Justice Deters speaks to students at Take It On event

By Katie Sanchez, Arts & Entertainment Editor

The Take It On Initiative hosted an event on April 11 to promote dialogue among students regarding the Xavier administration’s appointment of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Joe Deters to “Justice in Residence.”

The event, held in the Surkamp Family Room in the Xavier Alumni Center, was attended by approximately 15 students who were recommended by faculty, staff and their peers as leaders in Ignatian civic dialogue and engagement.

During the event, students were able to engage in discussion with Deters and their peers to present topics of concern to them, such as the previous controversial statements made by Deters about the death penalty and race.

Photo courtesy of supremecourt.ohio.gov

The event was held in order to encourage dialogue about Deters’ appointment and the conversations about sociopolitical issues that his appointment has sparked. 

Xavier political science professor and director of the Take It On initiative Dr. Mack Mariani commented favorably on the event, observing that students were willing to both speak and listen on important issues.

“Part of the reason you see students coming to this is that they feel they want to be heard, and I know this doesn’t answer all of that for everybody, but it’s a step forward,” Mariani said.

“I think students had a really good conversation,” said senior Philosophy, Politics and the Public (PPP) and communications double major Abby White. White is the voting fellow for Take It On and organized the event along with junior PPP and English double major Emily Croft, who is the dialogue fellow for Take It On.

“That is what I really wanted from this as a student for my fellow students – to be heard,” White said.

Deters responded to concerns about the controversy on campus surrounding his appointment. “I think when people know me, they’ll realize this is nonsensical,” he said.

Rebuffing concerns about his appointment, Deters repeatedly expressed his dedication to the Xavier community and eagerness to begin his role.

“Come talk to me. If people want to come see me, then come see me,” Deters responded when asked what students with concerns about his appointment should do.

Deters will take part in additional Take It On dialogue events. One such event will be held today for students in the Philosophy, Politics and the Public Honors Program and another will be held next week for members of Xavier faculty.