Atheist and Catholic to debate religion

first_imgThe original version of this article misidentified Joseph Stanfiel as the Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. He is the assistant dean. The Observer regrets this error.Notre Dame will host a public debate on April 7 between famed atheist Christopher Hitchens and Catholic apologetic Dinesh D’Souza.More than 10 departments on campus, including the College of Arts and Letters and the Student Union Board, will sponsor the event, “Is Religion the Problem?” It will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.Students should expect a heated debate, as D’Souza has described atheism as “the opiate of the morally corrupt” and Hitchens has cited Christianity as “a wicked cult.”According to a press release, the conversation will focus on the arguments for and against organized religion and its impact on past and future generations.Sophomore Malcolm Phelan, one of the event organizers along with fellow sophomore Daniel O’Duffy, Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Letters Joseph Stanfiel and Professor Micheal Rea from the Center for the Philosophy of Religion, said one of the main reasons for putting the event together was to challenge current students beliefs.“We are trying to get students to think about things that they take for granted for most of their lives,” he said. “These questions lead to thought and conversation within a community, challenging positions and enriching beliefs.”Professor Rea said he also feels a strong feature of the event is its present day value.“[The event is about] serious questions about the rationality of belief in God and about the role religion plays in contributing to the evils in this world,” Rea said.Phelan said what makes the event truly special is the quality of the participants in the conversation and debate.“Christopher Hitchens and Dinesh D’Souza are amongst the foremost public intellectuals in the world, and are two of the best known spokespersons for their respective positions,” he said. “They have both authored numerous books and have debated multiple times on these topics, drawing crowds of over 6,000 to similar events.”Phelan said the group of organizers drew inspiration from similar events, but the prestige of the participants was what helped convince them to put the debate together.“Daniel and I had always wanted to see one of these debates, and we thought ‘Why not have one here?’” Phelan said. “We’ve had discussions of this type ourselves, but it was another thing entirely to have two of the world’s best debaters battle it out on a public stage.”Stanfiel said Hitchens in particular could prove to be a polarizing figure on the Notre Dame campus.“People might object to Hitchens, a self-proclaimed anti-theist being given a platform, but these are issues that are being debated in the larger culture,” he said. “What better venue than Notre Dame is there for the honest presentation of both sides of this controversy?”Tickets for the event will be available to students at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center ticket office beginning March 24. The event is free for Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students.last_img read more

Morris Inn recognized with Four Diamond rating

first_imgThe Morris Inn became the 10th hotel in the state of Indiana to receive the AAA Four Diamond award, the University stated in a press release on Oct. 9. According to the release, AAA is an organization that independently ranks and rates hotels based on condition, cleanliness, management, staff, grounds, exterior, public areas and décor.  The award comes after a more than $30 million renovation if the hotel, Joe Kurth, Morris Inn’s general manager, said, Thanks to a generous donation from Ernesto Raclin, the hotel was able to redesign and revamp its facilities. In a mere 10 months, the hotel was transformed, earning it a new four-diamond rating by the AAA.   Kurth said although it is uncommon for a hotel to receive a four-diamond rating so soon after reopening, the Morris Inn strives to maintain its position as “the living room of the University.” According to the AAA’s website, a Four-Diamond hotel is “refined, stylish with upscale physical attributes, extensive amenities and a high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail.”   The AAA website goes on to say that the Four-Diamond rating is a high achievement that is only met by 5% of the 30,000 plus lodgings that the AAA has reviewed in the past 77 years.   “The new Four-Diamond ranking shows guests that they will have an experience that is unique and only available at a select number of hotels,” Kurth said.  According to its website, the Morris Inn has been an integral part of the Notre Dame community, providing visitors a place, hosting weddings and conferences and even serving food at one of its three eating establishments since April 21, 1952.  “The Morris Inn is proud to be a choice location for weddings, academic conferences, and alumni and family visiting the University,” Kurth said. “We are proud to be in the heart of Notre Dame’s beautiful campus. In fact, in the AAA’s categories of review, the Morris Inn scored five diamonds for the exterior and campus grounds.” Contact Jessica Merdes at [email protected]last_img read more

