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University administration responds to sexual assault with initiatives and campaigns to promote awareness

first_imgEric Richelsen | The Observer Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of a five-part series on sexual assault at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. Today’s stories focus on the University and College actions and initiatives in response to sexual assault.In recent years, both Notre Dame administrators and student government leadership have focused on ending sexual violence on campus with, among other initiatives, campaigns to promote awareness and bystander intervention.The Committee on Sexual Assault Prevention (CSAP), comprised of faculty, staff and student representatives, offers recommendations to the office of Student Affairs on supporting victims of sexual violence, encourages collaboration in programming and promotes educational initiatives.CSAP was born out of a resolution from student senate in December 2008, which asked for a review of “the effectiveness of the University’s sexual assault, rape and sexual misconduct policy, resources for victims of sexual assault and the University’s disciplinary options available to victims of sexual assault.”2012 Campus Climate SurveyIn 2012, the first campus climate survey was administered to students to gauge areas of need, the results of which Vice President for Student Affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding said were “extremely helpful.”Hoffmann Harding said the 2012 survey demonstrated that non-undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students had lower awareness than undergraduates on University policies and support services dealing with sexual assault.“So in response, what we’ve done over the last few years is add a variety of different training programs particular to those two student populations,” she said.In response to students’ demonstrated confusion on the concept of consent, Hoffmann Harding said the University has added clarification points and training for students, “to try to better articulate those nuances and provide information.”“Following the survey in 2012, the next year we additionally conducted a series of focus groups with students, particularly around areas we wanted to better understand,” she said.“Now, last spring, we administered our second climate survey and Heather [Ryan, deputy Title IX coordinator,] is in the process, she’s three weeks into her new role, and actually one of her responsibilities is to analyze this climate survey, and the results there.“Our intention is again to share the results with the CSAP, which is a cross-campus and cross-community survey, and to utilize those results in a way to improve communication on campus.”BenchmarkingDeputy Title IX coordinator Heather Ryan said more and more colleges have begun to administer climate surveys, as well.“I think this year is the year we’re going to do some really good benchmarking. As we go back and forth, we haven’t had any data available externally, from institutions, prior to this year,” Ryan said. “And so I think that this next year or two are really going to be key in gaining that information, to figure out what are the best practices possible.”Matt Lahey, associate general counsel for the University, said Notre Dame annually examines its policies and compares it to benchmark schools.“We made revisions this summer to our policies, as we did the summer before, and benchmarking these policies helps us with that effort, he said. “We do a lot of benchmarking related to education, those initiatives.“Green Dot came out of that benchmarking, looking at what major programs other universities are using, how they’re trying to change their culture,” he said. “No one has the absolute one right approach, and what everyone is trying to do is understand what approaches have been working.”Christine Caron Gebhardt, director of the Gender Relations Center (GRC), said one of the challenges in choosing a violence prevention program is the lack of research on the effectiveness of the programs.“… Because what’s your measure of success? Your cases increase? Or your cases decrease? And how do you know the case decrease isn’t merely [the cases] going underground? So part of it, what we’re trying to do is to find a way, how do you measure success,” she said. “And I think that’s a change we’ve seen over the years, is we’re not just saying, ‘Oh, we’ve done this,’ but ‘How do we know we’re making a difference?’”Caron Gebhardt said Green Dot’s measure of success is that when 15 percent of the student body is bystander-trained. At the 15-percent point, incidence of sexual assault should decrease, measured in reports to both confidential and non-confidential resources.She said the University is one of several institutions studying the effectiveness of Green Dot, and therefore has been very deliberate in its implementation on campus.Student governmentStudent government has played a large role in creating student body engagement on the issue, the director of the department of gender issues, junior Danny Funaro, said.Funaro said the department of gender issues has participated in the Green Dot launch as well as worked on promoting the “It’s On Us” campaign, the University’s iteration of the national movement commissioned by the White House to end sexual violence on college campuses.“‘It’s On Us’ tries to get people to take ownership of the issue, so the main thing that goes with that is the ‘It’s On Us’ pledge,” he said. “Pledge cards were last year’s version of this pledge — this year we’ve put more of a focus on the itsonus.nd.edu pledge.”More than 200 students have signed the pledge this year, Funaro said. The department hopes to have more than 400 students sign by the end of the semester.“The main way we’ve done that is by going door-to-door in different dorms,” he said. “You can actually get good conversations with people … [and] get people that really want to get involved.”Funaro said he has noticed there is sometimes more difficulty getting men involved in programming and campaigns to end sexual violence.“To get the general male population involved is a little bit harder, but I think we’ve made inroads in that, versus last year, when the ‘It’s On Us’ pledge was signed mostly by women,” he said. “This year there’s a much better balance.”In October, student body president and senior Bryan Ricketts spoke to The Observer on the report student government delivered to the Board of Trustees on sexual violence on Notre Dame’s campus.“Sexual violence is something we’ve been talking about on our campus for a long time now,” Ricketts said. “… There’s a lot of talk about prevention and what we’re doing on front, and in addition to that it’s sort of widely accepted as a rule — but also statistically at Notre Dame — that the number of reported assaults does not nearly match the number of actual assaults that we have on campus.“Those are still issues that we’re trying to work through,” he said. “That was a big reason behind the impetus of this report, to give some context to where we are on campus as well as to do a little digging what we need to do better and where we’re not meeting the standards.”The report focused on four major topics: campus conversation surrounding sexual violence, the trajectory of change on the issue at Notre Dame, alcohol culture’s role in sexual violence and a process overview, supplemented by students’ experiences. It concluded with a series of recommendations to the trustees on how to curb sexual violence on campus and how to improve the process of reporting and navigating the Title IX process.Tags: campus climate survey, GRC, greeNDot, Office of Student Affairs, sexual assault, sexual assault series 2015last_img read more

