Notre Dame ReSources

Author: Dennis Brown

Elian Gonzalez: The raid by federal agents to take young Elian Gonzalez from the home of his Miami relatives was an “unjustified, unnecessary and excessive use of force,” says Jimmy Gurule , professor of law at Notre Dame and a former federal prosecutor. “The entire scene is frightening and shocking. It dredges up images of a Kafka novel. These people were not criminals and, furthermore, there were no exigent circumstances to justify federal agents breaking down their door in the middle of the night. There was no flight risk, no danger to the child, and no danger to the INS. Attorney General Reno should have proceeded through the courts, obtained an order requiring the family to turn over Elian and, if they refused, proceeded to obtain an order holding them in contempt.” *Professor Gurule is available for further comment at (219) 631-5917 or .

  • p. Ohio motto: A federal appeals court ruling that Ohio’s state motto ? “With God, all things are possible” ? violates the Constitution is not surprising, according to a Notre Dame legal scholar, but it does create problems of application across the board. “The complication,” says Steven Smith , professor of law, "is that applying this standard in a sincere and consistent way would mean, for example, making unconstitutional the names of many cities in Texas and California, such as Corpus Christi. In addition, it also would require making our coins, with “In God We Trust,” unconstitutional. Some justices have argued that the religious message in these examples has been drained of all purpose and meaning. But it seems to me that this all is a badly misformulated constititutional standard." *Professor Smith is available for further comment at (219) 631- 3090 or .
  • p. Millennial students: Notre Dame’s director of career services says that despite the strong economy, the job market for college graduates is not as strong as many believe. “Certainly accounting, finance, computer science, health care, insurance, the engineering disciplines, and ‘dot-com’ organizations are great markets for college grads,” says Lee Svete . “But the threats of increased oil prices, possible inflation, lower than expected quarterly earnings by Fortune 500 companies, a rocky stock market, and an increase in interest rates have many companies worried about the future. To complicate these matters, the new ‘Millennial Students’ on college campuses are much different than ‘Generation Xers’ in terms of job expectations, their unwillingness to relocate, high salary expectations, a need for flex and social time, and a desire for immediate rewards and feedback. These are characteristics that are causing havoc in the recruiting world.” *Svete is available for further comment at (219) 631-5200 or .
  • p. Peru: The Peruvian presidential election “was scary,” says Notre Dame political scientist Scott Mainwaring , of the vote last week that leaves President Alberto Fujimori facing a run-off against Alejandro Toledo. “Everything points to an attempt by the government to use fraud to win the election, and the fraud was successful ? to a degree.” Mainwaring adds, however, that there is some good news. “First, the response of the international community in defense of democracy was resounding,” he says. “The head of the Organization of American States (OAS) delegation, Eduardo Stein, stated that ‘something sinister was going on.’ That’s extraordinarily strong language for an OAS diplomat. Also extremely positive is the fact that the outcry was bilateral. It’s a step forward in my view, although the Fujimori government obviously disagrees with me and denounced Yankee interventionism. With a high degree of likelihood, Fujimori would have stolen the election outright without the strong international response. Second, the Peruvian response was also dramatic. Peruvians mobilized en masse in favor of clean elections and democracy, and against electoral fraud. This response is especially heartening because only eight years ago, when Fujimori effected a palace coup and shut down democratic institutions, most Peruvians supported him. Today, many more are tired of autocratic leaders who do not respect democratic rules of the game.” *Professor Mainwaring can be reached for further comment at (219) 631-8530 or .
  • p. Invasive species: Notre Dame biologist David Lodge has been appointed chair of the Invasive Species Advisory Committee by Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt. The committee provides information and formulates plans on how best to deal with issues such as the invasion of the zebra mussel in the Great Lakes and the outbreak of the West Nile-like virus in New York. “Invasive species constitute one of the most important environmental issues in the world, and one that is just being recognized as such,” Lodge, a professor of biological sciences, told Notre Dame’s student newspaper, The Observer. “One of the major difficulties in dealing with invasive species is that you can’t pass one law to keep all species out. There are thousands of ways they can get into the country. While we all benefit from certain exotic species, such as vegetables and fruits, we need to be concerned about invasive species that impact human health negatively and bring about loss of biodiversity.” *Professor Lodge can be reached for further comment at (219) 631-6094 or .
  • p. Human Genome Project: A new book edited by Notre Dame’s Phillip R. Sloan takes an interdisciplinary look at the often controversial Human Genome Project. In “Controlling Our Destinies,” published by Notre Dame Press, scholars from the fields of philosophy, history, ethics, theology and the natural sciences examine the complex and far-reaching issues surrounding the project. Contributors discuss the historical background of the project, issues behind the concepts of “code” and “genes,” the implicit reductionism in contemporary human genetics, and the challenge the project presents for theological perspectives on human life. Sloan is a professor in the Program of Liberal Studies and director of Notre Dame’s Program in Science, Technology and Values. *Professor Sloan can be reached for comment on the Human Genome Project at (219) 631-5221 or 631-5015 or .
  • p. Catholic universities: Sister Alice Gallin, O.S.U. , a life trustee of Notre Dame and former executive director of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, has written a new book titled “Negotiating Identity: Catholic Higher Education since 1960.” Published by Notre Dame Press , the book reviews developments in Catholic higher education during the past four decades and examines the process by which these institutions acclimated themselves to the standards of the American academy and, at the same time, attempted to retain their Catholic characters and missions. For more information, contact Julie Dudrick, director of promotions for Notre Dame Press, at (219) 631-6346.

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