Common Good Symposium preview

By Elizabeth Krupka
March 22, 2010

Cabrini College will be the host of the Common Good Symposium th.  Leaders from 13 different institutions will gather together to focus on the theme “Solidarity as an Assessment Tool.”

Members from Catholic Relief Services, Bryn Mawr College, Caritas Sri Lanka, the Catholic Worker, Carlow College, Duquesne University, Eastern University, King’s College, St. John’s University, St. Joseph’s University and Villanova University will be attending.

“Campus-community partnerships are an increasingly important way we live out our mission here at Cabrini and at many other colleges as well.   But it matters to us that we ‘do partnerships’ in a very respectful, mutually beneficial, and justice-centered way—the word for that in Catholic Social Teaching is ‘solidarity.’   So this symposium is all about gathering different institutions who have partnership experience, sharing our ideas, and creating a list of questions we can use to ‘test ourselves’ on whether we are really challenging ourselves to reflect real solidarity in our campus-community partnerships,” Dr. Mary Laver, director of international partnerships, said.

The set-up for this year’s symposium is a lot different than the symposium that Cabrini hosted two years ago.

The education of opportunities and challenges was the theme two years ago. There were multiple keynote speakers that came and spoke to the faculty and staff. Everyone was invited to this symposium.

However this year, attendance will be by invitation.

“We have many different types of people coming. This is also in order for Cabrini to show the types of solidarity that we have linked to our campus. Representatives from Norristown and CRS will be there. This will not only benefit Cabrini but it will help to benefit the community,” Laver said.

This symposium is a good time for Cabrini faculty and staff to showcase the important work that they have accomplished with the social justice curriculum.

“With the introduction of Justice Matter’s curriculum it seemed a fitting year to have the symposium be about solidarity as assessment,” Laver said.

The symposium will include various presentations from the other institutions as well. This way the symposium will serve as a learning tool for every member who attends.

There will be multiple open discussions, lead by various representatives, allowing everyone to shed a different light on the same situation.

Also the symposium will allow for the representatives to take a deeper look into what they have actually gotten involved in. This can also cause the representatives to go back to their institutions with a fresh perspective on activities and partnerships that are possible.

“We are considering making the symposium biennial. The committee faculty and staff who coordinated this event will continue to discuss the idea,” Laver said.

The symposium is essentially a crash course, allowing the people who attend to questions what they are doing and if there is a more effective way for them to spread the message they are trying to convey.

“We are trying to use this symposium as an assessment tool; which is why we decided to have the theme be solidarity vs. assessment. This symposium will be an excellent education tool for everyone who attends,” Laver said.

Elizabeth Krupka

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