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when they might be looking for a husband reported more safety challenges.” Regarding safety, Swanson looked in particular at


the effects of patriarchy on the safety and perceived safety of women. “Young women with fathers there who were a part


of their lives felt safe,” Swanson says. “Women whose fathers had passed away or who were still in Syria felt unsafe, because of a lack of a male figure. A male figure was a big factor in whether they felt safe.” A prominent safety challenge in the refugee camp,


according to Swanson, results from arranged under- age marriages, as well as rape and sexual harassment, especially for women not accompanied by men. “Some parents who can’t afford to take care of all


their children will try to get their daughters married for financial security,” Swanson says. “This can lead to unhealthy marriages with older men, which can result in dangerous situations for women.” She says that women living in urban areas reported


quite a bit of harassment as well. “Sometimes women will be forced to turn to prostitution or similar means as a result of financial desperation,” Swanson says. As for social challenges, Swanson found that many


of the Syrian women were self-conscious about their living situation. “They felt embarrassed in comparison to Jordanian women, and they know they are adding pressure to the Jordanian economy,” Swanson says. “They felt bad for challenges they’re causing, but they don’t have anywhere else to go.” The refugee camp Swanson visited was well over


its intended capacity—by three times, in fact. Over- population has made community-building difficult, although the UN is working to help build community as the numbers of refugees continue to rise. Some of the women Swanson interviewed said that they en- joyed UNICEF-sponsored art and music classes. “They really looked forward to it,” Swanson says. “They said that taking part in artistic endeavors helped them to cope.” Despite the difficulty of their situation, Swanson


says that the women she met were kind and open. “They were truly remarkable,” she says. “They had


suffered through extremely traumatic circumstances, but were not at all bitter or jaded. I was consistently amazed by their warmth and sincerity in the midst of such difficulty.” During her time abroad, Swanson, an international


studies major and dance minor, lived with a Jordanian family in the capital city of Amman, which allowed her to practice her Arabic. She also spent a week in the desert with a Bedouin family. Although she has no set plans, Swanson hopes to return to Jordan in the coming year.


Emilio Iodice, director of the John Felice Rome Center, Tony Piazza (JFRC ’62–’63), and Father Garanzini commemorate the JFRC’s first million-dollar gift.


JOHN FELICE ROME CENTER A gift for the future in Rome In early 1962, Tony Piazza (JFRC ’62–’63)


was nearing the end of his sophomore year at Santa Clara University when he saw a bulletin board notice that Loyola was starting up a Rome Center. Upon being ac- cepted to what would be the first full-year term at the Rome Center, he set sail on the SS Nieuw Amsterdam from New Jersey to Southampton, England, and then trekked through Paris and Lucerne en route to Rome. During his days at the Rome Center,


Piazza witnessed the opening of Vatican II. John Felice organized a private audience for the students with Pope John XXIII about a month before he passed away, and Piazza was still in Rome when Paul was elected Pope. “My year at the Rome Center gave me


the opportunity to look at the world from a totally different perspective,” Piazza says. It was there, in Rome, that Piazza met


the woman who would become his wife. “She came to the Rome Center in the spring of 1963 from Maryville in St. Louis,” Piazza says. “We corresponded for several


years after we met and got married in 1966.” Piazza and Susan Brazier (JFRC


Spring ’63) were married for over 40 years when she was diagnosed with a terminal disease. Upon learning of the diagnosis, they decided to do something to support the John Felice Rome Center—the place that had brought them together. “We had a very long and happy mar-


riage,” says Piazza. “And that’s probably the best gift that Loyola ever gave us.” Together, they set up a scholarship


program for students who wanted to go but couldn’t afford it. When Susan passed away in 2011, Piazza began thinking of an even more substantial gift to the Rome Center in her memory and as a tribute to their 45 years of marriage. This year, he made the first million-dollar current com- mitment in the history of the Rome Center. Piazza recently retired after running


a business he started 45 years earlier— RSI Kitchen and Bath. Although Piazza remains involved in an advisory capac- ity, the family business is now run by his daughter, Megan.


WINTER 2014


25


PHOTO: MATT GRCIC/MC CLASS OF ’15


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