HPS���graduate program adds new hybrid track

first_imgNotre Dame’s History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) graduate program has added a new track in theology and science. The addition marks the first time HPS has offered a new track since its inception in 1990. HPS Director Don Howard said no other graduate program in the world produces Ph.D.s specializing in theology and science within the context of a history and philosophy of science program. “We want the products of this program to be the leading thinkers internationally about issues of science and religion,” Howard said. For Howard, the track speaks to Notre Dame’s Catholic intellectual mission. “Some people like to think of Notre Dame as America’s leading Catholic research university,” Howard said. “Well, you put those two terms together — Catholic and research — that’s just another way of naming theology and science as a topic that we should be doing more to address here.” Howard said the HPS program was “frustrated” when trying to appoint faculty members in the area of theology and science ten years ago. “The idea to occurred to us that, well, if we’re having trouble making a really high-impact, stellar senior faculty appointment because the talent is so thin, maybe we are approaching this from the wrong direction,” Howard said. The program instead focused on producing a new generation of experts working on theology and science. According to Howard, the job market for graduates of this track has improved. Howard said the Harvard Divinity School advertised an endowed chair specifically in theology and science. “We started to notice more and more schools that would mention theology and science or science and religion in a job ad,” Howard said. “Our own faculty having matured and developed some additional strengths and our having realized that there are really job opportunities out there, we just decided that now is the time to do it.” Howard said graduates of the track could also pursue positions at foundations like The Templeton Foundation, which funds research on theology and science issues around the world. As a result, Howard said graduates would help shape understanding and debate on theology and science, especially when the public frequently misperceives religion as divorced from science. “You often get this misleading impression that there’s a just science on one side and just religion on the other side, and that there’s no complexity in the debate,” Howard said. One misleading impression involves the Catholic Church’s position on evolution. For decades, Howard said, the church has embraced evolution as the correct scientific understanding of human origins. “The Catholic position has been that there has to be a place in that story for understanding the emergence of insouled human beings,” Howard said. “But again that’s not an impediment to the full embrace of evolution as the right scientific understanding of human origins.” Howard said HPS modeled the track after the existing tracks in philosophy and history. “This too is going to be an unusually intensive program,” Howard said. “It’s going to take tough and smart people to do well in this program, but we’re confident that we are going to attract those kinds of people into the program.” Gregory Sterling, dean of the Graduate School, was “enthusiastic” about the new track, which should produce two or three graduates every year. “More than an expansion of the total numbers, it will deepen the pool and help strengthen what is already a very fine program,” Sterling said. The addition of the track comes at a time when the school has undergone other changes. Sterling said The Kroc Institute has added several tracks, including peace and theology, in the last couple of years. According to Sterling, the school is determining the optimum size of every graduate program and whether they meet the needs of society. “We are taking stock of our programs and asking how should we change our programs to address the needs of the larger world,” Sterling said. While HPS will not offer courses in the track until the 2011 Fall Semester, Howard has already seen student interest. “I was surprised at how quickly I started getting inbound e-mails asking detailed questions about the program, asking for career advice about what you would do with this degree,” Howard said. “That’s just further confirmation of our sense that the world was ready for something like this.”last_img read more

