Recent News from Campuses
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is scheduled to visit campus Feb. 20-21 as part of the approval process for St. Thomas’ request to offer the Dougherty Family College. The HLC is an independent corporation that accredits degree-granting post-secondary institutions in the North Central region.
The Dougherty Family College is intended to be a two-year college that offers an associate degree. It is designed to help ensure the success of low-income students who may be the first in their family to attend college, or those who lack the academic support, academic mentors or financial means to pursue a four-year degree.
The purpose of the visit is for the HLC Peer Reviewers to determine if the university has done the necessary planning, provided or given serious thought to the required infrastructure, has the capacity and commitment to offer the program, has developed services and support for the program/students, and has considered and developed how the program will be evaluated and assessed. They will collect evidence by meeting with St. Thomas community members affiliated with the Dougherty Family College, as well as tour the St. Thomas property on the Minneapolis campus that is being renovated to accommodate the program.
HLC will hold St. Paul campus meetings on Feb. 20, and Minneapolis campus meetings and the tour on Feb. 21.
For more information about the university’s accreditation or the Higher Learning Commission, visit HLC’s website.
If you have questions or concerns regarding the upcoming HLC visit, please contact Kristine Baker.
During the weeklong academic break before Spring Semester, 38 Gustavus Adolphus College students took part in an intensive, three-day workshop focusing on professional development and career readiness. Held at locations across the Twin Cities, the inaugural Gustavus Women in Leadership (GWIL) Scholars Business Boot Camp was sponsored by the Gustavus Office of Career Development, the GWIL National Advisory Committee, and consulting firm CareerPrep.
During the workshop, female and male students at all stages of the career readiness and job search process attended career speakers and panels, business case studies, skill-building sessions on presentation and negotiation skills, and career planning activities geared toward preparing students to effectively navigate their early careers.
“It’s powerful for students to have time to completely focus on their career development and have employers, Gustavus alumni, senior business leaders, and Gustavus staff all coming together to help them launch their business career,” said Sara Wegmann, co-founder of CareerPrep.
“As a senior, I’ve been asked all year long about my plans after graduation,” Lydia Kennedy ’17 said. “The boot camp helped me understand that at 21 or 22 years old, it is completely okay to not know what you want to do. This prepared me to be excited for the future and the incredible opportunities ahead.”
Throughout the three days of the workshop, students were hosted for panels and networking at a variety of Twin Cities businesses, including:
Intereum, Inc. – A certified Herman Miller office furniture dealer and provider of commercial audio visual and architectural wall offerings in Minneapolis, MN.
Deloitte – Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including 80 percent of the Fortune 500.
U.S. Bancorp – U.S. Bancorp is an American financial services holding company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that is the parent company of the U.S. Bank National Association, known as U.S. Bank, the 5th largest commercial bank in the United States.
Target – The Target Corporation, also known simply as Target, is the second-largest discount store retailer in the United States, behind Walmart, and a component of the S&P 500 Index.
Gravie – A Minneapolis-based startup company that helps individuals and businesses comparison-shop for health care in the private market and on MNsure, the state-run insurance exchange.
Schermer – A Minneapolis-based, globally-focused B2B marketing agency that builds and launches Buyer-Driven Brands for several of the world’s greatest companies, including Honeywell, GE, 3M, Deluxe, Piper Jaffray, Wells Fargo, and General Mills.
“As students embark on their career search, there is no better way to get to know a company than to visit and absorb the culture, meet their team, hear from leaders, and see how employees treat each other,” Wegmann said. “Relationships are critical to the job search process and getting off campus and into businesses to meet professionals helps students begin the process of building relationships to help guide their careers.”
“My biggest takeaway from the boot camp has to be the importance of informational interviews. A vast number of our speakers attributed their success to having reached out to Gustie alums for coffee, and making endless connections because of it,” Kennedy agreed. “Gusties look out for Gusties.”
Gustavus Women in Leadership is a volunteer-driven student/alumnae program whose purpose is to prepare, promote, and inspire Gustavus women in their professional and personal leadership development. Visit the GWIL website to learn more.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
This entry was curated by faculty members of the University of St. Thomas’ Music Department. The contributors wish to remain unnamed, lest they offend any ears and be struck in the heart by arrows of the non-Cupid variety. There’s nothing sentimental about their sentiments of these tunes. All deemed equally abominable, the songs are listed in a random jumble, like a sack of broken hearts.
