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viewpoint

The campus that cries wolf

| Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Much like the United States itself, Notre Dame is a dynamic melting pot where people of varying backgrounds connect to offer insight into various cultures and ideologies. Also not unique to Notre Dame is its students’ tendency to cry wolf all too often in response to campus activism. It is no secret that the College Republicans (of which I am the president) is hosting Ann Coulter as our Lincoln Day Speaker this Thursday, that a group of students published the “I, Too, Am Notre Dame” photo blog  and that a group of students formed a new campus group named SCOP, or Students for Child-Oriented Policy.
In the day and age where media relays information faster than ever, it is no surprise that news of these happenings spreads like wildfire around campus. However, the reactions that followed and surrounded these announcements is actually more telling of the University’s student body.
As the president of the College Republicans, I have been the center of attacks as well as interviews focusing on the question, “Why Coulter?” Our club has been accused of intentionally polarizing the student body, and the founders of SCOP have been accused of fostering the degradation of those identifying as GLBTQ. There have even been murmurs of a demonstration against Ann Coulter and our club’s decision to host her, planned by racially exclusive special interest clubs.
None of these accusations and objections is sound, yet a vocal, hypocritical minority is behind these baseless claims aimed at liberalizing the student body and misinforming Our Lady’s students.
Our club’s decision to host Ann Coulter is simple: no other speaker is capable of bringing the same level of relatable energy and attention to the social conservative platform that is at the core of Catholic Social Teaching and our club’s mission; i.e. traditional marriage and abortion, to name a few. Those who have spoken out against our hosting of Miss Coulter have falsely stated, aside from accusing our club of intentional polarization, that she is a racist and encourages hatred.
I would like to lead your attention to two events on campus that went unnoticed and without criticism in the same light, one of which was even promoted by one of the organizations planning to demonstrate against Miss Coulter.
On March 28, the rap artist Mike Jones performed at Legends on campus. The week before, the “I, Too, Am Notre Dame” photo blog launched, promoted and supported by the Black Student Association (BSA). The BSA, along with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, have been vocally opposed to the College Republicans’ hosting of Ann Coulter on terms including her being racially offensive, and have been planning a demonstration in opposition to the event Thursday. However, when Mike Jones performed at Legends, no such demonstration or outrage existed. Ann Coulter, a best-selling author, journalist and juris doctor, has never used the N-word to my knowledge, yet Mike Jones has a song titled “Type of N***a you Need” and he raps other racial slurs. Ann Coulter, who often addresses inner-city poverty and radical Islam, speaks to real issues based on history and fact, yet gets attacked by campus minority groups instead of a rapper who openly uses racially derogative language just for the sake of entertainment and record sales.
Additionally, the College Republicans’ invitation of a conservative figure to speak to a conservative club is not polarizing. The outspoken opposition and demonstration are, in fact, the polarizing reactions. The “I, Too, Am Notre Dame” photo blog, which accuses members of the Notre Dame student body of being racist (without proof that these racist statements ever took place) is a much more polarizing project, not surprisingly supported by racial special interest clubs whose own racially exclusive names and mission statements are much more polarizing and discriminatory than any speaker invitation.
With that said, I want to highlight a specific quote by the blog’s founder from the April 3 article in The Observer detailing the blog: “If you were to take this project, respond to it negatively and move backwards, that would be a problem.” Another student involved in the blog told The Observer that although she has heard people call the project “attention-seeking” or “unnecessary,” she believes the blog strikes at the heart of issues of diversity of Notre Dame. The BSA is supporting this blog project via their listserv (BSA listserv email dated March 24), yet have reacted negatively to and are planning on demonstrating against Miss Coulter’s visit, which strikes at the core of Notre Dame itself: a conservative, Catholic university. The axe swings both ways.
SCOP, another club at the center of recent attacks, is being wrongfully persecuted for supporting something that the University’s Catholic identity already represents: the unitive and procreative nature of heterosexual marriage. This club has unfortunately been painted as a group of homophobes by outspoken liberal groups that favor the overtaking of the University’s Catholic identity in order to secularize it in favor of supporting gay marriage. Although I have no involvement with SCOP, I empathize with the wrongful outcry against this group for standing for unpopular conservative ideology. Those in favor of traditional marriage are not contributing to the devastation of gay persons’ dignity as suggested in numerous Observer Viewpoint articles and social media outcries.
Eventually, the liberal minority will have used all of its opportunities to reputably oppose actions and issues on campus; and they will have all been used unscrupulously in situations like these.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Mark Gianfalla

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  • Bro

    How does Ann Coulter “address inner-city poverty and radical Islam”? By spouting her disgusting opinions?

  • Johnny

    Student Activities makes it so difficult to get dorm apparel and activities approved, but it approves Ann Coulter to speak on campus? Good job, SAO. Keep up the amazing work. Inciting hate must be less offensive than a funny t-shirt or Bookstore Basketball team name.

    • jack

      sooo true

    • Pat

      Since SAO can’t be bothered, maybe the guys in Zahm can detain Coulter before her appearance in one of their new University Lounges and use enhanced interrogation techniques to find out what’s wrong with her. She approves of these methods. Maybe we shouldn’t give more ideas to Housing though.

  • Casey091

    This piece is full of baseless claims (and an arrogant voice does not a factual argument make), however, two are worth noting. First, the claim of a “liberal minority” on campus–the author cites no evidence to support this, and I suspect this claim goes against the impressions of the majority of the student body about the political climate on campus. Numerous campus surveys have also suggested that the student body is healthily diverse in terms of political leanings.

