CommUNITY Week celebration promises that UST can do better together

CommUNITY Week celebration promises that UST can do better together

I am pleased to announce that Oct. 1-6, will be the inaugural CommUNITY Week celebration at the University of St. Thomas. Its theme is “Respecting, Affirming, and Valuing the Greater Mosaic.” In the spirit of unity, students, staff, faculty, alumni and supporters of St. Thomas are joining efforts to embrace the dignity of all men and women, and to celebrate the human mosaic and cultural diversity on our campus. The weeklong campus celebration is filled with inspiring programs intended to promote civility, community and collective responsibility.

CommUNITY Week’s purpose is an illustration of St. Thomas’ Convictions to respect, affirm and value human dignity and diversity across campus. The presence of intellectual and cultural activities -- both in and out of the classroom -- is consistent with and central to the university's broader mission. The concept for CommUNITY Week was born out of several diversity work-groups’ recommendations put forward to the Office of Institutional Diversity. Events during the week are sponsored and supported by St. Thomas students, employees and alumni who represent academic and administrative units as well as clubs and organizations.

The work of the Steering Committee has yielded awesome results and support. I would personally like to thank Sherrie Maze, administrative assistant to Dr. Tom Rochon, and Michael Glirbas, academic progress analyst in the Registrar’s Office, for their voluntary leadership in consulting, organizing, and shepherding the process along effortlessly. Other members of the Steering Committee are: Cindy Badilla-Melendez, Chelsea Belden, Audrea Bellard, Denise Dieffenbach, Ceri Everett, Terrence Friedrichs, Kendra   Garrett, Alisha Gray, Brian Hill, Michael Klein, Deborah Knaust, Erin Maye, Nathaniel Peterson, Paddy Satzer, Caitlin Schwartz, Dani Sollars, Tori   Svoboda, Vincent Thomas, Jennifer Vogel, Angela Wachira,   and Alfonso Wenker. CommUNITY Week also includes activities from Common Text Week and UST’s International Week.

I invite and encourage all St. Thomas community members to participate in the following activities:

Sunday, Oct. 1

  • Interfaith prayer for reconciliation followed by an ice cream social, 5:30-6:30 p.m., O'Shaughnessy Educational Center lobby (sponsored by OID and Campus Ministry)
  • Mixed Blood Theater production of “Dr. King’s Dream” followed by question-and-answer session, 7-8:30 p.m., O'Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium (sponsored by All College Council)

Monday, Oct. 2

  • Café Cultural, a celebration of spoken word, song, and poetic reading featuring Dr. Heid Erdrich, poet and assistant professor of English at St. Thomas, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Scooter’s, lower level, Murray-Herrick Campus Center (sponsored by OID and BESA)
  • Hate Free Zone workshop: Facilitators Matthew Antonio Bosch from North Hennepin County Community College and Christina Hurtado from the College of St. Catherine will focus on race, GLBT issues and how to resolve hate speech and hate crimes, 6-7:30 p.m., Room 155, Murray-Herrick Campus Center (hosted by OID, Hana, and Allies Student Club)
  • Salsa dancing, 8-9 p.m. (sponsored by STAR; please see Web site for location)

Tuesday, Oct. 3

  • Respecting, Affirming, and Valuing Human Dignity Unity Forum, a public opportunity to hear faculty, staff, and student speeches, personal testimonies and views about diversity and inclusion at St. Thomas; entertainment and hot cider provided, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Foley Plaza (Rain site: Schoenecker Arena) (hosted by OID and student clubs/organizations)
  • Discussion panel: “Nickel and Dimed and Catholic Social Teaching," facilitated by Dr. Carmela Garritano, 3:30-5 p.m., Room 304, Murray-Herrick Campus Center (hosted by Common Text Committee)
  • Film: "Charles H. Houston and the Crusade for Human Rights," an opportunity to see the beginnings of civil rights social justice in America, 7-9 p.m., Room 126, John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts (sponsored by OID, STAR, UST-NCORE [National Conference on Race and Ethnicity] Team)
  • Film: "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price," 7-9 p.m., 3M Auditorium, Owens Science Hall (hosted by Common Text Committee)

