Student government changes hands

first_imgWhen outgoing student body president Grant Schmidt and vice president Cynthia Weber entered office a year ago, the duo was determined to enact initiatives to make student government relevant to the student body.“We didn’t take on personal preferences,” Schmidt said. “Students were constantly giving us feedback. It made our jobs a lot easier.”The administration soon found the best way to find out what students cared about was not through formal student surveys, but just by talking to students.“A lot of it is informal,” Weber said. “If you want to get the real opinions of students, you just need to be a real student.”From large programs ranging from the restructuring of commencement and the introduction of Transpo Route 7A to small things like having baskets of mints outside the dining halls, Schmidt and Weber said they attempted to focus their agenda on improving everyday student life at the University.“The student body at Notre Dame is on its toes,” Weber said. “They care about everything.”Weber said by taking care of the everyday essentials of student life, student government was able to boost its credibility in tackling worldwide social justice issues through programs such as the Global Water Initiative.“Things like Transpo, which did get a lot of exposure, allowed us to use the support for other programs,” Schmidt said.Schmidt, who described his administration as “responsive,” said he was forced to tackle issues that arose at the last minute, such as improving off-campus safety after two Holy Cross students were abducted in September and sponsoring aid initiatives following the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile.Another goal of the Schmidt-Weber administration was to improve student government’s relations with the University administration.“Student government is right now and hopefully will be consulted before every major decision,” he said.Schmidt said there were not any major initiatives he wished his administration could have tackled, although he said he wished the changes in du Lac, the student handbook, had been enacted during his term and the University had not chosen to move the pep rallies to Irish Green.In addition, Weber said student government needed to become more involved in the academic side of the University in the long term.When asked what advice they had for the incoming administration of sophomores Catherine Soler and Andrew Bell, Schmidt and Weber said the focus needs to be on the students.“Be present and energetic, and love the honor of serving the students at Notre Dame,” Weber said.Furthermore, Weber said the pair should continue to foster close ties with the administration but also stand up for what is needed.“The ability to respectfully disagree is key,” she said.Schmidt said the pair should also be aware of the complicated dynamics of community relations in the city of South Bend.“We currently have a very good footing with the city of South Bend,” he said. “But community relations is not something that just stops.”Ultimately, Schmidt and Weber feel their time in student government has been productive and personally fulfilling.“We wanted to be present throughout Notre Dame,” Schmidt said. “And we feel we positively changed the brand of student government.”Schmidt, who is a senior, plans to attend law school next year, while Weber, a junior, said she wants to focus on her studies and become “informally involved in the University.”“It really has been a privilege to serve in student government, especially at Notre Dame,” Schmidt said.last_img read more

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What we can learn from a hacker’s conference

first_imgPaul Love, CO-OP’s Chief Information Security Officer, and Veronica Desrosiers, VP of Enterprise Risk Management, attended DEF CON, the hacker’s conference, in Las Vegas last month. If you aren’t familiar with DEF CON, imagine roughly 20,000 hackers, media folks, government and law enforcement agents, security experts and hacking industry vendors under a single roof – all to witness the state of the art in the inglorious world of hacking.Every year, DEF CON seems to generate news. This year, hackers worked their magic on voting machines. In less than an hour and half, they managed to hack the voting system DEF CON set up – and they found more than one way in. Also in the news: Marcus Hutchins, the hacker who singlehandedly disabled the Wannacry ransomware bug was himself arrested by the FBI.How did two serious security experts navigate in this environment? Here’s what they had to say:What was your first impression?Veronica: Going in, my expectation was that this would be just another typical security conference, where I’d learn more about what security attackers and defenders are doing in the security space, so we can continue to mature our controls to meet evolving threats. I’ve been to many conferences, and expected the usual “professional and organized” type setting. Within the first few minutes there, I knew I was in for an adventure. continue reading » 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Inside Conditions…Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my

