Opinion submission: Service and justice coordinators on reaffirming Pilot values

By Anita Oman | April 18, 2018 6:40pm

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Pictured are service and justice coordinators Anita Oman, Cat Casey, Sitara Nath, Frankie Chicoine, Caity Igarta, Katie Buchanan, Serenity Mallon, Connell Morante, Tom Bornhop and Grant Matthias. Photo courtesy of Anita Oman. 

With a title like Service and Justice Coordinator, it should not come as a surprise that behavior such as at Sunday night's Wally Awards both disappoints and frustrates us. That being said, what disappoints us more as proponents of service and justice is the culture at UP that allowed such behavior to happen when we all work fiercely to uphold the Moreau Center's core commitments of social justice, community, solidarity, and reflection. It is our feeling that those core commitments were not upheld that night. For this reason, we as Service and Justice Coordinators feel it is necessary to revisit those commitments and speak about what upholding those commitments looks like for our community.

Taken from the Moreau Center's webpage about social justice, "Catholic social teaching emphasizes the dignity of all human life", a belief that is shattered when someone speaks uninterrupted hatefully towards any member of our community. We as Moreau Center affiliates believe that any infringement upon human dignity no matter its form becomes our responsibility as soon as we are witness to it. As Pilots it is our duty to halt these injustices without hesitation.

Something that is stressed profoundly on our campus and by the Moreau Center is community. To fully immerse oneself into a community, you must meet people where they are and respect the ideas and abilities they bring to the group. Sometimes, one must put the group before your own interests. Standing up to violence and uplifting people's differences and abilities rather than degrading them is imperative for the interests of the group.

Solidarity is perhaps the most important value that the Moreau Center upholds. Solidarity is standing with, acting with, and feeling with all people, regardless of their background. As advocates of solidarity, it is our job, our purpose, to stand with and act with the marginalized, regardless of whether we are of similar backgrounds. We implore you to stand with your brothers and sisters in this time and every time, Pilots. While issues of racism, sexual violence, or misogyny may not directly affect you, they are a deep and permeating wound in our community that we must all come together to heal.

Finally, we will speak about reflection. After events like Sunday's, we are given an opportunity to reflect and turn that reflection into action. The issues brought to our attention are so important to our community, and we hope that all students, faculty, and staff take the time to reflect on these issues as the rest of the semester goes on and turn those reflections into action to fix what is broken in our community. If you are looking for a space for guided reflection and steps to action, the Service and Justice Coordinators along with SASA and other student groups, will be holding an event on Thursday, April 19th at 8:45 PM in Buckley Center Auditorium for folks to come, discuss, and move forward together. For ADA accommodations please email sasa@up.edu.

Forever in Solidarity,

The Service and Justice Coordinators - 

Anita Oman, Cat Casey, Sitara Nath, Frankie Chicoine, Caity Igarta, Katie Buchanan, Serenity Mallon, Connell Morante, Tom Bornhop and Grant Matthias

Anita Oman can be contacted at Oman20@up.edu. 

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