Thursday, October 4, 2012

Be Civil, Be Informed, Be Inclusive

Frances Amodeo
Understanding Literature
Dr. Ellis

Be Civil, Be Informed, Be Inclusive
Serving as a member of Loyola University’s Student Government Association for the past two years has been an extremely wonderful and rewarding experience.  It is amazing to be part of an organization that has the power and influence to bring about change and promote causes for the best interest of its student body.  Tonight, October 3, 2012 was the first of three Presidential debates in which SGA hosted ROCK THE VOTE, a live showing in McGuire Hall.  Not only did I go to watch the debate and to support SGA, but I went for the presentation given by our very own President, Father Brian Linnane.
Father Linnane opened by sharing some words of wisdom regarding civility during this upcoming election.  From the get-go he referenced the slogan on the giant poster in the front of the room reading “Be Civil, Be Informed, Be Inclusive.”  Throughout the night, this poster stood as a reminder of how important it is to be respectful of everyone’s views and not to shove your views down anyone’s throats.  Father Linnane called upon us to reflect upon the extraordinary history of the United States and to ask that for those whose supporter wins to be humble and for those whose supporter loses to be gracious and move on.  Father Linnane also said that as a result of the Great Recession we’ve been in, that it was probably one of the most dramatic elections since FDR challenged Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression.  One thing that Father Linnane said that really resonated with me was that we are on a college campus in which us young people have very strong views on specific topics and it is important to remember the other side.  This reminded me of four very important Jesuit core values, honesty and integrity, diversity, community and leadership.  It is extremely important to maintain integrity, be open and respectful of those that are different, by being inclusive rather that exclusive we can build a stronger community, and as student leaders we have a responsibility to set an example for those around us.  
Father Linnane also asked us to consider the ideals of Catholic teaching, a deep connection to the common good.  He asked us to think hard, think smart and think selflessly about our vote, that when voting we are confident that our vote will help not just ourselves, but the common good of the people and our nation.  He also wanted us to think about the vulnerable and the poor, and if they would be best off because of our vote.  After Father Linnane’s presentation we did a voter Examen, which I absolutely loved.  It called us to be civil- having respectful discourse, be informed- being open minded, and be inclusive- consider the rights and needs of everyone.             

Also, I believe Edgar Allen Poe’s The Cask Of Amontillado, Barbara Hamby’s Ode to American English and John Ciardi’s Suburban have a great correlation to the ROCK THE VOTE event.  I think The Cask Of Amontillado is such a great example because in the story, Montresor is so insulted by Fortunato and his beliefs and accusations about him that he seeks revenge and eventually winds up killing him.  I think this is relevant to the Presidential debate’s showing tonight because during this very stressful and tension filled time, our country has a tendency to take sides. People often make up things about the other side that aren’t true and it becomes an all out war and people become very upset and offended.  Barbara Hamby’s Ode to American English is another great example because it is a reflection on how she sees American life and culture today illustrated by materialism.  Hamby’s reflection was much like Father Linnane’s in that both called us to look at and challenge society and ourselves and to see if we are being our most kind and most authentic selves.  Even John Ciardi’s Suburban has a great connection to tonight’s event as well.  Despite the little tiff Mrs. Friar and Mr. Ciardi had regarding his dog and the “repulsive object deposited in her petunias” they learn to put it behind them and coexist happily as neighbors.  I think this is very similar to the election in that despite the disunity and separation among our nation at this time, it is extremely important for us to get along with one another regardless of who wins and who loses and to coexist as Mrs. Friar and Mr. Ciardi did.

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