Midweek Update 2/3: Election Week!

Posted on February 5, 2014 in Uncategorized by Brett

Greetings, Progressivites!

Before getting into the news, I feel it is important to remind everyone that today is the day to vote for next year’s student government representatives. As most of us have invested a lot into the Notre Dame community and have a deep interest in its affairs, I implore that all of you take a few moments out of your day not just to vote for the candidates, but to read about their platforms and make informed decisions. Regardless of who you select, Making informed voting into a habit will truly help you develop into excellent students and citizens.

On the economic front, the BBC reports that pharmacy supergiant CVS plans to halt sales of cigarettes and other tobacco-like products, citing a conflict with the company’s health care mission as the justification behind pulling a very profitable product. In other news, Washington lawmakers are currently attempting to make the Evergreen State an innovator in terms of employee benefits, with legislation proposed that would require Washington businesses to provide their employees with paid vacation time. Washington tends to the left with its policy making, and this proposed legislation is seeing a great deal of support from Washington residents as well as political interest groups.

Environmental tragedy has stricken the rivers of Greensborough, North Carolina as a retired Duke energy plant has spilled 50,000 to 82,000 tons of coal and ash into the Dan River. Though coal ash contains highly toxic substances, early water tests have suggested that no lasting damage has been done; cleanup endeavors are already underway in the Dan River and its surrounding tributaries.

Reporting from Washington, CNN interviewed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who cited “irresolvable conflict” between the senate and the house when he predicted the legislation’s failure to pass any immigration reform in 2014. Tensions between the two parties continue to swell, with neither side appearing to gain any ground on this hot button issue.

As always, write in to irishpsa@gmail.com if you want to hear your voice heard on this blog – on these subjects or any others that you are interested in. And of course, remember to follow us on twitter at @irishpsa.

Regards, and don’t forget to vote!

Brett O’Connell

Midweek Update: The Sun is Shining, the Tank is Clean…

Posted on January 29, 2014 in Uncategorized by Brett

The tank is clean?!

Needless to say, it’s been a “hurry up and wait” sort of week, with the entire campus at a virtual standstill due to the record low temperatures. However, the progressive world marches on – and it has been a busy week for progressive interests across the nation and beyond.

We’ll start off with the obvious: President Obama delivered his State of the Union address yesterday – and he plans to hit the road to push the points that he highlighted in his speech yesterday.

In more global news, tensions continue to mount in Russia as the Olympics draw ever nearer and some experts suggest that terror attacks are very likely in the months surrounding the global event. To make matters more complicated, officiating bodies such as the NHL are threatening to pull their players from Olympic participation as a precaution against a terror strike. These threats of terror, combined with the controversy over Russia’s new anti-gay policies, will make for a very tumultuous Games.

A recent shooting at a Maryland mall complex has fanned the flames of ongoing gun control debates, with troubling studies regarding youth gun injuries further complicating an already controversial issue.

As always, the Progressive world continues to spin despite the horrendous weather across the nation. But on the bright side, the sun has finally shown its face and school activity seems to have resumed at its normal, daunting pace. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you all next week with another midweek update. Until then, remember to follow us on twitter (@ndpsa) for daily updates on all things progressive.


Brett O’Connell

Midweek Update 1/15

Posted on January 15, 2014 in Uncategorized by Brett

Greetings Progressivites!


In order to establish some sort of continuity on this blog (as well as to spark some conversation amongst its readers) I’m going to be doing a weekly Wednesday update that includes links and questions from across the internet and around the world, as well as important goings on right here on campus.

This week, we get to read the observer’s latest take on the ongoing contraceptive controversy between Notre Dame and the Federal Government. Marisa Iati chronicles the latest news regarding the status of contraception for campus employees, as well as the University’s response to ongoing litigation, in her article from today’s Observer. 

Additionally, we took a look at a stellar article on the “cycle of poverty” published by Barbara Ehrenreich, Atlantic contributor and author of the fantastic book Nickeled and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. Considering recent campus involvement in local and municipal labor movements, this article deserves a read.

It is the first week of a new semester, and as the Syllabuses (Syllabi?) pile up, an air of optimism seems to be in the air. A new year brings new beginnings, of course – and this optimism does not appear to be exclusive to college students. A number of observers suggest that the US economy is looking at a successful 2014. US News Analyst Blu Putnam suggests that “Several indicators all point towards a strong year of economic growth”, while Reuters analysts point to a more “robust US economy” and an upswing in retail spending as symptoms of a strengthening economy.

Of course, arguments still abound over the hot topics of minimum wage and labor reform – and a strengthening economy would seem to present an excellent opportunity to address some of these issues with new legislation.

What do YOU think? If you have a particularly strong opinion about the upcoming year, please write us at irishpsa@gmail.com and let us know how you feel! If your post is particularly passionate, it may very well end up on this blog. Even if you don’t want to contribute, though, be sure to follow @irishpsa on twitter to keep up to date on the latest progressive news and issues.