    Second, the author’s claim that the “core of CST” lies in the “social conservative platform…e.g., traditional marriage and abortion” is an alarmingly inaccurate statement. While CST and the Church do decry abortion, for example, as a serious affront to human dignity, no political platform–much less a hyper conservative one which directly contradicts many other promulgations by the USCCB (e.g., the rights of workers and immigrants) lies at the “core of CST”. In fact, most CST scholars would argue that the “option for the poor and vulnerable” and “rights and dignity of the human person” are the two single most important CST principles. Even the Pope, while acknowledging that issues of abortion and marriage remain incredibly important, has called for greater attention to the care of the most vulnerable and marginalized members of society–attention which entails less “discussion only”, and more charitable action.
    I would encourage the author to educate himself before making sweeping statements about an entire body of social tradition which he does not hold expertise in. http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catholic-social-teaching/seven-themes-of-catholic-social-teaching.cfm

    Also, a point for all of us to reflect on with seriousness and above all, humility: “One factor that denies the inherent dignity of each person is discrimination in its many forms, such as that based on race, gender or economic status.”http://socialconcerns.nd.edu/mission/cst/cst2.shtml

    • RCB

      Thank you for responding in this way, you beautiful human being. I too was upset about the author’s misunderstanding of CST.

    • johnny hopkins

      I believe abortion would fall under “rights and dignity of the human person”

      • Casey091

        Agreed (see third line of my second paragraph)–I can see how I may have worded the sentence you’re referring to in a confusing manner. My point is that there are many issues which fall under that umbrella, not just one or two (e.g., abortion). Focusing on one (very important) issue of human dignity while neglecting or even violating others is not in the spirit of CST.

  • Guest

    Wow. You know, these letters you write will be attached to your name
    for years dude…. think before making a fool of yourself.

    So
    Legends hosts a singer whose lyrics you don’t like (as if a musical
    performance is a political forum)…. and you invite a racist white KKK
    woman who hates people of color. She might never have used the “N” word
    in public, but spend some time doing research on her (I know
    conservatives don’t trust research, but it won’t kill you). She’s a
    racist monster. There’s plenty of evidence on youtube.

    You wrote: “no other speaker is capable of bringing the same level of relatable
    energy and attention to the social conservative platform that is at the
    core of Catholic Social Teaching and our club’s mission; i.e.
    traditional marriage and abortion, to name a few.”

    WOW. Really?
    You couldn’t think of any other dynamic advocate of Catholic Social
    Teaching? At Notre Dame? In the whole country? What a pathetic example
    of vision and leadership in your group. This shows how little you know
    about Catholic Social Teaching. Catholic Social Teaching EXISTS
    precisely to protest the white supremacy and idolatry of
    capitalism–everything Ann Coulter represents.

    You are wasting
    your time at Notre Dame. You should have gone to Liberty University,
    the home of creationist zombie Christians who reject critical thinking.
    Your club and your tactics are not worthy of Notre Dame.

    • Michelle

      **slow clap**

    • JT

      I invite you, “guest”, to attach your name name to your opinions as as well, or are you ashamed?

    • larry

      Clearly a member of the kkk

  • Matt

    Wait, there might be a demonstration at Coulter’s event? Thanks for letting me know!

    • M.

      It’s actually the day before, tonight around dinner in front of SDH. It’s a nonpartisan coalition of multiple student groups (not just allegedly “racially exclusive special interest clubs”, as Mark wrongly claims here) who will be engaging in a silent demonstration to stand against Hate Speech such as Ann Coulters.

      • ND ROTC

        The Notre Dame ROTC units will be staging their annual Pass In Review Ceremony on South Quad this evening. I respectfully request that you respect the presence of the ongoing ceremony.

        • M.

          Thank you for bringing this to my attention. The calendar says that the Pass in Review Ceremony is scheduled from 5:30-6:00pm. The (SAO-approved) silent demonstration is not scheduled to start until 6, so if they should not be happening at the same time. We will definitely respect the presence of the ongoing ceremony.

  • Peter Castle

    Ann Coulter is arguably not a conservative! Her conservative credentials have been consistently challenged for years – by Mark Levin, Steve Deace, Gregg Jackson, Jen Kuznicki, and many others. See the 2011 book, The Beauty of Conservatism (www.coulterwatch.com/beauty.pdf),
    for numerous examples.

  • R

    Mark, thank you for raising the point about the exclusiveness of the “I, Too, Am Notre Dame.” I think what is most notable about the movement is that it raises the idea that these students on the blog at one point believed they were not part of the Notre Dame community. The amazing part of our University is the closeness and brotherhood among the students and alumni. Therefore, when students claim that they have felt intentionally alienated, the other students who have not experienced racial discrimination feel guilty and at fault. I believe that this blog punishes those who cannot relate to racial discrimination but who may have experienced other forms of prejudice in their lives (financial, geographic, ability). It elicits the idea that we must make an extra effort to include racially diverse than we would anyone else, because they have experienced a more profound discrimination than the non-minority students.

    • no

      girl bye

    • Paulus

      Ever looked at the dining hall?

      Why should the fact that more than one form of discrimination (intentional or unconscious) prevent those who feel any one of those forms from speaking about their experience?

