Gov. Jeb Bush pays a visit to campus

JILLIAN SCHULZ • [email protected] • Governor Jeb Bush was interviewed in the Abbey Church at SJU on Sept. 21.

By Meredith Jarchow
[email protected]

On Sept. 21, former Florida Governor and 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush was interviewed by St. John’s graduate of ’69, MPR News
Editor-At-Large Gary Eichten for the 11th Annual Eugene J. McCarthy Lecture on Conscience and Courage in Public Life.

While on campus, Bush toured the St. John’s campus, participated in a question and answer session with a group of approximately 30 students, held a press conference for media sources and attended receptions before and after the lecture.

SJU President Michael Hemesath, Director of the McCarthy Center Matt Lindstrom and McCarthy Center Student Coordinator Kathryn Hockman shared welcomes and introductions before the interview.

Topics covered during the interview included climate change and the recent hurricanes the nation has endured, the 2016 Presidential Election, relations with China and North Korea, education and Bush’s thoughts on President Donald Trump and Congress. While the content of the lecture was serious, the
former Governor did elicit a few laughs from the audience.

“Moving on to President Trump,” Eichten said.

“Why,” Bush said. “What’s the point?”

According to Lindstrom, this Eugene J. McCarthy Lecture had the strongest interest among students compared to previous lectures. He attributed the increase in interest to the high-profile nature of the guest.

“There was more people there so there was a lot more energy, and there was a lot of excitement,” McCarthy Center Student Coordinator Meghan Mullon said. “It brought more people into the Center which was exciting.”

Compared to the past two Eugene J. McCarthy Lectures, Bush is aligned more politically to the right. There were concerns of protests on campus by students with opposing views, but Lindstrom was happy with the student reception to the event.

“I was not surprised, but extremely pleased that the students welcomed Governor Bush with open arms and open minds,” Lindstrom said. “The St. Ben’s and St. John’s students deserve all the credit for being mature and intellectually curious, and for just simply displaying Benedictine hospitality as well as intellectually open minds for learning and listening to someone they may not necessarily agree with or vote for.”

Bush was chosen as the Eugene J. McCarthy Lecture guest after an SJU Trustee member, who has a connection with the governor, suggested him to the McCarthy Center. Moving forward, the McCarthy Center will begin the selection process for the next lecture guest at the end of this semester and hope to have one in place sometime during the spring semester.

“In the end, the lecture itself is about celebrating Senator McCarthy’s legacy,” Mullon said. “Once people see that that’s the purpose of the lecture, it becomes much more poignant who we bring in and what kind of conversations we have.”

In the meantime, the McCarthy Center will continue to host their regular Politics and a Pint events as well as TED Talks Tuesday.

“I think the McCarthy Center can continue to push all of us out of our little political bubbles,” Lindstrom said.

Johnnie/Tommie shatters attendance record

Johnnie/Tommie shatters attendance record

By Charly Frisk
[email protected]

The University of St. Thomas beat St. John’s University’s football team 20-17 this past Saturday, Sept. 23. While the Tommies wore purple and the Johnnies wore red, all attendees in the stands no matter what team, appeared to have notes of red facial hues as a result of hot temperatures exceeding 84 degrees paired with 64 percent humidity.

Just as the hot, summery weather still holds a tight grip on lower half of Minnesota, the traditional importance of the Johnnie/Tommie game held strong and true for both members of the crowd and members of the football team of St. John’s this past Saturday.

Though it was first-year Emma Culhane’s first time watching the Johnnie/Tommie game, from looking around the stadium, it was visible that some of the alumni have been coming to the games for years.

PHOTOS BY ALEX RUDELIUS • [email protected]
For the first time at Target Field, excited CSB/SJU students cheer on the Johnnies as the DIII attendance record was more than doubled.

“I thought the game was super fun,” Culhane said. “I really enjoyed seeing the St. John’s community come together from past to present. I think one of the reasons why the attendance was so high because of the community that they have built over the years.”

First-year wide receiver Keenon Mills, reminisced on what the game meant for him as a new member of the team.

“It meant that I was a part of a great rivalry and tradition,” Mills said. “It meant I was able to go to battle with my brothers on a very big stage in front of an
enormous crowd.”

Some CSB/SJU students, like sophomore Logan Schmidt, had friends on the opposing team.

“We love to be competitive with each other and honestly feel a bit of hatred towards one another during the game… having fun with the rivalry between St. John’s and St. Thomas by getting a little heated with my Tommie friends is just part of the experience,” Schmidt said via Snapchat.

Though the infamous rivalry remained a constant for this past game, both schools experienced a new set of firsts. Not only did the two schools christen Target Field with its first football game, but the game now the holds the record for the highest attendance in DIII football history.

