The Evolution of VDI as a Crucial Technology in Higher Education – What’s next?

first_imgIn Part 1 of this blog series, we talked about desktop virtualization in terms of its ever-changing role in solving new problems for Higher Education: lab systems management, student productivity and flexibility, a bridge between wealthier and poorer students, lab consolidation, and finally looking forward to “21st Century Collaboration Spaces.” Now, let’s discuss the future – what new challenges in Higher Education can VDI as a technology solve? Here are a few ideas I think are interesting.Hyper-converged infrastructure VDI appliances (HCIA) are becoming increasingly attractive for campuses that want to set up distributed compute environments. For example, to give the Law School a separate IT environment from the Business School, etc. A few years ago, the cost per seat of VDI made smaller deployments too expensive, and we saw a lot of schools try – unsuccessfully in most cases – to corral their departments into a centralized solution.Today, the “building block” approach of HCIA opens up the technology to departments that want to virtualize a few labs, then pay as they grow. Plus, the ease of the software GUI’s that run from a single management console on HCIA’s means schools no longer require an IT professional with a “PhD in VDI.”Because an HCIA allows nearly frictionless scaling without the budgetary impact of previous hardware upgrades or expansions typically required for a VDI project, schools can use this technology for distance learning programs. Schools are opening up new avenues of learning (and sometimes new revenue streams), via distance education programs and Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC’s).Hosted by leading institutions such as Stanford, MIT, Yale, Harvard, and at least 563 other universities, the number of massive open online courses has exploded in recent years.  Offering up software for such programs via desktop virtualization environments allows schools to avoid the hassle of shipping and tracking software licenses, and allows students to leverage their own hardware.However, the number of students enrolled in these courses can swing up and down much more rapidly than in a traditional on-campus course. If the number of students signed up online is much greater than anticipated, hyper-converged infrastructure appliances allow for flexible scaling and ease of virtual desktop deployment. This allows schools to offer more distance learning to more students at a lower cost.Looking ahead, I’ve seen a few forward-leaning IT administrators try to provision all of their desktops from the public cloud, saying, “We don’t want to be in the desktop management business. We want to be in the education business.” Unfortunately, most of these valiant efforts have been limited by a handful of issues that I believe will be solved in the next five years.The first is how you protect critical data, like HIPAA data leveraged by a medical school, in a public cloud environment. While there are work-arounds to allow you to do this today, they are not elegant solutions. I suspect a much better answer is going to be the developing technology set around hybrid cloud architectures where sensitive data is stored and protected locally.The second issue is around software application licensing. Five years ago, most ISV’s did not have concurrent licensing, required by most Higher Ed institutions for virtualizing lab computers. This meant that there was a huge software licensing “tax” on going virtual, and my team was involved in an Educause working group related to this issue. Today this issue is already mostly resolved, but there are a few notable stragglers among software developers that are preventing deployments of the full complement of academic software required by students. I suspect this problem will resolve quickly.The third issue is that, because campuses do distributed IT purchasing, cloud solutions that reward scale can be cost prohibitive. Even in schools where the CIO has issued a centralized mandate around cloud adoption, IT professionals have lacked a charge-back system that would effectively administer a fair distribution of costs across multiple departments. Once a solid solution for multi-tenant cloud / departmental charge-back takes hold, this will drive more large campuses to serve up their desktops out of the cloud.And, once Higher Ed does wholeheartedly embrace the cloud for more than just storage or Office 365? I see an interesting opportunity for universities to take advantage of the ability to “burst” up and down rapidly. Higher Ed, in particular, has very seasonal needs. What if a school could provision for a baseline level of activity, then burst-up each semester during midterms and finals?However these trends evolve, it is clear that Higher Education has already derived great benefit from desktop virtualization technologies, with huge impacts to student work-study habits, the use and purpose of computer labs, physical plant allocation, and IT support workloads. I am excited to look back in five more years and see what else in Higher Education has changed as a result of this ongoing transformation in desktop computing.last_img read more

