October Newsletter: Universal Apostolic Preferences
- President's Post
- 2020 Summer Institute: DEADLINE EXTENDED!
- October Community Impact Award: Deadline Approaching
- EBoard—VP of Online Enrichment Vacancy
- November Webinar Opportunity
- JASPA Website - have you seen it yet?
- October Blog: Bennie D. Williams, Le Moyne College
This month our newsletter focuses on the Universal Apostolic Preferences, during a month when our regular theme would have been gratitude. I will endeavor to weave those two themes together in my reflection, with a little road trip story thrown in for good measure.
This summer I had the chance to spend time in Santa Fe, New Mexico with a small group of people. We took a road trip north of the city, to a sacred site I had never visited before. El Santuario de Chimayo is a shrine and a Catholic church, in a picturesque river valley in the foothills. The shrine is built around a deposit of “healing dirt”, and there is evidence of many pilgrims who have been made whole when they visited. Hundreds of abandoned crutches line the walls, along with notes of thanksgiving left by those who were healed. Outside the church, there are numerous statues and plaques, and the whole scene is remarkable. I was absorbed in experiencing this place, and lost track of my group. Our small bus had driven to another parking area, far from the church. When I returned to our original drop-off point, everyone from my group was gone, and I thought I had been left behind. This was in an area where I had no cell service, and I ran to find the young priest who had given us a tour. He let me borrow his phone and call my friends, but their cell phones weren’t working either. I was panicked, and struggling to think about how I would make my way back to Santa Fe on my own. After a short while, someone from my group walked back to find me, and I was very relieved. I realized that I was not abandoned. My help and support were there for me, but not immediately apparent.
The gratitude I felt in that moment was immense, and it has stayed with me. It is a reminder for me of the many distinctive supports and guides we have to help us with our complex work in Jesuit higher education. We have the Spiritual Exercises, the uniquely textured approach to educating and caring for our students, and the invitation to find God in all things. While those gifts are enduring, we also now have a new gift to open – the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus. These Preferences are new guides for us, adding depth and focus to the enduring guides that have been there for us. I urge you to consider these Preferences carefully, discuss them with your colleagues, and imagine how you might bring them to life for and with our students. We might think of those long-standing gifts as old friends who appear to support us when we need them. In that case, perhaps the Apostolic Preferences are new friends, with a fresh approach but very much aligned with what we value in our old friends. With friends like these, whether conceptual or human, and with an awareness that we are not alone, we have much to be grateful for as we carry out our work and our mission in these busy days of October.
Todd Olson, Phd
2020 Summer Institute: Deadline Extended until October 11
Great news, JASPA! We’re so excited to have members of our network participate that we’ve extended the deadline to submit a program proposal for the JASPA 2020 Five Year Summer Institute an additional week! Our theme, A Just and Sustainable Future: Our Shared Responsibility, invites you to consider the 2019-2029 Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAP) established by the Jesuits and how these preferences may complement the work we do within Jesuit Student Affairs and throughout our campus community.
New for the 2020 Five Year Summer Institute, we invite you to submit your proposal for various session types. Click on each of the options below to hear a description of the session type by our Content Chairs:
To find detailed information about these session types, participant learning goals, and suggested program proposal guiding questions, we encourage you to visit the site below:
Explore the Call for Proposals
Questions? Contact the Institute Content Chairs directly by emailing:
- Michele Bogard, MicheleBogard@creighton.edu
- Michael Puma, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ophelie Rowe-Allen, email@example.com
Program proposals will be accepted online through
Friday, October 11, 2019 at 11:59 PM (PST)
We hope you will consider joining us and lending your voice to advance JASPA's mission and the important work of Jesuit Student Affairs!
-The JASPA 2020 Five Year Summer Institute Program Committee
October Community Impact Award
We are excited to recognize members of the JASPA community who are creating innovating ways to integrate our Jesuit values into student affairs work on their respective campus. The purpose of the JASPA Community Impact Awards are to highlight a program, service, publication or institutional commitment that embodies the values of Jesuit higher education. Awardees are selected monthly to showcase best practices integrating Jesuit mission and identity to inform our student affairs work.
The nomination form can be found here. Nominations for this month are due on Friday, October 18, 2019. If you have any questions about the nomination process or would like to join our committee, please do not hesitate to reach out to Dr. Mark Harrington, Chair of the Recognition and Awards Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to highlighting the first awardee of the academic year in the November newsletter.
Executive Board—Vice President of Online Enrichment Vacancy
We want YOU to get more involved with JASPA by joining the Leadership Team!
