A choice in the commencement program has sparked controversy and faculty members are speaking up.
Some have reached out to colleagues about protesting the chosen speaker, Mary Eberstadt.
An email was sent out to the different colleges through College of Arts and Sciences Chair Pro Tem Dr. Marianne Lloyd to determine if other faculty shared the same reservations about topics Eberstadt might discuss at the ceremony.
The email was signed by Dr. Roseanne Mirabella, Dr. Mary Balkan, Dr. Janine Buckner, Dr. Williamjames Hoffer, Dr. Cecilia Marzabadi and Dr. Judith Stark.
According to the chairwoman of the department of political science and public affairs, Dr. Roseanne Mirabella, some faculty members feel that beliefs expressed in articles by Eberstadt are not in alignment with the values of Seton Hall as a Catholic university.
One concern is that Eberstadt “takes stances against women who work,” Mirabella said.
In an article by Eberstadt titled “The Child-Fat Problem,” she “lays blame for obesity in children to their working mothers,” Mirabella said. “She refers to working mothers as ‘absent parents.'”
Mirabella said this is a concern because “more than 50 percent of the graduates on commencement day will be women, many of whom will at one point in their lives be working mothers.”
In an article titled “The Family: Discovering the Obvious,” Eberstadt discusses a concept she calls the “natural family.” Mirabella said one concern is that this topic might be offensive to families at the ceremony because “many of the parents in our audience are single parents who sacrificed so much to send their children to Seton Hall, or are single parents themselves who worked hard to get their degrees.”
According to Mirabella, the Provost will attend a faculty senate meeting Friday to discuss the Commencement Speaker.
Senior associate Provost Dr. Joan Guetti was unavailable for comment by press time.
Mary Marshall can be reached at email@example.com.