“Oh No!” (1970) by Frank Zappa
American composer and guitarist Frank Zappa hated love songs. “Oh No!” (from Weasels Ripped My Flesh) mocks the 1960s hippie culture belief that love could change the world. Zappa suggests that anyone believing this is “probably out to lunch.” The tune mimics the Vox combo organ and Jim Morrison’s voice of The Doors hit “Light My Fire” (1966). Zappa believed the music industry churned out love songs to squelch social revolution, and denounced hippies and flower children as industry pawns. Love, to Zappa, was too complex to address in formulaic pop tunes.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (1944) from the film “Neptune’s Daughter”
This Christmas love song has been sung by various artists including the recent Tony Bennett/Lady Gaga collaboration for a Barnes & Noble commercial. The lyrics feature an interchange between a celebrating couple (“Say what’s in this drink?”) in which the man pressures the woman to stay inside … and perhaps more … while she protests (“I simply must go”). The overtones of date rape make this one of the 10 worst love songs and prompted this remake.
“Muskrat Love” (1976) by Captain and Tennille
This offensive ballad chronicles the romance between two anthropomorphic bacon-eating muskrats. Not only does this shudder-inducing ditty glorify the inaccurate rendering of muskrat mating calls on an analog 1970s Moog synthesizer, it insensitively discriminates against other diverse rodent groups. Further, while it seems reasonable that two vermin might indeed whirl, twirl and/or tango, listeners have yet to discern what exactly it means to be “singin’ and jingin’ a jango.”
“Feelings” (1974) by Morris Albert
I wish I never met this song … whoa, whoa, whoa. Let’s face it: Any love song that comes from a genre called “Soft Rock” should be an automatic candidate for the list! Whoa, whoa, whoa. Can there be a worse love song? This one even got spoofed on “The Gong Show”! Whoa, whoa, whoa. A further sign that this song belongs on the list: The B side to this one was a song called “The World Today Is a Mess.” Still trying to forget my feelings about this one … whoa, whoa, whoa.
“Elvira” (1981) by Dallas Frazier (Oak Ridge Boys)
With its catchy refrains of “Giddy Up, Oom Poppa Mow Mow/Heigh-Ho Silver Away,” this Oak Ridge Boys song is a spiritual battle between divine and earthly. Elvira’s loving eyes “look like heaven” but her cherry-wine lips belong to the Hungry House Cafe. Elvira’s lover senses an inner divine “little light” but cannot pursue it for a funny feeling in his spine. In his earthly state, he gives Elvira “all the love I can” from the bar. She jumps and hollers that he saved his “last two dollars” to get a “preacher man.” Honky-tonk bar patrons immortalize these rituals by bellowing Elvira’s name, proclaiming their hearts are on fire for her.
“Sign Your Name” (1987) by Terence Trent D’Arby
So … if a good friend of yours wanted to get a permanent tattoo of the name of their current significant other on their forehead, how would you advise them? I thought so … now imagine the indelible nature of writing one’s name across one’s heart! And for what? Certainly, there are less extreme ways to make someone your “baby.” One way would be to write a better song than the unremarkable, one-dimensional, sonically and harmonically fatiguing “Sign Your Name.” Terence Trent D’Arby, the artist who made the song famous, has since changed his name to Sananda Maitreya! The artist formerly known as D’Arby is quoted as saying about the legal name change, “Terence Trent D’Arby was dead. He watched his suffering as he died a noble death. After intense pain I meditated for a new spirit, a new will, a new identity.” Perhaps he just wanted to get as far away from that awful song as he possibly could!
“Lady In Red” (1986) by Chris de Burgh
If there was ever a time to reject the idea of a woman’s worth being equated with the color and fit of her dress (red, of course), it is now (and all of the other seconds, minutes and years of ever). The song seems to enjoy making a weak man feel better because of the number of other fellas checking out his lady. I’m sure she enjoyed being ogled by the other attendees and being on a date with this loser. When he grows up enough to value her for who she is, rather than based on the reactions of other salivating folks, maybe the song will be worth a listen!
