Palestinian author promotes nonviolence

first_imgEven in countries torn by longterm conflicts and stifled by oppression, Palestinian author and peace activist Jean Zaru said nonviolence is the only acceptable counter to oppression. Zaru delivered a lecture titled “A Journey of Transformation: Nonviolent Resistance to Structures of Domination” at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies on Thursday morning. “Non-violence is a way of opposing evil without becoming evil in the process,” Zaru said. Zaru addressed the need for non-violent resisitance to oppression, especially in her native Palestine. In Gaza and the West Bank, Zaru said the current situation is one of suppression by the government, military and media. “Normal life for Palestinians living in occupied territories has ended,” Zaru said. She added that withdrawal from the problem will never solve the crisis of oppression. Palestinians who withdraw from public life or move overseas are too distant from the problem to bring about change. “Withdrawal cushions us from the full impact of our situation,” Zaru said. “Our perceptions are lost.” He added that non-violent resistance, however, achieves the kind of change that will eventually bring piece to the region, and to resist is to be human. “We continue to resist because something is more sacred to us than comfort and convenience,” Zaru said. “That something can be anything. It could be God, love, respect for human life, a sense of justice or many other things.” Zaru defined resistance as the refusal to obey structures of control. “We need to mobilize people not with fear, anger or blame and not through a sense of shame,” Zaru said. “We need to move them to act from a feeling of hope in service of things that they love.” She said people must avoid feeling morally superior and must recognize that oppressors are often driven by fear. “Oppressor and oppressed both live in fear and do not have peace,” Zaru said. She said she believes that to solve the problems of the outside world, one must look inward and act justly toward others. “Let us look into ourselves,” Zaru said. “The outward experience is a reflection of inward state … God’s reign cannot just be inner or outer. It must be both or neither. Where I am in my inner struggle, I am in my outward actions.” Zaru said she has faced structures of domination and injustice throughout her life, but her religious beliefs have sustained her. “My experience was rooted in and filtered through my identity as a Palestinian Christian Quaker woman,” she said. Recognizing God’s presence in the enemy is an everyday challenge, Zaru said, but God’s will makes loving her neighbor necessary. “I recognize the divine in everyone, all without exception” Zaru said. Upon reflection, Zaru believers her travels have showed her that the modern world is all intertwined. “Common needs, desires, fears and hopes bind us together,” Zaru said. In a similar vein, he added that all people should recognize the universal values of mutual trust, compassion, ethical priorities and justice. “We cannot live a single day without deciding between yes and no, life and death, war and peace,” Zaru said. “There is no escaping the question, and answering it is our challenge.”last_img read more