Time to Put an End the TCO versus TCA Debate

first_imgIn the coming months, we’ll also be adding support for the Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation server portfolio across the Dell EMC HCI and Ready Nodes portfolio.But here comes the mind-blowing part as it relates to the cost of acquisition – we’re introducing a new option which eliminates that step-in acquisition cost entirely. We are really, really pushing the envelope here.We’re launching Dell Financial Services Cloud Flex for HCI, which fundamentally changes how customers can acquire HCI on-premises with a cloud-like consumption mode. DFS Cloud Flex for HCI offers a flexible, risk-free payment solution that eliminates initial capital costs and spreads payments over time with no obligation after the first year.We challenged ourselves to put our money where our mouth is—one of the biggest benefits of HCI is that you can start small, grow as you need—which means “overbuying” IT is a thing of the past. Also, with HCI, expansion takes minutes, is non-disruptive, and there is no “big migration event”. Why not take these technological advantages and turn them into a financial advantage?If our VxRail and XC Series offers are as good as we think they are, the benefit to the customer is massive.  Uniquely, as the only private IT giant, Dell EMC can partner with our customers in the long term. If we’re doing a good job, customers will consume our HCI more, and, if it means they buy less up front, so be it.Cloud Flex for HCI means customers pay per month, require no lease terms, and can return at any time – after the first 12 months without any penalty for returning some or all of the equipment. It’s a complete OPEX model—no CAPEX anywhere to be seen. Heck, we’ve even built in committed price declines over time, just like some of the most aggressive public cloud models.We’re starting Cloud Flex for HCI with Dell EMC VxRail and XC Series engineered systems – but if this as successful as I suspect (if I was a customer, I would be all over this!), we will expand it to all our HCI offers, including our HCI Rack-Scale systems.And remember, HCI isn’t an end in itself. Customers use HCI commonly as the foundation for IaaS and PaaS models—the on-premise half of Hybrid Cloud models.It’s why our VMware-based IaaS—the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud—is now available on VxRail and VxRack. It’s also why our Pivotal and VMware-based developer-ready infrastructure platform—the Native Hybrid Cloud—is available on VxRail and now VxRack.We’re not stopping with our deeply integrated Dell Technologies family stacks – customers want choice when it comes to Hybrid Cloud, and we have critical technology partners in our open ecosystem.Dell EMC also is expanding our long-standing partnership with Microsoft to deliver a new hybrid cloud platform, the Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack.Based on an instance of the same cloud operating system software stack Microsoft employs in its public cloud, Microsoft Azure Stack gives customers that have standardized on virtual machines from Microsoft the ability to seamless deploy applications either in their local data center or on the Azure cloud.Similar to Azure Stack federating with Azure – our VMware powered Enterprise Hybrid Cloud is available in conjunction with any number of our cloud service provider partners, including Virtustream and soon Amazon Web Services (AWS). The moral of the story? Cloud is an operating model, not a place.It’s not just us who think that Hybrid Cloud models – with simple turnkey on-premises offers paired with off-premises stacks – is the answer. A new IDC study commissioned by Dell EMC – with 1000 enterprises sampled –shows that many IT organizations already operate in hybrid cloud environments. The study shows that 79.7 percent of large organizations have a hybrid cloud strategy in place, and that 51.4 percent already employ both public and private clouds.Dell EMC has a singular focus on injecting as much technical agility and financial flexibility into the hybrid cloud computing equation as possible. That’s only made possible by being the largest provider of IT infrastructure in the industry. Dell EMC uniquely has the financial wherewithal to not only invest billions of dollars in research and development, but also make those innovations accessible via the most flexible financial terms bar none.DFS Cloud Flex for HCI is only the latest in a series of dividends for Dell EMC customers that would not have been economically feasible without merging the two companies. But best of all, the cost of entry to start becoming eligible for those dividends is now effectively zero.We’re very excited about all of the different ways we’re innovating to help accelerate outcomes for our customers and partners. Thanks as always for your support and collaboration on this journey to IT at the speed of business. Watch this space for more updates direct from Dell EMC World in Vegas. We’re making the entry point more flexible for HCI Rack Scale-Systems, which transform the network/SDN:VxRack SDDC now offers six additional PowerEdge R630-based server nodes to both increase high performance as well as expand entry level options in cores, memory and CPUsExpanded VxRack FLEX configurations to support Dell EMC PowerEdge R930, enabling the most data-demanding applications such as OLTP, in-memory databases, OLAP, CRM and ERP to be run on a pre-integrated system For more years than anyone cares to admit, the IT industry has been caught up in a largely artificial debate about the total cost of ownership (TCO) for IT infrastructure versus the total cost of acquisition (TCA).TCO has been a way to shift the discussion of the large up-front cost of IT infrastructure to a more real metric – the value over the life of said IT resource, versus the cost of acquisition. It’s a way to move the discussion off the material upfront investment that IT traditionally represents.It’s a real point – but there’s another way to make the debate moot – take the large up-front cost of IT off the table entirely. That’s what we’re doing this week at Dell EMC World.We’ve already been aggressively moving down that path with a set of unrivaled, pre-integrated converged and hyper-converged systems, which eliminate all the integration and lifecycle costs that have been foisted on internal IT organizations for years. That’s what VxBlock, VxRack, VxRail, and XC Series have always been about. Instead of requiring an internal IT organization to stitch together compute, storage and networking on their own to create a functional system and then carry the zero-value burden of maintaining the stack for its full lifecycle, we invested in developing the intellectual property necessary to create truly turnkey systems and appliances to drive the transition to software-defined data centers.BUT – they always had a material “step in” cost that needed to be absorbed. We’re making that step smaller, more flexible, and, in one case, eliminating it completely.How?We’re lowering the entry point for HCI Appliances, which are simple and plug-in to existing networks: Announcing new single processor options for VxRail Appliances priced as low as $25,000 USD street price for a three-node cluster as part of our expansive VxRail 4.5 updatesA new XC Series appliance–the XC430 Xpress–that’s a robust entry offering with full features and optimized for the smallest environments up to four nodesRevamped and new Ready Nodes across ScaleIO, VMware vSAN and Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct for customers who want to build-their own stacks – with more flexibility (but of course less turnkey outcomes)last_img read more

