Last night, Terrapin Crossroads, the now-legendary venue in San Rafael, California owned by Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, hosted a special benefit concert to support those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. All proceeds from the concert dubbed Shelter From The Storm—a nod to the 1975 Bob Dylan tune—went to Humanity Hammers Back, Habitat for Humanity’s long-term hurricane recovery program. The special evening ended up being an all-star affair, with Lesh being joined by his Grateful Dead bandmate Bob Weir, Peter Rowan, Mihali Savoulidis of Twiddle, and host band Midnight North.You can check out a full video of Midnight North’s performance with special guests Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Peter Rowan, and Mihali Savoulidis below, courtesy of skiebus.
A woman who was raped during the genocide became caregiver for her younger sisters. Another helped create an association to assist widows and orphans after her own husband, parents, and siblings were killed. A third became a grassroots activist who took part in efforts to persuade Rwandan fighters in Congo to return home. A fourth was a lawyer who helped rewrite the country’s constitution.These are some of the 90 profiles in “Rwandan Women Rising,” a new book by Swanee Hunt, a former U.S. ambassador to Austria and the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government. Filled with testimonies gathered since 2000, the book highlights the key roles played by women, from activists to entrepreneurs to lawmakers, in rebuilding the country following the 1994 genocide.“In the many books I had read on Rwanda, women are mostly mentioned as victims,” said Hunt, just back from a trip to the country to discuss the book. “The women I interviewed debunk that.”The genocide in Rwanda was perpetrated by the Hutu majority government against nearly a million Tutsis. In a stunning reversal, the country has become one of Africa’s most stable, with a fast-growing economy, thousands lifted out of poverty, and advances in health care and education, notwithstanding accusations of despotism against President Paul Kagame, who has been in power since 1994.Rwanda is also leading the way in ethnic reconciliation and gender equality in politics. Women made up 70 percent of the post-genocide population, and they stepped into the ensuing chaos and power vacuum, starting groups to help widows and orphans meet basic needs such as shelter, food, and schooling. Soon came legislation supporting women’s and children’s rights, including a 2003 law mandating that 30 percent of parliamentary seats be reserved for women. Rwandan women currently hold 49 of 80 seats in parliament, a percentage unmatched internationally, according to a 2017 report by the Inter-Parliamentary Union.How Rwandan women rose from hardship and grief to lead their country’s rebirth is at the heart of Hunt’s book. The author mixes profiles with her own analysis to portray a model of peace, security, and leadership.“Most women hadn’t been killed, they had been raped,” said Hunt. “They had seen the devastation. They had seen their husbands hacked to death right in front of their eyes. And so afterwards, they had to bury the bodies.”Examples of strength and resilience among Rwandan women are plenty, but Hunt said she owes special debts of inspiration to Fatima, a woman who died of AIDS contracted from soldiers who raped her, and the late Aloisea Inyumba, who served as executive secretary of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission.“Inyumba was my teacher and Fatima is my conscience,” Hunt said. “Inyumba taught me to listen. As the head of the reconciliation commission she traveled across the country to listen to women and put hundreds of Tutsi orphans in care of Hutu families.“Fatima told me before she died, ‘I’m dying soon, and I don’t want my story to die with me.’ And to me that became an imperative. I had a responsibility to tell their stories.”Hunt’s tenure as an ambassador in Austria during the Bosnian war helped foster her belief in the importance of women in securing peace in countries devastated by ethnic conflict. After departing Europe in 1997, she became the founding director of the Women and Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School, and two years later she launched Inclusive Security, an organization devoted to promoting the advancement of women in the world. She first traveled to Rwanda for a conference in 2000.“I saw the end of the Bosnian genocide and the peace negotiations, and there were no women involved in the negotiations,” said Hunt. “I came to believe firmly that you have a different peace agreement if you have women around the table. In Rwanda, women have gotten a place at the table, and the story is what has happened when they were at the table.”Ideas about Rwanda are changing. In class, Hunt notices that when she asks students what country has the highest percentage of women in parliament around the world, somebody comes up with the right answer after the fourth or fifth try.“Students always say Sweden, the United States, Norway,” said Hunt. “But the word is spreading.”Rwanda’s strides in women’s leadership represent a model for the rest of the world, said Hunt, and in particular for the United States, which ranks No. 101 on the list by the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Women hold 84 of 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 21 of 100 seats in the Senate.“The U.S. is probably the country in most need of lessons from Rwandan women,” said Hunt. “But we all can learn from them.”
