Professors should talk about their personal beliefs in the classroom—even if it makes students uneasy.
A few weeks ago I was standing in the back of a college classroom at the Catholic university where I teach while my students chatted with a guest speaker via Skype. The guest speaker was a deacon on his way to the priesthood and a graduate of the University of Saint Francis, where I teach. In the shadowy back aisle where I stood, I listened while Deacon Jay explained that he was not Catholic during his first three years at Saint Francis, but felt pulled toward the faith after a chance invite from a couple of girls to join them at Mass.
Can social emotional learning prevent bullying before it happens?
Last year Lauren Bowman, an eighth grader at St. Christine School in Youngstown, Ohio, died at home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The 13-year-old, who loved softball, reading, and her dogs, had been bullied at school. For her, ending her life was preferable to returning to class after summer break. That same year Daniel Fitzpatrick, a seventh grader at Holy Angels Catholic Academy in Brooklyn, hanged himself. And in 2017 Keegan Beal, a fifth grader at St. Mark’s Catholic School in Peoria, Illinois, ended his life after enduring years of bullying at different schools.
Today’s chaplains are moving out of the chapel and on to the quad in their focus on ministering to all of a university’s students.
While living at a monastery in India, Brahmachari Vrajvihari Sharan took turns cooking meals for 150 people. So when he became a chaplain at Georgetown this past school year, the Hindu monk priest knew how to stretch the allotted budget for hosting his “Free Food Friday” open houses on his New South Hall floor.
Some things you can’t find at Bed Bath & Beyond.
I basically lived at Bed Bath & Beyond in the weeks before moving to college. From memo boards to mini fridges, shower caddies to twin XL sheets, the home goods giant had everything I could possibly need—or at least everything my school’s residential life office told me I needed. Most of it turned out to be helpful at one point or another. (The pink toolbox was a lifesaver on move-out day.) But the items I treasured most in my dorm room were not made of colorful plastic. Instead they pointed me towards something even more important than a college degree: my faith life.
Christian tradition is clear about the way people should live together—and it doesn’t include fine dining on the first floor.
I learned more the time my sophomore floor mates and I tried pulling an all-nighter than I did in an entire semester of Statistics 101.
With all due respect to Professor Su, it was the comradery, more than the calculations, that added up.
The common good is best discerned among diversity.
When my husband and I decided to homeschool our children, one major concern we had was about their socialization. I do not mean that we were worried about our kids making friends or learning character traits like kindness. Our concern was more about how they would learn to care about people different from them, people of different races and creeds, certainly, but also people with different worldviews and values.
It’s about more than just learning another language.
“How many 10’s are in that number?” Grace Bogosian asks her class of second graders at Sacred Heart School in Washington, D.C. The children are gathered around her on a carpet that has a drawing of a milk carton with the words milk and la leche next to the drawing and another drawing of a shoe with the words shoe and el zapato. They take turns rolling a big die twice and writing down the numbers together so that a five and a four become 54.
Teaching kids the difference between right and wrong doesn't always teach them empathy. In fact, it might do just the opposite.
So much for the golden rule. A since-contested study published in the November 2015 issue of Current Biology reported that, perhaps contrary to what one would expect, children from religious families were found to be more punitive and less altruistic than children raised in secular households.
Some big-name schools are on the lookout for something special in college applications: care for the common good.
About 33 percent of all college students are Black or Latino, yet at selective four-year schools they make up only 15 percent of the student body. A new report called “Turning the Tide” from the Harvard Graduate School of Education project Making Caring Common seeks to address this. Endorsed by the same selective schools where Black and Latino students are underrepresented, the report calls for increased minority student access to higher education. It is the first step in a two-year campaign that seeks to substantially reshape the existing college admissions process.
Maintaining a Catholic university’s mission and identity is a delicate task. But the job isn't only for men and women religious.
Before Loyola University Chicago introduced Jo Ann Rooney as its 24th president in May of this year, Jesuit Father James Prehn delivered an invocation to a packed campus auditorium: “We pray for our new president, that she will be given the Holy Spirit, (and) for the gifts of fortitude and courage, to lead us in who we claim to be,” Prehn said. “Give her the wisdom and prudence to discern your holy will for Loyola,” he continued. “Finally, give her joy and peace in fulfilling the role of president.”
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