Post Classifieds

The brawl heard 'round the world

By Ryan Lavalley
On January 10, 2012

The administration's

reaction to the

‘brawl heard ‘round

the world' at this

year's Crosstown Shootout has

been telling. Twenty ba-ga-zillion

official statements, countless

news stories and the absurd

hour-long reflection sessions

revealed that our administration

seems to believe that the identity

and character of this University

is defined by the actions of

basketball

players —

students who

hardly have

the typical

Xavier

experience.

They seem

to think our

basketball

program

has become

the thermometer for our Jesuit

ideals. When it fails to live up

to those standards, that's when

they actually make an attempt to

revive and reflect on our Jesuit

education and what it means

to be a Xavier student. Or is it

that our administration is much more worried about losing the

money and notoriety that comes

with a basketball team like ours?

Their efforts to teach us that "as

a Jesuit, Catholic university, the

behaviors demonstrated are not

becoming of its students and

is in conflict with the mission,

values, and standards of Xavier

University" seems like nothing

more than an attempt to salvage

the public relations nightmare

of having young men fighting

on the court of a Catholic Jesuit

University — rather than resolve

threats to our Jesuit identity.

If they were truly looking

to reinvigorate the Jesuit ideals

of this University, I ask, where

were the official apology statements

to the student body when the administration refused to

fund Academic Service Learning

semesters — that it still advertises

— even though students

expressed a clear desire for such

programs? Where are the reflection

sessions for a student body

that displays the Nike swoosh as

a positive addition to its school

spirit and defends such a human

rights violator in the public forum?

Where are the letters to the

alumni and news sources apologizing

for

decisions

being

made that

decrease

the actual

identity

that defines

this

University

as Jesuit and

Catholic? I

understand that the Crosstown

fight was seen on national television

and that the rest go generally

unnoticed, but Xavier University

should hold itself accountable for

the threats that such ‘invisible'

transgressions pose to our Jesuit

identity. You were appalled and dumbfounded

that a fight would occur

at one of the most heated and

tension-filled games of a basketball

season at a Jesuit Catholic

University? It is more appalling to

me that the same Jesuit Catholic

University proudly displays a

brand that "is in conflict with the

mission, values,

and standards

of Xavier

University,"

that our administration

has

refused to provide

programs

that embody

the ideals of

solidarity and

justice — the

actual defining

points of a

Jesuit education.

Even

more so, it

shocks me that

our University

would consider

reducing the Core, the foundation

of Jesuit education, in the name

of efficiency and to deify what

apparently matters more: basket ball, buildings and business.

If the ‘brawl' desecrates

Xavier's Jesuit identity as much

as the reaction to it made it

seem, then I have been grossly

mistaken as to what exactly a

Jesuit identity is. Pride in one's

athletic programs can be found

at any other university with a

half-decent

sports team.

The defining

characteristic

of being

a Xaviereducated

student is

having an understanding

of

our obligation,

in whichever

career we

choose, to live

a life oriented

toward service,

love and

justice. The

incident at the

Crosstown

Shootout was unfortunate, but

it is only an indicator of greater

issues threatening our Jesuit

identity.


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