Student body vice president Patrick McGuire called the senate to order by banging his hydro-flask on his desk, while the group convened over a Zoom video conference call Tuesday evening. Isabella Volmert | The Observer The student body senates meets over a Zoom conference call, Tuesday, March 31. Vice President Patrick McGuire, second from right on the top row, got creative and used a picture of the normal meeting space of the senate as his background for the call. The Observer took this screenshot of the video recording of the meeting.The last time the senate met was Wednesday, March 4, one week before the decision to move the University to remote learning changed the Notre Dame experience for the foreseeable future. During that meeting, Associate Vice President of Residential Life Heather Rakoczy Russell spoke with the senate about the on-off campus differentiation policy.After calling the senate to order, the group comprised of current senators, student union officers and observing newly elected senators and newly appointed officers got to business. The senate first heard a nomination from 2019-2020 Student Union Board (SUB) Executive Director Eric Kim for the 2020-2021 SUB Executive Director. Kim nominated current junior Mairead Pfaff of Pasquerilla East Hall for the position.“She has been in the Student Union Board for two years and has grown SUB to indescribable length,” Kim said. Using the option “Yes” in Zoom’s “participants” function, the senate approved the nomination. Using the same method, the senate approved the nomination of Matthew Bisner for the position of 2020-2021 Judicial Council President. Bisner is a current sophomore living in Sorin Hall who was the Judicial Council Vice-President of Elections and Chair of the Elections Committee this past election cycle.Outgoing Judicial Council President Halena Hadi said, “He has been an incredible Vice-President of Elections, demonstrating tremendous strength and composure through a tumultuous election season.” After congratulating the newly appointed officers, mostly by using the clapping hands emoji chat function, the senate heard and voted on two resolutions. The first was a resolution suspending several items of the student body constitution in light of the delay of the semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The current student body senate’s term was slated to end today, Wednesday, April 1. The resolution, “A Resolution to Ensure a Proper Student Union Transition Amid COVID-19,” extended the 2019-2020 senate’s term to April 8.McGuire explained in an email the senate will meet for the final time Wednesday, April 8, during which it will complete its business and according to McGuire, have a tentative update on the on-off campus differentiation policy from Russell. The April 8 meeting will conclude the 2019-2020 senate’s term and the new senators will be sworn in. “At the end of this meeting, I will motion to close the 2019-2020 Senate’s term, and then we will immediately follow with a meeting of the new Senate led by Sarah Galbenski. In this meeting, oaths of office and confirmation of key positions will take place,” McGuire said. To conclude the meeting, the senate passed a resolution which altered the constitution to make the role of student nion Parliamentarian a position under the Judicial Council. Hadi explained in an email, “The Parliamentarian was moved under Judicial Council explicitly, as they were formerly listed as part of Executive Cabinet, despite being selected by the Judicial Council President. The new Parliamentarian will be selected by the incoming Judicial Council President, my successor, Matthew Bisner, whose nomination was approved today.”Hadi suspects the nomination of Parliamentarian will come in the next few weeks. Tags: 2019-2020 senate, 2020-2021 senate, coronavirus, zoom
Wide receiver Nick Toon sat out against Indiana as a precautionary measure after hurting his left foot against Nebraska in the conference opener. Toon leads UW with 25 catches in five games.[/media-credit]The Wisconsin Badgers are looking to get back to full strength against Michigan State Saturday with injured wide receiver Nick Toon expected to return to practice this week.Toon was sidelined against Indiana with a left foot injury he sustained during the Nebraska game. Toon sat out as a precautionary measure against Indiana, but is expected to see playing time against Michigan State.