email said.The University will halt surveillance testing from Nov. 9 to Nov. 20 to allow for departure testing. During this time period, any student wishing to get a saliva-based test will be able to do so. Diagnostic testing will also continue during this time.In addition, students who live in an immediate household with an individual at high-risk for the virus should apply for an accommodation through Sara Bea by Oct. 23 to receive priority in scheduling a test, the email said.Tags: COVID testing, high risk, surveillance testing