Notre Dame

The Notre Dame women’s basketball team met with representatives of the local police union after they wore t-shirts with the phrase “I Can’t Breathe” on them last weekend.

The team, which had their coach’s permission to wear the shirts, says that their only intent was “to show sympathy for family members of those who have died in the recent confrontations,” not to criticize law enforcement.

But others didn’t take it that way. The Elkhart Truth reports:

One Mishawaka police officer who runs a store in South Bend began selling T-shirts that say, “Breathe easy, don’t break the law.”

Meanwhile, Brenda Reimer, the mother of one of the players, earlier this week posted on Facebook photos her daughter was mailed anonymously showing a team jersey set on fire.

“Last weekend my daughter and her teammates showed sympathy for a family who had lost someone. Today, she came home to this,” Reimer wrote.

Sgt. Dan Demler, president of the South Bend Fraternal Order of Police lodge, said the meeting on Friday helped each side better understand the other’s viewpoint, but he declined to describe the talks in detail.

“It was just a healthy discussion about why we stand the way we stand, why we took issue with it,” he said. “This whole deal is something that has completely spiraled out of control locally and nationally, so to go into detail about it, I just think this thing could get worse and worse.”

Pasquale Rulli, president of the Mishawaka FOP Lodge No. 91, said that all parties at the meeting agreed “to avoid speaking further about the matter in public.”

Read the full story.

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Greta Van Susteren took on Notre Dame’s upcoming class on white privilege, tearing the course a new one for dividing Americans and pushing the notion that only black Americans have it bad in this country.

The Fox News reporter stated in part during her “Off-The-Record” segment recently:

… Face it, Notre Dame’s course name, “White Privilege,” points fingers and creates victims. It is code for all whites have a leg up. And that’s simply just not true.

There are many poor whites, unemployed whites, whites who have lots of problems. White Americans down and out, with no hope. Just like there are many black Americans, unemployed, with lots of problems, down and out. And likewise, with no hope. There are also middle class blacks and middle class whites who have lots of problems, too.

Now, it’s no secret I’m white. I also have privilege. But I know a lot of blacks that are right there with me with that privilege. But that’s not the point of this “Off the Record.” The point is this. Notre Dame and other universities that use terms like “White Privilege” are not going to heal the divides – past divides, present divides, or future divides. Course names actually set the tone for the semester and blaming something is a lousy way to start. …

 

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IMAGES: Fox News

Next semester, Notre Dame will offer a class that aims to help students acknowledge and understand their so-called “white privilege” and – as a result of their “personal transformation” – find ways to “disrupt … oppression,” a description of the class states.

“The goal for each participant is personal transformation: to leave the class… more aware of injustices and better equipped with tools to disrupt personal, institutional, and worldwide systems of oppression,” according to a description of the six week, one-credit sociology course titled “White Privilege Seminar.”

Its class description argues “people consciously and unconsciously simultaneously participate in and are affected by systems of oppression. However, since these behaviors can be learned, they can be unlearned.”

The “White Privilege” seminar is billed as a “preparatory class” for its students, who will receive university funding to attend the White Privilege Conference, a four-day event set for March in Louisville, Kentucky.

But some students, in interviews with The College Fix, said they believe the class is blatantly biased and not appropriate.NDWhitePrivilege

“This isn’t multicultural,” Notre Dame student and conservative activist Mark Gianfalla tells The Fix. “It’s an opportunity to bias students towards the shaming of one culture and ethnicity.”

Notre Dame student Timothy Bradley, executive editor of campus publication The Irish Rover, also told The Fix it’s “unusual” that, before enrolling in the course, interested students are required to fill out applications.

“The course application asks students to provide answers to questions such as, ‘What privileges do you have? What benefits have you received? How do you define white privilege? What do you hope to gain from the conference?’” Bradley notes.

That conference will examine “challenging concepts of privilege and oppression and offer solutions and team building strategies to work toward a more equitable world,” according to its website. The site adds the conference is not “designed to attack, degrade or beat up on white folks.”

The Notre Dame course is scheduled to meet eight times between January and March and will be taught by Professor Iris Outlaw, director of Multicultural Student Programs and Services at Notre Dame. Professor Outlaw did not respond to The College Fix’s email requests for comment about her class.

