College lecture series focuses on justice

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s Center for Spirituality (CFS) will kick off its 2013 fall lecture series titled “Justice and Its Many Facets,” sponsored by the Saint Mary’s College Annual Endowed Lecture Series Fund, on Sept. 12. Michelle Egan, associate director for the Center for Spirituality, said because the college is focusing on its core value of justice this year, the decision to highlight this topic in the fall lecture series was easy. “Justice is an important and timely theme to build three thought-provoking lectures around, and broad enough to explore some of the various facets of justice,” Egan said. The first of these speakers will be Fr. Daniel Groody, associate professor of theology at Notre Dame, who will discuss immigration Sept 12.  “In an era in which war, economic impoverishment and ecological degradation lead millions of people around the globe to migrate from their homeland, and at a time when the U.S. Congress is debating immigration reform legislation, Fr. Groody’s lecture will help the campus community to reflect on these realities from a Catholic perspective,” Egan said. Emily Reimer-Barry, assistant professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Diego will present a lecture Sept. 26 titled “Saying Yes to More than the Dress? Elements of a Pro-Woman Theology of Marriage.”  “At a time when women feel social pressure to have weddings in a style that costs an average of $25,000,” Egan said, “Professor Reimer-Barry’s lecture will discuss a theology of marriage that ‘Says Yes to More Than the Dress.’” The final lecture of the series will take place Oct 10. Mary Doak, associate professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Diego will present her lecture, “Consuming Women: Sex Slavery and the Body of Christ in a Market Dominated World.”  “Professor Doak’s lecture will invite us to explore the meaning of our commitment to justice in a world in which millions of women and children are trafficked both within and across national boundaries for the sex industry or coerced labor,” Egan said. Religious Studies Professor Margaret Gower said she advises all of her students to attend these lectures and believes the topics covered are very pressing and applicable to the core value of justice this year. Gower especially expects the students in her Catholic Social Thought class to attend the lectures.  “Altogether, I hope that the talks will help us, to think about when our relationships, institutions and social, political and economic orders are just and unjust,” Gower said. “From there, we can talk together about what we can do to work for greater justice and more humane order.” The tradition of the CFS lectures is important to the Saint Mary’s community in further educating the minds of the students, Egan said.  “The Center for Spirituality has brought prominent scholars to campus since its inception in 1985,” she said. “They share their wisdom on contemporary religious issues and address broader issues of how faith and reason interact.”last_img read more

Maintenance staff persevere, keep working through Polar Vortex temperatures

first_imgWhile students hunkered down in their rooms due to a severe cold front — nicknamed the “Polar Vortex” — that passed over South Bend on Jan. 30, the University called in workers it deemed essential to student safety and the maintenance of campus. Chris Abayasinghe, director of Campus Dining, said the University called in staff to make sure dining services continued throughout the deep freeze, providing food to both students and workers.“Our primary concern has and continues to be, obviously, for the wellbeing of our students, as well as our staff, and we balanced that concern to ensure that they would be able to report to work safely,” Abayasinghe said. Paul Browne, vice president for public affairs and communications, said precautions were taken to ensure the staff’s safety despite the low temperatures.“One of the things we arranged … was making sure shuttles were bringing those people that had a distance from where they parked because of the extreme weather,” Browne said.Abayasinghe echoed Browne’s point, saying that in addition to having the dining hall workers provide food for students, they also provided food for those who drove the transport vehicles. “Because the decision was made so far in advance for us for the emergency [that] we were also able to work closely with our friends and partners over at [Transportation] Services to be able to work through getting a shuttle, to be able to coordinate that shuttle to ensure our staff were as minimally exposed to the weather as possible,” Abayasinghe said. “We also had the fortunateness of having other Notre Dame staff members come in to drive some of these University vehicles to allow us to do that. So during this period … we also took care of the University’s essential staff so anyone who’s brought in to keep the campus safe and things like that. So we fed them as well.”Browne said those workers called in on Wednesday were notified around noon Monday, the same time students were notified that classes were cancelled.Abayasinghe said one of the other protections the administration put in place for dining workers was opening only locations at Notre Dame deemed “essential” by the University. “Our main thing as we think about our staff is obviously not to put them in harm’s way. So, when we declare an area as an essential service area, in our response this time … we opened NDH and SDH, and we also opened in collaboration with our friends over at student activities and student affairs, the Huddle Mart,” he said. “So we made a determination that we were primarily going to open those areas versus [the Duncan Student Center], for example or any of the other restaurants. So we were thoughtful to minimize how many people we had on campus, and then further with additional transportation services, being able to get them back to their vehicles.”In addition to these safety precautions, Browne said the University compensated employees appropriately.“We increased their compensation to reflect the harsher conditions, or the unusual conditions, and that applied to service workers and others,” Browne said. “ … [Those] who were not required to come in, they were not docked but they were paid, even though they didn’t have to come in.”Considering the dangerous and difficult circumstances the Polar Vortex created, Abayasinghe said he feels Campus Dining staff handled the situation well. “They just continue to amaze and impress me and especially when there’s a certain situation or emergency as to how they pull together. They’re pretty cool,” he said.Tags: Campus DIning, maintenance staff, polar vortex 2019last_img read more