Conference to focus on religion

first_imgIn the early 20th century, the idea that religion was “on its way out” became predominant, according to Notre Dame Professor Patrick Mason. Today, Notre Dame is launching a research initiative to explore the relevance of world religions in the modern world. The initiative, titled Contending Modernities, will use multi-disciplinary research to promote understanding of how religious and secular forces interact. Its first phase involves studying the interaction between Catholicism, Islam and secularism. Mason, the project’s associate director for research, said Notre Dame has always been a leader in the study of religion, specifically Catholicism. Contending Modernities, which began through Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, will make the University a hub for understanding the interaction between Catholicism, other world religions and secular society. “The heart of this project is that it’s comparative,” Mason said. “Our vision is that it will involve dozens of scholars both here at Notre Dame and around the world.” Today and Friday in New York City, the University will launch Contending Modernities. Today at 4 p.m. at the Sheraton New York, University President Fr. John Jenkins will deliver an introduction to the project. Kroc Institute Director Scott Appleby will also address the prior to three keynote speakers. Shaykh Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, will speak through videoconference. Jane Dammen McAuliffe, president of Bryn Mawr College and former president of the American Academy of Religion, and John McGreevy, dean of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters will also give keynote speeches. Friday at 10 a.m., the University will host a panel titled “Women, Family and Society in Islam and Catholicism,” featuring experts with a variety of perspectives. While there are plans for the project to eventually include other religions, it is beginning with Catholicism and Islam because they have many similarities, Mason said. There are Catholics and Muslims in every country, Mason said, and members of both faiths make up approximately one-third of the global population. “They’re the two truly global religions,” he said. “They’ve had to adjust to the radical transformations that have come about in the modern world … They make really interesting historical cases or parallels because of this shared experience of having to live through or renegotiate the transitions of modernity.” Today and Friday’s launch events in New York were planned long before the controversy over the Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero, but Mason said the controversy is a further indication of Contending Modernities’ importance. Public discourse about issues such as terrorism and Sept. 11 are important in modern society and a part of Contending Modernities, Mason said. “Scholars have, we believe, an obligation to enrich the public discourse on these things,” he said. “Part of the underlying foundation of the project is that … the most important problems we have aren’t going to be solved by secular institutions alone.” After the project’s launch, Mason said the University would form research teams in early 2011. The project is designed to unfold over several years, but the preliminary stage will include teams of Catholic, Muslim and secular experts at Notre Dame and around the world. Together, they will explore themes such as human development, science, gender, law, migration, violence and peace. Emad Shahin, the Henry R. Luce Associate Professor of Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding at Notre Dame, joined the Notre Dame faculty in 2009 and has been involved in the planning stages of Contending Modernities. Shahin will also participate in the project’s research teams. His own research focuses on Islamic politics and the relationship between Islamic law and modern political concepts, and he said he is looking forward to the project’s ability to find common ground between Catholicism and Islam. “I’ve always thought of the possibilities of building a common ground, common agenda and even a plan of action between the various communities of faith that could enable them to cooperate and respond to the challenges in our modern world at the humanistic or humanitarian level.” In addition to a scholarly research initiative, Mason said Contending Modernities is a public education project. Research teams will present their findings to the broader public through writing op-ed newspaper pieces, contributing to blogs, working to develop school curriculums, advising religious and civic leaders or writing policy papers for governments. “This is really bold and ambitious and innovative and really sort of takes Notre Dame a step further in terms of our outreach to the world,” Mason said. At Notre Dame, the Kroc Institute has already applied for and received money to hire new faculty members, including one specialist in global Catholicism, two professors in Islamic studies and one Islamic law specialist. Mason said the project could eventually lead to research opportunities for undergraduates, expansion of the University’s foreign language offerings and new study abroad programs. These programs would be created in cooperation with other offices and departments at Notre Dame. “One of our real hopes is that Contending Modernities will act as a seed to further internationalize the University,” Mason said.last_img read more

Professors discuss ‘Sexuality 101’

