The Notre Dame Political Science Department website recently drew criticism for links that connect undergraduates searching for internships to organizations that endorse abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and same-sex marriage. The links remain on the Political Science Department’s web page, with the exception of the pro-choice political action committee EMILY’s List.
TFP Student Action, an advocacy organization dedicated to promoting traditional values on college campuses, organized an electronic petition which garnered over 10,000 signatures. Directed to the office of University President Rev. John Jenkins, CSC, the petition protested the links and requested that they be removed from the university website. In addition to EMILY’s List, the petition listed 7 other organizations as objectionable: the Center for American Progress, the Feminist Majority Foundation, Human Rights Watch, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the National Women’s Law Center, Think Progress, and the United Nations Population Fund.
Students are directed to the links from the page entitled “How to Find a Summer Internship.” The page contains a disclaimer stating that listing does “not constitute an endorsement of the mission [or] agenda of these organizations.”
“We are familiar with the singular purpose of EMILY’s List, [so] it was removed,” said University Spokesperson Dennis Brown.
Brown said the university is currently developing a policy to determine whether or not an organization’s agenda constitutes removal from the Internship Opportunities web page.
“We have not removed any links other than to EMILY’s List because…we are going to develop guidelines and then review various organizations to determine whether they conform to them,” Brown said.
According to Brown, no credit has been awarded for internships with the organizations in question in the past, and both the listing of organizations and whether they will qualify for credit in the future is currently under review.
“Notre Dame does not offer internships to the organizations that were cited and does not encourage students to apply for them,” he stated.
“Going forward, the college will develop a policy for what is appropriate in listing internships on the website,” Brown wrote. When asked about the direction of the development of the policy, Brown said that “we will not discuss the policy until it is developed.”
The Notre Dame Gender Studies Program, which offers minors and secondary majors, has attracted criticism from conservative groups in the past for funding internships at pro-choice organizations including the National Organization for Women (NOW).
Michael Bradley is a sophomore living in Dillon who will miss his best friend Claire Gillen but can’t wait to attend her wedding this summer. Contact him at email@example.com.