“I Honestly Love You” (1974) by Jeff Barry and Peter Allen, sung by Olivia Newton-John
If there was ever an indictment against an adverb, surely the title of this deplorable love song wins the prize. I “honestly” love you? Really? Not only is the poetry of this adverb in question (as in who thought it would be a good idea to insert a three-syllable word in the middle of a three-syllable phrase?), but the absurdity of its meaning makes me question the veracity of the speaker. Have you ever looked deeply into your beloved’s eyes and said, “I dishonestly love you?” Oh, and if the sung phrase isn’t enough to prompt you to cover your ears, just wait until Olivia whispers it.
“Achy Breaky Heart” (1991) by Don Von Tress, sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
This song has everything a maudlin country sob-fest could possibly need: bad grammar, three guitar chords and personified organs, all united by a hefty dose of misty-eyed victimization. In this musical travesty, the singer implores his estranged lover to tell everyone (including her ma, her brother Cliff and her Aunt Louise), that she never was his girl. She is advised, however, not to tell his heart, his achy breaky heart, because the singer “don’t think he’d understand.” Somewhat encouraging is the stern warning that the singer’s heart might, in fact, “blow up.” Only Alvin and the Chipmunks could salvage this gem, covering it on their 1992 album, Chipmunks in Low Places.
“My Heart Will Go On” (1997) by James Horner, sung by Céline Dion
Few things in life really “go on,” with the exception of time, fate and this musical rendition of a room-temperature Pop-Tart. To be fair, this song is more than just sugar-coated breathy vocals. On occasion, it is enhanced by mystical leprechaun flute riffs, meaningful phrases such as “Love was when I loved you,” and enough E major chords to attract fruit flies. Near, far, wherever you are, you should send this song to the bottom of the icy Atlantic, along with Jack and that giant plastic necklace.
Gayles’ presentation mirrors his acclaimed documentary, “White Scripts and Black Supermen.”
Spring enrollment at Concordia University, St. Paul has grown for the 11th consecutive year, with significant increases recorded in traditional undergraduate, adult undergraduate, and graduate student numbers.
The 4,466 students enrolled (full and part time) represent an increase of 237 students (5.6 percent) from the 2016 spring semester.… Read More
The post Spring Enrollment Trends Up for 11th Straight Year appeared first on Concordia St. Paul.
Erin Doyle ’17 left for her London study abroad trip in 2015 as a quiet introvert.
“I didn’t think I could ever travel by myself,” she said. “I’d never been on a plane, never left the country other than Canada, and hadn’t even seen the sea. But I did so successfully, happily, and safely. And I can’t wait to do it again.”
That fall, Doyle visited Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, England, Ireland, and Scotland while abroad; she’s got a computer full of pictures to prove it. As she excitedly speaks about her trip, the shyness seems to have disappeared.
Yisset “Gigi” Gonzalez said her study abroad trip in 2016 made her more independent as well. In fact, one of her favorite things to do during free time was to “get lost” in the city of London. “I’d get on and off the bus at random stops and just explore a completely different culture and then find my way back,” she said.
Gonzalez also visited Italy, Spain, and Scotland, and photos from her unforgettable trip fill her phone.
The two say that a lot of traveling abroad involves learning as you go.
Within a couple of weeks, they say students learn how to navigate, how to start up conversations and network, and how to budget (cooking yourself is a plus; alcohol is really expensive; and prioritizing is a must, as is a comfortable backpack).
Both said the opportunity to study abroad in London while taking general education requirements was one they couldn’t pass up. And both students started out as theatre majors, but ended up switching majors to psychology before their trip.
This 12-week fall semester program is open to all majors. Classes are a combination of lectures and guided field trips. Students explore first-hand the historical sites and rich resources of this renowned city.
Doyle said she is interested in art therapy and, as an art minor, the ability to study art and theatre in the artistic hub of London “sounded pretty awesome.” The experience, she said, was even more than she’d hoped.
“I learned so much that semester, both exploring on my own and also with the field trips for class,” she said, listing off opportunities for a street art tour, to study British politics, and to examine the fascinating and ever-changing immigrant culture.
“I wasn’t expecting it to help my art, but it exposed me to so much: going to the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Tate Modern—as well as the street art—and seeing the work of important artists like Van Gogh, Monet, Banksy, and Ai Wiewie. It inspired me,” Doyle added.