first_imgIn response to a controversial upcoming lecture addressing sexual orientation and the Church, five Saint Mary’s professors presented their thoughts on this issue as part of “Sexuality 101” in Spes Unica Hall Thursday evening. Psychology professors Catherine Pittman, Rebecca Stoddart, Bettina Spencer, Religious Studies professor Stacy Davis and Global Studies professor Laura Elder defined sex, gender roles and sexual orientation and discussed the topic within an interdisciplinary context that included biological, environmental and cultural explanations for human sexuality. Pittman said the event, sponsored by the Psychology Department, provided a necessary source of information from the opposite side of a highly contested public debate that will come into focus during the Nov. 13 Theology on Fire lecture, titled “The Church and Same-Sex Attraction” and featuring Dr. Philip Sutton, a psychologist and marriage and family therapist. “When we learned about the lecture hosted by Campus Ministry, the Psychology Department was concerned about why he was chosen to represent the Catholic viewpoint,” Pittman said. Sutton’s approach to same-sex attraction therapy does not coincide with widely held views on the issue, Pittman said. “In the Psychology Department, we’re aware of what the standards of treatment are, and his [Sutton’s] practices are contrary to every organization that offers therapy,” she said.   The multifaceted nature of sexual orientation makes it difficult to study and draw conclusions, Elder said. Spencer said such controversial events as Sutton’s upcoming lecture often isolate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students, so she encouraged the Saint Mary’s community to consider the importance of campus climate to LGBTQ students and how it impacts their college experiences.   Student Diversity Board President Maggie Galvin said the event prepared student attendees for Sutton’s visit to campus next week. “I thought this event was great and so informative.  Even if half of the girls who came tonight go to [Sutton’s] event they’ll bring educated and knowledgeable questions,” she said. Contact Katie Carlisle at [email protected]last_img read more

ROTC begins 24-hour vigil at Clarke Fountain on behalf of Veterans Day

first_imgNavy, Army and Air Force ROTC cadets and midshipmen began their 24-hour vigil at the Clarke Memorial Fountain on North Quad yesterday, honoring the legacy of American veterans of war on Veterans Day.Senior and Midshipman First Class Lizzie Terino said the vigil began Monday at 4:30 p.m. and will last until 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.“To honor the legacy of all those who have served in those wars, especially the Notre Dame grads, we stand a vigil shift for 24 hours,” she said. “After the conclusion of our vigil, we’ll have a ceremony with all three ROTC units and a guest speaker — just to talk about what people have done before us and the honor and privilege of serving.” Emily McConville | The Observer Members of the Navy ROTC participate in the Pass and Review on South Quad on April 9. ROTC members will participate in a 24-hour vigil at the Clarke Memorial Fountain for Veterans Day.Senior and battalion commander for Army ROTC Michael Loftus said the cadets and midshipmen take shifts throughout the 24-hour vigil. Each shift has four slots, one to be filled by a member from each of the three services and one that can be filled by a member from any of the services, he said.“We organize by half-hours,” Loftus said. “Sometimes people will take two shifts in a row or even longer, but each shift is 30 minutes long.”Terino said the vigil takes place at the Clarke Memorial Fountain because the fountain is dedicated to veterans.“The Clarke Memorial Fountain is a war memorial fountain; it’s not just something we run through on game weekends,” she said. “Each of the four sides is dedicated to veterans, of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and those who have served in peace times.”As a senior, Terino said her experience participating in the vigil for the past three years varied depending on what shift she took.“When you’re doing it in the afternoon or during the day, a lot of people come by and take pictures,” she said. “So you are thinking about what it means for other people that you’re serving. … When you do it at night and it’s dark and peaceful and there’s really no one around, you are sort of reflecting on why you’re doing it. You start thinking about all the stories you’ve heard about the people who have done it before you.“So the time of day really dictates your mood.”Loftus said he has always taken shifts in the middle of the night.“There’s definitely a lot of time of reflection, if you are prone to do that,” Loftus said. “Most people like it and think it’s a cool experience, even when it’s snowing or raining.”Terino said participating in the vigil on Veterans Day enables her to commend her family members’ military service, as well as others who have made sacrifices for freedom.“My father, grandfather and uncle were in the Air Force; my grandfather did two tours in Vietnam,” she said. “Every year it’s an incredible opportunity, especially studying history here at Notre Dame and taking history classes. I went to the World War II museum over fall break, and [heard] the stories of people and what they’ve gone through, and situations that I can’t even fathom.“It’s an incredible opportunity to take the time out of our busy schedules, and to really think about why we have the freedom to be this busy, to remember what others have gone through for that. …We are here at school, and I feel like we always get wrapped up in our schedules, so it’s always nice to take the time to honor the people who have served and allowed us this freedom to do what we do.”Terino said the vigil previews the support she looks forward to gaining when she joins the Navy.“Any time you put the uniform on, you are representing everybody in Navy and what they are doing,” she said. “A lot of people will start thanking you for your service, which as ROTC students is hard to wrap our heads around because we haven’t felt like we’ve done a whole lot yet, but it’s inspiring to get that kind of support and to know that two or three years down the road, when we are giving that service, when we are on ships or deployed, that there are people back at home who recognize that we are sacrificing time with our family or other things to have that opportunity to serve our country.”Loftus said his participation in the vigil commemorates the service of his grandfathers as well as the service of his friends from the University program and from his home.“One of my grandfathers, I never met,” Loftus said. “He died before I was born, so it’s nice to be honoring him and there are guys who were fellow cadets a couple years ago, who are now deployed or overseas.”Meadow Jackson, sophomore and ROTC midshipman, said the vigil is a unique opportunity to honor those who have served.“Standing vigil in front of the war memorial reminds me why I came to Notre Dame,” she said. “To serve my God, my country and my family and friends. My father is a veteran, so today is a special day for me.”Jackson said although Veteran’s Day commemorates soldiers past, it transcends American generations.“I’m carrying on a tradition way more important than one individual,” Jackson said. “We do this for generations past present and future — so no one will forget the sacrifices made by so many so that we could be free.” Tags: 24-hour vigil, Clarke Memorial Fountain, commemoration, Country, God, Korea, Midshipmen, Notre Dame, ROTC, tradition, Veterans Day, Vietnam, World War IIlast_img read more

