Santa Clara University



spring cover
Spring 2007 Issue
More solar power to them

Congratulations to the SCU Solar Decathlon team (Mission Matters, Spring 2007 SCM) on being chosen for this elite competition. You are the stewards of a collaboration of great implication to all mankind. It is indeed an exciting opportunity for SCU and team members.

Brian T. Del Giorgio CPA ’68
Santa Maria

But what are universities doing about mental disorders?

While I appreciate “Are People Getting Crazier?” in your Spring 2007 issue, it is an academic discussion of mental illness.

As the Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63) policy coordinator for the National Alliance on Mental Illness in California, I work with groups to, among other things, revamp mental health education and mental health workforce development. Regional collaboratives between higher education and the mental health system are being developed throughout the state. SCU should become involved.

College age is often the first time that these issues present themselves—sometimes with dramatic and tragic consequences.

Dede Moon Ranahan ’66

Marie G. Herbert, assistant director of Santa Clara University Counseling and Psychological Services, responds:

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides psychological, consultative and educational services to the SCU community. Services are free and confidential (within the limits of California law). The clinical staff consists of licensed mental health professionals. Students may be seen for up to 10 appointments each year and occasionally more. A staff person manages emerging crisis cases each weekday and is available by cell phone to consult on after-hours emergency situations. Staff members provide consultation to various University departments, faculty, and parents regarding students in crisis. Staff also conduct educational workshops with students and campus personnel to address mental health issues. Please visit the CAPS Web site for more information.

Stigma and mental illness

The National Alliance on Mental Illness for years has been fighting the stigma that is associated with mental illness. As a father who had a son with a mental illness, I feel that using the word “crazier” in the title [of Thomas Plante’s article] and numerous times in the text was insensitive to the problem of mental illness.

However, I did find the article very interesting and informative.

Richard Berryessa M.A. ’74
San Jose

These letters were received before the tragic massacre at Virginia Tech brought renewed attention to the realities of mental illness on college campuses—and what universities can and should do to help. For more on this important topic, visit the online discussion in the Spring 2007 issue of SCM. —Ed.

Not my ideals and morals

With respect to “A hidden gem” (Mission Matters, Winter 2006 SCM): If Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown are representative of the ideals and morals of Santa Clara University, I am going to pick up my library commemorative paver and retreat in shame.

Richard R. Callahan ’59
Orange, Calif.
Morality vs. ethics

Regarding the After Words by David DeCosse in the Spring 2007 issue of SCM: Can morality change? I think not. Yet our understanding of it can evolve. Galileo was not so much censored for his morality but his insistence that his sun-centered solar system was the correct view even before his fellow astronomers, many of them Jesuits, could confirm that he was right. Was the Church incorrect? Yes, but her motivation was sincere.

True, the majority of Catholic ethicists traditionally have been priests. To describe them additionally as male and celibate is at best redundant, or is it only veiled anti-clericalism?

Is lay involvement in the Church’s discussion of ethics a good thing? Yes. The genesis of much needed Church reform historically has sprung from this exact source. We are however, I believe, in a time where the vast majority of our clergy are truly holy and good men. This is not the Church preceding the reformation. An ethical claim is more than “aided by insights drawn from Scripture, popes and Church councils, Catholic tradition, philosophy, and the sciences.” These are the very sources from which we must draw on to answer the often very difficult questions life raises.

Our personal experience of Christian love, what some might call our ethical conscience, is important but not infallible. Many well meaning people following their conscience have paved a new but dangerous path. Luther comes to mind. As a former Protestant, ELCA Lutheran, I have seen what happens to a church when the important decisions of the day are decided by a majority vote of its members.

Richard Hesla
Portland, Ore.
Voice of the voiceless?

Regarding “A banner beginning for Madam Speaker” in Mission Matters (Spring 2007 SCM), Jerold Enos’ beautiful banners certainly remind us that children, everywhere, are the future of mankind.

But what is troubling is that Jesuit Father Privett persuaded SCU’s Jerald Enos to provide the banners for a Mass offered by Jesuit Father Drinan, celebrating the Catholic identity of Nancy Pelosi, the new Speaker of the House. And, Mr. Enos exuded that she is “the new voice of the voiceless” and “it was like a meditation on the gift of life....”

Considering that Congresswoman Pelosi and ex-Congressman Drinan have been political enablers of the abortion industry, how many “ironies” can be found in this story?

Mack White ’56 and Lucy Hould White

The Spring 2007 issue glorifies Nancy Pelosi as “the new voice of the voiceless.” This is the farthest that can be from the truth. She leads the political party that has used abortion as their No. 1 platform for 25 years. To not note this in the article is a disservice to all of the “voiceless” millions aborted because of Democratic party policy.

We are responsible for those for whom we vote. Let’s not be responsible for abortions.

Michael Cosgrove BME ’58
Brookings, Ore.

Much to our proofreading chagrin, the print edition of Mission Matters in Spring 2007 SCM contained an incorrect spelling of the first name of the chairman of Intel. He spells it Craig Barrett.

To Our Readers:

We welcome your letters in response to articles. We print a representative selection of letters as space allows. Please limit copy to 200 words and include your hometown and class year (if appropriate) in your letter. Address correspondence to The Editor, Santa Clara Magazine, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA 95053-1500; fax, 408-554-5464; e-mail, We may edit letters for style, clarity, civility, and length. Questions? Call 408-551-1840 or drop us an e-mail.

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