Today, the first day couples can register for weddings at the Sacred Heart Basilica for the 2011 year, is perhaps one of the reasons the “ring by spring” mentality pervades for many a Notre Dame senior.According to Amy Huber, Wedding and Baptism Coordinator of the Basilica, current students, alumni, University administrators and Sacred Heart parishioners are all eligible to sign up for weddings at the Basilica beginning today by calling in.The process is competitive, as desirable spots fill quickly as the day progresses.“You just have to be patient and keep redialing until you get through,” Huber said. “I probably take about 70-80 reservations [on call day].”Huber said the Basilica accommodates only a certain number of wedding reservations each year, and that number is limited by certain days on which wedding ceremonies are disallowed.“There are a little over 100 dates for 2011 to give out and the summer afternoon dates always go first as expected,” she said. “[Weddings are not held] on holiday weekends, JPW, Alumni Weekend, final vows weekend, ordination weekend, Freshman Orientation weekend and Commencement weekend.”The fee for use of the Basilica is $750, and Huber said that figure includes not just the ceremony itself.“It also provides a wedding coordinator who will attend the rehearsal and wedding and will assist in all the details of the wedding liturgy,” she said.Couples who choose to marry in the Basilica tend to do so because of a sentimental bond with the University.“Most of the couples met here, fell in love here and want to have the sacrament of marriage here,” Huber said. “The Basilica is one of the most beautiful places on campus and our staff at the Basilica and Campus Ministry are wonderful in supporting these couples in all aspects of their preparation and liturgy.”Samantha Mainieri Roth, a 2009 graduate, married her husband Andrew Roth, a 2008 graduate, in the Basilica on Oct. 10, 2009.“The number one reason I wanted to get married at the basilica is because Andrew and I met at ND and it just symbolizes tradition in every sense to us,” she said. “Just knowing how many previous ND grads got married there made it that much more special.”A former Notre Dame cheerleader, Mainieri Roth said the date of her wedding was especially difficult to come by.“I knew I wanted the bye-weekend of the football season in October to be my wedding date because none of my cheerleader teammates would be out of town then since there wasn’t an away game and there are no weddings on weekends of home games,” she said.“By the time Andrew made it through the phone line, after about 500 attempts, we were given the 9 a.m. slot because that’s all there was left for that day.”According to the Basilica’s Web site, available weddings times are Fridays at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
In the wake of the University’s announcement of its plans for expanding resources for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQ) students through the creation of a new student organization, professional staff position and advisory board, members of the existing Core Council for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Questioning Students will continue to play an integral role in the transition to the new structures of support. Sophomore Core Council member Lauren Morisseau said the group, which has been involved in both programming and advising, will effectively translate into the proposed advisory board, which will be expanded from its current six undergraduate members to include graduate students and faculty members. “Core Council is already in kind of an attenuated version of itself because it’s already gone back to its roots as an advisory council, so we’ll continue to be involved in that capacity,” she said. “[The council] is going to remain in place as it is needed because some things still need to be worked out and … it really is the group of people who have stood as the voice.” Senior Core Council member Karl Abad said this group of students will bridge the current and future structures of support for GLBTQ students. “Until [the plan] is fully implemented, we’re going to be sort of an active placeholder, a bookmark for the next chapter of our lives,” he said. The creation of the advisory board in conjunction with the student organization will allow for increased delegation and specialization of responsibilities, Morisseau and Abad said, which will help direct the focus of each entity more clearly. “[The advisory board] will be kind of a spinoff of Core Council, but what they’re going to focus on is advising and transferring programming out,” Morisseau said. “That’s something that will be really healthy for the community this is serving but also for the Notre Dame community in general.” Additionally, Morisseau said Core Council members who are active in student organizations and clubs that have been involved in the conversations about GLBTQ support systems will continue to do so in the future. “I think the members won’t cease to have a voice. Some of us I assume will end up on that advisory council,” she said. “I think the transition will be fluid and gradual, but it probably won’t be officially completed until around the time the professional is hired.” Morisseau and Abad said while the current timeline for hiring a professional advisor for the unnamed student organization is not definite, both students and administrators hope to have that person in place by next fall. “If someone perfect comes around, [the administration] will hire them, but it