“You can make a good living and a good life in non-profit service,” he said. “Non-profit organizations span the political spectrum and seek employees with all kinds of talents.” Those who choose to work for non-profit organizations look for a purpose and not just a paycheck, Notre Dame graduate Raymond C. Offenheiser said Tuesday evening.Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America, a non-profit international development and relief agency, delivered the keynote address at the eighth annual Making a Living, Making a Difference program, held in the Andrews Auditorium of Geddes Hall. “Social change happens right before your eyes and there is a constant stream of new issues,” he said. “You can never get bored at a non-profit organization.” The event, co-sponsored by the Center for Social Concerns and the Career Center, offers students information about the non-profit sector and an opportunity to explore career paths in public service. Although salaries tend to be lower in the public sector, there are more generous social benefits than in the private sector and you are able to receive more responsibility earlier, Offenheiser said. “The greatest thing about non-profit work is that it puts social teaching and social values at the core,” he said. “You engage in direct service and are driven by a certain mission.” “In practice, we are frontline responders to natural disasters and work with other organizations that seek to address poverty,” he said. According to Offenheiser, working for a non-profit means working in a world where learning never stops. “Working for a non-profit is intellectually stimulating and will fill your life with meaning, purpose and satisfaction,” he said. Offenheiser’s agency, Oxfam America, an affiliate of Oxfam International, works to fight poverty and injustice around the world. Offenheiser said it is rewarding to know you are making a difference in someone else’s life. “Working for a non-profit has given me a chance to bond with some of the most amazing people I have ever met,” Offenheiser said. “My colleagues make me want to get up in the morning. The quality of people working in the non-profit sector is amazing.” The evening concluded with an information fair, featuring representatives from various non-profit organizations and a fireside chat with Offenheiser.
William Shakespeare may have died centuries ago, but thanks in part to Notre Dame, his works live on in modern formats. Associate professor of English Elliott Visconsi and his colleague, Katherine Rowe, a professor at Bryn Mawr College, designed an app bringing Shakespeare’s plays to the 21st century. The Tempest, an app for the iPad released April 11, was engineered at Notre Dame’s Center for Research Computing. Visconsi said the idea for the app emerged from his interactions with the iPad as a platform for teaching and research. “The way that the tablet works, the way that it makes manipulating text possible, allows social interaction in away that a laptop does not. It seemed to be an opportunity for students and faculty and the general public to interact [with the text] in new ways,” he said. Visconsi said the app reflects how people learn and read today, and how reading has become more of a social activity than a solitary one. “The iPad makes it super easy – [you can] make all those tools quiet, [it’s] customizable and it feels like a book,” he said. “You read it, you throw it around, it’s portable and you don’t need a wireless connection all the time to read.” The app is not a replacement for printed books, Visconsi said, but rather a fundamentally different technology. “There are things we can do with this platform that you could never do in print. You can’t take the printed book and have it play audio for you and write in the margins. You can’t ask a question to your friend in the United Kingdom and have them respond to it. You can’t constantly [keep it] updated,” he said. Visconsi said the app has also helped generate a new type of scholarly writing. Various scholars and performers have contributed granular comments for key passages throughout the play, he said. “Rather than a lecture or an essay, we asked brilliant scholars to riff [comment] on the text for no more than 500 words. Shakespeare is our proof of concept. We built a software framework that could be used in different disciplines,” he said. Visconsi said the interpretative commentary is entirely customizable according to user reading levels. “Everyone can get the stuff they want and need. As a reader you get more sophisticated, and you can choose content that is more exciting … you can get stuff that really resonates with you,” he said. Visconsi said he felt many different texts could benefit from the software framework. “We can put in the New Testament or the Notre Dame football guide or ‘Don Quixote,’” he said. “We’re not just presenting the same content on a screen, we are providing an experience in a social ecosystem [through] customizable multimedia.” Visconsi said the project team tested an early version of the app last year with Notre Dame graduate students and a later edition with English professor Jesse Lander’s English class last fall. He said the class used a note-sharing Facebook group so they could see how the students were using the app. Visconsi said his partner, Katherine Rowe, also tested the app with