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Volume 52, Issue 83 | thursday, february 15, 2018 |

Boxers raise money for Holy Cross missions Students compete, fundraise for Bangladesh through the Bengal Bouts boxing program By SELENA PONIO News Writer

For senior Pat Gordon, what started off as an activit y to get his mind off things transformed into a passion. “My mother passed away in high school, and I was upset, looking for an outlet. I walked into a box ing g y m and fell in love w ith it,” Gordon said. Gordon sa id one of t he t hings t hat most att racted him to Not re Da me was t hat it was one of t he on ly schools w it h a box ing prog ra m. He sa id as soon as he a rrived on ca mpus as a

f reshma n, he k new Benga l Bouts was somet hing he wa nted to be a major pa r t of his college ex perience. According to its website, Benga l Bouts sta r ted as a box ing prog ra m organi zed 88 yea rs ago by K nute Rock ne. During its f irst yea r, Gordon sa id, t he bouts ra ised $200, which was sent to Holy Cross Missions in Ba ngladesh as pa r t of a n emergency f und. However, he sa id, t he money has g row n too big — especia lly Valentine’s Day with a “Love is Love” table event see BOXER PAGE 4

Observer File Photo

A boxer rests during a fight in the Bengal Bouts finals. Bengal Bouts raises money for the Holy Cross missions and tribal parishes in Bangladesh. Last year, the program raised $175,000 for education.

Student Diversity Board readies for conference By COLLEEN ZEWE News Writer

The Student Diversity Board (SDB) at Saint Mary’s has a busy spring semester ahead of it, all culminating in its biggest event of the year — the annual diversity conference. The conference, originally called the Diverse Student Leadership Conference, will now be called the Diversity and Leadership Conference,

SDB vice president and senior Megan Uekert said. (Editor’s note: Megan Uekert is a former News Writer for The Observer.) “We are trying to make it more student-friendly this year with both workshops and keynote speakers,” she said. Uekert said the specific workshops and speakers cannot be released yet, but planning is going well. In

addition to the conference, she said, SDB will also host a screening of the historical film “Selma” this semester. “‘[Selma]’ puts an emotional and strong emphasis on black history month, and it is always important to remember the struggles and endurance of those who fought for civil rights before us,” Uekert said. see DIVERSITY PAGE 4


Group suspends election, declares winners By MARY BERNARD News Writer

Student senate voted to suspend t he Junior Class Counci l elect ion for t he class of 2020 a nd decla red t he on ly t icket t he w inner Wednesday night. La ksumi Siva na nda n w i l l be president, Bra ndon Ga rcia w i l l be v ice president, Quent in Colo w ill

scene PAGE 4

be t reasurer a nd Gabrielle Meridien w ill be secreta r y. Judicia l Council president a nd senior Matt Ross brought t he order before t he student senate to inst igate t he vote. The majorit y of senate suppor ted t he suspension, w it h on ly four members vot ing aga inst it. The dissentors included junior Sebast ia n Lopez, t he

Viewpoint PAGE 6

senator f rom O’Neill Ha ll, who “vehement ly opposed” t he order. “W hy a re we shor tcutt ing democracy? ” Lopez sa id. “W hy a re we stea ling t he f reedom of choice ? ” Lopez suggested t here were not more t ickets because of a lack of adver t isement of t he elect ion. see SENATE PAGE 4

viewpoint PAGE 7

Identity Project hosts Edith Stein conference By ALEXANDRA MUCK News Writer

Under the theme “Even Unto Death: Embracing the Love of the Cross,” the Identity Project of Notre Dame is hosting its 13th annual Edith Stein Conference, the largest student-run conference on campus. The event will start Friday at 1 p.m. and end Saturday with a banquet starting at 6:15 p.m. in McKenna Hall. Co-chair and senior Molly Weiner said the conference embraces a unique mix of academic and personal topics. The speakers range from professors at Notre Dame to students from other colleges across the country. “It’s a mix between a lecture from a professor, and then the next talk will be a self-help — this was my experience, this is how to change this part of your life,” she said. The event will feature two keynote lectures and various other talks on a range of topics relating to identity and relationships, Weiner said. “The conference in general

ND W basketball PAGE 12

was made for an opportunity for people on campus to come together and talk about topics related to relationships and friendship and personal identity and dignity that kind of isn’t really covered on campus because we’re more focused on our academics, and if we are in our friend group, sometimes we’re scared to talk about certain topics,” she said. Weiner said the conference tries to focus on the needs of students. “We do talk about things like dating, discernment, what you want to do with your life, sometimes how student life can be difficult,” she said. Junior Theresa Gallagher, who is in charge of fundraising, said the conference is relevant to students in the sense that it discusses issues that are directly applicable to their lives. “It just changes the way you think about relationships when all of the sudden you hear a talk about the cross as a gift of love,” she said. “It provides a space to hear those reflections, to think see STEIN PAGE 4

hockey PAGE 12



The observer | thursday, february 15, 2018 |

Question of the Day:

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Describe Valentine’s Day in three words.

P.O. Box 779, Notre Dame, IN 46556 024 South Dining Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556 Editor-in-Chief Ben Padanilam Managing Editor Katie Galioto

Jack Cahill

junior Lyons Hall

senior Dillon Hall

“A social construct.”

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“Not a holiday.”

Christa Zubic

Rebekah Mehuys

junior Flaherty Hall

junior McGlinn Hall

“Ruins Lenten promises.”

“A normal day.”

Josef Hageman

Leonard Calvo

senior Keough Hall

freshman Keough Hall

“Celebratory, corny, misunderstood.”

“Free candy, uneaten.”

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Today’s Staff News


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Students take photos with the giant snow bear Alumni Hall residents made with the snow remaining outside on South Quad on Wednesday night. Students created a system of ladders and ropes to build the bear up to its immense height.

The next Five days:

Want your event included here? Email






Graduate School Social 1050 Nanovic Hall 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. An open house for graduate students.

EXALT Adoration Dillon Hall Chapel 7:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. Evening adoration in Dillon Hall Chapel with Rev. Nate Wills.

Junior Parents Weekend campus-wide all day Visit for more details.

Junior Parents Weekend Brunch Dahnke Ballroom 9 a.m. - noon Visit for more details.

Workshop: “The Three Big Isms: Race” LaFortune Student Center 2 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Sister Mary McNamara Memorial Mass Basilica of the Sacred Heart 9 p.m.

Hockey vs. Michigan Compton Family Ice Arena 7:35 p.m. The Irish take on the Wolverines.

Grand Rapids Ballet “Romeo & Juliet” DeBartolo Performing Arts Center 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Tickets available online.

2018 Chinese New Year Celebration LaFortune Ballroom 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Includes food, games and activities.

Prayer Room Dedication Jenkins Nanovic Halls 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. Fr. John Jenkins will offer a reflection.