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Inside the development of Tommy DeVito

first_img Published on October 24, 2018 at 9:44 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44 Facebook Twitter Google+ Six minutes into Tommy DeVito’s first published highlight tape, he grabbed each lineman and whispered into their ears. Without a huddle, 11-year-old DeVito orchestrated the pre-snap call. Once settled into the shotgun, he dropped one step back, bounced forward and rifled a pass about 27 yards down the seam.The clip, which has more than 20,000 views, was the first public display of DeVito’s football knowledge and talent.“It was the culmination of the training and everything,” said Leon Clarke, DeVito’s longtime quarterback coach and creator of the highlight film. “You just saw it right there it was like ‘Bang here it is’ … You just were amazed at him, but you know this kid would be something.”His father, Tom, calls his son a prodigy. Most recruiting experts ranked DeVito a four-star recruit. In his three-touchdown performance during a double-overtime victory over North Carolina, his deep passes looked effortless. But he’s not a natural. For Syracuse’s (5-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) redshirt freshman quarterback, the art has been ingrained in him over time.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAt 6, DeVito linked up with Clarke, a personal quarterback coach and founder of Clarke Sports. Before middle school, DeVito knew coverages and how to deceive them. He shuffled his feet in the pocket. When receivers’ heads swung out of a route, DeVito’s passes met them.Clarke and DeVito often competed against each other. At 8 or 9 years old, DeVito baffled Clarke for the first time. The two were throwing the ball around in the backyard during a DeVito family gathering. After catch grew tiresome, they broke into a pickup game. When DeVito juked at Clarke, a former Cincinnati and Southern Connecticut State quarterback, the coach fell to the ground. His back in the grass, Clarke laughed.“You got to get that kind of feeding when you’re young — when you’re 6 — because ultimately you’re raw,” Clarke said. “At that point you don’t know anything.”DeVito started his first full season at Don Bosco Preparatory (New Jersey) High School as a junior. Then-offensive coordinator Mike Teel entrusted DeVito with at-the-line play adjustments.“As we started to talk and I started to implement a new system, you could see kind of his football intelligence,” said Teel, now the Don Bosco head coach. “You could see that he was going to have a chance to let us do a lot of different things because he was able to handle a lot.”DeVito audibled from run to pass plays depending on how many safeties teams have or how close the defense played to the line of scrimmage. DeVito checked with the coach beforehand on four to five plays, while six or seven others were strictly his decision based on reads. Teel, who played quarterback at Rutgers and bounced around the NFL, said Don Bosco’s offense was one of the most sophisticated he’d ever been a part of.At 17, DeVito did “all the things college coaches asked their quarterbacks to do,” Teel said.After committing to head coach Dino Babers’ first full recruiting class, DeVito was described as “special” by Babers, who noted the quarterback was better than how others evaluated him. A redshirt season in 2017 kept him out of the public eye. A lackluster first appearance against Western Michigan tempered expectations. But 144 passing yards and a touchdown in a two and half quarter-showing against Florida State, coupled with his heroics against North Carolina, sped the narrative.Headed into Saturday’s game against North Carolina State, DeVito and four-year starter Eric Dungey, who DeVito relieved last weekend, weren’t made available to the media. Babers said the starting decision will be “kept in house.”Devito’s progression throughout the season put Babers in this position. On his first pass against North Carolina, a 50-yard vertical route to Jamal Custis along the sideline, DeVito barely stepped. Clarke said DeVito’s long throws aren’t a product of his arm strength, which he clarified DeVito has. It’s a snap of the wrist. Clarke, a lefty, said his wrist naturally pronates better than someone who is right-handed, such as DeVito, because of its position when writing with a pen. Since he started coaching DeVito so young, Clarke made flicking the wrist part of DeVito’s muscle memory.“He’s been through it so many times,” Tom said, “and he’s been taught it so well by (Clarke), it’s just second nature almost.”The 50-yard dime dropped into Custis’ palms because of DeVito’s release point. “It’s a natural arc,” Clarke explained before comparing DeVito’s throws to a rainbow. Marking DeVito’s release point and the point of reception, the space between mimics the arc of a rainbow.On Devito’s 42-yard touchdown pass to Nykeim Johnson late in the fourth quarter, the quarterback’s right leg followed through with his arm. Clarke compared that piece of the throw to a boxer following through on his punch, noting the coaching is always to punch through and beyond someone, not stop at the point of contact.Two touchdown throws later, DeVito darted to the end zone to celebrate the overtime victory with his teammates. Clarke wouldn’t have to make his highlight tape this time. DeVito’s success went viral.“When he’s out there on the field and I’m watching him,” Clarke said. “I’m happy because I know that the years of what we did together is ultimately what everyone is seeing now.” Commentslast_img read more