Rapper to perform at St.Mary’s

first_imgMembers of the Saint Mary’s community will raise the roof Thursday evening when rapper Sammy Adams makes his much-awaited debut at SMC Tostal in the O’Laughlin Auditorium.  Coming off a March 16 performance at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City, Adams will perform some of his favorite songs from his EP “Boston’s Boy” and his mixtapes “Party Records” and “Into the Wild.”  “It is sort of like there’s a song for everyone,” Adams said. “Our concerts are all about you guys. It’s my workspace. It’s my job to put on a good show. We’ve been working so hard on this next album and we’re all dying to get back on tour, so it’s going to be really fun.” Since garnering national attention with his song “I Hate College,” Adams has graduated from Trinity College in Connecticut, released three mixtapes, collaborated with several artists and performed on “Conan” with Conan O’Brien. “I wrote the second verse of ‘I Hate College’ in class, the first one I wrote on a piece of scrap paper,” Adams said. “My best friend stole [the rough draft] off my computer and went and played it at a frat and it wasn’t even mixed or done yet, but everyone loved it.”  A mostly self-produced artist, Adams landed at the top of iTunes’ hip-hop digital albums chart in 2010, outselling Lil’ Wayne and DJ Khaled with “Boston’s Boy.” Adams said his music is relatable and edgy because it is inspired by personal experiences. “It is my life. The journey, what we’ve been through, the places we’ve been, the people we’ve met, the stuff we’ve done,” he said. “It all sort of goes hand in hand. My writing is one hundred percent influenced by everything that happens on a daily basis.” Although music has been important to Adams since he was a child, he said he did not start producing his own songs until college.  “It’s pretty terrifying,” Adams said. “I was an independent kid trying to make a wave in such a big industry.” Adams said he loves electronic music and the idea of the DJ as “the new rock star.” “Being in college and loving that type of music and going to shows, there is a live aspect to the show,” he said. “It’s a big experiment to find all the ingredients that wouldn’t normally make up their own genre of music. “There’s really no feeling in the world like seeing kids lined up five hours early for your show or just seeing the excitement on people’s faces when you come out on stage. It’s really an amazing feeling that makes you want to make better music and makes you want to satisfy your fans.” Junior Student Activities Board secretary Elizabeth Kraig said she hopes Adams’ concert will bring a good vibe to campus. “It is a great way to get everyone excited for spring,” she said. “Plus, it’s an inexpensive event with a great performer.” Doors open at 7:30 p.m. The opener will perform at 8 p.m. and Adams will go on stage at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7 for students and can be purchased at the O’Laughlin Auditorium or by calling (574) 284-4626. Limit is one ticket per student ID and students may call or visit the box office with up to five student IDs.,Members of the Saint Mary’s community will raise the roof Thursday evening when rapper Sammy Adams makes his much-awaited debut at SMC Tostal in the O’Laughlin Auditorium.  Coming off a March 16 performance at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City, Adams will perform some of his favorite songs from his EP “Boston’s Boy” and his mixtapes “Party Records” and “Into the Wild.”  “It is sort of like there’s a song for everyone,” Adams said. “Our concerts are all about you guys. It’s my workspace. It’s my job to put on a good show. We’ve been working so hard on this next album and we’re all dying to get back on tour, so it’s going to be really fun.” Since garnering national attention with his song “I Hate College,” Adams has graduated from Trinity College in Connecticut, released three mixtapes, collaborated with several artists and performed on “Conan” with Conan O’Brien. “I wrote the second verse of ‘I Hate College’ in class, the first one I wrote on a piece of scrap paper,” Adams said. “My best friend stole [the rough draft] off my computer and went and played it at a frat and it wasn’t even mixed or done yet, but everyone loved it.”  A mostly self-produced artist, Adams landed at the top of iTunes’ hip-hop digital albums chart in 2010, outselling Lil’ Wayne and DJ Khaled with “Boston’s Boy.” Adams said his music is relatable and edgy because it is inspired by personal experiences. “It is my life. The journey, what we’ve been through, the places we’ve been, the people we’ve met, the stuff we’ve done,” he said. “It all sort of goes hand in hand. My writing is one hundred percent influenced by everything that happens on a daily basis.” Although music has been important to Adams since he was a child, he said he did not start producing his own songs until college.  “It’s pretty terrifying,” Adams said. “I was an independent kid trying to make a wave in such a big industry.” Adams said he loves electronic music and the idea of the DJ as “the new rock star.” “Being in college and loving that type of music and going to shows, there is a live aspect to the show,” he said. “It’s a big experiment to find all the ingredients that wouldn’t normally make up their own genre of music. “There’s really no feeling in the world like seeing kids lined up five hours early for your show or just seeing the excitement on people’s faces when you come out on stage. It’s really an amazing feeling that makes you want to make better music and makes you want to satisfy your fans.” Junior Student Activities Board secretary Elizabeth Kraig said she hopes Adams’ concert will bring a good vibe to campus. “It is a great way to get everyone excited for spring,” she said. “Plus, it’s an inexpensive event with a great performer.” Doors open at 7:30 p.m. The opener will perform at 8 p.m. and Adams will go on stage at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7 for students and can be purchased at the O’Laughlin Auditorium or by calling (574) 284-4626. Limit is one ticket per student ID and students may call or visit the box office with up to five student IDs.last_img read more

