University kicks off year with Frosh-O

first_imgAs members of the incoming Class of 2018 pack their last bags and begin to converge on campus from all over the world, groups of older students from each residence hall are hard at work behind the scenes, putting the final touches on what will be the freshmen’s first glimpse of life at Notre Dame.Commonly known as Frosh-O, the First Year Orientation is a whirlwind of new faces, speeches and events from Aug. 22-24. In addition to open houses, an official orientation program, academic advising and DomerFest, freshmen will participate in a variety of activities with their residence halls. These events often include icebreakers, learning Notre Dame and hall-specific traditions, and small service projects, sometimes in conjunction with other halls. Senior Deirdre Harrington, chair of the Student Campus Orientation Committee (SCOC), said preparations for the weekend began last April, when the 29 residence halls’ Frosh-O commissioners, the leaders of hall orientation events, gathered for a series of training sessions. Keri O’Mara | The Observer “[It] was basically going over what we expect of them and their staff and what kind of events they should have, and preparing them to be able to plan the events during the summer,” Harrington said. She said the Student Activities Office (SAO) had to approve all Frosh-O events. Commissioners for each hall began exchanging ideas for events with their staffs and with other halls in the spring semester, and, after consulting with rectors, submitted schedule proposals to SCOC. Harrington said SCOC then acted as an intermediary between commissioners and SAO staff, offering suggestions and improvements before submitting the final proposal to SAO, which then offered its own feedback based on a number of considerations, from risk management to what kind of food each event would need. Another dimension of the training process, Harrington said, was a renewed emphasis on inclusiveness, taking students’ differences in background and personality into account, so that all freshmen could feel welcome and comfortable. She said this involved keeping diverse ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientations and ability levels in mind when planning events and adjusting existing traditions, such as designing an event students of all athletic abilities could enjoy. “The overall goal is to get people used to Notre Dame and what it means to be a student and part of this community at large, and understanding what it means to be a part of your dorm, or all the types of identities you might have as a Notre Dame student on campus,” Harrington said. Junior Josh Dempsey, a Frosh-O co-commissioner for Duncan Hall, said he and his staff decided to change serenades, a tradition in which male dorms sing to female dorms, by having the residents sing to other male dorms. He said he and his staff also worked to develop better events with female dorms. “It’s more about developing friendships early on and developing meaningful, lasting friendships,” he said. “So we try to avoid your 30-minute event with a female dorm … What we did instead was schedule an hour and a half block where the guys are in a low-pressure atmosphere and they can just mingle and talk and actually get to know [another hall resident] as a person.” The initiative also extended to personality types. Junior Maggie Schmid, a co-commissioner for Cavanaugh Hall, said she worked to make Frosh-O welcoming to both introverted and outgoing students.“We want to make sure we’re taking care of [the students],” Schmid said. “I love Notre Dame, and I want to make sure [freshmen] have a good first impression. The training helps me focus on people who I don’t [normally] focus on, and I like that, because we don’t want to let anyone slip through.” The result of all this work is a months-long, multi-step process of adjusting events and schedules and coordinating with other halls, so that it all fits together in the end. “We’re actually still today just getting approval for things that we submitted in May,” sophomore and Breen-Phillips Hall co-commissioner Melaina LaSalle said.  “It’s very long because I think Notre Dame just wants to make sure that everyone is safe and everyone has options that weekend, so it’s understandable, but it’s a long process.” LaSalle said her goal was to make the freshmen’s orientation experience as good as hers was. “Everyone in the moment is like, ‘oh, serenading, this is so awkward, DomerFest is so awkward … but I met my best friends that weekend, and I’m so thankful for that,” LaSalle said. “If I’m able to give that opportunity to someone else, even if it’s just one person, it’s worth it . . . . Our goal as BP students is to build both a sisterhood within our dorm and relationships outside of our dorm, because that’s what Frosh-O weekend is about, building relationships you’re probably going to know your whole life.” Dempsey said he wanted to emphasize a sense of community during Duncan’s Frosh-O. “Our goal would be really make them feel like Duncan is their hall,” Dempsey said. “That was a big thing for me, when I felt comfortable with the guys I was living with, going to dinner with, makes the guys excited to call their parents at the end of the weekend and say, ‘I had the best time.’ You really have kids who miss home, but are comfortable in their hall. It’s that welcoming aspect that is our main objective.” Tags: class of 2018, Freshman Orientation, Frosh-Olast_img read more

