By: HANNAH DEMCHAK
Keep an eye out for IU South Bend faculty member David James on the ballot this year. He has decided to run for the South Bend Community School Board at large.
James graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in political science and theology in 1970. He later obtained his master’s degree from IUSB in liberal studies in 2009. James also attended Valparaiso’s law school for one year.
James has been a part-time faculty member at IUSB for five years, as well as an adjunct professor for two years. He has taught freshman composition, and IUSB’s Summer Bridge program. James is also an associate editor and layout designer for the Wolfson Press, a part of the master’s program for liberal studies. They are currently publishing their fourth book in a series about civil rights called “On Your Shoulders.”
Outside of his work life, James is heavily involved in music, playing numerous instruments like the fiddle and the dulcimer. You can find him on Monday nights performing at the Fiddlers Hearth in South Bend.
James is also a political activist in the community. James has volunteered with many local organizations like Jobs for Justice and the South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center. James decided to run for SBCSC when he noticed a reoccurring issue in many local schools.
“The kid’s school day starts, but the school inherits the home life,” said James. “What happens when that kid goes home to drunk parents? There are a lot of problems in the home life, and kids take that baggage with them into the schools.”
James’s goal is to make South Bend Schools a safe environment for children coming from troubled homes. He believes a healthy and safe learning environment will teach kids how to make good choices and learn important critical thinking skills. This is the first time that James has run for a political position.
“I wanted to see if I could not effect some change,” said James. “You look at the entire day of a school child in the SBCSC, and you see things and they bother you. So I tried to talk about it, and somebody says to me ‘why don’t you run for school board?’”
Although James will be entering a new chapter of his life, he says that his experience at IU South Bend has taught him a lot about critical thinking.
“This place is full of wise, smart and perceptive people,” James said. “I like being around those kinds of people.”