While sophomore Peter Lenz appreciated the allure of playing at such a large field, he believes that the infamous Johnnie/Tommie game should be kept closer to home next time.

“I think the importance of playing at Target Field in front of such a large attendance was to show the kind of love the rivalry game between the Johnnies and Tommies gets from fans. Other than that I think that the game should stay at the school campuses in the future in order to keep tradition and everything else that comes with games on campus,” said Lenz via Snapchat.

While playing at Target Field may have been fun for students, it is not likely to happen again. In an earlier email sent out to the community by Vice President of Student Development Dough Mullin expressed his desire for the Johnnie/Tommie game to be held at SJU.

“We have no desire whatsoever to ever host the Johnnie-Tommie game at Target Field or at any off-campus venue,” Mullin said in his email. “We will host the 2018 Johnnie-Tommie game at Clemens Stadium, and we have already began planning for that Oct. 13 game.”

Sexton changes cause controversy

JILLIAN SCHULZ • [email protected] • Earlier closing times have students annoyed at the Sexton Caf, while Johnnie Java takes on a new role.

By Cormac Quinn
[email protected]

A new school year often brings new changes, but not all of these differences come with approval. Changes in management at Sexton have subsequently brought changes to their operations that has left some students disgruntled. To cut costs and improve student workers’ livelihoods without sacrificing student satisfaction, the Sexton Caf began closing at 10 p.m. this year, with the Johnnie Java space operating new late-night hours. Now they must survive student scrutiny, some of whom feel their punch has lost value, or that the dining area has lost some social appeal.

The new management team, Julie Neuwirth and Br. Richard Crawford, started in February, giving them the summer to envision a profitable and effective new design. With a noticeable drop in sales in the late evening, there was a financial incentive to close the Caf earlier. An earlier closing time meant the clean-up process would finish-up earlier, so student workers could get home quicker. Despite these new efforts, workers have said they still aren’t returning to their dorms until past midnight; some of whom have 8 a.m. classes. The new closing time was compensated for through converting Johnnie Java into a snack bar and having it open until midnight. This reduced costs by requiring less space, products and personnel late at night.

Student responses have been mixed, with upperclassmen adjusting their habits, and first-years content with how things are.

A common critique of the new system came from Johnnies on the continuous plan. In the past, after dinner at the Reef, they used their “one-punch-a-day” on a midnight sub for the energy to keep studying into the morning hours. Since Johnnie Java doesn’t accept punches, they feel their punch has lost value.

Other upperclassmen were disappointed that their late-night hang out space had become desolate of student activity. With the Caf closed at 10 p.m., but the dining area remaining open until midnight, students have been reluctant to do homework or hangout there. A lack of communication gave a rocky landing for the new management’s overhaul at Sexton. They left the dining area open until midnight so student life could still be fostered within; but, without the Caf,
most students don’t find themselves in there past 10 p.m. When asked if they ate their late-night snack from Johnnie Java in the dining area, there was a look of surprise on the faces of first-years and seniors alike. Most were unaware Johnnie Java is open late, and that it serves pizza. The management at Sexton has been reactive to student opinion, and since Sunday have extended their hours to 10:30 p.m. every night. After an open forum during a SJU Senate meeting last Monday, by the end of the week they had changed their hours of operation. At the meeting, concerns were raised by students about their post-event get-togethers; citing Praise in the Pub and Sunday mass as examples.

The management has expressed its primary desire is to fulfill students’ needs, but finances cannot be overlooked. Neuwirth realizes this. “And now we know,” Neuwirth said.

A lack of clear communication has left students sour at the changes, but the management has reacted accordingly. The new system has left students vying for the old days, their traditions askew and stomachs rumbling. Over the semester, the new management must juggle economics, student life and customer satisfaction in the spotlight of the new academic year.

Lectio Divina

SIERRA LAMMI • [email protected] • Br. Joe Schneeweis (Above)

By Sierra Lammi
[email protected]

CSB/SJU continues to provide students with opportunities for prayer with a new form of contemplative practice through the reading and reflection of scripture known as Lectio Divina. These readings began on Sept. 11 and will take place every Monday from 8:30 -9:15 a.m. in Reinhart Learning Commons 351. They are led by Br. Joe Schneeweis.

This form of prayer involves reading passages of scripture and then taking time to reflect on what was read. Lectio Divina is open to students and faculty alike.

Faculty creates petition due to events in Charlottesville

JILLIAN SCHULZ • [email protected]@csbsju.edu • Theology Professor Vincent Smiles (left) speaks with history professor Jonathon Nash (middle) and theology professor Laura Taylor (far right) about their joint statement on the events in Charlottesville.

 

By Bridget Lenczewski
[email protected]

On Aug. 11 at the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville, a group of white supremacists marched at a rally, spreading messages of racism, hate and violence. Many of those involved in the rally and protesting the rally were injured.