Brett O’Connell


Welcome back/New Management

Posted on January 13, 2014 in Announcements by Brett

Greetings, Progressivites!

Happy new year and welcome back to your home under the Dome. A new year means new beginnings; bearing that theme in mind, I would like to take a chance to introduce myself as the PSA’s new Social Media Coordinator. My name is Brett O’Connell. I am a Sophomore History major currently living in Fisher Hall. I’ve been involved with the club since I arrived on campus a year and a half ago, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to really connect you all with the different progressive happenings on campus, as well as national and international news relevant to progressive interests.

As you can no doubt see, this site has accumulated its fair share of dust over the past year or so. Starting today, the ND PSA is making an entirely new and exciting foray into the world of social media. Our goal is to ensure that advocacy is a constant mission; it is not enough to simply talk about change within the four walls of our meeting room once a week. Instead, advocacy has to become a daily experience. With that in mind, it will be my job to ensure that anyone who follows our club will get frequent updates on campus events and national happenings so that we can stay well informed as individuals and as a community. You can expect frequent posts to this blog, as well as interesting links and discussion questions posted to our new twitter handle (follow @irishpsa!), to keep you updated on a daily basis.

This new year marks a new direction for progressive media at Notre Dame. Ultimately, we want to encourage dialogue and action for all of our followers. If you happen upon an interesting story, or you have a question that you want answered, please do not hesitate to contact us at irishpsa@gmail.com. Your comments or links could very well end up published on this blog!

I hope you’re all getting settled in nicely as we prepare for another great semester at Notre Dame. Here’s to new beginnings and and a world of exciting possibilities – I’m looking forward to sharing as much as I can with you all over the next few months and beyond.




Brett O’Connell

NEW: PSA Online Forum

Posted on February 26, 2013 in Announcements by Dani

Please click here to check out PSA’s new forum! Post your thoughts on today’s most pressing issues!

Upcoming Campus Events

Posted on February 25, 2013 in Events by Dani

This week on campus

Feb 26, 2013 (Joyce Center) 6:00-10:00pm.
Boxing: 83rd Annual Bengal Bouts Semis. Bengal Bouts is an annual Men’s Boxing tournament held by the University, the purpose of which is to raise money for the Holy Cross Missions in Bangladesh.

Feb 27, 2013 (DeBartolo Performing Arts Center) 7:00-8:30pm.
Concert: Metropolitan Opera’s Isabel Leonard, mezzo soprano. Highly acclaimed for her “passion intensity and remarkable vocal beauty” Isabel Leonard continues to make waves in the world of classical music both at home in the United States and abroad. Consists of South American songs followed by worlds of American composers.

Feb 27, 2013 (Andrews Auditorium, Geddes hall) 6:30-8:00pm.
Lecture: Making a Living Making a Difference Series: “Alta Gracia: Changing Lives One Shirt At A Time”. Joe Bozich is the CEO of Knights Apparel and founder of the Alta Gracia Project in the Dominican Republic. This event is proudly sponsored by the Department of Political Science, the Career Center, the Law School, Master of Nonprofit Administration, Master of Business Administration, Inspire, Net Impact, Higgins Labor Institute, and the Center for Social Concerns.

Feb 28, 2013 (CoMo)
Islam: Prayer from Around the World Series. Join Campus Ministry along with the Muslim Students Association of Notre Dame for this year’s Islam discussion and prayer in the Coleman-Morse Center student lounge.

March 1, 2013 (424 Flanner Hall) 3:30-4:30pm.
Lecture:“The Problem with Stereotypes”. A lecture by Clair Wills, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies

March 1, 2013 (Joyce Center) 6:00-10:00pm.
Boxing: 83rd Annual Bengal Bouts Finals.

March 2, 2013 (Fieldhouse Mall) 9:30-10:30.
Run: Race for the Heroes 5K or 10K run. All proceeds from the race will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization that supports wounded veterans. Registration begins at 8 a.m., the race starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Clarke Memorial Fountain (Race course loops around campus)

March 2, 2013 (Washington Hall) 7:00pm-10:00pm.
Concert: 55th Annual Collegiate jazz Festival. Performances by well-known jazz programs from around the country as well as ND’s own Jazz Band and its New Orleans Brass Band. Hosted in a Mardi Gras theme, tickets are free for students both nights.

March 3, 2013 (Basilica) 7:15-8:15pm.
Concert: Vespers Concert featuring the Notre Dame Folk Choir. The Notre Dame Folk Choir will sing following Sunday evening Vespers in the Lady Chapel of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. All are welcome to attend.

Future events

March 20, 2013 Internationl day of Happiness!
Movie: The film “Happy” will be screened to get people thinking positively and have some fun.

