In the wake of last week’s presidential election, Bellarmine seeks to reassure students of its mission of creating men for and with others. To further that goal, Mr. Jimenez, the Director of Diversity Outreach, hosted members of the student body in Andrade. The library theater was packed, leaving some students seated on the floor and standing in the doorway to take part in the discussion alongside many teachers sitting in and offering their views.
The meeting allowed students of various groups, but specifically cultural groups, to express their opinions and feelings about the current political climate. Opening the forum, Mr. Jimenez emphasized the importance of brotherhood and tolerance at Bellarmine.
In the discussion, students explained the fears and concerns that they felt in regards to the rhetoric utilized in the presidential election. Particularly, several students spoke about how they felt incapable of expressing themselves when they see or feel oppression, racism, misogyny, or homophobia.
The meeting sought to address the need for action to ensure that Bellarmine students have the tools to deal with such bigotry. Members of the faculty explained how Bellarmine students need to have the skills to deal with such issues because outside of the school environment, students will be presented with instances of such behavior. At the end of the meeting, students were left with a message that injustice and oppression cannot be tolerated and that love will conquer all forms of bigotry.
It is also worth noting that the meeting coincided with a newsletter sent by Bellarmine’s president, Mr. Meyercord, to all students and parents that reiterated the aforementioned points. The letter acted as a reminder that Bellarmine is an institution that tolerates people of all cultures, races, genders, religions, and sexual orientations, and as men for and with others, Bellarmine students are called to respect everybody.