her students at Bryn Mawr. “She joined in the project in July after we had done most of the heavy development and also used it with her students,” he said. “It was very well-received.” Visconsi said social networks like Facebook have been underutilized due to the extra amount of effort it takes to post and comment about the content. “The app makes it frictionless, to use a Silicon Valley term. It’s moving us away from all the many layers of information you have to navigate by making it simple and user-friendly. That’s the vision,” he said. Visconsi said he observed an increased movement from texts to tablets as universities become more social institutions. “The days of course management systems such as Blackboard are numbered,” he said. “My sense is that these new technologies are making it easier for faculty to reach students … we were trying to be a part of the cutting edge by creating [these tools] as faculty members.” The app also includes audio recordings of the text, Visconsi said. The Actors from the London Stage’s recent visit to campus last September prompted Visconsi and the Luminary Project team to choose The Tempest for their app. “This is my favorite part of the app. We reached an arrangement to commission a performance from them and put it into the app … it was a lucky circumstance,” Visconsi said. Visconsi said users can also find illustrations, videos and podcasts from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the largest collection of Shakespearean material in the world. “We approached Folgers with the idea of a commercial licensing arrangement. They were eager to support that, and we’re hoping to continue [with] a long term arrangement,” he said. The app also allows users to collect and share thoughts in the app’s sticky note function. The notes are captured according to user-designated “workshops” or file folders. Users can also download lecturer commentaries to accompany the script. “This is possible with the iPad … you can get your hands on the text,” Visconsi said. So far, Visconsi said the project team has received very positive responses about the app, and that users should stay alert for updates soon to be announced. “We are exceeding expectations. We have some very exciting technical developments soon to be released that will add to the functionality, but [they] are under wraps at the moment,” he said. Visconso said dozens of scholars worldwide have volunteered to participate in new editions of The Tempest, as well as other plays and humanitarian texts that could be applied to the software framework. “We are building well beyond Shakespeare … Shakespeare is just the beginning. It’s been a very exciting trip. Notre Dame has been very supportive,” he said. The app currently costs $9.99 on iTunes, a special discount from $13.99 in honor of Shakespeare’s birthday on April 23. The app is compatible with the iPad with iOS 5.0 or later. Contact Meghan Thomassen at [email protected]
Members of Notre Dame Students Empowering through Engineering Development (NDSEED) are preparing for the organization’s seventh year of community outreach with plans to build a bridge in Mata de Tules, Nicaragua. NDSEED is the University’s chapter of a multi-national non-governmental organization called “Bridges to Prosperity,” Each year since Feburary 2008, six engineering students from the University have combined their passion for academics and for social service in designing and constructing a bridge for a community in Central America. Senior and Project Manager Maria Krug said this year’s location is not far from the bridge that was built last year. “Mata de Tules is less than a kilometer from the site where they built this past summer,” Krug said. “So we already talked to the community and they’re all thrilled for us to come back.” Senior Spencer Ness said the project includes a team trip during fall break to assess the land and the community, as well as an eight-week trip during the summer of 2014. “We fundraise for the entire project, we design the entire project, and then we go down and build it with the community. We’ll go down during fall break for our assessment trip where we’ll survey our site and come back and go through our entire design process with some advice from different faculty here and members of bridges of prosperity staff,” Ness said. During the fundraising process each year NDSEED raises an average of $28,000. Sophomore Jonathan Weiler said the bulk of donations have always come from generous alumni donors, although selling apparel at football tailgates raises some money. “The biggest money comes from donations,” Weiler said. “You can only sell so much apparel for $20. So when we get some of our generous alumni or local organizations to contribute, it is so important to us and to the completion of the project.” Sophomore Andres Gutierrez said he hopes word will spread about the mission of the project and organization at large. “Although we’re standing out in tailgates to try and sell apparel, the most important aspect is making ourselves visible, getting out there,” Gutierrez said. “People walk by and may buy a sweatshirt, but what’s important is that they ask what NDSEED is.” The goal of this 2014 group is to really grow from the experiences of past teams, junior Angelene Dascanio said. “We are building from the previous years and also helping