MBA students win case competition

Notre Dame MBA students swept first, second and third place at the 2012 Arthur W. Page Society Case-Writing Competition in Corporate Communications this week in New York. According to a press release, the winning projects focused on the 2010 Carnival Cruise Line fire, Groupon’s initial public offering and the Sony PlayStation network crash respectively. Professor James O’Rourke, the faculty advisor for the projects, said Notre Dame has a good track record in the competition, which judges communications cases to be used in an educational setting. “[The Arthur Page Society has] sponsored, for probably a dozen years, an annual case writing competition to expand the body of knowledge, to influence how communication is practiced and taught,” O’Rourke said. “Notre Dame has won the case writing competition more often than any other school.” O’Rourke said the key to success in the competition is to tell a good story. “In writing a case study our aim is never to identify heroes and villains,” he said. “We’re not trying to make management look good or look bad. We’re trying to tell a story that will become the basis for a classroom discussion.” Students who participated in the competition are enrolled in a course called Corporate Communication, O’Rourke said, which surveys a variety of topics within the area of communications. “The students choose from among a world of issues out there bearing down on companies every day,” he said. “These issues might focus on employee communication, media relations, crisis management, investor relations, lobbying and legislative liaison. It may be an image, identity or reputation issue.” The cases created in the classroom are submitted to competitions and can also be published, O’Rourke said. “In the past 20 years, we have published more than 250 cases,” he said. “Notre Dame cases are in use in 131 colleges and universities in this country and about half that many schools overseas.” O’Rourke said students spoke to important people in the business world to prepare their projects. “I provide [the students], if I can, with contacts in the business, and we set up telephone interviews with executives,” he said. “That provides us with answers to questions that aren’t addressed in the business press, and it also gives us an opportunity to ask them about strategy and tactics in dealing with these issues.” Laura Divel, Russell Cramer and Sam DeLemos received first place for their project analyzing the causes of a Carnival Cruise ship that caught fire at sea, lost power and went rudderless in the Pacific Ocean near Mexico for over a week, O’Rourke said. “It was a story well told, but it was also thoroughly documented,” he said. “It was scrupulously fair. They did not look to point blame in any direction.” Divel said the people they contacted for the project set theirs apart. “I think one of the things that set our case apart was that we interviewed [Tim Gallagher], the vice president of public relations at Carnival,” Divel said. “It made it a little more interesting because we got a little bit of what was going through his mind.” Third place winner Shawn Do said he and his project partner John Hsu sought to tell the story of the Sony PlayStation Network crash as fairly and accurately as possible. “The material itself basically talked about when the crash went down [and] how Sony had hidden the facts from everyone for about a week or so,” Do said. “We basically laid out the timeline and how it all transpired.” Divel said the hard work her group put into the project was worthwhile. “It was definitely challenging, and we worked a lot of hours on it, but we enjoyed it,” Divel said. “I think the research was the biggest component of it and making sure we had accuracy because there is so much information out there. Our case was a crisis management case so the news media likes to take that up and publish a lot of details on it, and you have to distinguish what is fact.” read more

