Soccer Teams Scramble as Transfer Window Closes by Fnu G Balamurali

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With the current transfer window shuffling European soccer teams around, we are seeing unprecedented relegation fees, such as Neymar Jr.’s U.S$ 264 million move to Paris-Saint Germain.

The transfer window for the English Premier League began with surprising swaps of players between clubs, causing commotion among fans and pundits, but this season has also provided record numbers for transfer fees and team spending.

Manchester City alone has assembled a team that cost them U.S$ 232.3 million this year; 6800 times the cost of undergraduate tuition at Notre Dame De Namur University this year. The net worth of their new team holds the record for being the most expensive to have ever been assembled, valued at U.S$ 1.023 billion. These numbers have not only been amusing to soccer fans but have also raised concerns of the sport’s future.

“Can these teams really make that much money off one player?” said Senior Rene Roque. Her concerns are shared by many soccer fans around the world.

Transfers affect a player’s performance in their club team and national team and experienced players are well sought-after as they have proven to increase the performance of the rest of their team. In the recent past, teams would be rushing to sign less experienced players that show most promise. Revealing a “diamond-in-the-rough” would not only bring the club a better reputation, but also draw better signings for the future.

More people have started showing interest in the sport, but high costs to break contracts could also be detrimental. Individuals become brands. Clubs may sell enough merchandise, venue tickets and sponsorship revenues to cover their high costs, the sport itself becomes centered around the business aspect and there is fear that players would be merited on celebrity rather than performance, like Formula 1 in the 80’s.

When inquired on viewership, freshman soccer fan Jesus Mendoza said “The media coverage on this transfer season has been incredible, riled by the high transfer fees. That alone might get more people interested in soccer!”

With this inflation, skeptics like Sportscorp’s Marc Ganis argue “There is no way for it to make economic sense!” regarding PSG president Al-Khelaifi’s comments about turning Neymar Jr.’s cost into profit.

The inflation is most attributed to the business tactics used by club in recent times; when a player starts to appeal to another team, his/her price is almost always increased to great lengths, sometimes to the point of ridicule.

FIFPro, an organization made up of representatives who give out awards for fair play in soccer, claims “…an inflated and distorted market, with escalating transfer fees at the heart of it, has helped to destroy competitive balance”, and that the “…transfer rules governed by FIFA are anti-competitive, unjustified and illegal.”

Senior April Saldana disagreed with nay-sayers “…these fees are appropriate for the talent they bring to the team”, as they “…greatly improve the quality of a team with their expertise.”

Coupled with the demise of honing youth players, the business of soccer may be taking a stark turn towards commercialization. Smaller clubs, however, are benefitting from the willingness of larger teams to fork out high transfer fees. For instance, Monaco purchased four players after selling their 18-year-old prodigy, Mbappe, to PSG for U.S$ 242 million. As money from outside the sport gets pumped into the ecosystem, there is also a good chance for the sport to grow.

NDNU Hosts Charity to Help Victims of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey by Diego Acuna Ortega

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By now everyone in the U.S. knows about the damage done by recent Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, however these storms leave an unprecedented amount of ruin for the country to deal with. Thankfully, many organizations have come to help the people in need, including the school itself.

NDNU hosted a concert hosted by the Musical Performance program and the Sr. Dorothy Stang Center on Saturday, September 16 at Taube Hall as a fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Irma. The money raised was forwarded to the American Red Cross and United Way Worldwide non-profit organizations. These organizations use the donations to directly help those affected by the storms. They are some of the largest worldwide crisis organizations out there and are able to reach out to disaster areas quickly, which is why the donations were given to them.

Students, alumni, and faculty from the musical department came to perform and gather donations for those who suffered through the storms. There were also students and staff at the campus quad accepting donations that night, and the Office of Spirituality/Dorothy Stang Center will also accept donations throughout the week. “The performances were really good, and it was for a good cause so it made everyone feel happy” said junior Ryan Gaviola, who attended the concert. “There was around 30 people enjoying the show when I was there, and there were students and other people playing the music”

This event represents the support that the school and its students have for those swept by the storm and is a reminder of our compassion for the fellow person in need. “We are trying to make sure that we contribute to the help for the people in Texas and Florida”, said senior and Vice President of Communications of the Student Assembly Leadership Team, Robby Keith. “Student organizations are also accepting and would appreciate any kind of donations, including female hygiene products since they often don’t get sent to refuge sites.”