next year’s team. So last year’s team actually chose our site for this year. That way, we will actually be assessing last year’s bridge, doing an annual inspection on it and ultimately choosing next year’s site after we complete our own project,” Dascanio said. “Our group has evolved from just doing our bridge, to helping last year’s initiatives and contributing to next year’s successes.” This past weekend, some NDSEED members attended the Bridge for Prosperity Bridge Builder’s Conference in Tenn. “It was a weekend of camping in the Smoky Mountains with about 10 other university teams. They put on some workshops for us to learn some of the critical construction stages of the bridge. They also had presentations from people that have dedicated their lives to this organization,” Krug said. “In general, it was an extremely motivating and inspiring experience.” Dascanio said the most memorable piece of advice she received was the importance of the group’s ability to establish a strong relationship with the community of Mata de Tules. “That’s something we really learned at the conference this past weekend, the key part of our project is building the bridge with the community. We’re not building the bridge for the community. We’re building the bridge with the community,” Dascanio said. “The bridge becomes more of a model of what they accomplished themselves, not just this gift that was given to them.” Guitterrez said without relationship and communication between the students and the community, the project would not complete its mission. “I think that building that relationship gives the bridge itself a life, making it another member of the community because if they put so much effort over five-six weeks over the summer,” Gutierrez said. “The most important thing is the relationship. If the relationship with the community does not exist, pretty much the project is nothing.” The team is ready to face inevitable challenges that will come up during their initial visit during fall break. These include establishing contacts, initiating a relationship with the community,and maximizing their time there, Ness said. “Material procurement for construction is one of our biggest challenges, along with establishing contacts in the community, making sure that there is a lot of community involvement,” Ness said. Krug said keeping communication with the community after fall break is another important obstacle they most overcome. “Keeping that communication with the community from when we return after fall break to our next visit in May is going to be one of our biggest challenges,” Krug said. “We leave them with some tasks that we hope will be accomplished by the time we come back, and we need to establish some way of making sure that actually happens.” Sophomore Nick Hauser said members of the University community should watch for a commercial about NDSEED during the USC game on Oct. 19. “For the USC game, NBC is running a ‘What Will You Fight For?’ commercial that features NDSEED,” Hauser said. “We are really excited about that.” To learn more about NDSEED, or to donate, visit ndseed.nd.edu.
Saturday’s football game against Michigan State University brought a victory for both the team and the game day personnel coordinating the influx of visitors to campus over the weekend. Director of Game Day Operations Mike Seamon said, overall, it was a “very successful” home game weekend with approximately 100,000 people on campus Saturday and 81,000 in the stadium. “The weekend unfolded very smoothly,” he said. “We were anticipating it to be a much busier home weekend compared to the Temple game. The noticeably cooler weather was a welcome change, as we had fewer heat and humidity-related medical calls.” Phil Johnson, chief of police for Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP), said his staff made two arrests at the stadium on Saturday. “One man was arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct. Another man was arrested for trespassing,” Johnson said. “It was a quiet day and everything ran smoothly.” Indiana State Excise Police officers arrested 36 adults and six minors in the area around campus this weekend, according to an Excise police report. “The charges of those who were arrested included Illegal Consumption or Possession of an Alcoholic Beverage, Driving While Suspended Prior, Invasion of Privacy, Fleeing Law Enforcement, Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated and various drug related offenses,” the report stated. Seamon said an increase in traffic volume surrounding campus was a “significant difference” from the first home game weekend. “[The increased traffic volume] was due to all of the Michigan State fans travelling down from East Lansing,” Seamon said. “Both the White Field parking lot along the new Douglas Road and the Burke Golf Course experienced noticeable increases in traffic.” On Friday, 3,890 people toured the tunnel in Notre Dame Stadium compared to approximately 5,000 on Temple weekend. Additionally, 7,000 attended the Michigan State pep rally compared to nearly 12,000 for the home opener. Despite these lowered numbers, Seamon said the weekend overall was “busier across the board.” “We are anticipating that we will continue to see even larger numbers in the next two games, [Oklahoma University] and [University of Southern California],” he said.