just depends,” Abad said. “Students will have a part in saying whether we agree with [appointing] this person as well, so there’s a collaboration between students and administrators … because we’re keeping a close discussion about what we want and need from someone in this position.” That collaboration has been “unprecedented” throughout the five-month long process of formulating a strategic plan for GLBTQ resources at Notre Dame, especially after decades of advocacy on the part of students without achieving concrete results, Morisseau said. “It’s been an extremely collaborative process, and I think that’s been extremely powerful in building trust and relationships with the administration and understanding where they’re coming from knowing they do have our best interests in mind,” she said. Throughout the process of restructuring GLBTQ resources, Abad and Morisseau said students and administrators engaged in a necessary symbiotic relationship of education and strategic planning, the latter of which came primarily from working with vice president for Student Affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding. “I think at first our job was very much to educate [administrators] because I feel like from their standpoint there’s a burden of knowledge to understand,” Abad said. “I feel like Erin’s prior position in strategic planning and the dialogue she had with us really pushed our thinking.” “We all needed each other. [The administrators] needed our testimony, and we needed their position and advocacy,” Morisseau said. “They can’t know what’s wrong unless students tell them, so there was a lot of eye-opening. I would say from there it was all about balancing each other’s needs.” Although Harding, her chief of staff, Karen Kennedy, and other administrators could identify a range of student needs, Morisseau said students helped the administrators understand their priorities. “They could see a whole spread of student needs, but they didn’t know which were more important until students told them, ‘We prioritize this over this,’” she said. “They were able to stratify needs from there, and that’s how things like the ‘T’ [transgender] got involved.” In some of the monthly meetings between Core Council and administrators, Morisseau said Harding identified the absence of transgender students from the conversation as an issue. “She picked up on it and we verified it,” Morisseau said. Abad said he felt transparency increased between students and administrators throughout the process. “All the senior staff we worked with made clear what their purpose was in this,” he said. “They really wanted to address the trust issue between administrators and students.” After months of open discussion, Morisseau said her initial ambivalence about the administration has faded away. “Since this whole process began this fall, that idea of them as an adversary has really just dissolved because you kind of understand we’re all part of this community and everybody fills different roles,” she said. “We need each other in this.” Although students who submitted a proposal for a gay-straight alliance (GSA) focused primarily on obtaining official club status for that group, Morisseau said that goal changed as a result of collaborating with administrators to determine the most effective solution. “As a student, I don’t think I would have come up with this structure because I’m not a student affairs professional,” she said. “I think that was really where the collaboration became really valuable because there were definitely some conversations where it sounded like we made compromises, but when I look at it today, it seems like a huge leap forward.” Engaging in an in-depth analysis of the current structures and the needs of students gave the proposed structure much more breadth and permanence due to the creation of a student organization, a new advisory board and the new staff position, Morisseau said. “The breadth we’re getting from this broad review far exceeds what we were expecting … and in that sense, I’m very grateful,” she said. “I think the University really decided to commit and did it in a classic Notre Dame style with a lot of integrity. I’m really grateful to [University President] Fr. John Jenkins, Erin, Karen and everyone who … has treated this with respect and been extremely thoughtful and thorough.” Abad said administrators also took care to ensure the focus of the decision process was confined to conversations between the Notre Dame community and themselves, rather than allowing for influence from outside opinions. “[The administration] really gave their input on why they made these decisions. It was never arbitrary,” he said. “We’re trying to satiate and weaken the outside forces from affecting us here because if we don’t do this right the first time around it’s going to be negative for everybody.” Once the new structures are more fully implemented, Morisseau said she and her peers hope to create a peer educator program similar to the Gender Relations Center’s FireStarters. But for now, Abad said the primary focus will be maintaining the general discourse and message of current programs during the transition to more open, effective structures of support for the GLBTQ community and Notre Dame as a whole. “We want to make it clear that we are excited for the changes, but keeping dialogue going is important because there are still things to be settled,” he said. “Past leaders of this movement have kept their vision clear and it’s been passed down, and now it’s coming to fruition.”