The Observer endorses Romeo-Hootsmans

first_imgSaturday afternoon, The Observer Editorial Board interviewed all six tickets running for student body president and vice president, and each ticket brought its own spirit and ideas to the table. After extensive deliberation, The Observer endorses juniors Dominic Romeo and Philip Hootsmans for student body president and vice president.  In a pool of diverse candidates, Romeo and Hootsmans approached this election with a unique vision – a student government explicitly determined by student feedback. We’ve heard these promises about being a voice for the student body over and over again. We’ve heard countless candidates promise to faithfully represent their fellow students to the administration before. We’ve heard about plans to make that second-floor office in LaFortune more accessible and more approachable for students. But Romeo and Hootsmans outlined a bold plan to revamp the way student government can actually prioritize student concerns. Their hypothetical first week in office is already scheduled with plans for one-on-one, office hours-style meetings with students, open forum discussions and the addition of a blog component for student posts on the student government website. These meetings would produce a ballot of issues to be prioritized through student votes. Romeo and Hootsmans would structure their administration around student feedback – and this is the first time in recent memory that the student body at large would determine the agenda for its own student government.  They’re off to a good start, as they’ve begun their campaign by soliciting ideas for students to construct their platform. In a preliminary list of agenda items, they included suggestions that do reflect the general concerns of the student body. More printing stations around campus, especially in buildings like O’Shaughnessy Hall and DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, have been a longtime item on student wish lists. Working toward a day concert before a night football game would be a welcome move for students and fans alike. Romeo and Hootsmans identified mental health and stress as serious concerns, and they promised to address them on both in small ways like finals week events and in large ways like promoting University counseling services. One of the strongest platform ideas on the Romeo-Hootsmans ticket is the formation of a formal alumni-student mentorship group, similar to a “Big Brother, Big Sister” program, that could strengthen the work of both the Career Center and the Alumni Association. And while some of these ideas have been attempted before with varying degrees of success, their plan for balloting students would also allow student government to press for its goals with more clout than before – claiming to know what students want works best when students have actually had their say.    In the midst of these smaller ticket items and platform points, Romeo and Hootsmans also understood they would need to address a deeper issue at Notre Dame. In the past year, we have witnessed a racial hate crime on our campus. We have taken steps to be more inclusive to gay, lesbian, bisexual, trangender and questioning (GLBTQ) students who have felt alienated in the past. The current student government administration dedicated a significant portion of time to consulting with administrators on both the Call to Action plan and the development of a GLBTQ student organization. Romeo and Hootsmans came forward with a passion for making sure those ideals continue to come to fruition in the culture of our campus. To be sure, it’s a gamble. While their résumés include an impressive list of leadership positions, their experience within student government is almost nonexistent. Some of their platform items were hopelessly vague, such as the promise to “obtain closer relations between the dorms.” There are tickets with candidates who are perhaps more qualified and more organized. Juniors Alex Coccia and Nancy Joyce, for example, will be stiff competition for the pair, and with good reason. They bring an impressive platform and focused vision to their campaign, and we do not doubt that Coccia and Joyce would be successful in office as student body president and vice president. Junior Michael Masi and sophomore Tim Scanlan also approached their campaign with enthusiasm and focus that peaked our interest. The ballot this year is full of talent and ambition, but no ticket is more passionate about earnestly addressing students’ concerns than the Romeo-Hoostmans ticket.  Should this pair be elected, students will need to meet the bar they set for participating in student government. Romeo and Hootsmans outlined a platform that would challenge the student body to actually pay attention to student government, not just complain that it doesn’t know what student government does. They outlined a platform that requires us as students to think about and to voice our priorities for Notre Dame campus life. The bar is set, and it’s been set high.  In one of the most competitive races in years, The Observer Editorial Board has chosen to endorse Dominic Romeo and Philip Hootsmans because we believe they would be a student body president and vice president who challenge us to engage in their administration more than any other in recent memory.last_img read more

Students provide tax filing service

first_imgTaxpayers nationwide often dread the April 15 filing date, but many Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students voluntarily participate in a unique service program to provide tax assistance to low income families in the South Bend area. The Vivian Harrington Gray Tax Assistance Program is in its 43rd year of providing this service, and faculty advisor Edward Hums, a professor of Financial and Managerial Accounting in the Mendoza College of Business, said the program has grown this year. “We have approximately 100 undergrads participating in the program,” Hums said. “It is a two-credit course and last year the program filed about 3,900 taxes.” In order to be eligible to provide this service, students need to complete one course in tax, Hums said. Once enrolled in the program, students attend four weeks of classes and then go into the community to help local families with their tax returns for four to six weeks.   Students in the program complete state and federal tax returns for free, and taxpayers must have an income of less than $40,000 dollarsper year, the median income in Saint Joseph County, Hums said. There are eight sites throughout the South Bend and Mishawaka area and one site in Plymouth, Ind. “In addition to taxpayers in the community, the program helps international students here at Notre Dame,” Hums said. “Part of the tax return is also a report to immigration service, and we want to make sure students are in proper compliance with their visas.” Senior program president Sam Matthew, said the initiative also focuses on service to the community beyond the monetary aspect. “You’re doing their taxes and doing them a service, but we also become people’s companions,” Matthew said. Matthew, who has participated in the program for the past two years, said he has worked with the elderly and people with physical disabilities who are unable to leave their houses. “We benefit a lot from [the work], and it is really helpful for our education, but the bonds we form with the community are great,” Matthew said. “I really enjoy that part.” Hums also stressed the role of community service in the program. “It is very rewarding, and one of the oldest community service programs at Notre Dame,” Hums said.  “It always amazes me how students start out nervous at the start of the program, and then grow confident at the end. “They grow in understanding, interview techniques and are very proficient doing the returns at the end of program.”last_img read more