      I don’t understand why someone should react negatively to “I, Too, Am Notre Dame.” Why would anyone not be open to hearing people speak from the heart about their experience and express their concerns? Why would you choose to close yourself off from the concerns of your classmates?

  • Johnny Whichard

    Mark, thank you so much for speaking out on the obvious double standards at this school. It’s obvious that this era of Jenkins is striving to liberalize Notre Dame. Reverse racism, liberal sociology, and blatant anti-Catholic Office of Housing and Community Standards are choking the life out of what used to make Notre Dame special.

    • B

      I thought this was sarcastic until I saw who wrote this, lol.

      • Johnny Whichard

        ;)

        • Johnny Whichard

          And just to clarify, I think Coulter was a horrid choice for a speaker at this University

  • Guest

    Please just stop writing Viewpoints

  • NaCl

    So you mad….or nah?

    • Sodium Bromide

      NaBrO

      • bc

        Just so you know, thats Sodium Hypobromite. NaBr is Sodium Bromide.

  • Nice one

    Hahahaha comparing Mike Jones and trivial rap lyrics to Ann Coulter and her beliefs has got to be one of the silliest lines of arguement I have ever seen. I applaud you for trying to make that comparison happen and failing so, so miserably.

    • guest

      There’s also the issue of his use of the n word which, as a black man, Mike Jones has the right to use. It is a slur that has been used against black individuals for decades, and which is often viewed as being acceptable for use /within the black community/. Ann Coulter, as a white woman, has NO RIGHT to use this word, so obviously she wouldn’t say it. If she did, she might finally achieve the reputation she deserves, as a super racist, narrow minded extremist.

      • Guest

        You’re foolish, dude. I cannot even wrap my head around the fact that you said blacks have the right to use that word. While it’s only a script, I invite you to look up the scene in the movie Coach Carter involving that word to help you understand why it’s never okay to use. I apologize for getting away from the main content of the article, but I couldn’t scroll past this and not respond.

        • guest

          As a white person, I don’t have the right to say if it’s ok or not for blacks to use that word. They have the right to decide whether or not to use it, not me. I’m not saying it’s good or bad to use it. Personally I think that normalizing its use among the black community can have a largely negative effect, as it may lead whites to believe that they can use it colloquially as well. However, my point is, I have no right to say that it’s not ok for blacks to use that word, and if you are white, you don’t have that right either.

  • Nope

    Your view is that if you don’t tolerate ignorance, you’re ignorant? Nope, sorry, it doesn’t work like that.

    Oh, and by the way, that “vocal minority” is a majority now (even at one of the most conservative Catholic colleges in the country), and it’s only growing. Good luck living on this planet the next 60 years or so…

  • chaelp999

    How is this Mark kid the president of the republican club? Out of all the intelligent Notre Dame students, the best the republican club can come up with is a kid who defends Ann Coulter and compares rap lyrics (solely for entertainment purposes) to Coulter’s ignorant beliefs. Republicans will never win another election as long as people like Mark have any sort of power or speaking platform.

    • Johnny

      Exactly! Most ND students, whether Republican, Democratic, or whatever are thoughtful and moderate. His presidency and columns are not representative of ND at all. The Republican Club needs better leadership if it wants to be taken seriously.

    • The American Dream

      I agree, let us have a referendum on this “president.” It is unbecoming for a leader of one of the more influential groups on campus to be so ignorant and inarticulate.

      • matt

        He’s president of Morrissey Hall, too. Double referendum.

      • Alfred

        His elections are Tuesday, is he running unopposed?

        • Roy

          Word is he runs the party with an iron fist. Nobody has the guts to stand up to him. Wish we could find someone…

          • Reality Check

            The club elections were supposed to occur in March, but of course Mark just picks his own date to hold elections. A tyrant can do whatever he wants until the “we the people” collectively act and vote him out of power.

    • Tedbaxter

      I don’t know Mark, but I DO know that his critics have lied rather promiscuously on this site about Ann Coulter… So…….Mark’s got my vote!

  • Hi Mark

    Gotta love it when a dude calls out the vocal minority, not realizing he is, by writing in the viewpoint, now a part of the vocal minority.

  • Juan

    So you call the Black Student Association a “racial special interest club” and then try to come up as not being racist? Cultural and ethnic groups have their own set of needs and preoccupations that stem from very complex social and historical interactions, and you just show your ignorance by ignoring it all and trying to give a discourse as if everyone is already completely equal (and all that equality really entails) and history can be deleted. Your desire to give the impression that everyone is already equal is only a front to be able to keep discrimination and racism well and alive and disregard the abuses and humiliations that a great number of people have suffered through history and recently.

    • Johnny Whichard

      Race doesn’t entail culture. Those groups are based on something people cannot change about themselves. They place importance on superficial physical traits. That’s “racism” in a nut-shell. To quote Morgan Freeman, the only way to end racism is to “stop talking about it”.

      • Guest

        You know that wasn’t actually something that Morgan Freeman said, right? That was a fake article

        • Johnny Whichard
          • Dorothy Mantooth

            Contrary to popular (white people) belief, Morgan Freeman is not the spokesperson for black people.

          • Thanks

            Thanks but Morgan freeman is not the definitive representative for black people. If you have cancer you attack it with chemo. If you experience ignorance you attack it with information. Bigotry is cancerous.

