A Tradition of Peace at the University of Dayton

Many students and alumni of UD have worked, and continue to work, for peace:

John Judge, Class of 1969, was a student leader in the campaign to make ROTC voluntary -- in the 1960s, ROTC was mandatory for all male students at UD.  Serious resistance to the policy began in 1965 as students began to seek exemption as conscientious objectors and refused to sign a loyalty oath.  In 1969 students marched on St. Mary's Hall and occupied it for two days to change the policy.  “When over half of the incoming freshman class responded to our leaflet ‘ROTC: You Don't Have To Take It Anymore,’ ” Judge writes, “and failed to show up for classes, the administration finally abandoned the policy.”  

John Judge was a draft counselor during the Vietnam era and set up a table in Kennedy Union for the UD Students for an Informed Campus to oppose the war in Vietnam; held a weekly silent vigil against the war in front KU; and threw an Anti-Military Ball the same night as the ROTC's Military Ball.  He was the national field worker and trainer for the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors from 1976-1981 and co-founded the National GI Project of Vietnam Veterans Against the War/Winter Soldier Organization; the Coalition for Universal, Unconditional Amnesty; the Committee Against Registration and the Draft.  He also worked with Military Families Support Network (Gulf War) and hosted the first meeting of Military Families Speak Out (Afghanistan/Iraq), and supports Iraq Veterans Against the War.  More recently, he handled military casework on staff in the office of Rep. Cynthia McKinney.

John Judge also co-founded CHOICES, an organization based in Washington, DC which counters military recruitment in high schools.  CHOICES brings veterans and other peace activists to school career days to examine the promises of military recruiters and to offer civilian options for job skills training, trade apprenticeships, and money for college.

Write to John Judge at johnjudge@starpower.net

John P. McDonough, 1970, was the first Marine officer to be discharged as a conscientious objector. A member of ROTC while a student from 1966-69, he was commissioned into the Marine Corps upon graduation from UD in 1970.  During further training for officers, however, “reconciling my religious faith with the mission of the military became more difficult.  . . .  After months of hearing the enemy referred to as ‘gooks’, ‘dinks’, ‘slants’ and ‘slope heads’, the notion that the enemy had any humanity at all was lost.  . . . I began to realize that training for war in the manner prescribed would make humane considerations an afterthought. Training for war is at its root an effort to dehumanize one’s values and beliefs.  . . .


“I still stand up when I hear the Marine Corps hymn as a sign of respect for those who serve and who have died.  But when I stand before Almighty God to acquit my earthly life, I will say that I was a loving father and husband, that I served those in my charge and that I refused to take the life of another human being.” (Quotes from a letter written to UD Quarterly in June 2007.)

Write to John P. McDonough at JohnMcd@myusa-pa.com

Wayne Wlodarski (1975) directed the Peace Studies Institute (see "Organizations") for three years, helping to publish "A Peace at a Time" (a two volume text) and, with Mary Cummins, whom he later married, the "Directory of National Peace Studies Programs."

Wayne is now a teacher and school counselor who leads workshops on peace and justice issues, conflict management, parenting, and conduct peer mediation training for elementary schools. He is also a volunteer and board member of the Dayton International Peace Museum. The Peace Museum opened its doors at 208 W. Monument Ave. in Downtown Dayton in November, 2005. The Museum sponsors festivals, exhibits, workshops, school programs, and international conferences for peace and social justice. With its vision statement, "A Space to Make Peace," the Peace Museum celebrates its civic pride in Dayton as a "City of Peace." http://www.daytonpeacemuseum.org/

Write to Wayne Wlodarski at wsquared919@gmail.com

Margaret Knapke (BA 1977, MA 1985), served three months in federal prison in 2000 for repeated civil disobedience outside the School of the Americas in Ft. Benning, Georgia. She was profiled for this prison witness in the UD Quarterly, Autumn 2000, Volume 10, Number 2, in "Troublesome Truth."

Now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), the School of the Americas (SOA) is a program of the U.S. military which has trained members of the militaries from Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America for decades. In September 1996 the Pentagon released training manuals that had been used at the School of the Americas for years; the manuals advocated torture, extortion, blackmail and the targeting of civilians. Dozens of SOA graduates have gone on to commit atrocities and/or seize power from elected governments. Graduates of the SOA include General Hugo Banzer Suarez, military dictator of Bolivia from 1971-78, who came to power via a coup; General Omar Torrijos, military dictator of Panama from 1968-81, who came to power via a coup; General Juan Velasco Alvarado, military dictator of Peru from 1968-75, who came to power via a coup; and General Juan Rafael Bustillo, who, along with several other SOA graduates from El Salvador, helped plan and cover up the 1989 massacre of 6 Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter.

Margaret has done healing trauma-reduction work in El Salvador and Colombia, written articles, and collaborated in the making of a photo exhibit about the people of Colombia. She has also edited books for SOA Watch, the national grassroots organization pressing for closure of the SOA/WHINSEC (
www.soaw.org/). They are From Warriors to Resisters: U.S. Veterans on Terrorism (see www.resistersbook.org), Voces en Solidaridad, and Voices in Solidarity.

In addition to SOA Watch, Knapke works with the Dayton Pledge of Resistance and the Ohio Working Group on Latin America. OWGLA (
www.owgla.mahost.org/) supports peace processes which respect self-determination for people throughout Latin America, and which address issues typically underlying armed conflicts, such as poverty, human rights, personal security, integrity of communities, and integrity of culture.
Write to Margaret Knapke at margaretknapke@earthlink.net

Meagan Doty, 2005, also served three months in federal prison for protesting at the School of the Americas (see above). Meagan is currently a Maryknoll Lay Missioner, scheduled to spend 3 years in Kenya starting January 2008.  She can be reached at meagandoty@gmail.com

Leslie Schuld, 1984, has been working for human rights and social and economic justice in El Salvador and Central America since her freshman year, and has been living in El Salvador since 1993. She is co-founder and current director of the Center for Exchange and Solidarity (CIS - Centro de Intercambio y Solidaridad) in San Salvador.  She was the Midwest Director of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) in Chicago from 1985 to 1991 and CISPES Program Director in Washington D.C. from 1991 - 1993.
CIS was founded in 1993 after the signing of the Peace Accords in El Salvador which ended the 13-year civil war.  Solidarity groups from the U.S., Canada, and Europe came together with Salvadoran people’s organizations to promote people-to-people relations.  The work of CIS includes assistance to artisans (especially women, ex-combatants, returned refugees, and single mothers); support of laws that uphold human rights in El Salvador; the organization of international election observer teams; and grassroots initiatives for social and economic justice. The CIS runs a year-round Spanish school for internationals and English school for Salvadorans.   All English teachers are volunteers for 9 weeks or more and get training in teaching ESL.  Write to Leslie Schuld at lschuld@sbcglobal.net .   You can also check out the CIS web site:    www.cis-elsalvador.org


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