Student body president, VP speak with politicians

first_imgStudent body president Lauren Vidal and vice president Matthew Devine, both juniors, traveled to Washington earlier this week to discuss the interests of the Notre Dame student body with policymakers as part of their involvement in this year’s Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Student Advocacy Trip.The trip, which drew representatives from 11 ACC universities, focused primarily on the importance of federal funding to support undergraduate research and financial aid, Devine said.“Collectively, students were advocating the continued support of research and filling what they referred to as the ‘innovation gap,’ in terms of developing countries and looking at continuing federal support of … research opportunities,” he said.The topic of federal funding is one that is important to Notre Dame not only because of the importance of research and financial aid to the University, but also because of Notre Dame’s status as a private university as well, Vidal said.“Notre Dame has a lot of institutional funding from our endowment, especially when we’re dealing with student financial aid — a lot of that comes from the institution, more so than other ACC schools that may be public,” she said.Vidal said she and Devine also used the opportunity to discuss other important campus issues with Indiana state representatives.“The ACC focused on the idea of federal aid and what it means to students on our campus, but we also used the opportunity to speak directly [about] our school when we were in individual meetings with representatives from Indiana,” Vidal said. “We really tried to capitalize on that opportunity and speak to the issues of Notre Dame specifically.”A major issue they discussed with representatives was the Health and Human Services mandate, which has been controversial not only for the University administration, but for many students as well, Devine said, especially those looking to enter the medical field.“[Students’ concern] was something that I think hasn’t been addressed from the university level … but something that I think students are worried about,” he said.Vidal said the discussions that addressed student opinions of current issues at Notre Dame allowed congressmen to gain a better understanding of campus life and important campus issues.“[This trip] is a way for students to express the sentiment on campus from a personal standpoint where legislators and individuals who work in Washington, D.C., to represent schools oftentimes … don’t have the direct connection to the students,” she said.This is the second year the ACC has sponsored this trip to the nation’s capital. Vidal said she hopes Notre Dame student government will continue its involvement.“Every year that they have been in existence we have participated, because we think it’s important as a University and as a student body,” Vidal said. “It’s only the second year, but we hope to continue it. We think it’s a great opportunity.”Tags: ACC, Lauren Vidal, Matthew Devine, politicians, Student governmentlast_img read more

Students defines bullying in Justice Friday installment

first_imgMonica Villagomez Mendez This week’s installment of Justice Friday at Saint Mary’s focused on the issues of bullying and highlighted ways to identify and respond to bullying. The discussion was hosted by junior Katie Dwyer. She centered her discussion on defining modern bullying and showing that it affects students of all ages. Dwyer said, in general, bullying can be defined as a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. She said there are several categories and subcategories of bullying such as physical, verbal, unspoken, passive aggressive and cyberbullying.Dwyer said, from her perspective, cyberbullying is the modern form of bullying. “It has such an impact on today’s society, especially in this country. … It can involve hurtful messages, posts, and videos,” Dwyer said. “Hacking accounts, imitating others or pretending to be the person you’re bullying, gossiping or online exclusion are all forms of online bullying.”Dwyer said there is potential that there is overlap in teens that have been bullied online and have bullied others. “Over half of teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have been the perpetrators of cyberbullying.”Dwyer addressed some of the negative effects of bullying. “One in 10 high school dropouts say they left school because of bullying. … Bullying victims are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep problems and poor school adjustment. … Bullying perpetrators are at increased risk for violent behavior, substance abuse and academic problems,” she said.Furthermore, bullying and harassment has been linked to almost 75 percent of school shootings, Dwyer said.Dwyer said more than half of all bullying situations stop when another peer intervenes. She said school-based bullying prevention programs decrease bullying by up to 25 percent. “We need to put emphasis on people seeking out a trusted adult and determining if the behavior falls outside of the student code of conduct or the state laws.”Dwyer mentioned how important it is for Saint Mary’s women to support one another.“Why would we bring each other down when we should be trying to stick together?” she saidDwyer invited audience members to ask questions and contribute to a dialogue about bulling. Sophomore Morgan Matthews shared her thoughts on women bullying women.“With women, it’s mostly passive aggressive confrontation, even if you say something to somebody because they’re bullying you. They never let go, women always have [the confrontation] in the back of their mind,” Matthews said.Dwyer ended the discussion by offering support to any victims of bullying.“[Bullies] were wrong. When you feel like you’re inferior, you’re really not, you are equal to your peers,” she said. “Nobody is below you but nobody is above you either. That is something that you grow up to realize. You have to make it there to realize that … there is more to life than being the victim of bullying. There are brighter days to come. “Dwyer shared the phone number of the suicide prevention lifeline, 1-800-273-8255. The Justice Fridays discussions take place every Friday from 12 p.m. to 12:50 p.m. in Conference Room A and B of the Student Center.Tags: cyberbullying, Justice Fridays, saint mary’slast_img read more