$2 Billion in Less Than Two Years

first_imgDell EMC Unity Storage Rocket Ship, Blast-Off ReduxLast June, I shared an important milestone; our Dell EMC Unity storage array family surpassed $1 billion in cumulative bookings revenue since its May 2016 market debut. The size of that milestone is significant, as many companies or products never reach that level in sales – ever. The speed of the milestone is significant as well, since it was achieved in just over one calendar year. We didn’t think we could improve on that, but we did, and then some. Over the last year, we’ve made huge gains in Midrange storage.For Dell EMC Unity, we’ve doubled the cumulative bookings revenues to $2 billion in less than two years (22 months to be exact). We’re overjoyed that this new milestone came at a faster pace, in much shorter time than our last report. More than 22,000 physical Dell EMC Unity systems have shipped, along with over 12,000 downloads of Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA), our software-defined version. Dell EMC Unity has a variety of deployment models covered including Unified for block and file, Hybrid and All-flash versions, SDS (Software Defined Storage), and Converged Infrastructure (CI). And it’s all connected to the cloud.The Dell EMC Midrange storage rocket ship continues to soar, thanks to our partners, customers and staff, all of whom together make this happen. During the past year, we’ve made numerous enhancements to Dell EMC Unity to ensure it provides a compelling feature set for customers with a wide range of workloads and business challenges. Our customers have benefited from the addition of compression and deduplication, to provide the lowest $/GB possible. For example:We released CloudIQ, to simplify monitoring and management, and it can even detect performance anomalies, where one-time performance spikes are easily detected against historical norms.A new set of controllers was released last year providing increases in performance and scale.Customers can create snapshots that never expire, in combination with our Cloud Tiering Appliance (CTA).This is just one small piece of our complete cloud integration. From cloud-based analytics, to long-term snapshot storage in the cloud, and full integration with your preferred cloud vendor (Virtustream, Dell EMC Elastic Cloud Storage, Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure), we have it all. Stay tuned for a future blog on these initiatives.Here’s some additional progress we’ve made in the last year:Just a few months ago, Storage Review completed its first test on the Dell EMC Unity 450F. The results were impressive and resulted in an Editor’s Choice award. This is the first, and so far the only, storage array to receive the award in 2018. Storage Review added these comments “Clearly our lab is impressed with the 450F not just from a performance perspective, but from an integration one too. Of everything we’ve seen over the years, no storage array hooks into VMware so easily. The interface is perhaps the easiest to get acquainted with as well, perfect for the midrange target audience.”Here’s what our partners think about the new release:“We’ve been a channel partner for EMC for many years, and the Midrange Dell EMC Unity products are a key part of our portfolio of products and services that we offer,” said Raphael Meyerowitz, VP, Office of the CTO, Presidio. “With the transition from previous models to Dell EMC Unity, we now provide a unified, cost-effective Midrange array that offers a wide range of features to help our customer solve their storage and business needs. When the Dell EMC Unity features are coupled with the product’s ease of use, and the new features added over the last year, we’re able to help even more customers. Congratulations to Dell EMC for reaching this milestone. As a partner, we value our relationship with Dell EMC and look forward to celebrating future milestones together.”We also couldn’t have reached this milestone without our customers.Over the years, they’ve provided feedback that we’ve incorporated into our product. I want to share some feedback from one of our recent customers, Rio Grande Pacific, which uses Dell EMC Unity to support its short rail operations, covering 700 miles in six states to move 120,000 train car loads each year. Over 475,000 riders utilize passenger trains and 24×7 operation is critical. In their words, “Downtime is not an option.”Their CIO Jason Brown, continues: “We needed our technology infrastructure to match our company’s aggressive growth. We can do that now with Dell EMC Unity All-Flash.” “Now that Dell EMC Unity is in place”, Rio Grande Pacific reports “The speed of our services increased tenfold.” ESG labs has evaluated Dell EMC Unity to provide real-world results that customers should consider. With ESG labs, the products are reviewed in a lab setting under real-world conditions. See for yourself by checking out the full report from ESG. Here are a few highlights from this lab report:“With the latest Unity All-flash line, Dell EMC has designed an array that brings the extreme ease of use of an entry-level array with the advanced features you might expect in an enterprise-class solution. Simplicity is its hallmark…ShareWe’re all familiar with the ease of use associated with consumer equipment. That was the target for Dell EMC Unity as well; intuitive, and easy to use, for both seasoned professionals and storage generalists as well. ESG labs also commented, “ESG found Dell EMC Unity to be as easy to install as a consumer networked printer.”Security-conscious customers will benefit from the multiple new security certifications and compliance achievements recently announced for Dell EMC Unity including: United States of America DoD Approved Products List (APL), STIG Compliance, FIPS certification and Common Criteria.We’ve also recently announced an even easier way for our customers to get Dell EMC Unity All-Flash storage into their environments through the Dell Financial Services OpenScale Flex On Demand payment program. Flex on Demand Velocity pricing models for Dell EMC Unity All-Flash storage arrays will offer price points of less than $1,000 per month, and customers can run consumption-based All-Flash storage without needing custom configuration – thereby improving time to installation for storage deployments.Flex On Demand reduces costs, enabling customers to pay only for capacity as it is used. Customers can take advantage of All-Flash storage on a consumption basis across the Dell EMC storage portfolio and enjoy the operational and cost benefits of running on-premise workloads with a lower capacity commitment and a more flexible payment period through Flex On Demand.Late last year, we announced the ground breaking Future-Proof Storage Loyalty Program, which gives Midrange storage buyers the assurance that they’re not only getting the best product, but also the best customer experience and performance guarantees. Rather than play along with what other vendors offer, Dell EMC decided to go big with our new Future-Proof Storage Loyalty Program, offering stronger and longer guarantees, and unique benefits such as a free cloud-based solution to store snapshots forever, making it a great new way for customers to protect their business data.As you can see, we’ve had a busy year. We’re enhancing our portfolio with the best products and programs available on the market. Like a laser beam, customers will seek out only the best vendors that provide a total end-to-end package. They seek award-winning products, industry-leading services and programs, complete financial programs, and global 24X7 operations. That’s how to win their business. And our customers have spoken. With their assistance, we’re proud to announce this major milestone. Thank you to our customers, our parters, and our employees, for helping us reach this milestone together.last_img read more