      • Juan

        A physical trait is not superficial when it has been used through history to force people into slavery, humiliation, and abuse. When a group of people are discriminated because of their color, you cannot say that this is a superficial trait, because the people who bring on the discrimination do not see it in that way. Black people (in this case) have not been discriminated just because of their color, but because of what that color represents in the eyes of those who abused them. And let’s not forget how people from the KKK have used some religious arguments to justify their abuse and sense of superiority.

      • Here you go again…

        Have you ever read ANY of these “racist” club’s mission statements or descriptions? They often, if not always, say “anyone from any racial/ethnic background is welcome.

        • Johnny Whichard

          And they also state (usually) that they are FOR students of a particular race…

          • Bri O’Brien

            Just as the Republican Club is for a specific political party….For many, the point in having a club is to create an avenue for those with similarities to be able to work with one another. You really don’t have a valid point.

  • Jack

    Notre dame is a dynamic melting pot… lol this kid is so sheltered

  • :(

    This makes me seriously want to reconsider attending Notre Dame next year. As an incoming minority, and pretty open minded individual I am scared as to what I’m getting myself into.

    • jack

      you can prly find a good group, and if you dont focus on the bs like this going on, it can be a great school

    • I Too Am Not Mark Gianfalla

      Don’t be, Mark here is the exception, not the rule. The overwhelming majority of people on this campus are beautiful human beings. Best of luck to you in your decision.

    • J

      Please don’t let this opinion piece change your plans! If anything, I hope this will strengthen your resolve to attend and be a part of the campus community. Most of the students who may make ignorant comments aren’t necessarily mean spirited, but simply naive. By being present and forging relationships with your classmates, you will be able to add your perspective and maybe even change some minds. As an alumnus, I believe we need more open-minded people like yourself on campus.

    • Trish Kolberg

      Notre Dame will be a unique experience, especially as a minority and/or a liberal. You will find your group (possibly one of the many who will be protesting). You’ll have magnificent educational opportunities. The majority of the professors are liberal. You’ll also encounter many of those similar to this author. Please feel free to message me for an honest portrayal of what you can expect at the school – the good and the bad. Class of ’11.

    • ND15

      Don’t let the opinion of one extremist influence your decision. Mark is not representative of any part of the student body at ND. I have multiple friends who identify as conservative Republicans who are embarrassed by how he represents them. The vast majority of students here are tolerant and open-minded, and I think you’ll find ND to be a very welcoming place, regardless of your political persuasion.

    • Nathan

      I often joke to my family that I came to a Conservative Catholic University, and the first people I met were liberal atheists. The greatest takeaway from Mark’s piece is that Notre Dame truly truly is a melting pot and the vast majority of the community treasures that. I don’t think you need to worry about having a place here.

  • McLovin

    Hey I’m writing as a fellow conservative. Just stop, you’re making us look dumb. The “racially exclusive special interest clubs” are not racially exclusive because they include white people who hate their own race. Art and music, aka Mike Jones, is fundamentally different from academic discourse. This is Notre Dame, we could have had a more important conservative to come, i.e. a senator or one of Indiana’s congressmen. I’m not condoning the ethnic clubs that are whining and over-exaggerating her views. Also, Notre Dame is not a “conservative” university, simply a Catholic one. A lot of Catholic teachings contradict conservative values, i.e. wages, capital punishment, treatment of illegal immigrants and lawbreakers in general etc. Why are all your points flawed? It seems that a business education at Notre Dame only teaches you how to make money rather than critical thinking because your writing, sir, is a prime example.

    • Guest

      “The ‘racially exclusive special interest clubs’ are not racially exclusive because they include white people who hate their own race.”

      …..

      Orrrr they include white people support the organizations’ missions and/or want to be in clubs with their friends of different races.

      • Eileen Dover

        Hey, I’m part of an undisclosed Asian ethnic club, and I feel like there are two types of white people in ethnic groups in general, the white person who has a thing for Asians and the white person who is actually 1/2, 1/4, 1/8..etc. Asian. To be honesty I’m in (club of a different racial group) because I find (ethnicity removed for confidentiality) really hot, but no shame!

        • Dixon Butts

          I’m totally on McLovin’s side; just do what makes you happy and enjoy your life. For example, sometimes I just cover myself in vaseline and roll around the floor pretending to be a slug. Peace

          • McLovin

            I don’t think I said anything remotely similar to that

    • Edward M.

      Love how the College Republicans Club probably had everyone who came to their Viewpoint writing session last night like this. Real mature, kids.

  • Erich
  • AugustWest

    Yawn. This is the most childish thing I have read in a while.

  • Clive

    “Those who have spoken out against our hosting of Miss Coulter have falsely stated, aside from accusing our club of intentional polarization, that she is a racist and encourages hatred.”

    Then you spend the rest of the article blaming Mike Jones and I Too Am Notre Dame for being *polarizing*. Being polarizing isn’t a problem; being racist and encouraging hatred is a problem. Anyone who speaks out against the prevailing opinion is polarizing. Martin Luther King Jr was polarizing. Jesus was polarizing. “I, Too, Am Notre Dame” is polarizing. No problem.

    The problem is racism, not drawing attention to racism.

  • Mary

    Direct quote in response to a Muslim group protesting a specific airline:

    “If only we could get Muslims to boycott all airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether.”

    Please, Mark, explain to me how is this statement not firmly based in racism? How is this a statement that lends support to the morals at the core of Catholic Social Teaching, or support any of the Bible’s teachings?

