Kennedy family’s former “Winter White House” sells for $70M

first_imgJohn F. Kennedy and 1095 North Ocean Boulevard (Credit: Bachrach/Getty Images and Google Maps)The Kennedy family’s former Palm Beach compound, where President John F. Kennedy worked on his 1961 inaugural address, sold for $70 million.Jane Goldman, a prominent New York City landlord, sold the 11,334-square-foot oceanfront estate at 1095 North Ocean Boulevard to a trust managed by West Palm Beach attorney Maura Ziska, property records show.The late Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., a former U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom and father of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy, purchased the estate in 1933. The Kennedy family used the property as a winter vacation home.Goldman, who runs Solil Management, bought the property from John Castle for $31 million in 2015. Castle purchased the estate from the Kennedys in 1995 for $4.92 million, records show.Goldman completed an extensive renovation of the Mediterranean-style estate, hiring design firm Pembrooke & Ives to renovate the interiors, according to Architectural Digest. The property, built in 1925 and designed by famed architect Addison Mizner, includes three buildings with seven bedrooms and 11.5 bathrooms on more than an acre of land. It also features a tennis court and pool.Goldman is the youngest daughter of Sol Goldman, who at one time was one of New York’s biggest landlords, according to Forbes, which pegs her net worth at $3.1 billion.She sold the Palm Beach estate for nearly $6,200 per square foot.The closing marks the largest residential sale in Palm Beach since last year, when two estates traded for more than $100 million each. Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

Enel, F2i launch PV joint venture in Italy

first_imgEnel, F2i launch PV joint venture in ItalyThe new partnership, which will include a portfolio of 210 MW of operating solar PV capacity, aims to take advantage of the consolidation currently under way in the Italian PV market. October 19, 2015 Edgar Meza Finance Legal Manufacturing Markets Markets & Policy Share Enel Green Power (EGP) and F2i SGR have set up a joint venture finalised today an agreement to form a 50-50 joint venture to hold 210 MW of solar PV assets. An Italian asset management company, F21 controls the F2i fund, which specializes in investments in the infrastructure sector. The group will contribute 105 MW of assets held by its F2i Solare 1 and F2i Solare 3 units. EGP will also bring 105 MW of solar assets from its Altomonte FV subsidiary to the new company. The joint venture aims to take advantage of the consolidation currently under way in the Italian PV market by bringing together operating PV solar plants owned by different financial institutions and private operators. EGP said the joint venture would create value by reducing operating expenses, optimizing energy management with the proactive management of EGP’s assets, leveraging the company’s expertise and optimizing debt to seize new financing opportunities in a new market environment of low interest rates. EGP put the enterprise value of its assets at €230 million and that of the F2i assets at €285 million. The equity value of EGP assets is €88 million net of minorities, while that of the F2i assets is €106 million, the companies added. In order to guarantee equal shareholdings in the joint venture, EGP will also make an €18 million cash contribution to the new company. EGP has an option to acquire an additional 2.5% of the joint venture, which would give it control of the company. The agreement also gives F2i the possibility of contributing by 2016 an additional 58 MW of capacity, with EGP making an additional cash injection to maintain the two partners’ equal stakes in the joint venture. The deal, which is expected to close by the end of 2015, remains subject to the approval of the EU antitrust authority.Popular content Enabling aluminum in batteries Mark Hutchins 27 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Scientists in South Korea and the UK demonstrated a new cathode material for an aluminum-ion battery, which achieved impressive results in both speci… ITRPV: Large formats are here to stay Mark Hutchins 29 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The 2021 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) was published today by German engineering association VDMA. 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Cracking the case for solid state batteries pv magazine 29 April 2021 pv-magazine-australia.com Scientists in the UK used the latest imaging techniques to visualize and understand the process of dendrite formation an… 123456Leave a Reply Cancel replyPlease be mindful of our community standards.Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *CommentName * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. 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Water meter has potential to save the day