From the GRC: Love Your Body Week

Posted on February 24, 2013 in Events by Dani

This week is Love Your Body Week, so pick up your free “My Body Is ________” T-Shirt at one of the events! Subscribe to the GRC Twitter (@grcND) to get tweets of each day’s events!

  • Articles are due this week! Get published for the Time to Write journal (great resume-builder)!  Submissions should reflect on the nature of violence, how to prevent it and/or how to build a more just and humane society to promote and preserve human dignity. Submissions are due Thurs. Feb 28nd.

Featured Opportunities:

  • HerCampus.com/nd wants you! HerCampus.com features national content on Style, Health, Love, Life, Politics and Careers. The commitment is a weekly article from you for one of the most viewed chapters in the country. If interested contact Lexi Lorenzo at alorenz3@nd.edu.

Love Your Body Week 2013 (Feb. 24 – Mar. 1) (sponsored by Student Government and the GRC):

Wednesday: February 27

  • Miss Representation Documentary Watch – Chipotle Dinner for first 120 people
    • DeBartolo Rm. 155 at 6:30-8:00pm
    • Powerful Documentary about the portrayal of women in the media
  • Weights and Strength Training: Personal Trainer Information Session
    • Rockne B020 at 5:00-6:00pm

Thursday: February 28th

  • Spa Day: Pamper Yourself
    • Dooley Room, First Floor LaFun 2:00-6:00pm
    • Free Manicures, Pedicures, and Massages by Salon Noveau

Friday: March 1st

  • Flourish Fashion Show
    • LaFun Ballroom 5:00-6:00pm
    • Flourish Boutique from South Bend holding fashion show with student(!) models and food. Flourish will be selling their clothes after the show

Join the 2013-2014 Student Government Team!

Posted on February 17, 2013 in Announcements by Dani

Applications are now being accepted for the following positions:

  •    Senate Department Directors
  •    Senate Department Members
  •    Special Interest Positions

Applications are due to the Student Government Office (203 LaFortune) by FRIDAY MARCH 1ST BY 12:00 PM, and all undergrads are encouraged to apply.  If you are applying for a Department Director or Special Interest position, please make sure to sign-up for a 15-minute interview slot when you turn in your application.

Departments Include:

   – Academic Affairs
– Campus Technology
– Community Relations
– Constituent Services
– National Engagement and Outreach
– Gender Issues
– Internal Affairs
– Residence Life
– Social Concerns
   – University Affairs

Special Interest Positions:

– Executive Controller
– Student Union Secretary
– Student Union Communications Director
– Student Union Representative to Athletic Department
– Student Union Representative to Campus Ministry
– Student Union Representative to Diversity Council

Join the “Demand a Plan” Campaign

Posted on February 13, 2013 in Announcements by Dani

The Students for a Safer Indiana, a group created out of a CSC advocacy class, aim to reduce gun violence in Indiana. They invite you to join in their campaign in 3 ways:

  1. Invite your club members to like our Facebook page “Demand a Plan ND” and visit the campaign at DemandaPlan.org.
  2. Join us for a petition signing campaign in the LaFortune elevator lobby (date to be announced)
  3. Co-sponsor our on-campus discussion on gun violence policy (date to be announced)

Please respond to dcourtn1@nd.edu to indicate what level of commitment you would like to contribute.

Bishop Rhoades’ Statement on ND Pastoral Plan

Posted on December 7, 2012 in Announcements by Dani

“One of the essential characteristics of a Catholic university is “fidelity to the Christian message as it comes to us from the Church” (Pope John Paul II, Excorde ecclesiae).  In its recently released Pastoral Plan, the University of Notre Dame clearly affirms its fidelity to Catholic Church teaching on human sexuality by affirming that “sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman” and that “the deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.”  It affirms the teachings of the Church on the commandment and vocation of love, the virtue of chastity and its expression in friendship, the importance of self-mastery, and the call to holiness.  The Plan affirms Catholic teaching that men and women who have homosexual tendencies “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.”

It is vitally important that the Foundations of the Pastoral Plan, which express Notre Dame’s fidelity to Catholic teaching, inform and guide the implementation of the Plan, including the vision, programs and activities of the new student organization that is being formed.  The Pastoral Plan states that “the organization’s purpose arises directly from the University’s Catholic mission and its aspiration to create a community where all may flourish and feel welcome, where we aspire to an even deeper understanding and appreciation of Catholic teaching, and where the human dignity of each Notre Dame student is valued.”  It is my hope and prayer that the rich Catholic teaching on sexuality, teaching that serves the true good and happiness of the human person, will be embraced by the students and all involved in the implementation of the Pastoral Plan.  I hope that the organization will be helpful in providing support for the students, thus preventing the experience of isolation and alienation which are “risk factors for an unhealthy life, including unchaste behaviors” (USCCB, Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination).  I also hope that the Pastoral Plan will be of support to all students at Notre Dame in living a chaste and holy life according to the teachings of Jesus and His Church.”