  • Shelley

    He’s right you guys. Let’s just bring back Mike Jones instead.

  • North East DB

    Maybe Gianfalla & Co. can learn something from the College Republicans at Fordham and act immediately:

    “The College Republicans regret the controversy surrounding our planned lecture featuring Ann Coulter. The size and severity of opposition to this event have caught us by surprise, and caused us to question our decision to welcome her to Rose Hill. Looking at the concerns raised about Ms. Coulter, many of them reasonable, we have determined that some of her comments do not represent the ideals of the College Republicans and are inconsistent with both our organization’s mission, and the University’s. We regret that we failed to thoroughly research her before announcing, that is our error and we do not excuse ourselves for it. Consistent with our strong disagreement with certain comments by Ms. Coulter we have chosen to cancel the event and rescind Ms. Coulter’s invitation to speak at Fordham. We made this choice freely, before Father McShane’s email was sent out and we became aware of his feelings – had the President simply reached out to us before releasing his statement he would have learned that the event was being cancelled. We hope the University community will forgive the College Republicans for our error, and continue to allow us to serve as its main voice of the sensible, compassionate, and conservative political movement that we strive to be. We fell short of that standard this time, and we offer our sincere apologies.”

    Ted Conrad, President
    Emily Harman, Vice President
    Joe Campagna, Treasurer
    John Mantia, Secretary

    • Mary

      At least the president of Fordham spoke out against Coulter and shamed the College Republicans there. What has Jenkins said about the incongruity of what she says with the Catechism and the mission of Notre Dame?

      • Nathan

        Personally, I’m of the opinion that if the College Republican really want her speaking on their behalf, more power to them. I personally find her rhetoric distasteful, but silencing distasteful people is not addressing their claims, but ignoring them. I trust that the students of Notre Dame are smart enough to judge her on her merits.

    • Alfred

      I feel like not all republicans on campus can feel this way. I at least really hope not. I was talking to a friend who paid her dues at the beginning of the year and said she and others in the club don’t like his emails or the ways he manages things. Does anyone know if he is running for election next year? Or is he a senior?

      • Mark

        Mr. Gianfalla is a junior. The emails which are being sent through the official club account are, indeed, really bad. Many of Mr. Gianfalla’s blurbs (see CM’s excerpt below) probably count as violations of university standards for respectful dialogue/technology usage rules.

        • Alfred

          Can anyone simply file those emails with OCS and get him removed from that position?

        • Tedbaxter

          Your intolerance HERE is worse than anything this Mark dude did.

  • Sarah

    If the above words incite the same anger in you as they have in us, join students in a silent protest TONIGHT at 6PM in front of SOUTH DINING HALL. WEAR BLACK if you can.

  • Trish Kolberg

    Not my ND. The author should take some of the school’s fine Africana Studies classes before attempting to speak on race again.

  • NDstudent

    Ann Coulter refused to board an airplane with a black pilot…and you say she’s not racist
    (http://dailycurrant.com/2013/01/29/ann-coulter-refuses-board-airplane-black-pilot/)

    • wait what

      That’s a satirical website. But uh, she’s still terrible.

  • CM

    The following comes from your message to members of College Republicans:

    Here’s where my old email style returns: racial rabble rousers in the NAACP and BSA are planning a “silent demonstration” ($100 to every club member if this thing is actually silent) on Wednesday at the South Dining Hall. Honestly, this type of hypocrisy is what gets me up in the morning. They plan on wearing all black and handing out Ann Coulter quotes that will likely be doctored by some “reputable” blog started by a welfare recipient in his step-mother’s basement who hasn’t seen the light of day since his trip to the 2008 polling station. Since we’re always right, we’re not in the business of protesting (hence why no one streaked the NDream illegal alien love fest), but these people actually plan on pinning these quotes to their shirts for Thursday’s classes. I’ll have a life-size poster of Ann taped to my shirt and and “Born in the USA” blaring from my fannie pack all day, but here’s what we ask of you: wear your college republican gear to class on Thursday to show your support for our club and for the Constitution that represents free speech. You all have a bro tank, many of you have the Frat Collection sweatshirt or hat. If you don’t have anything with the club logo, just wear a red shirt or something that screams AMERICA in an in-your-face sort of way. If I see you around campus wearing red or the club gear, I’ll come up to a few of you and give you one of the club’s old bro tanks or some club swag as a prize (Sorry for Grand ‘Ol Partying ones).

    You can’t spell America without ‘Merica,

    Mark- president

    You apologized later saying your remarks were “misconstrued”, but this paragraph is clearly nothing more than thinly veiled hate and intolerance- an epidemic sweeping throughout our modern, reactionary breed of underread, artificial Bro-culture, not-racist-because-you-say-it’s-not-racist Republicans like yourself. I will skip the theatrics, as many comments before me have already pointed out that many of the arguments you make are utter fallacies, and that your style wreaks of an elitist who likes hearing himself speak.
    The tragedy in all of this is that I, too, am a Republican who recognizes the damage that egotists like yourself are doing to our capacity for political discourse that has made America so great in the past. Maybe you just like the attention that comes with being a contrarian, or maybe you’ve even successfully convinced yourself that you’re in the right- but you just aren’t and never will be so long as you keep trying to defend the indefensible.