Accepted members of Saint Mary’s class of 2018 were invited to the College Sunday for Meet Me at the Avenue, a program for students to meet each other and learn more about the campus community.Vice president for enrollment management Mona Bowe said Meet Me at the Avenue is important for prospective students because it is often a young woman’s first visit to campus and the first opportunity for students to meet one another.“Students get to talk to other students and meet their future classmates,” Bowe said.“There are still many months to make decisions about college so [Meet Me at the Avenue] allows students to answer questions they have.”The day began with a ceremony to welcome accepted students to campus, Bowe said. Saint Mary’s president Carol Ann Mooney welcomed students, as well as Sister Veronique Wiedower, vice president for Mission. Incoming student body president McKenna Schuster welcomed the young women on behalf of Student Government Association and the larger student body.Bowe said the prospective students heard from many departments on campus throughout the day, including Information Technology, Sodexho Dining Services and Student Accounts, to discuss the next steps of the acceptance process.This year, the admissions office received the largest number of applications in the recorded history of Saint Mary’s, Bowe said. The office received about 1660 applications, but Saint Mary’s plans to keep the class size at about 430 women.Current students served as greeters, panelists and tour guides in each of the buildings on campus, Bowe said.“We always get comments from visitors about how friendly our students are,” Bowe said. “We want to thank the community for their help.”Junior Rachel Wall served as a student liaison for the Rome study abroad program at the event. She spoke with students interested in the program about her own study abroad experience in Rome and how it shaped her overall Saint Mary’s experience.“The College offers such a unique experience to its students that it would be a shame for anyone to pass it up,” Wall said.Wall said she hoped to get the prospective students and their parents excited about the opportunities that Saint Mary’s and the Rome program have to offer.The day provided an opportunity for current students to interact with prospective students during the academic open house, Wall said. Students and professors from their respective departments discussed what common classroom and study abroad experiences are like at Saint Mary’s.“Meet Me at the Avenue is important to Saint Mary’s because it occurs at a pivotal point in a high school senior’s year,” Wall said. “Saint Mary’s has the opportunity to seal the deal in the minds of the student’s visiting campus.“For many prospective students, today marks the day they can finally see themselves at Saint Mary’s.”Wall said the event served as a pleasant reminder of her own decision to come to Saint Mary’s.“Being involved with Meet Me at the Avenue has made me realize how quickly my time at Saint Mary’s has flown by,” Wall said. “Not too long ago, I was in the shoes of the seniors visiting campus today. … I’m hopeful that all of these young women will find a special place in their heart for Saint Mary’s College.”Tags: Meet Me at the Avenue
With the click of a mouse, Saint Mary’s students can now choose their dorm room for the following year online, since the Office of Residence Life moved the room selection process online using the eRezLife software system for the first time this year.Director of residence life and community standards and vice president of student affairs Janielle Tchakerian said the office decided to move the room selection process online for multiple reasons designed to improve the experience for students.“We decided to move student assignments to an online process to allow for more transparency in the process [and] allow the students to self-select a roommate and a housing assignment in accordance to what is most important to them,” Tchakerian said.“[The software] allows our students to be able to make changes to their applications themselves and [for] our students who are not currently physically on campus during their room selection time to have control over their process instead of asking a friend to proxy for them,” she said.Tchakerian said the online process is similar to the old process of standing in line according to lottery number, but with the new system, students are given a specific time slot according to their lottery number to pick a room online.“[eRezLife software] has run smoothly, however we have slowed it down to make sure that staff are able to respond to questions and provide individual counseling and advice with our first year students who may not be able to get the room type and/or building they really wanted,” Tchakerian said.Junior Nina Vlahiotis said the new software is significantly more convenient for students.