first_imgIn drought-stricken Cape Town, South Africa, a water meter sponsorship is expected to save millions of litres of water at the City’s top 100 high-volume water-using schools.South African asset management and reliability engineering company, Pragma, joined forces with retailer, Shoprite Group to include a smart water meter monitoring device rollout programme as part of their water-saving initiatives.The sponsorship follows Shoprite Group’s successful pilot project to educate children on water saving practices at the Hector Peterson Secondary School in Wallacedene.According to Adriaan Scheeres, CEO of Pragma, the pilot resulted in an average daily saving of 40kl, which is the equivalent of the 87 litre daily water allowance for 460 individuals and a R52,000 ($3,852) savings per month. Read more on dam levels…Water meter partnership“Pragma will assist with managing the project and coordinating the services of contractors to respond to alerts and leak repairs. We will be working in partnership with Bridgiot, a start-up company affiliated with the University of Stellenbosch”, explained Scheeres.Bridgiot’s smart water monitoring devices measure and report water use in real time by transmitting consumption information to a user-friendly internet app. Users are notified of any unexpected usage patterns via SMS and email. Finance and Policy Generation Previous articleTogo: rural electrification scheme takes offNext articleEnergy efficiency: global awareness on the rise ESI Africa RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Day Zero is looming. Watch the video to find out what will happen if we reach Day Zero and what the City has been doing to prevent it. Thank you to residents who have been saving water where they can. Together, we can #ThinkWaterCT and avoid Day Zero. pic.twitter.com/tHzjz8zgcJ— City of Cape Town (@CityofCT) December 5, 2017The aim of the project is not only to save water, states Scheeres, but also to educate learners on the importance of water as a resource and how to use it sparingly.“Pragma is a partner to the Shoprite Group and responsible for asset maintenance at their stores. When they approached us to get involved, our response was an unequivocal ‘yes’.How it will workContractors managed by Pragma will be responsible for inspections and maintenance of the water infrastructure at the schools.“We will further plan and manage the work to ensure the cost-effective execution of the project. Scheeres continues: “Our 24/7 call centre and accredited contractor base will be utilised to perform work according to our service level agreements and agreed costing structure.” Read more on S.Africa: Young scientists address water and energy needsAt a time when businesses have been told to reduce their water consumption by at least 20% or face fines, Sheeres concludes: “This project is the start of potentially enormous water savings in the Western Cape. Smart water metering creates increased awareness of water consumption patterns, and assists with the prevention of water losses due to leaks that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. With the help of our continuous improvement programmes, we can equip companies to function efficiently and save millions of litres of water.” BRICScenter_img Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA Featured image: 123rf AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon developmentlast_img read more

A close look: Good or bad

first_imgMy Whatapp messages were filled with a very happy new year on the new year eve. I was so tired of replying to everyone. It seems strange how this year turned out to be a complete disaster. Coronavirus came like a storm and made us realize many pieces of stuff we were unaware of. People started falling sick and everyone in the world was chanting only one phrase “This shall too pass”. This will pass but the point is once we pass this hurdle who are we left with to live our life or to make memories.With an increasing population and limited resources to thrive, we are moving towards a tunnel that is not only dark but we don’t have an idea how long it is. The root of all problems starts here. With many species in this world yet to discover we are going close to them unconsciously without knowing the grave consequences of it. Thanks to science again it has discovered something called mutation which is an ultimate power for the organism we are all concerned about presently. Deforestation, unhygienic food habits, and decreasing person space per area are such entities which will have no immediate effect but will have a long term catastrophic effect on everyone. With many wild animal sightings, we need to realize we are taking their home from them. Yet after a long lockdown when nature was healing itself just within one month of nearly no sightings of human beings indicates our deleterious effect on this nature.The only simple solution to this problem is we have to devise ways to use renewable resources. We have to find ways to sustain in this limited space and take care of this mother nature. Writing this is completely easy but applying it in a practical field is completely tough. Let’s start with a small change. I have been pursuing my dad to install solar plates in our home. He is considering it hope you start with it soon.The second wave of this pandemic has hit many countries and it might be fatal if we don’t check ourselves. Keep using masks and sanitizers. Take care of your family and if you do care kindly avoid crackers for this Diwali because what might be fun for you will be fatal for someone.last_img read more