First ‘Electric Mile’ to benefit Center for the Homeless

first_imgCircle K, one of the largest service clubs on campus, has partnered with Flaherty Hall to start a new event this year called Electric Mile. For $5, participants can participate in a mile-long walk or run from Main Building to Flaherty Hall from 8 to 9 p.m. on Friday, and all proceeds will help the South Bend Center for the Homeless provide bus passes to the homeless.Senior Christina Kappil, the president of Circle K who has been coordinating the event, said the event is intended to demonstrate what a difference not having to walk everywhere would make in the lives of homeless people.“In the wintertime, they have to walk to their jobs,” she said. “They have to walk miles and miles each day. This would alleviate that — especially in the winter — [so] that they can get to their jobs and help them get to a better place in their life.”aSince the event is neon-themed, Circle K and Flaherty will be providing free glow sticks — as well as free hot chocolate and donuts — and they recommend that students wear their hall apparel. The event will end with a reception that will include music and food in the Flaherty courtyard, and a representative from the Center for the Homeless will speak about how the money will be used and what the center does.Kappil said Circle K leaders had the idea to start the event after a club member discovered the Center for the Homeless needed bus passes, but did not have the budget to cover them.“That was coincidentally when Flaherty Hall was opening,” she said. “We had partnered with Knott Hall to do various events, so we thought we could do this with a woman’s dorm.”Kappil said she has liked working with the women of Flaherty Hall, since the groups have different resources and ideas.“Meeting new people and having a vision together and seeing it implemented is a really cool aspect of planning it,” she said.Her favorite part of the event, though, will be knowing the money is directed toward a good cause, Kappil said, and she hopes the two groups can repeat the event next year.“If Flaherty wants to continue and actually make this their signature event, we would love to work with them,” Kappil said. “Ideally we could continue working with them in the future.”Circle K and Flaherty are expecting about 150 participants and hope to raise $900 from Electric Mile, which will take place outside — regardless of the weather — in solidarity with the homeless, Kappil said.“It’s a fun event, but it’s supposed to be in solidarity for the residents,” she said. “There is no rain date — it’s rain or shine. That’s part of walking in solidarity with these people who have to walk in tough conditions to get to work.”Tags: Circle K, Electric Mile, flaherty hall, South Bend Center for the Homelesslast_img read more

Fair aims to introduce students to service opportunities

first_imgPhoto Courtesy of Annie Cahill Kelly A Notre Dame student volunteers at La Casa de Amistad. The organization offers various programming to Hispanic youth and adults and is one of many service opportunities available in South Bend.“For the students, it’s a really great opportunity to speak directly with the representatives from each of the organizations … to learn more about the good work that is happening, to learn about ways they can get involved and ways they can contribute to the work and the mission,” she said.Over 30 of the CSC’s 90 community partners will have representatives and student volunteers in attendance to discuss positions at various organizations. The organizations deal with social justice issues such as domestic violence, youth development, tutoring and immigration.“I think that everyone who comes will find something of interest, and even within some of the organizations they might have particular research needs or something that might take students in a direction that they’re really interested in but might not be readily evident from just looking at the website,” Cahill Kelly said.While some students seek out volunteering opportunities on their own, many discover service through class. For senior Barnes Werner, a freshman Spanish class requirement has led him to become involved with Community Alliance to Serve Hispanics, or CASH. He is now on the board of the organization.“Specifically, we do tutoring programs at Brown Center, which is for kids who usually are either speaking both languages at home or only speaking Spanish,” he said. “We also teach English as a New Language classes, which are usually for adults, and it’s helping people get used to speaking English — figuring out how to work around what they need to do during the day based on their needs specifically. I really liked it so I’ve been doing it ever since [freshman year].”Senior Adrianna Duggan sought out service at the Center for the Homeless after participating in a summer program in high school; the service ended up fulfilling a requirement for a CSC class she was taking on poverty and politics. Duggan found an unexpected sense of community at the Center and has been volunteering at the front desk there since her sophomore year.“You could go there and read a book and then only kind of look up when people are asking you a question, but I just really like to talk to people and they’re pretty open if they know you care about them and are invested in how they’re doing,” she said. “You really do develop relationships with people, which I’ve always appreciated.”The Center’s main mission is to help the homeless develop and achieve long term goals, but there are a variety of ways to contribute to the Center’s community, Duggan said, especially working with children. The CSC’s community partnerships provide students with opportunities to apply what they learn on campus to the real world and see it play out.“Ultimately, the community partners are co-educators, they really are,“ Cahill Kelly said. “They are tremendous educators of our students and are bringing to bear on students’ education such a wonderful perspective and wonderful experience related to particular issues of social justice.” According to the community partners’ data, Cahill Kelly said at least 2,250 Notre Dame students gave over 94,000 hours of service last year. However, Cahill Kelly believes that number is an underestimate. The fair, she said, is an opportunity for students to explore ways in which they can develop and learn more about social issues in our nation and world.“I know students are so good-hearted and of good will and want to make a difference and an impact. And what I’ve heard from students over the years is that often the life that is impacted the most is their own, that they experience tremendous growth and impact in their own lives,” Cahill Kelly said. “It’s a really great opportunity to contribute and to grow.”Tags: Center for Social Concerns, CFH, Community Service Walking past the Main Building, the new student center and perfectly manicured landscaping while going about our daily business, it can be easy to forget there is a world outside Notre Dame. The Center for Social Concerns (CSC) provides opportunities for students to get outside “the Notre Dame bubble” and become active in the surrounding South Bend community — and it will hold its annual fair Wednesday, showcasing some of its community partners and student service groups.Annie Cahill Kelly, the CSC’s community partnerships and service learning director, said the fair offers students a unique chance to explore service opportunities.last_img read more

