Notre Dame University President Rev. John I. Jenkins faces a student petition to resign, and teachers may be “hopeless” following his Govt-19 diagnosis.
Jenkins, who attended the nomination ceremony for the Amy Connie Barrett at the White House Rose Garden on September 26, was outraged by the students for not wearing a mask and not following social distance procedures.
More than 200 students have signed a petition calling for Jenkins’ resignation, saying “public views that ignore public health directly contradict his commitment to the Notre Dame community, directly endanger the safety of students, faculty and staff, and cast a negative light on the Notre Dame community as a whole.”
Two days before Jenkins’ diagnosis, an editorial was published in a Notre Dame student-run newspaper claiming that Jenkins had violated the rules supported by Notre Dame students.
“Jenkins is leaving South Bend for blatantly violating his own rules, while the community he is supposed to lead is suffering, creating a sense of separation between himself and everyone else,” the Notre Dame Observer editorial team wrote. “A ‘do as I say, not as I do’ mentality is not something a university president should have in times of crisis.”
Some background: After Jenkins announced on October 2 that he had tested positive for Govt-19, he wrote a public apology to the university community.
“I apologize for not wearing a mask during the ceremony and for shaking hands with a large number of people at Rose Garden,” Jenkins wrote. “By the time I asked everyone in the Notre Dame community to do so, I had failed to lead by example.”
On Tuesday night, the Higher Education Chronicle and the New York Times reported that the Senate of Notre Dame had discussed Senate Jenkins’ “no-confidence” resolution. The resolution was voted 21-20, deciding to postpone the next step on the resolution.
But apology is not enough, and Jenkins noted that this is the second time the student body has had to apologize since the start of the fall semester. In early August, Jenkin was seen engaging with students on campus and apologized for not following the social distance protocol.