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Service Director Offers Challenge to Students

This piece was published in the October 2015 issue of the Prep News, and is a letter to the editor written by Mr. Max Magee, Director of Ignatian Service Programs

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Dear Editor,

Thank you to Mr. John Godfrey and Mr. Eli Pittman for their well-written article in the last Prep News examining the culture of Rockhurst High School as elite or elitist. Their article seemed to be inspired by this year’s spirit shirt that reads, “King of State Line.” I agree with Mr. Chris Bosco’s statements about the purpose of a spirit shirt and believe the Rockhurst Student Government were not attempting to emphasize an elitist culture to others. The Prep News staff and the members of Student Government are models for our community and deserve our appreciation for their dedication and service to our school community throughout this year. Well done, gentlemen, and please keep up the good work!

I would like to pose a question, though.

What if we tried to erase any perceptions of elite and elitism from Rockhurst by having a shirt that said “Servants of State Line”? A shirt you couldn’t argue was about arrogance, pride or holding a higher status on the social level. It would be a shirt that aligned more closely with the mission of our school and what Jesuit Dean Brackley calls “downward mobility—that means entering the world of the poor, assuming their cause, and, to some degree, their condition” which Christ did. Perhaps students could create a shirt that they could guarantee was made through fair trade by an organization that valued the dignity of workers. Pope Francis has been a transformative leader for the Catholic Church for many reasons including his symbolic gestures. What a gesture that shirt would be to the Kansas City area and a shirt, that, I think, would represent the “spirit” of our school.

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