Intruder Alert

On Oct. 5, 2015 at 2:25, Two NDNU Public Safety Officers were conducting a vehicle patrol when stopped by a NDNU student and was advised of a suspicious male. The student described the person wearing a black shirt with black camo shorts with a red bag under his arm. The student informed them that he has been seen on campus during the night wandering in the past.

The two men began a search of the campus and located the suspect walking down towards the Oaks building as they made contact. They covered one another and began to interview the person of interest. One officer asked the person what was the reason for their visit and for any type of I.D. The person of interest stated he had no I.D and was on campus looking to film a movie and add classes. During their questioning of his purpose on campus he provided a bank check with his name on it.

At this time the suspect seemed to be under the influence of something. For the safety of themselves and others, one of the Officers asked if they could look inside his backpack for any weapons, he refused his request. The suspect asked if he could look into taking classes here at NDNU and go to the Admission Department.

The two officers agreed to escort him to talk to someone in Admissions. Because the suspect could not produce a valid CA. I.D and would not allow them to search his belongs and they felt he was under the influence, one officer contacted Belmont PD. At 2:50 Belmont PD Officer Friedman came on scene and interred the Admissions Conference room #2 and began to question the suspect. One officer was not present during this interview however during this time the suspect’s property was searched.

Based on the findings and the behaviors of the suspect, BPD Officer Friedman issued a trespass order PC 602 to the suspect. At 3:35 BPD escorted the suspect off NDNU campus and the scene was all clear, according to the official report cleared by Head of Public Safety, Kenneth Blackwell, and the Two Officers in the official report. A copy of this trespass order was given to the Housing Department along with his photo.

In light of this incident, this reporter sat down with Blackwell to discuss whether or not NDNU should continue to be an open campus and if NDNU should establish a check in system for students. “Yes [NDNU should remain an open campus], NDNU is a part of the Belmont Community. They often come through the campus, and they enjoy being a part of campus- walking their dogs etc. They often see things and report it to my officers that they are not able to catch. I think as far as the community goes, we play an integral role in the education.”

Most universities have some sort of check in system for visitors but mainly for resident buildings, when this reporter asked Blackwell what his opinion on the necessity for such a system for NDNU- he was on board with the idea. “Yeah depending on whom they are here to see. Normally if they [visitors] require parking I am notified. For the resident halls I think it is valuable for non NDNU students who visit NDNU students, at least if something happens we will have a record of it.”

Like Blackwell mentioned above it is not uncommon for Belmont residents to be seen on campus for activities like walking their dogs, jogging, even using the library, since this is an open campus. However, what is important to note of here is that visitors must go through the proper channels of visitation in order to conduct their business on campus. Any violation of that is a threat to a student and staff’s personal safety. Given that this incident occurred less than a week after the Roseburg Oregon, while minor in nature, it is important to be aware of one’s surroundings.

Picasso Himself- Joe Hill

October 9, 2015- Picasso at the Lapine Agile had a successful run featuring their cast comprised of NDNU undergraduate actors who were joined by NDNU alumnus Johnny Vilar and visiting Artist George Metroplus. Cynthia Delgado was the Production Stage Manager.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile is written by the iconic comedian/actor/screenwriter/banjo-aficionado Steve Martin. Set in a Parisian bar at the beginning of the 20th century (1904 to be more precise), the play imagines a comical encounter between Pablo Picasso (Joe Hill) and Albert Einstein (Jay Sharma), both of whom are in their early twenties and fully aware of their amazing potential. In addition to the two historical figures, the play is also populated with an amusing barfly, Gaston (George Metropolis), a gullible yet lovable bartender Freddy (Juan Pasqual), a wise waitress Germaine (Linsey Almassey), along with a few surprises that trounce in and out of the Lapin Agile.

The play takes place in one non-stop scene, lasting approximately 80 to 90 minutes. There isn’t much plot or conflict; however, there is a satisfying combination of whimsical nonsense and philosophic conversation. This reporter got an inside look on the play as well as the main character Picasso itself with its lead star: Joe Hill.

