The Editorial Board of the student run Georgetown Hoya today asks a question that many of us have asked many many times: “Where Have the Jesuits Gone?”
The direction of Georgetown is no longer determined by the principles of Jesuit education. Our leaders’ choices are guided by public opinion, money, national rankings for our school and our sports teams, and the combative nature of the inept internal administrative bureaucracies. We feel as though we are in limbo between customers and products, not fellow members of a society with a purpose. In short, we don’t feel like we’re at a Jesuit university.
It’s difficult to point to the precise moment when Jesuits at Georgetown began to seem irrelevant. We can say that, whereas Jesuits historically took great pride in speaking out for what they believed to be the important things at Georgetown, their voices have been conspicuously absent in discussions about many of the most important matters to students recently. From hate crimes to the administration’s addiction to hiring defunct politicians, the Jesuits have played a smaller role than (gasp!) GUSA.
And maybe this is what the university wanted. On a symbolic level, Jesuit ideals began to depart when the Jesuits moved from their old residence in the traditional heart of campus to a newer one far away from the center of activities. And their old building was left to rot into oblivion in much the same way the memory of their significance decays today.
The truth is, Georgetown doesn’t need a Jesuit at the helm in order to maintain its Jesuit tradition. Even without a Jesuit president, we think the Jesuits should be consulted on policy changes and asked for their unique perspective to help solve campus problems. The Jesuits should also be consulted more on social issues.
These are all relevant questions. Now this editorial does come on the heels of the Hoya editorial board how Georgetown should allow the sale of birth control on its campus but like a broken clock they’re right every once in a while. In fact, their theological confusion is evidence that the religious education on campus is faulty at best thus proving their point.
The piece ends like this:
Maybe the Jesuits didn’t leave. But save for the occasional Jesuit professor, we rarely hear from the group that founded our school. And maybe they do care. We may be dead wrong, but students need them now more than ever. We would certainly love it if the Jesuits would come let us know.