California cold case solved nearly 50 years after strangled girl’s body found

first_imgNewport Beach Police(NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.) — Police in Southern California have arrested a suspect in the decades-old murder of 11-year-old Linda Ann O’Keefe, sources told ABC News on Tuesday.O’Keefe vanished while walking home from school in Newport Beach, California, on July 6, 1973, according to police. Her strangled body was discovered the following day in the Back Bay area, but no suspects were named. A witness told investigators later that she saw Linda standing next to a turquoise van and talking to the driver — a white man in his mid-20s or early 30s.Sources with knowledge of the investigation told ABC News that police arrested a male suspect in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Monday in connection with the young girl’s murder.Officials with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and Newport Beach Police Department said they arrested a suspect in connection with a 1973 Newport Beach cold case murder on Tuesday evening, but did not offer any additional details.“As the Orange County District Attorney, I am committed to protecting the community. My office will never forget about cold cases,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the victim and the victim’s family in this case, having to endure decades without answers.”He said the Colorado Springs Police Department had assisted in the investigation, but he did not elaborate on the department’s role.The Newport Beach Police Department announced a lead in O’Keefe’s case on July 7, 2018, exactly 45 years after her body was found, offering a new sketch of the suspected killer.“But now, 45 yrs later, I have a voice again. And I have something important to say,” the department tweeted, mimicking O’Keefe’s voice. “There is a new lead in my case: a face. A face that comes from DNA that the killer left behind. It’s technology that didn’t exist back in 1973, but it might change everything today.”The department also recreated O’Keefe’s abduction and killing in a Twitter stream last year to help the public “relate to the victim on a personal level,” Newport Beach police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella told ABC News in July. “But now, 45 yrs later, I have a voice again. And I have something important to say. There is a new lead in my case: a face. A face that comes from DNA that the killer left behind. It’s technology that didn’t exist back in 1973, but it might change everything today.” #LindasStory pic.twitter.com/GsZClKFwPj— Newport Beach Police (@NewportBeachPD) July 7, 2018“We started out at 8 a.m. going to school through to the next morning when her body is found. And people who followed along got to have that experience,” Manzella said.The reaction has been “overwhelming positive,” she added, at the time. “Both from people who knew Linda, her classmates, her friends … to people who had never been familiar with her story before.”Authorities have scheduled a press conference to discuss the arrest in Newport Beach on Wednesday morning. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

In defense of the EU-China investment deal

first_imgThose who accuse the Europeans of “pursuing narrow, material self-interest under the U.S. security umbrella” are essentially implying that the EU should accept limited economic sovereignty as the price for NATO protection. We don’t need a Western version of the Brezhnev doctrine, thank you.  If China does not live up to these commitments — and its recent record of respecting treaties gives grounds for doubt — the EU would have a basis for toughening its own stance.  However, it is unrealistic to think that the EU can significantly change China’s domestic behavior — however repulsive by Western standards — by signing or not signing an investment deal. Fifteen Asia-Pacific countries, including democracies such as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan, signed a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership with Beijing in November without securing any commitment on labor standards. That did not trigger similar righteous indignation.  The deal will not miraculously convert China to Western norms of social, economic or political governance, but it does represent a modest step forward for the kind of regulated globalization that the EU has long sought to embody and promote.   When the Biden team is ready, Europe should indeed work for a transatlantic consensus on red lines for China’s international behavior and be willing to back them up with action if necessary, for example in case of an attack on Taiwan.   The deal concluded by the European Commission — spurred on by Germany and France and with the consent of all member countries — will improve conditions for European companies doing business in the world’s second-largest economy, create jobs in Europe and China, and give Beijing an incentive to cooperate with Europe.  PARIS — The European Union has drawn a firestorm of criticism for clinching a long-sought comprehensive investment agreement with China in the last days of 2020. That criticism is largely unwarranted.   Having long naively believed that integrating the People’s Republic into the global trading system would facilitate its transition over time toward liberal democracy, we now run the risk of lurching to the other extreme and demonizing Beijing in ways that could eventually lead to armed conflict. One-dimensional “yellow-peril” thinking does not do justice to China’s stunning rise from the ashes of Maoism.  