SGA prepares for next academic year

first_imgThe other priority is the SGA retreat, which Chesley said was very important for members. Held before classes start next semester, it will help the officers to get to know one another so that they can work together for the student body as efficiently as possible. Some of the suggestions the Board members had were creating a Facebook fan page, using Twitter and developing a newsletter.  The first step the board took in this process was to state the three goals to be put on the top of SGA’s list of priorities. Those goals are increasing the visibility of SGA and its members on campus, the appeal of life on Saint Mary’s campus and the SGA initiation retreat at the beginning of the year.  “First we had to establish where we were and where we want to get during the coming year,” Chesley said. “Now, we have to figure out the best way to get there.”  The suggestion the board decided will be the most efficient is to develop the SGA Web site. They plan to add resources for students. It was also suggested members spend time doing small things around campus like handing out stickers or candy. center_img Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) discussed preparations for the 2010-11 academic year at its meeting on Wednesday night.At the last meeting, the board named specific goals and expectations and on Wednesday began to prioritize and create plans for those goals. SGA president Rachael Chesley said organization would be very important in SGA’s efficiency.   “I think we all feel that being recognizable and seen around campus is very important, so that students know who we are and what we can do for them,” Chesley said. “Now, we have to figure out the best way to go about doing that.” “I think it is very important that SGA commits to doing small fun things around campus regularly,” chief of staff Katrina Mesina said. “We may be working on large projects for the school for a long time, but the students won’t see that. So, we have to do small things around campus to connect with the student body.” last_img read more

Blue-Gold weekend to bring crowds

first_imgTomorrow the Blue-Gold Game returns for the 81st time, bringing with it a fresh surge of Irish pride. As in years past, thousands will flock to campus to get a glimpse at how the team will operate this fall. Unlike many other years, however, a new fascination has latched itself to the weekend.“Everybody is just so excited to see [Irish coach Brian] Kelly, and this is going to be the public’s first glimpse to see him in action and what he’s done to the team,” Game Day Operations Director Mike Seamon said. “If the weather cooperates, we are expecting to see huge crowds. Even with crowds, we are expecting 20,000. It could be 20,000 to 50,000.  We are prepared for both.”Seamon said the game would be one of the season’s most popular events.“I think next to Commencement, which is just focused on graduating seniors, this is clearly the biggest weekend in the spring here at Notre Dame,” he said. Although this weekend’s game is eight decades running, the activities and events featured will be anything but monotonous.“Given the tremendous interests in Coach Kelly, I think its safe to say there will be unprecedented activities and events this weekend,” Seamon said. “It’s going to be bigger than anything we’ve done in the past.”Notre Dame students are especially eager to gauge from the scrimmage how the team has already shifted under their new coach’s direction.“Last year’s game was really exciting. Just to be in the stadium in the spring really pumped me up for the fall season,” sophomore Alexandra Unger said. “I think this Blue and Gold game will be even better because the football team is feeling really enthusiastic and Brian Kelly is causing a lot of excitement.”The University will kick off the weekend Friday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. with a fan festival, open to the public, on the Irish Green, featuring games, food and activities.That afternoon the University will reveal the new The Shirt.“It’s going to start off with The Shirt unveiling at four at the bookstore. The new cheerleaders and the leprechaun and a number of other student groups will be there,” Seamon said. “Coach Kelly himself will unveil The Shirt itself at 5:45.”Besides football, other Irish sports teams are also hosting home games this weekend which the University has incorporated into the events of the weekend.“We are also dedicating the new Alumni Soccer Stadium,” Seamon said. “The men’s and women’s soccer teams are playing there Friday night.”The baseball, softball teams will play on campus, and the women’s Big East tennis championships will be on campus as well, Seamon said.Blue-Gold weekend ends Sunday with the South Bend Symphony playing at the Purcell Pavilion.The event will feature over 700 musicians, Seamon said.last_img read more