SMC nuns examine life of Archbishop Oscar Romero

first_imgSister Amy Cavender and Sister Patricia Ann Thompson held a conversation Wednesday at Saint Mary’s about their May 2015 trip to San Salvador, El Salvador, to attend the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero. The two nuns shared stories and insights from their experience, along with pictures they took during the trip.Cavender said prior to the trip she had “never dreamed of going to the beatification.”She said Catholic Relief Services — a nonprofit organization whose mission according to their website is to “assist impoverished and disadvantaged people overseas” — made the trip possible by providing them with hospitality and accommodations. Cavender and Thompson both spoke about Romero’s life and provided background on his various works and accomplishments that contributed to the decision of the Church to beatify him. Romero was appointment archbishop of San Salvador in 1977 because he was seen as a “safe choice,” Cavender said.During the 1970s, violence and murder began to escalate in San Salvador, and following his appointment, Romero “became more confrontational … very outspoken about social justice,” Cavender said.Romero was shot to death while saying Mass in 1980 for being an outspoken advocate against the injustice happening among the poor and repressed in El Salvador at the time, Cavender said, and is seen as a martyr for his faith. Concerning the beatification ceremony itself, Cavender said “people came from all over the world, [the ceremony] was very well done, very well organized.”More than 100,000 people gathered to witness his beatification, she said. She and Thompson said volunteers turned out in great numbers to help distribute water to the attendees.“I am impressed by [the promise] of El Salvador’s future,” Cavender said of the volunteer work she observed.Cavender and Thompson said over the course of their travels, they also visited the Chapel of the Divine Providence hospital where Romero died, and his home, which was turned into a museum in honor of him. Although Romero was a diocesan priest, he resided with Jesuit priests for many years, they said.“He took the notion of living in simplicity very seriously,” Cavender said.She said she and Thompson visited the Monseñor Romero Center at Central American University — which is run by the Jesuit priests — and the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Savior in San Salvador, where Romero is buried.“[Romero] remains a source of inspiration and empowerment for many people,” Cavender said at the end of the talk.Tags: Martyr, Oscar Romero, saint mary’s, San Salvadorlast_img read more