All in all, the accord represents a step toward a more level playing field, both between Brussels and Beijing, and between European and U.S. corporations operating in China.  A strategic approach toward the world’s fastest rising power must combine several strands: the search for cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including commerce; the fight against climate change and promotion of global health and sustainable development; and due caution to avoid economic and technological dependency and preserve our own security.  Nothing in this limited investment agreement prevents European countries or EU institutions from exercising vigilance through investment screening and protection of their critical infrastructure. Nor does it prevent Europeans from criticizing Chinese human rights abuses and drawing attention to the repressive, authoritarian nature of the Communist regime — as the European Parliament did in 2019 when it awarded the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought to Ilhem Tohti, an imprisoned Uighur economist who has campaigned for the rights of Uighur people in China.  To be sure, Biden has promised to involve allies and work toward a joint approach to China. That is a welcome relief after the last four years of diplomatic vandalism. But pursuing a transatlantic consensus does not mean Europe should give America a veto over its trade and investment arrangements with Beijing.   Without impugning their genuine attachment to individual freedom, some critics of the deal seem more concerned about keeping their consciences pure and sending a political signal to their voters than about helping either European or Chinese workers.  Some also contend that the accord is inconsistent with the EU’s designation of China as a systemic rival and its recent adoption of new instruments to screen strategic investments by state-owned or subsidized enterprises. The deal could also hamper the bloc’s ability to apply economic sanctions against egregious human rights violators, the thinking goes.  The investment agreement does give Europe some limited leverage on labor standards for the first time, since it commits Beijing to make good faith efforts to ratify key International Labor Organization conventions. It also opens some new industrial sectors to European investment, notably in financial services and electric cars, and puts some constraints on Chinese behavior on intellectual property, joint ventures and unfair subsidized competition, with mechanisms to review disputes.  Washington did not consult with Europe before President Donald Trump launched his unilateral trade war against China, nor when he cut his Phase 1 partial trade deal with Xi. On the contrary, Trump used bullying tactics and the threat of extra-territorial sanctions or withholding intelligence to try to shut Chinese telecoms provider Huawei out of the European market.   Critics who have (rightly) complained about pressing issues — such as Chinese intellectual property theft, compulsory joint ventures, lack of reciprocal market access, use of forced labor and abuse of state subsidies — are now up in arms about an agreement that seeks to address all of those problems.  So what of the argument that we should have waited for U.S. President-elect Joe Biden?  However, preemptively decoupling our economy from China’s and actively seeking to harm the Chinese economy, as the Trump administration sought to do, is ultimately a path to war that is in neither U.S. nor European interests.   MEPs who strike the highest moral tone on human rights should ask themselves whether rejecting the investment deal with China, which they have the power to do, would improve the lot of a single Uighur prisoner, dissident blogger or pro-democracy protester in Hong Kong. Or would it just make us feel better about ourselves?   Paul Taylor, a contributing editor at POLITICO, writes the Europe At Large column. Each argument has some merit, but each is also selective and ultimately unconvincing.   Three major arguments have been raised against closing the deal now. The first is that  it is a strategic victory for Chinese President Xi Jinping, splitting the West and rewarding Beijing’s aggressive international behavior. The second is that it disregards the human rights of persecuted Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang province, beleaguered democrats in Hong Kong and Chinese dissidents. And the third is that it preempts efforts by the incoming Joe Biden administration to build a coordinated transatlantic strategy to counter China’s growing assertiveness.  It will take months for a new administration to work out its own strategy on China and decide which Trump policies to maintain, which to discard and which to adapt. Why should the EU sit on its hands when it has an opportunity now to shape the triangular relationship between Beijing, Brussels and Washington?  Economic interdependence is complicated and requires careful management. But it also creates common interests in stability and a rules-based international system. China is indeed both a systemic rival and a vital economic partner. Don’t blame the EU for trying to manage both.last_img read more