Friedman to address recent book at Forum’s signature event

first_img Forum organizers and participants said they feel they have adequately addressed many of the questions that arise when discussing the marketplace and the common good, but it is ultimately up to the students to take the information the Forum provides and apply it to their lives. “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback,” said senior Shanna Gast, a member of the working committee for the Forum and a panelist at tonight’s event. “The tickets for the Forum event with Friedman sold out in an hour and fifteen minutes so it’s clear students are looking forward to what’s to come.” Friedman’s lecture may be the signature event of this year’s Forum, but committee members and University professors who participated in the Forum’s satellite events that were held over the past two months, believe that the issues addressed at these panels helped prepare the audience for the topics Friedman will discuss. “The panel is there to ask more informed questions and to probe a bit more into what Friedman will talk about,” Gast said. “I think the Forum events have been excellent and have done a much better job at engaging the students,” said Peter Kilpatrick, dean of Engineering and a panelist in the Oct. 12 Technology: Boon or Bane Forum satellite event. “If you don’t prepare for the [Friedman] Forum event well, it will be more entertainment for the students than academic.” Other students who have been involved in the development of the Forum throughout the year hope Friedman’s lecture and the issues he addresses will resonate with students. A roundtable discussion will follow Friedman’s talk and will feature Dr. Carolyn Woo, the Martin J. Gillen Dean of the Mendoza College of Business, Gary Anderson, Hesburgh Professor of Catholic Theology and Gast. Andrea Mitchell, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for NBC News, will moderate the discussion. “I hope that students will be able to take away concrete, realistic ways that we can be more responsible as global citizens,” said junior Shannon Crotty, a member of the working committee for the Forum. Since one of the main goals of the Forum was to facilitate discussion among as many students as possible, Forum committee members ensured that students who did not secure a ticket to the signature event this evening would still have a chance to participate in the conversation. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman will speak tonight about the global economy’s relationship to the common good at the Notre Dame Forum’s signature event. The event, which features a lecture given by Friedman about issues he addressed in his most recent book “Hot, Flat, and Crowded,” has been highly anticipated by students and others involved in this year’s Forum. “To me, one of the greatest things about the Forum topic of ‘The Global Marketplace and the Common Good’ is that it can be approached from a number of stances,” she said. “The panels and discussions from the perspectives of business and legal professionals, engineering experts and political and theological commentators have definitely addressed the issue comprehensively.”center_img “One of the main points we’re hoping students get out of the Forum is to ask themselves why these topics matter to them as students,” Gast said. “I hope it sheds light on mundane, everyday action that can affect the common good.” “Friedman is very vocal on topics of globalization, income gaps and issues that arise when discussing the common good,” Gast said. “He brings a more informed perspective to the topic and he’s a really big name which brings more awareness.” University professors who participated in the satellite events agreed with Crotty’s sentiment and said the smaller events allowed more students to actively participate in the Forum. Friedman was selected as the speaker for this year’s signature event because of his writings on the marketplace and his critique of certain economic practices. “I’m really happy with how the Forum has developed so far,” Crotty said. “The new Forum format, with multiple events and opportunities for discussions rather than just one larger event, definitely allows for more students and faculty to become engaged with the forum topic.” Crotty said she feels like the satellite events served their purpose in preparing students for the Friedman lecture tonight, and the additional panels added more substance to the theme of the Forum. “Me and my colleagues on the panel had different ways of approaching the issue at hand,” Fernando said. “It’s good to come from different angles and viewpoints because the issue is complex that stretches across social and technological arenas.” Professor Harindra Fernando, a panelist in the same event as Kilpatrick, said the satellite events allowed students to hear a variety of viewpoints concerning complicated issues, which is something that the previous Forum format did not always allow. “Anyone not able to get tickets can watch the event broadcast on Channel 13, the TVs in LaFortune or in the Jordan Auditorium of Mendoza,” Crotty said. “Hopefully, this will allow for more people to become engaged in the discussions following the event.”last_img read more

