On summer nights, it is common to see many community members utilizing Xavier’s outdoor basketball courts that are next to Buenger Hall. That may no longer be the case.
Over the last two weeks, construction workers have been installing a fence around the courts. The fence will allow only individuals with an ALL Card or a visitor pass obtained through O’Connor Sports Center to enter. The fence is a result of an increase in the number of thefts taking place on the courts as well as overcrowding, but it also implies a disturbing message.
While we understand both theft and overcrowding to be troublesome, the fence literally separates Xavier and its students from the nearby neighborhoods.
This system makes it seem that there is a certain privilege to the courts, and one that is exclusive. We wonder what the forms will involve for the community members who wish to obtain a pass. Will they require the person to have an address in a certain neighborhood? Will it require the person to report any history of a criminal record? Will they have to pay for the pass? Hopefully, this new system will not promote the message we fear: if you don’t have that status or privilege, you aren’t wanted here, no matter how integral you are to the nearby communities.