“I didn’t have to wait in line, and my lottery number was sent to me via email,” Vlahiotis said. “I went online during my specific time and was able to view which rooms were taken.”Vlahiotis said she understands issues with the new process if students don’t use it correctly, but she believes overall it has the potential to be convenient if used properly.“You are able to look at all the rooms that available and have [a] backup in case you didn’t get the room you wanted,” Vlahiotis said.Many desired rooms and buildings filled up quickly as the online software made the rooming selection process move much smoothly, which has created some difficulties for rising sophomores, Tchakerian said. She said this issue isn’t related to the new online process.“We always reach a point with our rising sophomores where some options are completely filled and they need to choose a different option,” Tchakerian said. “This causes anxiety for those students as they need to choose an available room based on what is most important to them at that time.”Vlahiotis said the software makes the room selection process easier and less stressful for students.“[eRezLife] is easier to navigate online than running around a crowded room, scrambling to get the room you wanted,” she said.Tags: room picks, saint mary’s, SMC, software
Saint Mary’s announced Friday the establishment of a new academic department, the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS), and a new interdisciplinary major in GWS.Director of media relations Gwen O’Brien said the College has offered a minor in women’s studies since 1985, and the program was named GWS in 2012. In February of this year, the Academic Affairs Council approved GWS as a major, and the minor remains an option for undergraduate students.Stacy Davis, associate professor and coordinator of the GWS Program, said the process for recognition as a major began in 2007, and the program just received administrative approval to become a major and department.Photo courtesy of the Saint Mary’s Gender and Women’s Studies website “The GWS steering committee, with the help of associate dean Joe Incandela, spent the 2011-12 school year developing a three-page prospectus for the major,” Davis said. “This was approved by the president and the provost in May 2013. In the meantime, the program had a successful internal review, which helped us to make our case for the major.”Once the prospectus was approved, the Curriculum Committee had to greenlight the major.“Professors Susan Alexander, Phyllis Kaminski, Sonalini Sapra, Jamie Wagman [and I] drafted the proposal for the major, which was reviewed by GWS faculty last fall,” she said. “The Curriculum Committee approved the proposal in February, and the chair of that committee, Joyce Hicks, presented the proposal to the Academic Affairs Council, which accepted it. Once the major was approved, the program became a department.”The GWS department consists of GWS faculty and professors from several other departments at Saint Mary’s, Davis said. GWS curriculum encourages students to examine and analyze women’s lives, she said.According to the 2014 SMC Bulletin, GWS applies an inclusive and interdisciplinary approach to the study of women, gender identities and sexualities. It is guided by feminist activism and feminist theoretical insight into different forms of power, inequality and privilege. Within each course in the department, students investigate the intersections of gender, race, class, sexualities and other identity categories from historical and contemporary transnational perspectives.GWS, founded in 1984-85, was the oldest interdisciplinary program at Saint Mary’s, and Davis said it was important to make the transition to having a GWS department and major.“The best liberal arts colleges in the country, and especially women’s colleges, have traditionally had departments [or] programs in Women’s, Gender, Sexuality and/or Feminist Studies,” she said. “Forty-four of the top 50 liberal arts colleges have programs, and 32 of those colleges, including all of the women’s colleges, have majors.“Our faculty concluded that transitioning from a program to a department would be another sign of the College’s continued commitment to high-quality education.”The department offers courses housed within GWS, as well as courses from 14 other departments and programs, Davis said.“These include courses in African-American history, postcolonial women’s writing, LGBTQ Studies, stereotyping and prejudice, becoming women, cyberfeminism, romantic-era feminism and transnational feminisms,” she said. “… Our goal is that students who take courses in the department learn the history of feminist movements and gain an understanding of the relationships between gender and other identity categories (race, class, sexuality, etc.) and how those relationships affect people’s lives, both positively and negatively. Students can then use their knowledge to speak and write clearly about issues and topics surrounding women, sexualities and gender identities and decide what contributions they want to make in the ongoing struggles for gender and sexual equality.”Sophomore Kylie Garabed is the first intended GWS major at the College.Garabed said the GWS major appealed to her because she is passionate about combating social injustice and wants to acquire the tools necessary to understanding social issues in society.