Panel affirms immorality of capital punishment

first_imgTwo Notre Dame professors and a retired local priest asserted capital punishment is immoral at a Wednesday panel discussion. Adjunct Instructor of Writing and Rhetoric Ed Kelly said he opposes the death penalty for three reasons. “First of all, there are systems of privilege and oppression in place in this country that I think make it virtually impossible for the death penalty to be applied fairly and justly,” he said. “Consequently, we have many people of color and many, many poor people who find themselves on death row, and that’s unfair.” Kelly said he believes it is impossible to combat violence with violence, and that state-sanctioned violence is nonsensical. He said he also opposes the death penalty because people who are not imprisoned often have much more in common with prisoners than they expect. “I have four children,” Kelly said. “None of my daughters has been raped. Our only son has not been killed … Still, I would argue that all people are redeemable, that redemption is possible for everyone. Thus, I’m opposed to the death penalty.” Fr. Tom McNally, a retired priest who volunteers as a chaplain at the Indiana State Prison, shared his experience speaking with prisoners on death row shortly before their executions. He said tensions run high in the small rooms where executions occur near midnight. “The men come in [and] they’re on a gurney,” McNally said. “I always wave and bless them, a last blessing, and they wave back … They close the blinds, and then a poison is injected … All the time that this is going on, there’s just this heaviness in my heart.” McNally said his experiences witnessing prisoners’ executions have caused him to consider capital punishment “terribly unfair.” Jay Tidmarsh, a professor of law, said capital punishment is unjust because some prosecutors will ask a court to put a prisoner to death while others will not. “Different prosecutors in the state have different attitudes,” Tidmarsh said. “The arbitrariness in that sense of the death penalty is, to me, stunning. It’s not the quality of the act [that determines whether someone is put to death] … In many circumstances, it is the quality of the person who decides whether or not to seek the death penalty.” The judicial system deludes all involved to believe they are not responsible for putting someone to death, Tidmarsh said. “We’re supposed to have systems of rules that are relatively fair and neutral,” he said. “The reality is in our system no one actually is responsible for putting someone to death. We have divided up the system of responsibility in such a way where it’s always somebody else, or we believe, at least, that it’s always somebody else.” Tidmarsh said the Supreme Court has made clear that automatic death sentences for certain crimes are unconstitutional. Instead, whether someone is put to death must be decided on a case-by-case basis. “You have to allow individuals to mitigate, to explain,” Tidmarsh said. “It can’t be automatic.” Kelly said he does not believe capital punishment does not deter crime. “In fact … the surest way to make a person violent is to punish him, and of course, capital punishment is the worst form of punishment,” he said. It is difficult, however, to argue capital punishment is “cruel and unusual,” as described by the United States Constitution, Tidmarsh said. “If you believe that the Constitution ought to be interpreted faithfully to the meaning of the people who originally adopted it, they executed people back then for lots of crimes that today we would never execute someone for,” he said “[But] what wasn’t cruel 200 years ago might be cruel today.” If most states abolish the death penalty, the Supreme Court might rule capital punishment cruel and unusual under evolving notions of decency, Tidmarsh said. Kelly said although he is generally in favor of sentencing prisoners of capital crimes to life imprisonment, parole should be possible for prisoners who prove they have changed for the better. “What you really need to do is take prisoners who have been put in prison and have them work on transforming,” he said. “It’s quite possible for the lives of people who have done terrible things to be halfway decent, even the imprisoned.” Tidmarsh said he thinks many prisoners are sentenced to death because victims’ families demonstrate an unwillingness to forgive the perpetrators. Kelly said executing criminals rarely helps family members heal. “People talk about closure,” he said. “But there’s really no closure for many families.” It is important for Catholics to oppose the death penalty, Kelly said. “I think Sr. [Helen] Prejean [an advocate for the abolition of capital punishment] would argue that all life is sacred, not just innocent life,” he said. “And if you believe all life is sacred, how can you believe capital punishment is okay?”,Two Notre Dame professors and a retired local priest asserted capital punishment is immoral at a Wednesday panel discussion. Adjunct Instructor of Writing and Rhetoric Ed Kelly said he opposes the death penalty for three reasons. “First of all, there are systems of privilege and oppression in place in this country that I think make it virtually impossible for the death penalty to be applied fairly and justly,” he said. “Consequently, we have many people of color and many, many poor people who find themselves on death row, and that’s unfair.” Kelly said he believes it is impossible to combat violence with violence, and that state-sanctioned violence is nonsensical. He said he also opposes the death penalty because people who are not imprisoned often have much more in common with prisoners than they expect. “I have four children,” Kelly said. “None of my daughters has been raped. Our only son has not been killed … Still, I would argue that all people are redeemable, that redemption is possible for everyone. Thus, I’m opposed to the death penalty.” Fr. Tom McNally, a retired priest who volunteers as a chaplain at the Indiana State Prison, shared his experience speaking with prisoners on death row shortly before their executions. He said tensions run high in the small rooms where executions occur near midnight. “The men come in [and] they’re on a gurney,” McNally said. “I always wave and bless them, a last blessing, and they wave back … They close the blinds, and then a poison is injected … All the time that this is going on, there’s just this heaviness in my heart.” McNally said his experiences witnessing prisoners’ executions have caused him to consider capital punishment “terribly unfair.” Jay Tidmarsh, a professor of law, said capital punishment is unjust because some prosecutors will ask a court to put a prisoner to death while others will not. “Different prosecutors in the state have different attitudes,” Tidmarsh said. “The arbitrariness in that sense of the death penalty is, to me, stunning. It’s not the quality of the act [that determines whether someone is put to death] … In many circumstances, it is the quality of the person who decides whether or not to seek the death penalty.” The judicial system deludes all involved to believe they are not responsible for putting someone to death, Tidmarsh said. “We’re supposed to have systems of rules that are relatively fair and neutral,” he said. “The reality is in our system no one actually is responsible for putting someone to death. We have divided up the system of responsibility in such a way where it’s always somebody else, or we believe, at least, that it’s always somebody else.” Tidmarsh said the Supreme Court has made clear that automatic death sentences for certain crimes are unconstitutional. Instead, whether someone is put to death must be decided on a case-by-case basis. “You have to allow individuals to mitigate, to explain,” Tidmarsh said. “It can’t be automatic.” Kelly said he does not believe capital punishment does not deter crime. “In fact … the surest way to make a person violent is to punish him, and of course, capital punishment is the worst form of punishment,” he said. It is difficult, however, to argue capital punishment is “cruel and unusual,” as described by the United States Constitution, Tidmarsh said. “If you believe that the Constitution ought to be interpreted faithfully to the meaning of the people who originally adopted it, they executed people back then for lots of crimes that today we would never execute someone for,” he said “[But] what wasn’t cruel 200 years ago might be cruel today.” If most states abolish the death penalty, the Supreme Court might rule capital punishment cruel and unusual under evolving notions of decency, Tidmarsh said. Kelly said although he is generally in favor of sentencing prisoners of capital crimes to life imprisonment, parole should be possible for prisoners who prove they have changed for the better. “What you really need to do is take prisoners who have been put in prison and have them work on transforming,” he said. “It’s quite possible for the lives of people who have done terrible things to be halfway decent, even the imprisoned.” Tidmarsh said he thinks many prisoners are sentenced to death because victims’ families demonstrate an unwillingness to forgive the perpetrators. Kelly said executing criminals rarely helps family members heal. “People talk about closure,” he said. “But there’s really no closure for many families.” It is important for Catholics to oppose the death penalty, Kelly said. “I think Sr. [Helen] Prejean [an advocate for the abolition of capital punishment] would argue that all life is sacred, not just innocent life,” he said. “And if you believe all life is sacred, how can you believe capital punishment is okay?”last_img read more