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The observer | thursday, february 15, 2018 |

Senate Continued from page 1

Sophomore Joe Witt, president of the current Sophomore Class Council, voted to pass the suspension and opposed Lopez’s suggestion regarding the advertisement of the election. “There are three tickets running for Sophomore Class Council and two running for Senior, so I don’t really think that [advertisement] is a big deal,” Witt said. “Laksumi is one of the best vice presidents [and] one of the best people who I am ver y happy to hand the reigns over to.” Witt said Sivanandan, Garcia, Colo and Meridien will all be present at the upcoming Winter Carnival on Saturday and at the Gatsby Dance if their future constituents would like to meet them. Senior Sara Dugan, president of Senior Class Council, also expressed support

Diversity Continued from page 1

Tuesday SDB also celebrated Valentine’s Day with a “Love is Love” table event Tuesday to show that love comes in all forms, SDB president and senior Victoria Ernsberger said. “[SDB] and the Gay Straight Alliance wanted to advocate for and celebrate all different types of love,” she said. Uekert said the goal was to support the LGBTQ community at Saint Mary’s. A sign prompted students to write down who they love, and students wrote down everyone from parents to roommates, Ernsberger said. W hile the group hosted a large number of events last semester, Uekert said the group hopes to increase the attendance at events this spring. Last semester, SDB held its annual Hunger Banquet, an event to raise awareness and understanding for food insecurit y and povert y. This year, the event was also a partnership w ith the Office of Civ ic and Social Engagement for Food Justice Week, which Ernsberger said was her favorite event last semester. “The Hunger Banquet is usually held in November, which is a great time before the holidays to really ref lect on how fortunate we all are and, hopefully, to be

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for the suspension of the campaign. “I would echo Joe’s sentiment that it is unnecessar y and honestly just annoying to Laksumi and her ticket to not pass this,” Dugan said. Following Dugan’s comment, senate voted to pass the order, making Sivanandan and her ticket the future Junior Class Council. Senate also heard from representatives from two campus groups promoting the upcoming Be The Match Drive, a nationwide effort to break the world record of the most people added to the bone marrow registr y in a single day. Junior Clay Elmore, last year’s president of the Notre Dame Be The Match club, implored student senate to attend the drive and promote it among their dorms. The drive is a result of the return of 20-year-old Chris Betancourt’s battle with leukemia last September, Elmore said. With the help

inspired to give back and make a difference in our communit y,” she said. Ernsberger said she hopes to see open-mindedness in SDB’s upcoming leadership team in the 2018-2019 school year after she graduates. “Diversit y comes in all shapes and sizes, and I believe that it is important to remember that and showcase that throughout our programming,” she said. Uekert said she hopes SDB’s future leaders continue to involve the South Bend communit y, offering words of w isdom for them. “Plan ahead and reach out into the communit y,” she added. SDB sets goals each semester, Ernsberger said. While these goals typically include specifics such as planning more events, raising awareness for issues on campus or creating an inclusive environment, Ernsberger said the most important goal to her is making a difference. “Honestly, I believe that as long as we reach at least one student, we have met our goal,” she said. “If our events and programming make just one student at Saint Mar y’s feel included and valued, that’s exactly what we want.”’s feel included and valued, that’s exactly what we want.” Contact Selena Ponio at

of his friend Dillon Hill, 19, Betancourt has created a bucket list for the last one or two years of his life. On the list was Betancourt’s wish to break a world record, and the record that Betancourt and Hill settled on was to have the most people register with Be The Match, a bone marrow transplant registr y, in a single day, Elmore said. “Universities all around the nation, and not just universities … are hosting these drives, and ever yone who gets registered on March 1 is going towards the total,” Elmore said. “Any person registered at Notre Dame will be part of the world record, if they’re able to break it.” The drive will take place March 1 at the Duncan Student Center in room 246 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Elmore said. There will also be a table on the first f loor from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. To register with Be The

Boxer Continued from page 1

over the past 10 years — to be a mere rainy-day fund and now goes to supporting tribal parishes. “In Bangladesh, if you’re part of a tribe you’re in the vast minority,” he said. “The kids in the tribal parishes stay in a hostel … and the hostel provides their food, their clothing, their books and it’s about $15 a month for all of that.” Gordon said these kids’ parents make around $1 a day and can pay about $2 or $3 a month for their children’s education. This is where the money from Bengal Bouts helps, and last year alone the boxing program raised $175,000. Gordon went to Bangladesh for nine weeks last summer to see for himself the place the money raised from Bengal Bouts benefits. He went to Jalchatra, where he worked with the Garo tribe, lived with two Holy Cross priests and

Stein Continued from page 1

about them, to talk about them with other people, and it transforms the way you look at your everyday life. I’m not thinking about these things every single minute of every single day, but to have this place where it can provide that lens to see your whole life, your whole experience, in a different way.” For club president and junior Emily Hirshorn, the best parts of the conference are outside the formal sessions. “My favorite times are in between all the talks when there’s food out and students come

Match, students only need to have their cheeks swabbed, a five-minute process, Elmore said. The swab will allow the doctors to find donors of the correct ethnicity in order to make a suitable pair for the transplant. “Sometimes, pairing people with their match can be the only way to save a life,” Elmore said. “Bone marrow transplants are by no means a 100 percent cure, but if you do get to the point of a bone marrow transplant, usually patients are pretty desperate for something and are willing to take on whatever challenges it presents.” The Love Your Melon campus group will also be present at the drive, sophomore Jenna Koenig, who also spoke to senate regarding the drive, said. “[Love Your Melon’s] mission is to put a hat on ever y kid battling cancer,” she said. Love Your Melon uses the profits from their beanie

sales to support non-profit partners, Koenig said. “Be The Match is one of our non-profit partners, so that’s why we’re doing the drive with them,” she said. Senior and student body president Becca Blais expressed support for the drive because of her own experience receiving a bone marrow transplant. “I had a random donor that I found through Be The Match,” Blais said. “It’s really important to me, personally, that we can get a lot of people involved and it makes such a big difference. A cheek swab literally will save someone’s life.” Seven minutes into the meeting, the senate voted against two senators’ motions to close the meeting, allowing the meeting to continue as planned with the presentations from Be The Match and Judicial Council. Contact Mary Bernard at

taught English classes. “I had from grade three up to grade 11, and a night class of adults,” he said. “It was a big variety of students because some of them only knew two or three English words and others were fairly close to fluent.” Gordon said there were three other Notre Dame students there with Bengal Bouts, and all four of them together would write lesson plans every night for their classes. Prior to the experience, he said, he had no experience teaching English as a second language. “It was challenging, but it was really rewarding,” Gordon said. “These kids, they don’t have a lot of disposable income, and our last day there we threw this big party — they got us gifts, they bought us shirts we could wear … different types of Bengali clothing. “We’re supposed to be the ones giving and yet they’re the ones who were giving to us.” Gordon won Bengal Bouts

his sophomore year, was a captain his junior year and won heavyweight division junior year, but he said the best part of his experience with Bengal Bouts was going to Bangladesh. “I love boxing. I simply adore it — I can’t get enough of it,” he said. “I’m always going to be a proponent of this club and try to help it and progress it in any way that I can.” When Gordon first started with Bengal Bouts, he did it purely for the boxing, he said. Now, with his experience at Bangladesh and a first look at Holy Cross Missions, he found a deeper reason to supplement his athletic passion. “I can honestly say it’s the single best thing I’ve done with my life,” Gordon said. “I started boxing to grow myself as a person, now I do it to help others grow. If you lose, it’s important to remember that the real fight is 10,000 miles away in Bangladesh.”

together and really get to foster meaningful conversations about the speakers we just heard,” she said. While registration for the conference is open, Weiner said students can choose to attend the talks they want without registering in advance. She said the club itself is a continuation of the conversation at the conference, and Hirshorn said the club provides a lot of flexibility to discuss different topics. “It’s all about fostering conversations that matter,” Hirshorn said. Weiner said she began her role in April of last year and brainstormed topics over the summer. She began to book speakers and logistics in September.