    • Anonymous

      Mark,

      You have the audacity to speak about anything remotely Catholic in your viewpoint column after you send something like this out to the College Republicans? Where is your reference to Catholic morals in your email? Wheresoever are your Catholic morals? Hypocrites? You are the hypocrite.

      A lot of students go through a disciplinary process for making errors in judgment that seem rather innocent in comparison to what you have done and are doing. If anyone deserves a hearing, you do.

    • Bri O’Brien

      You, sir, are my hero.

    • Nathan

      At least when I was present they were silent as a tomb. Methinks that someone might want to see if that deal is still good.

  • WhatAJoke

    This whole thing is an embarrassment to Notre Dame. This kid and whoever was responsible for inviting a bigoted racist to speak on campus should resign from the College Republicans and apologize for putting campus through this debacle. As a conservative Republican and former Notre Dame student myself, this makes me feel incredibly disappointed for my alma mater and my fellow Notre Dame conservatives.

  • Guest

    I was in Mecha and I’m white… That doesn’t seem very “racially exclusive” to me.

  • Purt

    The BSA, and any other Cultural club on campus for that matter, are far from racially exclusive. All people are ALWAYS welcome. Perhaps Mark should spend time getting to know the clubs and motives before criticizing them. After all, Notre Dame is a “dynamic melting pot.”

  • Guest

    Mark,
    You shouldn’t make it so obvious that you are white and lack an understanding of black culture. If you spent a little time around minorities you’d understand how shockingly wrong it is to compare an artist with a song title containing “n***a” to a radical and openly racist woman.
    You supposedly live in a diverse melting pot, but have you ever really looked outside of your white boy bubble?
    We are all more ignorant than we will ever admit, but please think before you speak and write. Your words and actions reflect the university — I’m two-thousand miles away, an alumna, and embarrassed.

  • Her Loyal Sons

    People realize that there is supposed to be civil discourse on a college
    campus right? We invited Obama. That wasn’t a super popular decision–none of
    you were here at the time but there were serious demonstrations, arrests, and a
    significant number of people skipping graduation because of that. It did not
    make the university look great in many people’s eyes–both sides of the aisle.
    I am worried that people will not be respectful of Ann Coulter and will make
    the university look bad again. I know some of you will say she does not deserve
    respect based on her comments, however, if you are honest about CST, you will
    realize that all people deserve respect. Don’t like what she has to say? Don’t
    go. What better way to protest than not to show up? The KKK got a lot of their
    press because people showed up an acted stupid. The Klan marched through my
    town and nobody showed up. News cameras were there waiting for something to
    happen and nothing did. It was beautiful. Christopher Hitchens came to ND to
    debate. It wasn’t a popular decision. People were upset. He’s said equally
    hateful things about the Pope and Catholics in general. THE POPE. AT THE
    CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY. Some people showed up and some didn’t, but we were
    respectful. I ask that everyone be respectful. Leave up the posters. Go to the
    talk or don’t. If you go be respectful and don’t ask inappropriate questions.
    Don’t do this because you agree with her ideology, do it because you are a
    reflection of our lady’s university and because when it is your club’s turn to
    host someone people may not be happy with, the same will be done to you. As
    this column may reflect poorly on you in a few years, so too will your actions.

    • Ignats

      You have the audacity to post this after all the diatribes you have posted on recent news articles? You want people to partake in civil discourse? You want people to treat others with respect?

      Here are some of your recent posts:

      “That the “wild and crazy” guys of Zahm think they are loved isn’t a surprised. We as Domers make fun of you.”

      “At AR meet and greet, nobody goes to Zahm. Nobody wants to live in that dump and deal with your whinny problems and socially awkward parties and advances on girls. It’s not worth it. You would have to pay me triple to even consider it, and even then I probably still wouldn’t.”

      “Everyone with half a brain knows to stay away from Zahm. They have a bad reputation for a reason. I know for a fact nobody went to Zahm to be an AR because former domers told them to stay away. There’s a reason. But I’m sure you think it’s because they aren’t a true Zahmbie…or some nonsense like that. Until you face the facts the dorm will continue to be a place people don’t want to go or worse yet, a bunch of crying, entitled, petulant children. God help us if one of your children becomes one of them.”

      If you are an Assistant Rector, which is pretty much what you say, that makes you an employee of the University. You really should be more careful about making posts such as these — as your comments may reflect poorly on you in a few years.

      You are a poor reflection of Our Lady’s University.

      • Nathan

        His prior posts not withstanding, his point about respect is warranted.

  • Veronica Guerrero

    Mark,
    I would like to comment on your thoughts that minority groups are in some way exclusive or discrimanatory with regard to race. It is true that many clubs celebrate the differences that make up the many different cultures and heritages on campus. This group of clubs includes the Filipino, Latino, Muslim, Italian, Chinese, and yes Black student associations on campus. While you may not personally feel welcome at these meetings because you have insulted and degraded members of these groups, all students are allowed and welcome to be members of these clubs. In-fact, many of these clubs have a diverse group of students in both their membership and leadership.

    Please feel free to join any one of these clubs as all are welcome. Also, we would love for you and all of your friends to not only attend but also to participate in any one of the cultural shows performed throughout the year. I hope to see you there.

    A rabble rousing minority student,
    Veronica Guerrero

    • Nathan

      I can also attest to this. As a white member of the Vietnamese Student Organization, Japan Club, Asian American Association, Chinese Culture Society, and Filipino-American Student Organization, I can say that I have never found any of these groups to be anything less than welcoming. Heck, Japanese/Japanese American students ARE the minority in their own club.