Connie Cepko

first_imgIn some ways, Connie Cepko’s job has gotten easier.The Harvard Medical School genetics professor is working to uncover the mysteries of the eye, to understand how it develops and what can go wrong. Her work ranges from understanding the genetic roots of diseases like retinitis pigmentosa, which afflicts 100,000 Americans, to basic genetic research using the latest technology.The work goes faster now than it once did because of major breakthroughs in genetics and information sharing made possible by the Internet. At the same time, there is an overwhelming amount of research needed to understand the complex interplay of genes involved in the development of the eye and the diseases that affect it.Cepko’s interest in this sort of work started long ago, sparked by a seventh-grade science fair. She grew yeast on agar plates, a completely new experience for her. Her experiment won first place and the attention of the judge, John Palmer, who ran a nearby laboratory.He invited her over to see the laboratory, and she found a new home. She grew up spending her Saturdays in his lab, which was dedicated to classifying tree fungi.“It was a fabulous experience and I just loved it,” said Cepko, who in addition to her HMS position is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigatorThere was no doubt about what she would study when she went to college at the University of Maryland. It had to be microbiology.She specialized in marine bacteria. That interest led her to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for her graduate and post-doctoral work.Though she liked the field of virology, in which she worked for her thesis and postdoctoral projects, it felt crowded. It wasn’t the competition that bothered her, but the idea that so many people were spending their efforts on the same thing, she said. She looked for an area that was getting less attention and found the nervous system.Cepko started by studying the eye. She chose it because at the time it was an easy entry point for a rookie without a strong background in neurobiology. It was physically accessible and there were a lot of basics known about it.And yet, there was so much more to discover that she’s still at it today.There are 160 different genes that lead to blindness and it’s not clear what triggers the death of the affected photoreceptors, upon which vision relies.“Any little thing goes wrong and we go blind,” Cepko said.Researchers in her laboratory are trying to link genes with specific diseases and to better understand how the cells of the eye develop and what can go wrong along the way. Eventually, understanding what can go wrong may lead to new ways to intervene.When Cepko started, the only way to connect a gene to a problem was to painstakingly remove it from an organism. Researchers had to breed mice without the gene in question. But today, advances in RNA interference allow researchers to create bits of RNA that attach to a messenger RNA, efficiently blocking the function of a gene so researchers can see what happens without it.By using the RNA interference process over and over again on different genes, researchers are collecting the pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle whose image is a better understanding of the eye and the diseases that attack it. With the advances in science, more pieces are falling into place.“Now, we have clues. We have many pieces of the puzzle,” she said. “Before, we had a 1,000 piece puzzle but only a few border pieces.”The explosion of the Internet fosters the work because information and advances in other laboratories are more readily available. Researchers can quickly absorb the latest advances in other laboratories and apply them to their own research.While her laboratory looks at the bigger picture of what makes a rod cell or a cone cell or another piece of the eye, it’s also tackling the specific problem of retinitis pigmentosa.The disease affects 1 out of 3,000 people. It’s a genetic ailment that affects the rods of the eye, used to see in near darkness. Perhaps most vexing is that once the rod cells die, the cone cells, which are used for all of our daylight vision, also start to die even though they don’t have a genetic defect.It’s not clear how the genes cause the rod cells to die or why the cone cells follow.Researchers in her lab are trying to get a better understanding of what happens as the disease takes its toll. They are looking at what genes change in their expression during different stages of the disease. A postdoctoral fellow, Claudio Punzo, began their work in this area, and has recently published his findings in Nature Neuroscience. His work has provided a totally new view of the disease, and suggests that the cone cells might be starving, and then undergoing autophagy, a form of self-digestion. Bo Chen, another postdoctoral fellow, working on what might keep the rods alive, has found that the addition of a gene encoding histone deacetylase 4 promoted rod cell survival far longer than in untreated animals. These clues are giving the group ideas on novel therapeutic targets to help prolong vision in individuals who are genetically predisposed to go blind.There is serious work going on in her lab, but there is a collegial atmosphere, said Jeffrey Trimarchi, a post-doctoral fellow who has been working with Cepko for five years.There are four Ph.D. candidates and nine post-doctoral students in the lab. Cepko chooses not only good scientists but also good people, Trimarchi said.“It’s important to have people in the lab who get along,” he said. “You need to have people who will share what they’re doing and be willing to talk about their work.”In some ways, she is hands off, letting researchers go in their own direction. At the same time, she works with them to put what they are doing into context.Trimarchi said he had heard good things about Cepko’s lab when he was looking for a place to do his post-doctoral studies, but it was talking with her that convinced him.“When I sat down with her, the ideas kept coming, one right after the other,” he said.She keeps a white board in her office and uses it frequently for brainstorming.While her primary focus is on basic research, Cepko keeps in mind potential real-world applications. She promotes that concept as co-director of the Leder Medical Sciences Program, which integrates the Ph.D. students with Harvard Medical School.Participants take courses covering the basics of human biology and disease. They focus on organ systems and diseases ripe for investigation and novel therapeutic approaches. At the same time, they attend clinical conferences, participate in the Mentored Clinical Casebook program and attend workshops, lectures and other dinner series with people who work at the interface of basic science and clinical medicine, from all different venues.“It offers them another perspective and lets them consider the possible applications of their laboratory work,” she said.last_img read more