“It is a very difficult task to do something like this, but it’s worth every minute of it,” she said. Hirshorn said the conference is particularly important in that it encourages students to learn how to approach certain problems in life. “If we really take the time to learn how to approach difficult subjects, especially in light of the Catholic faith that a lot of us share, that can have a really transformative power,” she said. “… Suffering, in particular, is a topic I think we all struggle with in different forms, especially when it seems undeserved.”

Contact Colleen Zewe at

Contact Alexandra Muck at


The observer | thursday, february 15, 2018 |

By LUCAS MASIN-MOYER and MEGAN VALLEY Scene Writer and Assistant Managing Editor

Typically, the crowd you would expect to see at a boy band’s concert would be filled with teenage and pre-teen girls, and maybe a few moms and dads who were dragged along. The crowd, mostly consisting of college students and 20-somethings, for Los Angeles’ BROCKHAMPTON (the self-proclaimed “best boy band since One Direction”) was anything but typical for their Tuesday night show at the Intersection Lounge in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This demographic is pretty unsurprising when you consider that BROCKHAMPTON isn’t your typical boy band. Not only does the group’s musical style — rap that mixes aggressive, underground sounds with poppy moments and an occasional ballad by Bearface (a guitarist and singer from the north of Ireland) — break away from the traditional bubblegum pop associated with boy bands, their 14 members (including seven vocalists) don’t exactly fit the part either. BROCKHAMPTON’s members are black, white and Asian. Some are straight, and some are gay. But despite their respective backgrounds — which they

By MIKE DONOVAN Scene Writer

Ref lecting on the frailty of relationships, Penny Lane (played by Kate Hudson in Cameron Crowe’s acclaimed film “Almost Famous”) speaks wisely, “if you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.” A word of warning: If the record store in question happens to be Rumor Records in Niles, Michigan, do not (seriously do not!) Uber there alone, unless you want to spend more time (roughly 103 minutes) than expected with your new friends. It just so happens that Uber will take music-loving loners from Main Circle to Niles, but it does not offer the return trip. That said, I would recommend paying Rumor Records a visit — preferably by car with an actual human friend. “But why?” you ask. “I have Spotify, Apple Music and Youtube. Don’t have a turntable. And, even if I did, I could just go on Amazon or Discogs.” To your remarkably pointed and weirdly expositional concerns, I would respond with a few images. The first depicts a mounted and bespectacled deer head, positioned above a toilet, surrounded by hand-painted 45 rpm singles. The second captures rows of worn vinyl sleeves, organized according to a loose definition of the word “alphabetical,” against a backdrop of cluttered posters and musical instruments. The third showcases a bearded man as he works meticulously on the innards of a 30-yearold turntable. These images, taken together, storyboard Rumor Records — the only store remotely

are all very open about in their verses — they all seem to embrace the outsider style. This unifying sense of being an outsider was on full display amongst the fans who lined around the block, braving sub-freezing temperatures, to see the group. Some even painted themselves blue and wore orange jumpsuits — the boy band’s traditional uniform. BROCKHAMPTON kicked off the show with “BOOGIE,” the opening track on “SATUR ATION III,” their third album of 2017 — yes, third. The utterly infectious, unrestrained and funky horns made for a high-energy start to a show that went on to include a fairly even mix of tracks across all three “SATUR ATION” albums, a rallying chant against Pitchfork and an impromptu performance from two audience members who were lucky enough to join “America’s favorite boyband” on stage. BROCKHAMPTON’s songs translated fantastically to a live setting, but they had more to the show then just stellar songs. Dom McLennon appeared as smooth and slick as he sounded. JOBA’s vocals were as hypnotic and eerie as you might hope. And Merlyn’s unpredictable and unhinged verses excited.

Lots of bands sound good live, but it’s stage presence that makes a show great. For a group as big and diverse as BROCKHAMPTON, the chemistry and balance they presented on stage was almost unbelievable. In more traditional boy bands and girl bands, competition for the spotlight causes palpable tension. BROCKHAMPTON, conversely, really wanted to perform as BROCKHAMPTON, not act as a vehicle to launch solo careers. Each member had the opportunity to shine. When not taking the lead, bandmates would get just as psyched as the crowd. Kevin Abstract’s verse about being gay in “JUNK Y,” McLennon’s verse in “SWEET” and JOBA’s violently angry bridge in “HEAT” all stood out as being particularly powerful live. The group finished the show with their second performance of “STAR” (off the first installment of the “SATUR ATION” trilogy), name dropping celebrities, “promoting the gay agenda” and feeding off each other’s energy as they had all throughout the show.

within the vicinity of Notre Dame’s campus still dedicated to vinyl record shopping’s innately physical experience. Ideally, record shops should serve as the music nerd’s enlightenment salon. Rob Fleming (protagonist of Nick Hornby’s endearing novel “High Fidelity”) asserts, “It’s not like collecting records is like collecting stamps, or beermats, or antique thimbles. There’s a whole world in there, a nicer, dirtier, more violent, more peaceful, more colorful, sleazier, more dangerous, more loving world than the world I live in.” A shop like Rumor Records smears the kindness, dirt, violence, peace, color, sleaze, danger and love on its walls. These concepts emanate from the records and wash over the store’s employees who then extend it to each and every customer willing to step inside. It takes a special kind of person — someone far more interested in creating a space for music fans than selling inventory — to man such a store. Matt Shaver (assisted by his tech-minded business partner and an excitable young clerk) is precisely this kind of person. He’s the kind of person who has no qualms imposing his particular tastes (vintage pressings of early to mid ’70s classic rock from what I could deduce) on a world that outwardly values curated lists of MP3s meticulously placed for easy listening. Jimmy Page never played too meticulous a live solo and Bob Dylan never seemed all that concerned with his vocal key, yet both embody the rockand-roll ethos. Likewise, Shaver will not streamline the wild and improvised nature of his shop interior, lest he vacate the swagger wafting through its many

corners. Shavers’ commitment to the unkempt feel of the place translates to more work for the customer — I found myself sifting through bins for 45 minutes (and what seemed like a billion crappy hair metal records) until I struck a connection with a beautiful original pressing of Bob Dylan’s first LP — but the heightened effort drives the experience. Without curated playlists and algorithmic radio stations to do the heavy lifting, the customer has two options: (1) f lip through record after record until something interesting or unexpected crosses his or her eye or (2) consult one of the shops three hyper-opinionated but remarkably personable employees. While (1) might take a while and (2) might lead to disagreement, both foster the very thing that internet music has endeavored so vehemently to stif le — active interpersonal engagement. Penny Lane’s “friends” may be a kitschy metaphor for great records, but, when it comes to Rumor (and all other independently owned brick-and-mortar records stores for that matter) the phrase can and should be taken to reference actual human friends — old friends, new friends and friends not yet made. With this in mind, when your next lazy afternoon comes around, grab a friend and drive (don’t Uber!) on over to Rumor Records in Niles, Michigan, and pay a visit to friends of all kinds. Find Rumor Records at 216 East Main St., Niles, Michigan. Like them on Facebook ( rumorrecords) or follow them on Twitter and Instagram (@rumor_records). Don’t take an Uber.

