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International student orientation smaller than usual as first-years struggle to obtain visas

first_imgThis year’s international students’ orientation, held on Aug. 1-2, included a number of different events to get international students acquainted with Notre Dame and the U.S.The orientation consisted of a welcome from Notre Dame International, a presentation from International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA) on responsibilities students with an F-1 or J-1 visa should manage, student community-building activities with International Ambassadors and presentations from a myriad of campus resources.Leah Zimmer, the director of ISSA, said orientation looked a little different this year as a result of the pandemic. While Notre Dame usually welcomes around 350 guests –– including both students and parents –– only about a 100 guests were able to attend this year.“Because of travel restrictions and the suspension of visa processing at U.S. embassies, far fewer students were able to attend this year,” Zimmer said. “We look forward to welcoming students in the next week, if they are able to get a visa, or in spring 2021 or fall 2021.”Though classes are set to begin on Aug. 10, Zimmer said some international students have not been able to finalize their plans due to the pandemic. Notre Dame is still expecting the arrival of a number of international students in the coming weeks.Melanie Benítez, a first-year student from Colombia, was able to move into Pasquerilla West Hall on Aug. 1. However, leaving her country was a complicated process.“Coming to the U.S., even while being a citizen, was challenging because Colombia’s international borders are closed, which makes traveling way more difficult and expensive,” Benítez said.For first-year Nicolás López, also from Colombia, arriving to the U.S. was equally challenging. He was able to leave his country through a humanitarian flight offered to U.S. citizens. Even though he found “an easy exit,” López acknowledged other international students might not have his luck.“Colombia’s borders have been and will remain closed for the foreseeable future and have deprived many close friends of mine from traveling to the States and attending their respective colleges,” López said.Across the world, a myriad of countries have established flight restrictions in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This reality has hindered student’s plans to pursue an education away from their home countries. In addition, international students have been struggling to obtain visas amid the pandemic.As a result, Notre Dame announced it was providing first-year international students four different options to complete their education.In the event that international students cannot travel to the U.S., they can either choose to study away locally, defer for a semester or a year or take “other academic provisions” in which the student can fill out a request form to likely study online from their home country.The path towards attending Notre Dame might not be clear for several international students. However, despite the difficulties, López, who is pursuing a major in economics, said Notre Dame inspired him to overcome the challenges in his way.“Although coronavirus, took a rough toll on all of us high school seniors, Notre Dame was always an aspect in my life that encouraged me to push through,” he said. “I hope that coming here will grant me the chance to rediscover myself and make a family of my own.”Tags: Colombia, International students, ISSA, Leah Zimmer, visaslast_img read more