Ex-worker sentenced to probation

first_imgA former University employee in Notre Dame’s Office of the Registrar who pled guilty to four counts of voyeurism will serve no time in prison, a judge ordered last week. Don G. Steinke, 59, appeared in St. Joseph County Superior Court with his attorney, Mike Tuszynski, on April 26. Judge Jerome Frese sentenced Steinke to four years on probation and ordered him to complete 20 hours of volunteer work until he finds employment, according to court documents. Steinke was arrested March 7, 2011 after a woman found a pen camera aimed at the toilet on the floor of a women’s bathroom in Grace Hall. The pen camera was turned over to Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP), according to court documents. Steinke allegedly admitted to placing the camera in the women’s restroom with the intent to retrieve the camera and download the recorded video content. Frese also reduced Steinke’s charges of four Class D felony counts of voyeurism to Class A misdemeanors. He sentenced Steinke to one year in prison for each voyeurism count, but he suspended the sentences, meaning Steinke does not have to go to prison. As a condition of his probation, Steinke was also ordered to arrange for mental health evaluation and counseling, if deemed appropriate by a mental health agency, according to court documents.last_img read more

Panel discusses film on migration

first_imgPanelists drew from fiction to tackle the real-world challenges faced by migrants yesterday when the Center for Social Concerns and Department of Romance Languages and Literatures co-hosted a viewing and discussion of the film “Al Otro Lado.” “Al Otro Lado,” Spanish for “To the Other Side,” relates the fictional migration experiences of three men from the perspective of each man’s wife and children. While the stories each take place in different parts of the world – Morocco, Spain and Cuba – the film focuses on the commonalities of the families’ experiences. Prior to the viewing, Spanish professor Ben Heller gave a brief history of migration patterns from Cuba and Mexico to the United States and discussed the significance of geographical borders and distances. “Geographical factors are not just things on maps, but are symbolic spaces of trial, transition and growth for migrants,” he said. French professor Catherine Perry’s commentary focused on the recent immigration patterns within Europe, as one of the film’s narratives featured migration to Spain. The feature-length film touched on some of the other challenges immigrants face, such as poverty and prejudice. Panelist and theology professor Fr. Dan Groody – who has personally worked with migrants in Mexico, Syria and Morocco – discussed the theological framework of migration following the film. “Immigration is a social, political and economic reality, but it is also a spiritual and theological journey as well,” Groody said. Groody compared migrants’ journeys from their homeland to humanity’s ultimate journey away from and eventual return to God, applying a theological symbolism on a political issue. “The theology of migration allows us to gain a new imagination of who we are before God,” he said. Sean O’Brien, assistant director at the Center for Civil and Human Rights, provided a legal perspective on migration in his remarks following the film’s conclusion. He attributed much of today’s migration to violations of human rights. “We recognize human rights as inalienable and universal regardless of legal status,” O’Brien said, citing the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. O’Brien said the awareness of these rights allow migrants to take advantage of them and improve their situation. “These rights are a tool for empowerment for immigrants as well as a set of remedies,” O’Brien said.last_img read more