According to a philosophy professor, the Harry Potter series is more than just wizards, owls and house elves. John O’Callaghan, associate professor of philosophy, delivered a lecture titled “Harry Potter and the King’s Cross” on Tuesday in DeBartolo Hall. The lecture was the second installment of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture’s Children’s Literature Series. O’Callaghan said his thesis was that the Harry Potter series is a carefully constructed allegory of the search for wisdom through Christ. He said J.K. Rowling’s bestselling fantasy series reflects the conflict between the modern philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, Immanuel Kant, and Rene Descartes, who argued that wisdom lies in the search for power, and the Christian and pre-Christian philosophy of Socrates, St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, who argued that “faith makes reason possible.” O’Callaghan said the series focuses on conflict between the love of power and divine love. “The novels are not a tale of ordinary magic,” Callaghan said, “They are a tale of extraordinary magic, exploring the tale of two loves: the love of power, which is a philosophy of domination and wealth, versus a power of wisdom, which puts one in the presence of divine love.” Callaghan said Rowling uses Latin and French terms to name characters, objects, and spells, evoking imagery of the nature of those elements. For example, when naming Harry Potter’s archrival, Draco Malfoy, Rowling uses the Latin word for serpent (Draco) and the French term for bad faith (Mal foi). Voldemort, the antagonist of the series, is a reimagining of a French phrase meaning,”will to death,” he said O’Callaghan said many of these names and the stories that come with them are also directly representative of medieval Christian symbols. For example, Gryffindor, the Hogwarts House Harry joins at the beginning of the series, is a “golden griffin,” a mixture of a lion and an eagle, both symbols of Christ, he said. On the other hand, Slytherin, the House of many of the series’ antagonists, evokes the image of a snake, which he said is the enemy of Christ. This symbolism, Callaghan said, extends to the plots of the books themselves. He said the relationship between the Philosopher’s Stone of the series’ first book and the tears of the phoenix in the second are important symbols because both give life to those who are about to lose it. The Philosopher’s Stone, however, gives a “technological” kind of life, one in pursuit of wealth, O’Callaghan said. The phoenix gives a different message. He said the phoenix, a bird that will burst into flame and be reborn from its ashes in the same way that Jesus was resurrected, heals Harry’s mortal wound with its tears, giving him a more fulfilling kind of life. “Genuine life, that is, genuine love, is often found more in the tears of life … than in untold riches and power,” O’Callaghan said. O’Callaghan said Harry wins in the struggle for wisdom at the end of the series when he walks to his death without hesitation and upon coming back to life, leaves behind his own dark side. J.K. Rowling has herself confirmed the religious parallels in her series, he said. In a news conference shortly after the release of the final novel in 2007, she revealed that there had always been religious undertones in her work, but that she had refrained from confirming them because she was afraid she would give away the ending of the story. “Harry Potter and the King’s Cross” was the second lecture of the four-part Children’s Literature Series. The third lecture, “Young Adult Literature,” will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 15, and the fourth, “The Hunger Games,” will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Instead of Lord Christopher Patten, Rev. Ray Hammond will deliver Notre Dame’s 169th Commencement address May 18, the University announced today in a press release.Patten had to cancel his scheduled speech at Notre Dame, as well as several other engagements for health reasons, vice president for public affairs and communications Paul Browne told The Observer.Hammond, a Philadelphia native, is the founder of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston and was announced in March as an honorary degree recipient for this year’s ceremony.“We are disappointed that Lord Patten will be unable to join us and will keep him in our prayers,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the press release. “At the same time, we are delighted and grateful that Rev. Ray Hammond has accepted our invitation to address the class of 2014.“His life’s story and work are an inspiration, and I know he will provide our graduates with a powerful address.”Browne said Jenkins’ personal interactions with Hammond played a role in the decision.“Fr. John had met [Hammond] personally and was impressed with his spiritual demeanor as well as his life’s accomplishments and thought he would deliver a powerful message to the students,” Browne said.Hammond entered Harvard University as a 15-year-old, earned his bachelor’s degree at 19 and his medical degree at 23, according to the release. He worked as a doctor before turning to ministry in 1976 and earned a Master of Arts degree in the Study of Religion (Christian and Medical Ethics) at Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1982, the release said.Hammond served as the former chair of the Boston Foundation and founder and chairman of the Ten Point Coalition, which the release described as “an ecumenical group of Christian clergy and lay leaders behind Boston’s successful efforts to quell gang violence in the 1990s.”He also has served as executive director of Bethel’s Generation Excel program, executive committee member of the Black Ministerial Alliance, chair of the Boston Opportunity Agenda and a member of the Strategy Team for the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, the release said. Beyond that, he is a trustee of the Yawkey Foundation, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the Math and Technology Charter High School.Tags: Commencement, Commencement Speaker, Graduation