“[GWS] gives students an opportunity to learn about social issues and hopefully become passionate enough to want to make a change,” Garabed said. “Even though it may not be possible to change the whole culture, it is possible to change the people around you … and solve problems.”Davis said she hopes the department continues to be a place that nurtures both faculty and student development.“It is exciting for me that the number of course offerings and affiliated faculty continues to grow,” Davis said. “Over the last several years, we have graduated a healthy number of [GWS] minors from a variety of majors, from art to nursing.“That gives us confidence that we will be able to attract majors to our department. I think any student who is interested in the history of women and gender, plans to work in a social service field or wants to change the world will find a GWS major useful and empowering.”Tags: Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, GWS, new major
Senior Devin Butler, a cornerback for the Notre Dame football team, appeared in St. Joseph Superior Court on Thursday morning on felony charges of resisting law enforcement and battery against a public safety official.Judge Jeffrey Sanford set a court date for Oct. 17, during the University’s fall break. Thursday marked Butler’s first appearance before a judge.South Bend police officers arrested Butler outside the Linebacker Lounge early on the morning of Aug. 20. According to court documents, officers were dispatched after receiving reports of a fight in the Lounge.Police said officers Luke Pickard and Aaron Knepper saw one woman kick another in the head outside the bar. Before they could intercede, Butler approached and lunged at the woman who had kicked the other one, according to court documents.As Pickard pulled Butler away, the football player allegedly started cursing and punching both officers. Other officers eventually detained Butler using a Taser. He was brought to a holding cell at the St. Joseph County Jail.Both charges Butler faces are Level 6 felonies, which carry a sentence of between six months and 2 1/2 years upon conviction.Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly indefinitely suspended Butler from the team after the arrest. Butler has appeared in 27 games for Notre Dame, three as a starter, and was already set to miss the start of the season after refracturing his foot during camp over the summer.Butler may also face discipline at the University.Tags: Devin Butler, Notre Dame football
Notre Dame’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs will host its second Storm the Stadium event Saturday to benefit the University’s military men and women with a day of stair climbing and other festivities on the field.Regan Jones, director of Military and Veteran Affairs, said the proceeds will benefit Notre Dame’s military-connected students — a term used to describe those on active duty, service veterans, ROTC students and their families.“The purpose of the event is to honor the men and women that bravely serve our nation in uniform, to engage the community in a family fun event, and then the money raised will support the military and veteran students on campus, the veterans fund, and it goes towards scholarships, fellowships, for those students,” he said.Designing the event for those interested in a fitness challenge and people who just want to spend time with their community, Jones said they worked to make the event accessible for all ages.Participants can choose from three different course options, a virtual climb and a family-fun zone on the field. The long course will move through each of the Stadium’s 72 sections with 36 in the lower bowl and 36 in the upper bowl, amounting to just under 3,600 steps. For those looking to stair-climb for a shorter period of time, the path of the short course will stay in the upper bowl of the stadium. Additionally, a stadium walk will take place for people interested in walking on a late course between the lower and upper bowls.“We wanted the opportunity to challenge people to be able to do all the steps, but we also wanted to make it accessible for folks who aren’t interested in in the steps,” Jones said.The Office of Military and Veterans Affairs held Storm the Stadium for the first time July 4 last summer, but Jones said they decided to hold the event while classes were still in session to encourage student involvement. Former Navy SEAL and current sophomore Brian Duffy said he attended the event this past summer with his wife and daughter and completed the long course.