ND sues for relief from HHS mandate

first_imgNotre Dame re-filed a lawsuit Tuesday for relief from a mandate of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that the University claims violates its right to religious freedom. The mandate requires employers, including Notre Dame and similar religious organizations, to provide contraceptives through their insurance plans or through third-party administrators.  The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, calls on the court to rule that the HHS mandate violates the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and other laws. The lawsuit names HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and their respective departments as defendants.   “What’s at stake is this fundamental right of religious organizations to be exempt from government interference in their religious practice,” University President Fr. John Jenkins told The Observer on Tuesday. “So, really, for me, it’s not about the contraceptive services or any particular thing. It’s about that larger issue of the fundamental right of any religious organization, whatever the religion, to live out its mission without government interference.” The University initially filed a lawsuit challenging the mandate in May 2012. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in January, ruling that Notre Dame’s claim was not yet “ripe,” meaning it was not ready to be litigated because the University had not incurred any damages as a result of the mandate.  A University press release published Tuesday stated the University now seeks relief from the courts because the mandate will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.  Under the final iteration of the mandate, which the Obama administration announced July 2, an organization that objects to providing contraceptives on religious grounds can offer employees a plan that does not provide contraceptive coverage. The health insurer administering the plan then enrolls employees in a separate, individual, private policy that only covers contraceptives at no extra cost. Notre Dame is self-insured. A self-insured organization that objects to providing contraceptives can notify its third-party healthcare administrator that it objects.  The administrator then “notifies enrollees in the health plans that it is providing or arranging separate no-cost payments for contraceptive services for them for as long as they remain enrolled in the health plan,” according to the HHS website. “What we have to do is we have to write a letter saying we object to these services, and then this third-party administrator is obligated by the government to provide them,” Jenkins said. “So, we have to cooperate in that, and our objection is with the cooperation.”  Jenkins said the lawsuit is not specifically about contraceptives, but about Notre Dame’s right to practice the Catholic faith.  “What it is about is the fundamental right of a religious organization to live out its mission, to follow its own teaching, rather than the government mandate of the day,” he said. “We feel we have a right grounded in the Constitution and in standing legislation to be exempt from [the HHS mandate], … and we want that right recognized.  “Now, if the government wants to provide those [contraceptive] services another way, that’s their business. We’re not trying to prevent that. We’re just saying, ‘Let us live out our mission.’”  An email the Office of Human Resources sent to faculty and staff Tuesday stated “the University will continue to provide coverage for contraceptives when medically necessary for reasons other than contraceptive purposes.”  The University engaged in discussions about the mandate with the Obama administration, but the groups were unable to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement, Jenkins said.  “I thought it would work. In the end, it didn’t work,” he said. “But what is in question is the scope of our rights as a religious organization. … The courts will decide that, but this dialogue will continue.  “We’re not going to take our ball and go home. We understand the government has concerns. We’ll continue to work with them to try to find a way in which we can retain our rights.”  Managing Editor Meghan Thomassen contributed to this report.  Contact Marisa Iati at [email protected]last_img read more

Stand Up to Cancer hosts dinner

first_imgCancer patient survivors, caretakers, students and families who have been affected by cancer celebrated the lives of local heroes at the third annual “Don’t Stop Believin’ Celebration of Life” dinner Saturday night, hosted by Saint Mary’s Stand Up to Cancer club.Christie Hutch, a junior at Saint Mary’s and president of the Stand Up to Cancer club said everyone present made a difference.“Everyone who comes really is a hero. Whether they have dealt with cancer personally or taken care of someone who has or whatever the case may be, I think it’s important to recognize these people,” Hutch said.To start off the evening, local 12-year-old rising star Justin McCormick sang “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey. The talented young singer has been on a variety of singing shows and is in the process of building his career, Hutch said.“He does a lot of things for the American Cancer Society and sings at the Relay for Life every year,” Hutch said, “His main song that he sings at all these competitions and things is ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ and because that’s the name of our event, he asked if he could perform.”At the event, guests enjoyed an Italian buffet dinner catered by Sodexo and were given raffle tickets for a free auction that included baskets donated by families of club members and local businesses such as Edible Arrangements, Let’s Spoon and Flourish Boutique, Hutch said. She said the event was purely a celebration, not a fundraiser.“Every other event [the club] does is primarily a fundraiser. … We raise money for the national organization which is great because that goes purely towards cancer research, but this is the one thing we do that’s local and it’s to show our support as a community and as a college and as a club,” Hutch said.To raise awareness for the event, the club placed a press release in the South Bend Tribune and hung posters around campus and in local areas including Memorial Hospital, Hutch said. She said approximately 75 people attended the event.“Students joined the guests for dinner, and I think everyone learned something from talking to [the guests].  For me, it was their attitudes that affected me so profoundly,” Hutch said. “Each individual seemed to truly understand and embody the importance of living in the moment.“The families whom I sat with at dinner said that battling cancer really made them realize that you can’t sweat the small stuff. It was so inspiring for me and the other students to hear this from our guests.”Junior Bridget Condon said she was touched by cancer patient who spoke during dinner.“He spoke about his experience with cancer and how the Saint Mary’s nursing students always made his treatment days a little better,” Condon said, “It really spoke to what we, not just as a club, but as a college, are all about. Whether we realize it or not, each and every one of our little acts of service can make a huge difference in the lives of other people,” she said.Condon said she hopes the event made people aware of the immense local support available for those battling with cancer.“It was great to be able to treat these heroes to a worry free night of fun,” Condon said. “While we cannot do everything, we can certainly do some things to show our love and support in their battles.”Tags: Stand Up to Cancerlast_img read more