Former Irish running back Jim Morse donated funds to the University for the installation of FieldTurf in Notre Dame Stadium, the Notre Dame Monogram Club announced Aug. 13 in a press release.Morse is a private investor who served as captain of the 1956 Irish football team and graduated in 1957. A previous donation from him enabled the construction of the Coleman-Morse Center, which bears his and his wife’s names in addition to that of the late Thomas Coleman, according to the press release.Morse’s other contributions to Notre Dame include “the Morse Family Scholarship Fund, which supports about 12 students annually; funding for football and baseball scholarships; an endowed fellowship for MBA students; and a major gift for the Morse Recruiting Lounge in the Guglielmino Athletics Complex, featuring banners for Notre Dame’s 11 consensus national football titles,” the press release stated.The University officially announced its plans to replace Notre Dame Stadium’s natural grass with synthetic FieldTurf on April 12 at the annual Blue-Gold game. Installation began after Commencement Weekend (May 16-18), the press release stated, but the donor’s name had not been revealed until the Monogram Club press release.On July 30, Notre Dame completed the FieldTurf installation, according to a WNDU report.Tags: FieldTurf, Notre Dame Stadium
Ian Kuijt, professor of anthropology at Notre Dame, presented his findings regarding the importance of the hearth and its connection to the narrative of Irish immigration in the Snite Museum of Art on Saturday.Kuijt’s research, titled “The Empty Hearth: Archeological Insights into Irish America,” centered on the documentation and analysis of archeological findings on Inishark, an island located approximately eight miles off the coast of the mainland and abandoned in 1960 in less than 24 hours.The hearth is a fundamental concept in Irish narrative, Kuijt said.“The hunts, the home and the life within the home, is centered on the hearth and the kitchen itself,” Kuijt said. “I’ve used the metaphor of the hearth, as a context under which we can think about histories, stories and narratives of memory. I want to think in terms of personal stories and personal changes at the small scale, and trying to think in some ways about the archeology of the famine within the context of the changes that take place in communities.”Kuijt said the evidence found in the hearths provide insight into the complex stories of families facing the impacts of mass emigration from such a remote island.“It is both horribly interconnected with the mainland, yet it is very separate”, Kuijt said. “In some ways, they take very different trajectories, and these trajectories are very powerful in terms of understanding the immigrant experience, understanding the mobility of people between islands and understanding the mobility towards America.”According to Kuijt, the study’s record of the position and state of Inishark’s buildings as well as the presence of valuable remnants of ceramics and pottery suggest that the island’s inhabitants were well connected. Kuijt said the remains in the hearths also reveal population and housing trends on the island leading up to its abandonment.“These are interesting buildings, first of all because they are rarely preserved; second of all, because they provide this sort of hybrid technology, well-made technology for this point in time”, Kuijt said. “This is a place that’s largely viewed as being a marginal context, yet this is showing us that these people had access to trade markets. There are all kinds of interconnections.”Kuijt’s research documented descendants of the families whose hearths he originally examined, he said. The remains of the hearths and the stories of Inishark’s descendant’s revealed the sacrifice and fragmentation present in the process of immigration, indicating that the abandonment of Inishark had a lasting and profound impact on newer generations.“The big picture out of all of that is that when you think about what’s gone on, these are stories of survivorship, of people surviving under very adverse circumstances,” Kuijt said. “Some of the most powerful stories we can think of is that this is the human condition — of people overcoming circumstance for the next generation.”Tags: Irish Studies, Saturday Scholars, Snite Museum of Art
Duke University president Richard Brodhead called for “an energetic and aggressive defense of liberal arts education” in a lecture Tuesday that discussed Notre Dame’s recent curriculum review.Brodhead is the third speaker to address Notre Dame students and faculty as part of the University’s annual Notre Dame Forum. Because of the recent focus on curriculum change, this year’s Forum has examined the question ‘What do Notre Dame Graduates Need to Know?’.Brodhead has experience with changes in curriculum — he was involved in a curriculum overhaul when he served as dean of Yale College, the undergraduate component of Yale University. This experience taught him that a powerful vision of what students should learn is most crucial when reviewing core requirements, Brodhead said.“As you perform this self-assessment, if I could offer a word of wisdom, it would be this: do be idealistic, but don’t imagine that perfection is just around the corner,” he said. “It’s the fate of every curriculum to slip from aspirational intentions into operational routines.”Brodhead said losing this broad vision and focusing too closely on requirements harms the university and its students.