For the last year, the University of Dayton community has waited on bated breath to hear the plan for St. Patrick’s Day 2014. As the holiday approaches, we’ve learned more about the administration’s strategy to keep students safe and prevent another reputation-damaging incident like the disturbance last year.
The thing is, the student body does not want another incident. We didn’t want what happened last year to happen. We don’t want the embarrassment, we don’t want to lose our tradition, and we don’t want to hurt the school we care about so much. From conversations with our friends, reactions on social media and commentary in Flyer News we think that feeling has been made clear.
Unfortunately, this years St. Patrick’s Day initiatives fail to capitalize on that sentiment. The initiatives harshly approach the topic with a when they should be embracing the growth our community experienced just one year ago.
One poster reads: “You think you’re building community, but you may be violating the University’s alcohol policy.” The message implies that the feeling of community among students on St. Patrick’s Day is only as deep as the bottom of an imported bottle from Ireland.
We can build community on this holiday. The university’s approach seems to treat this as a celebration of drinking, and while some students would probably make the claim that it is, the feeling among the FN staff is that this is a celebration of being a student attending UD, where people are also drinking.
We build community when we wake up to a bowl of Lucky Charms, don our green T-shirts and follow the bagpipers through the streets. And yes, some people will probably be drunk. But it’s not about being drunk, it’s about being together out in the open, seeing everyone who also call themself a Flyer.
Under unfortunate circumstances, we built community last year. We built a resolve to never lose control again to protect our school, and this cherished tradition, from those who don’t appreciate it. We are going to be respectful, and we are going to take care of each other.
You just wait and see.