Contact Lucas Masin-Moyer at and Megan Valley at

Contact Mike Donovan at DIANE PARK | The Observer


The observer | thursday, february 15, 2018 |

Inside Column

To be afraid

Donald Trump and America’s thriving constitutional order

Colleen Fischer Eddie Damstra

News Writer

Dinner Table Talks

Watching the Olympics, I am amazed at the basic feats of courage that are being performed daily, as athlete after athlete goes off 22-foot ramps or is thrown 10 feet into the air with blades attached to his or her feet. As I watch them, I think about the mental discipline it takes to overcome the fear they most likely experienced when first beginning. Particularly because of the presence of snow, I am reminded of a time when I wanted to go down a zip line that my dad made in the woods behind my grandfather’s house. It was a basic concept that involved a cord running from our tree house that was 30 feet tall to a tree that was 20 feet away. Afterwards, we had to jump off the seat, which finished eight feet in the air. I went down it hundreds of times in the summer, but with the winter a sheet of ice had formed on the seat — which was four two-by-fours connected by a rope –– and I was scared. My father tricked me into trying it by suggesting I use the seat — an idea my eight-year-old self agreed with — and then proceeding to gently nudge me off the side of the platform. I loved it. It was my favorite time going down the zip line, not because it went faster or higher, but because I was afraid and still had fun. Everyone has had a similar experience. Something is terrifying and then once it is completed enough times it no longer insights fear, no matter if it is going down an escalator, riding your bike home or talking to the man at the grill in the dining hall to ask for grilled chicken. All this thought about fear has also caused me to remember something that free-solo rock climber Alex Honnold mentions in his book “Alone on the Wall.” That there are two types of fear — one is high risk and the other is high consequence. Driving a car on the interstate is high consequence. It is unlikely that you get into a terrible car wreck, but if you do it would be tragic. But you still decide to get into the car because you gamble that it will not happen. The high risk form of fear is the likeliness that an event happens is high, but if it happens nothing awful occurs — practicing a new breakdancing move, for instance. We face fear every day. It is a fluid part of our lives. When it comes to the big things such as bungee jumping, mountain climbing or taking that dreaded final exam, analyzing why we are afraid — usually thanks to our trusty amygdala — and facing those fears through perseverance and logic makes them seem more possible. This does not mean that the athletic feats are any less impressive just less scary. Contact Colleen Fischer at The views and expressions of the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily of The Observer.

Donald Trump has been the president of the United States for over one year now. And contrary to what many alarmists predicted, our republic is not destroyed and the world is not ending. Freedom and equality are just as preserved today as they were in past administrations. Stock prices experienced a brief drop recently, but, overall, the economy is doing quite well. The United States engagement abroad is largely unchanged. Domestic policies and institutions are nearly entirely identical as they were before Trump entered office. With the exception of the new tax law, Trump has not had much of his agenda manifested into legislation. Some may attribute this lack of significant change to failures of the Trump administration to implement an agenda, while others may explain it as a result of the prominent success of Trump’s opposition. Neither of these explanations are correct. Rather, the lack of tangible disruption within the general institutional order of the United States can be attributed to the stability fostered by our Constitution. In fact, Trump’s first year in office is an amazing testament to the ingenuity of our Founding Fathers and a hopeful reminder that America’s true strength is found not within the capability of a head executive but rather within the institutional framework of the Constitution. The Constitution possesses the necessary separation of powers and system of checks and balances required to maintain a stable, just and prosperous republic. There was perhaps no better person to test the true endurance and strength of such a constitutional order than Trump, an inexperienced politician with rather unconventional ideas and an untamed personality. The constitutional order has been tested, and it has remained firm. The success of America’s constitutional order can be seen in many instances of the Trump presidency. Trump’s travel ban is now in its third iteration, as the previous two versions of the ban were met with resistance from federal judges, including criticism from the Supreme Court. Some may question the motive and bias of these circuit courts, perhaps with some merit; however, the judicial system has undeniably proven to be an effective and potent tool in checking executive power. The legislative branch has also been successful at checking the president’s executive power, as it has essentially done for the entirety of American history. Many people bemoan the inefficacy of Congress. However, I believe Americans should welcome this perceived uselessness of Congress with open arms. The inability for Congress to pass much of Trump’s agenda items, including controversial proposals such as a border wall, is a sign of a thriving system of checks and balances within the nation. The late Justice Scalia famously asserted that “gridlock is good.” Scalia was

absolutely correct, as he often was. Gridlock is good because it prevents centralized power and unrepresentative government. If it were easy to pass legislation, a single party or faction could essentially assume sole autonomy over the legislative process and dictate the bills drafted and policies implemented within the nation. Such a system would be entirely unjust and would lend the nation very susceptible to transforming into a quasi-autocracy. With this said, it is certainly possible to possess too much gridlock, and I think one could reasonably make the case that our nation is bordering on such a reality. Still, however, I would much rather the United States possess too much gridlock than too little. No matter one’s political leaning, the difficulty of the legislative process should be met with appreciation. The American legislative system tones down policies and, ultimately, provides an appropriate balance between differing perspectives on the political spectrum. While America’s system of checks and balances has prevented the enactment of much tangible change within the nation, the impact of Trump’s rhetoric and behavior should not go unmentioned. The reckless manner in which the president hurls insults and behaves immaturely lessens the world’s perception of the United States and pours gasoline on the fire of polarization and divisiveness within the nation. These are certainly effects of the Trump presidency. However, the fact remains that these effects are not tangible in nature. Trump has changed political and media dynamics within the United States, but he has not brought about any substantial institutional changes or, for that matter, major policy changes. Tangibly speaking, the United States today is the same United States as the United States two years ago — or 10 years ago, for that matter. A former reality television star with no political experience and a seemingly lacking ability to filter his thoughts is the president of the United States. When presented with this predicament before the 2016 election, many people would probably predict this republic’s demise or, at the very least, a drastic institutional overhaul. So far, this has not occurred, and I am confident that such a scenario will not happen in the foreseeable future, even if someone more untamed than Trump were to be elected. The ability for this nation to rather easily transition power and maintain institutional order in the face of unprecedented circumstances reaffirms the fact that this nation is great not because of its government, but because of its limitations and checks on government. Eddie is a junior majoring in economics and political science, with a minor in constitutional studies. He plans on attending law school after his time as an undergraduate at Notre Dame. He can be reached at The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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The observer | thursday, february 15, 2018 |


