Drones in Your Backyard

You look into your backyard and notice that a flying drone with cameras attached is hovering near you and your surrounding area. Should you worry or not?

“I’d be freaked out if I saw a camera floating around me!” stated Romina Oviedo, senior soccer player at Notre Dame de Namur University.

The U.S. Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration are attempting to ease these concerns by requiring that flying drones must be registered. The registering of these unmarked aircrafts is essential in that at the very least there will be accountability for the hobbyist who might misuse the device, or can locate its rightful owner if lost.

“Finding the drone has not been as much of a problem as finding the person who as using the drone,” Jonathan Vanian, writer for Fortune.

It is important to register these aircrafts, because whether its use is positive or negative someone has to be held responsible. With many of these crafts having cameras attached, the privacy of others could be violated as well. In which case accountability is of even more importance.

The U.S. has created a system in such a way that a lot of our personal information can be found at the click of a button. So it is important to register these aircrafts in the event that the government needs to bring to justice those that try and invade others’ privacy when using them. Everything done in the United States has a set of rules and regulations, so it is important that the government has chosen to include flying drones into that category.

“I’ve been in the Marines for the last couple years and I’ve seen special drones used during certain exercises, even ours have a set of rules,” said Michael Young, NDNU senior cross-country runner.

The federal government has implemented a system to get registration on these drones kick-started. They’ve created a task force of drone companies, drone advocacy groups, and aviation organizations. The federal government is hoping for this new system to be up and running by December.

In addition, many of these drones sometimes lose contact with the receiver or it runs out of battery. So what happens when your drone comes crashing down and you never registered it? “Registration will increase pressure on operators to fly responsibly,” adding “there will be consequences when they don’t,” said Federal Aviation Administrator chief Michel Huerta.

In addition, once all the kinks are worked out, a simple solution suggested is to add instructions to register your flying drone before having access to complete use. This is a good way to regulate all new drones estimated to sell during this years’ holiday season. Second, aviation companies should provide information to the last ten years worth of customers who have purchased related items, and begin tracking and regulating them.

Like anything else, regulating a hobby is a very hard task to accomplish and will require a lot of effort from the drone and aviation enthusiasts.

“It’s a hobby, I’d love to own a drone, fly it around places, and tinker with it; it would be a shame to one day lose it and not have a way of finding out where it went,” said Ethan Church, junior and bio major at NDNU.

There are a lot of advantages to registering flying drones. It can help hobbyist and enthusiasts to never lose an expensive toy, create a sense of safety for the user and its public, and assist the government in having recourse when serving you.

Safety or Hazard?

Monday, September 14, 2015- On Wednesday on September 9th, Resident Assistants reported to Kenneth Blackwell, Director of Public Safety, that a fire alarm was going off on the first floor, coming from West 12- the fire panel noted nothing out of the ordinary and let the fire department know to cancel the request.

Shortly after 10pm, the same fire alarm was reset. At 10:48, the fire alarm went off for a third time due to a failed thermal heat detector. Ryan Martini, Facilities Director, called to have the technician to replace the faulty part. Semans, the security company contracted to NDNU, sent out a technician at 12:50am to repair the heat sensor detector. The students were evacuated before housing received the official clearance from the fire department per standard procedure- according to Kenneth Blackwell. There are 8 rooms in New Hall with strobe lights in the ADA disability rooms, one of those students Gerlinda Herring, suffered a severe panic attack due to a strobe light going off in her room.

“ It [the fire alarm] is right above my head where I sleep, when it went off. I was paralyzed with fear. I couldn’t breathe, I was afraid to go outside my room. I had to text one of my friends to come over and help me because of the overwhelming anxiety it caused me.” Gerlinda set a meeting with the Dean of Students, Dean Jean; on the matter of moving her from her current room now into a room that does not have a strobe light- Herring’s request has been approved.

“The fire alarms are sensitive enough to be set off by the steam of a shower in some cases.” said Blackwell. It is still unclear though whether students who currently live in rooms with strobe lights will be able to be re assigned due to lack of housing availability in new hall.