Snow Day: University closed

first_imgNotre Dame and Saint Mary’s closed due to inclement weather Monday and will remain closed until Tuesday evening.Only essential employees are required to remain on the College’s campus, according to its emergency announcement. In Notre Dame’s emergency notification email, the University instructed snow-essential personnel to contact their supervisors.John Ning As of press time, the dining halls at Saint Mary’s will remain open during their normal operating hours.According to a campuswide email from University spokesman Dennis Brown, Notre Dame’s dining halls will operate on a limited schedule Tuesday. Brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dinner will be served from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The LaFortune Student Center and limited eateries will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for students seeking shelter and food.South Dining Hall manager Marc Poklinkowski said the University’s closure challenged dining hall staffs to maintain services.“The staff has been doing a really good job. … It’s an all-hands-on-deck situation,” Poklinkowski said. “We were getting killed today. Some student staff are staying from the breakfast shift [to help with] the dinner shift tonight.“There’s been a lot of confusion with the University closing. It doesn’t mean we don’t have to come in. We are emergency staff members.”The weather emergency that St. Joseph County authorities declared Monday prompted the University’s closure, according to a message sent to students via ND Alert, the University’s emergency messaging service.Under the weather warning, drivers on the roads after 7 p.m. Monday, except for those with emergency reasons, will be ticketed and finedAccording to a Jan. 7 report in The South Bend Tribune, South Bend Police Capt. Phil Trent said this fine might total 500 dollars if individuals are cited under the state statute that says ignoring a city’s emergency declaration is a misdemeanor.Lt. Matt Blank of the St. Joseph County Police Department told the Tribune that drivers are more likely to be cited under a county ordinance violation, which carries a fine of up to 2,500 dollars. A representative from the South Bend Police Department said, however, that South Bend police officers plan to work off of the city ordinance regarding emergency declarations, which would levy a 25 dollar fine against driversTags: closing, Notre Dame, saint mary’s, weather, Weather Emergency, WInterlast_img read more

