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  1. Matt Fuller January 22, 2009 @ 11:05 pm

    This is an excerpt from a letter that appeared in the Crier to the students from the Student Government Executive Board regarding the Union Leader editorial and the Inclusiveness initiative.

    Dear Students,

    An evaluation of this semester from the Student Government perspective would be incomplete without looking at the Inclusiveness Initiative and the Union Leader editorial. Fortunately, this flawed argument from the Union Leader has acted as a chance for us all to clarify our stance on this issue. As a Student Government, we often think of ourselves as representatives of a larger student voice. We do not make the mistake, however, of believing that we speak for all of you. That clarification and respect for differing opinions, to us, is part of what diversity is all about. We can only tell you where we stand, and tell you why we stand there.

    The Union Leader charged that by not remaining true to Saint Anselm’s mission, our college has damaged diversity. The argument goes that by rejecting the College’s essence, it will mean fewer choices for high school graduates. To understand truly what the Union Leader is arguing, we must first understand what Saint Anselm College represents. Though defining Saint Anselm College is difficult, this much is clear: We are a liberal arts school. We are an institution founded in a Catholic and Benedictine tradition and we are an institution evolving for a globalized society. A college that evolves is not weak, nor is it in disagreement with the founding principles of Catholicism or a liberal arts education. As Father Jonathan suggests, we are inclusive ‘Because We Are Catholic.’ The argument may be extended: We are inclusive because we are a liberal arts school; we are inclusive because we value truth.

    The Union Leader addressed only a small part of the inclusiveness issue while it also missed the crux of the mission. The paper suggested that inclusiveness “includes hiring more minorities as faculty and staff members and bringing in more minority students.” The editorial never seems to discuss, or even grasp, what else is included in being inclusive.

    Inclusiveness to us simply means that no one feels uninvited, excluded, or unwanted. As a liberal arts institution, it is important that all voices are heard, all opinions expressed, so that we can come to a higher and more objective understanding of issues. Different points of view are important in education. But that is not what inclusiveness is about. The Union Leader does not understand that. Their argument confuses inclusiveness with a quantitative and shallow diversity. How anyone could argue that students should be excluded or felt unwelcome is astonishing. Moreover, the Union Leader is just wrong that inclusiveness is in disagreement to our school’s mission, especially when our mission explicitly makes it clear that Saint Anselm “stands open to receive students of every race, national origin, and creed” and “seeks to enroll a student body which reflects a variety of racial and cultural backgrounds.” These goals are essential to exposing students to different ideas. The Union Leader does not understand that either. A comprehension of differing points of view is truly what being objective is all about.

    Student Government has been an active partner with the Inclusiveness Initiative from the very beginning. We will continue to push for an accepting attitude on this campus so that no student feels excluded or ostracized.

    Genuinely,
    -The Executive Board-

Inclusiveness at Saint Anselm College

Discussions, News Comments (1)

Inclusiveness at Saint Anselm College

an Open Discussion

Friday 1/23 2:30PM

Bradley House Lounge

Here is some background information courtesy of Prof. Latona


Item #1: Inclusiveness Initiative Information


This a link to the website for Inclusiveness at Saint Anselm College

Item #2: Recent Items in the Manchester Union Leader


This is the Union Leader’s story on the inclusiveness initiative at Saint Anselm College.


This is the Union Leader’s editorial statement on the inclusiveness initiative at Saint Anselm College.


This is Father Jonathan’s recent letter to the editor of the Union Leader in response to the Union Leader’s coverage of the inclusiveness initiative.

Item #3: Selected Passages from the Catholic Catechism

In regards to the issue of other religious faiths, here is the relevant section of the Catechism.


In regards to the issue of sexual orientation, here are the Church’s teachings about chastity.


On respect for the human person.

Item #4:Saint Anselm College Non-Discrimination Policy

Old Notice of Non-Discrimination:

In accordance with Federal law, Saint Anselm College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in employment, programs, and activities.

New Notice of Non-Discrimination:

In accordance with Federal law, Saint Anselm College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status in its employment, programs, and activities. Saint Anselm College reserves its lawful rights where appropriate to take actions designed to ensure and promote

David Banach @ January 21, 2009

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