No-deal Brexit move is ‘tantamount to pursuing recession’, strategist warns

first_imgThe decision by the UK government to suspend parliamentary proceedings in an effort to force through Brexit on October 31 is “tantamount to actively pursuing a recession”, according to Principal Global Investors’ chief strategist.Seema Shah said the move – which was formally announced yesterday by prime minister Boris Johnson – had pushed global investors to take a “do not touch” approach to UK equities.“The PM’s move comes at a time when the FTSE 100 is on course to record its largest monthly fall in four years,” Shah said.“The large, multinational businesses in the FTSE have, naturally, been highly sensitive to an escalating trade war between China and the US, particularly as the complex global supply chains of which they are parts face seismic disruptions. They are fighting political fires at home and abroad.” Boris JohnsonJohnson received approval from the Queen to suspend parliament until 14 October – less than three weeks before the UK’s scheduled departure date from the EU.Johnson and other Conservative Party ministers have denied that the move was designed to limit the actions that opposition parties can take to stop a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. Many politicians have strongly criticised the suspension of parliament, with some calling for a vote of no confidence in Johnson’s government. Seem Shah, Principal Global InvestorsSince the start of 2016, before the EU membership referendum, sterling had fallen in value from $1.47 and €1.36 on 1 January 2016 to $1.22 and €1.10 as of 5:30pm on 28 August, following the confirmation of the suspension of parliament. However, sterling has traded below €1.10 during August.“Company fundamentals remain broadly strong so the implication is that global investors have finally reached the ‘do not touch’ point for UK equities,” Shah said. “We appear to be at the limits of what the foreign exchange markets can do for companies, with the economic clouds beginning to shut out the rays of light afforded by a weak currency.“The rare sight of the stock market and the currency market coming to the same conclusion – namely that the UK is best avoided for now – throws into sharp relief investor sentiment towards ‘no deal’.“While turbulent markets will obviously create some attractive selective opportunities and relative value trades for stock pickers, the big international investors now look increasingly likely to decrease their exposure to the UK.”‘Normal Brexit volatility’ Dec Mullarkey, managing director, SLC ManagementDec Mullarkey, managing director of investment strategy at SLC Management, argued that markets had not been “overly alarmed” by the prime minister’s “aggressive move”.“The dip in the currency is in line with normal Brexit volatility,” he said. “This implies that while the move pinches parliament’s efforts to constrain Johnson, it doesn’t significantly raise the probability of a no-deal Brexit.”If investors believed the UK was more likely to leave without a deal, Mullarkey said, “equity markets would be revolting as they price in severe growth setbacks”.“Right now they are taking it in stride assuming that parliament can offset Johnson’s gamesmanship,” he added. Gilles Moëc, group chief economist, AXA Investment ManagersGilles Moëc, group chief economist, AXA Investment Managers“Our fundamental view has not changed: it is unlikely that any positive outcome on Brexit – such as a ‘deal’, an extension or even a second referendum – can occur without the UK – and UK assets – first going through an exacerbation of the current crisis sentiment.“It is not constitutionally absolutely clear that those in parliament refusing a ‘no deal’ can actually, within the current time limits, impose their view on the government, just as it is also unclear whether changing the backstop would be enough for the Eurosceptic wing of the Tory party to support a new deal sponsored by Boris Johnson.“New elections may be needed before any final clarification, and given the British ‘first past the post’ electoral system and the current dispersion of the electorate, uncertainty would be very high.”Charles Hepworth, investment director for multi-asset, GAM“Boris Johnson’s move makes it even more difficult for MPs to stop a no-deal Brexit, but this is precisely what [Johnson] needs in his armoury ahead of the EU summit – to go there with his wings clipped would see ever more intransigence from the EU. He announced his arrival as PM saying that the ‘UK was leaving on 31 October, do or die’ – this move near enough guarantees it now.  “Sterling, which had become a net long investment thesis for some recently, could see sharp and fast moves to the downside – it’s a roller coaster and the likely trajectory remains to the downside. Potential rushed no-confidence motions, continuing general election speculation calls and a cliff edge rapidly approaching – how is that favourable to a net long sterling view?“Soggy politics and an ineffective opposition means UK risk assets still are for the brave (or foolhardy).” UK risk assets ‘for the brave or foolhardy’ Shah claimed that the most recent UK equity volatility corresponded with sterling’s valuation relative to the dollar being at “historically low levels”. Since the UK’s EU membership referendum in 2016, the falling value of the pound had boosted UK-listed multi-national companies as they benefited from enhanced international earnings.The FTSE 100 index has fallen by 5.6% in sterling terms this month, as of 27 August, while the MSCI World index is down 4%. The FTSE 100 fell during trading yesterday but closed slightly higher after a late rally.last_img read more