Students recount personal 9/11 experiences

first_imgThursday marks not only the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but also one of the last years Notre Dame students, will distinctly and consciously remember the day’s events.For students from New York City, those memories are particularly vivid.Freshman Jessica Cioffi’s father, Joseph, is a Captain with Engine 247 of the New York City Fire Department, and will soon be promoted to Chief, she said. Cioffi, who is from Staten Island, said Sept. 11, 2001 began much like any other school day, but quickly became confusing and frightening.“I was in school that day, and I didn’t really know what was going on, of course, but everyone started freaking out all of a sudden,” she said. “My dad is a firefighter with the New York City Fire Department, so he was on call that day. What happened is my mom ended up picking me up from school and taking me home.“My dad didn’t come home for three days. He was missing and he was in the rubble. He was trying to find survivors. [He did] a lot of first aid response, trying to help people. It was a really scary time because being so young and innocent, I would ask a bunch of questions like ‘Where’s dad, when’s he coming home?’ And then my mom would burst into tears because she didn’t have the answers.“I remember when my dad called back to let us know that he was okay, that he was safe. It was a very short call, but my mom started crying again. It was just good to know he was safe.”Junior Laura Anderson, who lives in Westchester County, just north of Manhattan, said she recalled a feeling of safety and calm in school despite the turbulent events of the day.“I have very vivid memories of sitting in my first grade class and having my teacher called out in the hallway, and when she came back in she was very obviously upset, her eyes were red from crying,” Anderson said. “As a first grader, I was very confused. Really shortly after that, a ton of parents started coming in and picking up kids. It got to the point at about 10:30 in the morning or so, I think we only had five children left in the classroom.“My teacher used to put on music and dance with us, and on this day when only five of us were left in class, she still tried to keep that sense of normalcy and she put on music and we were waltzing around. I just remember feeling that something was wrong but feeling that I was really safe because everyone was doing a really good job protecting us.”Junior Amber Thomas, whose father is a New York City police officer, said people’s moods and the constant television coverage  made her realize the gravity of the situation, even at a young age.“I knew something happened where all the firefighters and police officers were needed,” Thomas said. “My mom was very anxious and I wasn’t used to seeing her like that.“I remember going home and watching TV and all they kept replaying was this building getting hit by this airplane. It felt like they were playing it on a loop for hours. It was the only thing I saw that day. My mom was on the phone constantly, talking to family members.”Junior Chris Filos, who lives in Scarsdale, north of Manhattan, was home sick from school on Sept. 11, and said he particularly remembered his mother’s anxiety because his father worked in Manhattan.“I was always very good at understanding when something important was going on, when something serious was happening, so I didn’t necessarily know the nature of what was going on, but I knew it was something important,” he said.“My mom kind of forced me into another room. … She shut the door on me because she didn’t want me to see the TV. My mom was really emotionally distressed and frazzled because my dad actually worked in the World Trade Center complex, not in one of the two buildings, but it one of the buildings across the street. Obviously it was impossible to get in touch with anyone that day because all the cell towers were clogged up, so [my mom] had no idea where he was. … Eventually, my dad did come home. … He was covered in a little bit of dust.”Sophomore Julia Kim, who lives in Queens and went to a high school a few blocks from Ground Zero, said the lack of transportation and communication on Sept. 11 only added to the confusion and fear.“Because we were on such high alert, I think you weren’t allowed to take the trains,” she said. “I know some people walked from Manhattan across the bridges. It was a commute that would usually take you 30 minutes had to be walked. None of the phones were working because so many people were using them at the same time.”In the aftermath of the attacks, Anderson said the entire New York community, including school children, mobilized to aid in the recovery effort.“The fact that people kicked in so quickly is amazing,” she said. “The next day, we started making bag lunches to send down to the rescue workers. We were making little boots for the [rescue] dogs because their feet were getting cut and charred.“I think it was really striking to see how people kicked into action so quickly. Almost everything became about ‘How can we help?’ Even the littlest kids [helped]. We were in first grade and we were bagging lunches. All the children were given jobs to help because it allowed us to feel like we were contributing and not just being pushed out and told ‘Don’t watch.’”Cioffi said her father returned to Ground Zero to help with the cleanup for about six months after the attacks.Junior Rachael Biscocho, who lives on Staten Island, said annual remembrances are a special time in New York, where most people were somehow directly affected by the attacks.“On Staten Island especially, I feel like there’s a lot of people who have family members on the police force or in the fire department, and those are some of the greatest casualties from 9/11,” Biscocho said. “So everyone knew at least one person who had been affected by it.”“I love how everyone comes together on that day, though. We all are there to support each other in a time of remembrance.”Coming from an FDNY family, Cioffi said the attacks affected a lot of friends and family.“Because I was brought up with the fire department, I knew a lot of people, people I considered my uncles and other fatherly figures to me, some of whom perished and some of whom got sick afterwards,” she said. “It affects a lot of people more than you think it would.”As he has grown up, Filos said the memories of Sept. 11 become less and less frequent, but he still wants to share his experience to help others better understand the impact of the attacks.“I don’t want to say it’s something I think about often, because it’s not,” he said. “But every once in a while, something sparks a memory and I’ll think about it and reflect on it for a couple of minutes.”“I always enjoy talking about it with people who weren’t there and don’t have those personal experiences, so they can get a better understanding of what it was like to be there and know people who were involved.”Cioffi said the attacks gave her a better appreciation for first responders, like her father.“It makes you appreciate what people do,” she said. “My dad puts his life on the line every time he goes to work, and I was never fully able to realize that until I learned more about the events. Being so young, I never really understood, but as I grew up I was able to learn more about it and appreciate what he does everyday.”Thomas said the memories of the day have stayed with her, and likely will forever.“As I’ve gotten older, it’s always very there. I don’t know how to describe it,” she said. “It’s definitely one of those things where I will never not remember where I was, even though I was 6.”Anderson said the 9/11 attacks have remained an emotional topic, but something people must talk about in order to honor and remember those who died.“Our schools knew this was going to be something that would affect us, so they talked to us about it,” she said. “When you’re at the point where so many of your friends’ families are directly affected … I think they did a good job giving us the resources to be okay and to feel alright, but still making us very aware that we could still help. It was an important thing; we couldn’t just push it aside. We had to do something about it. We had to remember.”Tags: 9/11, FDNY, NYPD, September 11, World Trade Centerlast_img read more

Design professor Robert Sedlack dies at 47

first_imgVisual communication design professor Robert Sedlack, who saw graphic design as a force for social good, died in his sleep at his South Bend home Saturday, the University said in a news release. He was 47.Sedlack taught the course “Design for Social Good” and won the College of Arts and Letters’ Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award and the Center for Social Concerns’ Gancy Faculty Community-Based Research Award this year. Students in his classes partnered with community organizations like the Center for the Homeless and the Juvenile Justice Center and foundations in Haiti and South Africa, and they “engaged such social issues as racial discrimination, gun control, voter participation, xenophobia, rights of immigrants and the social stigma of HIV/AIDS,” the release said.“I want the students to understand that they can do meaningful work that will benefit others,” Sedlack said, according to the release. “And through these courses, I really think the students begin to understand that design can be used to change lives for the better.”Sedlack grew up in Greencastle, Indiana and graduated from Notre Dame in 1989 and from Indiana University Master of Fine Arts program in 1993. He joined Notre Dame’s faculty in 1998 after working with design firms in Chicago, the release said. In 2001, he redesigned Notre Dame’s shield, typography and color palette.“Robert Sedlack was a visionary leader in the graphic design program at Notre Dame,” Department of Art, Art History and Design chair Richard Gray said in the release. “His approach to design solutions for underserved populations was an exceptional example of turning scholarship into service, of using design to make a difference in the lives of others. Our university has lost an incredible colleague, teacher, mentor, and friend.”There will be hours of visitation from 4 to 6 p.m., followed by a 30 minute wake, all at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on June 3, according to a University spokesperson. The funeral service will take place June 4 at 9:30 a.m., the release said. Sedlack is survived by his wife Theresa and two children, Emma and Trey.Tags: design for social good, graphic design, Robert Sedlacklast_img read more