“We have all had the experience of asking students what they want to study that term and having them rattle off the requirements they planned to meet, as if checking the boxes were the aim of education,” he said. “If a school doesn’t have a culture of active inquiry and intellectual engagement supporting its curriculum, if going to College X doesn’t mean entering into a force field that boosts each student’s will to learn, grow and discover, then the best rules in the world can only guarantee conformability of transcripts.”Students’ desire to fulfill requirements can stifle their pursuit of true knowledge, Brodhead said.“I went to a college that had eight requirements you had to meet, all of which could be met with AP courses,” Brodhead, a Yale graduate, said. “[…] And actually, in retrospect, I think that is horrifying. What it means is that I was free at age 17 to decide that I never wanted to learn anything further about vast domains of knowledge. But the trouble is your freedom can condemn you to a life of ignorance.”Brodhead said many today see the liberal arts as a luxury instead of a field that leads to employment. But this field is crucial for each student’s education, he said.“It’s easy to see why people might get anxious about something whose payoff is not immediate and the path to whose payoff is so oblique,” Brodhead said. “But the fruits of such education can only be reckoned over long time-horizons, as they enable people to rise to challenges and seize opportunities they could not foresee at first.”Notre Dame should focus on creating a well-rounded education for each student, one that especially stresses the importance of critical thought and the humanities, Brodhead said.“This is the time for reasserting the why and wherefore of the liberal arts,” he said. “Not just re-formatting requirements, but reasserting the qualities of mind we aim to promote deep down.”Tags: curriculum, Duke University, Liberal Arts, Notre Dame Forum, requirements
Wednesday night at 8 p.m. the Jewish Federation of South Bend will host a Holocaust remembrance service at the Grotto to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust.Trent Spoolstra, a 2013 graduate of Notre Dame who has volunteered with the Jewish Federation for the past seven months, helped to bring the event to Notre Dame’s campus.The service coincides with Yom HaShoah, Israel’s official day of commemoration for the approximately 6 million Jews and 5 million others who died as a result of the actions of Nazi Germany and its counterparts. This year, Yom HaShoah begins the evening of April 15 and ends the evening of April 16.Spoolstra said the Jewish Federation usually hosts events in downtown South Bend every year to honor of Yom HaShoah but this year wanted to bring Holocaust remembrance to Notre Dame’s campus.The Grotto, as a place of reflection for all religions, seemed the ideal location to host the remembrance service, Spoolstra said.“The Grotto, for those who are Catholic, is a place to remember Mary and honor Mary and, for those who are not Catholic, is a place of quiet and of peace, and a place where people can really gather their thoughts,” he said. “Knowing how powerful that is, we wanted to hold the event there.”The agenda includes two readings, one by a Notre Dame student and the other by a Saint Mary’s student, a Jewish mourning prayer led by a Notre Dame professor and brief talk by a local Holocaust survivor.Spoolstra said the Federation purposely chose to include students and staff in the event’s organization to make the event as student-, faculty- and staff-centered as possible.“Obviously, the Jewish federation is hosting, but we did not want just us running the show, but wanted students to get involved because it is a day not just for Jews and the Jewish Federation, but a day for everyone,” he said.Raz Revah, an Israeli emissary who has worked with the Jewish Federation since September, also helped organize the service as part of her mission to educate the American public about modern-day Israel.“Part of my job is to talk about Israel and show a different side to Israel, and it is very obvious that this is what the Yom HaShoah service is,” she said.Revah said the celebration of Yom HaShoah at the Grotto shares a tradition principal to the history of Israel with the South Bend community.“In Israel, there are services and ceremonies throughout the day, and there is a siren that sounds throughout Israel and everyone stands silent for one minute during the siren,” Revah said. “Students at school, and even people in the roads and highways — everybody stops and will get out of cars to stand while the siren is sounding.”Spoolstra said he hopes the service at the Grotto also serves as a reminder that genocides still happen in the modern world.“After World War II, there were the instances in Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur and other countries, and what ISIS is doing in Iraq could be considered genocide,” he said. “It is a day to reflect on not only what happened during the Holocaust but also a day to reflect on what happens when good people sit by and let evil persist.”Tags: Holocaust Remembrance, Jewish Federation, The Grotto
