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PrismND officers’ response to announcement of commencement speaker

| Monday, March 6, 2017

Commencement weekend gathers families from all over the world to celebrate the achievement and hard work of the graduates of the University. This is the last time the class of 2017 will be together on campus before being sent onward to carry out Our Lady’s mission. We recognize the value of discourse and encourage the discussion of opinions as a vehicle for growth; as such we affirm the University’s right to accept whomever into our campus community’s conversation. However, we are discouraged at the announcement of Vice President Mike Pence as this year’s commencement speaker.

Notre Dame has made immense progress supporting LGBTQ members of our community over recent years. With the adoption of the Pastoral Plan and the creation of PrismND beginning in fall of 2013, the University “aligns itself with that activity animated by God’s grace that brings about ‘justice grounded in love.’” The vice president’s attitudes toward the LGBTQ community directly contradict the University’s own Spirit of Inclusion and ultimately, the love of God and neighbor that Notre Dame seeks to cultivate.

Vice President Pence has repeatedly demonstrated, through his actions and words concerning the LGBTQ community, that he is not in pursuit of the “sense of human solidarity” expressed within the mission statement of the University of Notre Dame. Therefore, we are disappointed in the invitation extended by Fr. Jenkins to have Vice President Pence represent Our Lady’s university, since his ideals expressly conflict with the care and concern the University claims for its LGBTQ students.

Mason Zurovchak
senior
PrismND president

Carrera Brown
senior
PrismND vice president

Nicholas Furnari
junior
PrismND treasurer

Baylea Williams
junior
PrismND secretary

March 3

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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Letters to the Editor can be submitted by all members of the Notre Dame community. To submit a letter to the Viewpoint Editor, email viewpoint@ndsmcobserver.com

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  • Annette Magjuka

    Make your voices heard. Pence is not an ally; he is actively trying to roll back LGBTQ rights. He is invited to speak since he represents the new administration. I disagree with almost everything he says and most of what he champions. I understand the invitation, but I was disheartened at the words of praise from Fr. Jenkins for Mr. Pence. It is the obligation of Catholics of conscience to demonstrate or to somehow make our voices heard in support of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.

  • warmupthediesel
    • disqus_PBnOP0sXke

      Poor Mike Pence! He needs a safe space where nobody will hurt his feelings by calling him a homophobe!