Pacers for Justice and Peace discuss executive orders


Brooke Williams , Asst. News Editor

Pacers for Justice and Peace sponsored “Talk of the University: What You Should Know” on Monday, Feb. 20 in the Nazareth Student Center to discuss executive orders.

Dr. Erin Sadlack, chair of the English department, and Dr. Adam Shprintzen, assistant professor of social sciences, facilitated the discussion. Both are members of Pacers for Justice and Peace, a group of Marywood faculty and staff.

According to Sadlack, the group chose to address this topic because of its timeliness. Since the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, President Donald Trump signed 12 executive orders.

Members of Pacers for Justice and Peace also heard many people say they felt uninformed about executive orders. “Talk of the University” aimed to educate attendees and clear up confusion.

“I think there’s a lot of people that maybe have little pieces of information about a certain topic, but don’t feel qualified enough to have an opinion,” said Ross Novak, director of Housing and Residential life. “The purpose of ‘Talk of the University’ is to give people basic information… so they can feel more informed and be able to have an opinion… or decide how they can take action with things.”

Novak, a Pacers for Justice and Peace member, said the decision to hold this discussion came not long after the reaction to President Trump’s executive order on immigration. This order caused protestors nationwide to gather in airports and express their disapproval of the decision to prevent refugees and immigrants from entering the United States.

During the lecture, Shprintzen discussed how content matters with executive orders. He said it is not the act of signing an executive order in general that often causes controversy, but that the details of an order could be viewed as “tyrannical” depending on one’s beliefs.

Throughout the discussion, the facilitators quizzed attendees on their knowledge and cited past and recent executive orders.

Sadlack discussed the importance of rhetoric and used the language of executive orders issued by Trump and former President Barack Obama to show their tactics for appealing to the public.

She stressed that regardless of political beliefs or affiliations, everyone should be aware of the persuasive tactics used by others, so they do not fall into a trap and believe everything they hear.

“Our job is to stand up… think carefully… do a reasonable analysis and decide how to act,” she said during the discussion.

Pacers for Justice and Peace plan to host other “Talk of the University” events, with possible topics like fake news and the electoral college, according to Sadlack.

Members of the Marywood community may donate personal hygiene items, clothing and household supplies to the Pacers for Justice and Peace collection for local refugees. Donation boxes can be found in various buildings on campus.

Sadlack said Marywood students care passionately about service and being part of a community, and that being politically involved is part of that service and obligation.

“You’re here to learn how to be that citizen in the global society, and politics are a part of that,” she said. “I would encourage everyone to watch for the different events that are labeled Pacers for Justice and Peace, come volunteer with us, get involved and make your voices heard.”

Bethany Wade contributed to this article.

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