Taize for Healing

During the months of September, October and November, the Notre Dame de Namur University Office of Spirituality will be collaborating with the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, located here in Belmont, to host community Taizé prayer services.

Taizé, pronounced tay-zay, is a form of prayer that originated in France in 1940. Although originally intended for young people, Taizé is practiced by people of all ages around the world. Over the years, Taizé transformed itself into an entire movement dedicated to peace and justice through prayer, meditation, and song.

Amy Jobin, the Director of Spirituality at NDNU, teamed up with the Reverend of Good Shepherd to put on the Taizé prayer services. She and the church welcome and encourage all to attend the services. Jobin stated that we live in a very fast world and while our schedules can be very hectic, it is important that we take the time to give ourselves a break. “That is one way they find healing and calm in a busy world,” said Jobin when discussing why people practice Taizé. “All day long, we are constantly building up and building up, as we are pushing and striving towards our goals. Meditation and contemplative prayer gives us the time to allow ourselves to deconstruct as we reflect on our lives,” said Jobin.

Along with a few other religion and philosophy classes, the Challenged by Christian Ethics class taught by Dr. Hamilton here on campus will be providing some of the art for the Taize services at Good Shepherd. Jobin contacted Dr. Hamilton to organize this art project. In order to educate the students on Taize and the beautiful artwork that goes with it, Jobin attended one of Dr. Hamilton’s class sessions.

Art is significant in the practice of Taize, as it gives followers a source of inspiration. Typical Taize art features a person who represents a positive archetype. The person can be anyone deemed inspirational, from a saint to a leader, such as Martin Luther King Jr., to one’s grandmother. The art presented in this article is of Sister Dorothy Stang of NDNU, who was killed in Brazil during her attempts to save the Amazon Rainforest.

The Taizé services at Good Shepherd reflect a community led prayer with no particular leader. Each service begins with singing, led by musicians, followed by the reading of Scripture. After, there is a ten to fifteen minute period of quiet meditation and lastly, the service ends with prayer. These services, held every third Wednesday of each month at Good Shepherd, start at 7:30 pm and last one hour. Good Shepherd is located at 1300 5th Avenue in Belmont. It is recommended that students who want to attend the services meet on campus and drive to the church together.


Associated NDNU Students Vice President, Bette Maisel, calls together the Student Senate to discuss club proposals and events on campus on February 24th in Cuvilly 9.

Maisel calls the meeting to order and has the agenda and previous minutes approved. She then calls the Bonner Leader Program representatives to the stand. The Bonner’s are proposing for $1,000 to cover 300 shirts for the 300 students expected to attend Call to Action Day on March 26th. The Bonners stated that the shirts would be fair trade and available for students that are participating in Call To Action in the quad before groups are sent to designated sites. The voting for approval or denial for this proposition will take place next week at the next senate meeting.

Next on the agenda, was the Bonner’s proposal for the Open Book Project taking place on April 21st from 10:30-2:30 in Ralston Hall and the NDNU Library. The Open Book Project provides the opportunity for students and faculty to volunteer to help Bellair Elementary increase the number of books and level of reading for Bellair students. The Bonner’s request $500 to put back into the Bellair Library. This proposal was immediately approved by the student senate.

Upcoming Events and Announcements:

  • Quincy McCary of the NDNU library invites students and faculty to speak on camera expressing their opinions about the library. The video is expected to be 20 minutes long and McCary is seeking 8-12 students.
  • Sophomore Success is offering transportation for the Stanford vs OSU basketball game on Thursday, February 26th. Sign-Ups are available at the Student Life and Leadership Office.

The student senate adjourned at 5:36.

Student Senate Meeting
Vice-President: Bette Maisel in the fair left
Secretary: Megan Sosnick siting center Photo credit: Dominique Tarrant

Secretary of ASNDNU, Megan Sosnick, begins writing the agenda at the Student Senate meeting in Cuvilly 9 on February 24th.

Student Senate Meeting
The senate meets to discuss club proposals and campus events Photo credit: Dominique Tarrant

Members of the student senate gather in Cuvilly 9 as the meeting begins on February 24th.