College recognizes exceptional students

first_imgA number of Saint Mary’s finest students were honored at last night’s Belles Honoring Belles reception, an event recognizing students dedicated to pursuing a life of intellectual vigor, aesthetic appreciation, religious sensibility and social responsibility. Student body vice president Meghan Casey coordinated the reception for students nominated for the Belle of the Year as well as their peer nominators. “The Belles Honoring Belles Award strives to honor students at Saint Mary’s who are passionate about their education and who strive to make a difference,” Casey said. “Each of the women nominated tonight are examples of just this.” For senior Silvia Cuevas, nominating senior social work major Adrienna Perales for the award was not a hard decision. She attributed the nomination to Perales’s dedication to social concerns and involvement on campus as president of the Social Work Club and a member of the Class Board. Cuevas, who has known Perales since coming to Saint Mary’s, said recognizing her friend’s achievement was important to her. “I just feel like this says a lot about who we are as Saint Mary’s women and what we are here for, to just be with each other and to do things on campus and off,” Cuevas said. “I feel that Adrienna is a prime example of these things as well as all the other nominees in this room. I have no doubt in my mind that Adrienna will show the world what Saint Mary’s women are all about.” Perales said she was surprised to be recognized for her campus engagement by a peer so involved herself. “I was genuinely surprised when Silvia nominated me for this, I did not expect it,” Perales said. “I feel really blessed, especially having a nomination coming from Silvia, who is the Class Board president. I am really appreciative that she sees me in this way and I am honored to be nominated.” Nominating fellow junior Alexandra del Pilar was also an easy choice to make for junior Christina Boesler. “I feel that Alex is the perfect example of a Belle who has embraced the community of Saint Mary’s and has challenged herself and her fears to make a difference in the world,” Boesler said. Someone who is always smiling, del Pilar looks for the good in everything and everyone, Boesler said. “Alex is one of my close friends who has been there for everything that has happened at school and has helped me overcome it,” Boesler said. Del Pilar said she did not expect the nomination. “I was extremely flattered when I heard I was nominated,” del Pilar said. “It just makes me happy that someone thinks this highly of me and is willing to honor my work in this way.” Senior Maggie Galvin did not have to look far for the person she believed should be nominated. “I nominated Amy Tiberi for this award. She is a recent friend to me this year, but I always knew who she was since freshman year at Saint Mary’s. She has been one of the most impactful friends I have had in my life,” Galvin said. “Amy can always put a smile on my face. She is so hardworking. “ Tiberi, who is an elementary education major as well as the president of Dance Marathon, is currently student teaching. Galvin noted how Tiberi is always caring for others and putting other people first. Senior Liz Kraig, who works with Tiberi on the Dance Marathon committee, also nominated her co-worker and friend for the award. “I think Amy really embodies what it means to be a Saint Mary’s Belle. She is always willing to help someone out and I really admire that about her,” Kraig said. “She is always planning ahead and is very organized which allows her to conquer everything she wants to do on campus and in her life.” Other students nominated include senior Ciara Ward, senior Heidi Etzel, sophomore Megan Steron, first-year Carrie Dubeau, senior Liz Kraig, senior Monica Murphy and junior Allison Gerths. Prior to presenting the Belle of the Year Award, Casey praised all the nominees gathered. “You all serve as a testament to the dedication and commitment that Saint Mary’s women have. The Belle of the Year always goes above and beyond the call of duty, lending a hand wherever she can,” Casey said. Tiberi was named the 2012-2013 Belle of the Year. “I was honored to be nominated by two of my good friends, it means a lot,” Tiberi said. “I think you spend so much time with people that you don’t realize your actions are affecting people in that way. It means a lot for them to reach out and speak about me in such kind words.” As for receiving the Belle of the Year Award, Tiberi said she felt flattered to be recognized for all she has done at Saint Mary’s and outside of the College. “It’s exciting. I mean people shared so many great stories of amazing women and it is a little surreal to me that I was chosen,” Tiberi said. “There are so many other people standing in such great company with me. I am happy to be the inaugural Belle of the Year.”last_img read more

Pope honors Notre Dame priest

first_imgAt an Ash Wednesday Mass in Vatican City, Pope Francis commissioned more than 700 priests — including Notre Dame’s Fr. Joseph Corpora — as Missionaries of Mercy.Corpora, who serves as director of University-school partnerships for the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), said the Missionaries of Mercy are granted the authority to forgive sins usually reserved to the pope.“There are certain sins that if a priest does, he’s automatically excommunicated from the Church,” he said. “There are other sins that lay people commit that are reserved to the Holy See. We have the faculty to forgive those sins for the year’s length.“The real work is trying to help in one’s own way to help people more fully accept and believe in God’s mercy.”Corpora, a 1976 Notre Dame graduate, was ordained a Holy Cross priest in 1984, according to the ACE website. He served as the pastor of two churches over the course of two decades — a primarily Latino parish in Arizona and a parish in Oregon. He founded the first Catholic school to be opened in the Diocese of Phoenix in 30 years.According to the ACE website, Corpora returned to Notre Dame in 2009. He currently serves as associate director of Latino student ministry within the office of Campus Ministry. He also directs the Catholic School Advantage Campaign, an ACE initiative seeking to double to percentage of Latino families who enroll their children in Catholic schools.Corpora traveled to Rome on Feb. 7 at the invitation of Pope Francis, who designated this liturgical year as a Jubilee Year of Mercy last April.“I think that when the Holy Father came up with this idea, part of what he was thinking was a way of getting a whole world to think about mercy,” he said. “He seems to have an extraordinary grace of knowing what the world needs.”Corpora said he had the chance to meet Pope Francis for a brief second, as he was greeting members of the crowd. He kissed the pope’s hand, although he did not get to speak with him.“Sometimes you meet famous people, and they’re not who they seem like,” he said. “But that’s not at all with him. He is who you see on TV.”The hundreds of missionaries hailed from countries around the world, Corpora said.“After the Father spoke to us, we all sang the ‘Hail Holy Queen’ in Latin,” he said. “It was interesting to hear 700 people singing that song, from all over the world, in the same language. … There was a sense of commonality amongst us. It struck me.”The commission of the missionaries was scheduled for Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent. Corpora said seeing a cardinal put ashes, a symbol of penitence, on the pope’s forehead was particularly impactful.“He always says he’s a sinner, so I shouldn’t have been surprised,” he said. “But he got ashes like everyone else.”Corpora said he does not know how he was selected to be a Missionary of Mercy. He received an email from the Vatican on Dec. 22, saying his name had been submitted and the pope had accepted it.“As far as I am aware, this has never happened for a Jubilee Year before,” he said. “That the pope would select certain people to be part of this whole endeavor — it fits him perfectly. He hasn’t involved ‘on the ground’ priests before.”Corpora’s new role requires him to suspend his regular pastoral duties for a year. He has plans to travel to Catholic dioceses across the country to offer penance services and speak with priests and bishops.“I’m supposed to just make myself available, and what that’s going to mean is hearing confessions and talking about this whole idea of what God’s mercy is,” he said.Corpora said he was grateful, surprised and humbled to be a Missionary of Mercy.“All you need to be a Missionary of Mercy is to be a big sinner and know a lot about forgiveness,” he said. “I’m a big sinner and know a lot about forgiveness. It’s not like it’s something to be proud of. I do think that I have received a lifetime of mercy and forgiveness, and I want to be able to pass that on in any way that I can.”Tags: ACE, Fr. Copora, Jubilee Year, Jubilee Year of Mercy, Missionary of Mercy, Pope Francislast_img read more

