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Community Dialogue

By Angela Alfano

On the first floor of Hillwood Commons, the Gold Coast Cinema became cluttered as the anticipated arrival of LIU President Kimberly Cline grew near. Students and faculty alike filled the rows at 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 3, to hear the president speak on “contemporary issues, and to show strength in what defines LIU Post as a great modern learning institution,” according to the email sent two weeks ago by President Cline.

Dr. Kimberly Cline speaking at the convocation. Photo: Angela Alfano
Dr. Kimberly Cline speaking at the convocation.
Photo: Angela Alfano

Father Daniel O’Brien, LIU’s new Chaplain and Campus Minister, who replaced Father Ted this fall, opened what he referred to as the “convocation” with a prayer invocation about the attacks on Paris on Nov. 13. Father O’Brien said that with chaos eventually comes tranquility and peace. He said that it is up to LIU Post to do their part in the search of that peace.

Next, President Cline came onto the stage. She spoke for about three minutes about the introduction of “LIU Cares.” This movement, still in its infancy, was introduced in light of what happened in Paris and Lebanon with the hopes that Post will come together in the challenging times that the world is facing and will face.

Following the president were four representatives from the Student Government Association. The SGA members encouraged the LIU community to be involved in services around the campus and local community. They mentioned upcoming events they are hosting, such as blood drives and the free Thanksgiving dinner, to gain support from the LIU students.

The final speaker, Professor Eric Lichten, the Chair of the Sociology Department, spoke the most about foreign and domestic world issues. He said that we must stand together as a family and that each individual is connected to the greater good. Around the world, near or far, suffering knows no boundaries, said Lichten. He said that those who suffer are an extension of us and we are part of the solution to grow humanity. Professor Lichten closed his speech saying “education kills ignorance.”

The event was followed by an ice cream bar, hosted by the SGA and a community dialogue in the lecture hall of Hillwood Commons. Because there were no questions permitted during the speeches, the audience could ask any questions of the speakers or add any comments they had in a general forum setting. It was not mentioned during the discussion whether or not there would be other forums in the near future.

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