“I thought it was humbling seeing everyone come out and support the military,” Duffy said.He stressed the importance of providing funds and assistance to veterans who have sacrificed their safety, their time away from their families and their lives to our country. “Their sacrifices protect the freedoms everyone living in the United States enjoy,” Duffy said.Junior Sammie Escamilla, who works as a student intern for the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, helped organize the event and said she looks to Storm the Stadium to garner support for military-connected students like her.“A lot of people might not know that I’m a military-connected student,” she said. “My dad has been in the Marine Corps for over 25 years, and it’s not something that comes up in everyday conversation, so people might not know that about me. But this event is a great opportunity for people to support military-connected students they know and those who they don’t know.”Tags: Military, Notre Dame Stadium, Veterans
Claire Kopischke | The Observer Jim Small didn’t expect much to come of his conversation with Jay Rivera-Herrans last November. Rivera-Herrans, a senior and film, television and theater student, was looking to write a song. Small, the University’s associate vice president for storytelling and engagement, suggested that he write it about the history of the term “the Fighting Irish.”“We had this conversation last November and six months later he stops in my office and plays a demo of the song — it was a great surprise,” Small said. Now, that song, “The Fighting Irish (Of Notre Dame, Y’all)” is for sale on CD and available for streaming on Amazon and Spotify. Rivera-Herrans created the song, which is part rap and part ballad, with his classmate, Teagan Earley, a Notre Dame senior and vocalist.Rivera-Herrans and Earley publicly performed the song for the first time on Friday afternoon at the Eck Visitors Center, followed by a CD signing at the Hammes Bookstore. At the Notre Dame Pep Rally on South Quad that evening, they again performed the song, which featured lyrics telling the story of how Notre Dame overcame anti-Irish discrimination.For many years, Irish immigrants endured discrimination in the United States by facing stereotypes and hostility.“Many companies openly advertised ‘Irish Need Not Apply’ — that’s how difficult it was,” Small said. “For many years in our country, the term ‘Fighting Irish’ was a derogatory slur to define Irish people as violent, drunk and prone to poverty and crime.”Small said he has a personal connection to that story.“As an Irish Catholic, my grandparents educated all of us as to the struggles the Irish had when they first immigrated to America in the mid-1800’s,” he said. “The only jobs they could get, if any at all, were the most dangerous or lowest paying.”In 1909, a sportswriter at the “Detroit Free Press” used the slur “Fighting Irish” directed at Notre Dame, mocking the school for its association with Irish immigrants.The University, however, soon embraced the term. In 1927, University President Matthew Walsh issued a statement proclaiming that University officials welcomed the spirit “embodied in the term ‘Fighting Irish.’”Rivera-Herrans said he was inspired by how “we ended up embracing [the term] as this badge of honor to unify us.” With that spirit in mind, he and Earley began putting that history into song, he said.After Rivera-Herrans and Earley decided to take on the project, the actual writing process took months. Rivera-Herrans said he and Earley went through many drafts before arriving at the final product.“At one point, I had written an entire song and we just scrapped the entire thing,” Rivera-Herrans said. “Like started from scratch, a totally different vibe and everything. But it was a lot of fun.”The song isn’t Rivera-Herrans’ first major project. He wrote and starred in the musical “Stupid Humans,” which premiered February at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. This year, Rivera-Herrans said he’s in “development mode,” working on a wide array of projects.Although Rivera-Herrans said he’s excited about the new song, he doesn’t want it to replace Cathy Richardson’s “Here Come the Irish,” the popular Notre Dame hype song that plays before football games.“That’s not it at all — I’d never try to do that,” Rivera-Herrans said. “If it just becomes another little piece of the Notre Dame story, then that’s more than enough for me.”He and Small encouraged Fighting Irish fans to download and stream the song.“I hope our students, alumni, parents and fans will like it enough to download the song and add it to their Notre Dame playlist — for many years to come,” Small said. “I can tell you I used to have 10 songs on my Notre Dame playlist. Now I have 11.”