Sorin College fundraises for cancer research

first_imgThe sixth annual Kick-It for Kevin kickball fundraiser will be held on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The tournament, which raises money to support pediatric and adolescent cancer research, will be held on Stepan Fields and Bond Quad.Junior Erich Jegier, game organizer for the event, said the annual tournament began in honor of Kevin Healey, a former Sorin College resident and member of the class of 2011.“His senior year of high school he was diagnosed with cancer, so he came … into Notre Dame with his cancer diagnosis, spent the majority of time while he was a student here in the hospital, even traveled to Boston to have a part of his lung removed,” Jegier said. “Then he passed away in 2009, and unfortunately lost his battle with cancer. So we hold this event every year in honor of Kevin to raise awareness … for pediatric and adolescent cancer. We hope to have fun and raise money for the cause at the same time.”According to Jegier, Kick-It for Kevin is the result of Sorin College’s partnership with a larger national organization, Kick-It, which holds kickball tournaments in various communities across the United States to raise money for childhood cancer research.Students can create a team for or donate to Saturday’s event by going to the Notre Dame Kick-It for Kevin page on kick-it.org“We’re asking people to get together teams of 10 to 12 to play, and as part of the game we’re asking people to raise a minimum of $20,” Jegier said. “You get to come play, eat lunch, there are games and prizes as well, but it is really fundraising for researchers to pursue their research in cancer.”According to Jegier, check-in for the preliminary matches will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Stepan fields. After each team plays two rounds on the fields the event will move to Bond Quad, where the semifinals and finals will be held.“We’ll have the stage set up, we’ll have speakers, we’re hoping to get … Fr. Monk Malloy, somebody from St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and Mary Kate Healey, Kevin’s sister, … to say a few words,” Jegier said.“We’re hoping to raise $10,000, which is a couple thousand more than we raised last year, so we’re always trying to grow and grow. I think we’re well on our way to that.”Jegier noted that Kick-It for Kevin’s recent Chipotle night raised just short of $1,500.“That was huge, a lot more than we expected,” Jegier said. “Now, this week leading up to the event, we’re pushing for people to ask parents, alumni, clubs to help support and donate.”Tags: Kevin Healey, Kick-It for Kevin, Sorin Collegelast_img read more

