On Feb. 8, Presidents Hinton and Hemesath of St. Ben’s and St. John’s respectively, issued a statement regarding current students at CSB/SJU chanting “build that wall” on the Link. After citing Benedictine values and
lamenting this unfortunate incident, the presidents then quickly moved on to a general call for open and free exchange of ideas. They ask for CSB/SJU students to be models of civil discourse.
My question to Hinton and Hemesath is this: Why are you ignoring this Benedictine value: Reverence for all persons?
How does shouting “build that wall” show respect to each person regardless of class, cultural background or professional skill? The presidents seem more concerned with political or financial retribution, instead of standing up for the Benedictine values they claim to champion.
The response from the presidents was insufficient and weak. As an alumnus and donor to these institutions, I certainly hope they put into practice another essential Benedictine value: Listening…because they surely have not heard the message yet.
Joe Wenker ’05, SJU alumnus