Student senate selects chairpersons, votes on new amendment

first_imgNotre Dame’s student senate convened for their weekly meeting Monday evening in Duncan Student Center, a change from last week’s meeting location in the Lafortune Student Center Ballroom. The meeting began with a presentation on parliamentary procedure from sophomore Halena Hadi, a Student Union parliamentarian.Hadi said parliamentary procedure was important for the senate to function properly.“We use this to preserve your [senate participants] rights as members so that you can represent your constituents effectively, and so that you have the majority rule but to also protect the minority and their ability to be heard,” Hadi said. In her presentation, Hadi addressed the different aspects and parts of the parliamentary process and how they relate to senate proceedings specifically. Some of the items reviewed were the meeting agenda and process, types of motions, importance of attendance and the right of senators and senate members to add items to the meeting agenda. Hadi also said voting was key in the senate.“Voting is very important and we ask that you all do it, because that’s why you’re here is to vote, to represent your dorms and the other organizations you belong to,” Hadi said. “Always remember to second, always remember to communicate with your constituency, let them know what’s happening and get their feedback and bring that forth when you’re voting.”The senate also elected committee chairpersons during Monday’s meeting. After the committees conferred amongst themselves, the nominations were brought to the senate floor. Senator Zachary Spitzer, a junior representing Dunne Hall, was elected the chair of the Residence Life committee; senator Daniel Rottenborn, a sophomore representing Alumni Hall, was elected as the chair of the Sustainability committee; senator Andrew Seketa, a sophomore representing Zahm House was elected the chair of the Student Finances committee; and senator Bailey Baumbick, a sophomore representing Cavanaugh Hall, was elected the chair of the Student Wellness and Safety Committee. All of the nominations were unanimous. In addition to these elections, the senate also elected senators Mark Spretnjak, a junior from Sorin College; Erin Hiestand, a sophomore from Ryan Hall; and Lindsay McCray a junior from Welsh Family Hall, to be the senate representatives at Campus Life Council, an assembly of faculty and staff that discusses important issues such as student and residence life, for the following school year. The senate also voted on a constitutional amendment regarding the ability to have a permanent proxy for senior Samantha Scaglione, the president of Club Coordination Council (CCC). Student body vice president Corey Gayheart said the CCC had to hold their meetings at the same time as senate meetings because of CCC members’ academic commitments. Therefore, the conflict will prevent Scaglione from attending senate meetings. Therefore, Gayheart and Scaglione proposed the solution of a permanent proxy for the CCC president, which was brought to the senate floor in the form of an amendment. This amendment will apply only to the CCC and most likely be removed from the constitution once a more permanent solution is reached. The proxy for the CCC president, senior Margaret Meserve, was appointed by Scaglione and will vote using a form that Scaglione will fill out instructing her how to vote prior to each senate meeting. Though some senate members had clarifying questions during the debate, most were in favor of the change. “If CCC is okay with it and they have thought about it and they have talked about it, then I don’t see a problem with it,” McCray said. The senate approved the proposed amendment. The amendment will change the text of the constitution to read, “The CCC president or a designated representative,” so that Meserve can attend the meetings without penalty of absence for president Scaglione. With the amendment, Meserve will be a proxy voting member of the senate each week. Tags: ND student senate, Senate, Student governmentlast_img read more