Former faculty dies of cancer

first_imgOlivia Remie Constable, director of the Medieval Institute at Notre Dame since 2009 and professor of history, died of cancer Wednesday in her home, according to a University press release.Constable joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1995 after teaching history at Columbia University for six years. She graduated from Yale University in 1983 and earned a doctoral degree in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton in 1989, the press release stated.“Remie Constable was a brilliant historian, a generous colleague and a very dear friend,” associate professor of history Margaret Meserve said in the press release. “Her contributions to medieval studies at Notre Dame were countless, but I will remember her best for her love of her students, her wonderful wit and her extraordinary hospitality. She will be greatly missed.”Constable’s focus for classes and research included “interactions between medieval Christians, Muslims and Jews; the Mediterranean world; economic and social history; the history of medieval cities and urban life; medieval Spain and perceptions of the middle ages in modern novels and film,” the press release stated.Constable received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Guggenheim foundation, according to the press release. She was also a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and a fellow of the Medieval Academy of America.Funeral services will be private and a public memorial service will be announced soon, the press release stated.Tags: cancer, director of the medical institute dies, former faculty member dies, olivia remie constable, Staff Reportlast_img read more

Early admits visit campus

first_imgSome of Notre Dame’s early admission applicants arrived on campus Saturday as part of Notre Dame’s 13th Reilly Weekend, a visitation program for the top 1 percent of prospective students.Junior Adam Farchone, who is part of the student planning committee for the event, said the weekend aims to show prospective students the character of Notre Dame. The weekend’s events — which included a stadium tour, a visit to the Center for the Homeless in South Bend and a group mass — gave participants a feel for everything the University has to offer, he said. Participants will be able to attend University classes today.“Reilly, as it stands, is a visitation weekend for students in the top 1 percent of the application pool from Notre Dame,” he said. “But this year, it’s really been expanded to just beyond the top 1 percent academically.”Although the program has not changed much over the years, Farchone said the criteria for accepted students has been more holistic this year than it has been in the past.“While all the students that are attending Reilly will have stellar grade point averages, additionally there is an unprecedented focus [this year] on community engagement as well as extracurriculars in school,” he said. “… So while it’s still the top 1 percent of the application pool, it’s more of a holistic view of the applicants, whereas in previous years it had been almost entirely based on academic involvement.”Freshman and committee member Rachel Warne said Reilly Weekend gives high school seniors, who are choosing between a handful of great schools, the opportunity to see Notre Dame as an attending student would.“I think that [Reilly Weekend] is an experience of Notre Dame you wouldn’t get to have if you just come visit and go on a tour and kind of walk around campus,” she said. “It’s kind of like the full experience.“You really get to see a lot more than you would get to experience if you came with your parents for one day as part of a bigger college tour. So, it’s nice because they get to have this deeper experience with Notre Dame, and they get to really understand what it’s all about, rather than kind of just the surface view.”Although stadium construction for Campus Crossroads led to some adjustments in the weekend’s events, freshman and committee member Katharine Janes said the University was still able to show students all the best things it has to offer.“It really makes you think about why is Notre Dame really spiritually active, why are athletics important, why are academics important and how can we showcase that to prospective students?” she said. “And also, I think that recruiting a student body that really values those things is important, so you’re recruiting students who will be reflective of that mission.”Farchone said his experience at Reilly Weekend as a high school senior was what ultimately convinced him to attend Notre Dame.“Reilly was really a chance to experience the tangible offerings of Notre Dame, and it was a great way to differentiate the University from other options that I was considering,” he said. “It really highlighted for me the community aspect of Notre Dame and the familial atmosphere, as well as the focus on the faith life and service.“There was a moment on my Reilly [weekend] when I looked around and thought to myself, ‘These are the people that I want to spend the rest of my life with,’ and I couldn’t envision myself going to any other University besides Notre Dame. And that’s what we’re hoping to recreate for these students, to show them that in the face of a secular world, it’s not a disadvantage to have attended a Catholic university. In many ways it’s actually an advantage for your personal well-being and your holistic development.”Tags: Prospective Students, Reilly Visitation Program, Reilly Weekendlast_img read more