New Saint Mary’s committee seeks to empower STEM students

first_imgSaint Mary’s students are seeking to improve developments for fellow STEM majors through the creation of the Student Committee on Research Expansion (SCORE), which promotes undergraduate research and opportunities. SCORE committee co-faculty advisor and chemistry professor Jen Fishovitz said the club’s aim is to emphasize the importance of STEM research and provide experiences for students.“SCORE was started by two students who graduated last year,” Fishovitz said. “These students had research experiences in their respective fields and they found it very useful, so they wanted to encourage younger students to get these experiences earlier in their career.”The other co-faculty advisor, biology professor Vanessa Young, said she hopes SCORE will empower future students to pursue prominent leadership positions in STEM fields. “SCORE seeks to empower Saint Mary’s women to pursue research, advocate for student opportunities and celebrate advances in scholarship accomplished by students involved in research and professional development activities,” Young said in an email. Senior Heather DiLallo said STEM research has had a profound impact on her undergraduate experience, leading her to take an active role on the SCORE committee. “Research, leadership and professional development skills are able to prepare students for life post-graduation and give them one step up against their peers from other institutions,” DiLallo said in an email. “I chose to get involved with SCORE because I have been blessed with so many engineering opportunities, and I want to give back to those around me.”The SCORE committee has specific goals to help students achieve success and participate in meaningful collaborations with each other, DiLallo said. “The committee operates under four pillars: opportunity, advocacy, celebration and empowerment with the mission to inspire the future female scientists, mathematicians and engineers of tomorrow,” she said. “We believe that research is an academic experience that can teach the students at Saint Mary’s beyond the classroom lecture and develop them into more well-rounded scholars.” Fishovitz said the committee is working to implement new ways to reach out to students and link them with faculty members who will keep students informed about different experiences. “SCORE is working on ways to connect all of the departments, so there’s one place where students can go to see what opportunities are out there for them,” Fishovitz said. “We have a Facebook page where we post research opportunities, internships and any kind of summer experiences that students could have. Instead of getting things from individual faculty, they’re getting them from students, which can be more powerful.” On campus, SCORE has been working to help organize different events for STEM students to increase awareness. “We have helped plan STEM Fall Poster Day in August,” DiLallo said. “Currently, we are organizing events to bring alumnae on campus for a Professional Development Workshop in January, and plan STEM Accepted Students weekend.”Sophomore and SCORE member Veronica Vanoverbeke said being part of the SCORE community has greatly impacted her college experience. “Being a part of SCORE has really touched my heart,” she said. “Participating in this is exciting because it’s about improving STEM culture and promoting the future of women in STEM.” Tags: SCORE, STEM, Student Committee on Research Expansionlast_img read more

