The Rev. John I. Jenkins, the University of Notre Dame’s president and a 66-year-old Catholic priest, was among the many first school leaders to ask college students again to campus, arguing in a New York Times Op-Ed in May that the faculty had an ethical obligation to not be crippled by concern of the virus.
He additionally appeared humble concerning the problem: When he forgot social-distancing guidelines as he posed for footage with college students returning to the South Bend, Ind., campus in August, he issued a public apology.
Now Father Jenkins faces a storm of protest over the information that he not solely violated his personal health guidelines — showing with out a masks at a White House reception final month for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a Supreme Court nominee and former Notre Dame Law School professor — but in addition is contaminated with the coronavirus himself.
Students have petitioned for his resignation, indignant over what they contemplate his hypocrisy, in addition to the rising tide of infections on campus. Others have reported him to a coronavirus hotline for violating his personal masks mandate. And the college senate stopped one vote quick on Tuesday evening of contemplating a vote of no confidence in his management.
“I haven’t seen people this outraged in my whole career, and I’ve been here since 2001,” stated Eileen Hunt Botting, a political-science professor.
In a assertion posted final week on the Notre Dame web site, Father Jenkins stated: “I regret my error of judgment in not wearing a mask during the ceremony and by shaking hands with a number of people in the Rose Garden.”
Some college members have expressed empathy for Father Jenkins, who’s definitely not the primary school president to get the virus. “Father Jenkins is already sick,” one particular person wrote. “That is enough punishment.”
But many others bristled with resentment that he visited Washington when their very own journey has been forbidden.
“I have not seen my aging parents in over a year,” one college member stated. Others stated that they had canceled analysis journeys and holidays. One had missed the start of a primary grandchild.