Howard Hall’s annual 24 hour teeter-totter event begins at 4 p.m. on Thursday and will last until 4 p.m. on Friday. Each year, the women of Howard Hall choose to donate the funds to a need somewhere around the world related to clean water access. Howard Hall residents will occupy the teeter-totter for 24 hours in 30 minute shifts, but other students and Notre Dame community members are encouraged to ride the teeter-totter with a suggested donation of $1. Planning for this event started as soon the chairs arrived to campus this fall. The co-chairs this year are junior Veronica Kalwajtys, who will ride the teeter-totter at 4 a.m. Friday morning, and sophomore Emily Eagle, who will ride the teeter-totter at 6 p.m. Thursday. Courtesy of Veronica Kalwajtys Residents of Howard Hall paint signs to prepare for Totter for Water.This year’s Totter for Water proceeds will go to a Holy Cross school in Plaisance, Haiti.“This year we picked [the school in Plaisance, Haiti] because of the Notre Dame — Holy Cross connection,” Kalwajtys said. Kalwajtys and Eagle said that the proceeds will go towards two present issues at the school in Plaisance: access to clean water and cleaner bathroom facilities. “The school there has some problems of cholera because of the lack of clean bathrooms and other sanitation facilities, so they really need that to prevent cholera. And then most of the kids don’t have access to clean water,” Kalwajtys said. Eagle said the event went to support a worthy cause.“It’s such great cause, when you think about people not having access to water,” she said.Free food will be available from 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursday and 9 to 10 a.m. on Friday. Students can also purchase succulents for $6 and paint the pots at the totter event, Kalwajtys and Eagle said. Donations can be made in cash, Domer Dollars and online via the Congregation for the Holy Cross website. In years past, Howard Hall has aimed to raise $3 thousand to $5 thousand through Totter for Water. This year, however, the goal is $25 thousand because of a new initiative, Tats for Totter, by Howard Hall president, junior Gracie O’Connell, who will ride the teeter-totter from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday. “If Howard Hall reaches $25 thousand in donations, five out of the seven [members of] hall staff will get Howard Hall-related lip tattoos,” O’Connell said. O’Connell herself sports a “GOAT” lip tattoo because Howard Hall is the greatest of all time, she said. She also confirmed the rector of Howard Hall, Amanda Springstead, is one of such five hall staff that will get a lip tattoo if donations exceed $25 thousand. “It’s a big reach, but it’s for such an important cause,” O’Connell said. In addition to a fun event for students, and the prospect of hall staff getting lip tattoos, the overall purpose of Totter for Water is to raise awareness in the Notre Dame community of the lack of clean water in many places and to hopefully make a monetary contribution, Eagle said. Kalwajtys and Eagle also said that Father Pete McCormick, the director of Campus Ministry, will ride the teeter-totter at 8 p.m. on Thursday.Tags: charity, Charity Fundraiser, Howard Hall, totter for water
In the midst of a disappointing mid-season stretch that has seen the club fall short of title aspirations, the USC men’s volleyball team will alter its approach and simply look to end the season on a positive note.The Trojans return to the Galen Center for their final two home games of the season, as they host Long Beach State tonight before taking on Cal State Northridge on Saturday night.The 2013 season has not been kind to the Trojans, who sport a dismal 5-15 record just one year after notching 26 wins and reaching the NCAA championship final against UC Irvine. After a promising 3-1 win against Pepperdine on March 21, USC has hit another road block, dropping a match 3-2 to Cal Baptist before suffering a sweep at the hands of BYU last Saturday (14-25, 15-25, 24-26).Though the Trojans had to deal with a quick turnaround in travelling to Utah and now face the No. 1 Cougars on Saturday, USC head coach Bill Ferguson was not interested in using the long trip as an excuse for the losses.“It was tough, but that’s why we’re playing,” Ferguson said. “Our job is to have our guys ready to make that trip and perform that task, and we didn’t do as good of a job as we could have done to get ready for it.”The Trojans were led by redshirt junior opposite Tanner Jansen, who contributed nine kills off the bench. Freshman outside hitter Alex Slaught notched eight kills while hitting a sound .462, and sophomore setter Micah Christenson added seven digs.But the Trojan defense proved no match for a powerful Cougar attack. BYU junior outside hitter Taylor Sander recorded 17 kills while hitting a sterling .762, and freshman opposite Ben Patch put together 10 kills and 5 blocks.USC gave BYU a run for its money with a strong, hard-fought third set. Ferguson pointed out that his team played quite well at stretches yet again failed to channel this into any type of match-long consistency.“We had issues passing the ball all through the first set and through the first half of the second set,” Ferguson said. “I thought that our level of play in certain areas was, again, fantastic in the first half of the first set, but once we hit the middle we started to make poor attack decisions. But BYU, to their credit, made some unbelievable defensive stops.”In previewing this week’s matches, Ferguson placed added emphasis on the team’s return to the Galen Center for its final two home games.“I’m hoping our home facility isn’t actually foreign to us,” Ferguson joked, noting the team’s forced move to the Lyon Center following a stretch of other conflicting events at the Galen Center.“I think having played the matches this weekend will prepare us for this week’s matches. BYU runs a varied offense which is similar to what Northridge does,” Ferguson added, “and Cal Baptist is oriented to the outside hitter which is very similar to what Northridge runs, so we’re going to try to tweak some things and build on that.”The Trojans have just one senior on the roster in outside hitter Maddison McKibbin. But McKibbin, a co-captain, will likely redshirt after sitting out the entire season while recovering from a stress fracture in his right shin.Following this week’s games, the Trojans will once again hit the road for the final time this season, squaring off against UC Santa Barbara and UCLA next week.
Fossils unearthed in southwestern Canada in 2012 are providing new insights into one of the world’s oldest known vertebrates, as well as the evolution of their jaws. The creature, dubbed Metaspriggina walcotti (artist’s reconstruction above), was previously known only from two very fragmentary fossils discovered almost a century ago and first described in 1993. Of the hundred or so new specimens taken from several sites boasting rocks between 500 million and 515 million years old, the largest are about 6 centimeters long (thumb-sized) but the body proportions of some incomplete fossils hint that the creatures might have grown somewhat larger. The most complete and best preserved fossils include impressions of eyes, muscle groups, and the supports for gills, the researchers report online today in Nature. Analyses haven’t yet noted any remnants of fins, but the eyes of this active swimmer were large and prominent. A small but sharp-edged circular area in each eye hints that the eyes of these ancient fish included a lens, a relatively modern feature for its era. More significant, though, are details of the curved structures supporting the creature’s gills. The arrangement of these paired structures foreshadows that seen in fish that evolved much later, and the slightly thicker dimensions of the foremost pair of gill supports may reveal the first steps in the evolution of jaws. Detailed analyses place Metaspriggina near the base of the vertebrate family tree and certainly among the earliest fish, the team suggests.