As a psychology major, Gonzalez said she found it fascinating to learn about the prevalent role psychotherapy plays in mental health care in London. The classes, she said, were fascinating and very hands on, but she learned so much outside of class as well.
“Being over there made me realize how small I am and how many things in the world I should be paying attention to,” she said. “Now things that seemed like a big deal before seem irrelevant. You get a completely different worldview. I used to think that living in Winona, we were in a bubble, but America is its own bubble. Studying abroad changes your view in an essential way.”
Doyle added that the trip has also sparked an interest to study cultural psychology. “I also learned more about geography and became more globally aware,” she said.
Would they recommend the trip to other students?
“100 percent,” Doyle said.
“Definitely,” Gonzalez said. “Every student could benefit, no matter what their major is.”
The tentative fall semester 2017 London program dates are Aug. 28 through Nov. 17. The application deadline is Feb. 15, 2017. For more information, contact the Study Abroad Office at 457-1447 or go to http://studyabroad.saintmarys.community/saint-marys-programs/london-program to learn more.
Photo caption: Erin Doyle in Florence, Italy
Carls like to make the most of the winter months in Minnesota. A popular activity is ice skating, and the college sets up rinks for both hockey and figure skating on the Bald Spot. The rinks are used by PE classes, intramural teams, or students simply wanting to take a break from their studies.
Sophomore Jesse Barrera-Ledezma hails from Othello, Wash., and says he’s “not a stranger to cold weather conditions during the winter.” He’s taking a beginning skating class at Carleton and loves it. “One of my most exciting experiences this term is my ice skating class. It’s a great way to combat stress, and I’m also learning a lot. Everyone is welcoming and has fun, no matter their skill level, and I’m looking forward to learning some tricks on the ice.”
The lecture will be presented at the Germanic American Institute in Saint Paul.
Collecting adjectives from students to describe Carol Bruess results in a word cloud that could seemingly float away purely on the power of positivity: expressive, enthusiastic, honest, open, special, cheerful, loving, likable, fun, cool, effervescent, kind, gracious, passionate, confident, brave, empowering, transformative.
Well, you get the point.
“What a woman,” senior Genevieve Gates said. “She’s the type of person everyone wants to meet at some point.”
For 19 years, the communication and journalism professor and Family Studies program director has embodied all those adjectives and more. Bruess brings a whirlwind of energy, optimism, intelligence and unique style everywhere she goes, from leading her classrooms to one-on-one coffee rendezvouses to her weekly segment on WCCO’s “Relationship Reboot.”
Bruess is guided by decades of research in her focus area of interpersonal communication, and a proverbial compass she said always points her actions toward maintaining healthy relationships and being kind. Countless people take pride in calling her a friend, role model, mentor, colleague.
“She’s just one of my favorite people in the world. She makes you feel so special; every time you see her there’s something special about that day,” COJO administrative assistant Oyuna Uranchimeg said.
“She has been one of the best elements of my education, one of the best elements of my time at St. Thomas,” Meredith Heneghan ’16 said. “Ultimately, her goal as a professor and a role model and motivator is to help people learn how to be better in whatever they’re doing. … That’s her ultimate goal, to say to herself and the people around her, ‘How do we be better?’ And she does.”Radical support
Bruess was always artistic growing up in the small Wisconsin town of Milton, so it was no surprise that she pursued an art degree as an undergraduate at St. Norbert College. Doubting her choice after a bad internship experience, though, she took interpersonal communication as an elective fall of her senior year with Carol Cortez, who quickly became a mentor.
“That was really my lightbulb going off. It was, ‘You can study this stuff?’” Bruess said. “It all clicked together that this is what I wanted to dedicate my life to, because it will help other people, help me and my current and future family.”
There was just the simple matter of getting accepted into a graduate interpersonal communication program after graduating with an art degree. Luckily, Bruess had exactly the support she needed: Cortez helped her to complete a great application, and Judy Pearson, then-director of graduate studies at Ohio University’s School of Interpersonal Communication, was willing to take Bruess under her wing when everyone else passed on her application.
That support has shaped the approach Bruess now takes at St. Thomas, where countless students have benefited from her encouragement.
