It seemed like just yesterday I was a nasty kid with long, curly hair moving into O’Donnell Hall whose biggest concern was sneaking beer past the RAs. And now, heading into the Marine Corps as a Second Lieutenant, I can’t help but see all the changes my fellow seniors have gone through without thinking how much time has actually passed. Through all this time and growth we’ve had at Marquette, the only constant is that sometimes we love Marquette and sometimes we hate it.
For example, we hated the utter disconnect between the Marquette administration and the students regarding the Warrior-Gold-Golden Eagle debacle. We students hated that we got made fun of by our friends at other schools for the administration’s stupidity. Anyone who lived on campus during that time knows that the vaaaast majority of student and alumni wanted the Warrior nickname back; we respect that tradition. But Marquette was held hostage by liberals and acted with an utter disregard for common sense. And the final word on that argument is this: obviously the Warrior nickname was a positive, not racist, name for athletic teams. Why would you name something you respect and revere – a university’s nickname – using a tone meant to degrade (racism)?
But, on the flipside, there were always moments like the Marquette-Notre Dame game in January 2006 when Steve Novak hit the baseline buzzer-beater to win. And then walking out of the Bradley Center to party and realizing we were in the middle of a blizzard… At moments like that, we love Marquette and don’t care if we’re the Warrior-Gold-Golden Eagles or the Chimpanzees.
Another thing people tell me they hate about Marquette is the obvious liberal bias. From the speakers Marquette selects, to the opening of a Center for Peacemaking to the hiring of a Diversity provost, conservative students are often left in the dark, wondering if it’s even possible to be Catholic and conservative. And this is, largely, Marquette’s fault. When was the last time anybody from Marquette mentioned school choice, which should be our school’s number one social justice issue.
But, I think that the truth is this: Marquette students are mostly conservative and our conservatism is at odds with the intolerant climate of liberal academia. But we know that this exists and largely ignore it. I mean, how bad is a diversity forum if less than a dozen people show up? Overall, I think we should love the good things about Marquette and fight the bad things.
And to all my Marine Corps buddies on campus… Wow, from the craziness that was Spring Break 2008 in the Wisconsin Dells to the insanity that was our Bulldog workouts, it’s been fun. You all are some of the best, smartest guys I’ve ever met. America’s lucky to have you to defend her and I consider myself lucky to be able to serve in the Marine Corps with you.
So Marquette, after all the hate mail I’ve gotten over the last three years of having this column, it comes down to this: the United States has plenty of good universities, what it doesn’t have enough of are good universities that are truly Catholic. Don’t be afraid to be Catholic and have opinions not generally accepted in academia.