As I’m sure everyone is aware, this past February was the University of Dayton’s first ever “I Love UD” month, and although many of us questioned why this was happening or how necessary this was, there is a great and even bigger question on my mind – why is UD so obliviously and blithely trying to overshadow Black History Month?
Oh, sure, there are issues with dedicating the shortest month of the year to the history of the most repressed minority in the U.S. (not counting Native Americans, although they had it bad, too), but why on earth would Dr. Dan Curran’s regime suddenly and without warning pull out this made up holiday at UD? Surely someone in the office must have raised their hand at a meeting and said, “Umm, excuse me, umm, guys? You do realize that February is Black History Month, and since we’ve already had racial issues in the past, why are we even thinking this is OK?” And if someone did raise their hand and say that (and I hope they did, otherwise we have an even bigger issue on our hands), why were they ignored or talked down from such a high level of racial sensitivity?
It’s bad enough that seemingly everyone wants to take days or weeks out of February and dedicate them to something, but for UD to try to take the whole month is simply unacceptable. Why couldn’t January be “I Love UD” month? Or April? And why did we have to have it at all? Is student spirit at an all-time low? Are the alumni not providing enough money to pay for scholarships for our ever-rising tuition fees? Why have “I Love UD” month at all? To have a reason to hand out free T-shirts to some and sell them to others?
Quite frankly, I cannot be sure, but what I do know is that it is offensive that instead of celebrating Black History Month and having events thereof, the administration opted to be racially insensitive. Coupled with the other racial issues we’ve had on campus, this adds up to a long list of grievances (remember the UD Meme page?) which may not have been intentional, but have made it clear that race is an issue on campus. In order to fix this problem I think the administration should listen more carefully to the African American students. And when the administration has an impromptu event like “I Love UD” month, they should consider how the various student groups on campus will feel about it and what kind of response they will realistically receive.