“Deeply Disappointed”: Opinion Editor Responds To President Spina

Peter Kolb
Opinions Editor

I’ve done a lot of thinking about St. Patrick’s Day weekend. “One for the books,” as my friends would say. The weather was nice enough, nobody got hurt too bad, and the kidsaw man the kids. There were so many kids! When I first walked down Lowes Street I think I damn near cried.

The one day of the year where UD really loves to show off. And show off we did. Early in the morning, I saw green for streets; I felt the spirit of youth; I saw policeman with their arms around students and I saw smiles…absolutely everywhere. I saw community. When I walked down Lowes I saw community.

So, it was weird. It was weird that when I woke up from my afternoon nap that day I saw snapchats of riot gear, texts about tear gas and news of an emptied student neighborhood. Where did the kids go? Where’d all the community go? I wondered…

And it was even weirder to wake up Sunday morning and find that in the eyes of the administration, the community was never there. If it was, it was fraudulent. Not real. I can tell you for a fact it was a “distorted” sense of community specifically since Iand I think most Flyershave read that email at least ten times or more.
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It was weird to find out my President was deeply disappointed in me. Geez, I mean, that was my third St. Patty’s Day … it wasn’t even that bad. It was weird to find out that apparently after three years here, I still don’t know what “constitutes community.” I’m a slow learner I guess, it only took Spina two.

But I’ve done a lot of thinking. I’ve read all the emails; I’ve listened to what Spina had to say about March 17 at a public SGA meeting the next day, and more than anything else: I talked to the kids. I’m learning quicker now. I think I know what Spina would like from us kids at this point.

So here it is. If I can be so forward as to sincerely address this to you, President Spina: I’m sorry.

I’m sorry, and this is my apology.

I’m sorry things got out of hand last Saturday. I’m sorry there were actions carried out by an incredibly small select few of our Flyer community that are thoroughly indefensible. I’m sorry things can get out hand pretty frequently around here. I’m sorry we, as students, push the boundaries of what’s “fun” and what’s “wrong,” and I’m sorry we think of that in and of itself as “fun”: but someone’s got to.

I’m sorry we make mistakes, we do dumb things, we wear our youth and cluelessness on one sleeve with the UD logo on the other. I’m sorry we fall short. I’m sorry we’re not perfect. I’m sorry at times we can be exactly what adults pray for us not to turn into. I’m sorry we find some real, verifiable beauty in getting drunk together for no reason other than fun.


And I’m sorry that I absolutely love Dayton for all of it. I’m sorry I love the reputation my school has. I didn’t like my grade school or my high school all too much, but President Spina I
love my college and I’m sorry. I’m sorry that’s just really not too important to you. I’m sorry that judging from your comments at the SGA meeting you seem more concerned with what other cities think of UD than what its own students do. President Spina, I’m sorry I haven’t won more trophies for you. I’m trying my best.

You run into Flyers wherever one wanders!

A post shared by Eric F. Spina (@daytonprezspina) on

This was posted on President Spina’s Instagram at 11:38 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day

I’m sorry I didn’t see you on Saturday! I’m sorry you weren’t in the streets with your students!

I’m sorry we’ve never met. I’m sorry I haven’t seen you on campus, at ArtStreet, in the student neighborhood. I’m sorry I’ve heard your email voice much, much more than your real one. I’m sorry you are now proudly trying to avoid and dismantle one of the most beloved student traditions in this University’s history. I’m sorry you’re not able to understand where the tradition you’re trying to destroy even comes from, and why it’s found its home so nicely at our UD. (I can give you a short answer if it helps: Irish people like Chicago, Chicago people like Dayton, and Dayton loves it all.)


I’m sorry that when I got a snapchat from my brother four years ago of him celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at 4 a.m., my decision was made. I’m sorry reading your email was the first time I’ve questioned that decision since. I’m sorry so many kids in high school didn’t even know Dayton existed until that Elite Eight win and those
Elite Eight riots. I’m sorry they saw Dr. Dan crowd surfing and were fooled into thinking that was “community.” They too I suppose, in all their celebration and kinship, were distorted.

I’m sorry you won’t say the name St. Patrick’s Day anymore. I’m sorry you’re that ashamed of your own student body.

I’m sorry I’m probably wrong. I’m sorry I’m probably being dramatic. I’m sorry I don’t know all the facts. I’m sorry there’s something I’m missing you fine folks in suits could so easily tell me but … I’m sorry you don’t want to be on the same team. I’m sorry we couldn’t have spoken on better terms. I’m sorry you don’t like crowd surfing, and I’m sorry you don’t like your community served at 4 a.m. But we do.
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I’m sorry your solution to this problem was not to work with your students: but very literally recraft their schedule in an attempt to take this away from them. Like children.

But I’m not sorry to be the one to tell you: it won’t work.

Next year, I’ll be a senior; then I’m gone. And on March 17, what proud University of Dayton Flyers know as St. Patrick’s Day, I’ll be walking down Lowes for one last timeprobably with another tear in my eye. Because Spina I’m sorry but UD: you’ll never disappoint.

Photo Taken By Christian Cubacub/Director of Digital Media

As with every opinion article published in our newspaper, the opinions held in this article do not reflect the mindset of the entire staff nor the University. We at Flyer News do not condone violence towards students or officers, or other illegal activity. Our goal is to display the facts, convey a message and to antagonize as little as possible.