Condoms and contraceptive coverage At midnight on Feb. 7, University President Fr. John Jenkins distributed an email to the Notre Dame community at large, describing the latest installment in Notre Dame’s enduring efforts to regulate birth control and the reproductive rights of its faculty, staff and students. In the fall of 2017, the University declared that coverage of birth control would be discontinued. After considerable backlash, Jenkins reversed this decision. Now, Jenkins’ Feb. 7 email has changed the policy again: Notre Dame will provide coverage for “simple contraceptives” through its own insurance plan rather than through third-party insurers, but will uphold Catholic values by not providing “abortifacients.” The email failed to specify precisely which medications were included in each category. In his message, Jenkins describes simple contraceptives as “drugs designed to prevent conception” and abortifacients as drugs that cause the “destruction of innocent human life.” At best, these definitions contain very little descriptive information about how these contraceptives operate; at worst, they actively mislead the reader about basic human reproduction. It seems that a crash course in procreation and contraception may be in order. Let us be as clear as possible: There is no such thing as an abortifacient contraceptive. The medical definition of pregnancy necessitates that a fertilized egg be implanted in the woman’s uterus; a merely fertilized egg does not constitute a pregnancy because more than two thirds of all fertilized eggs naturally fail to implant. There is only one medication that can affect an implanted egg and induce an abortion: mifepristone, the abortion pill. All other FDA-approved contraceptives, including Plan B and IUDs, work only to prevent pregnancy by hindering sperm from reaching the egg, stopping the release of the egg from the ovary or thinning the uterine lining to make implantation more difficult. Despite the confusion, lack of clarity and possible

misinformation surrounding contraceptives and abortifacients implicit in this new policy change, it is important to recognize the huge step Jenkins and the University have taken in upholding the individual conscience of each member of the Notre Dame family when it comes to making healthcare decisions. Jenkins’ recognition that “most of those covered [under Notre Dame insurance] have no financially feasible alternative but to rely on the University for such coverage” and that denying access to contraceptives would “burden those who have made the conscientious decisions about the use of such drugs” directly acknowledges the fears we expressed many months ago when the administration first tried to restrict contraception access. We applaud Jenkins’ understanding of each person’s individual moral choice in this matter and are glad that his discernment has led him to a decision that will benefit the health and wellbeing of many members of the Notre Dame family. However, focusing exclusively on insurance coverage for contraceptives does not do enough. Notre Dame’s coverage of prescription, hormonal contraception does nothing to reduce the cost of, or increase the access to, condoms on campus. If Notre Dame is willing to accept the importance of the coverage of “simple contraceptives,” and is also willing to pay for the members of its community to make the individual moral choice to use hormonal contraceptives, then it follows that Notre Dame should be willing to provide access to barrierbased contraceptives (i.e. condoms and dental dams) as well. In this new policy, Jenkins acknowledges the conscientious choice of using prescription contraception; funding access to condoms on campus would allow men on campus, as well as women who do not use prescription contraception, to make the same choice for their sexual and reproductive health. Condoms are clearly not considered to be abortifacients in any

definition of the term and are the cheapest and simplest form of “artificial” contraception out there. Along with other barrier methods, condoms are the only form of contraception that can prevent the transmission of STIs, in addition to preventing conception. If Notre Dame will fund women’s individual choice for contraception through prescription insurance coverage, why not ensure that every member of the on-campus community has access to this same choice by providing free condoms, or at least allowing condoms to be available for purchase on campus? We call upon Jenkins and the Notre Dame administration to make condoms accessible and available to the University community. Having access to barrier contraceptives will not only empower individuals at Notre Dame to make conscientious choices, but will also promote gender equality by allowing everyone to take responsibility for their sexual and reproductive health. If you agree that condoms should be easily accessible to the Notre Dame community, please consider showing your support by signing the open letter found in the online viewpoint column. This letter will be sent to the administration to protest their failure to adequately address our whole community’s sexual and reproductive health needs. Irish 4 Reproductive Health Emily Garrett senior Becca Fritz senior Molly Burton senior Feb. 14

‘Look, North Koreans!’ Yizhi Hu Cultural Kaleidoscope

I was casually swiping through the stories on my Instagram when I saw a video of a group of young ladies, each waving a small flag with perfect synchronization. A friend sitting next to me glanced over my phone and exclaimed, “Wow, that’s impressive!” It was striking to see how uniform these ladies were — the angle of their smiles, the style of their outfits and the precision of their actions. They were North Korean cheerleaders waving the “unification flags.” I had seen North Koreans on social media before, but this video somehow struck me. Some people accused these cheerleaders of being cogs in a totalitarian machine, but I saw something human from the scene ­— the fact that they were sitting at a hockey arena in South Korea cheering like all others (maybe with more discipline) made me realize that they could have been no different from us. They reminded me of a movie named “Room,”

which features a boy who grows up in a cramped room. He comprehends the world through the confined space and has to struggle with reconstructing his concept of the world after he escaped. I could not help but wonder how these ladies would reconcile what they were told back home with what they saw in South Korea, and how life was and would be for them after this brief visit. They were at the hockey arena like all others, yet their lives were so different from ours. As today’s headlines are dominated by North Korea, I, like countless people, have been mainly focusing on North Korea as a regime. Indeed, politics are the major source of the problems, and we genuinely believe that the downfall of the regime would bring more hope to the life of North Koreans. Yet, this sole focus lures us into feeling detached from the individuals’ fate and becoming negligent of the negative impacts that certain iron-fisted policies might have on their lives. The heavy sanctions imposed by U.N. and many countries, for instance, could threaten North Koreans’ basic maintenance instead of empowering them. Even with China on

board, sanctions have not proven to be effective in dissuading North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. So even though Vice President Mike Pence cautioned against South Korea’s quick grip of the opportunity yielded by the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics for diplomatic opening with the North, I was glad to see the two Koreas marching under the same flag and competing as a joint women’s hockey team. The harmony seen at this Olympics might not guarantee any prospect of stability in the Korean Peninsula, but it creates an occasion for many of us to diversify our image of North Koreans and view them in a more humanitarian way. North Koreans might seem to have irreconcilable differences from us, but we are all people of circumstance. Yizhi Hu is a junior political science and Japanese double major. She hails from Wuhan, China and lives in Walsh Hall. Yizhi welcomes all comments and can be reached at The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.




The observer | Thursday, February 15, 2018 |

Crossword | Will Shortz

Horoscope | Eugenia Last Happy Birthday: Put more muscle behind what you do. Think and take action and you will accomplish your goals. Wit, intellect and knowing when to say “no” will be the combination that leads to greater opportunities and personal and professional success. Don’t doubt what you can accomplish when all you need to do is stay focused and keep moving forward. Your numbers are 4, 15, 23, 28, 35, 41, 44. ARIES (March 21-April 19): You can dominate in your field if you are cognizant of what’s going on around you and know your limitations mentally, physically and financially. Change should begin within, not by trying to alter what others do or think. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Put your energy to good use. Refuse to let emotions take over and lead you into battle against someone you could really use on your team. Nurture relationships and offer incentives that will ensure future benefits and success. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Take ownership of whatever you do. Stand up and be counted and do your best to bring about positive change. Getting angry about things you don’t like and actually doing something to make your life better are not the same thing. CANCER ( June 21-July 22): Take action and do your part to cut back on expenses by searching for a cheaper way to live. Monitor your expenses and be reluctant to offer a cash donation when hands-on help will be cheaper and more effective. LEO ( July 23-Aug. 22): Put more energy into personal accomplishments. Activities geared toward better health through exercise and proper diet will encourage positive change and the courage to reach your goals. A change in your personal finances looks promising. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Money matters, taxes, health issues and settlements should all be looked at carefully. Don’t let anger get in the way of doing the right thing. Be willing to compromise in order to cut your losses and move on. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Socialize, network and learn all the ins and outs of something that interests you in order to find the best way to achieve your goal. Your ideas are good and will bring about positive change if you go through the right channels. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Take the road less traveled. Look for peace of mind and tranquility, not anger and resentment. How you handle situations that affect your home and family will make a difference to the outcome. Positive thoughts and support are encouraged. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): A passionate approach to life will help you bring about positive changes. Use your knowledge and let past experience help you pick and choose what’s best for you. Don’t let manipulative individuals test your patience or fuel your anger. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Put your energy to good use. Instead of getting involved in something that benefits someone else, focus on figuring out how you can best keep moving forward. A slow but steady pace is your best objective. AQUARIUS ( Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Stand up and be counted. Do what you can for the underdog and show what you have to offer to those in a position of power. Navigate your way to success and you will outmaneuver any competition you meet along the way. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Channel your energy into something that will encourage you to learn. Take care of important documents, but don’t share personal information with others. Refuse to let someone else take care of your affairs. Birthday Baby: You are outspoken, engaging and innovative. You are helpful and respected.

