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Core Exercises in Business

By Andrew Bush
On January 17, 2012

Over the last month a series titled "Xavier as a Business" has been published in the Newswire. This series has taken an in-depth look into the University being run in a business-like fashion and voiced an opinion on many  topics stemming from this belief. One of the most prevalent issues is the Core curriculum. These articles, in addition to Mr. Lavalley's article last week, call for the University to maintain our robust curriculum. I applaud their efforts for sticking up for the Jesuit principles in the way they interpret them to be taught. Yet, I think it is important to recognize that despite what certain professors may teach you, a business mindset is not bad. These same professors may claim all business students only want to make  money. I find it ironic that some of these same professors require you to purchase their texts from private publishing companies without copies being available at lower prices anywhere else. On the other hand, students in the business school abide by six core principles including making decisions in an ethical manner. These students embody the Xavier motto of "Seeing Great Wonders" in their own unique ways, through internships, community interaction and studying abroad, all while holding true to Jesuit values. Note, the undergraduate program was ranked 10th in Ethics in the entire country by Bloomberg Business Week. Additionally, I think it is important to note that I am not a business student and upon reviewing the Jesuit ideologies for myself I felt inclined to propose a  logical idea: make a business class part of the core. This class would not add on to the core but rather could replace a theology or philosophy course for all non-business students. The Jesuit resource page of the Xavier website preaches about educating the whole person. I feel that a business course would be a welcome addition toward doing this. A personal finance or human resource course could be very beneficial to many of us before we plunge into the real world. Although some may disagree, I believe this course would help us learn to live on our own and prepare us to support a family. The Jesuit  resource page also states that looking out for others is very important for the good of oneself, and I absolutely think being better equipped to provide for our future children embodies that ideal. Business students are currently expected to take courses in the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and the College of Social Sciences, Health &  Education. I see no reason why students in these two Colleges should not also take at least one course in  business.

Students stand to benefit from being exposed to an even more unique and broadened core and it gives many  students the opportunity to experience learning in a different way. I have always been told that the Jesuit teachings  are very progressive and our patron, St. Francis Xavier, was described as the most open-minded person that his friends had ever encountered. I feel that approaching this idea with an open mind, much like St. Francis Xavier did, would be valuable. Another great man Fr. James Hoff once described the Jesuit tradition as follows: "The opportunity to educate the whole person, to educate people intellectually, but also morally and spiritually and... to be good citizens. We talk today about working for the betterment of society, being men and women for others, not just working for yourselves." As he said, this University has been educating the whole person since its inception in 1831, preparing graduates to set out to be men and women for others. "Business classes serve society by forming students intellectually, morally and spiritually, with rigor and compassion, towards lives of solidarity, service and success." This Mission Statement, as quoted by the President of Xavier University, Fr. Graham, promotes serving  others and expanding the whole, just as Fr. Hoff once said, and thus proving why a business class would make an excellent addition to the Core. Consequently, I believe an expanded core into every college this University offers would certainly benefit all Xavier students, allow them to be more prepared to positively interact with the world and ultimately go forth and set it on fire.

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