Last night, the University’s Nanovic Institute of European Studies organized a panel at the Hesburgh Center Auditorium titled “The Greek Crisis and the Future of Europe,” which presented information about the economic crisis in Greece. The panel consisted of professor of economics Rüdiger Bachmann from Notre Dame, professor of political science George Tsebelis from Michigan, Dr. Christopher Waller, the senior vice president and doctor of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and professor of comparative politics Jim McAdams from the Notre Dame.“What makes [the Greek financial crisis] so fascinating is that it’s multiple crises,” McAdams said. “It was a crisis for the Greek economy, it was a crisis for the Greek welfare system, it was a crisis for southern Europe in different ways … not just the Eurozone but also what Europe was since World War II.”Waller said Greece’s financial issues started long before the 2010s as Greece initially failed to meet all of monetary criteria needed to adopt the Euro, though they were allowed in the following year. What Waller said happened years later were investigations revealing large deficits in the Greek GDP which led to to tumultuous default and recovery.“Their unemployment went from 5 percent to 25 percent. Their GDP fell 25 percent,” he said. “If you’re not aware, that’s [similar figures to] the U.S. Great Depression. They started doing better on tax collections, cutting spending, laying off civil service workers — if I remember correctly about 50 percent of the labor force. … The economic conditions and the austerity were going to lead to social revolt.”Tsebelis said the revolt manifested in Greece’s near-adamant refusal to agree to the conditions of the bailout, which the European Union (EU) refuses to alter and Greece’s own parliament split on whether they should even stay with the EU. With elections coming soon and polling data unclear, Tsebelis said the political future of Greece seems very unclear.“So it’s going to be a very difficult outcome to predict,” he said. “What will these organizations produce after the elections? With respect to the euro now, the EU has not budged throughout the seven months of negotiations … and they continue to not give Greece money except on a conditional basis.“Another thing the Greeks don’t understand is the decision-making in the EU is through unanimity which means … it’s another 28 people you have to persuade,” Tsebelis said. “Even if they were able to make reasonable arguments — which the Greek government was not able to do — they could only persuade one, two or five.”Bachmann said there are better measures Greece could take than tax hikes and privatization and finding the best way to get Greece out of this crisis will take smarter policies with public investments. He said they could invest in growth, green energy and foreign investment tax credits.“We need to think differently, and I’m trying to advertise some sort of standard demand-side and standard supply-side policies.” Bachmann said. “ … I think we’ll need an intelligent mix between ‘carrots’ and ‘sticks.’ We need to find the right amount of micromanagement and that is hard.“This is a question for European democracies that I unfortunately don’t know the answer, and I hope we’ll get closer in this debate.”Tags: Greece, Nanovic Institute for European Studies
Mushroom Mania swept through North Dining Hall Tuesday night in the form of a variety of burgers, courtesy of celebrity chef Jehangir Mehta. “Though I don’t really like mushrooms, I decided to try out a number of the burgers this evening, and I was actually pleasantly surprised with the result,” sophomore Grace Garry said. Mehta, executive chef and owner of New York City restaurants Graffiti and Mehtaphor, stopped by North Dining Hall to make some some of his signature dishes and also to offer a sampling of different mushrooms. Most notably, Mehta served his signature Graffiti burger. “I have been making the blended mushroom Graffiti burger since the advent of Graffiti nine years ago,” Mehta said. “The Graffiti burger, besides mushrooms, has onions, cilantro, mint, lemongrass and chiles. It makes the burger extremely flavorful and moist, and also cuts the animal protein in the burger.”The menu also featured a blue port salmon burger with peach salsa, a chermoula grilled crimini and a malai chicken mushroom burger slider, as well as stand-alone white button, crimini, portabella, shiitake, maitake, oyster and trumpet mushrooms.“The Graffiti burger was sort of spicy, but I really appreciated how flavorful it was,” Garry said. “It definitely tasted less like mushroom than I initially expected.”The peach salsa served with the salmon combined the flavor of the fruit with cilantro, tomatoes and other seasonings, sophomore Jake Miller said. “I liked the salmon burger, it was full of flavor and the peach salsa complemented it nicely,” he said. When offered condiments to accompany his burger, sophomore Joey Pye vehemently rejected them.“Are you serious? This doesn’t need ketchup,” Pye said. “This has enough flavor on its own.”The sampling of mushrooms also received positive reviews from the students.“The portabello mushrooms, in particular, were really sweet and tender, and I was surprised that enjoyed them so much,” Miller said. Mehta interacted with students waiting for their mushrooms, which were freshly sautéed with oil when ordered. “I just want the campus to understand there is protein in vegetables, and one must try to get their intake of proteins through vegetables too,” Mehta said. “One must try and strike a balance between animal laden meals and a vegetarian diet.”After training at the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering, Technology and Applied Nutrition in Mumbai, India, Mehta moved to Hyde Park, New York to pursue a career in the culinary arts and began studying at the Culinary Institute of America, according to a press release from Food Services. From there, he worked at a number of New York restaurants before opening Graffiti, his first restaurant, in 2007. Two years later, Mehta competed on the Food Network show Iron Chef America, as well as the Next Iron Chef. “Notre Dame is a prestigious university and it is an honor to be cooking for the students here and give them a different perspective of food,” he said. Tags: Food Services, mushroom mania, North Dining Hall