Gianfalla notes that Outlaw participated in protests against conservative pundit Ann Coulter from speaking on campus earlier this year.

And Bradley points out that paying for students to attend the White Privilege Conference could present a conflict of interest for Notre Dame, a Catholic university, considering that the conference itself is a harsh critic of Christian values.

A workshop titled “The Roots of Racism in Christian Hegemony” took place at the last conference, with the intent to “dig beneath the surface of Christianity’s benign reputation to examine how it undermines our interpersonal relationships, weakens our communities and promotes injustice.”

“As a Catholic university, Notre Dame should strive to do the best it can, through education and campus life, to promote the Catholic faith and educate the hearts and minds of students in light of the Catholic intellectual tradition,” Bradley said. “The attacks against Christianity and heterosexuality at the White Privilege Conference seem to share little or no common ground with the synthesis of faith and reason that is central to Notre Dame’s mission as a Catholic university.”

College Fix reporter Samantha Audia is a student at the University of Michigan.

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The University of Notre Dame may have undermined its legal case against the contraceptive mandate in Obamacare by approving a student health plan that covers abortifacients, the National Catholic Register reported, citing legal experts:

“The university need not provide student health insurance at all,” said Gerard Bradley, a constitutional scholar at Notre Dame’s law school, who outlined the options available to university administrators.

Bradley noted that only group health plans must comply with the mandate. Consequently, the university also had another option: It could have opted to self-insure the plan for students and avoid coverage of services that violate Catholic teaching. …

“In its pending lawsuit about the employee and staff health plan, Notre Dame has said that its Catholic faith forbids it to arrange or facilitate coverage for contraception and abortion,” Bradley said.

“Yet when it comes to student health coverage, the university has chosen to facilitate and arrange coverage for contraception and abortion. The court hearing Notre Dame’s lawsuit will surely notice this inconsistency.”

Part of the problem is how long the school waited to challenge the mandate after its original suit was thrown out as premature:

[Alumni group leader William] Dempsey contended that Notre Dame’s 11th-hour petition prompted the judge to question the university’s sincerity. That skepticism, said Dempsey, will be reinforced in the wake of the latest news regarding the student health plan.

“Notre Dame has declared in court that to do what it is doing now would be scandalous. And it is doing this voluntarily,” Dempsey emphasized, echoing concerns raised in the alumni newsletter.

Read the full story here.

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IMAGE: NDomer73/Flickr

The Fighting Irish are fighting for their reputations. The New York Times reported on Tuesday:

… Friday afternoon … it was revealed that four football players — all probable starters — were suspected of being among several students who had cheated in class. …

The issue is also notable because Notre Dame football stands apart in many ways. It is the only university that commands its own network television deal. It has the only major program that remains independent. And it demands unusually rigorous academic performance compared with other top programs. …

Notre Dame announced Friday in a statement that four players were being held out of practice and competition, though not suspended, pending an investigation into “suspected academic dishonesty,” including submitting “papers and homework that had been written for them by others.” The university also notified the N.C.A.A. and pledged to vacate any tainted wins — which could include some from its 2012 season, its most successful in nearly two decades.

The penance on this one could be tough, very tough.

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AOL News reports the story of two Nevada twins who share more than a common DNA signature:

For identical twins Gabby and Maria Munoz-Robles being co-valedictorians was just another thing to do together.

KTVN reports: “We would switch seats in some classes just to play a joke on the teacher. We always study together. We do the same sports; we do the same extracurricular activities.”

For the nearly inseparable twins, being named co-valedictorians wasn’t even a surprise – The Record-Courier reports it was all part of the plan.

CBS reports: “We were shooting to be co-valedictorians. It came just down to this last semester, and we tied, so we knew that it was going to happen.”

The twins from Minden, Nevada, each earned a 4.54 grade point average. Maria told The Record-Courier:

“A lot of people want us to be separate, but we enjoy it. When we give each other hugs, I feel like I’m hugging myself.”

Full story here.

The valedictorian twins will attend Notre Dame University together in the fall.