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3 tips to win as a public speaker

first_imgThis is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.Think back to your childhood and what it was like trying to hit a baseball for the first time.Now think back to a recent presentation or the first time you had to give a big presentation.You may have stumbled, gotten stuck on a word, or failed to connect with your goal.Learning to speak in public is like learning to play a sport.It’s physicalPractice builds muscle memoryYou get better with repetitionIt’s more fun as you get betterYou need to focus. My dad used to tell my sister and I “keep your eye on the ball” during batting practice. It’s great advice and it applies here. If you don’t have your eye on the ball, if you’re not clear on your message, it’s hard to have an impact.A positive mindset helps. Are you more likely to hit a homerun standing on the mound with your eyes closed or if you practiced and have a specific goal in mind?You probably didn’t knock the ball out of the park on the first try.You may have lost your balance, spun around, fell over, struck out.But you showed up and you practiced. So if you’re feeling discouraged about where your presentation skills are today, keep practicing. The good news is that presentation skills are something you learn.So if you’re panicked about a presentation, start here:Set an objectiveAnswer the question “What’s the main message I want my audience to walk away with?Review your contentAsk yourself whether each piece of information is steering the audience toward your objective.PracticeSet aside 10 minutes a day to practice your presentation out loud.And remember, how you feel about your speaking skills today is not an indicator of how you’re going to feel next week, next month, or next year.Madeline Schwarz works with designers, creatives, and technical people who want their ideas seen, heard and respected. She teaches people how to articulate their thoughts, communicate the value of their work, and share their ideas in ways that their teammates and clients understand. Madeline teaches a small group class called Speak with Impact, facilitates workshops on presentation skills and team communication, and coaches clients one on one. Sign up for Madeline’s 10 Tips to Boost your Presentation Skills at https://www.madelineschwarzcoaching.com/10-tipslast_img read more

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