President’s Peace Commission

Image of President's Peace Commission LogoThe President’s Peace Commission fosters an ethical commitment to participate in the establishment of world peace and social justice. The Commission encourages respect for human rights and dignity of all people.

The Commission annually hosts symposia that offer opportunities for students, faculty and staff to grow in their active pursuit of peace and justice.

Through the symposia and other activities, the Commission seeks to build within the St. Mary’s University community a greater awareness of the Roman Catholic and Marianist perspectives on peace and justice. The President’s Peace Commission reflects the University community through student, staff, and faculty representatives appointed by the University President.

Spring 2015 President’s Peace Commission

Save the Date: Feb. 24-26, 2015

Students in Debt, a People in Debt: Indebted to a Vocation?

College students strain to pay increasing university tuitions, incurring debt that may follow them for many years after graduation. Students worry that they will not find gainful employment, even with a college degree. Meanwhile, many people in the United States struggle with homelessness, food insecurity and healthcare. Unemployment and under-employment remain stubbornly high, and the work that is available tends to pay less than it did a scant few decades ago. We live in dread of impending layoffs, while the stock market goes up and the rich get richer. Indeed, our world is fraught with perils and our futures are far from assured. Where, in such a world, do we turn for hope and inspiration?

In an economy increasingly defined by complexity, global interconnectedness and uncertainty – how do we prevent ourselves from being consumed by fear and anxiety? This year’s President’s Peace Commission invites scholars, practitioners, and leaders in the Catholic Church to discuss four key questions: First, how do we encourage students to pursue a liberal-arts-based education – following their passions, talents and vocational calling, regardless of legitimate concerns about economic security? Second, can we make a living doing what we love? Or can we redefine wealth in non-traditional ways – more than simply a yearly salary and the conspicuous consumption of goods? Third, in a nation that seemingly values technical degrees in specific fields, why is a liberal-arts-based education invaluable to students and society as a whole? And ultimately, how can students use their degrees in the fields that they love to create a more socially just world that promotes Marianist values and the Common Good?

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