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COR plans Sept. 11 memorial for Sunday

John Cameron | Wednesday, September 7, 2011

As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks nears, the Council of Representatives discussed Tuesday how the memorial would be commemorated on campus.

Student body president Pat McCormick said student government would assist the University in holding a commemorative Mass on Sunday, which is expected to draw much of the University community and surrounding area.

The Mass will take place on Library Quad at 7:30 p.m.

“We’re expecting 4,000 to 5,000 attendees,” he said. “We are promoting it to the community, [so] it’s open to them as well.”

In addition to smoothing out the logistics of the large-scale event, McCormick said student government intends to offer support to students distraught by the memory of the Sept. 11 attacks.

“Our role as the Student Union as a whole will be to provide the initial welcome and to be on the lookout for students who may be having a harder time,” he said.

In addition to helping with the Mass on Sunday, McCormick said he hopes to increase programming next week related to the 9/11 memorial. Sr. Helen Prejean, a finalist for the Nobel Peace Prize, will speak Sept. 12, he said.

“Our hope is to have a speaker in each dorm the following week who can offer their thoughts and take questions … to discuss what 9/11 means to students,” he said.

McCormick said the anniversary highlights the need to increase inclusion on campus.

“It calls us to think about how we welcome people in a real way to our community,” he said.

McCormick recalled a column written in The Observer Viewpoint section by students who experienced racial insensitivity on campus.

“There [was a Viewpoint] from several students who I believe were from an Asian background [that] heard someone making fun of their culture,” he said. “This is serious stuff and it’s pretty disturbing to think it’s going on here.”

McCormick said the inclusion of discriminated groups is closely tied to Notre Dame’s mission.

“This is something that is really close to what brought us all together here, the idea that Notre Dame can be more than just a school but a force for justice in the world,” McCormick said. “If we can use this as an opportunity to reflect this coming Sunday on how, going forward, we can make an effort to expand inclusion.”