Category: News

Catholic students advocate for family values at UN commission on women

Photo provided by Franciscan University IDEAS club

Advocating for traditional family values is not what most college students think about as a way to spend their spring break, but that’s exactly what a small group of students from a small Catholic university in Ohio did.

Members of the Intercollegiate Defense of Equality and Solidarity (IDEAS), a student club at Franciscan University of Steubenville, made the trip to New York City from the eastern Ohio university for the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), an annual event held at the UN headquarters “dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women,” according to the event’s website.

IDEAS was one of the thousands of non-government organizations (NGOs) that attended CSW but one of a handful that promotes a “pro-family, pro-life agenda.”

The group’s website says that it was founded on the belief that “human dignity must be kept at the center of all policy and governmental action,” and is “committed  to training and encouraging students with a passion for justice in international advocacy and politics.”

While still relatively small, IDEAS currently has four campus chapters. The original chapter at Franciscan University, and chapters at Ave Maria University, Ave Maria Law School, and Florida Atlantic University.

“We seek to unite, educate, and mobilize collegiate and post-collegiate youth in an educated and effective defense of human life, subsidiarity, and pro-family values on college campuses and in the international political arena,” reads the group’s mission statement.

Adam Basinger, a 21-year old finance and economics major, is the co-president of IDEAS at Franciscan University, and 2018 was his 3rd year attending CSW with the club.

In an interview with Red Alert Politics, Basinger explained that the main goal of IDEAS’ mission at the UN, is not to cause confrontation, but seek to promote thoughtful discussion by asking critical, thought-provoking questions that highlight contradictions in the statements made by speakers and panelists.

Basinger said that the 11 members of the club who went on the trip would split up and go to different panels covering a wide range of topics relating to sex education, contraception, gender identity, abortion, and others.

The members of IDEAS didn’t hide their mission from people who asked, but they didn’t advertise it either. However in one particular exchange Basinger recalled, he explained to two women from Sweden what the club did and its purpose, who promptly responded by saying that the club was “so privileged.”

In a change from previous years, the club was accompanied by Ronald McNamara, the director of student leadership at Franciscan University. Before accepting a position in the Franciscan University student life office, McNamara spent more than a decade working in diplomatic affairs, making the UN a somewhat familiar environment, and making him a valuable resource for the students.

McNamara said that some of the things he witnessed were shocking even to him, but he encouraged the students to seek out the events that seemed the most extreme and attempt to ask questions in order to force conversation. He specifically said that any event hosted by Norway, Denmark, Sweden or the Netherlands were of particular interest and ensured that the Franciscan University students were in the audience for them.

McNamara explained that there was “a great divide between the developing countries and the developed countries” when it came to issues of sex, sexuality and gender identity.

In a session on “gender stereotyping,” McNamara said that during the question period, Basinger quickly shot his hand up and was called on.

“Adam raised a question regarding the dignity of children and the fact that in the comprehensive sex education program that’s being shoved onto these developing countries, that it includes materials for the education of children from 0-4 years old, and includes things that I wouldn’t even be interested in being quoted on in terms of the aberrant behaviors that they are promoting for the education of these children.”

But after Basinger asked the question, three-quarters of the crowd, which McNamara estimated to be about 125 people, busted out laughing, and “somebody barked up, ‘well they’re gonna do it anyway so you might as well teach them.’”

In contrast to the mocking laughter, McNamara said that about half a dozen people came up to him and Basinger following the session and had “reasonable conversation,” noting that for him, as a parent, he felt it was important to consider the parent’s role in the education of their children on “sensitive matters.”

Basinger was not the only member of IDEAS who had attended the CSW before. Ana Victoria Haddad, originally from Chihuahua, Mexico transferred to Franciscan University in Fall 2017 but attended the commission in 2017 with a Mexican NGO.

“[That experience] gave me a little taste of what was going on in the world,” Haddad said, adding that it gave her a desire to learn more about important issues and become more informed about the positions she held.