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SPORTS DAILY | Thursday, february 15, 2018 | The Observer


Sports Authority

It’s time to let it go, Stephen A. Ben Padanilam Editor-in-Chief

Let’s get one thing straight here. The only person who seems to still be trying to “control the narrative” is you, Stephen A. Smith. The other day, I sat scrolling through the ESPN app for updates about the Olympics, news around the NBA and other items of interest, and what did I see? A video of you breaking out the tissues for LeBron James as a means to mock the suggestion that the Cleveland Cavaliers’ struggles prior to the trade deadline were the result of a lack of strength on the roster surrounding James. Apparently the mere idea that the Cavaliers’ losing play prior to last Thursday was due to players beyond James was so laughable. But was it? James might not win this year’s MVP award because of the spectacular play of James Harden in Houston, but he’s undoubtedly a legitimate contender for the distinction. It cannot be ignored that he’s averaging the most assists per game he’s ever accumulated in his career, and he’s also averaging the second most rebounds per game of his career. All while ranking fifth amongst the league’s top scorers, 12th in fieldgoal percentage (including the best mark amongst non-bigs), fourth in player-efficiency rating and first in estimated wins added. In short, this might be the best season of his illustrious career thus far. But I know what you’ll say — you certainly recognize his greatness, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be criticized. Sure, James — like any other athlete — is not absolved from criticism. But let’s make sure the criticism is fair before we get into it. You suggest it’s laughable that James’ supporting cast was at fault for the Cavaliers poor season. But the numbers make it pretty clear his play on the court never suffered, while the statistics show that players like Isaiah Thomas, J.R. Smith and others certainly did. And off the court? Well, it’s difficult to say how much James can be blamed for the well-documented lack of chemistry in the locker room. Yes, as the team’s leader, he carries some of that blame — but can he be blamed for Thomas pitting a fraction of the locker room against Kevin Love over concerns about the legitimacy of his illness? Or for the number of players unhappy with their roles after the roster overhaul in the offseason? I would tend to think not.

So no, James is not blameless, but the suggestion that what surrounded him was at fault for their struggles is not laughable. First, consider the expectations and the reality; the Cavaliers, struggles and all, were still holding their ground as the three seed in the East. The “struggles” were relative to the expectations — if the Cavaliers were no longer the clear-cut favorite in the East and competitive with the Golden State Warriors then, by their own standard, they were falling apart at the seams. And James’ play was not the reason for it. Then, look at what has happened in the short time since the trade deadline. The sudden cohesion of the team against two strong opponents after an overhaul of half of the team’s rotation, it cannot be ignored that James’ leadership is a big part of the reason why — restoring at least some faith that the leadership struggles the team faced ahead of the overhaul cannot be solely placed on a lack of leadership from James. And, by the way, you all but backpedalled just a day later, admitting the new-look Cavaliers are simply a much better team now. Sure, you won’t admit it’s backpedalling, but what else can you say going from laughing at the idea of blaming James’ supporting cast for the team’s struggles to suddenly praising their new roster after that aforementioned cast has been shipped out is? So I guess my only question is, why are you such a hater, Stephen A.? Is it because you are still upset at James’ refutation of your report from the offseason with regards to the Kyrie Irving trade demand? That is, after all, when you started hammering this idea that James wants to control the narrative, bringing it up multiple times since. Did you not expect him to deny the report? You’ve been in the business of journalism a long time, so you shouldn’t be surprised he did. And you of all people should know that his denial alone only discredits your work and your source when you react the way you did. So I think it’s time you let it go. Because now, it’s just ironic. Because now, you’re the only one who’s trying to control the narrative. It’s just petty at this point. P.S. Sorry you had to read another Sports Authority about the Cavaliers, Mrs. Mazurek. Contact Ben Padanilam at The views expressed in this Sports Authority are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.


Irish junior foil Nicole Gorman, right, attacks her opponent during competition at the DeCicco Duals on Jan. 28 at Castellan Family Fencing Center. Gorman went 8-2 for the Irish on the event’s second day.

Fencing Continued from page 12

“It’s been business as usual with about eight to 10 of our athletes at the Junior Olympics or the World Cup, and we’ve been treating it like a major competition for the weekend,” he said. “They’re ready, with some fighting for a U.S. national team spot on the line, and they are prepared to the fullest to accomplish that. The rest of the team is taking a few days off to regroup and when the others rejoin us, we will continue to prep for ACCs.” With Notre Dame returning to the postseason as the defending national champions, it is no secret that other programs will

have extra incentive to knock the Irish off their throne. But Kvaratskhelia said he is not concerned with this team’s ability to handle the pressure. “We devoted our season to everyday preparation, and we didn’t discuss as a team being defending national champs or what comes with that,” he said. “We are hungry and humble, and our team is not looking at anyone else to compete against except ourselves in order to prepare in the fullest way. We are just going to fight and we can live with the consequences. I don’t think we have pressure on us as champions, the pressure was before we won. This is just a bonus and if we can win, that’s great. If not, we know we will do our best and we can live with that.”

With his team having put in the preparation and having their expectations set, Kvaratskhelia said he believes all that is left for his team is to go out there and stay focused when postseason competition picks up. “The key is just being focused. Every touch will matter, so we must be resilient,” he said. “I know a lot will be thrown at us due to us winning all three ACCs since joining the conference, but if we can focus and be poised from beginning to end, we can handle the onslaught. We will be able to succeed because we are prepared and just have to be tough. That’s what wins championships.” Contact Alex Bender at


Irish senior sabre Madeline Gallagher, right, competes during the DeCicco Duals on Jan. 28 at Castellan Family Fencing Center. Gallagher went 17-0 in on the day, as Notre Dame swept its matches. The Observer accepts classifieds every business day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Notre Dame office, 024 South Dining Hall. Deadline for next-day classifieds is 3 p.m. All classifieds must be prepaid. The charge is 5 cents per character per day, including all spaces. The Observer reserves the right to edit all classifieds for content without issuing refunds.

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Her face is a map of the world / Is a map of the world / You can see she’s a beautiful girl / She’s a beautiful girl / And everything around her is a silver pool of light / The people who surround her feel the benefit of it / It makes you calm / She holds you captivated in her palm / Suddenly I see

(suddenly I see) / This is what I wanna be / Suddenly I see (suddenly I see) / Why the hell it means so much to me (Suddenly I see) / This is what I wanna be / Suddenly I see (suddenly I see) / Why the hell it means so much to me / I feel like walking the world / Like walking the world / You can hear she’s a



The observer | thursday, february 15, 2018 |

SARAH OLSON | The Observer

Irish freshman forward Danielle Patterson faces up to the basket in Notre Dame’s 94-62 win over North Carolina on Feb. 1.