Rise in Milk Prices

first_img“We expect to see grocery prices go up by 15 cents to20 cents a gallon by June,” said Bill Thomas, an economist with the University of GeorgiaExtension Service.”Consumers will eventually have to help pay for thespiraling cost to produce milk,” he said.Farmers’ costs are almost more than they get for their milk. A recent survey found thatfarmers earn about 3 cents per hundredweight of milk. At just over 11 gallons per hundredpounds, that’s only two-tenths of a cent per gallon.That has to cover non-cash costs like equipment depreciation, Thomas said. After that’saccounted for, any money left is profit.Such low profits forced 53 Georgia dairy farms to close in 1995. Thomas expects more toclose this year as feed costs keep rising — by 15 percent to 19 percent through the endof the year. “Prices farmers get for milk hasn’t kept up with their rapidlyrising costs,”Thomas said. “Youcan’t expect farmers to keep losing money and stay in business.”Georgia isn’talone. Dairy farmers across the Southeast lose ground daily while trying to meetever-rising consumer demand.Fluid milk wholesalers have kept milk prices artificially low for the past few years.They ask a retail price that remains the same even when the milk supply and processingcosts change.In turn, while farmers’ costs and production levels vary, the price they get for theirmilk stays the same.”Dairy farmers today are getting about the same pricefor their milk that they were in the early ’80s,” Thomas said. “At the same time, their costs have gone upsignificantly.”In 1995, hot, dry weather created a shortage of quality feed grains, he said, thatdrove prices up to nearly double what they were in early ’95. Some farmers choose to givetheir cows lower-quality hay and feed, but then the cows give less milk.As production drops, the Southeast milk shortage becomes more dire. Dairy cooperativescan truck milk to the Southeast from other areas, but that raises their costs even more.Local dairy farmers have to pay to truck milk in to meet their contracts.”It costs up to 34 cents more per gallon to truck milkin than it does to produce it locally,” Thomas said. “Farmers have to absorb that cost, too.”This problem keeps making itself worse, he said. Low prices and high costs decreaseproduction. Low production forces dairy cooperatives to bring milk into the region to meetdemand, but that adds to their costs. As costs rise, farmers close their dairies, andproduction drops more.Eventually, retail prices must go up.Dairy farmers can’t buy modern equipment they need on such low profits, either.”Some farmers choose to retire rather than lay out$200,000 for those changes when they are fairly certain they probably cannot earn profits,” Thomas said. The high cost of starting a dairy, with little chance of profits, keeps new farmersout, too.The Extension Service helps dairy farmers learn how to produce milk more efficientlyand manage their farms better, Thomas said. But even the tightest management can’t help ifprices won’t support the farm.”Without increased prices, there won’t be enough milkin the stores,”Thomas said. “Thenwe know prices will go up much more than the 15- to 20-cent increase we’re facing thissummer.” Georgians usually don’t think much about milk beyond whether they need it or if part of agallon is still in the ‘fridge.But they may soon think more about it, especially the price. last_img read more

Bobby Joe Centers

first_imgBobby Joe “BJ” Centers, of Lawrenceburg, Indiana, passed away in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.He was born October 28, 1936 in Milan, Indiana, son of the late Linden Centers and Carrie (Shockey) Centers.He served his country as a member of the United States Army.He retired as a Chief Operator for Monsanto, after many years of service. He was a past member of Lawrenceburg American Legion. BJ was a “Fixit Man”. He had the ability to fix anything. His family was most important to him. He especially enjoyed his grandkids.BJ is survived by his loving spouse of 63 years Marilyn Centers (Miller); Daughter, Kim (Tom) Schrad of Winchester, OH; Son, Tim (Lesa) Centers of Greendale, IN; Grandchildren, Natalie Centers and Joe Centers of Silverton, OH; Brother, Don (Carolyn) Centers of Aurora, IN; Brothers-In-Law Darry (Linda) Miller of Nevada, MO, Richard (Sandra) Bockhorst of Vista, CA, and Michael Bockhorst of Delhi, OH; and many nieces & nephews.He was preceded in death by his Father, Linden Centers; Mother, Carrie Centers; Step-Father, William Kirby, and several siblings.Private services will be held at the family’s convenience.Interment will follow in the St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery (Bellaire), Lawrenceburg, Indiana.Contributions may be made to the Hoxworth Blood Center or St John’s Lutheran Church (Bellaire), Lawrenceburg, Indiana.Please call the funeral home office at (812) 926-1450 and we will notify the family of your donation with a card.Due to the current situation dealing with COVID-19, we are following the directives from Governor Holcomb and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning large events and mass gatherings. The family deeply appreciates the support and love shown from friends, but the health and well being of everyone in our community is of top priority.Alternative ways to express your condolences can be done by going online at our website and leaving the family a message, sending a card, flowers, or making a donation in memory of their loved one.Our prayers go out to all of the health care community and those affected by COVID-19.last_img read more

Clonmel hoping to continue their defence of the Munster Junior Cup

first_imgReigning Munster Junior Cup Champions Clonmel RFC host St Mary’s today, in the quarter final of this year’s competition. Elsewhere in the Munster Junior Plate Nenagh Ormond welcome Abbeyfeale. Both those games kick-off at half two.last_img