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viewpoint

Student Government response to Columbus murals decision

| Tuesday, January 22, 2019

In a recent email to the student body, Fr. Jenkins stated his intention to cover the controversial Gregorian murals hanging in Main Building. As student government leaders, we support Fr. Jenkins’ nuanced approach to this complex issue, and applaud his decision.

It is undeniably difficult to judge art produced hundreds of years ago by today’s societal standards. And we acknowledge, as Fr. Jenkins did in his letter, that the concept of celebrating persecuted immigrant Catholics is a deeply worthy one. However, the insensitive content of the murals — and their front-and-center prominence in Notre Dame’s most iconic building — renders them untenably problematic. These murals send the wrong message to prospective students, visitors and members of our community.

We are proud of the many students and faculty — particularly the Native American Student Association — who lobbied hard for change on this important issue. We commend them for the dedication they showed in passionately pursuing their goal. This is an important reminder that unified, devoted groups of students are capable of affecting change on our campus.

Gates McGavick

student body president

Corey Gayheart

student body vice president

Briana Tucker

student government chief of staff

Jan. 20

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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