Students volunteer at home and abroad over the summer

first_imgCourtesy of Alexandra Rice Senior Alexandra Rice treats a patient at the Roanoke Rescue Mission’s G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic for the Homeless. Over the summer months, nearly 300 students had the opportunity to serve partner agencies and reflect on social issues through Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns (CSC), which offered the Summer Service Learning Program (SSLP) and the International Summer Service Learning Program (ISSLP). Andrea Smith Shappell, who directs the SSLP, said the program is important because it offers a new depth of learning and a new perspective for students. “Students enter into relationships with people who live on the margins of our society and begin to see social issues from new perspectives,” Shappell said. “This change of perspective carries into their discernment of how they will respond in their personal and professional lives.” According to the CSC website, the SSLP and ISSLP are theology courses with eight weeks of consecutive immersion; they are worth three and four credits, respectively. The CSC invites Notre Dame clubs to sponsor students to serve in the local community of the club. Senior Alexandra Rice worked at the Roanoke Rescue Mission’s G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic For the Homeless in Virginia where she triaged patients and worked in the office. She said her experiences helped her learn about healthcare inequality and connect her future career to her faith. “As a science preprofessional student, I always wished to learn more about and help to address the healthcare inequalities in our country, but never truly had the chance to do so through my coursework,” Rice said. “Since the Bible teaches us that faith without works is dead, the SSLP provided a chance for me to begin the process of meaningful praxis in this area as I look forward to a career in healthcare.”Sophomore King Fok also worked at Casa Juan Diego, a clinic in Houston, Texas, which is a Catholic Worker house. He said Casa Juan Diego is one of the only clinics in the country that serve the undocumented for free, and that the SSLP helped him learn more about his role in the future. “It was a place where not only did I learn more about the world we are living in today, but more so about my role in it and how I can use my skills to aid others,” Fok said. Not all students worked in clinics or hospitals. Junior Dan Thompson was a counselor at Sharing Meadows in Indiana, a summer camp for adults with disabilities. He said it was similar to any other summer camp; they held a talent show, swam, fished, studied the Bible and did arts and crafts. Thompson said the campers taught him a lot about himself and what he wants to do.“Their honesty about their vulnerability taught me a lot about self-acceptance, which I feel was a crucial first step in my discernment about what I want to spend my life doing,” he said. Junior ISSLP participant Elle Scott spent the summer in Gulu, Uganda where she worked for Battery Operated Systems for Community Outreach (BOSCO). BOSCO, an organization that installs radio towers and teaches classes, was founded by Notre Dame alumni in 2007.Scott said the ISSLP gives students first-hand experience solving social problems around the world. The application to participate in next summer’s round of ISSLP and SSLP will go live Sept. 16 and Nov. 15, respectively. Both applications can be found at the CSC’s website. Tags: Center for Social Concerns, CSC, international summer service learning program, ISSLP, SSLP, summer service learning programlast_img read more

Students rewarded for outstanding leadership

first_imgThe division of Student Affairs recognized seven students for “exceptional service to the Notre Dame community” at the 30th Student Leadership Awards Banquet on April 7, the University announced in an April 12 press release.Senior Maggie Skoch received the Rev. A. Leonard Collins, C.S.C., Award, which honors “a graduating senior who has made substantial personal efforts to advance the interests of students at Notre Dame,” the release stated.Senior Colleen McLinden received the John W. Gardner Student Leadership Award, which honors “a graduating senior who exemplifies the ideals of the University through outstanding community service beyond the University community,” the release stated.Senior Preston Igwe received the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., Award, which honors “a graduating senior whose contributions have significantly advanced the climate of welcome and inclusion within or beyond the University community,” the release stated.Senior William Harris received the Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C., Leadership Award, which honors “a graduating senior who embodies Blessed Father Moreau’s vision of educating heart and mind as well as someone who has demonstrated significant effort to advancing the Catholic character of the University,” the release stated.Senior Alison O’Connor was awarded the Ray Siegfried Award for Leadership Excellence, which honors “a graduating senior who exemplifies the qualities for which former Notre Dame Trustee Ray Siegfried was known, including leadership, generosity, devotion to the Catholic faith and affinity for athletics,” the release stated.Senior Meredith Fraser received the Mike Russo Spirit Award, which honors “an outstanding undergraduate student who exemplifies the qualities for which Mike Russo was known, including service, personal character and striving to bring the best out of themselves and others,” the release stated.Senior Maggie Bowers received the Denny Moore Award for Excellence in Journalism, which honors “a graduating senior who exemplify the qualities of Moore, a former Notre Dame associate vice president, who was known for his integrity, character, commitment to Notre Dame and writing ability,” the release stated.Tags: Awards, Class of 2016, Seniors, Student Affairslast_img read more