Any amount of help gives a little relief to those going through the aftermath of the hurricanes. It is the civic duty and one of the hallmarks of the school to act on behalf of those in need and to maintain the wellness of our community.

The total cost for all the damage done by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have reached over $200 billion according to director strategy for IBM’s global business services, Paul Walsh. He states that these storms serve as “a wake-up call in terms of the way we develop our communities going forward, especially along the coastal areas.” After all of the homes and buildings destroyed by the winds and floods from the hurricanes, cities and contractors are beginning to realize that structures need to be more resistant to the storms that they can encounter. Considering all the costs it will take to rebuild what the hurricanes torn down, it will pay off to be prepared with stronger buildings now for the future when the next major storm hits.

NDNU Tuition Transparency Okay? Or Satisfactory By Cynthia Rinaldo

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Tuition at Notre Dame de Namur University for 2016-2017 is as high as $52k, is their significant transparency given on bills? Where does the money go?

“To be completely honest with you, I don’t even know what our tuition is paying for I don’t feel like they make it clear enough on our bill breakdowns. I understood that part of our tuition was paying for the renovation of Ralston Hall and students would be able to access it. I do not see any difference, and by the time it is accessible I would probably have graduated,” said senior Renae Roque.

Roque was puzzled by rumors about improvements to the campus because she feels that not much has changed. “As a commuter, I wished they provided better services for us. The commuter lounge is really small, and there are not enough lockers to go around.”

Some students felt neglected and kept in the dark, as they did not even know where to find the breakdown of their tuition bills. Roque mentioned, “It took me a while to find mine. It almost felt as if the school was making it hard to find.” Once students do find the breakdowns, they are disappointed to see the lack of transparency.

Although students may be able to see a breakdown of where their expenses are going, they are still curious about how much actually goes to the teachers and school maintenance.

Antionette Watson, a senior, who plays on the NDNU softball team, lives on campus. “Definitely going straight to the nuns, no doubt about it, part of our tuition pays for their groceries, health, you name it.” Watson has started to speculate because of the lack of transparency by the school.

As a student athlete, Watson mentioned, “wish we had a bigger gym, more people could exercise and workout. Also, it would be great if we had a bigger softball field, the one we have is small. The balls were hitting the nun’s windows and cars, they got mad, so we use the high school’s softball field, but sometimes our schedules collide with the high school softball teams’.” For NDNU residents, there are other financial charges they have faced. As Watson acknowledged, “I feel like in some spots they can be more specific. They got me for a room damage fee and they have yet to tell me what it’s for. There’s nothing wrong with my room. I have asked, called, and emailed Annabelle Bautista at housing and she never responded. So, I am convinced I was randomly selected to pay $25 to housing.”

For teachers, listening to student’s complaints might be stressful, but one Communications professor at NDNU, Richard Rossi, he felt for the students, the faculty, and the administration. “The administration we currently have is trying very hard to work on our students’ needs as well as the faculty’s, they were left with a lot on their plate from previous administrations.” Rossi argues that it is not solely the admin’s fault that a number of students are unsatisfied. “But I do think that the school could be more transparent with students and faculty. I think we take in a lot of students who are underprepared for this type of school environment,” mentioned Rossi.

Rossi does agree the school could better inform their students about what they are paying for. “Tuition does not go to pay for the nun’s expenses; they have their own sources of income. And it doesn’t pay for fixing up Ralston Hall. We raised money from donors specifically for that,” said Rossi. Rossi also mentioned, “Students should also know that we offer the cheapest tuition for a private school education in the state, but yes the Bay Area is an expensive place to live. If there was more transparency there might be fewer complaints.”

Music Was Made for Houston by Noelli De La Cruz

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Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) Musical Performance Program and Sr. Dorothy Stang Center came together to hold a benefit concert to fundraise money for Hurricane Harvey relief on September 16, 2017.

On August 25, 2017 a catastrophic hurricane hit Texas killing 70 people. Not only was Texas affected by this hurricane, but the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky were affected as well. According to the National Weather Service, Harvey’s tropical storm poured “51.88 inches of rain, passing the 50 inch measured single-storm rainfall record for the continental US”. Consequently, this flooded one-third of Houston, Texas and parts of other states affected by the hurricane.