      I can’t speak for BSA in particular, but none of my experiences with our university’s culture societies have been anything but wonderful. Highly recommend joining a few during your senior year (though I would approach them with a different mindset than viewing them as “racial special interest groups”)

      • Leonard Hickman

        I also agree; I have been to multiple Asian American Association events with my friends and I felt completely welcomed. There is a huge difference between celebrating a heritage and “racial rabble-rousing”.

  • h

    although i don’t agree with all of your points, the gist of your argument is sound. this campus is plagued by hyper-sensitivity, and people need to realize that the promotion of certain values does not automatically entail powerful rejection of alternative values.

    • guest

      Excuse me, but you have literally no right to decide when a person is being oversensitive about an issue versus justified in their reaction, if it is not an issue regarding a group that you are a part of. I am a white lesbian female, therefore I have a right to say what phrases and ideas are offensive or not to the lesbian community, and the female community. On the other hand, I would be out of place if I were to claim that certain ideas are not offensive to the black, latino, transgender, or gay communities, for example. Based on the phrasing of your comment, which clearly regards those that Coulter’s rhetoric commonly offends as The Other (as in, a group that you are not a part of), you do not have a rightful claim in deciding that her words are not hurtful to those groups.

      • h

        Point taken. I can’t identify offensive language for other people. But as a HUGE minority on this campus (we’re talking the number of people on this campus even remotely like me is in the single digits – there has only been ONE other student in ND HISTORY who had to live like I do), I understand offensive language pretty well. I also understand that the world is harsh and not all rainbows and sunshine. Cruel jokes and awful language have often been used at my expense, as I’m sure at yours and even at the expenses of majority groups, but somehow we all survive. I hate to break it to you, but that’s life. Hate will never be eradicated, so it’s pointless to make a fuss. I’m not trying to mark certain groups as over-sensitive, I’m just saying the US (including ND) needs to grow a backbone. We all have to deal with stuff. It sucks; people are mean, but that’s life. There will always be varying viewpoints because every individual has his or her own brain. No amount of rallies/protest/organizations/laws will ever change that. Russia tried to get everyone on the same page once – look at how that turned out. The world’s not getting any nicer, we just have to be tougher.

  • peregrine8

    People will ALWAYS respect you (and your views) more if you seem like you’re an understanding person. The most important thing isn’t just being “right”. In other words, you can disagree without being disagreeable. Just a pro tip.

  • Nathan

    While I disagree with many of the points made above, I actually feel that Miss Coulter shouldn’t be discouraged from speaking at Notre Dame.

    After all, In a sense it would serve a similar purpose to the “I too am Notre Dame” project. Both serve the critical function of reminding the student body that ignorance is not the same thing as absence. Ignoring the callous remarks depicted in the “I too am Notre Dame” project photos does not make them stop. Similarly, refusing to allow Ann Coulter to speak doesn’t change the fact that there are many people who still share her viewpoints. Those people don’t evaporate when she doesn’t give speeches. Therefore, it behooves us as a society to allow all people a chance to stand on the podium.

    Besides, I think that students here are smart enough to decide for themselves whether Ann Coulter’s views have merit. And if the College Republicans believe that Ann Coulter is really the person they want speaking on their behalf, more power to them.

    • Alfred

      Point well taken, however I would argue that this decision isn’t in fact reflective of all college republicans’ views. More so, I would suspect that not many students would believe Coulter speaks on their behalf.

  • 2013 alum

    Wow this racist asshat gets a whole article? This is actually disgusting.

    • Nathan

      A few years back people likely would have been equally upset about a pro-gay marriage editorial. Everyone gets a spot on the podium in a free society.

  • Clara

    Mr. Gianfalla, you kind of sound like you have a “liberal complex.” You think that certain groups of students are trying to “liberalize” Notre Dame. But please don’t paint all liberals with the same brushstroke, just as we will *try* to not do to you and other conservatives. If you think that trying to support people in who they are in terms of sexual orientation or race or whatever, whether by their choice or not, is inherently wrong, then I question the meaning of your faith. Is faith discriminatory or prejudicial or even hateful? I think you’re wrong there. And I fear that you may come back to this article someday when you are much older and realize what a mistake it was. But maybe you won’t. Either way, this is just embarrassing for Notre Dame, as evidenced by the plethora of comments below.

  • Kristi

    In 2009, a student submitted a letter to the Observer regarding the Hook Up culture at Notre Dame. In 2014, you managed to outshine this letter.

    Most people can agree on one thing…hate just isn’t a good look for anyone, Democrat, Republican, or None of the Above…party doesn’t matter here. Further, you need to read a science journal RE: SCOP ideologies. Further, have you ever actually looked at the club rosters? I can tell you now, I know more than a few people of Caucasian descent involved in BSA, AAA, etc. This is embarrassing to read as an alumnus…is this depreciating my diploma value?

  • Andrew

    Wait…the column is a barely coherent string of abject fallacies and racism and the comments section is full of intelligent, logically defensible claims? What kind of alternate internet reality have I wandered into?

  • Dorothy Mantooth

    King Joffrey goes to Notre Dame?

  • Potential Junior Transfer
  • Zach

    Guys at least Thuraday is Fajita night. So we have that to rally around. Go World. Go ND. Friends.