Students compete in 26th Fisher Regatta

first_imgChris Collins | The Observer Thirty-six boats raced across Saint Mary’s Lake on Saturday afternoon at Fisher Hall’s Regatta for a crowd of over 1,000 people, according to Fisher Regatta commissioner Ryan O’Donnell. “The turnout was a lot nicer than last year because there was no rain,” he said. “There were a lot more rectors than in previous years that showed up to watch their dorms and there were a lot of families at the finish line, a lot of kids and older adults.”O’Donnell estimated that between 12 and 15 boats sank at one point or another during the race. The purpose of the Regatta, “along with having fun,” is to raise money for St. Adalbert’s, a local Catholic school. Last year, the event raised $5,000 renovate the gym, according to Aaron Collier, co-director of advertising and photography for the Regatta. “Last year, we redid their basketball court floor and we’ll continue to do more, along with our partnership with McGlinn Hall,” Collier said. “So as we continue to do these things, it’s really inspirational, it’s a lovely event.”“This year we’re raising money to renovate the front entrance,” O’Donnell said “We’re trying to give them a foyer-type entrance so when you get in, you have to be allowed into the rest of the building. It’ll make the school a lot safer and more secure.“We have, so far, raised $7,000,” he said. “That’s not a set number, we’re getting more donations and we’re hoping by the end to have $8,000. We’re almost there.” Collier said that in addition to the races, there was “so much going on for the people,” including, free hamburgers and hot dogs, a slushie machine, a DJ, Spikeball and people lounging on blankets. The races were split into men and women’s divisions; O’Donnell said there were 20 boats competing in the men’s and 16 in the women’s. “My favorite boat today had got to be the ‘meat boat’,” Collier said. “So the meat boat is this beautiful piece of machinery and basically, all it is is wood, random empty barrels, more wood. The problem with it is you have to row and in order to row, you have to stand on it. But you stand on it with 13 other guys and it’s just not that conducive to, well, movement. What happened is their boat flipped three different times and they still found the willpower to get over to the other side. I don’t understand how they did it but they did.” O’Donnell also said he had some clear favorites in the competition, including one that was powered by a tandem bicycle. “One boat put an anchor into their boat because they wanted to camp out in the middle of the lake,” he said. “Another put a futon on their monstrosity and rode that across. There was the party barge, as always, from Fisher that put 15, 16 guys on it and it totally capsized. Then there was the inflatable pool that made it to the finals, even though it was technically illegal.”Pangborn Hall defeated Ryan Hall to win the women’s division while a boat built by Moreau Seminary and raced by Old College beat out Knott Hall and the American Society of Civil Engineers in a three-way final for the men’s. While O’Donnell said he loved seeing which boats sank, his favorite part of the Regatta is seeing how happy it makes the spectators. “I really enjoy that other people enjoy the Regatta,” he said. “Being on staff, you sometimes miss out on the actual fun times that are happening because you’re busy, but after you sit back and think about it, I really enjoy that everyone else had a fun time.”Collier said the sense of unity that comes from the Regatta is his favorite part of helping to plan the signature event. “Regatta is one of the most spectacular events to ever come to the campus of Notre Dame and that’s very true for a multitude of reasons. The biggest reasons of which are simply that this event is something that brings people together. It brings people together and tears boats apart.“Quite frankly, I believe Fisher Hall is responsible, personally, for between 40 and 50 percent of the pollution present in Saint Mary’s Lake,” he said. “Why is that so true? Because we really suck when it comes to getting boats out of the water — or people really suck at building them. Either way.”Chris Collins | The Observer Tags: 26th annual, fisher hall, fisher regattalast_img read more