Wednesday, Oct. 4

  • UST Appreciation Day: Staff and faculty members will receive sweet treats as a token of our appreciation for their contributions to St. Thomas (sponsored by OID and Volunteers for Inclusive Programs)
  • Panel discussion: "Reading Nickel and Dimed: An Interdisciplinary Perspective," facilitated by Dr. Amy Muse, 12:15-1:15 p.m., Room 304, Murray-Herrick Campus Center (hosted by Common Text Committee)
  • Traditional Japanese tea ceremony, 3:30-5 p.m., Fireside Room, Murray-Herrick Campus Center (sponsored by Office of International Student Services)
  • Ramadan Iftar. Show solidarity with our Muslim community. Speakers Dr. Terry Nichols and Dr. Adil Ozdemir, Theology Department, will discuss fasting in Christian and Muslim traditions, and international students will talk about Ramadan traditions in different Muslim countries. Nichols and Ozdemir will discuss a new Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center at St. Thomas and Pope Benedict's recent comments about Islam. Ali Tews, a student at the College of St. Catherine, will offer information about the ACTC Middle Eastern Studies minor. Speakers begin at 6 p.m., an iftar meal begins at 7 p.m. in the Rogge-Leyden Dining Room, second floor, Murray-Herrick Campus Center. "Solidarity fast' buttons will be distributed in Murray-Herrick Campus Center on Tuesday, Oct. 3. R.S.V.P. to Dr. Pamela Nice so that a food count can be taken. (Sponsored by OID, Center for Faculty Development, ACTC Middle Eastern Studies minor, Muslim Students Association.)
  • Film: "Bread and Roses," about immigrant cleaning workers in Los Angeles, set around the 1990s Justice For Janitors strike, 7-9 p.m., 3M Auditorium, Owens Science Hall (hosted by Common Text Committee)

Thursday, Oct. 5

  • International Fair and Earth Balloon Tour: Come and see the “roundness” of the world “inside-out,” 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Coughlan Field House (sponsored by Office of International Student Services and Globally Minded Student Association)
  • Discussion panel: "Bringing it Back Home: UST and Nickel and Dimed," facilitated by Dr. D. Todd Lawrence, noon-1:15 p.m., Room 304, Murray-Herrick Campus Center (hosted by Common Text Committee)
  • Diversity Issues Facing Graduate and Professional Students of Color: Join graduate and professional students across disciplines to hear firsthand experiences about diversity in post-baccalaureate education, 5-6:30 p.m., Room 202, Opus Hall (hosted by UST School of Law)
  • Global Fashion Show and Liturgical Choir performance: Enjoy the multicultural fashion explosion and the joyous sounds of international music, 7-8:30 p.m., second-floor atrium, Murray-Herrick Campus Center (hosted by Globally Minded Students Association,
    Hana, Black Empowerment Student Alliance)

Friday, Oct. 6

  • Professional development workshop for UST faculty and staff: “Understanding Other People’s Power” is an experiential, immersion-simulated experience that explores class issues, white privilege and power relations. The workshop will address these issues in the context of Catholic social teaching themes and St. Thomas’ civil discourse principle -- ground rules on how to dialogue and problem-solve on these matters. There is limited availability so register online through Leadership Academy.   9:30 a.m.- noon, Room 100, McNeely Hall, (sponsored by OID and Leadership Academy)
  • International potluck, 5 p.m., contact Office of International Student Services for details
  • Documentary drama: “Somewhere Else Mother," based on interviews with homeless women in Minnesota, written and directed by Nicole Gurgel '05, 7:30 p.m., Foley Theater. There will be a second showing on Oct. 7 (sponsored by English Department, Luann Dummer Center for Women, Dean of Students, Campus Life)