JASPA is thriving due to the involvement and dedication of leaders representing each of our 27 U.S. Jesuit institutions and all the functional areas within Student Affairs. We are currently seeking nominations for Vice-President of Online Enrichment position. Additional information on the general responsibilities and time commitments of the position is included below.
Vice Presidential vacancies are filled through a nomination/application process.
The following position is open for nomination/application:
Deadline for application and support/nomination letter submissions is November 1, 2019 at 5 PM EST.
The online application can be found HERE.
PLEASE NOTE: In addition to the application, a letter of support/nomination must be submitted by your institution’s SSAO/CSAO via email to the JASPA Secretary, David Johnson (email@example.com). Both must be received by the deadline listed above.
November Webinar Opportunity
One student’s study abroad is another one’s home:
Global Exchange Residential Learning Community Webinar
Friday, November 22 at 12 PM (EST) / 9AM (PST)
Global Exchange provides an opportunity for domestic University of Scranton students and International and Exchange students to live together and make connections across many cultures. Throughout the semester, each apartment is asked to host an event in their apartment to share food, traditions, and customs from various cultures. In addition, Global Exchange participants are specifically invited to many special events on campus, including an annual evening retreat at the University’s lakeside retreat center. Hear how the Residence Life Office and the Office of International Student Services partnered up to develop this program over the past four years and learn about ideas on how you can immerse your international student population in the general campus community. Student Learning Outcomes and assessment data will be shared.
- Maria Marinucci, Director of the Cross Cultural Centers, The University of Scranton
- Réka Shayka, Assistant Director of Residence Life, The University of Scranton
JASPA Website - have you seen it yet?
Check out our revamped JASPA website! The website went through several major changes since the summer and still continues to be updated with fresh content. Notable sections include:
- The About section has a new expansive page focusing on the start of a comprehensive JASPA history project by Dr. Sandra Estanek from Canisius College.
- The Members section has information about how to join and view the membership directory.
- The Programs section includes pages for all of JASPA's signature programs.
- The new Get Involved section has a list of open volunteer positions we currently have available and links to the various networking groups within JASPA.
- The new Career Development section that has web links to the job postings section for all 27 Jesuit institutions as well as the AJCU Job Bank and JASPA LinkedIn Group.
October Blog Post: Bennie D. Williams, Le Moyne College
I was introduced to the Universal Apostolic Preferences during the spring 2019 semester at a divisional leadership team meeting. They were described as “the 10 year strategic plan” for the Society of Jesus. I immediately was in awe in that I have never before heard of a religious order doing such a thing. Given my personality, I was impressed because I like structure and direction and these preferences would not only guide the Jesuits, it would also guide the work done at their affiliated institutions.
When I think about what the preferences are: To show the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises and discernment; To walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice; To accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future; and To collaborate in the care of our Common Home, I consider how my work as a diversity and inclusion practitioner can help advance these priorities. Diversity and inclusion is broad and encompasses many different identities that the work would not be easy, but I am confident that it would be fulfilling.
In considering the preferences, one might automatically assume that the preference referring to walking with the poor, outcasts, and marginalized directly relates to the work of diversity and inclusion. I would challenge and say that all of the preferences relate to the work of diversity and inclusion. We live in a time where our campuses are filled with individuals from various walks of life and faith traditions, as well as individuals with different experiences and expectations. Can you imagine how meaningful it would be if we could create ways to show the value of reflection, consideration of concepts like consolation and desolation, can be used by all types of individuals even if they do not identify as Catholic? How impactful would it be if our colleges and universities made sure that every single student on campus was able to discover their passion and help them find ways to live out the meaning of being men and women for and with others despite their background. How life changing it could be if we all participated in making this earth, our current home, a place that would benefit all types of individuals. The Apostolic Preferences all relate to diversity and inclusion and in my opinion, they will help our institutions become better for all of its members.
I am not catholic and honestly I have no desire to become Catholic. However, I can relate to the Jesuit values and these Apostolic Preferences support providing space and opportunity for individuals to learn, explore, and discover. This is something I can get behind. As a practitioner, I look forward to using these guiding principles to become a better servant to my institution and a better resources of the members of our campus community.
Bennie D. Williams is the Director of Inclusive Excellence & Global Education at Le Moyne College. Bennie has worked at Le Moyne College for the past 6 years in a variety of Student Affairs roles including residence life, student activities, commuter student services, multicultural affairs, and international education. Bennie is a product of Jesuit higher education, having earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Canisius College.