Notre Dame Mandates Course on Gender Theory and Feminism

by Miles Swigart  •  •  October 19, 2015   

The Catholic university is requiring freshmen to learn about gender theory and inclusiveness

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SOUTH BEND, Ind., October 19, 2015 ( - The University of Notre Dame has replaced a mandatory physical education class in favor of a new class on gender theory and feminism.

Named Moreau First Year Experience after Bd. Basil Moreau, C.S.C., founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, the course aims to teach students cultural diversity, health, and social awareness lessons, with class names such as "Community and the ND Family."

The course attempts to "foster a spirit of inclusiveness on campus" and help students "develop a deeper understanding of the complex interactions of gender, sexual orientation, class, ethnicity and race," according to campus officials.

Despite these goals, however, students are complaining, saying the class is poorly organized and a waste of their time.

"Instead of making Moreau [First Year Experience] worth our time, it seems that it was rather arbitrarily thrown together, maybe without giving much regard at all to the content we are supposed to be studying," said freshman Keenan White in the Irish Rover, the Notre Dame campus newspaper.

"The readings can be poorly chosen," said ND student Chris Heffner. "They haven't really explained the purpose or objective of the class yet."

"It's only supposed to be an hour a week of homework, but really it's a lot more than that because you have to read a lot, watch videos, and write thoughtful responses," said freshmen David Carmack.

The hefty reading syllabus includes a 10-page article titled "Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment," according to several students.

Vice President for Student Affairs Erin Hoffman Harding said in the official news release:

Our Division is delighted that this new requirement will provide first-year students with information and perspectives designed to help them grow as individuals, foster a healthy and inclusive community and make the most out of their Notre Dame education.

With such radical feminist reading material and promotion of gender theory, it is confusing that campus officials claim the aim of the class is how to "establish healthy relationships and an understanding of human sexuality in a Catholic context." Just how authentically Catholic that context is remains to be seen.


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