NDVotes promotes voter registration, education in midterms season

first_imgEditor‘s note: Throughout the 2018 midterm election season, The Observer will sit down with various student organizations and professors to discuss political engagement and issues particularly pertinent to students. In this first installment, News Editor Natalie Weber speaks with NDVotes about their plans for the semester.When organizers revived NDVotes in anticipation of the 2016 presidential election, they envisioned it as a three semester endeavor ending in the fall of 2016.Now, almost three years since its inauguration, the non-partisan organization continues to promote political engagement in the Notre Dame community and beyond, Rosie McDowell, who advises the group through the Center for Social Concerns, said.“There was so much energy after [the election] that all the students involved at that time were like ‘No way, we can’t let this go,’” McDowell said. “So I think as … a lot of political scientists have reported, this midterms season seems especially important … maybe not unique to our campus or students in general, but I think there’s a lot of energy and engagement in the political process right now [and] in the voting process right now.”With the approach of midterm elections, the group plans to focus on voter registration and education both at the University and in South Bend, NDVotes co-chair and senior Kylie Ruscheinski said. Alongside the Center for Social Concerns, NDVotes is sponsored by the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy and the constitutional studies minor.“A big part of the NDVotes mission is it’s not just registration — it’s being active throughout,” Ruscheinski said. “So that’s why the midterms season is also good to push this. It’s not just a big election every four years. It’s constant engagement.”The organization will continue its Pizza, Pop and Politics series throughout the semester, in addition to engagement events such as a midterm results watch party. It also plans to facilitate voter registration in both South Bend and at Notre Dame through tabling at local events.“We’re really trying to get every dorm represented so there’s a point of contact in every dorm that is well-versed in how to register, how to get your absentee ballot and I think that’s a big push this year,” sophomore Rachel Sabnani, chair for dorm liaisons, said.The organization also includes representatives from several student organizations, including student government, the Notre Dame Right to Life Club and GreeND, amongst others.“I would say a powerful thing about the task force and a lot of student organizations on campus is that no matter what beliefs have been brought to the table by that wide spectrum of beliefs, we’re all sitting at the table because we believe Notre Dame students can and should make an impact on politics through their vote and in being informed,” Ruscheinski said. “So yes, the views might be different, but they’re all in the room together and we’re all working on getting certain topics out to the entire student body.”By representing and bringing together various political organizations, members of NDVotes share a common goal of promoting political engagement amongst younger generations, sophomore and co-chair Michael Marotta said.“We feel that the work we’re doing is really important because as of right now, our generation and the generation before us are the ones who are going to be the most impacted by decisions that politicians are making today,” he said. “And as we’re growing in number, our generation is becoming the driving force in the electorate — in the present and in the future.”Disenchanted by the current political climate, many young people disengage from the political process, junior Sheila Gregory, chair for community outreach, said.“A lot of young people feel like voting isn’t a way to have their voice heard, so they’ve just kind of sworn off the political process altogether because they’re like ‘These people don’t represent me,’” she said. “And then I think what you saw in 2016 with several close races, all over the country, within the presidential itself and several states was within a percent, people can really see how voting impacts elections.”As a senior and task force member, Prathm Juneja shares Gregory’s concerns. A member since his freshman year, Juneja said he sees a connection between the work of NDVotes and the University’s mission.“I think it’s fair to say that people in our generation seem to be growing more distant from political issues, and that really concerns me,” he said. “And I think that’s a real concern on an elite college campus like Notre Dame, where our mission as a university is to raise students who will do good for the world.“If you’re not thinking about politics, if you’re not thinking about world issues, or American issues or the issues of people who weren’t nearly as lucky as us to get here then all that work is for nothing.”Tags: 2018 midterms, Election Observer, NDVoteslast_img read more