W Bball Continued from page 12

ANN CURTIS | The Observer

Irish sophomore forward Cam Morrison fends off a Buckeye defender and attempts to corral the loose puck during Notre Dame’s 5-1 loss to Ohio State on Saturday at Compton Family Ice Arena.

Hockey Continued from page 12

They’re very fast, and they’re very skillful.” The Irish are coming off a tough loss at the hands of No. 6 Ohio State in which star sophomore goaltender Cale Morris, who has been a huge part of the team’s success this year, allowed four goals before being pulled in the third period. Nevertheless, having been through a similar experience in Chicago against Wisconsin several weeks ago, Jackson said he is confident that Morris will bounce back. “Same thing happened in Chicago [against Wisconsin],” Jackson said.“Our team wasn’t playing very well at that point, we were giving up too many odd man rushes and I didn’t want him to get embarrassed. I would have [pulled him] in Chicago too; in hindsight, I probably should

have. But, [Morris] came right back and had that 1-0 game in overtime against Minnesota and played extremely well, so I’m not concerned.” Overall, Jackson emphasized that the loss on Saturday was largely due to defensive mishaps and errors, which led to scoring opportunities for the Buckeyes. “We were in the game going into the third period, we just made some bad puck decisions, some bad turnovers,” he said. “We gave up way too many odd man rushes. To me, that was the biggest thing, and they come from different situations — we encourage our defensemen to be active on transitions, so they’re going to be off the ice and that means forwards have to cover for them. Two of those odd man rushes were because nobody covered for the defenseman who was activating. And then I think a couple of them were results of turnovers,

bad turnovers. Maybe one or two more were when our defensemen made high risk decisions.” Even though the Irish have clinched the Big Ten Regular Season Championship, they are still playing for more than pride, Jackson said. The games certainly still matter for the Irish. “To me, it’s more about making sure we are trying to finish in the top four to be a top seed [in the NCAA tournament],” he said. “Obviously it’s nice to finish as high as you can because you get home ice and last change, which, last year in the Frozen Four was a huge component to the game because we didn’t have last change and we got mismatched the whole game.” The puck will drop at 7:35 p.m. against the Wolverines on Friday at Compton Family Ice Arena. Contact Connor Mulvena at

will need to find a way to deal with one of the tallest players in the nation. Standing at 6-foot-9, sophomore forward Felicia Aiyeotan and her ability to protect the rim has been a key part of the Cavalier defense this season. Aiyeotan leads the ACC and ranks 24th in the nation in blocks per game with 2.4, with her 60 total blocks keeping her within reach of the program record of 95 blocks in a season. Aiyeotan’s height has also helped on the boards for the Cavaliers, as she leads the team with 7.4 rebounds per game. With Aiyeotan’s primary purpose on the court being defensive, the Cavalier offense this season has come primarily from four guards — sophomore Dominqiue Toussant, senior Aaliyah Houland El, sophomore Jocelyn Willoughby and senior J’Kyra Brown, who each average between 9.8 and 11 points per game. Toussant, who leads the team in scoring with 11 points per game, has also been Virginia’s leading facilitator, ranking 12th in the conference with 3.7

assists per game. The Cavaliers started their season with some difficulty, with a record of 4-6 after a loss to Rutgers on Jan. 4. However, the combination of an improved performance and a back-loaded conference schedule allowed Virginia to start ACC play 5-0 and 8-1, receiving votes in the AP Poll losing only to Duke through their opening nine games and holding a share of the conference lead after Louisville’s defeat to Florida State. However, when the Cavaliers did face some of the other teams around them in the conference standings, they struggled to keep up the positive form, losing 77-41 to Louisville before a defeat to Florida State. The Cavaliers’ slump almost looked worse, after Virginia lost a 23-point lead that was as high as 18 in the final quarter to Virginia Tech to trail by three in the final two minutes. But the team recovered to win 64-62. However, with Virginia still to play Louisville again and Miami after the Irish, their difficult stretch of opponents looks to continue. The Irish will meet the Cavaliers at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Thursday. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

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ANN CURTIS | The Observer

Irish senior forward Dawson Cook skates down the ice during Notre Dame’s 5-1 loss to Ohio State on Saturday at Compton Family Ice Arena. Cook has scored six goals in 28 games played this season.

Sports | thursday, february 15, 2018 | The Observer

nd Softball



ND set for series of ranked contests

Irish prepare to host Alex Wilson Invitational By PETER BALTES Sports Writer

ANN CURTIS | The Observer

Irish freshman right-handed pitcher Alexis Holloway delivers a pitch during Notre Dame’s exhibition match against Loyola on Oct. 10. Observer Sports Staff

Notre Dame will look to get its momentum back as the Irish head into the second of four weekend trips to warm climates. This weekend, the Irish (3-2) will take on No. 20 Michigan and No. 14 Minnesota as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Notre Dame started its season last weekend in Tempe, Arizona, with three straight wins over Seattle, Saint Mary’s and South Dakota. In those games, the Irish outscored their opponents 21-12. But the next two games proved to be tougher sledding for Notre Dame, as the No. 18 Arizona State squad proved to be too much for the Irish to handle in a 9-1 loss. Then, Fresno State mounted a comeback victory over Notre Dame to take a 5-4 win in the final day of the Kajikawa Classic. To pick up some wins against ranked competition, Notre Dame will look to senior shortstop Morgan Reed and sophomore second baseman Katie Marino to keep up their offensive production. Reed is hitting .438 and Marino is hitting .462, and the pair have five combined home runs between them. A few new contributors stepped up last week in Arizona as well. Freshman center fielder Abby Sweet batted .375 over the weekend, picking up six hits in 16 at-bats, including two doubles and a walk. Sophomore left fielder Alexis Bazos also posted a .556 average in three starts with five hits over nine at-bats. A duo of freshman pitchers also saw their first action in Notre Dame uniforms last weekend: Morgan Ryan and Alexis Holloway. Holloway, especially, looked strong in her 14.2 innings of work. The Crown Point, Indiana, native tallied 21 strikeouts, pitched two complete games and gave up 11 earned runs. The other Irish pitcher who

saw a heavy dose of time on the mound was senior Katie Beriont. Beriont exited the weekend with a 2-1 record and a 3.15 ERA. If Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf sticks to the gameplan from the Kajikawa Classic, Beriont and Holloway will see a significant amount of playing time versus Notre Dame’s two Big Ten foes this weekend. The weekend’s action will be split up across three days. On Friday, the Irish will play one game against the Wolverines (3-2) before a rematch on Saturday, followed by the first game against Minnesota (50). On Sunday, the Irish will face the Golden Gophers a final time. Like Notre Dame, both Michigan and Minnesota played a series of five games in season-opening tournaments. The Wolverines picked up three wins in their opening weekend in Tampa, Florida, losing to USF and No. 2 Florida. Michigan’s pitchers also put up strong outings in its opening weekend of play. Freshman Meghan Beaubien and senior Tera Blanco both posted ERAs of under 1.92 in 19 and 11 innings pitched, respectively. Beaubien also struck out 29 opposing batters. Meanwhile, Minnesota traveled to Nevada for its opening stage of play and went 5-0, though the Golden Gophers did not face another ranked team. The Golden Gophers outscored their opponents 27-11 in their five games, and shut out UNLV and North Dakota State. The ACC/Big Ten Challenge marks the beginning of a difficult stretch of the schedule for Notre Dame. Starting this weekend, the Irish will play a number of highly-ranked teams, including No. 13 Auburn, No. 6 Texas A&M and No. 4 Washington. But in the present, the Irish will have their eyes on Michigan and Minnesota, with action beginning this Friday in Tallahassee, Florida.

