Students for Life hosted a movie night of sorts last Wednesday. The movie was Dead Man Walking, a critically acclaimed film based off of true events undergone by Sister Helen Prejean. Sister Prejean is played by the talented actress Susan Sarandon. Sean Penn plays Matthew, a convicted murderer who seeks Sister Prejean’s guidance.
I had seen the movie once previously, and remembered it as an emotional experience. I have had the “death penalty conversation” numerous times with close friends, family members, and teachers. It is always a touchy subject–of course, why wouldn’t it be–and it is not a surprise that so many people are unwilling to talk about it. At the very least, Dead Man Walking opens up the conversation and makes it virtually impossible to ignore.
Sister Prejean constantly struggles with her position. Matthew has asked her to be his spiritual guide, providing Sister Prejean with a moral dilemma. As you watch the film, you become more attached to not only Sister Prejean and her plight, but to Matthew. If you have not seen the film, you might be confused and surprised–how could you side with a convicted murderer?
I spent most of the film trying to decide my feelings. Where did I stand on the issues presented in the film? What would I have done if I were Sister Prejean? Would I have had enough courage to even meet with Matthew, to accept his calls? The only thing I was sure of when the movie ended was that I wasn’t sure. The death penalty is complicated. It is not black and white, but severely gray. That is precisely the reason why it is so hard for so many to organize their thoughts on the matter.
Among 32 other states in the U.S., Missouri has the death penalty. If you have not seen the film, I strongly encourage you to watch it and to start the conversation.
These were the words uttered by a woman at the People’s Climate March, held on Sunday at Kiener Plaza.
I thought that this would be appropriate topic to talk about. Firstly, because it is always an appropriate time to talk about climate change and its continuing impact on our environment, on our world. Secondly, because St. Louis plays a big part!
I attended the March with my sister on Sunday. I didn’t know what to expect, since I had never been to an event like this before. We walked a few blocks and then we stumbled upon it, Kiener Plaza overflowing with people. Environmental issues, at least in my mind, always seem to be overlooked. I suppose I expected a few dozen people. What I didn’t realize is that the People Climate March is a big deal. It serves to bring about awareness and demands change–namely, renewable energy. Renewable energy comes in all shapes and forms, such as solar, wind, even steam.
But perhaps the biggest connection I made while at the March was with a class I took at Fontbonne last year as a freshman. Culture and the Common Good opened my eyes to a lot of issues and reminded me to look outside of my own little box. So many people fear that they, as individual, cannot make a difference. Phrases I heard on Sunday were ones such as “quality of life” and “free will”, phrases that I also heard in class. It was amazing to experience like this and apply the knowledge that was instilled in my from Fontbonne!
At the end of the day, I had a smile on my face. I was a bit tired from marching, but ridiculously happy. It is amazing what we can do when we come together. We can improve our quality of life for ourselves and for others, in fact, it is our duty as citizens and advocates of the Earth. All we need is the will to do so.
And, what a brilliant thing to participate in something so close to home!
Images courtesy of Caitlin Zera
As you probably already know, October is breast cancer awareness month. In support of that, Fontbonne Griffin Gang (the group that works to promote school spirit) hosted a Big Pink Volleyball tournament. This took place after the women’s volleyball team played against Westminster. All the players wore pink jerseys. Also, pink t-shirts, balloons, and even cupcakes were being passed out to the crowd. I loved looking at a sea of pink.
The recreational tournament was unlike traditional volleyball games. We used a giant, and I mean giant, inflatable pink ball. It was actually a lot harder than it looked to lift that monstrous thing over the net. It was fun though; definitely not something anybody can say they play on a daily basis (or even have at all). The team that I played on was #ODKAlltheWay. This was a group of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Leadership Society members. We did not win the tournament, but we all enjoyed ourselves and supported a worthy cause and event. As cliché as it may sound, that is all that truly matters.
Speaking of ODK and a worthy cause, ODK sponsored a campaign the morning after Big Pink Volleyball. The campaign is called It Can Wait, which encourages people to not text while they are driving. Tables were set up in the library, cafeteria, and DSAC so that people could learn more about the dangers of this habit and the statistics. Then, they were able to sign and pledge and receive a car decal as a reminder. Not to brag or anything, but I’m proud that Fontbonne is affiliated with so many great causes and organizations. And, I am proud that I can say that I’m a part of them.
Just a couple of nights ago, I got home late at night from work and I did my usual routine of checking my Twitter and then my Facebook. Repeatedly on Twitter I saw the hashtag #KONY2012. Naturally at first I assumed it was a new political leader in the running for the election this year… I don’t quite pay as much attention as I should, so it didn’t surprise me that I had no clue who it was. But with each tweet, there was a video link along with it. Because I was looking at Twitter via my phone, I couldn’t put headphones in and my roommate was trying to sleep, so I really didn’t want to wake her. I decided it could wait until the morning. After Twitter I moseyed on over to Facebook, and again saw the video linked on many people’s pages. It was everywhere, and seemed to literally be happening within that hour, because when I asked my friends about it they had not heard of it either. I saw a few pictures on Facebook as well.
KONY2012 is not a Presidential candidate. KONY2012 is a movement. A peace movement.
Over in Africa there is a man who is abducting children and forcing the boys to become his soldiers and girls to become sex slaves. That man is Joseph Kony. There is a lot more to this story, and it would make this a very long blog post… So I too will tell everyone to go to YouTube and type in Kony 2012, and please watch it!
It is 30 minutes long, and I understand that is a fairly large amount of time. But it is worth it! Everyone needs to know about this, and everyone must make Joseph Kony famous.
Tonight, over 80 people were gathered in the DSAC Cafe to watch this video and hear from a survivor of Kony’s war in Uganda, and also members of the Invisible Children. It was great to see such a large crowd, and proved that our generation is not as self-centered as the media sometimes portrays us.
Please, just watch the video and see what you can do to help others.