Among this divisive, shaky climate, CSB/SJU professors are looking for ways to unite, bringing together people of all different backgrounds.

Theology professors Vincent Smiles and Laura Taylor, history professor Jonathan Nash and political science professor Jim Read drafted a statement in response to the Charlottesville incident and other demonstrations that have broken out across the U.S. Drafted on Aug. 28, the statement reiterates the Benedictine values that members of the CSB/SJU communities strive to embody.

“[We wrote the statement] to confirm the values that our community holds and to show students that we are in support of them in the community because, despite political statements, actions at Charlottesville, hate speech and other things that are going on, we want to create a different kind of environment here,” Taylor said.

“The statement tries as far as possible not to be partied political – it is Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, all political ideologies. Things like white supremacy and cruelty to LGBTQ people everyone should reject,” Smiles said. “It is an attempt to bring
different political parts of the spectrum together.”

In addition, the statement pushes a message of unification and acceptance of diversity, regardless of political affiliations.

“When things come out in the public arena which are very much contrary to our values of inclusivity and non-discrimination and of respect for peoples no matter who they are, then we cannot just leave our values on a website,” Smiles said.

“We have got to be able to articulate what they mean in practice. There are all kinds of different ways in which we can do this – by the way we conduct ourselves, by the way that we teach, by the way that we have discussions in classes and by the way we treat one another on campus.”

The statement currently has 364 signatures from many people affiliated with the colleges – former and current staff members, former and current faculty members, Catholic sisters and Catholic monks.

“I welcome all individuals on this campus, particularly people I disagree with, because I think that I have an opportunity to have dialogue to try to understand their perspectives. I can grow as a human being, and so I relish the opportunity that students will have in the future to have these dialogues that might be difficult at the time but then allow them to grow in which they are going to be the future leaders of the world,” Nash said. “Perhaps, as leaders, if they embody the Catholic social teachings of the Benedictine values they will work to improve the lives of all human beings, all members of the community.”the public arena which are very much contrary to our values of inclusivity and non-discrimination and of respect for peoples no matter who they are, then we cannot just leave our values on a website,” Smiles said. “We have got to be able to articulate what they mean in practice. There are all kinds of different ways in which we can do this – by the way we conduct ourselves, by the way that we teach, by the way that we have discussions in classes and by the way we treat one another on campus.”

The statement currently has 364 signatures from many people affiliated with the colleges – former and current staff members, former and current faculty members, Catholic sisters and Catholic monks.

“I welcome all individuals on this campus, particularly people I disagree with, because I think that I have an opportunity to have dialogue to try to understand their perspectives. I can grow as a human being, and so I relish the opportunity that students will have in the future to have these dialogues that might be difficult at the time but then allow them to grow in which they are going to be the future leaders of the world,” Nash said.

“Perhaps, as leaders, if they embody the Catholic social teachings of the Benedictine Values they will work to improve the lives of all human beings, all members of the community.”

Alcuin renovations complete

Alcuin renovations complete

By Cullen Trobec
[email protected]

Alcuin Library is back and fully open following the completion of the Dietrich Reinhart Learning Commons, a roughly 20,000 square foot addition that follows last year’s renovation of Alcuin’s main building.

The Learning Commons includes a plethora of new and improved resources for both students and visiting scholars. Students can now enjoy new group study spots, an outdoor terrace and St. John’s newest coffeehouse: The Schu. Alsofeatured are two new classrooms, a media lab and equipment rentals for the media arts.

Central to the new space is the goal of group discussion and collaboration.

“We were thoughtful about designing the existing Alcuin and the Learning Commons to have spaces where people don’t feel constrained whenhaving conversations,” CSB/SJU Director of Libraries, Media and Archives Kathleen Parker said. “We really want this place to be student-centered instead of book-centered.”

Reception from students has been positive. One of the only Commons-related hiccups has been confusion over the new Link stop located just outside of the building’s east entrance. Based on the current schedule, the Link stops at the Learning Commons on weekdays on the :45 of each hour, but only after 5:30 p.m. The schedule change caused some confusion for returning students who were accustomed to the previous Sexton-only stops of last year.

“I don’t like it because there’s no indication of when the bus will be at Alcuin on the Link App or on the TV by Johnnie Java,” sophomore Jack Cassidy said. “It definitely could have been communicated better. I missed the bus twice.”

Students with further questions about the Link schedule are encouraged to visit the transportation page on the CSB/SJU website.

PHOTOS BY SAMUEL BUTTERFASS • [email protected] • Students have a new place to study in the Learning Commons, with a convenient location next to the new coffee shop, the Schu. Students can also enjoy relaxing views while studying.