“He ran around on Sunday and felt really good, he is going to jump into Tuesday’s practice,” Bielema said. “He felt good on Saturday, we probably could have played him, but I wanted to see the other guys perform.”Defensive tackle Patrick Butrym also suffered a minor ankle sprain – not a high-ankle sprain, Bielema said – against Indiana and is expected to participate in light practice and be back on the field for the Badgers this weekend.“He said basically he felt really tight on Sunday, but it was better [Monday] and he has got a goal in his mind to run around a bit Wednesday and hopefully practice Thursday,” Bielema said. “He is so smart with the game plan, I would feel really good about him playing even if he didn’t really get any time until Saturday.”Focus remains consistentWhen it comes to preparing, the Badgers tend to take a similar approach every week.Bielema said he likes his team to be fired up, but has the confidence in his players to know the difference between right and wrong.“It’s not what happens, it’s how you react to what happens. We’ll do our talking between our pads,” Bielema said. “To me, there are three things you need to have on the road – you need to have great execution, great communication and discipline.”For Bielema, this discipline cannot be installed in a week. Rather, it has to be something built into the Badgers’ framework over time.“That’s something you can’t really install in a week, you have to have discipline in your mentality, in your framework, and that’s what we recruit,” Bielema said.Quarterback Russell Wilson also said he feels that the daily activities in preparing week-in and week-out foster success.“I think that games are won on the field, by our preparation during the week, by the extra film we put in,” Wilson said. “Everything that you do during the week really helps you prepare for the game.”When it comes to preparing for the games, Wilson is a visual learner. He studies the opponent and visualizes how the game will be played out ahead of time.“I visualize a lot, when I am preparing during the week especially when I am playing away, I envision myself being in the stadium – where the clock is, the first downs, all that stuff I visualize,” Wilson said. “That prepares me for the game.”Badgers return to East LansingOffensively, the Badgers will look to continue their solid ball security, while defensively Bielema hopes to create some turnovers and capitalize on them.“We have been great with ball security and that will need to continue on the road,” Bielema said. “Defensively, if we have a chance to get our hands on the football, we need to come up with it.”Michigan State’s strong defensive stance will prove to be a challenge for the Badgers in the upcoming game.Bielema still remains confident in Wilson’s ability, despite the Spartans’ aggressive defense that has proven capable of bringing pressure all over the field.“You can mentally or physically challenge a quarterback, and that’s exactly what they (Michigan State) are doing,” Bielema said. “One of the good advantages of [Wilson] is that he doesn’t get overly rattled by anything that I’ve seen thrown at him.”A big part of Wilson’s success comes from the success of Wisconsin’s offensive line.“Our offensive line is doing such a great job right now, we have a lot of experienced guys up front and their blocking ability gives me a lot of time to make decisions, to stay up on my feet, make the right throw at the right time, that obviously helps,” Wilson said.This weekend’s game will mark only the second away game for the Badgers this season. Road games may come with a different set of challenges, but Wilson remains confident.Keeping confidence and trust along with knowledge for the game is what Wilson tries to show his teammates are important in winning.“The calmer you are, the more confident you play, the more that you trust your offense, the more that you trust what you see, the better off you are going to be,” Wilson said.Confidence in BCS rankingsWith the release of the BCS rankings this week, the Badgers find themselves sitting at No. 6 just behind Oklahoma State (No. 4) and Boise State (No. 5). However, Bielema is not too concerned with UW’s current status.“The computers, the rankings and all that stuff, it’s all going to sort itself through in the end, I really do believe in that,” Bielema said. “If we keep winning and taking care of things around us, than everything takes care of itself.”Wilson agreed with Bielema in regard to the requirement of patience.“All that really matters is playing great football week by week and see where we are at the end,” Wilson said, “We have to weather the storms, just play with confidence, play with a little bit of swagger and play great football.”