College Campus Ministry panel discussion explores human dignity

first_imgSaint Mary’s Campus Ministry explored the relationship of human dignity on issues such as racism, disabilities and autism during a panel discussion Wednesday.Assistant director of Campus Ministry Emily Sipos-Butler said this panel discussion was intended to explore the inherent human dignity of each and every human person. She said the panel served to reinforce the idea that humans are all created in God’s image and likeness, and it means something for each of person in the Saint Mary’s community, as well as the community as a whole.“When we talk about this notion in Catholic social teaching of life and dignity of the human person, we often start with life and the right to life — the right to be born — and the next thing that gets added on is natural death,” Sipos-Butler said.The panel discussion came about as a way to help students and members of the Saint Mary’s community explore a whole variety of issues that relate to the life and dignity of the human person, Sipos-Butler said.“There is a lot that happens in between the right to life and natural death that relates to life and dignity of the human person, and its impacts on the community as well,” she said. “Ultimately we’re created as social beings. We’re not just individual hermits scattered across the Earth, so we need to look and reflect deeply on each of these issues that affect us and the world around us.”Michael Waddell, associate professor of philosophy and the McMahon Aquinas Chair in philosophy, said the sanctity of human life is not only a matter for reflection and consideration for Christians but ought to be for all people in society.The way in which people can foster the flourishing of different types of human goods, Waddell said, is by defending every human being’s right not only to life, but also to education, to healthcare, to work and to living and participating in the world.“We are not merely beings, we’re human beings — which is to say that we’re rational animals, and as animals we have bodies, and bodies are prone to illness, injury and disability,” he said. “Therefore, we need healthcare to preserve the bodily life. But we’re not just animals either, we’re rational animals, which means we are capable of knowledge, and so we need education to foster the good of knowing truth. As rational beings, it turns out that we are also social beings, and so we need access to the community.”Andrew Pierce, professor of philosophy and the coordinator of justice studies, discussed racism in contemporary American society as a form of discrimination that violates the principle of solidarity and dignity of all human persons.“One of the principles that tend to fall out of our broader understanding of human dignity is the principle of solidarity,” he said. “This notion enforces that we are one human family, equal in dignity regardless of differences in race, ethnicity, nationality, ability, sexual orientation, etc.”Although our society as a whole still has work to do in becoming truly inclusive and respecting of all types of people, Sipos-Butler said this event is one way of engaging the Saint Mary’s community to talk about and highlight the various issues facing the community today.“And particularly at a time when I hear from students that some of them are trying to find their place, they’re not sure where they fit in and there is a lot of negative talk in the political arena that heightens anxiety and it erodes not only civil discourse, but also how we understand other human persons,” she said. “This is a way to engage as Christians and members of society to contribute anything that we can to uphold this notion of the life and dignity of the human person as being really foundational for not only our society but here on our campus as well.”Tags: Faith, Human Dignity, Saint Mary’s Campus Ministrylast_img read more

Tough schedule looms for Badger hockey

first_imgLEAH BELLACK/Herald photoWith less than a week before the Wisconsin men’s hockey team begins its 2008-09 season, head coach Mike Eaves addressed the media Monday.One of the biggest question marks for the Badgers entering the season is their tough schedule. They open the year this Friday against defending national champion and top-ranked Boston College and continue Saturday against No. 7 New Hampshire.The games won’t be getting much easier following the opening weekend, as UW then travels to No. 6 Denver before hosting No. 10 Minnesota at the Kohl Center Oct. 24 and 25.“It’s interesting how we feel as a staff, the fact that our schedule plans out so difficult in the beginning,” Eaves said. “We planned the games against BCU and UNH. We knew we were going to play them. The fact that we’re going to play Denver, Minnesota, North Dakota — that was just perhaps bad luck of the draw with the schedule.”And while Friday’s game will be the first game together for this year’s squad, Eaves realizes their opponents will be in the same situation.“There’s kind of a calmness in our coaching staff in the fact that in the beginning of the year, we don’t know what we truly have. But other teams are too in that quandary,” Eaves said. “If we’re going to play these big guys at the beginning, we’re both kind of feeling our way around a little bit. We may surprise ourselves; we may surprise other teams by going in there, being on the road — there’s less pressure when you play on the road.”Last year, Wisconsin made the NCAA Tournament as the only team with a losing record at 16-17-7 overall and 11-12-5 in the WCHA. This season, however, they’ll need to be above .500 if they hope to make the postseason following rule changes instituted by the NCAA over the summer.That gives the non-conference games even more importance down the road, something Eaves and his staff will take into consideration when scheduling future opponents.“We talked about it very quickly after that rule was passed. It’s just something we have to consider to look at when we’re looking at our schedule,” Eaves said. “It’s a fine balance between playing that tough schedule so that in the RPI rankings — that’s one of the considerations, the rank of the opponents you play. But what good does it do to you if you’re below .500? We’re very cognizant and will be so in the future.”Co-captains lead BadgersAt the team’s end-of-the-year banquet in the offseason, senior forward Ben Street and junior forward Blake Geoffrion were selected as the team’s two co-captains for the upcoming season. Both finished in a tie for second on UW in scoring last year, with 30 points each.But the duo brings two separate styles of leadership, as Street is more soft-spoken and Geoffrion is a bit more outgoing.“It’s interesting from the fact that if we can combine these two young people together, we have a complete captain,” Eaves said. “Ben has a few more life experiences, he’s quiet, he’s thoughtful. Blake, on the other hand, is an extrovert, likes to talk — probably talks too much at times, and that’s got to be part of his growth.”The decision to name the two as captains was made by both the players and the team, but Eaves said the guys in the locker room essentially made the choice before the coaches had a chance.“It’s more based on what the players see. They’re in the locker room every day, and they see the influence and the impact that their teammates have on each other,” Eaves said. “It was clear as soon as the tabulations were made, even without the coaches’ votes, that Blake and Ben were the two strongest candidates.”This marks the first time that Wisconsin will have co-captains since 1993-94, when Rob Granato and Mark Strobel both donned the C on their sweaters. In 2003-04, the Badgers had tri-captains when they were led by Rene Bourque, Dan Boeser and Andy Wozniewski.Young yet againMuch like last season, the Badger roster is young. Seven freshmen will join the team this year, and UW will also return nine sophomores from 2007-08.“We might even be younger this year than we were last year,” Eaves said.The youth and inexperience showed at times for Eaves’ team last season, as they hit a handful of speed bumps early in the year before finally hitting their stride late in the season. With another young group taking the ice in 2008, Eaves predicts a similar scenario might play out. “I think if you take a look at the pattern of last year, it was one where we had some ups and downs in the first part,” Eaves said. “After Christmas, we played to a much higher level; we played much more consistently, and we played our best hockey at the end of the year. We always want to play our best hockey at the end of the year, and I would suspect based on history we’ll have some of the same ups and downs that we did during the course of last year this year. … If we’re playing our best hockey at the end of the year, that’s where we want to be because that’s going to give us a chance to play where we want to play, and that’s in the Frozen Four.”last_img read more