Notre Dame expands presence in Ireland with Galway program

first_imgNotre Dame International is giving students a chance to be their own “Galway Girl,” or “Galway Guy” if you prefer, with a new study abroad program in Galway City, Ireland. The first cohort of Fighting Irish, nine students in total, will be on the west coast of the Emerald Isle this coming fall.“You’re blazing this comet,” Lisa Caulfield, the director of the Notre Dame Global Center at Kylemore Abbey, said to the inaugural group of students. “You guys are on this first comet into Galway.”The Galway program immerses students directly into Irish society and culture. As in Dublin, students will take classes in the heart of a scenic Irish city and live on-campus at an Irish institution, in this case the National University of Ireland — Galway (NUIG).“The college itself is in the city of Galway and you’re basically on the Atlantic,” Caulfield said. “When we go up to Kylemore [Abbey], if you climb the mountain behind us, you’ll be looking over the Atlantic.”NUIG also offers classes for students in the College of Science, who have historically had fewer options for study abroad due to the limited programs that offer science courses. Students are taking advantage, with members of this group majoring in neuroscience, biology and pre-health, among other things. But besides classes, Caulfield says Ireland itself will teach the students a lot.“You’ll learn through the soles of your feet,” Caulfield said. “You’ll be immersed with the Irish culture and the landscape, and the two are really intertwined.”Studying in Galway will present a unique opportunity to explore the vibrant green landscape and culture of western Ireland. Cultural excursions include a “famine walk” that follows the paths of those devastated by the Great Famine, visiting a sheep farm, hiking the Aran islands and “pony trekking” on the famous Connemara ponies.“It’s these beautiful white ponies that dot the countryside,” Caulfield said. “They’re a social and economic contribution to that area that have been there for millennia. That’s true immersion, because you’ll be riding a pony that’s been reared in Connemara.”While the Galway study abroad program is new, the picturesque Kylemore Abbey Global Center, about 77 km outside of Galway City, has been a part of Notre Dame students‘ experiences in Ireland for the past few years. However, this will be the first time the castle will be close to a semester-long program.“The University of Notre Dame decided to partner with these amazing women of the Benedictine order that run the beautiful Kylemore Abbey, and we have renovated 10,000 square feet of this castle space,” Caulfield said. “The University is a part of this beautiful castle, and we’re really lucky that we have this anchor out west now.”NDI’s Dublin Global Gateway — the famous blue-doored O’Connell House — already attracts around 50 students a semester to Ireland, but Galway has its own charm, and a castle, Caulfield said.“It’s such a dramatic landscape. It’s very different from Dublin.” Caulfield says. “I feel like Galway is actually very different from any other city, and it’s been named the European Capital of Culture for 2020, so the whole of Europe has recognized Galway for being this very cultural city.”After doing the Ireland Inside Track, where she got to see a little bit of western Ireland and Kylemore Abbey, sophomore Jenna Koenig decided to go back for a whole semester via the new Galway program.“In Galway, it’s really easy to feel comfortable there. It feels more intimate.” Koenig said. “I wanted to study abroad somewhere I could get to know and somewhere I could be comfortable.”Koenig and others will be initiating the new program next fall, leading the way for other Fighting Irish to enjoy and engage in the distinct western Irish culture.“You’re actually making history for Notre Dame,” Caulfield said to the group. “In 20 years of offering a study abroad program in Dublin, you will be the first group out west.”Tags: Galway, Ireland, Kylemore Abbey, NDI, study abroadlast_img read more

Senate meeting will elect sophomore class council after failed runoff

first_imgA special senate meeting will be held Monday to finalize the sophomore class council election after no tickets received a majority vote in Thursday’s runoff election.According to section 17.5. (a.3) of the Student Union Constitution, “In the event that neither ticket receives a majority of the valid votes in the runoff election, the ticket/candidate which wins the most amount of senate constituencies shall win the election. … The student senate shall convene a special meeting for the purpose of observing the judicial council president announce the runoff election results from the individual senate constituencies.”The constitution defines senate constituencies as “each undergraduate residence hall, who shall be represented by their respective undergraduate residence hall senators, and the off-campus residents, who shall be represented by the off-campus senator.”The King-Tighe-Hogan-Case ticket was required to forfeit 33 votes in Tuesday’s initial elections after the ticket was found to have violated regulations outlined in Section 17.1(f) of the student body constitution, which restricts the use of listservs and Google Groups for campaigning. After Tuesday’s elections did not result in a winner, a runoff was held Thursday.The senate meeting will take place in Duncan Student Center Room W246 on Monday at 6 p.m. If no ticket receives a leading number of constituencies, the senate chairperson will vote.Further information about the election results will not be disclosed before the vote.Editor’s note: A previous version of this report incorrectly detailed the electoral procedures to be used in Monday’s senate meeting and incorrectly identified when sanctions were applied to the King-Tighe-Hogan-Case ticket. The Observer regrets this error.Tags: class council elections, sophomore class council, Student government, student senatelast_img read more