“I was able to identify a mantra, or phrase, for me and how I see my role in relationships with my students at this time and place: I see myself in this challenge and support role as someone who can offer radical encouragement,” Bruess said. “When a student feels radically supported and encouraged, it’s incredible what they can do.”
Bruess’ dedication to radical support isn’t lost on the students who prosper from her influence in their lives, inside or outside the classroom.
“She does everything above and beyond. Even having coffee with her you feel like your life has been changed,” Gates said. “She makes you understand that what you’re saying and doing matters, and you can even be more than you are now.”
“She has a way of striking up personal relationships that was really motivating for me,” Heneghan said. “I realized how much she cares about my personal development by her willingness to help me out and lead me to transformative things. That was awesome to realize there are professors like her who have specific interest in your development as a student.”
With more than 100 students and advisees each year, Bruess has plenty of opportunities to build relationships that benefit Tommies.
“Someone once told me… that programs don’t change people, relationships do,” Bruess said. “I think about that all the time. We have an incredible institution and programs here, but I know and believe that those relationships that I get the opportunity to create with my students are what matter most. … They are so life-giving.”Teaching beyond campus
As Bruess realized at St. Norbert, one of the best parts of her field is that interpersonal communication is applicable to so many people and in so many ways. In a world with ever-changing modes of communication in relationships, Bruess’ work and teaching hit home.
“I knew when I first chose to go into this field that I have an obligation to make sure this makes lives better. Whether it’s my students’ lives, my own family’s lives, lives in the community,” Bruess said. “I think we’re obligated to take what we know and love and what we do best, and make sure it makes lives better outside of our universities.http://www.stthomas.edu/news/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/BruessBuriPodcast.mp3 Carol Bruess, Ph.D., and John Buri, Ph.D., recently brought their decades of experience studying relationships together to talk about the dynamics of communicating and why, despite all the available knowledge, so many people struggle to overcome the communication challenges of their own relationships. This taped interview has been edited for clarity and length.
“Our universities are parts of communities. ‘We’re not just in the city, we’re of the city.’ [Former University of St. Thomas President] Father [Dennis] Dease always used to say that. If I’m not doing that, I’m not doing my job. As someone who knows how to discern the best of the best research on this topic, I see it as an obligation.”
That line of thinking has inspired Bruess’ work in the community throughout her career, including in perhaps her most well-known role as an expert on WCCO’s television segment, “Relationship Reboot,” where Bruess and Kirsten Lind Seal, Ph.D., join anchors Jason DeRusha and Kylie Bearse weekly to “discuss contemporary topics essential for healthy, diverse relationships and respond to viewer relationship dilemmas.”
“We value that kind of translational work at St. Thomas. It’s part of our mission,” Bruess said. “It helps to be at an institution that has as its mission to be all for the common good. That means if you want to take your research and put it in this outside venue for the community, great. I’ve been rewarded professionally here for doing that kind of work, and I’m grateful. It’s important to feel you’re valued in your work, because it inspires more hard work.”Art meets science
It’s appropriate Bruess uses the medium of television to help share her knowledge: An undeniable aspect of her personality is the visual. Her unique fashion and style most often is exhibited in the clothes she makes herself. Bruess, her husband of 25 years and 16-year-old daughter live just a block from campus, and those who have been to her house (or have read the Minnesota Monthly magazine profile on her fashion and home decor credentials) understand how much art is a part of who she is.
“At the core, I’m a high aesthetic person,” Bruess said. “[Art and fashion] bring me so much joy, and if it brings other people joy, too, that’s great. Joy is contagious. If I’m feeling joy, I’m a better teacher, a better mentor.”
The art of her attire also creates a fitting visual backdrop for the daily location where Bruess operates: the intersection of art and science.
“Relationships really are a work of art, and there’s also a little bit of science in there,” Bruess said. “We can learn these behaviors and we have these disciplines that give us insight. There’s so much science, longitudinal data that can predict what those [relationships] looks like.”
By being informed by decades of research on interpersonal communication and constantly working to live out the benefits of what her field can offer, Bruess is a walking, talking role model of how art plus science equals a dynamic force.
“She’s one of those professors who lives what she teaches, and loves what she teaches,” senior Jane Swingle said. “Students see how much she genuinely loves what she does and they aspire to have that in their own lives.”
Read more from St. Thomas magazine.
WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University’s Page Series will present a free “Off the Page” concert featuring Congolese guitarist Siama Matuzungidi at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, at East Recreation Center, located at 210 Zumbro St. In addition, the ensemble will present a free African singing workshop for children at 4 p.m., also at East Recreation Center.
Siama’s Congo Roots is an acoustic quartet with a traditional Congolese feel-good sound. Siama’s masterful, intricate guitar work and spirited vocals are complemented by Dallas Johnson on harmonies and thumb piano (likembe), Brian Van Tassel on marimba, and Tim O’Keefe on percussion and harmonica. Together, they’ll take you back in time to experience the rural, under-the-stars sounds of DR Congo and the upbeat soukous dance halls of East Africa. Concertgoers will hear fun stories and even try singing in Kikongo, Lingala, and Swahili!
The African singing workshop will give young people a chance to try out percussion instruments and to sing as if they’re in Congo. Participants will breathe in from the diaphragm and produce a big, African vocal sound, try Siama’s own brand of yodeling, and sing call-and-response lines like the Pygmies of Eastern Congo. No experience is necessary, and no registration is required.
About Siama Matuzungidi
Siama Matuzungidi earned the moniker “soukous legend” as he recorded hundreds of radio hits during the ’70s and ’80s and performed on four continents with many of the biggest soukous artists. Soukous is an infectious dance genre known as the “sound of happiness.”
Now based in Minneapolis, he received a McKnight Fellowship in 2014 and, with the help of a Minnesota State Arts Board grant, released a critically acclaimed new album in May of 2016. He also received an MRAC grant to create a new CD of music for young audiences, which will be released this spring, and he recently joined COMPAS’ roster of teaching artists. In addition to performing at many festivals and special events, he has hosted a songwriting residency with young men, he enjoyed a summer residency for kids at Minneapolis Institute of Art, and he has presented interactive performances for kids at Intermedia Arts, the Ordway Theatre’s Children’s Festival, the MacPhail Center for Music, and Open Streets.
For more information about Siama’s Congo Roots and the Page Series, visit pagetheatre.org or call 507-457-1715. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support Grant thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. Additional support comes from the Xcel Energy Foundation and the Elizabeth Callender King Foundation.
Photo by Carlos Grados
The late B.B. King, christened “King of the Blues” by the world, played plenty of celebrated halls and clubs in his long lifetime – Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s legendary Regal Theater and the White House among them.
On Feb. 16, 1990, the legendary blues musician, befitted in a classic pinstriped suit, tie and suspenders, played to a humbler, perhaps, but no less reverent crowd in the University of St. Thomas’ O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium.
King was the crowning event of the university’s “Multicultural Month,” which corresponded with nationwide Black History Month.
Dr. Chris Kachian, a professor in the Music Department, remembers the evening as “absolutely magical.”
Kachian, who contacted King’s manager to bring him to St. Thomas, said many of his current students have never heard of B.B. King, and those who have are vaguely familiar with him as a black guitarist. But in 1990, students knew very well who King was. Three years previously he had been inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 1988 he collaborated with the Irish band U2 on their hit song “When Loves Comes to Town,” from their album Rattle and Hum. He would win his sixth Grammy days after performing at St. Thomas, and won 15 total before his death.
“We asked him to present on the history of the blues, since we’re an academic institution, so we thought that was important. But we thought, ‘Hopefully he’ll bring his guitar,'” Kachian said. “It would have cost us a lot more to book him for a concert.”
To the sold-out crowd’s great fortune, King did more than just bring a guitar, all of which he famously called Lucille, he brought his entire band. Together they kicked off the night with two songs and performed again after he delivered his “presentation.”
“All he did was tell stories,” Kachian recalled fondly. “As far as a progressional history of the blues, he tried to follow that history line, but he mostly just told stories! It was truly exceptional and wonderful.”
According to an article in The Aquin published shortly after King’s show, “King’s voice filled every inch of the small auditorium.” It also noted that “King said he is able to maintain the strength of his voice because he sings from the stomach, a skill he developed from singing in church before the age of microphones.”
For a lucky few – including the students from the All College Council, which sponsored the event – the evening spilled into the Fireside Room in Murray-Herrick Campus Center after the performance in OEC. Though he was not obligated to do anything beyond the 75-minute event, King, sans band, settled into one of the leather couches and told more stories and casually answered questions for about an hour.
