Notre Dame ReSources

Author: Dennis Brown and Cynthia Day

Notre Dame ReSources
July 6-12
p. Notre Dame faculty are available for additional comment on these people and events in the news: p. Mexico: “This marks the beginning of democracy in Mexico,” says Scott Mainwaring, professor and chair of government, of the electoral defeat this week of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the country’s governing party for the last 70 years. “The election of the center-left candidate (Cuauhtemoc Cardenas Solorzano) as mayor of Mexico City wasn’t surprising,” Mainwaring says. “What wasn’t as widely expected was that the PRI would lose its majority in Congress. This will bring a completely different dynamic in Mexican politics. For seven decades, the Mexican president could push anything he liked through Congress. That will change now. This no longer can be called an authoritarian regime.” (219) 631-8530 p. Sand castles: For kids on the beach, building sand castles is a delightful way to spend time in the summer sun. For Peter Schiffer and Albert-Laszlo Barabasi , it is a research subject. The two Notre Dame physicists have determined precisely what physical phenomenon is at work that allows damp sand to hold its shape in the construction of sand castlessurprisingly, a scientific question that never before had been addressed. Their findings are published in the June 18 issue of the science journal Nature. Schiffer can be reached at (219) 631-7262 ; Barabasi at (219) 631-5767 p. Supreme Court: The recently concluded term of the Supreme Court was of “enormous practical significance,” says Douglas Kmiec , professor of law at Notre Dame. “Many people, I think, will view it as the term of constitutional common sense. By reinforcing and reaffirming constitutional boundaries, the court restated the importance of Constitutional text, structure and history. This term is a reminder that all government officials have taken an oath to an important written document, and their functions must fit within the contours of that document.” (219) 631-6981 p. Title IX: On the 25th anniversary of the adoption of Title IX of the Education Code, it would be helpful for all parties to “tone down the inflammatory rhetoric that increasingly crops up in discussions” of gender equity in athletics, says Debbie Brown , head volleyball coach at Notre Dame, in an op-ed in USA Today. “While women’s programs worry over the lack of progress and men’s bemoan budget cuts, both should remember this is an evolutionary process.” (219) 631-6307


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