On Friday night, thousands of students and community members watched as a “five foot nothing, hundred and nothing” character slipped through a poorly secured gate and into the North Tunnel of Notre Dame Stadium. As he emerged from the tunnel, a wide expanse of green spread before him, anchored by two goalposts. Rows of bleachers ascended to the sky. The diminutive character, dwarfed by the arena that expanded around him, walked awestruck onto the field he was seeing in person for the first time.Previously, this scene was a dramatization that existed only in the film “Rudy.” Yet on Friday night, that changed. Thousands of moviegoers relived the title character’s experience and viewed events from his vantage point as they attended Flick on the Field, a screening of the iconic Notre Dame movie on the stadium’s new video board.For co-directors of student life on the executive cabinet of student government, Caitlin Murphy and Tim O’Connell, the event was a capstone to several months of planning and coordination between the administration and various student groups.“We were approached about the idea by a couple of people our first few weeks,” O’Connell said. “We started to push it up in the next few weeks to vice president for campus events and security Mike Seamon, who immediately brought in higher ups in the administration.”According to Murphy, collaboration was key.“Intense planning started last week,” Murphy said. “Casey St. Aubin with the Division of Student Affairs was integral in planning the event.”Most of the planning was handled by the administration and happened over the summer, Murphy said. He said he and O’Connell both envisioned an event reminiscent of last year’s presidential debate watch on South Quad.In creating the event, Murphy said she wanted to take advantage of the stadium’s new facilities.“The jumbotron is brand new, and we asked, ‘how can we use it to create a spectacular student event?’” Murphy said. “There was also no football game this weekend, so we thought it would be a good event to hype up football to the freshmen.”According to O’Connell, the event provided a bonding opportunity for new students.“The date was targeted for freshmen,” O’Connell said. “We wanted to make sure they had something Notre Dame related to do on their first Friday night here,” O’Connell said.Murphy said Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) and stadium ushers were using the event as a dry run for game day security protocol.The field was packed with groups of students, some of whom were seeing “Rudy” for the first time. Others were simply excited to be on the field.“I’ve never seen the movie before, and I feel like you kind of have to,” freshman Charlotte Schmidt said. “It’s even more cool to see it with everyone from the school.”“I think it’s awesome that they’re having this event on the field,” senior Zach Myszka said.For many students, the screening marked their first experience with the renovated stadium.“I really wanted to see the new addition to the field,” freshman Caroline O’Callaghan said. “I felt like it would be cool to sit on the field and watch the movie.”The movie was shown on the very field which takes a center stage throughout the film. O’Connell described the sensation of watching the stadium scenes as “stadium-ception.”With a large turnout, there was an undeniable sense of community amongst the attendees. Sophomore Alice Felker explained that this aspect of the event was what drew her to attend.“It’s a big community builder,” she said. “A lot of the student body came out to celebrate Notre Dame and be on the field.”The film was marked with several instances of cheering from the assembled crowd. During one sequence that featured the “Notre Dame Victory March,” the student body clapped as it would during a football game. During the movie’s final moments, as the on-screen student body began to chant “Rudy! Rudy!” some of its real-life counterparts joined in. But the loudest ovation of the evening came when Rudy, after being rejected from Notre Dame three times, was finally admitted to the University.“When Rudy got his acceptance letter and everyone clapped, that was really special,” Murphy said. “I think we all felt the same way when we got our letters and just bringing that community together was a great moment.”Murphy said it was “very touching” knowing that they had created such a special experience.O’Connell said one of the purposes of this event was to introduce students to the new Duncan Student Center — part of which is due to open in several weeks. Nevertheless, the two said that the event represented the best of Notre Dame.“We’d definitely like to thank all of those who helped us,” O’Connell said. “We’re not going to pretend we did this by ourselves or could do it by ourselves.”Murphy said she echoes those sentiments.“We’re very thankful to everyone who worked the event,” Murphy said. “This really was an event that exemplified the spirit of the Notre Dame community.”Tags: division of student affairs, Flick on the Field, Rudy
‘Very natural’ Despite its economic advances, South Korea remains socially conservative and Human Rights Watch says discrimination against women and minorities is widespread.Jang said her family suffered; as well as autism, her sister has intellectual disability — conditions some blamed when they were growing up on their mother’s supposed “sins”.The mother struggled to cope and received limited help from the government or community, and eventually the disabled sister was placed in an institution where Jang alleges residents were mistreated.Soon afterwards their mother left the family and her father sent Jang to live with her grandparents.”When I realized my mother had left, I was very sad, but on the other hand, I also thought it was a very understandable decision,” Jang told AFP in an interview.Her mother’s experiences, and those of her sister and herself, made feminist campaigning “very natural” to her, she added.In 2011 she dropped out of the prestigious Yonsei University — an unconventional decision in a competitive society where college degrees often define lives.Then, 18 years after the family split up, Jang took her disabled sister out of the care facility to look after her herself.Jang’s 2018 documentary “Grown Up” follows their first months living together again, and on YouTube Jang has consistently called for people with disabilities to live in the community.Last year Jang joined the left-wing Justice Party and in April this year was among six MPs from the group elected to parliament in a vote that President Moon Jae-in’s Democratic Party won by a landslide.But Jang’s bill will struggle to become law. “For a long time, parliament has existed as an institution made up of middle-aged, able-bodied men,” Jang said. Jang stands out in a legislature where 83 percent of MPs are over 50 and only 19 percent are women — a figure that would place the South at 116th in the latest Inter-Parliamentary Union global ranking.Now she is taking on the country’s deep-seated patriarchy and religious conservatism — including powerful megachurches that condemn homosexuality — by drawing up a new anti-discrimination bill.It would ban favoritism based on sex, race, age, sexual orientation, disability or religion as well as several more unusual criteria such as criminal history, appearance and academic background.However, over the past 13 years six attempts to pass broad anti-discrimination laws in South Korea have all failed. Topics : ‘It’s a sin’Religious beliefs hold much sway in South Korea, where churches remain an important political space and many evangelicals oppose gay rights.Pastor Kim Kyou-ho, who leads the campaign group Counter Measure Committee for Homosexuality Problems, insists the Bible says homosexuality is a “sin”.”If anti-gay people’s human rights and freedom of speech are violated in the process of protecting the human rights of sexual minorities, we cannot call this democracy,” Kim said.About 40 percent of the country’s parliament is Protestant, according to the United Christian Churches of Korea, and few politicians are willing to challenge the religious lobby.Of 10 MPs who signed Jang’s bill last month, only two are from the left-leaning Democratic Party, whose support is crucial.Activists say the Democrats have failed women, with three party heavyweights currently accused of sexual misconduct, including Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, who took his own life earlier this month.Jang was one of two female lawmakers who declared they would not attend Park’s government-run funeral, and instead called on officials to take action against sexism.Moon, a former human rights lawyer who once pledged to be a feminist leader, supported an anti-discrimination bill during his ill-fated 2012 presidential run.But during his successful 2017 campaign he said he “opposed” homosexuality and that “social consensus” was needed before legalizing same-sex marriage.Jang, though, insisted rights issues could not wait.”The essence of politics lies in making choices, and taking responsibility for your actions and words,” she said. When Jang Hye-yeong was 13 the strain of caring for her disabled sister tore her family apart.Her autistic sibling was placed in a care home for almost two decades, while another sister was sent away to a boarding school, and her mother left the family.The experience turned Jang into a disability campaigner — and singer-songwriter and YouTuber to boot — who was elected to parliament in April as one of South Korea’s youngest MPs, aged just 33.