first_imgThe talk around the halls of professional football was that the beleaguered Detroit Lions have been mismanaged, misquoted, mislead and misguided.  It has even been alleged that the faint scent of ex-GM Matt Millen can still be picked up in the executive washroom. It seems as if Millen used the Lions as his own pre-Obama stimulus package but contrary to popular belief, it would not have been cheaper to keep him. Detroit will win more than one game in 2009. Hey they played the Super Bowl champs tough for 55 minutes, right? AUBREY BRUCE The Lions lost to the Steelers 28-20 and they did not need a “suspect” coin toss to aid them in making the game competitive. What does a coin toss have to do with anything you might ask?  For those of you that are a tad wet behind the ears hit REW back to Thanksgiving, 1998.The captains for the Lions and Steelers meet at midfield for the coin toss at the beginning of the overtime period. Steelers captain (and Detroit native) Jerome Bettis appears to mumble “tails” but referee Phil Luckett claims Bettis calls “heads” and the ball is awarded to Detroit, which promptly marches in for the winning field goal. The Steelers are extremely angry and feel cheated and the controversy sparks the NFL to rewrite its coin flip procedure.Flash forward to a tad less than two minutes left in the 2009 encounter. Detroit has the perfect opportunity to tie the contest and send it into overtime. The Lions rub their eyes, blink and awaken with a first down at the Steelers’ 21 yard line. It is then and only then that defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau decides to unleash the hounds and let the dogs out of the yard. The Steelers proceed to harass and discombobulate backup quarterback Duante Culpepper on three consecutive plays, pushing the Lions back to the Detroit 45 yard line.Safety Ryan Clark said. “A lot of other games we haven’t been dialing up the pressure. Coach LeBeau just got aggressive. I guess he figured if we’re going to get beat, if we’re going to give up leads, let’s give them up being who we are.”If dialing up multiple blitzes helped to preserve the victory against the lowly Lions, was there something wrong with the “red phone” during the Chicago and Cincinnati losses? “If we are going to get beat, [let’s get beat] being who we are.” Does that mean that Pittsburgh became “chameleonic” in their two previous losses? It seems as if the only thing that the “prevent defense does is preventing is the defense getting off the field on third down. This “soft” defense seems to be an opposing signal caller’s dream where they can sit back and go through all of their reads and progressions without any pressure.All of the elements were in place for a Steelers loss. Receivers with the speed of sprinters occasionally displayed the hands of carpenters, minus the Elmer’s glue. I hope they are not attending the Limas Sweed wide receivers institute. At “Sweed U.” it seems as if you don’t have to catch the ball, you only have to catch up to it.Even our “seasoned” quarterback sometimes appears as if he occasionally utilizes binoculars to focus on his receivers, alerting sleeping defensive backs to hey, wakeup, the ball is coming. The defensive pass rush also appeared to be asleep through the first three periods.Big Ben Roethlisberger tossed four touchdowns but also threw an ill-advised pass that was picked and returned 38-yards for a score by Detroit cornerback William James. “It’s tough…but we can’t blame anybody, we just have to get better,” offensive tackle Willie Colon said. Rashard Mendenhall continued to be a bright spot subbing for “Fast” Willie Parker.  “As you continue to play and gain experience, you get better and better at what you do,” said Mendenhall.Another thing that has plagued the Black and Gold has been drops.  Not just ordinary drops but gaffes when wide-outs have been wide open. Rookie wide receiver Mike Wallace dropped a pass when he was wide open at the Detroit 28 in the second quarter.  Shortly thereafter Big Ben was picked off.  “I still think about it,” Wallace said in the locker room. “I could have given our team a lead and the next play he picked it off, so I figured it was my entire fault.”The Steelers have been on a safari and hunting trip three of the last four weeks and they haven’t fared too well. They were mauled into submission by Bengals and Bears and almost suffered a similar fate when they decided to embark on an excursion to the “dark continent” and tackle the “King of Beasts’.The trouble with the team from the motor city is not that they do not know how to win; their biggest obstacle is abandoning the couch and comfort of losing. The trouble with Pittsburgh is; when you go big game hunting you need a high powered rifle, not a BB gun.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com.)last_img read more

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