Qantas cancels more international flights as coronavirus spreads rapidly

first_imgQantas Airways Ltd said on Friday it would cut more international capacity this month as it grapples with falling demand due to an escalation in the coronavirus outbreak in countries beyond China.The latest cuts to destinations including Tokyo, Sapporo, Osaka, Hong Kong and Auckland are on top of its grounding the equivalent of 18 planes as it cut international and domestic capacity last month.”The coronavirus situation and its impact on international travel demand is evolving and we’re monitoring closely,” the Australian airline said in a statement on Friday. “Further changes are expected.”Australia has recorded 60 cases of infection and two elderly people have died from the virus. Globally, the virus has spread to more than 60 countries. Almost 91,000 have been infected and over 3,000 have died, most of them in China.With the virus spreading rapidly, international tourist bookings to Australia plunged by 56% over the last month, the country’s tourism minister, Simon Birmingham, said on radio.The country also ordered its first school closure after a 16-year-old pupil tested positive for the coronavirus. Qantas’ loss-making domestic rival Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd is holding meetings and calls with debt investors on Friday to discuss its recent interim results, a Virgin spokesman said, following a report in The Australian Financial Review there were concerns over falls in its bond prices.Virgin has no immediate plans to lower capacity beyond domestic and international cuts announced last month but is continuing to monitor demand and will make more adjustments if needed, the spokesman said.Air New Zealand Ltd and Singapore Airlines Ltd this week also announced further capacity cuts than initially planned as the epidemic spreads to more countries.Airlines could lose $63 billion to $113 billion in revenue for passenger traffic globally in 2020, depending on how the coronavirus spreads, International Air Transport Association said on Thursday. center_img Topics :last_img read more

Mental toughness key for Gayle ahead of World Cup

first_img(CMC) – VETERAN West Indies opener Chris Gayle believes mental toughness, rest and proper management of his body will be key to his success in his fifth ICC 50-overs World Cup which bowls off in England at month end.At 39 years old, the left-hander will be one of the oldest players on show and with 289 One-Day Internationals under his belt, will be the second most experienced player at the showpiece – only behind India’s MS Dhoni.“Age catches up as you ain’t getting any younger but the most important thing for me is the mental part of the game. It is not so much for the physical side of the game anymore. I have not done much fitness in the last couple of months,” Gayle told the Press Trust of India.“I use my experience and mental aspect. I have not done gym for some time. Like I said I am just taking a lot of rest, getting a lot of massage, lots of stretching, just trying to stay fresh for games. I know what is required to keep me going on the field.”There were some doubts about Gayle when he returned against England earlier this year but he quickly silenced his detractors with a Man-of-the-Series 424 runs which helped West Indies draw the five-match rubber 2-2.He has since been named in the Windies’ 15-man World Cup squad where he will serve as Jason Holder’s vice-captain.Gayle, who has amassed 10 151 ODI runs along with 25 hundreds, said his experience would also be critical during the upcoming May 30 to July 14 World Cup campaign.“It is a funny game you know. When the World Cup comes, hopefully, the runs would flow. I have a lot of experience so I know what it is like. I am just happy with the way I am batting right now and hope to carry on,” Gayle noted.“I could never dream of playing so many World Cups but it has happened. It shows consistency in the career. That keeps you going and earn a lot of praise.“Hard work in the last couple of years paid off. People want to see you more and you are trying to deliver as much as possible.”In the twilight of what has been a stellar career in all formats – he has played 103 Tests and scored two triple centuries. Gayle said his major motivation now was keeping fans happy.“Honestly (I do it for) the fans, I am not going to lie. Maybe couple of years ago the thought did cross my mind of retirement.. Then the fans came out and said ‘don’t go’. They actually drive me to go on,” the Jamaican said.“I know nothing lasts forever and hopefully I can give them a few more games and it also pushes you to win the World Cup.”Gayle announced earlier this year he would retire from ODIs following the World Cup.last_img read more