“He was so generous with his time,” Kachian said, adding that the musician was so authentic and open and “filled with love” that he appeared “Yoda-like.”
“It was like sitting with a kind grandpa,” he said. “He really loved being around the college students and was smiling like a Cheshire cat because everyone in the room loved the blues.”
King, the son of Mississippi sharecroppers, was 64 when he performed at St. Thomas and had been averaging between 200 and 300 live shows per year since his first hit single, “Three O’Clock Blues,” in 1952. He continued that pace into his 70s, continuing to perform live until several months before his death in 2015 at 89.
Emmy Award-winning director Martin Doblmeier will introduce the screening on Feb. 19.
Carleton's Multicultural Alumni Network (MCAN) In Residence program brought Helen Kim '86 (New York City, consultant with Rockwood Leadership Institute) and Raul Raymundo '87 (Chicago, The Resurrection Project) to campus for discussions on social justice, activism, and community development.
Donald Trump’s election has triggered fears that his administration will take oppressive or corrupt actions. He has spoken of registering Muslims or barring them from entering the country, deporting up to 11 million illegal immigrants, “building a wall” on the Mexican border and “open[ing] up libel laws” to sue the press. If he undertakes such steps, will our constitutional system block him?
In this polarized age, fears of executive power cross the political aisle. President Obama’s critics claimed he abused his authority with executive orders on immigration and Obamacare.
The Constitution created a strong presidency but also checked it by assigning powers to Congress, the courts and the states.
Limits on executive lawmaking. Under the Constitution, Congress legislates and the president should “faithfully execut[e]” those laws. But in practice, execution of law involves significant discretion; moreover, the president has broad powers concerning foreign affairs and national security. Thus, if Trump unilaterally barred immigration from certain nations, courts would be unlikely to say he’d intruded on legislative power.
Congress, however, holds another crucial power: spending. Even if Trump theoretically has discretion to build a physical wall, or escalate deportations, he will have to get money from Congress, where skeptics of these projects – who include some Republicans – could curtail them.
Limits on federal intrusion on states. The Constitution leaves many matters in state hands, barring action by the president or Congress. Trump showed indifference to such limits when he proposed attacking crime through a nationwide policy to “stop and frisk” citizens. Policing is a local matter. Similarly, if he tried to require local officials to assist in immigration deportations, and “sanctuary cities” such as Chicago objected, courts would rule the requirement was an impermissible “commandeering” of states.
Congress could still pressure states, again by using the purse strings. Trump has threatened that sanctuary cities will lose federal funds; he might also ask Congress to use funding to incentivize cities to expand “stop and frisk” policies. Congress has broad power to attach conditions to funds, although a condition cannot be too onerous.
Civil liberties. Even if the president or Congress have power to act, they can’t do so in ways that violate civil liberties. An explicit ban on Muslims entering the country would violate core principles of religious freedom and equality. But Trump might reach a similar goal by barring entry from certain countries. Challengers could attack the discriminatory motive, but courts give the political branches wide discretion over immigration policy.
In contrast, American citizens enjoy much stronger protection. Profiling Muslim citizens, requiring them to register, or surveilling mosques would likely be invalidated by courts if not based on some individualized ground for suspicion. And the Supreme Court will not reverse the press’ First Amendment protections against libel suits.
Corruption. Trump’s worldwide business dealings have prompted concerns that his official policies might also benefit him personally. Most government ethics rules exempt the president. But Trump is subject to the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prohibits any federal officer from accepting “any present [or] emolument (benefit) from a foreign state” (Art. 1, §9, cl. 8). Other nations might funnel business to Trump’s hotels to curry his favor. In January he proposed to have his sons run the business during his presidency and to donate foreign profits to the Treasury, but critics pointed out that this still left him with interests in the business’ success.
It’s unclear if there’s any court remedy for such conflicts. The ultimate remedies for corruption are political. Congress could refuse to enact Trump’s substantive agenda; at the extreme, it can impeach and remove a president. Recall that congressional Republicans eventually abandoned Richard Nixon.
This article was written in mid-January.
“Final Thoughts” offers a creative space and scholarly forum to address timely issues. All content represents the author’s point of view.
Read more from St. Thomas magazine.