Photo courtesy of Xavier University
Jesuit education is one of the most important things to have come into my life. The rigorous education of both mind and soul is so unique that it is not taught in many places. In a few short weeks, I will be receiving a degree from the second Jesuit school that I have been honored to call home. Although I have had my disagreements with many of the decisions made around campus, I have made my lifelong friends here. I have continued to walk with spirituality, and I have had my mind opened to the world of philosophy. I have been thinking about what to say in this final op-ed of my college career for some time now, and I think that it is important to leave you all with this: never let go or forget about who we are and what we are supposed to be.
We are educated to believe in the concepts of God in All Things and Cura Personalis, and we are trained to be Contemplatives in Action. We are not meant to sit on the sidelines as time passes by, and we are not meant to act without reflection. We need to focus on our liberal arts core curriculum. It may not be great for a nursing major to have to learn philosophy and it may not be awesome for a Philosophy, Politics and the Public (PPP) student to have to take a science course, but at the end of the day, we are not machines that only produce work for our majors. We are full people who are made out of love.
Our mission here is to go forward and show that love to our communities. A nursing major needs to contemplate the moral decisions they may have to make, and a PPP major needs to understand something a bit more practical than the metaphysical.
As time goes on and more Jesuit priests leave campus with the possibility of no replacements arriving, we have to remember what our heritage is. We cannot let the common beliefs of the rest of the world cut into the subjects that allow us to contemplate what it means to be students of the world. We cannot let Xavier University become simply a basketball school. We need to make sure that we are more than that.
We need to remember that what makes us different is our Ignatian heritage, which is so powerful that it alone proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am a loved sinner, made because of God’s love for me. I am not calling for us to stop accepting other religious beliefs as the Jesuits in the modern age have encouraged inclusivity of thought and belief.
What I am saying is that there is a reason our tuition costs so much more than that of a traditional private school. We are meant to give back, not just as a resume builder. We are meant to work tirelessly Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.
So please Xavier, if you think about cutting our core curriculum more, if you think about taking away funding from our classics department, if you think about eliminating ethics from the business school, know that we are different not because we are a basketball school, not because we have a good business school and not even because we still have liberal arts.
Remember that we are a university founded by the Society of Jesus, which has led the world toward a great light throughout its entire history. Remember that we don’t just act without purpose. Remember that we are all loved sinners, made in the image of the God that gave his life for nothing more than the sake of loving each and every one of us. For the class of 2018 and the future of Xavier, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.
Alex Hale is a senior Philosophy, Politics and the Public major. He is a staff writer for the Newswire from Detroit.