SMC group supports AllianceND

first_imgEditor’s Note: This article was edited on April 24 to correct the incorrect portrayal of the restrictions on SAGA’s programming during visits by the Board of Trustees. As the University’s decision approaches on whether to approve AllianceND as an official student club, the Progressive Student Alliance (PSA) hosted a panel discussion Monday about the work of the Saint Mary’s College Straight and Gay Alliance (SAGA) in combating prejudice since its recognition in spring 2005. Sarah Medina Steimer, a 2006 alumna of the College who served as SAGA’s first president, said lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LBTQ) issues were addressed by a somewhat “underground” group of students prior to SAGA’s recognition as an official student group. “Before [SAGA was recognized], we would only hear about things on the National Day of Silence and National Coming Out Day, when students would draw with sidewalk chalk, wear ribbons or present a slip of paper to their professors about the day of silence,” Steimer said. Initially, the College administration did not strongly oppose the recognition of SAGA as an official club, Steimer said, though the proposed club’s intentions were sometimes misrepresented. “There was some worry that having a gay-straight alliance would turn into a sex club that would promote homosexual behavior, which we had to keep in mind when planning events and fundraisers,” she said. “In trying to get approved, we were showing the need for awareness, not trying to get a group of women together to start dating each other.” Steimer said the student body’s support helped the club achieve official recognition. “We had a lot of student support and not a lot of backlash. There wasn’t much opposition in student government either,” she said. “We had a lot of support from the Student Diversity Board, which had a position for a SAGA member, so that really helped.” During SAGA’s first year, the club worked to increase its visibility on campus and make its mission known to the Saint Mary’s community, Steimer said. “We tried to make a name for ourselves so people would see that we were there to promote diversity and a safe space for lesbian, bisexual and questioning students to come together without making them vulnerable,” she said. “It was very important to have this inclusion and show that a gay-straight alliance is really important on a college campus, especially one that’s faith-based.” Steimer said she and her fellow SAGA members emphasized how the club’s mission coincided with that of Saint Mary’s as a Catholic institution. “We tried to show how much this group supported the school’s mission and would make Saint Mary’s a better place for its students,” she said. Above all, the founding of SAGA provided students with a more informal arena for peer-to-peer interaction and conversation about LBTQ issues on campus outside of the counseling services available to students, Steimer said. “The members of SAGA found it important that students knew we were there as a resource to use. You need multiple areas of support, and by having a recognized group, you know there are people you can talk to,” she said. “Not all students feel comfortable going to the Counseling Center because of the power dynamic it creates, whereas having a peer-to-peer group allows students to talk to others going through the same situations and creates a better place to talk to someone in the same age group about their experiences.” Although its operational structure has evolved in recent years, the mission of SAGA in providing a safe space for peer support and discussion on campus has remained constant since the group’s inception, senior and vice president of SAGA Rebecca Jones said. “The focus was originally on having a peer support group for students who had faced issues on campus, but it didn’t do much in terms of campus programming or outreach,” she said. “Then a new group of officers came in, and they had a vision for totally hybridizing the group into a support group that does something about the things they talk about.” Jones said SAGA focuses on incorporating its concerns into academic issues on campus and works to promote its ally outreach program at Saint Mary’s and outside the College. “Last year, it came to our attention that we were the only campus of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross that had a gay-straight alliance. We didn’t figure it out until Holy Cross students started coming to our meetings, so we tried to help them get conversations going on their campus,” she said. “This year, we got in touch with PSA to work on outreach at Notre Dame to see what we could do to help get AllianceND approved.” Although reception of the club has been generally favorable on campus, Jones said SAGA faces certain restrictions in its programming because of the College’s Catholic character. “In planning our events, we’re not allowed to raise money for or promote things that go against the Catholic mission of the College, such as same-sex marriage,” she said. Despite these restrictions, Bueno said SAGA strives to create programming that brings more students into the conversations the group has on a regular basis through awareness events like Ally Week and Pride Week. “It’s great to have big events to get other students interested in SAGA events, and we gear a lot of events towards allies,” Bueno said. “We really try to have speakers who can educate, be inspiring and get people involved. The question and answer sessions afterwards show that students are interested in these issues, so we’re glad we can provide that for them.” Mary Rose D’Angelo, associate professor of theology at Notre Dame, said the role SAGA plays at Saint Mary’s could be filled by an approved gay-straight alliance at Notre Dame without posing a threat to Catholic teaching or injuring the Catholic character of the University, as opponents of the proposed AllianceND often argue. “Any group that helps make campus a more welcoming place should be considered an advocacy group, and it’s clear that the Saint Mary’s group has been effective,” D’Angelo said. “Catholic teaching and Catholic character are far from simple, but the catechism affirms that people must be treated with respect, compassion and dignity.” The catechism states every sign of “unjust discrimination” should be avoided, and refusing approval for AllianceND is a prime example of unjust discrimination, D’Angelo said. “[AllianceND] looks like a really good means of carrying out the mandate of acceptance articulated in the catechism in that it would be a place where LGBTQ students and allies can work to create a sense of human solidarity,” she said. “The focus of the group would be to provide social support, but because it’s explicitly an alliance, it isn’t a dating service for gay students. It’s a venue for student relief where students are treated with compassion and sensitivity.”last_img read more