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McCormick discusses social concerns with council

John Cameron | Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Continuing with the Council of Representatives’ recent focus on inclusivity at Notre Dame, student body president Pat McCormick offered members a preview of upcoming events and projects relating to social concerns.

Following Monday’s talk by Sr. Helen Prejean on the immorality of the death penalty, McCormick said a pending execution presented the opportunity for interested students to get more involved with the issue.

“There’s someone who has been sentenced to death right now, and it could be carried out in a few weeks,” he said. “So for those interested in some advocacy, there may be some going on at Notre Dame.”

McCormick said a tentative upcoming campus visit by a high-profile name in the immigration debate could also relate to the issue of inclusion at the University.

“This upcoming October there’s an historic opportunity for Notre Dame with Cardinal Mahony, the former Archbishop of Los Angeles,” McCormick said. “He’s interested in coming to Notre Dame to discuss the issue of human dignity at the center of immigration reform.”

McCormick said Notre Dame’s history as an educational institution for the children of Irish immigrants makes it an ideal place for such debate.

“Notre Dame is the perfect place to start this conversation since it was a place Irish immigrants could come to become part of the U.S. society,” he said. “For Mexican immigrants, but really just immigrants in general, it’s about expanding inclusion.”

McCormick emphasized the need for campus debate to focus on the ethical rather the political aspect of the issue.

“We’re doing our best to steer clear of politics, [and move] toward the dignity at the center of the issue for those involved not only immigrants but also law enforcement,” he said. “This could be a controversial issue, but if we focus as a student union on human dignity I think there’s a chance to do some really cool work.”