Jenkins discusses misconduct, cost of education, leadership changes in faculty address

first_imgUniversity President Fr. John Jenkins discussed clergy and institutional misconduct, the cost of a Notre Dame education, new facilities on campus and changes in the University’s staff and leadership in his annual faculty address Tuesday evening in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.Jenkins dedicated part of his address to the importance of reporting wrongdoings, mentioning the Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse and “the finding regarding Cardinal Theodore McCarrick” as examples. Kelli Smith | The Observer University President Fr. John Jenkins speaks to staff and leadership at annual faculty address Tuesday evening in the Debartolo Performing Arts Center.“Our gaze, however, must not simply be on the evil acts but on the work of attending to victims, protecting the vulnerable and healing the Church,” Jenkins said. “These will be tasks of coming months and years, and the University will look for ways to assist in these tasks.”It is not only the Catholic Church that has had to deal with problematic behavior extending over long periods of time, Jenkins said. He cited the University of Southern California, Michigan State, Ohio State and the University of Maryland as examples of institutional misconduct.“You only need to look at the tragic aftermath for individuals and institutions mentioned above to see why this is important at Notre Dame to report and address misconduct,” Jenkins said. “Yet the most important reason you should report is because it is the right thing to do, and that is what we do at Notre Dame. That is what we at Notre Dame should always aspire to.”Jenkins also discussed the country’s “negative public perceptions” on higher education, criticizing Congress for taxing the endowments of certain private universities like Notre Dame. “I agree with those who suggest the tax was politically motivated, as the Republican majority targeted a relatively small group of private institutions, mainly in Democratic states,” he said. “These institutions were viewed by some as liberal strongholds routinely critical of Republican administrations, and left-leaning on social values.”The endowment excise tax is estimated to cost Notre Dame $8 million to $10 million annually, Jenkins said, an enactment made possible by a negative public perception of universities.“[Higher education’s] reputation — deserved or not — for elitism, political bias, expense and even irrelevance did real damage to Notre Dame and a select group of other universities last year as the tax reform legislation unfolded,” Jenkins said. “ … [The excise tax] succeeded only in diverting to the federal government money that would have otherwise been available for financial aid.”To counter such perceptions, Jenkins said, a broad range of views must be expressed on campus and the case must be made for the value of a Notre Dame education.“I am proud of the fact that while Notre Dame has hosted controversial speakers, left and right, I know of no case where someone has been prevented from speaking at the University, nor of any invitation to speak that has been withdrawn,” Jenkins said. “I hear regularly from some that Notre Dame is too liberal, and from others that it is too conservative. These are indications, I believe, that we maintain a healthy openness in the marketplace of ideas.”Jenkins argued the current financial investment in Notre Dame “makes sense” because of the returns of such an investment, pointing to the University’s graduation rate as an example. Even so, he said the University must do all it can to keep costs down while remaining committed to excellence.“We must make it a priority to make attendance affordable for qualified students and relieve the burdens on students and families who are making such great sacrifices to receive a Notre Dame education,” he said.An area of concern in remaining financially sound and affordable for students is the “steady growth” of Notre Dame employees, Jenkins asserted, as their salary and benefits make up the greatest percentage of University costs at 60 percent.Jenkins said Notre Dame’s staff is growing 16 percent faster than faculty, which can be attributed to a number of “good reasons,” such as the University’s expansions and research expenditures. Even so, he said the rate of growth must be controlled to make education accessible for students and families.“While we understand the pressure to grow staff in various areas, the rate of growth is unsustainable and we must find ways to control it,” he said. “ … We do not foresee layoffs. Our focus will be on restraining growth and, when possible, reallocating to the highest and best use of resources.”Jenkins pointed out the University’s new facilities and improvements in physical space on campus, including the formation of an arts corridor at the south end of campus with the construction of the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art. “Central to the Catholic tradition is the encounter with spiritual realities through the sensible media of color, form, sound and movement. Through the literary arts and dramatic performance; and through the built environment,” he said. “Such facilities would be welcome on any campus, but they have for us a deep and close connection with our distinctive Catholic mission.”Along with a number of other faculty members whose positions have been filled as either a temporary or permanent fixture, University Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves will be stepping down June 2019. His position will be appointed by the University’s Board of Trustees, Jenkins said, after hearing recommendations by a search committee of trustees chosen by Jack Brennan, Chairman of the Board.“His are big shoes to fill, but we begin a search to do so,” Jenkins said of Affleck-Graves. “ … Our goal will be to conduct the search in coming months and bring to the full Board of Trustees a recommendation early in the new year.”In closing, Jenkins thanked faculty members for their “hard work and dedication” in building the University.“While remaining faithful to its mission, Notre Dame has evolved dramatically over the course of its history,” he said. “That evolution continues today in many new facilities, a new school and many new programs, and in the many initiatives to which you, Notre Dame’s faculty, have contributed to making the University better and stronger.”Tags: faculty address, Fr. John Jenkins, University Presidentlast_img read more