This Saturday, Notre Dame will participate in its final regular season meet of the indoor season. The Irish will be playing host to athletes competing for dozens of collegiate teams from across the nation. This will be the final opportunity for Irish runners and field athletes to secure a spot at the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships starting next Thursday. Irish associate head coach Matt Sparks laid out the team’s goals for the final competition before the postseason. “This is sort of the last chance meet for athletes to prove that they’re ready for the conference meet, or to tune up for the conference meet … [for] the few select kids who are trying to hit national qualifying marks,” Sparks said. Irish runners still trying to reach the ACCs are focusing on the details in practice and are trying to get muchneeded rest in preparation for their races. “The [athletes] who still need to earn the right to go [to the conference meet] have backed off a little bit more and been sharpening up a little bit for this competition,” Sparks said. “It could be their last if they’re not rested up and ready to go.” For athletes who have

EMMA FARNAN | The Observer

Irish senior Jessica Harris competes in the 3,000-meter run during the Meyo Invitational on Feb. 3 at Loftus Sports Complex.

already qualified for the ACC Championships and are aiming for nationals, this weekend’s meet will afford them another opportunity to perfect their events. Sparks said the distance medley relay as an event that will see particularly strong competition and may have national implications for the Irish and the other teams in the race. “The distance medley relay is one of the premier events of the competition this weekend,” he said.

“Traditionally, there are five or six teams that qualify for nationals in this event at the Alex Wilson Invitational. We’ve got teams from the University of Oregon, Stanford, Princeton, [from] all over the country coming in to compete in the distance medley relay this weekend.” The Irish will be fielding a team in both the men’s and women’s distance medley relay. The men’s team will be made up of freshman Yared Nuguse, junior Jacob Dumford and graduate students Edward Cheatham and Elijah Silva. The Irish women’s distance medley relay will consist of seniors Jessica Harris, Samantha Murray and Jordan Shead and junior Kelly Hart. Both of the aforementioned teams will be looking to build upon Notre Dame’s past excellence in the medley. “[Hart and Harris] were on the [women’s] distance medley relay that … earned All-American status [last season],” Sparks said. “The women’s distance medley relay has been All-American four years in a row. It’s a real source of pride for the women’s team, working to get All-American again in that relay. In 2013, the men’s team was distance medley relay national champions. It’s really a source of pride for both [teams].” The meet will take place Saturday at Loftus Sports Center, with competition at 11 a.m.

EMMA FARNAN | The Observer

Irish freshman Yared Nuguse competes in the Meyo Mile during the Meyo Invitational on Feb. 3 at Loftus Sports Complex.

Contact Peter Baltes at


The observer | thursday, february 15, 2018 |


Notre Dame readies for last-place Michigan By CONNOR MULVENA Sports Writer

No. 1 Notre Dame is gearing up for a home-and-home series against the Wolverines of Michigan on Friday and Sunday. The Irish (22-6-2, 16-31 Big Ten) head into the matchup hav ing clinched the Big Ten Regular Season Championship after beating Ohio State on Friday. Michigan (14-13-3, 9-10-3 Big Ten) has struggled compared to the rest of the conference this season, sitting in last place of the Big Ten standings. Nevertheless, the Wolverines remain on the cusp of an NCA A tournament berth. Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said he thinks Michigan w ill be coming at the Irish w ith a vengeance, as Notre Dame swept the Wolverines last time the two squads met in Januar y. “This is a little different than the other series because this is a short turnaround,” Jackson said. “We had a much longer period of time between the series [w ith] the other teams we’ve

played. So, this is a month turnaround basically, so we just played them it seems like. They’re right on the NCA A bubble, and I think that, just from what I see in watching them play, they’re certainly a top team in the countr y, not just in the conference. Right now our conference is just really tough, Minnesota [vs.] Ohio State this weekend is going to be a great series. The last t wo weeks of the regular season are going to be tough.” Despite its place in the Big Ten standings, Michigan is no slouch, Jackson said, emphasizing the skill of the Wolverines. Jackson said the Wolverines have stepped up their game since the Irish met them in Januar y. “Ever since our first series with them in January, they’ve been playing really well,” he said. “They got beat by Ohio State a couple of times, but Ohio State is a really good team. So they’ve been playing a lot better since the second half of the year started. They’re a younger team, and they’re get t i ng some con f idence see HOCKEY PAGE 10

ANN CURTIS | The Observer

Irish sophomore forward Cal Burke surveys the ice during Notre Dame’s 5-1 loss to Ohio State on Saturday at Compton Family Ice Arena. Burke has tallied 13 goals and eight assists in 28 games played this season.

nd WOMEN’s basketball


Irish travel south to play Cavaliers for double-bye Observer Sports Staff

ND set to send group to Memphis By ALEX BENDER Sports Writer

As the regular season approaches its close, No. 5 Notre Dame w ill travel to Virginia to face the Cavaliers w ith a chance to claim a double-bye for the ACC Tournament. Virginia (16-9, 9-3 ACC) currently sits just behind the Irish (23-2, 11-1 ACC) in the conference standings, w ith a w in for the Irish putting Notre Dame, who is tied at the top of the conference w ith Louisv ille, three games ahead and holding the headto-head advantage w ith just three games remaining. A v ictor y would also prevent Duke, who the Irish beat on Feb. 4, from possessing a higher seed than the Irish, ensuring a top-four seed and the double-bye that comes w ith it is guaranteed. To guarantee that doublebye, Muffet McGraw’s team

SARAH OLSON | The Observer


Irish freshman guard Nicole Benz attempts to come away with a steal during Notre Dame’s 94-62 win over North Carolina on Feb. 1.

Coming off a cancelled trip to Durham, North Carolina, for the Duke Duals, Notre Dame is beginning its preparations for postseason action ahead of the ACC Championships being held in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Feb. 24 and 25. The No. 1 women and No. 2 men have had a tremendous season thus far in their attempt to defend their title as reigning national champions w ith the women sitting at 35-1 on the year while the men are 27-6. In their last outing at the Northwestern Duals, Notre Dame went a collective 18-2 in competition, snagging w ins against some of the nation’s best fencing programs along the way. Head coach Gia Kvaratsk helia said he has been impressed w ith his team’s work thus far, but he

knows their greatest challenges lie ahead. “The entire season is getting ready for the last three competitions, those being ACCs, regionals and NCA As, and so far preparation has been going accordingly,” he said. “According to polls, we are first in women’s and second in men’s, so I think we’re in a prett y good situation. We are sitting on solid ground physically, technically and mentally as a team, so now we just have to make the final steps.” Before competition gets under way at the ACC Championships, indiv idual team members w ill first be competing in this upcoming weekend’s USA Fencing Junior Oly mpics held in Memphis, Tennessee. As a whole, Kvaratsk helia said that preparation has remained the same and those participating w ill be ready. see FENCING PAGE 9

Print Edition of The Observer for Thursday, February 15, 2018  

Print Edition of The Observer of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's for Thursday, February 15, 2018.

Print Edition of The Observer for Thursday, February 15, 2018  

Print Edition of The Observer of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's for Thursday, February 15, 2018.