As reported by Kimberly Amadeo in a news article written in The Balance, a personal finance website, hurricane Harvey damaged 203,000 homes, destroyed 12,700, and left 250,000 people without power. 75 schools were temporarily closed due to flooding. 1,000,000 vehicles were completely destroyed, and 800 wastewater treatment facilities and 13 Superfund sites were flooded. This caused sewage and toxic chemicals to spread to the flooded areas.

“It’s awful that Texas has to go through another damaging hurricane and to think about all the families that lost everything is heartbreaking” said senior Erika Mendoza.

Thus citizens, organizations, and business have stepped up and donated money for Harvey relief. Many have partnered up with Crowdrise, an online fundraising platform for nonprofits. Organizations have sent food and other supplies for kids, seniors, and pets who were affected by the hurricane.

Notre Dame de Namur University did not stay behind. NDNU joined the relief wagon and hosted a benefit concert at the Taube Center on September 16.

“The idea for a benefit concert was proposed by Debra Lambert the Musical Arts Department Chair, and now with a collaboration of the Sr. Dorothy Stang Center, Musical Arts Department, Office of Spirituality, and Art Therapy Departments we have joined forces to put on this benefits concert Saturday night” says an NDNU graduate intern Alec Heiner.

20 people from the Musical Performance faculty, alumni, students, and guest sang around 25 songs. Heiner said they didn’t have a goal in mind of how much they wanted to raise. They just encouraged everyone to donate because every little bit counts.

However, Sr. Dorothy Stang Center was grateful to announce that they raised over $1000. Vanessa Jimenez, senator of the Education and Psychology Department, said that they choose to give the money to the Red Cross and United Way as well because she has worked with them in the past and they were supportive to local communities.

“I’m glad that as a community, NDNU [did] something to help out. We would want the same support if we were in their shoes” said senior Fabiola Malfabon.

The Music performance Program and everyone who helped plan this event are grateful to all who donated. They encourage those who can and couldn’t make it to the concert to donate to the United Way Worldwide and the American Red Cross via https://www.redcross.org/donate/cm/stangcenter-pub.

Fire in the Gorge by Alex Ellifritz

One of Oregon’s most frequently-visited places, the Columbia River Gorge caught fire over the Labor Day weekend, due to a 15 year old boy’s extreme negligence. The wildfire covered 35,600 acres and just 11 percent is contained as of September 20. The night of September 10, the fire jumped the Columbia River Gorge. Sparking the smaller Archer Mountain fire in Washington state.

This is not Oregon’s largest wildfire – the 177,000 acre Chetco Bar fire is – the Eagle Creek fire stands out due to the fact that it’s so close to a major urban area. The Gorge is a treasured place. “It’s where I had my first hike, it’s also a place where many people have gotten engaged, also a place where many people have enjoyed their final moments,” said Jacob McFarland, a sophomore from Portland, Oregon. Nationally, people are the cause of over 84 percent of wildfires according to oregonlive.com. In the Pacific Northwest, human caused wildfires happen near the major metropolitan regions of Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington.

The Eagle Creek fire now covers almost 35,600 acres and is 11 percent contained a jump in both acreage and containment from last week. The acreage growth is due to natural progression of the blaze. Firefighters can’t access parts of the fire that are burning in hazardous terrain, so they’re praying for some rain. The seven-day forecast shows rain is anticipated early next week in the western Columbia River Gorge. A half to 1 inch is expected to fall in the western gorge late Sunday night through Tuesday. A lot of areas that have burned, will recover from the fire within a couple years. In other areas, the signs of the blaze will remain for a bit longer. Tivoli Sisco, a senior said she has vacationed in Hood River with her family and hiked the gorge and visited a bunch of waterfalls, which were all very beautiful, but she is sad to know, “it’s never going to quite match those memories again.”

Well-intentioned efforts to help replant and rebuild the Columbia River Gorge are popping up on social media. But the U.S. Forest Service is warning that those efforts could end up doing more harm than good. It may not be safe to go into some of these areas for quite some time. The Forest Service is asking the public to stay out of the Gorge, not only for now but for weeks after the fire stops burning. Hillsides will remain unstable and dangerous. Justin Eggimann, a junior from Oregon said, “as soon as they give the okay to start replanting the Gorge I will be there to help because its very sad to watch things go.”