College Alumnae Association awards 2020 Outstanding Senior Award

first_imgAlthough Saint Mary’s was not able to have a traditional convocation ceremony due to the coronavirus, senior Katie Glenn was recognized as the recipient of the Alumnae Association’s Outstanding Senior Award winner on the convocation honors website.The award is given annually to a senior who “exemplifies the spirit and values of Saint Mary’s College and displays outstanding dedication to Saint Mary’s through curricular and extracurricular activities,” according to the website.During her time at Saint Mary’s, Glenn was a four-year member of the cross country team, where she served as a team captain her junior and senior years. In addition, Glenn held the role of vice president of Belles for Life, participated in the sustainability committee, compost crew and the peer mentorship program and worked as an athletic training assistant.Glenn was also a co-recipient of the Juliette Noone Lester Award in political science and a co-recipient of the Mary Ellen Smith Academic and Athletic Achievement Award.Glenn said she was surprised when she found out she had won the award.“We had to submit statements when we received the nomination, and when I dropped mine off at the Alumnae Office, I remember seeing the names of some of the Belles who were also nominated and figured there was no way I would get it,” she said. “There were so many wonderful names in there. It means so much to be recognized in this way because there are so many amazing Belles who are equally deserving.”Reflecting on her time at the College, Glenn remembers all the people who supported her pursuits.“My participation in these activities and groups, particularly cross country and Belles for Life, has absolutely defined my four years at Saint Mary’s,” she said. “It’s easy to rattle off clubs or leadership roles and have it sound like the making of a nice resume, but it’s really a story about all the amazing, supporting, inspiring people who I’ve walked with these past few years and who have become like a family to me.”Glenn will not be able to give an acceptance speech at the traditional champagne brunch, given the cancellation of senior week programming.“As far as I’m aware, I will not be able to give an acceptance speech since the champagne brunch has been canceled. I’m sure I wouldn’t have mustered up anything too inspiring or life-changing, so I’m OK with it,” she said. “Missing all the normal senior week activities has of course been really difficult, but thankfully we’re Belles and prepared for difficult times like this.”Glenn said she is thankful for all the opportunities the College has given her.“Saint Mary’s has provided me so much opportunity, as well as the courage and confidence to dive headfirst and take advantage of those opportunities,” she said.After graduation, Glenn will work as a caseworker with the Jesuit Volunteer Core for a year in Austin, Texas.Tags: commencement 2020, Saint Mary’s Outstanding Senior Award, Saint Mary’s Alumnae Associationlast_img read more

Jenkins calls for change to fight racial inequalities

first_imgUniversity President Fr. John Jenkins committed to “combat the blight of racism” following the murder of George Floyd, in an email sent to the Notre Dame community Monday.While Floyd’s killing has led to widespread protests across the nation and the world, Jenkins said he, along with University vice presidents and deans, will work together to establish changes on campus in order “to live up more fully to the ideals of Notre Dame.”Jenkins extended his apologies to the racial hardships Black members of the Notre Dame community face.“Each of us must be aware of that pain among members of our community and be ready to offer support and listen as appropriate,” he said.Jenkins cited the University’s principles on diversity and inclusion, reinforcing Notre Dame’s commitment “to the dignity of every person, to building a community in which all can flourish and to solidarity with all, particularly with the most vulnerable.”As such, Jenkins said these principles drive the University to take an active role in fighting against racism and exclusion.“If we are committed only to certain life issues, that commitment is at best shallow and at worst hypocritical,” Jenkins said.Acknowledging the University’s shortcomings in the struggle for racial equality, Jenkins urged the community to be honest about the realities of being a Black student, faculty or staff member and attempt to improve.“Our black students and colleagues often feel less included in the Notre Dame community many of us cherish, and sometimes feel the sting of remarks and actions that make them feel demeaned or excluded,” Jenkins said. “We must be honest about our failings, and commit to do better.”Jenkins said he will be discussing with upper-level University administration steps to in response to “this moment that is both tragic and a call for conversion and recommitment.”“As we all return to campus, we must continue this conversation, as together we seek ways to live up more fully to the ideals of Notre Dame and to combat the evil of racism in our society,” he said.Tags: george floyd, John Jenkins, racial inequality, Racismlast_img read more