Haddad said that 2018 was a much different experience because of the faith background she had by going with a group from a Catholic university.

The group stayed at a Dominican monastery in Manhattan for the week and attended daily mass.

Tonianne Zottoli, a freshman English education major, said that pornography was presented as a means of education, as was promiscuity. Event facilitators also would not answer any question that raised the issue of abstinence, she said.

One particularly interesting fact for Zottoli was that Emma Holten, a Danish-Swedish debater, who had nude photos of herself stolen, was among those people advocating for the use of pornography while saying that “right-wing patriarchy is the way we lose democracy.”

 

Advertisements

DOJ Drops Corruption Charges Against Menendez

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has made a shocking move to drop all corruption charges against Senator Bob Menendez, D-N.J.

Two weeks ago, the Justice Department announced that they would re-try Menendez and his co-defendant, Salomon Melgen. Just a week after this announcement, a judge dropped 7 out of 18 of the corruption charges that Menendez and his co-defendant faced, but now the DOJ says they no longer plan to pursue the matter any further.

DOJ spokeswoman Nicole Navas said, “Given the impact of the Court’s January 24 order on the charges and the evidence admissible in a retrial, the United States has determined that it will not retry the defendants on the remaining charges.”

The two men faced multiple counts of wire fraud, bribery, honest services mail, and violations of the Travel Act. Both Menendez and Melgen claim that they were simply given “gifts” and that nothing illegal occurred.

Menendez, despite all of the allegations made against him, declared this month that he will still seek reelection.

Judge cites ‘credible’ evidence of ‘romantic relationship’ between accuser, detective in campus rape case

‘My detective loves me’

The University of Cincinnati has been under federal investigation for two years for allegedly creating a sexually hostile environment against a student who said she was raped.

Now it could be on the hook for discriminating against the male student she accused.

A federal judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit against the public university by Tyler Gischel, whom it expelled after finding that he sexually assaulted the allegedly incapacitated female student, Jennifer Schoewe.

Gischel’s Title IX claim against the university for an “erroneous outcome,” procedural due process claim against individual officials and “malicious prosecution” claim against a detective in the case are going forward, under Judge Susan Dlott’s order.

In a bizarre twist, Gischel pointed to text messages between Schoewe and UC Detective William Richey that suggested they developed a “romantic relationship” during the investigation – evidence that Judge Dlott called “credible.”

In a social media post highlighted by Gischel’s legal team, Schoewe posted a photo of herself “wearing a police hat and vest with a caption that included the saying ‘my detective loves me.’”

Destroyed evidence, ignored court orders

The allegations drew public attention a year ago, before Gischel filed suit against UC, in a Cincinnati Enquirer feature with the headline “Meet the sexual assault survivor who ignited a federal investigation of UC” (below).

The criminal case against Gischel had been dropped two months earlier when Schoewe refused to give the defense the passcode to her phone.

The university also refused to give the Enquirer public records about Schoewe’s case, the paper said. (Gischel’s lawsuit against UC is unusual in that it names both accused and accuser.)

 

Continue Reading at thecollegefix.com

#PleaseStand Trends after NFL Shoots Down Veterans’ Super Bowl Ad

The National Football League, who has been under fire all year long, recently rejected a Super Bowl ad proposed by the Americans Veterans organization (AMVETS).

The ad was asking people to #PleaseStand during the national anthem, but it was deemed “inappropriate” due to the political nature of the message. AMVETS took the time to send a letter to the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, which stated that the NHL and NBA let their ads run without any issue.

Continue reading “#PleaseStand Trends after NFL Shoots Down Veterans’ Super Bowl Ad”

Republicans Demand Release of Potentially Shocking FISA Memo

Republicans are calling for the release of a four-page FISA memo that allegedly contains shocking truths about U.S. government surveillance. The memo has only been released to the House of Representatives, and already many Republican House Members are coming forward to explain why they believe the memo should be released to the American public.

Continue reading “Republicans Demand Release of Potentially Shocking FISA Memo”