Notre Dame philosophy professor woos Europe with intellectual prowess

first_imgVittorio Hösle, critically acclaimed for his work in philosophy and an intellectual celebrity in Europe, has worked at Notre Dame for 20 years. Hösle was the founding director of the University’s Institute for Advanced Study from 2008 to 2013, which holds a residential fellowship program wherein individuals from different disciplines can work together and discuss their research.“I was asked to found [the Institute for Advanced Study] with the idea that [it] should try to connect normative and descriptive issues in an interdisciplinary way,” Hösle said.Throughout his career, Hösle has written more than 50 books about philosophy, ranging from political philosophy in “Morals and Politics” to ecological philosophy in “Philosophy of Ecological Crisis.”One of his most popular and acclaimed books is “The Dead Philosopher’s Café: An Exchange of Letters for Children and Adults.” In the work, Hösle published letters that he exchanged with an 11-year-old girl, teaching her various philosophical principles and ideas by pretending to meet the great philosophers of the past in a fictional cafe.“I got a lot of emails from girls from Iran, from Japan, from Turkey [upon the translation of the book into 14 languages],” Hösle said. “They told me that this book was liberating for them because it showed them that we, even if we are young women, have the right and the capacity to think about such issues. The fact that there was a real girl of 11 years that was able to write such wonderful letters was enormously encouraging for the students.”Hösle continues to keep in contact with the girl he wrote to, who is now an assistant professor of philosophy herself.“You don’t write such involving letters without keeping a friendship for life,” Hösle said.Hösle said he knew he wanted to be a philosopher by the time he attended university at age 17. He received his first Ph.D. at age 21 and his second at age 25.“I was quite good in school in almost all disciplines, and I was interested in all of them. Philosophy gives you the ability to maintain a lot of your interests and study very different things,” Hösle said. “Philosophy, rightly understood, is an attempt to make sense of the whole of knowledge of the various disciplines which bring forth different claims that seem to be not compatible with each other. The task of philosophy is to unify this knowledge.”Hösle was appointed member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in 2013. The Academy is comprised of experts in social science disciplines, such as economics, law, sociology and history, who work to inform and inspire the social doctrine of the Catholic Church.Hösle is currently helping organize a “Nation, States and Nation States” conference for the Pontifical Academy, which explores the trends of nationalism in recent years and what role the Church should take. He also cooperated in an “Ethics in Action” Initiative, which was supported by the Academy. The Initiative brought together experts in various fields from different religions to deliberate on important issues such as environmental justice, Just War Theory and education.“Often it is easier for the participants to agree on general principles, while the concrete issues remain controversial. But it is already really something when people can agree on certain generic issues,” Hösle said.Hösle visits Rome multiple times a year to engage in such meetings with the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and is inspired by the Pope and his teachings.“I think that Pope Francis is an enormous gift to the Church,” Hösle said.Currently, Hösle is getting ready to publish his next book which traces the world events that occurred from 2016 on — from the election of President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, to Brexit, to the election of President Donald Trump — interpreting them in the context of a philosophy of history that takes seriously the phenomenon of cultural decline.Tags: department of philosophy, Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Vittorio Hoslelast_img read more

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