Reporter Jasmine Ben-Rached sat down with Joe Hill, not in a fancy dressing room- but the second place he spends the majority of his time in (due to his 21 unit academic workload), his dorm room. To ask a few questions that compares and contrasts the star to his character Picasso. How is Picasso like you and how is he different? “He’s [Picasso] a womanizer, he’s an egomaniac, an anarchist, at this point of his life, eventually he becomes a communist- not like me at all *chuckles* We are both artists, and we are both anti-social.”

Hill talked about the challenges that ensued in taking on the Picasso role, he addressed what he loved and hated about Picasso- “I love all of Picasso’s flaws, they make for such a good character.” As well as the biggest challenge in taking on this role- “Being the womanizer, having the suave confidence in everything that he does, because I’m always second guessing myself.”

The conversation went back to inciting tid bits about the play itself- Hill told this reporter without giving anything away, what his favorite line of Picasso was. “I am taking that small part of us that cannot be understood by God and letting it bleed from my wrist onto the canvas….”

If Hill was to play any other charter in the show “I would play Freddy, because in my opinion Freddy has the funniest lines in the show.” Then we concluded our interview with his opinion on why this play just works- “That’s a tough question, this play works because this is a great ensemble play- everybody is so great.”

Picasso at the Lapine Agile won the 1996 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off Broadway Play. It is staged in the 100 seat NDNU Theatre Studio Theater that brings Steve Martin’s comedy in an “up close and personal” way. The play ended its successful run on Oct 18th.




“Hidden” Disability

Justin “Link” Eddy, a Nore Dame de Namur  Junior majoring in Graphic Design, was born with Spina Bifida, a severe disability that “restricts [him] from walking” like everybody else. As such, his mobility relies heavily on his “legs” and can prevent him from experiencing regular daily activities such as driving, cooking and cleaning that many people take for granted.

However, this restriction on his lifestyle does not prevent Justin from working hard, having fun with friends, and playing video games such as Super Smash Bros., a popular Nintendo fighting game.

Fortunately, the Academic Success Center, a program designed to help students with documented disabilities succeed at an equal or higher level than average students, has assisted Justin immensely in his academic studies, providing accommodations such as extended time on tests and even moving an entire class location from a higher floor to a lower floor for one of his classes.

Dr. Peggy Koshland-Crane, Director of the Academic Success Center, whose duties consist of “[operating] the Tutorial Center, running the first generation program, the early warning system, and working with all students with documented disabilities,” started at NDNU in 2003 with plenty of experience at “many of the school districts in the Bay Area,” with educational levels ranging from “preschool all the way up to adults,” along with “a tremendous amount of consulting work…” for these institutions. At NDNU, Dr. Peggy stated that she loves “working with the students, faculty and staff” and seeing their interactions.

To assist students with documented disabilities with their academic endeavors, Dr. Peggy provides general accommodations for her students, such as “extended time for test taking, note-takers, and recording of [lectures].” The DRC even created a unique accommodation specifically for a blind student “…whom [the DRC] provided a reader for…” and later for students with “low-vision.”

To improve accommodations and resources for the growing number of students with documented disabilities, Dr. Peggy stated, “At some point in time when we are able, I would like to…[create] a larger space for the whole Tutorial Center.” By doing so, she hopes this will allow the Tutorial Center “to offer more support in classes and more tutors for different courses.”

She also aims for any student with a documented disability to “know and understand what their disability is,…how it impacts their daily living whether in or out of a classroom,…and what they need to do to be responsible for their learning.”

Dr. Peggy had these final words for the Argonaut’s readers: “I…want all students to get to know each other,…to understand that a lot of people have a ‘hidden’ disability, one that you cannot see,…not to judge each other, and not be afraid to reach out to the Disability Resource Center…,” which is located in the Academic Success Center across from St. Mary’s Hall.