Black Coffee House to showcase student talent

first_imgThe Black Cultural Arts Council (BCAC) will be putting on the annual Black Coffee House event Friday. The two-hour event has taken place in its current form since the early 1990s and presents an opportunity to experience and engage with black culture, art and artists from across campus in a relaxed setting and across a variety of mediums.“Imagine a jazz house — that’s the type of feel for coffee house,” senior BCAC president Erin Williams said. “We do spoken word, a lot of of people play music. This year we’ve got a saxophonist. It’s a very low-key feel. We have coffee beans and the lights are turned down, so it’s a very relaxed environment.”The event generally includes around 12 different acts or performances from mostly student artists across campus. While the event has no official theme, as to not limit the kinds of art and topics on display, the pieces tend to focus on some aspect of black culture or the black experience.“It’s about uplifting and highlighting the black experience, or even experience from the African diaspora,” said Iris Outlaw, the director of Multicultural Student Programs and Services and faculty advisor to the BCAC. “Those are the types of performances that happen.” Performances from past events have often had a deeply personal aspect that impacted both the artist and the audience.“Some of the pieces have just been so prophetic; they’ve really resonated,” Outlaw said. In addition to singing, music, spoken word and other poetry performances, this year’s event will also include an art gallery. The gallery will display a variety of student-created pieces and types of visual art, some of which will be for sale. This addition allows the event to display not only the normal performance art pieces, but also visual art from artists who can otherwise find it difficult to make their work and its message seen or heard. “It’s always wonderful and great to have a space for black voices to be heard because oftentimes they’re silenced or suppressed,” Williams said. “I think it’s important to create a space for black artists to say what’s on their minds, to say what’s on their hearts and to be able to send whatever message to the world that they think is needed at that time.”In this way, the event presents an opportunity not only for artists, but for anyone interested in engaging with, learning about and talking about cultures that sometimes lack visibility on campus, in addition to being entertained.“It’s a great space to come and listen and understand the culture and be a part of the culture of another person, and to have fun and interact and be entertained by the great artists that you see there,” Williams said. “It’s a great place for coming to an understanding of other people’s voices and other people’s interpretation and perspective of the world.”Tickets for the event are available for $3 at the LaFortune Box Office as well as at the door. All proceeds will go toward the BCAC’s Thurgood Marshall Scholarship, which is a yearlong scholarship awarded to first-year, non-athlete students involved with the BCAC. In addition to the various art pieces and performances, free coffee will also be offered to those in attendance. The event is open to anyone interested in attending and will start at 7 p.m. in the LaFortune Student Center ballroom. Tags: BCAC, black coffee house, Black Cultural Arts Councillast_img read more

Student Peace Conference encourages inclusivity, activism and a better world

first_imgOrganized by Notre Dame undergraduate students, for undergraduate and graduate students from all over the world, the annual Notre Dame Student Peace Conference ran Friday and Saturday in the Hesburgh Center to promote dialogue on issues related to peace-building, social justice and conflict transformation.The theme of this year’s conference — “Expanding Circles: Peace in Polarized Age?” — encouraged students to consider inclusive peace-building in the midst of a polarized reality.The conference featured a keynote session delivered by Delaney Tarr, a co-founder of the March for Our Lives and a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Tarr discussed her experiences actively advocating for gun violence prevention, youth empowerment and voter registration since the Parkland shooting.“We were just another statistic; we were just another group of students going through the grief and the pain so many had before, hoping, praying and fighting for something different, for a future that maybe doesn’t have to be so bleak,” Tarr said.Reflecting on the first gun control rally the March for Our Lives founders attended in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where Emma Gonzalez gave her famous “We Call BS” speech, Tarr said it was there that the students decided to mobilize.“We understood that we had power that had an ability to change the landscape, to change the world even,” she said.Throughout her session, Tarr stressed the target of her organization’s activism.“We reminded ourselves we were fighting the core of injustice, not the people who have perpetrated it,” she said. “We were fighting the NRA, we were fighting corruption and the systems that put it in place, not the people who become victims to it, not the people who have subscribed to a system that they don’t know an alternative to.” Senior and conference co-chair Monica Montgomery said although the conference usually invites a practitioner or an academic as the keynote speaker, they specifically chose a young activist this year.“We were really excited about the prospect of a student activist because the [March for Our Lives] movement has done great things, and they’re going to continue and Delaney has been really involved,” Montgomery said. “It really relates to our theme of expanding circles of who’s involved in decision making and power because March for Our Lives has tried to redefine who can have a say in the gun debate.”In addition to Tarr’s keynote speech, the conference also included a number of breakout discussions, workshops, research presentations and film screenings proposed by students to the conference committee, all relating to the theme of this year’s conference.Senior and conference co-chair Maddie Thompson said the committee worked to pair proposals covering similar topics together and to include both traditional and creative learning experiences, which translated into a few film screenings.On Friday night, students gathered to watch the EPIX original documentary “Under the Gun,” which examined why gun control laws struggle to pass although the number of mass shootings continues to rise. In addition, students in the Center for Social Concerns’ border immersion seminar presented a film on migration policy at the U.S.-Mexico border, Montgomery said.The conference also included talks on social movements and policy change, intersectional justice, quality and toleration in public institutions and the role of sustainable development.Montgomery said she hopes the variety of topics helped people engage in dialogue on issues they understand while also expanding their peace studies and justice knowledge and acknowledging the reality of our modern situation.“We do live in a very polarized political system in this present day, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t work towards inclusivity,” Montgomery said. “It’s a core doctrine of peace students to look at how inclusivity can work in the peace process and how can we include more people in the negotiating table, how can we consider local groups that should be involved with these projects.”Tags: “Under the Gun”, Delaney Tarr, inclusivity, March for Our Lives, Notre Dame Student Peace Conference, Parklandlast_img read more