  • Nick

    Its embarrassing to have someone like Mr. Gianfalla pretend like they are the voice of all republicans on campus. Everyone, please realize that most republicans find Coulter to be a repulsively ignorant individual. Just because we believe in the right to free speech, doesn’t mean the majority of us tolerate blatant racism and sexism. Ms. Coulter clearly does not have views the majority of us agree with, and most of us do not believe that she is a good representative to speak on the behalf of the Catholic church.

    I hope the student body does not take what Mr. Gianfalla has to say as representative of all conservatives on campus, rather as the ignorant views of someone who is either 1.) trolling (which would be extremely sad), or 2.) someone who has very sadly lost their way. I pray that Mr. Gianfalla can find it in his heart to correct his ignorant views.

    Until then, from myself and many other republicans on campus, PLEASE stop writing viewpoints, Mark. Frankly, you’re making us all seem like idiots. More importantly, you are very poorly representing republicans on campus, and representing the University of Notre Dame in an extremely negative manner.

    • Alfred

      This is an excellent post summing up me and my friends’ views on the debacle. We all just wish the administration would put out a muzzle order on this guy or that he doesn’t run for reelection as the college republican president.

  • Guest

    Want a good laugh? This is a great example of a terrible argument and not even a remote idea on what Catholic Social Teaching actually is. Classic Mark Gianfalla for writing such a poorly researched and misinformed article….Only thing I respect is his courage for voicing his thoughts as wrong as they may be.

  • Daniel Oucher

    Mark,

    Notre Dame is not a “dynamic melting pot.” There aren’t many minority students, and most of the racial minorities are as well off economically as the rest of the student body, so what diversity of skin color the university possesses is still deceptive with regard to its even lower diversity of culture and class.

    Anyway, you need to get a handle on this martyr complex of yours. Conservatives are not being persecuted, nor are they in the minority on campus. There are abortion graveyards, religious rules, and the university refuses to say it won’t discriminate based on sexual orientation. The student body is pretty wealthy and the administration is run by priests. We all took Theo 101 and sat through lectures on Catholic moral teachings. You’re doing alright for yourself if you want a conservative environment.

    Honestly, I wish I could bring myself to care about this whole debacle. Unfortunately, I can’t. I just figured someone needed to tell this Long Island blue blood to chill out.

    Sincerely,
    Daniel Oucher

  • Paulus

    Dude you drank the kool-ade. If you want to be treated like a professional, I wouldn’t use phrases like “racially exclusive special interest clubs” or blame paranoid conspiracy theories about “liberalizing the student body.” I thought Notre Dame produce smart, talented conservatives, not mirror images of the clowns we see blathering ridiculous talking points on cable TV. I’m incredibly dismayed that this is the best we can do.

    The College Republicans have every right to host Ann Coulter; that is their prerogative. But I would think about the message you’re sending about the type of conservatives Notre Dame celebrates: incendiary attention-seeking pundits? Or true, thoughtful conservatives who have the capacity to incorporate a modicum of nuance in the way they see the world?

  • NDaniels

    This man dared to cry wolf, and it appears he had to flee because of the wolves:

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2012/december/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20121221_auguri-curia_en.html

    Why do those who profess to be Catholic desire to put The Word of God to the test?

    Only The Just Judge knows the state of our souls, but this does not change the fact that it is sinful to not desire to call sin, sin. No doubt, we are living in a Time of great confusion; being Catholic is not a matter of degree. ( See Catholic Canon 750)

  • Tim

    Somebody should contact Morgan Stanley, where Mark Gianfalla is going to work this summer, and bring to their attention his racist and homophobic views. Morgan Stanley received the Corporate Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign–the nation’s largest civil rights group working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality–so Morgan Stanley will take this complaint seriously.
    https://www.morganstanley.com/about/awards/articles/ed3738b1-8205-11de-b5d1-6d6288639586.html.

  • Adam

    I agree and disagree with Mark on some points. While Anne Coulter tends to be a white supremacist she is more vocal than a congressman who would have very strict, politically correct language. A character of a sorts is needed to create a discussion. Off the top of my head, even though extremely unlikely would be Stephen Colbert. This is a man who holds to the conservative views.
    Continuing on to points made by other readers. Abortion has always been a strictly off limit practice in both Catholic teaching and Republican political views. Gay marriage at least according to Pope Francis is off limit as well. This is not saying gay relationships are bad. Finally, while CST may invite for help of the poor the aid of illegal immigrants is against Republican economic values. While breaking down the reasoning of this would be too difficult without a dissertation the essence of such can be looked up easily. In conclusion Mark may have chosen one of the most radical speakers however from the responses here it seems ND’s populace wants a mouse who would be too afraid to speak in fear of scaring off voters.

    • M

      …You know the Colbert Report is a satire, right? Dude’s mocking conservatism…

  • Dasha G

    I took a few days to read this because I had exams and I didn’t want to contaminate my mind with ridiculousness posed by an article that had been circulating campus written by the same male whose extremely offensive e-mail was received in my inbox at least 5 times in one hour on Wednesday night. I was prepared to be enraged, however, I laughed. Simply laughed. This is a joke, everyone. A late April Fool’s joke. I refuse to believe otherwise. That, or this will soon be shown on MTV’s Punk’d. I always wanted to know what it felt like to be Punk’d… Thanks, Mark.