UHS administers flu vaccines to campus community

first_imgIn preparation for flu season, University Health Services (UHS) hosted their annual Flu Blitz on Tuesday through Thursday providing free influenza vaccines to prevent campus community members from falling sick in the midst of the fall semester.Director of UHS Sharon McMullen said this year the University administered approximately 6,450 flu vaccines to students, retirees, staff and dependents, over the course of three days in the Stepan Center.The public health initiative is a joint effort between UHS and the Division of Human Resources to protect people from contracting the flu and lessening its symptoms if infected.“Avoiding influenza is important, especially on a college campus, where illnesses can spread easily due to our close proximity to each other, and because getting sick with the flu can interrupt a student’s academic progress,” McMullen said.While the CDC recommends getting the flu vaccine every year to reduce the risk of flu complications that can lead to hospitalization or even death, they also urge everyday preventative actions to slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like the flu. When most people in a community are vaccinated, McMullen said it becomes more difficult for the flu to spread in general, so flu shots help more than just the individual receiving the vaccine.“The annual Flu Blitz is yet another opportunity to build community in true Notre Dame fashion,” McMullen said.Having a large percentage of people in a community vaccinated also enables herd immunity, which helps protect immune-compromised individuals who cannot receive vaccinations.In order to be most effective, UHS times the Flu Blitz specifically, so students, staff and faculty are protected throughout the entirety of flu season. UHS Health IT Specialist, Neal Connolly, who was the Flu Blitz Manager this year, said the influenza vaccine is typically effective for about six to eight months after vaccination.“So anyone who was vaccinated at our event should be covered until roughly April — which is typically the end of the flu season,” Connolly said.As UHS director, McMullen said she served as executive sponsor of Notre Dame’s annual Flu Blitz while also helping out giving vaccines.“I even had the chance to go back to my roots as a registered nurse and to administer vaccines, including to vice president of student affairs, Erin Hoffmann Harding,” McMullen said.UHS not only holds the Flu Blitz for easy access to the flu vaccine to community members, but McMullen said they also consider the event an annual drill for emergency preparedness.“If our campus ever experiences a need for large-scale administration of medication, for example in a meningococcal meningitis outbreak, we’ll be ready, thanks to the structure of our Flu Blitz,” McMullen said. “Some of the emergency management elements we intentionally include are clear chain of command, separate ingress and egress, point-of-care documentation, efficient throughput, epi ‘hotwash’ debriefing session and collaboration with campus and local partners.”In addition, every year UHS rotates the leadership positions of the Flu Blitz among staff members to build depth of emergency management experience and to offer professional development, McMullen said.For students, the Flu Blitz may also serve as a learning experience.“We use this opportunity to engage the academy,” McMullen said. “Last year, Dr. Josh Shrout got his flu vaccine at the 2018 Flu Blitz and wondered if it could provide a learning opportunity for students in his Water, Disease and Global Health class.  That thought turned into a problem set for this year’s class using deidentified UHS vaccine data.”Tags: Flu season, Flu shots, University Health Serviceslast_img read more